Friday, October 29, 2010

Go With The Flow

I spent the morning packing up our things to meet Daddy in Ft. Worth this afternoon, but he got a later start than expected. So we went to the park with Paula and Reiner, where Brother repeatedly fell and hurt himself. I think he is just exhausted. They had a big swing that, if we lived in Dallas, I could tweak to be perfect for you! Still, you enjoyed swinging even if it wasn’t the most comfortable. You do love to swing!

We met Daddy at the hotel around 7:00, unloaded some things and then met Honey and Grandpapa in the restaurant for dinner. Of course, Bub was on the high maintenance side, being even more tired than when the day began. But I can always count on you to be my go-with-the-flow girl. Thanks for that.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lil' Pumpkin

Dallas is so much fun!

Today we explored the Dallas Arboretum. They have an incredible pumpkin patch full of thousands of pumpkins. They even have pumpkin houses! We took lots of pictures, hoping to get one with you and Brother worth framing. Despite our efforts, I am not sure we were successful.

Liam's not looking.

Liam is clapping.

Giving you kisses.

Well at least you're having fun.

Love this picture of you--where's Brother?

This can't be good...

Yep, saw that one coming.

Well, we got a good one of the two of us. :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Big "D"

I don’t think Dallas agrees with you. Last night was rough. At one point Aunt Paula brought in a humidifier to see if that might help; I think it did a bit. But there must be something in the air that is different than Houston, because you and brother both are acting like you have allergies. So this morning we had a slow start to getting out of the house. We finally got to the YMCA up the street about 12:30, where I worked out and you made some new friends. Actually, you and Bub were the only two kiddos in there. Next we headed to a pet store to see some animals, followed by naps. When Aunt Paula came home we had dinner, played outside, and took baths. Hopefully you will rest easier tonight and wake up ready to play hard tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

...a time to laugh; a time to mourn...

You were perfect on the way Cleburne, as always. You threw up big on the first part of the trip, and it made you sad for awhile. But after we got out and cleaned up, you felt better.

We arrived at the cemetery just in time, and stood at the back of the room. I held Liam and Grammy held you. I expected him to be squirmy after being cooped up in the car all day, and he did not disappoint. At one point Grammy offered to switch babies, thinking Brother might be quieter for her. Not only did he keep up his antics, but you joined right in! As soon as I took you from Grammy, your giggle box got flipped and you couldn’t stop laughing. Loudly. Was Jesus whispering funny stories about Grandma in your ear? I think she would have LOVED to hear you so happy. But maybe others might not appreciate it as much. So we stepped outside for a bit.

After the funeral we got to spend a short amount of time with our family who loves you so much. And then on to Dallas. Thankfully you and Brother both slept on the way and I had some quiet. Fun day ahead for tomorrow!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cleansing Laughter

Tonight Daddy and Liam went to church, while you and I stayed behind to get some things knocked off our to-do list. One of those things was to clean out the Trailblazer. So you and I went up to a nearby gas station that has free vacuums and started cleaning out the past few months of cheerio and cracker crumbs. You thought the sound was HILARIOUS. I took my sweet time and got everything super clean since it was so entertaining for you. I love that you are such a happy girl!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Grandma Sembera

Your Great Great Grandma Sembera died tonight. While it is never easy to lose someone you love, this isn’t a tragedy. She was apparently ready for “the Lord to take her home” and didn’t want to do anything but wait on that. Plus, she outlived her husband and three of her seven children. We knew this time wasn’t too far off. I am mainly disappointed that we didn’t get up there in time to see her. As soon as we got word that she had given up, I called Grammy to see when we should head up to see Grandma. We thought it would be best to wait until she was discharged from the hospital (she was admitted for dehydration). Things just moved faster than we expected I guess. The good news is that we will go up for the funeral next week, and you will get to meet the rest of the family!

The last time I saw Grandma I was pregnant with you. You never got to meet her, but she knew of you. Aunt Nelda and Aunt Peggy would take her printed pictures from your blog and tell her about you. I wish we could have gotten a picture of you with her. With Mema and Mom in the picture, we could have gotten five generations of women in your family together at once. That would have been amazing. Now we will just have to wait till we see her in heaven. You both will be able to enjoy one another better there anyway.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pork Chop

As I made Daddy's dinner tonight, you thought the sizzling pork chop was hilarious. So much so that you were hardly able to catch your breath. I don't really care for cooking. But that was just fun.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Noah's World

Today as I updated the picture at the top of your blog (4 months late, even though the pic itself was taken the day after your 2nd birthday), I stumbled across a feature of blogspot. I really only know how to write my posts and upload pictures…anything beyond that is too fancy for me. Our friend Mrs. Jenni says she knows her iPhone is like her brain…she is only capable of tapping into 10% of its capacity. That sums up me and the blog. I have seen other blogs with music and other cool features, but have no idea how to do them myself. Anyway, there is a page called site stats and it keeps track of how many people read your blog and what links they click on to get there. And here is the fun part. I discovered the blog of an old friend.

Noah was one of your roommates during our time at Texas Women’s. He was born 11 weeks premature, and his little isolette was right next to yours for a week or two before we moved to TCH. I remember what a feisty little guy he was. All of a sudden we would hear banging, and he would be slamming his little hand full of IV’s into the walls of his bed. Despite being so small, his face was full of expression and personality and he quickly stole the hearts of all who cared for and interacted with him. You grow to love and pray for those NICU babies and families around you—their victories become yours along with their heartache. And unfortunately, there is a lot of heartache. But Noah was such a fighter—I was just positive that given a little time to grow, he would be just fine.

I hate to say that there were times in the NICU, especially at Texas Women’s, that I looked at the situations around me and thought they had it so much better. For a while you were the only non-preemie on the floor. In fact, your birth weight of 7 lbs 3 oz meant already you were too large for the clothes provided in the NICU which were made for the teeny tinies. But I remember, as your situation began to look more and more complicated, wishing that you could be “just” another preemie. That you could “just” be small and early, and one day be healthy and strong and independent. I guess that was either my naivety—or perhaps, if I am perfectly honest—a root of bitterness and self pity that had to be cut out. I know that in some ways it was harder for the preemie parents. Those babies are so prone to infection, and there is absolutely no guarantee of survival. I was able to sit by your crib from early morning until midnight most days, doing nothing but holding and rocking you. Noah’s parents weren’t as fortunate. They were limited in the amount of time they could hold him. Often his mommy or daddy would swing by on a lunch break and just sit and look at him or hold his hand for a moment, because when it was time to take him out of his isollete, they wanted each other to be there too. I remember grandparents would also come and just sit, not willing to take that precious cuddle time away from Mom and Dad. (It was Noah’s grandpa that first told me your name meant “strength”.) A sick baby, no matter what the cause, is nearly unbearable to the entire family. Someone the other day was telling me how she had to leave her baby in the hospital for 3 days—and then as if realizing who she was talking to said, “Although I am sure that seems like nothing to you.” I told her it absolutely DID seem like something to me…that first night I left you in the hospital was the second most painful night of my life. My heart literally hurt, and I only made it to the car because Daddy helped. Eventually it got a little easier, but there is nothing like that first time of walking out of the hospital without a baby. You have to go to the car where an empty infant seat sits in the back, and then walk past the empty nursery at home. Whether one day or a hundred, it is probably one of the most difficult things a new parent could do.

I hungrily ate up his blog today to see how the last two years has been for him. Noah wasn’t discharged from Texas Women’s until a full month after us…meaning they stayed a whopping 23 weeks and 2 days. We thought our 9 weeks was tough! He was discharged after Hurricane Ike, and since their home still didn’t have power, immediately went on his first road trip to visit family in New Orleans. How fun!

I was saddened to see that Noah has ongoing complications from his preemie birth. It looks like his official diagnosis is spastic diplegia, a version of CP (cerebral palsy). As scary as the term CP is, he really looks to be doing great. He eats on his own, wears handsome little glasses, walks in a walker, is making good progress in OT and PT, and has moved (if somewhat reluctantly) into a big boy bed.

He has a beautiful, healthy little sister, named Maya, who I am sure has done as much good for Noah and his parents as your brother has done for us. And like you, Noah is loved, loving, and happy. And as parents, we can’t ask for too much more than that.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hooray for Columbus!

We received a special treat today—Daddy got the day off since banks are closed for Columbus Day! So we headed to the Houston Zoo. The zoo has become expensive these days…I can remember when it cost 50 cents for an adult. Now it is $11, which wouldn’t be so bad if you were guaranteed to see the animals. But more often than not in Houston, they are inside escaping the heat. Considering we are now the third largest city in America, our zoo leaves something to be desired. Big renovations are in process and a new section is supposed to open in December.

Despite our zoo not being fabulous, I have good memories of it. So today I became a member. For $46, I have entrance for the next year. You and brother get in free, and the cool part is that I can always bring an unnamed guest. So Daddy could go for free, or Honey or Grammy or Mema or whoever. And the best part is there isn’t any pressure to go and stay for the entire day. This is ideal for you since outdoors can be tough on your sweet and delicate skin. Now we can head there in the morning and leave by lunch when everyone starts getting hot and tired.

You did great for most of the day. The morning was cool enough on its own, and after lunch I put the cooler packs on either side of you in your stroller. We reapplied sunscreen a couple times and there were no complaints from you. We stayed longer than I anticipated we would, and you were a trooper until the last 30 minutes or so. At that point you started getting hot and tired and nauseous. You had one big throw up and we decided to head home. I am really proud of you though!

Here are a couple cute pics from our day.

Relaxing in the shade near the fish pond while the boys play.

Vegging out in Daddy's lap while we all eat some lunch.

Coolest seat in the house!

Always good for a smile!

There is nothing Daddy and I enjoy better than spending the day doing something fun as a family. So thanks Chris Columbus, for being credited with discovering America. We owe you one!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Occupational Thrills

Today was an awesome day during OT. You held your head very well on your own, grasped a windmill with both hands in midline, and prop sat on your own for 8 seconds! I can't imagine what it would be like if you could sit on your own all the time. That would be amazing, to say the least. Keep up the good work Sugar Booger!