Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Six month check up

Buddy had his 6 month appointment today.  I LOVE his new pediatrician.  She was very warm, talked to Buddy and to me, gave me lots of information, asked tons of questions, and just gave me a great vibe.  Dr. Wotherspoon was really impressed with how well our baby boy is doing.  I am not going to post Buddy's weight/height today because I am going to have people guess what they were and then post them in a week.  So guess away.
I will give you these hints:
He is in the 10th percentile for 6 month weight - yay!  He keeps getting higher on that growth chart and is catching up with his "peers."
He is in the 50-75th percentile range for his length.  I can't imagine what percentile that would be if we looked at it with his "actual" age - about 4 months.  I think he is going to be tall!
His head was in the 5th or 10th percentile.  So he did not inherit my large noggin. ;)
He did not enjoy his shots today - cried and cried.  He fell asleep on the ride home, and has been sleeping in his carseat ever since.  Hopefully he isn't as fussy as he was at his four month appointment for his own sake and mine.
Oh - any opinions on getting Cole the flu shot?  The doc said I could think about it (she did not pressure me at all).  Not the H1N1 - we are not doing that one.   Also, pray that something works out so we can get the funding for Cole to get vaccinated for RSV - our insurance isn't going to pay for it since we haven't yet met the decuctible (because we had to switch insurance), and each vaccination is EXPENSIVE.  I have a couple of resources to apply to for getting help with that - so pray that goes quickly and smoothly.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Obsession Post

I was tagged as a "fabulous blog" by Danavee.  Since I was tagged, I must disclose five obsessive compulsive traits that I exhibit.  Here I go:
1. Double checking things.  I double check doors, irons, curling irons, lights, locks.  Sometimes it is so bad that I have to drive back home to triple check because I have the nagging feeling I left something on/unlocked.  Now that Coleridge is here, I double check him too.  At night I get up several times to check and make sure he is still breathing.  I thought this would fade, but so far I am still doing it.
2.  Socks - I don't really like to wear socks, but when I have to it drives me nuts if they are sagging down or if their seam is not lined up properly with my toes.
3.  Photos/scrapbooking - I have to have my pictures in order.  I hate when they are developed and not in chronological order.  It really irritates me that when I download them to Walmart or Walgreens and on their website for purchase the pictures are completely out of order. Why does that happen?  When I scrapbook, I have to scrapbook in chronological order.  I hate skipping around.  I always anticipate getting to the really good events/photos.  Unfortunately I have had to skip about three pre-Cole years of scrapbooking (yes, I'm that far behind) in order to start on his baby book. This was very difficult for me.  Often I spend so much time getting everything set up and organized to scrapbook that I am too tired to actually do any scrapbooking.
4. Grammar - I know as soon as I type this on here there will be a ton of mistakes in this post.  I am obsessed with trying to have good grammar.  Facebook statuses are difficult for me to post because I never know if I am supposed to be in first or third person, and if my status is me wondering something if I should put a question mark or a period.? ;)  I cringe when I see bad grammar/spelling on facebook.  I am a snob, but in all fairness I cringe when I make grammar mistakes, too.
5. ABC order/categorization - This one I really haven't done well on lately with moving things around to make room for Coleridge.  I like for the books on my bookshelves to be in categories and in ABC order.  I like my cds to be in ABC order.  When I taught, I liked my files to be organized by subject and in ABC order --- if they made their way back to the filing cabinet instead of thrown on my desk or on top of the cabinet. I prefer my closet to be color coordinated, and at certain times in my life that has meant being in the color spectrum order - Roy G. Biv anyone?  The funny thing about this is I am a very messy/cluttered person, so it is strange that I want these little things placed in a certain way, but I won't obsess with a little dog fur on the couch or a pile of laundry by my dresser.

Alrighty - now you all have a glimpse into my world.  I tag anyone who reads this blog who has their own blog to confess your own OCD tendencies.  Amy N. - I know you have them, hehe.  ;)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Buddy's first food

While in Illinois Buddy tried his first foods. We discovered licking a dill pickle slice calmed him down when he was cranky. This is odd because his mommy hates dill pickles! He also tried a small bite of Whitey's ice cream. Great Aunt K got a picture of that, I think. Neither of these moments were pediatrician approved. :)
Today Hubby and I fed Buddy something the experts recommend for a first food - mashed bananas. He enjoyed the flavor, but wasn't so sure about actually eating it. He seemed to know to open his mouth pretty well for the spoon, but we discovered he did better eating it off a finger.

Can't believe he turned six months old the other day! We have his doctor appointment for shots and a checkup next week, so we will update you all with his weight/length after that. Please pray that appointment goes well. We switched insurance, so we had to switch doctors. Pray that he handles the shots well, too!

Christmas photos

If you are not on facebook, here are some of the Christmas-y pictures I took of Coleridge yesterday.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Eulogy at Papa's funeral

My grandpa played a significant role in my life. Growing up, we lived not far from him, so he and Mimi were very involved in my childhood. Most memories hold him in the pictures I have in my mind of my major and minor life moments. I can see him in the audience at my piano recitals and choir concerts, the bleachers at grade school softball games, the living room on Christmas morning. I smell his coffee that he dunked his oatmeal cookies in, and the aroma of the woodchips from his workshop at the green house off of 41st street. I can hear him snoring in the next room when I used to spend the night at my grandparents’ house, his voice egging my brother or Uncle Jerry on during a card game, and his laugh, the loudest one in the theatre, when he went with Mom and I to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding – the first theatre movie he had watched in a dozen or so years. I taste the fresh raspberries he picked from his backyard, and I can feel his whiskers scratching my cheek and his hands showing me how to hold a golf club. I do not have photographs of all of these moments, but they are carved in my mind.
And carving is something Papa loved to do for many years. He showed me how to carve, he even came to my class in gradeschool once to do a lesson on carving. Although I appreciated his craftsmanship, the lessons on carving never really took hold for me. However, there are many other lessons that did.
The first was to not be afraid to tell people what you think, even if they do not agree with you. My grandpa was good at letting you know what he thought. He gave me a few pieces of advice as I grew up. When I was very young, the obvious things like looking both ways before crossing the street and being nice to my younger brother. When I started to drive, he always asked me if I was checking the oil. Every phone conversation I had with him from college until I got married included this question, “Have you checked the oil lately?” When I went away to college, I think he wanted me to find the one. “Spend time in the cafeteria. Go to the football games. The boys are there.” he would tell me. Yet when I left college, single, and moved out west on my own to a Marine base town I heard slightly different advice, “Don’t marry a Marine.” So I followed that advice and married an Air Force man. My last phone conversation with him a week ago was actually Papa giving me advice. It was almost as if he knew he wouldn’t be around much longer, and he wanted to give me his two cents on what to do with the next phase of my life.
Another thing I learned is that you do not have to become a statistic. Papa grew up poor and without having a father around very much. He wasn’t an outstanding student, but he made something with his life. He worked hard and eventually became a fire chief for the city of Moline. He stayed married to one woman for over fifty-seven years. He raised three successful daughters, and has five hard-working grandchildren.
Papa taught me that love can last a lifetime. My grandfather married my grandmother when they were just eighteen years old, and although I was only able to witness the last twenty-eight or so years of their marriage, I am confident that their love was even stronger in 2009 than it was in 1952. The seasons and storms of life did not wear them down as it does so many, but instead renewed their comittment to one another. One of the sweetest things I have ever heard was the many times Papa told me in earshot of Mimi how lucky he was to marry her, and wasn’t she just the prettiest wife ever? One of the best compliments I received from Papa was a note he wrote for my wedding album – “... thank you for being like Mimi. I hope your marriage is as good as ours.”
I have learned by obvserving Papa that people can change. Although I would consider my grandfather a vocal man, I would not consider him an overly demonstrative man. As his health deteriorated, I watched my grandfather become more aware of the importance of telling people how you feel about them. For those who spent time with him in his last years, we have been blessed with a gift. The gift of seeing a slightly different Don. Still stubborn, yet so much softer. A Don  who told us often how much he loved us. “Forever and ever” was what he said to us lately. I knew the healthy and active Don  loved me – it was evident through his actions – but how precious were the words that finally, easily came out of his mouth as he was less able to show his love through his actions.
The most important lesson I have learned from my grandfather is a lesson on faith. Amidst the excrutiating pain Papa was in, he still clung to his Savior. Due to various circumstances, we were not able to bring my baby boy up to see Papa right away when "C" was born. On the phone one time, Papa told me, “I love C - even though I haven’t seen him. Just like it is with Jesus. Even though I haven’t seen Him, I love Him.” When I was up visiting Mimi and Papa this fall, he had to have help getting out of bed, if he was able to get out of bed at all. On that visit Papa mentioned in conversation, “The Lord has answered all of my prayers but one. No, He has answered. He gave me thirty minutes without pain today.” Very few would be able to remain so strong in their hope during such an ordeal. Yet even with all of this optimism, Papa was ready to go home. “C’s coming, and I’m going.” he told me this fall. Long ago Papa gave his life to Jesus, and though he spent time in his bedridden days worrying about all of us, I know he was not worried to leave this world. He is now in the place where he has no more pain. He has a new body, a body that once again works. And while we are sad for ourselves to be losing such a special man, we rejoice that not only will we see him again, but we will see him again pain-free.
Papa had a t-shirt once or a picture or something that had this slogan, “Woodcarvers never die, they just whiddle away.” I know that because of Christ’s death and resurrection, Papa has eternal life, and lately I can just picture him sitting with Jesus, Master Woodworker, just whiddling away.
Thank you, Papa, for the lessons you taught me both through your words and your actions. I will love you forever and ever

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lundgren Link

I have previously mentioned our friends who helped us through our NICU days, and their sweet little twin boys. A couple of weeks ago I wrote asking you to pray for their son, Luke. Please, please, please keep him in your prayers daily. A link to their blog is http://lundgrenfamilynews.blogspot.com/ if you want to know specifically how to pray as well as the miracles God has already done throughout the last year. Please pray for more miracles for precious Luke.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cole and the chicken

Cole has been pretty fussy the last few days. We don't know what is up with him. Thursday was the roughest day. One thing that has made him happy is his stuffed chicken from Deb L. He smiled and cooed and "talked" to him. We didn't get the best, most animated part of the conversation on video, but we did get the end of the chat.

Monday, November 2, 2009


There is nothing better than a sleeping, snuggly baby in your lap - even if it means the to-do list must wait. The kitchen will always need cleaning and the floors will always need vacuuming. The day will come when he will have no interest in cuddling.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

5 month picture and Halloween

I can't believe Buddy turned 5 months old the other day. Here is his chair and bear picture to show how he has grown.

Here are a couple pictures of Buddy and his Halloween costume. Thank goodness I only paid $2 for it since he doesn't like it very much.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Please Pray for our friends

I know that many of you who read this are people who pray. Today I am asking that you pray for our friends and their little boy. These friends were our "NICU mentors" - as they had spent considerable time there themselves with their twins, especially Luke.I do not know if I have the freedom to post the details, but these friends have been on a roller coaster so to speak for over a year. God has done miracles in this little guy's life, and he needs continued prayer for even greater miracles. If you would, please remember them as you pray.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What are we doing with our lives?

Well, we currently don't know. The Air Force Officer door has closed, so in a way, we are back to the drawing board. This weekend M and I had several conversations, including pro and con lists for our 13 options. It seems we are now down to six or seven options, and waiting to see which doors close and open. As hard as it is to have a door closed, at least it eliminates something from the list. It is the possibilities and the unknowns that I do not enjoy. I just want to know what we are supposed to do for the next three to ten years and a general idea of how it will turn out. Not too much to ask, right?
Do we stay here or do we move? If we move, where , when, and how? Should we attempt to sell our house even if we are not sure about the moving details? Does Hubby stay in a similar career field or try something different? Do I go back to work full-time, part-time, or not at all? I just wish we had some clear direction, a voice saying, "Do ______ and live _______." I know I once randomly moved across the country to a town where I knew no one, but even as adventurous as that was, I did have a job lined up when I did that. Agh! So that is what is going on with us these days. :) And even with all of these questions, this weekend I felt God give me a sense of peace that He is with us amidst all the wondering and pondering.
Buddy is great. He interacts more each day. He is sleeping pretty well at night, but he fights bedtime and naptime even when he clearly needs to sleep. He is getting excellent at controlling his head while on his belly, he loves batting and kicking the objects the dangle from his baby gym-thing, he is still practicing rolling over - he does it some days and not others - and he has started "talking" to us with a variety of coos and sounds, looks and expressions that seem like he really wants to communicate something with us. He wants our attention most of his waking hours.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More pictures

For those of you who aren't on facebook, here are the pictures Mike and I took today in our backyard.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mid-October update

I can't believe it is already October 13th!! Here is an update of what is going on with Buddy. Sorry for doing it with bullet points.

  • Today he rolled over from belly to back. He has been working on this for the last couple of weeks, and we thought he would do it while everyone was in town last week. He has learned to prop up his head really well, and today he finally coordinated his bottom, back, head, arms, and legs. He rolled at lunch time for me (and honestly, I kind of missed it because I turned my head at the exact moment of the roll), and then he did it for Hubby this evening. What a big boy!

  • He is working on some giggles/laughs. I would call them half-giggles. We have a new game where I move my hand on his belly and chin and then pinch his cheeks. He smiles really big (he is getting great at smiling), and then he gives a tiny laugh. I love this new game because the repetition of it is teaching him to anticipate what I am going to do. It is so neat to watch.

  • He is officially in his 3-6 month clothes and his size 2 diapers. I packed a bunch of clothes away, and it made me thrilled and sad at the same time, just like it did when he moved out of newborn clothes.

  • Buddy really likes getting his dirty diapers changed. I know this seems weird to type, but when I move him to the changing table and he is laying (lying?) there, he does a little happy dance both pre and post-change.

  • Our family enjoyed having everyone in town for the dedication. Thank you to those of you who came, and thanks to everyone who sent in a letter. You can still send a letter if you wanted to and didn't yet. I have not found a neat box yet for storing the letters. Buddy and I also enjoyed another trip to IL to spend more time with grandparents and great-grandparents. The trip seemed too short. We didn't even make it to Whitey's or to see anyone else. So sad. Sorry to those of you I missed.

  • I hesitate typing this, but Buddy is sleeping a lot better at night. However, this means he is eating constantly during the day and also not napping. He is a very social boy, so he likes my undivided attention all day. Most of the time this is wonderful, but I would like a little time to vacuum and fold laundy. Oh well. There will always be housework, but he is only a baby for a short time. I will relax and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

4 month pictures

These are Buddy's pictures from yesterday. Of course he cried. These are the only pictures that make him cry, I think. Oh well.
Oh, and ever since I typed about how Buddy is sleeping from 11-5, he has stopped and returned to waking up between 2:30-3:30. I guess I jinxed myself.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Late September Update

  • Last week was busy, and though I took some video to put on here for our family and friends near and far, I did not get a chance to upload. Three video clips are posted below.

  • Although Buddy took his shots like a trooper in the office on Monday, he was in a great deal of pain later that afternoon. Both Hubby and I took turns dealing with a very fussy baby. It broke our hearts to hear him cry like that. The last time we had heard those cries, I think he was in the NICU.

  • Buddy is now giving us around 5-6 hours of sleep at one time at night. He has slept from 11ish to 5ish now the last few nights, and he is going back to sleep after eating. It still takes him awhile to settle in at night, but he is doing better. He doesn't really like a binky, and he has found his hand (yet not his thumb) to suck.

  • Buddy is starting to like play time. He is becoming a bit more interactive and slowly learning to smile more, hit toys, and other things. He wants to roll over, but isn't quite there yet!

  • I am trying to get Buddy on the E.A.S.Y. routine (eat, activity, sleep, you - time for Mommy to rest and get work done), but it is taking awhile. He often likes to sleep after he eats or if not sleep, fuss. If we do an activity he would sometimes like to eat again. I know he will get there, it will just take some time since I didn't start this routine from birth--- or rather his "due date" in his case.

  • Speaking of date, Hubby and I went on our first real date since Buddy was born, and our first time with both of us leaving him in someone else's care since he left the NICU. Uncle F-man and Auntie M came over to baby-sit Friday night while Hubby and I went to see a musical with two free tickets we won on the radio. I only called to check in twice! I knew he was in very good and very capable hands, and we were thankful for our time away. (But very glad to be back to see our little guy.) Buddy spit up on Auntie M and snuggled up with Uncle Fman apparently. I forgot to ask if Fman changed the diapers. Somehow I think Auntie M got stuck with that.

  • We are looking forward to seeing family and possibly some friends this weekend for Buddy's dedication. I have managed to scrub the guest bathroom today in anticipation for the company.

  • Whew! If you got through that update, you deserve a gold star.

late September videos

Three videos from September 24.

If you hear Amy Poehler (spelling?) in the background, don't get too excited. That Baby Mama doesn't live with us, and she won't show up in any clips with Buddy. We just had the t.v. on while we were recording Buddy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

4 month checkup

I am happy to report Buddy is 11 lbs 8 oz (almost 5th percentile for 4 month weight!) and 23 3/4 in. long (10th percentile in length). This is with very little supplementing his food this month. The doc said we don't need to supplement any more. He's on the charts with his "peers." :) I guess feeding on demand is working, so its worth it. Developmentally he is just 7 weeks old, and technically he is still a week shy of being 4 months old, so I am thrilled with these numbers.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dedication Letters

In just a couple of weeks, we are formally dedicating Buddy to the Lord. We are making a promise to raise him in a godly way - to be committed to Jesus and to each other and to set a sincere example for him.
When I lived in Arizona, the church I attended had a neat dedication service in which the pastor gave the babies letters he had written for them that were to be given to them when they made a decision to follow Jesus. I always thought that was very special. Hubby and I are asking any family and friends who would like to participate with us to write Buddy a letter that he will read when he decides for himself to make Jesus his Lord and Savior. You can send it via email or snail mail by October 4. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the latest

Just a few highlights from the past week or so:

  • Buddy and I enjoyed our week in IL (and Hubby was able to be there for the weekend). It was great for Buddy to meet his great-grandparents and his great-great-grandmother. He traveled very well - sleeping most of the way both ways.

  • Yesterday morning, Buddy gave a real, responsive smile. We spent several minutes smiling at each other. What a fun game! He was so happy. Of course, as soon as I got out the camera/video camera to capture the excitement, the smiles went away. Apparently he is a morning person because we played the smiling game this morning as well.

  • We survived a minor, clumsy accident yesterday. Buddy does not even have a bruise. It is amazing how careful I am about everything, and then the unexpected happens.

  • Speaking of mornings... we all slept 6 straight hours last night. 11 PM - 5 AM without any crying/feeding/diaper changes. It scared me a bit to wake up so "late" as I feared I had missed something. Once I got over that feeling, I realized how wonderful it was to have an almost full night of sleep.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Why is it that the morning I can't go back to sleep Buddy decides he will conk out pretty much immediately after his diaper change/feeding? Silly kid. I need to finish packing for our trip to Illinois.
I might add that he will wake up as soon as I stop holding him. But he's so cute all snuggled up in the weird position he has himself in on my lap. My belly is apparently a great pillow.
I look down at him right now as I type and can't believe how far he has come in three months. My heart is full, my cup overflows, thank you, Jesus.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shop Till You Drop

Last night I got a ton of clothing items/outfits for Cole - brand name, hardly used some brand new - for cheap. I am so excited because he pretty much just had summer clothes and pajamas and onesies. I even got his Halloween costume (technically two of the same costume one in each size he may be then) for a grand total of $3. I am thrilled to not have to pay a ton of money for something he is going to wear for one night - not even trick'or'treating. Our area has a huge consignment sale twice a year, and I got to go early last night (instead of waiting for today) because I am a new mom. They had pretty cute stuff for boys. I do think we mommas of boys get ripped off a bit because girl sections always have so much more, but I am content with my purchases (and more than content with my little boy). I was hoping to find a winter coat, but didn't see anything I liked enough cheap enough - plus I'm not sure what type of coat to get him. Suggestions?
I did find a "cousin Jeremy" shirt - but it won't probably fit him until the end of winter. It was cheaper buying it there than the one I saw online for full price. I found long sleeved shirts, pants, jeans, and sweaters. What is it about baby clothes that are so stinkin' cute?

Friday, August 28, 2009

3 month(almost) weight check

We had our appointment this morning for a weight check. Buddy now weighs 8 lbs 15 oz, which according to the doctor is 44 ounces in 30 days. She was very happy because he is gaining more than expected. A good weight gain is 1/2-1 ounce per day, and Buddy has done more than that. She showed his chart, and he is really catching up with "his age group." I asked about comparing him to his developmental age, and she was pleased to tell me that he is in the 50th percentile when we compare him to other 3 week/1 month olds. That is great news.
I talked to her about he is doing less supplemented milk since he is getting the hang of feeding/latching, and she says continue doing what we've been doing the last couple of weeks. It feel great to have a good doctor appointment. We go back in a month for his four month check-up (with more shots, I think). It will be weird to not have any doctor appointments (praying he stays healthy) for a month. We are starting to feel a little more "normal" these days... until someone in public asks us how old he is! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

school visit

This afternoon over lunch I took Buddy up to school to a)visit my (former)co-teacher for her belated birthday and b)see some people while they were eating after my visit. Buddy cooperated for the most part after a rough morning getting ready. Why a rough morning? Well, I decided to use the bottle to a)make sure he was going to eat enough before our venture out and b)he typically eats faster that method than the other. However, while eating, though hungry and his "time" to eat, he kept spitting out the food. I could not figure out why. After several minutes of struggle with a fussy baby and a confused and slightly frustrated momma, I switched to another form of food which he took fine. We finished getting ready and went on our way. On my drive about halfway down Sunshine it dawned on me. I mixed his formula wrong. I'm supposed to supplement his breastmilk one way and water for formula another, and I gave the scoops according to water instead of milk. Basically he was eating a VERY rich lunch. Luckily he was smart enough to spit it out - smarter than mommy.
Anyhoo - he was a pretty good baby for our visit. I miss seeing my friends. I still have the same peace about my decision for this year, but that peace doesn't take away missing things from "my old life." I appreciated everyone's kind words about my little guy, and of course for everyone washing their hands before touching him. We hope to be back up again before cold and flu season hits. We most likely won't be in a building full of germy kiddos this winter! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

baby dedication date

It looks like Buddy will be dedicated to the Lord on October 4. This is a "ceremony" I've been looking forward to for years - preBuddy, preHubby. There is something special and significant to me about baby dedications. I always get choked up/cry, even if I don't know the family on the stage. I hope I don't cry when we are up there. :) We'd love to see anyone who can make it that Sunday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our Weekend

It was a BEAUTIFUL weekend here, so we decided to take Buddy for his first real trip outside (other than getting in the car to go into some building). Here we are at the park.

Buddy slept the entire walk around the park.

Tonight Buddy had another bath. This is the first time he hasn't screamed for part of bathtime.

Nothing like a baby after a bath.

He is waving hello to all his family out of state. Hello!

Friday, August 21, 2009

random bullets

Some random thoughts:

  • Buddy wants to be held most of the time. He is usually unhappy when I put him down. He will wake up to inform me that it is not okay with him. I have a Dr. Sears sling. He does not enjoy being in that. Blah. I'd love to be a baby-wearing mama and Buddy would probably enjoy it if we can find the right contraption. I don't want to "waste" more money figuring it out.

  • He is very snuggly. The way he hangs on reminds me of a baby monkey on his mama's back. (Don't worry - I don't let him cling to my back.)

  • I have become an expert at typing with one hand since my other hand is supporting Buddy in the lifestyle to which he has grown accustomed.

  • We can't figure out Buddy's sleeping habits. It is not as simple as day/night confusion. He actually has days (24+ hour periods) he doesn't sleep much, and then other days that is all he'll do.

  • I hope to make use of the stroller tonight. The weather here is beautiful, and I'd like to go for a walk. I discovered LouAnn (the car in the garage) does not hold the carseat well, so I'm stuck until I can fix that or until Hubby gets home with the other car. (If anyone would like to buy us a newish car.... haha.)

  • I was able to shower today while Hubby was at work. This is a huge accomplishment. Buddy sat in his bouncer contentedly in the bathroom for a short period of time, I think because he had new surroundings to observe.

  • Ten years ago this weekend I started my college experience. I am considering fighting the bookstore madness tomorrow to buy Buddy an EU onesie.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More Video for the Fam

Cole swinging yesterday. He likes the swing only if you stand there, right by the swing, watching him.

And here is video of Ebby and Coleridge. They are good friends already. Cole was much more interested in the dog than in his play mat. Ebby was equally interested in the baby and the toys. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Some More Photos


I took Buddy to his apnea doctor today. According to the computer data, the last alarms we've had have been false. So basically he hasn't had any true events since end of July/coming off of his caffeine. We left the office without the monitor, which was a good thing because it was POURING down rain and difficult enough to get Buddy into the car quickly. It is so strange to be able to pick him up without grabbing the monitor and holding the wires. Other than bathtimes, this is the first time I've held him not hooked up to anything since he was born. It feels good.
I am worried how I will sleep tonight. Premature apnea does not come back - it is something babies outgrow. I worry about SIDS and other "normal mommy" worries, but I'm hoping with time this lessens. (Or is replaced with new worries - such as him dating and driving- neither of which he is doing until he is 25, haha.)
Buddy is between clothing sizes again. Some of his newborn outfits are snug or too short, but some of his 0-3 month outfits are too big. I just can't believe he is almost out of his newborn sizes though. Amazing. He seems so big to us now. Just the other night when we were giving him his bath, Hubbyand I were discussing how chunky Buddy has gotten. This skinny little baby who fit inside a nurse's pocket at one point is getting tiny rolls on his body. Today's weigh in said he is eight pounds three ounces (two weeks ago he was six pounds thirteen ounces), and he is now twenty inches long. The kid likes to eat - even with his spitup/reflux issues - so we are very thankful the eating is working.
I hope to take some new pictures soon and post them within a day or two.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Not the First Day of School

Today I am not at back to school meetings and catching up with friends.
I am not organizing lessons or folders or nametags.
My hair is not brushed nor are my teeth (yet!), and I have no idea when I will shower.
Buddy is next to me on his Boppy as I type this, and we both smell a bit like baby spit-up.
Lots of thoughts, lots of emotions for me today.
Glad to be here, sad to not be there.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Parental Guidance

Buddy made it to his first time at church today. Technically it was Sunday school, not church service that we attended. Eventually we will get the timing down and the rest that we need to attend both again!
It was so good to see our friends today, and the lesson Becky gave was exactly what I needed to hear. (What I heard of it since Buddy got a bit fussy for a little while). I know we were supposed to be there for that lesson about the Wild Goose Chase since we are in such a transitional and confusing time in life. Not only are we new parents, we also do not know what doors are going to open/shut for us in the next couple of months.
We are so thankful for our church friends. I wanted to verbalize this in class, but I knew I couldn't without crying or making Ron W. cry! :) The P.G. class has been such a tremendous blessing to us the last couple of years. We joined the class even though we didn't have children because a)it was also going to focus on marriage b)we would eventually need the parenting advice and c)the style/size of the class was what we were wanting at this time in our life. We have gained something every week we have attended class. There are a lot of problems with Christianity today that are well known, but I feel that this group of people God has place in our lives is the real-deal of what Jesus wanted for Christian community. Not perfect, but authentic, challenging, encouraging, and intelligent. Aside from the Sunday class, we have appreciated everyone's prayers over the last year - from our miscarriage, to this pregnancy, to the NICU experience, and now that we are home, and I have my moments of "What in the world am I doing?" It is good to know there are local friends who are just a phone call/Facebook message away.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Buddy's big adventure today was spitting up all over himself, his Boppy, and the couch. About 60 mL of spit up, I'd guess. That's 2 ounces for those of you who aren't sure of the mL/ounce conversion, haha.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Caffeine Free

We had Buddy's apnea appointment this afternoon. There has only been one event in the last two weeks, so they are taking him off his caffeine, but he will still be on his monitors for the next two weeks. If there are any problems he can always be put back on his caffeine.
Buddy weighed six pounds thirteen ounces today, which is ten ounces in less than a week! I had predicted six-twelve and Hubby had guessed six-ten, so I won the bet we had going. He is also 19 3/4 inches today. He is growing like a weed! Strange to think that he is still supposed to be inside of me, and if he was he would be at least a pound heavier than he currently is. We are thankful that he is healthy and getting stronger everyday.
We are also thankful that we had a pretty good night's sleep. He got up at about 1:30 AM to eat/change, 3:00 to fuss about a stuffy nose/being unswaddled, and then 6:30 to eat/change again. That was an unusual long stretch, but we will take them when we can get them! Strangely, he has been sleepy throughout the day, so I have a feeling it could be a long night tonight.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

5 AM blog

Before Buddy I knew having kids would mean giving up sleep. My beloved sleep. But I didn't quite understand how much sleep I'd give up.
11:30ish PM - Buddy begins sleeping - This is the long stretch tonight for which I am thankful
2:30AM - Alarm goes off for my appointment w/ Medela
2:35 - Finally have things set to go - I move slowly in the middle of the night.
2:40AM - Buddy cries,Hubby  changes diaper, I clean up what I have barely started
2:45 - I feed Buddy
3:05ish - I attempt to burp Buddy (and yes I burp him midfeed too - doesn't help)
3:15 - Buddy stinks... for the record I change the nastiest diaper thus far.
3:25 - Back to bed, but not for long. No sleep - fussy baby. Another eruption occurs
3:45 - Diaper change
3:53 - Attempt sleep, baby is not allowing this to happen. More burping attempts, binky rejected, snuggling rejected
4:20ish - Still cranky (both Buddy & me), more poop (that's Buddy, not me), diaper change (these are not little poops either)
4:30ish - Buddy still refuses to sleep. He is not out of control fussy, but fussy none the less. Nothing works,
4:45 - Decide to try feeding again since he is rooting. Bottle made, Buddy fed, burp attempt again
5:00 - I figure since I have to get up in 30-45 minutes for another appointment with Medela, I might as well just take care of business early.
Thank goodness for facebook and blogging or I would have just fallen asleep hooked up to my machine.
5:20AM - Finishing blog on my night and cleaning up before going back to bed. I will probably see a precious little baby sleeping away as the birds are now chirping.

2 Months Old (Yesterday)

Buddy turned 2 months old yesterday. Technically he is still negative one and a half weeks! :)
Here is his picture. Look how happy he looks that I am taking it. (By the way, I am completely stealing the idea from a couple of friends of taking his picture every month in the same chair with the same stuffed animal to show his progress. Hope you don't mind, girls!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Up 9 ounces

Things are starting to fall into place a little bit here at our house. We had a pretty relaxing weekend at home - as relaxing as one can get on interrupted sleep and no sleeping in on Saturday. A trip to the Muddhouse (to go) was made on Sunday. I figure if Buddy is getting a daily dose of caffeine, I can indulge on a Death by Chocolate muffin and an Elvis frozen coffee every now and then.
Yesterday I was very productive, and it felt good. My "control binder" of things to do each day is working. Now I don't have a lot of things to do yet because I don't want to be overwhelmed and frustrated, but I am managing to keep up with laundry, the house doesn't look like a complete disaster, and sometimes there is dinner. I am also trying to do a little something each day that didn't get done in the nesting phase which didn't happen since I missed out on most of the third trimester! This week's task is cleaning out the dressers in our room, and maybe the closet. Two drawers were cleaned yesterday, none today so far. But I'm okay with that because today I accomplished something extraordinary...
I went out with Buddy and his monitor by myself! It is quite the task to get us ready to go the doctor since I never know how late the doc will run. Feed and change Buddy, pump, pack last minute things in diaper bag, load car. We arrived on time and with no crisis. The monitor only beeped once, and that was at the elevator in the doctor's office, not in the car. And the bad drivers of  Missouri were apparently off the road this morning. The slow drivers were still out, but the scary bad drivers were at work or sleeping or something. Another good thing is it didn't rain, as I thought I heard it might today. Thank you, Jesus. Seriously. I prayed for the rain to stay away this morning.
Buddy gained nine ounces in a week. The doctor was pleased. He is now 6 pounds 3 ounces. She doesn't need to see him again until his 4 month check-up in 2 months, unless I wanted to do a weight check in a month. I did. I made that appointment already. She hopes he is in the fifth percentile by his 4 month check-up. I am not concerned with the charts. As long as he is gaining weight and healthy, I know that he might not be on the charts still in two more months. If he has my genes, he will catch up because when I was two year old the charts said I was the size of a three or four year old, and I was predicted to be at least 6 feet tall as an adult. I am 5'7". So the charts are a nice guide, but they aren't everything, and in our situation they really don't mean much at all to me.
Well, that was a very long post about our regular, boring old life. I LOVE that it is a regular life now, and I am good with boring for awhile. Boring is a blessing. :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I think the video should work now. Apparently the default setting is to private instead of to share, so I'll look into fixing that.

Friday, July 24, 2009

:) More Video for Mimi and Papa (and anyone else)

Having some trouble using iMovie - first because my camera wasn't compatible with a mac (I think I overcame that) - and now iMovie won't let me edit things. Grrr. So here are a couple of clips from the other night, uneditted. :(
Cranky Cole:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

June Cleaver is Over-rated

Our family took a road trip to Chick-Fil-A (ate in the car) and Andy's tonight. Yay giftcards! Because I was certainly not June Cleaver today. June Cleaver is highly overrated.
Words cannot describe my day. Buddy kept me on my toes. (Or should I say he kept me on my heals since I naturally am on my toes, haha.)
We used his new bathtub (thanks 2nd Cousin Missie and Great Aunt Bonnie!), and he survived his first "real" bathtime experience. He smells so good and he looks so sweet when he was all dried off and in a clean pair of jammies. He is sleeping for the next hour (???), and we are hoping tonight is less stressful than last night. Being pooped AND peed on at 5 AM (after being up since 4 AM) is not a great thing for a non-morning person. Luckily Buddy is so stinkin' cute that I have ALMOST forgotten about last night's events. Almost.
Today officially started around 4 AM. Diaper change & feeding and still a fussy Cole. I had to replenish Cole's food supply so about 5 AM with Cole still fussing I did a handoff to Mike. 5:30 AM - Cole is still fussing. He ate an additional 20 mL of food at this time and went to sleep. I think I fell asleep around 6 AM.
8 AM - Amazed Cole slept this late, but all his fussing and that extra snack he demanded must have helped. Diaper, get meds prepared, feeding, more fussiness as I again try to "do my thing" (as my friend Erica calls it), and a second diaper change.
9:30ish (I think) Eat a bagel breakfast thing my mom left (very good, Mom, and super convenient) and clean up morning's mess and last night's mess.
11:00ish - Quick check of email/facebook & start laundry
11:30 - Cole is up and ready to eat again. Similar routine to 8 AM. He is less fussy at this point. I think I did something else after this. I think I ate something around this time.
12:50?? - Fall asleep on couch while Cole naps in his room.
1:20 - Forrest calls to come over to mow our yard. Thank you!
1:30 - Again, the Cole routine. I might mention here that having the monitor/wires adds some extra time because the wires want to always get in the diaper change, and I have to unplug/plug in the monitor in each room we go.
2:20 - Change the laundry. Hang up the laundry. Wash bottles.
3:00 - Make sandwich. Check internet. Think about plan for dinner.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Look out June Cleaver

Today is the day I am officially calling my first day as a stay-at-home mom. No NICU, no mom ("Babushka") - just Buddy and me. He made the day fairly easy for me, and saved his fussing for this evening while Hubby was home. I got a couple of "household" things done, but the majority of the day was baby stuff - diapers, feeding, bottles, etc. I did have a June Cleaver moment. Dinner was cooked and on the table at the exact moment Hubby came home from work. That will probably never happen again, but I was pretty proud of myself. (I might add that the two veggie items were cooked in the microwave, so June Cleaver/Martha Stewart I am not!)
It is a strange feeling. All of my teacher friends are on facebook writing about their upcoming school year, and I am not. Instead I am making a scope and sequence for housework that never got done regularly while I was working outside of the home. Yes, I am a nerd, and since I can't plan out a school year this year, I am typing up schedules and spreadsheets for a variety of things that now fill my life. I may have to make a Staples run in the next few days for a binder for my new paperwork. I can't let the end of July/beginning of August go by without SOME back-to-school shopping...even if I am not going back to school!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pediatrician Appointment

My mom left to go back to Illinois this morning. I usually get a little teary-eyed when I say good-bye to her, but today was a hard good-bye. Two other hard good-byes were when she left my dorm my first year of college, and when she left my apartment when I moved out to Yuma. I do think I cried the least with this one of the three, but probably because I am too exhausted to cry! :)

Later this morning Buddy had his first pediatrician appointment. My sister-in-law was kind enough to go with me to be an extra pair of hands, which was definitely necessary with his monitor, the rainy morning, and the lack of close parking spaces. I didn't know what to expect, but when I got there I was informed that it would be treated as his 2 month check-up. I know he had around the clock medical care for the first several weeks of his life, but I feel a little ripped off that the literature I received when I left the office was about my 2 month old child when developmentally he is still in negative weeks. The doctor also pointed out where Buddy is on the growth chart. Not on the chart, really. She said he says some catching up to do. Duh. The doctor was really nice and answered the questions I remembered to write down; I guess I just expected something a little different, a little more individualized since he isn't your typical baby. She also thinks he should be gaining more weight, so we have to go back in a week for a weight check. He is 5 lbs 9.5 oz today. He received his immunizations. I hated watching him cry with them, but he got over it pretty quickly. Then we were sent back to the hospital (grrrr) to get a state-required blood test where Buddy had his foot pricked and pinched for the millionth time in his life. The shots have made him very sleepy, not very hungry (great for the weight gain, right?), and a little fussy - sad, pitiful fussy not angry fussy. He is passed out here on his boppy looking so cute that I must log off and go over and kiss his sweet little head.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Apnea Dr. Appointment

Today we met with the apnea doctor. I'm sure he has a different title, but that is what I call him. He said it looks like Buddy is doing pretty well. However, since Buddy was on caffeine in the NICU, taken off in the NICU and put back on in the NICU, he would like him to stay on caffeine and the monitors another two weeks. Apparently premature babies normally do not have to be put back on caffeine because once they are off. So the doc wants to be safe even though things look good. We have had a few monitor events - 2 in the last 24 hours. He is fine, but they are scary when the machine starts beeping while he's sleeping (even scarier at 4 AM when we are all sleeping.) So long story long - we go back in 2 weeks.
I was told the doctor was a character, and it is true. I really liked him. Lots of information, but very friendly. He told me with a name like Buddy has,  he will either be a lawyer or the President. That's all part of our plan! :)
Buddy weighed in at 5 lbs 8 oz today and was 19 inches long! That is over two pounds in less than two months. We are so thankful - especially considering how much he has spit up this week!
Tomorrow we head off to our second adventure outside of the house- the pediatrician. My mom leaves in the morning, so "Auntie Missa" is coming to be an extra pair of hands.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"homecoming" pictures

I am having a difficult time emailing pictures from my account, so here are a couple of pictures from Buddy's homecoming for those of you who are not on facebook to see them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"In moments like these, I sing out a song...

...I sing out a love song to Jesus."

Yesterday and today my mom has been out of the house in the afternoon, and it gives me a trial run at being alone all day with the baby for when she leaves next week. (Scary thought! She has been such a help with the baby and laundry - which has increased by 500%.)
I have found my favorite time with Buddy. He is fed and snuggly, and I am trying to burp him (which is quite the process). I have realized that as I am burping him I end up eventually burping to a beat which means I must sing. I start off with the upbeat songs to match my "burp beat" and then slow it down as he gets sleepy. It is the most amazing praise and worship time I have ever had - just me and my boy in the living room singing any song that pops in my head, mostly hymns instead of newer songs.

One song has been sort of my anthem the last year. It was in my head all through my miscarriage ordeal, then through this pregnancy, and during our NICU days. It has been a struggle to trust God some days these last months, but He has not and does not give up on me. He has still been there even as I have yelled and cried and barely hung on some moments. I am so thankful that even still when I mess up and say and do the wrong thing, He will never leave me or forsake me.

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Day at Home

I am doubtful I will be updating quite as frequently now, but I will still update as often as I can. Some highlights from our first evening/morning at home:
-Buddy did great on his car ride home from the hospital. Pretty much slept and made funny faces at all the potholes in town. And every idiot driver was on the road yesterday at 3:45. Seriously.
-Buddy had his circumcision at the hospital yesterday morning. Horrible for this momma to see the pain it caused her baby once the drugs wore off. He was not quite himself yesterday or even this morning, I think because of the ordeal.
-Just after we swore we would not be at St. John's for a very long time, I found myself up there last night a) to get my car and b) to get a prescription filled even though we were told get it filled at Walgreen's because they were the only one who had some of his stuff. (They lied - Walgreens did not have most of it anywhere in town, but St. John's did. Grrr... Oh well.)
-Buddy has slept a lot. But it always seems when we are about to sleep he gets fussy or his monitor beeps.
-His monitor helps give me peace of mind. I was able to sleep soundly from about 2-4 AM. Exhaustion overtook my worry.
-Our dog E LOVES Buddy already. Every time he cries or fusses, she is there. She "leads" the way for me when I put him down to sleep. She cried when he had a painful diaper change yesterday. She is very gentle around him. I seriously think she thinks SHE is the momma.
- My mom is here helping me learn the ropes of this stuff. I am so thankful. Her dog, Bear, is also a big fan of the baby already.
-Buddy does not seem to mind the dogs sniffing him.
-He likes to spit-up. A lot. He has acid reflux and the medicine doesn't seem to make much of a difference. He does not like to burp. He does like to poop. A lot.
-I am off to try to take a nap while he does.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 47 - Last day at St. John's

We FINALLY got home about 4:00 this afternoon. Yay! Some day I will write about that experience, but not tonight. I am happy and thankful to have Buddy home, and I am exhausted. That's all for tonight.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 46 - Care By Parent

We are in Care-by-Parent, which means Buddy  should come home sometime tomorrow. It was quite the day of "hurry up and wait." I have a feeling tomorrow will be more of the same.
I am loving that I got to hold him earlier when he was fussy, and it wasn't a "touch time." I will love it even more when we are in the privacy of our own home without interruptions (vitals being taken, meds being dropped off, me having to report to someone about mL, pee, and poop.)
I would love to write about today, but I am exhausted. We are about to begin the first of many sleepless nights, I think. No complaints.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 45 - Test, Test, 1,2,3, Test

Here is a picture of Buddy passing his second test in life - the carseat test. Doesn't he look so tiny in that big seat? Last night he weighed 5 lbs 2 oz.

If all goes well, Hubby and I get to go to Care By Parent sometime tomorrow. Also sometime tomorrow we will be getting training on the monitor for Buddy's apnea. So it seems that hee may get to be home Tuesday (?) or Wednesday(?). I'm not really clear on how long we do Care By Parent.
We also got permission from the doctor to try Buddy at feeding how I originally intended to feed him if all had gone according to plan. He will get to do this at least once a day, but the nurse is thinking twice a day because Buddy did such a great job his first time at it. He will still have to be fed by the bottle a lot for his calorie supplements, vitamins, iron, and medicine, but twice a day is much better than not doing it at all.

We are headed back to the hospital in a few minutes, and then I have last minute things to do tonight that I thought I would have another few days/week to get done after Friday didn't turn out how we planned. Because of course I didn't do any of it this weekend! :) Nothing major - just a couple of small purchases to make and a few household things to do if I can. We are praying everything goes well tonight. Buddy has been doing SO much better since they put him back on caffeine and switched the bottle they were using. We are thankful.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 44 - Sleep Study Results

According to the sleep study results, Buddy has apnea. They have put him back on his caffeine and will do another test probably tomorrow. When he comes home (we don't know when that is now) he will come home on caffeine and a monitor. This is apparently a normal thing to happen when a preemie comes home. Having the monitor will also put our minds at ease until things really "click" for him developmentally.
Buddy was also given blood, and they have started him on some vitamins and iron. He seems much better today at all of our visits so far. Today's nurse has shown us a new way to feed him - on his side, and we are trying out a different bottle because he may have "outgrown" the one he was using. So far his feeding today has had no choking, and we are thankful for that.
Today is a much better day for our little boy. His color is back a little bit, and he is starting to seem like himself again. We continue to pray for his development, his health, and those who are in charge of caring for/making decisions for him. We are thankful for the phone calls and emails we have received encouraging us and reminding us how much our family is loved and prayed for.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 43

Buddy is having a setback today. He continues to have breathing issues today - issues that had been gone for awhile. He is having a sleep/breathing study for 24 hours. We are waiting to see what tonight's doctor says and if they will run some tests. It appears he may have gotten sick. They also may move him back to the regular NICU. Not at all how I envisioned tonight 24 hours ago. There is definitely something wrong with our little boy. He is a different baby tonight.
Please pray they figure it out ASAP. Please pray for complete healing for Buddy.

Venting Post - Read at your own Risk

I am frustrated this afternoon. The last 3 days we have been hearing how great Buddy is doing and how we will be going to Care-by-Parent soon (the final step in the NICU process). I was told to take my CPR class to be ready (you have to take it within a week of leaving the NICU). I was told bring up his carseat.
Apparently last night (late/early morning after our last visit) Buddy had another episode while he was eating - oxgyen levels dropped, this time so did heartrate, and he went a little blue. So today it seems they are on hyper-senstive while he is eating. I was told at my 11 o'clock visit that we will not be doing care-by-parent, and not given a projected day that we will. He also is not getting his carseat test.
I am just SOOOO frustrated. I want him to be as safe and healthy as possible, but I wish they would not have gotten my hopes up. I also am frustrated because I feel like we are just told stuff but we aren't part of the discussion. And today I saw a parent take their baby to care-by, and if you were able to eavesdrop on the whole situation as I have been able to the last couple of days you would be thinking the same thing as I am thinking. "That baby gets to leave, but Buddy doesn't?"
I had a breakdown on the drive home just now (not the car, me). Crying about the unfairness of it all. Why some people have it so easy and have so little to deal with, and other people get dealt more then their fair share of trials. And this trial pales in comparison to some of the trials we have seen friends/loved ones go through. I don't get it. I need an A+B=C type of life. Do the right things and good things will happen, do enough bad things and you will have bad things happen to you. It doesn't seem to work that way. There is no logic to life, and today I am annoyed by that. My optimism from earlier this week is on vacation. It will return, but I just need to have an Eeyore kind of a day.
I am tired. I am whiney. I am up at the hospital at least four times a day now because I am tired of seeing my baby so little, but it is exhausting. I am tired of not being the one who gets to make decisions for my child. I am tired of having different nurses all of the time instead of some consistency for Budd. I am tired of trying to hold it together when I get disappointing news at the hospital when what I really want to do is yell at someone. I've had some really good days lately, but today I just feel frustrated and low.
I'm sure I will be better tomorrow.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 42

This afternoon I was asked to bring the carseat up for the carseat test, so we did that tonight. Hopefully he will get that done tonight/tomorrow.
We have been getting a lot of conflicting information lately, so I am waiting to get a call back from a supervisor. We went to talk to her but she was out, not to complain - we just want to make sure we have the right information on a few things. This drives the control-freak/organized side of me CRAZY. I am not organized in the "Martha Stewart" type of way, but the way I run my life is definitely structured. I just hate feeling out of the loop on my own life.
I took my infant CPR class. It went well, and I feel that I could administer it if I ever need to do so. Let's pray that I don't. So we are just waiting to hear the words, "You're going to care by parent." It is kind of our equivalent to the phrase "My water broke" since we didn't have the typical labor/delivery/bring baby home experience.

EDIT: The supervisor got back to me and cleared up the conflicting information. She was so helpful and kind. I am thankful for that.
"It may be miles and miles before the journey’s clear
There may be rivers, may be oceans of tears
But the very Hand that shields your eyes from understanding
Is the Hand that will be holding you for miles"

~Nichole Nordeman "Miles"

(Thanks, Heather, for sending me this song.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 41

It has been 40 days and 40 nights in the NICU. This storm seems to be lifting, though. I have been told that I should take the required infant CPR class tomorrow. It has to be taken within a week of leaving the NICU, and so if all goes well, Buddy should be home in a week or less! We are hoping to hear that we can go to Care-By-Parent soon (which is the last step before leaving), but we want to be certain he is ready, so we will wait as long as it takes to keep him safe. He is still learning to pace himself when he eats. Buddy is very eager at feeding time, and he would suck down the whole bottle without a breath if it was possible. We have to help him especially during the first part of feeding, but usually by the end he remembers to stop and take a breath without us reminding/making him.
I made a list of things (cleaning/organizing mostly) that I must get done before the baby comes home, and then another list of things that would be nice to get done before then. I have the biggest items off the "must be done" list, and just a few things left on that list. I keep looking around and seeing other things that I want to do to get ready, but I refuse to add anything else to those lists until everything else is crossed off. In the big picture, it really doesn't matter if these things don't get done.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 40

There has been talk by today's nurse that Buddy could home in a week or even less! All of this of course depends on how he does. His NG tube came out this morning, and this afternoon he was able to start "all you can eat" feedings. He has a minimum he has ot eat, but they aren't going to limit him any more. This afternoon he took 50 mL for me, 60 mL at 5 with the nurse, and 40 mL tonight with Hubby.
Please pray that our little guy can come home as soon as it is safely possible. Pray that all of the things he has to do and we have to do to make that possible go smoothly.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 39 - NICU Too

Today was a pretty good day. Buddy continues to do well at eating. He is taking almost or all of his feedings each time. There have been only a couple of times he has to have a little go down his tube, and it isn't very much. The nurse today was talking about him getting that NG tube moved in the next couple of days. His IV fluids were removed tonight, and he has just a couple more rounds of antibiotics. Although bundled up like a little burrito baby, Buddy is keeping his temperature high enough to keep staying in his "big boy bed."
Tonight when we got there and called in to get admitted to the NICU, they told us Buddy had been moved to NICU Too (I always thought it was NICU2). Apparently this is a good thing. He is well enough to be in an annex with about 5 other babies and 2 nurses. It is just around the corner from the NICU. We are excited because all of these things mean he is closer to being able to come home.
We are praying he continues to breathe well and maintain his temperature. We are also praying that he really gets the sucking/swallowing/breathing thing coordinated. He had a choking spell while the nurse was feeding him today that was pretty scary to watch (though the nurse did a great job during it). He is 4 lbs 14 oz tonight, so in just a couple of days he should hit the 5 lb mark! I can't believe it
Please pray that there are no more setbacks to Buddys progress. I would love to bring him home before his due date. I am ready to hold him when I want rather than just at touch times.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 38

I am tired. Friday, Saturday & today I thought I found balance between festivities and lots of Buddy visits each day. Now that he's doing well on the bottle I want to be up at almost all of his feedings - which means every 3 hours. Also fit in pumping, driving, & trying to do some normal life things and that leads to tiredness. It is completely worth the exhaustion to see him, but it is still exhausting. Welcome to motherhood. :)
Buddy is trying out a "big boy bed" tonight - basically a smaller bed in the NICU where he will have to regulate his heat instead of having his own personal heater on/in the bed. He is bundled up like the little brother in the snow on A Christmas Story. We shall see if he gets to stay in this bed or if he'll have to try again when he is a little bigger.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day 37 - Fourth of July

Buddy had visitors at each of his touch times throughout the day. Each time today either Hubby or I was able to give him his bottle, which he took very well each time. We are trying to help him pace himself to remember to breathe because once he gets going he wants to gulp it all down.
Buddy can't wear clothes again until we get permission from the doctors again, but we were able to get a couple of pictures of him wearing a patriotic outfit.

Our All-American Boy

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 36

We arrived this morning to see Buddy had his NG tube back. This is a good thing because it is used to check residual in his tummy and to feed him when he is too tired to coordinate his sucking/swallowing/breathing. He apparently started food last night. The night nurse said she almost called us last night at 11 when they got the news he could have food, but she didn't know if that was too late to call. Isn't that nice of her to have thought about calling us with such news? She is a great nurse, and she has Buddy again tonight.
This morning I was able to give him his bottle instead of the nurse. This is huge because the nurses had been told to take over, but apparently we are given another chance to see if Buddy is developmentally ready enough to handle it. I think he is taking about 13 mL now for food (he has to start off slow), so when his bottle is empty he looks at us as if to say, "Hey, I was just getting warmed up. Bring on the rest of the meal!" He has taken ALL of his feedings so far by bottle instead of needing the NG tube. Even though the amounts are smaller, we think this is a huge step towards his independence and getting one step closer to coming home.
My aunt is in town from Nevada. We have taken to calling her "Karin the Great" since she is Buddy's great aunt. Tonight Buddy, due to his need for caffeine, was given his first Starbucks mug. Thanks Aunt Karin!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 35

Buddy is a trooper. He was a little fussy today (as he is still going without food), but not too bad. He slept a lot during our visits, but I prefer that to him being uncomfortable. Our day nurse today did not give us a lot of information. Some nurses are really good about giving a lot of information and just go above and beyond to be kind and helpful. Tonight's nurse let us know that tomorrow the doctors should take/look at some x-rays of his tummy in the morning, and that will determine if he can start eating again soon. Tonight Buddy weighed 4 lbs 9.7 oz (so the nurse rounded to 10).
Hubby got home safely from his quick trip. I had a good visit with a friend and her children this afternoon. This was our day. They all seem to run together lately, but it was a pretty good one, all things considered. We are thankful.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 34 and a story

*I am thankful today that although Buddy is hungry, he has not been very fussy, at least while I have been visiting.
*I am thankful today that my sweet boy is still "smiling" and making sweet faces at me even though I am not allowed to hold him or feed him.
*I am thankful that when Buddy got blood taken (again) he did not cry - just made one little small noise as if to say, "Ouch!"
*I am thankful for a very sweet nurse who suggested I give my baby a bath. She knew that would be the next best thing to holding him (and I even actually got to hold him for a moment while she changed his bedding).
*I am thankful for the way Buddy snuggled into me for that brief post-bath moment. He smelled so sweet.
*I am praying the next day or two goes quickly and the remaining cultures/labs come back okay so he can eat and continue on the road to recovery which leads him home.
*I am thankful that a lump on my neck that looked suspicious (especially with some bloodwork I had after Buddy was born) turned out okay. The neck ultrasound shows it does not look cancerous or suspicious - just an infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Praise God!
*I am praying that I will be at peace with some other personal news I received the other day. It was hard to hear, but I know God has a plan for my family and for me. And sometimes (okay, most of the time) that plan is not what I envisioned.
*I am SO THANKFUL for my friends and family. I know I write that a lot on here, but I could not get through the ups and downs without them.

And here is a story I saw on another preemie mom's blog. I especially like the last couple of paragraphs.

How Preemie Moms Are Chosen
(by Erma Bombeck )

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to take notes in a giant ledger....

"Armstrong, Beth: son. Patron Saint: Matthew.
Forrest, Marjorie: daughter. Patron Saint: Celia.
Rutledge, Carrie: twins. Patron Saint: ....give her Gerard; He's used to profanity."

Finally, God passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a preemie."

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just the right amount of selfishness."

The angel gasps, " Selfishness ?! Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says "momma" for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see-- ignorance, cruelty, prejudice-- and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her Patron Saint ?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 33 - More of the Roller Coaster - (Update at bottom)

This morning I went in for my visit with Buddy. He was pretty alert, so the nurse gave him a bottle to try. He ate the whole thing in about 10 minutes without any problems. Then I was able to burp him (which he did quickly) and hold him. He was very alert during all of this.
This afternoon I went back in to visit. When I got there, I knew something was up because the IV machines were by his bed. The nurse approached me to tell me that this morning the found blood in his stool. It wasn't a lot, but they take everything very seriously. It could be something small or this could indicate something major. So they have stopped his feedings (again) and put him back on antibiotics. Both of these things will last at least three days. Buddy's coloring was also a little off this afternoon, and he slept the whole time. I was not able to hold him because of him being hooked up. I dread going back tomorrow and/or Thursday because about that time his little tummy will get hungry, and my sweet happy baby will be very angry (understandably) followed later by very lethargic.
I really hate all of this. I hate being able to do nothing but wait and see. I hate that things go well and I get my hopes up only to have things go back to how they were. I know things could be so much worse. I am thankful that the medical staff is very attentive and on the ball to catch things early. My head understands all of this, but my heart has rarely experienced such pain.
The last 24 hours have been difficult for me because I have had two different doctors appointments - one leaving me disappointed and the other one leaving me a bit worried. I am having something checked out tomorrow at noon, so please pray that it turns out to be no big deal rather than something else.
Please pray for our sweet baby - that the doctors figure out what is wrong and can fix it easily and quickly, that Buddy would be as pain-free as possible, and that he would bounce back from this setback.
Please pray for me - my health concerns and my emotions at this time. I started crying both when the nurse told me what was going on as well as when the OT lady came to talk to me about something unrelated. Pray for my faith as it also feels like it is on a roller coaster ride.
Pray for Hubby - he will be out of town Wednesday night and Thursday for Step 2 in his pursuit of an opportunity for our future.

9:30 PM Update - Two cultures on Buddy's stools have come back negative. The nurse tonight explained that if these cultures were positive it would be pretty bad, and he would have been off feedings for at least 7 days and put in an isolation room. So we are very thankful he does not have these two things (can't remember their names). His belly x-rays came back okay. We still have to wait a couple of more days on all the other cultures, so he will not be eating for awhile.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 32

Buddy is one month old today! (But just 34 weeks gestationally) He celebrated by getting a blood transfusion late this morning. His numbers were low, and that may be why he was having a hard time having energy enough to coordinate sucking/swallowing/breathing. We are praying he learns this as soon as he can. He is up to 4 lbs 6 oz - exactly 1 lb more than his birthweight. We are thankful for all of the progress he has made, not only in weight, but also in all of his other little victories. This has been the longest month of my life, but it also feels like he was just born. I can't imagine our life without him.
I was hoping to post a picture of him tonight, but I am tired. It has been a long day for me for a variety of reasons. I am ready to crawl into bed.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 30 & Day 31

I didn't update last night because I was pretty tired after a very fun night at my friend's wedding. It was great catching up with some dear college friends, and I hated to leave the fun. CONGRATS DEB AND JARED!
Buddy was supposed to attend the wedding via womb, but instead we had free babysitting (or really expensive baby-sitting) provided by the NICU nurses. I think it was the first night that Hubby and I did not go up for our evening touch time. We did stop in briefly on our way home from the reception.
Buddy is still learning to eat from a bottle - building those cheek/mouth muscles and learning to coordinate sucking, breathing, and swallowing. It is an exhausting thing for such a little guy. The doctor is not allowing us to feed him any more until he gets a little better at eating. This is hard for me because I feel like I miss out on some bonding time. I understand the reasoning, but it doesn't make it easy.
This afternoon when Hubby and I were up after church, Buddy took his whole bottle (I think he's up to 40 mL) in a really good amount of time without too much difficulty. Then he was very alert for most of the time Hubby was holding him. Our little guy loves to look around and take in his surroudings. He is also doing really well responding to/recognizing our voices.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Comparing Pictures and Day 29

So we see some features of ours that are in Buddy. What do you see?

Today Buddy briefly met two of my good college friends who are in town this weekend. I say briefly because right after I took over feeding him his bottle from the nurse, he started choking, which led to him DSATing and turning a bluish color. SCARY! The nurse got him his oxygen, but it was a horrible moment for me. Apparently he was just tuckered out and done eating when I took over, but it still made me feel bad. Luckily, he recovered quickly. He has been sleeping very calmly all afternoon.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 28

Buddy had another good day. He was very sleepy during a couple of my visits so we didn't attempt bottle feeding those two times, but apparently last night he took the bottle really well at all of his feedings. He did pretty well the time I was there, and he was alert enough to feed.
It was hard for me to leave him tonight. I wish I could pull up a sleeping bag next to his little bed and stay there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 27

Buddy had two successful bottle feeds with me today - taking almost all of each bottle. The nurse this morning said the doctors gave permission to have him work on his sucking/bottle feeding at each nurse's discretion rather than just once a day. He is so alert, especially at the beginning of this feedings. I love the little sounds and looks he has.
He is up to 4 lbs. 3 oz, and tonight they took him off of his IV fluids. I think they said tomorrow they are going to add calorie supplement to his milk. Again, I ask for prayer for his digestive system. I really don't want him to have another setback and be taken off food again.
The best thing was tonight we were told we can bring clothes for him to wear tomorrow! They put him in a little outfit that actually we all thought looked a bit small. Not small in width, but his little legs barely fit in the pajamas in which the NICU put him. So I am bringing a couple preemie things and newborn things to see which work tomorrow. He looked so cute in pajamas, but I didn't have my camera tonight. :( The nurse took his picture with the NICU camera, but she hasn't printed them yet. Hopefully they will be there tomorrow.
I am still feeling run-down sometimes emotionally and physically. Even though Buddy is doing well, I have moments where I am sad for a variety of reasons. But when I am up at the hospital holding my little boy, my exhaustion and sadness dissolve.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 26 - Real Feeding

Yesterday the nurse had me begin pseudo-nursing. The NICU has babies bottle feed before they nurse, but they also allow babies to learn what they are supposed to be doing during cuddle-care/skin-to-skin time. I won't describe the experience on this blog, but having people walk by you at your less-than-modest moments with only 1 screen sheltering you isn't quite how I imagined motherhood.
Tonight we found out that there is "an order" (aka permission) to start feeding Buddy once a day by bottle. This is a huge step! Hubby did the feeding tonight. Buddy took about half of his bottle (10 out of 21 mL), and the rest he didn't take they put in his tube. He has done really well with both new experiences.
We are praying that he continues to digest well. It was when he got to about 1 oz of food that he had issues last time. Please pray with us that he continues to do well so we can get him home with us as soon as possible.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 25

Today is day 24. Buddy was very alert this morning when I came to visit. The nurses noted how observant he is. He wants to take everything in. Immediately I remember that this is a sign that my child is gifted! Thanks, Becky R! :)
We had a great morning snuggling - mommy and baby. I also had a good visit with him this afternoon. Buddy continues to be without oxygen. They are trying to get him an isolette again to help keep out some of the noise of the NICU. (Think Vegas casino and those are the noises of the NICU.) They also are doing his feeding through his nose now because it is more comfortable for him, which means we were able to see his whole face! I tried taking pictures tonight, but they did not turn out so great.
Buddy is now up to 4 lbs. 4.02 lbs or 4 lbs 2 oz. We aren't quite sure because we didn't get a great look at the scale. But we know it is over 4 lbs!! We are so excited. He is also up to 17 mL of milk. Please continue to pray that he does well with remembering to breathe and his digestive system handles everything well this time.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 24 - Father's Day

Besides the pictures in frames for Hubby's office, Buddy gave a very good Father's Day gift. He has been off his oxygen tube all day with very little trouble. While we were there tonight he would dip a little bit once in awhile on his O2 numbers, but he was able to fix it on his own very quickly without us jiggling his chin or chest. He is also up to 18.75 inches and 3 lbs 15 oz. He is now taking 7 mL of food, and they are going to increase with each feeding as long as there aren't problems.
Having Buddy has enabled me to understand God's love for each of us in a new way. I love my son uncondtionally just because he is mine. He does nothing, nor will he ever be able to do anything, to earn my love. In the same way, I know without a doubt that he will never do anything that will make me not love him. As he has been through some rough spots this week, my heart has broken as I observed his pain. I am realizing how much God's heart must break over the pain we experience. Even more, I get just a glimpse of the pain God felt when He watched his only Son suffer, for our behalf.
Buddy must be making others think about spiritual things. I was talking to a very important person in my life who has yet to meet the baby. He said loving Buddy is like loving Jesus. He has yet to meet him, but he loves him; he has yet to meet Jesus, but he loves Him.
God is working a lot in our lives. I have already witnessed some of God's plan for reconcilliation that has happened in many ways because Buddy was born. I know there is still much more to be accomplished. Honestly, there are moments lately when I have said, "I don't want to grow, God. I have grown enough. I have already been through ____________ and ____________ and ______________. This is enough. Pick on someone else." And I will still have these moments when I continue to tell God to please leave me be. But in this moment I am seeing a new glimpse of God's plan for my life. Just a glimpse.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 23

We pretty much spent our Saturday at the hospital. If we weren't there, we were eating or resting. No complaints, just fact. Buddy was alert when Hubby was up there this morning (I "slept in" for the first time I think since he was born.) The rest of the day we went up together, and Buddy is starting to seem a little more like himself again. Tonight at 5:00 they started his feedings again. He is just getting 5 mL, but it is something. We are praying he tolerates the feedings and has no more stomach/digestive issues.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 22

Today we were lucky to have lots of visits with our little guy. Hubby was able to go during his lunch break and got off work a little early and visited then, and I had my regular visits. Buddy was very lethargic during our several visits throughout the day. When I went in the afternoon they had just finished putting in a new pic line, and I was told he would be getting 7 days worth of antibiotic, and the nurse hadn't heard anything about restarting his feeding. This information was very disheartening in addition to the fact that the baby hadn't been very responsive lately - he barely would open his eyes during our visits, whereas last week he was much more interactive with us.
Tonight when we went up to the hospital the doctor told us that they took Buddy off of his antibiotics and that they may restart feeding tomorrow. He explained that "babies are precious; life is precious" so they take every precaution they can. Buddy had his eyes open a little bit, and seemed a little more responsive than he has the last couple of days. We are hoping things continue to improve. A very good piece of news is that although he has been on the IV and not food, he is now up to 3 lbs. 14 oz. We are thankful he has gained weight this week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 21

Buddy slept through most of our visits today. He seemed lethargic, which I guess is better than being angry because of the hunger. It is sad for me to see him not be very interactive, but he did seem content enough. They did not feed him today, but it may start again tomorrow. We are hoping this is the case. The feedings will start out very small, and then just like before they will gradually work him up - it goes just a milliliter at a time.
Hubby and I each got a chance to hold our precious boy today. We are looking forward to the day when he doesn't seem quite so fragile and when he doesn't have so many things poking into him/out of him to make holding even easier.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 20

I love roller coasters at theme parks. The faster, the higher, the loopier (is that a word?) the better. I do not love the roller coaster ride I have been on the last couple of days, though I know it could be so much worse, and I am thankful that it is not as bad as others' rides.
This morning a very angry Buddy greeted me in the NICU. The nurse on duty kept saying to him, "Why are you angry?" Well, I do not have a medical degree, but I think he is angry because he has not had any food for over a day, he has a hood over his head which limits his squirming, and he has a bunch of tubes and wires coming out of him. I let my baby know that he has a right to be crabby. It was the most heart-wrenching thing to sit there for about 45 minutes watching him cry and being unable to do anything to comfort him. I just tried talking to him and touching his little hand or arm. I cried as he cried.
He was still fussy during my afternoon visit and Hubby's visit after work, but not as angry as the morning. He was sleeping/resting during most of these visits.
Tonight we went up, and I was relieved to see one of the sweetest nurses in charge of our son tonight. She is very grandmotherly. He was a bit angry at the beginning of the visit, but she talked so nicely to him the whole time. His oxygen hood is off, so we will see if he is able to continue to just breathe room air again. His IVs in his head and foot had issues today, so now he has one in his hand, and he has this big wrap thing around it. So far the cultures are negative for infection (which is good), but tomorrow is day 3 of those cultures. The nurse said his looping looks like it is gone as far as she and the afternoon nurse can tell from the outside, and she mentioned that they may try feeding again tomorrow. We shall see.
We are praying that he has good rest tonight, and that his cultures turn out okay. We are also praying that he has excellent breathing with minimal or zero DSATs. Finally we are praying that the looping is gone, and whatever the issue there was will be resolved so he can eat again if it is safe to do so.
We are amazed at the facebook messages, emails, phone calls and comments on this blog that we get reminding us that people all over the country and even world are praying for, rooting for, and caring for Buddy and for us. God continues to be with us in this journey - handling our questions, frustrations, complaints, and thanksgivings, and providing people to help us and encourage us through the highs and lows.