Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My favorite things

We've had a rough go of it over the past few days. Last Tuesday I came down with a touch of the throw-up virus. Wednesday, Grace got it, Friday night Chris got it, and now we are all over that, but have massive sinus infections that won't go away. Even little H is coughing, which worries me a little bit. In light of the sucky last few days, I thought I'd post some pictures of my favorite things to take my mind off the freezing cold weather, dreary days, a house full of sickness, and my all around bad mood!

Here are a few of my favorite things:Sleeping Babies

Smiling babies! Harper has been smiling a ton in response to people talking to her and smiling at her, and it is so hard to capture those first few smiles, but this was the best I could do. This is the beginning of a huge-full face smile!

Friends...Love friends...

Craftiness part 1: These are the beginnings of Grace's valentine's present, felt cookies! Aren't they cute!

Craftiness part 2: Love these great wreaths, the picture doesn't do them justice! I think they are just so pretty and remind me of something they would sell in Anthropologie! I've made 4-5 in the last few weeks, stress reliever!

These yellow tulips were just what I needed the other day. Don't they just make you long for spring? Mom brought them over when I was in the midst of massively cleaning puke germs out of the house...and trying to take care of Chris and Harper at the same time. And don't miss the candle. Origins, Ginger Souffle, love that smell.

Ok, back to my grumpiness...

PS. any advice on the 2.5 year old tantrum? My tactic, move things out of her way so she can't hurt herself (because sometimes she throws herself on the floor), walk out of the room, and totally ignore until the fit has resolved...or resolved enough for her to speak to me in her big girl voice? (Did I mention that I have this uncanny ability to tune out crying children?) This fact is a blessing for a stay at home mom I guess.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lesson #1

Lesson #1 from Grace to Harper:

Despite being a little under the weather, Grace taught Harper her first lesson today. I have to say, it was one of the cutest exchanges I've witnessed between them.

Harper was sitting in her bouncy seat in the rec room. Grace was on her knees next to the seat elaborately explaining to Harper how to hit the little bear with her hand.

"Look Baby Harper, you just hit the bear like this: (pushes the bear back and forth with her hand) Here, look, do it like this! Take your hand, push the bear right here... "

The explanation went on like this for another minute or two and Harper was intently looking back and forth between Grace and the swinging bear. Not 2 seconds after Grace explained what to do, Harper's hand went up and hit the bear so it swung back and forth.

I can't even explain the look on Grace's face. Her eyes were as big as saucers and her smile grew and grew (she was so shocked) and she jumped up and ran around the room clapping and yelling "You DID IT! You did it! Baby Harper did it! YEA! I showed her what to do! She DID it! I showed her! YEA Harper!"

Harper actually hit the bear with her hand twice. I've never seen Grace so proud! She was genuinely so proud of her sister! I think she was proud of herself also for teaching Harper what to do. I wish I'd had the video camera handy, that would have been a priceless video.

So there ya go... Harper is not quite 3 weeks old and the lessons from big sister to little sister have already begun. This should be fun. I had to record the first lesson... and if I remember, I'll print it out and put it in the baby book.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Record the Good Ones!

Zephaniah 3:16-17
" Cheer up Zion! Do not be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."

I need to remind myself sometimes to make record of the good days. I can get caught up in the frustrating days, the bad days, and the days I'd like to forget and pass right over the good ones like they never happened! I am constantly trying to figure out what the Lord is trying to teach or show me in the hard days, and what I fail to recognize or embrace are the sweet blessings God has for me on the good days too.

Monday was a good day. It was just me, Grace and Harper, all day; when I say ALL DAY, I mean ALL DAY. Chris had a game last night and so he didn't get home until after the girls went to bed. We had a great day. Grace had no tantrums, she was content to play by herself when I was feeding the baby, she wanted to help me clean and empty the dishwasher, she wanted to snuggle Harper and was just in an all-round good mood!

Harper is still having some breathing and gastro problems, but she was as happy as she could be and really enjoys watching Grace when she is awake. At no point during the day did I feel overwhelmed; at no point was my patience wearing thin, and even though I have a baby literally attached to me all day, I didn't feel 'claustrophobic' or anxious. I was also able to do some 'crafty projects' which always relaxes me and makes me happy.

I even decided to brave the cold and the early darkness to take both the girls out of the house by myself! We went to the Rainbow Room about an hour before it closed and Grace was able to play and slide to her heart's content. It wasn't too bad, although it's kind of annoying to carry a carseat on one arm and hold a toddler's hand as she tries to bolt across a parking lot. I'm sure I'll figure all these logistics in time.

I have noticed that becoming a 'mom' a second time is much easier than it was for me the first time. Maybe I am already in the groove or something, but that has been a nice surprise. I am able to see a side of Grace that touches my heart. She has fallen into her new role as a 'big sister' quite nicely. She is so helpful to me and loves to snuggle her baby. Her love for Harper already is evident. It's so cute. She is well aware that it's not all about her anymore, and she seems to be Ok with it...! Actually, taking care of Harper has pulled Grace out of her tantrums on several occasions. In the middle of an all out, fall on the floor, screaming fit, she will hear Harper whimper (although I am not sure how, above all her screaming) and immediately pull herself together and say "I need make Harper feel better!"

Today Grace is at school (which is the best thing we've ever done... BY FAR) and I am thinking about taking the girls to the mall for a pretzel and some play time when we go pick her up. Ambitious, I know... but I think I can do it.

I am just so thankful today. I do feel like the Lord is singing over us and he is rejoicing in our little family. My goal is to take it day by day, hour by hour even and never forget to be thankful for the good days, even the good hours throughout the day.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Doctor Update

Sorry it's taken me a day to post this. Thank you for all the calls and emails to check on us! We saw the cardiologist and the ped yesterday. I don't think that I've ever met someone who acted more like a rock than the Cardiologist. Seriously, I've never seen anything like it. Imagine trying to carry on a conversation with a wall painted a really cold gray color... that was this guy. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't rude or anything, but I am just not used to people with that little affect...

He did an echo of Harper's heart. I didn't get much more information than "yes, she's fine. Her heart looks fine. Don't worry about it." I did pry with more questions, and mentioned the breathing thing several times, but apparently "he's just a cardiologist" and I should talk to the Pediatrician about that.

So, I guess, it's final... her heart is FINE! Praise the Lord! I am so happy about that.

I absolutely love our Pediatritian. She is wonderful, attentive, doesn't take anything I say lightly and spent over an hour with us. She was willing to watch me feed Harper to see exactly what I was talking about. Sure enough, she did stop breathing, turn blue and choke several times.... She was also gasping for air almost throughout the whole visit.

It seems to her that all the above symptoms have to do with the reflux. While they are not really healty or normal, they are not that uncommon. She just recommended that I keep a close eye on her during the day and if it gets worse, or doesn't get better in a few weeks, bring her back. It doesn't seem there is much they can do about what's happening.

Since I can't stay awake 24 hours a day to make sure she's not turning blue... here we are back at the recourring theme in my life lately: just trust God. I am able to sleep, and I've started to be able to tell (in a groggy state) which noises she is making (or not making) need my attention. Aside from the fact that I have a newborn that needs to be fed every 3-4 hours, I am sleeping fairly well.

Anyways, here's all I know right now. Praise the Lord that He has healed her heart. No enlargement, no problems at all! All these other things will work themselves out, I know!

On another praise report... Chris was able to take a day off work today! Yay, I can't tell you how good it was for my emotional well-being to have him here for a day. It's so good for Grace too! I can tell that she is starting to exhibit a little bit of jealousy, especially during feeding time, but it has really only manifested itself in the fact that she wants to sit in my lap at the same time I am feeding Harper. I know that she'll get used to it, and if this is all we have to deal with, we are doing well!

Oh, and this small fact has nothing to do with anything except that I am amazed and feel the need to share: I am totally shocked at the sheer volume my bladder can hold now that I am not pregnant anymore.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Can I really do this?...

Ok, so for all you mom's out there with more than one child... you are probably shaking your head or silently laughing... but that's Ok! Bear with me here...
Today is the first day since we've been home from the hospital that I've had the girls by myself... Surprisingly I didn't have too much anxiety this morning. Maybe that was because we scheduled a play date here and I had a lot of distraction.
Grace woke up on the wrong side of the bed... my first worry coming true... she threw a tantrum for about 30-40 minutes. I simply got back in my bed and ignored her. Oddly enough as soon as Harper started making noise and whimpering a little, Grace immediately stopped the fit and said "Oh, I need go make her feel better!" Simple as that, the fit was over... she got in bed with me, ate breakfast and watched her morning show. So it wasn't as bad as I'd envisioned.

The play date was fabulous, both for my well being and for Grace's. She even shared her new trampoline like a champ! Good friends, good times, what more can you ask for! Before everyone even got down the front steps, she was on her way upstairs and told me that she was ready to go night-night. That easy.

Harper was her typical laid back self, only crying when she was hungry... Granted, she is still in the newborn, sleep all the time stage... but I like to tell myself that this is her temperament and she'll be an easy baby. (Hopefully the Lord will find favor with me and this will indeed be true!)

Now on the Harper front, we go to the Cardiologist tomorrow morning at 10:30 and the Pediatrician at 1:10. I am really glad we finally have the appointment because I do have some questions for them both. She has several 'spells' during the day where I'll notice the area around her mouth turning grayish-blue... I quickly pick her up, or change her position, pat her back and she comes around pretty quickly. She is still breathing, so I am not sure what is causing her to turn blue... but it's kind of unnerving. Also, coordinating the suck, breathe, swallow thing is still a little challenging for her. She does forget to breathe when she is eating, so again, I just pick her up and pat her back and she comes around. Throughout the night, she makes a sound like she is gasping for air, and I can't figure out what that is... but I usually just jiggle her or pick her up and she gets over it. I don't know if it is just a noise that she's making, or if she is really having trouble breathing. The spitting up is getting significantly better. She still spits up at almost every feeding, but I don't think that it is an amount enough to worry about. The only thing that is annoying is that there is no pattern to it. She could start spitting up right after she eats, or it could be an hour or more after the feeding. At night, I've woken up to her choking a couple times...and it can be a good hour after she'd eaten... Can't figure this out either...

She's sleeping well for a newborn, I just have trouble sleeping soundly with all the noises she is making, especially the gasping. I've just found myself praying each time I put her back down in the night "Lord, I can't keep her alive apart from you anyways, so please watch over her now." I do sleep, but with any newborn, it's hard being woken up in the deepest part of your sleep over and over and over again... I am less tired this time than I remember being with Grace, so I guess that is a blessing.

Today I don't feel overwhelmed like I thought I would, probably due to the fact that we had friends over; but I do think that the Lord is answering my prayers and taking away any fear that I may have.

I will update tomorrow when we get back from the doctor's appointments. I am sure all will be well, but it will be good to get some of my questions answered.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Here they are in front of Vince Young's signed jersey... I think the "O" is bigger than Harper
In this picture we had just picked up Grace from Izze's house on our way home from the hospital. Notice how she has her diaper bag packed with everything she will need to take care of her new baby Harper.

Cutie sisters

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A new land...

Deuteronomy 11:11-12
"The land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to it's end."

Here is the passage I read on the night before Harper was born. How fitting... huh? At that point I was still really apprehensive about having 2 children, about the actual delivery, how Grace would handle it, if Harper would be OK... etc... so many anxieties....I couldn't just be still, it was hard for me to trust....

I love that this verse says that it is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven... I know that there will be days that I don't think I can physically do it... there will be days where all 3 of us have a meltdown at the same time... I still have questions about what I should do if both kids have a need at the same time... how do I choose? What do I do if they are both wailing, or Grace is flailing about on the floor in a fit and the baby needs to be fed? Not to mention, how in the heck do you leave the house with 2 kids? How do you go to the grocery...and Lord, how am I going to go to the Goodwill with 2?

I know that all these things will work out. My prayer is that I will just take one day at the time, give myself grace if the house is filthy, the garbage stinks, and there is a playdate at my house on the same day... Grace if I make the wrong decision, or what if my oldest feels left our or neglected because the baby needs so much attention... I just can't worry about these little things. I can feel that these are what Satan is going to attack me with. I have to believe that the Lord will give me the strength I need for each day, and that is all I need to rest in...

As for an update... I am feeling awesome... don't even really feel like I had a baby. My cold is finally going away too! Yea! Emotionally, I feel like a million bucks... I haven't felt overwhelmed like I did when we brought Grace home; Even though Harper is spitting up regularly, she hardly ever cries, poor thing could have puke coming out her nostrils and mouth and barely even whimper. She is sleeping at least 4 hour stretches at night. Last night I had to wake her after 5 hours to feed her. Grace is doing so well. She has only had one major meltdown, but she was exhausted and had been out of her routine for a while. We put her in her room to get her fit out, and about 10 minutes later she was sound asleep in the middle of the floor. She loves 'her baby' and wants to help and hold her. If she's not interested in the baby, she is running around and doing her thing like usual. She hasn't really shown any jealousy yet (I know we are only 4 days in here... ) I am totally impressed with how well she is doing.

All these things are a complete answer to prayer. As for the medical stuff, we will go see a Cardiologist next week, just as a precaution, but Harper seems to be doing very well. Praise the Lord!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Need some Gracie love...?

Update on Cardio

I was able to get this picture off my phone.. this was just after she was born... so she's a little swollen...but I need someone a little more computer savvy than I am to figure out the new card thing...Maybe my dad can do it today!

Anyways, the Ped came in today and said he thought she looked great. He did recommend seeing a Cardiologist next week...but didn't want to do any further tests in the hospital because if there are any holes in her heart of valves, a lot of times they will close in the first few days after birth on their own... so he just wanted to wait a few days so anything that may correct on it's own will do so before we check! So that's good news... Her feet still look good. She has thrown up each time after she's eaten....but I don't know how much weight she's lost yet.

I am feeling good except for a horrible head cold and cough... and coughing is not something you really want to do a lot of after giving birth... Ouch... I am just going to try and sleep as much as possible today while we have nurses to look after the baby! (Can't you tell she's not a firstborn!)

Love yall!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Harper Jane is here!

I am not able to get any pictures off the camera for some reason... so I'll have to figure that out tomorrow... But Harper is here! After about 10 minutes of pushing, she made her debut... 6 pounds 8 oz and 21 inches long. Just about 2 pounds smaller than Grace!

Her heart sounds good right now, she has not been in distress and the Pediatricians had already made their rounds by the time she was born, so she wasn't seen today. The NICU took her o2 stats and they were good, so they didn't see a need to keep her there. The Ped will check her over tomorrow morning and then decide whether to call Cardio. I would almost prefer if they did just to check the size of her heart on the outside. All along, her heart has been working fine, but I would rather them check to see if it is enlarged or abnormal at all. We'll see. She has been having some choking spells where she will choke and throw up some redish brown stuff. The nursery said that was fairly normal with such a fast delivery.... she didn't have time enough in the birth canal to squeeze out all the fluid. She just had another episode and they have taken her back to the nursery to make sure she didn't asperate any fluid into her lungs.

All seems well now. Thank you for your prayers! The delivery was fast and fairly easy. The only glitch was that my epidural didn't work as well on my right side and I thought I would die with the pain... Luckily about 10 min or so before she was born, they came in and gave me a big dose of something that took care of that pain. I swear, after that experience, I don't know how anyone gives birth without pain meds....and I was only hurting on one side!

I'll try to get some pictures up tomorrow and update after the Ped. sees her. Oh, and another praise is that her feet look fine. They do not look clubbed at all.

Thank you for all your prayers!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Pictures 08

Full Concentration in opening gifts

I am totally obsessed with this garland... Anthropologie, of course...but I want to leave it up all year... Chris is not so fond of that idea...

My reaction to opening a new camera.... I was so surprised!

One of Grace's favorite activities is going "Woa...Woah... and then falling down" She thinks it's hilarious.

Notice the adorable dress... She thinks she's hot stuff in this mod frock...

Her very own replace the glider we put in Harper's room...

Not sure what she is pointing at, but you can tell she's excited!

Grace's favorite stocking stuffer... Didn't care much about anything else but the Elmo Juice...

The best gift ever! Since Grace loves jumping, Santa got her this trampoline so she can get all her energy out....

Just cute...

Reaction to her new blocks... an oldie but a goodie...

Christmas was so much fun. She loved opening the gifts more than she really cared what was in them... So much so that I took back half of what we got her the next day and she has no idea... I should have wrapped up boxes of cereal, Elmo juice, snacks, and maybe string cheese... she would have been just as thrilled. She did get a tea set from Daddy and she loves that gift also... She got to open some gifts for "baby Harper" and that was fun for her too. We had a great Christmas, spread out over 3 or 4 days... which I loved... Prolong it as long as possible is my theory!
We took the Christmas tree and most of the decorations down yesterday, and Grace had a little bit of a hard time with that. She'd say... "But Mama..... I NEED that..." (speaking of the Christmas tree) or "Not put baby Jesus away, he cryin'.... I NEED rock him..." It was really funny hearing all the excuses she had for each item we had to put away.

I'm glad she will have another diversion to capture her attention in the next few days..... hopefully a baby will come out soon! She asks about baby Harper every day.

To that end... thank you all for your continued prayers for the delivery... I am still a bit nervous about it. We'll post as soon as we can if anything happens!