Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Baby McKenna

Last Friday I had the honor of getting a visit from our neighborhood's newest addition and her sweet mommy Beth! Beth lives just down the street from us, and I have really enjoyed getting to know her these past few months. Unfortunately, Beth's husband passed away last fall while she was expecting their first child. Since that day I vowed to befriend her so that she would have help very close by. That is one of the perks of being a stay at home mom...I can babysit her in a pinch or give Beth a break to go to the store or whatever errand without having to get the baby out! Her family and her late husband's are all out of state and my heart broke for her thinking about how difficult it would be to raise a baby completely by yourself. To read more of her story check out this post.

Well little Mckenna arrived the first week of January and it has been so much fun seeing her nursery and all of those little pink frilly things that come along with a precious baby girl! Friday Beth brought her over for a good long visit and I got to feed her...well I tried...but she wanted to sleep. It was so wonderful to hold a sleeping newborn again. It makes me really look forward to this August!

Beth is doing astoundingly well. She is truly one of the strongest people I know. She has totally embraced motherhood no matter how challenging her particular situation is. I have never heard her complain once, and all of us who have children know how difficult those first few weeks can be. I still tear up every once in a while when I pass by her house remembering what Jeff and I witnessed there on that horrible night. In fact when I received her birth announcement With the beautifully bittersweet words printed at the bottom " Beth and the late Dean Mann" I cried for 20 minutes. But Beth is so strong and so committed to being a good and happy mom to McKenna...How easy would it be to become bitter...yet she refuses!

I am so glad that I made an effort to get to know her after her horrible tragedy, and I am even more glad she was open to a new friendship with a stranger! I can't wait to see McKenna and Anderson riding bikes up and down our street in just a few short years! We love being in a neighborhood with so many children! It makes my heart smile to see them all outside on warm days! Mckenna is our newest addition to the 'hood and we just couldn't love her more!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bizarro Pregnancy

This pregnancy has been so completely different than my pregnancy with Anderson that I joke about it being my bizarro know like when the superfriends found another world of super-heros that were sort of like them but opposite in many ways! HA! As you know from earlier posts I had BAD morning sickness this time around, which was not the case with Anderson. It stopped a few weeks ago and I thought I was done, but it has reared its ugly head again in the last week. I didn't even know you could get it again after it went away! That's just plain cruel! Another difference is the indigestion. It is brutal this time around! I am chugging mylanta like it's going out of style. With Anderson I only got it the last month or so...not nearly this early! They say that means the baby will have lots of hair...Jeff says he wants a paternity test if it does! Hee Hee!

I am finishing up week 16, which is so weird because it feels like the time is just flying by this time around! I can't believe I am almost halfway done! Starting week 17 means I am in my 5th month...Holy Cow! Is that really possible? I have been feeling the baby for about the last week or so intermittently. It is still the coolest sensation ever! I am also, as of yesterday, having to break out the maternity clothes. I can still wear lots of regular shirts, but pants and jeans are another story! I am starting to show, but if you didn't know I was preggo you'd probably not pick up on it. I am betting this will change drastically in the next month!! I have an appointment Friday for my monthly check in with my Dr. and then on March 13th (two weeks from then) we will have our ultrasound. I can't wait to see this baby on the big screen!!

Of course, Jeff is still bugging me about finding out the sex, and sadly I am starting to see his point about all of the benefits of "knowing". I didn't want a gender neutral nursery, so my solution was to pick out all of the girl bedding, paint, etc and then all of the boy bedding, paint, etc. After the baby gets here simply call to order and wait a few short weeks for it all to get here. Plus we'd have to order extra fabric for the curtains and then wait for it to come in and then have them made. I was going to try to have someone in the family paint the nursery while we were at the hospital. Jeff points out that this will be a huge pain and that we will need help with Anderson more than a painted room. He also knows my love of order and having things done and thinks it will drive me crazy to wait on the bedding for 6 weeks after the baby arrives...hmmm....he is probably right on that point as well. He is also begging so that he can bond with the baby. He says that I can feel it everyday, but that to him it's like a Christmas present that hasn't come in the mail yet. Knowing the sex will help him visualize the baby and start calling it by name instead of "it" he says. Who knows...maybe I'll stay strong or maybe I'll cave and we'll just keep it to ourselves. Mom and sisters...this is NOT an open invitation to call every five seconds to pressure me into finding out! I know you can smell blood in the water, but try to control yourself!! ;-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Book of Love

This is so late to post, but I HAD to share with you the sweetest Valentine gift I have ever received! It was from Anderson, but I am thinking he had more than a little help from Dad! He gave me this beautiful hardback bound book entitled "I Love My Mommy the Best" by Anderson Smith! He ordered it from Shutterfly and I cried for about a soild hour after I opened it...those dang pregnancy hormones! These pics are hard to see, but each page featured a grouping of pictures from some of my favorite memories with Anderson with captions about why he loves his mommy the best...

I listed some of the captions below the pictures since they are hard to read.
"She loved me even before she held me for the first time"

"She makes me smile" and "She makes me feel safe"

"She teaches me about the Tide"; "She teaches me how to tailgate in style"; "She teaches me to say Rolllll Tiiiiddee!" and "She shows me where champions play"

"She teaches me about Jesus"...."Hey I look like Jesus!"

This was from Anderson's first Christmas when Jeff and I played Mary and Joseph in our church Christmas program. Of course, Anderson was the Jesus!

"She throws the best birthday parties" "My mom is the prettiest mom ever"

"She takes me for train rides"; "I really like train rides with Mommy"; "I never know what's next with Mommy"

How Blessed am I to have such a thoughtful and sentimental husband?

20 months old...

I just can not believe I am typing this! How did my sweet baby boy get to be 20 months? Didn't he just get here yesterday?? At any rate I snapped a few good shots, which is hard these days with such an active little I thought I would share them since he is 20 months old today!

Things he's doing that surprise us...

-He said Kangaroo today after seeing a picture of one printed on his Kindermusik book. How in the heck does he know what that is, let alone how to pronounce it!

-He LOVES the stairs and asks...wait scratch that- DEMANDS to do them by himself. I always stay right next to him, much to his dismay. He hates it when you try to hold his hand or help him!

- He pretty much will say anything you say to him. His vocabulary is blowing our minds...I explained to him why we had to se Dr. Brown the other day and he kept repeating "Doktor...Doktor".

- He also loves to say the word necklace when I am wearing one.

- He still is obsessed with Curious George. He's been this way for months. We went straight from Baby Einstein to "Gorge" He's so cute the way he says it! He doesn't move when it is on...seriously, he barely blinks!

-He adores bath time. I can't wait until this summer. We are going to have quite the fish on our hands! He also loves to take showers with Daddy!

-He loves "a-cus" Atticus, our springer spaniel and "Memel" Mabel, our cat.

There's so much more, but I am trying to get caught up and do several posts at once, so this list will have to do.

Sunday, February 17, 2008 just can't make this stuff up!

Well it seems I got a little carried away last night as I waxed poetic about the love of rough and tumble boys and how I had embraced it.

This morning Jeff went to get Anderson out of his crib and brought him in our room (I was still in bed). He gave me this bright goofy smile and made his usual request with arms stretched upward.... "UP!!! ". I pulled him into bed with me for a little snuggle time....and then...he broke my nose. No, I am not kidding! He jumped with his hard noggin right square into my face. My vision went black and then the pain started. Jeff who was right beside the bed says he actually heard the bone crack. OUCH!! Of course I screamed and Anderson started crying because he knew he had hurt me and poor Jeff was like Oh my....I heard it!

So now after 3 weeks with a family of three having the flu and little Anderson suffering through Roseola...mommy now has a blackened and broken I can't make this stuff up. Welcome to our crazy life!

I am off to the ENT tomorrow. I refuse to go to a doc in the box or the ER and get the flu AGAIN! I doubt they can even x-ray it or anything since I am pregnant. I have needed sinus surgery for a deviated septum for years, and now I guess if this leaves a cosmetic problem I'll kill two birds with one stone after the baby arrives!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Let's Hear it for the Boys......

As this pregnancy progresses I am often asked or actually told most of the time that I MUST want a girl this time around. Jeff and I are pretty sure this is our last baby, but we both know God can always redirect that path. That being said there seems to be an overwhelming and mounting pressure for this baby to be a girl. Now don't get me wrong, I'd love to have one of each... it would be what some say is the perfect set-up...the older brother and little sister combination. But really who is to say what is "perfect"? I know from several recent years of truly seeking God in my life that he knows what is best for me. The difference between my 20's and my 30's is that I am finally smart enough to let him do his thing and stop trying to micro-manage if that can even be done! His handywork has made my life today what it is...happy and content, something that I often used to wonder was even possible with my strong type A personality.

When I was pregnant with Anderson, for some reason I was convinced it was a girl. Jeff was fact all but a couple of people felt strongly we would have a girl. I even had a co-worker tell me "Well, that's Ok you could always have a girl next time"...and no there wasn't a Congratulations in front of that! My poor mother even came to the ultrasound appt. with us dressed in head to toe pink...and yes she was visibly disappointed at the results. That changed very quickly though. I can safely say that my mom is now Anderson's biggest fan! God in his wisdom and perfect plan made our baby a boy. You see I was one of three girls...we didn't understand what to even do with a boy!

Now fast forward 20 months past his birth...I can't imagine it any other way. Watching him in all of his rough and tumble splendor has forced me out of a comfort zone that I may have stayed in if he had been a girl. I go outside more. I welcome a playdate with sand and water...that inevitebily turns into a yucky mud...well most of the time I welcome it! I am way less afraid to get dirty. I am as amazed now by all of the planes, trucks and automobiles that he is so completely mesmerized by. He is a true joy, and I embrace his "boy"-ness everyday!

I am not sure what this child growing inside me will be, but if it is a boy I can assure you that I won't feel like I am missing out on anything. I really almost hope it is a boy because I think that Anderson having a little brother only 2 years younger would be like them both having a built in best friend. I can just see my life at the ball park passing before my very eyes. What fun we would have! I have dreamed several nights that our new baby is a girl, but I have bought a total of 4 matching sets of clothes for Anderson and a little boy sibling...crazy I know, but I really couldn't resist who knows what we will actually end up with!

I recently ran across a blog out of Texas that I have been reading often. I finally came clean and stopped stalking because of a post she wrote about "Boy Love". You see, she too was an all girl family and then had a firstborn son. Her post so reminded me of all of the things I love about being a boy mom and how I really wouldn't mind doing it again! Check her post on sweet boys at this link holding little hands. She is a great writer and has tons of funny stories starring her adorable son, Park.

And if you are a boy mom or know one...I can't recommend these two books more wholeheartedly. They truly gave me a glimpse into how to best mother a son.

Bringing up Boys by Dr. James Dobson
Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Friday, February 15, 2008

Les Krewe...

Jeff one day post-flu and me one day pre-flu!
Back before we all got sick Jeff and I went to my Mardi Gras Club's ball. This is a fun event every year. The group is all girls and at the start of every year's party the group puts on often hilarious skits. This year I opted out of being in a skit. When they started practicing I was still in the throws of "all day" sickness and knew better than to over-commit myself.

This year's theme was "Remember when...?". There were some great skits, but I have to brag that my group's skit was the funniest! They re-enacted our days on the Gayfer's Teen Board. Now around our parts, Gayfers was one of only two department stores and their teenboard was the most coveted spot a girl could hope for! I was lucky enough to make it and it gave me lifelong friends and more than a few hilarious memories! We had a "den mother" of sorts who was in charge of our group and the special events coordinator. She lived and breathed teen board for well over 10 years! Emily was her name and big hair and lots of mascara was her game! We did lots of little modeling throughout the year, but the BIG event was the Back to School Fashion show in August. It was at the Bama Theater and anybody who was anybody was in attendance to watch the hour and a half full-out, near broadway production! We started practicing in May and were there EVERYDAY all summer to learn our dances and rehearse. Looking back on it now it is so funny to see how "important" that was to all of us! HA!

Gettin down to Marky Marks "Good Vibrations"

So all if this to say...more than a few of the Les Krewe members were members of the original teenboard and thought it would be funny to "Remember When..." we were all in this ridiculously over the top fashion show. The group, minus me, actually broke out the VHS tapes and re-learned and performed as their skit the complete opening number from the show our junior year...oh yeah...dressed in the full on early 90's garb. Emily even came back to announce the members names (mostly maiden names now) just like she did in the opening 15 years ago! She was so sweet to come and do that for us! I have not laughed so hard in a very long time!

Emily announcing the "board members"!

And to top it off there were tons of pictures from everyone's formals, high school proms, etc...It was so ammusing to walk around and look at all of the pics and laugh...UNTIL my friend (and I now use that term loosely until I decide to forgive her) pointed out that "somebody" namely her...had some pics of me laying around! that is some HAIR!!

This was a picture from a Crush party in High school. We went as the calendar girls...I was October, Stacie was July, Jennyrob was Feburary...not sure how the nun and crazy blond wig came into the mix (Liz Spiller and Lang Propst)

Stacie rocking the neon yellow tights!...Seriously this is the kind of stuff they made us wear!

Happy valentine's Day...a little late!

We are finally all well now! It was a really rough few weeks, but we are doing so much better now! Big thanks to my mom who took care of Anderson while I recovered from the flu. Everytime I called to check on him all I heard was...he's great, he's having a wonderful time...etc. Little did I know that she was calling Jeff behind my back to report on Anderson's fevers and the fact that he broke into a nasty rash. She finally took him to the hospital where she works and had a Dr. look at him. Turns out our little guy had Roseloa...she and Jeff wouldn't tell me because they knew I would freak out, plus Jeff was calling my OB to see if it was even Ok for me to be around Roseola. Thankfully, by the time the rash appears they are no longer contagious. Anderson returned home and we have both been on the mend since then!

Without further delay... a few pics of the KING of our HEARTS! :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Plague has arrived...

We are all so officially sick. I can't remember a time when I was this sick! It all started 3 weeks ago when Anderson came down with the croup, which then turned into a nasty sinus infection. After teetering on the edge of being well for days he finally did improve and for one glorious day we were all well. So much for that... last Tuesday Jeff came down with the flu. Despite my efforts to keep me and the baby as far as possible from him and about 2 bottles of lysol on pretty much every surface in our home, Anderson starting running a fever and acting very fussy. We still aren't sure if it is the flu or teething. Yes, he decided now would be a great time to cut the ever painful and nasty eye teeth! He is eating OK and drinking OK, but just isn't up to full speed. We are trying to avoid taking him to the Doctor because, for those of you that don't live in Tuscaloosa and know this already, the flu is RAMPANT here! Seriously, it is near epidemic status. The Elementary school in our neighborhood had over 100 staff and students out last week due to the flu. A friend of mine had her "well baby check up" cancelled last week because the pediatrician's office had 50 walk ins with the flu that morning alone. Crazy! Since they really have nothing to treat it with I don't see the point in exposing him to so many germs by taking him to the Doctor. Meanwhile, we are just pushing fluids and making sure he gets lots of rest.

Towards the end of the week Jeff felt much better and the baby was doing well and I was fine so we went ahead with our plans to attend my Mardi Gras Club's ball. BIG MISTAKE! We didn't stay late and Jeff had sprite all night, but it seems like it was just enough to give Jeff a set back and get me sick. Saturday night I felt like a Mac truck had run over me. By Sunday morning I was up and not keeping anything down. Off to the Dr. I went....tested positive for the flu...shocker! So know Jeff is sick again, I am sick with the flu and Anderson is sick with bad diapers, low-grade fevers, and not sleeping through the night.

My poor mom had to take off work and come get Anderson this morning because Jeff and I are simply to weak to care for him. We are on tamiflu which gives you these small bursts of feeling normal (hence this entry) but I slept for over 10 hours today. Ick... So please say a little prayer for our very sick family. I am especially worried about the new baby and how my illness is affecting him/her. Mom will have Anderson for a couple of days at least and may even have to take him to the Dr. in Birmingham. I am so ready for all of us to be well again!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Happy Birthday David Barton!

This is a week late going up, but we have all been sick (that will be another post as soon as I feel up to it). However, last weekend we got to help little David Barton celebrate his 2nd birthday. DB's dad is one of Jeff's partners at the firm and his mommy Lisa has become a dear friend to me. They had David Barton just 4 1/2 short months before we had Anderson. It was fun being pregnant together and having baby boys! It kills me to see him turning 2 because that means Anderson is right behind him and this mommy is just not ready for her baby to be 2!!

Lisa did a great job putting together a construction theme with lots of fun stuff to get into! We tried to let our little monkey get in the big blow up jumper thing, but he was not going for that! He did have a light bulb moment after realizing that all of the table centerpeice dumptrucks were full of m&m's and Goldfish...Yummy! He also enjoyed riding the buggy around the gym and (snapping its buckles 50 million times) with another good friend, Carsyn Kirkland. He even tried to steal the birthday boy's cupcake after he blew out his candles! The party was adorable, and Anderson had a blast! Enjoy a few pictures!

Going in for the steal... :-)

Signing Day...Roll Tide!!

College Football's signing day was Wednesday, and Jeff and I watched with bated breath! We were so excited to sign Julio Jones along with many other top recruits in the nation. We can't wait for August!! Well...actually April is the A-day scrimmage so maybe that will "tide" us over...

This video literally made me so excited that I teared up. It's so nice to know our beloved team is back on track!

Monday, February 4, 2008

I've been tagged...

My blog was tagged by Julie, so in an effort to be a good sport here you go...

Here are the rules. 1) Link to the person that tagged you. 2) Post the rules on your blog. 3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. 4) Tag six people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs (although you will see I tagged you three because I don't know that many people that blog)...Courtney, you shouldn't have any problems! 5) Let them know they've been tagged as well.

1. My left foot was cut off by a lawnmower...pretty gross, huh? Sad, but true! I was 4 and visiting my grandparent's house when I slipped and fell underneath a riding lawnmower. I was a good 30-40 minutes from a hospital and am lucky that I didn't bleed to death! LoL! Seriously though...thinking of that happening to Anderson gives me a whole new respect for my parents! They were able to reconstruct it pretty well and I went on to play sports and cheer, so it didn't keep me down for too long. Now as a result I wear two different size shoes...EXPENSIVE!

2. I only dated my husband for 6 weeks before we got engaged after meeting on a blind date. It really is a love at first sight story. We married only 6 months later. I am surprised our families and friends didn't stage an intervention! My mom met him literally the night that he came to Birmingham to look at rings. Blows my mind now...but still is by far the best thing I ever did!

3. Sort of related to number 2...My wedding was a complete surprise to our guests and families. We told everyone we were getting married in Hawaii on April 23rd by ourselves. We wanted to have a party on April 2nd though as sort of a reception with band, drinks, food, etc... After people arrived for the party Jeff went outside in the courtyard to toast and informed our guests that we were getting married that night and leaving for Hawaii the next day. The gasp from the crowd was priceless! No one knew except the preacher, the photographer and Jeff's secretary. We had snuck our wedding gown and tux and a wedding cake in without anyone knowing! We went upstairs to change while programs were passed out and then married in a candle-lit ceremony in the courtyard with all of our family and friends crowded around us. We then partied the night away with all of our shocked guests!

4. I was actually detained by police while in high granted I was never arrested or taken onto the station, but my parents didn't seem to appreciate that small difference! I along with about 20 or so other geeks were in a program called American Studies that was sort of a gifted program for juniors. We bussed off campus to a historical building downtown for half of our day where we studied Science, History and English. At the start of our Senior year we decided the night before school started we would "roll" (with toilet paper) our American Studies buliding...except we were not career criminals and barely let it get dark before we started. 10 minutes later there were so many cop cars it looked like a drug bust! Some people ran and got away...but not me...too chicken!

5. I chaperoned a group of high school students on a 10 day trip to Europe at the ripe old age of 23! We went to England and France. I harped on the kids all the time about keeping their passport on them at all times...guess who didn't have her passport with her at the French border??! I had accidently packed it in my suitcase which was bussed to our hotel ahead of us and therefore not accesible. I had to send all of the kids with the other chaperone on to the hotel, wait for one of them to get it out of my luggage and then bring it back to me. Nothing like a nice serving of humble pie! I never lived it down with that set of kids!

6. Let's see...this is a good one considering my pregnant state at the moment...My parents thought I was a boy and had named me Christopher...except I was a girl. I was then named Lindsey after the ever popular 70's actress Lindsey Wagner a la Bionic Woman...very creative mom and dad...thanks for that! :-)

and I don't know anyone that Julie didn't already tag. Sorry!! All of you people that read my blog need to get your own so I won't be such a loser without anyone to tag!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Kindermusik...or Chinese water torture??

Since Anderson loves music at school with Ms. August so much, I decidedto sign him up for kindermusik this semester. I thought it would be a fun and constructive way to get out of the house for a morning...Fun...nope...constructive...nope. That's right people the nationally acclaimed music class that seemingly every child under the age of 5 loves was a big old bust for Anderson. He HATED it!

When we first got there I think he thought he was getting left there and so he became super clingy and since we were early I let him play with his newest obsession...the stroller buckles. Seriously, he could play with a buckle from a highchair, carseat, booster seat, stroller for an hour. He loves trying to figure out how to snap them. He is getting good at it too! Thank goodness he can't unsnap them yet! Anyway, when the class was ready to start he would not participate and kept trying to go over to the stroller. I finally took it and put it out of the room. Well...the nerve of me. That resulted in a full out melt down. The poor other kids couldn't drown out his wailing enough to sing the welcome song!

Luckily I knew several of the other participants and so I wasn't completely mortified! Dr. and Mrs. Posey were there with two of their grandchildren and since they raised 3 kids of their own they were able to give me some sympathetic looks. My friend Holly was also there and of course her little girl was in the center of the room prancing around like nobody's business while my child stood steadfastly in front of the door demanding for me to open it so "we go bye-bye mommy"!

I wish I could say that it ever got truly better, but it really didn't. He did manage not to cry the entire time, but as far as actually enjoying himself...not so much! He semi-participated towards the end, but never really gave up on trying to get out the door to the stroller! Next time I will know to leave the stroller at home and come equipped with a bribe juice box!

Friday, February 1, 2008

12 weeks down...

This morning after dropping Anderson off at school Jeff and I went to my Dr. appointment. Jeff is so sweet about going to the appointments. He was the same way with Anderson. He just doesn't want to miss a thing. Anyway, we did all of the usual lab stuff and then came the scary part...finding the heartbeat with the doppler. For some reason it just scares me to death that they won't find a heartbeat, even at 12 weeks I was more nervous than I thought I was. Sometimes it takes a while to find it because it is on the outside of the belly (unlike an ultrasound) and you never know where the baby is when it is this small. Luckily it didn't take the nurse long to find it at all and I (as I always do) teared up to hear the strong heartbeat of our child growing away inside me. The heartrate was 170 bpm and music to both our ears.

While we were there we went ahead and scheduled the c-section for Friday August 8th bright and early in the morning. Dr. Madden even joked that he would shoot for an 8:08 am birth time! Anderson was breech and had to be delivered by c-section, and my Doctor felt very strongly that a V-bac was not safe for me. At the time of Anderson's birth I had so many complications with two hospitilizations for pre-term labor and 6 weeks of bedrest that I didn't really care how he got here. Our little angel was still an early arrival at 4 and a half weeks early because my water broke in the middle of the night. He was perfectly healthy though and never went to the NICU. It was nothing short of a miracle thanks to a wonderful team of Doctors and steroid shots for his lungs. Since he was a whopping 7 lbs 4 oz and a month early, it's pretty clear that I have BIG babies. With the risk of a uterine rupture due to a large baby we decided it just wasn't worth it. I am a little disappointed that I won't have the whole "pushing the baby out experience", but I am just grateful for a healthy baby! Not to mention I know what to expect with the c-section. I had a great experience last time with a quick recovery that was not nearly as bad as all of the horror stories I heard! Plus the convenience factor is great with a scheduled c-section. I need to get Anderson squared away before going to the hospital to have this baby, which with no family in town other than an aunt that I need to video the birth is quite the dilemma! Hopefully, I will make it to August 8th with no surprises!