Saturday, August 30, 2008

The most wonderful time of the year...

...and no I am not talking about Christmas! It's gameday baby!! Woo Hoo!!

Starting them young!!

I heart Houndstooth!

Notice the circular motion of the arm...insert shaker and you have her saying Roooolllllll Tiiiiddddeee! at kick off in no time!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lydia's Newborn Portraits

Lydia's proofs are now online. Amanda did an excellent I have the hard job of picking which ones I want to buy!
click "client proofing"
Password is "Lsmith"

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tropical Storm Faye couldn't take our fun away...

Every year some parents get together to have a end of summer "Water Day". They rent tons of inflatable water stuff and all the little kiddies get to play and get soaked. This time around it fell on last Saturday...right in the middle of the ridiculous flood that we call Tropical Storm Faye. Needless to say Water Day was not happenin'! Lucky for us these mommas got organized and in a matter of hours found an available church gym and rented some non-water inflatable toys and the party went on! Anderson even got to play with fellow blogger Leigh's daughter, Anna. Check them out here.

The huge walk in caterpillar

Yummmy!! Popsicles

Baby Sister snoozing through the festivities

Anderson and Anna

My Little Daredevil!

Friday, August 22, 2008

One Month Old

This was taken last Sunday...Lydia's first trip to church (I held her through the whole service). She is wearing the very first dress her Daddy bought her when I found out I was pregnant. He bought it and a blue outfit in case it was a boy...that seems like a million years ago!

How in the world is this possible?? "Baby Sister" aka "Sweetness" was born 4 weeks ago today. We seriously need to start calling her Lydia or she is going to think her real name is baby sister. Anderson calls her that, so we do too. Right about this time a month ago we were getting settled in our room and getting to know our sweet little girl. I know from Anderson that time flies at this stage, but I am still astounded that this precious little miracle is a month old!

I am going to record a few things here that probably aren't all that interesting to anyone but us...but nonetheless I don't want to forget these little tidbits.

Her schedule is starting to develop into a routine. She generally nurses about every 3 hours, except at night when she seems to be quite the little piglet. Jeff usually tops her off with a 3 oz. bottle right before we go to bed at 11:00 ish. She then wakes up about 2:30 and then for some reason has a very hard time getting back to sleep. She grunts and rolls around pulling her legs to her chest. I thought it might be gas pains, but after trying both mylicon and gripe water I have ruled that out. I think she is just restless. This is BRUTAL!! I'll nurse for 20 to 30 minutes and try to go back to sleep around 3:00 and she will grunt, etc keeping us up until 4:30 or later some nights. Then my head finally hits the pillow and I swear even though it is usually 2 1/2 hours later it seems like I closed my eyes for two seconds! Unfortunately our two year old doesn't understand the term "sleep deprivation" and is up by 6:30 or 7:00 ready for a full energetic and often long day!
Her weight issues are all but gone. She is up to nine pounds now. She gained a whopping 11 oz in 4 days...the average is supposed to be an ounce a day. Wowsa! She definitely made up for lost time! I am still breastfeeding almost exclusively except for the occasional night time bottle. I am really proud of myself for sticking with it. I promised myself I would do it for six weeks before making any major choices about quitting, and I am already feeling confident enough to want to continue it as long as possible. With Anderson I only nursed for about a month and then pumped for a few weeks before just giving up. Lydia has been much easier to nurse, and I am sure it helps that I knew more of what to expect this time around and am a little more laid back about it.

Anderson is adjusting very well. I have to be honest in saying that the prospect of having them both here all day by myself scared me to death. However, it isn't as bad as I thought it would be. The biggest challenges are very first thing in the morning (trying to be upbeat and somewhat awake) when trying to get him fed and occupied. The other hard time is late afternoon about an hour or so before Jeff gets home. Poor little guy just kind of loses patience for dear old mom and inevitably baby sister want to nurse around this same time. Anderson never shows aggression, but does push his boundaries when I am feeding her. He knows I can't really get up to correct him right then, so he tries to push it by doing things he knows he shouldn't. I am very glad the we implemented the 1-2-3 Magic discipline technique a few months ago. Most of the time by the number "two" in the count down to time out, I have his full attention and he is back on track. However, it is a little difficult to nurse her while yelling loud enough for him to hear me in the other room without upsetting the baby. There were also a few days where her schedule got a bit out of whack and she wanted to nurse when it was his lunch and nap time. Trying to figure that out and get everyone happy and on the schedule they are used to was difficult, but after 2 days it sort of corrected itself.

Watching Anderson and Lydia's little interactions is truly one of the greatest joys I've ever experienced. I love how much he loves her. He asks to see her every morning first thing and demands to kiss her "nite-nite" at the end of every day. He already wants to show and teach her things. For example, the other day he saw our football schedule on the fridge and asked to see it. I gave it to him and he pointed to it and said "That's Alabama mommy...roll tide..that's what the elephant says" I laughed and told him that he was right. He then took the magnet and ran over to the bassinet and put it in next to a sleeping Lydia and said "I want to show baby sister" What a sweetie! We have also started walking around the neighborhood on most nights with our double stroller, and it just feels good to spend that time as just our little family. We know Lydia is our last baby, so watching them together has been great because I know it is just the start of wonderful memories with our little complete family. Speaking of our complete little family...we had Lydia's newborn pictures taken today and were able to get some of the four of us as part of the shoot. The proofs will be ready Monday and I will post the link.

And I leave you with case anyone wonders if she has her mother's hair. Obviously the answer is yes. Her hair gets curlier everytime we wash it. And for those of you that don't know me well...I have ridiculously thick curly hair that I choose to straighten most of the time. :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What we've been up to...

Mommy got a haircut...seriously after the third morning of blowing it dry I realized that it was WAY too much trouble with two kids.

We christened the U.S.S. Smith (aka the massive double stroller)! It was actually really a lot lighter than I imagined it would be. I love that the back seat lets all the way down for the baby to sleep. I did a lot of research and this one was the one that met our needs best. It's the Graco Quattro Double Stroller.

Anderson created this excellent masterpiece!

Mommy got to put these ADORABLE socks on Lydia...I mean how cute is that?? They are her very first Mary Janes!

Anderson decided to help Daddy with a little yard work. He loves to play in "Daddy's Castle" - that's what he calls the garage. Jeff has never corrected him since he feels like it is just that...his castle!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears...Oh My!

Anderson has long been totally obsessed with animals. They are his favorite thing to see, talk about, read about, name it. If it has anything to do with animals, he will be a happy boy! However, this has backfired a little bit lately. His growing imagination is running in wild animals. He is constantly telling whoever will listen that there are bears in our backyard and the occasional pig in the woods just beyond our fence. We keep trying to tell him that there aren't any animals, but he insists rather adamantly that there most certainly are! He has seen a number of stuffed big game animals like bears at our children's museum and at a couple of elaborate sporting goods stores. Lately at bedtime or nap time he will start saying a little mantra when I tuck him in that literally breaks my heart. He says over and over..."there aren't any animals" with his hands in the air like what happened to them?? He then says "they aren't real"... "Atticus scares away the bears mommy?" My little boy is starting to become self-aware enough to be afraid! Last night in the living room he asked me if the big bad wolf is really bad. Who in the world is reading that scary story to my baby?? I guess he heard it at school! I think we are going to avoid books with animals for a little while until he stops imagining they are in our yard! :-)

Oh and another random tidbit. This morning for snack I gave him a blueberry nutragrain bar and he ate a big bite and then gave a huge smile and said "MMMM, mommy...Delicious!" does he know the word delicious! HA!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chillin' Poolside

We took advantage of this glorious cooler weather by taking Anderson to the pool late Saturday afternoon. Baby sister was sporting her new tankini... In other news...At Lydia's weight check this morning she was up to 8 lbs 1 oz!!! I thought I was going to cry from sheer joy right there in the Dr.'s office! She is up 7 oz. in just three days and we have stopped the supplements! Yay!!!

I also had to stick this pic in here because I just love it!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

2 weeks old

Well, yesterday we had Lydia's two week appointment on what was scheduled to be her birth date! I am still a little jealous that she didn't get the cool birthday (8-8-08), but when I think about having to be pregnant two weeks longer than I was already- I quickly get over it!

When she was born she had a little blood sugar issue, which thank God reversed itself quickly enough to avoid a trip to the NICU. However, feeding and weight gain are issues that have really plagued us these past two weeks. Her jaundice (which went up to 16.8 at one point) made her a very lazy eater in those first several days and being three weeks early didn't really help either. During our last night at the hospital she lost 13% of her body weight...over the "allowed" 10%. It scared me to death. I really didn't think they were going to let us go home. She finally gained 1 oz after going straight to formula for 24 hours and we were allowed to go home, but were told to supplement every nursing feeding with a 2 oz formula feeding. Since she was getting so much formula I was also pumping to keep my supply about exhaustion. Nurse for 20 minutes, bottle feed for about 10 minutes and then pump for 20 minutes...that's almost an hour folks...and that had to be repeated every 2 1/2 hours. That continued for a couple of days and all the while I had to take her to be weighed every morning. Unfortunately all of those bottles were making it harder and harder to get her to nurse successfully. I was and still am torn between not wanting to lose my ability to nurse and worrying that she won't gain enough weight if I stop the formula feeding.

By yesterday she was supposed to be back up to her birth weight of 7 Lbs. 14 oz., but that didn't happen. She did get back up to 7 lbs 11 oz, so we were very close. Dr. P. allowed us to switch to every other feeding with supplements and then if she seemed to still have plenty of wets and poopies we could try to nurse exclusively starting tonight through Monday morning, when I will have to have her weighed again to check her progress. So please say a little prayer for us that nursing exclusively will be sufficient enough for her to gain weight. If not, I am not sure how long I will be able to continue to nurse. 1 hour feedings every couple of hours plus a two year old is not exactly realistic, so something will have to give.
In other news she passed all of her screening tests and as I said weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz. and was 20 1/4 inches long!...and can I just say that I could just eat up those sweet little full lips! I love this picture of her!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The August Babies that Couldn't Wait Until August!

Many of you may remember our sweet neighbors, Amy and Justin, who were due the same day we were. The also shared several other coincidental similarities to us, which you can read more about here. Well, after being at our house the night we brought Lydia home, Amy went into labor late the next day and Henry Mills Smith-No relation...yet ;-), was born around lunchtime on Wednesday.

A few days ago we took Lydia down the street for her and Henry's first "date". We still can't believe they are both already here! The tons of black hair that they both have is surprising to both of us as well!

As we were leaving we ran into some neighborhood kids that were anxious to see the new babies!

Anderson and Daddy's Big Morning...

Anderson has always been a Daddy's boy. Now don't get me wrong, he loves his momma (as evidenced by his nearly full out sprint to me every time he gets a boo boo). However, he and Jeff have always had a special little bond. Since we have had so many changes around here Jeff tried to get in some real quality time with our little man Sunday morning. What could possibly be more manly than cleaning Daddy's grill and catching a frog? Yes that frog is real...and no we did not keep it!

Lydia's first bath

This post is a bit late, but we have been a little busy! ;-) We gave Lydia her first real bath and Anderson helped. It was a lot of fun. He washed her feet and helped dry her off.

So far he is loving "baby sister". He asks to see her every morning and always wants to know where she is whether in the bassinet by our bed or the pack -n- play downstairs. A few days ago when we had to strip her down and put her in indirect sunlight for her jaundice he kept walking by and putting a blanket on her. How sweet is that? I just sort of quietly went behind him and took it off. Finally, he caught me doing it and said "NO! Mommy! Baby Sister is COLD!" He is already protective of her! Check out this pic below of Anderson kissing on is my favorite so far!

Friday, August 1, 2008

I saw God today....(by Jeff)

"Got my face pressed up against the nursery glass She's sleepin' like a rock My name on her wrist Wearin' tiny pink socks She's got my nose, she's got her mama's eyes My brand new baby girl She's a miracle I saw God today." ....George Strait.

This time last Friday night I was at the hospital holding my brand new baby girl and breathing a sigh of relief that momma and baby were both doing just fine. It was surreal to hold her and think that just a few minutes earlier she was nice and cozy in Lindsey's tummy, and the next minute her exciting life "in the real world" had begun.

Just to recap for those of you that haven't heard the story, we had a prenatal appointment that very morning and Dr. Madden said that he would see us next Thursday unless something happened over the weekend. He told us he was on call and to call him or come in if she had any contractions etc... like we did the week before. (see earlier posts.) As we left his office Lindsey stood in the lobby of the hospital and cried and said she just couldn't do this anymore. She had been a trooper since she had not been pregnant this long before. Anderson came almost 6 weeks early, so all of this was new territory for her. It was much hotter and I am not sure I can remember when she had a full nights sleep. She was in almost constant pain as Lydia pressed on her pelvic bones and bladder. Suffice it to say, she was ready to see Lydia and soon! Bless her heart she was pretty tough to get this far in this heat, but she was ready to see her baby and know she was ok. There is a scripture that says that God will not give you more than you can bear. We can now testify that that is true.

That afternoon I had a lunch meeting and just as I got back to the office I was in another meeting and she called and said that she had some bleeding and was concerned. I told her to call the Dr. before I came home. I honestly expected another trip to the E.R. for some monitoring only to be told to go home unless she went into labor. I came home and We called Dr. Madden and he said that we should come in and we would "talk" about having her that afternoon since something was going on and it was probably not good. We scrambled around like crazy people getting everything in the car: baby bag, "boppie", her clothes, my clothes, cameras (all 4 of them just in case), called our neighbor to video the birth, made arrangements to have Anderson picked up from school, made alternate arrangements to have him picked up from school when the babysitter couldn't do it like she thought (thanks to a ridiculously insensitive person that our baby sitter had told she would watch her kids for an hour or so. This lady pitched a fit when the sitter told her what was going on with our emergency C section, no other arrangements for our 2 year old, no family in town etc...Of course her response you ask? "That's their problem, we were going to dinner"...such sensitivity to our situation deserves to be celebrated! We won't post her name here, but I can assure you that every person we come across in Tuscaloosa will hear of her generosity and selflessness in helping us in our time of need.)

When we got to the hospital we expected some monitoring, checking and discussion about possibly taking the baby if things did not improve etc...Instead as soon as we got to the Labor and Delivery Unit we were met by the anesthesiologist that was discussing the effects of a spinal etc....We were like "are we doing this now?" She said,"yes you are scheduled for 4 o'clock."
We had to wait on some blood work and the procedure started right about 5. By 5:30, our sweet little baby girl had arrived. Much to our surprise she had a head full of thick curly black hair. We think she got that from her mother as Lindsey's hair is naturally curly. She was perfect in every way. Since she was born on Walter Peyton's birthday (Great Chicago Bears running back and arguably the greatest all around football player ever) her nickname has now been officially dubbed by me as "Sweetness".
Of course I love my little boy more than I ever thought possible, so I wondered what it would be like to have a little girl. I have been reading a book on raising girls. I had never thought of it like this, but it is a daunting responsibility indeed. I will be the measure of every man in her life. I will be the model for her future husband, I will influence the way she raises her children, she will get her view of God from her relationship with me and more if that is not enough. That is a lot to live up to. Quite frankly, I am not sure I can. The only way I can possibly do it is to get as close to Christ as I can and try to love her as much as he does.

She has a Biblical name in Lydia and a lot to live up to herself. According to Acts, Lydia was the first European convert, a wealthy businesswoman, and a generous giver and suppoert to the ministry of the apostles. Our job will be to equip her to be all of those things; a follower of Christ, an educated capable woman in the business world, and a member of the Church that does all she can to spread the gospel to the nations. God has been so good to me. I don't know what I ever did to deserve such a wonderful gifts. I have a loving wife, a little boy full of wonder and excitement, and now a beautiful little girl. I pray that I prove myself worthy of what God has given me, because every time I look at that sweet baby girl I will be reminded of how good God is and how much he loves us. As the Song says, "I saw God today", and I will everytime I see her.