Friday, September 26, 2008

Babysitter Drama

Well, now that I've built the babysitter story up for it is...hope you're not disappointed! : )

My grandparents decided it was time to go back home and we have been doing fine without them. So far, no hectic days and neither of us have missed a minute of a normally scheduled workday. But I can imagine in the future there will be a day where Charlie needs to go in early for some mandatory meeting or things at Chase are crazy and I need to stay and take care of something or we'd just like to go out for a dinner w/o packing the whole house - so of course we'd like a back up plan. A friend of mine who is moving away took her baby to an older lady named Mrs. Ginger. I thought this may be the best plan. Besides, when I called Mrs. Ginger she was sure to mention the video cameras she had and made a point of explaining that SHE would be interviewing US (not vice versa). I was to bring myself, my husband and my baby and arrive at 11 am sharp on Saturday morning the 13th. My assumption was that she must be the best if she is doing the interviewing!

That Saturday morning came and I nagged Charlie for awhile until he finally got up to get ready. I made him take a shower and put some 'church clothes' on and help me get Avery ready. Just as I was rushing to make sure we weren't late, I decided I'd call to let her know we were on the way. She says "Oh dear, hold on a moment, let me put this baby on the dryer." She goes on to explain that she keeps this particular baby all weekend long and that she was painting her house and if we could 'stand the fumes' we could come. (Don't ask me why a baby was put on a dryer for that? lol) Ya know when you get the feeling you're really not invited, but they're obligated? That's the feeling I got. I offered to reschedule and she was happy to accept. So the next Saturday came, but before we even got to it, we had the death in the family and the funeral was at the exact time of the appointment...not to mention it was in Vidalia. So, once again, we rescheduled.

On Tuesday, Avery has her weekly therapy session with a nice lady named Denise. I mentioned to her that we were going to meet 'some lady named Mrs. Ginger' and she immediately asked, "OMG off of Forsythe???" (which is where she lives) and I said, "Yep! Thats her!" She quickly told me not to bring Avery to 'that woman'. Apparently she had done therapy in her house with 2 year old twins a year or so ago and she said that Ginger would just let babies scream the entire hour she was there. The old hag would make comments like, "That baby is too spoiled" and "His mama holds him too much at home" and "You just have to make them learn not to cry!" Denise said it was ridiculous. She also said she had no idea there was a whole other room of toddlers in the back and that she never saw her husband, who is supposed to help. She went on to say that her friend had her little boy there and one day, out of the blue, Mrs. Ginger's hired helper called her house and said "Do not bring your little boy back to daycare." The mother, of course alarmed, went by to view the tapes from the video cameras. Unfortunately, Mrs. Ginger explained, the tapes must've ran out and she 'forgot to replace them' for the entire week. Hmmm....

If that isn't enough, Mrs. Ginger made it clear to me that she does not keep any baby past 18 months. I didn't think anything of it, just figured they get into too much and are a handful. Well, they also start talking very well after 18 months. As I mentioned earlier, Denise was doing therapy at Ginger's house with 2 TWO YEAR OLDS. They were twins. Guess what type of therapy? They weren't talking yet. I guess Mrs. Ginger could make an exception for two quiet kids. As soon as they begin to talk, they were 'graduated' to a daycare center where Ginger sends all of the other lil' talkers.

As you can imagine, I called Mrs. Ginger to cancel. I was interested to hear how she handled it, but all I heard was a strange old man's voice saying "You've reached 3**-2641, the place where we have lots and LOTS of FUN! Leave a message after the beep." So I politely declined the Saturday meeting and told her we were making 'other arrangements.'

Currently, those 'arrangements' are to beg Facebookers, Myspacers and Bloggers to help me find someone I know in Monroe who may be interested in stopping by every once in a while when needed. I think the perfect candidate is a college student from Vidalia, who I know, that can come on short notice for a few hours, a few times a month . The days and hours would vary and I'm willing to pay any amount per hour. If you can think of ANYONE, please leave a comment!

All of this said, I want to point out what a blessing it is that God provided both Charlie and I a job that is flexible. We actually don't "need" anyone, it would just be better to have a back up plan. Before I worked for the Admin group at Chase, I was a phone rep and there is NO WAY I would be able to have this schedule. Before Charlie worked at Accent he worked at Chase is there is NO WAY he could've kept Avery most of the day. Charlie started his new job the day Avery came home from the hospital, and I got my wonderful job in Decemeber. It's just amazing how God is always looking ahead to prepare you exactly the way that is needed. Another thing, if I wouldn't have called Ginger before we left the house that first Saturday - or if she would've asked us to come on - Avery would have been to her house a couple of times by now. I had a dentist appt and needed to schedule another. But God held us off just long enough to get his warning from Denise. Amazing, isn't it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wow - these are my 7-5 days so usually I end up bored to death for at least an hour but I have been busy, busy today! No time for the Ginger story...stay I did upload the pics I promised though!

Happy Birthday Gracie!

Mommy and her sweet angel...

Man, this is the LIFE!

The beautiful 20x20! Now we just need a frame...the one I picked out is $142! YIKES!

She's saying, "Gran gran...I can't believe you're leaving us. Did anyone run this by me first???"

This child loves her Gran-gran

What a happy girl...gosh I cannot believe she is EIGHT MONTHS OLD!

Cheezin it up for the camera...GOOD GIRL! : )

She LOVES chewing on the spoon, it cracks us up!

"Did somebody say sweet potatoes!!!"

At Nonna's Spa...all kicked back and relaxed
(And yes, she crossed her legs HERSELF we did not stage this...lil' miss priss!)

Weekend in Vi-Lou, Mark's new Iphone...Charlie's always makin' a deal with someone!

My lovely, spoiled rotten, sweet husband

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wow, it has been a while! Our computer crashed, which is such an inconvienence. A computer is not one of the 3 basic needs in life, I understand that, but after living without one for a week I can argue that it is a necessity. Wow, that sounds so spoiled. I cannot count the times that I've thought "Let me google that" and not been able to. From a phone number to have them pick up my trash (which they've failed to do for TWO weeks in a row now) to Charlie buying a new cell phone - EVERYTHING is impossible, or at least extremely inconvienent! I have no idea which bills to pay or what website to pay them at or what my username and password is at 18 different websites, I can't imagine how many emails I have, much less SPAM, and most importantly, I have been wanting to write blogs about everything from Palin to Prune Juice and now I'm sure I'll forget half the things I meant to write about - which I guess could possibly be a good thing! Oh did I mention I need to post an 'ad' on Myspace and Facebook for a babysitter? Yes - also impossible w/o a computer! Err....!!!!
As organized as I will try to make this - it is going to be a random blog - sorry!
First things first - the computer issue. Apparently our motherboard went out. We found out on Monday. It is a 2 year old Gateway - lesson learned: never buy a Gateway again. I can blame this on my husband who needs instant gratification and refused to wait a week to order a Dell online, insisting we go to Office Depot and pick one out. This is the same husband who just purchased his 6th cell phone in 2 1/2 years - a new Tilt (The IPhone just wasn't doing it for him. I still have the same one I bought 2 1/2 years ago and love it!) Talk about SPOILED. So the computer went out, which in Charlie's mind is a good thing, because he can now talk me into buying a laptop. Luckily, his company pays 1/2 of any computer purchased from Dell. That means we needed about $500 more. Guess what comes in the mail a few hours after we find out? A check for $500. God is so good! :) So we'll be computer shopping soon...any suggestions?
An unexpected trip - We didn't expect to go to Vidalia last weekend because Avery had just spent the week there. Sadly, one of Charlie's cousins died and we needed to make the trip so Charlie could attend the funeral. He was electrocuted on a drilling rig. Please keep his family in your prayers. He has 2 young daughters and his wife is expecting a baby boy soon. I just cannot imagine what she is going through.
Back to Avery - it seems like she does something new every day. Her new trick is rolling, and I don't mean rolling once and stopping. She rolls from one end of the crib to the other in no time! It is so cute. And she's doing much better with tummy time - as long as she rolls on her tummy and props herself up - if its my idea and not hers, forget about it. Uh oh - hope that's not an indication of whats to come! We had a good time in Vidalia (except for the funeral part). LSU BEAT AUBURN! Barely though. Thanks a lot can someone not behave himself for a few years to be able to sign a multi million dollar contract w/ the NFL? Don't ask me! While in Vidalia I got the newborn pics I ordered from Jami. They are amazing. I ordered a 20x20 collage and it is just beautiful. I am so pleased! I will take a pic of it soon and post it.
Congrats Calley! - My friend Calley is such a trooper. She had a water birth and gave birth to a 10 lb, 11 oz baby completely naturally!!! WOW. If we decide to try again one day, I think Calley has convinced me to try to go all natural. My mom was there to take pictures for Calley and she said it was the most calm birth experience she's ever seen or could even imagine. I think that is so awesome. Welcome Baby Amaus!
Congrats Steph! - In other baby news, my cousin Stephanie had a baby boy today. Her birth went a little differently - she had an emergency c section because the baby was breach. (After 9 hours of labor...yikes!) He is 7 lbs 8 oz and ummm...they still haven't decided on a name!
Stay tuned....Well, I'm typing this at work and its time to go so I'll finish tomorrow. I have quite an interesting story to tell about the lady who was going to keep Avery if we needed her as a backup. Lets just say we're back at square one and this time I definitely only want someone who can come to the house and preferably someone we know. Any ideas???
More tomorrow if I get a chance! And pictures too!
- Casey

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cloud 9!

Well my wonderful daddy gave me a surprise visit at work today...with Avery Grace in tow! I was SUPER EXCITED. I was realllly having some withdrawals and the plan was to go pick her up from them after I got off at 2:30 (meet them halfway), but he had other plans! It was great because it saved me the trip AND I got to go to lunch with dad, mamaw & papaw and AVERY! I was soooo happy! I am still on Cloud 9! Being away from her just for those few days makes me once again realize how blessed we are to have her in our life and how empty things now feel without her. She had a GREAT time at nonna and poppas and slept through the night both times. I was tickled pink! Nonna took lots of cute pics and videos. The two below are of Avery in a dress Jami gave her that Natalie used to wear. It is BEAUTIFUL.

In other news, my boss' last day of work was today : (
I'm excited for her because she has been promoted to be a stay at home mom : ) but I'll certainly miss her. It was great having a boss who also had a baby close in age (and even closer in development) to Avery. Of course, we talked about the girls every day! People are going to get tired of me talking about her :) Anyway, I am blessed to have another GREAT boss to report to - but I'm sure there'll be plenty of days where I still miss D. And now I have to learn how to stand up for myself and not always say 'yes' to everyone! Uh-oh!

I think Avery is a little annoyed to be in a!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sleep has arrived... the form of nonna and poppa! Avery went for a visit to Vidalia so that I could get some sleep and get some things done. I had a dinner w/ some coworkers last night and Charlie had to work so I knew it would be easier to have someone keep Avery. You never know how she'll do in a restaurant - its always a gamble! So last night I got some glorious sleep. I woke up about 3 times thinking 'she's crying' and realized it was a dog barking. I miss her like crazy though, things just aren't the same without her - even if it is just for a few days! I received an email from Avery this morning...apparently she slept all night for nonna and poppa!

I had second thoughts about her going b/c a rash came up on her shoulder on Thursday. It looked pretty bad to me so Friday morning I made an appt w/ one of my favorite people - Dr. Khanfar! He said that it may be infantigo and prescribed a cream to put on it. It's looking better already though. She got weighed while she was there and she was 15 pounds! I wanted to do a 'Happy Dance' right there in his office. We talked at length about her weight and he reminded me, once again, she should be compared to babies 13 weeks younger than her b/c she measured 13 weeks early at birth. Yeah - easier said than done!

I also figured since Hurricane Ike was headed more our way than to Vidalia - she may be safer there. I think 'he' did so much damage in TX, by the time it got to us it was no biggie. Some strong winds, a few sprinkles and tornado warnings all day long - but I still got everything done! YAY! Walmart was insane though - and out of everything. And gas spiked and now they're rationing it! If people wouldn't freak out, I think everything could remain normal - I guess so many people lost power here during Gustav - everyone was prepared this time. (Except us - fresh out of batteries and gas tanks both on 'E' as of Friday! AND WE STILL MADE IT OUT ALIVE - SEE WHAT I MEAN PEOPLE?)

Mom sent some pics of Avery from last night - and I'm also attaching pics of the rash - as I know you're so interested, lol. Actually, this blog serves as my medical journal as well, so if something ever comes up I can go find it on the blog!

Chillin at the crib...

We are trying to teach her to hold a bottle - as you can see, the high chair is doing most of the work!

The rash is on her right shoulder...not the greatest pic...ooops.

It amazes me how big she looks these days!

She really is a lil' smarty-pants (at least her momma thinks so!)

Playing at Nonnas...

...while mommy was trying to be brave and eat some Thai food - yikes!

Finally got to meet Mallory...well, outside of the NICU at least!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Help...I need SLEEP!

Thanks to everyone for their encouraging comments about our petite little Avery! After reading your comments, talking to other preemie moms on Nest Baby and talking to Dr. Khanfar's nurse, I feel much better! I keep posting her growth chart - which doesn't look so bad after all, but for some reason it disappears every time I post it. Anyway, now we have a new problem. : ) Well, not really a problem, just an annoyance I guess.

Avery slept through the night for months. She started doing it right after I went back to work in May and has done it ever since. About a month ago though she started waking up during the night. Some nights she just wants her paci (which is another good reason to wean them from their paci at 7 months!) But nights like we had last night get pretty tiring b/c I can't figure out what she wants. She is refusing to let me rock her to sleep lately - which is fine I guess, but last night she was up from 11pm - 3am and just would not sleep. Finally at 3am she gave up and then at a quarter till 5 my alarm went off. Lovely. I know she is probably teething so I gave her teething tablets. I don't feel comfortable with Baby Orajel yet b/c of some reviews I read online that scared me. I didn't try Tylenol either b/c she didn't have a fever and I don't like giving her meds unless it is COMPLETELY necessary. I did try Mylocon at one point, thinking it must be gas. We tried the swing, the bouncer, our bed, her bed, formula bottle, juice bottle, rocking, shushing, swaddling, changing her diaper (of course)...I mean everything I could think of. My mamaw suggested I give her some Tylenol and let her cry it out, but I just don't know if thats the answer. I know one thing: I NEED SLEEP TONIGHT. Any suggestions?

As tough as it was last night - she's still the most precious thing in the whole world....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Skinny Mini

Yesterday after work, since I got off at 2:30 b/c of my lovely new schedule, I decided it was a good chance to go to the doctors office and weigh Avery. Charlie had mentioned to me that she was looking skinny to him (and I had been thinking the same thing). My mamaw said babies go through growth spurts where they get longer and skinnier, and then will get fatter as time goes on. That probably is true, but I still thought it was weird that Charlie and I were both thinking the same thing. She weighed 14 lbs 6 oz. This was pretty shocking since she weighed 13 lbs 9 oz on July 15th. In almost 2 months she's only gained 13 oz. That is not very encouraging, as she is supposed to gain 1 oz per day which means she should've weighed over 16 lbs . I am contemplating whether or not to go to Dr. Khanfar this morning. We have also noticed that she is not drinking her bottles like she used to. She will eat one half or so of a bottle and then get restless and eventually refuse the bottle. We have introduced solids and she is eating 1/2 - 1 jar per day. My plan is to offer her a bottle basically all day long (since she won't eat a full bottle every 4 hours we might as well let her eat every time she will!) once she's done eating we can feed her solids. I'm hoping Charlie can try twice before I get home at 2:30 and I will try twice again with the solids before bed. If we do that we can probably get her up to 2 jars per day. I guess I will not get to a point for a long time where weight is not a concern. Its so funny because if I'm not thinking about how much weight I need to lose, I'm thinking about how much weight she needs to gain. Wouldn't a weight transplant be just lovely!?!

So please keep her in your prayers. She has gone from the 10th percentile down to the 5th on the growth chart. I will update everyone after I speak w/ the doctor.


I spoke with the nurse at Dr. Khanfar's office. She said that she charted Avery closer to the 10th percentile. She said she is still on her curve, so that I shouldn't worry. She said that babies will go through times where they eat less and especially with Avery b/c she is on a higher calorie formula and will get full faster. She said not to feed her too many solids b/c she gets more calories and nutrition from the formula. I feel much better after talking to her. : )

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Avery Can Sit!

Last night - on Sept 2nd - Avery sat on her own (for sure this time!) We did a lot of her exercises before, then I sat her up and let go and she stayed up this time! YAY! Of course I ran to grab the camera and took a few short videos before it cut off because of the batteries. (as usual). I'll post a few short videos of our success. I was thrilled! With every little accomplishment it seems bitter sweet. I am ecstatic that she is sitting but I know this means before I know it she'll be crawling, then walking, then graduating from high school! (ha, maybe not that quick!) I am so thankful for my little miracle, what a blessing she is to our family! We love you lil' Gracie - more than you'll ever know.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It wasn't so bad after all!

Well, today is the day that my work schedule changed. My grandparents had been keeping Avery for us in the hours before I got home (since Avery can't go to daycare per her pediatrician) but they don't live here, so that couldn't last forever. In 2 weeks we will be meeting with a sitter recommended by my boss and Avery will be able to go maybe once every 2 weeks for a few hours to give Charlie a break - or if something comes up and he has to go to work early, or I need to stay at work late. I thought it would be rough coming in an hour early (at 7 instead of 8) or that I would feel rushed having to leave at 2:30 and be home in time for Charlie to leave for work and make it by 3 - but it wasn't bad at all. Waking up earlier didn't phase me, and I had a very busy morning at work but got everything done before 2:30. I love having lots to do at work anyway - it makes the day go faster and I get a chance to multitask. lol. I made it home in plenty of time for Charlie to leave and he said he had no trouble getting ready for work with Avery. The best part? I get extra hours with Avery...YAY! That really makes me happy. As I'm writing this blog she's sitting in my lap, chewing her fingers and making cute little noises. Every once in a while she looks straight up at me with a wrinkled little forehead. Omg my heart just melts! We are going to run to Walgreens and then cook supper. Momma didn't get a chance to eat lunch and I'm starving!

Here is how I found Avery and her da-da when I came home today...too cute!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Videos from this weekend

Avery kept doing so many cute things this weekend so I kept taking videos! Here they are...

(Scroll down to previous post for blog and pics from the weekend)

This is a video of Avery doing her exercises. Because she was a preemie, her leg muscles are very, very tight making it hard for her to sit "Indian style". The Early Steps Therapist showed me how to exercise her legs so that her muscles won't be so tight and she can learn to sit. I noticed lately every time I do it, she laughs. I don't know what is so funny - maybe it just feels good to loosen up those muscles? Here is Nonna exercising with Avery...

Belly kisses from Nonna...she is giggling in this one too...I never can get enough of those giggles!

In this video, Avery is taking a bath in moms sink. Usually, I give her a bath in the kitchen sink, but it got stopped up this weekend so we did it in Nonna's bathroom. Avery loves bath time and she seemed to fit perfectly in the sink. I just thought it was too cute!

Avery's first LSU game!

We had a pretty busy weekend. Of course, any weekend that we get to watch the Tigers win is a good one. Avery got to watch her first LSU game, although she heard her momma going a little crazy when LSU won the National Championship, it was pretty dark in mommy's tummy, so she didn't get to watch a game until Saturday! She was all geared up in her "Grrr...I'm a little Tiger!" onesie. I couldn't find a pink one so it does look a little boyish - but it was LSU - so I'm sure she didn't mind a one time exception to our all pink, all the time rule! We went back to Vidalia Friday night since I had a hair appt Saturday morning - and the LSU game was rescheduled to 10 am - yuck! I thought if I waited until her bedtime she would sleep all the way - think again. She was doing good until her daddy called the car phone which comes through the speakers and woke her up! Then she cried about half the way, with me stopping 3 or 4 times (I lost count) and finally she fell asleep. The rest of the trip consisted of Avery snoozing and me praying, "God, please let her stay asleep - God, please let me stay awake!" For some reasons on Friday nights I am always so exhausted. Needless to say, no more Friday night trips to Vidalia. She was a little grouchy Saturday but I still managed to get some good pics and videos, I'm going to post them all in this one post, so its a ton of 'em. We also got to go to Avery's first bridal shower. My mom said I loved going when I was little. I hope Avery grows into that. She was a bit grouchy there too, but overall she did ok. I was glad to show her off to some of my friends from high school. And it was fun to catch up with them too. I hate that we live so far apart! The trip home went much better because Avery's nonna went with us and rode in the back with her, keeping her entertained. My mom and dad helped Mark move into his first house in Ruston. (btw, congrats Bulldogs on beating an SEC team...whoda thought?!?) Well, hope you enjoy the tons of pics and as many videos as I have the patience to upload! Stay safe during this Gustav mess and oh yeah, HAPPY LABOR DAY!

Laughing at Nonna

She loves her Uncle Josh...

All geared up for the game...

This was Avery's reaction when we found out the LSU game may be canceled next weekend, b/c of the weather!


Avery's first bridal shower...

Congrats, Kasey!

Beautiful Blue Eyes...

This is her "serious look"....

Avery and Poppa....

In the swing at Nonna's house...thanks to Uncle Mickey!
(If he keeps buying her toys like this, he may turn her into an Ole Miss fan! UH OH!)

Love these pics...she took a bath in Nonna's sink...(look at her holding on, SO CUTE!)

Perfect size for lil Avery...she loves a good bath...

...and she loves her Nonna too!

See...she does have hair!

Avery's only naked pic...

Those feet must be delicious!

One of Avery's new dresses from Bonnie...

The hat and booties came from Hope, who worked at the NICU... I remember thinking how huge they looked when we left the NICU! Now, look at those chubby lil feet fitting into her big girl shoes!

Videos to come... it only takes hours to upload them! Errrr.....