Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!

Ahhhh.... it's Christmas time...the BEST time of the year : )
After I get over the initial shock at how much needs to be spent on gifts, I relax and enjoy! I picked up a Christmas tree at Walmart yesterday. I decided to surprise Charlie instead of sending him out alone. Since Avery can't go, it's much easier for one of us to go than calling a babysitter so we can go tree shopping. Besides, I sent Charlie last year because I was tired and pregnant and he came home with an $80 tree that was 2 feet too tall. So, I decided it would be best to go ahead and do it myself this time :). It seems like I am already getting a little sad that Avery is on house arrest. Being around a lot of people at Thanksgiving was nice but it does make me nervous and (for the record) after our long weekend, Avery is now congested. Please pray this doesn't turn into anything serious! Some people probably think it's silly to be so protective over a 10 month old but it is very serious to us. I can't imagine breaking the rules and ending up in the PICU and that is a very real possibility with Avery's weaker immune system. So Thanksgiving, Christmas (and God forbid the doctor) will be the only times we venture out before April 1st. A week after that Avery will be chilling in Vidalia with Gran gran and mommy, daddy, nonna and poppa will be crusing to the Bahamas! We are so blessed because she is so perfect but I must admit I will breathe a huge sigh of relief and happiness when she is a 'normal' child and she can go Christmas shopping, out to meet Santa or to pick out a tree!


I am not going to let that get me down though because it is the BEST time of year! I love everything about Christmas: I love the Christmas carols on the radio, the beautiful decorations everywhere, the mall full of busy people, nativity scenes, buying the perfect gift, the Christmas play at church, the cold air, the hot cocoa and waking up to the smell of a fresh Christmas tree in the living room. I know I will add to this list as Avery gets older and I get to watch her enjoy Christmas. If she likes it half as much as her daddy and I, she will be very excited! She really seems to like the tree we put up and she likes eating the presents even more, which may be a problem if she starts crawling!




"I have an important call on hold, what is it now?!?"
I love this new thing she does...most of the time I go to get her out of the crib she is already peeking out waiting on me...so cute! Talk about house arrest...at least she isn't under crib arrest!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

So Thankful...

Well, as I said in a previous post I was totally slacking on the blog. Between the LSU game and a long weekend and then Thanksgiving - we literally unpacked one day and packed the next. So we have been on the road a lot!
We had a great Thanksgiving and I hope you and yours did as well. I have never had so many things to be thankful for in my whole life - the BEST family, a wonderful husband and the most precious, sweet little girl in the whole wide world! WOW! Looking back over this year I am continually amazed at all of the blessings and miracles. If anyone ever questioned whether there was a God...try having a 2 lb baby and watching her grow and become perfectly and wonderfully made!

Speaking of our little miracle...she got to try her very first table food. She got a few tiny bites of turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and even some dressing! She LOVED it of course, but I think she was on a sugar high! She was up the entire night. Thank God my mom was here to babysit on Friday (Charlie and I had to work) and she was a huge help - gotta love a good nonna!
I am finally looking forward to Christmas, instead of feeling behind, because I only have a few small things to pick up now. Oh yeah, and a Christmas Tree! I think once Avery sees that big tree - which is on the agenda for this weekend - with sparkling lights - she may decide its time to crawl...wouldn't that be a nice little Christmas present to her mommy!
And here are the tons of pics I am behind on posting! And btw, they're completely in backwards order which drives me CRAZY but you get the point!
Avery had a mini photo shoot while we were at the LSU game...
Mrs. Penny got some excellent shots!




We discovered the cutest thing ever! When Avery hears a horn honk she falls out laughing!
I'll post the video later. Here are some pics...she thought Gran gran was doing it, so no matter who was holding her she would look at gran gran and laugh!



We were so excited to spend time with Charlie's family too...his mom was in town for Thanksgiving. Here is Avery driving (with the help of her Mamaw!)


Loving some time with Granny (Charlie's mamaw)

Avery with Charlie's cousin Alicia


Kisses from Aunt Lindsey (Charlie's sister)


Family pic on Thanksgiving...

Uncle Josh helping Avery pull the wishbone...a Thanksgiving Tradition!

"What am I eating and why have I ever eaten anything else? THIS IS DELICIOUS!"

Another Thanksgiving Family Pic...



Fun time at nonna and poppa's house

Happy Birthday Poppa!
Sporting his new "HD Vision Wrap Arounds"
All I can say is YIKES!

LSU


The Golden Band from Tigerland!

Maybe this is why Charlie is such a huge LSU fan...
The Golden Girls!


Mike the Tiger!

"GO TIGERS..."
we cheered our little hearts out...

We snuck into the old Alex Box Stadium since it's the last we'll see of it...
LSU built a new baseball field and this will be tore down this year


The players on the way to the game....


Les Miles (the baldy in the dark jacket)


Too bad these aren't all football championships!
The billboard in Alex Box

On our way to TigerTown!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I have been putting off blogging a little bit. I think its because I have so much blogging to catch up on! We had a great time at LSU and Avery had a great time w/ nonna and poppa. I will post pics of the game later.





Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daddy's Interview

Tonight daddy had an important interview...with Avery! I don't think she was impressed with his credentials. In the video she is reviewing his 'resume'. hehe.

video

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Avery Updates

We saw the neurologist, Dr. Pena, yesterday. He said overall I have nothing to worry about. Avery's head measured a bit small (the curve - just like the one on a growth chart - wasn't completely smooth), but he didn't seem like it bothered him. He confirmed from the sonogram that if there was a bleed in the NICU it is gone now. We discussed Cerebal Palsy (sp?) and he said he looks for 3 things: muscle tone that keeps getting stronger and stronger, poor posture and no developmental progress. Avery's muscle tone is pretty strong but she has excellent posture and she is behind developmentally but is definitely making progress. So, he said we shouldn't worry...then he also said "I'll see you in 4 months." I guess when you have a 2lb baby the pediatric neurology and cardiology never ends! Oh well, better safe than sorry - as I always say - lol!

Other Avery Updates:
  • Avery loves bathtime. It is her very favorite time of the day. She lays back in the water and coos and loves to scratch her belly the whole time.
  • Avery is sitting a little bit more but the major development this week is that she is very close to crawling. She gets on all her hands and knees and rocks back and forth. She is already crawling backwards and can move both knees forward. As soon as she figures out how to put her hands in front of her, she'll be crawling like a champ! Time for babyproofing...Anyone have any tips?
  • Avery can pivot completely around with no problem at this point.
  • Avery definitely said 'mama' today with meaning (as Denise would say) which simply means that she really wanted me and knew who I was when she said it. She had PT today at 10 and then Denise at 2:30 so my poor baby girl was worn out. At one point while Denise was working with her, she stuck out her bottom lip, frowned, looked up at me and said "Ma-ma!" Of course, she was immediately saved by mama!
  • She can also say 'ga-ga' 'da-da' 'ba-ba' and something that sounds really close to 'ba-by'. She is quite the talker....can't imagine where she got that from?
  • She is a demanding little princess lately. I'm sure teething is the culprit, but as soon as we lay her down she screams like we pinched her! This makes for a worn out ma-ma and da-da. Especially when he gets one shift by himself and I get the afternoon shift by myself. But I am not complaining, life is WONDERFUL. I cannot imagine being more blessed.
  • I would like to point out that the very worst thing about being a parent is clipping fingernails. And its something that you can't even pay a professional to do. I mean, basically you could pay a nanny to keep the child all day, a doctor to keep the child fairly healthy, a physical therapist to keep her developmentally on track (the list could go on and on) but you cannot pay anyone to clip her fingernails. The pediatrician's office refuses. Heck, even the $10,000 a day NICU wouldn't do it. So - I'm thinking of opening my own business - Mommy & Me Spa - particularly for manicures and pedicures for mom and baby. Oh yes, and baby massages too (which is also one of Avery's favorite things!) The only problem is, there is NO way I'm attempting to clip someone child's fingernails. Hmmm???
  • Last but NOT least - and yes this is the most random post of the year - I have met a wonderful mom/business woman, who designs the CUTEST birthday party invitations (among other events, I'm sure) She only sells through Ebay but email her - ksrieffer@yahoo.com -and let her know what you're looking for and she'll be more than happy to help. She was just GREAT. I would highly recommend her. Of course, if you'd rather have picture invites then Jami is the place to go!

Sorry no pictures tonight, it is 10 minutes past my bedtime. Yes, I am old. Yes, I am okay with that fact. :o) Good night everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Can you believe its already Monday again? Me either! That means Christmas will be here before we know it! Only 5 more Monday's till' Christmas.! Yes, its definitely time to start shopping.


So here goes with Not Me Monday...try to come up with some of your own this week...its a lot of fun once you get started!

1. Today, during Avery's neurologist follow-up, I did not scribble on the sign in sheet "Waiting in the hall" b/c there was another child in the waiting room.

2. I did not pace the hall with a grouchy baby trying to shush her for what seemed like an hour until I convinced myself that because I wasn't in the waiting room, I'd been skipped. I most certainly did not go back into the waiting room only to hear that same child let out a loud, nasty, RSV-filled cough. Of course, I would never bolt out of the room like there was a fire, completely forgetting the diaper bag. I did not hide in the hallway and peek around the corner to see when the lil' cougher was called back. Am I turning into a completely germaphobic, paranoid preemie mom - NO NOT ME!

3. I did not just roll my eyes while listening to a well intended older relative tell me for the hundreth time that "Avery will do everything when she's ready...so there is no need to push her" (push her = allowing the therapist to work with Avery once a week, or going to any doctors appt for that matter).

4. I did not spend at least an hour and post a question on three different websites trying to figure out how to make it clear on Avery's bday invites that if you're not healthy you're uninvited! By the way, the winner is the creator of the invites - who is so great I will be blogging about later and here it is "To keep our little princess well, Healthy guests are royally swell!" How cute is that?

5. I did not, once again, put off Christmas shopping even though nonna and poppa were at my house and very willing to babysit. I would never procrastinate!

6. I did not actually believe that I was going to purchase a brand new $300 Britax Car Seat for a grand total of $46 through Target's website last night. I was not fooled, along with thousands of other angry moms, with are 'Order Confirmation' emails in hand. We did not flood the Target call center with complaints. I did not get rude with the customer service rep who couldn't have cared less and I am certainly not still waiting on her supervisor to call me 'within the hour' - 3 hours later. Do I love a good deal and hate missing out on one? Nah, not me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Party Planning Galore...I Need YOUR Help!

So I have decided on a theme for Avery's 1st birthday: Lil' Princess! Because it is January 21st, we will not be inviting any children, except her one and only cousin: Bram. Other than that it will only be parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and Cousin Bram! Since there aren't many children I'm going to do finger foods: tiara shaped sandwhiches, chips and dip, etc. Probably some chocolate covered strawberries and of course CAKE AND ICE CREAM! Avery's cake is going to be made without any wheat/dairy/egg and I'm going to have Edna (our favorite baker) do a fabulous cake for the adults. I'm not sure just how though. But I'm sure I can google some that I love.
Here's where you come in! On the invites I want to make it completely clear that if you even THINK you're sick, please don't come. Of course it needs to sound nice and catchy. One cute idea from the nest baby was "Well wishers only, please!" I like it but I just don't know if its clear enough. I much prefer "If you even THINK you're sick. (I'm talking if you sneezed a week ago) - don't you DARE come." And yes, that is way to harsh! LOL. So please comment and let me know your ideas. If one person has some amazing idea that I end up using, I will be mailing you a prize! I know some people read the blog (Beverly, grandma, Bonnie, etc.) but never comment. It is very easy to leave a comment - you do not have to have a Google account. Simply click on the number of comments showing at the end of the blog (ex: 0 comments) then click next to "Name/URL". Just type your name (the URL is not necessary) and the comment and click "Publish Comment". So give me your BEST ideas! And thanks in advance - I REALLY appreciate it!
The Invites:
This is where I need your help!

The party supplies:


The Highchair Decor:



Avery's Princess outfit (unless I find another, cuter or warmer one!)


Thanks for Your Prayers!

We visited Dr. K first thing Saturday morning. He checked out both of her ears and said they were perfect! YAY! He said he has many parents that come in if they see the baby tugging on their ear, but Avery probably just 'found' her ears. He said the fever was probably from immunizations. I really think she is finally teething (almost 10 mnths and no teeth!) and I read somewhere that babies may pull on their ear when they're teething too. In other GREAT news, he was impressed with her weight gain -a whole pound since our last visit (which was less than a month ago!) She weighed in at 16 lbs 14 oz! I was so excited!!! He said I could start Stage 2 foods (which I already did) and gave me some other great advice. Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE him?


Nonna and poppa visited yesterday and we had lots of fun. Avery really attempted crawling for the first time and of course by the time I got the camera, she wouldn't really do it again. I am looking forward to this week. I leave work early Thursday and we're going to Vidalia Friday. Saturday we're going to Baton Rouge to watch the LSU vs. Ole Miss game and we're staying all weekend so I can start/finish? (yeah right, finish!) Christmas Shopping. I took off Monday too, so we're going to have a nice, long weekend! Avery will be staying with nonna and poppa. At first, the plan was to bring her but I don't see the point in bringing her to a hotel (filled with people - possibly germ-filled sickly people, lol). I really don't want her to be out on campus because its just too cold. So thank you to nonna and poppa who are missing out on the game. Aren't grandparents WONDERFUL!

I am working on her first birthday party right now and getting pretty excited. I need some help though so I'm going to post about that next. Enjoy your weekend!


Sitting like a BIG GIRL!



Looking at her nonna...


She's finally got some hair!


She loves her nonna!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Here We Go Again...**EDITED**

So the shots didn't go as well as I hoped. Avery ran fever from Wednesday night until Friday morning. She slept fine Wednesday night but didn't sleep at all last night. I was going to take her to the doctor but Charlie said she wasn't running fever when she woke up this morning and she acted normal all day. She was basically the same with me this afternoon, except she did a few strange things. She touched her ear a few times and she did this weird thing where she shook her head to one side a few times. I've never seen her do it before. I also noticed she was sucking her paci really hard - it was making a lot more noise than usual. So I'm thinking it must be an ear infection and that would explain why the fever lasted so long and why she didn't sleep last night. I guess we'll go to Dr. K in the morning, that way I don't have to take off of work to take her and she doesn't have to go through the weekend if it is an infection. Better safe than sorry, right? The only thing I wish is that the pedi's office gave us frequent flyer miles or something. I guess free formula every time is our little 'bonus'. Thank God for good insurance. So please say a prayer for Avery and if you think I'm a mommy hypochondriac, then please let me know!

***EDITED***
So I just typed this blog. Sort of a gripey blog, right? I was in a bit of a gripey (sp?) mood. Why, I thought, are we at Dr. Khanfar's office every other weekend? We are not bringing her to daycare, we take every precaution, why isn't she just healthy??? And then I went through my list of blogs and came to Bring the Rain, which by the way, even if you are not a blog stalker, you should read. You will be inspired. You will laugh and you will cry. Anyway, halfway through this post I was crying, just weeping. And I realized how blessed I am. I realized an ear infection is not a major life event. Avery is a miracle. Her fragile life could've been so easily taken from us. So many little things could've gone differently and she would've been gone. I can't imagine the grief.

It also made me think about our loss in 2006. That empty feeling that came over me when I found out his little heart wasn't beating. How much emptier it felt after the surgery when he was just gone. Thank you Jesus that you can fill that void. Thank you for your many blessings. Forgive me for where I look at the small picture, instead of the big one. Thank you for your tremendous protection over my family. Praise you, Jesus...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shots Today

Avery had her shots today. She got 4 total, which included the flu shot. We are on a delayed immunization schedule. I decided that would make me feel a lot better since she is still so small. These were her 6 month shots. She has to go back in 30 days for the follow up flu shot. Charlie was off tonight, so he was able to go with me and that was such a big help. That way, Charlie and Avery waited outside the small waiting room full of kids (and germs!). She did very, very well. She cried when she got the shot but Charlie was waiting outside and as soon as he heard her crying he came in to calm her down. As soon as that child saw her daddy she was a happy camper and has been so ever since! (see pics below). I gave her Tylenol hoping that it will keep any fever she may get down and I think it made her hyper! I know that sounds crazy, I thought usually Tylenol made kids tired but she is BOUNCING off the walls. Maybe it was something in one of the shots? She is in her jumperoo right now loving every minute of it.
Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll. I called Dr. Khanfar and made sure to carefully explain everything (that she is already getting immunizations and Synagis and that she is not exposed to many people). But he said he still felt the risk was too high and that a flu shot was best. So now we're all covered. Charlie got his a few weeks ago and a mean old nurse at CVS Pharmacy told him he was nothing but a big ole wuss. HA!

Right after the shots...

Daddy's Girl...

I love this one, you can really tell how happy she is to be playing with 'da-da'