Sunday, February 22, 2009

What a week!

Well, we survived my first week back at work - I think! It was a TOUGH week!! New routines, I had sinus crud and not much sleep, but we are all still alive and kicking and realizing that another week starts tomorrow! Abby is doing an awesome job getting herself ready in the mornings! Stewart has promised her a Chucky Cheese trip if she keeps it up! She came in one morning all dressed and said, "Look, I"m even acting perky!" Ellie Kate is still doing great. She still has bouts with her reflux, but it's better. She's in a funky sleep pattern right now that's leaving me with only 4-5 hours of sleep a night, but hopefully she'll start stretching that out a little VERY soon! Stewart's mom and a lady from our church are watching her, so that is a huge relief!

Thanks to Mimi (my Mom)! She knew we had a tough week and she had a slumber party with Abby Friday night, and EK last night. It was great to only have one girl at a time and have some one-on -one time! We also had a family get together with my grandmother, aunt/uncle, and cousins last night. The kids had SO much fun! We have another cousin on the way soon - there is still some debate over a name, but I'll let you know :)

Right now my biggest struggle is within. I think the last two years of ups and lots of downs has gotten my defenses down. Add that to crazy postpartum hormones, and I've got a fight on my hands! The doctor said it's postpartum depression. Maybe so - but I'm pretty sure the Devil has jumped in with both feet as well!! I know the Lord is not the author of confusion and the Devil would like nothing better than for me to live in fear - fear that the unexpected will happen. Fear that something will happen to one of us or the girls. I know we all have that to some degree, but unfortunately our family has experienced the reality of that! What I need to concentrate on is that we have also experienced the comfort that only the Lord can bring during those times, and trust that HE will take us through whatever may come. All of this makes perfect sense as I sit here typing, but I have to find a way to trust that in my heart. Needless to say, this daily struggle is more exhausting than getting everyone to work/school, dinner, etc. Put it all together and I've got my hands full! My greatest desire right now is to simply find a way to lay down this struggle so I can enjoy this wonderful life the Lord has given me. I know He will help me in His time. I guess that's why patience is a virtue. :)

No time for new pictures this week - maybe next week will be a little less crazy!

Some friends of ours welcomed their first little girl this week - Maleah Brooke! She was born 6 weeks early and is in the NICU, but she is making great progress. She is already off the ventilator and they are going to start feeding her tomorrow. Please pray for her and her mommy and daddy - Deanna and John. This is their first, so you can imagine what this new adventure is like!

Hoping and praying for a better week........

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine Recap

WOW! What a weekend! I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day - we certainly did! The festivities started on Friday with Abby's party at school. I volunteered to do the cupcakes. I considered it my last hurrah as a stay at home mom! I can't take credit though - a sister from our church actually made them! They are the most to die for cupcakes with Suzie Q cream in the middle! My Weight Watcher points FLEW out the window with those!!

Here's a shot of Abby's valentines that she passed out! Our friend Marty, (see her blog, My Crazy Life), made the pictures for her - TOO cute!!

Valentine's Day was packed with FUN! The day started with a Mother/Daughter Princess Tea at Abby's Preschool. It was so cute! They had fancy tables set up and lots of activities for the girls. They had built in a great story about a princess who saved her first kiss for the perfect prince - not the one with strength, riches or romance, but the common man with kindness in his heart. It was too sweet! I really had no idea there were books with that theme written for children, but what a great message to start exposing the girls to!

We then moved on to a Valentines party at our church. Lots of activities and games. Here are some shots of Abby with her friends.

Where was Ellie Kate during all of this?? At home warm and snugly in her PJs with her Daddy!

Stewart had some surprises in store for me as well! That afternoon 2 dozen roses showed up at my door! Then his Mom came to watch the girls so we could go to dinner and the symphony! I remember the first time I ever went to the symphony. It was on Valentines Day when Stewart and I were dating. I surprised him with tickets that year because I knew he would love it, and this year he returned the favor! I have to admit - my sleep deprived state made it hard to not nod off a couple of times, but it was great! Since Stewart's undergrad degree is in music, he was totally back in his element! It was a great surprise!! What a great man I am married too :)

Well, this is it - back to work for me tomorrow! Stewart's mom is going to keep EK for us, so that is a huge relief. I'm dreading getting a new routine ironed out, but I know that after a few days it will seem like normal. I'll post more later - today I just don't want to think about it! :) I've got both girls at home with me and we are too busy having fun to think about tomorrow!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good Morning!

I promised some new pictures!! EK is doing MUCH better with her reflux so smiles have been plenty the last few days.
I think maybe she and Abby were singing in this shot!
Anyone have any ideas what to get a 10 week old for Valentine's Day?? Abby is easy - too easy really! I have to control how much I buy for her! But what in the world do I get EK? Stewart said formula - HA! They flavored her Zantac chocolate so maybe she thinks that is her twice a day treat!
We have a super busy weekend planned! And of course Tuesday is when I go back to work. I am going to get as much done as I can and enjoy my last few days! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weighing in at.....

13 pounds, 3 ounces!! Can you believe it! Ellie Kate had her 2 month checkup last week, and things look great! She has gained 4 1/2 pounds since Christmas Eve!! I think our pediatrician thought we had moved on from formula to Happy Meals! She passed all her checks with flying colors and even survived the shots without TOO much drama. Her biggest obstacle now is a terrible case of reflux. It seems like every baby I know has this now, but we're hoping that a combination of Zantac and lots of prayers from friends and family will do the trick! :)

Everything else around here is pretty much status quo. I am scheduled to go back to work next week (we're not talking or thinking about that right now :( ) so I am somewhere between being lazy and frantically trying to finish that "what I want to get done on maternity leave" list. I have been having some major ups and downs emotionally, but the support of my family is helping me through! I have been blessed throughout my life to feel fairly confidant in my ability to "handle" things with the help of the Lord. Recently, my body has reminded me that we've been through A LOT over the last 18 months, and it has been tough to admit that I just can't handle it all - all the time. I know with the help of my doctors, the support of my family, and the grace of the good Lord above I will survive this too! I'm starting to think that the Lord doesn't want us to get too comfortable in this life, but rather be in a condition to always remember to call on him for our needs.

Please check out my blog list and read about "The Macs". I stumbled on their blog from another one and it absolutely broke my heart. Their precious 9 month old was diagnosed with cancer 3 weeks ago, and died this weekend. Please pray for this family! Life is so uncertain - I'm glad the Lord is not!

New pictures soon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Girl Time & Thankful Cries

Tonight, Abby announced that we needed to have some "girl time". She gave Stewart a look, and he obliged and took Ellie Kate upstairs. She had evidently been planning it because she knew she wanted to play Candy Land and had even picked out pajamas that matched the board. (See earlier post about divas - I wasn't kidding!) We played, she won, and she was happy as a lark. How simple was that? I have been known to overdo things - too much planning, too many presents, looking to WOW things to make Abby have a great childhood. All she wanted was 15 minutes of girl time and a simple game of Candyland! I need to remember that! Being a big sister has had some ups and downs for Abby, but all in all I think she's handling it great!

I got to thinking about that later - maybe all the Lord would like from us is simple "girl time". I am guilty of thinking I need a lot of time to say the perfect prayer, or I need to accomplish GREAT things in order to be in His favor. I bet He would appreciate just a few minutes of uninterrupted time. It seems like I have had such enormous circumstances to pray for recently that it has escaped me that a prayer doesn't have to be anything earth shattering! A simple "thank you" for our many blessings and request to keep us in His will would conquer many of my daily struggles with the "stuff" we encounter in our lives. I'm preaching to the choir here - thanks for letting me straighten myself out!!

Here are some recent pics - Ellie Kate is a great smiler these days! She laughed out loud at her Baby Tad in her crib as I was laying her down for a nap over the weekend. She is struggling with reflux now, but nothing to get too excited about. Just pretty normal baby stuff from what I hear! She has her two month checkup Thursday, so I will be sure to post updates! There is also a shot of Abby at a skating party from this weekend.

We have just about finished her nursery. A girl we go to church with did the painting. She is AMAZING!! Let me know if you need her name and number - she can do anything you can dream up! It just gives me warm fuzzies to walk in there and look around. Not because it is so pretty (which I think it is), but mainly because it means I have a baby who needs a nursery. Seems like a simple thought, but when you've walked our road, these things mean more than words can say :) The other night on the way to church, Ellie Kate was crying and fussing, and I was a little edgy from getting everyone ready, running late, hoping she wasn't going to be like this through the whole service, worried about her reflux, etc. Stewart looked at me and said, "It doesn't bother me a bit when she cries. I kind of like it." After I gave him the "HUH?" look, he said "It means she CAN cry. We never got to hear that from Olivia." Wow - what a stopper! It never bothered me, but he has always regretted that we never heard Olivia cry. Sometimes it's just good to step back and take perspective on things. Today, I just sat and listened to her breathe, grunt, cry..........I never thought I'd be so thankful for cries!

One last thing (I know - I shouldn't make my posts SO long!!) - I just saw an interview with Ms. Meg on the 10:00 news! (In case you've forgotten, look back at the posts from last week.) I have always thought she was a great teacher. This makes me know she's also a great person :)