Thursday, June 30, 2011

Night Owl

Madeline has had a couple of rough nights this week. The night before last I put her in these super cute PJ's my mom got her. I had no clue how relevant those PJ's would be to our night! I put her down at 10 and she started this heartbreaking, get me up cry. I am not afraid to let her cry herself to sleep but this cry was different. It was an "I am gonna choke myself crying if you don't get me up" kind of cry. So I got her up, gave her a bottle which she drank and then she played on the floor like it was noon! She played until 11 and then finally fell asleep around 11:15. She woke up screaming again at 4am so I got her up, gave her another bottle and rocked her. She seemed so sad. I put her back in her bed around 4:30 but she woke up and it started all over again. Finally at 5:15 I put her in my bed and held her close and she snoozed until 7 when I had to get up. I am going to sound crazy but it made me miss the days when she slept right next to me. It made me miss how my arm used to fall asleep because it was stretched out so she could lay on it. It also gave me a little flash of future nights when she's older and has a bad dream or is scared during a storm and wants to be with me. I had to write about this because I just want to remember the feeling of her snuggling right up next to me and falling fast asleep. It is one of the sweetest feelings there is. Everyone thinks about how hard it is to be the mom getting up in the middle of the night with the baby, but I think God give mothers special little blessings for taking on that role. Whether its the way they look at you, the sweet sounds they make, or just knowing all they want is to be with you, I have never felt more blessed than I do being a mom...even at 4am!


Yesterday was a horrible day! Terry has been working nights and since I started keeping kids, our life has been more than stressful. Terry was supposed to come off the night shift in three weeks and his supervisor told him last night that he would be on nights indefinitely. I feel like our life has just been one huge adjustment after another since November, and yesterday I felt pretty desperate to just have a "normal" life for once! Since November we have moved, gone down to one income, bought a house, had a baby, Terry has changed jobs and gone back to shift work. So I was feeling pretty overwhelmed yesterday when Madeline woke up from her nap. I went in to get her and this is what I found. Every time I get her up, either in the morning or from a nap, she is all smiles. She sits up now and reaches for me! When I got her up yesterday, I had to stop and count my blessings. I have SO much to be thankful for!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Toys, Toys, Toys

I am a little obsessive when it comes to Madeline. Since I was pregnant, I have worried about what she will wear, how secure is her car seat, does her headband match her outfit, etc. So I have been somewhat selective when I buy her toys. I try to buy "educational" toys. Now that she can move, she selects her own toys. Today her choice of toys is quite impressive -- a pair of folded socks, a take and toss bowl, and a video game! She seriously played with these for a good half an hour! Sorry for the poor picture quality -- iPhone pics with a baby on the move don't come out so hot!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baby Dedication

Today was Madeline's baby dedication. We have been wanting to do it for a while, but this Sunday was the first Sunday everything worked out for everyone. Our pastor, Chad, and another pastor, Bob Elliott did the service together. The service was SO nice. Madeline was pretty well behaved. She did get Terry's piece of paper before it was all over though. That girl LOVES paper!!! Each of the babies their own Bible with their names engraved on them. It is Madeline's very first Bible. Terry got up during the service and made a pledge to be the spiritual leader of our home. Our pastor started talking about what a blessing children are and I got a little emotional thinking about what a blessing Madeline has been to us. I just could never show enough gratitude for the gift God has given us in Madeline. She is so sweet and I melt every time she smiles at me. My prayer is that she will grow up to love Jesus and find a Godly husband one day. I am so thankful to be part of a church who loves children and is focused on helping parents raise them to love and follow Christ. We took several pictures -- they're in no particular order!

Madeline with Pastor Chad and Pastor Bob

Madeline with Pastor Bob

Madeline with our music minister, Robert

Our little family

Me making some kind of crazy face

This looks like it was taken during a song...not sure though

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baby Doll, Blankie, Teddy Bear....OR The Incredible Hulk

For Gizmo's third birthday we had an Incredible Hulk party. I got him this Incredible Hulk doll that he never really liked but somehow its made it through a few moves and is still around. Since I started keeping kids a few weeks ago, it has made its way into the baby toys. Well, Madeline LOVES it! She "holds" it, rolls on top of it, and smiles at the sight of it. The other day she was crying and one of the kids I was keeping told me, " I tried everything. I even gave her the Incredible Hulk doll." I think we may have a problem! Hulk may be spending lots of time with us until she outgrows him! :)

In other Madeline news, on Saturday night she got up on all fours and started rocking back and forth! I am afraid she is not far from crawling and I am so not ready!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Proud Wife

Yesterday morning I was on the base early and there was a big ceremony about to start. There were hundreds of men and women in their blues (literally the blue uniform for my non-military readers). I had this overwhelming sense of pride come over me to be married to a member of our military. Terry has sacrificed countless dinners at home, has never had a normal sleep schedule, fought in Iraq, and put up with more junk than any one person should have to at work. I am so proud of him! It doesn't hurt that he looks super cute in uniform! :) I love you so much, Terry Wayne and I don't tell you enough how proud I am of you!!!

*Both of these pictures are from when he was in Iraq -- the bottom one is Terry sitting on some of Saddam's furniture in the palace!*

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Journey to Madeline

For this child I have prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I have asked of him...

1 Samuel 1:27

I wanted to do a post about Madeline's birth but I thought I would first do a post about our journey leading up to her. Terry and I married in 2003 when I was just 19 and he was 21. CRAZY! Our parents attempted to talk us out of it to no avail. We moved to Maryland just two weeks after our wedding. I remember being scared out of my mind. His parents drove our U-haul but literally had to drive us there and drop us off to get to Terry's sister's graduation from boot camp. We had lunch at a Pizza Hut in Laurel (a town which we later found out is not super safe) and they left. I bawled like a baby...seriously sobbed. We had no place to live yet because the paperwork was being processed by the military to show Terry was married so he could get housing allowance. So we couldn't do anything ahead of time since the world revolves around "paper". To make matters even better, we had towed my car (a stealth 1995 Ford Probe GT) because the engine was blown. We ended up getting a house on base that same day and when we pulled up to the house, I seriously felt like I was going to be living in a castle. It was an OLD townhouse but had been redone on the inside. It was my dream home at the time -- all Terry and I wanted was to be together. Sometimes I miss those days!

Anyway, so married life was harder than I ever imagined but we were making it! In 2005 I found out I was pregnant. I hadn't been feeling great and I took a test and got a faint positive, but a positive. We went to the doctor that Friday and they confirmed it. I was terrified... I went home and cried for 3 hours -- literally. I just felt like we were SO young and unprepared. The next day we went hiking with our friends and then to a movie. I still remember Terry standing at the concession stand telling the girl he needed a Sprite because I was pregnant and couldn't have caffeine! So sweet but I am sure that girl thought he was crazy! The next morning we went to breakfast and I was really not feeling well and by the time we got home I was cramping. I miscarried later that day. Miscarrying is tragic but the worst part for me was when I went to the doctor and they told me it happens to everyone, you weren't that far along, you'll get pregnant again, your body wasn't ready, etc. They totally negate the fact that you were carrying LIFE that has died. I was heartbroken. I decided God knew we weren't ready and I was ok with that. I had no idea what was in store for us.

In 2008 I was working for a mortgage company processing loans. I was on my lunch break with one of my friends ( I miss her so much since we moved) and we decided I should get a pregnancy test. We had been talking about it all week since I was late and decided to see. So I bought a test and took it in the bathroom of Safeway. It was positive and I thought I would fall over! We have never used birth control and always kinda assumed we would need help to get pregnant. So I called Terry ecstatic. I just knew this was our time! My grandmother had passed away a few months earlier very suddenly, and I thought somehow God was helping me heal with this pregnancy. My grandmother had twin girls before my mom and aunt were born. They were born premature and they both passed away shortly after they were born. My Mamaw really helped me heal from my first miscarriage. Anyway, so I came home from work to a balloon bouquet, flowers, and bear with our names on it, and The Simpsons movie. Clearly, the movie was for Terry but he put it with all my gifts anyway! He was beside himself! The next day I started bleeding -- bad. We went to the emergency room and they told me I was miscarrying. I followed up with my doctor the next week -- again this happened on a Friday. My HCG levels were still rising so they did an ultrasound to determine that I was pregnant with twins, one of which had not survived. I was devastated and so hopeful all at the same time. So we monitored my levels to be sure everything was going ok and it did for about a week and a half. I continued to bleed off and on and I went in for another ultrasound a week and half later. There was no heartbeat -- nothing. The doctor so kindly told me, we can give you something to abort this now or you can just wait it out but you're going to miscarry. I thought I was going to have a mental breakdown. I refused to take anything to abort my pregnancy but within 24 hours or so I was miscarrying again. I was starting to become so bitter.

A few months after that miscarriage, Terry got orders to Iraq. It was a good distraction for us. I got laid off about 6 weeks before he was set to deploy and I waited to go back to work until he left. We had so much fun that summer. I felt closer to him than I ever had before. He left in July of 2008 and came home March 12, 2009. We went to Jamaica when he came home and literally had the time of our lives! We had gotten involved with church and had an awesome homegroup we went to every other Friday night.

In July 2009 we were sitting in homegroup and I started getting this terrible pain on my left side. I began to sweat and had to double over it was so painful. It wasn't long before I had to excuse myself. We were thinking maybe a cyst had ruptured on my ovary but weren't sure so we headed to the ER. When we got there the doctor thought my appendix may have been causing my pain so they did some bloodwork and had me drink this stuff so they could do a CT scan. They were also going to check my ovaries to see if anything had ruptured. As I was drinking the stuff for the CT (you have to wait 45 minutes after you drink it for the scan) the nurse came out and called me back to an exam room. She congratulated me and told me I was pregnant. I burst into tears because I knew what pain plus pregnancy meant. They sent me home -- again this was on a Friday. It was a long weekend and I followed up on Monday with my doctor. The next morning, I woke up around 5am in excruciating pain and bleeding. I had miscarried once again. I decided I could become really bitter or I could try to see what purpose God was trying to accomplish through me. The ladies in my homegroup were kind enough to invite me to join their Monday night Bible study.

Those Monday nights would change me. I looked forward to them every week and they made Mondays such good days. These women prayed for healing. I went back to school that semester to complete a couple of pre-requisites I needed to get into the nursing program. I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life and I just thought maybe Terry and I weren't meant to have children of our own. I had made peace with the fact that we would probably be adopting our children. I have always loved kids and been involved with them through work or church. I figured God chose this for me because He knew I could love an adopted child like it was my own child. I did decide that I wanted some answers though. I switched my insurance to Johns Hopkins and in December of 2009 started the journey to find out why I couldn't carry a pregnancy. Side note -- I had been seeing military doctors this whole time and each time the answer was the same -- you're young, you'll have more children, at least you know you can get pregnant, blah, blah, blah. I was tired of hearing that -- these were my babies not some embryo that meant nothing. Anyway, I was diagnosed with PCOS or poly cystic ovarian syndrome by the doctors at Hopkins. I had several uncomfortable procedures done and everything looked good but there is just a higher percentage of miscarriage with PCOS. I had an appointment to see a reproductive endocrinologist on April 30, 2010 to discuss treatment options.

On April 17th, 2010 I was grocery shopping late at night. I was in the frozen foods aisle picking out my lean cuisines for the following week's lunches and I felt sick. Really sick.. mouthwatering, food coming up kind of sick. I ran to the bathroom and puked. I called Terry and told him I may need him to come get me. I managed to finish grocery shopping and decided to pick up a pregnancy test just in case. I took it when I got home and right away it was HOT pink. I took the other one just to be sure and got the same result. I cried hysterically -- I didn't want to miscarry again right as I was hopefully about to get some answers. I went to the doctor that Monday and they drew blood. They decided to take blood every other day to be sure the HCG was rising -- its supposed to double every 48-72 hours. They also put me on progesterone twice a day. It was awful waiting for those results. My Bible study ladies covered me with prayers and encouraged me daily. I will be forever grateful for their prayers. A couple of weeks went by with good numbers and they did my first ultrasound. They did it early with hopes of seeing a heartbeat. It was too early but we got to see the sac. It was so exciting but still nerve racking at the same time. The baby measured 5 weeks and 5 days at that appointment. I would have to wait until 8 weeks for another one. I prayed to God -- please let me carry this baby. I dont care if I puke every single day but please provide a miracle. Be careful what you pray for -- God may answer. I started puking 2 days later. At 8 weeks we saw a heartbeat and the most perfect baby I had ever laid eyes on. I cried and cried. I called my mother in law to tell her and I couldn't speak I was so excited. I was so nauseous and puked every day twice a day for the first 6 months. I puked the entire pregnancy, even the day I had her -- twice! I did go down to once a day after 6 months and the last month it was only 3-4 days a week.

When I was 5 1/2 months along we got orders to San Angelo, Texas. I was devastated. All of these people had prayed for this baby and for me and I was going to deliver her just a month after we had to move. I had the perfect doctors in Maryland and my brother lived just an hour away - it was going to be the perfect scenario for us to bring her into the world. But God had other plans for us. So we moved across the country when I was 8 months pregnant. I found an amazing doctor. At 37 weeks, I didnt feel the baby move for an entire day. I went to the hospital and everything was fine, but they did an ultrasound in the office the next week just to check on everything. They did a 4d and a regular ultrasound and told me I needed to meet with my doctor after the completed the ultrasound. My doctor told us that they thought the baby had a cleft palate. I was devastated but Terry kept reminding me of all the things that could be wrong, a cleft palate could be fixed. He helped me regain some perspective. A few weeks later, I still had not had her so my doctor set me up to be induced at 6pm on December 27th. That same morning we had another ultrasound that showed a perfect nose and mouth on our sweet girl. We were so excited and couldn't wait to meet her. She made her debut at 11:27 on December 28, 2011!

I thought a lot about whether or not to put this on my blog. My hope is that my journey shows God's faithfulness, and how even though He may not lead us down the easy path, He does hold onto us during the hard times. I wanted to let go so many times over the years and He holds on. I believe Madeline is a miracle. I cherish every moment I get to spend with her -- even the ones in the middle of the night. I love her with all my heart and am so thankful for her. I could also never express the love I have for Terry. He stood by me, wiped my tears, and held me when I cried. He also bought me a few puppies along the way! :) As my Dad says, God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

*Sorry for the super long post with no pictures...the uploading thing was down*

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthday Boy!!!

Happy, Happy, Happy FIRST Birthday to my sweet Lukey! I can't believe you have been here a whole year already! Aunt Lissa and Uncle Terry love you SO much and wish we could be with you to celebrate! Madeline truthfully would be most interested in your cake and ice cream! We love you sweet boy!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


So this weekend was my first weekend keeping a couple of kids for one of our neighbors. His wife is deployed and he has to work 12 hours every other Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So my day starts around 4:30 these weekends -- that's right FOUR! I never see that hour unless I have to catch a plane! Anyway, the money is good and the kids are super sweet and truthfully, I feel sorry for the guy. It must be so hard to be in his position (and his wife's too -- I can't imagine being away from Madeline for a night much less 6 months!) We spent most of yesterday running errands and playing outside. Today we went to church and then came home to rest. We watched a couple of movies and before I knew it, 6 o'clock was here. This little cutie was so good all weekend!!!

One of the errands we ran yesterday was to Walmart to get this lovely deck decor! The flies here are OUT OF CONTROL! I would rather see a roach -- even a flying hissing roach over a house fly! They are so nasty. I watched this documentary on Animal Planet a few years ago about the top 10 most disgusting insects and flies were #1 on the list. Seeing as how they sit and eat you know what all day, its no wonder they are the most disgusting! So outside we have these awesome fly ribbons -- they work really well even though they are pretty gross. And inside we are constantly spraying this poison spray -- it says that it kills on contact but that's not entirely true. They fly around for a little while and then die. So I am paranoid about dead flies and poison. I feel like I am forever sanitizing after we spray! Sorry for the long post about flies but it is weighing heavily on my mind today! hah

While the kids were resting today, I busted butt and cleaned the house. It drives me nuts when the house is a mess and with having kids here ALL weekend, the floors desperately needed to be cleaned really well. While I was at it, I just cleaned everything but our room where Terry was sleeping! I am a little bit of a neat freak and decided today I will have no more than 2 children! haha Anyway, the point of all that is that when the kids got up from their naps we went outside for a while. We came back in to watch a movie and the front door opened and in walked Terry with these! I love, love, love random acts of romance! I didn't think I did anything out of the ordinary really but it is so nice to be shown that you are appreciated!
Tonight Terry's friend Rick came over. They went to combat training together in 2008 and have been good friends ever since. Rick is here on a military assignment for a week or so and he came over tonight to watch the Heat and Mavericks game. He got to meet Madeline for the first time! He has been such a good friend to Terry and it was so nice to see him! Overall, it was a pretty good weekend!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summertime Sweetie

I realize its technically not summer BUT when every day the temperature is 100+ degrees outside, I say it's summer! Last weekend we got a pool for Madeline and we have used it almost every day since we bought it. We kinda thought she would like it since she likes her bath so much, but this girl LOVES the water! I hope she stays that way! I don't think there is anything cuter than a baby in a bikini! She has done so many new things this week including sitting up by herself and saying "mama"! I should have done her 5 month post 2 weeks ago but here it is! :)

My Sweet Madeline,

You are 5 (and a half now) Months Old!!!

You weight about 15 1/2 pounds - we'll find out exact numbers at your 6 month appointment later this month!

Mommy bought you a size 6 month bikini and it was WAY too tight! You are wearing 12 month bikini's in these pics -- they're a little too big but there are no in between sizes! You are still wearing size 6 months clothes but we are easing our way into 9 month and all your pajamas are 6-9 months!

You wear a size 2 shoe and diaper!

You LOVE getting a bath still and you LOVE your pool!

Your hair is getting long on top and sticks up now! You have also figured out how to take off your headbands and take the flowers off of them! :(

You babble ALL the time and just said Mama on Tuesday! You have no idea what you are saying but I am counting "Mama" as your first word. I have only been trying to get you to say it since we brought you home from the hospital! :) You still squeal and scream when you're happy, mad, or frustrated! You are constantly making me laugh! You also grunt a lot -- Daddy says you get that from me!

You love your new Jeep (walker), your exersaucer, and occasionally you will still sit in your swing. You really don't care for your Bumbo seat or bouncy seat unless you're eating. You're also not a big fan of your high chair. You prefer to be on the floor playing!

You are army crawling now and rolling everywhere! You like to be on the move!

You love to eat still! Your favorite foods are bananas, peaches, yogurt, and sweet potatoes. You are breastfeeding some and on some formula.

Finally, YOU ARE SLEEPING ALL NIGHT!!! You go to bed around 10pm and sleep until around 10am!

You are changing on a daily basis and are starting to show some personality! You laugh at the dogs all the time but Daddy and I still have to work to get you to laugh! You are so sweet and cuddly! Time is going too fast and I want you to stay little forever!! I love you with all my heart!

Charity Golf Tournament

Terry, along with our friends Adam and Casey played in a charity golf tournament last Friday. They decided to dress up like...can't think of an appropriate words to describe how they looked so I'll just post pictures! They won first place and each got a gift card to Academy. Terry was kind enough to let me use his to get some new running shoes!

First Word

So I am not sure when you can actually count the first word but Tuesday night Madeline started saying "mama mama mama". I know she has no clue what she is saying BUT I do believe technically "mama" counts as her first word! Sorry about your luck, Terry! :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Update from Monday

My doctor called and said I had a giant cell tumor of the tendon sheath. Apparently not uncommon on the fingers or back of the hand but not very common on the palm of the hand. He said it will probably grow back but there's no way to know how long it will be before I see another one. I really couldn't care less how many times it comes back as long as it's not cancer.

What is really sick is that I have had a tough day today and I literally just had the thought "if I could only be rich and skinny". How disgusting is that? I found out just one day ago that I don't have cancer, I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter, an amazing family, great friends, a nice house, more things than I will ever need...I could go one for pages but I won't -- you get the idea. I have SO many blessings, and yet, I am so ungrateful. I should be shot as my Pap would say. So I am going to go to bed and pray. First, I will ask for forgiveness and then I am going to ask for help like I probably should have done a couple of months ago. Maybe I should start asking what God wants from me rather than what I want from God. So now that I have been brutally honest and publicly chastised myself, I am going to bed - AFTER I pray! :)

*I promise I will have a long post tomorrow ALL about Madeline and not about me! *

Monday, June 6, 2011

I have so much to post about Madeline but I can't find the camera cord right now so I figured I would do a little post about my hand procedure last week. I had this weird lump show up on the palm of my left hand back in February. I didn't think much of it until it doubled in size and started to bother me a little bit. I went to my primary doctor who said she had never seen something in the palm like this and I needed to have it removed. She referred me to a dermatologist who I saw Thursday. He thought it was just a cyst and offered to remove it under local anthesia on Thursday. I hate going to the doctor so I agreed to let them do it in the office. So they numbed my hand which hurt like crazy and then went to town removing the mass. They punched a hole in my skin and then cut it off. Then they cut the mass out of my hand and sewed me up. I watched the whole thing but I must not have looked very good considering how many times they asked if I was ok. Its just weird to feel someone cutting something out of your hand and watching it at the same time. I couldn't feel pain but I could feel the pulling and tugging and snipping while they were trying to get it out. Madeline just sat in stroller during the whole thing drinking her bottle. She is such an angel! I went by myself because Terry was already leaving work early Thursday night for a charity golf tournament he had on Friday. His supervisor didn't want him coming in late and leaving early. So my friend Stephanie came up to the doctor's office so she could take care of Madeline while I had the procedure done. I felt tears stinging the back of my eyes when she got there, not because my hand hurt, but because I didn't want Madeline to go somewhere without me! I am SO crazy when it comes to her -- any normal person would have taken a pain pill and a nap and let their child go, especially with a friend they trust implicitly. But I am psychotic so I went with them to church! Thankfully, Stephanie is the same way so she doesn't judge me! So we went to VBS with my hand bandaged. It took a few hours but when the anesthesia wore off it started to throb. Thankfully, Madeline went to bed easily and only woke up once so I got to sleep that night. It is healing nicely and I get my stitches out in 10 more days. I hate not being able to fully use my left hand but I also don't want an infection so I am trying to be good and let Terry help me around the house and with Madeline. The doctor did say it wasn't a cyst and he didn't particularly like the way it looked so he sent it to pathology. Hopefully I will get the results in the next day or two. I am trying not to worry until we know what it is. Anyway, the last picture is Madeline in her stroller while we were there! She was so good and we were there for almost 2 hours. She is such a big girl now!!!