Monday, August 27, 2012

Prayers for the upcoming hurricane

You may have heard...Isaac is coming...and we're just hoping everyone will be safe and sound. Praying for our friends and family!! (and for very short power outages or you might hear the wails of some very distressed Mommas over liquid gold losses!)


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mere and Pops and our little Ballerina!

A few weeks ago now - August 10th or so (I'm a bit behind with blogging - see previous posts laced with a Debbie Downer attitude) - Mere and Pops came for a weekend visit...just in time to see...

The newest (and dare I say cutest) little ballerina in Lake Charles!

She was so proud to show off her new duds!!

and practice!

(Truth be known, my excitement might rival hers just a tad)

She's just stunning to me - and was so grown up when choosing the style leotard she wanted and when trying on her outfit for her up coming class. She'll be taking classical ballet at a local (and rather serious) school here beginning in another couple of weeks. She asks daily if "today is da day for my bal-day quass".

Mere and Pops spent the weekend enjoying some much needed g-kid time...and confirmed my long standing opinion that every kid has their very own grandparent...

I'll explain:
In my opinion, kids adore all of their grandparents, but usually have a different bond with one of them - a bond they are born with, one that can neither be hidden, taught, nor broken. It just is. Of course all of the grandparents are loved - adored even. But there is always a different bond with just one - a fierce one that is just there from the start.

There are few things that light up Mary Louise's face like the mention of a trip to Mommom's.
David calls for "My Mere" almost every time he gets fussed at and asks for her non stop when he knows a visit is coming.

And Everett?

He simply had not connected to anyone like he did with "his Pops"

and I'm pretty sure that was more than fine with Pops...even if he did get snapped at a few times:

Snuggle bums:

Telling secrets:


Mere and Pops brought FLASHLIGHTS!! and Heaven help us because that 2 dollar investment has become the most expensive toy in the house (not really)! New bulbs: 2, new batteries: countless
(looking for monsters)

looking for molars:


I even "forced" the crew to take group pictures. (guess who the photo bomber was...)

She came around just as the boys went south:

close enough:

a favorite - too bad it's slightly off focus:

It was a really wonderful weekend. But, Mary Louise was a little off with the pressures of trying to potty train:

I'm so sorry baby girl.

Things have been much improved and we've talked lots about better communication since going back to diapers. She's still game to try and coming around very slowly with improving. So we'll see...I know one day I won't be changing diapers anymore...and I'll miss it. Yes. I will. (believe it or not).

But in my defense, the changing table is getting a bit short guys. So lets move it along so I can get to missin'!

(and thanks Mere and Pops for the wonderful visit!! Looking forward to seeing you soon!)


"Hey Everett?!"

"Yes Mom?"


"that's yo Daddy right there kiddo!"

"Shut the front door Mom!"

"I know...I know...I thought I'd break the case you had questions"

"you know...just in case" (little rooster)



P.S. - pretty sure Everett's ears are officially starting to blossom! ha!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm Underwhelming but Sometimes Overwhelmed.

Mary Louise LOVES to perform. She's super animated, wildly happy and free spirited all the way. Lately, we've had a bit of a rough time though...

She's back in diapers for now after showing signs of just not being ready to completely dive in with the potty training. She was very very consistent...with code browns...and, well, after some time, I just couldn't take it anymore. This, my friends, was not one of my most shiny moments as a mom.

I fussed at her. She was obviously embarrassed and no matter how hard I tried to contain my frustration, it boiled over. big. She asked me 2 days ago why I was mad at her...then yesterday was afraid to come and tell me she'd had another "accident".

I felt wretched...and decided it was time to let her relax and use diapers a bit longer. My intentions were good: we would talk and talk about how wonderful it would be to poop on the potty (no kidding) and I would sit on the floor with her when she would want to go. I would read her books, do her nails, let her play with the toilet paper roll...anything she wanted as long as effort was being made. What actually happened was: she would run off and hide to poop - sit in a corner alone only to come and tell me it was "an accident". She seemed to know she needed to go - so I just wanted her to change her hiding place to the darn toilet!

No. Go. and the stress was getting to me - and more importantly, to her.

So, I once again have 3 in diapers...and the irritation in the house is down to about half in just one day. I am giving in - as if I have a choice - and not mentioning anything else about it to her (or trying not to). Her diaper has stayed dry - she even wakes in the night much of the time if she needs to go - she still asks to go when she needs - and still hides in the corner (not the bathroom corner much to my chagrin) to poop. So that's where we are for now.

Truth be known it's not just her. I've felt defeated lately and very tired. Everett is teething and should have some teeth break through soon...but he's very fussy and extremely clingy. We are staying quite isolated until after David's surgery to ensure that we can keep the date this time and loosing my gym time is less than my ideal...

But we'll make it. I can do better, and my sweet babies seem very forgiving (for now - ha!).

Thankfully, the weather is cooling a bit and we've had a number of outside days - weeding, turning over the veggie gardens, and playing in the little wading pool. Today, we baked (whole grain oatmeal raisin cookies, whole wheat bread and banana bread), talked about measurements and kitchen safety, and played with dough and batter...

and we the Eagles...just for a minute.

David just ate a tomato he grew himself - and that makes me happy (never mind his sweet grin from ear to ear!)

Yep, this parenting gig has weighed on me quite a bit lately ...and I'm keeping in mind that brighter times, when they come, when we create them together, will be that much sweeter because of this offered perspective.

Hang in there kiddos. Momma's working on it. And if you'll excuse me, David has requested my presence to see "A bug in ma fwimmin' poo" - who am I to say no to that?


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

David's Special Day

David: (following Mary Louise down the stairs) "hahaha!! Das so funny!! so funny!! I push Meese down da tairs!! hahahaha!"
ML: "No Da-bid! Not funny!! Mooooommmmyyyyy! Da-bid's pushing me down da tairs!!"
Me: (stopping David and taking his hand so he looks at me) "David pushing on the stairs can really hurt people. Please don't."

Oy. This is how my mornings often start.

But inside, I'm smiling and thinking about just how far that strong willed, defiant at times, wiry, green bean kid has come...

From 14 ounces (try looking at a coke can or shampoo bottle the same after hearing that) and 10 and 3/4 inches in length:

From using a regular sized cotton ball as an arm rest:

From having a 30% chance at survival and an 80% morbidity rate...

to this:

An absolutely gorgeous boy who can walk, talk, remember, thread a train on a track and figure out how the thing works all by himself!!

I just fussed at that boy for climbing on the widow seat and stacking the pillows there to attempt to climb further and look out the widow...that is at least 8 feet up the wall. He got reprimanded at about 18 months for using the drawer pulls in the kitchen to climb onto the counter. There is no such thing as fool proof baby proofing for this child - he figures out the latches, opens the doors and lids anyhow or finds another way to defy the odds.

He has absolutely been independent from the very beginning - always doing his own thing in his own corner on the ultrasounds. He has never listened to "don't do that", "you can't", "odds are you might not ever". He doesn't care about odds and statistics - but to use them as goals to exceed.

As we prepare for yet another surgery, I am wondering if I have the strength to hand him over once more, I wonder if I can bare the emotional trauma of waiting to hear something, anything, about how he did during the procedure. I wonder if I can overcome the guilt of having some part in the pain of his I still feel completely responsible for his all too early birth...I wonder if I'll ever stop blaming my body for failing all of my babies...

But never (NEVER) do I wonder if David can handle all that has been and will be thrown at him. I never question his ability to overcome, his determination, his strength, his spirit. I know, without doubt, without a hint of ambivalence, he is and will continue to be amazing.

Do I have something on my face?

I wasn't able to touch David - not even hold his hand - for almost a week after he was born. We didn't hold him until he was 2 months old. That child, who wasn't medically stable enough to experience his mother's touch during such a critical time just turned to me after I asked him to get down and said, "I bub you too Mommy." He gets me. He has incredible insight - not for all he's been through - but just for who he is.

My precious boy still knows where his first comfort came from:

and still carries those Froggies around, without fail, every single day.

David - who still has a pretty severe tongue tie - was the best nurser - even after being tube fed for 3 months - and the fastest learner with eating!

David - who pretty much did this during every nap time and barely slept at all at night:

learned to walk by 16 months and met ALL milestones but expressive speech ON TIME for his actual age!

Umm - he's learning to swim may have heard:

His piercing blue eyes can (I swear) see through my soul:

and his love for his baby brother is one of the most genuine expressions of emotion I've ever witnessed:

He was home for 3 years on July 27th. I was traveling to Oregon that day and though Brent had planned a wonderful time for them, the snotties invaded and it just wasn't meant to be. Movies on the couch and lots of extra fluids were the orders of the weekend. But dearest David, your special day was not forgotten.

We gave thanks for you and for your many many attributes and amazing personality over and over...just as we do every day.

You absolutely can do whatever you want...and please please keep defying those odds and statistics - show all who encounter you just how beautiful and unpredictable life can be. You stand as a reminder to so many that the only limits here are the ones people set for themselves. May your stubborn, zest and zeal for life, and gentle grumpiness and determination never waiver and take you all ends. You, my boy, are surely one of my greatest teachers.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Hunter Davis

One of Uncle Sean's dearest childhood friends had a horrible sky diving accident this week. He is in critical condition. The complete story is chronicled here:

Hunter's family is honestly one of the most solid, caring, giving, intelligent...and on and on...families I've ever encountered. The way they dance through life's just a privilege to be even a small part of their lives. 

Prayers are of course welcome and I have inquired about blood donations. Please stay tuned for more information and keep this precious family in your thoughts as they guide one another (and especially Hunter) through this healing process. 

If anyone can recover completely from such an ordeal, this young man can...and I have no doubt at. all. that he will not ***just recover, but laugh in the face of any "you really shouldn't-s" and "you might not be able to's" the doctors throw at him. 

Thinking of you Hunter, Mrs. Dana, Mr. Bob and Robin. Peace, and healing with minimal setbacks to you all. Much love.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Baked Cotton Balls (right)

So, in case you were otherwise unaware, it gets a little hot here in South Louisiana. Hot like - it's common to work up a sweat inside while getting dressed in the morning unless the A/C is kicked into high gear and your insulation is awesome. Hot like it's 99 degrees outside with 100% humidity (which means you may as well take your clothes off because it's pretty much like taking a bath...but don't because it's illegal...) Hot like...ok - you get the point I'm sure...

So, I am always on the hunt for fun projects to do inside during the hottest hours of the day. Ladies and gents: meet "baked cotton ball project 2012".

ok, ok, so it wasn't all sorts of amazing and it really didn't take long. But it was an opportunity to get some good old messy hands and was pretty fun just the same.

David gets a little concerned about messy hands - so we're working on that - he gets over it after a few minutes as long as I don't play into it and make things look super fun.

Mary Louise, on the other hand, is fearless:


So you mix half and half water and flour to make a paste. Dip cotton balls in, covering completely. You can put food coloring in the paste mixture, but it's not something I keep on baked them until browned in greased Corning Ware and painted the little "clouds" afterward instead of using the food dye.

It's pretty much like paper mache - just like it in fact (other than the whole drying thing).

and working with paint gave yet another chance to go over primary colors and mixing to make a color wheel! (win)

Super fun! and loads of possibilities!

(the idea came from here:


Well Traveled Part 2 (Homecoming)

I woke up extra early and nervously prepared for the trip home on Sunday. With little sleep and travel alone, I was certainly on edge. I hitched a ride with cousins and was at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Learning from the trip there, I packed a little differently (batteries on the outside) and notified security right away that I was traveling with breastmilk and a pump. There was no issue this time - just some extra time and testing (they weighed the stored milk I'd pumped and I think maybe scanned it or something - I don't know. I didn't have to open anything and it seemed very non-invasive all things considered.)

Everett and I took our time. I returned the carseat we'd rented, got breakfast and checked in with Brent a few times. Mary Louise and David were slowly getting better - definitely not worse. They were both on antibiotics and doing well with breathing treatments. Props to Brent for keeping his wits about him through it all!

When we were finally able to board, (note to Southwest: your policy of no pre-boarding for a mother traveling alone with a newborn and carry on bags only is just silly and the way it's presented at the gate is nothing short of demeaning...I'm not asking for anything but a few seconds of time without some jerk breathing down my neck because they have to wait for me to settle in) we settled in by the window and waited for our "roomies". 2 business men - who did not bother hiding the moans and groans as they came upon little E perched in my lap.

Thankfully, all went really well. I'm pretty sure Everett was having a bit of a growth spurt - or just needed tons of extra comfort during our trip (the latter is likely, but he definitely gained weight while we were gone as well). He nursed the entire flight: 4 and a half hours - active nursing. I feel like superwoman for enduring (and will go ahead with my figurative pats on the back - you're welcome grumpy nay sayer "roomies"- my nipples will never be the same...what - you were all thinking the same thing).

As we landed, I started to get butterflies. I missed my "big kids" and super hubby so very much that I could hardly wait for the grins, the hugs, and yes, the snotty noses.

They did not disappoint:

Sweet babies and Daddy made a homecoming banner! (it's been 2 weeks and it's still hanging...and I still smile everytime I walk in the door!)

Once home, Everett did a whole lot of this:

and this:

and the big kids loved their sweet Oregon t's:

oh - and so did the E man

Precious hearts - I missed you more than words can say...together again and always: