Sunday, May 30, 2010

Note from Brookelynne...

Hey everyone!

This is Brooke. I've decided to hijack Mama's blog because she's been slacking lately and quite frankly, this is supposed to me about me anyway right? Yeah, that was the impression I was under! So let's get down to it!

The main thing that you guys should know is that I'm way cooler than my mom tells you all! She hasn't told you about all the fun I have with Kalea each week (the girl who Mom watches for part of the week). She's 14 months old and that's like seriously twice my age, but we have so much fun together! She's kinda small for her age and as anyone who sees me can tell, I'm on the other side of that scale! :) (not too big though, just like the 75%) Anyway, she's been showing me cool stuff like how to crawl and stand on my own. She's trying to wait on me to start walking so we can do it together, but between my mom and her's, they'll probably MAKE her walk before I can get it down! But don't worry, I'm close! I've been standing on my own for a couple of days now...I can't believe how excited Mama and Daddy get when I do it. *Geeze Louise* You'd think that no one had ever done it before!

But back to Kalea, we have serious fun! We sit in the back seat together when we run errands, and we eat lunch together too! She's showing me how to use that sippy cup thing, but I really don't get what is so great about it. Really, why would I use that when I have a perfectly good bottle that does the same thing? Whatever...Kalea seems to like it so I am giving it a try, but just so she doesn't feel bad for working so much harder than I do. :)

And one of the other things that Mama hasn't told you guys about is my awesome pool play dates that we've gone to in the past couple of weeks! Seriously, its pretty awesome. The first time that we had one, I was the only little girl, just me and all the mommies! But there were plenty of boys there for me to play with (namely, Malachi, Chandler, Collin, Nathan and Lee!) We got to swim in the pool and then play in the living room for a while too. It was very cool.

Then we got to do it again the next week! That time we had WAY more people, which of course made it more fun....let me see if I can remember everyone...Well of course there was Mama and Me, Kalea brought her mom, Mrs Christina, then Mrs Lindsey and Chandler, Mrs Julie and Collin, Mrs Whitney and Maxwell, Mrs Angela and Dallas, Mrs Winnie and Clara, Mrs Misty and Blake, Mrs Kelly and Malachi, Mrs Maggie with her two granddaughters, Mrs Krysten, Ethan and Tucker. I'm pretty sure that was everyone, but boy was that a lot! :) We had a really good time that day too. The first week had worn my two piece that I got from my cousins Alana and Jaqlyn, but it was pretty big still, so Daddy bought me a new tankini for this last week!

Isn't it SOOOO cute? Yeah, I know, I rock it! :) Anyway, I didn't like the water as much this week, but it was a little cooler, so I'm sure that was why. Here is a picture of me and my friend Dallas playing on the floor!

She's cool too. (Actually all of my friends are pretty cool, because seriously, with awesome parents and influences (me), how could they not be cool?) haha!

One of the other things that I've been up to is becoming what Mama likes to call a "stink-pot". What she really wants should call me is "little girl who has Mommy and Daddy wrapped around her little finger and at my beckon call!" For example, the other day we went over to Mrs Lindsey's house for a couple of hours and my friend Chandler had this jumperoo. Well all I had to do was look interested in it and Daddy put me right in, then I jumped around laughing and smiling and with out a word from me, he was like "We should go buy one of these for Brooke!" I seriously could have laughed out loud! (But I played it cool! Its just too easy!) But within a few days we were no other than Once Upon a Child and *tada* I was sitting in my very own Jumperoo! It was really funny once we got it home, because Mommy and Daddy looked at each other and were like "Where are we going to put this!?!?!?" But that's okay with me! Anyway, I think I hear Mommy coming down the hall way...she takes forever to do laundry! Better run!

Thanks again for reading Mom's blog and keeping up with what's going on with me! Love you all! XOXOX


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Its official! Brookelynne is standing!

So my baby girl is growing up way too fast and is way too independent! As I have said before she's bigger every time I look at her!! :) She had been holding on to things and standing for a while now, but now she'll stand all by herself, with out holding on to anything for 3 or 4 minutes!! Its crazy! She does need to hold something in her hands though, I guess it helps her balance. So she'll hold a rattle or a cell phone and she's good! She even can get her balance back after starting to fall! Its soooo great! We're soo proud of her! Picture to come soon!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mitch is on vacation.... (Part 1)

So for the past several days my wonderful husband has been on vacation. Doesn't that sound terrific? Yeah, you'd think so! lol, Just Kidding! Sorta...

While I love my hubby to death, going from spending 2 or 3 hours a day together to spending 200+ straight hours with him = *driving me crazy* haha.

But really, we've had a pretty good time so far! We kicked it off Friday night by going to see Robin Hood while my mom watched Brooke.

Saturday morning we had a reception for our darling daughter because she won a photo contest for her age category! :) There are 16 winners who each get $50 savings bond, and they draw a name for one of them to win a $3000 savings bond. Brooke didn't win this year, but I'm sure that she'll win for her age group again in the future so maybe she can pay for her college before kindergarten! haha After that we stopped by the UPS softball tournament and saw Uncle Josh and some others from the Jax Hub, and then had lunch with Grandma, Paw Paw and Uncle Josh before coming back home and cooling down!

Sunday was our usual coupon-crazy day, with us picking up our papers before church, hitting a Walgreens and then sorting the coupon inserts. Sunday school and church, followed by lunch (which was very low key because it was just Mom, Mitch, Brooke and me). Then we once again left Brooke with my mom (a new Sunday tradition) while Mitch and I went to 2 CVSs and 2 Walgreens to stock up on our free stuff (or money makers which we had this week! CVS was giving us $8 back when we spent $4 on 2 things of body wash...cha ching! lol) Then I went back to church and worked in the nursery.

Monday was pretty low key, just trying to get the house cleaned up and organized so that we could try to start leaving Tama out in the house...update on that a little later...

Tuesday we headed out of the house around 2, leaving Tama out in the house, and ran errands for several hours. Including going to Walgreens and getting over $100 worth of stuff (including printer ink and 2 packs of diapers) for all of $6! Even though the cashier tried to tell us that some of our coupons were fake! lol. I seriously did NOT feel bad about calling her manager over and getting it fixed, because she was just hating! haha. Then we had dinner at Whitey's Fish Camp with our sweet friends Kris and Marie and Kris's Dad and his girlfriend. It was such a good time! We really like Kris's dad a lot, and love getting to see him when he's in town! And he even bought our dinner which was so not necessary, but such a sweet thing for him to do! We didn't get home until after 10 and Tama had done WONDERFULLY!! No accidents, nothing torn up and she seemed happy, so we were very happy about that!

I will update about the second half of his vaca when its done! :) Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Update on Mom!

Well, my mom's surgery was scheduled for June 2nd, but a couple of weeks ago she was having an attack that wouldn't go away so they moved her surgery up to the 13th. We went to Gainesville Wednesday night and were at the hospital by 10. They were supposed to have her in the back by 12, but they didn't call her back until 3. The surgery went well and the doctors came out to tell me so around 5:15. They said that her gallbladder was severely infected, discolored and misshapen. There were 4 or 5 stones and they had to open one of her incisions bigger because one of the stones was too big to fit out. She was in recovery for a couple of hours, but it took them an extra hour to get her in a room because of shift change.

Josh and Amy came down and got to her room just a few minutes after she did. We spent a couple of hours at the hospital and then went back to Josh's apartment for the night.

Friday Mom got discharged around 11 and we had lunch before heading home. She was back at work on Monday, just for half days but still. She's been doing great and recovering much faster than we expected. This week she's back to full time and says that she's 100%. She goes for her follow up on Friday, and we're expecting a great report! :)

Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone who said prayers for her and I'm sorry that it took me so long to post about it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We've got a crawler (and clapper!) on our hands!

My baby girl is crawling like a pro! :) She started her first "army-arm-crawl" a little over a week ago, but just today has been on-her-hands-and-knees-crawling-more-than-just-one-stride-crawling! I am so proud of her! She's getting so big sooo fast, but I love that about her! Each day is a new adventure and I thank the Lord for that.

And Saturday night while I was at Ladies Night Out with the girls in my Sunday School class, Mitch was with the guys and kids at the Camp's house hanging out. They watched tv and played the Wii and when Mitch was playing Wii, he was playing with his right hand and holding Brooke on his left hip and she was loving it! She was getting so excited that she was waving her arms and then she started CLAPPING!!! :) I couldn't get her to do it for me on Sunday but by Monday night she had begun to understand what I was asking her to do! :) Now if you ask her to clap, it might take a minute, but she totally does it! :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Goodbye to a Best Friend

People always say that dogs are a man's best friend. Well in so many ways that was true for me and Toby.

We got Toby shortly after we got married, and immediately he made me feel better. Mitchell was working nights, leaving around 12 am and not returning until 3 or 4 pm each day. I was 20 years old, living in a new neighborhood, 35 miles from my closest friend or family member. Every noise or creak made me jump. I remember calling Mitch several times, just because I was to scared to sleep. That changed when we got Toby. I know it sounds dumb since he weighed all of like 5 lbs, but just knowing I wasn't alone was huge.

He was just the cutest thing that you had ever seen and as sweet as can be. (to me at least). He was 12 weeks old when we brought him home and he grew as our marriage did. He was a very high strung dog, but I loved him SOO much! Everyone always made fun of me for how much I love him and how I treated him like a baby and not a dog, but that was fine with me.

A year and a half ago we brought home Tama. Thinking we weren't going to have kids for another year or two, (haha!) we thought that she would be a good play mate for Toby. And boy did they play! We brought home a very calm dog and she turned into a very hyper one! And surprise of surprises, Toby became the calmer one!

From the time we brought him home, he had slept in between me and Mitch at night (originally so that he couldn't jump off the bed and use the bathroom without us knowing, but it stuck). All you have to do is climb into bed, and Toby is there at the top of the bed, you pull up the covers and he goes underneath them. He curls up in a ball and goes to sleep. About 15 to 30 minutes later, with out fail, he starts scooting up the bed until his head is on the pillow and he's laying straight with his back to one of us and his paws stretched out "stabbing" the other (as Mitch likes to put it). I'm going to miss that most of all. I know it sounds stupid, but its comforting to wake up to someone on the pillow next to you, even if it can't always be your husband. Anyway, we worried (or at least I did) that Tama would get jealous, and/or want to sleep there too and quite frankly we can't fit another 50 lb dog between us in our current bed without someone hitting the floor! But it worked out because Tama likes the foot of the bed. Originally on top of the covers, but she's slowly becoming an 'under the covers' dog!

Almost a year ago, while on bedrest, my mom spent several days in a row up here at my house taking care of me. Obviously, the dogs couldn't spend the entire day in their cages, so she had to get used to them being out. Jokingly she asked "How could you love such a dumb and ugly dog?" (Because he had just done something very dumb). Normally I would just laugh off such a comment, but being pregnant and hormonal, I started crying. I said "I know you don't understand it but I really love him!" My mom came over and apologized and put into words what I never quite could. She said "I know you do honey, Toby was the only friend you had up here for a long time and I know he means a lot to you". And in that moment I got it. That was what it was. I had moved to a place where I didn't know anyone and my husband was gone 15 hours a day and sleeping 8, leaving all of one hour for me to interact with him. The rest of the time I was here alone. Toby was my friend. He let me hold him when I cried myself to sleep because Mitch was gone at work. He snuggled up with me on the couch so that I didn't feel alone while watching tv. He would walk around the kitchen (begging) while I cooked or did dishes and I talked to him like I would a person. While I have friends, I don't really have any talk to every day kind of friends because we've all gotten so busy. Toby was that for me.

Today I put him outside on the chain, like we do multiple times a day. He and Tama were playing and barking, digging and relaxing and I thought nothing of it. When I went to the door to bring them in, Toby had tangled himself up in the chain. He was gone. And while I know that he was 'just' a dog, to me he was much more than that. He was like my best friend, one who was always there for me and who loved me unconditionally. In my head I know it was an accident and it was probably going to happen regardless of my actions, but I still feel like he deserved better from me. Unlike parents, grandparents or (human) friends, I know I will never see Toby again. I know he'll never know my feelings for him because he had no soul, so even though he can't hear or know this, I will say it anyway...

I love you Toby, and I always will. You will never be forgotten and I am so sorry that this happened. I would do anything to change it. You were a wonderful dog and I will miss you dearly.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day!

The footprint we did in Sunday School and the clay hand print, my mom and Brooke made for me!

My first Mothers Day where I could hold my baby girl has come and gone, and I'm glad to say that I felt very special! It started Saturday night, when we celebrated with Mitch's mom at TGIFridays. We've made a habit over the years of taking her out on Saturday night, because Sundays are so crunched for time. (Mitch has to be in bed by 4 so he can get up for work around midnight). That way we don't have to rush with either of our moms.

So we met up for dinner and had a very nice time with her and Zach (Mitch's Brother). We got to spend some time with them and of course, they got to play with Brookelynne! We gave her her present, which was a book I had made with pictures of her grandchildren, and she really liked it! Which made me happy because I put a lot of work into it! She then gave me a Mother's day present, which was a very cute necklace! :)

Sunday Morning we got up bright and early as always, and headed to church. I am teaching Brooke's Sunday School class through the summer, so I wasn't able to attend the Ladies Assembly, but they made sure I got one of the gifts (a book). I was excited about going to the service after Sunday School and it was looking like I would be able to! Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for them, we had even more babies come right before the service, so that we had 11 in my room! The ladies that were volunteering for that hour were more than capable, but none of them were familiar with more than one of the babies and I just couldn't leave them out to dry with so many babies! For the day we had 12, which you would agree is crazy if you could see my room! But I had made some papers the night before with a heart on them and a small thing that said "I love you". So during Sunday School, we put each child's name on them and 'fingerprinted' their foot prints for their Mommies!

After that we had lunch with my Mom, Josh and Amy. It was a very sweet time, because it is rare that it is just the six of us. Either one of us is missing or someone else is there and it was just nice to let Mitch and Amy get an idea of what it used to be like everyday while we were growing up. This was very special to me too, because not only had Mitch and Brookelynne gotten me something, but my mom and Josh and Amy had too! How thoughtful! Josh and Amy bought me a really cute blanket that comes in a matching bag! (its in the washing machine, so picture will have to come later!) Its going to be awesome for play dates and beach days! Josh also gave me a sweet card telling me that he can see that I am and knows I will be a great mom! *Yes, I teared up a little, such a sweet little brother I have!* Then Mom gave me a picture frame that was really pretty and is going to look great in the living room! I can't wait to get pictures in it! She also gave me something from Brooke! She had done a clay hand print of Brookelynne sometime before and gave it to me. It was so cute! I can't believe a hand that small can hold my heart like it does!

Then my wonderful husband gave me a beautiful watch!

I love it! I haven't had a working wrist watch in years and I'm so excited to have one again! Now if I could only get back into the habit of looking at my wrist instead of pulling out my cell phone! But the real gift that my sweetie gave me was a very sweet card from my daughter! He swears that this is what Brookelynne told him to write, but I know he had something to do with it...

"Dear Mommy,
I know I don't tell you this enough,
but you are the very best mommy I know!
You're always there when I'm awake or asleep;
You're always there when it's time to eat.
You're always there when I'm learning new things
And you're there to share in the joy that learning brings.
You make me smile and you make me laugh
And when I'm all dirty, you give me a bath.
You have my friend Kalea over and let us play
You're the very best mommy in every way!
You're teaching me to crawl and teaching me to walk
and soon enough I'll learn to talk.
And then I'll still write it, but I'll say it too,
Happy Mothers Day! I LOVE YOU!
You're the best,

Is that not the SWEETEST thing EVER!?!?! I seriously could not stop crying! :)They are the best!

Before we left, I also got my gift from my sweet sister and her kids. Abbi and Davis had painted a flower pot and planted some flowers in it for me!

How cute! And Amy had also cooked me a cobbler, which was so sweet of her! (From handpicked blackberries, I might add!)

I am so blessed to have a wonderful Mom and a sweet Mother in law, and even more blessed to be a mother myself. I wouldn't trade Brookelynne for the world! Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

7 months old...I just can't believe it!

In her awesome sunglass goggles! LOL

As I sit here beginning my first real Mother's Day Weekend, I canNOT believe that my baby girl is 7 months old today! She is so amazing and I am so grateful that the Lord decided to give her to me to raise. What an Honor! I know that people are given children every day and it is by definition, common. But there is nothing common about my baby girl and there is nothing common about being her mom. I pray that this is how every parent feels about each of their children, because I know I wouldn't trade this little girl or this feeling for anything. She's becoming such a "little person" as we like to say around here. She's no longer the baby that I brought home, who could do nothing on her own and depended on us for everything. While she still needs us, of course, she is so independent, a quality she no doubt gets naturally. :) She's growing so fast it is hard for me to keep up, but I'm doing my best... Here is a list of some of the things that have changed this month, along with some pretty pictures of my little baby doll!

*She weighs 17 lbs, even after being sick for a week, she bounced right back! My little chuncker! :) But she's also 28 cms long/tall, so maybe she's not a chunker after all!
* She is not only sitting up by herself, but she does sit ups! :) The doctor couldn't believe it, but when she is laying down and wants to sit up, she just pulls herself up like a sit up. You usually have to hold her feet down, but sometimes if she's close to something, she'll hook her feet under it and sit up! haha

In her camo outfit and hat!
* A few weeks ago, she pulled up for the first time, but last weekend my parents worked with her for a while and now she does it all. the. time! :) She pulls up on EVERYTHING from people and clothes to toys and furniture, and she is sooo proud of herself when she gets up!

Pulling herself up on a table, and the look of accomplishment afterwords!

* She's working on crawling, and technically crawled for the first time yesterday, but it was only once and only on the couch. She has been doing the leaning forward to reach for something and ending up on her hands and knees thing, which is so cute because half of the time she ends up in this yoga stance instead of on her knees! :)
* She is a daredevil... seriously, ANYTHING that should scare her, makes her laugh like crazy! We've known that saying "Boo" and trying to scare her made her laugh, but now that she's bigger and can be moved around more easily, she loves anything that should be at least a little scary! haha From being turned upside down, swinging down (like she's falling) or being thrown in the air, she LOVES it. One of her favorite things is when you hold her on your hip and jump, she just cracks up! ~don't worry, all of the aforementioned stunts are done with great care and concern for her well being! lol~
*She's started bouncing/jumping. She never did this before, but not long after she turned 6 months, she started doing this thing when she was sitting down and got excited where she would basically bounce on her bottom! It is soo cute! She also has begun to jump when she's standing up. This past Wednesday she had her first turn in an exersaucer and seemed to really like it!
* She's figured out what "no" means, at least sort of. She went to grab something the other day and Mitch said "No" and tapped her hand, she looked at her hand, then looked up at him and started crying. :( She still thinks it is funny when I say no, but not daddy! She takes him seriously! lol
* She's in mostly 9 month clothes, mainly because all of the six month clothes are soo short! Its really ridiculous! I've determined (as a side note) that we shouldn't be surprised that 8 year olds are wearing hoochie clothes, because we start them at birth! All of these clothes are made to go to like her butt, and thats it! Anyway...
* She is getting her first tooth! Seriously! We've been able to feel it since Tuesday, and hoping to see it any day! It also looks like the second one is right behind it! Yay!
* She still naps in her swing mostly, my mom seems to be the only one who can get her to sleep on her and I don't know how! But every time we are at my mom's house, I inevitably walk back into the living room from doing something else and there is my Mom and Brooke, asleep on the couch! lol
* She just had her first 'separation anxiety' moment, where she cries when I give her to someone else and start to walk away. We are going to be working on this! :)

All in all, I'm amazed that it has been 7 months since I spent a sleepless night waiting in anticipation to get to the hospital and have her. Time goes by too fast, but I wouldn't trade her for the world and I know that I need to just hold on for a few more months, living each day with my eyes wide open if I want to catch all the changes she's going to have. She'll never grow as fast as she has/is this year, and I just want to take it all in!

My Booger is already driving!! :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Brooke's ENT follow up...

Today we went to Brooke's follow up with the Ear Nose and Throat Doctor, to look at the spot on her neck to determine if it is still consistent with a sinus tract or not. I was expecting to see Dr McMillian who we saw last time, but when the door opened it was definitely NOT her! lol But I was more than happy to see Dr Madden who is the head of the practice and would be doing any procedures that need to be done. He came in and before looking at her neck, went through his usual routine of checking the ears, then nose, and then throat, even though we weren't there for any of that! He then informed me that Brooke had a very bad ear infection in her left ear. This is not good news since she had a small infection in her right ear last week and had been on Amoxacillin (sp?) for 7 days already. So then he proceeded to pinch, poke and prod her spot on her neck which she just LOVED (not). And afterwords had this to say...

1. He does not believe that the spot is a sinus tract any longer. He is very confident that it is a bronchial cyst tract. [The difference is that a sinus tract would have been something that had never closed up in the womb, and could go all the way into her head, making the removal very dangerous, and while it is suggested, its not absolutely necessary to have it removed. A bronchial cyst tract is where a cyst developed at some point and instead of continuing to grow and stay inside her body, it grew a tract so that it could drain itself periodically, which is why her spot seems to be healing for weeks and then looks wet for a couple of days.]
2. This would have to come out because it is just a matter of time before it would get infected. While the surgery is quick and not very risky, the risk of the anesthesia is more than the risk of infection, so they would wait until she's at least a year old.
3. The fact that her ear infection spread and got worse after being on an antibiotic tells him that it is a permanent blockage instead of a temporary one. This would require them to put tubes in her ears to prevent hearing loss.
4. They will see her in a month (instead of 2 months) so that they can do a hearing test and check the fluid in her ears. If there is any fluid left in them, then he will put tubes in her ears. And since the risk of permanent hearing loss is greater than the risk of anesthesia, they would do the surgery as soon as they could get it on the schedule (when she's about 8-9 months).
5. Because of the ears, we have 2 different paths that may take place. When we go back June 1st, they'll do the hearing test and determine if we need to get tubes. If not then we'll resume our bimonthly check-ups so they can watch the tract and make sure it doesn't get infected and then schedule a surgery date after Brooke's first birthday (probably the beginning of next year). If they determine she does need the tubes, they will schedule it as soon as they could and do them both at the same time.

Sooo, we are in a wait and see situation. But I am very thankful that the Lord worked it out so that this ear issue arose when we were already scheduled to see the ENT! :) What a blessing, since getting into their office is a three to six week wait! He sure knows what He's doing! :)

I'll leave you with one of my new favorites of my sweet girl! Sitting on the rug waiting to get into the bathtub!