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Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Many are the plans in a man's heart....

but it is GOD's plan that prevail"!!!! Proverbs 19:21

One of the verses that I am constantly reciting to myself. Inherently being a planner, I have to remind myself that planning is wise, has many benefits, almost necessary for someone wired like myself but LIKE ANYTHING can become an obsession, an idol, or even a religion if it is the key to my happiness, but most importantly if I am am not open to hearing GOD's prompting, unwilling to follow HIS will, HIS plans.

This week is easily my favorite week of the year...starting with my anniversary - it fell on Monday this year - and wrapping up with Christmas (on Friday). Brady was out of preschool this week, something I was excited about with this being his first year in preschool. I had secured a babysitter for Monday night so Chris and I could go out on a nice date to celebrate our 7th anniversary. This is a BIG deal because, without family in town, securing a babysitter and going out on a date are a really big deal for us! Being a planner I always strive to have all my shopping wrapped up by Thanksgiving so I can just sit back starting on Thanksgiving Day and soak up all the fun, festivities, family time, and reasons for the season.

So this past week was going to start with a weekend at home (after MUCH travel this fall) as a family of four enjoying being home, enjoying some festive Christmas activities, enjoying one another. Then on Monday we were going to start this much-anticipated week with a GREAT anniversary date as we roll into Christmas week.

So this was the plans in this "man's" heart..........but, apparently not the plan, not the WILL of my wonderful, almighty GOD!

Friday, while I was working at a gold party...the last of 6 I was working that week before a nice break leading up to Christmas week....Chris got the boys down for bed and suddenly - like a mack truck out of nowhere - BAM!!!! hit with the flu......fever, chills, body aches...the whole package deal. He laid himself down on the couch and that was it until Sunday night when he felt a smidgen better to join the family for our B'ham tradition of Zoolight Safari...then back to the couch. All the while I was hoping and praying he would be well enough to enjoy celebrating our anniversary. Monday he seemed another smidgen better. So maybe we won't spend the money for a nice dinner like we would probably have done because if you don't feel great, food is not the same. Maybe we can just go to a movie - that is not tiring, is relaxing, we are out of the house...just the two of us and we have only seen about 3 movies since Brady has been born (3 1/2 years old) because that is not something we can do with the kiddos.

Late morning while Evan is taking his morning nap (I was pretty much single parenting all weekend as to not expose the kiddos to Daddy's illness....please LORD no sick children for Christmas!) Brady and I head out to run a couple of errands with plans to be back for lunch and to be there when Evan woke up to feed him. Chris is home from work - taking a sick day - NOT a common thing for him! Brady and I are at NTB waiting for the tires to be rotated on the van when all of a sudden I start feeling HORRIBLE!!! Muscles, joints, BONES hurt....everything....I start getting chills.....NO!!!! I just made plans on the phone - while sitting in THIS same waiting room with my neighbor to meet up at the park after lunch as it is a beautifully mild, sunny day (actually reminded me a lot of 7 years prior, on the day I married my best friend). This will be fun for Brady...get outside, run around, take advantage of the beautiful sunny day while we have it and enjoy the day with Mommy and Evan as we start the first day of Christmas break. GREAT!!!! Am I really getting the flu on my anniversary and FOUR days before Christmas?!?!? My sweet baby Evan's FIRST Christmas??

The tires are finally done, I am all but crawling into the van, call Chris and cry telling him how horrible I feel...my teeth chattering so bad with fever that while talking I am biting my tongue...it is BLEEDING! So I get home crawl on the upstairs couch, take my temp. 101.5, try to fall asleep but the body aches won't let me and think about how my 7th anniversary date is not going to happen. Later I discover that my flu-like symptoms are the result of a severe case of mastitis, not the seasonal flu or H1N1 again. I have an antiobiotic called in to kill this bacterial infection in my breast.

So that evening Chris and I are counting the moments until are boys will be in their beds...not because we don't love them or because they are misbehaving but because we feel like we are GOING to DIE...maybe even want to! About 10 minutes after Brady is in the bed and I think I am at the peak of feeling bad, I begin vomitting...........30 times before the night is over.........SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?

What a pity party I had for myself....Happy Anniversary to Me! Merry Christmas to Me! What a miserable first Christmas for My Baby!

So my earnest prayer became......please keep my boys well for Christmas, please help Chris and I feel well enough by Christmas Eve to be able to go the candlelight Christmas Eve service we always go to here in B'ham and out to dinner at the restaurant we have gone to each Christmas Eve we have had here and PLEASE let us feel well enough to truly enjoy the joy and excitement Christmas morning is going to bring to our sweet buddy, Brady. I even ranked the importance of these requests (1) keep the boys well (2) have Chris and I be well enough to enjoy Brady's joy Christmas morning (3) well enough to take our boys and our sinful selves to Christmas Eve candlelight service (4) well enough to enjoy a yummy Christmas Eve dinner at Surin West.

We spend the 23rd taking Evan to the pediatrician as he develops congestion and a cough....GREAT...this is what I planned...a sick baby for his very first Christmas!! He wasn't that bad sounding...no croup, no fever, etc. I normally would not have taken him to the dr. at this point...but this is not normally - this is two days before his VERY first Christmas...this is my sweet baby stuck in a house with a bunch of sick folks - Brady had a cough and congestion for about a week that was finally drying up. He is fine...a cough, congestion, nothing major - as we knew. Dr. Anderson did inform us that his gums are about to bust with teeth...very full! He wrote us a Rx for a steroid in case he got croupy and it was Christmas with the only option being the ER...thank you Dr. Anderson of eliminating that "what if?" for us...for me and my "this not how my Christmas week was supposed to look" self!

Christmas Eve we had to run around doing a few little errands - a lot of the ones I did not get to do on Monday after the tire rotation - so we did it as a team...pull the van up, I run out get a few things done with Chris driving around in the van with the kiddos; pull up the van and it is Chris' turn, etc. NOT how I PLANNED to spend my Christmas Eve but the first day we have been able to leave the house without feeling like we might collapse amongst everyone - and in the hustle and bustle of Christmas, we probably would have been trampled with our poor innocent children standing by forced to witness this tragedy that would forever change the course of their lives! So as I am reciting my verse in my head, thinking about how this is not how I pictured our Christmas Eve, I am thankful that we are well enough to attend Christmas Eve services and - is that hunger for real food? - I think I am up for Surin West!!!

One of Chris' errands involved a run into Academy. So while he was in there and I am trying to drive around a fussy Evan - ready for his afternoon nap so sitting still in the parking lot was not working - and Brady in a very crowded parking lot that shares a LARGE shopping center with Walmart on Christmas Eve, with very CHRISTmas -spirited last minute shoppers (that last phrase is dripping with sarcasm) I decided to drive around to the back of the shopping centers....maybe no one is back there and I was very excited when I saw a large, empty open area so we drive back there and just as I decide to turn around to go back the way we came, I think why would I go back to where the unhappy crowds are so I turn the wheel again as I am thinking of "where to next?" now we have made a circle. I think this is a big enough area to turn circles, so I do it again...woo hooo, and again....woo hoo, and next thing you know I am turning doughnuts in the middle of the day behind Academy on Christmas Eve with my two boys in the back seat...one cooing, no idea what I am doing..just happy the car is moving and one - as I can see in my mirror....head angled to the side by the g-force, laughing with the biggest, happiest smile on his face. This is when I recite the verse to myself again and think my week has not looked AT ALL how I thought it would or even, for the most part, how I wanted it to look

but turning doughnuts behind Academy on Christmas Eve with that look of fun and excitement on Brady's face in the mirror - especially after being stuck inside the house all week with sick parents - was AWESOME and a Christmas Eve memory, not real significant on face value, that I will NEVER forget!!!

We worshipped at a beautiful candlelight service at Green Valley Baptist Church, pigged out (so good to eat really good food that first time after not wanting much) on a tasty meal at Surin West, drove around and looked at some more Christmas lights on the way home, and had a most joyous day watching Brady revel in Christmas, be sooo incredibly thankful (so much I can learn from my three-year-old), and smile serving others in need.

Evan was a bit sick, and a bit fussy at times as he had a hard time napping but I held him, comforted him and just thanked GOD for that sweet baby and that, relatively speaking, we are VERY BLESSED that he is healthy.

So my plans for this week.....I think Brady and I will make some New Year's cookies while he is out for his second week of Christmas break since I bought all the stuff with PLANS to make Christmas cookies with him last week, I will recite my verse and keep my heart and mind open to HIS plans....as they will PREVAIL; I will try to secure a babysitter for Chris and I to celebrate our anniversary a little bit late, and I will

thank GOD for doughnuts on Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How did they do it?

As I enjoy my sweet angels during this most wonderful time of the year I have been really pondering what an UNBELIEVABLE sacrifice was made for all of us....even little ol' pathetic, sin-ridden ME! I have a sweet baby that I love to cuddle as I am sure Mary cuddled Baby Jesus. I nurse my little guy as I am certain she nursed Jesus. I smile non-stop at Evan's non-stop smiling, I light up at the sound of his laughter, my heart warms when he says "Momma", and I want to do ANYthing and EVERYthing in my power for his happiness, well-being, and safety - all things that Mary, as Jesus' Mommy did!

So how did they do it?!?! How did Mary - Jesus' MOMMY and GOD - HIS FATHER do it? It is something I can not even imagine....one who created HIS son knowing the final outcome and one who carried HIM in her womb, birthed HIM, nursed HIM, cuddled HIM, raised HIM, and loved HIM unconditionally and then watched as HE was sentenced to death on a cross. As much as I love my boys and know I could not stand by and let them suffer in such a horrific way, I am utterly amazed at GOD's love for all of us...HIS children, that HE could do that, was willing to do that for little ol' pathetic, sin-ridden ME! I am equally in awe of Mary's obedience and understanding of her role in such a gut-wrenching outcome for a MOMMY!

Thank you for your sacrifice...such trite little words for such a HUGE gift, but sincerely Thank you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"I Don't Want to Dive"

Definitely the quote of the week......out of the mouth of Brady. After reading his devotion before his nap yesterday, we were talking about trusting GOD for taking care of us; that HE is always there for us - no matter what!

ME - Isn't that great, Brady? We can trust GOD to always love us and take care of us!
Brady - I don't want GOD to take care of me!
ME - Why not Brady?
Brady - I want you and Daddy to take care of me!
ME - Well, Daddy and I will take care of you but GOD is always with us...all of us, me and Daddy too, taking care of us.
Brady - HE is not taking care of us...HE is in heaven.
ME - HE is in heaven Brady
Brady (VERY concerned) - I don't want to go to heaven, I want to stay with you and Daddy. I don't want to "dive" (die) I don't want to go to heaven with Big Granny (Chris' Grandma Stidham)
ME - You don't have to go to heaven right now, Brady. GOD is in our hearts too, Brady...the Holy Spirit is...that is how GOD is always with us
Brady - Right, Right....Jesus is in our bellies!

LOVE these conversations in which I hope we are closer to my daily prayer...."LORD, I pray Brady comes to a saving knowledge of YOU at an early age"

Along those same lines...we have been celebrating Advent in our home and, therefore, talking a lot about celebrating Jesus' birth. In talking about birthdays Brady, of course as a typical three-year-old, associates birthdays with parties and birthday cake.

Brady - "Mommy, how are we going to celebrate Jesus' birthday in our bellies?" Sweet Brady knows that Jesus lives in us...we have taught him that HE lives in our hearts but he continues to view Jesus as living in our bellies.

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

NO!!!!!!!!!
I want to scream "NO"!!! often these days! My sweet little Evan is growing up right before my eyes and way too fast! I can't stand it. He is eating baby food now...has been for about a month...he will be 7 months old on Saturday...he is saying "hey" and "Momma"....he has cut his first tooth (about a month ago), although it hasn't come out yet (a slow one)...he is just growing up way too fast and I can not stand it. I want to freeze him so badly...keep him at this sweet, smiling, cuddly, easy going, "Momma" chattering stage FOREVER!!!! How rich would I be if I could invent and patent that formula?!?!?! The cute thing is....Brady feels the same way...so cute from a three year old. He looked at me a couple of days ago and said: "Mommy, I don't want Evan to get bigger; I want him to stay little!" "He is so cute"

So these days, I find myself admiring my sweet little bundle of joy and screaming "NO!!!!" in my head - OFTEN and LOUDLY!!!! Unfortunately no one is obeying my ear-piercing NO...he is growing up anyway....right before my very tear-filled eyes!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankfulness


Chris and I got to experience our first preschool function today. Brady's teacher cooked all her little "indians" a Thanksgiving feast and the parents were invited to drop in to witness it. Chris and I enjoyed observing Brady in "his world"...his little world that exists without us. They were all so cute in their native American head dresses and their necklaces that they made. They each made a laminated placemat with a turkey on it for Thanksgiving. On it, Mrs. Janey added what they were thankful for..she obtained this from asking them individually early in the week what they were thankful for...so each placemat said "I am thankful for_______." In Brady's blank it said "My Mommy"..........awwww, I melted!!! What a sweetheart!!!

Halloween 2009




My boys made Halloween such a fun day for me!




Big dressed up as Handy Manny...one of his favorite Disney shows:




Little dressed up in the costume that Brady wore his first Halloween....a red hot chile pepper




I LOVE these boys!!!! They make everything more fun and the fact that I get to be their Mommy is just another small example of how "GOD is GOOD!"


Super Sweet 6!!!


I am starting to think they should call 6 months old the "Super Sweet 6" instead of calling 16 "Sweet 16". My dear sweet Evan is the sweetest baby in the world!!! I just adore him. He is that baby that makes you want another...in fact, I don't know how I am going to stop myself from wanting another little angel. I don't write much about my sweet baby on my blog because I journal about him and his firsts and development in his First Year Journal but I wanted to write a little update about Evan for those that keep up with us via my blog. I am his momma after all, so if I don't brag about him, who will?



  • 6 months old on November 12th and as sweet as can be

  • 26.5 inches long (60th percentile), 16lbs. 13.5oz. (50th percentile), 17 1/4 inch head circ. (50th percentile)

  • at about 5 months we started introducing baby cereal to prepare him for food, spoon feeding, etc. so he would be ready by 6 months to really eat...not a big fan of the cereal at first, but then warmed up to it

  • on November 13th he had his first veggie...squash...he was okay with it; then after a few days...sweet potatoes....liked them; today he had carrots for the first time and he liked them

  • he has started vibrating his lips...like motorboating...so funny

  • he laughs out loud, often, and it is the best sound on the planet

  • he absolutely ADMIRES his older brother...always watching what he is doing and smiling and laughing at him

  • he has started sitting up pretty well so he has been taking baths with Brady and it is so fun to watch them enjoy each other's company so immensely

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Brady comes in the bathroom the other day while I was going potty, he kinda looks toward the back of the toilet...."Mommy, are you going pee pee out of your penis?" Oh goodness, I think to myself....I we at this point already?!?! Me: "No, buddy. Mommy doesn't have a penis." Brady, kinda smirking like I was kidding, "Yes you do, Mommy You have a penis." Me: "Girls don't have penises, buddy." Brady (really contemplating things): "Oh. Do you pee pee out of your bottom then?" Me: "No, not really my bottom, bud, girls have different parts." Brady: "Oh, okay." I am soooo glad that he didn't not ask me about those "parts"!!

Chris and I constantly find ourselves loving the way Brady says certain words. I think we don't always appreciate how cute it is the way little ones say things until they start saying them correctly and then you have that "awwww, remember when he said it like this" moment. Brady started talking VERY WELL young...he spoke in complete, articulate sentences by 18 months so now that he is almost 3 1/2 years old there are not many words that he pronounces "wrong". Some of our favorites are:

  1. regulary...for example: "I don't want peanut butter on my waffle. I just want to eat a regulary waffle."
  2. yesternight....instead of last night, Brady always says yesternight, like yesterday...this one makes me wonder: "Why isn't it yesternight?"
  3. mapkin....instead of napkin
  4. keepor (kee.pour)....when Brady and Chris play keep away with the soccer ball...Brady calls it keepor
  5. jack o' lanterin....jack o' lantern
  6. Handy Mandy....one of his favorite Disney characters is Handy Manny...he calls him Handy Mandy
Yesterday Brady and I had the UGA/FL game on in the kitchen while making some Halloween cookies that we were going to bring to our friends' house for a Halloween party. Chris is also watching the game...in the den. In Chris' typical charged up UGA football way, he went crazy in the den over some play and Brady yells from the kitchen: "Daddy, calm down. I am trying to make cookies in here." I LOVE IT!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adoration


My heart is most full when I see the love between my two boys. I have heard of this from friends for quite some time...just how great it is to witness your children interact in such a sweet way. I did not think I would witness it this early. Brady has adored Evan from day one. Of course it has taken some time for Evan to notice Brady and respond to him. Over the past month or two, it has busted my heart wide open to be able to watch their interactions. The way Evan looks at Brady with such adoration is chicken soup for the soul for sure! He cranes his neck to watch everything that Brady is doing...he sits in his car seat with his neck angled toward Brady at all times! Brady is always checking to see where Evan is and making sure he is okay...."Mommy Evan is fussing I will go check on him."; "Mommy don't forget Evan (as we are heading out the door)!"

When Brady and I are on Brady and Mommy dates he usually asks - more than once - "Where is Evan, Mommy?" "Why is Evan not with us, Mommy?"

During a recent conversation Brady and I had in the van when I asked him about whether or not he would want another baby, he misunderstood me - in such a cute way. He said "No, Mommy, I don't want another baby. I have Evan. I love him. I don't want another (read different) baby." After further discussion, I realized he thought I meant do you want another baby in place of Evan...how sweet that he would not want to trade his baby brother in!


My dear boy - how blessed I am to have such a sweet boy...his spirit, his heart just melts me! Some of his sweetness lately:

To my mom (Nonnie) - "Nonnie, I want you to stay at our house forever!"; "Wow, Nonnie, you look pretty."

To me, before school - me: "I am glad you like school and Mrs. Janey (Brady's teacher)." Brady - "I do like Mrs. Janey, Mommy, but I LOVE you."

After smashing my thumbnail to the point of an immediate black bruise I was crying...Brady: "Mommy why are you crying (he was close to tears himself)? Are you sad?" "Mommy don't be sad; I am here." Me: "Brady I am not sad, buddy, my thumb just really hurts." Brady: "Are you not happy, Mommy. Daddy will be sad if you are not happy." Me: "Buddy I am happy, just in pain." Brady, giving me a big hug: "It's okay, Mommy. I am here and I will help you. It will get all better soon, I promise."

And a cute funny - during Evan's dedication Blake Benge (our pastor) was introducing our family and mentioned big brother, Brady. Right after he said Brady's name, Brady looked at the room with a big smile and said, out loud: "Yeah, that's me!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God's holy word, I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, I will hide it's words in my heart, that I might not sin against God."

Brady busted out with that last week...without prompting and - I kid you not - I teared up with tears of joy! There were many reasons for my tears. The sweetness and the meaning in what he said was paramount. The fact that he memorized that amazed me. Also the fact that EVERY day that I pick him up from preschool I ask him what he did, what he learned, etc. and he usually answers with "I don't know" or "I don't remember" or "lots of stuff". The only way that I ever hear about things at school are when they come up in conversations. So when he busted out with his Bible pledge while playing with me in his playroom, I was ecstatic! I thought I would see what else he had learned and didn't share with me! I grabbed the monthly calendars off of the fridge from his teacher (there is a monthly verse on the bottom of each one). I asked him what his verse was for the month and - with only having been in school for 4 days in October at that point - he spouted it off - REFERENCE TOO! So I asked him about September's verse and he knew that one too!!! I LOVE it, I am very proud of my little Bible student and very thankful for this opportunity to start his little education with scripture and GOD's love.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More BQ's (Brady Quotes)

Recently my sweet bud, Brady, and I were talking. He was being disciplined for something so he looked at me and said "Mommy, I am sad. My heart is blue." I said: "I am sad too, buddy. It makes me sad when you disobey." A little longer later, he looked at me and said: "Mommy, my heart is getting better....it is pink. I said: "Great, buddy, I am glad that your heart is getting better, that makes Mommy very happy." He looked at me and said: "Now my heart is ALL better, it is red." So descriptive and sweet!

Last week I was getting Brady's lunch ready for school. He asked me what I was making him. After I told him what I was packing for him to eat, he said: "Mommy, will you put a kiss in my lunch box and one in my backpack?" Awwwwww..... I said: "Of course, buddy, I will put a kiss in both and when you get to school you can get them out of your lunch box and backpack." Brady: "When I eat lunch, I will eat my kiss, Mommy." I said: "Okay, buddy, you can do that or you can just take the kiss and put it on your lips like Mommy is there kissing you." Brady: "Okay, Mommy, I can do that. It will make my heart feel great." I looked at my sweet boy and said: "How did I get so lucky to have you for a son?" Brady: "I came from Jesus, Mommy, remember?" Awwwww.......Me: "Yes, buddy, I remember. You did come from Jesus and I am so blessed to have you." Brady: "Who is Jesus, again, Mommy? God's Daddy?" Me: "Jesus is God's son, Brady. God is Jesus' Daddy." Brady: "Oh, okay, that is right, Mommy. God is Jesus' Daddy."

What an angel!

Evan

He is getting so big, so fast! It makes me sad...I want him to stay this age/size FOREVER!!! Or at least for a while longer...he is so cute, so sweet, so cuddly, and so doggone smiley!!! I LOVE it!!! At his 4 month check up, he weighed in just under 16 lbs., at 15 lbs. 12 oz. and 25 3/4 inches long. He is sitting up VERY while in his bumbo style seat and pretty well on his own when someone is sitting behind him to keep him from falling. He took his first bath last night, sitting up, rather than leaning back on the bath sling...can't believe how fast he is growing up! His smile is so infectious it is ABSOLUTELY impossible to look at him and not smile back...he lights up even the darkest rooms!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Straight from Heaven!

Chris and I had quite a year and a half...starting with his lay off in January of 2008! When we found out I was pregnant with Evan...we were stunned! After infertility with Brady, we didn't think it was possible on our own and, therefore, did not prevent pregnancy. We always wanted our children 3 years apart and if Chris had been employed we would have been trying - with my doctor's help - to get pregnant last fall. So when we found out I was pregnant on September 7, 2008 we were stunned!!! We were both VERY excited and we both felt VERY blessed to anticipate this new little life. I remember how anxious I felt knowing that I had not taken prenatal vitamins, that I had drank alcohol, that I had taken ibuprofen, allergy medicine, etc. ALL things I did not do with Brady because everything was so planned out and controlled (with the specialists, etc.) that I always knew at which points of the month I MIGHT be pregnant! I was also EXTREMELY anxious to think about the fact that Chris was not employed...YIKES!!!..that was the reason we were not "trying" yet. Six weeks later, Chris got a GREAT job at ADT and still really, really likes it! We continued with a lot of rough spots after finding out Evan was on the way...which is part of the "quite a year and a half" but throughout the pregnancy - on several occasions I said to Chris: "maybe this baby is going to be the end of all this yuck", "we always wanted our children three years apart and they are going to be exactly three years apart..the birth of Evan is going to be the bright spot at the end of all this junk.", etc., etc.

I wanted to take the time to journal about just how bright of a spot our little man is! He is amazing! His smile is contagious...he lights up a room...even as a little guy. He warms our heart...melts it actually...INSTANTLY!!!

Such a sweet, sweet guy even in the midst of the most sour days! We thank GOD for this gift...so unexpected, so untimely in ways...but obviously SO VERY timely in all the right ways!

We LOVE you, Evan...with every ounce of our beings! Thank you, GOD, for the most precious gift you could have bestowed upon us at just the right time in our lives!

Brady Funnies!

Brady thinks anyone who wears glasses is a grandpa...even if they are a woman..funny!

Today we were reading his devotional before his nap and it was talking about how GOD created everything...all creatures...all things good. It then asked what has GOD created that you think is good; so I ask Brady and he says - in ALL seriousness - octopus!

As Brady and I were reading together today he started picking his nose (fun stage for Mommy). I asked him to not pick his nose that it was gross and that it is how we spread germs. I looked over and his finger was all up in his nose again. So I ask him "Brady, what are you doing?" He looks at me - in ALL seriousness - "I'm putting it back, Mommy." "It" being his booger...nice! So funny, so cute how his little mind works!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

BQ's from Preschool

Oh, my sweet Brady! He often makes me laugh, often makes me smile, and VERY often warms my heart. He continues to do this as he tells me about school. I couldn't wait to pick him up that first afternoon (August 18th) to hear all about his day, what he did, who is in his class, about Mrs. Janey (his teacher). He told me how much fun he had and asked if he could go to school again...that was a GREAT reaction! He brought home the cutest craft...with his handprint...reminding me of how little he really still is : ) and told me about his friends Josh and Olivia. He continues to mention them daily...I guess the two kids he has bonded with the most thus far. He told me that Mrs. Janey "got a little bit mad" when the other kids were throwing blocks. When I asked him if he was throwing blocks he said "no". When I asked him if anyone was throwing blocks at him he said "no". I said "what were you doing?" Brady: "reading books...they have my favorite book of ever...the big truck book." Some fun BQ's (Brady Quotes) from Brady's first two weeks of preschool:

- "Mommy, the girl with the Dora backpack is going to come to our house and watch how good I play baseball."
-"Mommy the playground was wet so we went to the gym and I got to play basketball like the big mans do."
-"Mommy, I cried on the playground today." Mommy: "Why, buddy?" Brady: "Because I missed you and I wanted you to be there but you didn't come." Mommy: "I am sorry, bud." Brady: "It's okay, Mommy. I am all better and I will not cry tomorrow Mommy, I promise."
-"you know Mommy the boy with the yellow shirt and glasses..what is his name?" (So cute, like Mommy sees and knows everything...how long can I keep him thinking that?)
-after chatting with him about his day and asking questions to try to figure out what his day was like, what he did, etc. he says: "Mommy, can we play now? I don't want to talk about school anymore."
-"I love school, Mommy. Can I got to my school again?"
-after his usual "home prayer" before lunch one day at home, I said: "do you guys pray at school before lunch?" and Brady busts out in song with "God our Father, God our Father, We thank you, we thank you, For our many blessings, for our many blessings, Amen, Amen." LOVE IT!!

Precious, precious times for a precious, precious boy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One Small Step for Brady....One Giant Leap for Momma!

My baby went to school today! I can not believe it...Chris and I have been talking about how fast he got here...to this point...wow!

We had a blast preparing for this new chapter in Brady's life. Brady and I made a paper chain to count down the last two weeks leading up to school.


A couple of days after we started the paper chain, Chris and I found that our clever little boy was storing his paper links in the base of his locker lamp....


Mrs. Janey, Brady's teacher, called last week to introduce herself. We missed her first call so we played the message for Brady to hear...he was beaming hearing the message from "his friend, Miss Janey."


I found a really cool rocket ship back pack for Brady a LONG time ago and put it away to surprise him with it the night before his first day of school!


He LOVES it!!!


Chris and I wanted to make his VERY first day of school a special time in his life...something fun, exciting...something to celebrate and look back on with fun, wonderful memories. We bought him new pajamas for the night before the first day....rocket ship p.j.'s, like his backpack and we purchased him 3 new books (he LOVES books) about starting school...Maisy Goes to Preschool, The Berenstein Bears Go to School, and Curious George's First Day of School.


Brady woke up to a special, yummy treat for breakfast...strawberry muffins and a whole new dish set..a Cars plate, bowl, and spoon and fork set. He already had a Cars place mat so we bought new dishes for his fun, new morning. The lunchbox he picked out for school was Cars...he is a big fan of this Disney movie and the characters on it. I went to the Parent Teacher Store and bought a large cut out of a school house and a set of vinyl reusable school-themed stickers to decorate the kitchen for him to see when he woke up. I hung up the school house on the wall and stuck half the stickers on the kitchen window and the other half on the window of his van door to see when we headed out the door to drop him off.



Our big boy heading to school.....


It seems like yesterday he finally took his first steps (at 16 months) and now he is walking into school........



Today was one small step for Brady.......


but one GIANT leap for Mommy.....


We had orientation yesterday so he spent an hour in his class with his teacher and classmates and Chris and I sat in a meeting with the director and the other parents in the sanctuary. That was good for all of us...start out small and prepare for today. That helped because he LOVED it, as I assumed he would. That made it much easier today. One hour first before the full four hours...a nice way to ease in to our new routine.

Letting my baby go one baby step at a time was hard today. Brady is my buddy. It has been he and I all day, every day for three years. It is definitely going to be a transition for Mommy and an adjustment. I think the biggest part for me is knowing this is just the beginning of letting go and that is hard to swallow. I pray for protection for my little guy and I thank GOD for trusting me to take care of one of his special children....what an amazing gift! LORD help me to make you proud, reflect your love, and be the mommy YOU want me to be!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I finally caved and agreed to the shaved head...Daddy has been sporting it for several months and wanted to cut Brady's hair this way for a while but I couldn't give in....not my baby's curls. I finally agreed. I think it looks handsome...a little man!

This is my baby boy right before...


This is my baby boy during....



This is my baby boy right after....



This is the evidence...the sweet curls...




My first thought was "he looks like how I would imagine Brad Pitt looked as a little boy!" (biased Mommy) and fractions of a second after that, I thought "he looks so grown up...like he jumped from age three to age five or six."

Brady had a hard time giving Daddy permission to touch his locks as well. He kept saying "Daddy you are not a haircut person. I need to go to my haircut person, Miss Brenda, (the lady that has been cutting his hair at Great Clips) she cuts my hair, the nurse cuts my hair." We found it very funny that he had such an opinion on who cuts his hair and was so aware of the fact that Daddy is not "a haircut person". "Nurse"? not sure where that correlation came in...funny!

Brady loves the idea of having the same haircut as Daddy. The next morning...it was hilarious...he asked first thing when he woke up: "Daddy is my hair still like yours?"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hyperfocused

"Hyperfocused" - I will never forget the first time I was called that. I was insulted as I took it instantly as an insult. Perhaps it was the context, perhaps the messenger, perhaps the ignorance in its definition, maybe - as is often the case - the truth behind it. This was some time ago and I haven't really thought TOO much about it since then.

Recently that word has come up again so I decided to look it up - according to Webster what does this mean? It is not in Webster...so does it not exist? I tend to live by the "if it is not in the dictionary it is not a word" philosophy. So I decided to use what brain I feel like I have left these days - I do have an 11 week old - and I used Webster to look up "hyper" - adjective - "high-strung, excitable, extremely active". Then I looked up "focused" - the intransitive verb form is defined as "to concentrate attention or effort." So if I now use my math skills (not so brain fried after all) and add these words together, I can assume hyperfocused means "extreme in actively concentrating attention or effort".

I would say "yes, I can be hyperfocused when something is important enough to me". I have also decided that, unless I am "hyperfocused" on something bad, being hyperfocused is not a bad thing, rather a good thing when I am actively concentrating my attention and effort on something good, important, valuable, etc.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Our "little" lineman

Evan went for his 2 month well check up on Wednesday and weighed in at a whopping 13lbs. 9oz. and measuring 24 1/2 inches....that is a gain of 4lbs. 4oz. and 3 inches in just 2 months.......90th percentile for both height and weight! Chris may get his dream of having a football player!

Family of Friends

I have gone through a lot of my life thinking family is always there for you, family is the most important thing, the relationships in your family are incomparable, "blood is thicker than water". I have come to a place in life where I believe there is nothing better than a true friend; not a sweeter compliment than someone sincerely looking you in the eye and calling you "friend".
You do not get to choose your family but you do get to choose your friends. When a friend is standing beside you in hard times it is because they WANT to be there, not out of some familial obligation.
I know many sisters who are best friends, mothers and daughters who are best friends, aunt and niece, etc. So when you look at a family member and call them a friend, that is a choice...that is elevating them above their family title and saying "I choose you." How sweet is that?
I love my friends!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday USA!


Brady enjoyed his first Fourth of July Fireworks Show last night. We enjoyed the Fourth of July Festival in downtown Homewood which is a great location to view the largest display of fireworks in the state of Alabama...the fireworks show over Vulcan!


My SUPER heroes had a BLAST enjoying the festivities!

BQ's (Brady Quotes)

So, as always, this journal is loaded down with great sayings from the first lil' guy to capture my heart...Bradester! I just love the wide open, honest statements that flow from lil' ones' mouths so matter-of-factly; those statements you can not wait to share with someone because they are so endearing or so hilarious! This was the drive for my journal as I knew I would never remember those quotes from my babies and I would later want to sit around smiling and say "remember when Brady said...." or "remember when Evan said...." and I know I will want to share with them the moments that warmed my heart!

Brady, on the way to church: "my teachers love me at church, Mommy, and I can not wait to get there and tell them that I love them too."

Brady, out in the yard with Chris and I, kept saying "Mom" this, "Dad" that. Mommy: "Brady you call me 'Mom' all the time now." Brady: "Yeah, I do." Mommy: "Well, you used to always call me Mommy, now you are always calling me 'Mom'. I didn't think you would call me that until you were older. Are you too old to call me 'Mommy' now?" Brady, very matter-of-fact like: "Yes, Mom, I am too old."

I was out on a walk with Brady and Evan in the sit 'n stand stroller and Brady and I were talking about obedience. He said: "Yeah, mom, and we say 'yes ma'am' to moms and 'yes sir' to dads and we say trufe (truth) to everyone." LOVE it!! Mommy: "yes, buddy, we do say the truth to everyone, all the time."

Such insight for such a little munchkin!

All Smiles

Evan smiles ALL the time! If he is not eating or fighting his sleep (pretty much the only time he cries), he is just smiling! It is sooo cute. We get all types of smiles...cute little coy smiles, flirty smiles, big open mouth smiles, laughing smiles (he has already started laughing...squeaking...cooing constantly). It is great. I love this stage when they start "communicating" with you. It is awesome...the start of a relationship.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Nuzzler

Holding my sweet bundle of joy is so, so, so precious!!! Evan is The Nuzzler. When I hold him up against my right shoulder - his favorite way to be held by his Mommy, he takes his right cheek and nuzzles up against my right cheek until his little face is all snuggled up into the crook of my neck... I LOVE IT!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

THREE

I remember several friends informing me that 3 for their boys was harder than the proverbial "terrible twos". I am thankful for these words of wisdom, shared experiences, etc. as they help prepare me for the future stages of my parenting. Brady was a "PERFECT" two year old....quotes on purpose as we all know that no man is "perfect" but a mother's love can be blinding, and all love in retrospect is blinding (you always seem to focus on the good stuff...I think this is why we (the human race) keep having babies (oh, the newborn stage)). In all fairness and honesty though, I LOVED and ADORED Brady the two-year-old...we had so much fun, just the two of us during the week...exploring the world, learning, growing, laughing!

THREE...still for the most part, Brady, you are a very sweet, pleasant boy. It is very obvious to Daddy and I though that you are "growing up" in more ways than one. You are flexing not only your physical muscles but the muscles of your will, as well. I think there is a level of testing and independence perhaps that comes with three. Perhaps there is the need to become your own "man". Is it that - just the three and the "what happens if I do this?"..."what happens if I don't comply?" - or is it your adjustment, the transition to becoming a big brother. Are you pulling away a little, testing, or are you doing whatever you feel like will draw attention to you? I LOVE you dearly my perfect slice of pumpkin pie, and I hope when you look back on the time that your little brother entered our family, you smile and remember feeling especially special by Daddy and I!

XOXO

More Notable Quotables

So last week I go for the dreaded postpartum check up with my OB/GYN...of course, I have both boys with me...one completely oblivious, the other trying to distract and position well enough that he is somewhat oblivious. After we head out of the doctor's office toward the elevator, Brady looks at me and says "Mommy, you did a great job at the doctor's." So sweet!

This morning I help Brady untangle the string on his toy crane...he looks at me and, very seriously, says: "Mommy you are a super hero!" (In my mind...thanks bud, everyone needs to feel like a super hero sometimes)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Notable Quotables

I have some great new quotes from dear boy, Brady, that I definitely want to journal as I do not want to forget them as he grows up.

We were all discussing eye color as Chris and I were talking about how we think Evan is going to have brown eyes like his Mommy. Brady looked at me and said: "Mommy, I know your eyes are blue behind there (I guess behind the brown) just like mine."

Brady and I were riding the carousel at the mall together and I caught our reflection in the mirror of the carousel. I said "look at us Brady...we look so cute, don't we?" Brady: "No Mommy..I look cute and you are pretty."

More to come...out of time! Back to add some........

Lee Taylor, at church, during the children's story time: "They built a temple. Have any of you ever built a temple?" Brady, his hand up like a shot: "I have." Lee: "You, have?" Brady: "Yeah, I got blocks."

Jason Haynes was visiting for the weekend and he and Chris were out in the backyard while Brady was napping. When Brady woke up from his nap I went in his room to get him out of his bed and he asked where Daddy and Uncle Jason were. I said they were out in the backyard. He then asked where Evan was. I said he is out in the backyard with Daddy and Uncle Jason. Brady - eyes lit up like Santa had stopped by our house: "Evan is bigger. He got bigger?!?!" Mommy: "No, bud, Daddy is holding Evan outside." Brady: "Oh, okay." It was so sad and so sweet. He always talks about when Evan gets bigger he can play with him. I guess his little mind and imagination assumed that since Evan was out in the backyard he must be playing - AND, if he was playing - he must be bigger and the thought of that just lit him up!

Brady has gotten into saying the prayer before our meals and emphatically starts each one with "Dear Jesus". They are very short and too the point: "Dear Jesus, thank you for our day. Thank you for our lunch. Amen." That is it! EVERY meal....he says "lunch" for every meal. So we always have to teach him "breakfast", "dinner". Well every once in a while - pretty infrequently - he will add something....two recently that I thought were notable are: (at lunch, actual lunch) he added: "thank you for Daddy coming home." How sweet for Daddy! Another time: "Thank you GOD for Jesus!" WOW!!! isn't that the truth?? literally THE TRUTH and the GOSPEL...so simple yet so spot on!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

4 weeks old ALREADY!!!!!!!!!

So our lil' guy, Evan, is already 4 weeks old...actually as I type this he is 4 1/2 weeks old.....WOW! When I looked at his first born pics the other day, I realize how much he has changed already...still amazed at how much/and how often they change in the beginning.



So I am not sure how much he weighs at 4 weeks but we had to go back to the pediatrician to redo his heel prick (the PKU) and I put him on the scale (fully dressed though so I can't compare to his last weigh in exactly) and he was up to a little more than 11 pounds. What a big boy!

Top 3 for triple B



In honor of my triple B (Big Brother Brady) I thought I would comprise a list of my top 3 favorite things about this guy!

1. His gratefulness........always so thankful for everything..."Thank you, Mommy, for taking care of me." "Thank you for reading books with me." When he prays: "Thank you that Daddy came home for lunch." Just last night in his list of things he thanked Jesus for before his dinner prayer: "Thank you, Jesus, for GOD."

2. His compassion.......so touched and feels for everyone and everything. Two nights ago we put him to bed and we heard this soft crying in his bed on the monitor...we went in there and he was crying because we didn't watch the show that Mommy wanted to watch and he felt bad. I told him that I was just suggesting a show for him (we tivo some shows for him and if we have time and he has behaved he gets to choose one of his 30 minute shows to watch after his bath, before bed) and he chose one of his other shows instead. He felt bad thinking he didn't let Mommy watch the show I wanted.

3. His promises.....he has gotten in this cute habit of "promising" and expressing these promises in such a reassuring way. "I PROMISE, Mommy, I will be right back, I PROMISE." (as he heads to his playroom) After I ask him to do something..."I PROMISE, Mommy, I PROMISE, I will not fall down, Mommy, I PROMISE."

Such a cutie....Here he is the day he came home from the hospital after he was born, and, again, at 3 years old.......oh, how the time has flown.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

3-licious!

My baby is 3..........I can not believe it! He turned 3 yesterday, May 30th. Our tradition with Brady has been to have a whole day devoted to Brady's favorites...activities, food, etc. This year was no different. The only thing different this year compared to the last two was his ability to really vocalize - in detail - his requests. We started the morning with the whole family going into Brady's room to get him out of bed when he called for Daddy. He was laying there with a big smile when we went in and all wished him a Happy Birthday - camcorder rolling. Chris and I set up his b-day gift in his playroom while he was sleeping the night before so we could usher him into the playroom after he woke up to see his gift from us. We purchased him a great full size play kitchen for his birthday because he LOVES to pretend to cook and prepare yummies for us. He was very excited to receive his kitchen...and his sweet heart was so grateful...repeatedly: "Thank you Mommy, thank you Daddy. I love my kitchen. It is great. It is cool. Thank you so much. Thank you for my present." Such a grateful little boy! His breakfast request...french toast...which he was able to eat in the den while watching cartoons. Then his request was the zoo. We packed up the family and spent a good 2, 2 1/2 hours at the zoo. It was a beautiful day...nice change here..sunny, warm, and NO RAIN...YEA!! Brady had the opportunity to feed the giraffes...big fun and something new that we have not done at the zoo before. On the way home we went through Milo's drive thru for Brady's lunch request...Milo's toasted cheese. Being Brady's birthday - and a day about him - he was able to eat his toasted cheese in the den in front of a cartoon...BIG DAY!! After nap, we packed up and went to Ross Bridge - a great neighborhood close by where my friend, Ericca, lives. We enjoyed their great pool for a couple of hours and ordered and had delivered another of Brady's favorite foods...pizza...for dinner. Then we came home and got ready for bed and sang Happy Birthday to my big 3 year old with his cake request in front of him...yummy birthday cake with strawberry icing on it. Mommy made her favorite little boy a yummy birthday cake with homemade strawberry icing on it during his nap. He LOVED it! It was a great fun day of celebrating our little man...we are still shocked that he is three years old.

Friday, May 29, 2009

First Bottle

Last night, Evan had his first bottle. I pumped so Daddy could give him his first bottle. He has been nursing well so we wanted to introduce the bottle early enough so he would hopefully take to it well. He did great after a minute or two of making a face while Chris tried to put the bottle in. Once he realized milk was going to come out and it wasn't just some pacifier of sorts, he latched onto it quickly. He ate about 6.5 oz.

BIG Boys!

So I took the boys to the pediatrician on Wednesday - May 27th - for Evan's 2 week check up and Brady's 3 year check up. They are both healthy and BIG...75th percentile for height and weight for both of them. Evan came in at a whopping 9lbs 14oz...up from 8lbs. 12 oz. when he was released from the hospital a week and a half prior and he grew a half an inch...22 inches long now. His head went from a 14 inch circumference to a 15 inch circumference. Brady man....now 35.2lbs. and 38.5 inches...so big!

After the doctor's appointment, I was nursing Evan at the kitchen table while Brady was eating his lunch. Brady looked at me and said: "Mommy that is not baby milk, that is your boobie." I smiled big...making sure not to laugh...and said: "You are right, Brady, that is my boobie. That is where baby milk comes from. That is why Mommies have boobies."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sweet, sweet boy!

Tuesday night Chris had a softball game so it was my first night by myself with both boys. In the evening before bed Brady gets to watch one of his recorded 30 minute shows if he is a good boy for the day...a treat he looks forward to. So I am sitting in the chair and a half nursing Evan and Brady is sitting across from us on the couch watching his show, by himself...usually Daddy would be sitting there with him. So I look over at my sweet little boy sitting on the big couch all by himself watching The Little Einsteins and ask him if he wants to come sit in the chair and a half with Evan and I. He jumps up, all excited, "yeah, yeah, yeah, Mommy, I can sit with you and Evan." He came across the den and jumped up in the chair with us so happy. He was loving on Evan and then laid his head on the Boppy while watching his show. I rubbed on his back and he said: "Mommy, that tickles me." I said: "I am sorry, baby." He said: "That's okay, Mommy...you were just loving on me." Oh, how I love that little boy! My heart was so full while sitting there cuddling in the chair and a half with both of my boys.

When the show was over and it was time for Brady to go to bed he asked if Evan could come too so he could hear the story.

While playing in the yard yesterday, Brady came up to me and said "Mommy I am the mans." I said: "What man Brady?" He said: "Mommy the man who stands with his hand in his pocket." So funny! I am not sure who this "mans" is that he is referring to but it cracked me up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Which brother is which?



So it is amazing to us how much Brady and Evan resemble each other at this age as Brady has changed quite a bit since his "look" at birth. Here is a pic of Brady and a pic of Evan...who is who?

My best big brother and my beautiful brand new boy

So Evan was released from the NICU on Friday at about 5:30 p.m. FINALLY!! He left with a perfectly clean bill of health....PRAISE GOD!!! I was a little insane - had not really seen the sun or took a breath of fresh air since early Tuesday morning when the sun was barely up - but nonetheless, doing pretty well. Brady was VERY excited to come up to the hospital with Daddy to pick up his new baby brother and his Mommy. He rode in on his new Sit N Stand stroller excited about Evan riding with him.

Things at home are going well....MUCH better and EASIER than the first go round. I physically feel EXTREMELY better than I did after giving birth to Brady. Emotionally, so far so good....which is the biggest answer to prayer and I pray continues. My emotional well being suffered greatly after Brady and was something that I didn't completely realize the extent of until after I was out of it (about 7 months).

Brady is adjusting wonderfully. His only issue initially was whether Chris and/or I would be here when he went to bed at night and when he woke up - after about a week of other folks being here. He was a little clingy and insecure but seems to be past that now that things are back to "normal" - our "new normal". He adores Evan and is passionate about helping . If Evan gets upset he runs to check on him and pat him and love on him. He loves putting Evan's dirty laundry into his hamper, asks to hold him (so thankful that he asks), he kisses him, always wants to know where he is, how he is, etc. I cherish watching this bond develop. He seems SO BIG to me all of a sudden. I guess now with a little one at home, I realize how big he is. SO BIG!! I pick him up now or kiss his face and just think "you are so big" He will always be MY baby but nonetheless, with a comparison, I realize just how much he has grown!

Some Brady-isms:

Daddy: "Brady do you want a haircut like Daddy's?" (a crew cut) Brady: "Sure, I would not have any hair - like Poppy" (my Dad) who is in fact bald (balding so goes ahead and shaves it). Mommy: "That is right, Brady, Poppy does not have any hair." Brady: "Well, he has like 4 hairs, just 4." So funny!!!

In the hospital, while Evan is nursing...Brady's first time seeing this..I am pretty well covered. Brady: "What is Evan doing?" Daddy: "Evan is eating." Brady: "What is Evan eating?" "His fingers?" Mommy: "No, baby, he is not eating his fingers. He is eating baby milk." Brady: "Oh, I want to see." So precious!

We are all amazed how much Evan looks like Brady. I don't think I realized it right off the bat because he doesn't look like Brady does now but Brady does not look like he did when he was born either. He has changed so much. When we got home on Friday I pulled out Brady's scrapbook and looked at his birth pics and coming home pics and sure enough...WOW...the resemblance is amazing! I am going to post both a pic of Evan and a pic of Brady later to have them beside one another.

My heart is full...I am enjoying this new precious gift, I am cherishing my big boy as he grows up so fast in front of my eyes, and I am madly in love with my biggest boy who I appreciate immensely!! I am thankful for answered prayer. I am thankful for help and support from family and friends. I am thankful to the LORD for not giving me more than I can handle!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Update

Sorry for the delay...Kat hasn't had a chance to update the blog so she has asked me to do it. Evan is doing really well...he's still in NICU, but has been able to spend much of the day with us in the room which has been awesome and he has been eating like a champ.....that's the good news....the bad news is that they are going to keep him until Friday. Brookwood has a hotel attached to the hospital so we are going to get a room there tonight so we can spend time with him down in the NICU and Kat can feed him.....it's not ideal, but it is better than going home without him.

Katrina is doing great and this has been much, much easier than when Brady was born...she's healing well and under the circumstances she's solid emotionally.

My parents have been a huge help with Brady and other things and we can't really begin to express our thankfulness for that.

Big brother has been tremendous....he is always ready to see Evan and is ready to hold and help him all the time....he's the best.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers....we really appreciate all the support that we have gotten from people that love us.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Evan Update

Now an update from Mommy. My sweet little boy was a much easier and faster delivery than his big brother. That is an answer to prayer. With the speed of his delivery we have encountered a problem...he has had what they call a grunt, which is indicative of labored breathing, some sort of respiratory trouble. They are assuming at this point it is just because of the speed in which he entered the world. They said this is common with c-section babies or babies that are born so quickly, which he was. I guess not being in the birth canal long, he wasn't "squeezed" enough to empty his lungs fully of the fluid and mucus that needs to come out. With that, he is in the NICU..which truly breaks my heart. I am fairly certain it is just monitoring and being cautious but not having my baby in the room with me and not being able to feed him right now is very hard for Mommy. The hardest thing is I will be discharged on Thursday and he will not be discharged until Friday. How hard will it be for me to leave my little angel here and go home!?!? I am thankful we are as close to our hospital this time as we are (about 10minutes). I am thankful I have my sweet little man, Brady, to keep me distracted - in a positive light - to help me get through being home with him. I am thankful things appear to be fine and just cautionary. We will know more in the morning when test results, cultures, etc. come back but your prayers are COVETED right now as we, of course, can't help but worry about him. I will post again in the morning when I know more.

On a positive note, Chris returned to my room with his parents and Brady just in time to see Evan and hold him before they took him to the NICU. Brady was very happy to see Mommy and so sweet with his little brother. He got up in the bed with me wearing his cute I am the Big Brother t-shirt on and asked to hold him...he did a wonderful job holding sweet Evan. He was happy and excited to be a part of things. After Evan left, he asked numerous times where he was and asked to see him and hold him A LOT. It saddened me a little, knowing I wanted to hold him too but also warmed my heart that he was that interested in him and viewing him in such a positive light at this point.

Prayers and support are much appreciated right now. Love to all who are keeping up with our journey and our newest Stidham. In the 7 grandchildren of Bob and Sue, I birthed the smallest baby (Brady) and the largest (Evan)...pretty funny!

Pics




He's here!

At 1:24pm Evan James Stidham entered the world......all 9lbs 5oz of him. Katrina did incredible.......she's amazing and such a trooper. We thankfully had prayer with our Doctor and now they are cleaning him up and getting all of the info they need.

Thanks to all of you....we appreciate each of you very much.

I'll update again once we get into a room.

UPDATE: Just got messured.....21 1/2 inches long.

Big Boy

D-Day 8

Alright sports fans.....we are at a 10 and +3......they are going to have her start to push........I'll update after he's here.

D-Day 7

Latest check.....she's at a 9 and a +1 station.....she's hanging in...could be anytime within the next two hours or so.

D-Day 6

Kat just got checked again....she's at an 8, but still at zero station so she's not moving much. Evan still hasn't dropped yet....so she's resting and we're waiting.

Kat's doing great....she really is good at this.

D-Day 5

Things are moving along.....Kat's at a 6-7 and she is 100% effaced and still zero station...she's doing really well....just got an epidural boost.

Dr. Adcock said he'd try to hit my guessed time of 12:05 if he could.

D-Day 4

They checked Kat again.....she's at a 5 and still station zero.....she's moving but a little slower.....she is resting now and might even be able to catch a nap.

She's doing great.

D-Day 3

They are giving Katrina her epidural.....so she is moving along.....I'll keep you posted.

Kat is at 4 and zero station......she doesn't start to push until she gets to 10 and station -3....so she still has some ground to cover but she and Evan are doing great.

D-Day 2

Katrina's contractions are 2-4 minutes apart and are getting stronger.....thry hurt but she is doing really, really well....I'm very proud of her.

We are moving along and I will keep everyone updated....please pray for Kat, that the pain won't be too bad and that she and Evan will be alright.

D-Day

Katrina asked me to update the blog while we go through what we know is going to be a special day in our family.

We arrived at Brookwood Medical Center around 6 am this morning and they got us into a room and they started her Patocin at 7:05 and our Doctor, Dr. Adcock (He's a Dawg and a Christian) just came in and broke her water and prayed with us.....really happy to have found him.

So we are on our way and I will continue to update the blog as we progress.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Recent Quotes

As Brady is scratching his leg...Mommy: "You got a bug bite on your leg, bud. It looks like a mosquito bit you." Brady: "Yeah, a mosquito, or an ant, or a bumblebee, or a caterpillar, or a dragonfly, or a snake."

I went downstairs to my bedroom to get dressed and came back up. Brady heard me come up the stairs. Brady: "Mommy are you dressed now?" Mommy: "Yes, I am dressed, bud." Brady: "Let me see you" (from the playroom) I walked in the playroom. Brady: "You did get dressed, Mommy." Mommy: "Yes, I did, buddy." Brady: "Wow, Mommy, you look pretty."

After we went down to the basement on Sunday because of tornadoes in our area, Brady kept asking when the "tomato" was going to leave our house and go to someone else's house.

Brady looks at me in his bedroom right before nap and says: "Mommy, I am ready for Evan to be born. I want to hold him."

Friday, May 1, 2009

So we have been pretty hyper-focused on ghosts and monsters at our house for the last month or so...not quite sure why but this morning as Brady is playing independently in the house he came up to me and said - what he so often says: "Are there no ghosts and no monsters, Mommy?" I said - what I always say - "Of course there are no ghosts and no monsters; they are just pretend." "Do you want to pray with Mommy about it?" Brady: "Oh, yes, yes I do." So I prayed with him to GOD to help him not be scared and to know GOD is always with him. After our prayer, he looked up at me and said: "Thank you, Mommy, for praying with me. I feel ALL better now."

Today as we are getting out of the van at Whole Foods for story and craft time, I asked Brady if he needed to go potty before we got started. He said "No Mommy. All of my pee pee is hanging out all together inside of my penis and it is not ready to come out." VERY matter-of-fact like. I just said: "okay, Buddy, just let me know when you it is ready to come out."

So this afternoon as my little guy is sitting on the potty, I realize his toenails need to be clipped so I decide to do it then while he is seated and still. As I am finishing up, he says: "Thank you, Mommy for clipping my nails. Thank you VERY much." So sweet, so appreciative.

We are in the yard working and as I am pulling out grass from our rose bed, Brady is picking up the piles and putting them in the trash bag. He starts saying "thank you, ma'am." with each pile he scoops up and puts in the bag. He then looks at me and says: "Mommy, you did a good job. Thank you for helping me in the yard." So sweet, especially since he was the one helping me in the yard.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

May 12th

May 12th is D-Day.........If Evan does not make his own arrival before May 12th, Dr. Adcock will induce my labor that morning. I am excited, and VERY ready to have him on the other side of me. I can not wait to meet him. I am so curious to see him, how he will look..will he look like his Daddy, me, his brother?? I can't wait to hold him and kiss his sweet newborn face.

The BIG 5-0!!!

So I didn't think I would be journaling about the big 5-0 for another 16 years and 2 months. Now with that written, obviously I am not close to turning 50 years old yet but, yesterday, at my OB check up I learned that I have gained the big 5-0!!! WOW!! 50 lbs. with two weeks to go. Let me just say that I am glad my husband is not some little guy but, rather, the hunk of love and muscle that he is. I don't think I could stand it if my husband weighed less than me...no matter how temporary it is.

The end of the Mommy & Me Era

So sad....Brady is exactly a month from turning 3.......so hard to believe he is growing up so fast!! He has gotten so tall, so independent, he looks like such a boy now...no more toddler : ( It is fun and rewarding watching him grow and change and learn but I also long for and mourn the days of him being ALL MINE!!!

Last Thursday was our last Mommy & Me class...swim class...once he turns three all of his little sports/activities will be just him with Mommy watching. Monday was our last Toddler class at the library...it is for little ones 24-36 months...they don't meet in May as they gear up for their summer reading program. Come June..he is 3!
Tuesday was our last story time at the library...they wrapped things up for this school year. It will resume in September and my lil' man will be in preschool on Tuesdays. This coming Wednesday will be our last music class as the following Wednesday - May 13th - is the last class for this school year and I will have a newborn then and will not be attending. Next year, my lil' man will be in preschool on Wednesdays!!! Oh preschool....I am excited about it for him and yet so sad about it taking my boy away from me....letting go is already so hard, how will I make it through all the other chapters that are to come?!?!?

My SweetHEART

PRAISE GOD!! My dear hubby is fine! Last Wednesday was the arteriogram and they learned that the stress test produced a false positive...no abnormality in his heart!!! YEA!!! They did however discover plaque in his arteries. At his age that is both abnormal and not good. It is not so much that they have to do something about it but it is proof that his body does not process/metabolize cholesterol as it should. Definitely a blessing in disguise!! Most people would not learn this about their heart at this early stage or age and the plaque would continue to build. This, of course, would lead to bypass surgery later in life - or worse - a heart attack. Armed with this knowledge at this early stage, we are blessed to start my Bunkie on Crestor to prevent further plaque build up and hopefully to prevent bypass surgery and save his life.

His father saved his life! Bob with his heart issues and our LORD with leading us down the road to learning about Chris' issue so young and preventable. Again, I say, PRAISE GOD!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My sweetHEART

So my hubby has been going through a few minor health issues, but in the midst of all that has been going around us, and the fact that it involves his heart, there has definitely been an elevated level of anxiety and - and maybe this is the reason for all of this....an increased level of appreciation. Chris learned he had higher than ideal cholesterol three years ago when we did our life insurance tests when I was pregnant with Brady. It was not "high" in Chris' mind so he didn't take it that seriously...of course, I did! In a recent physical - about a year or so ago - he found out it had gone up some more...to 250...then I got all over him about how serious that was...to continue to rise at his young age (34 at this point). He didn't understand it based on his weight, exercise routine, lack of family history, diet, etc. but genetics are what they are.

Fast forward to a month ago when my sweet friend from MOPS suddenly lost her husband to a massive heart attack at almost 39 years old in the middle of the night...these tragic events so often are major eye openers as I reminded Chris that he was supposed to have his 6 month follow up at our doctor to see if he successfully lowered his cholesterol with diet and exercise - in January!! It was mid-March.

A week later, Chris's Dad went to the doctor for what he thought was gal bladder issues and discovered it was his heart and was moved to ICU after a heart attack and then later had SIX bypasses...again none of the typical warning signs...not high cholesterol, not high blood pressure, not a high heart rate, not family history, not overweight, and a non-smoker. This really opened Chris' eyes as he thought about how this put him in the "family history" category now. He called our doctor once we returned to Birmingham to have his follow up and his cholesterol rechecked. while hew was there he told Dr. Gilstrap about his Dad and his blood pressure was elevated for the first time. While Dr. Gilstrap was certain this was probably just anxiety based on what all had happened, he felt like with three factors - blood pressure, cholesterol, and now family history - it would be wise to schedule a stress test. So on Wednesday, April 8th Chris returned to Dr. Gilstrap's office for his stress test. He found out while he was there that he had lowered his cholesterol on his own from 250 to 207...which is GREAT. The stress test appeared to go well and they were impressed how long it took him to get his heart to its maximum rate on the treadmill. He was scheduled to come back a week later for his follow up to see what the stress test revealed.

On April 15th he returned to the doctor's office for his stress test results. He was told they found an abnormality and had scheduled him to see the cardiologist on Friday morning the 17th. SCARY!!! So all along as he has had anxiety during some of this with the "what-ifs", etc. I have been thinking things are fine, will be fine. The doctor is being thorough and we are being responsible...that is all this is.

And then the 15th....tax day...I hear "they found an abnormality in my heart they have scheduled my appointment with the cardiologist for Friday morning." WHAT??? an abnormality...a cardiologist appointment for my 35-year-old husband????? and they didn't say "we think you should follow up with Dr._______..here is his number." they made the appointment for him for two days later!! Okay, what else..my goodness and I am due to give birth in 3 weeks!!!! During this week we also found out that Chris' Aunt Robby's best friend lost her husband to a heart attack as well.

So Chris goes to the cardiologist on Friday morning. They drew blood, ran an EKG and decided they need to do an arteriogram on him on Wednesday. The abnormality on the stress test showed the tracer did not run through the bottom chambers of his heart completely/efficiently/sufficiently. Was he not positioned well for those pictures of his heart, does he have narrowing arteries, does he have a blockage already at 35??? that is what the arteriogram will tell the doctors on Wednesday. They will sedate him and catherize him. He will need to be driven home and, depending on what they find, he may have to stay overnight. If they find a blockage, they will either do angioplasty or put a stint in his heart while they are already in. Hopefully after Wednesday (2 1/2 weeks before my baby boy is expected to arrive), my hubby will be all clear, have a clean bill of health and be home feeling well with nothing for us to worry about anymore...that is our prayer!!

With this going on....something affecting his heart...I think of his heart, his sweet heart that is the best Daddy in the world, that is a giving spouse, that is a loving son, that is a loyal friend, that is a devoted son, that is a faithful servant, that is a concerned member of society, that is my BEST FRIEND and I think: "How can something be wrong with his sweet, sweet heart?" I have also had the thought: "how can I do this life, raise my boys, without him?" I know - with GOD - I can...but I want to scream: "I don't want to do this life thing without my sweetHEART!" He is great...not perfect, but perfect for ME!

Some recent one liners....

While coloring Easter eggs with MiMi and PopPop on Easter Eve in Atlanta... Chris: "What do you want to write on this egg (with the clear crayon that shows up white after you dye the egg)?" Brady: "a "K" for Bob" (PopPop)

While handing Miss Ericca a box of kettle corn popcorn that we got her at Publix...it had a picture of popcorn in the shape of a heart...."Here Miss Ericca...this will make your heart feel all better."

After his friend Jacob used the potty like a big boy at Chick-fil-A, everyone was telling him how great he did and how proud we were of him...Brady looked at him and said "You're a rock star!"

"I am right here, Mommy!"

My little angel at Macy's....

Brady, Miss Ericca (my friend I work with at Starbuck's that Brady ADORES - and she ADORES him too), and I went to Macy's on Wednesday to shop for a wedding gift for a co-worker of ours. While we are at the store, Brady asks to walk "like a big boy" so I let him out of the stroller while we were checking out. He was walking under the clothing racks, etc. and I kept telling him that to walk like a big boy he needed to stay with us, that I needed to be able to see him. After a few minutes of walking under racks, etc. and making it difficult for me to see him at points, I knelt down and called him over so we could be eye to eye. I said "Hey Buddy, Mommy needs you to be where I can see you..do you know why?" He just looked at me, wide-eyed, and I said "Mommy is not being mean when I ask you to stay near me...Mommy says that because I need to be able to see you to make sure you are safe. It is DANGEROUS to walk away where Mommy can't see you. If I can't see you someone could take you and then I wouldn't see you again and I would be so sad. So Mommy asks you to stay where she can see you because I love you and need to take care of you and protect you." Brady looks at me, nodding, and then gives me the biggest hug and tightest squeeze, while patting my back, says: "It is okay, Mommy, I am right here, okay?" "It is okay, I am right here".

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bye Bye Paci


On March 23rd we took Brady to Build-A-Bear to pick out an animal and put his paci inside. We told him we were going on a big boy adventure and that it was time to say "bye bye" to his paci. We let him choose the animal...he chose a frog with shamrocks for dimples that he named "Lucky". We told him he would put his paci inside and anytime he missed his paci (it has always been in his bed) then he would have Lucky to hold onto and his paci would be right inside. He was excited and put his paci in and had a great time creating Lucky, bathing him, printing his birth certificate, etc. This was our first experience with Build-a-Bear. After we made Lucky, we rode the carousel and got an ice cream. Our plan was "celebrating being a big boy" instead of just "taking something away" from our little guy. We had a great time and then came home to get ready for bed......yikes!! We missed our paci - there was crying, asking why, calling out to Daddy and Mommy for about an hour and a half. He finally fell asleep and he woke up at about 4:30 a.m. calling for his Daddy. Chris went up and talked to him and then calmed him down. He went back to sleep. Tuesday nap we cried out and whined for about an hour...Tuesday night about 45 minutes, Wednesday nap about 45 minutes, Wednesday night about 30 minutes, Thursday nap about 30 minutes, Thursday bed time about 10 minutes, Friday nap..pretty much no crying or whining, Friday night nothing, Saturday and Sunday nothing. It only took a week and he is over it...back to sleeping his normal hours, sleeping without getting up, no whining, etc. Again....such a big boy!! The big boy bed has been so simple and now the paci is a thing of the past. How can he grow up this fast????

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Best Big Brother

Today Chris, Brady, and I registered at Babies R Us. My dearest friends, Kerry and Deana, are hosting a Sprinkle for Evan. Brady was so helpful and sweet shooting everything with the scanning gun. Later in the day, after nap, Brady and Daddy are playing GeoTrax in the basement when I hear Brady coming up the stairs with a small photo album saying he needed to get stuff for Evan. He proceeds to have Chris follow him from room to room as he looks through his "growth chart" (the small photo album) to "see what Evan needs". He grabs stuff from his nursery, from his big boy room, from his playroom, the kitchen, etc. and piles all of these items on the couch for Evan. He was so determined, so focused, and spent a LONG time preparing all the things Evan needs. How blessed is Evan to have such a helpful big brother!