Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thanks for Everything!

We just returned from an awesome trip filled with so much southern lovin this side of the mason dixon line! Tummies are full, hearts are dripping with extra love and feeling so blessed to have these amazing people in our corner helping to raise and guide Lily and Grady on their way through life. As we were leaving, I kept saying "thanks for everything" because it encompassed everything I was feeling, but really came up short when words fail me to tell them the gifts they give us everyday...just for being them & loving our kids. How does one articulate that to another? This is David's side of the family, but we all just mesh together so well, I hate to even decipher it into "sides". They're my family too by golly. They ooze goodness, wholesomeness and everything good we want for Lily and Grady. And for ourselves.

(sweet Thelma, Allison, and dog Rusty are missing)

They teach me to slow down, shut off my phone and get back to basics of living.
How do you ever thank someone for that and saying yes to the 100th game of tag or racing?

and letting them win every time to make them feel good on the inside...

or saying yes to the 200th game of catch and praising them like when they catch the ball like they just got accepted into Yale; just to fill them up...

Sitting back taking it all in can be overwhelming and I wonder how we got here. Then I smile extra big knowing the answer...

Anna stood on the side of the road holding up a handmade "Welcome to South Carolina" for 30 minutes before we arrived. She practically waited by their doors while they napped and spread her love evenly between the 2. I don't know who had more fun?

And Grady became one of the boys in no time. New tongue trick for all to see. Look at me guys.

He was either smiling or making this face the entire time as he studied a new face holding him, not sure what to think, but then putting down his guard once he realized this was just another person who was going to kiss, hug and nuzzle him.

I think Lily would've been happier if David and I had dropped her off in SC so she could have them all to herself. I dont know if it was the crazy sleep schedules, the air mattress vs the crib, or all the new people, but she just wasn't herself and wasn't that into us. Maybe it's because she's 3 and asserting her independence, but i know it heightened the moment we arrived and curtailed itself when we left so I think she wanted us to stay back in FL this trip so she could have them all to herself.
She asked Anna "Pleez, will you pay with me?" at least 98 times. and even when they were playing together, she'd keep asking. I think she was so excited and comfortable with her she didn't know how to quite articulate it. Hide and go seek was a favorite game but Lily had a hard time understanding the concept because once Anna would yell "ready or not here I come", Lily always yelled out "Okay" from her secret hiding spot..

One of the highlights of the trip for me was visiting Lily and Grady's GREAT Grandma who will be 99 in September! 99 people! That's 63 more years of living for me and I'm already exhausted at age 36. She has been alive for 99 years. I don't know if you realize it, but that's pretty freaking close to 100 and being on the Smuckers Jar with Willard Scott. Her memory is poor, but seeing her face LIGHT UP like a Christmas tree when she saw Grady for the first time made me a pile of mush.

I excitedly anticipated seeing Lily and Grady with Thelma when planning this trip. If my camera cwuld've broken after getting these priceless pictures, I would've been a happy camper.

Yes, she is as sweet as she looks. I promise.

Lily went over all the pictures in a scrapbook Aunt Sandy made for Thelma and I could barely see through the camera as I snapped.

I'm a big fan of the cheesy shot when everyone looking at the camera, smiling and posed, but this is one of my favorite pictures from our trip. We're laughing and interacting while she just takes it all in smiling with her heart.

So even though, thanks for everything are such shallow words in comparison to all of the time, effort, planning, noise, chaos, and love that went into our trip, those are 3 little words that really have a bigger meaning and the only way to show them our gratitude is to pay it forward to our little miracles. This is just a fraction of the 200 pictures I'm wading through, but gives you a sweet taste of the southern charm we were lucky enough to savor while together.

Life is good.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pretzel Tummy

I think I could make up a term for Dr. Google to be used when searching the internet for symptoms you feel and coming up with a diagnosis. We've all done it and I know I have a million and 1 times; especially when we were ttc.

Well, this emotion every mother feels on a regular basis. It's the "Pretzel Tummy Syndrome". Because once you have a child/dren, your heart has left your body and safely tucked inside another body and your happiness and sadness is now derived from that other body. In college, if I was in a funk, I would go straight to the book store and buy every self help book I could find on that related subject and usually feel better after reading some comforting words and anecdote.

It doesn't work that smoothly with kids. When things are "off" with your kid(s) and the planets aren't aligned with them, your tummy begins to take the form of a pretzel feeling anxiety for whatever they're going through. Well, I've been feeling that way for awhile about little G-man!

(Guess who took these awesome pictures?)

Well, he's having surgery tomorrow. Our little 7 month old SWEET baby boy is going to be admitted to the hospital, given an IV, and put under anesthesia. I could throw up if I really thought about it. So I have a big case of the Pretzel Tummy Syndrome and there's not antibiotic for it.

And I went to the bookstore, but no self help book about it either.

His belly button still has that suspicious growth coming out of it and they're not quite sure why 4 chemical treatments didn't obliterate it so they have to remove it surgically.

The specialist said the growth could be attached to his bladder and when the dr. said those words, I literally felt weak in the knees and didn't hear much of what he said after that. They wont know until they "go in" tomorrow (hurl) at how involved it'll be.

He is such a happy little guy....all. the. time. (with 2 bottom teefers)

and he just oozes goodness and happiness from his every pore. And I know all babies do; it's just neat to experience it again and can't believe that lightning strikes twice when you have a 2nd baby and the love & adoration you felt for the first one happens all over again. I didn't expect that.

and to think he'll be in such a vulnerable state while there's nothing we can do to help him...it's just not fair.

and I know these surgeons could do this routine surgery in their sleep, Grady is safe in their hands and they're experts in their field. I know they do this everyday on hundreds of kids. And yadda-yadda-yadda; It just feels different when it's your baby. And they're putting your heart on the table.

But, like everything else in life that is icky, we'll be there for him holding his hand the entire time. And his heart.

Lily talks about his boo-boo on his belly button all the time lately and I think she senses it's turning into a bigger deal than usual.

Please pray for our little guy tomorrow and everything goes quick and smoothly. Thank you for all of your support and love leading up to this point. It is SO comforting. It means so much. My phone was blowing up with thoughtful texts, missed calls, emails during his consultation appointment last week and with every bling of the phone translated as an "I love you guys", it was an awesome reminder that we are so loved and supported during stressful times. I guess that's the antibiotic that works best for the Pretzel Tummy Syndrome. It's definitely my favorite.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mommy's Day

People say that being a mom is a tireless and thankless job. Yes, it can be tiring at times and overwhelming because of the emotional investment that's attached to the hoping and praying you're making the right decisions along the way. And the tantrums and whining? Whew doggy they can be not so pretty.

But thankless? I couldnt disagree more!

They show their thanks every hour of everyday with their smiles, giggles, hilarious stories, endless kisses and hugs for no reason. I can't believe there's a day to thank me for this incredible job of being their mom. I feel like I should be thanking them because they teach me more than I could've ever imagined. I think it everyday, I can't believe I get to be their mom. There were many mother's day that people tiptoed around me not knowing what to say as this day was like a giant heaping of salt in the wound of not being a mom. But, this year, we were all smiles celebrating with a different type of salt. At the beach.

Grady has brought more joy into our hearts than I ever thought possible. Ever. He smiles and happily kicks from the moment he wakes up until he sleeps. I think he smiles in his sleep. Lily asked the other day why he doesn't cry a lot because she thought babies were supposed to cry all day.

My camera didn't make it in time for Mother's Day (weep, weep), but my cell phone did the trick and I tried not to give it power that I was missing it on such a special day. The frizzis joined us to toast motherhood and all that it means. that was a gift in itself!!!!

and of course there was a game of ball going on at all times...

and bonding...

Neatfreak Lily used to be turned off by the texture of sand and always would want it off her hands/feet immediately, which was a neverending task, but she has embraced the grains in between her toes and fingers.... Lily read me her mother's day card to me about 23 times that day. She read aloud proudly like she could read every word. Funny part is that she recited it the same way each time. She said (opening card proudly with shy smile) "Happy Muvers Day to my mommy. Mommy is so beeaful. Mommy loves me win im happy. mommy loves me when im angry. mommy loves me win im sad. mommy doesnt wuv me sumtimes, mommy wuvs me all da time. Luv Leelee" (closes card)She said the same thing in a different order everytime.

and forget the water! she used to be so uncomfortable with the water even touching her baby toe and would only go in if we held her....now she takes a bath in it. I guess I should believe everyone with older kids who tell me "it's just a phase". I swear when I am told that, I think to myself, "no this one is not a phase, it'll last until she's 10 and she'll never like going to the beach" or whatever the phase of the week/month is. It's hard to see the forest through the trees.
Got this suit at once upon a child for $3.50. Can I get a woop-woop?

she liked playing tag with the water and Grandpa. I watched and heard the play by play from Grandpa the next day of what was happening. And the day after. And the day after that. I truly don't know who is having more fun.

he looks like a lifeguard.

the cute one you want to smile at every time you see him...

I feel like my connection with my mom and david's mom has taken on a whole new deeper level since becoming a mom because I have such insight to everything they did, everything they feel, and try to pay it forward everyday. It's a huge responsibility and such an honor that God has trusted us enough to fill these beautiful souls up with love, goodness, and ooey-gooey fun!
So to have a day to celebrate this seems bizarre to me when I should be thanking them for allowing me to even be a mom. That is a gift worth its weight in gold. And never thankless.

I can't believe how much I love this picture. I can't get it blown up big enough because it captures their heart. And mine... in one snap! Thank you thank you thank you Jen!

Life is good.

Friday, May 06, 2011

a broken flash, leftover birthday cake and prayer requests to the belly button gods

So my camera is in the shop for a faulty flash and I'm praying to the UPS gods that it'll be back before mother's day, but in the meantime, thank goodness for cell phone cameras. much easier to send pictures to family and friends too...like this one where it was borderline cute and borderline white trash to let her have lunch while barefoot running around. Not very ladylike or rule abiding, but that's how we roll.

I can't tell you the full circle happy feeling I get seeing Lily and Grady in Jen's classroom. Who would've thunk it all those painful years of praying for our babies that they'd be psuedo students in her room one day??

and this boy has more happiness in his pinky than I can bottle up...I love this picture of the 2 of them...Jen sees a lot of Jordan in Grady so I think it's neat for her to relive those days through Grady....the more loving he can get from his family the better.

see what I mean?

We told Lily she could go anywhere she wanted for her family bday dinner and I was hoping for a little cheese fries action at Outback or bread/oil at Carraba's, but she said "I wanna go to Welcome to Moes". When we'd say we were going to Moes, she'd correct us and say "no we are not going to Moes, we're going to Welcome to Moes". God I love this little 3 year old more than words can express.

She wanted a brownie birthday cake in the shape of a 3. So she got just that. she had to glam up for first before the big moment.

told her to make a wish...she said she wished for a hundred dollars.

I had built up our trip to build a bear like it was going to be birds flying singing and put it off for the perfect day. Since her bday fell on a Monday we met daddy there for lunch for the big shebang. She chose a doggy and named it "heart". I love this store and the positive messages it sends to kids. Genius marketing too if you ask me and I didnt study marketing and you didn't ask me either.

washing and drying Heart was her favorite part...hey that rhymed.

she had to make a wish on her heart for the heart they were going to put inside him...wonder if he's going to be rolling in the $100 cash too?

personalized pancakes are a must. easy to do with this

Lily got pretty sick the night of her birthday with a ruptured ear drum which only lasted a few days, but we were SO thankful for the timing if it had to happen. Only lasted a few days, but nothing worse than seeing your kids sad. Grady has to go to a pediatric surgeon next week to have his belly button looked at because it may need surgery. He has a umbilical granuloma which is a growth out of his belly button from his cord not healing properly. Trying not to fast forward, but it's kinda wiggin' me out. It's been an ongoing issue for the poor little guy - here's what it looked like at its worse...

it's gotten significantly smaller with multiple treatments of silver nitrate, but not gone or even flesh colored like it should be. here's what it looked lke after one of his treatments that helped to shrink it :(
no, i wasn't freaking out when i went to change him and saw this. (dripping with sarcasm) Anyway, curious what the specialist will recommend and the last thing I/we want is for him to have to have surgery where he'll have to be put under anaesthesia. Lily was put under for her MRI around 9 months and it was a scary feeling to be so little and vulnerable with those heavy drugs in their system even though I know it's super safe and common when necessary. Just hoping he can have it done later in life than at all if need be. So say a prayer or 5 that everythign will work itself out and it'll go away on its own magically so he can pick up chicks on the beach when he's 22 and not be called the 3rd nipple boy all his life. Looking forward to a weekend with my 2 favorite small people who let me celebrate a holiday that caused me so much angst for many years.

life is good.