Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

What a Thanksgiving Holiday...I just got back home tonight and feel like I got hit by a truck. BUT it was a fun Holiday weekend. Thursday afternoon we spent with Mark's family and had a wonderful meal. I left Thursday afternoon to head to Columbus with Leah, as we had a family wedding this weekend. Little did I know it was about to be the worst 3 hours of my life...Leah cried for 2hrs and 45 minutes...She HATES the car I guess. She pooped all over her car seat and then continued to cry so hard that she made herself throw up all over the backseat. I pulled over at a closed Tim Horten's and had no clue what to do because there was poop EVERYWHERE and Leah was in a I started crying too haha! We made it to Columbus safely, but it was a LONG three hours. The next day we headed to Cleveland, OH for the wedding festivities...I sat in the back seat with Leah and she just smiled and talked to me the whole maybe she just wants someone back there with her... Can we say SPOILED?!?! Because she was angel on the way back to Columbus Sunday,...and then on my trip today back to Indy she was ok, but still probably cried for a total of 45 minutes and I had to stop... But we survived the first travel weekend and without Mark, I have to say I am proud of us. It was not easy and I never want to do it without Mark again, but at least I know I can do it. The wedding was fun, Leah was good and I had a great time catching up with friends. We had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving...I will be hibernating at home the rest of this week as my first day back to work is next Wednesday (vomit)...soaking up every  minute with my sweet sweet girl!
Leah's Turkey Handprint

Turkey iron-on for Thanksgiving Day

My Girl

Lila and Leah on Thanksgiving...Leah is already fascinated with her!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Leah's Name...

Since we didn't know what we were having before Leah was born our nursery was very gender neutral...lots of yellow and green. So to add a little "girl" to the room I found plain white letters at Michael's, picked out some purple themed scrapbook paper, and with my trusty old Modge Podge...I created a decorated version of Leah's name. I really like how it turned out. Now I just have to figure out where to put it!

 Speaking of Leah's might be wondering how we chose Leah. All throughout my pregnancy if it was a girl her name would be "Norah". I LOVE that name, always have. It was one of the few that we agreed on. Towards the end of the pregnancy I started thinking about other names...We couldn't agree on anything else. As soon as she was born I knew she not a Norah. I was almost disgusted with the thought of naming her that. The first name that came to my head when I saw her was Leah. I always used to make fun of people who said they had to wait to name their babies, but I get it now!  After discussing with Mark I told him he could name her since she was born on his birthday. He looked at me and said "Emily" and I was like ummm " I really like Leah" -so much for letting him choose! So that was it...our little Leah was named. I must say her name is absolutely PERFECT...she is most definitely a LEAH!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One year ago...

Today is one year since I suffered a miscarriage with my first pregnancy. It was supposed to be a happy day, my dear primary at work was heading home to be with his mom, dad, brother and sister. It was around 8am and the family was already there..anxious to go! I ran to the bathroom real quick and my heart sank. I was bleeding. Sparing you the details I had to leave work, go to the doctors where it was confirmed that I was having a miscarriage. Mark was out of town for work. I was all alone...devastated. I called Mark, he drove home. I called my mom, she left work and came to Indy. That was the start of the hardest week of my life... A lot has changed in a year...especially the blessing of our sweet baby girl Leah. I am cherishing every ounce of her today while thinking about the baby we lost...I hope I never have to experience that again. Giving thanks for my bundle of joy! I saved the 3 pregnancy tests I took with baby 1...I couldn't bear to get rid of them. (I saved Leah's too!) It's comforting to still have these...Praying for my baby today and all angel babies.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekend To Do...

Leah is 9 weeks today...holy cow! Time flies! I have been soaking up every minute with this sweet little girl and I plan on doing that this weekend...hopefully I can get a few other things done as well. Mark has been gone this week on happy comes home this weekend!

Finish homework assignment for next week
Fold Laundry
Thanksgiving project
Prep cinnamon rolls

Organize Thanksgiving week (travels, gifts, and wedding prep for next weekend)
Clean bathrooms
Family time!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November- National Prematurity Awareness Month

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
November is national prematurity awareness month. As many of you know this touches extremely close to home for me as I am NICU RN. When I was in nursing school I had always dreamed of working on the newborn ICU and when I shadowed there I knew I had found my "home". In all of my "dreams" I never realized how challenging and how rewarding the job would be. Naively I thought I would be holding babies all day. And yes on the quiet days at work a lot of baby holding, feeding and rocking goes on. But a majority of the days are BUSY, the last thing on my mind is holding the baby as we are busy with IV's, blood draws, procedures, vitals, assessments, feedings, more assessments, letting parents hold, truly trying to make the baby feel better. The atmosphere is quiet (minus all the beeping), the babies are SICK, some so close to death I feel extremely inadequate to be taking care of them. How could God entrust this tiny vulnerable creature to me in my job? I will admit it is scary, sometimes I don't feel worthy and so scared I am doing something wrong. This is a person's CHILD...I often have to remind myself to trust in my knowledge, my co-workers and doctors. I have also learned to trust (most) parents...they know their child better then I do. My number one goal on any given day is to make the baby the most comfortable I can and make the parents feel the same. I want the parents to trust me, trust I truly care about their baby, and I want to do everything in my power to make them feel competent in caring for their baby and try to relieve as much stress as possible. It is hard job. I have held a baby and fed them a bottle in the morning and then turned around performed CPR on them later in the shift...these "preemies" are delicate, vulnerable, but yet oh so strong. I feel defeated a lot...I feel helpless a lot...some weeks I feel depressed about the job...BUT the good days renew your spirit every time. Feeling you helped a baby and a family is truly one of the best feelings in my life. I have had the privilege of taking care of so many special babies and families...see them be born and see them go home with their families...that is truly a miracle. Thank God for your healthy babies and thank God for the preemies who are resilient and strong. Please continue to pray for us all!

A tiny list of the "miracle babies" I have taken care of
- A 28 week baby girl, my first primary, 4 years old now!
- A 26 week boy, did his delivery and took care of him everyday I worked until he went home. Here is Andrew's Story
- A set of quadruplets who were amazingly healthy
- A set of twin boys 30weeks...Lots of feeding issues, got in many arguments discussions with physicians. Learned how to be better patient advocate.

- A set of triplets whose parents got to take these 3 beautiful girls went home with them. These babies and parents really helped me during a challenging time when I was feeling burned out. Check their story out HERE

- A set of triplets ( I have multiple fever!) born at 30 weeks...I ended up primary on the sickest of the 3...He was on death's doorstep multiple times. I remember praying so hard for him, feeling helpless for him, feeling helpless for the parents...BUT my little man turned it around and I became so attached to him. I felt heavy loss when he went home, but also an extreme amount of happiness. Those parents saved me as much as I tried to save their son. Some of my closest friends to this day.

-A 30 week boy who was so sick and we never learned why...we called the parents in and told them this was it...He went home eating, breathing on his own, and is so chubby now! MIRACLE!

-30 week twin boys who were so stinking cute...I loved loving on them all day!!!

Here are all my "favorites" The best part about all of these stories is that I still remain in touch with all of these families. I get to enjoy watching these babies grow up and get stronger and stronger. Talk about rewarding.

Here is another post from my friend Kathy, who is Andrew's mom about how to support families while their babies are in the NICU. How to Help!

FYI- I was granted permission for all the pictures I used by the parents( Don't worry no HIPPA violations!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leah- Two Months

Age: Two Months
: 10lbs 8oz
Length: 23.5 in
Size: We have switched to 0-3 months, occasional NB onesie.

Teeth: N/A
Hair: Still has lots...I swear the color changes daily- blond, brown, slightly red WHO KNOWS! 
Sleeping: Pretty much still hit or miss. Sleeping better at night, usually goes down around 10:30-11 and sleep until 4:00 or 5:00...I will take it! Takes a nice long nap in the am and cat naps the rest of the day.
Eating: Still nursing well...she is a little oinker. Eats every 2-3 hours as well.
Movement: She is an active little thing! Always moving arms and legs, doesn't like to be sitting still. Her head is getting very strong. Loves being on her belly.
Milestones: She is smiling and cooing. Looking all around at things.

Favorite Toys: Likes this bear play mat we were given. It is super soft, she loves laying on it and looking at the ceiling fan. Have a play mat with animals will try and reach for and then kick legs. Likes looking at books.
Dislikes: Anything involved with her car seat, bouncy, swing, not being held...this has not changed. She is MISERABLE in the car.
Words/sounds: Lots of coos and trying to talk!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Ok so I might have been a little over ambitious for what I wanted to accomplish this is so unpredictable know with a baby...especially a baby who decides some days she wants to cry A LOT or be held ALL THE TIME! That mean Sunday was pretty much chalked up to baby holding, I know terrible life right?! But we survived.

I took Leah to the Ball State Women's B-Ball game Friday night. I'm not going to lie, it was a lot to manage by myself especially for a baby who HATES the car (seriously who hates the car?) When we got to Muncie she had spit up everywhere and blew out a diaper...awesome! But she was an angel during the game, loved looking at all the bright lights and barely made a peep! Of course on the way she cried the whole time and was miserable. I was glad I took her, but I was very anxious about having her out and getting places in time to avoid meltdowns. It was great seeing old teammates, old coaches and old fans. The good old people of Muncie never forget who you are and make you feel very special!

I did manage to make it to the breastfeeding group Friday morning, but sadly I did not have time to prep my cinnamon rolls, maybe this weekend.

Saturday we visited with our friends Scott, Jess, Belle, Trey and Sloan. We go way back with these fabulous people and they had not met Leah yet. I babysat Belle when she was 3 months old for a whole summer. Trey is my Godson and Sloan LOVED baby Leah. All of them hold such a special place in my heart....really no words! I got nothing else done Saturday... whoops!

Sunday I got a little  bit of homework started, but that is about it. Leah needed to be held and nursed ALL day....sooo I need to focus on my homework and getting re organized's to hoping!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekend Planning

I would really like to get some things accomplished this weekend...soooo I am making a tiny "to do" list in hopes Leah will behave herself for a few hours and I will be able to check a few things off...

Breastfeeding Support Group
Babies R Us return
Prep cinnamon rolls
Work on "get back into shape" plan
Ball State Women's B-Ball Game

2 loads of laundry
Visit with friends
Begin homework for the week

Meal Plan
Continue working on homework
Sort through Leah's Clothes
Start Planning Christmas Shopping

Garlic Roll Ups

I made Garlic Roll Ups last night to go with our pasta dinner. They were yummy! To show you what a novice cooker I am I did not know they sold frozen bread dough at the grocery store. It makes sense they would but I had never put it together. So I bought a bag and extremely excited to try some new recipes with it. The bread was good, better then any Grands biscuit if I must say so myself. I got the recipe from one of my favorite blogs Clover Lane I love this woman's philosophy on just about everything! Check her out if you have time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mini Baked Apple Pies...

I made these last night...boy were the yummy! Also super easy and I had all the ingredients on hand! These are a must try...perfect for a small portion or for little kids!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 7th Gratitude...

I was thankful for my hubby Mark today....He provided so much support to me even though it was over the phone mostly because he was working a busy day. Leah was extremely fussy today and I was becoming worn out with her crying and my inability to soothe her. I just kept calling Mark, he answered every time and just offered words of encouragement. It was so nice to hear supportive words instead of advice or "have you tried this?" talk. He knew just what I needed. Later that night we had dinner at his parents and he was extremely attentive to my needs...I was so thankful for this as I was tired, hungry, probably dehydrated and anxious. He made sure I ate until my heart was content, my water was full and gave me lots of hugs and kisses. He probably didn't think anything of it, but it meant a lot to me. I am not going to lie, the past 7 weeks haven been challenging on our relationship. I would like to think this is normal for any couple who have just had their first child. There have been arguments, short tempers, lack of QT time, exhaustion, complaints and just adjusting to life that is no longer just about the two of you. I have not put as much energy into our relationship because it has been directed towards Leah, but it is so important to save some energy for your spouse. I am not talking big things here...I am trying to be more patient, use kinder words, hugs, kisses, and offering an ear during pillow talk instead of just falling asleep...these things are working to get us comfortable with our new "normal" I just wanted him to know how thankful I am for him.
Aren't they ADORABLE!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Operation Clean House

Confession: My house is a disaster. I know I know, I have a newborn who cares if the house is messy, BUT I am officially grossed out, don't want to walk around barefoot, and can see the dog hair piling up. There is clutter everywhere, papers, random baby things, stinky fridge, laundry backup and the list goes on and on. The past week has been busy sitting and nursing my growing baby. I think Leah had her first major growth spurt...I was nursing every hour to two...with an occasionally 4 hour stretch in there, BUT she seemed extra clingy as I could not put her down to nap. So I was prisoner to my extra large puffy recliner (smartest purchase yet!) and my 7 week old baby. I was getting frustrated because I just wanted to get up and be able to do what " I needed to do" but had to gently remind myself what I REALLY needed to do was be with my baby and give her what SHE needed. She slept 5 hours last night, so hopefully we are getting back on track. So onto my house...between nursing and nap times I have a whole long list of what I would like to get done this weekend...

- The kitchen needs a major scrub down, refrigerator needs cleaned out
- The floors need swept, mopped x 5 (my love hate relationship)
- Upstairs needs vacuumed
- The clutter especially the mail/papers/bills/cards needs sorted through
- A few loads of laundry

I'm trying to keep the list short as I need to be realistic with my time, as this could all be down the toilet if Leah decides she needs to be held all weekend.

So today I am thankful I have beautiful home to clean :)

Off to work...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Gratitude

November?! What the heck!!! All I can think about is that I only have 5 weeks left of maternity and it honestly makes me sick to my stomach...I really can't even go there! Soooo Im trying to approach November from a different angle...Feeling thankful for all I have. And since Thanksgiving is this month I will be giving thanks all month. Each day I want to focus on something to  be thankful for...whether it be big or small...whatever strikes me that day and makes me feel truly thankful. Yesterday, November 1 was such a beautiful fall day and I was so thankful I was able to enjoy the sunshine. I will be posting my list in the sidebar and blogging about them as the mood strikes. What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween

We celebrated Leah's first Halloween with Marks parents and Dave, Heather and Lila. We enjoyed the trick or treaters and a very in depth discussion on everyone's favorite candy bar and what actually classifies a candy bar. Mark was mad at everyones choices and then claimed his favorite candy bar was a nutty bar...we all instantly claimed a nutty bar is not a candy bar but a snack cake... Mark did not agree. As you can tell we all were very into this conversation! HAHA!

Leah was a ballerina/princess...a homemade costume since everything was too big for her. Lila was the cutest bumble bee I have ever seen! And Dave (Marks brother) was a pirate/hippie. A good time was had by all!

One happy baby!

Baby Lila Bumble Bee! :)

This is HOT!!!

I think this is the first picture I have with Leah