Monday, December 11, 2006

Health Update















We had 2 appointments last week at Children's Hospital in Seattle. They had to put Itty Bit out for an MRI (talk about trauma for a new mom).
The doctor confirmed that his kidney is still not functioning. It's shrinking like it should, but isn't connected to his bladder properly. They're talking surgery after Itty Bit is 12-18 months old. We can possibly wait longer if he seems healthy otherwise.
Right now I figure that just gives God time to work a miracle.

The little guy was a trooper for being starved half the day for the test. I daresay he charmed a few nurses :o)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hallmark Moments


The boys got to play a bit last night while getting their pictures taken for Christmas. Cutie Left kept giving Itty Bit kisses and reaching out to touch him. What a sweetie!

Everyone finally got together for a "sibling" picture... how surreal! I'm sure I'm not the only person to never expect to see three kids in that generation! :o)
Big Brother and Sister are very loving. Itty Bit actually smiled more for Sis than for me last night. I'm looking forward to everyone getting to be together Christmas Eve.

Will try to post more pictures soon!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Big Brother's Prize


Saturday Mr. Daddy & Big Brother Noel went hunting. Take a look at what Noel scored!

Childhood Revisited



There's yet another emotion tied to mommyhood, I've found.

I'm not sure what it's called, but it's the warm feeling I get watching my parents with Itty Bit.

My mom is his trusted nurturer. He loves her and knows she understands what he needs and wants. She cares for him with a familiar tenderness and is thoroughly attuned to his moods.

My dad... well let's just say that Papa is Itty Bit's favorite person. Papa speaks and Itty Bit looks for him. He steps into view and elicits joyous smiles. It's amazing to watch the recognition on Itty Bit's face - the instant huge grin and squeals.

This feels like revisiting my childhood - realizing that my parents probably cared for me in much the same way. I'm grateful for it, and profoundly thankful that they are here to be such a big part of Itty Bit's life.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Jest Fest 2006



We had a great time at the Jest Fest last night. The babies celebrated their first costume party and Little Jo enjoyed being a cheerleader this year. There were LOTS of people - and some familiar faces I haven't seen in awhile.
I'm always amazed at how creative people can get - and Ju is one of those people who has a knack for it. May-May wore my old zebra costume with a new hat that Ju put together an hour earlier.
Check out the cute kids!

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Very Old Zebra


By way of explanation... this costume was one my mother sewed for me 30 years ago.
Since Itty Bit was born a day before my birthday, you can really tell how much bigger he is than I was at 6 months. My mom says I was swimming in this costume; I can barely fasten the neck of it on him!

In any case - it was a great opportunity to share a family treasure. He was having a blast!

Smiles





Couldn't resist posting a few recent smiles... the kid is turning into quite an attention-getter when we're out and about! He's got a great little belly laugh that goes with it if you hit the right ticklish spot under his chin...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Beach Baby




We had a great time at the beach last Saturday. It was IttyBit's first time at Ocean Shores and it was a GORGEOUS day. Lots of sunshine and some nice big waves. Click on the bottom picture to see just how blue Itty Bit's eyes are!

Happy 28th Anniversary to Mom & Dad!

Parenting tip of the week: don't take the stroller out on the sand... *sigh*

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Week of Firsts


This kid is growing & changing daily...
In the last couple of weeks he said both da-da and ma-ma (in that order, the little stinker)
Then a couple days ago he decided to roll over from his back to his stomach. Heaven help us, our child is mobile!
I went back to work this week. It's only a half day Monday and Thursday. And I missed my boy the moment I got into my car to leave. He was (and I quote) angelic for Grandma. What a relief.
Just wanted to give you a peek at what I get to see every morning. This beautiful little boy who starts to fuss until he realizes that he can see me. Then the smile starts in his eyes and he gives me a great big bubbly smile. How on earth could you have a bad morning after that?!?!
I realize daily how blessed I am. And all of you friends and family are part of that

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Brave Little Soldier


Ouch...
We had 2 appointments at Children's Hospital yesterday. We left before dawn and wound up with a 2 hour drive in traffic.

Poor little guy. Three attempts to get the IV in - the first vein blew. But the sweet kiddo calmed right down after it was done. Then laid swaddled tightly through 35 minutes of radiology imaging.

The doc has ordered an MRI in a couple months. They will need to put him out for it - so it's definitely a time for prayer for Itty Bit and his anxious mama.

We may be looking at surgery in the near future - his kidney may be causing other problems.

But otherwise - he's a healthy and happy kiddo.
Oh yeah... he's 15 lbs, 13 oz, 26" long! We've caught up from the premature size!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Catching Up


Sorry it's been awhile. Been a hectic time and the next couple of weeks promises to be more of the same. We have 4 (yes, 4) appointments at Children's Hospital next week. All you friends and family out there - please pray. They'll let us know about possible surgery recommendations.

On a better note: I have a picture of Itty Bit smiling at Grandpa! This is significant because twice recently Itty Bit freaked out when Grandpa tried his Donald Duck voice on him. Which is truly adorable (Grandpa's voice, not the freaking out) and Tris is gonna love it later. For some reason it's just a new scary thing right now. But he does really enjoy Grandpa and here's proof. Cousin managed to get in on this shot too :o)

Can you believe it's almost October? My kid is gonna be 5 months old and I've hardly gotten used to the idea that he's outside my body yet! Yeah... now I have to suck my tummy in and turn down bowls of Vanilla Bean ice cream.

I better get to bed before I think too much about it and head downstairs to eat my willpower...

May-May Update


This is one cute kiddo. Very different from Little Jo (ultra cute in her own way). Jo has always been a bit vivacious. May-May, on the other hand, she's a bit more reserved: taking in the world and gazing out with big wide eyes. She's an old soul. It's a delight to watch her grow and hear her occasional squeals.

Oh yeah... Ju's now a BLONDE!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Stealing Moments


I've not been able to post as often as I'd like. Itty Bit has been growing like a weed and developing more personality by the day.

He's starting to really laugh at things. And you never quite know what will trigger it.
Sometimes it's blowing raspberries and making funny noises at him.
Sometimes it's tickling him.
Well, today was a new one...

Mr. Daddy got silly and showed Itty Bit a mouthful of eggs this morning. Tris thought it was the most hilarious thing he'd ever seen and started cracking up. A huge gummy smile, moon eyes, and lots of baby belly laughs. I got a few shots with the camera before Itty Bit figured out that he'd rather stare at it.

The other new thing is that Itty Bit has suddenly discovered that he has HANDS... and he stares at them with rapt attention. Finally figuring out how to use the little buggers - much to the danger of grandma's necklace and mommy's curls.

Can't wait to see what Gerri has to say on Thursday!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Introducing... May-May


Here's May-May... she was born June 15th and is quickly becoming a sweet-natured happy little girl. Little Jo is thrilled to have a little sister - you can frequently find her singing to May-May and doing her best to entertain her.

Congratulations Ju & G on your newest addition

Fairies & Frogs



I discovered an amazing place for photography. I was looking for someone to do some pregnancy photos and had no clue that she was practically in my backyard.

There's a place called Fairies & Frogs in Lacey - Anne does amazing work. Ju & I went back after the babies were born and she was patient and talented at getting the smiles and poses out of otherwise grumpy little ones.

It's definitely worth checking out her website at:
http://www.fairiesandfrogs.com/

All the beautiful black & white and handcolored photos you see on this page are her work. She was gracious enough to let me post the pictures - check out her other ones and maybe one day you'll see some familiar faces! :o)

Friday, September 08, 2006

In Memory


Ok. The blog isn't all about Itty Bit.
I'm grateful that he got to meet his great-grandmother before she passed away a couple weeks ago.

Alice is my dad's mother. She was a strong, independent, funny woman with a quick laugh and a passion for cheating at board games.

She was an excellent cook and gardener. She always seemed rather confident and fearless to me as a child. She was supremely capable and devoted much of her life to caring for others.

Here's to you Grandma - we love you.

Sir Blue, Jr.


Daddy's got the bluest eyes.
And I prayed Itty Bit would get them too.
He's got some indigo peepers that seem to lighten by the day.

In fact, he looks so much like daddy that I've wondered if I need a maternity test???

Budding Slugger


This is especially for Aunt Cindy... she got Itty Bit the cutest Mariners outfit when she visited this summer.

And a side bonus... her daughter brought over some of her son's old baby clothes and there were MORE Mariners outfits that are perfect on him right now.

If I could only freeze this kid for a bit... he's growing so quickly!

Learning to Play

Itty Bit is now almost 4 months old. We've been doing the Parents As Teachers (PAT) program since he was born. An educator comes into your home and shows you ways to interact with your child to help develop their mind, relationships, and physical abilities.

I'll admit it did sound a bit too groovy upon description at first. And there's a typical "is this for remedial parents?" kind of knee-jerk reaction.

But Gerri (the one who caught Itty Bit in the delivery room - she should get some kind of sporting award) is one of the educators and I felt led to give it a shot. Seemed like God had already put her exactly in our lives at the right moment, and I wanted to see what was next.

And WOW was I impressed. The program allows them to tell you if your child is on track with the things most babies do at their age. She was right on when she said Itty Bit needed more tummy time to strengthen his neck. And again when she gave me some tips to make feeding less painful.
(should this post have been called "In Praise of Gerri"?)

I'm more aware of how Itty Bit is responding to things (to people, to the breeze, to quiet noises). Gerri quickly (and rightly so) knocked my "I've been taking care of babies for years and don't have much to learn" ego out of the way. I'm grateful to be more in tune with my kiddo. Though I still think it's wildly unfair that I'm interacting with him all day and the second daddy's face comes into view: oh the ooh's, the goo's, the silly faces and smiles (from both of them)...

Life is good

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Finally... an UN-horror story

You know all those awful stories you hear about having a baby? Bet you most people could find some enjoyable aspects existed in those in-between-catch-your-breath-count-your-blessings moments.Not to say that it's easy... but there's no other challenge more rewarding or fulfilling.

So I made it to 36 weeks... barely.
10 days after the hospital visit, my water broke. It's 7:30am, May 13th - the day before Mother's Day and my birthday.

I don't even have the hospital bag completely packed yet. And I realize that since I'm 4 weeks early, I better find some smaller clothes for the baby. But momma ain't goin NOWHERE without a shower first.

We get to the hospital at 10am. Mom, Dad, sister Ju, and niece Little Jo showed up in short order. I was dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced. I got some quick-acting anti-nausea medicine. My nurse suggested soaking in the tub and WOW was that the best idea ever.

In 2-1/2 hours, I dilated to an 8 with my mom, Mr. Daddy, and friend Gerri by my side. Couldn't ask for better coaches. Got through it all without much more than a "whew" after the bad contractions.

Here's the un-horror story part... no back labor, no throwing up, no hours of pushing, no yelling or screaming or being rude (I asked afterward, haha), no epidural or pain medicine. Simply a lot of blessing, focus and some great support people. Gerri kept me calm. Mr. Daddy made sure I was comfortable. I'm sure Mom prayed me through those contractions. Ju was my ice girl - lots of encouragement and smiles. I caught a glimpse of the in-laws - they are the warmest people you'll meet.

An hour later, I was at a 10 and they got me out of the tub. After a couple pushes, the nurse figured that the IV fluids had made my bladder too full. So they threatened a catheter if I couldn't pee. You never saw me waddle so fast! I got back to the bathroom and tried desperately to pee.

Contractions were non-stop and I was having no luck after 5 minutes. Suddenly I realized that things were progressing and told my mom "he's right there!" She helped me stand and tried to get me back to the bed. After 2 steps I knew there was no way we'd make it. Mr. Daddy raced across the room as I said "he's coming!" He grabbed my arm, mom had the other. The only medical staff in the room was my nurse. Gerri dove with a towel and managed to catch a very slippery Itty Bit.

As unplanned as it all was (the doctor had stepped out - get this - to pee!), God had orchestrated everything beautifully. I was thrilled that Gerri got to catch Itty Bit, and that I was spared hours of pushing. I was grateful to have a wonderful labor & delivery experience.

Itty Bit was born at 3:55pm. Just in time to celebrate Mother's Day, and to be able to say he was born when momma was in her 20's! *grin*

Happily Growing

Pregnancy was pretty smooth sailing. The first clue came when Mr. Daddy called me from out of town and asked what'd I'd eaten for dinner. I said "a lemon and some rice cakes". Funky little cravings and a generally LARGE appetite followed.

It was nice for once; not having to suck my tummy in, or make an excuse for polishing off a family size portion of pasta.

Everything seemed to be going great. At 34 weeks along, contractions started getting regular. The doctor put me on partial bedrest and said they wouldn't allow labor to continue until I was at least 36 weeks.

Sooooo... what's this partial bedrest anyway and what does it have to do with me?!? I have a new house to unpack and a nursery to set up! I don't even have a crib yet... am I already a bad mom?

Double Trouble


My sister and I were pregnant at the same time... due 4 days a part. She's one of those girls who just looks CUTE pregnant, while I was warily watching my waistline throw bigger and bigger shadows while being amazed at the little kicking creature inside.

We compared notes on how we felt: our symptoms rarely matched.
She had a far smaller appetite, I gleefully polished off pints of Dreyers Vanilla Bean ice cream with hot fudge topping.
She had back pain and her baby girl stayed low. I had heartburn and my boy preferred my ribcage.

Would you believe the kids now do everything at the same time? May-May squeaks and Itty Bit starts fussing. She gets hungry and suddenly he realizes he's starving. They get fed and fall into noisy sleep simultaneously. And you might as well get two diapers - Lord knows they'll both be wet. It's a conspiracy...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

In the Beginning


I still have my old lists... created in my early teens when possibilities seemed unlimited and my career path seemed sure. I knew always that I wanted to be a mom. And as pragmatic as I was at 14; my dog-eared list included

Kathryn
Madison
Jessica
Matthew
Christian
Joshua

After 7 long years of believing I would have no need to consult "The List"... a little miracle came along to turn my life upside-down...
Itty Bit started his own list