Thursday, September 30, 2010
Henry loves his Mama (but his Mama loves him more)
Henry at his very own Smokehouse. He looks thrilled
Even more thrilled
Here is Henry and his Papa with the infamous toy box at Mawmaw's house. He LOVED it.
Henry, Mawmaw and Papa on Mawmaw's back porch swing
Cheesing big time with Grandpa
We went into downtown Greenville and had a blast! Henry thoroughly enjoyed the pizza place on Main street. We enjoyed the view at the Greenville bridge!
With cousin Kelsey and her boyfriend Thomas
Nana, Grandpa and Aunt BB with the boys
Henry loves South Carolina!
When we got home on Sunday we had more family in from Alabama! Here is Henry with his Great Grandma!
And one last picture for today. Here he is with Aunt Meagan and the fake black cat. The black cat that he L.O.V.E.S. When he saw it, he squeeled with delight, and I think he thought it was sammie :( He then carried it around the house all day Sunday and all day Wednesday when he went back to visit. He sits and pets it. It is so adorable. And kinda heart breaking for me. But mostly adorable.
Okay, that's it for now. I do have a real post planned for tomorrow. With words... and no pictures or anything. So...you know...come back!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Maybe because we got to eat snacks and watch cartoons in the bed...
Or maybe because he got to sleep with his Papa instead of in his own crib...
Or maybe because Hotel beds make the best forts ever!
**Why yes, I AM splitting these pictures into three posts (the actual family pictures to come tomorrow). What? Do you feel like I am milking this weekend for all it's worth? You're right. I may actually even sneak in a fourth. What can I say, I like pictures!**
Monday, September 27, 2010
We had a wonderful trip and are now home safe and sound! I would love to blog all about our amazing weekend, but alas I am back to real life, and real life is crazy busy. So, for now, here is one little picture from our trip. More to come soon!
PS. I am only $20 away from my goal for my 5K for brain tumor research. Don't you want to put me over the top?? Click here to read the story behind my walk and click here to donate! Thanks so much to all of you who have already helped to get me so close to my goal!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
So after work today we are packing up their car and heading to a resort in North Carolina. A resort with gambling. Which somehow strikes me as funny. That I am taking my one year old for a mini-break to a casino. But you know, you gotta teach them about how "money won is twice as sweet as money earned". Okay, I admit it, that's a quote from the movie The Color of Money. I haven't even seen that movie, I just googled gambling quotes. We have been to casinos like five times in our entire lives. So...stick a "sucker" name tag on us and send us off to the poker tables! Or more likely, then nickle slots. It's going to be great!
PS. We do know that children aren't allowed in the actual casino, so we don't really expect to do much gambling. We are honestly tagging along to see he leaves changing in the mountains and to eat some of Mawmaw's lasagna. We are so utterly lame.
PSS. Don't worry ICLW folks, I did extra commenting the last couple of days to make sure I got my quota in before we hit the road!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
No, he hasn't become attached to a toy. Not to a blanket or a lovey. But when we lay him down in his crib for bedtime, and then...slide our hand into the crib through the slats, he grabs on for dear life. We started this because we wanted him to sleep in his own bed, but to still know we are there. We wanted to be able to rub his back or hold his hand to help him relax and fall asleep. And since he was going from sleeping in our arms, we thought giving him a hand was a nice transitional step down. But now as mine or Nick's hand slides in to the crib, he grabs it with his own and presses it to his face. Hugging my arm tight to his body. He rubs his face into my palm and sometimes gives it a kiss. He then takes my hand and lays it flat on the mattress, and lays directly on top of it. For safe keeping. Several times as he drifts off he repositions it, using it as a pillow, then laying on top of it again. His lovey, his comfort, his favorite thing in the world, is his parents hands.
The love is so powerful sometimes, it takes my breath away. When I think of how much he loves me, and how much more I love him back. One of these days I will have to find a way to not have to sit by his crib as he falls asleep. To replace the comfort he gets from my hand with some type of toy or blanket. We really are working on it, but this falling asleep in his own bed thing is big, and we are taking baby steps. For today I love that our hands are his most favorite thing. Somehow it will be a little sad now when a stuffed animal replaces that.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
So anyway, welcome all of you ICLW readers. Thanks for stopping in! If you are interested in our TTC history, you can check it out here. The short version is stage four endo, three failed IUI's, one successful IVF resulting in Sweet Henry. We are gearing up for baby number two, but for now we are just enjoying this crazy life with a toddler!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Henry is on Nick's insurance. The day he was born happened to be the cut off for open enrolment at the University, so Nick had to run across campus to change his insurance plan. He could have added Henry at anytime during the year, but to change from one plan to another had to be done ON THAT DAY. So it was a little crazy. They wanted to put Henry on right then because it was easier (and because he was born, so it seemed silly to wait), but they needed proof that he was Nicks child. The only thing we had was some hospital paperwork and his footprints. They accepted it and our boy was insured.
Well, a few months ago we started getting letters wanting us to verify he was ours. For some reason we ignored these letters. I cannot explain it. We just didn't get what the big deal was. We "proved" he was ours once! Why do we need to do it again? It wasn't exactly like I never planned to provide their proof, it just didn't seem important enough to stop what I was doing at that very moment. But today we got a letter we could not set aside. It said we HAD to bring in a copy of Henry's birth certificate or he would be dropped from coverage. Okay. Go ahead and play THAT card Mr. insurance company. We will bring you your "proof".
But then I started looking for his birth certificate. And...then I started thinking....did we ever even get him one? No. Turns out we didn't. We just skipped over that entire deal all together. I kinda just assumed a birth certificate CAME with birth. Doesn't that seem logical? What is all this about contacting the state to have it sent to us?? And paying for it? Shouldn't the FIRST birth certificate be free?? The hospital sent off to get his social security number, so we had that, but not an actual record of his birth. Great.
So I had it rush ordered (which turns out, isn't cheap) and sometime next week we can make him all official and stuff. Sixteen months old and finally gets proof he is ours. At least his birth certificate doesn't have white-out on it like mine. That's right. My birth certificate has WHITE OUT on it. For years I was sure it meant I was adopted. In reality they just misspelled my dad's middle name and were too lazy to start over. Classic.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
My little sister Missy had been having a terrible headache for weeks. It began on the way down to Florida for our family vacation, and never truly went away. It hit a peak when we were out of state to meet Cici, but she called her primary care physician and he told her to take Excedrin Migraine. We picked some up and she began feeling much much better. The headache was still there, but she was able to function. She was able to enjoy the weekend with her new niece. Everything seemed better.
Over the next few weeks the headache lingered on. She went to the doctor. Several times. They thought it was a sinus problem. They thought it was migraines. They just weren't sure. Finally her PCP sent her to a neurologist. She thought it was a pinched nerve. She thought it was migraines. She said the Excedrin was causing part of the headaches and she needed to go off it. At no point in any of these visits did they actually scan her head.
On Friday, August 27th she was at work (she works at the hospital) and her head was hurting so badly, and she knew when the Excedrin wore off it would be unbearable, so she went down to the ER. The doctor was positive it was a migraine, but said nobody should have a headache for seven straight weeks and not have a CT scan. That is when they found it. A large brain tumor in her frontal lobe. At first he didn't think it could be cancer because it was so large, but once an MRI was preformed he became pretty positive that it WAS cancer. She was sent home Friday afternoon with surgery scheduled for first thing Monday morning.
Monday August 30th my sweet little sister had brain surgery to have her tumor removed. They say the surgery went very well. They got most of the tumor. Most but not all. They said they knew they wouldn't be able to get it all. It was a tumor of the brain, not from someplace else in the body. This means it was impossible to tell for sure where the tumor stopped and the brain started. The tumor was located right against the speech center of her brain, so he wanted to take as much out as possible without jeopardizing her ability to talk. He did an amazing job. That same night she woke up from surgery talking and was her perfect normal self. She felt like crap of course, and had one hell of a headache, but she was still her. Still Missy. Perfectly her sweet self.
She spent the next couple of days in the hospital and came home that Thursday. Amazingly, she went back to work (part time for now) this week. We are still waiting on all the lab results to find out the type and grade of the cancer. The doctor believes it is a non-aggressive, slow growing cancer. The best you can hope for once you find out you have brain cancer. The said as long as it is grade 2 or lower she will most likely only do radiation treatments and not chemo. We will find out all those details soon. The waiting is hard, the not knowing what comes next.
She is so strong. Stronger than I could ever imagine being. She has faced this situation with such grace. I feel the desire to stand between her and this situation. To try to protect her somehow. She is my little sister. My baby sister. It is my job to watch out for her and keep her safe. She does not need this. She doesn't deserve it. But that is not how these things work. You deal with the hand you are dealt, and she is dealing with hers amazingly well.
One reason Missy has said I could share her story is because On October 10th our family will be participating in the University of Cincinnati’s 5K walk/run for brain tumor research. A team has been set up in her honor, Melissa’s Magnificent 10. I will be walking and hoping to raise $500 to help their ongoing research for Brain Tumor treatments and cures. If you would like to make a donation to the cause, it would be greatly appreciated by me, my family and the entire research team at UC. You can make donations on my personal page at:
Sarah's Brain Tumor Research 5K Donation Page
Credit and debit cards can be entered on the donation page or checks can be given to me or mailed in.
Thank you all so much for your support. Your prayers and kind words during this hard time have meant so much to us all. Together we will fight this, and she will win.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I feel like in every picture I see of me, It stands out. This one isn't too bad because of my bangs, but it is still the first thing I see on my face.
This one I feel like it looks like maybe my forehead is pealing or something. I hate it. (just my forehead, not the picture. I think the picture is pretty cute. Go Big Blue!)
Here is a really clear one of it. It actually has the perfect shape of a down arrow. Like The Last Airbender. Let me show you. Here is the Last Airbender...
And here is my pregnancy mask with an outline to make the arrow more clear...
So...the point is, it's annoying the crap out of me. I was fine with it (sort of) while pregnant and nursing, but now that I have been done nursing for nearly four months and it is still here, I am starting to realize that it might be staying FOREVER. I called the doctor, and there is a cream they can give me, but it is $250 a tube and insurance wont cover it. AND I have to be on it for several months, which will require several tubes. So... I just don't know. Is it worth $1000 to not look like the last airbender?? But I decided to give it more time. See if it fades. Make-up doesn't cover it. These pictures are WITH make-up. On my naked skin it is much more obvious. Before you all say it totally isn't noticeable (which is still okay to say, because it may make me feel better) just know that people have noticed it. A lot. People have asked about it. "Do you have sun?" , " Did you get burned?" , "Is your forehead peeling? ", " Aren't your Freckles cute!", "You look tan on your forehead!" And on and on. I can't fool myself. I know it is noticeable.
Has anybody else has this issue? Is there any natural home remedy that took care of it? If you tell my peanut butter is the magical cure I will happily rub it on my forehead every night from here on out.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Turns out I DIDN'T Click to see episodes of Glee, or for a free ipad, or even for a free mini computer (which I REALLY want now that I see half the people in my grad class have one. And there I sit, taking notes in a NOTEBOOK. With PAPER. And a PEN. How horribly lame.) No, I did not click for something free. No sir. I innocently walked into work Monday morning and noticed something from my virus scan had popped up. It said, "We have detected several tracking cookies on your computer. We would like to remove them. Allow or Do Not Allow. So....I mean....I didn't want tracking COOKIES. That sounds VERY THREATENING. So I clicked Allow. And...all hell broke loose. The next thing I knew PO.RN sites were popping open on my computer. My WORK computer!! HORROR!
Turns out virus writers are getting smarter. It's not all about free ipads after all. They are now playing against our fear of virus' WITH VIRUS'. So I had to admit to the IT guy that I had a virus. A porn site opening virus. One that I let in by actually being the fool that clicked "Ok! Come on in and ruin my computer!!". He said it has been happening a lot. That it looks very similar to the actual virus notice and it goes off well after you are online, so you assume the computer did a virus scan. But still. STILL. I felt like a total fool as he spent the last two days (TWO ENTIRE DAYS) cleaning off and basically rebooting my entire system.
So, don't click "allow" to deleting cookies. It's a virus. Close it, then re-open your own virus scan and run it. I hope I have helped you. Wish someone had told me.
Friday, September 10, 2010
It just feels like we have been going around and around on this issue since he was tiny. And things are better. Always getting better. Always working on a plan, but it just feels like it is always something. We finally got him to sleep in his bed, and that was huge. After he finished nursing we finally got him sleeping through the night. That was...I don't even know...monumental? Is that overstating it? I don't think so. To finally sleep through the night after fourteen months, it's monumental. But now we have a new sleep issue. Or maybe not new, maybe just now that the other two things are better, we can focus on the last (I hope?!?) of the sleeping issues. The bedtime.
We have rocked Henry to sleep nearly all of his life. I remember people telling me not to. Telling me to teach him from the start to lay in his bed and go to sleep on his own. That it will be better down the road. Did I listen? A little. I mean, we TRIED it. But... I don't know, maybe we didn't try hard enough then. When he cried we went to him. We held him and rocked him and loved on him until he was asleep. I don't regret it. I cherish it actually. The memories of that tiny little baby in my arms. Soon enough he started nursing himself to sleep. Another no-no. But what do you do? Wake him just to put him back to sleep? It seemed absurd. Then after thirteen months the nursing was gone and the holding began. We just didn't know what else to do.
So now we hold Henry to sleep. I want to say we rock him, but we don't. I told you all we moved from the living room to the Chaise, and that is where we are. Holding. Laying with. Loving. But he is getting so big. He doesn't want to be cradled in our arms. He wants to lay beside us, on top of us, in positions that make it nearly impossible to scoop up his sleeping body and lay him in his crib undisturbed. This makes the bedtime routine long and difficult. On a good night it is thirty minutes, but more often than not we are with him in a dark room for an hour or longer. It doesn't sound bad to read that, an hour to get him to sleep, but an hour holding a child in a dark room, just to have him wake as soon as you attempt to lay him in his bed is a long time. Trust me.
We talked to the doctor. I read books. We came up with a plan. After bath time and snack time and books and kisses we go to his room. We lay on the chaise together for about five to ten minutes. Five to ten minutes for him to relax and know it is nearly bedtime. The doctor said that is the appropriate amount of time for bedtime "rocking". Then we lay him down. We don't leave, not yet. We stay there with him, telling him it's okay, that we are there, that we love him, that it's bedtime. If he cries we pick him up, kiss him, and lay him right back down. We keep our hands on him for now. Not the entire time, but when he wants them. We try our best to sooth him as he goes to sleep in his bed alone. Laying in his own bed like a good boy. Like a big boy. A big boy that we love so much. That is what I tell him, over and over as he fights sleep.
It's hard you all. It's really hard. As I stand in his room for and hour and a half to two hours repeatedly laying him back down. Again and again and again. Telling him I love him, that I am here. Laying him back down. I want to give up. I want to scoop him into my arms and just lay with him on the chaise again until he falls asleep. Better yet, I am so tired by that point I just want to take him back to bed with me. But I fight that. That is why we are here. He sleeps so well in his bed once we get him in there, I don't want to go backwards. I want him to learn he can sleep in is own bed. He can lay down and go to sleep. And I am always there, willing to pick him up and hug him if he needs me. This is the long way, but we knew we couldn't do "cry it out" and this was the alternative. So we are doing it. And it is hard. And I am tired. But two nights in a row he has fallen asleep in his own bed. And he has slept through the night. A happy boy. A big boy. A boy that we love more than anything.
*I know I already showed you this picture, but I love it so much I am showing you again
Thursday, September 9, 2010
But anyway, back to the point of the post. The Hunger Games series. I know lots of blogs and Internet people are talking about it. But I am a bandwagon sort of person, so I jumped on. I mean, that is how I found Twilight and you all know how I loved that. And you know how I love Harry Potter (remember me going all the way to Chicago to the Harry Potter exhibit? Right. Huge fan) And I am a book series fan in general, so when the buzzing really got rolling I went ahead and borrowed the first book. And then I devoured it. And now I am almost done with book two, and it is so so so so good. (I should be a book reviewer with deep moving descriptions like "so so so so good") and I CANNOT WAIT to read book three, but at the same time already sad that there are only three books and then it will be OVER.
And that's how I know it's a series I love. Because I am already mourning its end, even though I am not to it yet. I know I will miss these characters. I know I will buy and reread these books like I do Harry Potter and Twilight. I know I want to get the audio books and listen to the story. Because this story...it won't get old with rereading. The characters are amazing, the storyline is original, it's just all around addicting.
So...go get it! Read it. You wont regret it!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
What? Another picture post? I know, I know. Lame. I will come up with some actual words to write soon.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
The day before my older sister and I were on the elevator and a woman gets on. The doors aren't even closed and she goes into this story about her daughter getting stuck in an elevator. How they had to open the doors with her between floors and how she had to jump. I wonder if she tells this story to everyone who she rides on an elevator with. She acted like she just couldn't WAIT to tell us about the elevator horror story.
Elevators bring out weird sides of people. Maybe I will take the stairs a little more often. But probably not. I am awfully lazy. People just need to learn some elevator etiquette. Don't stand too close, don't talk about stories of elevators breaking or crashing. Just stand there quietly for the 30 second ride. It really should be as simple as that.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I am back to work today. This feels foreign. It definitely feels like the wrong place to be. But we are moving forward and part of that is getting back to work. It is hard for me not to talk about details on here, but I only really want to for selfish reasons. I want you all to tell me that it will be okay. That you know people who have gone through this and it was never an issue again. I want comfort. But I completely respect the person who has asked for this privacy. They are so brave and strong and I am amazed by them every single day. So thank you for praying for my family. If you can keep us in your prayer over the coming weeks and beyond, that would be wonderful. I most likely wont speak much of this anymore, but I wanted to say thank you.