Friday, April 27, 2012

Hannah is Six Months!

Hannah Grace, you are 6 months old (and some days)! 

You have officially entered my most favorite baby stage ever!!  I love just about everything about it!  Your stats:

Weight - 17 pounds, 15 ounces
Length - 26.25 inches

You are 75th percentile all the way around...except head and that is 30%.  I like little heads! :)  Your appointment yesterday went great!  You are just growing and a little joy!

You wear 6-9 month clothes exclusively and have even worn a few 12 months but they are pretty big!  You are in size 3 diaper and don't wear shoes much!  It's hot outside and Mommy prefers to be barefoot and can't so you get to! :) 

During the week, you nurse in the morning and before bed and have two 6 ounce bottles during the day.  You nurse more on the weekends.  You also eat 2 jars of baby food a day!  You DO NOT like green veggies at all!  You gag and make a horrible face!  You LOVE carrots, sweet potatoes, and peaches.  I want to try avocado today!  It's green so we will have to see!  You still do not have any teeth and Dr. Hull says no sign of any right now!

You still take Prevacid twice a day and it seems to be helping your acid reflux.  You also got started on another medication this past month that you take 10 minutes before eating 3 times a day - Bethanechol.  You are not sleeping on a wedge anymore and we FINALLY got you out of the swaddle blanket. 

One of my favorite things about this stage is that you are so curious and starting to get more active.  It is such a joy to watch you learn and discover new things.  You are grabbing for anything that comes into your reach.  You have pulled my earrings out of my ears more than once.  Once you get something, it goes straight to your mouth!  You love to eat chew on paper.  Crazy girl! 

This past month you spent the night in the hospital for some testing.  It was not super fun but you were such a trooper!!  The tests helped mommy and the doctors make you feel better...I think it worked!  The staff at Cook Children's Hospital were amazing!  You were officially diagnosed with tracheolaryngomalacia which you should outgrow. 

You still aren't rolling over but I really think it is because you don't have any desire!  I think you could if you wanted.  Maybe someday!  :)  You are trying to situp and are happier when you are sitting but can't do it by yourself for very long.  We are working on it.  You are constantly trying to situp when you are laying down and I know your ab muscles have to be awesome! :)

You have SERIOUSLY turned into the best baby!!!  You are happy pretty much all of the time unless you are sleepy or hungry.  Your smile is absolutely contagious and nothing makes my mommy heart happier than hearing you giggle!  You LOVE your sisters and the puppy dog!  You are intrigued by your daddy and when he walks in the room you instantly turn and smile at him.  I may have yet another Daddy's Girl on my hands!!  You are sleeping MUCH better!!!  You go to sleep around 7:30 and sleep until around 5:00, eat  and then normally go back to sleep until around 7:30.  You seem more comfortable now and I am so happy!  You are my favorite 6 month old!!! 

I love you sweet baby girl and look forward to many more milestones with you!!

Monday, April 23, 2012


As I write today's post I am heavy hearted.  I really kind of feel like I needed to get that out there on the table.  There are days, weeks, and seasons when things just are hard.  God never promised that this life would be easy and He never promised that we would not have heartaches and storms but He did promise that He would be with us; that He would never leave or forsake us.  So, right now, I am asking for God to be near - to me and to all of those that I love that are hurting.

Last Monday started off like the girls ready and off to school/work we went.  The thing is that I had a friend on my mind.  A friend that I don't talk with much, but the fact that I could not get her off my mind was not alarming to me, really, but I just knew I needed to tell her I was thinking about her.  So, I did.  We texted and then I called her.  We got to visit for a few minutes about life...nothing specific but just conversation like we usually have.  Neither of us knew what that day/week would hold for her.  You see, at the very moment that she and I were talking on the phone, her brother was in a tragic accident that would soon take his 15 year old life.  Devastating...for all involved.  BLD is a friend that I cherish and love with all my heart and she just went through on of the hardest weeks of her life.  I did what I could.  I texted, sent flowers, TRIED to get to the funeral, and above all prayed and loved.  God knew she needed to be on my heart that day and I am so thankful that I was obedient to His gentle nudge to call her.  I will continue to pray for the coming days. 

Thursday morning.  I got a message on Facebook about another death.  Mrs. Nancy, or Mamaw, as I liked to call her.  I texted Audra, her daughter to confirm that she had, in fact, passed away.  You may (or may not) remember the untimely death of her grand daughter last year - Rachael Beard.  She was 24 and like a sister to me and was in a tragic car accident.  Poor Audra - her daughter and a little over a year later, her mother.  This death was sudden and unexpected as well.  The arrangements were made quickly and I did not even have time to send flowers.  But, I prayed.  And I loved from afar.  Sometimes I want to be able to do more. 

Thursday, I also reecived a text from my best friend, "Can I see you tomorrow?"  My heart sank. I knew what this was about.  I knew yet I didn't want to know.  I knew yet I tried to not know.  I put a few "clues" together to determine that she was about to tell me what I had already suspected.  "We are moving to serve another church 2 1/2 hours away."  Yep, that's what I thought.  I really feel like God has been preparing my heart for this change for quite some time but it was still hard to hear.  She has been my best friend for 6 years.  We have done life together.  We have been pregnant together, 3 times.  We talk about things that I don't talk about with ANYONE else!  She is my "go to" person....the one I know that I can always count on despite how long it has been since we have talked.  We have had our share of challenges, as most long time friendships do.  The great thing is that we can still be friends and I think those times make our friendship even sweeter because we can overcome obstacles.  Our oldest children are the best of friends and have been since birth, really.  I love her children like my own and I know that she feels the same about mine.  I had someone say to me that she is moving, not dying.  Yes, but it will change things.  I have done this before.  I am not new to the change.  Things will be different.  I am not saying that the change will not be good; both for the Clarks and for our church, but I am sad.  I am selfish and I am sad.  Everytime I think about how silly we can be together or how we have prayed, laughed, cried, and rejoiced together my heart starts to hurt and my eyes fill with tears.  This season in our lives is coming to a close.  Will we still be friends? Of course.  Will it be different? Yes.  I thank God for the time we have been able to be close in distance.  She will always be my friend but things will be different. 

Sunday.  I got word that a really good, childhood friend got horrible news about her father.  He had a stroke and had to be med flighted from a hospital in Arkansas to Missouri.  He is unresponsive and not doing well.  She is a Daddy's Girl and just devastated.  My heart goes out to her and praying for healing...whatever and however God wants to do that.

Sunday night I was reading on Facebook and found out that my pastor in high school was very sick and would only make it a few more hours.  Brother I.V. Hight....a man of small stature but of BIG words!  He was such an instrument for Christ and led others to Him for many years.  He has been sick for awhile and Heaven became just a little sweeter last night with his presence.  My heart goes out to his family - some of the sweetest people I have ever met.  Also, my friend (above) who is struggling with her father after the stroke, was like another daughter to Bro. Hight.  She called me last night and texted me this morning: "I cannot handle all of this."  To her, I would say, God's grace is sufficient...lean on that!!  I love you, Jill!

So...with all of this my heart is a little heavy and my mood a little subdued.  I know that the victory is in Jesus and that although we mourn for these losses that Christ's plan is so much bigger than ours.  Death for a believer is a victory!!!  That is not to say that it is not sad for us left behind.  For Krista...I will miss our close friendship but I am excited for what is to come for you and for our church. 

God be near.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Monday, April 9, 2012

He Is Risen!

I love Easter!  I just has a "feel good" tone to the entire day!  For me, Easter has not always been about what Christ did for us because growing up I didn't really learn the details about those things.  I think I had the knowledge in general that Christ died and rose again but did not really equate that with Easter.  That is something that I want to be totally different when my girls think back on Easter.  My girls are still young but I want to always instill in them the Biblical reasons why we celebrate Easter and Christmas.  We are created by God for the sole purpose of worshipping and loving Him ~ nothing else in this life matters!  That is the message I want my children to understand. 

This song is what this holiday is about!

We had nursery duty yesterday so Brice and I got to celebrate our risen Savior with 3 and 4 year olds!  Four of them!  We love those little guys!!  They were full of energy and so much fun!  The girls looked adorable in their Easter pretties! 

The girls were off school on Friday and normally I have to work but I had to trade my Thursday off for Friday and spent the day with my 3 little sweeties!  It was kind of a flashback to my SAHM days but just added another baby!  I have to tell you what all I got done...yes, I am bragging!  I was proud of myself!

*Shower (yes, this is big...SAHM understand!)
*Two oldest girls shower (yep, shower...that's what they wanted)
*All dressed and out the door by 9:30!
*Post office
*Sonic (McDs drive-thru was ridiculous)
*Home for naps
*Washed 3 loads of clothes
*Cleaned the kitchen
*Swept and mopped non-carpeted areas
*Kids played in the sprinkler outside
*Baked cupcakes
*Fed baby
*Dinner with kids and hubby
*Boiled eggs
*Decorated cupcakes
*Dyed Easter eggs
*Hannah bath and bed!
*Bed before 10:00!

Hannah's first park swing

Yes, it was a successful day and I felt great being with my kids!!! 

Saturday, I took a little time to myself after the church Easter egg hunt and went to the mall with my friend, Angie, to watch October Baby.  INCREDIBLE movie!!!  I will do a blog review soon!!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

So Much to Do, So Little Time!

What have we been up to?  A LOT!  It has been so long since I have blogged and I am going to try and make this as short and complete as possible!!! :) 
Lauren turned 3 years old!!!!  I took off work on her birthday to take her on her special day out.  We went to Rainforest Cafe and did a little shopping.  We had McDonald's for breakfast and it was just a super special day with my favorite middle child!! :) 

Her birthday party was at Pump It Up again this year which is a giant jump house place.  Last year she didn't love it but this year...SHE DID!!!  Her party was Mickey Mouse themed with some other characters thrown in.  She is a little obsessed with Mickey Mouse right now! :) 

Her current stats at the doctor's office are: 44 lbs, 41 inches!  She is 100th percentile for both!!!  My big beautiful girl!!  :)

Rachel is just...Rachel.  Does anyone else think that 5 years old is just the most annoying phase ever?!  She never stops talking!!!  No, in all seriousness, she is such a joy!  To see the delight and mystery on her face when she asks her 1,000 questions a day is priceless!!  She is very curious and inquisitive.  Her love and curiousity about God is so precious to watch and see.  She is really starting to "get it."  She adores her sisters and is definitely the "model" big sister!  She takes care of Lauren and talks to Hannah in this SUPER high pitched voice!  It is so annoying cute.  :)  I have been feeling so much guilt lately with regards to Rachel and how much time we spend with her.  It is so easy to push her aside because she is so much more independent by nature and with age.  She can do most anything by herself (within reason) and she does not need Mommy's assistance much anymore.  That is a good thing and a bad thing because I feel like because she does not need me as much anymore, I don't spend enough time with her.  She has been getting into trouble a lot lately and I really think that I need (and I want) to make a point to spend more time with her.  Brice and I have a trip planned at the end of next month where we will take her to do some special things.  I am looking forward to it.  I will say that Thursdays (my days off) we do go, just the two of us, to gymnastics and normally get a treat from Sonic afterwards but life has been so busy the past few weeks that we haven't even been able to do that.  I love her so much and I want her to always know that.  This parenting thing is tricky!

Hannah....oh, Hannah! 
My sweet smiley baby!  Hannah turned 5 months old on March 19th! 

She is currently weighing in at 17.3 pounds and is 26 inches long!  She has had quite an eventful month!  When Hannah was born she came out "barking."  I know that sounds strange but she has always sounded like she has the croup.  I get no less than 15 old ladies a month telling me to take her to the doctor because she sounds horrible and has croup!  She, most of the time, is not sick!  That is just how she sounds.  Well, we took a little trip to the pulmonologist's office this past month to confirm what our pediatrician has said that she has - tracheomalacia.  She had been sleeping VERY poorly and I tried EVERYTHING!  I had even paid an organization for 3 months of communication to help!  They are pediatric nurses with experience and proven skills to help mommies help babies sleep!  Their technique did not prove to be helpful in our circumstances either and really just stressed me out!  I seriously feel like a first time mom all over again.  So, on Thursday, March 29th, we went into the hospital for a bronchoscopy and a pH probe test. 

Hannah has been on Prevacid since she was about 4 weeks old and spits up buckets!!!!  Always has.  The bronchoscopy showed that she does indeed have tracheomalacia and laryngomalacia. Basically, this just means an immature (or floppy) windpipe and voice box.  Not major and she should grow out of it.  It also showed some irritation of her esophagus and inflammation which indicates acid reflux. 

We still have not received the results from the pH probe yet which will determine how severe her reflux is and whether or not it is coorelating to her respiratory issues.  He did indicate that he thinks she has reactive airway disease (infantile asthma) and wants us to do breathing treatments whenever she needs them.  The hospital stay was a little traumatic but the hospital was fantastic and I cannot say enough wonderful things about the pulmonologist we saw.  He was great!  Hannah is so different than my other two.  I love her to pieces but she keeps me on my toes!  She has been sleeping much better lately which is a blessing!  She is happy pretty much all of the time unless she is sleepy or hungry.  She is still breastfeeding.  I have started giving her small amounts of formula with added rice for no other reason but to make her milk thicker to help reduce the spit up.  She is a doll!  For those of you that tell me that you just want to "squeeze her"....she is pretty squeezable (is that a word)?? 

Life is chaotic!  Juggling a sick baby, 3 year old, 5 year old and a full time job along with a women's ministry at the church and being a wife, I am pretty much exhausted!  Staying at home with my kids seems way harder but I am just worn out.  I am not sure I could fit one more thing in.  And, I am pretty much a horrible friend to everyone right now because I just don't have the time or the energy.  I have started doing Weight Watchers again with hopes of losing my other 30 pounds of baby weight!  Yes, I said other...I have already lost 40! :)  I have been doing it for 4 weeks and lost 12 pounds!  WOO HOO!!  It is so hard though! I just want to eat everything in sight...most of the time! :)
One last thing before I close this up.  I would encourage everyone to go to see the movie October Baby.  It came out the same weekend as that other movie...oh yeah, Hunger Games.  :)  October Baby is a movie of redemption, hope, and healing.  Please take a couple of hours, go to the theater and see this incredible movie!!  You will be glad you did...but, take your tissues! :)
Thank you all for reading this far. I know that most of my life is boring to you but I document so that I don't forget these times in my life.  God is good to us and time is passing so quickly that I can hardly keep up.  The hard times....these too shall pass and the good times...I want to cherish forever!  I, as always, have so much reason to rejoice!!!

Reason to Rejoice
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