Natalie Quote

N: Mommie, you really need to clean the potty. It is really dirty.
Me: You're right, I do.

Called out by a 3 year old. Ouch!



I have been away from blog-snooping for about a week and just caught-up with some of my favorite people. I love checking out my friends's blogs. It makes me feel like in some small sense I am keeping up with them. I love knowing that Dawn finally got a HOT shower, that Jenny's baby is growing well, that Kristen had a special day with her little man, that Christy's had the same luck with the holiday photo shoot that I did. You get the point.

While many of the people that I love are living in many different places I love having this way to keep in touch with them. I am terrible with the phone, ok with email, too lame for Facebook.

OK, now I must get to what I really came to the computer to do. My job.



I'm home. It was a success. I got some great deals. I saw some craziness (people with their infants/toddlers with them). I got yelled at by gray-hairs (not at me specifically but at the crowd). Aside from the gray-hairs no one was mean. Had some fun times with Lindsay. There were A LOT more people out than I thought there would be. I would do it again, I think.


Happy Thanksgiving

I love this holiday. As I sat this morning and watched the Macy's Parade I was nearly in tears. The simple joys. Being snuggled with my girls in jammies sharing something with them that I have loved for so many years. Watching Natalie dance like one of the Rockettes. A day to enjoy yummy food with friends and family.
I need to get in touch with basketball season. I think that I am in denial that it is here. I can't believe that football season is this close to being over (after last weekend, it looks like it is time for it to be over). I haven't watched a full game yet. Are you kidding me. I need to get serious about some Tarheel basketball. Watching games brings me great joy. I need to get with the program.
Natalie has been challenging lately. Last week she told me that she missed the carpet from our house in Virginia. I don't think that Kim and I have thought about how tough this move has been on her. It has been easy for us. We moved home. Virginia was home for Natalie. She doesn't remember living here. I am trying to be more reasonable and loving. She is getting better. Parenting is hard.
Paige sleeps terribly in her pack-n-play. TERRIBLY!!! We have been out of town for the past to weekends and her sleep has been awful!! Quite a challenge. She sleeps great at home so I should count my blessings. Anyone have any tips?
I am going to Kohl's at 4:00 tomorrow morning with Lindsay. Am I crazy? Yes, I am. I have never had the crazy after-Thanksgiving shopping experience. Lindsay has. She is a vet. I have to be home by 6:00 when the girls will wake-up (Kim works till 2:00 in the morning). I will let you know how it goes.


Halloween (creative, I know)

It was a perfect evening... an early yummy dinner, dressing up, time for family pictures, amazing weather for wandering through the neighborhood, fun times gathering with friends. Perfect!

A sweet little horse.

My Little Minnie.

Kim's mad skills!!!


Thankful Thursday

  • A morning with the girls (and Reed)
  • Coordinated naptimes
  • Beautiful fall afternoons
  • Borrowed halloween costumes
  • VH1 Classics


Kids do the....

This is what I discovered when I went in to help Natalie wipe. Where do kids learn this suff?


Something new

So, I started something new today with some friends of mine. They have been doing this for a while and invited me to join in. It is a dinner co-op of sorts. I cook dinner for all three of us one night during the week and in turn I get meals delivered to me two other nights. I am really excited. I am not that gifted in the kitchen...we will see how it turns out. Stay posted. It could free me up for more blogging!


The Happy Couple

So, here they are. Just after he popped the question. Are they cute or what!?

He proposed on the beach. A beach that they visit often (they live in Florida). I hear that he was so nervous that he almost fell down the stairs getting onto the beach. I hear that he didn't really even get to ask, he just got down on one knee (as it should be) and she tackled him in the sand.

My heart is overflowing with joy. You see, Miranda is perfect for Dave. We all know that Dave has his quirks and Miranda loves him and his quirks. Miranda is great for Dave, she doesn't take any crap from him, in a loving way. Dave is great for Miranda. He loves her deeply. He supports her, encourages her. They are best friends. They do puzzles together, I think that is the cutest thing ever.

I am filled with joy because I am so proud of my brother and the man that he has become. Like lots of young people, Dave made some not-so-great decisions but about five years ago he started making great decisions and has continued to do so. He is filled with compassion and love beyond belief.

In some ways this is the completion of our family. I have my second and final sister. Miranda is promising to love Dave and our family forever, I hope she knows what she is in for...I love you guys. I am so excited for you! Let's PARTY!



My baby brother is engaged. I cannot believe it. I am so excited for he and Miranda. More thoughts on this later, we are visiting with friends in Virginia. My baby brother is getting married.....


Growing Up

She is getting so big I can hardly stand it. I was looking at her shoes sitting on the stairs and it made me cry. She is not supposed to be this big yet. My baby. My sweet girl.


Paige Pics

By popular demand, here are some recent pictures of my Sweet Pea...
She has rolled over three time (I missed two of them because my back was to her, one of which was the first.)

Just two days ago she started sitting on her own.

She LOVES sucking on her toes!!


Jumpin' Back In

It is so weird to try to get back into doing something after you have been slack for a long time. How do you get back in? How do you pick up the ball after you have let it drop? Well, here is my attempt at the awkward "first post back" and hopefully the blogging juices will start flowing again.


Natalie Quote

Natalie: Mommie, I'm sorry your disappointed in my behavior.

Yup, that sums up our day.


Girl Time

This afternoon Natalie, Paige and I hung out with some of our favorite girlfriends, Andrea, Olivia, Ashlyn and Elli.

By the end of our time playing together, Olivia and Ashlyn were running around in the basement with just their panties on (Olivia had on a few other dress-up accessories but nothing that would count as clothing). Natalie was wearing a dress-up tube-top that was not covering everything that it should. Elli had on a onesie and dress-up heels. It was madness. Girls gone wild, I tell you.

The Toad

I don't think this happens to normal people.

Kim got home at 2:45 in the morning from work. I heard him come in, woke-up to say welcome home. As he came in our room he noticed something on the floor....A TOAD! That's right! In the middle of our bedroom floor, a toad!! I am so glad that I didn't step on it on the way to the bathroom.

Now the real question...where the @#% did it come from?


Two kinds of days

There appear to be two kinds of days in my life...

Option A: I get lots of things on my To-Do list done.

Option B: I have lots of fun playing with my kids.

If anyone knows how to make these two things come together, that doesn't involve staying up past 10 please let me know. Thanks!


Good news abounds

First of all and what this post is all about....we got the results of Paige's MRI and it was normal!!! "Normal appearing brain for age" to be exact. We are so thankful! We see the eye doctor again in 4 weeks and will see what he says. Overall, I am very encouraged. Paige is doing things all the time that make me believe that she can see well right now. She has a GREAT social smile. She watches you walk around the room, she reaches for toys, she reaches for my hand when I am feeding her. All of these have to be good signs. When she tries to focus on objects that are far away her eyes jerk a lot more than if she tries to look at something close. She doesn't seem to have much of a "head tilt", she doesn't hold her head a certain way to make her vision clearer (this would be one of the big things that would make her need surgery). So, we will just keep watching, waiting and praying. Thanks for all the encouragement!

Now some silly things that I am thankful for....

Today is the first official weekend of college football! Love it!! Perhaps the Heels will have a better year, we will see. I just love the football time of year.

Natalie has gone 4 days without pooping in her pants! Now that I have posted, I am sure we will have an accident today. She even went at her "open house" for school on Thursday night. I thought this child would NEVER be potty trained, we will see.

Because Natalie's school is peanut/treenut free there can be no homemade baked goods brought in! Woohoo!! I know you think I am silly but think of the pressure this relieves...no pressure for the perfect, homemade brownies on her birthday or for the million parties throughout the year. Can you hear the sigh of relief? If you bring in fruit/veggies they cut it up for you in the peanut-free kitchen. This is awesome!!

Kim and I went on a date last night. A yummy, yummy dinner. Time shopping for stuff for the house. Time for just us. It was great!


MRI done

Paige had her MRI yesterday. She handled the procedure really well. She was really sleepy last night when we got home and grumpy when she woke-up but seems to be back to herself today. She is such a sweet, sweet girl!!

We stayed with her until the medicine made her really, really sleepy and then we had to leave for the nurse to start her IV and do the procedure. Leaving her was so hard! I don't ever want to have to do that again. I can't decide if being a nurse helps or hurts in those situations. Leaving your baby, not easy!! Kim said that I would never make it if one of our kids had to have major surgery and he is right.

We should get the results in the next couple of days. Waiting, not easy!!


This was fun.

Thanks roomies for the idea.
Go here if you are looking for an explanation.

People say

the %*&)&% things.

The other day in Target I was carrying Paige in the sling when I complete stranger thought she needed to make some comments...

Strange Lady: Look at the FAT baby.Do you see that fat baby.How old is he?
Me: SHE is almost five months.
SL: Five months, she ready to walk out of here. What do you feed that baby? You feed that baby from the table don't you?
Me: No mama, I don't.
SL: What do you feed her?
Me: Only my milk.
SL: YOUR milk? Your BREAST milk?
Me: Yes mama.
SL: That baby ready for a hot dog! When you gonna start feeding her from the table?
Me: I am buying cereal today....

Paige is enjoying her solid food.



Kim and I were giving Natalie and Paige a bath tonight and had one of those moments that I want to remember forever.

Natalie poured a cup of water on Paige and laughed at herself, the next thing I knew Paige was belly laughing at Natalie. It was the cutest thing ever. For the next five minutes they just looked at each other and laughed. Some magical sister magic was happening and I was so thrilled to be there to witness it. I was laughing too, wanting to cry and wanting time to stop.

I kept looking at Kim thinking, can you believe we have been given these two precious gifts? I am so thankful!


More thoughts

Thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement. We are doing ok.

This all feels so weird. We have this life altering news about our daughter and nothing to do about it. I did do some retail therapy on Amazon buying a fun play mirror and some black and white books, I figure visual stimulation can't hurt.

I just told my mom, I spend about 25% of my day freaking out about the MRI, 25% of my day wondering what in the world the future holds for Paige's sight and 50% of the day ok. My head is still trying to get a grip on what is happening.

I know that God is in control, has a plan and is not surprised by any of this. I am able to find mental rest when I trust Him.

In other news, Natalie is 3 going on 30. When she plays dress-up these days she does not pretend to be a princess, she pretends to be Stephanie, my cousin. You see Stephanie got married in June, Natalie went to the wedding and thought it was to greatest thing ever. So, she is Stephanie (complete with the bride outfit) dancing at her wedding, very cute.

I just got Paige's 4 month pictures back. I hung it on the wall next to Natalie's 4 month picture and it is freakish how much they look alike, freakish!!

Willy Wonka candy was on sale, BOGO at the Food Kitty this week. So, of course I indulged. Why are there banana runts?? Why??



We visited the pediatric opthomologist today and found out that Paige, hopefully, has congenital nystagmus. I say hopefully because we go for an MRI on the 27th just to be sure that the nystagmus is not coming from a brain tumor. Kim and I and the doctors are all very hopeful that the later is not the case.

During our visit with the opthomologist today her eyes were assessed and some potential causes of the nystagmus were ruled out. The doctor also told us that as of today she does not need glasses but that will probably change in the future.

So, how did we get to today...Kim and I had noticed from an early age that Paige's eyes would drift occasionally and not always track together. I mentioned this at her 2 month check-up in Virginia and the pediatrician assured me that it was nothing to worry about and that it would correct with age. Some time after her 2 month check-up I noticed that her eye's were tracking together again but that sometimes they would twitch back and forth. I just thought it was coming from her eye muscles getting stronger. The twitching appeared to be getting better (I still believe that it is less dramatic than when we first noticed it). At her 4 month check-up, back home, our favorite pediatrician ever, noticed the nystagmus. He recommended that we see the opthomologist to be evaluated.

Until today, I had the hope that I was just imagining things. Until today, I had the hope that this would all just go away. Until today, no one had said to me that "we will decide if she will be mainstreamed for school". Until today, no one had said the to me "she might have to learn braille". What a day.

The Mommie in me instantly started crying, how could this be? Then the Mommie in me instantly wanted to know what I could do to help fix the problem. The answer I received, nothing. We just have to see how things evolve. What do you mean, nothing? Surely there is some therapy that I could be doing with her to help her vision develop as normally as possible but they tell me no.

All I can do is pray. All I can do is pray. Pray that her visual acuity will be the best it can possibly be. Pray that her brain will determine the best way possible to help her see as normally as possible. Pray that children and their parents will not judge her based on her wiggly eyes. Pray that her heart will be protected and prepared for the day when kids are mean to her because she is different. (Pray for the first kid who teases her because of her eyes, that I will not kill them and that they will see the next day, kidding, sort of).

This is the beginning of a long journey. When we were given Natalie's diagnosis (congenital hypothyroidism), we were given a solution and a known path. Give her this pill every day for the rest of her life and she will be FINE. That is not the case for sweet Paige. We do not know what the future will hold. She could be very close to normal, she could be legally blind. She could require eye surgery some day, she could never have to have eye surgery. We just don't know, that feels the hardest right now. From everything that I have read, every case is different.

Please join me in praying for Paige. As I have been thinking today I have been reminded that none of us as parents know what the future holds for our children, we just have a little extra something to worry about, as added element of unknown. Even if Paige didn't have wiggly eyes I am sure that kids would be mean to her but now that seems so much more real. Even if Paige didn't have this who knows what tomorrow holds for us/her. Having a "diagnosis" , a known problem just makes tomorrow seem that much more challenging.

While I was talking to my mom today, I was sitting on the front porch and watched a beautiful butterfly fly through the air from flower to flower. The first thing that came to my head was, I wonder if Paige will ever be able to see that. I hope so. I hope she will be able to see and appreciate the beauty of God's creation. That is my prayer.



I should be doing something to help us be more settled into our house right now but instead I am "trapped" in Paige's room helping her sleep. We are trying to start some sleep training with her helping her sleep on her own, she is a great sleeper at night but her naps leave a little to be desired. Kim's suggested as he walked out the door that we both snuggle up together and take a nap. As lovely as that sounds, that will not solve the long term problem of helping her learn to sleep. I don't like this part of parenting an infant. But, it must be done. With Natalie the process seemed hopeless until it worked. And work it did, she is a GREAT sleeper. As least I have that to look forward to with Paige. So, as I am typing away I am taking lots of breaks to retrieve her passie, etc. Does she not realize that if she would just leave it in her mouth her/my life right now would be a lot easier. When she finally drifts off to sleep she is so peaceful. Is there anything in this world sweeter than a sleeping baby??
So, what else have we been up to? Unpacking lots of boxes!!! Natalie got her big girl bed and we have been decorating her room, the first room that we are "finishing". Next is Paige's room, then their bathroom.
We had a great trip to Florida to visit Dave. 11 hours in the car with the girls but we all survived. We drove with my mom and dad so that made the time in the care more fun! We had several days to play on the beach. Natalie LOVES the beach, loves it! She loves the ocean, doesn't care at all when she has sand all over her little body, loves digging, loves it. We also went to Sea World one day since Dave is only an hour from Orlando. Sea World was, well, an adventure. The low points:
  • It was 120 degrees. not really 120, but it was HOT.
  • Natalie got sunscreen in her eyes and was a little tired already not a good combo.
  • Kim had a migraine, the world's worst place to have a migraine!

The high points:

  • The shows were awesome! The dolphin show made my mom cry. Natalie is still doing the Shamu cheer.
  • Natalie had a great time, especially after a nap in the stroller. She is probably a bit too young to get the most out of it.
  • The Budweiser Hospitality Pavilion.
  • My mom had an awesome time, she loves animals. loves them.
  • Sea World has roller coasters now, I was not aware and I did not get to ride them but they looked really cool and when we go back, I will.

What else...we have having a great time getting back into life in Winston. I do love it here. This is home. I realized that I don't have ANY pictures of Paige developed. Perhaps I should stop blogging and hop on over to Shutterfly. Or perhaps Paige is finally "sound asleep" and I can leave...


Time with friends, pray answered

Wow, it was a long time ago that I posted this.
One of the perks of being back in Winston is that we get to hang out with the Lenham family again. We had dinner with them last night and I cannot believe how well Claire is doing!! She has been seizure free for 7 weeks. She is so interactive. She wants to be hugged and sit on your lap. She is a sweet, sweet girl and you can tell that she is really trying to communicate with others. What an amazing thing to witness and see. Praise God! Claire and I had a neat relationship when her seizures started. She would see me come through the door and say, "It's Wee!!" She seemed so excited to see me. When we were coming into their house last night she pointed at me with delight in her eyes and it melted my heart. She does point at lots of things these days but to feel like she remember me made me feel great!!
On a selfish note, Jeanne went out of her way to buy me dairy free ice cream Yes, there is such a thing. She is an awesome friend!


Natalie Quote

Natalie: Mommie, may I hold Paige on the boppy?
Me: Sure, that sounds great.
Natalie: I'm not going to feed her.
Me: OK.
Natalie: My num-nums don't have any milk in them.
Me: Nope, they sure don't.
Natalie: We should go to the store and buy some to put them so I can feed Paige.
Me: Well....


What a week

I wish I had better news to report. I don't. Chief is no longer with us, he is with Jesus.

He died at the same moment I was leaving to drive to North Carolina. I had made the decision that if he was alive when it was time for me to leave that I would head south but if he had passed away I would head north. For some reason, he was pushing me South. I had not driven a tenth of a mile and my phone rang. It was my mom. I knew from the tone in her voice that he was gone. At first, I did a u-turn. Then, I did another u-turn. I knew that I had to keep heading south. Natalie would not survive another change in plans, it was getting too late in the day, I just needed to keep driving. Thankfully Natalie had already fallen asleep when I got the call and I could cry as much as I wanted/needed to.

We knew that his death was coming. His body never got strong enough for surgery. They made him a hospice patient on Monday afternoon and told us that he would live about 24-48 hours. He lived about 49 more, he had to fight. He clinged to life until all of my dad's brothers and sisters were there with him. He passed away about a minute after the last one arrived.

I love my Chief. He was a great man. I am going to miss him.

There are still LOTS of boxes to unpack. Unpacking with two children around while you are emotionally and physically exhausted is not easy. Right now I feel like I will be unpacking for the next 10 years!


Some updates

Natalie appears to be on the mend, she still has a low-grade fever but appears to be fine when the Motrin is working.

Chief has decided that he wants to have surgery. I had no idea that he was with it enough to make that decision but evidently he is. I am not surprised. He will not go without a fight, that I am sure of. So, he is getting his chance to fight. They are going to intubate him today to help with his breathing, give him platelets and get him as strong as they can to go to the OR in the morning. Please pray for him.

It's pouring

When it rains, it pours.

I was crying before Kim left for work yesterday morning saying that I didn't want to face the day and that was before I knew everything that the day would have in store. All I knew was that several people would be coming over to say their good-byes and I didn't want to deal with the emotion of that.

Around lunch time my uncle called my dad (mom and dad were here with me to help out and then take Natalie with them while the packers/movers were here). My uncle told my dad that my grandfather was very sick and that they needed to think about heading to NJ. Not good. My grandfather has been in the hospital since late Tuesday because he appeared to have a really bad stomach bug/food poisoning and started having some rectal bleeding. He is 89 years old, has diabetes, not the strongest heart...Yesterday they found out that he appears to have ischemia of the lower intestine, not good. My dad's family is faced with some tough decisions to make, none of which will probably have a good outcome.

Mom and dad were getting ready to leave when Natalie woke up from nap with a fever of 102.2.

I cried a lot yesterday. I am not ready to lose my only remaining grandparent. I love my Chief. Just two weeks ago he walked my cousin down the aisle. None of us are ready for this. I have NO idea how I will get everything done that I was planning on doing with both girls here. But even if I do not, we will make it to NC and sort it out when we get there.


I should be...

  • Taking a shower
  • Going through closets
  • Calling the utility companies
  • Working
  • Cleaning out the fridge
  • Reading a parenting book (Natalie's behavior has been terrible the past few day, TERRIBLE!!)

But I am here blogging. Why? Because it is relaxing me and bringing a little bit of peace to my day.

I am really sad today, really sad. The tears have fallen, lots of them. I know that we will make it through this transition. I am really excited about being back home. But today I am stuck thinking about how much I am going to miss my friend, Sarah.

We have lived life together since I have been here. We see each other nearly everyday. We talk everyday. She is my friend I can talk about anything with, the minor things in life and the major. I know that I have dear friends waiting for me in Winston and that is the only thing getting me through. I can't put into words how much I am going to miss her. She has blessed my life so much.

I am sad for Natalie. I have a feeling her sadness is the root of her TERRIBLE behavior. She and Madeline are best buddies and I know that she will miss her.

Change is hard, not to mention stressful. Stress makes me overly emotional which is not a good combo. Wow, it could be a long week.


Pictures Needed

Yes, I am aware that blog posts are much less interesting without pictures....I will get back to pictures, soon.

Peewee Paddlers

Natalie finished up swim lessons today. I am bummed for her. The way that she improved in just 6 weeks was amazing. The girl is by no means swimming on her own yet but she made great strides and learned to trust herself in the water so much more.

I loved watching her each week and listening to the pride in her voice as she said, "Look at me, Bruce, I did it! I did it!" Or, "you put my belt on and I didn't sink!" I love watching her confidence grow!!

It was good for me too. By the end of the six weeks, I wasn't pacing the pool. Here's to more swimming lessons!!


Father's Day II

Happy Father's Day to the greatest Dads ever!! My hubby and dad.

They both got fabulous t-shirts for the big day. I will have to post a picture of them...


It happened for the first time today. Both girls napped at the same time for over 2 hours!! Praise God!!
I got lots of work for my job done, woohoo!!
Kim's mom and dad came up this weekend to help us out, i.e. watch the girls so that we could get some stuff done. What a blessing! We were able to get tons done and feel like we might be ready to move in 10 days, wow.
OK, I need to go get some more done.....


Earth to Leigh

So, I stole the title to this post from my dear friend's blog because it seemed so appropriate.

The closing went really well. We had a great time hanging out in our big empty house on air mattresses. We started the weekend with pizza night with our best buddies in town, the Greenes and the Mussers. Since we moved two years ago three children have been added to the mix and we are now a lot of people!!! The girls found a SNAKE in by backyard and for those of you who know me, that didn't go over too well.

My brother, sister-in-law, mom, dad, mother and father-in-law joined in the fun too. Kim had way too much fun mowing the yard and breaking in the new grill. Natalie ran around talking about her "new house" all weekend. On the way back to Virginia she kept saying she didn't want to go to hear "plane house".

We spent last week recovering from the trip and preparing for another big weekend. My cousin, Stephanie, got married at the Jersey Shore and we made the trip up. So much fun! So much family time!! Natalie had a blast! She kept talking about being FANCY!! I wish I felt like I had the space in my life to write about the weekend more, but I don't...

This week we are recovering from another crazy weekend and preparing to move in just 13 days. The movers will be here on the 24th!! Kim had his first official graduation function last night. I am so proud of him! I know that he is amazing and think that he is great but to hear others talk about him makes my heart swell with pride. i am a lucky woman.

I had emotional breakdown number 1 this morning. I feel so overwhelmed!!! I am moving in 13 days! I am nursing a newborn which means not much wine and she won't let me eat chocolate or ice cream either!!! My biggest indulgence is a italian ice, come on people....

Ok, more random thoughts updates to come. I really need to blog about my trip to the grocery store yesterday but there is no time now.



We leave today to close on our house tomorrow. I am so excited and nervous. I can hardly believe that tomorrow that house will be ours! We are staying in Winston for the weekend to celebrate. This is will Paige's first roadtrip. We will see how it goes...

Another new baby!

Gabriel David Reames was born yesterday. He weighed 7lbs and 14 oz. Another potential husband for Paige, I love it!


Natalie Quote

Last night in the bathtub...

Mommie, I just blew bubbles with my bottom!!


Dear God,

When you get a moment, I have a suggestion. When you are creating and knitting together our children, I think you should install an LCD screen. A small screen on the forehead would do the trick. I think the screen would do a better job of cluing us clueless parents in than crying uncontrollably. The screen could tell us what to do to solve the problem...
  • Feed Me
  • Change Me
  • Burp Me
  • I'm sleepy
  • My tummy hurts
  • I'm hot
  • I'm cold
  • My clothes are annoying me
  • I'm not sure....

I think it would make everyone's life better!! Thanks for your time!



Timothy Reed Musser is here! We can't wait to meet him. He weighs 6lbs and 2oz. Lindsay and Tim are doing well. Congrats!!


I'm excited

So, I have had some up and down, sort of blah days. I am so psyched that SYTYCD starts tonight. Woohoo!! Get the TiVO ready. I will confess that I started watching "Dancing with the Stars". I love dancing shows. I think I will try to talk Kim into ballroom lessons one day....



So, here is what has been happening at our house...
  1. I had a wonderful Mother's Day. It started with Natalie's sweet little face peeking at me saying, "Happy Mother's Day, Mommie". Then she said "Let's go make mommie's lunch!" Umm, how about breakfast, I didn't sleep in. Sunday was also one of the first days that Paige started giving lots of smiles. So sweet!
  2. Natalie's behavior is greatly improved. Early last week I was ready to trade her in on a new model...She has also taken to using the potty again, I am so thankful.

  3. Paige has some sort of GI distress happening. We are still trying to find the cause. We are not sure if it is coming from a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance caused by my CRAZY oversupply of milk (we are working on that) or some sort of allergy/sensitivity. She already weighs 12lbs and 10 ounces (gained 4 pounds in 5 1/2 weeks) which goes along with my theory of too much milk on my part. I am also eliminating dairy from my diet to see if that helps. It is really hard to eliminate dairy. That mess is in everything!!
  4. We are getting really excited about our move.
  5. Natalie started swim classes.


Clarification and sweet picture

So, I am realizing after reading the comments from my supportive and loving friends that my last post made me sound a little too pitiful! I am actually doing well, I think, with the Mommie of two thing. I had several other obligations last week that were keeping me busy but they are done now! I had my last MOPS meeting as the Hospitality coordinator and helped to hostess a baby shower for my dear friend, Sarah. Done!! Now, I can concentrate more on my girls, Natalie's behavior could use some concentrating these past couple of days, getting ready to move and my job.

I am doing well, really, but am also starting to understand that lots of changes in our life is meaning lots of added stress. They are all good changes, the addition of a baby, buying our house, getting out of this townhouse which is feeling smaller by the day, Kim finishing training, Kim starting a new job. We are super-excited about all of these things but they are wearing on us. Deep breath. We will make it.

Here's to more blog entries in the next few weeks, getting some pictures organized and ordered, and throwing some crap out so that is doesn't get moved to the new house. I am giving up on Paige's cross-stitch for the next few months, my new goal will be to complete it by, what should we say, Christmas.

Here is a picture of Paige that I should have taken a week and a half ago when she was 4 weeks old, not 51/2 weeks old. Dang, time FLIES with the second child!! (I am beginning to understand some of the second-child complexes that my brother has...)


Survive and Advance Mode

This is where I feel like I have been living the past week or so. Just getting done what needs to be done for the next 24 hours. I don't really like living in this mode. I like to have the time/space/freedom to stay ahead of the game and do some not so necessary things: blog, cross-stitch, write in Paige's journal, etc. Anyway, I need to get back to doing some "necessary" things. Perhaps life will give me some space soon that I don't feel like I need to fill with sleep.


Sweet Pea

How can it be that Paige is already 3 1/2 weeks old? I already want to scream for time to stop and let me enjoy these moments a little longer. She is such a sweet, sweet baby. A few observations from her 3 1/2 fast weeks. She is an active and strong little girl. She likes to be where the action is. She is a great sleeper. She makes many of the same strange, goat-like noises that Natalie made. She can go from content to extremely pissed in no time! Not a big fan of diaper changes. She likes to ride in the car. She like to be held and loved on. She is making sweet baby noises. She is much more awake and alert than I remember Natalie being. She is a love!!

Remind me that I said all of these lovely things around 6 tonight when I am trying to get dinner on the table, eat, pay attention to Natalie, clean-up, give Natalie a bath and give her the bedtime routine that she is used to all while Paige acts like a 3 1/2 week old needing lots of love and attention herself. Not my favorite time of day!! Thank goodness Kim will be here on Tuesday to help again. I really don't like the evening shifts!


So, let's mark yesterday as Natalie and Paige's first sister interaction. It went something like this...Natalie heard Paige make a fun, happy-baby noise for the first time. She thought it was so funny that her sister made this sound. It made her laugh. Paige heard Natalie laugh and made another cute baby noise. Very sweet! Then Natalie wanted to lay on the floor and be near Paige. Seeing them look at each other and almost interact was amazing. It warmed my heart!!


Poster-Mom for Breastfeeding

This is the title that Paige's doctor gave me today at her two week check-up. Little did he know or maybe he did, that he gave me one of the best compliments.

He was amazed that she weighs 8lbs and 8oz already and that it all came from me. You see, breastfed babies are only supposed to be back to birth weight by two weeks. For Paige that would be 7lbs 6oz. We are overachievers! He said to me, you must be feeding her all the time!! Nope, just every three hours and sometimes she will go longer. He was even more amazed. I told him that I did the same thing with my first child. My conclusion....I make buttermilk!!


Baby smells

A&D ointment
Hand sanitizer
Milk breath
I love them all...



The only Heels I am excited about today....

World's Best Dad, Priorities

So, in light of last nights game, I probably shouldn't post this but I am going to...

The night of the Sweet Sixteen, last Friday night, Kim, Paige and I were chillin' in the hospital, watching Paige's first UNC game when a nurse came in...

Nurse: There is a discharge class at 8:30 that we like for everyone to go to.
Me: (After calculating in my head that it would only be half-time of the game) Do I HAVE to go?
Nurse: We encourage everyone to go but you don't have to.
Me: OK.

Enter another nurse....

Nurse: Are you going to class?
Me: Do I have to? (Feeling a little slack but really wanting to see the game....)
Nurse: No, but we encourage you to go.

Nurse leaves, I look at Kim. What are we going to do?

By this time it is about 8:15 and Paige is wanting to nurse, great, I don't have to go, I have to nurse the baby. But my sweet, pleasing husband attended the class by himself!

My punishment, none of the second-half of the game was shown on CBS up here.


First day "alone"

So, this was my first morning at home with the girls by myself and it went really well, thankfully. Natalie has taken to this new child in her life so well. I am so thankful and amazed. She loves Paige, you can tell. But she is also very willing to give her the space that she needs. She wants to be near her and help out but is still very content to do her own thing. I am wondering when reality will set in for her and she will be ready to send Paige back.

Paige is a really great baby. Personally, I haven't met a baby that isn't great but even by sleeping/needy standards she is great! I feel bad because I am sure that she has spent more time in a bouncy seat/cradle in her first week of life than Natalie spent in the first month of hers but she seems to be handling it all well.

The drama of the morning was that while I was nursing Paige, Natalie took a head-dive off the chair onto the hardwood floors. She landed right on the top of her head, ouch!! Lots of screaming!! Great, my first day by myself and already a child has a concussion. Way to go! If I am being complete honest, I was laughing inside, just a little. Here we go...


She's Here!!!

Paige Elizabeth arrived yesterday (3/26) at 4:11pm. She weighed 7 lbs 6 oz. and measured 20 inches in length.

Mom, Dad, baby, and big sister are all doing great. We can't wait for everyone to get to meet her.


My mom's encouraging comment of the day


Me: I have only gained about 17 pounds with this pregnancy so far.
Mom: That's not very much...
Me: I know, but I was overweight when I got pregnant.
Mom: How much did you weigh?
Me: 141 pounds.
Mom: 141 pounds! That's what I weighed when I had you!
Me: Thanks, mom!


Me: I was reading today that if Natalie and the baby are both crying I should take care of Natalie first because she will know what is going on and the baby won't remember.
Mom: I remember one time when I was in the grocery store and you all 3 started screaming. It was a nightmare.
Me: Nice!

Stay tuned...I am sure there is more encouragement to come!

If I want rest...

I gotta let go.

This was the lesson that I learned yesterday. I slept really bad the night before, I was exhausted before the day even started. I had breakfast with mom, dad, and Natalie and started thinking about plans for the day. Mom and Dad wanted to go into the city and look around, of course, they were willing to take Natalie with them. I kept thinking, sure, I will go. I want to be hospitable. I want to spend time with mom and dad. But, honestly, walking around Washington did not sound like fun to me.

What was the root of me wanting to go with them, my pride. I wanted to be there to be sure that Natalie behaved and that they made her behave. So that if she was good, I looked good and that if she was bad, I would be there to correct her. I wanted to be there to be sure that she was safe. Because, I am the only one who can keep her safe. I wanted to be the great daughter, capable of getting everything done to prepare for the baby, hanging out with them, all the while "resting".

In the shower I had a breakdown. Who am I kidding? What I needed was rest and the way that I was going to get that rest was to let go. My mom and dad are more than capable of caring for Natalie. They already raised 3 kids!! If she wasn't well behaved, well then, they could deal with it and we could work on it. If she had an accident in her panties, then they could clean it up!

It felt good to see them drive away. They had a great time. I got some stuff done and did, indeed, rest!

I hope that I will remember this lesson. Something tells me that I might need to hear it again. I have dreams of Natalie spending lots of time with her grandparents when we move back to NC but for that to happen, I can't be controlling her.

I am sure that she will live if she gets juice with her Happy Meal instead of milk.


I love this time of year!

College basketball on all day long, it is great!

Natalie keeps saying, "Are the Tarheels playing now?"

Davidson nearly messed my bracket up royally today. Perhaps I picked the wrong Cinderella.


My mom and dad get into town tomorrow. Praise God!! I am ready to be spoiled! Kim has the day off too so it should be a great day.

Because my blood pressure is not behaving, if I have not had a baby by Wednesday the plan is to be induced. I have mixed emotions about being induced. I am totally ready to have the baby and not excited about possibly having to wait two more weeks to meet her. On the other hand, it would be nice to go into labor on my own without a ton of intervention, just to know what that is like. Knowing the induction plan does make life a little easier. Mom and dad will be here to take care of Natalie. Hopefully I can have everything together. Kim will be off of work. Kim's mom and dad are coming up. There are advantages. So, at the most 5 more days until I have two kids. I am trying not to let that freak me out. A bit late for that now.


It's been so long...

I have been a blogging slacker for a while now. Where do I begin?

I didn't blog about the beautiful baby shower that my friend Sarah had for me, slack!

I didn't blog about the great weekend that Natalie and I spent with Lindsay and Daisy, slack!!

I didn't blog about the Heels winning the ACC regular season and tournament titles, slack!!!

So, today I am deciding to stop feeling guilty and to move forward.

38 weeks pregnant and waiting. I am trying to be patient but not doing a very good job. I am ready to meet this baby and hold her. I feel great, too good in fact. Every night when we go to bed I say to Kim, "wouldn't it be great if my water broke right now!" I know the chances of that happening are small but a girl can dream. Kim is anxious for me to go into labor so that he can get out of part of the bad rotation that he is on now. Really, we just want to have our baby here and know that she is ok. I can't wait! Bring on the pain!! I will get the drugs!

It looks like I, too, might experience what I am going to call the "T-6 Curse", living away from your spouse. It will not be to the extent that my dear roomies had to endure. Our townhouse had an offer put on it which would have us out on May 7th. We are not supposed to leave this area until June 23rd. The best two options right now are for us to find a furnished place to move into for about 6 weeks or for me to go live with my mom and dad and Kim to stay here. Kim is hopeful that we will find a place here. I have my doubts!! I just don't think we will find a place but we will see. We are looking and trying to get prepared. I am so ready to be in our house in NC and have a "normal" life for a little while, whatever that means.

What else, I don't know...I do need to post some pictures, another front I am feeling overwhelmed on.

I told myself that I wasn't going to watch AI this year, but I am. What can I say? I have to find something to watch while waiting for SYTYCD and it will not be Dancing with the Stars.

OK, that's enough.


Couch Potato

Yesterday at the doctor....

Doctor: So, I am not telling you that you are on bedrest, but you do need to be the official couch potato.
Me: OK.

Inside my head I was laughing at the man. Would you mind passing that information along to my 3-year-old and my husband's work. While you are at it, if you could tell the laundry to wash itself and the meals to cook themselves and the junk to go back where it belongs, that would be great!


Joyful Weekend

Well, it all started on Friday when we found out that our townhouse will not be foreclosed on on March 14th. We received a yucky letter last Tuesday stating that our landlord had been unable to pay the mortgage (even though we have been paying rent) and that the house would be foreclosed on. We were, umm, shocked. We had NO idea. We talked to our landlord, got the scoop from her, and started doing some planning. Our landlord talked with her bank on Friday and they worked something out so that we should be good through March. We are taking it one week at a time, trying not to panic, trying to be prepared, etc. But the good news is that we should be able to bring our new baby home to this house (rather than a friend's basement or an "Extended Stay America").

Saturday, yummy breakfast at Chik-Fil-A with my hubby and daughter. Kim did not have a single weekend off in February so to have him around was great! We spent to day together as a family doing a whole lot of "nesting" and catching up. Kim and Natalie had a great time together. The pitiful part was the way Natalie kept saying, Daddy, don't go to work! She just thought at any moment that he would be leaving. Pitiful!

Sunday, great time at church and a lazy afternoon. What could be better? Just having Kim around was such a blessing!!

Of course, lots of people came by to look at the house but I have a new level of patience with that now. It was a lot easier to keep the house clean and get out the door on a moments notice with Kim around.

It was the most relaxing weekend that I have had in a long time!! I was so thankful for it!!



I just a really fun update from my dear, dear friend from college, Jen. Jen is an amazing person!! She is loving, compassionate, wise, fun, I could go on...We were the best of friends in college. We lived in the same dorm for two years, lead a small group together, were discipled together. We saw each other through broken hearts, random kisses and choosing husbands. She is one of those friends.

After college we headed down different paths. I got married, took a job as a nurse and settled down in Winston. She headed to NYC to persue medical school. She married her high school sweetheart. Their relationship has had some interesting twists of living and working in different places. While I felt like I was living a very generic life hers was so exciting!!

That trend continues. I am having my second child and heading back to Winston. I am mostly a stay-at-home mom. Very typical life! This is what she is up to....still living in NYC in a fellowship for infectious disease. She has an amazing heart to work with the poor, espcially the HIV population. Her husband is living in California (he has his PhD and is a professor at Fuller). Last summer, for vacation they went backpacking in South America. They have both done extensive work overseas. To top it off, they are spending 6 months together next fall in Tanzania!!! I don't even know where Tanzania is!!

Despite these many differences and the distance she is still one of my dearest friends. I would love to spend hours with her over coffee. Chat, chat, chat, make a groovy song mix (we have made a couple on TAPE, we need to get with the times and put it on the iPOD) and chat some more. I admire her so much! I am so proud of her!!


I was getting ready for church this morning, feeling rather large. I looked at Kim and said, "I definitely have a basketball now." He replied with, "A beachball!" Nice, nice. I gave him the bird.


Let's Go Racin'

I have a confession to make....I like NASCAR. It started out innocently. My brothers really got into it about five or so years ago and I would try to pay attention to it, see who won, so that I could have something to chat with them about. Well, I got more and more interested. Last year several friends and I had a fantasy NASCAR league and that sealed the deal. It's official. I like NASCAR.

The good news is when my mom asked me who my favorite driver was I couldn't answer the question so I guess I am not too far gone. My mom, dad and brothers went to the Daytona 500 yesterday and I was so jealous. Mom called and told me about some NASCAR onesies that she saw, I put the smack-down on that too.

I do still have some issues with the "sport", like isn't there a better use of our natural resources, exhaust fumes, etc. But, it is entertaining and still something that my brothers and I can bond over. John likes Jimmie. Dave likes Dale, Jr. (I find it strange that they both picked drivers that they sort-of look like....)

I feel better. I do need a driver...

Oh, and, way to go Deacs. Something else I never thought that I would say. Ratface looked pissed!! I love it!!



Today was Virginia's primary. Natalie and I headed to the polls. There is something very emotional, for me, about voting with her with me. This is the second time that I have done it and have been moved to tears both times. I can't really explain it. I don't know if it is the thought for voting for the future of our country or the thought of how lucky we are to live where we do but it gets to me.

While I was voting she asked me, "Mommie, can I vote too?" Sure sweetie in about 15 years (that is frightening). Actually I said, "Someday sweetie. Voting is a priviledge of being an adult."

I was disturbed by the small number of people who were there taking part in this priviledge. I can get on my high horse pretty quickly about this, so I won't. The only thing I will say is that I don't get people who don't go vote....

On a lighter note, as we were leaving there was a car running and you could see the exhaust coming from the tailpipe (it was very cold and rainy). Natalie said to me, "Mommie, is that car going potty?"

Oh, if you notice a lot of glaring spelling errors it is because I can't get the spell check to work and I am a terrible speller, sorry,



This is getting really old, really fast.

When we moved up here we did not buy a house. We are renting. The housing market in this area was way too crazy for us to think about getting into. This remains to be a decision that we are glad that we made. I am so glad that we are not trying to sell a house right now.

Having said that, our landlord is trying to sell our house. She broke the news to us with about 24 hours notice in October. Because the housing market here is suffering there have not been a ton of showings but enough for it to be really getting on my nerves!!

The thing that bugs me the most is that agents will call and say, "I am in the neighborhood, can I come see the house?"

Me: When?
Them: In 10 minutes!

Are you freakin' kidding me?!? Often my response is, my child is taking a nap. I cannot leave but if you must come by you can.

This, of course, is better than what happened last weekend when the agent and her clients just showed up with no notice at all!! Thankfully Kim was home and told them that they would need to come back at a later time.

None of this makes sense to me, I guess I am just used to the way it worked for us when we bought/sold our home in NC. We made appointments to see houses. We talked with our realtor before we went out looking and she made appointments for us, hours, sometimes days in advance. It is not like this house just went on the market, it has been on for months!!

The up-side, it has made me be better about keeping the house clean.

I am ready for this to be over!! I want to be done and be living in my house that is waiting for me. Although, if someone does but this place then we have a whole other set of problems. Where the heck would we live for the rest of our time here??


What community means...

to a 3 year-old.

Natalie and I went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner tonight. Of course the question came, "When I am done can I play on the park (the indoor germ infested park)?"

Me: You can try if you want to but I cannot help you climb up. My belly is getting too big. (Gross-motor skills have never been her strong point and she struggles getting herself up to the top).
Her: OK, I can do it
Me: If you get up to the top, you have to come down by yourself. Mommie cannot climb up to get you (I have done this on more than one occasion)
Her: OK, I can do it
Me: You have to be brave and come down all by yourself.
Her: I will find a friend who can help me!!

Sure enough, she did. She found a sweet little girl to help get her up to the top, who helped her when she got scared, and made sure she made it down the slide.

I love that my girl trusted that there would be "a friend" there to help her.

(I am also really thankful because me climbing in that thing would not have been pretty!!!)


Today in Natalie's world

Natalie is June
I am Annie
Kim is Quincy
Jingle is Leo
and, of course, our car is Rocket


Prayers for my friend

Today, my one of my roommates will have to endure my worst nightmare. Today she will have to labor and deliver her sweet baby boy and he will not be living. Her situation is tragic. No one should ever have to endure this. While I worked as a labor and delivery nurse I cared for many families in similar situations but it was never this personal. It never hurt this bad.

My friend is amazing. She is strong. She is full of the grace of God. Please pray for her and her family during this time and in the weeks and months to come. She has told me that she knows that God has sustained her in this past week and is so thankful for all the people praying for her.


Happy Birthday, Natalie!!

How can it be that in three short years she has changed from this....

to this....

It is so hard for me to believe that she is three. My little girl is growing up. I am so thankful for the person that she is growing into. She is kind, compassionate, and empathetic beyond her years. She is sweet, she is loving!! She is smart. She loves to be tickled. She loves to be read to. She loves to sing. Everyone is her friend. She is outgoing. She loves people. I am so proud of her.

One of her most favorite things to do lately is for her to be Mommy and I am Big Natalie. She makes lunch for Big Natalie, tucks her into bed, gives her kisses, she "carries" me around the house (she holds onto my knee while I walk). When I am Big Natalie, Kim is Big Natalie's Daddy. She has it all down. Often I am greeted in the morning with "Good morning, Big Natalie!" Funny, funny, funny.

I love you, sweet girl! Happy Birthday!!


Welcome Home, Wes!!

In the midst of a week that has been tragically sad for several of my friends it is so nice to have some good news to share and to celebrate.

Our dear friend, Wes, is home from war. He had been away from his wife and two sweet little boys for over a year, far too long!!

Wes's wife was my roommate in college and one of my dearest friends. I have been so proud of her this year!! She has shown amazing strength and dedication to her family. She has shown me first hand how much sacrifice all military families make. I am so thankful to the Hite family and all the families who sacrifice so much for us.

Welcome home, Wes!! We can't wait to see you guys!! "Melting Pot" here we come!!


MIckey Mouse Birthday

Natalie's birthday is not until Thursday but we had her party today. I can't believe my baby is almost 3!

Cake made Mommie.

Getting ready for the party.

Everyone needs ears!

I wonder what her wish was.....


Our house!

Kim, Natalie and I went to Winston-Salem at the beginning of the week to start looking for a house. Well, we started and ended. Everything worked out so well. We found a home that we love, in our price range, in the area that we wanted and we found a seller that was glad to wait to close until May. Perfect! The seller even threw in the pool table to sweeten the deal, everyone is invited for a party!!!


Grocery Store Alone

For those of you, mainly my two wonderful roomies from college, who have to go through months of single-parenting please disregard the whining.

I got to go to the grocery store today by myself! It was great! Kim was home this afternoon and Natalie wanted to stay with him. Who am I to stop that daddy-daughter time?

I hopped out of the car, all by myself, so much easier. Picked out one of the small carts to push instead of the cart/spaceship and started my stroll through the store.

I quickly decided that it is probably better that I usually have Natalie with me to keep me distracted. With my mind to myself it wanders way too much...

  • Oh, that watermelon looks really yummy, but will we eat it before we go out of town, probably not, it will just go bad, maybe next time, look, pineapple!!
  • That mom looks really tired!!
  • (While watching the obviously new mom with her baby and mother in tow struggling through the store saying sternly to her mother, "You need to keep moving!!" Baby cries! "Did we get enough? We can come back tomorrow!") She needs a hug, Honey, you will make it, I promise!
  • Why are there whoopie cushions in the grocery store?
  • Jeans and heels in the grocery store? Is that really necessary? You are just trying to make the rest of us look bad.
  • Ben and Jerry's is a lot easier to pass up when you are not pregnant!
  • If I wasn't still buying wipes for my almost 3 year old then I would use that money on Ben and Jerry's.

My mind is a scary place and that is just a sampling.


Natalie and I have spent hours outside the past couple if days. It has been great! Lots of running and jumping and playing. Too bad it will be gone tomorrow....

Weird weather like this always freaks me out...


Me and my gal

After a long week of travel and celebration (which I promise to write more about later, we had a great time!) Natalie and I had a pajama day today. We stayed in our jammies all day!! It was wonderful. There was a lot that had to be done around the house to get "normal" life going again and I spent a lot of the day doing that stuff. Natalie had a great time playing with her new toys and games. We also got to spend a lot of time together playing which was very fun and something that often gets lost on days when we are running from here to there.

Pajama days are good for my soul! Not so much the being in jammies all day but the not going anywhere. The spending good time with my girl, caring for my house and family. I really love taking the time to do those things. the question I am asking myself now is, should I have a weekly or biweekly pajama day scheduled for us? That would probably lose the whole point.