11 January 2013

Happy New Year

Yes, I realize we are almost 2 weeks into 2013 and I am just now posting about the start of a new year. Todd, Noah and I spent a low key New Year's Eve at home on the couch watching a movie and eating pizza. We made it til midnight, but not much beyond that. I started back to work on Wednesday, January 2nd. The first few days were really hard being away from Noah, but knowing he was with Todd helped a lot. They Facetimed me a couple of times during the day and that really made my day. In some ways it is nice to be back at work and have structure to my days, but I sure do look forward to going home and snuggling my sweet boy at the end of the day.
Noah has started sleeping more at night (with the exception of the past 2 nights) and it's amazing how getting 5-6 straight hours of sleep suddenly feels like a lot! He will be 3 months old tomorrow which does not seem possible. I love him so much and feel so blessed to be his mommy.
I am looking forward to all that this year holds for me and my family. 2012 was a year of many changes. I found out I was pregnant and gave birth to a precious little boy. I turned 30. I survived life as a NICU mom. I became an Aunt again. I had the chance to grow closer to new friends and spend much needed time with some "old" ones.
As I reflect back I realize that I am truly blessed to have wonderful, supportive family and friends; a guy in my life that loves me and Noah so much; and a sweet little boy that has stolen my heart. As I have watched several friends lose loved ones, I am reminded that each day is a gift. This year I hope to remember this and live each day with purpose. I anticipate this year being an exciting one and I look forward to watching Noah grow and discover the world around him.

24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

15 December 2012

Christmas Randomness

Snuggles in the Moby
It's December and Christmas is just around the corner. I can't believe the year is almost over. 2012 has brought some big and exciting changes in my life and I'm sure the coming year will hold many more. I'll hold off on recap of my year until month's end. For now I'll just share some random thoughts I have had since Noah arrived. If they seem especially random, I blame new mom sleep deprivation!
Passed out on the couch

  • I have mastered one handed typing in the past 2 months. 
  • Having a boy in the house has significantly changed my TV viewing habits. I now find myself regularly watching Gold Rush, How It's Made, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, The Military Channel, and other "manly" shows. My small success-I have T hooked on Nashville, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy.
  • Gingerbread Golden Oreos are amazing! I found mine at Wal-Mart. You should check them out.
  • Spending time snuggling my little man on the couch is a very rewarding way to spend a day. I can waste hours just looking at his sweet little face and holding him close.
  • I don't miss my job. I really thought I might. I do miss some of the adult interaction, but being a mom is even better than I might have imagined. Unfortunately my time as a stay at home mom will end the beginning of January when I have to return to work.
  • I now consider it a major success if I get a shower every other day.
Moby time
    • The Moby is a life changer. I love wearing my little guy as it allows me to snuggle and still keep the house in some sense of order.
    • I got a flu shot for the first time ever this year. Things you do for your child....
    • Cooking is much more fun when there is some else there to share the food and clean up.
    • There are a lot of unnecessary baby items out there (I'm looking at you Wee Blocker and Wipe Warmer) and others that are life savers (see reference above to Moby) 
    • Being a mom has made me much more emotional. I blame a combination of hormones and the presence of a sweet little boy that reminds me daily how precious life is. 
    • Getting out of the house for a trip to the park with a friend can greatly improve my day (I'm talking to you S.C.) 
    • T is a great daddy and watching him with Noah makes me love him even more.
    • Everything is cuter when little-socks, clothes, toes, fingers, snoring sounds... you get the picture :)
    • Merry Christmas Guys
    • I'm bias, but I think I've got one of the cutest, sweetest babies out there. Here's a picture I captured while trying to get shots for the Christmas card to prove my point: 
    • My little man is growing like a weed! At his 2 month appointment he was up to 8lbs and 19 inches! Loving the addition of his chubby cheeks and double chin! Yep I'm in love!
    • 2 months old
    • In case I don't get a chance for another post (as you can see my days are quite full!) Merry Christmas!!!

    09 November 2012

    4 Weeks

    I can't believe it's been 4 weeks since Noah made his grand entrance to the world. After a 2 week stay in the NICU, we got to go home and he has been doing great. He eats, sleeps, and poops just like a good baby should. He hardly ever cries, unless he is hungry or cold. Noah loves to be swaddled, as long as he can keep his left arm free! He's not too sure about a paci, though we've tried it a few times. Though it's sometimes hard to see in pictures, he has tons of blonde hair. Sweet is definitely the word to describe my little boy. He likes to snuggle, but also sleeps well in his own bed.

     There are definitely hard moments, but all in all being a mom has been great so far. Todd is great and helps out a lot with getting up at night. Thanks to his stay in the NICU, Noah has so problem going between a bottle and nursing so I get decent sleep. That helps a lot. We have made trips to Mimi and Poppi's, Walmart, and The Fresh Market so far. Otherwise most days we just stay in and hang out on the couch. Growing is hard work :) 
    I think I hear the hungry cry, so I will cut this short as leave you with some pictures. 

    18 October 2012

    Introducing Noah Benjamin

    The past 2 weeks have been a roller coaster of craziness, where I went from thinking I was going to have a little turkey the end of November to being told I would have the little guy in a matter of days. Noah was not growing as he should on the inside and the doctors decided it would be safer to deliver in the next couple of days even though he would be small and early. I was very fortunate to have some great high risk doctors at UT Med Center looking after me and an OB that recognized how serious things were.
    Excuse me while I have my medical paragraph.
    I'll try and keep it somewhat simple. Noah was diagnosed with severe IUGR at 33 weeks when I went for my regular appointment and monthly growth scan on October 4th. I was sent immediately to Knoxville to a MFM OB who confirmed that Noah was in the 4th percentile for growth and that his cord blood flow was absent during diastole. He recommended delivery by 37 weeks at the latest, but likely sooner. A week later I went for a follow up scan and the blood flow was worse, so the decision was made for me to get 2 rounds of steroids and then get baby boy out via C-section 2 days later. So on October 10th, I was admitted to the hospital to be monitored and receive my steroids. It was a long couple of days. I am not the best patient and didn't sleep well at all. Things were going well and there was a plan in place though, so I was hanging in there knowing he would be here soon. Evidently Friday afternoon was not convenient for Noah and he decided to have an episode of decels in the middle of the night prompting an emergency c-section where I was ripped from an Ambien induced coma and rushed to the OR. Look for that crazy story to follow soon!
    I am happy to announce that Noah arrived safely and healthy on October 12th at 220a. He weighed in at 3 lbs 10 oz and 16 1/2 inches. He is so precious and already has a very sweet disposition. However, he has made it clear from the start that he has his own plan for how things are gonna go! Todd and I are overjoyed to be parents and love our little blessing so much.
    It is hard to believe he is not even a week old yet, because he is doing so well already. Looks like he may be an overachiever like his mamma. He was completely off oxygen shortly after being born. He was quickly off IV fluids and TPN as he breastfeeds like a champ. Right now his challenges are keeping his body temperature up and gaining weight. As soon as he is big enough he will be able to go home and they anticipate that could be as early as the end of next week!!!!
    Life as a NICU mamma is hard, but I am so thankful that he is doing well and has had minimal problems. I am glad to be home resting in my own bed. Fortunately the hospital is only a couple of miles away and it is easy for me to go back and forth via my chaufer (aka Todd). I am feeling great and adjusting to life as it will be for a couple of weeks.

    09 September 2012

    Breaking News

    So I've been a blog slacker lately. I know I promised an exciting post in August, but here it is the beginning of September and I am just now getting around to putting up a post. August was pretty busy and went by really fast. Then Labor Day caught me by surprise by being extra early this year. The end of summer is rushing by and as much as I love fall, I'd be ok if things would slow down just a tad.
    By now, a lot of you know the news I am about to share, but for those of you who don't I suspect this may be a little shocking......

    Hiding behind arms at 20wks
    T and I are expecting a baby boy the end of November. Yep you read that right, I'm pregnant. I am so very excited at the chance to be a mom. For those of you that know me, you know this is something I have wanted for a very long time. The timing was a bit unexpected, but not something that we had discussed being a part of our future. We are both so looking forward to embarking on this journey together and know this little boy will be a blessing in our lives.
    29 weeks

    18 July 2012

    Summertime List

    Sooooo it's been a long time since I posted anything. I can't believe it's already the middle of July. Summer is moving right along and life has been pretty good lately. Since I have a bunch of random things to post about, I've decided it's list time again :)

    • I will turn 30 in less than 2 weeks. And surprisingly I'm really okay with it. My life has taken a couple of really big, but positive turns lately and it has put things in perspective for me. I have realized age is really not that big of a deal. So I'm looking forward to celebrating a new phase of life. I am happy and liking where things are headed.
    • I have really amazing sisters. They have supported me through some big things lately and I am so thankful for them. 
    • I love love love working in the Pediatric ER. I didn't realize how much I missed it. At times I must say I contemplate the idea of maybe going back to it full time. I work with some great nurses and doctors and I enjoy taking care of the kiddos so much.
    • Summertime, how I love all your trashy reality shows. Yes, I probably shouldn't watch them, but well I do and they are great :) Some new favorites on the list year are Cheer Perfection and Beverly Hills Nannies. Also on my viewing schedule are Toddlers and Tiaras, Big Brother, So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, and Design Star.
    • My BF Todd is really great. He is my best friend and I really can't imagine life without him. I am more and more thankful for him everyday. I would post a picture, but he might hurt me :) not really but he's not so much a camera fan (one of many things we have in common).
    • I am going to be an aunt in September! 
    • The best Diet Dr. Pepper is sold from the drive thru at the McDonalds near my house. This has been discovered from some extensive research.
    • I finally made it back to Nashville the beginning of June and it was so great to see my girls. They are pretty amazing
    • I have become obsessed with Etsy lately. There are so many cute things on there, but man some people have a really high opinion of their handy work! 
    That's what I've got for now. Sorry for some of the vagueness, but I promise if you tune in in August I will clear things up. 

    18 May 2012

    Thankful May Edition

    It has been a long week and I am exhausted. Work has really worn me down this week. I had to dig deep to come up with this list, but felt like I needed to pause and reflect on the positive in the midst of a lot of stress.

    1. Starbucks: seriously made my day today
    2. Seeing old friends
    3. My job: even if some weeks it gets a little out of control
    4. Scott's Strawberries: love this time of year
    5. A sweet card from a friend
    6. Health: had a lot of patients this week who are facing a poor prognosis 
    7. Rain: it kept me from having to worry about watering my plants this week, which is good because they probably would have died otherwise
    8. Time with family
    9. Just the right song on the radio
    10. Friends who listen when you've had a bad day.

    20 April 2012

    I'm Thankful...

    My friend Carrie does a weekly post of 10 things she is thankful for. I have admired this concept for a long time as I like the idea of pausing each week to remember that there are always things to be thankful for. It is a good reminder that even the bad weeks have bright spots. I'm not sure that this will be a weekly post on my blog, but perhaps at least a monthly thing, but this week I'm feeling very thankful so I thought I would put up my own list. Here goes!

    1. Friends that stick by my side when times are tough.
    2. A good report at the doctor today.
    3. A random day off taken kind of last minute to catch my breath from the busyness of life.
    4. The ability to pick up a few extra shifts in the Pediatric ER, which means extra income for some upcoming expenses and getting to take care of sweet little kiddos. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the pediatric population.
    5. This pretty great guy that I've become quite smitten with (more to come on this really, I promise).
    6. The financial freedom to occasionally spoil people that mean a lot to me with unexpected gifts. 
    7. Mexican food and a chance to catch up with a friend.
    8. The reminder that though life sometimes throws unexpected things our way, God has a plan and it is under control.
    9. Spring like weather and sunshine. 
    10. Credit card points that get redeemed for Starbucks gift cards :)

    04 March 2012

    Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

    Quite literally! This past weekend my good friend Melissa got married in Chattanooga. The weather in Tennessee has been kinda crazy this "winter", and well this weekend was no exception. The forecast showed severe storms across the state with Knoxville and Chattanooga being some of the hardest hit areas. We had all been praying for no snow, I mean it is March after all, but forgot to pray for no tornadoes. Yep, that's right we got caught right in the middle of a tornado while trying to get from the chapel to the rehearsal dinner on Friday night. It was terrifying. I saw the funnel cloud moving towards us as we were driving and we quickly turned the other way and pulled into a parking lot beside a building. We hunkered down the best we could as the tennis ball size hail, pouring rain, and wind raged around us. There was a whole lot of praying going on in that car! We were able to laugh about it later on, and everyone made it through safely, but it was an experience I hope to not have anytime in the near future! The same tornado went through Ooltewah where I rent my townhouse out, but fortunately when I drove by to check it out today, no damage had been done!
    The rest of the weekend went much much smoother. Melissa's parents were kind enough to let us girls take over their house and we enjoyed a relaxing Saturday morning of hanging out, getting hair and makeup done, and then headed to the chapel for pictures and the main event. It was a beautiful ceremony with a gorgeous bride and handsome groom who are clearly quite smitten with each other. Lots of fun was had at the reception. I caught the bouquet :) I'm hoping that significance plays out in the near future. Here are a few photo highlights from the weekend!