Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Lilly Grace!!!

My baby turned the big 1 yesterday!!!! I know I know it sounds so cliche to say "where does the time go" but really, "where does the time go?" It seems like I just found out we were having a new baby and here she is a year old.

Bear with me as I remember a few moments from the last year!!!

We found out Lil was on her way on Valentine's Day and her brother was very very sick with the flu. We were excited anyway and he broke the news to Nana by telling her that he was going to be a big sister...hmmm I'm thinking he was delirious with fever but it was cute! My pregnancy with Lilly was very similiar to my pregnancy with Noah. I was sick for about 7 months!!! Whoever coined the phrase "morning sickness" must have been lucky is all I know, I had morning, noon, night, and middle of the night sickness. But aside from that, my pregnancy passed by smoothly and rather uneventful.

Lil's original due date was October 25th, so imagine my surprise when I awoke on September 26th to find that my water had broken a full month early. I wake travis up and he is still half asleep and replies "OK what does that mean?" I inform him that it means that we need to go to the hospital." He says "OK" and then proceeds to go back to sleep. I then convince him he should probably get up and he finally rousts himself up enough to realize what I'm saying. Keep in mind, we have been moved into the house for 3 weeks and I"m supposed to have another month to prepare for this baby. Meaning there are no bags packed, there is no name picked, etc. etc. No time to worry about that though. I'm contemplating whether or not I have time to wash my hair and my dear hubby convinces me that we should probably go on to the hospital...Thank goodness for this (this is important to the story later!!!)

We arrive at the hospital at around 6ish. They confirm that indeed my water has broken, (Yes thank you very much, I tried to tell you that it this something that you can really be unsure about?") I'm experiencing very mild contractions at this point. Also up until this point my baby has been in a breech position, so we have been told all along we would be having a C-section. They wheel the ultrasound machine into the room and find out, lo and behold, my little acrobat has flipped at the last minute (probably what broke my water a month early) and we are no longer having a C-section.

OK humorous break in story. (Humorous now...not so humorous then) After experiencing labor with Noah I thought I knew a thing or two....hahaha. I had a little demerol with Noah and it made me very very groggy and unable to focus on what was going on. I tried my darndest to get an epidural (which they administered twice!) and to no avail the medication never took. I mean NEVER TOOK. Nothing ever felt different. Very fun when you deliver a 9 lb baby naturally...So I decided that the demerol hadn't helped and I refused it for this labor. Let me repeat...I refused all pain medication through my IV. I found out that it really had helped with labor with Noah...too late. I've already told my nurse I didn't want it.

I'm still feeling pretty good when they hook me up to the devil of a drug...pitocin. This takes my mild little contractions to full blow being run over by a train contractions in about 3 minutes. Apparently my body is very sensitive to pitocin.... Anyway, I have nothing to dull my mind or make me groggy at this I spend the time between contractions not as you hear recommended (relaxing, focusing, whatever) nope I spend it trying to convince travis to get the IV out of my arm and to take me home! The pain apparently is getting to me at this point!

Anyway, short story even shorter, I ask for my epidural. While I am leaned over so the dude can give me an epidural I inform my nurse that I'm feeling the urge to push. Those of you who have experienced this know that this is not something you can control, your body takes over and you just go with it. She ignores me and the doctor is trying to find the spot to put the epidural. Another contraction hits and I look at my nurse and again say, "I have to push." Apparently she hears me this time and tells the doctor to quit...rats another foiled attempt at an epidural (I hear they're wonderful). Basically I then am moved around by the nurses and with one push Lilly Grace makes her appearance full speed ahead into the world. She didn't even wait for the doctor, my wonderful nurses delivered all 6 lbs 12 oz of her after about 3 hours of labor.

OK during labor I was regretting the decision for no narcotics but as soon as Lilly was born I didn't regret it at all. With Noah, I had to fight the grogginess of the drug to truly experience the first moments with my newborn and I didn't have to with her. I lay there listening to her first cries and thinking it was one of the most precious sounds I've ever heard in the world.

I also decided to keep her in the room with me for longer and we did skin to skin contact for nearly 2 hours. She was able to breastfeed very soon and being born and she was very calm and alert.

Fast forward a little. Lilly Grace has been nothing but a joy to our family this year. She has been a very loving and easy going little girl. She took to nursing like a champ and continues doing it to this day. She slept through the night at 5 weeks and she has been sick only 2 times. She is the light of her brother's life and she has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger. I can't wait to watch all the things that this little girl will do.

I think most Moms will agree with what I'm getting ready to say. I enjoyed my first baby immensely. I loved the experience of becoming a Mom. However, I worried and second-guessed myself so much that a little bit of the joy was overshadowed by anxiety and exhaustion. However, with my second baby, I was much more sure of myself and my decisions. I was more able to enjoy the moments and I mean all of them. The middle of the night feedings with Lilly were even enjoyable because I realized how fast they went and that she would only be this tiny little newborn for a little while and I savored it. I didn't push her to turn over, crawl, or walk too early as I looked forward to with Noah. I have let her be my little baby, and I've enjoyed every second of it.

Travis and I discuss the idea of having more kids, but right now, we are perfectly content with the family God has blessed us with. We have two beatifully healthy kids and if that is all we every have, I couldn't have asked for more.

We're waiting to have the party after Daddy gets home, but we did have some fun yesterday. We took sis to Toys'R'Us and bought a big toy. We went to the paintin' place and did a footprint tile and then we came home and had a cupcake (allergen free that is!) We had a great day even though we missed Dad alot and brother was sick, we still made the best of it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Little Sentimental

So I guess that Lilly's birthday coming up this week and being by myself alot lately after the kids have gone to bed has given me some time to think and contemplate this whole being a Mom business. I went into this knowing that I would love my kids and want the best for them, but never did I realize how all-consuming and heart-wrenching that love can be at times.
I've thought back at some of the more stressful times of my journey of being a Mom and at the time I wondered what I was doing wrong, and looking back I can see that things were being put together for a reason.

When Noah was around 18 months old, we were aware that he had food allergies, but we were under the mistaken impression that they were very mild. The original physician that diagnosed us thought there was no reason to prescribe epi-pens (the medication that has saved Noah's life on more than one occasion.) At 18 months, I was very very stressed out because the primary babysitter who had kept Noah since birth while I worked 3 days a week was going to be unable to keep him anymore. At the time, I thought the easiest solution was to get him into a day care. We tried for 4 days. My child would not just cry when I left him, he would stand at the window of the place and sob the entire time I was gone. He tried to leave with any adult that was leaving. My mother's intuition kept kicking in and telling me, "This isn't right...don't leave him here." Don't misunderstand my meaning....the facility was great and the lady who ran it was fantastic. However, it was common for the kids there to be fed peanut butter, etc. No doubt, had I left noah there until he got used to it, he would have come into contact with some food with peanuts, had a severe reaction with noone realizing what was going on and would probably have not had access to epinephrine until possibly too late. Even after I took him out of daycare, sitter after sitter after sitter fell through. At the time, I kept questioning my luck...why could every one else find childcare for their little one's except me? Looking back now I know without a doubt, it was God's way of insuring that my little boy was cared for by me so that I would be ready when those reactions happened, and he had only a few minutes to spare.

Fast forward a couple of years and we are blessed to have a new home, a wonderful four year old who is thriving in preschool and a new baby girl. I was very very happy, but also very very busy! I was staying home with the kids during the day, and working all evening and weekends. Basically spending very little time together as an entire family. I was letting my work put me under so much pressure I had little time for anything else. I do not think it is a coincidence that the VERY DAY I got my last order done for Christmas I fell and broke my leg and ankle and ended up with surgery and being in the hospital for 4 days and basically house bound for 4 months. Let me tell you, that four months did several things. First and foremost, I had more time to think about my priorities that I ever though possible, and I really realized that mine were slightly askew. Secondly, the Lord showed us that we could make it one basically one income and still provide for our family and our children. Last, but certainly not least...I really learned to depend on my friends and my family. Those days home alone would have been impossible withought the help of my family taking care of the house and kids, and my dear dear friends who called, brought meals, and basically got me through. I realize that a broken leg and an ankle is so mild compared to what other people go through, but let me tell you, going from being able to do anything I wanted to having to depend on a wheelchair and someone else to get me in and out of the shower and to and from the bathroom will humble a girl really quick.

Anyway, this rambling perhaps doesn't make sense to anyone but me. But there are a few things that I've learned on this journey of motherhood that I started nearly five years ago. I've learned to trust my gut. I've learned that time passes by way too quickly, and above all, I've learned in the middle of the night, when I feel like I don't have anyone else who understands me, I know the Lord will answer my prayers, he has time and time again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some cute pictures

Noah dressed up for old-timer's day at school complete with metal tractor lunchpail!

OK, one look at this picture will answer the question as to whether or not Lilly Grace has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger or not...

Lilly was getting tired while visiting Nana and Papa so she climbed herself into her carseat and started waving bye-bye

Nana, always cautious of the kids falling off her step, has already taught Lilly to turn around and scoot to come down, the child can't walk yet, but she sure can scoot!!!

Papa only thinks he's going to get an afternoon nap...

Lilly Grace has discovered the joy of suckers...notice the creative hairdo her brother has concocted.

Noah helping uncle Scott to work on Mammaw's grill (notice Scott's festive apron...)

My sweet, sweet nephew

Just trying to update some cute pictures for Daddy to check out while he is in LA. I'm beginning to worry a little about him being exposed to the cajun cuisine however, he informed me that yesterday he ate something made from pig intestine and then tonight he ate Lebanese/Greek lamb that was making him sick....
I am in awe of all single mothers out there who do this all of the time. I have great help with Mom and Dad around but keeping up with my two babies day in and day out by myself is a full time job. By the time I get them both in the bed I am ready to pass out on the couch! I've always appreciated what a great Dad Travis is, but I appreciate him even more now! Noah has asked me everyday, "Is Daddy coming home today?" and he saw on TV that there was another hurricane in Texas and wants to know if Daddy has to go there too. I told him I don't think so (at least I hope not!) Lil just wanders around hollering "Da-Da" every so often. I'm usually to busy to think much at all but around 1 or 2 in the morning I get to thinking that this house is too dark and too quiet, so I've been sleeping with the TV on and coming up with plans in my head of how I would protect my munchkins against a home invader w/out Dad here...pretty sure I can figure out how to load his shotgun and at least aim it the right direction.

Food Allergy Awareness Walk

As you guys know, I'm a board member of FEAST (food enducation/allergy support team) of KY. Anyway, this weekend was our first annual awareness walk and festival to raise community awareness (and funds!!!) for our kids with severe food allergies. We held the event at Preston Miller Park in BG and we had a great turnout. We had nearly 200 participants and raised nearly $6000 for our group! Best of all our kids got to run and play in a completely SAFE environment where they got to socialize with other kids who are just like them. I have such great family support and we had a lot of family members come out to support Noah!

Noah's favorite part of the entire day I think was getting his face painted....

Lil used the day to practice her new skill...standing up by herself. It hasn't occured to her to take a step yet, but I know that's coming any day now.

Noah touring the ambulance and visiting with the EMT's.

Friday, September 12, 2008

See You Soon Daddy!

So the Parsley family is minus one member for the next 2 or 3 weeks. Daddy "or Da-Da according to Lil" has been sent to Baton Rouge Lousiana by ATT for hurricane relief. He says he should be able to check the blog and has told me repeatedly to post pictures of the kids so he can see them. The longest he's been away from them is a night or two I think. I heard from him earlier tonight and he arrived safely and was headed out to try some cajun food before clocking in tomorrow. The man loves work is all I know, they're scheduled for 12 to 14 hour days and he will get a day off after 13 days straight. I asked him last night if he dreaded it and he shrugged and said, "It's just work..." I however would be wailing to anyone who would listen if I had to work those hours. That's why I'm glad he's the breadwinner! OK and I'm also very glad that they managed to find him a hotel room because some of the linecrew that was going were unable to get vacant hotel rooms so they were putting them in , I'm not joking, spare cells at a correctional facility (aka I'm assuming prison...) They were instructed not to talk to the need to tell me twice, Thanks.

Anyway, so I'm blogging at 10:30 pm and trying to not notice that me and the baby are the only ones rambling around this house that seems much too big and too quiet with Dad gone...

Anyway, we'll miss him alot and I hope that he doesn't wear himself out. I also am hoping he isn't caught in the wake of hurricane Ike. Anyway, he'll have lots of work to keep him busy and then there's always the TV to keep him company, especially with all of the news coverage of his new fantasy woman, Sarah Palin. He loved to remind me that the woman is for guns, babies, and Jesus...and also has killed a moose or something. I've been married to the man for 10 years and given birth to his two children and I still don't think I can compete with her.... Oh well...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Catching Up....

I realize that it's been forever since I posted anything new so I decided to do a catch-all of what we've been up to lately. Noah's back in preschool (which he loves) and so I added a pic of his first day back, he was excited to be one of the "big kids" meaning he was a 4 year old and had done all of this last year!

He also had a blast at the yard sale with his little lemonade stand which turned out to be a great learning experience. He helped make the sign, gathered his supplies, sold his drinks, and then collected and saved his money to go buy a toy he's been wanting.

Noah's favorite pastime with "Precious"

It never occured to Noah that he was too big to get in the sink bathtub...

Poor Little Lil' has been trying her best to cut 4 new teeth and it's not going so well. She's had a constant runny nose and has been waking up about 5 or 6 times a night fussing with her gums. She usually sleep all night and has since about 7 wks old so this is a hard adjustment for her!
Labor Day weekend has been SO busy but fun. I worked Saturday and then Sat afternoon we went to a cookout with our friends from Russellville, Sunday another cookout with family, visited with more family on Sunday night. Noah decided he wanted to spend the day at Nana's so Travis took me and Lil to the Olive Garden and to Opry Mills in Nville. It was fun!
Noah is super excited to see that they are starting to put up fair rides today...
Lilly is still pulling up and practicing all of her words, (Mama, Dada, Bubba, byebye, uh-oh) and she's getting really good at sign language for the word "more" which we taught her at around 5 months.
We're planning her first birthday shindig and I can't believe it's almost here.
Work is busy busy busy...finishing up seniors, and working on fall wouldn't believe how many Christmas sessions I already have booked.
Sorry this isn't very exciting guys, just trying to get caught up a little!