Thursday, December 30, 2010

Crosby the fighter

I stood at his bassinet in the NICU for less than two minutes but his strong eyes and perfect little fingers clenched in a fist immediately revealed he was a fighter. He had coloring just like his mommy with his dad's nose. It was so hard to believe that his newborn baby body was so perfect on the outside but fighting so hard to stay alive on the inside.

Today my friends Wahba and Jodi had to say goodbye to their four day old baby Crosy as he went to be with Jesus. He was born at 34 weeks with severe medical complications. I cannot imagine leaving the hospital after delivering a baby you will never take home. I cannot image praying and waiting for 8 months for your baby and having to let him go. My heart is breaking for their pain.

There are things in this life I will never understand. I do not know why my miracle baby is now a bubbling toddler but Crosby only saw this world for four days. I do not know why some people have to endure unimaginable pain that no parent should ever have to experience. But I do know Crosby is with his Father in Heaver, being rocked to sleep in his arms tonight. I know he understands that his parents, his brothers Boston and Lincoln, and so many others prayed for him and loved him so deeply. And I pray that our baby Wrigley was there to greet him and show him the ropes as he left this world and went to Heaven.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord."
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8,9

Friday, December 24, 2010

santa's corner

Santa must be raking in the dough these days. As a first time parent, I had these wonderful visions of taking Lila to see Santa in a beautiful dress. She would smile at him and playfully tug on his beard, he would laugh and they would both smile perfectly for the camera. We can all dream, can't we?

When I found out it was over $20 to take Lila to see Santa (with extra packages up to $50, naturally), I told Brian this was just one of those silly traditions we could skip. He, like a good dad, convinced me this was a milestone we did not want to be cheap about. We decided to wait until Christmas Eve Eve, when my whole family would be doing their Christmas day, since we will be spending the weekend with Brian's family this year. So in the afternoon, we packed everybody up and headed out to the mall. There was a very long line but we thought, "It only only takes a couple seconds to see Santa for each bad could it be?"
We waited. And waited. And waited. When we got a little closer, we found out that there was only 1 picture taking/printing/editing station. So after the picture guy took each child's picture, the parents had to go to his station, help him edit it, pick out their package and wait for the picture to print. Clearly they had not thought this process through. Basically, Santa was doing a lot of sitting around chatting it up with his elves. Side note: what happened to the cute college girl elves?? This Santa had Old Fat Guy, Creepy Middle Aged Picture Taking Man and Old Grumpy Line Lady.
And finally, the end was in sight! We were so excited! Only five children to go before Lila's turn! We started adjusting bows, checking for diapers (because who wants to be the kid that pooped on Santa?) and getting the camera ready for our illegal behind the rope photo shoot.
And then, the ridiculous happened. Santa went on break. With a line all the way back through the food court, he closed up shop for his dinner hour. You heard me correct, HOUR. Call me a crazy mom, but don't you think they would have some back up Santas happening 2 days before Christmas? Can't he "go to the restroom" and Santa Jr. come out 5 minutes later?
Luckily all the parents were good sports and tried to not think about the mountains of wrapping, refrigerator of cooking and baking supplies, table full of Christmas crafts and big bottles of wine on the counter. We all set up picnics in Santa's line and ate some yummy yummy mall food court food. For an HOUR.
Finally Santa sauntered on back, full of snickerdoodles and milk, ready for some noticeably grumpier children. And that moment when Lila sat on Santa's lap and smiled like a pro, it was all worth it. And bonus, this Santa's Corner offered high res CD's! Thank you Santa for your help for us bloggers and our mutual hatred for scanned photos. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Here comes Santa Claus,
Here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus Lane,
Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer
Pullin' on the reins.
Bells are ringin', children singin',
All is merry and bright.
So hang your stockings and say your prayers,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

above all the bustle

Brian and I have a favorite holiday tradition of exchanging ornaments every Christmas. I totally thought this was super original until I read this week how Blair and her husband have the SAME TRADITION. Oh well, 0 cool points for originality but still fun.

In years past, the ornaments have sometimes been sentimental, like our first Christmas where Brian gave me an ivory engraved ornament we could change every year. Or a cute ornament, like the stuffed Santa Brian placed on our tree last year to remind us to always be "nice."

But this year, one of our ornaments had special meaning. As we pulled the tree decorations out of the box, Brian rustled through the newspaper wrapped packages looking for one in particular. He slowly unwrapped the paper and walked over to the tree. He found a special place, stepped back and wrapped me into a big hug. It was the "Papa Chair" I gave Brian the first Christmas after we started trying for a baby, probably accompanied by a wink knowing that 2008 would be the year we would hold a little one in our arms. That chair has sat on our tree the last 3 years as a reminder to not give up hope for God's promises.
And this year after unwrapping that ornament it reminded us of our life as a family of three and how amazing that truly is after this long journey. So we have spent this Christmas season going to Christmas carol concerts, shopping at special stores, reading books by the fire and celebrating a baby who was unbelievably even more special than ours.

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight
~"O Little Town of Bethlehem" by Rector Phillips Brooks

Monday, December 20, 2010

mustache free

You know when boys say something that comes to their mind without thinking about what they are actually implying? Yeah, they do that a lot. And usually it reminds me to laugh, especially when they get that look on their face and then they back track, trying desperately to make it better. And it always ends with, "You're beautiful and I love you," with that sad puppy dog face. Kills me every time.

"Staying Alive" playing on a commercial on TV
Lindsay starts humming the song while checking email, eventually breaking into song
Lindsay: "Ah, ah, ah, ah staying alive, staying alive. Ah, ah, ah, ah staying allllllllliiiiivvvvvvveee!"
Brian: "Wow, that is beautiful. Do you think you're one of the Bee Gee's tonight?"
Lindsay: "Obviously. Did you hear me hit that note?"
Brian: "Well you do have the same hair."
Lindsay: Silence.
Brian: "Uhhhhh..."
Lindsay: "Did you just compare my haircut to that of a 70's male disco singer?"
Brian: "No. You totally misunderstood me. I said you have beautiful hair, similar to the hair fame of the Bee Gees in their time."
Lindsay: "That is not what you said."
Brian: "Your hair is beautiful. Just like your voice."
Lindsay: Silence.
Brian: "At least you don't have a mustache like the Bee Gees."
Lindsay: "Seriously? That's the ending you're going with?"
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I'm a woman's man, no time to talk
Music loud and women warm
I've been kicked around since I was born
And now it's all right, it's okay
And you may look the other way
We can try to understand
The New York Times' effect on man
~"Staying Alive" by the Bee Gees

Friday, December 17, 2010

gross motor skills

Someone is 17lbs 10oz! And 28 inches long. And is just having too much fun babbling and waving to everyone and eating food to worry about gross motor skills like pulling up on furniture. Lila's pediatrician has this fun form we get to fill out online where we get to talk about all her skills. Which is nice for her to understand how Lila is doing. And fun for me to find out that playing peek a boo without me coaxing her is an actual skill. Way to go Lila!

The pediatrician said Lila is staying right on track at 25th percentile weight and 50th percentile height. Long and skinny. Just (NOT) like her mama. She also suggested that we should try a new type of sippy cup for Lila. She loves drinking water but has a hard time holding her cup upside down. So off we went to Target looking for a sippy cup with a straw. Did you know there is a whole aisle at Target dedicated to baby cups? Is that really necessary?
I am hoping this straw will be both fun, helpful and developmentally stimulating for my child. I realized at this doctors appointment that I have finally stopped freaking out about everything Lila does. I used to bring lists to the appointments. And ask questions I already knew the answer to just to get some assurance. But this time, I just wanted to brag about my girl. Does that mean I am getting more comfortable and confidant as a mom? Or am I just too busy to type lists for the doctor? Either way, there is something about watching your daughter waive and laugh at her doctor that makes me feel proud as a mom. I guess I might be doing something right.

Children keep us in check. Their laughter prevents our hearts from hardening.
Their dreams ensure we never lose our drive to make ours a better world.
They are the greatest disciplinarians known to mankind.
~Queen Rania of Jordan

Monday, December 13, 2010

rain rain go away

Sunday was a horrible, rainy, cold winter day. The kind where you just want to pull up the covers and stay in bed all day. So that is exactly what we did. After Lila's morning bottle we pulled her into bed with us and convinced her to go back to sleep. After an hour or so of protesting, she finally got the message.
When I woke up from my second slumber, I decided to leave these two in bed and venture out for some warm breakfast. Brian had worked until after midnight at his weekend job and I knew he could use a little rest and perhaps some treats. I decided to run around the corner to our Biscuitville, where I discovered 2 things.
1. Apparently bologna is back. I am not sure who told them this, but I am sincerely hoping they are incorrect. Eww.
2. Warm flaky biscuits on a cold morning are A-Mazing.

We spent the rest of the morning in bed watching the "Father of the Bride" marathon, drinking coffee and letting Lila play with her Christmas presents (What? It kept her content and she won't know the difference when she opens them later). Our afternoon was even better with football, Christmas gift wrapping and a big spaghetti dinner. Sometimes, you just need to stay in your pajamas all day.

Pray that it's raining on Sunday
Pouring like crazy
We'll hide under the covers all afternoon
Baby whatever comes Monday
Can take care of itself
Cause we've got better things that we can do
When it's raining on Sunday
~"Raining on Sunday" by Keith Urban

Sunday, December 12, 2010

three quarters

My dearest little Lila Bean,
You are nine months old. Or three quarters of a year old. Or so big it scares me. So much has changed in the last 3 months. On your 6 month birthday, you sat up for the first time. And only 3 months later, you are a crawling machine. You started crawling full speed on Sunday, December 5. For weeks you have been going 2 or 3 little steps and then stopping and laughing at all the cheering. And then one day, you scooted yourself over to the power cord on my laptop. And you did not like it when I moved you across the room to make you stop. All of a sudden, you were up and crawling across the room towards the computer, just to show us who's boss. And now you are in to everything...Zaxby's food and water bowls, the gifts under the Christmas tree, your dad's recliner and of course, the ever tempting fireplace.
You love to eat food! You can feed yourself with your little hands, making it into your mouth almost every time. Your favorite little bites are cheese, pineapple, papayas, Puffs, bread, bananas, broccoli, carrots, green beans and olives. You are still working on holding your cup up to your mouth by yourself but you love drinking water. I know you are going to be an adventurous eater as there are hardly any foods you will not try.
You love to play games and laugh. Peek-a-boo and singing songs are your favorite. The way you examine everything around you is so exciting to see. You love exploring life and pounce forward with no fear. You still love to meet strangers, always smiling, tilting your head and holding your hands in the air like, "Look at me! Aren't I cute??"
You love your baby friends, always wanting to find new people to play with. You do so well at day care, following the big kids around and trying to keep up. Everyone cannot believe what a social baby you are, clapping and laughing with every new person you meet.
Your dad and I love you so much and cannot believe at how amazing it is to celebrate Christmas with you. Last Christmas, we held on to such hope that you would be okay and we would hold you in our arms safe and sound. And now you are here, amazing us every day and reminding us of God's everylasting love and grace. 
Merry Christmas our beanie bean,
Love Mom and Dad

Thursday, December 9, 2010

prayers for the angels

I don't like to talk about my job on my blog because I like to keep things separate. I know too many people who have gotten in trouble for getting mad at their boss and using their easily searchable, highly public blog as a place to go all crazy and start calling people "poo poo heads." Or you know, something slightly more offensive than that. But I want all my readers who might not know me in real life to know I have an awesome job helping families who have very sick children. It rocks my world. I just happen to not mention that on here a lot.

Tonight I was at an event at a local hospital and a family was being honored who lost their daughter tragically 3 weeks ago. Their daughter, who was was one and a half, was playing in the front yard with her brother who is four. Her father was hooking up a trailer to his SUV. The dad hopped in his car to back it up to the trailer and did not realize his daughter had walked directly behind his car. He hit her with the SUV and she died the next day due to her head injury.

The parents were dedicating a room in the hospital to their daughter and they stood up and talked about how much she had meant to their family. And how they knew she was in heaven smiling down on them and would hear the prayers of all the families in this new room in the children's hospital.

And I wept. And I thought about Lila and how fragile life really is. I work around horrible illness and trauma everyday and sometimes I become immune to what these families are going through. But tonight, I could see myself in that mother's eyes. How in one second her whole life changed. Hold your little ones close tonight. Whisper prayers for the angels all around them protecting them from the unseen. And say a prayer for one family who is having to face what no parents should ever have to face.

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory
And beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed...


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

white stuff

Snow is a beautiful thing for those of us that live in the South. It is super fluffy and makes everything white. And then all the roads shut down because we don't have snow plows and salt trucks. And then we spend several days locked in our house pretending it is a real winter storm.
This past Saturday, we got our first snow of the season. Mind you, it was only an inch, but it snowed all afternoon and it was so beautiful. Lila of course had no idea that pretty white stuff was falling from the sky. Basically the only thing she noticed was her wet hands. Sadly we got no pictures of her in the snow since it started so late in the day. Right now, this will have to hold off as her first picture in the snow until the snow gods grace us again with their presence.
The early snow did get me so excited about snuggling by the fire, eating yummy winter foods and sledding down our street. One of Brian and I's favorite snow traditions, going all the way back to when we were dating and got snowed into our dorms are banana boats. So banana boats are actually a camp food, but we like to improvise. Try this favorite out with your family on the next cold night!
Banana Boats
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or the campfire to "lots of wood" degrees).
-Grab a few bananas (use a knife to cut back a portion of the skin and slice the banana down the center. Leave the peel attached to the bottom of the banana).
-In the slit you put in the banana, stuff in some M&M's and mini-marshmallows.
-Put the peel back over the banana and wrap the whole thing in foil.
-Set in the oven (try to keep standing up so the open side is pointing up).
-Cook for about 10-15 minutes. Peel back the foil and enjoy!

I really can't stay (but baby it's cold outside)
I've got to go away (but baby it's cold outside)
This evening has been (been hoping that you'd drop in)
So very nice (I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice)
~"Baby It's Cold Outside" by Frank Loesser

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I love I love any kind of deal that gives me more for less. My friends joke that I am the coupon queen but I definitely think I could be called worse.

Side Note: Did you know that if you sign up for Amazon Mom, you can get 15% off diapers and other baby stuff? And then you can do Subscribe and Save, where they keep sending you diapers (although I just go on and extend or early order whenever I need some) and then you get another 15% off? Plus they give you free shipping and an Amazon Prime membership so you get free shipping on other cool stuff (like ALL my Christmas gifts). And then I stack the coupons with the 20% off Amazon diapers card in Parents Magazine. Last time I ordered (and we are talking about Pampers, not the cheapo brands) the diapers were 12 cents each. And no, I was not paid by Amazon, Pampers or Parents Magazine to tell you this, nor do I get any incentive for referring people, it was just my holiday coupon fairy gift to you.

Okay, back to Groupon. A couple weeks ago they had a deal for a $50 Nordstrom Rack certificate. And since I had a coupon code, I got it for only $15. Holla! So I decided to do a little Christmas shopping this week and take advantage of that awesome deal. But after 20 minutes of browsing around the store, I remembered why I don't shop there. Because I do not appreciate $55 tshirts with jeweled tigers on the front. Or sweaters that hang down to my knees. I had free shopping money and nothing to spend it on! I decided to use what would have bought me several new outfits at TJ Maxx and be frivolous. So I got all new underwear. You know, that was not stretched out by my giant pregnant tummy. Or so old it needs to know what time curfew is. Maybe I am ridiculous, but I felt pretty excited about that tiny little bag worth a whole lot of money. And even more excited that it only cost me $15.

A lady is one who never shows her underwear unintentionally.
~Lillian Day

Thursday, December 2, 2010

almost grown

We have an almost crawler. That's like someone saying they kind of have a boyfriend. Or they are a little bit pregnant. It honestly just means we sit around on the floor shaking shiny objects with a camera in one hand at all times. Lila has been almost crawling for like 2 years now...okay, maybe it has just been a couple of weeks but still. She gets on all fours, moves one hand and knee, smiles at her hysterical parents and then plops on her bottom and laughs. This does not bode well for our future.

I know everyone says we will be sorry and hate ourselves for encouraging it later, but since when do parents get mad when their children do something amazing and new? There is no stopping it, Lila is a grown up overnight. I could not believe how big she looked, sitting in her high chair on Thanksgiving with her turkey bib eating little bites of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and of course every baby's favorite, olives. What? Your child is not a fan of Mediterranean food?
But having her suddenly go from baby to almost toddler has caused some parent brain farts as well. Like when I realized Lila was now almost 9 months and still using newborn pacifiers. Guess what 9 month olds do when you try to suddenly give them a giant plastic object to suck on? They pull it out of their mouth and throw it at your face. Or when I walked into Lila's room to get her out of her crib and realize it is probably time to drop the mattress level, since she is sitting up and pulling her hanging mobile out of the air and into her lap. Whoops.

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. 
When they're finished, I climb out. 
~Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

how lovely are thy branches

We do not appreciate fake around here. Sure there is a time and a place for artificial enhancement, but that is not during the celebration of 8lb 6oz infant baby Jesus. Every year, we go and walk through the rows of sweet smelling, sticky, giant trees and look for the one who belongs in our living room. For the past 5 years, we have gone to this gas station in Raleigh that sells trees out of their parking lot. Sure it's not a festive, cocoa sipping, holiday music playing tree farm. But we get a 6 foot tree for $29. It's about give and take, my friends.

This year, I could not wait to see Lila's face at those big trees so I made Brian go a whole week earlier than normal. But of course, it had dropped 20 degrees that afternoon and it was getting dark so it was a fast, blanket wrapped, hat wearing trip for the baby. We finally made it home with the tree and despite all my plans, Lila passed out before any trimming could be had. We did the next best thing and put on a Christmas movie, poured a big glass of wine and went to work.
Sometimes, holidays throw you some surprises, like when you open the decorations box that was lovingly stored in the attic all year and find that the sugar cookie candle has melted all over your wreath. Or when your husband does not understand the cinematic masterpiece that was "All I Want For Christmas" with Thora Birch and Ethan Embry circa 1991 (Snowball! Snowball!) Or when you are about to online order a stocking for your new baby and your husband lifts a ballerina stocking out of one of the boxes and says, "Hey, didn't you buy this at a year end Pottery Barn sale for Lila while you were pregnant last year?" But in the end, when the mantle is full of santas, the fire is roaring and the room is filled with twinkling lights, it is all worth it.
Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we
We're snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be
Let's take that road before us and sing a chorus or two
Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you
~"Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson