Friday, July 31, 2015

Spencer: 9 Months

Dearest Spencer, 

9 Months! Congratulations, you're the happiest baby in all the world. 

You're a pretty good sleeper now, eating every type of baby food possible, and are very active. You're crawling, into everything, and pulling up. You just love standing (while holding on of course). It's your new favorite. 

You're pure joy. Your giggle is the world. 

I love how happy you are when I walk towards your crib every morning. Thank you for being happy to see me.

Love you lots little baby muffin doodle head. You're my favorite!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Our Trip Home

We're back from a much-needed trip home. Spencer's first trip to the SC coast! We stayed at my parent's house. Felt kinda full-circleish having her there: my baby pictures on the wall, having my own daughter in my old room.

Mom and Dad spent every waking second possible holding and loving on their little one and only. They loved having their granddaughter there and introducing her to their kitties.

Spencer met her uncle Nick, was cuddled lots by cousins Madison and Makayla, met some of Dadda's buds, met Momma's old co-workers, Mom and Dad's neighbors. We didn't squeeze everyone in, but hope to continue showing off Spencie next time we make it in.   

It was super duper hot, which made our first trip to the beach a quick one. Just long enough to nab some pretty great pics. We met Spence's bud, Luna, there. Sweet, salt-water memories.

This was Spencer's longest trip in the car -- six hours. Luckily we had help. My dear friend and baby Luna rode with us. Two babies, two ladies. Jamie was such a huge help entertaining Spencer as I drove. Luna is still at the age where she's pretty content for the majority of the ride, but we made it!  

There was so much joy in bringing Spencer to where I grew up... she loved it!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Beach

Surfside Beach, SC
8 Months Old

Spencer's first time at the beach. Very curious. Very cautious. Very unsure. When I would dip her toes in the water, she didn't mind too much until the wet sand and then EWWW GROSS.

I have a feeling next summer at the beach will play out a little differently. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

What I Want To Remember

Spencer Rosalyn, 8 Months Old
I want to remember how you woke up twice this morning. Once at 5am. Then again at 8am. How happy you were to nurse. You flailed your arms and legs about, joyfully. How you fussed when I put you down to play while I got my very much-needed morning coffee. How you sat with me on the bed and tried to dive after the remote and my phone. How we picked out your outfit: something very pink that still had tags on it. How we strapped you in the car seat; the fussing stopped and the observing began as soon as the stroller wheels rolled. How you looked out your window at the sun bleeding through the trees. It almost put you to sleep. How you screamed a shrill when I turned off the car because you knew I was coming to get you. How you peacefully went to the caretakers at the gym daycare. How excited you were when I came to pick you up. How you hummed, cooed, sang, and spit in your car seat on the way home. How daycare must have worn you out -- you slept over two hours when we got home. How big time you were sitting in the big girl part of the shopping cart at the store. How much fun you had with Dadda running around in the halls of our condo building in your walker as I put groceries away. How you patiently played while I gave him a long overdue shave. How you sat next to Dadda in your high-chair as you both required a snack; two bites for you, one for him. Repeat. How you like to watch closely as our caretakers transfer Dadda into bed.  How happy bath time makes you. How you love to read your favorite book, "Where is Baby's Belly Button?" It's the only book that you pay attention to and don't try to eat.  I want to remember how you happily gulp your last milk of the day and drift off into sleepyland. How you sweet you look and sweet you smell as you lay asleep on my chest.

Usually I countdown the hours until bedtime. Tonight, however, I missed you before I even put you down in your crib.

I want to remember the normal day we had and how much better you made it. How much more lively and funny you made our day and make all of our days.          

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Spencer: 8 Months


My love. You've become quit the explorer as you started crawling consistently within just the past week. You're not one for sitting still anymore, at least not for long. You've even pulled up a few times while holding onto your crib, the couch and me. Your favorite is to climb up my leg.

You're very social and happy. You spit and blows raspberries -- that's when I know you're content. You love to be held by anyone and see what's happening at adult eye-level. You're still very curious and love to look at people in the face and eyes and take them in.

We've started sleep training. You're doing great! Think we're both on the path to better sleep and better nights, although it's SO HARD.

You've spent some time around your BFFs Luna and Jenna lately. You get so excited around other babies! We traveled with friends this past weekend and had a house full of kids, all ages. I think you loved it! When we got there, we plopped the babies in front of each other. You screamed with excitement SO LOUD that you made Jenna cry. I've never seen you do that! We travel with Baby Luna soon. Excited to see how you do.  

You're a great eater! Along with nursing, you've eaten all the veggies and fruits I've given you. You still prefer purees, but you're slowly getting acquainted with some other more solid, not liquid food.

You're the twinkle in your Dadda's eye and made Father's Day truly mean something special for him this year. He loves you so much and loves watching you grow and flourish right before his eyes. You light up when you see him and it awakens his soul.

We love you to pieces!


Saturday, June 20, 2015

What I Know About My Husband

I know that he loves his daughter, Spencer Rosalyn, more than anything in the world. I know he smiles every time he lays eyes on her. I know he is always worried about her, concerned about what she's getting into. Is she too close to the outlet in her walker? Is she too close to the edge of the couch? Should she be putting that in her mouth?  Is his wheelchair leaning up against her car-seat in the van?

I know how much he wants to hold her. I know he wants to blow raspberries on her belly. I know he wants to tickle her and toss her up in the air. I know he wants to help bathe her. I know he wants to feed her, change her diaper, and push her in the stroller. I know he really wants to hold her as she sleeps on his chest. I know he wants, so badly, to take the reigns when I'm exhausted, mentally broken, and in tears.

I know the physical limitations he is up against. I know he's working through the tough stuff... the "not-ables." I know it hurts, even when he doesn't say it. I also know he's finding his own, unique ways to parent without functioning arms, legs. He's adjusting, healing, and learning as we go. I know he will perfect it. Maybe soon it won't seem as hard as it is right now.

I know she loves him so much. When he's not here, she walks her walker as far as it will allow as she reaches the terrain that is the carpeting in his room looking for him. I know she lights up upon the sight of him. I know she loves to crawl all over him in the morning. I know that she thinks his SCI-world is all too exciting. SO MANY TOYS. Better than anything I could possibly get at a store.

I know there is so much he wants to do, but can't. I know there is so much he can do, and does. I know there will be so much more for them to do together as she grows.

Here's what I know about my husband: that he maybe wanted a boy when I got pregnant. I also know he'd never trade these sweet baby girl moments for anything. Spencer forces him to rise to the occasion. She's his joy. His reason. His love.

A father-daughter bond that's already strong as oak.

Jimmy and Spencer on the first day of her life, October 29, 2014.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Spencer: 7 Months

Hey Spencie,

Oh wowww. Seven months. You really turned a corner, didn't you? Eating lots of different fruits and veggies, (while still nursing - yay, us!) leaving Mama to decipher among all the different poops you've been having, and not having. Joys.

You're talking more, SCREAMING more and moving more.

And, you smile more! Nothing like dragging myself to the crib at all hours only to see you crack the biggest smile ever upon the sight of my shadow. 

I'm not sure what developmental hell you're going through at this time, but good god crazy girl! Just sleep. I promise you won't miss anything. You went from sleeping through the night, to definitely not. It's time for mom to refer back to the Google machine on this one. It's an act of congress to get you to sleep at night, slip you ever so delicately into the crib, and then tip-toe out. Then when you wake up two hours later... bang. head. against. wall.

Maybe just a phase? We can only hope.

Let's talk about yesterday when you got kicked out of  gym daycare. You totes did. Nothing like having them call me over the loud speaker while I had headphones on and was doing cardio.

Poor baby. Just fussy. Dadda says you have a record now.

Not crawling yet but pretty close I think. You've nailed the backwards shuffle. And you're sitting up really well. You scream DAAaaa! Sometimes you'll say Daaaa-Daaaa. So you're Dadda is pretty happy about that.

You love the bath (can't wait to get you swim lessons), love outside (we need to go swing!) and love going for car rides and looking out the window.

You're so loveable and so aggressive with your love, by the way. You scratch my face, and saliva it up real nice. I look like a teenage boy needing some Pro-Active, Adam Levine style. ACNE where you strategically place your little saliva pockets. Simma down nah.

I love you so so so so much.

Thank you for soothing my soul always.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

This Girl

She really should try and enjoy life more...

Friday, May 22, 2015

27 Days

We're coming up on a month that Jimmy's been in the hospital. He hasn't been home in 27 days.

I ran into a neighbor in Kroger tonight. She's one of my favorite people in our condo building. Her name is Betty. Betty happened to see me as I was packing up my car, heading to the ER with the baby to go meet Jimmy on April 26th. I actually hadn't seen her since.

I told Betty then how much this was needed. For Jimmy to get some urgent medical care. He looked so bad. He wasn't himself. There was just so much unknown about what was happening. She wanted to comfort me but I was in go mode, and I assured her that Jimmy and I both felt better after we made the call to 911. A sense of relief took us over. We knew it was the right decision.

I had never called 911 before. We live very close to several hospitals, fire and police stations. We hear sirens all the time. Very odd to hear them and to know this time, they're coming for you. Jimmy said they rode non-urgent, without sirens and lights. He wasn't in distress, and because of that, we were able to chose the hospital we wanted. I remember getting in the ER and having some conversations with the ER doc and a lung doctor. Jimmy had blacked out once while I was there, having a brief moment of unresponsiveness. That was something that was happening a lot. I assured Betty the call we made we most likely life-saving. We truly didn't realize the depth of his sickness until they started unraveling over the course of two weeks in ICU.

Running into Betty today made me realize just how far he's come since the last time I've seen her. I explained to her what Jimmy's been through with surgery, not being able to eat and drink, not able to see the baby for two weeks, septic, etc. Jimmy has gone from five antibiotics to one. He ate almost a whole meal today. He hasn't wanted to eat in months. He's gaining back some of that weight. His skin wounds are healing, albeit slowly. They're looking good, finally. He gets to see the baby! He's able to smile. He's able to stay awake most of the day. He's even done a few hours off the vent.

27 days without my husband home. It's been hard leaving him everyday. Sometimes I can stay longer than others, depending on childcare situation, visitors, just how tired I am, and how much the baby can tolerate if she's with me. Since he's been at Shepherd, the baby has come with me. She's been so good for the most part. She flashes her Dadda a big smile everyday when we go. Makes it all worthwhile. She also brightens the day of his health care workers. She's not too picky to who she'll flash a smile too, and people just love that.

So, it's looking like Jimmy might come home on Tuesday. 

The most exciting part is that he's eating real food again! I can go get him (or order) whatever he wants. A simple pleasure re-established. 

I'm not going lie and say having my home without nurses hasn't been wonderful. It's been a nice break, even though they normally help a lot. That's always been a major adjustment for me following the injury.

So, it's been just me and the Spence. We're ready for Dadda to come home.

Monday, May 11, 2015

My First Mother's Day

I guess it could have been a pretty uneventful, ordinary day. My parents moved around a lot of stuff to make it so they were here to help me celebrate my first Mother's Day. With Jimmy in the hospital, they probably knew I'd be alone with Spencer. It ended being such a great time! 

We got to-go breakfast from my favorite place and went to an early supper before we all went to the hospital. Our dear friends Angie and Cameron were here in town and it was so good to have some laughter and familiarity in the house, although it was tough not having Jimmy here. 

It's been over two weeks since he's been in the the hospital. We miss him something terrible around here. Hopefully this week he'll be able to come back home. I'm grateful for these folks, though, who made this day pretty special for me and the babe. Hearts!
Three Generations on Mother's Day
Me and My Spencie.