Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Spencer: 8 Months


Spencie,

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!

Mama

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.

Mama.

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.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Her Grandmothers



Just in time for Mother's Day, Spencer got to meet her Nana Sandra and has spent all week with her Gigi. So sweet to watch this little one with these leading ladies in her life. 

Mother's Day(ish) memories. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spencer: 6 Months



Dear Spence:

Your half-birthday was on April 29th, buuuuut we've been busy. 

As I type this, I'm waiting on them to come get Dadda to take him off to surgery. He's getting some stuff fixed. He's been in ICU for over a week and I'm pretty optimistic he'll come home in a heck of a lot better shape than he left, although the road to recovery will be lengthy. You're safe and happy at home with your Gigi and Peepops who drove in last night to watch you. 

You've been so good considering you've spent a lot of the last week being looked after in the ICU waiting area. You're not allowed back into this unit, so you haven't seen your Dadda since he's been in. I can't wait for the reuniting of my two favorite people. Big smiles all around, for sure. 

You did get to see him for several hours in the ER the day we called the ambulance. You were such a charmer to the rescue workers. Pretty sure you got just as much attention as your Dadda. 

So many friends have been helping out in watching you so I could be with your Dad. The help has been amazing. I've learned all you have to do is ask. Ask and you shall receive, dear one. People will rise to the occasion. 

It helps that you're the happiest and easiest baby on the planet. Thanks for that, by the way. 

You got your first sickness this month. You got a cold, a temp, and then an ear infection immediately following. I got your cold and mine turned into an upper respiratory infection. It was a rough couple of weeks. We were both on Amoxicillin for our ailments. And it turns out, you might be Amoxicilin allergic. Once you were getting it from your dose and mine via breastmilk-- you started developing giant hives. Oh, that wasn't scary at all.

I think you're back to being your healthy, happy self. 

With all the babysitting and running to the  hospital and not being able to use some Amoxicilin-tainted milk, we realized how unprepared we were in terms of having a milk stash. We tried formula as a supplement. You only liked it mixed with Mama's milk. By itself? Gags. However, we tried some apples this week and you seemed to love them! 

You're sitting up pretty good. You love to make eye contact and really look at who has you. You smile more than anyone I know. 

It's a crazy time right now and you're handling it like a pro. It's almost as if you understand why I have to leave you all the time. 

Dadda will be home soon! 

Love, 
Mama 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Closet Nursery Update



Now that we're almost six months in, I have to say: the closet nursery can be done. 

I have a full size crib, a changing table with drawers, a book shelf and a place for clothes. Aside from room for my glider, I have everything I need in there. 

Spencer really only sleeps in there, but, she's starting to hang out in her crib more while I have to get stuff done. She used to abhor that thing. So, 30 minutes of playtime in the crib before screaming her head off = progress. 

Some people that come see it say, "it's smaller than I thought."

In which I ask, "what kind of Tori Spelling walk-in closet have you been hanging out in?" 

Meanwhile, my shower is RIGHT next to her door. I thought this was gonna be a problem but her Sleep Easy machine is a godsend and I thank the friend who recommended it. 

Our little arrangement is working nicely. I think she rather likes her little nursery nook. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Recent Spencer Firsts

A few of SRM's recent firsts...

First time riding in the Big Girl part of the cart. 
Since she can't sit up yet so we were heavily relying on that strap. 
She frickin' loved it and thought she was hot stuff sitting up there!

First taste of adult human food. 
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. 
Flavor: (1st scoop) Goat Cheese and Cherries and (2nd scoop) Ombre Brulee. 
She spit most of it out but the taste sure did make her happy. 

First time at the aquarium. 
This is her first look actually at a beautiful, bright tank.
Such wonderment!
And then shortly after this... she went to sleep. 
Enough is enough.

Her first Easter! 
This also included her first time at church. She did beautifully! 
That weekend, she also met her Great Uncle, Aunt and cousins from Myrtle Beach. 
Instant best buddies with those gals.
She loved cuddling with her Gigi on Easter morning.



Spencer's first sickness. 
Sad face. 
Baby girl caught a cold (which she has now successfully passed onto Momma).
Although under the weather, she still smiled a whole bunch. 
That was no fun, though. Grandparents, luckily, were here to help us.