Monday, May 31, 2010

the day is approaching...

I cannot believe our little girl is going to be a YEAR old this Wednesday!...I am foreseeing a couple of reminiscent posts this week if I have the time (birthday party beckons)...for sure on the actual day.  

It seems just like yesterday (or exactly a year ago today) that Stan and I woke up, went to church, drove to Jackson, checked into our hotel, went to the Bass Pro shop to get his dad a gift, and ate dinner at Macaroni Grill where the sweetest lady was our waitress and wrote the nicest note on our receipt ("Congratulations!  It's a girl!")...she didn't know our hearts were heavy but strangely full of hope at the same time.  We then went back to our room, and I had the most difficult time getting to sleep, and staying asleep for that matter, because labor was beginning to make me nervous :).

I thought Anniston's birthday would be the next day, June 1st, but it wasn't...

Truth be told:  I don't want to write this on her birthday day post, so I will just say it here that looking back on the day she was born, it was the worst and the best day.  It was so hard waking up in a room with her apart from me and not having ever seen her.  If it weren't for her heart, I do not know if I would have believed she was mine.  I'm sorry, this is so incredibly selfish, but a mom is supposed to be the first person to see her baby...not the last.  But, it was the best day because I got to see her.  She looked perfect and so so sweet.  

I realize now that the day really was not too bad (perspective) and could have been infinitely worse...

I am overwhelmed because there is an abundance of gratefulness filling my heart right now.  At that time, I honestly knew deep down that she would still be here for her first birthday and many, many, many birthdays beyond, but that doesn't mean that there were not moments weak in faith along the way.  I look at her, and I am astounded at all that she has overcome, only with the Lord's power.  Shoot, Stan and I have been able to stand only because of His strength.  

Humbled is the word I am looking for...I am humbled knowing that this all could have turned out much different, and I am most humbled that God chose me and Stan to be Anniston's parents.  What an honor.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

immunology appointment!

Last Friday, my parents met me and Anniston in Jackson for her Immunology appointment.  Since we returned home from the hospital with her, my mom and dad have been so generous to drive over to help me with Anniston’s appointments on the days that Stan has not been able to come.  I am very independent, so I have to interject that I can (and have) take her to her appointments on my own, but the times that they have accompanied me definitely has made those days easier…especially when we have more than one appointment in one day. 

Since we only had one doctor’s visit Friday, we were all able to spend a little more quality time together, and it was so much fun!  Anniston LOVES my parents, and they LOVE her!!  As soon as they walked up to her, she smiled and laughed and basically did not stop as long as they were around!  She had trouble eating her lunch because she just kept laughing at her GG :).

A little note about her Immunology appointment:  It went great…we had some blood work done (SO not fun…hard to stick her…), and we will not know the results for a couple of weeks.  I don’t talk about this much, but the syndrome that caused her heart defect they said could also affect her immune system (and calcium and speech…), so that is why we have had to be so careful with her this year.  They have really wanted us to keep a tight reign on her, especially around large groups and children, so church has been an issue.  

We go and sit in the back…she just wants to play, so it can be a bit of a distraction for us and possibly others.  She really is VERY good, but just excited.  Getting to church late and leaving early so as to limit the people she was exposed to was common for us in the beginning, but now that it is warmer, we are being a little more lenient.  Plus, I want her to have interaction with people!  I really would love to put her in the nursery, but her immunologist says no for now…still.  We thought she might tell us different at this appointment, but she wants to wait and see the results of Anniston’s blood work.  

Her T-cells have always looked good which is awesome since they pretty much orchestrate the rest of the immune system (praying that they are still looking great!).  It was her IGG (Immunoglobulin) antibody that was low about six months ago, so we are praying that it is in the normal range now!

This is really so funny to me to say all of this because this little girl has not been sick ONCE this entire year!!  Okay, maybe a runny nose or two, but seriously, besides like a few hours of a REALLY low fever ONE time, she has NOT had ONE ear infection, has NEVER thrown up, has never even acted REMOTELY sick, and has not had to see her pediatrician for an illness ONCE!!!  We have been SO blessed, and I just want to shout it from the rooftops that God is good!!  This is such a miracle in itself, and I have been so excited to share it with you guys!

I am thankful for her amazing doctors and for their wisdom, too!  We have known to be careful with her, but we have also tried not to take precaution to the point of insanity.  (Well, was pretty hard not getting out much at all over the winter months!)  We are blessed and are looking forward to a great report.  And even if it were not great, she is fine, and you can just look at her to see that she is healthy.  I almost want to say “keep it coming because this little girl will prove you wrong!”  Almost is the operative word :).


Okay, now for more pics with GG and Grandpa (since I finally remembered to take some!):

She has this new thing...

Where she head butts with my dad.  It's so cute.  She always leans toward him for them to touch foreheads.

Thank you so much, parents, for helping me!  I know you only came so you could assist me and not at all so you could get some loving from this sweet little girl, right?!  I have the most amazing parents, and I love them more than they know!

Wow, that was long...sorry about that!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

be still my heart...

The hubs...he knows me.

And, he knows that my love language = sugar.  Sometimes.  (Well, a lot of the time...)

And, he also knows that driving across town through tons of unexpected traffic (yes, you can laugh, people who live in Dallas) to get a couple of these will make my day.

LOVE him.  Truly.

Monday, May 17, 2010

family fun!

My wonderful, amazing in-laws were in town recently for a visit, and here are some of the pictures!

With Janjan and Aunt Meg.  (Too tickled to look at the camera.)

Stan's mom is SO much better at remembering to take pictures than I am, so she took some of these with our camera and did a wonderful job catching some of those moments we might have missed!  I love how sweet Anniston looks in this one :).

At our most favorite barbecue place, Leatha's!

She LOVES her Aunt Meg.

I love this picture because you can tell how much she favors her Pops!

The newest addition to the family:  Buddy!  He belongs to Aunt Meg and Uncle Bryan...
No puppy for us yet :(.


Mother's Day pic :)... a little excited.

Have I said how much she loves her Janjan and Pops, too?  (And, how much she loves to NOT look at the camera??  She'll smile at my phone anyday.  Go figure.)

Whew, I'm pooped from all the fun!  Come back soon, fam!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

tot trays

Tot School

I found this site (and her blog) a while back and have been looking for it lately, and alas, I stumbled upon it again tonight!  This mom creates "lapbooks" for her school-aged children as a way of learning, which seems very educational and fun, but what I have been interested in are her "tot trays" for Anniston.  Basically, you just put simple (sometimes specific) household items on a tray while having an agenda to encourage exploration of texture, enhance fine motor skills, learn to sort, learn to count, etc.  

It's all pretty much common sense, but I like the idea of having time set aside to do these activities.  She really is not old enough to tackle many of them, but there are so many versions that do apply to her age. 

And, with Anniston not using her right arm/hand nearly as much as her left, I learned that this can cause an aversion to different textures in that hand (who knew?), maybe even associating them with pain, so I am often using a variety of touch-and-feel books/items to deter any kind of fear that they say could arise (but, we are praying and claiming that it will not!) anyway, like I said, we are liking the idea of being more intentional with our playtime (especially since I am always just stressed about doing therapy with her), and as SHE (the author of the site) wrote, these activities are only meant for FUN at this age.  

Wow, that was a really long "sentence"...from the person who agonizes over grammar.

To sum things up, if you have a tot, babysit a tot, or are the aunt/grandmother/cousin/sister/brother of a tot, you might want to visit this site for some good, old-fashioned brain stimulation.  The tot trays are my current interest, but there are also many other great resources to explore.
 Check it out :).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

sew something for baby girl...check.

It finally happened!  I sat down at my sewing machine and actually followed directions on a pattern to make her some (ahem, slightly large) ruffle pants...and an appliqued top.  Don't look too close as I am sure there are many imperfections :).  (Stan has a grip on her shirt helping her to stand, by the way.)

Thank you, daddy.  Love you.

The extent of my sewing up until now has mainly consisted of appliqueing onesies or burp cloths, so I was pleasantly surprised to find this intimidating realm of sewing not so intimidating!

Bird hair and carrot nose...poor baby.

The flower applique on her shirt was cut from the same Amy Butler fabric that I used for her pants.  Oh, and the pants are actually supposed to be capris...might be seeing these well into fall :).

Now I'm crossing my fingers that they don't come apart in the wash...

Monday, May 3, 2010

eleven months!

As of yesterday!

Sad day...I don't have a picture uploaded yet for Anniston's eleven month post, not that I have been faithful with these monthly posts anyway, but I do want to remember all of the fun things that she is doing right now as well as the encouraging progress that she is making, so here goes!  ...I will try to put some pictures up tomorrow.

(I'm in a hurry since she is napping and we desperately need to go to the grocery store when she wakes up, so forgive my grammatical errors and hurried sentences!)

Anniston is such a little flirt these days!  She will smile and turn her head sideways in a bashful sort of way.  This makes sitting up slightly difficult again since her tilted head causes her to dive into the living room rug :).

She LOVES her daddy!  I always knew she would, but this affection has just escalated lately.  As soon as he gets home from work, she will look up for him and LIGHT UP when she sees him!

Speaking of her anticipating things, I have noticed recently that when we are coming back home after an outing, she gets excited and kicks her legs as we are entering the neighborhood.  I guess she can tell the trees are different and knows she's almost home?  Then, when we get out of the car, she smiles SO big as we walk into the house.  She is a home-body...what can I say?!

She is sitting up very well (except for the whole flirty-head action...oh, and looking at the fan is somewhat of an interruption at times), and she wants to scoot and crawl SO bad!  She can move in a circle on her stomach, and we are still working on her recognizing her right arm in order to crawl.  It wears me out sometimes and can get me down, but I know that she has come SO far already, and with all she has been through, she is doing absolutely WONDERFUL!  

Actually, speaking of her right side, she has rolled very well for the last couple of months, but she just would never roll from right to left on her back since we have struggled with favoring the left arm and hand.  Well, to be honest...this is bad, but I sincerely thought she would walk before she could ever roll that way.  It just seemed impossible, but she started doing it about a week ago, and she is rolling in that direction almost as much as from left to right!  My heart just wells up with thankfulness thinking about it.  God is SO good, and even though I (Stan's so strong) struggle with patience sometimes, He is constantly proving that His strength is at work in her!

Her legs are SO strong as well!  Anniston's therapist was just here and can never stop talking (along with the other therapists) about how strong her legs are!  Praise the Lord!

We have a favorite book...Winnie the Pooh's slide and learn story book.  She has even been getting upset when I take it away from her!  We tried reading another book the other day, but she just kept reaching for this one.  I am having to hide it now if I want her to do something else!  ha

Shopping is SO much fun to her!  Gets that from her mommy :).  She kicks and gets so excited whenever we go to the store.  

But, I think bath time is probably her favorite activity.  Whenever we walk down the hall toward the bathtub at night, she perks up and cannot stop moving until we put her in that water.  She LOVES to splash and play with her toys.  OH, and we can barely wipe her down because all she wants to do is grab the washcloth and suck on it till kingdom come.  There is no telling how much water intake we have at bath time.

She loves my jewelry and broke the chain on my necklace the other day :).  

Her favorite table foods are carbs (still working on her liking the texture of veggies and fruits in her hands).  She will eat virtually ANY baby food (green beans, apple/blueberry, banana/berries, carrots, squash, peas, and peaches are some of her favorites), and the table foods she likes are her puffs, yogurt melts, blueberry pancakes, apples, cut up chicken sticks, those cheese or veggie puff sticks, pears...

She kicks so hard in her bed when she wakes up that it sounds like the neighbors are playing basketball.

She is doing better holding and drinking from her sippy cup.  

She has been giving "sugar" some.

We have been hearing some new noises and are still praying for her speech.  She loves to mimic us rolling our tongues, and she will talk to us in the sweetest "love talk".  We have also been hearing a much higher pitched sound that makes me excited.

She gets SUPER elated to see herself in the mirror and lately has been getting so tickled every time I stand her up on the counter in the kitchen.  It's like she knows that is not allowed for anyone else :).

And, the PT always comments on how well Anniston focuses on toys.  That focus comes from her daddy!

That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure once we return home, I will have more to add!

Oh, I thought of more, of course:  She still sleeps about 11.5 hours at night, takes two good naps and weighs about 16.5 pounds...maybe close to 17 now :).