Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Quick Pics

I'm having a little trouble with blogger, but I decided to post anyway. (I apologize in advance if the format is messed up) If I wait until I figure out how to get my toolbars back and why it won't upload more pictures, then it would be another month before I update the blog. And according to the grandparents, that just won't work:)

So, a "real" update will be coming soon, but in the mean time a few 3 month Presli pics should hold them over.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baby Doll

Just 2 months and already making friends!

And this one thinks SHE is his baby doll.

Yesterday, Park broke the news to me that he no longer wants to marry me when he grows up. He has decided to marry Presli instead and they will live with Chris and me forever.

I would love to get that in writing, but considering Park got teary this morning walking into preschool because he was nervous about writing the letter "N", I'm not thinking it is likely.Poor thing said that as much as he tells his hand what to write, sometimes it just won't listen:)

Thankfully he forgot all about it when he kissed Presli goodbye and she licked him. The tears were replaced with some joyful giggles as he ran into his class contemplating what color Presli would want him to paint his nickles. (In case you haven't guessed it is N week at preschool.)

Baby girl, I pray each day that you will marry a man that loves you as much as your Bubby and Daddy do!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What Do Halloween And Michael Jackson Have in Common?

The kids and I went to my sister's for Halloween so they could spend the holiday with their crothers (this is our word for the cousin brothers). They just built a brand new house and I am officially in love with it!

And Park is in love with the wide open acreage called their back yard.(BTW-the picture can't even do it justice!)

However, Halloween didn't exactly start off with a bang.

After months of looking forward to being Spiderman with the crothers, Park decided he wished he would have been a cat like Presli.

Apparently, Presli wished she had been Spiderman like Park.

But, after everyone got past their costume identity crisis, we headed out to a party at one of Challi's friend's house. They had lots of games for the kids including one that called for wrapping Pops up like a mummy.

Even Lolli and Presli got in on the action.

As you can see, Presli was the life of the party. Things wrapped up with a hay ride (minus the hay. Thanks to one smart Momma who said she was tired of her kids complain of itching every Halloween so she nixed the hay:) The ride took us trick-or treating through the neighborhood. Even baby Kord was excited.

Can I just say that I never realized that one particular little subdivision in a little suburb of Tyler, Texas was the capitol of the Trick or Treat? There were HUNDREDS of kids. They were EVERYWHERE. I have never seen such mass celebration.

Apparently East, TX doesn't mess around when it comes to candy. Not to mention that they do it in style. Gone are the days of walking door to door. People where on truck trailers, golf carts, 4 wheelers and any other recreational vehicle you can imagine. And just when I thought I had seen it all, we passed something that could only be called a Halloween float, complete with orange twinkling lights and a thumping sound system blaring MJ's Thriller.

Which brings me to a complete and total side note:

A few weeks ago Bridget and I braved some TERRIBLE weather to go see Fame at the movies. We may not live forever, but thanks to Bridget's husband forcing us to take his 4 wheel drive truck, we did live long enough to make it through the torrential rain and flooding to arrive at the theater. Although, at some point in the drive I distinctly remember screaming the phrase, "THIS IS NOT A ROAD!"

Bridget and I were so pumped to go see it that we had planned this little outing before Presli was even born. However, the "outing" was never intended to be a party of two. After Sarah and Bridget had roped me into seeing Julie and Julia (How on earth did they talk me into a movie about cooking? After one of the million times I went to the bathroom, I totally contemplated going into GI Joe next door, just to avoid having to finish it)I decided that Sarah totally owed me.

And to repay her debt, the deal was she had to see Fame, which we all knew she would dislike as much as I hated the cooking show. After all, fair is fair. And to make things even more horrifying for her, I planned on buying all three of us matching leg warmers to wear to the theater.

BUT, somehow the night of the show Sarah mysteriously "couldn't make it." Now, being the kind friends that Bridget and I are, we graciously let her off the hook without so much as a protest.

However, we forgave but didn't forget. And now, the stakes have gotten higher. She has forced our hand into retaliating with a show she will find even MORE disturbingly torturous.

The Michael Jackson movie.

Bridget and I are stoked about seeing it---can't wait to get our dance on. And I guarantee the three of us will be wearing a glove to the theater, if I have anything to say about it. Yes, Sarah will be using her glove to hide her face, but she knows we mean business.

Wrapping up Halloween:

So, it was fun and fabulous and this was the year that Park learned candy corns exist. Eventually, I knew it would happen.

On Friday he has his first dentist appointment, so fingers crossed that the almost 4 years of pre-candy corn knowledge will count for something.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy (Early) Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Great Expectations

So I'm finding out that life with two kids is definitely full.

Full of laughs...full of love...and full of laundry!

But you won't find me complaining (most of the time, anyway) because I couldn't be more thankful. A few nights ago, when both our kiddos were sleeping soundly, I looked over at Chris and said, "These are the sweetest days. The ones we will look back on when our kids have long since flown the nest and we are old and gray. We'll sit on the porch and rock as we reflect on the memories of what we are living right this very moment."

He smiled and agreed with me. And then promised to remind me of that on the days when the kids are whining and fussing for no good reason.

Point taken.

Thankfully, the seond time around I'm able to fully enjoy this season of motherhood.

When pregnant with Park, I often daydreamed of tenderly tucking my sweet baby in for the night, while singing softly as he or she magically drifted off into peaceful dreams.

After all, that is exactly how it happens in the commercials. One quick flip of that little Ocean Wonder light show and "Junior" is snoring before you can even say Fisher Price.

Maybe if we had named Park "Junior" things would have turned out differently.

In all seriousness, I had longed my whole life for motherhood. But although I had spent a lifetime imagining what it would be like, the reality of my first months of mothering did not line up with my expectations.

After a very difficult delivery, I found myself suffering a series of major health problems in the ensuing months. Couple that with Park’s respiratory issues, inability to sleep more than an hour at a time, a husband in the throws of a new job, and my coping mechanism became non existent.

Initially, I had no idea I was suffering from Postpartum Depression. Having never had a baby before, I mistakenly assumed this was what every new mom felt. When my midwife had covered Postpartum Depression during my pregnancy visits, I didn’t pay much attention since I “knew” this could never happen to me. And from what I could recall, if I truly had this type of depression I would be crying all the time and feeling very unattached to my baby.

Actually, the opposite was true in my situation. I was overly attentive to every little detail of my son. I felt no one was capable of meeting his needs other than me and obsessed over the smallest decisions, such as how to dress Park…would he be too hot? …too cold? I started feeling trapped, suffering from irrational fears of something happening to my family. I began to have anxiety attacks and found it impossible to sleep, even on the rare occasion that my baby actually was. All of these things were so out of character for me, yet I still thought it was just growing pains of becoming a new mom.

Postpartum Depression is real. It is not something you can talk, think, exercise, or pray your way out of, although all these things are valuable in the recovery process. It is a medical condition that needs treatment and there is nothing shameful about seeking help to feel like your old self again.

Unfortunately, it is also something not often discussed. After I began to share my story, I was amazed at the number of women in my life that had suffered a similar journey.

If you are experiencing Postpartum Depression, you are not alone. Do not suffer silently. Join the many women who have had the courage to speak up, demanding the help they so desperately needed.

For me, experiencing motherhood the second time around has been completely different. I had no idea just how much Postpartum Depression had robbed from me until having Presli. Being able to fully enjoy our new baby is a priceless gift and it breaks my heart that I missed out on so much of that with Park. And even though I've never discussed it publicly before, having Presli affirmed in me the need to share my experience with anyone who will listen. I pray God uses me to encourage other women and to prevent anyone else from missing the signs of needing help.

And as for my expectaions the second time around, I'd be lying if I didn't say we contemplated naming Presli "Junior". However, we opted to just buy her the Ocean Wonder light show instead.

Let's just say it was money well spent:)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy One Month, Baby Girl!


You are one loved little girl! Here is a glimpse into your life at a month....

Your Eating Schedule:
During the day you eat about every 3 hours, and usually only because I wake you up. You are a great nurser, but if you don't want to eat, no one could possibly convince you otherwise. You are very fast and efficient, nursing no more than 10 minutes on each side.

Your Sleeping Schedule:
You sleep very well! (That is a HUGE praise, considering we prayed that over you in the womb after having your "up all day and all night" brother:) You typically fall asleep easily on your own with your pacifier and take 5-6 naps that last usually last between 1- 2 hours each. At night, you mostly go to sleep around 8:30 and I wake you to feed again before I go to bed around 10:30 or 11. You wake to eat between 3:30 and 4 and sleep again until waking for the day about 7:30. We are completely amazed by this!!!

Your Likes:
You LOVE your pacifier (and your brother loves to give it to you!), to swing, the car, the sling, to be swaddled, to sit on my lap, to hold hands, and to nuzzle your face against mine.

Your Dislikes:
Cold wet wipes during diaper changes and having your fingernails cut

Things That Make Me Laugh:
The way you love to stretch, the manly grunting you do when irritated, how you love your hands glued to your face when sleeping (just like Park!), how you tickle my side as you nurse, how your eyes bug out and you get the "o" face when ready to fall asleep, how calm and still you are (this one makes me laugh because I'm not used to this), the way Park says,"It's OK, Baby Girl. Super Bubby is here!", as he rushes to your side at the first sign of you fussing.

We adore you, Presli. You are a perfect addition to our family. Everything about you was worth the wait and we are treasuring every minute with you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How Big is Presli?

SO BIG!!!!!

It has been a fun first 3 weeks, Baby Girl.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Brotherly Love

So, if you recall, Park was adamant we were having a boy.

He would not even discuss or entertain the idea that he might have a sister. And truthfully, he was so convincing, I just assumed he would be right. When we asked him how he KNEW it was a brother his answer was simply, "I asked God and he told me so."

After rejoicing over the little girl God gave us, one of my first thoughts at Presli's birth was how in the world would Park take the news. Because I had a hunch there may be some gnashing of teeth involved, I opted to let Chris break the news prior to Park arriving at the hospital to meet his new baby, that was a sister.

Presli was born just before 3 AM and around 7, Chris made the drive home to pick up Park. Knowing that my absence meant his sibling had arrived, he was anxiously awaiting the news.

"Can we go meet Pate, Daddy? I can't believe my baby brother is finally here!"

"Well, we are going to the hospital to meet someone, buddy, but actually it is Presli! You have a new baby sister."

And here is the part where Park's face lit up and he squealed, " Really? I can hardly believe it. Deep down I was actually hoping it was a sister! I already love her so much!!"

OK....So I'm completely lying through my teeth.

Actually, he sobbed like there was no tomorrow. BUT, only for about 5 minutes.

Chris told him it was alright to be sad and that sometimes we want certain things, yet God gives us something different. He assured Park that God knows what we need and we can trust that He is going to give us the very best, even when that is different than what we were hoping for.

Park seemed to believe Chris, but I think what really sold him was realizing he didn't have to share Daddy with anyone else on their special "just the boys" dates. It just didn't seem like the opportune moment to mention that Presli may like to fish, too.

And then Chris showed him some video of Presli getting her first bath and that was all it took.

Upon meeting her, it was love at first sight. From the moment he arrived at her bedside, he fully embraced having a sister.

Now that he has had two weeks with her at home, he is even more smitten. That girl has him wrapped around her little finger. He is crazy for her and if she can live through his love, she will be one tough cookie.

Today he was singing "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." When she didn't respond, he told her, "Sister, you are a happy girl, so I'll just have to clap your hands for you until you get big enough to know how."

Baby girl, you are one blessed little lady.

That brother of yours may not have known to wish for you, but now he certainly would not trade you for anything.

Looks like you may get that Tiffany's bracelet, after all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Restoration: Presli's Birth Story

One week ago today our lives were forever changed as we welcomed our baby girl into the world.

So far, life with Presli has been a complete joy for all of us. Park is in love with her and she already has Chris completely wrapped around her sweet finger. As for me, any questions I ever had about how I would love another child as much as Park were answered the moment I layed eyes on her.

*WARNING: Below is the story of her birth, which includes words such as "dilation" and "water breaking", as well as being rather lengthy. Read ahead at your own comfort level.

At 37 weeks I was encouraged to learn I was dilated to a 2 and by the next week I was already a 4. I had many Braxton Hicks contractions throughout the pregnancy, but they began to pick up in intensity the weekend before her birth. On September 1st, I felt that heaviness that precedes labor and wondered if our baby would come within the next several days.

Although the contractions seemed to be a lot stronger, they were very sporadic. By about 6 that evening, I was extremely happy to see Chris walk through the door. I felt tired and the contractions were starting to get stronger and come every 30 minutes. We put Park to bed around 8, but I became really unsure this was "it" because they seemed to be getting further apart rather than closer together.

I tried to go to bed about 9 to rest up for the days to come, but finally got up around 10 after finding it impossible to sleep. By 10:30 I started to panic a bit. Chris was helping me manage each contraction but I began questioning how these "early" contractions could feel so intense and how on earth I would handle the stronger ones at the end.

I remembered the last contractions with Park and was I crazy or did these feel that same intensity? But, considering they were still thirty minutes apart it seemed completely ridiculous to go to the hospital at that point.

By 11:30, I was so glad we had not gone to the hospital because they stopped all together. Certain labor wouldn't start until the next day, Chris and I went to bed around midnight until I was awakened by a horribly strong contraction at 1:30. It was so intense I did not have time to wake Chris and after it passed I decided to time one more before dragging us to the hospital unnecessarily.

The next one did not happen until right before 2 and it was very rough, as well. Just as I was deciding that irrational or not, I was ready to call his mom to come stay with Park and head on to the hospital, another one hit about 2 minutes later.

At this point, I begin to have the sinking feeling that we may have waited too long to start our 20 minute drive to the hospital. With the contractions coming on top of each other, we opted to call a neighbor to come until his mom could make it and headed out the door like a tornado. Chris knew I meant business when I barked at him to forget loading the suitcases and "GET TO DRIVING ALREADY!!"

He drove with the hazards on about double the legal speed limit, all the while calmly assuring me that we had plenty of time.

Clearly, he was not the one sitting on someones head.

About 5 miles shy of the hospital I announced that I absolutely had to push.

Enter Chris' 911 phone call.

I think Chris may be the only husband in the history of roadside deliveries who remained completely calm while communicating to the operator that we were minutes from having our baby in the car and under no circumstances should the police pull us over for speeding.

And then he firmly instructed me to sit tight and not push, he would have us there before I knew it. In retrospect I appreciate his even tone, but at the time his calm demeanor may or may not have caused some mild irritation that led me to share how I really felt about his "sitting tight" idea.

And then my water broke.

Thankfully it released enough pressure to allow me to "sit tight" for the remaining two minutes until we burned rubber into the hospital parking lot. Somehow we made it up to labor and delivery in time for me to announce I was "HAVING A BABY RIGHT NOW!"

And here is where the real fun began.

The nurse at the desk asked me to give her some details so she could pull up my information, and then asked me to describe my contractions because depending on what happened after being checked, I "may or may not be sent back home for false labor."

Never mind that I could not breath, let alone talk. Or that I had water dripping down my leg.

Here is where Chris (in his overly calm voice) explains that I am about to have a baby. Clearly not convinced, the nurse asks me to walk down to triage (because every room was already filled), get a gown on and wait to be checked.

Sadly, I was not as calm as hubby when I personally assured her, "I'm ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY!!"

By some miracle they decided to skip some steps and just check me and that is when everyone flew into high speed mode. "Get her doctor here NOW!!" I heard, as they rushed me into a room.

Somehow I now took precedence over the 32 other women there to give birth that same night. Seriously, 32. Is that not insane?

I was told I was a 9 1/2, but Nancy the Nurse was not fooling me that they were trying to stall, hoping to keep me from pushing until my doctor arrived.

The next 10 minutes were a blur, as everyone around me went into frenzy mode. Although my focus was on managing contractions, I vaguely remember being stuck repeatedly as they tried in vain (pun intended) to get a hep lock in my arm.

Another nurse was on the phone calling representatives from the neonatal unit to come up in preparation for an unassisted delivery. The table was being broken down and I was told to pant through the next few contractions. I told the nurse I had pushed for over 5 hours with my son and asked her to go ahead and let me at least get started for crying out loud.

As my legs went in the stirrups my doctor flew through the door, putting his scrubs on as he went. As deeply as I felt the need to push, I also felt the need to get my hair into a ponytail ASAP and a kind nurse gladly ripped the rubber band from her own hair to place around mine. Tresses firmly in place, I was ready to get down to business.

The first push brought back all the fear from Park's delivery and without meaning to, I felt myself hold back. My typically mild mannered doctor, fully aware of my previous experience and wanting to keep me from panic mode, informed me, "That was pathetic! Now bear down and push like you want to meet this baby! The head is crowning and you can do this. I give you about a 4 for effort and I need a 10. Let's do this!"

Nothing like a good pep talk to motivate a girl in pain. I pushed like I MEANT it and the next thing I knew I saw what looked to be a carbon copy of my Park being layed on my chest. I had seen the umbilical cord between her legs just moments before I heard Chris scream, "It's a GIRL!!!!"

After double checking, indeed, he was right.

He cried tears of joy and I cried tears of relief that we had made it and our baby girl was healthy and here in our arms.

And it all happened less than 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Thank you Dr. White for running the 4 red lights from your house to the hospital.

Everything from getting pregnant to facing fears from my previous labor/postpartum recovery provided me with the opportunity to lean more on Jesus. As has been true throughout my walk with Him, He has once again proven 100 percent faithful and trustworthy. When I look into Presli's eyes, I'm reminded that He is the Redeemer- full of grace, mercy, and restoration. He alone knows what we need and when we need it.

And speaking of that, my next post will pick up with big brother's reaction to meeting his new baby sister....

Friday, September 4, 2009

Let Me Introduce You To......



born Sept 2, 2009
6lbs 15 ounces
19 3/4 inches

I will blog the detailed version of her birth in the days to come, but let's just say I arrived at the hospital at 2:25 AM and was holding her in my arms at 2:57 AM! We got home yesterday afternoon and I'm feeling AMAZING! I feel good enough to run a marathon (or at least some quick sprints at the very least:)

I cannot put into words how thankful we are for such an amazingly healthy baby girl and a wonderful delivery/recovery that only God could be responsible for. He was in every detail and she was definitely worth the year we prayed and waited on her.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement along the way.

And please forgive me in advance for the obnoxious number of pictures I'm sure to post in the days, weeks, and months to come!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Random Hodgepodge

After spending an entire summer clinging to his life jacket for dear life, Park informed me about 2 weeks ago that he can now swim. And before I knew what hit me, he flung off his flotation device and swam across the pool with his head immersed in the water. He came to the surface just long enough to flash me a proud grin, before taking off again.

Apparently, he knew what he was talking about.

He was dying to show off his new skills to all his cousins at his Splish Splash Bash, but unfortunately kiddie pools don't lend themselves to long distance, hard core swimming. Judging from this face, I don't think he minded all that much.
At the last minute, I also agreed to a party for a few of his closest friends at McDonald's, although it killed my soul to do so. I'm not really the fast food type since I'd rather eat my hand than a hamburger. But, in the end it was totally worth it because he was on top of the world. Somehow, his birthday dream had become a Ronald McDonald cake and special birthday plate, all of which came included in a very low priced birthday package.

Who am I to argue with that?

Although, I feel like we should make some sort of commission off all the future birthday parties that Park's buddies will be booking due to the way he sold them on the idea based on his enthusiasm. I even heard him say, "The only way to get such a special plate and have as much fun as me is to have your very own party here. That sounds awesome, huh? Be sure you let me come because I LOVE ice cream!"
Bridget informed me that if I gave the poor kid ice cream more often, perhaps he wouldn't feel the need to secure his place at anyones birthday party who would possibly consider inviting him. I reminded her that I was having his party at McDonald's for crying out loud, so surely she could give me props for small steps.

Speaking of Bridget, how is it that I have not let each of you know that the world is officially ending because she actually has a BLOG now?! Sarah and I had completely given up peer pressuring her because we were in total agreement that it was a lost cause.

And that is saying a lot since Sarah could talk a girl who hates cooking into attempting to be the next Julia Child. She has some serious gifts in the power of persuasion department. (BTW-I only know who Julia Child is since Sarah completely convinced me to see a movie about her life against my better judgement---a movie that I made sure she knew I did NOT enjoy--- do you see what I'm talking about here?

Most of you already know and love Sarah, but if you have a chance, stop by Bridget's blog and get a glimpse into the life of one of my other favorite friends.

And while you are at it, you might as well book your child a McDonald's party for their next birthday. (See, if I had Sarah's skills, you would have already done it:)