Saturday, December 30, 2017

TBT May '17, Part 2

Crazy May, continued...

6) I had my first solo trip with Avery AND Lee to a doctor's appointment. Two immobile kids across town and a mile walkup with my trusty double, in line stroller! Both kids were on their best behavior and when it was all said and done, I felt like a mom rockstar.

7) Avery's last day at The Arbor school on May 26th. This one was really hard. Avery's school had been our saving grace for the past 8 years. Her teachers over the years, Ms. Sonia, Ms. Aqeela and Ms. Deidre, had been the absolute most wonderful people we could hope to entrust with our precious daughter. They all handled Avery's challenges with grace and love, and constantly celebrated the positive. They always patiently listened to my concerns and comforted my (many) emotions. Seriously, I could go on forever. We hated the idea of not seeing these people every day, but we had known for awhile that Avery now needed support in different areas than the school could provide. We knew it was the right step, but change is so hard!! 

I hate that his photo came out so blurry, but this is Ms. Deidre
and her wonderful assistant teachers. Avery adored them all.

8) Maddie had her graduation ceremony from Kindergarten. As if Avery leaving her school wasn't hard enough, this was making me super emotional. How was my baby bub already graduating from kinder?? Here she is singing in the musical program before the ceremony.

And with her much beloved Kinder teacher, Ms. Davis

) To round out this list, I wanted to add a photo of a typical afternoon after the girls got home from school. Maddie playing with baby Lee and Avery resting after therapy, with Dixie dog keeping company. My sweet bubs.


Friday, December 29, 2017

TBT May '17, Part 1

When I look back at May, I hardly know how we got through it. It was jam packed...and we had a one month old baby. I'm gonna have to list this out.

1) On May 2, Avery had surgery to place a device in her chest called a VNS: Vagus Nerve Stimulator. It had been up for debate for many years in our family. If it works correctly, the implanted VNS is constantly sending signals to the brain that help prevent seizures. It also comes with magnet that can be swiped across the implanted device which sends extra impulses to stop a seizure that has already started. Sounds awesome, right? Well, it doesn't always work for every kid, or every type of seizure, AND it involves surgery. So it was a big decision. But we were at a point where the meds were not helping enough anymore, which basically made the decision for us. I don't have any pics of Avery, but she did great and everything went well. It would take another month to increase the signals and determine if the device would actually work.

Bub the hub and waited at the hospital together during the surgery with lil' baby brother. He had a great time, super alert and cooing up a storm. His sweet presence definitely made the stress of waiting easier. Plus, he charmed lots of nurses.

2) I had my first margarita in about 10 months. This is worth noting because the thrill factor was high. Maddie wanted in on the "drinking photo" haha.

3) Reflux, UGH. After about a month, the large amount of spit-up was starting to affect Lee's sleep and make him super cranky. Or maybe he was just being a baby?? Anyway, we tried to help by having him nap and sleep on an elevated bed and it seemed to please him.

4) Little man got a 6 week check up!  Already tipping the scales at 8lb, 14oz up from his 6lb, 13oz birth weight. Lee Michael loves our pediatrician, just like his sisters. And has a true affinity for the exam table crinkly paper.

5) Mother's Day Dance Recital! That's right. Can you think of a more fun way to spend Mother's Day than at a dance recital?? Well, Maddie was fabulous. She had worked her booty off in a jazz class with girls that were all older than her, and performed a dance that knocked our socks off. They danced to,"Rotten to the Core" from The Descendants movie, which is one of her favorites. She got a lot of audience cheers for being such a pint sized go getter, and acting "rotten" which she is far from!! And of course, she looked beautiful! Although seeing that much makeup on her was a little shocking, but it is the theater :).

We celebrated afterwards with dinner out, and I got a sweet Mother's Day photo
with my littlest love.

It certainly wasn't the most relaxed day, but I felt lucky to be mom
to my three beautiful, talented babies.



Thursday, December 28, 2017

Lee at One Month

The first month of Lee's life was so special for us. We had been waiting for this little addition for a long time, and it was still surreal that he was here. After one month, he gained a whole pound and two ounces, which was no big surprise. Boy CAN EAT. And oh man, can boy spit up. Maddie was the same on both accounts, but you really do forget how much these tiny babies can EXUDE.  

Little man "sat" well for his first little portrait.

As far as personality, Lee Michael had definitely let us know his likes and dislikes. He was already very social and trying to smile at people. He loved to be outside, just like his sisters. Fussiness would disappear the moment you set foot outdoors. He was sleeping about 3 hours at a time at night, and definitely preferred to spend that time directly on mom or dad. He was co-sleeping in our bed, but didn't really like to be swaddled or sleep on his back (of course).

He loved the bath from the beginning, but really disliked being changed. During the day, while the girls were in school, he would mostly nap in my lap...which definitely made it hard to ever get anything done, but I consciously wanted to soak it up while it lasted.

Lap nap view

And another...

He was, in a word, a JOY, and we were excited to see what this baby dude had in store!


TBT April '17, Part 2 EASTER

We had good family time with both sides of our family this Easter, so baby boy really got to show off his adorable Easter onesie with tie and suspenders!

Maddie wants to hold and snuggle baby brother pretty much all the time. She is so loving and sweet with him.

The girls had two different egg hunts and lots of fun. Maddie cleaned up, as usual, and Avery examined each egg, as usual.

Lee found both hunts rather boring.

We got some cute family pics. I can see how tired I am when I look at these, but I was so glad to have Lee home and healthy for his first Easter, and I see that in my eyes too. And I like the way Avery is looking at brother in the second one.

I can't wait for next year, when baby boy will be running around gathering eggs as well. :)


TBT April '17, Part 1

April was full of doctor's appointments, softball games and little sleep! Ah, new baby bliss.

Maddie had decided to give softball a try and she did great. Our new little bub now joined us for games and practices.

Avery had a number of doctor's appointments, but managed to stay cheerful through out. Her seizures had increased and were once again robbing her of sleep, so we worked on making a plan with the doctors to hopefully help her.

Baby bro was our new little sidekick at Avery's doctor appointments. I still couldn't drive so they became family events this month. Here he is super alert and inquisitive at the neurologist, and I even caught some smiles at a mere 25 days old!

I think out of all of my babies, he has been the most alert in the newborn stage. Bright eyes, ready to play. That's not to say that he didn't sleep A TON of that first month. You might imagine there was a lot of baby snuggling going on. You would be right.

Nana snugs

Momma snugs

Daddy snugs

Our new little love was growing well. We were all adjusting to "being a family of 5," which loosely translates into "it was defcon level insanity." But it all became one big blur of baby love. I mean, look at this precious ball of sweetness.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

TBT March '17, Part 3

Lee's First Week

As much as I wished and wanted for sweet boy to graduate from the n.i.c.u. to my hospital room, it wasn't to be. I took a few days to be overwhelmed and emotional, and then I tried to focus on the positive, which was the fact that our baby was here and healthy, and would be home soon.

The fluid in his lungs decreased every day, but at a snail's pace. The good news was that it only took about 24 more hours for him to lose the head i.v. and feeding tube, which was so wonderful because I could finally feed him myself. So that just left the oxygen tube and tape still hiding those sweet cheeks. 

That gave us a full view of all his precious hair! More than both girls had for sure. And he looked like his daddy too, just like his sisters did when they were brand new.

 Little dude had lots of family come to cuddle. He stayed pretty sleepy.

with Uncle Drew

On Day 4, he got tired of getting his photo taken.

But that didn't stop momma!

He responded by staring deeply into our souls. lol

On Day 5, his stats were good enough so that the doctors finally agreed to take his oxygen tube out! Time to see those precious cheeks again!! Which was a big deal to us. The last big step before coming home.

Snuggling with daddy.

This was the day that I was leaving the hospital, and when it turned out that the doctors wanted Lee to stay another day for monitoring, I was really upset. I wanted to take this baby home! But I trusted they knew what was best, and his daddy and I went home to get some sleep. We missed him.

We came right back the next day and the nurses were working on his discharge papers! We were overjoyed. Lee celebrated by making silly faces and snuggling with daddy again, completely free of all tubes and wires!!

It was finally time to go home and I COULD NOT WAIT for his sisters to see him. I think one of the absolute hardest parts of him being in the n.i.c.u. was that the girls could not come up to meet their new baby brother. We strapped him in the car seat and headed home to a whole new world.

Look at that sweet nugget! The straps were almost bigger than he was! 

If you haven't seen the post already, click here for pics of when he got to meet his sisters. I will never forget it. One of the sweetest times of my life.

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