Monday, November 30, 2009

bullet style

Today I felt lazy. I have a messy house with "holiday hangover" of leftover dishes that need to be cleaned out, guest linens that need washing, trash that needs taken out, and lots of little things that need to find their homes again. Yet today, I was lazy. Lazy days call for lazy blogs. So here it goes...here's my lazy blog to continue my streak of a lazy day:
  • This morning my sister was changing Madelyn's diaper on my parent's couch. No sooner than she wiped Madelyn's cute little butt did she start pooping some more. Have no fear, it all landed on the dirty diaper. We laughed. Hysterically. Once Rachel regained her composure she began the wiping process again. More wiping brought with it more poop. This time we weren't so lucky. Fortunately I had thrown a blanket under her at the last minute so the couch was spared. The blanket however, was declared a casualty at best. There was poop everywhere and 4 laughing ladies that could hardly stop laughing long enough to save the child from it.
  • This afternoon we got word that our sweet friend Carol that I asked you to pray for in my previous post seemed to be responding a little to her toes being tickled. PRAISE THE LORD! The doctors have said that the first 72 hours are so very critical, so we are rejoicing in this small miracle and praying for many more! Come on, Carol! You can do it!
  • My Grandma made it safe and sound home to OKC. Why do airports change terminals at the last minute? I think this is silly.
  • Luke brought home Olive Garden for dinner. It was most excellent. I love Olive Garden. I saved my salad to have for lunch tomorrow so I will enjoy it's goodness two days in a row.
  • We watched the movie Up tonight. I actually did not make it until the end before dozing off, but I thought it was pretty cute. It does however seem as though I cannot escape references to or stories about people losing babies or sick babies. What is up with that? Why can't I even watch a DISNEY movie without having to be reminded of such things??
  • I am loving that Madelyn loves to smile. Her smile is sweet enough to melt your heart. All is right with the world when this little one is laying in your arms looking up at you and smiling. She's a gift, that's for sure.

Check out Madelyn's sweet smile...


and equally as cute cry...
The last day and a half have been a whirl wind. Yesterday Madelyn and I enjoyed our last full day with my Grandma before she was to head back to OKC this morning. The morning was filled with lots of loving on Madelyn by her personal fan club while I got to sleep! It was awesome. Madelyn had fun too. When Luke came over after church he was able to get some much needed rest too. It was shaping up to be a great Sunday.

Then at about 2:30pm I woke up and went to wake Luke up to see what time he needed to head back out to the church. At about the same time he received a phone call that a sweet friend from church had been hurt in an accident while riding in a golf cart in her neighborhood and was being life flighted to a Tyler hospital. Our hearts sank. Luke immediately told me he was headed that way. This mom to two of the student's in the student ministry has been very special to Luke and I so I knew I wanted to go too. I am so thankful that I had 3 very willing babysitters so I didn't have to think twice about it. We arrived as they were unloading her from the helicopter and the waiting began. She underwent one surgery last night to remove a clot from her brain and reduce some of the swelling. She had another similar surgery this morning. So far she has been unresponsive since the accident occurred. Her name is Carol Tutor and is affectionately known as "Mama Tutor" to all the students at West Lake Baptist Church where Luke is the student pastor. She has gone on just about every day trip Luke has taken with the youth in the almost 2 years he has been there. Please join me in praying for her by name. Pray for strength for the family and healing for Carol.

Once she made it out of surgery I knew I needed to get home to Madelyn. By that time we had been at the hospital for almost 5 hours (thank goodness I brought milk reserves to my mom's house with me!). Luke stayed behind until late last night. My mom came to pick me up and take me back to the house for dinner with the family. It was good to see all the little one's smiling faces and made me remember how much I have to be thankful for.

I had no idea how hard it would be to walk up the ambulance ramp at ETMC to the waiting room. It instantly took me straight back to the moments of running to the ambulance with Madelyn being pushed along inside a special box (that the transport nurse called their NICU on wheels) on top of a stretcher. I had a huge lump in my throat that took hours to clear. The kind of lump that makes it hard to talk. A lump for the uncertainty of Carol's future. A lump as I remembered the uncertainty we once experienced for Madelyn's future. It wasn't until hours later when I kissed my baby girl's cheeks when I returned home was that lump completely gone.

This morning we spent some more time with Grandma before she headed off to the airport in Dallas with my mom and sister. I am so thankful for the time we have gotten to spend with her this last week! I look up to my Grandma so much. She is a woman of strength. She has a servant's heart. She loves her family and she loves the Lord. I can't wait until Madelyn, Luke and I get to make the trip (hopefully in the spring) to OKC to see her again!

This afternoon Madelyn and I have cleaned every corner of our house, washed, dried and folded the laundry, did the dishes, hung the Christmas lights on the house, put up all the decoration boxes, made dinner for when Luke gets home, and wrote all of our thank you notes and Christmas cards as well as addressed her birth announcements absolutely NOTHING! And might I say that it feels nice? There is still time for productivity for this day. If it will happen...that remains to be seen.

Please don't forget to join us in praying for Carol, her husband Boyd, daughter Cindy, and son Scott. Pray for healing. Pray for God to be glorified.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

fear & trust

For some reason my heart is sort of heavy tonight. I've mentioned before it seems to come and go in waves. Tonight Luke and I visited with some sweet friends who were in town from OKC (they actually live on the same street as my Grandma who is also in town from OKC- small world huh?). They have three beautiful children. The house was full of lots of little ones running around playing together. It reminded me of all the days I spent in OKC running around with my cousins. I have always wanted a big family. Being the youngest of 3 has always been fun! There is always commotion and chaos and laughter. I always told Luke I wanted four children. A couple of biological children and then adopt one or two. I have dreamed of the day when we would have our own house full of babies and big kids and chaos and laughter. But tonight, watching all those beautiful little ones running around, my heart felt really heavy, sad even. It was almost hard to enjoy the company (and it was fantastic company) because all I could think about was how terrified I am at the thought of getting pregnant again.

There were so many days early on (and late too) in my pregnancy that the bleeding would be so intense that I would lay awake at night crying and praying for the life inside of me to hold on. Then when she finally arrived, watching her struggle to breath and fight for her life. As magical as so many moments of pregnancy were and the joy that I felt the moment I laid eyes on Madelyn, I am not sure I have the strength to do it again. It seems as though the more days that go by, the more time I have to process all that has happened, the more I let fear creep in to the inner most places of my heart. I beg for that fear to leave. I pray God would remove it. Yet I find myself letting it sneak in through the doors of my heart again and make it's home (or maybe it never left at all?). Do I not have enough faith? The thought of losing a baby now that I know the miracle of life through Madelyn terrifies me. It's paralyzing almost some times.

So tonight, as I watched our sweet friends with their 3 little gems and their nieces and nephews, I was saddened by the thought that fear could keep us from having a full house. A house full of commotion and chaos and laughter. Even though I can't imagine it happening now, my prayer is that as time goes by my fears would become a thing of the past instead of continuing to grow. That the nightmares that haunt me would be no more. That I would realize that neither our desire to have a big family nor the fears that keep me from thinking that will ever happen, are what determines our future. We are children of a God who has a plan for us that is better than the biggest dream we could ever think to dream and is greater than all our fears. He is in control. Only His divine plan knows what our future holds. Daily we strive to trust in Him. Daily I try to remember how sweet it is to trust in Him.

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, and to take Him at His word;
just to rest upon His promise, and to know, "Thus saith the Lord."
(you can listen to Casting Crowns sing the rest of this old hymn by clicking here)

After our visit with friends we headed over to my parent's house for more family time. While we were there Madelyn and I decided to make a sleepover out of it so that we could wake up tomorrow to more of this... My sweet hubby went to the house to get some clothes for Madelyn and I for tonight and tomorrow. Do you think he was trying to tell us something??
Do you think we have a Daddy's girl or what?

Friday, November 27, 2009

sunshine

Like many other crazy adventurous people, this morning my mom, sister and I woke up early. Very early. Actually I was already awake because I was feeding Madelyn. We headed out at 4am for some girl time shopping. We didn't really have a list of items that we had to have. It was just for the fun of it. Yes, I think it's fun to get out in the freezing cold to stand in line at Target at 4am just to go shopping! There was one thing that I saw in the ad that I thought would be really nice if I could get my hands on. The Bissell Steam Mop. I know. Exciting, right? There were probably over a thousand people in line when the store opened so I thought my chances were slim. When the door opened and the line started to move I got excited thinking about the possibilities of life with a steam mop. My heart started to pound. Once we made it inside I made my way to the vacuum section to try to locate my steam mop that was 50% off. There it was. On the very top shelf waiting for me to grab one. If only there would not have been 89 other people fighting for a steam mop of their own. Punches were being thrown. It was pretty intense. My chances seemed to fade away. My hopes of life with a steam mop were dashed. Ha! Just kidding. There was ONE other person. We looked at each other and laughed in a way as if to say, you know you are really boring when the one "hot deal" that excites you is a cleaning supply! Needless to say, myself and my cleaning buddy got our steam mops after helping each other climb up to get one. Lame? Probably so! Am I still excited about my future with my steam mop? You betcha!

Once I had my steam mop I met up with my mom and sister and found a few other things. I think everything we bought was at least 50% off. The best part about the trip was that I happened to be standing in the right place at the right time so we were able to check out really quickly and avoid the hour plus wait! We were back home within 2 hours of leaving! Thanks Mom and Rach for going with me!

I have to say Madelyn was pretty excited about the steam mop also. She knows that means we will have really clean floors when she starts crawling. This is her cheering Mommy on...

Look at how big she is getting...
I love to kiss those chubby cheeks and play with the rolls on her arms and legs. I cannot believe she has now not only doubled her weight from the lowest she weighed in the NICU but she has also doubled her birth weight! Every day she looks a little bit different. But she always looks precious! I love this little crooked smile...While I was out this morning, Papa took on diaper duty. I have to say that I was very impressed when I learned this. Way to go, Papa!!
It has been so good getting to hang out with family this week. It gets me excited for Christmas time! I know it will be hard to say goodbye, but it will be easier for them knowing they will see little miss sunshine (as her Papa has called her from day one) in a few weeks!This afternoon my little sweetie and I kicked back for a much needed nap. This picture is PN (pre-nap). I won't show you PoN (post-nap) considering I had multiple comments on how rough I looked!
I love that my Grandma is pretty tech-savvy. How many Great Grandmas do you know that do this...
She does email, reads the blog, has a facebook account and more I am sure! I love it. I hope I am like that when I am a Great Grandma!

Madelyn has been making SO many noises. It is so cute and so fun when she is laying on the floor these days. She just pumps her legs as fast as she can, looks all around the room and talks up a storm. Here she is with her Aunt Kenda playing on the floor...
It was a long day out our house. Tonight her Papa soaked up some cuddle time and rocked the little princess to sleep...
I cannot get over how blessed I am. My little munchkin makes life that much sweeter. Before she came along, I thought life was pretty good. I never knew how much I would have been missing without her. Luke's dad has it right, she is our sunshine.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful

Thankful. I am thankful. For a roof over our heads. I am thankful for my husband's job. Thankful that his job is not just a job to him, but that it's his passion. Thankful for being able to get pregnant. Thankful for making it to 37 weeks before I had to deliver Madelyn. For a husband who strives to love me as Christ loves the church. A sister-in-law who I can call my friend. Thankful for a brother who in your darkest of days will sit by you and let you know everything will be ok. I am thankful for two beautiful nieces whose smiles light up my heart. For a sister who prays, serves the Lord to the ends of the earth and then returns home safely. I am thankful for a mother whose instincts told her to leave work to sit with my baby girl at the hospital on Tuesday, September 29. I am thankful that God's providence would allow my nurse of a mother to be the one holding Madelyn when she stopped breathing. For a father whose love is constant and faithful. For a father in-law who sat outside the nursery glass all night long keeping an eye on our sick baby. A mother-in-law who raised a man to love the Lord and love his wife and daughter. A sister-in-law who dotes over her first niece. Grandparents that leave a legacy of strength and servant hood. I am thankful. Thankful for the baby girl that God has blessed us with. Thankful that today, this Thanksgiving day in 2009, I get to hold a healthy 9 week old baby in my arms. There are so many things that I am thankful for that I could not name them all but today we gave thanks to the one who gives us life.

Here are some of the highlights from our day...Gigi giving Madelyn a bath


Doting aunts

Four generations


Four generations


Madelyn, me, Mom, Grandma McAfee

Our Turkey
Madelyn getting loved on by two Great Grandmas
Today mine and Luke's family came together for one big Thanksgiving celebration. We have grown close through the ups and downs this year has brought us. We gathered together to eat, laugh and give thanks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

relaxing

This morning was filled with more relaxing and enjoying time with family. Madelyn really seems to love her Great Grandma McAfee. What's not to love?
She is so content resting in her arms...
This afternoon Madelyn had some very sweet visitors. I say Madelyn had some visitors because we know where we rank these days! Ha! Katie and Stacy are some dear friends who showed us what the body of Christ looks like when we were in the hospital. They live an hour away and made many trips to see us, bring us food or even just encourage our family. Amazing ladies, amazing friends...
They got to love on Madelyn and took turns holding her this afternoon. Seeing her held by two women who the last time they saw her in person she was in the NICU made me realize even more tonight how much I have to be thankful for. Madelyn has come a long way. These ladies have been there for the long haul. Thank you, friends.

Tonight my sister and I ran some errands while Mom and Grandma watched the little one. It was so good to hang out with Rachel after 6 months of talking through a computer screen. We laughed. A lot. It was refreshing and fun!
Tomorrow is going to be lots of fun as Luke's family joins us for Thanksgiving. Much food will be eaten. Many pictures will be taken. Lots of laughs will be shared. Thanks will be given.
We have much to be thankful for.


moments like this

There are some moments that you will never forget. The kind that no matter how many days go by you will remember every intimate detail of that moment. The smell of the room. What you were wearing. Who you were sitting next to. I had one of those moments yesterday.

My sister was on the couch typing on her computer. My Grandma was in the recliner rocking Madelyn. I was in the kitchen talking to Emily.

"Aunt Kathryn, can we listen to Maddie's song? I listen to it every day on the way to school."

It took me a second.

"I know every word. I sing it all the time."

Then I got it.


"Will you turn it on."

I turned the iPod to Kari Jobe singing, "Healer", Maddie's song as Emily calls it.

Emily sat at the bar next to the stereo drawing in her notebook while she waited for the song to come on. I walked back into the living room where Grandma was rocking Madelyn and Rachel was on the computer. I couldn't take my eyes off the sweet site of my 86 year old Grandma doting over my 2 month old miracle baby.

Then I heard this sweet little 5 year singing along to Maddie's Song.

If you listen close, you can hear the sweetness of her voice as my Grandma rocks Madelyn.





Moments like this I will never forget.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two Months

Dear Madelyn Kate,
Today we celebrated YOU as you reached your two month milestone. Two months. It feels like just yesterday I was waking up at 3am on the day of your birth because I was so excited to meet you. Now I am waking up at 3am to hold you close and nurse you. I can't think of anything I would rather be doing at 3am. In just the last couple of days you have started to space out your feedings more. Instead of two hours from the start of one feeding to the start of the next you are going almost 2-3 hours in between each feeding. Your pediatrician says you definitely don't have a nutrition problem. You have gained 3 pounds this month as you now weigh 10 pounds 13 ounces! I am so thankful that you don't spit up very much and are able to keep most of the milk down despite your reflux (although today you picked the worst time to spit up the largest amount you ever have on your Grandpa when he stopped by this morning on his way to work-good thing he loves you so much).

Just the other day you outgrew some of your newborn sleepers. Your little legs were just too long for them anymore (it's hard to believe you have grown almost 3 inches in just two months). Even though some of them still fit we have just about moved you up to all 0-3 months clothes. You have also moved up to size one diapers! All this growing...it happens so fast. Too fast for me.

In the last week or so you have really started to smile a lot. Oh. my. goodness. Your smile is beautiful and so full of life. Sometimes I have to work hard for your smiles and then sometimes you dish them out freely. Either way, it is worth it every time! You also have started to be pretty vocal. I love to hear all the sounds you make. I really love it when you make a new sound because your eyes get really big as though you are surprised you made it! You really start "talking" up a storm when your daddy lays next to you on the floor.

As for sleeping...you sleep great!
You just don't like to sleep at night anywhere other than in my arms. Occasionally you will go up to 4 hours sleeping in your Nap Nanny in our bedroom...the rest of the night it's you and me in the recliner! Surprisingly, we both get a lot of sleep this way. Unfortunately this isn't exactly the best of habits so next week we plan to work on this. During the day you love to sit in your swing, play together on the floor, swat at the barn animals Grandma bought you for your bouncy seat, and do chores with me as I tote you around in your baby sling. You still do not like tummy time. I am not sure you will ever like tummy time.

You are such a good baby. You rarely cry. We only hear it when you are hungry (and oh man do we hear it...you aren't a sit down restaurant kind of girl...you are a fast food kind of girl), if your reflux is acting up, you are gassy, or you have a dirty diaper! Seriously. Very few cries a day. I hope you keep this up!

You love to snuggle. We love to snuggle. You, your daddy and I are a perfect match. 3 of a kind.

Last week you were able to say goodbye to your apnea monitor. This has taught your mom a thing or two about faith. Actually, God has used you to teach me a couple hundred "things or two" about faith. I am grateful.

Today was extra special as you spent more time with your Great Grandma McAfee...
and your Aunt Rachel...They have waited so long to meet you and prayed for you much.

This afternoon I gave you a bath as your Great Grandma looked on. You just ooohed and ahhhed and splashed your feet in the water! I have a feeling you are going to be quite the fish like your daddy.
I love this picture of your cousin and Great Grandma. Precious...and so is this one as they helped me get some of my Christmas decorating done...
Tonight everyone gathered together at Grandma and Grandpa's house for dinner. You were surrounded by your Great Grandma, Grandma, Grandpa, Daddy, Mommy, Aunt Rachel, Aunt Marlo, your cousins and your Uncle Jarrod. He thinks you are pretty sweet (comb over hair and all)...
Allison loves to "love the baby". You two are going to have so much fun together when you get older. I can't wait to see all the trouble you two create when you are together.

Before your Aunt Rachel left for her world adventure she and Alli were buddies. Alli loved her Aunt Rachel and would not even think about coming to me when Rach was around. Since she has been gone Alli has decided she likes me, but I know it made Aunt Rachel's heart melt when Alli snuggled up to her...These girls can't wait until you are old enough to really play. They are so full of life and energy. You are blessed to have such precious cousins in your life.

Happy 2 Months, Madelyn Kate. You are my sunshine. I look forward to many more months and years of celebrations and tender moments like this one...
You are our miracle girl...a precious one that we promise to treasure for the rest of our lives. As your Grandma always tells me, we love you to the moon and back, little one.

"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord."
Psalm 127:3

Monday, November 23, 2009

She's baaaack!

This afternoon Luke came home early from work so that he and I could get our H1N1 shots. Before we headed out, he and Madelyn snuggled up for a few so I could take a shower! Madelyn loves hanging out with her daddy. She is definitely already a daddy's girl and that's OK with Luke...After trying to get the shot through our primary care doctor and being told it would be MARCH before we could get in, my sister-in-law suggested we call the health department since Madelyn is considered high risk. Not only did they have shots for us to get, they were fast and free! We were in and out in 20 minutes! Hopefully this means our house will remain flu free this year!

Tonight everyone gathered at our house to welcome Rachel and Grandma! My mom and Emily drove to Dallas to pick them both up from the airport but before they got there, Marlo had to get her "aunt fix" and hold Madelyn...
I know this looks a little crazy, but Madelyn loves to be held this way. I don't know whether it is because it's easier on her reflux or she just likes the view, but it almost always puts her to sleep or calms her down if she is fussy. Check out those sweet cheeks...
She's baaaack! I know Rachel has been waiting for this day since September 24th.
Check out that tan...I am not sure if it's just dirt from the dessert or just a hard core tan from hanging out in Egypt and Africa for 6 months, but whatever it is this pale girl that hasn't seen the sun in just about as long is really jealous!
And then it was Great Grandma's turn with the little sweetie...
I had to jump in for a picture with Grandma and the little munchkin...
Before the week is over we are going to have to get a picture just like this with my mom in it. Four generations. Madelyn and I are so blessed to have two amazing women in our lives.
This picture takes my breath away. My Grandma is by far the strongest woman I have ever met and I am so excited that she and Madelyn are going to get to hang out this week.
Rachel soaked up every minute with her nieces.
She and Emily tried so hard to get Madelyn to smile.
Success? Yes, I think so...
Just the girls...
The hunt is over for the perfect ornament thanks to my Grandma. She brought us this one...
We now have our first little family of 3 ornament and this sweet "Baby's First Christmas" one to go along with it...
I am so thankful that Rachel and Grandma made it here safe. Later this week Madelyn's Great Granny (Luke's Grandma), along with her Gigi and Papa will be here for Thanksgiving. One thing's for sure, she will get lots of hugs and kisses this week. I look forward to a Thanksgiving week of celebrating family. You can look forward to a week with LOTS of pictures.

I had to post this little clip of Allison dancing. Emily taught her well.

video

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