Monday, August 29, 2011

THe StORm

I have been wanting to post about the tornado that hit 2 days after Ansley's birth, the same day we were coming home.
I had no clue the storm was brewing and oh did it brew! The day before we were to go home, the pediatrician had come in updating on Ansley's perfect health :) and talked of the storm saying we should watch the weather to try to get home the next day in between the storms.....being in the zombie state I was having just given birth maybe 12 hours prior, I heard what he had said but didn't really let it sink in. Then Dr. Brody, my OB, mentioned it the next morning....or I should say the crack of dawn since he is known for arriving at 5:30 am when moms are just rolling over after the second feeding of the night....(sorry I get sidetracked and he is awesome by the way)....but yes he mentioned the storms and told me to get my coworkers in gear so that I could be home before the storms hit. I let that sink in some more this time,  but went ahead and rolled over to get some more shut eye. I then woke up around 7 for the next feeding and turned on the news. Tyler and Garyn had slept at home that night prior so I called them.
Me: "Do you have the news on?"
Tyler: "No, just got up"
Me: "Well, they are working on my discharge papers, but don't be in a hurry yet, the news is saying a storm is coming with possible tornadoes. They are even saying to seek shelter."
Tyler: "Ok, we'll eat and get ready. We'll be there in a little bit"
Me:"You might want to turn on the news and just watch to see when these storm pass"
Tyler: hurriedly.."Ok, I will, love you"

So I was starting to worry some, knowing he thought I was exaggerating and wondering myself if I was....remember I had little sleep and was now watching a news channel that was saying "Take cover!" I called my coworkers/ nurses and asked if we were doing anything to prepare, some didn't even know about it. No one was really worried and said they had just told their patients they could come out in the hall if they wanted. I went out to mingle with Ansley. It was easy to forget about the storm when showing off my little beauty! There was hard rain and wind, but nothing to be too alarmed about. Or at least from what I could see. Little did I know what had really happened.

I called Tyler back to check on them, and got a little frustrated when he said they were at his parents, meaning they were out driving in the storm when I had told him the news said to take cover. I still get aggravated about this since he didn't take me serious but on the other hand it might have been better for them to not be at home. I went on and showered to be ready and then turned on the news again to see if it was over. A visitor came from church, Karen Eaves, and she told me that Ashland Terrace must have had some trees down because the church power was out and she couldn't go that way because of the traffic. I live off Ashland Terrace but I only thought it was like any other storm and wondered if we would get to see what had happened on our way home.

The next couple hours were spent getting ready to go and finally leaving around 12. About that time, Nana called, my mother n' law, to tell us that our street was hit hard and there was only one way to get to our house. She said it really shocked her and wanted us to know our house was ok although the houses around us all had damage. The tornado had hit our street bad unlike at my in-laws and the hospital where it was just a bad storm. At this point, I was anxious to see what had happened, was worried a little, but still never could have imagined how bad it really was or the effect it would take on our next couple weeks home!

Ansley was sleeping well in her car seat....... Garyn was happy to have her next to him talking about how now there were 4 of us riding in the car. I was excited to get home and sleep in my own bed and shower in my own bathroom. Excited to show my baby girl her new home and use all her new play pretties taking pictures to remember these first days home. All these expectations any new mom creates and dreams of were about to be overshadowed by the effects the storm had had. I have since quickly learned to lower my expectations and enjoy the "real life."
                                             (Ansley just after arriving home)
As we got closer to home we saw fallen trees, and more fallen trees, and more fallen trees.....yes there were many! Tyler went the way we normally go not knowing exactly what his mom meant by the 1 way to get home (much to my chagrin, I was trying to tell him which way she was talking about...but that's another story)  And that way was blocked by multiple trees. Power crews were trying to direct traffic, people were walking on the side of the road, and many of the houses were crushed by limbs and trees. I realized the people were walking because their homes and cars were covered by trees and brush. I began crying and sobbing thinking of how awful it must be to not be able to stay in your house only to get outside and not be able to drive your car to another place. Tyler kept saying, "Why are you crying?" thinking I was half crazy. Yes, I was hormonal and emotional, but I think it would have made me cry any day really. It was just that bad, like what you see only in the movies. I knew then what my mother n' law was saying about wanting us to know our house was ok, because I would have probably been hyperventilating if I hadn't known that.

                  (neighbor across the streets house with tree, below is without tree)
We finally get home only to see more fallen trees everywhere. I mean everywhere. We could hardly get to our house but it had been a couple hours so people were out with their chainsaws making way for the cars. Our neighbors had trees down; the one directly across from us had a tree in her house. Yes, more crying started, thinking of her being a single mom of 2 and now having a tree in her bedroom! (above pictures) Our yard had limbs and debris but being that we didn't have any trees near our house, we had little damage. Our roof was missing some shingles and such but the worst part was that the power was out annnnd it didn't come back on for 9 more days!


                           (Garyn in front of some fallen trees on our street)


Remember the thoughts of getting home to my own bed and shower, enjoying our new life as a family of four.....well of course that new life entailed visitors, sleepless nights, breastfeeding issues, cranky son and husband, hormonal momma and on top of that NO POWER! For whatever reason, I was stubborn, like usual...bet you didn't know that about me....I am stubborn and hard headed like most women and want to do things my way when it comes to certain things. I say all this to explain the fact that we stayed home the whole time our power was out. We showered at my dads or Tyler's parents, ate out some, hung out in AC with a tv at various places, but we came home every night. I just really didn't want to be spending my first days home...not at home! It was an emotional roller coaster for me really mostly due to those postpartum hormones.

Now, we did have a generator and was able to have our fridge, some lights, fans and sometimes the TV going. All but 2 nights were cool and the two nights that weren't we slept in the basement which was almost too cold. I breastfeed in the dark a lot of nights; didn't bathe Ansley until she was 4 or 5 days old with water heated in the microwave; we ate out with a newborn multiple times that first week unlike we did with Garyn; and I stuck to my guns for whatever reason thinking it was the right thing for us to do. Now, looking back I might have given in at some point, but I still feel good about my decision. I think in reality it would have been hard either way dragging all the baby stuff around and staying at another house where I felt less comfortable. I guess it boils down to me being stubborn and private. I wanted the privacy of my own home during that awkward time after having a baby. You know...or you may not....but you feel like you are changing your baby's diaper and your own..... going to the bathroom isn't always pleasant and is time consuming.....breastfeeding is hard in the beginning.....you are emotional and hormonal.....you want to figure out your baby's preferences so that you can console them......and you want to spend as much quality time with your husband and/or other children. So yeah....I just wanted to be home. I remember saying that countless times to Tyler on the verge of breakdown when we were thinking about staying somewhere else. The daytime wasn't too bad; it was nighttime that got to me. I can totally relate to that whole Sun downer's depression because that was when it would hit me that their was no normalcy in my life at the moment. Change is hard sometimes for me and my world was upside down at that moment.
      (first day home spent at my dad's house while
          Tyler was off getting a generator)


But enough about that! I don't think we will ever forget our first days home with baby girl. We often wonder if it was an omen that Ansley is going to be a storm of her own. She certainly makes her presence (or preferences) known. The best part was that she didn't notice that anything was wrong nor will she ever remember it! I certainly will though!
                                                    
I want to end this story by saying God has blessed us. And as I have been writing this, He has reminded me of much harder times and of the blessings I don't deserve. God taught me (and still is) a lot through the making, birth and life of Ansley. I know our damage and inconveniences after the storm were nothing compared to most hit by the tornado. I now realize the effects a storm can have on a person's life; a concept I couldn't grasp before. Even today, I am thinking of those that are without homes and/or power from Hurricane Irene. Our little man, Garyn, understands more, too. He still talks of the trees that were down or are now gone. He also worries more about the power being out the few times it has flickered since the tornado. Just another lesson God wants us to learn: He is the great I am who gives and takes away all we have. I know I will lean on Him more from this experience feeling His sovereignty through it all.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

4 months and growing

Baby girl is 4 months today. Although I wasn't as anxious or prepared as I was with Garyn, we tried feeding her cereal earlier today after her morning nap. Big brother was so excited......
                                 I let some of that excitement rub off on me.
I just wasn't ready myself for her to already be eating solids...well this was no where near solid but you catch my drift. With Garyn, I was counting down the days. It truly goes by faster the second time and knowing it will only continue, you just want to hold on ever so tightly to the baby stage.

 She was a little less than excited herself. I think she could smell the breast milk in it and wanted to know why she couldn't just have the breast! She would start her little snorting/ huffing she does when hungry. She opened up for it but doesn't have the swallowing down yet. I think she is only smiling here because she sees her brother who was taking the picture....
          I just love this sweet face.....
 And this one too! She has found her feet within the last week. She constantly grabs them and brings them to her face, but hasn't really tried to suck or chew on them yet.

 She is maneuvering around in her own little way. This pic is an example of how she moves herself around. Now, mind you, she has no idea where she is going or what for yet. Its just the thought that counts :)
            Look at those little chunky legs....thunder thighs as I would say..
She is still dainty, however, in fact most comment on how small she looks after I say her age. She is definitely growing though! I think she is close to 14 lbs by weighing her on my scale. I'm anxious to see the exact weight next week at the doctor.
Her brother just loves her! He was so excited to get the 4 month sticker out and to "feed" her today. Although, I think he was taken back by how it didn't resemble his idea of eating!

Quick synopsis on Ansley's changes:

Loves to: lay on her back and watch things especially fans
also likes to walk around facing out on your hip, never facing in!
And patty cake'n!

Playing progress: plays with toys some now, pulling them all to her mouth.
So cute to hear them rattling in the car!

Sleeping: Has just begun sleeping thru the night more regularly. Goes to bed around 9:30ish by just laying her down and leaving then gets up around 7:30ish. On a bad night she'll wake every 3-4 hours wanting her pacifier.
For naps, she is also doing great about laying down drowsy but awake and staying asleep for an hour or more. She has started going back to sleep after she eats in the morning and not waking up until 10 or even 11! then she sleeps another long nap in the afternoon. She occasionally will cat nap in between feedings in the evening. She is pretty versatile with sleeping on and off if we are not at home.

Feeding: She eats every 4-4.5 hours now. She has just started this which will make it easier to feed her cereal in between. She is still nursing well though!

Growth: Not sure on exacts, like I said, but I think she is close to 14 lbs, and should be an inch or so longer.
She is now in size 2 diapers and 3-6 mo. clothes. Hardly none of the 0-3 fit anymore. Also her hair has grown some! When I put headbands on it almost always sticks out around them and then she has "headband" hair afterwards! It also looks lighter so she may be dirty blond like Garyn and I.

Other: She is officially teething! We have had several bouts of low fever, runny (er) stools and fussiness. She enjoys something to chew on and Tylenol helps her through it well. No sign of a tooth yet.
Also, she seems to recognize when I'm gone now. Not sure how this might tie in with the teething, but the last couple times I've worked she has been fussy with my dad, Tyler and Nana. They say she just isn't content for long at things she normally likes. Again, this may be part of the teething. Who knows!

Hope this month doesn't fly by as fast!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Patty Cake'n and Laugh'n

Wanted to quickly post Ansley's sweet laugh. She loves patty cake'n (I'm sure that is not a word nor how it should be spelled, but you know what I mean!)
I thought it was funny, too, that she went between watching me and staring at the camera. She was laughing more before I got the camera out.

video

Isn't that just precious!? I think so :)
I would love to know how you patty cake....its interesting to hear the other versions that our family members have. I was used to the full version that has "mark it with a B" but have moved on to this shortened version for the quick response!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

He gets it...

I love my little man, as you can probably tell by my posts.

I love that he is loving yet competitive, sweet yet stubborn, and social yet reserved. Lots of oxymorons there but he seems to have such a good balance about his personality. He can get so upset about losing but is gentle and kind in his winning; encouraging you, saying "Good job, momma, you did great!". He can be so stubborn sometimes wanting it his way but always apologizes later for his fits. He'll often say "sorry about that momma" or "I'm sorry I just didn't want to do that". He is also reserved when around new people often watching quietly to observe the situation before he joins in, but he always joins in and loves to be around others. I know I'm partial but I think these qualities make him such an adorable little man!

On to the reason for the post.....

hE GEts It......

He understands he is a big brother now.....
   He'll say "Momma, I'm Ansley's big brother like Eli is Casey's big brother"
   He'll tell me about how he was a baby once, too, and now is bigger and bigger

He understands that we are now a family of four......
    He'll tell me that there is 4 of us now, saying "It's me, you, Ansley and daddy"
    He knows and often states that Ansley was born and now she is here
                                                                      (I absolutely love their faces in this pic)
He knows Ansley is going to get bigger like him....
    He just can't wait until she can play with him
    He loves to ask if she has gotten bigger yet specifically when we go to the doctor

He seems to understand he will be her protector/ leader....
    He already goes to her when she cries giving her a pacifier and telling her its ok
    He talks about teaching her how to play Wii games and how to use the potty

He has such a little conscience about anything he does but specifically..
     He will apologize if he wakes her up
     He asks if he hurt her when she cries and he is playing with her


I love watching the sibling love already between the two. Ansley grins from ear to ear when seeing Garyn. And Garyn just thinks "she is so cute" as he said this morning. This is definitely The Richest Life having two beautiful children to enjoy.
(laughing because he said she "punched" him in the face)

Monday, August 1, 2011

On a mission...

I am ready for some routine......

Ready to not wonder what I did or didn't get done each day....

Ready to be prepared for and remember what I am doing any given day....

Ready to remember what day it is! 

So I'm on a mission to get back into a routine, a different routine nonetheless, but one where I can feel somewhat together and not like a chicken with my head cut off! Tyler started work today...well scheduled work, I should say.....and that is when I really have to get back into a schedule with the kids. (I still feel odd saying that) Its also football season which means Tyler is extremely busy. Week days he is gone from 6:30am-7ish pm then has Friday where he is gone til past bedtime and Sundays he has meetings from 2ish 'til 9ish. I am tired just writing that.....but he loves it and I love going to the games so its worth it. And this year he is the defensive coordinator! We are excited for him to have gotten this position. Along with this comes more responsibility so he is working on football at home a lot, too. Having said this, I need to be on top of things at home!

Annnnd given that its Aug. 1st I thought I would start listing my monthly goals again.

Fun:
-Help schedule a Sunday school outing to Vandergriff park
-Take Garyn back to the "beach"
-Take Garyn to ride his bike at a track/park
-set up the inflatable pool and have a play date

Cooking:
-cook at least one meal each week
-be better about having lunch options at home

Cleaning:
-clean something daily during the week...bathrooms, floors, tables, and/or kitchen
-stay on top of laundry (I just finished washing, folding, and putting away 5 laundry baskets!)
-disinfect as much as possible (to keep Ansley from getting a cold again)
-clean out the refrigerator

Teaching:
-do learning time with Garyn twice a week
-focus on Garyn writing and counting past 30
-get back in the habit of reading a Bible story to Garyn daily

Budgeting:
-start monthly budgeting again
-work on organizing the bills as they come in
-get back to eating out only 2 or 3 times a week
-work on organizing coupons and sticking to grocery budget

I feel a little overwhelmed at this list since I am now caring for an infant as well. The last 3 months have shown me that it doesn't all have to get done in order for life to go on. But I have done little cooking, cleaning, and teaching while doing no budgeting at all. As I stated above, Tyler is not going to be able to help much and I know I can, I just have to put my mind to it! And I am a goal oriented person, feeling defeated when I end the day without doing all I hoped to. Although, thats not always a good thing since I often am doing things with the kids rather than the things I "think" I need to do. I am trying to work on my expectations for the days reminding myself that I would rather spend time with my babies than have the laundry done. In fact, its an ongoing goal I need to have. However, I want to be sane and having a cluttered house makes my mind cluttered.

Now that I have vented and rambled on, I'll get started on these goals!

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