Sunday, October 13, 2013

10 months

Look at this guy.

How am i supposed to resist that, ever?

We had Adam's and Catherine's check-ups a couple weeks ago, and here's how everybody measured up.

Adam at 10 months
Height: 30.25 inches (95th percentile)
Weight: 22 pounds (65th percentile)

Catherine at 5 years
Height: 41.5 inches (25th percentile)
Weight: 35 pounds (5th percentile)

I find this hilarious. But you're both just perfect and we'll take you, no matter where you fall on the growth charts.

You're both still the cutest things ever, and we can't get enough.

Love you so much,


~some outtakes from the 10 month photo shoot...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Catherine is 5 and Adam is huge.

well. it's been almost 5 months. lots has happened, including my baby girl turning 5, and my baby boy growing like a maniac and deciding to act not so baby-ish anymore. this is going to be a big collection of random tidbits about these two precious nuggets of mine, as I go through the text messages I've sent myself over the last few months, reminding me of what I wanted to write once I finally sat down to do it...

so here are some things. Catherine went back and forth on the theme of her 5th birthday party, starting with "all of the princesses" and ending up with a "rainbow/spring time theme". I think that is the cutest, most creative and unique thing to come out of a little girl's brain. you told me what you wanted the scene to be on your cake and what balloons and decorations to's a picture of your cake, made by the ever-talented aunt nikki davis.

amazing, right? and it happened to be so delicious I can't quit thinking about it.

her party was super fun. lots of people, more than I expected actually. I think all of the kids went swimming and a lot of the adults too (the grown men performed a random assortment of antics off the diving board again), all of the food was gone and some of our sweet family and friends were there well past the ending time on the invitation. all of these things I see as signs of a good party=)

most of all: Catherine felt loved and celebrated and had a great time herself.

I can't believe you're 5, sweet girl. most of the time our time with you as a baby in and out of hospitals and operating rooms is a distant memory, almost feeling like it wasn't real. a lot of times i'm thankful for that because it doesn't take much to flip my anxiety into high gear and send me into fits of worry that something will happen to you again. but on your birthday as I went in to check on you and kiss you goodnight after you'd already fallen asleep, I felt a gentle wave of pictures and memories play through my mind of that first year or two. you in my belly kicking my ribs. in the delivery room making your first squeak that gave us all hope. watching you fight in the NICU, some days filled with tears and some days filled with smiles. seeing your eyes open for the first time. hearing your laugh when you finally could breathe without a trach...i remember daddy throwing you up in the air in that PICU room 5 minutes after we took out your trach for good just so he could hear you giggle. for a second i thought we would get scolded for that, but as i looked around i saw the respiratory therapists, nurses, and the surgical team watching you and smiling along with us as we heard that sweet voice. while you slept, i ran my fingers over the scar on your neck, across your belly and that sweet g-tube hole that you ask about sometimes. and I kissed your lips and your cheek and the corner of your eye (usually it's in that order before I go to bed myself) and I felt a rush of thankfulness. of God's faithfulness and goodness. I was reminded again how he walked with us every step of the way-holding our hand and getting us through. helping us see what a gift you were, whether you lived or whether you went on to heaven as a baby. I was reminded of how He had you in His arms the whole time. of how you are His, and His perfect plan for you was and is playing out. that despite my biggest efforts and mistakes, I can't ruin that. that you are His, that you are immensely loved by the King and He delights in you. that He used and is using you to bring glory to Himself. out of His great love for you, and for all of us. how humbling that He would choose you, my sweet love. you are one magnificent little girl, and I am so incredibly thankful He let me be your mommy.

I can't get enough of you. you are just becoming the coolest little kid. watching you learn what you like and what your talents are, watching your eyes light up when you realize that you're good at something (coloring, especially). seeing how proud you are of yourself that you're in the "kindergarten class" at your school (fyi: we are officially putting you in kindergarten next year. but with the way your school works now, they moved you up to their kindergarten class this year since your birthday is in august. so to make sure you know you're advancing next year, we are now calling your class the sunbrook kindergarten class and next year you will change schools to the nickajack kindergarten class).

you are still a great eater. you LOVE noodles-this certain blue box of noodles that we get at publix-that is by far your favorite thing to eat. gigi and I both keep at least 3 boxes of those at our house all the time. your favorite restaurant is orient express in vinings. you love the chicken with Chinese vegetables and you can eat almost a whole order by yourself. for both of our sakes, we usually share=) you like the fortune cookies and your favorite part is having me read you your "lucky numbers" on the back of the actual fortune. you don't care much what the words say, but you are very interested in those lucky numbers=) you still like vegetables-you eat carrots and asparagus (not the "furry" part on the tip) and green beans. you don't love brussel sprouts but you'll try a bite of anything, and i'm so proud of you for that. you love apples and bananas and oranges and grapes, strawberries...most fruit actually. you still pretty much drink only water-i'll never complain about that. if you're given anything else you'll drink about 2 sips then ask for water instead.

you love to color and draw and are pretty good at it I think. when we ask what your favorite color is you say "all the colors of the rainbow", although you're starting to pick certain ones as your favorite every now and then. sometimes you'll draw a picture and tell me that you put lots of turquoise in it because you know it's my favorite. it was also fun hearing you learn how to say the word "turquoise". =) you're getting better and better at writing your letters and numbers and even reading a few words. your favorite thing to do at school is play on the playground. you love any and all of the Disney princesses, and you invented a game called "20 questions Disney princess style" where you think of a princess and we have to ask yes or no questions to figure out which one it is. hint: 99.9% of the time you're thinking of ariel. she seems to be your favorite although you won't really say that outright-you're very careful not to choose favorites ever, of any kind. you're very diplomatic in that way. =)

you just started playing soccer and it is the cutest and funniest thing ever. in the middle of your first practice last week you ran up to me and said "mommy-my armpits are sweaty" and started giggling. and at the end I caught you smelling your armpits to see if you were stinky. I can't put into words how cute I thought this whole thing was. you're growing up sweet girl, and it is a most incredible thing to watch=)

you love to sing. you make up songs and perform on a pretend stage for us. you love to dance. you LOVE to pretend, and usually you're pretending to be at school as a new student and i'm the teacher, or you're pretending to be a princess. or sometimes we pretend to be at ice skating class or dance class.

a month or two ago I was driving you to school and I overheard you in the back seat telling adam that God loves us and will never crush us. I thought it was funny that you used the word "crush", but I figured you heard it in a song or something=) you'll help me feed him a bottle if i'm running extra late in the morning. you are the best big sister-you still love him to pieces and have never once acted like you wish he wasn't there. even when we can tell you're a little jealous or missing some attention, you have the kindest and most loving heard to that little brother of yours. i'm so so proud I can't stand it. and you're always trying to make him laugh or feel better if he's crying. at your pre-K graduation in may you were walking off the stage but then you stopped and turned around and waved and yelled "bye adam!" so he could hear you=)

we were at grandypa's store a few months ago and you got to take home with you a purple pencil with a parrot on top of it. on the way to the car you decided you desperately wanted a pink one instead of purple, and got pretty upset about it. we told you maybe next time we could get the pink one but you were very concerned that someone else would buy all of the pink ones. once you calmed down and we were driving home, you started praying out loud that God would put another pink parrot pencil in grandypa's store for us to get next time. then you looked up with these wide excited eyes and said "I bet He's doing it right now!" we've had a lot of fun conversations about the way God answers prayers and it's so neat to watch how you process all of that in your little girl brain.

so adam. my sweet little man. you are one big boy. still not surprising, and still nothing we're complaining about! most of the men in our family are pretty big guys and it wouldn't make much sense if you weren't heading in that direction too. but most people don't believe me when I tell them that you're only 8 months old=)

you're still a pretty easy baby, but slightly less easy-going as your sister was at this age. we always thought she was probably so tough and go with the flow because she had to be, so i'm glad you get to pick whether or not you're ok with the things that are happening to you=) you've just learned to give us kisses on demand and give us "high five" and you've started crawling up and pulling up on our leg so we'll pick you up when you want that. you are sweet and snuggly, but the only time you let me hold you baby style is when i'm feeding you a bottle. makes sense=) you HATE your car seat (and have since you were about a month old) but once you calm down you like watching the clouds or the trees out the window, and it's one of my favorite things to see.

you love your sister. you will violently move your head around so you can see around me and find her. you laugh and laugh when she makes silly faces or sounds or does goofy dances for you, but you do not like it when she tries to hold you in her lap=) when you get really mad and cry for a while you get a splotchy rash on your forehead. you're a wild man and into everything, and last week you had a busted bottom right lip, a busted bottom left lip, 3 large bruises/bumps on your forehead, and a cut across your tongue from your teeth. it just so happened that Catherine had a MASSIVE and horrendous looking bruise on her chin and we were kinda afraid to take you two out in public for fear of being reported. oh, and you fell out of the bath tub that same week. it didn't phase you-I had you and Catherine in there together, took her from the bath to my bed 10 feet away to give her pajamas, and we heard a big thunk in the bathroom. I knew immediately what it was and ran in there, but you were just kinda laying on the floor right outside the tub working on getting up. weird, wonderful baby boy=)

one of your favorite things to do is swing on the back porch of gigi's house or at the lake. you've recently started pushing a car around on the floor and it is the most stereotypical picture of a baby boy to me and I love it. around 7 months you started pulling up and standing and I didn't know what to do with myself. I still don't know what to do with myself, actually. I was not prepared to have a baby do these things early! especially one as curious as you-i'm so afraid you're gonna fall down our stairs! =) changing your diaper is always an adventure. you won't stay on your back for more than about 5 seconds so if i'm not quick I know I have to kinda sit to your side and let my leg lay across your chest while I change it so you won't flip over on me. i'm learning lots of new tricks with you=)

you're still a pretty good sleeper-teeth threw us off for a while there (you got 6 around 4-6 months and haven't had any new ones since) but you're getting back into the swing of it now. you go to sleep between 8-9pm and usually wake up around 6am. I absolutely wish that wake-up time was later but i'll take what I can get! you eat pretty well-not too picky so far and you like crunching on puffs. you like the song "you are my sunshine"-that's the one I've noticed has the best potential for calming you down when you're upset. I credit granddaddy for that because he loves to sing that one to you. you also like it when I dry my hair-you always flip your head around with a big grin on your face and try to see me when I turn the hair dryer on. it's never really scared you, even when you were a newborn. you seem to like the noise=) you love splashing in the bath. you also love standing up in the bath, which has been the cause of many of those busted lips and forehead bruises. the mat I put in the bathtub has helped only slightly=) you also like chewing on your toes.

here you are in some of my favorite pictures from catherine's birthday dinner. you and your sweet sister are some of the brightest lights in my life, and i'm so thankful i get to be your mommy! you fill our days with joy and with all the chaos that life and parenting and jobs and school can bring, i can honestly say that each phase gets better. you both surprise with the fact that it becomes more and more fun as you advance to the next stage and we're thanking our lucky stars that we're the ones that get to walk with you two!

all of our love, you sweet little nuggets,


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

what catherine thinks it means to love someone

this is a conversation that catherine and i had this morning. it's a little sweet, a little funny, and a little weird, but all in all i love it and i want to remember the way catherine's precious little 4 year old brain works=) 

catherine: "Mommy-let's talk in spanish."
mama: "ok. te quiero. that means i love you."
catherine: "te quiero him." (pointing to adam)
mama: "catherine-what does it mean if you love someone?"
catherine: " means you help them. and you have play dates with them. and you watch them when they die. like we did with papa."

also, adam-your first tooth broke through over the weekend! your bottom right one came first, and now your bottom left one has popped through too.

this is how you feel about it: 

actually, it hasn't been too bad. you're definitely a little grumpier than normal-your sleep is just a little off and you want to be held more. and you're not eating quite as much. but it still doesn't take much to get you to smile at us so we won't complain!

look what else we tried out today. haven't even taken the tags off, apparently. 

love you my sweet babies. y'all are growing up way too fast=) 


Monday, April 15, 2013

stuff about 4 year old catherine:)

little angel girl of mine-

mama can't get a handle on her life. oddly enough, one of the best indications that i don't have this life of ours under control is when i haven't blogged in a while. weird, right? yes. but this is where i record our family's stuff, and i feel like it's gone forever if i don't write it down!

so for the last four months i've been sending text messages to myself when i think of things that you are doing lately that i want to record. and here i am, waiting in the supreme court building to see if i'm going to be called to serve in jury duty. and it's not so surprising to me that this is the (one?) place i have found a spare second to write. and here we go...

~last fall your teacher had conferences with the parents of her students. she said you were on track academically and she had no concerns about you, and she said what stood out to her most about you is how kind you are to other people. sweet girl. mama's heart wanted to burst. i am proud of you for so many things. SO MANY THINGS. like being alive, for instance. but when she told me this i didn't think i would be able to contain myself. i felt like the world stood still and one of my greatest mama dreams for you came true right then and there. that you would love people the way that Jesus loves. i'm sitting here with tears in my eyes just typing it. we've always known God had a special plan for your life. ever since that day in april 2008, when the perinatologist told us that there was a slim chance that you would live for more than 2 weeks. you precious little lady. words can't describe how i love you, sweet girl.

~you got a tennis racket for christmas and are pretty excited about learning! that's something mom and dad like to do too, so we have big dreams to play as a family. you took lessons at school for a few weeks (it just didn't work out with my days off work to keep you in lessons there) and you are super cute swinging your racket and showing us what you've learned=)

~you've also been taking dance lessons at school. you have your first recital next month and i can't wait to see you in all of your 4 1/2 year old cuteness prancing around that room=)

~you love mcdonald's chicken nuggets. and japanese steakhouses. and these parmesan and herbs spaghetti noodles that come in a blue box. you still like carrots a lot. and broccoli and asparagus. saturday night robyn and john came over for dinner and you ate 3 chicken drumsticks and asked for seconds of asparagus. robyn couldn't believe her eyes=)

~girlfriend. you LOVE to pretend. anything and everything. all the time. ALLTHETIME. you used to want to pretend that we were at school and you were the "special helper" and joshua was always in trouble, but lately you usually want to pretend to be various princesses (cinderella, rapunzel, merida, snow white, sleeping beauty, belle, sophia the first) and sometimes we pretend to be characters from the lion, the witch and the wardrobe (do you hear that, renee?? ;)) and if 20 seconds pass and i haven't said something that my appointed character would say, you quickly tell me "you're not saying what she says!". girlfriend loves to pretend.

~you still love babies. sometimes you pretend to breastfeed them, and you'll ask me where your "pumper" is (you're with me most of the time when i'm pumping).

~you have a preoccupation with the number 145. whenever you're asking how many of something there are, if you think it's a large number you always guess 145=)

~you use the number 100 to represent something big. the other day i showed you a black truck like the one daddy used to have, and i told you we sold it when we moved to virginia. you were wondering how we got it to the new owners, and you asked if it fit in a box to give it to them. i said no it couldn't fit in a box. and you said "but what if the box was big! like 100 big! like really really big and the truck was in it!" and then you started hackling uncontrollably-laughing your little head off-you are the cutest. i love little four year old brains=)

~you do this new thing where you put your fingers clasped together and hold your fists up to your face and make this ridiculous sweet face and say "please? please please please???" when you want something. the first time i saw this i started cracking up and asked where you learned that. you promptly told me dinosaur train. gotta love pbs.

~last week a song was playing on the radio and you asked if it was justin bieber. i said no it's taylor swift, and where did you learn about justin bieber? you said "maybe i saw him on some stickers. maybe at the lake." i have definitely never seen any stickers of just bieber at the lake, but i like your creativity=)

~we were at the lake 2 weeks ago and we were holding hands while you jumped on a bed (the only time you're allowed to jump on a bed is when we're holding your hands. feel free to question our parenting choices) and you had this elated grin on your face and said "this bed has a nice boingy!" i'm personally very glad you are a conossiouer of the boingy-ness of a bed.

~you're getting so big, sweet girl. little things keep telling me that you are, whether i like it or not. it's like God knows we couldn't handle it if all of a sudden you were this independent little girl who didn't need her parents anymore. of course i want you to be independent. isn't that the mission of a parent? to grow their children into adults who are able to thrive without their parents? but sometimes it feels like a smack in the face when i realize that my baby isn't a baby anymore, but can do things by herself. like when i was up feeding adam in the middle of the night, in the dark, and i heard your little feet walk across your room and open your door, then i watched you with half-open eyes shuffle down the hall and go to the potty, flush and wash your hands, then shuffle back down the hall to your room, close your door, and get back in bed. for whatever reason, that little scene made me realize that my baby girl wasn't a baby anymore. that she didn't need me quite as much. and honestly? i think it had a LOT (maybe everything) to do with the fact that i had been feeling so guilty over not being able to be with you as much since adam was born. but regardless, it opened my eyes to my little girl growing up. this makes me feel so many different things, but ultimately i'm so proud of you sweet little lady.

there it is. a long overdue update on some catherine-isms. sweet little angel. can't get enough of her.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

four months as a family of four

a bunch of pictures to catch us up on what's been going on in our house since we've become a family of four...

four of my favorite boys=)


another favorite=) there's another fantastic outtake from this little photo session between amy and myself, but it's reserved for amy to pull out when she's having a bad day;)

my brother nathan and my dad. another favorite. i have too many.

grandmama holding adam like papa always used to hold his grandbabies

the day we brought him home=) little bity peanut.

have mercy

he looks like a little dinosaur here. i love it=)

favorite #4=)

donnie and catherine trying to make a sad face like adam.

i love this because it shows that catherine can hardly contain herself she's so excited about him=)

about a month ago it was catherine's turn to bring home fortune the panda, the class "pet." here he is eating breakfast with her.

uncle nathan got adam this batman costume for christmas, so here are my superhero babies=)

catherine and hazel at easter

adam and grandypa rocking the sticker earrings that catherine and hazel got in their easter baskets!

i can't quite explain why i like this picture, but i do. i really do.

easter morning. he wasn't happy. but i sure was.

sass mcgee.

easter family picture. i kind of love it.

oh good gracious.