Friday, August 30, 2013

Baby Woowis

Oh my word I love my little boy.  I don't know if its like this for everyone, or if it will be with each of my full-term children, but I fell instantly in love and attached to this sweet baby.  I'll never forget the moment I held him for the first time, quickly after birth.  That in itself was so refreshing.  He has been a very easy, happy, smart and smiley baby.  He picks up on things quickly which makes me a little nervous for the next few years, but I'm sure I'll still enjoy being his Momma.

Since we were with a big chunk of family on vacation a few weeks ago we decided to go ahead and have a birthday party for Louis.  I always joke about Louis being the heir to the throne (first male, royal name), so a "King Louie" party seemed appropriate.  Having William and Kate add Louis to Prince George's name just solidified our choice in party themes.  I knew I had good taste in names.

We celebrated 15 birthday's over those four weeks we were together, and Louis' was one of the last, so we kept his party pretty simple.  By the way, I recently got my first digital DSLR and haven't sat down to truly figure it out.  Really I need a class.  Some of these pictures are great, some could be much better.  And there are a bazillion of them.  Sorry :)

We went with simple decorations and copycat Portillos chocolate cake (and smash cake)

The King himself

Pin the crown on the King

Make your own crown (or tiara)

Sporting the pre-made gold crowns
The family

Singing and "smashing" the cake didn't go over so well with him.

After the cake we headed to the beach to send off 20 Chinese sky lanterns like in Tangled.  We only managed to send one off.  Now we have 19 more to do another day!

The cake was a big hit with Louis and Millie the next morning.  Seems our little King was just too sleepy to party.

Love this little boy so much.  I'm so lucky I get to be his Mom.  Have I mentioned he gives squeezes now?  It's wonderful.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


     I don't really write about Millie being a preemie much anymore.  The truth is it doesn't consume my thoughts like it once did.  I love that experience, but I've kind of moved on.  Thankfully she has very few daily reminders of her miraculous beginning.  Can I blame the constant whining on that?

     When we're meeting people for the first time it occasionally comes up.  Sometimes I refer to her riding the mini-bus to preschool which is only a privileged given to the "special needs" children.  Other times we talk about her glasses and why she has them at such a young age.  Most of the time these conversations don't go far.  Most people just nod in acceptance and ask how long we've lived here or how old Louis is.

     Today I met an incredible neighbor on the playground.  She asked a few questions about Millie and then shared with me the story of her daughter, Rachel.  She was born just a little bit early which turned out to be a good thing.  She appeared completely healthy, but the neonatologist noticed something unusual and figured out she had a heart condition.  She had surgery at 6 months old to correct her condition and was given at 98% chance of survival from the surgery.  She passed just days after the surgery.

     I couldn't help but flip back to Millie as a tiny baby.  I couldn't imagine knowing her for 6 blissful months and then her being gone.  It reminded me of that terrible night in the NICU where we witnessed a baby pass away right outside of Millie's room.  It was too much to handle.  I actually teared up a little as she was telling me the story, about 3 minutes after meeting her for the first time.

     She went on to share with me a little bit more about her.  She has a son going into 2nd (there at the playground) who she adopted miraculously after 7 years of infertility.  I was just blown away by how quickly I learned about this sweet woman.  I can attribute that all to having Millie miraculously.  It was a blessing then, and the experience still blesses me today.  It could have possibly taken me years to learn so much about a neighbor that I might run into once a year on the playground.

     I am so thankful for her birth, her 135 days in the NICU, and especially every day since.  Isn't she beautiful?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Peaceful and Beautiful

We're at Siesta Key (wrapping up week 3) and loving it.  I've been surprised at how stressful it is for me to be here.  Keeping two kids safe, clean-ish, kind-ish, and fed in a busy house full of family doing the same for their kids is exhausting!  I do get help, but it still wears me out.

It's worth it though.  The beach is beautiful.  It warms my heart to see my children take to the sun, sand and water like they live in Florida or something.

The best part of it all is seeing my sweet cousins that I have loved and admired as babies doing the same to my sweet children.  They fuss over Louis, taking turns holding and singing to him.  I sort of wish we was more of a tiny baby so all of their hard work truly paid off.  They love my sweet Millie and endure her screaming, whining, and scowls when she's all-too-often grumpy these days.  They are always excited to see her even if she gives the impression the feeling isn't mutual just that second.  She has her good moments, and looks up to these kids so much.

I just crawled into bed and caught a glimpse of the most beautiful and peaceful face I've ever seen.  I'm sharing a bed with my sweet Millie.  It's amazing how just one sight can make your heart full and your mind race with thought that you need to write or you might burst.

I keep reminding myself that my kids are just this age for so long, soak up all you can.  I do.  I love it.  They are sweet, giggly, loving, and fun.  I do everything I can think of for them.  I do my best to capture these memories, not often in a blog post.  I'd like to blog more.  No promises :)

Just in case I still have any readers out there, what do you do to feel like you're still using your brain?  I'm not in school and my "job" requires lots of strength, patience, and endurance, but I don't find it mentally challenging.  What do you do to feel like you're still thinking and learning?

Here are a few pictures from our little vacation:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

School Days

Millie's first week of preschool was awesome.  We found out on a Thursday that she qualified and by Tuesday she was on the bus headed to class.  I'll dive into the details of her school, but first humor me and look over our cute pictures.

Waiting on the bus to arrive.  Love those two so much.

Even Baby Louis wanted to see all the excitement.

She has a wonderful bus driver.

First, let me explain why I put my little 3 year old on a bus instead of driving her to school myself.  She was so excited to ride the bus!  As soon as it pulled up she walked up the steps ready as can be.  I had to grab her and force her to give me a kiss.  After she got on we followed her bus to school so we could sneak a peek at her getting off.  She did fabulous--like an old pro.  Had we driven her to school we would have pulled our car up to the front of the school and let a teacher take her out of the car and walk her into the building.  Much less exciting for her and not sentimental for this bus it was!  Yes, it is a short bus, and she shares that bus with 3 little boys that also live in our neighborhood.  Earlier this week her bus driver (Tammy) complemented me on having a talkative child.  She loves chatting with Millie since the other kids tend to keep quiet.  That's my girl.

We've been working with a preschool here that is affiliated with the school district (for special needs) and the city (so anyone in the city can enroll for a fee) since December.  I've taken Millie in for different testing to see if she qualified for special needs through the school district which would mean becoming a student at this preschool.  My initial concern was her speech, but after much testing they determined she was still behind a bit socially and would benefit from an integrated preschool classroom.  So she's in a classroom with "caught up" children as well as a few in her similar situation.

She loves going to school, and I'm so excited for her to get some extra help (that I can't provide) that will teach her how to communicate and interact better with her peers.  And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thrilled to get a few hours twice a week to spend with just Louis.  She's happy, I'm happy.

Tomorrow she goes back, and she gets to do a "show and tell" for her class.  When she's older I'll send her with something really cool like her first diaper or the picture of her wearing her Daddy's wedding ring on her arm.  I'll never get over my walking miracle.  For now I think I'll settle for a stuffed puppy she calls "Penny" after our favorite dog.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Glasses Party

We found out a few weeks ago that it was time for Millie to get glasses. In an effort to get her excited about them my sister suggested throwing her a glasses party. Lucky for us our family here in town (mostly) has poor eye sight, too.

We all put on our glasses together, learned how to put them away in a case, read "Fancy Nancy Spectacular Spectacles", ate a big chocolate pair of glasses and gave Millie a LalaLoopsy named Specs. Her reaction and love for Specs exceeded our already high expectations. Man, I'm good.

We think she's pretty darn cute in her new purple glasses, don't you?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Why, Hello There!

Hi!  I'm Niki.  You might remember me.  I blogged all about being a Mom.  I dished all the details of Millie opening her eyes for the first time, how she was doing each week, and her progress after the hospital.  I shared with you what a blessing it was to be her Mother, how cute her yoga poses were, and how devastating it can be when the power gets cut off and you lose an entire freezer of frozen milk.  I shared with you our excitement of her becoming a big sister, and even shared with you our handsome man, Louis.

Does any of this ring a bell?  Well, it's pretty obvious my weekly blogging days are  behind me.  I thought I was on the monthly blogging schedule, but now I see I can't even promise that.  I'll share with you a few reasons why I've been so bad at blogging, and maybe you can help.

First, let me catch you up on a few highlights of this winter:

We blessed Louis.  We did this in South Carolina while we were visiting for Thanksgiving.

Can't resist a baby in a bonnet.

 Since Millie has a Thanksgiving birthday, it's hard to resist throwing a small, family-only party.  That still amounts to 50 or so people!  We had a tea party and I think it was her best party yet.  I had very little to do with this one.  My hands were full of Louis so my family took the reigns.  I think it will be her last big party for a while.

We provided a few necessary dress up items,

served fancy food and tea (plus Lemonade),

and did our best to keep our pinky fingers up!

Over Thanksgiving we were able to visit Santa and introduce him to Louis:

We had a wonderful Christmas morning.  We only have so many hands, and the video camera won over the regular camera, so these are pretty much our only pictures.

Millie still didn't completely "get-it", but I feel confident she will next year.  She loved our elf, Jimmy, and adored all the Christmas decorations.  She still asks me about random decorations and concludes that they are all in the basement on her own now.

Our Christmas morning was slow (so wonderful!), warm, and full of Lalaloopsy, My Little Pony, and Minnie Mouse.  The rest of us had some fun things, too.

Louis loved his exersaucer from Buck's parents.  Santa didn't mind we put it out for him with his stocking.  Since this didn't get it's own post I should mention he rolls over now, is absolutely adorable, and just finished his first ear infection.  He's a sweet boy and we can't snuggle him enough.

Millie started dance class this week.  She's been asking me about going for weeks now, so on Monday morning she was completely dressed two hours before class started.  Her ballet shoes are completely broken in, too.

It was only 30 minutes long, and doesn't have a recital (bummer) but she doesn't know any different.  She truly thinks she's Angelina Ballerina, and so do I.  She's the most spirited in her class, and doesn't see the point in stopping for a plie when there is twirling to be done.

As promised, here are my reasons for not blogging:
  1. I keep hearing about blogger saying to bloggers that they have reached their data limit.  I didn't get this message, but I can't be far from it.  What's the solution?  I haven't felt like I have time to figure it out, so I avoid blogging.
  2. I was considering blogging earlier, but I was shook to the core by the horrific event that happened in Connecticut.  I wish I could share my thoughts and feelings on it, but I truly have to push them out of my head still or I'm consumed.
  3. My house is still pretty undecorated.  I really should decorate in my free time.  Or shop for decorations.  Or maybe someone can come visit and take over the cooking, cleaning, and child watching while I decorate?
  4. My church assignment (Cub Scout Committee Chair) is time consuming and stressful.  It's not always time consuming, but I always feel like if I have free time I should keep teaching myself how to run the program.  Currently I'm planning our Blue and Gold Banquet, Friends of Scouting drive, Rechartering, and the yearly program.  I know, you'd think I'd be an expert on all things scouting but having never worked with the boys and the actual nitty gritty of advancement makes even buying the awards for Pack Meeting a challenge.
  5. I have yet to consistently make dinner  for my family.  I used to be great at menu planning, and am just starting to feel like my head isn't constantly spinning so I should probably use my free time to plan that out.
  6. Should I blame my kids?  Maybe, but honestly I could blog while they sleep.  I love spending as much time having fun with them as possible, but keeping a record of family is pretty important too.  It's a toss up I guess.
  7. This one is pretty big.  My MacBook is on it's last leg and can barely hold my pictures.  I don't have a smart phone, so I rely on a regular camera for pictures mostly.  That means I've got to load them, cross my fingers my computer cooperates, then blog.  We have a new computer, I just need to work out an internet issue there and I'll be back in business.
So that is it.  If blogger will let me, I will promise you at least one more post soon.  Millie got glasses (and they are adorable!), and to get her excited about wearing them we are throwing a glasses party later this week.  I promise to post pictures of at least her, but maybe more if I remember to take pictures.  I'm assigned to speak at church on Sunday so blogging will be a welcomed distraction.