Thursday, October 31, 2013

A full year of Johnny


Today is your birthday! You are 1 year old! Happy Birthday Baby! Having a Halloween birthday is kind of amazing...a little crazy...a little overwhelming...a little extra special! With the help of friends, we sang you a big Happy Birthday out in the street as kids were trick or treating and bouncing at the party we went to. Daddy had to go to school, but he promises to make it up to you tomorrow and next year! This year has gone by faster than your sister's first year. You are so very different from the little guy who laid in the bassinet next to me 365 days ago. I am so proud of you and I am thankful for you every day!

Developmentally you are doing fine. There are some things that you aren't doing and some things that you are. You aren't technically crawling, but you definitely scootch your way around the floor in a series of lunges, army pull "crawling", rolling, and sitting bounces to get what you want. You are starting to pull onto very stable things to try and get to your knees. You clap and put your arms in the air to say "yay". You say "mama", "dada", "buh" (for bye-bye), and sort of say "yay". You sign more and milk sometimes, repeat the sign for "thank you" if we make you do it, and have started waving hello or goodbye sometimes as well.

You take 3 bottles a day, usually between 7 & 8 ounces and have been slowly working whole milk into that. You have gotten some breast milk every day! Yayyayayay! And we never had to buy a single ounce of formula due to donations of extra cans from friends and the doctor's office! I am very proud of that! You eat solids twice a day and may be ready for the third meal. If we feed you breakfast now, it really throws off your eating for the rest of the day so we will slowly work that in. I am working with you on drinking from a straw (it's good oral development) and you have great mouth closure, but you won't hold the liquid in your mouth. I bet if I gave you something sweet to drink and not just water then you would drink it up. You have tried lots of new foods this month, from tastes of ice cream, chicken nuggets and fries, to quesadillas, and pasta. You either like solid food or thickened pureed food, not the purees with chunks of stuff in them. Except for the puree with orzo, you love that one! Your favorite purees are chicken, zucchini, and orzo or vegetable (broccoli and green beans) medley. You like fruit purees too of course!


You have some funny new habits. You will close your eyes and squint whenever you see the flash for a camera. It's pretty cute and it makes me laugh, but it means I have to trick you to get a good picture! You have also started having a mind of your own and will show definite frustration and even anger at something being taken away or physically being out of reach. You will whine and flap your arms around while reaching for whatever is unattainable. Hopefully that will fuel you to get moving more! You love facing your sisters in the car, they will make faces at you, blow raspberries at you, or simply talk to you and you will laugh and laugh at them. That of course makes them laugh, which makes you laugh, and we all laugh in a continuous cycle. You are also letting your "y" chromosome shine more and more, every time we put you on the ground outside you will sit happily and dig in dirt or grab grass and other bits of nature. You love being in the dirt and getting dirty. You often sleep (1 hr nap, 3 hr nap, 12 hours at night) folded over like a clam and always face the door when we come to get you from your crib. We are working on you keeping your glasses on, but can't make it too much of a game, otherwise you will reach for them just to see us tickle you and rough house with you. You love being held upside down and will giggle as I swing you back and forth (gently of course). You also love reaching for my hair, any necklace, or anything else you can play with. I love introducing you to people or taking you to people we know, you make them feel good by reaching for them and snuggling into them for a hug!

What can I say Johnny? You are amazing and more wonderful than I ever could have imagined. Even knowing about that extra chromosome didn't tell me anything about how my heart would burst for you every day or how much I would miss you when you are sleeping. I love you so much and I am grateful that your extra chromosome gives me just a little bit more to love.

Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mac's Checkup

MacKenzie went in on Monday for her 4 year check up. The big girl got 5 shots (4 routine vaccines and her flu vaccine). She was pretty stressed about that, but only cried a bit, and doesn't need anything except for flu shots until she is 11! She did great on her hearing screening, she would raise her head the whole time the sound was on and she did pretty good on her vision screening. She was able to answer many questions for the nurse and doctor herself which was a nice milestone. They asked about her food and drink intake, screen time, exercise, and how she interacted with others. The doctor was and always has been very pleased with her growth and how she progresses each year.

Her weight was 40 pounds, 8 ounces which puts her in the 85th percentile and her height was 3' 7.5" which puts her in the 98th percentile. So our big girl is tall and lean!

She was, of course, fascinated by all the medical stuff being done and listened eagerly when Dr. Bel talked to us about an astronaut doctor she got to meet recently. I am proud of her growth and really enjoyed the one on one time with her at her appointment and a quick lunch with ice cream for the brave girl! It's funny how they act slightly different with the one on one attention, Matt and I try to spend one on one time when we can, but we should be more deliberate about doing it more regularly!

Practicing saying "Ahhhh"

Learning how to take her pulse

An Ice Cream Treat!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

More to Chew

I may be outdoing myself. I think I have outdone myself. Technically a stay at home mom, but probably as busy as when I was working. I am working for my friend's company, MOPS at church, my mom, and my dad. I am also running the non profit and will soon be mentioning a teenage girl I know. In addition to raising three kids and working with Johnny, I'm a little pooped. So tired in fact, that this is the extent of a post that you get. I have more computer work to do, but all the numbers are running together so I will have to finish in the morning! Night!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Hat Delivery

Today I dropped off the pumpkin hats that were the special project we worked on for Johnny's First Birthday. In all, Jennifer (one of our Tiny Blessings "Workers") and I made 33 hats plus 1 for Johnny to wear. We made a variety of sizes, all the way from micro preemie to 0-3 month and they have been so fun to work on, imagining the different babies that will be born on Halloween this year and praying for them and their families. We also had some donations of other items to take with us!

I love how each hat, although made from similar patterns, had their own personality. Some vines were yielding, others were not, some vines went to the left, others to the right, some went all over the place. Some hats with the same number of stitches looked better with 5 rows of orange, others looked best with 6. The hats are all as unique and perfect as the babies that will wear them. 

Dropping this batch off was kind of hard, I (and Jennifer) poured a lot into this full set of hats. It stressed me out to try to estimate how many of each size we needed. I really felt compelled to make my last extra hat this morning and then felt at ease with what we had done. Hopefully, each of those 33 hats will be exactly what is needed, in a God led ministry, how could it not? I also had a small amount of stress when one of the nurses in the NICU immediately grabbed hats to put on twins that are staying there. Even though I had a certain vision for how I thought things should be done, I had to remind myself that each of those hats serves a purpose beyond what I do and what I imagine it for and that the nurses take care of actually covering each head as they see fit. 

It was great timing as they were preparing some of our other hats for "birthday cakes" for each of the NICU rooms. It was so fulfilling to see what they try to do with the hats after they leave our hands. At Methodist Willowbrook, they make a little diaper cake with some of the essentials that the parents will need during their stay for their little guys and gals. When possible, they try to include one of our hats. 

I told them to let us know what else they may need or want, I love serving their needs in this ministry as well.

For as much as I poured into this project, I was rewarded with a very special visit from one of my favorite people when I dropped off the hats. Not only did we get to see our NICU nurse that took care of Johnny and tell her a personal thank you, but we got to see my L&D nurse that has helped me so much over the past two and a half years. Johnny reached for her as soon as he could and it was so nice to see him with the woman who delivered him almost a year ago. She is an amazing nurse and a wonderful friend AND the reason we have expanded this project so much. We were initially thinking of just making a handful of hats for the NICU and she asked us to consider fulfilling more needs than that. My heart is overflowing with the satisfaction of delivering hats and with seeing people that are very dear to me and my family. Thank you, God, for this ministry and for a wonderful evening!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Before Johnny's party on Saturday, our friend, cut the kid's hair! Johnny and Keegan both got their first haircuts and Mac got her second haircut. Johnny looks so grownup with his shorter hair and the girl's hair looks less scraggily now. They are all even more beautiful than before!!!

Johnny's Bday Party

We had Johnny's First Birthday Party this past weekend as well. We coincided it with an Aggie Game so we could watch and enjoy our little Johnny Football. We painted pumpkins, watched the game, and chowed down on chili, black bean soup, and other yummy football snacks. Johnny loved his football cupcake and made a huge mess of it. We gave all the kids that came the pumpkin they painted and a little 12th Man towel to take home. I loved seeing all the support and snuggles for our little man, I cannot believe he is almost 1! It seems like just yesterday he was inside me and we were waiting to see when we were going to meet him, now he is turning into a big boy, right before our very eyes!

Mac's Bday Party

MacKenzie insisted on an "All the Princesses" birthday party this year. Thank goodness, all that meant, was a cake with more than one princess, an evite with multiple princesses on it, and napkins that had more than one princess. Everything else was fine in pink and purple!

We invited over 12 of her little girl friends ("only girls can be princesses mom") and invited their moms to stay or go have fun with their little princes if needed! We had spaghetti and meatballs, veggies and dip, breadsticks braided like Rapunzel (total waste of time, the girls didn't even notice), juice pouches, and cake. Mac got to pick out her menu, helped bake her cake (pink cake with purple frosting), and helped pick out goodie bag stuff and decorations. It was funny to see her personality emerge. We set up the canopy borrowed from friends with lights and pink tulle and the girls painted little canvases (great activity, very hard to clean little hands when they all finish at the same time).

Mac got several art/coloring presents, princess books, and other princess items. She was thoroughly pleased with the day!

The day before, Matt and I took the kids to Chick Fil A for breakfast. That night, Matt had school, but the kids and I met Matt's parents and my mom at a Mexican food restaurant for dinner. Mac has had a great couple of days of celebrating!

MacKenzie at 4


Today you turned four. I still find it hard to believe that we have a four year old, let alone, one of the most brilliant and amazing four year olds that ever was! You have blessed us in the past four years plus 9ish months and we couldn't be happier to be celebrating you!

You are such a funny little girl, you are starting to come out of your shell more, talking to strangers and even speaking on a regular basis to people we know. You are often reserved still, but in a charming way. Frequently you will surprise people with how much you talk and how much you know because people don't get the chance to hear you talk all that much. You have been telling everyone we encounter about your birthday party and how you are almost four. Now you haven't stopped telling people how you are four now. You are very interested in how things work and why things are certain ways. You love science and mechanics. It's interesting to see that side of you developing and maturing. You remember many of the facts that we tell you. I love hearing you repeat things. Just this weekend, you asked us about missionaries and insisted that missionaries were people who need money (which they do). I like that you remembered a key point that they talk about in your Sunday school class.

You are super picky about you eating (for you anyways). You have to have things a certain way, like noodles without sauce, no dip whatsoever except for pancakes, and have certain ways you like sandwiches cut or your plate presented. You love to eat yogurt and bagels for breakfast, hot cheese sandwiches for lunch, and anything involving rice for dinner. We are battling your insistence that you don't need milk so there hasn't been a lot of beverage intake on your part lately. You sleep great at night and wake up your sister (and sometimes Mommy) once it gets light outside. Hopefully you will remember to stay in bed until it's light out once daylight savings time happens this weekend! Sometimes you sleep with your blankies or animals at night, but many times you will lay them out on the changing table next to your bed and not want to snuggle them.

You love to play outside, paint, read, and go to the mall to walk around. Lately you have been telling us that you "Like it hot" when it comes to food and weather. At the mall you love to walk and look into all sorts of different stores, but the Disney store especially, of course. We work really hard to make sure you say "Thank you", "Hello", and "Please" to people that we interact with. Between home and preschool, you are learning a lot. Your letter writing is getting better, you are asking about more words as we walk around, and you are still doing really well on sounding out different words. I like working on your writing skills, tracing stuff, or connecting the dots. We have an animal workbook that we look at a lot, learning about different animals from around the world, discussing geography and climate at the same time. Mommy has to put some of her Masters to good use! While we were preparing for your party, you talked to me a lot about patterns which must be something you learned about at school!

We have had a great year with you, learning more and spending time together. You are a good big sister and a great friend. We love having you as our daughter and are thankful to have you in our lives.

Mommy and Daddy

P.S. This wasn't published on your birthday because you got sick as I was writing it. You had too much sugar and excitement and not enough normalcy and we had to take care of you. It was hard to stay up longer with you after a full day, but it was such a wonderful reminder of the day we were celebrating. You asked me to snuggle with you until you went to bed and I couldn't help but remember being tired and drowsy the night you were born, but not wanting to take my eyes off of you. I loved stroking your fine hair then, and love that there is more of it to stroke now. I am so glad you felt better in the morning, but really didn't mind the chance to be close with you on your special day.