Sunday, May 31, 2009

Our First Weekend Home As A Family Of Five!

We had our first weekend home as a family of five and our newest member seems to fit in just fine! Check out the video of Bennett and Harper having some quality time together. She is finally warming up to him and even held him the other night. Sorry, the video is not the greatest, it's kind of hard to predict where Harper will go or what she will do. (Don't forget to mute the music so you can hear the video!)

video


Mike and my dad slaved away at the patio as soon as we got home from the hospital and it looks wonderful!! Mike has been working like crazy to get mulch beds in, flowers planted and here Ainsley and him are having some good father/daughter bonding time planting tomato plants...
I'll post pics with the finished product when it's complete. Don't think Mike will be laying anymore patios down in the future- much harder than he anticipated!

I wanted to share some cute onesies and bibs I have using iron-on appliques. I had a bunch of the gerber white onesies from when the girls were babies and never really used them because, well, they are white and I always had the girls in something pink or girly- white was just too plain!! Anyways, I found some cute iron-ons at Jo Ann Fabrics and thought I'd try it and figured I had nothing to lose if it didn't work but I think they turned out cute! I think they're fun for summer when you don't want to fuss with an outfit all the time and they are a little more interesting than just a plain white onesie.

Okay, so far Bennett is not a "little crabby" and I hope he stays that way! He's such a sweet baby!!

The "chicks dig me" one did not turn out as good as I'd like but I think the giraffe is adorable! (that is a giraffe, right??)


Here's some of the bibs- I remember when my girls went through their drooling stage and I had to have them in bibs all the time. I didn't like how it covered up their cute outfits so I liked getting their bibs monogrammed so at least the bibs looked cute:) Well, Bennett is no exception- we're ready for the drooling stage! And it was much cheaper than getting it monogrammed! I just got the bibs at Babies-R-Us in a bulk pack and then added the iron-on letters- we'll see how well they hold up.

So I realize that all this cutesy boy stuff will have to come to an end at an earlier age than for girls. Before I know it, he will be dressed like daddy- polos and khakis, so I'm taking advantage of the cute baby boy clothes now, while I can!

All in all it was a nice weekend! Bennett is still doing the long stretches at night and we go in for a weight check tomorrow so I'm just praying he's gained enough for the doctor to be pleased because I'm afraid if he hasn't I'll have to start waking him up to feed, which I kind of have to anyway after 4-5 hours of sleeping (he doesn't do this during the day though)!
Hope everyone had a great weekend! Can't believe it's already June!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

1 Week Old and Bennett's Heart...

Wow, time flys when you're having fun! I can't believe one week ago today I was confined to a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV and catheter and in quite a bit of pain. Today I'm back to cleaning, as usual and wanting to do everything on my own! Unfortunately I cannot lift anything really but the baby for 4 weeks (this means no lifting Miss Harper) and no driving for 2 weeks. Harper is not really liking this but she is coping. As with any newborn, the doctors don't want us going places where there are a lot of people or sick people but especially with Bennett due to his heart condition so I think the girls are getting a little stir crazy. We're just trying to make the best of it. My parents left today and thankfully Mike is here for the next 4 weeks to help with lifting Harper and driving if we need to go anywhere.

Bennett is doing quite well with nursing- much better than Ainsley and Harper did, I think, which surprises me due to all this talk of babies with DS having low tone and don't always nurse good. So far he doesn't have any issues and I'm praying it stays that way because pumping and then bottle feeding and then cleaning bottles is so much harder than nursing and it's exhausting! He's been so considerate to have 4-5 hour stretches through the early morning hours, giving mommy some rest and generally goes 2 1/2 to 3 hours during the day. We'll see how long this lasts!

Ainsley has been such a good helper!! She loves getting me the diapers, his paci, his blankets, picking out outfits (of course!), holding him and she is quite interested in how he gets the milk from mommy-all sorts of questions as you can imagine! Harper on the other hand is kind of in her own little world of playing with Dora dolls, watching Dora on tv and just being Harper. Once in a while she will help get a diaper but instead of handing it to me she likes to throw it on Bennett. But she is very gentle with him for the most part. She does not want to hold him though. When we first came home I was changing his diaper and Harper got a hold of the Bacitraycin I use for his circumcision and she said, holding it up "Baby's' toothpaste!" Too funny! Let's hope I don't catch her trying to brush his teeth with the Bacitraycin!

Now, many people have asked about Bennett's heart and if he still needs surgery or what is the next step. So for those of you that are not familiar with an AVSD (Atrioventricular Septal Defect) I will try to explain what the deal is. Basically, he has a large hole in his heart that needs to be patched up at 2-4 months. I'm no doctor or nurse, just a mommy that wants to get her baby's heart fixed and be done with it so I copied this directly from a hospital website that talks about AVSD's (I've added my comments about Bennett in bold, non italic, kind of long but it gives you the gist of what we will be dealing with in the months to come) :

Because there is a large hole in the ventricular septum, the high pressure normally generated by the left ventricle to propel blood throughout the body is also transmitted to the lungs. Under normal circumstances, the lungs have a blood pressure much lower than that in the rest of the body.

The presence of a large left-to-right shunt and the associated increased workload on the left ventricle and high pulmonary artery pressure cause the lungs to become engorged with blood, and causes fluid to leak from the bloodstream into the air spaces of the lungs.

This condition is called pulmonary edema and makes it harder for a baby with this condition to move his or her lungs and breathe comfortably. The combination of increased heart and lung work uses large amounts of calories and results in the constellation of symptoms referred to as congestive heart failure (CHF). (So this is what will happen if his heart is not repaired. So yes, he still needs surgery).

Babies with congestive heart failure breathe fast and hard, often sweat and / or tire out while feeding, and grow slowly or sometimes even lose weight. These symptoms usually develop gradually over the first 1-2 months of life. (So far we have not seen these symptoms and hope to not see them, the doctor said some babies do not have these symptoms and get the surgery and all is fine. See next paragraph).

A small number of infants with a complete atrioventricular septal defect will not develop congestive heart failure. This occurs because in some cases, the muscle cells that line the small arteries to the lungs get bigger and constrict to try to protect the lungs from the extra flow and high pressure caused by the atrioventricular septal defect.

Called increased pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) or pulmonary vascular disease, this condition is more common in infants with Down syndrome. (So maybe this will be the case with Bennett-only time will tell.)

The increase in pulmonary vascular resistance is very effective in preventing the signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure by minimizing the amount of left-to-right shunt, and may even cause blood with low oxygen to go from the right ventricle to the left ventricle and out to the body without picking up oxygen.

This causes cyanosis
, which is a bluish discoloration of the skin, fingernails and mouth and it may also cause the murmur to be softer. (The doctors have us looking for blue gums, blue around the mouth and anywhere else, so far, no blue!)
While infants with a complete atrioventricular septal defect (Bennett does have Complete AVSD) and elevated pulmonary vascular resistance often grow better and appear healthier than those with low pulmonary vascular resistance and congestive heart failure, the occurrence of increased pulmonary vascular resistance is an indication to proceed quickly with surgical correction of the defect. (Not sure if this will be the case for Bennett, again, only time will tell)

Repair of the atrioventricular septal defect lowers the pressure in the pulmonary artery and allows these muscles to relax before they become permanently constricted.

These type of defects will never close on their own and will always require corrective surgery for treatment.

Most patients require 2-4 days in the Intensive Care Unit after repair of a complete atrioventricular septal defect, and a 5-7 day hospital stay. Several reports suggest about a 90 percent survival after this type of surgery, but more recent experience is in the range of 97 percent.

So there you have it. We're hoping and praying that Bennett's heart will be healed because we believe God has the power to do anything but if it is not God's will than we pray that he will stay symptom free and can have is heart surgery some time in August, before cold and flu season starts.

Please continue to keep little Bennett in your prayers and that he can grow strong, eat well and come out of all of this a healthy and happy baby. As always, we appreciate your thoughts and prayers for our family!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Doctor Appt., Tiffany's and I've Made A Small Change...

We took Bennett for a follow up appointment today and when he left the hospital he was 7 lbs 9 oz, down from 7 lbs 14oz at birth and today he was 7lbs 11oz so the doctor was pleased and she said he looked great and his heart and lungs sounded good. He has been nursing well and the past 2 nights has slept from 1:30-5:30 and this morning until 6:30! He really is a good baby so far!

So when Harper was born Mike got me a beautiful necklace with the letter A (for Ainsley) and H (for Harper) and I absolutely love it and wear it all the time. It's simple but I love it because it's got by girl's initials on it so the day Bennett was born he gave me the letter B! My necklace is complete! Thank you Michael! The card inside said "Thank you for Bennett, I love you!" I about cried when I read that- so sweet!!





I'm having fun with Bennett's cute little outfits! If I can't have bows for him then put a creature on his bottom and I'm happy! A lot of his outfits have little animals on the bottoms-love it!! And look at these little socks! Who said little boys weren't fun to dress??;)




So the change I've made is in my blog description. It used to read "This the story of our lives as we dive into parenthood and realize how sometimes hardships only make us stronger." Now it reads "This is the story of our lives as we dive into parenthood and realize how sometimes what we perceive as hardships are actually blessings in disguise."

Although what we went through with Ainsley when she was born was hard and it made us stronger, Ainsley herself was not a hardship, she was a blessing. And although hearing the news of Bennett having Down syndrome 5 months ago was so hard to hear, he is anything but a hardship, he too, like Ainsley and Harper, of course, is truly a blessing!! And he's not disguised anymore! You just look at him and know that he is truly a gift from God. I know that there will be more hardships and challenges down the road but the one thing that I thought was going to be so awful has turned out to be so wonderful! God has a way of changing your heart in ways you never thought was possible. Mike said he loves Bennett more than he ever thought he could.

So I'll leave you with what I think is the sweetest little face I've ever seen!;)

Monday, May 25, 2009

We're ALL Home!!

After just three days in the hospital, we came home today, including Bennett!! He's doing so good and is such a sweet baby!

I have to say my hospital experience was great! Wonderful staff, never a moment did I feel like people felt sorry for us, the nurses loved Bennett and couldn't get enough of him! No sadness, just joy and I'm so thankful for that. His blood sugar went up and down a couple of times but finally they were regulated and he failed the hearing test at first but passed this morning so we were very happy with that- one less thing to worry about! So for all of you that have been waiting to see pictures of the little guy, here you go!
Seeing Bennett for the first time...
Daddy and Bennett, ya think Mike is tired??
Ainsley finally holding her baby brother...
Harper hanging out in the hospital room...
In his going home outfit...Grammy and Bennett...Bennett brought back some presents for the girls to open- they were very thankful to him!Sophie checking out the new addition...

So for now we are just enjoying having him home and we look forward to fun times ahead! I'm going to try to get some sleep now!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bennett Patrick Is Here!

Bennett arrived at 10:15 am on Friday and he weighed in at 7 PBS 14.6 ounces and 20 inches. He went right up to the regular newborn nursery and has been doing great! He's been nursing fairly well and we're just dealing with low blood sugar but nothing too serious. He is an absolute sweetheart, so cuddly and soft! We fell in love instantly!! The rooms do not Internet access so I'm sending this from Mike's I-phone. If I can't post pics, I will as soon as I get home.

I just wanted to thank everyone again for all your prayers, it's means so much to us! God has truly blessed us with Bennett and we can't thank him enough for taking care of our sweet baby boy. I will return with updates as soon as I can. Also, the cardiologist thinks Bennett looks great and will be seeing him every 3 weeks until he feels it's necessary to do the surgery. We are very happy to hear this!

I'll post more soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

24 Hours And A Positive Outlook...

Well, in just 24 hours I should be in the operating room getting ready to meet Bennett. Hard to believe the day is almost here! I wanted to thank everyone for such nice comments on my last post! There was one in particular that I wanted to point out because I love the way Jessica from Ten Squares, Three Squiggles wrote it (I hope she doesn't mind me picking her out!)

Jessica said...
What if you fall madly deeply hopelessly in love with your new baby?

What if he is the most amazing human being you will ever know?

What if he makes you a better person?

What if he makes your other children grow to be better people than they would have been without him in their lives?

What if you fall in love with your husband all over again for the way he fathers Bennett?

These are the things that make me say "if I knew then what I know now". I look back on my worries while I was pregnant and wish I hadn't put so much energy into them. I hope Bennett's upcoming "birth day" goes smoothly for both of you and that you'll be back home in a couple of days.


Isn't that awesome?! Thanks Jessica for helping me see the positives in life and turning my "What Ifs" into something to look forward to!


I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!! Although mine won't be in the "ideal" location (hospital bed), I know it will be one I never forget! Please remember to wear your sunscreen! (Don't Fry Day) :)

I will update tomorrow as soon as I can!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The What Ifs...

So I just had my last OB appointment before Bennett arrives and ironically it was with the same doctor that told me of the chance that Bennett would have Down syndrome and it was in the same exam room...

First, I had the ultrasound and non-stress test that showed once again, Bennett is doing exactly what he is supposed to do and everything looks great, thank you Lord!! Then I waited in that exam room and thought about the last time I was in there and how my mind was in a totally different place. The last time I was anxious and worried beyond belief because I just had this feeling, let's call it "mother's intuition" (which I totally believe in), that something was wrong. I thought how relaxed I was this time around and that it's kind of funny, since this time I know that there is something that most would be concerned about.

I've been reading "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow and my sister suggested skipping ahead to get to chapter 8 and after I read that she said, now you really need to read chapter 9! So I read that and I got to chapter 10 and it talks about "Trusting God With The What Ifs". This is such a good chapter for anyone and everyone to read because she talks about the "What Ifs" and touches on the "If Onlys" in life (the "If Onlys" are talked about in chapter 11). Both show a lack of faith and I see myself doing this all the time. The "What Ifs" look into the future and you worry about what God might allow to happen and the "If Only" looks at the past and you complain about what God has given you. She says the "What Ifs" cause anxiety and the "If Onlys" cause anger. So true!!

So here is my one big "If Only" (I really don't have a lot of "if only" in my life, to be honest)
  • If only I had not pushed Mike for this third baby, we would not be in this situation....

I have now let this "If Only" go because I know it causes me to be angry at God and in no way should I be angry towards God for giving us Bennett or complain about my situation. This is a work in progress.

Now my "What Ifs" in life are so much longer and I'm thinking as a mom, I'm not the only one in this cycle of worrying. So here goes...

  • What If Bennett has to go to the NICU
  • What If something terrible happens and he doesn't make it
  • What If life with a child that has special needs is just too much to handle
  • What If one of my children has autism, cancer or is in some terrible accident
  • What If one of these moles I have turns out to be Melanoma
  • What If Bennett doesn't learn to talk until he's 5
  • What If something happens to Mike
  • What If Mike lost his job
  • What If, what if, what if...

So I have realized that if I let these "What Ifs" consume my life, I might as well check myself into an insane asylum because there is no way I can function and be a good mom, wife, friend, daughter or sister if I am constantly worrying about "What If". I have chosen to literally give these to God and trust that he will take care of them, in his time and in his way. One of my favorite verses to say to myself is Matthew 6:34-

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own."

Focus on today and have faith that God is in control of these things as well as the next day and the next. I'm telling you it is such a huge relief to give the uncontrollables to God and focus on what I can control.

I of course believe in the power of prayer and praying specifically, so if you are praying for us, here are my specific prayer requests and I ask that you pray for these things as well...

  • Please pray that Bennett arrives safely and is able to come home with me when I am discharged
  • Please pray that Bennett feeds well and grows at a good rate so he can be strong for his surgery
  • Please pray that the c-section goes well and no problems occur with that
  • Please pray that Bennett has good tone so that he can feed well and be stronger in general
  • Please pray that Bennett's heart defect does not cause him problems and that he can thrive until the cardiologist feels it is time for surgery.

I know God hears our prayers but I also know that sometimes it may seem like he does not always answer our prayers as we would think we want them answered. Like, you better believe I prayed when we were given the 1 in 10 chance that our baby had DS, I prayed like crazy that he didn't have it. So did God answer my prayer? It may seem like he didn't but I don't know what the future holds and His ways are far better than mine.

So if Bennett has to go to the NICU will I be upset? Sure, but I'm not going to worry about it today and I have total faith that God has everything in His control so what ever happens is what is meant to happen. Or if he doesn't eat well, will I get frustrated, well, maybe but I know that worrying about it now is not going to change it so I will deal with it, if it happens. Whew, it's so nice to let go of all that anxiety. I highly suggest you pray and ask God to help you let go of your "What Ifs".

Again, we cannot thank you enough for praying for us and for helping us pray specifically, all the while knowing that God has full control. And I realize not everyone that reads this blog may have the same beliefs as I do or even prays or you may not even believe in God. I'm just sharing what has worked for me and my family and can only hope that it will encourage you to think about it and let go of your anxieties.

One last verse: 1 Peter 5:6-7-

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

So now I am off to change the sheets, clean some bathrooms and straighten up because these are things I can control and cleaning relieves me of some anxiety as well! And I'm sure God sees nothing wrong with being a little nutty about cleaning, until it gets out of control of course, which I'm sure my family thinks it already has! I guess that will be a work in progress too:)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friends, Our New Journey Is About To Begin...

5 months ago we received some very scary news about our baby. The doctor told us we had a 1 in 10 chance that our baby would have Down syndrome. If you haven't read about that day, go here.


A few days later, the day after Christmas, that chance turned into a fact. The results from the amniocentesis showed that our baby was in fact, a boy and he in fact, had Trisomy 21. Our lives, as we thought we knew it, were over...

In just 5 months my life has changed for the better. It has been by no mistake that I have met so many wonderful people in person and on-line and the amount of support I have received has been overwhelming. I've received some of the nicest emails and comments from people I don't even know.

Friends I haven't talked to in a long, long time have contacted me through facebook and have written such wonderful messages.

Friends that I currently have but do not see due to distance, have stuck by me and called me and kept up with the blog and have supported me.

New friends have helped tremendously with our girls and with adjusting to a new place, some have shown me that life with a child that has DS is not something to be afraid of and others have been a good friend to talk to.

I've "met" wonderful people through different blogs that have answered many questions, offered support and I know so many of them are praying for us.

I've "chatted" with other women going through the same thing on the Baby Center boards and have shared many of the same feelings and fears.

My family and Mike's family have been so loving and supportive as well, we cannot thank them enough just for knowing they will always be there for us, our girls and for Bennett.

This pregnancy that I thought was going to be awful and painfully long, has actually been wonderful and I just want to thank all of you who care about us and our family. I thank God daily for all the support we've been given.

One of my biggest fears through all of this was that I would feel alone and friends would distance themselves in fear of what to say to me or to Mike but this has not been the case at all and to all my wonderful friends in person, those that I can only talk to on the phone, on facebook, in the "blog world" and on Baby Center, I thank you for just being a friend.

In just one week, Bennett will be here and although I am still somewhat anxious of what the future has to hold, I know for sure that my friends and family will be there for us. God has truly put such wonderful people in our lives.

To my family and my friends that I talk to or keep in touch with on a regular basis, please know that although life with 3 kids and one of them having special needs will keep me busy, I am never too busy to talk or listen. I really care about what's going on in other people lives, whether it be a new baby, a new job, a wedding or engagement or just day to day life, please know that I still care and that I'm not so consumed with my own life that I just don't have the time. I know this may be easy to say since I don't have Bennett here yet but friendships and family are very important to me and I don't ever want to lose touch.

We can't wait to share the news of Bennett's arrival and we look forward to sharing this new journey with all of you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sisters...

Sisters, sisters
There were never such devoted sisters,
Never had to have a chaperone,
No sir,I'm here to keep my eye on her
Caring, sharing
Every little thing that we are wearing
When a certain gentleman arrived from Rome
She wore the dress, and I stayed home
All kinds of weather, we stick together
The same in the rain and sun
Two different faces, but in tight places
We think and we act as one
Those who have seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us
Many men have tried to split us up, but no one can
Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister
And Lord help the sister, who comes between me and my man!

I've always liked this song from the Irving Berlin movie "White Christmas"- wonder if Ainsley and Harper will be this way when they get older...

Anyways, for now, can I just tell you how thrilled I am that Ainsley and Harper are finally at the ages where they can start playing together and actually enjoy each other's company! I think it's going to make things a lot easier once Bennett gets here. They pretty much enjoy the same movies and shows on tv and they are starting to color together, play doll house, kitchen and really anything Ainsley decides they are going to do. Harper adores Ainsley, although she wouldn't admit it if she knew how, and she does everything her big sister does, good and bad, hmm...

Here are some pictures I took of them one lazy morning, still in their pj's- I know, you usually see my girls in their outfits and bows but believe it or not, they don't sleep in all of that!;)

Watching Sleeping Beauty, please excuse the towel on the chair, so ugly, but it's for smelly, Blitzen. Well, at least I think he smells and he licks and his skin is flaking right now with his allergies, have I mentioned he drives me crazy??


Right before I took this Ainsley had her hands holding her chin up and it was so cute because Harper watched her and did it too but I couldn't get a picture quick enough.



See how nicely they play? Harper's just on her phone, talking away and Ainsley is quietly coloring, ahh, just so nice. It's not always like this though.



So for now they're good friends, 12 years from now or 2 minutes from now, that could be a different story!

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Don't Fry Day!"-please do yourself this favor...

So May is skin cancer awareness month and why am I blogging about this you may ask?? Well, first off because I can, it's my blog!:) but really, about 2 years ago I found a spot that looked like a pink pimple on my chest and it turned out to be Basal Cell Carcinoma, which is skin cancer. I have since had 2 more of the same, another one on my chest and one on my arm. And yes, I've got lovely scars to remind me, right on my chest that are slightly visible when I wear scoop necks or lower cut shirts and an even bigger one on my shoulder that you can't miss when I wear a sleeveless top.

Now, let's back up a bit. I do not have the fairest complexion but by no means do I have olive, brown skin that tans easily- not even close... sigh;(. I have always wanted the type of skin that tanned easily and envied my friends growing up that could get so dark in the summer time. When I was much younger I longed to be tan but my mom taught me well and I lathered my self up from head to toe when I went to the pool. But then as I got older I wasn't so scared of getting burned, I didn't care, I was invincible, as most teenagers think and although my family had a history of skin cancer, I thought I was just too young to worry about it.

In college I started visiting the tanning bed and continued that for years. I still hadn't visited a dermatologist but started feeling guilty, like my time was coming, more moles were popping up and I just knew I was destined to get skin cancer. So after I had Ainsley I finally went in for a check up and to my surprise, all clear! So back to the tanning beds I went- just being honest here, not proud of it! Then another year went by but this is the time I wouldn't get the all clear. The dermatologist found a small spot that was scaly and pinkish and asked if I had always had it and I said no, it seemed new. (Click here to check out the 5 warning signs of Basal Cell Carcinoma.)

Long story short, I got the call that it needed to be removed as it was basal cell carcinoma. No, it wasn't Melanoma but it was still skin cancer and it could not be left there. So I ended up having Mohs surgery to remove it. And as I said before, I've had 2 more since then. (When you've had one basal cell, you have a 50% chance of having another one).

My grandfather died from Melanoma when I was just 5 and my aunt has had it twice now. She is doing well but it did spread to her lymph nodes and required major surgeries. Now, I do think the whole story line of "Izzy" on Grey's Anatomy is a little extreme if you watch that show but I don't know, maybe not. I would think that a mole that was a Melanoma like Izzy's would bleed and itch or something before it had spread as much as hers has on the show but maybe not- which is scary to think.

So maybe you're thinking "Well Adrienne, you have the skin for it, it's in your family history, but that's not me, I have darker skin and no history or I've never gone to tanning beds" well I'm telling you it doesn't matter. We are not invincible as we probably all thought when we were younger. All I'm saying is to at least get checked yearly by a dermatologist. If you must tan in a tanning bed or go out in the sun and lay for hours without sun block, I'm not judging you (I'm guilty of all of it!), I'm just encouraging you to get checked. I've read so many stories- especially about women who found moles that turned out to be Melanoma and some died and they were very young. Plus, who wants all the wrinkles? Unfortunately, I already have more than I think I should at my age and I'm pretty sure it's mainly my fault.

So nowadays, (although I still secretly yearn for the tanning beds) I've resulted to sunless tanning lotion or Mystic Tan, which I highly recommend. You can also buy Mystic Tan in a can at Sephora and it works great and lasts way longer than any other spray or lotion I've tried. It's the actual mist that they use in the spray tan booths.

Now, May 22nd is national "Don't Fry Day" so as you say your prayers for our sweet Bennett as he is scheduled to be born that day :), lather up before the Memorial Day weekend and please don't let yourself or your kids (if you have any) fry! And get yourself to the dermatologist!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

These are the two moms in my life-my mom, Karon on the left and Mike's mom, Brenda on the right. This is a rather old picture (hello hair!-mine that is:))- right after Ainsley was born at a shower that was thrown for her while she was in the NICU.


I know I can speak for both Mike and I when I say we both love our moms very much and we would be lost without them! Thanks moms, we love you both very much as do your grandchildren!! We hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day, wish we could be with you this weekend!


Sorry, I don't have a picture with Mike and both of the moms in his life:) We need to work on that!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Last Growth Scan Before We Meet Bennett!

Today we had our last growth scan and things are looking good- they estimate Bennett to be a little over 5 lbs-5.8 is what I think she said, which is pretty average at a little over 36 weeks so we're happy with that. I'm hoping Bennett is a big baby because I feel the bigger he is at birth the better it may be for his heart defect and for his upcoming surgery, hopefully this summer. Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of him :( because the tech said he is all squished up in there and would not show his little face. Oh well, I was hoping to post some but we'll just have to wait now-(just 17 days, but who's counting??) to see his cute face.

They also said that my placenta was at a grade 3 which I guess means it's basically ready and nearing the end. This concerned us a little, thinking we may have to deliver earlier but the doctor said as long as he is growing and he is getting the nourishment and oxygen he needs (which he is) then the placenta is doing it's job and that it is totally normal for the placenta to start dwindling (for lack of better words) down at this stage in the pregnancy.

So today the girls and I will spend the rest of the day inside, again, due to the rain-yuck! We had pancakes for lunch, I know, awful, but I'm so tired right now and the girls loved it, so everyone is happy. I'm getting my hair done tonight-(very excited about that!) and then Thursday is another non-stress test (bringing Harper so hopefully she will behave!) and I will meet the doctor that is doing my c-section. Other than that we're just waiting for May 22nd to get here!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Harper!!

Today is our sweet Harper's 2nd birthday! Where has the time gone?? First of all I can't believe it's finally May- the month I have been waiting for 9 months now but I also can't believe Harper is 2! Harper is such a joy and makes us laugh at her funny expressions, "rude" faces and fun-loving personality. We love you so much Harper!!
Friday we had Harper's party and I had not planned on doing anything big but a couple of weeks ago a friend mentioned that "Dora the Explorer" would be at a local attraction and it happened to be the weekend of Harper's birthday so I thought how perfect, some friends can meet there, have fun at the factory and see Dora-Harper's favorite! Now, let me just say, I never thought I would be doing a "themed" party for my kids, at this age anyway- I remember when Ainsley was under a year old and how I thought it was silly that parents did these Dora or Blue's Clues or Diego themed parties for their 2 year olds because I thought that the kids didn't really even know what it was all about at that age- what did I know? I still had a 8 month old at the time. Well, now I know why because they most certainly do know what it's all about and Dora simply makes Harper happy- she's obsessed with saying "oh maannn" or "swiper no swiping" and she's mesmerized when it comes on tv. So needless to say even though her party wasn't big, it was all about Dora.

Harper is, however, terrified of big cartoon characters in real life so I have been worried this week as to how she would react to seeing Dora and if we would have to remove her from the situation. Never even thinking Ainsley would have this issue, I spent all my time being concerned about Harper when it turns out Ainsley was the one I should have focused on. She started saying on Wednesday how she didn't really want to see Dora but I just blew it off and thought she'd be fine once we got there. Well, I was wrong. Ainsley started from the get go, "Is Dora here, I don't want to see her!" I practically had to drag her through the line just so I could at least get a picture of Harper with Dora, who by the way did surprisingly good. Ainsley on the other hand, was a mess. There are no pictures of her with Dora because she ran past her and into the arms of my friend Renee. Needless to say, a trip to Disney this year could never happen for our family- we wouldn't be able to leave our hotel room with the these two!

Both girls did love all the crafts, coloring, cutting and gluing that we did. And I must say I was very impressed with Mike's crafty side, he would make a great stay-at-home daddy! Here's Harper coloring on a huge wall with marker- oh, I hope she doesn't remember doing that and get any ideas!

Here's one of Mike's crafts, poor guy, just got back from Atlanta late the night before, crazy day at work and then as soon as he walks in the door we're off to see Dora and make crafts-but he'll do anything for his girls.

Here's Harper with Dora and Daddy, she didn't like her too much and cried some but she managed to give her a high five!

Here's another shot of her leaning as far away as possible. Mike's totally trying to act like he's having fun holding a screaming 2 year old while standing next to a huge Dora.Coloring...


Rolling playdoh...


More coloring...

And coloring with chalk... Here's the whole gang- we thought this was a cute one of all the girls- everyone did wonderfully (except for the 20 minutes Ainsley cried about seeing Dora) and seemed to have a great time!

After seeing Dora and making a million crafts we came back to our house and enjoyed this yummy cake! A friend made it, along with gorgeous cupcakes and I think she did an awesome job!

Here's Harper while we sang "Happy Birthday", she knew just what to do with her candles and really handled herself quite well. She really "hammed" it up after this- saying "Harper's Birthday!" with her arms up in the air, but it really sounds like "Hahpahs bahthday"


Presents were opened with the help of all the girls (Ainsley led this) and both girls crashed as soon as their heads hit the pillow. So it was a success and my last "hoorah" before Bennett arrives. Now I'll have two birthdays in May to celebrate-do I combine them or do them separately?? Anyways, thanks so much to our friends and Grammy and Granddaddy that helped us celebrate our little girl's birthday!

Saturday we went to Barnes & Noble where they were having a "Fancy Nancy" book reading and you could dress up in your "fancy"dress up clothes so the girls loved that. Harper was thrilled to wear her princess shoes, tutu and crown! Ainsley wore her Sleeping Beauty costume, of course-no tomboys here, at least not now anyway! Reading with Grammy (my mom)

She may be only be 2 but she is already a little diva!