Monday, September 26, 2011

Big girl!

First time to ride in the cart like a big girl! This was at WalMart this morning. I have got to say, when I put her in the cart in the parking lot, I was laughing so hard. She STILL doesn't like the sun and she held onto the bar of the cart and put her face down almost in her lap. It was hilarious. She made it all the way to the craft section before she started fussing. I almost got one of those one pound yarn skeins and put on either side of her! Ha! We made it to the grocery section and I had to take her out of the cart because she was not a happy girl. I realized she was sleepy and gave her "Jimmy" and about 2 aisles later, she was out. We got lots of looks and smiles!







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Delirious

Hannah Kate was supposed to be sleeping. This is how she keeps herself awake.

YouTube Video

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

First time in a restaurant high chair! Pretty sure I have the cover on wrong but it works!


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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Today

We had a brave girl today! She only briefly cried when she got her flu shot. I was very thankful!
We were on the elevator with a baby who was also born at 28 weeks weighing 2 pounds 4 ounces. What're the odds of that?!

Also, HK raised her arms up to me when I asked if she wanted me to pick her up from bed. Not once but TWICE!! Whoo hoo!!! I was so proud!


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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

To Preemie Parents




A family member recently contacted me on Facebook asking what would be good to go in a care package for a NICU family. Of course I needed their address because those babies need hats! As I was writing a letter to the parents, I decided to post it here on the blog. If there is one thing I have learned through our experience, it's that our difficulties are an opportunity for us to help others. And, lots of people read our blog-not just people we know (okay, that's two things!) Anyhow, here are the things we learned and want to convey to other preemie parents or parents of NICU babies. If you know of someone in this situation, please message me because I would love to pray for them and send them a card!
*I do not know why the type is giant....but it will not let me fix it. Sadness.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We know the road you are traveling well and wanted to offer some encouragement and prayers!


Our daughters were born at 28 weeks, 1 day (that extra day is important!). We knew from around 12 weeks that two of our babies would not survive and that we were going to have a difficult pregnancy. God provided us with lots of peace, a strong Christian family, and an opportunity to strengthen our faith.


Our precious Hannah Kate weighed 1040 grams (around 2 pounds 4 ounces) and is an incredible gift from God! We were extremely blessed by her great health. She had several of the normal preemie issues (lots of “spells” where she stopped breathing, a few scares with her belly, anemia, and the slowly developing retinas and scary eye exams), but she didn’t have any “major” problems. Today, she is a very healthy, chubby!, smiley, 7 month old!


We know what it’s like to spend day after day in the NICU watching your tiny baby hooked up to a jumble of wires. The best advice we were given was from my OB the day after I delivered. She said it’s very easy to fall into an hour by hour mindset
step back and watch the whole picture. There are definitely good days and bad days. Rejoice in the advances and breathe deeply during the setbacks.


Hannah Kate was in the NICU for 61 days. She went home 3 weeks before her due date, which was a huge accomplishment in our eyes! It may sound crazy, but there were many fun times for us in the NICU. We developed a great relationship with some of our nurses and still communicate with them today (some on a daily basis). I think that having a preemie is an incredible opportunity to see what wonderful things God does daily
seeing how babies grow and develop outside of the womb, when most people do not have that opportunity. He truly is amazing!


We will continue to pray for your babies as well as you both. This is a great opportunity for you to grow spiritually and as a couple!


PLEASE feel free to contact us if you ever want to talk, have questions, or need anything!


Prayerfully,

Wesley, Denise, and Hannah Kate

(my email address)

www.arrowsinourhand.blogspot.com (our family blog-with lots of stories and pictures from our time in the NICU) Be sure you take LOTS of pictures! It is amazing how you forget just how small your babies were! A nurse suggested taking pictures of Hannah Kate with Wesley’s wedding ring one day, and I’m so glad we did. I have done this every month and it’s pretty amazing to see the transformation!


PS Here are a couple of websites that you might enjoy:

http://www.perfectlypreemie.com/catalog/ (Someone got Hannah Kate some clothes from here that were perfect for the NICU)


http://www.itsapreemiething.com (We didn’t know about this until Hannah Kate was already chubby! I love the onesie that says, “Do I look fat in this yet?”)




Hannah Kate's first time to "check cows." they bawled & she jumped!!






She was asleep before we were out of the pasture.




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Yummmmmm

Someone loved sweet potatoes! We couldn't feed them fast enough! Yay!








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Thursday, September 15, 2011

7 Months!

I cannot believe Hannah Kate is 7 months old. People in stores are all of the time telling me to enjoy it because it goes by fast, and I am already experiencing that!
I can't upload pictures now, but I have taken them and I will upload later!

Diaper Size: 3

Weight: heavy! (I don't know!)

Clothing Size: 3-6 months-I'm still trying to get "one more" wear out of some of my favorite 0-3 things, but it's not happening!

Fun Facts:
-HK started eating rice cereal last week (9-6-11). We were bad parents and made it too thick the first time. She did NOT love it! BUT, we've gotten better at making it thinner and she's doing better!
-She moved to the Pack N Play for sleeping this week. She has woken up several times both nights that she has slept there. This is totally unlike her....and I hope it ends soon! She needs a crib and her daddy needs a full time woodworking assistant to help get all of these projects finished!
-She is learning the meaning of the word "no."
-Once a day (usually around noon), she gets violent hiccups. It's very sad. Sometimes she screams after each one!

Newest tricks:
-"talking"-LOTS of babbling and noise making going on these days. In the morning, I usually wake up to hearing her babble and talk to herself. Fun Fun Fun Times! Mrs. Diana was VERY impressed with her vocalizations and gross motor skills in Early Intervention yesterday. She said normally, babies aren't progressing that well in both areas at the same time.
-ROLLING OVER! She rolled from belly to back on Monday! She has done it a few times since then. Today during a terrible not napping nap session, she ended up on her back twice and that made everything worse! During early intervention yesterday, Mrs. Diana said she's very "strong-willed" and that she thought the only reason Hannah Kate completely turned over was because she was so mad and didn't want to be on her belly at the time. I said that's what we've been told since the first night!
-Going to sleep when I put her down for a nap. This is a huge and wonderful accomplishment. She still cries/fights sleep, but it's much quicker if I just lay her down.
-Pulling down on her bottle while she eats--this is both annoying and makes it difficult to feed her! A friend suggested moving to a faster flow nipple and that worked wonderfully last night and this morning....this afternoon she was back at it (after I order faster flow nipples, of course!).
-Rubbing her eyes when she's sleepy-she started this right after we got back from PTP

Things Hannah Kate does not Love:
-the sun
-going to sleep (during the day)
-thinking she's about to have to go to sleep (during the day)

Things Hannah Kate LOVES:
-Jumping-anywhere, but especially in the jumperoo
-Us "getting her belly" :) (Lots of belly laughs there!)
-Her sign language DVD (Signing Time)......she seriously smiles, coos, laughs through the whole thing. The other day she was squealing so loudly that she was choking herself!
-She's still really into putting anything and everything in her mouth. I bought her a couple of teething objects at Target last week and ordered her the Sophie the Giraffe teether from Amazon yesterday. Anytime she is in the high chair, I try to give her a spoon to play with. She's been doing this for about a month and it always goes straight in her mouth. Last night, she was in her high chair while we ate supper and she was pulling herself up to her tray-then, while still holding onto the tray, she was bending down and opening her mouth to try to get the spoon in it. It was pretty funny.
-She still loves her Bible song CDs. We have added a new one (Each Little Dewdrop) and we love it too. Today when "Father Abraham" came on, she started laughing-she still loves it!
-Going to Bible class! Her favorite song is "Mama Cat Has a Baby Kitten."

*Started 9/15/11, finished 9/16/11

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fan Club

Last weekend, we travelled to see my grandmother so Hannah Kate could meet her for the first time! They loved each other!

I (of course) have more pictures, but we've now gone over our Internet limit :( so this is all I can share until after the 22nd. I wish we could get cable Internet here!

Oh well-enjoy these for now!!







Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pinterest recipe



Oh, Pinterest......I love it and I spend way too much time on it! If you haven't checked out Pinterest, you are missing out but probably not wasting a lot of time. It's a wonderful place to get ideas on all sorts of different things as well as save ideas you have found online. I have "boards" for homeschool, hk, hk's 1st birthday, Bible time, recipe ideas, picture ideas, and one entitled "neat" because I thought I had too many boards and that can just be a catch all for everything else! A friend "pinned" a Deep Dish Cookie Pie recipe and I thought it looked pretty amazing. The trouble is, I pin all kinds of things but the only things I have made so far have been headbands for Hannah Kate that are too small for her fat head! This weekend, I made the Deep Dish Cookie Pies....the easy way....because I ran out of time from making baby food and didn't have time to make my own cookie dough. That's okay though because Nestle Tollhouse does a great job! The other thing is, I didn't have an ramekins (those tiny cooking dishes that someone tonight said look like ketchup containers), so I used what I did have......my 16 oz Pyrex bowls. Please note that the ramekins are either 4 or 7 oz containers. Now, I didn't fill them completely with cookie dough, but I just called them the Super Size Cooke Pies. And they were pretty amazing. You can find the recipe here (and know that really, all you have to do is mash some cookie dough in a small dish and cook it....but leave it a little doughy.....then add ice cream...YUM!). Someone this morning suggested putting chocolate syrup in the center of the cookie dough before you cook it....Yeah, I'll be trying that next time!


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Making baby food!

I am so excited about making baby food! This is one of those things that I thought sounded like a good idea, but I seriously had my doubts that I could pull it off. I mentioned to Wesley (when Hannah Kate was in the NICU) that it would be neat if we could make our own baby food. He saw this as a great reason to need to buy a food processor (if you know Wesley, this doesn't surprise you) and found a great deal on a KitchenAid food processor. After having it for about 6 months, I finally used it this weekend for the first time! Wholesome Baby Foods is a great website full of recipes and instructions on how to make baby food. Thankfully, I also had my friends Jennifer and Kellee who had experience to answer my questions and picture texts of "Does this look right?" The first thing I made was sweet potatoes (top picture). You can cook them several different ways, but I chose to bake them. If I make them again, I will peel them first and boil them. Peeling already baked sweet potatoes is a little tricky and makes for some hot and messy fingers! I read the manual on the food processor and even sticky note tagged the important pages. I couldn't get them smooth enough, so I ended up having to use the blender. I informed Wesley that his fancy food processor was more trouble (and parts) than it was worth. He pointed out that I used the bigger bowl and the smaller bowl would have made more sense. Hmmmm......I used the smaller bowl when I made butternut squash (bottom picture)--that worked much better. You do NOT have to have a food processor to make baby food-and the blender worked fine (except when the bottom fell out of it when I was pouring the sweet potatoes into the ice cube trays, but that's a different story!). We just transferred the food from ice cube trays to the freezer bags and that was an experience. I'll have to research better ways to do that before I make more food because they got stuck in the trays! Oops. Anyhow, I am excited and can't wait for Hannah Kate to eat these and love them! (She better!)

I am also excited about the super cute labels I spent way too much time making to go on the bags (because writing it in Sharpie just isn't cute enough).
Special thanks to:
~Hannah Kate for sleeping 2 whole hours so I could make baby food
~Jennifer and Kellee for answering my questions
~Wesley for getting the food unstuck from ice cube trays
~the lady at the farmers' market for being so nice to answer my questions (such as, "What is that? Oh, butternut squash, good! that's what I needed!") and select the best potatoes and squash!

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Making baby food

Mmmmmm. Sweet potato baby food.


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Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Truth About Birth Control

I touched on this topic recently, but a friend sent me a link to this blog article today and I had to share. It's a very clear and accurate description about the truth about birth control (the pill and IUDs). I hope you will take a few minutes to read it. I posted the link on my Facebook account earlier today and received a positive response. I appreciate my sister in Christ who shared it with me this morning. There are great comments to the actual blog post with more appropriate birth control suggestions so be sure to read them. My notes from Brad Harrub's session on this topic at PTP are scanned and on my email, so I can also forward them to anyone who is interested. The PTP CDs are also still available at this link. May will all have a pure heart and seek to do what is right in God's eyes.


Alabama

1st visit to another state
1st time to meet Granny




Wore her out



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Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Time to Bible Class

Hannah Kate got to go to her Bible class for the first time last night! She sat in the table for about 15 minutes-I was so proud. After that she got tired, but that's okay. She loved the songs and watching all of the items that go with them. Her favorite was a song about a momma cat and baby kitten that God made. She was in my lap by that point and she just watched and smiled and laughed as Mrs. Cindy "walked" the cat and kitten back and forth across the table while she sang. It was pretty funny! I think she LOVED Bible class and I pray that she always will.
Here we are with her Wednesday night Bible class teachers-Aunt Jana and Mrs. Cindy.