Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yay! I sang happy birthday to hk & she started "blowing out her candle"....,.now if she will still do that next week we are in good shape!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hannah Kate's Birthday

***I now have a crochet pattern if anyone needs it!***
A year ago today, I was 26 weeks pregnant and spent the night at Erlanger trying to get rid of contractions. I am so thankful those sweet babies waited! Last week, I looked at my blog post from then and saw that I had a FFN test which was negative and meant there was a 99% chance that I would not deliver for two more weeks. I delivered 2 weeks and 1 day later. Interesting! Anyhow, last year I was "sitting and knitting" trying to keep those babies in! This year, I'm doing lots of things like chasing Hannah Kate, feeding Hannah Kate, playing with Hannah Kate, cleaning up after Hannah Kate, and doing a tad bit of sitting and knitting too. We are blessed!
Wesley and I decided when Hannah Kate was in the NICU that we wanted her first birthday party to include an opportunity for our family and friends to make donations to the NICU. The Vanderbilt NICU holds a "Swaddled with Love" blanket drive in February and we thought that was pretty perfect since Hannah Kate's birthday is in February. :)
You can see below what we are planning on doing.
We are doing this for two main reasons:
1) the NICU needs these items to help those precious tiny babies and their families. The donations will be MUCH appreciated (Hannah Kate's first clothes were donated NICU items as well as the first knitted hat and blanket she used (her mommy wasn't quick enough apparently!))
2) we want Hannah Kate to learn the importance of helping others and we think her first birthday is a great time to start (we hope to make this an annual tradition)
So, if you would like to help Hannah Kate celebrate in a special way, you are more than welcome to donate some items to the NICU. My parents will be coming from Middle Tennessee for her party and the Duncans will be coming from JC-I haven't asked them if they can be a courier for items, but I'm sure they don't mind!
We are looking forward to a lot of first birthday fun!


We are thankful to God for His blessings on our family in the past year! Hannah Kate doesn’t need any gifts, but we know it’s fun to shop for babies. So, if you would like to shop, please see the note below. Thank you so much to our family and friends for your support over the past year. We are blessed by you and thankful for you!

Now, let’s celebrate!!!
Wesley, Denise, and Hannah Kate

* On 2-2-11 at 28 weeks, Hannah Kate made her debut. Now that she is turning 1, she has a request for you.

Toys & books & clothes & things-she doesn’t need any.

But if you bring blankets, hats, or clothes, she will share with the NICU babies many! *

Hannah Kate benefited so much from donated items during her NICU stay and we would like to help other precious babies!

The Vanderbilt NICU needs:

*Blankets (receiving blankets, soft blankets, crocheted or knitted blankets)

*Hats (preemie size store bought or handmade)

*Preemie Clothes (no zippers, please)

I have also communicated with a lady from Palliative Care at VCH (they work with families who have lost or are going to lose their babies) and she expressed the same kind of needs for them. They were some of the first people to come visit us before and after the birth of our babies and I believe they are the ones who brought donated knitted blankets and hats for Rachel and Leah. She also expressed a need for clothes and hats for babies weighing 2-4 pounds.

If you are a knitter, I have a pattern that I can share with you that I normally use. I have directions on how I have adapted it for preemies, and it's a little wordy so I won't add it here. Just comment on this post or email me and I will be glad to email it to you.
(Crocheted items are welcome too! I just don't have a pattern to share :) )

No post is complete without pictures, so here are some of the things Hannah Kate (& her mommy) have been working on to donate. :) (the crocheted blankets were given by a sweet lady at our congregation & the receiving blankets we found on clearance at target.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

11 Months!

Our internet limit has been reached, but I really need to do this post so I won't mix up 11 month stuff with 12 month stuff! I've been writing this for about three days now, so there are lots of "yesterday"s in here......all of that didn't happen in one day!! I will add pictures later this week when our internet starts over!

Diaper Size: 4
Weight: 9.17 kg--20 pounds 4 ounces according to the pulmonologist's scales Friday
Clothing Size: 6-9 months....I even washed some 9-12 month things yesterday so they will be ready because I don't think she will be staying in 6-9 month things very long
Food Fun: Hannah Kate has dropped down from 5 to 3 bottles this week. I had been concerned about this transition and it's like she woke up Sunday morning and did it herself! Yesterday, she slept late and only had 2 bottles for the whole day! This is extra good news for me because I might get to stop pumping a whole week early! She is eating almost all finger foods. We still try to give her one serving of pureed food at each meal so we can use up what we have in the freezer. Wednesday she decided that she was only going to eat if we put the food in her mouth. She literally would stare at her tray. That was not cool. Wesley and I debated on why she was doing that, but we did not want to start this habit especially since she had been a fantastic eater. I cut out all of her snacks (baby junk food!) on Thursday and she did much better. Wesley gave her some yogurt melts while I was gone to the store yesterday, and she apparently had a meltdown when he stopped feeding them to her. I guess we will have to be extra careful about letting her eat those snacks. She LOVES bread (like her mama) and waffles (I fed her a waffle two days in a row and then remembered waffles have eggs in them, so we are holding off on those for a few more weeks). Last night, I fixed her some butternut squash ravioli that had been recommended by my friend Jennifer. She LOVED it (she loves pasta like her mama too!)! She has also tried yogurt recently, which she loves, and biscuits-another favorite (she has my eating habits!). Wesley usually sneaks something like candied sweet potatoes on her tray when we are at his parents, but she's not crazy about it. Sweet potato fries are still her favorite.
Newest tricks:
~Crawling!!!!! She is a crawling champion. She can go anywhere she wants! She crawled two or three "strides?" at a time a couple of times over Christmas weekend and on New Year's Day she increased that to about four or five. Later that week we decided she was a crawling expert. Her favorite destination is our bathroom (go figure!). She has practiced obeying "no" when she tries to pull things out of our vanity (which doesn't have doors yet) LOTS of times!
~Pulling up. Just this week Hannah Kate has started pulling up more. She tries to pull up on EVERYTHING. The first time she pulled up was last week during nap time. She was in bed crying because she didn't want to sleep. I was washing bottles and watching her on the monitor. I was just about to go in and try to calm her when I saw her standing in bed, holding on to the rails. She then plopped down to her bottom and back and then went to sleep. We switched the crib she was using with one we bought this week and it's a little taller. She successfully pulled up in it yesterday when I was gone to the store. Wesley went in to get her from her nap and she was standing up!
~Trying to stand up. Wesley and I were talking today about how she gets on all fours and then sticks her bottom in the air like she's just going to stand up. It's very odd. I don't think I've ever seen a baby do this. Yesterday, she did it and made a perfect V shape with her body and just stood then for a little bit. Very interesting.
~Feeding herself. She really likes to shovel it in....with both hands if she's extra hungry!
~Signing! After MONTHS and MONTHS of sign language, she is finally using it to communicate with us! Her first sign was "more" on December 29th. I joked that Wesley might need to stop to get more Puffs on the way home because every time she signed "more," I gave her some! I was so excited that she was signing and she was so excited that it was working! The next sign was "milk" on December 30th. She signed that for about a day. Now, she just sticks with "more." She has since added "all done" on January 5th. We are pretty excited about her sign language. She's pretty excited that she can sign something and we know what she wants! She also waves for bye bye and goodnight. My favorite signing story is from Wednesday night. She was having major issues sitting nicely during the prayer, invitation, etc. before Bible class. During the prayer, she just kept fussing, wiggling to get out of my lap, etc. I would whisper no or stop in her ear and readjust her in my lap. I did this countless time and even disciplined her a few times. I started doing the sign for stop when I said no or stop to her each time. I have never used this sign before, but I figured it would be good for her to learn it. After I signed stop (and said it) several times, she stopped wiggling to sign "more" then "all done" to me and then wiggled some more. It was all I could do not to laugh. It was like she was saying, "Here are the signs I know!" After the prayer was over, Wesley leaned over to me and said, "I don't think she knows the sign for stop!"-to which I replied, "She's going to learn it!"
~Growling. Just last week, she started growling. It's funny and odd.
~Funny breathing. I don't know how else to explain this. She breathes in and out very heavily through clenched teeth.....I guess that's how to describe it. Our little friend Brody does this and we went to their house one night to help them pack their house (Kellee and I packed and the boys watched the babies). The next day, Hannah Kate started this funny breathing. We think it's funny that she picked this up from him. She does it if she gets very excited or frustrated.

Things Hannah Kate LOVES:
~Eating bread :)
~Trying to pull up. She does this constantly. If she's not in her room, she's doing this instead of playing. She crawls to the recliner/couch and tries over and over to pull up. The recliner and couch are just tall enough that she can't quite do it (and her feet slide on the hardwood). In the kitchen, she tries pulling up on the drawers or my legs :) The best place she can pull up is on her bouncy seat in our bedroom, but then she either pulls it over on her or ends up with her face in the seat and she can't stand up all the way. She's definitely persistent!!!
~Being held where her feet dangle. The shopping cart at the store or being held with her back against your chest and legs dangling is her favorite. Yesterday, she was so excited being held like that during worship services (while we were standing up), she was swinging both arms and legs and squealing louder than we were singing. It was pretty funny!
~Being startled. If she's playing and you just say, "Boo," kind of loud and sudden (not scary), she jumps and then laughs very hard! This is good because she's VERY easily startled (Kellee looked at me and said, "Hey," and started talking one time and she jumped!).
~Shoes. She loves to play with and chew on shoes.....we only let her do this to hers though because she isn't walking yet!
~Being held upside down. She laughs very hard if you do this to her.
~Bath time. It's finally fun for her and us. For the past month, she would try to crawl in the bath tub which meant we had to hold a leg the entire time so she didn't end up face first in the water. Now, she sits nicely or pulls up on the side of the tub. (We are still supervising, don't worry!)

Things Hannah Kate Does NOT Love:
~Being put down. This is not so fun. For the past few weeks, when we are at home, if I put her down to do something or just for her to play, she cries.....a lot......I think it's worse now that she's crawling because she crawls behind me crying. A couple of times, she has done this and just buried her face in the carpet and cried, then crawled after me again. Oh my! I don't ever just pick her back up because I don't want to reinforce this! I usually try to give her a toy when I sit her down, that works sometimes. Hopefully this phase will pass soon!
~Strange (unknown) people. She is starting to be leery of other people. Until now, she would smile at anyone, but now not so much. This started sometime around/after Christmas. Last week, we went to the funeral home and she didn't smile at one single person in there. (Wesley said she knew it was a sad place!) She smiles at people she knows well, but she just stares at other people.
~Getting the RSV shot. That's still horrible. Only two more times. This time, I tried giving her juice before and after. I can't tell that it did much good other than she calmed down faster (3-4 minutes of crying instead of 6-7) afterwards.
~The vacuum. This started last week. She's never been afraid of it before, but last week she cried hysterically while I vacuumed.

I'm adding a new section to our monthly update!
~hey, hi, dada (she's had these for awhile, but she uses them correctly now....ex. "Say hey to Daddy." She will wave and say hey or hi. She babbles dada a lot, but if you ask, "Where is Daddy?" / "Who is that?" she will say something that sounds like daddy but not quite.
~About a week ago when Sarah was here, she would say the /s/ sound if we asked her to say Sarah. She hasn't done it since, but she did it for Sarah, so that's all that counts, right?!
~Still no mama.....I ask her to say mama and she looks at me and says, "Da da da da da da da da da." Oh well!

~more (mostly used for food, but sometimes if she wants us to do something again)
~milk (occasionally)
~all done
~bye/hey/goodnight.......well, I'm calling this a sign because she waves for all of these!
The other night, Nana was asking her if she was ready to eat, then, "How do you say eat?" She knows the eat sign if we do it, but she hasn't done it yet. She looked at Martha and signed "more." I'll take it! That works! :)

Pictures coming soon but here's a phone picture of Hannah Kate standing in bed after her nap :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas with Our Little Family

Christmas Day went nothing like I had planned. I should have guessed that might happen! Hannah Kate was a real trooper and did well considering she only got one short nap and we were not at home where she could play for the majority of the day. Christmas Day made me thankful for the rule my dad had that we didn't go visiting on Christmas. We always exchanged presents and played at home and enjoyed time with our family. Hopefully we will be able to do more of that next year. Anyhow, our first Christmas with Hannah Kate was wonderful simply because we had her with us! Here are our pictures from Christmas night.

Hannah Kate's favorite way to open gifts this year included chewing them. :)
Hannah Kate had a sippy cup and two sets of silverware in her stocking.
We decided to not "do" Santa but instead to give gifts that we think she will enjoy from us. Later on, if we want to pretend that Santa brings gifts, that's fine. We will still have her picture made with him and read stories about him, but she will know that for our family it's just pretend.

We knew she was getting lots of gifts from family, so we only got her one toy and two books-and we put money in her bank account.
My favorite gift that I gave this year was a blanket I had knitted for Wesley. I had been working on it since the end of June/first of July and I finished it the week of Christmas. I had serious doubts that I would be able to finish it in time, but I did. Hannah Kate wrote him a little note to show him what a good "helper" she was with the blanket. (the pictures are hilarious....I will have to upload them later)
He was completely shocked! He had had no idea that I was doing it. I was so excited! He was excited that it was the first blanket he's ever had that was just his size.
We are immensely blessed and thankful for our precious girl! What a wonderful Christmas blessing to have her with us!

The toy we got Hannah Kate was a plastic purse that plays music and has "purse stuff" inside. Hannah Kate's favorite part was a little cell phone that rattles when you shake it.
Wesley's blanket

And just because this blog is like a journal, I have to include the end of our Christmas...........we spent the last 2 hours of Christmas night emptying our pantry and opening every package in an effort to get rid of "pantry moths." Fun times.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Day with Papa and Nana

Hannah Kate's first Christmas Day didn't go quite like I had anticipated, but she was a real trooper! You couldn't even tell that she'd been away for two nights and got one very short nap that day. Our Sunday morning routine was normal, we went to Bible class and worship-Wesley taught class (5th grade and up in the auditorium, we are doing a study of Brad Harrub's book Convicted). Then, we went to Nana and Papa's for lunch with Nana's family.

Hannah Kate was excited to see Cousin Ollie. Ollie was born in April-around Hannah Kate's due date. They are just about the same size and doing mostly the same things. Wesley tried to take a picture of them "talking" to each other, but Hannah Kate caught him.
Ollie is into grabbing things and she has a good grip! I think we had to pull her off of Hannah Kate a couple of times :) Hannah Kate didn't mind, she thought it was funny.
So excited to finally be getting ready to eat lunch!
Brand new baby cousin Mollie was there as well as Aunt Jana (the C-section champ!)

Mollie is making good use of all of Hannah Kate's newborn clothes :)
This is the ONE short nap Hannah Kate enjoyed on Christmas. Wesley and I didn't get the naps were hoping for though.
Big Sister, Little Sister

Nana and I looked EVERYWHERE to find a first Christmas outfit for Mollie, but apparently stores do not care if babies are born the week of Christmas. Everyone was sold out! Nana did find this Santa onesie for Mollie, so-of course-Hannah Kate had to put her's on too.
It is VERY difficult to get two babies looking cute at the same time for a picture!
Hannah Kate got more puffs-yum!
Sweet Mollie
Wesley held out the camera and told Maggie to stop when she saw herself in the screen-hilarious look on her face!

Nana made Maggie and Hannah Kate matching coats and hats.
We went straight from church services to Nana and Papa's for Christmas and then straight back to church services again. Our family Christmas coming next!