Friday, April 29, 2011

update on sweet baby jemma

today i took baby jemma to her pediatrician for her 7 week follow-up appointment. her doctor assessed her and said that everything appears to be going well. that "as complicated as she is, she is getting simpler." that sentence made this mommy smile. here are her statistics:

weight: 9 lbs. 3 oz.
length: 21 1/4 inches
head: 14 1/2 inches

she has gained nearly 24 ounces in two weeks so the doctor was very pleased with that. she is right on track with her nutrition and growth so now we are finally able to feed her with a normal caloric intake and whenever she demands for it. do you know how awesome this is? no more waking a sleeping baby every four hours just to feed her! i actually got an extra hour the other night and it felt like gold. good job, sweet baby jemma. we hope you keep progressing as well as you are. she also received four standard shots at the end of her visit. she cried for nearly 10 seconds and was then done. i got to admit, it still hurts my heart to see one of my babies cry. thankfully hers didn't last too long.

lastly, on tuesday we take her for her follow-up appointment with dr. oakes in neurosurgery at children's hospital. we are anxious about this one and hoping for nothing but good results after they inspect her head more. i believe they will take a CT scan of her brain and let us know how her temporary shunt is doing. hopefully we will know where to go from there and praying for good news.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

moms night out

words cannot express how badly i needed this moms night out. after the crazy chaos of enduring a tornado with a full house while entertaining kids and taking care of a newborn with no power, then spending the night not in my own bed, sharing one car that jay had the majority of the day and for the most part, just feeling "trapped"...i could not wait to bust through the doors, TAKE A HOT SHOWER, and meet up with my girls for a huge margarita...or two. thank you sweet baby jesus that this event was already planned on the calendar. it was definitely much needed. here's a picture of us enjoying drinks and dinner at iguana grill in hoover...

the aftermath...

April 27, 2011, the deadliest tornado day in Alabama since March 21, 1932, and possibly one of the five deadliest tornado sprees in U.S. weather records.


The death toll from the April 27 tornado outbreak has risen to 355 people dead.
The National Weather Service also reported 211 confirmed tornadoes on that horrible day.
There were the most deaths in Alabama, with 254 deaths reported.
Tennessee and Mississippi each with 34 deaths.
Georgia with 15 deaths.
Arkansas- 11 deaths.
Virginia- 5 deaths.
Kentucky and Louisiana each had 1 death.

the same cell that produced the F5 tornado that touched down in tuscaloosa made its way through fultondale (located one exit before ours). the beast was over a mile and a half wide. here are some pictures that were taken throughout the f'dale area that are so close to home for us...these next couple of pictures are very important to me and jay's family. this next picture is of the "blue house" where jay's family use to live when i very first met him. i'll never forget the night jay invited me over on 4th of july to hang out in the hot tub that was on his mom and dad's back porch. i'll also never forget the many family dinners we all ate in their kitchen, watching auntie jess sing and dance with her hairbrush downstairs in her room, and the many christmases spent opening presents in the front room. funny thing is, is that while they lived there many years ago, nana lin always told papa john that he needed to cut down the big oak tree that was so close to the front of the house. it was never done. thanks to the devastating recent tornado, this is what the blue house now looks like. it's hardly even recognizable...furthermore, the biggest devastating impact that the tornado had was on the douglas' family business "Home Field Sports Bar and Grill." this place has been there for 21 years and many many wild nights and family celebrations during the holidays have been spent there. again, when i first met jay, he was a bartender there. i would skip out on the occasional frat party on the weekends just to sit in the corner on the bar stool and have him feed me my jager bombs. also, i use to work lunches there throughout my college career while in nursing school. ahhh, we were so young, but the memories still feel fresh.

their building had some major damage. jay said that it looked like someone picked up the roof, tossed and twisted it in the air, and then placed it back down. all the windows were busted and the inside was a mess. friends and family came to help clean up and pack up the memorabilia that was hanging on the walls. after boarding up the windows, nana lin spray painted on the front one, "we will be back!" and that they will. even bigger and better, my friends. here are some pics...that last picture is an ariel viewpoint of home field and the doodles that was beside it. here's what nana lin had to say...

"Thankfully no one was hurt, but it's really hard standing in the rubble of a place where every brush stroke, every nail, every piece of wood stained was by your own's like losing a child, 21 years gone in 30 seconds."

lastly, this was the shot special the weekend before the tornado hit. it was still drawn and visible on the board. isn't it ironic...don'tcha think?...

tornadoes hit alabama: 4/27/11

i really don't even know where to begin with writing this blog post. this week has been crazier than you can ever imagine. my days are all blurred together so i'm just running with what i know at this point...sooo, yankee belle recently found out that her 2 y/o son was diagnosed with diabetes. it was a complete shock to all of us. while we offered to watch big B and let the girls enjoy a slumber party, they were at the hospital enduring patient education and monitoring CJ. below is a picture of the girls playing during the day. the neighbor friend (laney) also came over to play. they were all having a blast as they made "bedrooms" in different rooms. tita karmie also came over while jay worked on her computer. abby took the picture of her below...also this next pic was all jay's idea. since we all know that yankee belle and family are huge bama fans, he stuck their little girl in an auburn t-shirt. he swears it was because the other shirt she had on hurt her arms and she wanted a bigger one so it's the best one he found. all i have to say is that real friends have slumber parties in time of need, and real REAL friends put their friends' kid in opposing rivalry sports shirts for shits & giggles. big B seemed to enjoy it...the next day (wednesday, april 27, 2011), weather reports were indicating massive tornadoes within our fine state of alabama. i want to say that it was around 3:00pm when a tornado touched down in cullman. i have family that lives there and immediately thought of my mamaw so i called the farmhouse to check on her as quickly as i could. my cousin adam answered the phone and said that they were all okay. that the storm had just passed them about 5 minutes ago and then the tornado touched down. thank god!

we knew the horrible weather was headed our way so once our local tornado sirens started sounding off, we all got our valuables and ran downstairs. is it sad that the first thing i thought of was, "oh, i gotta grab my blog books!" but then i quickly remembered that this blog is online and i can always get them re-printed. also, we made all the kids put their shoes on just in case we later had to walk over debris. we knew these huge tornadoes were serious.

we had a full house that day. tita karmie, uncle tre, cousin carson, nana, and big B were all with us since they felt they didn't have a true "safe place" at their own house. so we all hunkered down while watching the news and letting the kids play. as we sat and watched the tornado in tuscaloosa make it's destruction, we knew it was headed our way. the thing was HUGE. and SCARY. james spann told us that if would be in gardendale at 6:11pm and for all of us to get in our safe place. at one point all of the kids lined up beside the wall and got it their "tornado drill" form like they do at school. the time is 6:09pm and our power starts to brown out. then it was 6:11pm and it's completely dark and you can hear the strong winds from downstairs. it was insane. soon it passed and we were all okay.our power was still out and we knew it'd most likely be out for days. after the tornado passed, we went outside to assess the damage. luckily, there wasn't much in our neighborhood although we had heard that fultondale had got hit hard. later pawpaw came over and told us that he was headed up to the lakehouse to assess the damage there as well and to check up on mamaw. supposedly, there was a gas leak in our neighborhood and we were told to blow out all candles. once we finally got in contact with everyone whether it was cell phone or facebook (god bless social media in a time of crisis), we let everyone know we were all safe and accounted for. soon lola phoned up and told us to come over to her house to spend the night since they had power and we didn't. we drove over, ate a warm meal, and fell asleep knowing our loved ones are safe. i swear i didn't stop shaking till nerves were shot.

thursday's thoughts

1.) Keeping our neighborhood shaved ice cream truck in business, one snow cone at a time. And it's not even summer yet. Pina colada flavor? Yes!

2.) There's nothing more disgusting than cleaning poop out of a Pull-Up. Twice. Within five minutes of the last one. #Blech

3.) Good: Lyla tells me she has to poop. Bad: But only after the deed is done. Conclusion: Potty-training sucks.

4.) Watching the "Ramona eyes" walk down the runway is absolutely hysterical. #RealHousewivesNewYorkCity

5.) Not even 8:00am and the neighbor kid is walking through our back door. Guess I should start wearing pants at all times. #TooEarlyForThisMom

6.) Midnight pillow talk: Where we discuss Hubs getting "fixed." He agrees, pauses & says, "but what if it's the end of world & it's up to me to repopulate earth?" #FunnyMan

7.) I look fat so I want to go to the gym, but I don't want to go to the gym because I look fat. #SGP

8.) Loves going to mass and singing along to all the old school songs I grew up with. #Memories #HappyEaster

9.) You know you're a mom when: You find a used fork in the trusty "junk drawer" in your kitchen. #TheGlamorousLife

10.) The sucktitude of this day sucks. And it's not even noon. #OneThingAfterAnother #BooHiss

11.) My kids are now cleaning. And I didn't even have to yell, err I mean "tell" them to. #TheDayIsOnTheUp&Up #KnockOnWood

12.) Dear Gawd. My Hub's flatulence has the capability of wiping out a small village. Guaranteed. #SendHelp

13.) The oldest daughter has an echo. It's name is Lyla. #RepetitionAtItsFinest

14.) Dear 8 y/o boy, if you're going to drool over my cantaloupes while waiting in the checkout line, I suggest you have your mom buy some. #TalkinAboutFruitPeople

15.) If the tall one has told me once, she's told me 50 million times: There's a mosquito bite on her forehead. #BloodSuckingBugsBegone

16.) RT@capricecrane: Getting the "silent treatment" is hilarious. It's like these people assume you actually *want* to hear them speak.

17.) Big B just told Jay that Abby was her BFF. Jay responds with, "OMG, I need a BFF. WTF. LOL" #DaddyLingoWithDaughters

18.) RT @capricecrane: When a guy revs his engine, that's code for: "This is what a small penis sounds like."

19.) Slumber party in progress. No longer hearing loud giggles from their bedroom. Perhaps they are finally asleep. #JoysOfParenthood

20.) RT @kimberlyfarr: It's never a good thing if your local television station loses it's data connection to the radar system. #yikes #alwx

21.) Me hearts watching #SwampPeople with the Hubs just to hear them talk..."He comes a-runnin, I'mma gonna come a-shootin." #GetThemGators

22.) Wednesday. 5:00 am. Poop diaper. Hungry baby. Tornado sirens. Awake scared big kids. Twitching left eye. I'm done, April. Done. #Alwx

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

wordless wednesday: beautiful bunnies

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"clean your room!"

apparently, this is lyla's definition of "clean your room!"...
yep. she threw all her toys into her old crib. guess she figured since no one is sleeping in it any more, it can duplicate as a toy chest. so be it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

update on sweet baby jemma

over a week ago, baby jemma had her first visit with her pediatrician. he looked over her discharge summary and told us that he had to find his highlighter in order to take special note of some specifics because well, her folder is thick. for obvious reasons. we talk about her nutrition, temporary shunt, etc. he inspects and assesses baby jemma and all is well. we go back again for our next appointment with him again later this week.

here are her stats on 4/15/11:

weight: 7 pounds 12 ounces
length: 20 1/2 inches
head circumference: 36.1 cm

she loves it when her big sisters play with her. they sit in front of her doing their baby talk at her while jemma just gazes and smiles at them. she absolutely loves being held. i have to do it all the time or else it's hard for her to fall asleep. i don't mind though. i'm thankful i have the opportunity to spoil you since missing out the whole first month you were here.

she hates having her diaper changed and some times she fights falling asleep. my sweet child, you will one day beg for sleep...when you have kids of your own, i promise. also, initial bath time is a bit distressing but once she's settled in and i drape a wash cloth over her, she seems to be okay with week, we meet for her neurosurgery appointment where they will look at her temporary shunt and determine where to go from there. that said, if you haven't noticed already...look closely in some of the pics where baby jemma is not wearing a hat. you will notice a lumpy head.

the bigger lump on the top of her head is where her spinal fluid has formed a pocket due to her temporary shunt. this is completely normal. once we meet with her neurologist again, they will determine if she needs a permanent shunt or not. also, the side little bumps are from the bleed that formed after putting in the shunt. all of this is superficial meaning it's not located within the brain but rather in between the skull and skin (a good thing).

either way, her sweet little head will be formed back to normal within the next few months. the nurses told us to invest in cute little hats so that's what we're doing, although around the house she does not wear one. no worries, sweet baby jemma, mommy is good with working certain angles when taking your picture. of course you look beautiful no matter what. we love you, sweet angel.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy easter 2011

this morning, the girls woke up bright and early. it's been a whole week since they've consecutively stayed in their big girls beds all throughout the whole night. it's been absolutely wonderful. where was i? so they both run screaming to our room that the easter bunny came. words cannot express how excited they were. in the words of abby, "i woke up then woke lyla up and told her, "let's go see if the easter bunny came" and we went to the den and he did!! come look, momma, come look!!" the excitement was infectious although the bed was oh-so warm. jay and i both walked over half-asleep to see what the "easter bunny" had left for them. even baby jemma had some goodies awaiting her. here are some pics...after breakfast, we all got ready for church. every year it's tradition to attend my old elementary school's catholic church with my family. we grew up in this church and to this day, it still feels like home. during the mass, it made me realize and appreciate the real meaning of easter. about Jesus' sacrifice for our sins and his resurrection. it also made me think about everything we've recently been through with our sweet baby jemma and made me so very appreciative of how blessed we are. i had to thank God repeatedly because she is definitely our miracle baby. also, the girls were well behaved as we walked down the aisle as a family to receive communion. after mass was over, we congregated outside on the grass, talked with some old friends, and let the kids play. all in all, it was a wonderful easter. hope you and yours enjoyed it too!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

easter bunny

as tradition stands, we always like to take the girls to get their pictures taken with the easter bunny at brookwood village. we've been so busy lately that we knew saturday was now or never. so we got the girls ready, drove over, snapped a pic, and then ate lunch at the food court. we really wanted baby jemma in the picture too considering this is her first easter. that said, i held her behind the bunny, jay jumped in too, and it immediately turned into a cute little family picture. and guess what? lyla wasn't scared at all this go round. score.

Friday, April 22, 2011

the great egg hunt

our friend stace hosted her annual easter egg hunt at her new house around 10:30am. it was a beautiful day for it and all the kids were excited. she split the kids up into age groups so that the hunt would be fair. the younger kids went first while in the backyard. then the bigger kids went last as they searched outside the fence on the side of the house near the creek. everybody racked up, and then later sat down on a blanket in the backyard as they searched through their sugary loot. here are some pics...once all the kids were settled and finished eating pizza, the easter bunny himself made an appearance. it was hilarious to watch as some of the munchkins were hesitant to sit on the ole big-eared bunny's lap. including my lyla. it took her watching a couple kids go before her until she finally gave it a go. also, some of the moms wanted our picture taken with said bunny too. because let's be honnest, how could we resist? loved it. thanks for having us, stace. it was a great time had by all!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

earth day

in honor of earth day and upcoming easter, abby's class was told to bring in some "junk" so that they could have fun recycling it into cute creations. one of their creations that i thought was just absolutely the greatest idea ever was that they turned an old gallon milk jug into an easter basket with a bunny face. abby loves hers and admittedly, i do too. happy earth day!