Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Morgan Kate's early interventionist, Julie, came today for our weekly visit. She hasn't been in two weeks because she (Julie) was sick. The minute she walked through the door she commented on how much Morgan Kate had grown. It's true. Our baby is growing, growing, growing. I pulled out our tape measure just the other day and she was exactly 24 inches long or two feet tall. And almost twelve pounds. She sure has come a long way! 

While Julie was here we worked on tummy time (extended), rolling over from tummy to back and back to tummy. Morgan Kate also had to do a few baby crunches, track an object and look at herself in a mirror. She's got the tracking and mirror stuff down pat. The only thing she isn't too interested in is grabbing or touching objects. She will watch things for the longest time and you can tell she really, really wants to grab them, but so far she hasn't. I'm pretty sure it will happen soon though. I mean one day she was wanting to roll over and the next day she just did it. Everything will happen in HER time. Physical therapy will come out sometime in the next few weeks to do an evaluation just to make sure everything is a-okay. 

Tonight as we were eating dinner Travis said, "Morgan Kate may look like me, but she is shaping up to act just like you." I must admit, he's right. I'll elaborate.

1. Morgan Kate loves to watch herself in the mirror.
I admit it. It's true. I also like looking in mirrors. I know it sounds so strange and so vein, but I don't mean it that way. I'm not admiring myself or checking myself out. I just like to watch myself do things. For example, when I'm talking on the phone I like to watch myself talk. When I was younger my seat at the dinner table was directly in front of a window so that I could watch myself eat and talk. I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous. It looks like Morgan Kate might be the same way. When we are bathing her she will break her neck to watch herself in the mirror. She loves for me to just stand in front of a mirror and dink her. She will smile and coo all day long. My entire family thinks it's hilarious that she loves a mirror as much as I do. (By the way, I can't believe I just told you all that I love looking in mirrors. This mommy business has made me way too honest.)

2. Morgan Kate does not like to be alone.
For those who know me well you know that occasionally I like some "me time", but for the most part, and I mean most, I love to be around other people. I hate being alone. When I was little I didn't really even like going to the bathroom alone. (Okay, that was honesty at its best.) When Travis and I first got married and he had to go out of town for work I would call my brother or Raven and beg one of them to come stay with me. Morgan Kate is a lot like this and I really think it's probably my fault. She is perfectly content on the floor, in her swing, in the boppy seat, really anywhere - as long as you are in the room with her. The minute you walk out she gets really unhappy. What can I say? She apparently is a people person and there is nothing wrong with that.

3. When the girl is tired, she is tired. And cranky.
I am usually very happy and easy to get along with. Morgan Kate is too. However, the minute I get tired or I feel like I need a nap I tend to get a little cranky. Morgan Kate does too. One minute Morgan Kate will be smiling and laughing and the next minute that can all change and all she wants to do is dream sweet little dreams. 

What can I say? My daughter is a lot like me. And I don't mind one bit. And I honestly don't think it bothers Travis at all. He just likes to have something to pick at me about. 

Monday, March 30, 2009

Yesterday Raven and I spent several hours at the hospital with Melissa, Sam and sweet baby Caroline. It was such an exciting day for everyone. We spent a lot of time looking at that sweet baby and then looking some more. She is absolutely precious and perfect in every way.

I must admit I was a little nervous watching Caroline. I haven't been around another newborn baby since Morgan Kate was born. I've almost forgotten what it's like to be around a newborn baby born outside of the NICU. The entire time we were with her I kept thinking that she should have a pulse ox on or some kind of monitor. I kept looking for a screen that would show me her oxygen sats and heart rate. I kept wanting to pull back her blankets just to make sure she was still breathing. I wanted to make sure she was super warm so that her temperature didn't drop. It was quite funny all the thoughts running through my head.

Another thing I was thinking about while with Caroline was germs. Crazy, right? I have never really been big on germs. I mean I wash my hands, I try to keep a clean house, but I have always had my dad's mindset about germs. He says that a little bit of germs never hurt anyone. That was all until Miss Morgan Kate arrived and we spent almost four months in the NICU. It's safe to say that I am now a "germ-a-phob". I think about germs all the time. Anytime I touch a doorknob or sink faucet or car door handle. Really anything and everything makes me think of germs. We have a bottle of hand sanitizer in every room of our house. My hands are so dry and cracked, but germ free or so I hope. I cringe at the mere thought of anyone touching Morgan Kate's hands because she keeps them in her mouth so much. I even devised numerous inventions, in my mind of course, on how to keep her hands germ free. While at the hospital yesterday we helped move the Leviner family to a new room. A kind nurse was pushing Melissa down the hall and Sam was pushing Caroline in her little bassinet. I know it's crazy, but I the whole time I was thinking I hope she doesn't catch anything out here in the hallway. I found myself being so proud of Melissa when she asked people to wash their hands before holding or handling Caroline. I know, I know. I realize that I am a bit extreme and I am sure that I will eventually calm down and come back to reality. However, for the time being I am perfectly okay and content being a "germ-a-phob".

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Sweet Caroline" has arrived!
Melissa and Sam's precious baby girl arrived today. Caroline, Mommy and Daddy are all doing well! Click here  for more info and pics.

Saturday my parents came up for the day and kept Morgan Kate for a few hours. Travis and I were able to get out, grab some lunch and spend good quality time with one another. I was also able to ride in the front with Trav. So nice! Ha. I know that at this point I don't have to ride in the back anymore, but when Morgan Kate's with us I don't want her to feel alone. 

We all had a really good day, despite the weather. Travis and I got some together time, while Kaky and GDaddy got some good "grandbaby time". Kyle came up later in the day and we all had dinner together. Kyle even got over his fear and actually held Morgan Kate for the first time. Priceless. 

My mom bought this little jean dress for Morgan Kate a few weeks back. She wore it the other day and it was so cute! I took numerous pictures (imagine that), but this was one of my favorites. Jean dress and baby legs...precious combination.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

107 days.

We were in the NICU for 107 days. And friends, we have now been at home for the same amount of time. That's right. We have now been at our house for 107 days. And let me tell you, it feels so good.

I do not miss the roller coaster of emotions we experienced in the NICU. I do not miss the anxiety and nervousness I felt each and every single day while we were in the NICU. I do not miss being afraid. I do not miss the long hours and long days. I do not miss the poking and prodding that Morgan Kate had to endure. I do not miss wondering when I would be able to hold her or feed her next. There are many, many things I don't miss. Not one single bit. 

But then, there are things I do miss. Well, I guess it's not things, it's more like people. I miss a whole bunch of people. Some really, really good people. People that not only took excellent care of Morgan Kate, but people that took excellent care of me. People that checked on me daily, people that took the absolute best care of my baby girl, people that asked how I was doing, people that would come and sit and talk with me, people who were honest, people who reassured me, people who just smiled at me each day. I miss those people a lot. Thank goodness for visits back to the NICU, the telephone and the internet. 

Our 107th day at home has been very interesting.

Our morning began with a robbery. Yep, that's right. Travis' truck was broken into and his GPS, as well as his IPOD were stolen. I happen to think we live in a great neighborhood, but I guess bad things can even happen here. It's just extremely frustrating and disappointing and a little scary. 

Our afternoon included an unexpected trip to our pediatrician. For the first time in many, many days Morgan Kate actually took a nap. A two hour nap. She napped in her swing, but it was still a nap. Anyway, when she woke up from her nap she was breathing a little faster and sounded a little wheezing. I heard it first and then had Travis listen. Sometimes my mind does tend to play tricks on me. This time it wasn't. Travis heard the wheezing as well. 

With Morgan Kate's past respiratory issues I immediately called the doctor. She was great and told us to go ahead and bring her in. As we were leaving, the wheezing subsided and we have not heard it again. Dr. G listened to her and checked her sats. She said that she sounded great and her sats were between 97-98. Whewh! Dr. G did notice that Morgan Kate was drooling...A LOT. I mean it's crazy. She said that it's possible Morgan Kate had a little reflux and it sounded like wheezing or that all that drool could have been lodged in the back of her throat also making a wheezing sound. Either way we have not heard the sound again and her breathing seems fine. 

While we were there Dr. G weighed MK and she weighed in at eleven pounds and ten ounces. Wow! Dr. G also said that with all the drooling and the fact that MK can't keep her hands out of her mouth - she could possibly be getting ready to cut a tooth. Dr. G doesn't expect this to happen next week or anything, but she definitely thinks MK is getting ready. Oh my goodness! 

And finally, Dr. G said we could start with some rice cereal. What?! Rice cereal? My little baby girl? Dr. G said that we won't be using it in place of a bottle or anything like that. Right now we will be using it to "teach" her about the spoon and cereal and all that. Just introducing it to her. So, of course we went ahead and tried it tonight. It is so funny. MK isn't quite sure what to do with it, but I know it will come. We plan to take this very, very slow. We will only do what she is ready for. Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure... 

So our 107th day at home may have started a bit rocky, but it ended on such a good note!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Today Morgan Kate is 7 months old. I can hardly believe that our little angel was born seven months ago. The time has literally flown by. 

In the past seven months so many things have transpired and Morgan Kate has changed so very much. I have changed so very much. Each day I fall more and more in love with her even when I think I can't possibly love her anymore. I want to be with her and around her every waking moment of the day. She absolutely melts my heart!

In Morgan Kate's short seven months:
-She has gained almost eleven pounds
-She has grown over ten inches
-She is no longer dependent on oxygen and her lungs sound great
-She no longer requires the feeding tube and is taking all bottles
-She is now taking three ounces every four hours like a champ
-She is laughing
-She is smiling
-She is rolling over
-She is sleeping so good at night
-She is holding her "keys" and shaking them
-She is amazing her mommy and daddy each and everyday

Just a few pics to celebrate seven months! 

The picture above is especially for Gdaddy. Morgan Kate says, "I love you".

Please continue to pray for Baby Stellan and his family.

Please also pray for Melissa and Sam. They are expecting their first baby this week, a little girl named Caroline. Melissa has made it the full 40 weeks. Praise the Lord! Baby Caroline should be arriving anytime now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quick post tonight...

Please be praying for Baby Stellan and his family. You can visit their blog by clicking on the button in the right sidebar titled "My Charming Kids". This is a family I have never met before in real life, but I check on and read about daily. They are a precious family and are in need of some very big prayers. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

One year ago today it was the Saturday before Easter. I had just left a bridal shower for one of my very good friends, Liz. As I was driving home I decided to stop by the Dollar Tree to purchase some Easter basket goodies. While in the store I decided to also purchase a pregnancy test. I mean it was only a dollar. I knew it was probably going to be negative, but hey, it was worth a try.

Fast forward about an hour. I am standing in our bathroom waiting on the "results". This is the best part of it all - the waiting. In these two or three minutes you can dare to dream anything. You can dream those baby dreams. You can dream of the day that you hold that precious baby. You can dream of your belly growing. So many dreams. The minute you see the results either your dreams come true or you have some more waiting to do. I was sure we were going to have to continue to wait. So as I was casually grabbing the test to toss it in the trash I noticed something different. This time there were two lines, not just one. Could it be? Were we really pregnant? Travis insisted we invest a little more than a dollar to be certain. He ran out and bought a box with three tests. All positive. My mom didn't like any of the tests we used and insisted on the digital ones. So after many, many tests, it was confirmed. We were indeed pregnant! And I will confess that I proceeded to take a test each day for the next week just to be sure we were still pregnant. 

Today was a day filled with so many emotions. I have a lot of these days. As I awoke this morning I remembered each and every minute from last year this time. We have come such a long, long way in just 365 days. Last March 22 we had no idea what we would encounter or what we would have to overcome. But we did it and we are now here. And we have the most precious baby girl and couldn't be happier. 

A lot can happen in one year. A lot can change in one year. I am so thankful for happenings, and changes, but most of all I am so thankful I spent that dollar. 

P.S. Just so there is no confusion, whatsoever, those tests are definitely from last year. I still have the pictures and the actual tests. Just want to make sure that is perfectly clear. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rolling, rolling, rolling. Morgan Kate is rolling.

That's right. Morgan Kate is now rolling from tummy to back. And very frequently. We are in need of doing some tummy time, but she won't stay on her tummy. Now that she can roll, she just rolls on over and tummy time is done. 

I love to watch her roll. She has been trying to do it for the longest time. Yesterday she did it for the very first time and I think she surprised herself. She had the strangest look on her face. It was too funny! Today she has been rolling like crazy. I was actually able to catch a small clip of it on my cell phone. Priceless. Definitely something I will hang on to. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

We are on day three of no pulse ox and I think we are all adjusting quite well. Travis was over using the pulse ox a long time ago. I know Morgan Kate was ready to be done with it. But Mommy here, was a little more reluctant. I have never known Morgan Kate without a pulse ox so it is taking a little getting used to. I plan to keep it around for just a while longer. I'm not making her wear it, but I have it on hand just in case. 

It is the best feeling in the world to just be able to pick her up and have nothing else attached. Since the day she was born there have been monitors and wires attached. The past three days have been terrific! You just pick her up and go. I love it!


Please bear with me. I am in the process of "reworking" parts of the blog. I am very interested in redesigning and creating my "own" layout. The background you see now is only temporary. Hopefully, very soon I will have a new and improved blog. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today was another great day. It's only Wednesday and we have had such an awesome week.

We met this morning with Dr. Yajnik. She was one of the neonatologist in the NICU. Not only does she do that, but she also meets with parents of the babies that leave the NICU and interprets the results/downloads from the apnea monitors. In the past month Morgan Kate has only had one apnea episode and it only lasted eleven seconds. It takes an apnea episode of twenty seconds to set the alarm off so we didn't even know it had happened. It was quick, she recovered and there was no heart rate drop. All great signs. We are going to stay on the apnea monitor (only at night) until her downloads are all clear. Suits me just fine. The apnea monitor helps me sleep a lot better at night. Personally, I think all newborn babies should come home with apnea monitors.

On our way in to meet with Dr. Yajnik we ran into some of our "preemie friends". Shortly after we left the NICU the Burkett Family arrived. They had twins born prematurely and for a while one of the twins was in Morgan Kate's old room. Anyway, we heard about their family and that they too had a blog. Precious, precious family. I immediately began reading and checking in on them. They have both been released and are now at home and doing great. We have never met in person, but the minute I saw them I knew who they were and they recognized us. The twins are absolutely precious! To read more about them and their journey you can click on The Burkett Bundle in the right sidebar under "Other Preemie Miracles." They are miracles indeed!

After we left our meeting with Dr. Yajnik we headed for the NICU. We haven't seen any of our nurses, doctors or RT's since leaving over three months ago. I thought going back will feel strange and maybe even eery since we were there for so long. However, it was a great trip and it felt really good. It was a nice reminder of how far we have come and how much Morgan Kate was loved while there. It was so nice to see everyone and share Morgan Kate. I wish we could have seen everyone!

We also stopped by the high risk end of the floor to see our friend, Ms. Francena. She took such good care of us while I was in the high risk area and we love her dearly. She had not seen Morgan Kate since probably October. She was amazed at how well she was doing and how big she was. 

It was such a great day full of good news and wonderful visits.


Speaking of visits, I can't believe I failed to mention this yesterday. Many of you may remember this post from back in September. In the post I mentioned a couple we had met in the NICU. They were discharged sometime in late September, early October and we haven't seen them since. I think about them and their little girl all the time. Well, when we went to the pulmonologist yesterday they were there. It was so great to see them and catch up. Their daughter is doing great and is so cute!

Our early interventionist was scheduled to come for a visit tomorrow, but we had to cancel. She has bronchitis. Yikes! 

We don't have anymore appointments this week. Next week, we have our last visit from our home health nurse and we are supposed to have a visit from our early interventionist. Other than that it will be a "free week". How nice!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today we got news that we weren't expecting. And no. It wasn't bad news. Not bad news at all. Matter of fact, it was the very best news I have heard since the day our baby girl came home. 

Today we had an appointment with Dr. B, our pulmonologist. He looked at Morgan Kate, he looked back at her chart, he looked at her again, he asked me some questions, he listened to her heart and lungs, looked at her one more time and then gave us the news. He said that she looks great, sounds great, isn't requiring oxygen and is gaining weight, therefore, she is showing no signs of still having chronic lung disease. I know. I just about it lost it too. Well, I did lose it. I was actually able to keep it together while in his office, but the minute I got into the car I lost it. Tears of absolute joy. I have been crying those tears all night long. I just can't get over it. I mean I knew she was doing well, but I am no doctor. It's just a miracle. She is an absolute miracle. It is definitely news I wasn't expecting. 

We also no longer need the pulse ox. Goodbye pulse ox, goodbye. Well almost. Dr. B said we no longer needed it. And I do believe him and trust his word. While Morgan Kate might have been weaned from the pulse ox, Mommy dearest has not. I plan to keep it just a little while longer. I won't make her wear it, but I at least want to have it on hand just in case. 

And, once the weather warms up just a little more we will be free to have visitors and do some visiting. How exciting! It's still such a strange feeling. I told Travis tonight that I wasn't sure I knew how to visit anymore. It's been so long. We both agree that this needs to be a gradual process. We don't want to overload Morgan Kate or ourselves. Once it gets warmer we are going to slowly start taking her out and about. You have to remember that for the past six and a half months our lives have been drastically different and we have to slowly find our "normal".

Dr. B gave us some guidelines for "our new life" and we also have some rules. These are in place to assure that Morgan Kate continues to stay healthy - which is our TOP priority. She IS doing very well and she IS healthy, but we must not forget that she was NOT a full term baby and she still does have a fragile immune system. And while her lungs have grown and begun to heal we want them to continue to do so, therefore, she does NOT need to get sick. Her lungs are still smaller and a lot less developed than a baby born at term. Dr. B said that I need to be an "anal mommy" and I plan to be. Please know that we love each and everyone one of you and we can't wait to share Morgan Kate with all of you, but these rules have to be followed. No ifs, ands, or buts.

1. Do not ask to visit or ask us to visit you if you have been sick. If you have been sick you must be symptom free for at least five days before visiting with Morgan Kate. Ask Kaky about this one, she has already encountered this. 

2. Until we feel more comfortable about things please do not touch Morgan Kate's hands or face. She has precious feet that you can squeeze and touch, but not the hands or face. 

3. Wash your hands thoroughly. We will also have hand sanitizer at all times if needed. Please do not hesitate to ask for it. 

4. Do not smoke around or near Morgan Kate. If you have smoked please change clothes before visiting.

Most of this is common sense, but this nervous Mommy here just wants to remind everyone. We can't wait to get out and about and begin to share our little girl. 

Morgan Kate's glider is like my sanctuary. I do a lot of thinking there, a lot of wondering, an enormous amount of praying and I even shed some tears. Tonight as I was rocking her to sleep I was overcome with emotion. It's still so hard to believe that she was born so early and only weighed a pound and twelve ounces. And it's even harder to believe how far she has come and how awesome she is doing. I must thank God a thousand times a day for my baby girl. 

To God be the glory...for the things He has done.

Monday, March 16, 2009

One day it's smocked dresses, the next day it's camo. This is one well-rounded little girl. Check out Morgan Kate's camo courtesy of Kaky and GDaddy.

So as you all know we aren't supposed to take Morgan Kate anywhere. No malls, no grocery stores, no churches, no restaurants,  nothing and nowhere. However, there are times when Mommy here needs to get out of the house and I have learned to be quite creative and resourceful. One weekend a few weeks back I wanted to go to Lowe's to look for a new rug. Yes, they do sell those at Lowe's and have quite a nice selection. Anyway, we all loaded up in the car and made our way to Lowe's. Upon arriving I left Travis and Morgan Kate in the car. I went inside with my cell phone in hand and headed straight for the rugs. I then proceeded to take pictures of all the rugs I really liked. I pray this is not illegal and if it is, all the evidence has been deleted at this point. After taking the pictures I headed back out to the car. Travis and I sat there looking through all the pictures and trying to decide on our favorite. We narrowed it down to two rugs. I told him to take the camera inside, find the two rugs and make a final decision. I completely trust him. Twenty minutes later he came back out with the rug I secretly liked the best and to top it all off he got a 50% off discount. 

Here she is. Our bathing beauty...

Tomorrow we have an appointment with Dr. Brown, our pulmonologist. Morgan Kate is going to get her last RSV shot of the season. She won't have to get another one until October or November. I'll be sure to update all of you after our appointment. This one should be interesting and very informative. We will find out about our "release from house arrest", we will also find out how much longer she will need the pulse ox, and hopefully make some other decisions. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Music to my ears. 

That music would be Morgan Kate's laugh. Not just any laugh, but a true belly laugh. The kind you wait months to hear. It completely melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

This morning Travis and I were playing with her. She was "oohhing" and "aahhiing". We were trying to get her to smile because it is the most precious thing ever, so I started kissing on Travis and making kissing sounds. Don't worry, it was completely harmless. Anyway, she loved it! She started smiling and cooing and then it happened. She started laughing. Travis and I couldn't get over it and we were actually able to hear it two more times. Happy, happy day! All I want to do now is make her laugh. She obviously likes to see her Mommy and Daddy so happy. 

Just a few pics from the weekend. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Whenever I visit other "preemie" blogs I always look for their story. I am always curious as to why they were born early or how they got to this point. After visiting several blogs one night it dawned on me. Our blog didn't have the very thing I was looking for on other blogs. 

For quite some time I have been working on Morgan Kate's story. I wanted to make sure I included everything. I have been a very diligent writer. I wrote some, revised, edited, and wrote some more. I wrote Morgan Kate's story for two reasons:

1. It was very therapeutic and I wanted to write it all down before I forgot anything. I have realized in the last few months that my memory is not what it used to be. I wanted to get everything down while it was still fresh. 

2. I figured there might be other people like me who are just curious as to what happened. 

I will warn you. It's very long. Really, really long. And it might include things you don't really want to read. Nothing bad, it just might be too much information or it may even gross you out.

Anyway, if you are curious you can click on the image located in the left sidebar of the blog. It's labeled Morgan Kate's story. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our afternoon "cranky hour" is improving and it's all because of Miss Morgan Kate.

I am laughing and shaking my head as I type this. Why in this world did Travis and I think that 9pm was a suitable bedtime for our baby girl? Just thinking about it makes me question my sanity. I mean I think I had a 9pm bedtime when I was in middle school. Ever since we have gotten Morgan Kate on a schedule we have been putting her in the bed around 9pm. For quite some time it has worked. However, lately she has just been so cranky in the afternoon and early evenings. After talking with other moms and my own mom we decided to try and put her down earlier. Tah dah! Amazing. We have been putting her down the minute the clock strikes 8:00 and sometimes even earlier. She has been going to sleep and sleeping until 9 or so the next morning. Now, don't get all excited. She's not sleeping through the night. I still feed her at 1am and Travis feeds her at 5am, but it feels like she is sleeping through the night because we share responsibilities. The past few days she has been a whole new baby. She is even napping better during the day. Poor baby! She's been completely exhausted and wanting to go to bed. What child can say that they wanted to go to bed and there parents kept them up?

I just have to remind myself - this is a learning process. Everyday I learn something new because of this precious little girl. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I consider myself to be very fortunate. I have two of the most amazing grandmothers. They are wonderful women, they would do anything in the world for any of the grandchildren and they even get along with each other. I know. Wow! I also consider myself to be very fortunate because they have both been able to see my child, or their great-grand child. I have extremely fond memories with Mama Jean and Mammie. I could spend hours writing about all of my different memories with each grandmother.  

I vividly remember driving a little John Deere tractor around Mama Jean's driveway (which was covered with Clemson tiger paws), spending the night with her and eating buttery eggs the next morning, and watching she and Papa play the Nintendo. Yes, my grandparents had a Nintendo, when Nintendo's were cool. Watch out Mario and Luigi! I remember spending countless holidays at her house with all of my cousins. I remember "hosting" numerous pretend fashion slows. I remember playing in her backyard with Bandit. I remember spending many, many nights there with my cousin, Kelly. And I remember how she would always let me sleep with her and she would remind me to say my prayers before going to sleep. Speaking of Mama Jean, she had to have her pacemaker replaced Tuesday afternoon. The procedure went well and she is already at home and recovering. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. 

At Mammie's I remember playing "waitress" and wanting to take everyone's order, especially my Poppadaddy's. I remember eating buttery grits and watching cartoons. I remember playing with Mammie's jewelry and trying to wear all of it. I remember playing "office" with my cousins. I remember sleeping with Mammie at night and "platting" her hair (she has really long hair). I remember phenomonal Christmas Eve dinners with tons of family. I remember playing in her backyard and running around the circle. And I also remember Mammie's smocked dresses. 

My cousin, LeighAnne, and I are very close in age. So for every holiday, special event or whatever else from the time we were born until around age twelve Mammie would make us a smocked dress - she made all the boys little jumpers. We have countless numbers of dresses and I still have all of mine to this day. When we were younger we LOVED wearing them and we LOVED that we matched. We even participated in her smocking gill's annual fashion shows. Around age ten or so we began to like them less. Fast forward about eighteen years. Now that I have a little one, a precious baby girl, I have been longing for more smocked dresses. Not for me of course, but for her. I have all of mine that Morgan Kate can wear, but I wanted her to have some of her very own.

At one of my very first baby showers Mammie gave me a smocked dress for Morgan Kate. Oh the joy! I was thrilled to receive it and couldn't wait for the day that Morgan Kate could wear it. We haven't been anywhere to actually wear it, but it finally fits. Today I couldn't resist. Morgan Kate was in a really good mood and I had an "itch" for a photo shoot. When I put the dresses on her it brought back a flood of memories. My eyes were filled with tears. Not because I was sad, but because I was getting to dress my baby girl in dresses handmade by her great-grandmother. Enjoy the photos!

This was the very first dress Mammie made. 
She looks like a little angel!

Mammie made this pink for MK also. 
I think the pink one is my favorite.

Apparently, MK likes the pink one too!

This picture is especially for my mom. If you want to know more, click here. 

The following pictures are Morgan Kate's "bloopers". She decided to make faces for the camera.

Not only was she making funny faces, but she was trying her best to pull her dress up. It was hilarious. Each time I put a new dress on she immediately began to pull it up. Not sure who she gets that from. 

The dress below is actually a dress that my Aunt Terry and cousin Maggie sent us. Maggie used to wear this dress and now she is letting Morgan Kate borrow it. 

I couldn't stop with just the dresses. Morgan Kate was being very cooperative and seemed to love the camera so I had to get a few more. 

Morgan Kate and her BIG ducky that Kaky and GDaddy brought her this weekend. It is huge, but so cute!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Okay y'all. We need some serious help in the napping department. This little girl is just will not nap. And I would be okay with that IF she wasn't such a bear later in the day. Yes, my sweet little precious baby girl turns into to quite the bear in the afternoon. 

I tried letting her nap this morning and it only last for thirty minutes. She then started crying. And no, I didn't run right in and scoop her. I let her cry. Matter of fact, I let her cry for almost twenty minutes. I then went in, patted her shoulder and rubbed her head. She calmed down for about five minutes and then the crying started again. I continued to let her cry and when I went in about ten minutes later she immediately stopped and gave me this humongous grin. Now, please tell me. What am I supposed to do when she pulls that card? This afternoon she napped for about thirty more minutes and that was it. 

The past several nights she has been so cranky. It starts around 6 each evening and lasts until we put her to bed. Calling her cranky is probably not the best term to use. This girl loses control. Screaming, crying, arms flailing, red face, legs kicking, it's rough. Tonight we decided to try something different. Before she could get real fussy we took her for a walk. By the end of the walk she was really sleepy. We came inside and "tag teamed" the situation. I quickly got her dressed and ready for bed, while Trav got her bottle and meds ready. By 7:45 she was in his arms and taking her bottle. No crying. No screaming. Happy little baby. She took her bottle and she was out. I guess we were putting her to bed too late and her crankiness was just her way of saying, "Hey Mom, I would like to go to bed earlier." No problem baby girl, we will definitely be putting you to bed earlier. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Today Morgan Kate got quite the workout. Tracking exercises, tummy time, even stomach crunches. 

Because of Morgan Kate's prematurity and extreme low birth weight she automatically qualifies for various services. We have an early interventionist (EI) that comes out once a week to work with Morgan Kate. Many preemies have developmental delays and the EI's come out to help the child catch up. So far we haven't noticed any delays with Morgan Kate (Praise the Lord!), but we just want to make sure we are on top of things. 

Last week was the EI's first visit. She spent a lot of time getting to know Morgan Kate and then she and I worked on an assessment. Basically it was a lot of questions about Morgan Kate's developmental skills. Does she make eye contact? Does she make sounds? Does she have some head control? Does she smile? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Anyway, the EI asks a bunch of questions based on a 3 month olds development. (Remember, Morgan Kate is six months old according to when she was born, but only three months developmentally.) Then, together we write goals for Morgan Kate. For all you teachers out there, it's kind of like an IEP. So I felt very intelligent, like I knew what I was doing. Hee, hee. Each week the EI and whoever else we might need (speech therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc.) come out and work with Morgan Kate. 

Today our EI brought another EI who is more familiar with preemies. Together they were amazing. They even both commented on great Morgan Kate looked and how well she was doing. Always good news to a mommy! While here they had Morgan Kate track objects in a straight line and in a circle. They also had her do some tummy time. She was really interested and worked extremely hard for the first few minutes, but then she was done with that. Morgan Kate also had to do some stomach crunches which helps with building the muscles in her trunk. Too bad the EI can't work with my trunk muscles. I was so proud of Morgan Kate and how hard she worked. She was such a trooper! However, when she was done, she was DONE. After about thirty minutes (which I happen to think is a long time for her) she was so over the exercises. She had become quite fussy and as I was trying to comfort her she fell asleep in my arms. Now, I know what I need to do when she won't take a nap - give her a little workout! 


We don't have any other appointments this week. I think this is our slowest week since being home. Oh and by the way, we have been home for three months as of today. And it feels so good.

Our next appointment is on the 17th with our pulmonologist. I'll be sure to keep you all updated.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A wonderful weekend with family equals lots of loving for Morgan Kate. 

My parents came Friday night to visit and spend the night. They said they were coming to see all of us, but I think they really came for Morgan Kate. :) My parents haven't been able to visit in over three weeks and it was killing all of us. It was so good to see them and spend quality time together. Not only did they visit, but they also cooked us dinner. Fried oysters to be exact. Yummy, yummy! My daddy cooks the BEST fried oysters and my mom makes a "killer" apple crisp. 

Saturday morning my mom and I got out for a for a few hours to run some errands and have lunch together. It was so very nice to catch up and just hang out. I so wish we lived closer to each other. Saturday afternoon was spent loving on Morgan Kate, strolling around the neighborhood, napping, and more loving on Morgan Kate. We all hated to see my parents leave Saturday night. The weekends just aren't long enough!


Some of you may be wondering about our schedule and what we ended up doing. Well, I am happy to report that we went back to our original schedule and things are much better. Yes, we went back to waking her up at 1am and then again at 5am. It works for us right now and maybe in a few days I will try letting her sleep through the night again. Maybe. 

However, some things can't be controlled when scheduling is involved. And this week that thing is  - the time change. Oh my goodness! It hit me mid-week that the time was going to change and the worrying began. I must have asked Travis fifty different times, "Do you think our schedule will be disrupted when the time changes?" I was really worried about this. Today things seem to be going fine. Morgan Kate did have a little trouble going to sleep tonight, but I think by tomorrow we will have it all worked out. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Silent Saturday
(I promise there will be words tomorrow.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

One word. Why.

Why would I go and change things if there wasn't anything wrong in the first place? Why would I go and disrupt Morgan Kate's schedule when everything was moving along quite nicely?  Why would I do all of this only hours after immunizations?

Why? Because I am a new mommy. Because I am still learning. Because I am human.

Last night was our first attempt at letting Morgan Kate sleep and wake us up when she was hungry. As I was lying (laying?) in the bed wide awake at 1am all I could think about was, "How am I going to know if she is hungry?" Now, I know this may seem like a ridiculous question - it sounds ridiculous just saying it out loud, but it was on my mind for what seemed like the entire night. You see, we have never, ever, let Morgan Kate tell us when she was hungry. Because of her weight and need for calories we have had to feed her on a pretty tight schedule. She gets fed long before she has the chance to get hungry or cry. Every twenty minutes last
night I would wake up and listen. 

Around 2:30 she started making some pretty loud grunting noises. She wasn't c
rying, but grunting and squirming. I thought to myself, "This is it, she's hungry." I went to the kitchen, warmed her bottle, went to her room and...found her fast asleep. Go figure. Maybe I should have let her sleep, but I went ahead and fed her. I mean she is eating this high dollar formula and I can't just toss it down the drain. She woke up enough to eat and then started to drift off back to sleep. I tried burping her and she started screaming. The screaming continued for about thirty minutes. I wasn't sure if her stomach was bothering her, if she was too tired, if her legs were sore from shots. I didn't have a clue. I eventually got her back to sleep and I headed for the bed myself. Oh, and by this time it was 3:30am.

Around 7am she started crying again. I jumped up, warmed the bottle and headed for her room. She was awake this time, but not really interested in eating. After a little "dinking" and rocking I was able to convince her to take her bottle. She ate, burped and went back to sleep. At 10am she was up for good. She was wide awake and smiling and I felt like I had sand paper in my eyes. I did not sleep well at all. I just kept waking up and wondering why in the heck I thought changing our schedule would be a good idea. Personally, I don't mind getting once at night and I pretty sure Travis doesn't either. I actually like feeding her at 1am. It's very quiet. I pray a lot during that time and I whisper all my thoughts to her. I even spend an extra ten or so minutes loving on her after she is all done. Last night just felt all wrong.

Needless to say I quickly got us back on schedule and I don't intend to change it again until she is feeling lots better. Who knows? I might still be waking her up at 1am when she's three. Just kidding.

The moral of this story is - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

She has had a pretty rough day today because of her immunizations. She has even run a slight fever. Poor baby! She has been quite cranky and just wants lots and lots of loving. I happen to be thrilled about the loving part, but every now and then even Momma has to take a potty break. 

She might not have felt good, but she sure looked cute.

Oh, and these are especially for Uncle Owens and Uncle Kyle. She happens to be just as fascinated with them as I am. Pay close attention - neither one of them will touch any part of her other than her foot or leg. It's hilarious. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My baby's got her blue jeans on. 
Morgan Kate typically just wears little "snap up" outfits everyday. I mean when you can't go anywhere - why dress up? I certainly don't. However, today we had an appointment and I thought it would be an ideal time to get all dressed up. Just in case you are wondering, I consider jeans and a cute top to be dressy. She was too stinkin' cute in this outfit. Travis couldn't get over how precious she was!

Today we had an appointment with Dr. G, our pediatrician. We hadn't been in two weeks. That is the longest we have ever gone so I think I was having withdrawals. We used to go like three times in one week. It's not that I love going to the doctor because I don't. I just like to make sure everything is alright with my girl. And it was. Matter of fact, we had a great visit and we don't have to go back until April. That's right. April 7th. Whoah! That is four weeks away. I may have to just drop by and at least weigh her in between that time. 

So, as I was saying our appointment went very well. Since our last visit Morgan Kate had gained nine ounces. She nows weighs 11 pounds and 1 ounce. Watch out! Dr. G also said that we could drop a night time feeding and see how long she would sleep. Scary! I'm not sure we even know how to do that. We have never been able to let her tell us when she was hungry. We've just always fed her either every three hours or four hours because she is a preemie and needs the calories. We even set our alarms at night to wake us up at the exact time. I'm quite anxious to see how long she will sleep, but also super nervous. We have a great schedule and we have worked hard to keep it. I certainly don't want to stir things up. However, Travis and I have both agreed that if it doesn't work out or she isn't eating enough then we will go back to our little schedule. 

Morgan Kate also had to get some of her six month immunizations. Poor baby! She did great and only cried for a few minutes, but it still broke my heart. I hate to see her upset or in pain. I quickly scooped her up and loved on her. My favorite thing to do!

Another one of my favorite things is sharing pics of my little one with all of you. Enjoy!

Hanging out in my bumbo chair. 

Sleeping in my favorite place - my mommy's arms.

Are these not the absolute cutest shoes? Thanks Hollie!

Smile! Not too much longer before I can break out of this place.

In this picture Morgan Kate has kicked off her shoe and her sock. Later I found her chewing on her sock. Yummy!

The "Girls" Napping
Please disregard my hair!

Daddy and Morgan Kate having a funny conversation, or so she thinks.

Doesn't my little baby girl look all grown up? 

We only have two more doctor appointments during the month of March. I can hardly believe it! I am so glad that things are finally settling down and slowing down. We have an appointment with the pulmonologist and the eye doctor. Both appointments are on March 17th. The appointment with the pulmonologist is for her last RSV injection of the season. Yahoo! Her eye appointment is with a pediatric eye doctor who will monitor her eyes until she is three or so. Currently her eyes are great and there are no concerns. He will just routinely check to make sure things are going smoothly.