Christmas Eve we dressed in our best and headed to the candlelight service at my parents' church, but not before a small photo shoot. Morgan Kate wore a darling little dress with the nativity scene smocked on it. It was a special gift from Kaky and GDaddy.
Morgan Kate and all of her poses
MK with two of her favorite people
Four generations of women
After the candlelight service we headed over to Mammie's for our annual Christmas Eve dinner. Mammie has had us over for Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. And this amazing woman cooks all of this amazing food.
While at Mammie's, Morgan Kate decided to try on Jillian's Christmas hat. It was so, so cute! And then, what's a night without dancing? MK is a dancing queen these days and decided to show us all a few moves while on top of Mammie's new microwave.
Only part of the family enjoying dinner
MK thoroughly enjoyed her dinner
On Christmas morning Morgan Kate was wide-eyed. She was fascinated by all of her gifts, but some of her favorites proved to be the tissue paper and empty boxes.
One toy she actually seemed to enjoy playing with was the pretend food. She plays with food similar to this at speech and she loves it. Santa was able to find her some and Morgan Kate fell in love!
Travis and I received so many great gifts as well, but our most precious gift continues to be our beautiful baby girl.
Opening her baby doll from Uncle Tommy and Aunt Kelly
One of our delicious Christmas desserts courtesy of Kelly
MK getting some lovin' from Brent
And the night ended with Kaky pulling Morgan Kate and Tommy around in a box. Aren't boxes the best?
We had an amazing Christmas and I am so sad to see it end. I hope that each one of you experienced the same!
Not only is it Christmas Eve, which I am super excited about. Christmas Eve means candlelight service at church and a spectatcular spread at Mammie's. I can hardly wait. But today also marks Morgan Kate turning 16 months. Oh my!
At 16 months she is: *sleeping a solid 12-13 hours at night. So very nice! *taking a sippy cup much more often, but still very partial to her bottles. *wearing 9-12 month clothes. *wearing size 3 diaper. *babbling and using her hands to conversate. *signing "more". *say "dada", "kaka", "gaga", and bye. *crawling everywhere at lightinging speed. *pulling up on anything remotely stable. *standing up on her own for very short periods of time. *cruising and walking behind her push toys. *has taken two steps all by herself! *becoming a picky eater. Still loves pears, bananas and pasta. *loves to dance. *smiles and laughs all of the time. *loves to play with friends. *knows where her head is. (If you ask her where her head is, she will grab her head and smile.) *knows the word "no", but doesn't always/usually listen. *cries when she doesn't get her way. Hee hee... *prefers to go without socks, bows, hats and sometimes shirts.
I still can't believe she is sixteen months old. I know I say that every month, but it's so true. Everything is going so fast and I just want it to all slow down. She is the absolute light of my life and I fall more and more in love with her each and every day. I love you, baby girl!
Christmas has been so different this year. So different in a good way. It's almost as if I am experiencing Christmas for the very first time. I find myself looking at things and taking things in in a completely different way than before. I find myself appreciating things that used to annoy me. I find myself wanting to hold on to every moment, every minute.
Last year was quite different for us. It was a Christmas with a brand new baby. It was a Christmas with oxygen tanks, feeding tubes, a pulse ox, and a apnea monitor. It was a Christmas with lots of medications and round the clock feedings. It was a Christmas with limited family members and no outside visitors. It should go without saying that we were thrilled to celebrate Christmas at home with our brand new baby girl. But it was still different.
This year it's even more different. And I love it. I can't even really put into words what I am feeling. I have always loved Christmas. It's my absolute favorite time of the year. But this year I have fallen in love with it all over again. Maybe it's because I am getting older. Maybe it's because I have a happy, healthy baby girl. Maybe it's because I am seeing Christmas again through a child's eyes.
What? Doesn't everyone eat dinner topless? At least everyone under the age of two?
Morgan Kate had a special play date today with this precious little blue-eyed baby girl, Caroline. The two of them had lots and lots of fun. And as expected, the mommies and "mommy-to-be" also had some fun.
They played with a variety of toys. And beads. While supervised of course. They played so well together and crawled everywhere.
They helped each other open Christmas gifts. Just like a good friend to pitch in and help.
And they even got some "love time" with Aunt Raven. Next year her little one will be here and he or she will be getting lots of loving from ME.
Morgan Kate attended her first "friend" birthday party this afternoon. It was for this precious little boy to the right, Asher. Yesterday he turned a year old. His mommy and I are only four days apart and he and MK should only be a couple weeks apart. Oh, and slowing these two down long enough to take a picture proved to be interesting.
Morgan Kate had a blast. And as a matter of fact, I did too. It was a terrific time in a lovely home with yummy food and great company. There were about six babies in all - ranging in age from nine months to eighteen months. Since we have had to keep MK quarantined at times and because I stay at home with her, I always wonder how she will do around other children. Well, I think I can strike that from my list of things to wonder/worry about. She did amazing. Or at least I thought so. Granted, she was into everything and thought she should help Asher open his gifts, but she played so well with all of the other babies. She crawled all around, pulled up on different things, played with the other children, played with toys and even picked up Asher's sippy cup and drank from it. (See, I knew she could really do it.) Oh, and she may or may not have pulled another little girl's bow out of her hair and tried to take off the little girl's socks. Oops...
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and can't wait to play with Asher again.
Morgan Kate does not like wearing socks. Or shoes. If I put either of them on before getting in the car, then she will take them off the minute I put her in her car seat. If she's sitting in her stroller she manages to wiggle her little hands down near her feet and again, take off her shoes and socks. This in turn causes people to stare and make comments like, "You should really put socks on her feet", or "Oh my goodness, her poor little feet", or "Ma'am, it's cold out, your baby really needs socks". And don't even think about getting her to wear socks in the house. It's just a lost cause.
Today though, was different. Today, I got smart. We had to run some errands and it was a little chilly out. One of those days where I knew she really needed to have socks on. Since we weren't going anywhere special, just a few stores, I dressed her in some of her Christmas pajamas that have feet. And I put socks on UNDER that.
Her feet stayed nice and toasty. Mommy was happy. And Morgan Kate was happy. It was a good day.
I have been without internet access since early Monday morning and it has been ROUGH. I didn't realize just how much I used the internet or relied on it until this week. I have been lost. Unable to blog, unable to email, unable to chat and even unable to pay bills. Wow.
Thankfully I am back up and running. Almost. I now have internet access, but I am getting ready to send my computer off for repair. Thankfully I will have a laptop to use, but it's nothing like my desktop. I. LOVE. MY. DESKTOP. and I will be lost without it as well.
Here's an update on what's been going on in our lives since Sunday.
Bloodwork MK's bloodwork came back and showed "no allergies". We were thankful for the good results. BUT, still concerned about her runny nose and the rash on her face, which has now spread around her mouth. Dr. G told us to discontinue the Singulair and start a nasal spray. Today the runny nose has been much better and MK has not rubbed her eyes or nose nearly as much. However, we still have the rash. Ugh!
Speech Just this week both of our speech therapists left the agency we are using. I am terribly sad, as I loved them both very much. They were both so good with Morgan Kate and so very patient.
Standing/Walking Morgan Kate has been trying to stand on her own for quite some time now. Usually it happens by mistake. For instance, she will be holding on to the couch while standing and then reach up for something, therefore, leaving her standing on her own. The minute she realizes it she falls down or quickly grabs the couch. This week, not so much. This week she has been doing it intentionally and quite a bit. This afternoon she and I were playing on the floor. She must have tried to stand at least a dozen or more times. Seriously. She would do it and then smile really big and clap for herself. Of course the clapping would throw her off balance and she would fall, but then get right back up and try again. It was the cutest thing ever.
Today she also tried letting go of the couch and instead of walking, she dove toward me. It was almost as if she was leaping. Too, too funny. I have got to make sure she realizes that people walk, not fly. Ha!
And last, but not least. Crazy Comment of the Day As Morgan Kate and I were shopping earlier today a woman said, "Oh, he's a cutie. And my goodness, isn't he kind of young to have so many teeth?" I politely turned around and said, "He is actually a she. And she's not as young as you probably think she is. She's fifteen months." The lady just sat there. No other comments. And by the way, MK was dressed in green and white stripes with a hot pink hoodie. I haven't seen many baby boys lately dressed in hot pink. But, I'm just saying....
Did I mention that we completely skipped the sippy and went straight to the cup?
Don't I wish it was that easy? Ha! But we are making progress and Morgan Kate really was drinking out of this cup. Well, mostly. Some got in her mouth, but the majority landed in her lap. Thank goodness it was only water.
We spent the weekend with my parents and while there Morgan Kate decided to "explore" under their tree. Not only did she pull several ornaments off, but she attempted to open several presents. One present being her very own. Fortunately, we stopped her just in time. After all, you can't open presents until Christmas Day. Or at least that's always been the rule in my family.
Morgan Kate also enjoyed her first "real" fire. Come to think of it, it was her first fire ever. We have gas logs, but didn't use them last winter because of her oxygen tanks. She was fascinated by the warm, bright flames.
When she wasn't watching the fire, she was playing with her Daddy and her new baby doll. Thanks Mama Jean! Travis is not a huge fan of her having a baby doll, but he was a good sport about it.
And last, but not least, this picture is completely out of focus and there was clearly not enough light, but it's still super cute. All of the girls!
My brother, Owens, told me that he does love reading my posts and all my information about prematurity and he appreciates the time I take to do it. But he really just checks in everyday to see the photos. He said all of this in a really nice and sincere fashion, so just for him I will include photos today and I will attempt to each time I post. The photos I am using today have absolutely nothing to do with what I am writing about, but for the love of my brother, here goes...
Yesterday we returned to the pediatrician's office for a re-check of MK's ear. I was hoping that the ear had gotten better and I also had a few questions/issues for Dr. G. Issue one being that MK's nose has been running constantly for the past two weeks, possibly longer. Issue two being that she has no appetite and when she does eat she constantly rubs her eyes and nose. Issue three being that she has some dry, scaly skin around her eyes and nose.
I'll start with the good news. Good news is that her breathing is great and her lungs sound super. Relief and answered prayers for this mommy. She doesn't seem to have any sort of infection or viral thing going on.
Not so good news. She still has an ear infection and a sinus infection, oh, and most likely allergies. Dr. G is almost 99% sure that the runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, as well as the dry, scaly skin around her nose and eyes is a result of allergies. And actually, the dry, scaly skin is not dry, scaly skin, but a rash. However, NOT contagious. Thank goodness.
After a complete examination and two vials of blood drawn we were able to leave. And we left with a prescription for an antibiotic, Singulair and Allegra. I think that was all. The blood work will be back next week and we will go from there. Hopefully it will pinpoint what MK is allergic to and if not, then we head to an allergist. Oh fun!
I guess in the grand scheme of things allergies aren't the worst, but my heart does break for MK. I am seriously allergic to my grandma's cats, only hers, and I hate the way it makes me feel. And I feel so, so terrible that MK has been feeling that way for quite some time now. Poor little girl!
In other news...
We have a changing table. A great changing table. One that I really like. But I am not sure why I even try to use it. MK hates getting dressed or having her diaper changed. If it were up to her, I guess she would be naked and dirty all of the time. Nice, huh? It's been this way for a while now, but lately it has gotten just down right ridiculous. She and I have a wrestling match every single morning.
Last night my mom was getting MK ready for bed and this is what I found. Looks like it's not just me. Apparently she gives everyone trouble. Mom was smart and just resorted to the floor.
Wednesday afternoon Morgan Kate and I finally got to meet this sweet girl, Hannah. Hannah's mommy and I grew up together. Literally. And now we have baby girls together. Hannah was born in September and is absolutely precious. MK loved her to pieces and wanted to just to touch her and hold her and love all over her. It was so sweet. We were sad for them to leave and can't wait to see them again.