Sunday, February 28, 2010

Morgan Kate has a new love. KETCHUP. This comes as no surprise to Travis or myself. Some of our family members, who shall remain nameless, have a serious obsession with ketchup. And I am beginning to think it has been passed on to our little girl.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

When I was growing up I didn't really like reading. Sounds funny seeing as if I was/am a teacher. But I didn't. Books were boring to me. I didn't have the focus or attention span for books. And I hated, hated, hated summer reading lists. I don't like when people tell me that I have to read and I especially don't like when people tell me what to read. The only summer reading book I even remember liking was Island of the Blue Dolphins, and maybe The Scarlett Letter, but that was it.

With all of that being said, there was one book I loved when I was younger. Each time I was at my grandmother's (Mammie) house I would read that book. And she would read it to me. It was a hardback book, with no fancy book jacket. It was a mint green color with black and white illustrations on the front. I loved the way the book looked. I loved the way the book smelled. I just loved the book. I remember it was a book about frogs and these frogs were in the bathtub.

Here's the awful part. I don't remember who the main character was - was it a boy or a girl? I think boy. And I can't remember the title of the book. And worst of all, I can't find the book. Mammie and I have looked everywhere and we have had no luck. I have even tried googling every thing possible and still, no book. There has to be someone, somewhere out there who has also read this book and knows what I am talking about.

Have you seen or read this book? Help!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thoughts on Thursday

Just some very random thoughts.

Here are some pictures I took today. I love them. I love them because they are of my baby girl, but I also love them because of her outfit. You may not be able to tell, but MK has on a dress, acting as a shirt, and green pants. I LOVE making dresses into shirts. Not on myself of course, but on Morgan Kate. This is actually a 12 month dress, which is her current clothing size, but I have found that while 12 months fits her width wise, they are beginning to be too short length wise (for most things anyway). Maybe she's going to be tall. She definitely wouldn't get that trait from me, but possibly my parents or my brothers or even some of my extended family who range from 5'11" to well over 6 feet.

As of 9:06pm tonight I have received numerous emails requesting shirts and our total is already up to twenty-three. And that doesn't include a majority of my family, whom I am sure will ALL be ordering shirts. Hee, hee! You still have time to order a shirt, just send me an email at and let me know how many and what sizes. I will get back with you in a few weeks about a final price and how to send me the money. We are only fifteen shirts short of the cost being $5.75. (Hope that made sense!)

Remember, only twenty more days to order a shirt, 42 days to donate money and 44 days until the walk!

Monday we had Morgan Kate's annual review with our early intervention program. In a nutshell, we all get together (me, our early interventionist, our PT and our SLP) and discuss MK. Prior to our meeting our EI had assessed/evaluated MK, just as she did on our very first day. Our EI then gathered information from our PT and SLP. We then all met together and discussed where we are and where to go from here. I don't have the official results, like all the snazzy numbers and percentiles, but I do know that we will continue to have speech twice a week, PT once a week and we will once again be adding OT back into the picture. Oh, and we meet with our EI once a week. Therefore, making our grand total of therapy sessions per week - 5. I also know that MK has made some tremendous progress and has some really, really strong areas, but still also shows a delay in some. I'll be able to give you all more info next week.

And while it's not always comforting or exciting to hear that your child has delays or still needs support in some areas, I am thankful. Thankful for a program that starts so early in a child's life. Thankful for amazing therapists who love us and love Morgan Kate. And thankful that Morgan Kate is receiving just what she needs.

And in a very random thought I just want to mention that ketchup can now be added as a favorite food of Morgan Kate's. Which really comes as no surprise considering that I have some of the world's biggest ketchup supporters in my family. Tonight while dining at McDonald's she repeatedly stuck the same french fry into the ketchup over and over and over. She would stick it in the ketchup, lick it off and stick the same fry in again. All I could do was laugh and watch intently as this little girl grows and changes before my very eyes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Morgan Kate,

Today your are 18 months old. Eighteen months! I can hardly believe it. I know I say that about nearly everything, but it's just so true. Life speeds up exponentially when you have a child. Some days I can't wait for the next milestone or the next phase and other days I just want time to be still so I can enjoy every minute and every little detail with you.

Eighteen months is such a fun age! I know, I find myself saying that about every age. You have so much personality. You are so loving and so caring and you want to share everything. You are all over the place. You are walking and crawling and dancing and jumping. You are standing on your tippy toes and bending over to pick every little thing up. You are babbling more and talking some. You have a few "real" words in your vocabulary, but mostly it's your own language, which I also happen to love. You know how to feed your baby doll and wash her face. You know how to give her "love" and cover her with a blanket. You give Daddy and I hugs and kisses all of the time. You love, love, love Cash and you want Lola to love you, but it hasn't happened quite yet. It will though, I know it. You are eating okay. You like to eat, you just happen to be very picky. And yes, you still take a bottle. The cup will come, one day. You are only napping once a day, but you sleep like a champ at night. You are wearing twelve month clothes and size three diapers. You have THE tiniest feet and still only wear a size two shoe - mostly a size one. Oh, and you have recently begun to fling yourself on the floor and kick your feet when you don't get your way. It's quite amusing.

You bring me such joy and such happiness. Every day I am reminded of how far you have come and what a little fighter you are. Words cannot truly express how much I love you and how much you mean to me. You are my heart, my everything. And I fall more and more in love with you every single day!

I love you sweet girl!

MK with "Sock Man" at 18 months

MK with "Sock Man" at 12 months

MK with "Sock Man" at 6 months

MK with "Sock Man" at birth

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Other information regarding the t-shirts:
1. All t-shirt orders must be submitted to me by Wednesday, March 17th. This date will allow plenty of time for money to be processed, shirts to be made, as well as shirts to be picked up and/or delivered.

2. The $7.75 is the total cost for the shirt. I am not making any money off of the shirts and none of the money is going toward the March of Dimes. The $7.75 is for the shirt only. I thought it would be a terrific way to be united as we walk, as well as to spread the word about prematurity and babies like Morgan Kate. If you would like to donate to the March of Dimes you can click on the purple button to the right or you can include a donation with the check for your shirt or you can mail me a separate check. (Feel free to email me at and I will provide a mailing address for you.) Just wanted to make sure this was clear. At one time I had thought about setting the price of the shirt to $10 - with $7.75 going to the company making the shirts and the other $2.25 going to the March of Dimes, but I wasn't sure if everyone would be comfortable with that.


Monday, February 22, 2010

T-shirt Information

And the winners are...

Front 2
and Back 3
Back 3? Wait a minute. I didn't see a Back 3. Back 3 was not an option.

If any of this is/was your thought process then you are exactly right. Back 3 was not an option, but rather, a last minute change and somewhat of a collaboration. I'll explain.

I blogged about the t-shirts last Wednesday evening and Friday morning while I was brushing my teeth it occurred to me that Back 2 was not really even a possible option. Please don't ask why I was thinking about all of this while brushing my teeth. My thought process has been quite odd lately. Anyway, Back 2 isn't/wasn't possible because of the footprints. The footprints being used are Morgan Kate's actual footprints from the day she was born. Meaning that these footprints are very small, smaller than my thumb to be exact. So, if I had put a footprint on either side of the text then it would have been super small and most likely gotten lost in the big picture. When I initially created the design I didn't consider scale and size and things of that nature. Therefore, I decided to keep the feet together, much like Back 1. However, I did make the text much larger, like Back 2, and I centered the text like Back 2. And I so hope this makes everyone happy. I really, really hate that I had to make changes and that I didn't technically go with the majority, but in reality I didn't really go with the majority or the minority. Rather, a combination.

Here's a small sneak peek at the final shirt. I happen to LOVE it!

More info about the shirts...
The shirts will be white with purple writing. A true purple writing, not lavender or anything like that. The shirts come in size S-6XL and are Hanes Heavyweight Tees. There are also youth and infant sizes available.

If we order at least 24 shirts then the price will be $7.75 per shirt. If we order 48 or more, then the price will be $5.75 a shirt. Oh, and if you need any size larger than XL, then it's $1.00 more per X. (I know, I think it's pretty ridiculous too, but it's just one of those things.) I wish that I had an enormous bank account and could pay for everyone's shirts, I really, really do, but unfortunately I don't. Sorry. It makes me sad too.

If you are interested in buying a shirt please send me an email at Within the email please let me know how many shirts you would like to purchase, as well as sizes. I will keep all of you posted on the price of the shirt. After a few weeks I will then send you an email with my mailing address so that you can send me a check or cash or whatever else there is. If you live in the Orangeburg area then you can pick your shirt up from my parent's house the week before the walk. If you live in Columbia then I can bring you your shirt or you can pick your shirt up from my house the week before the walk. If you don't live in Orangeburg or Columbia then we can talk further. I hope this works for everyone and if you have any questions please let me know.

We are super excited about the walk and these shirts and we can't wait for April 10th and April 24th!! Oh, and if you are not able to physically walk for one reason or another, we would still love for you to come and sit at the starting/ending point. Just bring your chair, have a seat and cheer us on!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Many Faces of Morgan Kate

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I would love, love, love to have t-shirts made for the walk(s) this year. I have contacted several t-shirt places and think I have settled with THE one. I have created two possible designs for the back and front of the shirt and now I need you to help me. Please take a look at the options and then vote using the poll in the left sidebar. Voting will close this Sunday afternoon. Oh, and for all curious, the shirts will be white with purple writing/design/etc.

Front 1
Front 2
Back 1
Back 2

Thanks so much!

Sure wish I looked this cute in a pair of striped tights. Ha!

Only 52 days left until the Orangeburg March of Dimes Walk, which will be held on Saturday, April 10th at 9am. And only 50 more days to collect donations!

Be sure to check back tonight for more information, as well as possible t-shirt designs.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Just minutes after finding out we were pregnant with Morgan Kate I began to worry. Seriously. I took a test, saw the results, screamed and cried with Travis and then began to worry. Part of the worry was my fault. Or rather my knowledge.

Prior to getting pregnant with Morgan Kate I read numerous books. Books about getting pregnant. Books about being pregnant. Books about fertility. Books about infertility. I read so many books. I also became quite consumed with the Internet - which I have come to learn is not the place to go for everything. Having all of this knowledge was good and bad. It was good for many, many reasons, but it was bad because I knew too much. I knew all that could go wrong. I knew all that could happen. I knew about infertility. I knew about IUI and IVF. I knew about ovulation predictor kits. I knew about fertile times of the month. I knew about ectopic pregnancies and molar pregnancies. I knew about miscarriage and stillbirth. (You would have thought that with all this knowledge I would have known something about premature babies, but sadly enough, I didn't.) I knew about childbirth, vaginal births and cesareans.

I knew a lot and it caused me to worry. With every little ache and pain I worried. Before and after every single doctor's appointment I worried. I was consumed with this worry. If I had gone to an appointment while pregnant with Morgan Kate and learned that I had miscarried or learned that something had happened to her I think I would have even been prepared. I mean I don't know that you can ever really prepare for those types of things, but I would have almost expected it. That's just how much I worried. I had always thought that getting pregnant and being pregnant would be this glorious, happy time. And it was to a certain degree. I certainly loved being pregnant and I loved my belly and I loved anxiously awaiting to see my child's face for the first time. But I was so worried.

Just this past Christmas Eve we found out we were expecting #2. We were thrilled, elated, on top of the world. I was also a little nervous, but it was at the thought of having two children under the age of two. I wasn't nervous or worried about being pregnant. I told myself that this time would be different in all aspects. I wasn't going to worry. I wasn't going to be nervous and fret about every little thing. I was going to be positive. I was going to enjoy this. And by golly, I was going to do everything in my power to make it 40+ weeks. I was giddy with excitement and while sharing this announcement with all of you, I was dying to share our even bigger announcement. But I never got the chance.

Just several days after finding out we were pregnant my doctor wanted to see me. With everything that had happened with Morgan Kate he just wanted to bring me in and check things out. At that appointment it was confirmed that were indeed pregnant, but that it was very early. My doctor told me to return in three weeks at which time I should have been close to eight weeks along. For the next three weeks we just beamed. We were on cloud nine. We were busy planning out the next nine months. Planning our summer while I would be big and pregnant. Planning the arrival of our number two. Planning the fall and holidays with two children. I was also busy staying positive. I was determined not to worry.

Three weeks later we returned for our next visit. The night before felt like Christmas to me. I couldn't sleep and I was so anxious for the next morning. Travis and I arrived as early as we could and waited patiently for our ultrasound. The minute the ultrasound started I knew something was wrong. The baby on the screen looked a lot smaller than an eight week baby. The tech measured the baby and yes, indeed, the baby was measuring small. At this time there was a heartbeat, but it was fluctuating. One minute it was 85 and several minutes later it was 175. My heart stopped. My eyes filled with tears. I had this horrible lump in my throat. And I was angry. My doctor, who I love dearly, tried to remain positive. He told us not to give up hope and to come back in two weeks. But he was also very honest, which I truly appreciate and need. While he wanted us to remain positive, he also wanted us to know that I could in fact have a miscarriage or that something could be wrong chromosomally.

We left that day in a much different state than we came in. I was angry. I was sad. I was worried. I was mad. I was hurt. I was disappointed. I felt stupid. Stupid for trying to be positive, stupid for not worrying and stupid for thinking that everything would be okay and great this time. I left not knowing whether to remain hopeful or give up all hope. I was a mess. This wasn't something I was prepared for. I hadn't expected this. I had been trying to be positive and enjoy it.

Just ten days later I returned to the doctor because of intense cramping. At that appointment we found out that there was no heartbeat. Our baby had stopped growing. I tried to be strong. I tried to fight back tears. But it was impossible. I was crushed.

I could have stayed in my bed for days. I could have cried and cried for a very long time. I still do some days. But thankfully God, nor life, allowed me to do that. Just two days later, on Wednesday, Morgan Kate had her reaction to penicillin. I had to get up and I had to be a mommy to the baby I did have. And on Thursday we had our March of Dimes breakfast. I had to speak. I could have called and canceled, but I didn't. I got up and I did what I had promised to do. I wanted to do it. I had to get up and keep going.

It's been over three weeks now and each day gets easier and easier. I have really, really good days and then I have days where I am still angry and I am still sad. I still don't understand it all and I still don't know why these types of things happen, but they do and it stinks. Just today I went for a follow-up appointment and everything was fine. I was recovering and healing just fine.

And I'm trying to stay positive. One day, not any time soon, it will be our time.
I realize that snow is not exciting for everyone. Especially for those who live in the northern part of our country or for those who experience snow a lot. But for us, well, snow is so very exciting! Occasionally, we get a slight dusting. Matter of fact, last year shortly after we brought Morgan Kate home from the hospital, it snowed for like twenty whole minutes. But, we rarely get snow that actually covers the ground or snow that hangs around for a while.

So, when snow made it our way this weekend we were all elated!

Morgan Kate wasn't real sure what was going on, but Travis and I were giddy with excitement. The snow started Friday afternoon and continued until the wee hours of Saturday morning. The sight we awoke to Saturday was amazing. And of course we ventured out to play.

We played and played and played. We put our feet in it, we put our hands in it and we even built a snowman. Actually, my parents built the snowman and we watched. It was great!

We all had a blast, especially Morgan Kate!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

As the mother of a twenty-five weeker, I would be lying if I said I didn't worry about Morgan Kate's growth and development. I do. Some days I worry a lot. Some days I worry a little. Some days I am consumed by it. And some days it never crosses my mind.

There are days like Monday at speech where worry is at the forefront of my mind. Where I leave, immediately get in my car, call Travis and begin to cry. I cry because it breaks my heart to see Morgan Kate struggle. Even if it's just a little. I cry because I do worry about whether it will all click and when it will all click. And I even cry because I get tired of people asking me, "How old is she?" and then followed by, "Oh, well she should be walking, maybe even running, right?" or "So how many words does she say?" or "Is she talking up a storm?" Seems like simple, easy questions, but they aren't always simple and easy for me.

And while there are some days like Mondays, there are many more days like today. Days where Morgan Kate blows me away. Amazes me. Days where I immediately pick up the phone, call Travis and can hardly speak because I am so ecstatic. Days where I know it's all going to come together and it's going to come together in her time. Because that's just the way it is.

There are days like today where Morgan Kate just all of a sudden stands up in the middle of the floor unassisted, unsupported and starts walking. Yesterday she was pulling up on things and then walking. Today she just stands all by herself and walks. AMAZING.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Only 59 days left until the March of Dimes Walk in Orangeburg. And only 59 days left to reach our team goal of $2000. Please click here if you need more information! Also, don't forget to leave me a message in the comments section if you are planning to walk.

And just for a nice Wednesday evening chuckle, I thought I would share with you Morgan Kate's latest fascination. She is so going to get me back one day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Each day is more and more exciting, not only because Morgan Kate growing and changing, but because each day I get a different glimpse at her little big personality. Today was a great example.

Our day started with speech. Speech proves to be difficult for Morgan Kate. Let me explain. Actually speaking and using language and making sounds is not difficult for Morgan Kate (usually), but being attentive and staying focused is. She is quite the wiggle worm during our speech sessions. Some days are much, much better than others, but today was not one of those days. Today was a day of squirming, not wanting to sing, not wanting to play with toys and not wanting to drink from a cup. She was more interested in playing with a roll of paper towels and picking up every little speck of dirt/lint/paper that was on the floor.

When we tried to get her to sing or play in the mirror, she would squirm around and arch her back. When we tried to get her to sit in her chair and drink from her cup, she threw it across the room. When we tried to play with different toys, she played with things that are not considered toys. And while I should have been helping redirect her and telling her "No", I found myself just watching her. Watching her and smiling inside at her little big personality. Now, I did step in when she threw the cup across the room and milk went everywhere, but mostly I just watched. (And really, that's all I am supposed to do during speech.) I know that when she's fifteen and acting that way I won't feel the same or just sit back and watch, but today I did. In a way, I'm glad she's feisty and strong-willed and determined. Again, I know I won't like it when she's older, but for now I do.

Later today we had physical therapy. Now, this is where Morgan Kate shines. She loves physical therapy. She loves her therapist. And she works hard. Extremely hard. Matter of fact, when her therapist arrived today she was napping, but the minute she heard her voice she popped up and was ready to go. Oh, and my so called "non-walker", yeah, she took twenty steps today. And she did that several times. Yep, the same little girl who won't walk for her mommy or daddy, unless they make her, was walking up a storm for her PT. Now, there was some motivation, food for example, but still she was walking everywhere. And walking like she had been doing it forever.

Again, it just goes to show that she does things when she wants to do them and in her own time. Another side of her personality. And like most people, she too is driven by food.

Speaking of food, she has just recently starting really sharing her food. Prior to, she would offer it to you and then jerk it away. But lately, she has been offering it to you and actually giving it to you. It's so, so sweet and she just has the biggest smile when she does it. She is so loving and so caring and I just love that she wants to share.

Smiling at her daddy.

She also loves books. And I couldn't be happier. I never really liked books until I was much older, and I am so glad she is learning to like books now at such an early age. The same wiggle worm that can't sit still during speech will sit in my lap for what seems like forever just reading books and pointing at the pictures. My heart just melts. This morning I found her in her crib "reading" a book. She had the book open and she was talking up a storm. It was almost as if she was reading to her baby doll. Sweet, sweet girl.

So, my babe might be strong-willed, determined and a little of "I do what I want to do", she's also quite the heart-melter. She's sweet, she's loving, she's snuggly, she loves to share and I am completely in love with her and her little big personality.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I am sure you guys are tired of hearing about it. And frankly, I am tired of dealing with it.

THE SIPPY CUP, that is. I am so over it. Seriously. I am to the point where if Morgan Kate wants to take a bottle until she is five then I am perfectly okay with it. We have tried every cup you could ever imagine and none of them work for her. She either chews on the spout or actually ends up getting some of the milk in her mouth and then spits it all out. And yes, we have been working with our "speech" cups as well and they have not been of any help either. I seriously don't know what to do. She does great with her bottle. She can hold it, she can give it to herself, she drinks from it and she doesn't spit anything out.

Whewh. Okay, I am going to try and never post about this again, but I had to get that off of my chest.

Morgan Kate is so loving and so snuggly. Most of the time. Hee, hee. Whenever we ask her for "lovin" (aka - hugs) she puts her little head on our shoulders and wraps her arms around our necks. It's the sweetest thing ever. We give her kisses all day it seems like, but she will never kiss us back. If we ask for a kiss she will just laugh and turn away. But, today was different. Travis was playing with her and asked for a kiss. Morgan Kate leaned in real close and did her best attempt at a kiss. Of course I then asked for one and she did the same thing. I literally got tears in my eyes because I was so excited. It was so, so sweet and I just ate her up.

I assumed that since this was something new she would do it all afternoon. Not so much. She is apparently quite stingy with her kisses and will only give them when she feels like it. She's probably also a little tired of us asking. Ha!

On a completely different note.

For the past five years Travis and I have watched the Superbowl and pulled for different teams. We make really cheesy bets like, "If my team wins then you (Travis) have to wash the dishes for a week" or "If my team wins then you (Heather) have to iron my clothes for a week". It's cheesy, but it's fun. Anyway, for the past four years my team has won. That's right. I have won the bet for the past four years. Now, I occasionally watch football with Travis, but I don't really know a lot about it. I mean I know the game, but I don't know all the players and coaches and team owners and such.

Anyway, tonight was no different. He told me early on that he was pulling for the Colts, so I of course took the Saints. I actually like the Saints and I like that they were considered by some to be the underdogs.

So, according to our bet, it looks like I will be sleeping in for the next few weekends. I can't wait!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I woke up this morning feeling so excited. Today was going to be the day for Morgan Kate's last RSV shot. Not only her last of the season, but hopefully her last forever. Or so I thought.

Upon arriving at the office and checking in, the receptionist proceeded to make our final appointment for March. March? Another shot? Are you sure? I was certain that there must be some confusion. Apparently, the only confusion was on my part. Morgan Kate qualifies for five injections this season and her March appointment will make her 5th. Oh happy day! NOT.

Don't get me wrong. I am eternally thankful and grateful that Morgan Kate qualifies for these shots. Really, I am. I know several little ones that have RSV right now and they were full-term babies and it has been so very rough on their tiny bodies. So, believe me, I am more than thankful for these shots and the protection they offer. However, I know these shots hurt. I mean I don't really know because I have never had one. But, from the look on Morgan Kate's face and her reaction after, I know they hurt.

Before administering the shot they weigh her so that they know exactly how much to give. The minute I sat her on the scale she began to cry and when I put her down on the table so that they get to her legs she began screaming. Oh, how it broke my heart. And because she's bigger now and weighs more she had to get two injections. Ouch!

So, I did what any good mommy would do. After those painful injections and those tears running down her face we headed to the Golden Arches. McDonald's that is. And we BOTH had a Cheeseburger Happy Meal. It was perfect. She loved it. I loved it. And there were no more tears.

Here's our proof...

And as I said before, all of those things above make for one happy little girl. (She really is happy. This is just one of her new faces!)