Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When Travis and I first discussed the idea of me going back to work, we knew we had a lot of things to think about and consider. There were many, many things on that list, but only one consumed my every thought. It left me wide awake at night and kept my stomach tossing during the day. Going back to work meant leaving Morgan Kate. And leaving Morgan Kate meant finding someone we trusted wholeheartedly with our most prized possession.

We tossed around names. We talked with our pediatrician. We asked our friends and family for advice. All the while, I had a person in mind. A person who I knew we would be able to trust. A person I knew would take the absolute best care of her. A person I knew Morgan Kate would have fun with and learn so much from. A person I knew would keep her in line if she started to stray. And a person I knew that would love our baby girl. I just had to make sure that person was available and that that person was willing.

And she was.
Roddey was available and willing. Oh how our prayers were answered! I cannot even begin to explain how fortunate we are and we blessed we feel to have her in our lives. While there are mornings I struggle with actually leaving Morgan Kate, I never have anxiety about who I am leaving her with.

Being with Roddey has been so good for Morgan Kate and so good for us. In the first few days Morgan Kate shed some tears as we said our goodbyes. Just two weeks later her face lights up as we pull into the driveway each morning, she willing goes to Roddey and she barely has time to say goodbye to me. On the day of Morgan Kate's actual birthday we arrived that morning to find balloons waiting outside for MK. MK was overcome with excitement and I had to fight back the tears of a mommy who was overcome with such happiness. Throughout the day Roddey sends us texts and pictures of what Morgan Kate is doing. It puts such a smile on my face to see Morgan Kate so happy. At home MK talks constantly about "Wobbi" and all of her little friends. And in just two short weeks we have seen Morgan Kate just grow and flourish in all areas developmentally.

I know there are still going to be mornings where I struggle actually saying goodbye to MK. And there are probably going to be a few more mornings where MK sheds a tear or two herself. However, my heart and mind are at peace because I know that I am leaving my baby girl with someone who loves her and cares for just as their own.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Morgan Kate, at two years old you are doing so many new and amazing things. Of course, I think anything you do is pretty amazing.

Just recently you have started telling us when you are ready to eat. You will run to your highchair, point and say over and over "Eat, eat, eat". Sometimes you will even say "Hunry". And just the other day you actually pushed your highchair across the kitchen because you were that ready.

You have started to really play pretend. You love to have tea parties and you love to take care of your baby. You feed her and hug her and cover her up. You even try to put diapers on her.

Just this past week you started calling me "Momma" instead of "Bah-bah". It was the sweetest sound I have ever heard. I love when you call me "Bah-bah", but when I hear you say "Momma" my heart just melts. It's a completely different feeling. You have also started calling me "Header". I'm not sure how I feel about it, but you think it's hilarious. You know exactly what you are doing!

You hate waking up in the mornings. At first you are super snuggly and then you are quite the little crab. Getting you dressed is by far the hardest thing about the morning!

One of your favorite things to do right now is drink from a big cup, with no lid or straw. It's quite messy, but you love it!

You still sleep really good at night and nap really good during the day. And I try not to talk or think about it too much because I really want it to continue.

Fruits are your absolute favorite food and pizza would be a close second. You will pretty much eat or at least try anything. A new favorite is edamame and boiled peanuts. You love them both!

Speaking of peanuts, we gave you peanut butter for the first time a few weeks ago and it was a huge success. No allergic reactions and you loved it! I've been taking advantage of this new food and you've been eating boiled peanuts, PBJs and crackers with peanut butter. It's great!

You really like milk, water and sweet tea. Of course, we don't give you lots of tea, but when we do you can't get enough. Oh, and you're still taking a night time bottle. But I don't care and you don't care and it works for us. And your daddy and I will give you one and rock you each night for as long as you like.

At the age of two you are staying with someone different during the day because mommy has gone back to work. You are doing so well! You love where you are at, you love "Wobbi" and you love all of your new friends. It makes your mommy's heart smile!

You are just talking all of the time and you have some serious conversations. The only problem? Sometimes we don't have a clue what you are saying! You can say so many words and names. Your favorite name is probably "Kaky". You call her all of the time. You've also learned some new names like "Wobbi" and "Drew" and "Kay".

And you still happen to be the light of our lives! We love you so much and each and every day you fill us with such joy and delight!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fall Back Friday
(Video Style)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Yesterday was a great day! We had so much fun celebrating Morgan Kate's birthday, thinking back to August 24th of 2008 and just remembering and being thankful for how blessed we are. We are so, so blessed!

Morgan Kate had lots of celebrations yesterday. Her day began with birthday balloons. When I dropped her off yesterday morning "Wobbi" had balloons waiting on her right outside of the front door. Morgan Kate was so excited to see "boons" and of course I had tears in my eyes because I thought it was just the sweetest thing ever. (Be sure to tune in later this week for more about "Wobbi" and how blessed we are to have her in our lives. And just for the record, Wobbi is a name given by Morgan Kate.) While with "Wobbi" Morgan Kate and several of her little friends shared some chocolate cupcakes. Yummy!

After speech (yes, she had speech on her birthday) I met Travis, Morgan Kate and my parents at the NICU. We love to take her there to show the doctors and nurses and other staff how far she has come. Those wonderful people work so very hard to take care of all of the little ones and often times they don't ever get to see the fruits of their labor or what those "little ones" become. I know Morgan Kate doesn't understand it very much right now, but one day she will. And we also go because it makes our hearts feel good. It's nice to go back and see and hug and thank those amazing people that took such good care of all of us. Morgan Kate was in rare form while we there, so needless to say, the NICU staff got quite the show!

Some of our NICU family

After our NICU visit we had a very nice dinner, complete with more cupcakes!

Today we didn't have cupcakes. Instead, we had Morgan Kate's two year well visit that included a weight and height check, hemoglobin check, lead check and one immunization. The immunization left MK with lots of tears and a very grumpy attitude. Her appointment went so very well! She weighed in at 22.5 pounds and was 30 1/4 inches tall. Her height and head circumference were both on the growth chart, but her weight is still right below. Oh well, she looks perfect to me and Dr. G agreed. As always, we enjoyed meeting with her. She's always so patient, she takes her time and she answers all of our questions. When we left we were told that we didn't need to return until she was 3. Three! Oh my!

Every six months I try my best to take a picture of Morgan Kate with her "sock man". The "sock man" was something she was given in the first few days of her NICU stay. The first three pictures were easy to take - she wasn't mobile at all! The last two pictures have proved to be a bit more challenging. Either way, I tried my best!

Above picture includes birth, 6 month, 12 month and 18 month

My TWO year old with her sock man

Holding the doll at one year

Holding the doll at two years

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy 2nd birthday, my precious girl!

Two years ago today at 1:04pm Morgan Kate Callahan entered this world. She weighed only one pound and twelve ounces and wasn't much longer than a ruler. Despite her small size, she had and continues to have an enormous impact on me and on others.

So far in just two short years!

I am still trying to process the number two. I am still trying to process how in just a short time my baby is now two years old. I am the mommy to a two year old. It's almost hard to even comprehend!

I've had a lot on my mind lately. With starting back at work, the month of August quickly coming and going and Morgan Kate's birthday already here, my mind has been working overtime. I try hard not to replay all of the events from the weeks and days leading up to her birth. I try hard not to replay every second from that one Sunday afternoon. But sometimes that's impossible to do and my mind goes there. Yesterday afternoon as I was driving MK to speech and taking the same route I took for 107 days on my way to the hospital I couldn't help but think back to those days two years ago and I found myself emotional. As I was thinking back to those days a song came on the radio that really caught my attention.

These were the words to the chorus:

Life’s not the breaths you take
The breathing in and out
That gets you through the day
Ain’t what it’s all about
Ya just might miss the point
Try’n to win the race
Life’s not the breaths you take
But the moments that take your breath away

Morgan Kate has been taking my breath away since the moment she entered this world. I can't even begin to explain how lucky I am to be her mommy. She is one special, special little girl and I am so fortunate to call her mine. I try my best not to take even one second with her for granted. I snuggle her as much as I can. I love on her and kiss on her as much as I can. I get down on the floor and play with her and lay with her as much as I can. I want to be with her as much as I can. When she talks I am captivated. When I see her run I am in awe. When I feel her tiny arms around my neck my heart just melts. It's those moments that mean so much and it's those moments that make my life so rich and full. Those are the moments that take my breath away.

Happy birthday, baby girl! Mommy loves you so, so much!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I had this entirely different post all typed up and ready to share, but then I changed my mind. It was about starting back to work and feeling overwhelmed and not being able to get anything done. And then I decided that it was not a good way to start the week. No one wants to wake up on a Monday morning and read my depressing post. I might eventually share it, but not today. And besides, this is a big week around our house and we are all pretty excited despite all the things that aren't getting done. A special little girl has a really special day coming up! So, instead of my depressing post I thought I would share some pictures that would make you smile.

Nothing says fun like dirt and kool-aid!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fall Back Friday

This week I am going to "Fall Back" into some old videos. This one certainly makes my heart smile. But then, most of them do!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Since I'm not sure if I'll ever have time to blog again, I'm sharing a video.

Just for the record, yes, I was bribing my child with candy.

I'm sure I'll find some extra time very soon. There is just so much going on with going back to work and the start of school. Lots to update you on!

Monday, August 16, 2010

In honor of my thirtieth birthday...

Thirty of My Favorite Things
(In total random order)

1. Riding around town on Sunday afternoons

2. Sleeping late

3. Getting texts from Trav throughout the day

4. Seeing Morgan Kate in pajamas

5. When my mom calls me "baby"

6. The last page of magazines

7. Coffee in the mornings

8. Law and Order

9. Brownie batter

10. Morgan Kate's kisses

11. When my dad tells me he's proud of me

12. Eating Kit Kats that have been in the freezer

13. McDonald's Double Cheeseburgers

14. My daddy's french toast

15. Wearing pajamas all day

16. Peeking in on MK before bed each night

17. My mom's salads

18. Wearing flip flops

19. Folly Beach

20. Boiled peanuts

21. Hearing MK's voice

22. Sitting on my back porch

23. The way both of my grandmothers cook

24. Taking pictures

25. Summertime thunderstorms

26. Snuggling MK and Trav on Saturday mornings

27. Spending time with my brothers, doesn't matter what we are doing

28. Getting notes/cards in the mail

29. Coke

30. Now that I am back at work the WEEKENDS are my absolute favorite!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fall Back Friday

Look at that sweet, sleepy baby girl...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I survived! I officially made it through my very first day back at work. It didn't start off easy, but as the day got progressed it got better and better. And I think (think being the keyword) that I might can do it again tomorrow. Maybe.

Morgan Kate and I are not morning people. Seriously. We typically wake up around 9ish...some days later. So in the grand scheme of things 5:15 am is really my "middle of the night". Today it was a completely different story. My typical middle of the night is now my new wake up time. Ugh! And it hurt even worse because at one this morning I was still wide awake. Yikes! I did fine waking up and getting ready. Travis even commented on how well I was doing. I was actually feeling very proud of myself until I walked into Morgan Kate's room and found this.

Oh my goodness! Total sweetness. She was sleeping so hard and I did not want to wake her. This is when the tears started. This is when I just wanted to call in sick and crawl back in bed. Maybe even call the district office and resign. (Just kidding.) However, I knew that was not even a option so I decided to slowly wake her up. (She was a little luckier and got to sleep until 6:30.) Needless to say, she was a little grumpy, but did well for the most part. Before leaving our house at 6:50 (these times are going to kill me) we snapped a few "First Day" photos.

Not quite ready for the flash!

My sweet baby girl!

I cried on the entire ride over to drop her off. I tried my hardest to talk to her, but I just couldn't get any words out. The big tears came when I had to say good-bye. It was hard. A little harder than I expected. I wanted to hold onto her and love on her and just take her back home with me. Again, not an option. So I tried my best to quickly say good-bye. She only cried for a second and then was completely fine. Her smile and comfort level definitely helped me. As soon as I left I called Travis. He wanted to ask about how things went and all I could say was, "Talk about something. But not MK. Just talk until I can get it together". By the time I made it to school I had pulled myself together and I am proud to say there were no more tears. Only smiles, and the absolute biggest smile came when I got to pick my baby girl up nine hours later. The longest nine hours of my life. It was like music to my ears when I saw her smile and heard her say, "Bah-beeeee!" My heart just melted.

So, maybe I can do this. I know there are going to hard days and good days, but maybe, just maybe, I can do this.

***A BIG thanks to all of those who called, left messages, texts, cards, emails, etc. It truly made me smile and helped me get through the day! I love you all dearly!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dear Morgan Kate,

Tomorrow is a big day for both of us. Tomorrow I will be returning to work for the first time in two years. The first time since you were born. And you will be staying with someone who I couldn't be more happier about. Yet, I have so many mixed emotions and I really don't know how to put it all into words. For the past two weeks, especially the beginning of last, I have spent a lot of time crying. A lot. Your daddy was very concerned and thought I was losing my mind. I can't blame him, I thought I was losing my mind. I can't really explain all of the tears. I was just really, really sad and kind of scared and even more anxious. You'll learn as you get older that your mommy doesn't like change and she doesn't like when she feels like things are ending. And last week I knew things were getting ready to change and I think I felt like my time with you was ending. I know, I know. It sounds so silly. It's the end of me staying home with you every day, all day, but it's definitely not the end of our time together. As crazy as it may sound, I had to remind myself of that. I had to sit down and have a little pep talk with myself too. And do lots of praying.

Before you were born your daddy and I never intended for me to stay home. I was going to be with you for just a few months while you were a tiny baby and then I was going to return to work. On August 14th of 2008 things took quite a different turn and I have been home ever since. While it might not have been time we intended for, it's time I will never regret and it's time that I wouldn't trade for anything in this entire world. I feel so fortunate and so blessed to have been at home with you for two years. And I never imagined that going back to work and leaving you would be so hard.

Everything I do in this world is for you and your daddy and our little family. You two are my everything! And while going back to work makes me incredibly sad because I don't want to spend even a second without you, please know that I'm doing it for our family. Going back to work will enable me to help our family financially. It will give you time with other people and other children. You will meet new friends and have so much fun. And I can only imagine the learning that is getting ready to take place in that precious little head of yours. I already appreciate all of the time and moments I have with you, but I have a feeling that I'm going to appreciate that time and those moments even more. And I can already predict that my new favorite time of day will be the moment I pick you up and see that beautiful little face of yours.

I don't start actually teaching until next Thursday, but I can already tell that I am going to be a better teacher because of YOU. You have taught me so much about myself, about children and about learning. And I can't wait to share all that I have learned from you with my new students.

Know that while I may not be with you every second of the day, you are definitely in my thoughts all of the time. Morgan Kate, I love you so much and I'm so proud to be your mommy!

Love you muches,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I can't sleep. I have this constant lump in my throat. The tiniest things make me all teary eyed. One minute I'm okay about going back to work. And the next minute I am a total mess. I've been trying so hard to stay positive and to just be thankful for a job, but there are some moments where I just can't keep it all together. Right now is one of those moments.

It's so hard to explain. I'm not sad about going to work. I enjoy teaching. I enjoy working with children. I enjoy learning. And I know that Morgan Kate is going to be in the best of care. But I am so incredibly sad to leave her. She's all I know. For the past two years, twenty-four hours a day, I have lived and breathed Morgan Kate. We wake up together. We eat breakfast and lunch together. We play together and read together. Some days we even nap together. We go to therapy and doctor's appointments together. We spend all day, every day with one another. And I love every single minute of it.

I knew going back to work was going to be hard, but I think the month of August makes it even harder. The month of August will never be the same for me. I will always think of August 2008. I will always think of that day I returned to work and how that afternoon I found out that things were terribly wrong and that I would be on bed rest for the duration of my pregnancy. I will always think of my hospital stay and how each day was so crucial. And I will always think of and remember the day Morgan Kate made her entrance into this world much too soon. Each August brings with it so many emotions and memories and feelings from that August two years ago. So as I prepare to go back to work this Thursday I can't help but think of that Thursday two years ago.

And at the same time I am trying to remind myself of all the many things I have to be thankful for and to smile about. I have an amazing husband who I love more than anything else in this world. Together we have a beautiful, healthy, happy baby girl who is our everything. I have been so fortunate to be able to stay at home with her for the past two years. We have terrific family and great friends. We have two fur babies who we love dearly. We both have good jobs, good health, a roof over our heads and food on our table. We are immensely blessed.

So while my heart feels like it's in a million little pieces and at times it's hard for me to breath, I'm going to try and focus on the good things. The things that make me smile.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Today has been a very busy day. Countless errands. Laundry. A few hours of work in my classroom with "little hands" helping. More errands. And speech late this afternoon. Oh, and my little side kick only napped for about twenty minutes. Wow! Part of me feels great about all the things I accomplished today. And then another part of me feels overwhelmed at all there is left to do. I feel even more overwhelmed just thinking about how overwhelmed I will be this Thursday when I start back to work. (And I'm sure you feel overwhelmed just reading that.)

Needless to say, it was very much needed and very much relaxing to sit back tonight in the backyard and watch MK. Lots of laughter...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fall Back Friday

Our sweet baby girl last August.

Eating her baby food.

Playing with her stethoscope.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I laugh at and with Morgan Kate on a daily basis. Numerous times a day. But in the last few days she has had me in stitches. I'll share some of our experiences...

1. Morgan Kate has this headband with little ears on it. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be bunny ears, lamb ears or cat ears. Either way, she now adores it. She has had the headband for quite some time, but never really been that interested in it. Until now. I pulled it out last week while changing her diaper, hoping that it would distract her. Ever since then she's been all ears. She will run into our den, find the ears and put them on her head. She will just walk around the house for hours with these ears on. And while wearing them she totally hams it up. She dances, smiles really big, walks on her tip toes - she's quite the entertainer. I don't know why, but I just think it's the funniest thing. Especially when she wears them with just her diaper.

2. Not so sure how funny I think this next one is, but it made me laugh out loud when it happened. I'll share the conversation...
Me: Morgan Kate, do not throw your blocks.
Morgan Kate: (Smiling and softly throws another block)
Me: Do not do that again!
Morgan Kate: (Raising her hand to throw another)
Me: Morgan Kate, do you want a spanking? (I know, I know. I shouldn't have asked. Also thinking she wouldn't really understand.)
Morgan Kate: (Takes her little hands and pats her own bottom three or four times.)

Ah hah! She does understand!

3. Just tonight I realized that MK needed her diaper changed. Smelly! I wanted to see if she was aware that it needed to be changed. Some days she does, some days she doesn't. So I say, "MK, what's in your diaper?" and she responds so matter-of-factly, "Ummmm...poo poo!".

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Word Wednesday - Last Edition

I really feel like Morgan Kate has had a language explosion in the last few weeks. I feel like her gross motor and fine motor skills are all coming so naturally for her at this point and now she is really taking off in the language department. It's just all coming together! She is just talking all of the time these days. Seventy percent of the time we really have no clue what she is saying (she wants us to though), but the other thirty or so percent makes perfect sense. It's so hard to keep up with her new words because she will try her hardest to repeat anything you say - so she's really saying a lot!

She's been saying "thank you" for a while now, but only when we say it first. For the past few days she's been saying it on her on and it cases where it makes perfect sense. We give her a snack, she says "tha-oo". We give her a kiss, she says "tha-oo". We give her milk, she says "tha-oo". It's just the sweetest thing. She's also using more two word phrases such as "more please" and "help please". I have the best intentions of catching all of this on video and it never works out. My goal is to start getting better at that, so that I can share all her wonderful words with you!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Not too much to write about today. The only thing I'm busy doing is soaking up every last minute at home with this precious girl.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

Last week Morgan Kate and I experienced the single life. Lots of eating out, visiting family and friends, taking out the trash, feeding the dogs and watering the grass. We did okay for the most part, but we (okay, I) literally counted down the hours and minutes and seconds until "Dah-dee" returned home. I don't enjoy the single life. I enjoy my little family of three (five counting Lola and Cash).

Travis was in Ireland on a business trip for the entire week. He doesn't typically take "out of the country" trips. Matter of fact, the last time he ventured to Ireland I went along.

This time however, I decided to stay home. I don't particularly like seven and a half hour flights and I wasn't so sure Morgan Kate would either. Thankfully our week flew by thanks to my awesome parents, Owens and Trenholm who fed us on a regular basis and lots of play dates that included sweet babies like this.

Last week I was also able to work in my new classroom a little. Thanks to my mommy I was able to get a lot done. Unfortunately, I still have lots to do and I'm still trying to figure out how you get all that done with a two year old. I have to be very careful and selective when talking about work. Some days I'm really happy and excited and all giddy and other days I just want to cry. Just for the record, today was a "cry day". I know it's going to be a "cry day" when the tears start only minutes after waking up. Hopefully tomorrow will be a "smile day".

Speaking of work, I was in need of a TB test. So today I made my way to the doctor's for a simple TB test and left with a TB test, tetanus shot and whooping cough vaccine. And all in the same arm. Whoah!


And just because...

(Uncle Owens and Morgan Kate)