Sunday, December 28, 2008
This year, I figured...what's the use? Seriously...am I going to keep any of these "promises" that I make to myself? Probably not. Then, when I don't, I feel bad about myself.
This year, I'm not setting myself up for failure. This year, instead of focusing on things that I think I need to change...I'm going to focus on things I'm doing right now...that I want to continue doing in the year to come.
Going to school. Breastfeeding Presley. Blogging my family's memories. Playing games with the kids. Going to the gym. Making sure we all take our daily vitamin. Taking time for myself. Drinking plenty of water. Making sure the kids do their best in school and encourage their love of learning. Focus on our finances. Working on organizing my entire home. Continue telling myself that milk chocolate is a serving of dairy. Keep being an example of tolerance, for my children. And other people that need the lesson. Taking time to cuddle my kids, just because...even when I don't think I have the time. Taking plenty of pictures, to document my children's childhoods. Continue to never get stressed out and always think logically, without letting my emotions get the best of me...okay, so maybe I do have a little something to work on... :)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
However, it wasn't like any other Christmas card, that we have ever received. Inside the envelope was a beautiful Christmas card and $100! It was simply signed, "Merry Christmas! God Bless!"
Because of my pregnancy complications, I was in and out of the hospital a lot before Presley's birth. This means that for a couple months I haven't really been working a lot and since her early arrival, I haven't been working at all. Because of that and the medical bills that fill our mailbox daily, money has been really tight.
We haven't told anyone about our financial issues, so we don't know where it could have come from or how someone knew. Now, we don't know who to thank, either. All I can hope is that this amazing person reads this and knows how much we appreciate their gift.
Josh and I discussed it and we feel so incredibly blessed, that we will be taking half of it and giving it to another family, that we know could really use it. It's not money that we planned on, so it's not money that we will miss...and knowing that another family will feel as loved and blessed as we do now, is what Christmas is all about.
Monday, December 22, 2008
The thought that she is beginning to grow, makes me incredibly sad. I can't believe that she is my last baby. My last "first smile". My last baby smell and soft eyes. My last "first tooth". My last time hearing my baby say "Ma Ma" for the first time. My last experience as a nursing mom. My last tiny little hand tangled in my hair. My last "first giggle". My last first steps.
I will never again feel the sudden rush of excitement at a positive pregnancy test. I will never again hold my breath as I wait for my doctor to find the baby's heartbeat. I will never again strain my eyes to make out my baby's body parts on a black and white screen. I will never again wonder if I just felt my baby's first kick...or if it was just gas. It will always just be gas... :) I will never again use my belly as a shelf, for a bowl of ice-cream. I will never again watch my belly morph into geometric shapes as my little one tumbles inside. I will never again feel the shock of my water breaking. I will never again feel a contraction and be so happy to be in pain. I will never again sit in a hospital bed with all the people I love around me...waiting for one more to join us. I will never again push with all my might to bring my child into the world. I will never again hold a child that is physically connected to me. I will never again watch my husband cut the cord that has binded that child to me for 9 months.
BUT....I will always know that no matter where in the world my children are, no matter what they choose to do or who they choose to become...I will always love them. With every little piece of my heart.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
To these people...you know who you are...THANK YOU for your e-mails. You bring a smile to my face and brighten my day. Thank you for letting me know that you are there. I love to write about my crazy kids, my school struggles and my extra-ordinary happenings...thank you for reading!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
What a year of changes! I can’t believe another year has flown by, while we weren’t looking! Our children continue to surprise and delight us everyday and we could not imagine our lives without them.
We’ll start with our most recent big…yet tiny…change! Our little princess, Presley, was born on November 21st. After having a miscarriage in April, we were shocked to find out only a few weeks later, that we were expecting again. Following a month of threatening to come early, she arrived by emergency c-section at 33 weeks, 1 day. We were warned that she would be spending almost two months in the hospital, due to her premature birth, but they severely underestimated our little peanut! From day one, she became a legend. She was known as the “preemie that didn’t know she was a preemie.” The nurses, doctors and I would joke that if we just didn’t tell her she wasn’t full-term, that she’d keep doing well. After only nine days in special care, she came home! She is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and has an incredibly laid back personality, that fits in well with our chaos.
Luke is no longer my little baby boy. He has the vocabulary of a five year old and the mess making abilities of several 2 year olds. He loves Thomas the Train and only wants a train set for Christmas. He loves having Pres home and calls her, “MY baby!” He can’t wait to start pre-school next year and hates when we drop off Avery and he can’t stay. It’s strange to think that he’ll be old enough to be starting school already!
Avery is in her first year of pre-school and loves it! She is starting to pick out letters and tries to write her name. I have seen a lot of changes in her in the last few months. She is more helpful and gets into trouble a little less. She still has the biggest eyes and the cutest smattering of freckles on her nose. She wants a new baby doll for Christmas and she already loves to “feed” her babies like I feed Pres.
Ryleigh is really enjoying kindergarten. She has picked up reading quite easily and her teacher just adores her. She gets along with everyone in her class, but is more on the shy side. She has developed a little attitude, but overall, is a good kid and is a big help, most of the time. She loves holding Pres and changing her diapers, when asked. She played soccer again this year and really seems to have a natural talent for it.
Bailey is doing really well in 2nd grade. She loves reading and drawing pictures. She has times when she thinks she’s already a teenager, but thankfully, that isn’t too often. She has a lot of friends at school and is very much the social butterfly. She has a gentle personality and always tries to make the right choice. She also played soccer again this year and improved quite a bit! I love watching her attempt new things and succeed.
Josh is still working for XXXXX and working crazy rotating hours. He got our yard completely finished this year and has been busy painting various areas of our home that weren’t done yet. He got into the Christmas spirit even more this year and decorated the house and front yard. The kids are quite impressed with what he’s done! His Mom has done well with her cancer this year. It has been a lot of ups and downs, but we are still extremely thankful for every day that we get to spend with her. Josh’s brother and his wife are expecting another baby girl any moment and Josh’s sister is expecting another baby boy at the beginning of the year. We are excited to have a new niece and nephew to grow up with our children!
I’m still working at home for XXXXX and going to school at XXXXX. Unfortunately, due to Pres’s arrival in the middle of fall semester, I had to take an incomplete in my pre-calculus class, so I’ll have to finish it up in the spring. However, she is worth any “trouble” she may have caused, so I’m not too upset. I’m not too far away from my associate’s degree! That is only the first step, in the long walk to graduating nursing school, but I’ll get there. Knowing that Presley is indeed our last baby, I can tentatively look toward the future and plan the completion of school.
Well, that is a quick update of our lives! We hope that your family is doing well and that this letter finds you all happy and safe. We are so grateful for the presence of each of you in our lives. To our friends and family, both old and new, thank you for everything, this past year. There is no way that we can repay you for everything you have so selflessly done for us. We wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Love, The Garrard Family
Friday, December 12, 2008
Life has been good around here. Chaotic. Sleepless. Stressful. The usual.
Little Miss Pres had her two week appointment and gained...drum roll please...one whole ounce! Yup, my little peanut is up to 4 lbs. 12 oz. How I love that teeny, tiny little girl. I just look at her and I want to cry. Partially because we've already gotten about $30,000 in medical bills for her...(I'm teasing...she's worth every penny), but mostly because I can't believe that she is here and healthy and making me smile every single day!
Mom's most recent scans came back this week. It's not good news. The tumor in her lungs has gotten much larger, indicating that the chemo she has been on, is no longer working. We are down to only two therapies left to try. This is depressing news to have to swallow right before Christmas. As I told Mom...we have watched her tumors grow and shrink all year...there is nothing to indicate that they won't shrink again. Yes, I like my denial bubble. I'm surrounded by hope in this little bubble of mine.
I finally just went out Christmas shopping yesterday. The kids will be getting less this year, than in past years. Many things attribute to this. The economy sucks and I refuse to go into major debt for one day of the year. Pres came early, completely throwing me off any "schedule" I may have previously had. And...we just realized...what's the point? Christmas isn't the material things that we all stress over. Christmas is all of us being together. All of us being healthy and happy and TOGETHER. It isn't about the toys that will get forgotten about in a week or two. It's about celebrating the fact that I survived another year in my crazy, extra-ordinary life.
Monday, December 8, 2008
I will NOT tolerate this.
If I find out that this has happened again, I will immediately go private. Have some respect for my writing. These are my personal words...go find your own. I do not feel that I need to post *please do not copy this* above every single post of mine. I would think that would be implied. If I ever copy someone else's words, I give credit where credit is due. If possible, I will even ask permission, before doing so. I demand the same respect.
While imitation may be the highest form of flattery...plagiarism isn't!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
When I got up there, I found that every single light was on, so I shut them off.
Then I realized that Avery wasn't in her bed.
I went back through all the rooms and turned on all the lights again and looked for her.
She wasn't anywhere to be found.
Then I went down to the basement and found Bay, Roo and the missing Avery all snuggled together in the Bay's bed.
I took a moment to "aww" over it and then shut off all the extra lights down there.
Then I came up to the main floor and realized I was still cold.
Soooo....I went back upstairs and shut off all the lights again and bumped up the thermostat.
When does "pregnancy brain" go away?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I have a lot of pictures to catch up on, starting with getting her ready to come home!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
A pen - it's very close to being the length of her from head to bum
This one speaks for itself :)
Good news! Sunday seems to be Homecoming Day! As long as she keeps behaving and doing as well as she has been, that's the day. I can't wait. This back and forth thing is killing me. I'm getting worn down, splitting my time between two places that I really want to be. I can't wait to have her home, with her family, where she belongs.