Saturday, February 28, 2015

The First 12 Months of Reese Abigail

Sweet girl, your first 12 months were dreamy.  Fast.  Sometimes so fast they were a blur.

In Asher's first year I would take pictures, track his progress and update the blog monthly.  I'm sad to say that I haven't exactly done that for you.  Life looked so different in your first year.  Asher was turning into a boy, we had just moved into our new home.  Any extra time I had I spent holding you, staring at you, soaking you in.  The blog came second every time.  So I guess I'm not sad about that.  But now I'll do my best to recount the first 12 months.  Just so you have something.

1 Month

Weight - 9lbs, 4oz
Height - 20.5 in

You were born.  You came home to Grammy and Papaw's and that's were we all lived until November 9th, waiting on our house to be finished.  You were awesome.  You nursed like a champ, you snuggled so well.  You were so quite and for a newborn, so easy.  The only thing you really required was gripe water.  You didn't care for a number of things I ate (dairy, nuts, spicy food, red wine) but even when I cut those things out of my diet, gripe water was important to keep you happy.

2 Months

Weight - 10lbs, 15oz
Height - 22.5in

More of the same!  We called you "Little Zeery-up" because you were so sweet and so quiet.  Asher absolutely loved having you around and would lean down to tend to you if you lost your paci, cried out or even just to say hi.  We finally moved into our new home when you were two months.  You also got to meet some extended family.  Grandpa Tony and Grandma Fern came to town for Thanksgiving and Aunt Patti and Uncle Steve came to celebrate Gramps' 60th birthday.  And right before you hit three months the miracle who is now called Evan was born.  He's your buddy and one of your "guys".  Life was exciting when you were two months old.

3 Months

You started to spend more hours awake, giving us smiles, kicking your legs.  Still, you were a chill baby.  You were squishy and cuddly.  Growing.  You grew out of your bassinet so we moved you to your room...all the way upstairs...seemingly so far away!  But we got used to it and so did you.  When you were three months we celebrated the holidays and daddy had a whole month off.  Paternity leave.  It was a beautiful thing.  We went on walks on the nature trail, we unpacked the house and we spent tons of time together.  As a family of four.

4 Months

Weight - 13lbs, 11oz
Height - 24.5in

You started sleeping longer.  Nearly through the night.  Still nursing like a champ.  Much more awake, alert, studying things.  Smiling, making a little noise.  You loved your brother and absolutely adored his entertainment.

5 Months

You were really starting to come alive and show us your personality.  You were cautious in some ways. As we began to learn more about you, we saw that you generally took things slow.  You studied things and took it easy until you were ready.  Rolling over, then later crawling and then walking.  You did everything on your own time, when you were ready.  When you were five months we also had some more extended family come to visit.  This time it was Eric, Christine and Amara.  They came to stay with us for a long weekend. Even though the visit was overshadowed by the stomach bug and the monitor failing one night, leaving you to cry for a couple of hours, it was still wonderful to have them here and to have them meet you.

6 Months

Weight - 15lbs, 6oz
Height - 25.25in

A half of a year!  It flew by.  It really did.  By this time you were trying all sorts of solid foods.  You loved food.  Especially carbs...  We also learned something new about you when you were six months old.  You had a voice.  And you were ready to use it.  Up until this point you were fairly quiet, rarely crying unless you were hungry or overtired.  Then one day, sitting in your highchair, you screeched.  It was, as daddy describes it, an octave your brother had never reached.  You wanted our attention and you got it.  And so it was, our sweet, quiet little peanut was....less quiet.

7 Months

At seven months you really started to roll over and push yourself up to a sitting position.  Again, you did things slowly and on your own time but finally you were starting to work towards some independent movement.  Your favorite foods were bananas and bread.  And you went back and forth with sleeping through the night.  Teething was not your favorite and you weren't shy about letting others know.

8 Months

When you were eight months old it was May.  The weather was warm and we started to have longer days that kept us outside on the driveway.  We played and played with our neighbor friends and you loved just hanging out.  Evening picnics, toys on the driveway, watching brother fly by on his bike.  Neighborhood pups walking by.  You loved it all.

9 Months

Weight - 17lbs, 2oz
Height - 26.75in

At nine months it was warm enough to take you to the pool.  Your first time in the water, other than the bathtub.  It was then that we learned that you were a water baby.  You loved it.  Like everything else, you approached it cautiously at first but once you got comfortable you were thrilled with the pool.  It was around this time that you also expanded your vocabulary.  Mama had come first, then dada.  Then around nine months you said doggie.  It sounded more like goggie but your voice inflection and excitement when a pup walked by quickly helped us translate.  You love love love doggies.

10 Months

In July, you were ten months and we soaked up summer, every way possible.  We celebrated the fourth watching fireworks lakeside, we had popsicles and late evenings playing outside and you came with daddy and me to Fredericksburg for Travis and Annie's wedding.  It was a sweet time.  At that point you were down to nursing three times a day and most definitely sleeping through the night, so life was reaching a nice lull.

11 Months

At eleven months old you were on the move, crawling all over, pulling up, babbling with your few words - mama, dada, nana (banana), goggie (doggie), a-sure (Asher).  You were loud when you wanted to be and very quiet when you wanted to be.  We stopped nursing when you were eleven months and moved straight to milk.  I just couldn't believe that eleven months had gone by.  You were about to be one and life continued to move an incredible pace.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

And Then He Was Three

On February 1st, 2014, sweet Asher, you turned three.  By this time, no longer a baby, you had grown into a boy.

We were living in our new home.  Adjusting.  At three you were learning.  Learning how to manage your thoughts and feelings.  Learning how to communicate on a whole new level.  Learning how to be a big brother.

At three you loved playing outside, turning anything into a weapon and talking.  At three you were talking allll the time.   You wanted to be heard, your questions to be answered.  You felt that you were one of the adults and you had something to contribute to every conversation.  While a bit frustrating at times, it was an endearing part of you and a peek at who you would be some day.

When you turned three we celebrated in our home with friends, cupcakes and mud in the backyard.  And then with family and a carrot cake that you helped mommy make.

Asher, you continue to challenge us in ways we have never known.  While we're supposed to be teaching you, you are actually teaching us.  Every single day.  You are precious to all those who know you and we cannot wait to see the man you become someday.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Reese's Birth Day - September 6th, 2013

Reesey, girl.  You arrived in the most cavalier way.  We were scheduled for a c-section on Friday, September 6th, and that's exactly how you came.  I put on make up, I did my hair.  Your daddy and I hugged your brother goodbye, knowing we'd see him in a few hours, when we'd become a family of four.

As we drove to the hospital we decided your name.  Reese Abigail.  Reese means enthusiasm.  Abigail, father in rejoicing.  It was perfect. 

We checked in, daddy ate lunch, I had preliminary work done and then I walked the hall to the OR.  I sat on the operating table while the anesthesiologist proceeded.  Daddy and then Dr. Shimer entered and within the hour, you had arrived.  Perfect.  Seven pounds, seven ounces.  Twenty inches long.  FULL head of hair.  A sweet little cry.  Daddy went with you to the nursery where, through the glass, he showed you off to the family.  

I was wheeled into recovery and you came back.  The nurse laid you on my chest and encouraged us to just bond.  No need to nurse right away.  But she didn't know.  She didn't know that our bond had already solidified before you took your first breath.  You nestled in, rooted, nursed, then showed us how strong you were at two hours old by pushing off my chest, holding your head high, then passing out.  It was precious.  And I didn't think it was possible but at that moment you felt more a part of me than ever before.

Soon after we found ourselves in our postpartum room, waiting to see your brother.  The nurses kept you for a few minutes so Asher could get acclimated to seeing me on the hospital bed, all hooked up. Then the nurses brought you in.  You were placed in my arms where Asher met you for the first time.  He was sweet and a little curious about you.  Also, a little hesitant.  But he touched your swaddle, your face.  He came close for pictures.  He would soon learn what being a big brother was all about.

All fresh and new, you were as sweet as can be and I didn't want to let you go.  Ever.  Your way was relaxed, your cries were few.  You were the perfect addition to our family.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

When You Turned Two

Asher, my boy, when you turned two, life was so sweet.  You were my constant buddy, going everywhere with me.  You made us laugh, kept us on our toes and always, always wanted to be doing what we were doing.  Cooking, working out, in the mix of conversation.  You were far beyond the skills and personality of a two year old.  I could have sworn you were at least three.

We celebrated you turning two with friends, more friends and family:

Some of the things you loved at two were:

Music.  Whether it was guitar with daddy, drums, singing or just playing music in the house or car. You LOVED music and you were not shy to perform.

Golf.  You had a few different sets of golf clubs, mainly toy clubs at the time.  You were happy just running around the house or yard hitting practice balls constantly.

Your buddies.  You loved, loved, loved, your friends at this age.  Playdates, time at the park.  And you and Nolan.  There's a special bond there.  I can't wait to see what you two are like 30 years from now.

At two you were running fast and learning even faster.  Your words morphed into sentences that morphed into questions.  And your humor and personality were really starting to shine.  You were also starting to show your serious and studious side.

We had no idea what life would continue to bring us but when you were two, we couldn't imagine it getting any sweeter.  And then you continued to grow...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pregnancy, Second Time Around

It's a bit unfair that I didn't keep up with writing about my second pregnancy.  When we were pregnant with Asher, we took tons of pictures and I tracked everything monthly.  Second time around was not quite the same.  But I'll do my best to recap for the sake of having it on record.  It was truly a special time.

Reesey, when we found out we were pregnant with you it was between Christmas and New Year's 2012.  It was not really a surprise but that didn't take away from how excited we were.  We were thrilled to be growing our family again.  In the following months we debated selling the house and finding something bigger.  During that time (first trimester) I don't know if it was the hormones or the stress of the housing decision but my face broke out something terrible!  A red rash all over the lower half.  We didn't know yet the gender but it was jokingly said that you were a girl and that you were "stealing my beauty".   Sure enough, we found out at 20 weeks we were having a girl.  We were over the moon!
If you look close you can see the last of the rash...
Taken at the end of the first trimester, three months pregnant.
Other than that terrible rash in the first trimester and one week about half way through that I had pharyngitis, a double ear infection and an awful cold (I seriously felt like I was going to die), the whole pregnancy was absolutely lovely.  I know many women who would gag at me saying this.  Or roll their eyes.  But I want you to know that growing you in my belly was a sweet, sweet time.  I felt a closeness to you that I can't even describe.  As you grew in my belly I felt like I was already getting to know you and your personality.  I felt like our hearts were connected, not just by sharing my bloodstream but through our souls.

Through the nine months of carrying you, this is what life looked like:

Asher, your brother, had his first trip to the ER, requiring a CAT scan.  A few weeks later, he turned two and we announced we were pregnant with you.  In March we signed a contract to build a house and in April we sold our first home, moving in with Gramps and Grandma Gigi.  The plan was to live there for a couple of months, then with Grammy and Papaw for a couple of months, closing on our new house in September.  Ironically your due date was September 8th and our projected closing date was within days of that.  We were completely insane for doing it.  Leaving our home, packing everything in storage, potty training your brother and pregnant with you, all living like nomads for months.  At this time, your daddy even worked from home - which meant he'd be working in a make-shift set up in our temporary housing.  Not what we were accustom to at all.  And for the family that housed us, they were saints for sharing their space with our craziness.

Taken in May, about six months pregnant.
Over the course of living with family and building a house we had some fabulous highs and some serious lows.  Asher got bigger and more independent.  You and I got bigger and bigger.  Watching the house come together was so exciting yet decisions throughout the building process took over our marriage.  We were missing church and bible study was on summer break.  And in July we got news that your womb buddy, sweet Evan, had ascities and it was a very serious and life threatening situation.  (Your sweet friend is a miracle and you can find out more at To say that we were brought to our knees in prayer during this season is an understatement.  It was a humbling time and shaped us beyond what we had expected.

Originally we had chosen to live with family during this time because we thought it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Asher.  Little did we know that it would be just as sweet for us.  Living with our parents allowed us to "go home", back to our roots.  Our relationships with our parents (your grandparents) grew in ways we didn't expect.  I pray that you will get to see and experience the lasting effects of this growth.
Eight months pregnant, right before heading to my Sprinkle.
So all this brings the timeline to late August.  We were scheduled for a csection on Friday, September 6th but I was sure you were coming early.  I was huge and having contractions every night for weeks.  You had dropped in mid August and I was ready for your arrival.  We had also realized by this point that the house wouldn't be done until October.  We were at the mercy of everyone else.  Just waiting...