Friday, March 28, 2008

To quote Aunt Emily...
Look what happens when you leave your little boy with two girl cousins for a week...LIPSTICK!!!!!!!!!! Our little boy is finally coming home tomorrow after a fun-filled week with cousins in Brownsville. We can't wait to snatch him up in a whirwind of hugs and kisses!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Helen came off the phototherapy bed today after her bilirubin level dropped to 11.4. We have to go see Dr. Simpson on Friday morning to be sure her levels are continuing to drop and not increase again. The weather forecast is for a warm spring day tomorrow so we are looking forward to sitting outside on the deck tomorrow to get some fresh air!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A letter to our daughter

Dear Helen, you came so quickly this past week we didn't even have time to finish getting ready for your arrival! On Tuesday, March 18, 2008, your mommy woke up and it was off to the hospital within the hour. Dr. Kennedy was on spring break with her family so Dr. Barron delivered you. She was so nice! Your brother, Philip, spent the day at school, not knowing that when he came home for the day, he would officially be a big brother. He was so excited to see you that he sang you his ABC song. Your grandparents made their way from Mobile, AL and Brownsville, TN, anxious to meet you. In the meantime, Mommy and Daddy spent the day waiting for your arrival, which occurred at 2:33 p.m. Even though you came three weeks early, you were still a healthy big girl weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and measured 19 inches long. Mommy was thankful to hear that your head was only 13 inches round, a huge improvement over your brother's big noggin.
NeeNee and Poppy were there to see you make your debut and Mamie and Bop Bop were not far behind. Your Aunt Elizabeth, Aunt Ellen, and Uncle Robb were also there by Tuesday evening to hold you for the first time. Over the course of your two days of new life, you had many visitors in the hospital. Everyone was so excited to see you!

Thursday you came to your new home, but we knew you had a bit of jaundice so we had a difficult first night getting you to stay awake long enough to eat. On Friday morning we headed to the pediatrician for a scheduled check up, and learned that you would have your own little "tanning bed" for a few days to get rid of that jaundice. Mommy said that you were just trying to get a jump start on your summer tan for the beach. We were sad because the nurse said you had to stay on the lighted bed at all times except to eat and be changed, just as you started to open your eyes and be alert! We just wanted to hold you close and stare into your beautiful eyes and tell you how much we love you. Your big brother, Philip, brought his stool into your room to stand next to your crib to tell you how much he loved you, holding your tiny little hand.

Saturday morning you were already showing your spunk, after eating voraciously all night long. Since your brother was headed to spend the week with his cousins and grandparents in Tennessee, we hid Easter eggs and dressed him for some pictures. Since it was such a beautiful day, we even took you outside for him to hold in a few pictures. After all, it was your idea to arrive in time for Easter!

NeeNee and Poppy stayed with us for your first week, to help us become accustomed to a family of four. Little Philip was very happy to have his Poppy take him for walks, play with him, and for NeeNee to read him stories at night. Your daddy was very happy that Poppy helped him get the front and back yard cut, even applying fertilizer to be sure that your yard is weed free this summer when you have your tummy time in the sun.
Helen, while we have many hopes and dreams for you and your brother, our prayer for you is that we will be faithful to God's plan for us as your parents. We pray that you will come to know God at an early age, embracing the peace and joy found only in His promises to you.

Welcome to the world, baby girl!

A letter to our son

Dear Little Philip,

We know this past week has been full of mixed emotions for you, but we are so relieved to see that you are happy to have a baby sister. You know you are our special little boy and we love you very, very much! While Helen was still inside Mommy you were so sweet, often hugging Mommy's belly and asking to give Baby Helen a big kiss. You loved laying your head on Mommy's tummy, giggling when Helen gave you a little kick. Often we would find you sitting in Helen's crib, quietly reading books that you said you were going to share with Baby Helen. When Helen arrived you were adorable holding her, kissing her, telling everyone "that's my sister!" We hope you and your sister will be good friends for years to come.

We know that some of the emotions you probably feel right now are showing themselves in some funny ways. Like when we gave Helen a pacifier and you asked to have one. You held it in your hands, and then asked for another one. You promptly stuffed them in your pockets and said "those are MY pacis." Mamie found one of Helen's pacifiers, still in the plastic case in your diaper bag. We know we did not put that in there so it had to be you. We were just thankful you didn't stick them in your mouth and regress. The first night Helen was home from the hospital we wondered if you would ever sleep again. After all, you did ask for eggs at 4:00 a.m. planting yourself in your chair at the kitchen table until someone fed you. The next morning (the REAL morning time) Daddy fixed you green eggs which you loved. The next night was a relief when you finally tuckered out enough to stay asleep.

When our neighbor, Mrs. Vella, asked you if there was something new in your house you proudly said "Yes! Three new Dora books!" We all laughed a long time about that. Don't worry, we will still go to the library often so that you can exchange your Dora books for whatever your next favorite theme or topic is.

We loved seeing you help NeeNee give Helen a bottle. We loved seeing you help Mommy burp Helen, especially when you put your hand up to your ear and said "I'm listening for Helen's burp." We loved seeing you get your stool to put up against Helen's crib so that you could reach through the bars to hold her little hand. Daddy loved when Helen was nuzzled on one shoulder and you climbed into the chair to nuzzle Daddy's other shoulder. We can't wait to see and experience so many more happy memories of you and your sister as you each grow into independent little people.

Philip we are so proud of you and pray that you will continue to be a sweet big brother, but also that we, as your parents, will be able to continue to show you that we have unending love for you and your sister that will never run out. You are special and loved by Mommy and Daddy more and more each day!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Helen  still has to stay on the phototherapy bed here at our house, with continued jaundice. The nurse and pediatrician say there is no cause for alarm but her levels are not dropping as quickly as they'd like. Until they do, we can't hold her unless we are feeding her or changing her. It is killing us not to hold her but she seems relatively content to stay on the warm little bed.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


We have been busy! Here are a few pictures. We will post more later this morning. Helen had lots of great visitors while she was in the hospital. We appreciate all the calls and prayers for her.

Little Philip is loving being a big brother. Dad is planning on taking him to the zoo today to get out of the house and have some father-son time. Later this weekend he is going to spend a few days with Mamie and Bop Bop.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baby Helen is Here!

Baby Helen has arrived. She weighs 7 pounds, 12 ounces and is 19 inches long. The delivery was super fast and easy, after Renie's water broke at the house this morning at 6:40 a.m. Baby Helen was born at 2:33 p.m. Pictures to come!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I'm Listening, God

You know that saying "when it rains it pours?" Somehow, I am beginning to think God is trying to tell me something, something big. After picking up Little Philip from daycare on Friday at 9:00 am, covered in puke, he was a happy clam the rest of the day, eating only the BRAT diet all over again. Mommy felt a bit under the weather and prayed she was not getting sick. Too late. Friday night, just after midnight, she puked, and then got the full force of the stomach bug if you know what I mean. By 10:00 a.m. Saturday she was wiped out, and reluctantly called the OB on call to be sure she could take something. Thankfully, Immodium AD was approved. She spent the rest of the day in a fog, between the bed and clinging to cabinets and walls for support as she tried to get to her feet every now and then. Daddy was a huge support, taking care of Little Philip who could not have been happier. Every now and then he would come into Mommy's room and say "Mommy's awake!" and give her a big kiss and hug.

Saturday night, the sound of Little Philip puking comes over the monitor and Mommy and Daddy dash into his room to find his bed sheets a total loss, along with Little Philip in much need of a bath. Daddy took care of the bath while Mommy changed the sheets, placing a towel underneath the front of the bed this time, just in case.

Sunday Mommy manages to get a load of laundry in and surprise! A GREEN CRAYON MADE IT INTO THE WASH AND THROUGH THE DRYER! The inside of our dryer is covered in green crayon and the dark load of clothes, mostly belonging to Little Philip, is a complete loss. At this point, I might crack.

Big Philip handed Mommy some of her "undergarments" and said "those are ok if they are green, right?" I can just see me racing to the hospital in labor and the nurses and doctors seeing my "undergarments" splotched with green crayon wax. No thank you, I will retain at least that much dignity.

We are trying a few online tips for getting crayon out of the clothes but most of it is also tinted green, meaning, it's more than a few spots all over each piece of clothing.

And so, Daddy is on his way to Wal-mart to buy Goo-Gone to try to get the wax out of the dryer drum so I can finish the many, many loads of wash to be completed. I am spraying each piece of clothing with WD-40 and madly scrubbing with an old toothbrush and bleach for colors. Philip is also headed to Starkville tomorrow for work. We can't let Little Philip go back to school yet so Aunt Ellen is covering the morning since Mommy can't miss tomorrow morning at work either. If any students are reading this, remember, Honor Council applicants first case study session is at 8:00 am tomorrow! At least she thinks she remembers that 8:00 am time. BSC's email, which includes Mommy's online calendar, has been down for two days now. And, the minivan is still at Honda as they will not replace or fix the transmission unless they can get it to do the same thing it did with me. Otherwise, Mommy will drive home a ticking time bomb on Tuesday when Big Philip returns from Starkville.

So, I'm going to take a deep breath, try not to go into labor, and say some big prayers tonight, for patience, health, and peace of mind!

Learning the Alphabet

Little Philip and Mommy stayed home from church this morning since they are both still sick. Little Philip was playing with his Little Leaps game, Thomas the Tank. In the game, Emily is able to blow steam letters and wants to show her friends her new trick. She blows an "E" to her friend Gordon. At this point, Little Philip proudly turns to Mommy and says "E is for Emory!"
We thought Miss Sarah would appreciate that this morning.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And then it hit the fan...

To summarize the week:

Paid "the man" this week. We owed $1000 in taxes and because of new tax law, we were only allowed to claim $300 of just over $7000 in childcare expenses. That's half a month's tuition for Little Philip. Gee, what a huge help that was.

Renie's cell phone display goes out. Replaced on Tuesday but what a headache to switch carriers and port a number at this very inopportune time to be without a cell phone!

Honda Odyssey transmission goes kaput - To replace it would be $3200. We are fighting with Honda since the 2004 Odyssey transmissions were recalled by issuing an extended 100,000 mile transmission warranty. There are only 51,000 miles on our van. No excuses why this would happen. We are waiting to hear if Honda is going to make good on their promise of a "quality" vehicle. If not, there will be a very pregnant angry woman standing on Highway 31 in Hoover, AL, with a sign saying what a horrible business Honda is. I will have no mercy.

And today, Little Philip came home puking from school. Daddy had no choice but to load him in the car to come get Mommy from work at the end of the day (see Honda issue above). Little Philip puked all over his car seat and himself in the car as he arrived to campus and on our way back home.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bountiful Blessings Week

This week was filled with blessings and "showers" of gifts from friends and family. We started with our Faith PCA small group on Tuesday night. Each week, we rotate homes where we all have dinner together and pray together for each other. Usually, on Sunday nights, we receive an email from the host who lists what is needed to make dinner complete by Tuesday. I had volunteered to make brownies since I'd not volunteered for dessert in quite some time. There was quickly an email from Sara Marsh asking if it was okay that I not bring dessert because she had made an "extra" cake on Sunday. Now, if you were competing with a friend who was in culinary school, you'd bow out gracefully as well with your Martha White brownie in a bag mix. I didn't think anything of it. And so, Tuesday night, we got into the car and headed to the Adams at exactly 7:00 p.m. Big Philip said "we're always first so why don't I fill up the car?" Since it was exactly 7:00 p.m. I suggested we do it afterwards. He then said he had forgotten the prayer book and had to turn back to the house. Still oblivious, I assume Philip has had a busy day like me. We get to the Adams and find a beautiful bouquet of pink roses, a yummy chocolate mocha cake with Baby Helen's initials and a very generous gift from the group to help us get ready for Helen's arrival. Once again, Big Philip keeps a secret like a charm. Thank you friends!

Surprise number two came on Friday. Our transmission on our minivan is on the fritz (big prayer that it is nothing serious, we'll find out Monday) so we were trying very hard not to drive the van on Friday until the service technician was back in the office on Monday. I had a haircut appointment at 9:45 on Friday but I was also bringing a meal to a friend from church who just had a baby. The plan was for me to get my haircut, bring the meal to the friend, and return to work by 12:30. Big Philip's normal 8:00 a.m. Friday teleconference staff meeting was cancelled so he volunteered to take Little Philip to school, allowing me to take the meal before my haircut and still make it to work by 11:00 a.m. Good thing, because at noon we all gathered to eat together in the conference room where I found pink and green balloons, a yummy carrot cake, and bountiful baby presents from all my wonderful colleagues. I haven't even had a chance to clear out a closet for Baby Helen so for now, these wonderful gifts are sitting in Helen's crib. If I had missed that on Friday, I never would have forgiven myself. And again, I found out Philip was behind my ability to be there on time. Another secret, saved by my hubby! Thank you BSC Student Affairs family!
Finally, on Sunday, Aunt Lizzy and Aunt Ellen brought over their beautiful artwork to hang in Little Philip and Helen's room. It is absolutely perfect. Little Philip immediately went to get his dump truck pillow to show that it matched the dump truck painting by his Aunt Lizzy. When we hung them on the wall, he was very upset that he could not carry them around with him, presumably, even taking them to bed with him for the night. He was so excited, he would not even look at the camera for his picture. Aunt Lizzy also painted Helen's three wooden initials pink and green plaid and polka dot. We are going to find some hot pink ribbon to hang them over her crib.

It is finally sinking in that we have a baby on the way and very soon! Thanks to the generosity of family and friends, we are finally feeling ready to welcome baby girl into the world!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Baby Helen Update

The update this week (week 35) starts by saying "are you feeling anything yet?" In a word, yes. That wonderful prescription drug, Protonix, for my acid reflux had little or no effect on me yesterday, and I spent half the night running to the bathroom to spit up. Amazingly, despite how small our house is, the three adults sleeping peacefully around me never heard a peep from me. Baby Helen needs to drop and soon. She is somewhere around 5.5 pounds now and a little over 18 inches long, about the heft of a honeydew melon. She is jumping and kicking madly now. I noticed in the bathroom mirror at church that my belly was lopsided today, as she is sitting off to the right. Definitely not a good day to wear a patterned dress!
Thankfully, our second bathroom renovation is complete, which made the mad dashes to the bathroom a little easier last night. To finish, we need to add one more coat of paint on the bead board and seal the grout and tile. It is a huge improvement to the old fake tile wall complete with peel and stick black and white tile, not to mention the constantly leaking toilet is finally gone.
NeeNee and Poppy have been here this week, helping us get the house clean and making a beautiful pink rocking chair pad to match Helen's room. Ellen and Elizabeth are putting the finishing touches on the artwork for both Helen and Philip's room. By next weekend, I think we'll feel ready for baby to arrive.
Little Philip just grows more adorable each day. Since Mommy's bellybutton is sticking straight out, he lifts Mommy's shirt and asks "what happened"? I tell him that Baby Helen is getting big enough to come out and meet her big brother. He then proceeds to yell into Mommy's bellybutton like it is a megaphone, "Hi, Baby Helen!"