Friday, December 16, 2011

The greatest compliment ever

This picture below needs no description.  As her mother, I take it as the greatest compliment I will ever receive.  

In other news, here's out ballerina.  

Following her teacher's lead.  

Recital soon!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

5 Months

5 months and a little more than a month after surgery.  Her cheeks are filling out and she's finally more than 10 lbs.  She was 10.2 two weeks ago.  In BIG news, she started rolling over.  Hannah witnessed it first.  The first time I saw it was on the 9th.  She doesn't need to be swaddled to sleep anymore and she seems more comfortable overall.  If you spent anytime around her, you were aware that she was very particular about her sleeping routine.  It seemed like she had a hard time getting comfortable.  Not anymore!  You can see this in the picture of her asleep, under the tree below.  She snoozes anywhere now!  She's grabbing toys and can get them in her mouth.  She's also laughing out loud.  Matter, I was singing to her last week and she started laughing out loud.  Great timing kiddo.  Next week, we're moving her out of our room.  We're going to put her in the playroom during transition.  When we get back from Chicago, we'll probably make the move to Hannah's room.  

Hannah is still an amazing big sister.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Past Due..Decorating for Christmas

We decorated our house and tree with tradition, at least the tradition I had growing up, the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I absolutely LOVE decorating for christmas.  It was probably my favorite tradition surrounding christmas.  It puts me in such a good mood.

Our tree.  

Spreading out the lights.  We learned that Christmas have a 10 year life span.  At least ours did.  We know this because every single light strand we owned went out this year and we've had them since our first Christmas together.  However, they will all go out over the course of 5 hours, causing you to make multiple trips to the store.  

Hannah really got in to it this year.  

She liked putting many ornaments on the same branch.  

We have a smaller tree in the kitchen, in front of the back doors.  I let Hannah have carte blanche with that tree.  

This is the prettiest tree we've had.  It's full and even.  I love Christmas trees. 

Pottery picked up!

Remember when we went and painted pottery, here.  Well we finally picked it up.  Here's the finished stuff.  

I really like Amy's buddha and Hannah's egg.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Start Your Day Out the Right Way

Not all breakfast's are created alike!  
Starting your day with this much cereal will only cause a sugar crash hours later.  

10 Worst Children’s Cereals
Based on percent sugar by weight
1.) Kellogg’s Honey Smacks55.6%
2.) Post Golden Crisp51.9%
3.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow48.3%
4.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries46.9%
5.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original44.4%
6.) Quaker Oats Oh!s44.4%
7.) Kellogg’s Smorz43.3%
8.) Kellogg’s Apple Jacks42.9%
9.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries42.3%
10.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original41.4%

Some cereals are better than others. Nutrition expert Marion Nestle recommends:
  1. Cereals with a short ingredient list (added vitamins and minerals are okay).
  2. Cereals high in fiber.
  3. Cereals with little or no added sugars (added sugars are ingredients such as honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup and malt syrup).
Among the best simple-to-prepare breakfasts for children are fresh fruit and high-fiber, lower-sugar cereals. Better yet, pair fruit with homemade oatmeal.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hoo Are You #1

Trying a new thing, I saw over here: Night Owl Crafting.  

Is all of your christmas shopping done?
   Pretty much.  We always do a lot of hand made stuff, and we still have to make some of those gifts but everything has been purchased for them.  I still have a couple things to pick up for Miss Banana.

Do you decorate for christmas?  If so, when?
    YES!!  Christmas is my favorite holiday to decorate for.  Every year, we add something new to our outside collection.  This year it was four small lighted trees.  I stick with my childhood tradition for putting things out: the weekend after Thanksgiving. We NEVER put things out before Thanksgiving.
Our tree this year

Do you bake during the holiday season?
    I do.  It's a new thing for me, I've only been doing it the last few years.  I really enjoy and typically give gifts to Hannah's teachers, the mail man, trash collectors and more of homemade goodies.
Baking with Hannah

What are your favorite smells this time of year?
    The sweet smell of goodies baking.  I'm a big food scent person.  I love the smell of vanilla, and sugar cookies baking.

What are your favorite things to do during the holiday season?
    Decorate.  And I really like trying to find gifts that the people I love, will love.  I've fallen in love with handmade and homemade gifts.  And I really enjoy putting these gifts together and imagining how the person I give it to will feel about my gifts.  I love "playing" with Hannah.  Every year, she gets a little more into the holiday season.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hannah gets a haircut

Hannah does not want to cut her hair.  She wants to "grow it long like Rapunzel."  About a week ago, I finally talked her in to trimming the dead ends off of her hair.  You see, the length of her hair is something I am trying to let her have control over.  It's something little and it helps her feel like she has a say so.  Truthfully, I don't have an opinion one way or the other about the length of her hair.  I explained that trimming the ends would help it grow faster and healthier.  So she agreed and we headed off, just the two of us.  Once there, she asked if she could have her hair washed.  Once I found out it was included in the price, I told her to go for it.  She LOVED that part.

She was a champ and held very still.  She didn't get nervous or jumpy while
they were cutting her hair.  She just smiled and chatted a lot.

She really liked the hair washing.  

The end results.  She has "side bangs', her choice! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Surprise Hannah

This was taken right after the video of Riley. I didn't want Hannah to feel left out. ; )
Oh yeah, sorry for the coffee slurps!

Riley Has Something to Say

I've been trying to get her talking on video for weeks! Finally, I got a good one.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What I'm Thankful For

It's a day late but still relevant. 

1)  My church family.  The support they reached out to David and I while we're were going through Riley's hear surgery was nothing short of amazing and comforting.

2)  My husband, David.  There is not another person who supports my hopes and dreams like David so unselfishly.  He puts his family first, and values his time with us.  And he likes to have fun with us, sometimes he's a bigger kid than our kids.

3) My kids, Hannah and Riley.  Hannah has the sweetest, most caring heart.  It kind of amazes me because I don't see that in myself or David, at least not to the extent that Hannah has it.  And Riley has amazed me with her recovery.  She came through something so major so quickly.  Less than 3 weeks out you would not know that she just had heart surgery.

4) My sister.  Casey and I have always been close, even when we were younger.  Don't get me wrong, we had the "mom, can't you get her to stop going in my stuff" fights but we have always been close.  We don't look alike and we certainly don't act alike but over the years she has become so much more than a sister to me.  I love her and miss her so much but am so happy for her.

5)  The rest of my family, to include all the Cernock's.  My mom and Art, for never failing to be there regardless of what is going on.  My dad for being the strongest man I know, even if it drives me nuts most of the time.  Amy and Tom for love and support that extends driving across half the country (practically) many times a year to be with us.  Bob and Susan for dependability and help in times of need.  And Bob specifically, for being an outlet for David.  I could go on and on.  Our family reached out to us this year in such a heartfelt, caring manner.  I have no doubt that I could've called any one of you for help and our needs would have been met.

6)  There's a handful of friends I call close.  Those of you that know what I'm thinking and feeling when I'm not being honest about it.  Thank you for being my checks and balances.

7) Elizabeth, my therapist.  I've been seeing her consistently for a year, but overall for almost 2 years.  She has helped me through the hardest times in my life.  I believe that every breathing person could benefit from talking to a therapist.  Who I am now is not the person I was  year ago and a big part of that is her.

8) My home, the structure and the place.  I complain about living in Fayetteville a lot but there are benefits to being here.  I think it's pretty awesome, and convenient, that Michelle leaves less than 2 miles from me.  Most of my family is within a 10 minutes drive.  We're close to the beach.  I see the community trying to evolve and it's neat to watch areas change and grow.

9) Our medical community.  Our pediatrician for catching Riley's heart murmur within hours of her birth.  This is VERY uncommon.  Her cardiologist for the time he spent with David and I.  The doctors and nurses at Duke (with the exception of one person).  They saved my baby.  And did an awesome job of it!  The nurses in the PCICU were so caring.  The whole experience was frightening but bearable because of the caring and attentive staff.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

4 Months

What Miss Moon has been up to: chewing on her hands.  A lot.  And she gets mad if you take her hands away.  She also bubbles and gurgles away.  I've always thought leaving a bib on a baby was stupid....until now.  This kid soaks her onesies.  She's kicking her little legs all over the place.  She's been doing that since before she was born though, she kicked a lot more than Hannah in the womb.  

There go those legs.  You can't tell she had heart surgery 
two weeks ago tomorrow!

Lip smacking good fingers.  


New Toys

Still the loving and kind big sister.

Chowing down toys and hands

Also, if surgery had not happened, we'd been rolling over, no doubt.  She's tried a couple of times since then but I panic and avert it.  Hannah is still infatuated with her little sister and helps out all the time.  As Riley becomes easier to entertain, Hannah spends more time entertaining her.  

The fastest recovery ever

Riley spent two days in the PCICU.  By the time she left the PCICU, she had everything removed except for the heart monitors (which could not be removed before she was released) and her nasal cannula.  She could have moved into a regular room with more than that still attached to her, that's just how good she was doing, recovery wise.

Here she is the night of her surgery.  You could see her trying to regain full consciousness, especially when David and I were talking to her.  

Sleeping peacefully the next day.  

We got to hold her on Wednesday.  It was little nerve racking, because
we didn't want to do anything to hurt her.  But the nurses helped out by letting us get situated in the chair and then handing her to us. 

For the first time in David's life he was able to successfully feed one of our children.
He was pretty emotional about it.  

More peaceful sleeping.  She did a lot of that the first two days
following surgery.  

The wing in between the PCICU and the 
children's hospital.

Into a regular room on Thursday.  It was a lot different than the ICU ward.  
I mean there was a 1 to 1 ratio in the PCICU.  But we couldn't sleep there.  
As mom and David, we were nervous about her getting moved too soon.  I mean, 
just as we had been prepared for, we expected her stay in the ICU to be a little longer.  

Friday.  Notice the TInkerbell picture behind her, Hannah made 
that for Riley's hospital room.

In the next two photo's, you can see Riley's incision.  You have to look closely 
though, because it's very thin.    

Showing signs that she's ready to go: she's trying to get to the fingers attached to that 
arm board.  

And we were released on Saturday.  It was a remarkable turn around for a 3 month old that had heart surgery 4 days prior!

David and I could not be happier about the turn around.  Matter of fact, we 
went to church the next day, as a praise to all the people who had been praying for her.  We wanted them to know that we believe our prayers were answered.  Our church was such a sense of support for David and I.  People reached out to David and I from all over, offering kinds words and prayers.  Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts.