Monday, January 16, 2012

I Witnessed a Miracle!

Tonight as I was working on my blog entry for next month I found this little jewel saved in my blog folder. I'm not really sure why I never posted it back in July of 2011. So, without further ado...

Today was absolutely miraculous. Days like today make me wonder how any person can be agnostic or atheist. The amazing thing that I witnessed today was the birth of my (handsome, beautiful, and perfect in every way) nephew! Oh what an awesome, awesome thing it is to witness a new life coming into the world!

For months we have looked at my sister-in-law’s beautiful, round belly and wondered with great anticipation about the lil' man inside. What would he look like? Whose nose would he have? Would he have hair? Would he have those weird toes like his daddy? Would he have his mama’s beautiful eyes? No one knew…until today!

My sweet sister-in-law decided early in her pregnancy that she wanted me to be present at their lil’man’s birth, and she decided she wanted me to capture the special moments of the birth on camera. Of course I was so incredibly honored that she would allow me to be a part of such a private and immeasurably special time, and I agreed without a second thought.

As the due date approached she and I were both concerned about how I would be able to get off work to be at the birth (especially since I just changed jobs and she was not planning to be induced). However, as it turns out we worried for nothing because my sweet nephew was born during my summer break from school!

His actual due date was not until August 17th, but the lil’ man decided he was ready to make an early appearance. He came today – 4 weeks early! He wiggled and squeezed his way out into this world at 1 pm weighing a tiny 4 pounds 12 ounces, and measuring 17.75 inches long. We were all so concerned about him – worried about his lungs, his heart, his everything! Would he have to go to the NICU? Would he be able to breathe okay? Just so many questions, but soon after the lil’ man was born all our fears were put to rest because he was absolutely PERFECT!!! I think he wanted to get our attention so he was a bit sluggish at first, but it didn’t take long for him to turn as pink as a flamingo, start breathing effortlessly, and crying like the super awesome champ that he is! No NICU for lil' man!!! Whew, what a relief!!! God is so good!!!

Welcome to the World!

 ♥ Sweet Angel Boy ♥

In addition to the awesomeness of witnessing the birth of my nephew I also enjoyed witnessing the birth of a mama and a daddy. Sometimes we forget that when a baby is born a mama and a daddy are too! No longer will they be just a husband and wife, they will now be team mama and daddy. They will love him more than they ever thought it was possible to love another human being, and he will love them with an unconditional love. They are now part of this elite group of people called parents. To them I say: Welcome to the hardest and most rewarding job you will ever have. Enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holey Moley -- You're Two?!

Dear Azalee,

Happy Birthday…again! Wow! Can you believe it? You have been mine for 2 whole years now!!! Two of the most wonderful, fun-filled, sleepless years of my life thus far! I have loved every moment of it. (Well there was a time or two here and there that I thought I might not survive, and I had to go on the front porch and scream…but we won't dwell on that.)

This time last year we were celebrating your 1st birthday, and now we get to celebrate another one! Last year at this time you were still a little fuzzy headed thing, you had just learned to walk, and you didn't talk much. But, even then I could tell that you were very smart and full of a special kind of spunk that is all your own.

Over the past year you have grown (a little, but you are still tiny) and changed from a baby to a toddler right before my eyes!!! Here are some highlights from the past year.

When you were younger, your hair was your trademark. It used to stick up all over your head every day, and there wasn’t really much I could do for it other than stick a pretty little bow right in the middle of all the craziness. Now its half way down your back and it looks like “spun gold” (in the words of Nana). It is beautiful, and you are usually pretty cooperative about letting me “fix” it. You don’t always sit still, but I’ve gotten pretty good at “fixing” hair on a moving target. You are still a trooper when it comes to hair bows, and you really don’t ever pull them out (which I really appreciate).

You have a mouth full of beautiful teeth now (last year at this time you only had 5), and with the help of the Elmo toothpaste and toothbrush you usually let me brush them without too much complaint. Just recently Tara (AKA: Tah-wah Beff) taught you how to “show your teeth” (AKA: cheesy, fake, kindergarten picture smile), and much to my delight you will perform that little trick most of the time when I ask you to.

Last year at this time you were saying the usual baby things like mama, dada, cow, moo, ewwww, ouch, etc. Fast forward eight months and you began putting words together – “Look Mommy” “Lay Down Petey.” Now fast forward one year and you are TALKING in complete sentences. Just the other day you had a conversation with Pete that went like this: “Petey…Daddy not here. He at work. He gettin’ bad guys. Okay?” Pete didn’t respond, but you didn’t care. Recently your favorite topic of conversation has been your birthday party. You will say, “We gonna have a birthday Mama. We gonna flip and jump. We gonna eat cupcakes and chips. We gonna play ring around the rosy.” You regale me with your constant chatter about everything under the sun, and I couldn’t be happier about it!!! You are just so stinkin' smart!  

Over the past year some things have changed, but some things still remain the same. You still sleep with your bunny and blankie (bunny right side, blankie on the left – you reminded me just the other day with “wrong side Mama” when I got it backwards), but with a little encouragement from me you gave up the pasi in July. You still sweetly request that I rock you to sleep and then you say "pat me back" if you should happen to wake up when I put you in your crib. (Some people tell me that I shouldn’t rock you, but don’t worry, I like it just as much as you do sweet girl!) You still like to sleep with your “sounds” and wear your “sack,” and I am thankful for that because I feel pretty sure having your feet in a sleep sack is the only thing that has kept you from learning to climb out of your crib. ( are a super smart girl!!!)

Sadly, in April of this year (the week before you turned 16 months old) you decided that you were done nursing. It was bittersweet, but I am glad we were able to share that special bond for so long! And I feel sure that you have fond memories of nursing because you were recently spotted “nursing” your baby doll! Other news on the big girl front is this major milestone – potty training. Just the mere spoken words are enough to make many moms have a panic attack; however, YOU (my sweet angel girl) are potty trained right now and have been for the past 2 -3 weeks!!! How awesome is that? We skipped Pull Ups and went straight to “big girl” princess panties, and you've never looked back! Your daddy and I are so very proud of you!

Over the past year you have really developed socially and blossomed into a caring and sweet girl. I mean, you’ve always been sweet, but now you show keen interest in others and are concerned about their feelings. You really don’t like it if someone is crying or upset, and if you hear a baby crying in a store you tell me with a sad face, “Somebody’s not happy momma.” You have lots of friends at Ms. Patsy’s, and you enjoy playing with them, but I still think that Ms. Patsy and Ms. Roxanne are your favorite friends there!!!

This year you also experienced your 1st skinned knee, and your first Christmas parade (but not on the same day). You learned how to count to 10 (and can do it quite well). You know how to show how old you are with your fingers and can help anyone who gets confused and holds up all five fingers – “put these ones down mommy.” You also enjoyed your first Madison County Fair this year, but I don’t know if you enjoyed the petting zoo or the slides the most! There really isn’t a day that passes where you don’t do or say something that cracks me up (like picking up random words in a conversation and repeating them at the perfect moment...see video below). You are such a joy!

Now that you are almost two you have developed a real love for some things. Your number one love (other than me, of course, but seriously -- you are such a mama’s girl) is animals – cows, dogs, cats, horses, ducks…anything! You love them all. You especially love our dog Pete whom you constantly refer to as “Old Man.” And I think it's pretty obvious that he loves you too!

You also love riding 4 wheelers, and you got your very own power wheels 4 wheeler from Santa. Although it's a little big for you, it doesn't change your desire to ride on it!!! Babies and baby dolls are also pretty high up on your list of things to love. This year you got a new cousin, Braxton, and you love him very much. You don’t like it when he cries, but you love to watch him eat and to give him his pasi. Another thing you love is baking cookies. I’m not sure if you love the actual baking or the eating of the cookie dough at the end, but either way you will often walk into the kitchen and say, “I wanna make cookies Mama.” 

This is a video of some of your first attempts at cooking (without Mommy's help)!!!

Your other special loves are singing, coloring, painting, torturing me with play doh – “snakes”, talking on the phone to Daddy and Nana, reading books, and forcing mommy to ride that stupid super-fun train at the mall.

Watching you grow over the past year has been so much fun. I can honestly say that I absolutely adore you. I love everything about you. You are precious and beautiful and fun – everything and more than I could’ve ever dreamed of when I learned I was going to have a daughter. You are my Boogie, my Agga, and the smartest, prettiest, and most wonderful girl in the world. You bring me and every one you meet so much joy. You are an amazing little person, and I am so thankful that I get to be your Mommy.

I love you to the moon and back!

Love always,