Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Jake!

December 24th was Jake's 2nd birthday. We are planning his big birthday party here in Chattanooga in January, but we couldn't not celebrate on his actual birthday. It definitely puts a different twist to the holidays. I never want Jake to feel jipped or that his birthday is not as special. He still doesn't really understand the whole birthday thing, so I wasn't that worried about it this year. My mom bought him a cake (which he refused to eat), we sang happy birthday (which upset him) and gave him gifts (which he refused to open). So yep, really didn't feel that bad that I didn't plan a big shindig for his actual birthday. I'll save that unappreciated party for January!

December 2008
December 2009
December 2010
December 2008
December 2009
December 2010
As I sat in Christmas Eve service Friday night, it seemed so surreal that 2 years ago, I was sitting in a Christmas Eve service not knowing that just a few hours later I would be giving birth. That whole night still is so fresh in my mind. The excitement, concern, happiness, fear, surprise, etc... I probably had every emotion that night. I hope that I never forget all of those feelings. But since my memory is bad, I figured that I better write some of them down.
***
After the Christmas Eve service, around 10:00 I was in our kitchen heating up some left over pizza & making a peanut/jelly sandwich. (A combo that only a pregnant woman would eat. And the fact I was eating that at 10:00 at night, no wonder I gained 40 pounds.)
***
Keeping it PG for the blog, lets just say as I was making my sandwich, I started to realize that something was not right. I changed out of my lounge pants to put on jeans to go to the hospital. (I'm not sure who I thought I was going to impress.)
***
The ride to the hospital seemed to take forever. And the hospital is only 5 minutes from our house. At this point, it was close to 10:30 at night on Christmas Eve and a rainy evening. So there were no cars on the road. We were all by ourselves. I was scared because I didn't know what was happening. But I knew that as long as I could feel Jake moving around, he was still alive.
***
When we got to the hospital, as I got out, I checked Robbie's car to make sure I did not bleed on the leather seats. I then proceeded to try to walk in front of him & have him check to make sure I didn't have any blood on myself. (I'm pretty sure he would have told me "no" regardless.) The hospital was just as deserted as the roads. I guess people don't schedule births for Christmas Eve night.
***
I was in the triage room being examined. We were thinking they would give me some medicine & send us home. I asked them to please not call the doctor because I'm sure if he is anything like my parents, he is at home trying to put his kids toys together for the next morning. (They called him anyway.)
***
We were shocked when they told us that they would need to do an emergency c-section right away. Robbie ran out into the hall so he could quickly call our parents. The Bush's were in Chattanooga staying at Robbie's sister's. My parents were in Prattville getting ready for bed. My dad had just taken some Tylenol PM. Poor thing! He & my mom drove to Chattanooga right away. It's a wonder they made it.
***
I really wasn't that scared about the c-section. I guess I really didn't even have time to think about it. It all happened so quick. Next thing I knew, they had cut me open & pulled Jake (and my ruptured placenta) out.
***
I only got to see Jake for a second before they took him away, but I was just amazed about how tiny & precious he was. It is one of those moments in your life, that you just know things will never be the same.
***
Honestly, the only bad thing about the delivery was the recovery room. I was sooooooooo thirsty and all they would give me is 1/2 cup of ice chips. Really?!?! I had just eaten nachos at Chili's a few hours earlier. Could they have not at least given me some sprite? It was also very weird not being able to move my legs. That was a horrible feeling. I also was shaking a ton. Not because I was cold, but something to do with medicine. Robbie had walked out to greet the stream of visitors we had showing up around midnight & found himself locked out of the recovery room. Being that the hospital was pretty much empty, there were no nurses or doctors walking around to let him back in. So all of the family was out celebrating Jake while I was by myself trying to bribe the nurse to give me something to drink. Not fun.
***
What was fun? Finally being wheeled to my room & getting to hold Jake (shaky hands & all). Family kept showing up, so we ended up all hanging out until about 5:00 Christmas morning. Jake was like that fun little Christmas gift that your parents let you open early on Christmas Eve. What a gift.
***
Christmas Day - complete blur. I don't remember any of it.
***
December 26. By this point it had been almost 48 hours since I had washed my hair. I must wash my hair every 12-24 hours or it is a huge grease pit. I was begging the nurses to please let me wash it. I didn't care if I had to drag myself to the bathroom. Next pregnancy, I'm definitely investing in some dry shampoo.
***
Robbie & I would just stare at Jake in amazement. Every sound & move he made we were fascinated by. Little did I know how that fascination would continue to grow every single day.
***
He was so tiny, none of his clothes fit. That did not last long.
***
I remember looking at Jake, thinking that I could never love something so much. But it happens. Each day I love him more than the day before. It doesn't seem possible, but it's true. Through the laughter, pouts, smiles, tears & silliness, there is nothing in this world that I wouldn't do for my son. He is my best Christmas gift ever.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Suggestions

Please either leave me a comment or email me (emma_hollon@hotmail.com) if you have any suggestions in the Birmingham area for:
1) Mom's Day Out Program
2) Pediatrician
3) Hair Dresser
Especially the Mom's Day Out. I'm worried about finding one that will take a child mid-year. So if you know of any places, I'd love to hear them. Even if we can't get in this year, I'd like to go ahead & get on a waiting list for summer or next year. Thanks!

4 Days Until Christmas

Working full time + Managing a 2-year-old by myself + Christmas Eve Birthday Child + Getting Ready for Christmas + Putting Our House on the Market + Having to Layoff Staff at Work 1 Week Before Christmas = Very Tough Week BUT.... + Mom Coming to Stay = SAVING GRACE.
I am on week 3 of holding down the fort during the week while Robbie is in Birmingham. How on Earth single mom's & military wives do it, I'll never know. I have so much admiration for them. They do it for the long haul, not just for a few measly weeks. It is draining & exhausting. But it hasn't been quite as bad as I was scared of. I was extremely grateful though when my mom offered to come up for a few days to help out. She took/picked up Jake from daycare, let the maid in, Realtor in, etc... She also watched Jake one night so I could get in a girls dinner night. I loved & appreciated her company, her support & her help. And Jake had an absolute ball with his Nana. Thank you so much Nana!!

Before a week ago, we didn't have a single gift for Christmas bought. I told Robbie he had to watch Jake while I Christmas shopped. I only had 1 day, so it was all or nothing. At the end of the day, anyone who I didn't have a gift for, got a gift card. It was actually very productive. I highly recommend it! Because I bought all of the gifts in 1 day, I finished at Hobby Lobby to make sure I had enough boxes, bags, paper, etc... Therefore, I was able to wrap everything that night. Here is everything so nicely packaged & wrapped.

And here they are displayed under our beautiful Christmas tree, otherwise known as the guest bedroom closet. Jake has started wearing his sippy cup rubber bands as wrist bands. Silly kid. Since Jake's actual birthday is Christmas Eve, I decided to do his class party the week before on Wednesday. It was a Hungry Caterpillar party. The goody bags....

The loot...

Today's my class birthday party!
Playing with his pal Phillip



Jake had been dying for a cupcake since we picked them up from Publix. He asked me if he could have one 1,000 times that night & the next morning. We finally get to his party & he wouldn't eat any of it. I finally convinced him to at least stick his finer in the icing. This is what I got.
On Saturday we went over to Robbie's sister's house to exchange gifts with them since we wouldn't see them on Christmas Day.
Jake & Jackson
Jake opening his gift

He got several very fun things....
... including a scooter!
His balance is okay, but he has no idea how it works. He just likes to stand on it & have someone push him around. He calls it his bike.
Saturday night we went over to Zach & Kimberly's for one last get together before Christmas. Here is Jake & his girlfriend Addie.
mommy & jake
Connor & Jake chasing the poor cat
No wonder it hid
Me, Kimberly & Margaret with our children Jake, Addie & Connor
Not sure who Jake learned those kissing skills from
We left the kids alone for a second & knew they were way too quite. They had gotten into Jake's backpack & were turning the TV on & off (well, that was really just my child).

Christmas Card 2010
Picture with Santa 2010. Oh the things I love about this picture. Which do I love more? Jake sticking his teeth out like he has buck teeth, the muffin top coming out of pants because his shirt is pulled up or the fact he looks like he is wearing high water pants. This was Round 2 with Santa that morning. Round 1 was spent in tears. Honestly, I really liked that picture better. I love pictures with Santa with the kid screaming. They are hilarious. We were there super early so we watched a few kids sit in Santa's lap & I guess Jake built up his courage. So we tried again & this is what we got. Goofy but lovable.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Changes...

I have started this post so many times in my head, but just have not had the chance to actually sit down & type it. Warning! It's long. You'll probably fall asleep at least twice before just skipping to the last paragraph!

The Bush's are about to go through some major changes. Robbie has accepted (& at this point started) a new job with a company in Birmingham. These changes bring up so many emotions for me.

First & foremost, I am so proud of Robbie. This is something that he wanted and worked hard for. It is a great opportunity for him to take his career to the next level. It is definitely going to be harder & more stressful, but I know he will do a wonderful job. (And he will now have to have a blackberry for work & will see how addicting checking your work emails are, even when you don't want to look at them.)

I am so grateful to our heavenly father. This is something we have been praying about for a long time. Lord knows I'm not the most patient person in the world. But two of my favorite verses are "Be still and know I am God." Psalm 46:10 and "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3. We know that this will not be perfect, because life is not perfect, but we have faith that we are following God's plan for our lives, our family and our walk with him.

I am excited to be moving back to Birmingham. I moved to Birmingham my 2nd year out of college and lived there until Robbie & I got engaged. Birmingham will always be very special to me. I got my first real job there, my first real promotion, bought my first car, bought my own house & sold my own house. I have very wonderful friends that live there and I'm so excited to get to reconnect with all of them. It will definitely be different though. When I lived in Birmingham before, I got to live very selfishly. I worked at a cool job, would meet up with friends after work, lived off of a few hours of sleep (well, I still do that one, but it is much tougher!). It is going to be much different moving back there with a husband and child. But I'm very excited about it!

I'm nervous about the changes with my job. I've had a love hate relationship with my job. But lately things have been very good. It is stressful, demanding & lots of pressure, but I love those things. It is adrenaline for me. But with those things comes long hours. It is extremely hard trying to balance those things with also trying to be a good mom. I feel like if I pay more attention to one, then the other one suffers. It's a very though feeling and one that I struggle with daily. I feel like I'm trying to do so many different things, but I'm not doing any of them well enough. When I talked to my company about our move, they were very supportive. I have decided to go to part time and work remote from Birmingham. I could have stayed on full time & just worked remote, but it would be extremely hard for me to do all my job duties not in our corporate office. Plus, I wanted to take this opportunity to spend more time with Jake. Due to unexpected circumstances with my boss resigning a few days after I had Jake, I went back to work from home when he was 2 weeks old. I went back into the office when he was 6 weeks, and I've worked 10 hour days since. I feel like I owe it to Jake and I owe it to Robbie. I'm excited about working part time, but also nervous. What if Jake would rather be in school full time? He is learning so much right now and loves his teachers & classmates. What if he doesn't learn as much at home with me? Our plan is to enroll him in a mom's day out program. (Which I'm sure will be just a breeze to find one mid-year.) The rest of the time that I'll be working, we hope to find someone to stay with him a few hours at the house. We'll see. In my head, it is all a perfect plan. But I also know that evidently God usually thinks my plans are hilarious & changes them. So we will see.

I'm sad to leave our friends here in Chattanooga. Robbie & I always knew that Chattanooga would not be our final stop. But I never would have thought that we would have met the wonderful friends that we have and that we would all be so close. When I first moved to Chattanooga, Robbie introduced me to his 2 closest friends that were girls, Lara & Alli. They welcomed me instantly and were so sweet. Lara & I lived together downtown the year that Robbie & I were engaged. We had so much fun. Lara is one of the most generous and thoughtful people that I know. She has been an amazing friend to both Robbie & I. Once Robbie & I got married, I moved into his house out in the suburbs (if you call it that in Chattanooga!). Somehow, I am extremely lucky that my husband's friends all married awesome girls. Befriending your husband's friends wives is always a gamble. You just don't know what you will get. I couldn't have picked more perfect friends if I had picked them out myself. Kimberly, Margaret & I have gotten to be so close over the last 3 years. We were all pregnant at the same time, we hang out together, our kids play together. We just always have a great time. And we've been there for each other. None of the 3 of us are from Chattanooga and our families all live out of town/state. So we've become each other temporary family. We've been though hospital scares, sickness, funny moments, worried moments, you name it, one of us has probably experienced it. We've experienced the highs & lows of motherhood so far, and I don't know what I would have done without them. And we have so many extended friends that are so dear and special to us. When I moved to Chattanooga, I was so worried about feeling alone leaving my family and friends. While I have missed them greatly, I can truly say that because of our wonderful friends up here, I've never felt alone. I never would have imagined that I would meet the type of people that I met and develop the deep friendship bonds that I have. Our friends are our family here and we love them as that. Now we just have to convince everyone to move to Birmingham!

I'll be sure to keep the blog updated as we go through this transition period, and if you know of anyone wanting to buy a house in Chattanooga, we've got great Christmas present for them! (The best time to put your house on the market is the week before Christmas, right?)

Randomness & HELP!

We finally had a low key weekend. Robbie was at the SEC Championship game, so Friday & Saturday it was just me & Jake. Saturday afternoon we went to Connor's birthday party, but I didn't even have a chance to take any pictures. So all we have is randomness from the week & weekend.

Funny Story: Santa Clause came to Jake's school to take pictures with the kids. I had Jake in his cute little Christmas shirt, even though I figured there was no way he was coming anywhere close to Santa. The teacher was telling me that afternoon that none of the kids in Jake's class (made up of 8 2-year-old's) got their picture made with Santa. They walked into the room & every kid started crying. Then Santa said "Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas" and all of the kids lost it. They were all screaming & climbing on the teachers. The teachers said that they couldn't get the kids out of there quick enough. It was like being in line for Santa & instead of 1 kid screaming scared of him, you had 8. I wish I could have seen that poor Santa's face. His teacher said that it took them forever to get the kids to take a nap. They kept saying "Don't let Santa come".

Speaking of Christmas, I got Jake some Christmas pajamas. (Um, and yes, I realize now that I should have bought the 3T. They looked HUGE in the store, but there sure are snug around his belly of jelly.

Oh how I love my little chipmunk cheeks

We are now keeping Jake's toys in the leather ottoman bench. He thinks its his new playhouse.

Kind of saying his ABC's. (Or I assume that is what he is saying.) He usually breaks out new material in the bath tub. I was really trying to get him to count, and he started saying what I assume are his ABC's. And of course he had to throw in his favorite word "no" as well, as my annoying voice tries to coax him into saying what I want (which never works).
video

Finally counting. 2 is still his favorite number. 2, 3, 4, 5 & 9 are useless. I was also trying to cram everything into one video. I was trying to get him to say some of my favorite words. TV "tb", moon "boon" (which of course he says it correctly on the video, not my plan!) & fruit "puit". It's always an adventure trying to figure out what he is saying! video

HELP: So Jake has started this new thing that I don't know if I should be annoyed by or worried by. He hoards food in his mouth. It started a few weeks ago and he would just sporadically do it. Now, he does it at every meal. Either the first bite or last bite. He is not doing it at school as far as his teachers have noticed. It is driving us crazy though. He just sits there with food in his mouth. He will not swallow it & he will not spit it out. After a few minutes, he starts drooling everywhere making a mess. He tries to communicate with you without opening his mouth. He usually just ends up making a huge mess all over his shirt & the floor. He has kept food in there for up to an hour. I don't know if he is doing it for attention. He usually tries to hide it from you. He'll just go along playing, hoarding the food in his mouth. You really don't notice until you realize he is not jabbering and there is slobber everywhere. Or he starts choking & you have to fish it out (while I gag the whole time. If he doesn't watch it, I'm going to end up throwing up on him).