Friday, October 31, 2014

Hollon Elizabeth - 2 Months

She is going to kill me when she gets older.
These pants make her hips look huge.

2 Months Old Recap:
Likes: She still has all the same likes as her 1 month old recap. She also likes music. I'm too cheap to buy a sound machine for her, but I do have an old CD player that we used with Jake and an instrumental lullaby CD. If she is antsy before going to sleep, I'll play that and it seems to calm her down. She likes her favorite pacifier. It is a basic simple white infant nuk that we got from the hospital with Jake. Thankfully we got 2 of them, because they are her favorite and the only ones she'll  attempt to keep in her mouth. (And yes I know it is probably not recommended to use pacifiers that are almost 6 years old and have spent 5 of those years packed away in a closet.)
Dislikes: All still the same from 1 month recap. Thankfully no real new things to add.
Milestones: She took her first extended trips. She spent 3 nights in a hotel in Chattanooga with me for work, 1 night at home in her crib and then 3 nights in a hotel in New Orleans for a wedding. To be off her schedule for 7 days and only sleep 1 of those nights in her actual crib (which she loves), I was really proud of her. She wasn't perfect, but I didn't expect her to be. The hardest part for her seemed to be not being able to get her milk directly from me at each feeding. Both while in Chattanooga & New Orleans, I had to do a lot of pumping and someone else giving her the bottle. She drinks fine from a bottle (she'll take a drink from anywhere), but she seemed to miss that one-on-one contact with my, um, chest. Even if she had just eaten, if I'd walk in, she would about dive into my shirt. She didn't want to eat, she just wanted to lie across my chest. It was like she wanted to make sure they were still there.
Sleeping: She is sleeping good and we are almost down to a routine during the day. She takes 1 long nap and then several cat naps during the day. At night, she is sleeping about 4 hours between feedings, so I have to get up once a night to feed her.
Eating: She is still eating good and still spitting up. The spitting up seems to have gotten a little less. But we are both still having to change our clothes at least once a day. She eats every 3 hours during the day, and goes 4 hours between feedings at night.
Schedule: Here is a tentative schedule of what our day looks like:
5:00-6:30 - She wakes up and we lay her in our bed while we get Jake up and we get ready
6:30 - First feeding of the day
7:00-9:30 - She and I will play a little bit and she'll hang out in her swing either upstairs or downstairs while I straighten up downstairs or start working upstairs. She'll cat nap in the swing. She is fine with this as long as she is tired or sleeping. If she is good & awake though, she wants to be held.
9:30 - Second feeding of the day
11:00 - I put her down for her long nap of the day. I swaddle her and make her take this nap in her crib.
1:30 - Third feeding of the day
2:30 - We leave to go pick Jake up from school. She'll nap some in the car. (And I praise the Lord when she does, because that means she is not screaming when we stop at red lights.)
3:30 - We get back from carpool 
4:30 - Fourth feeding of the day
5:30 - Leave to take Jake to football practice
7:30 - Fifth feeding of the day
8:00 - Give her a bath, put her on her pajamas, turn down the lights, swaddle her and make things as low key as possible. She'll hang out in her swing or spend some time with Robbie.  She'll usually sleep good until her last feeding of the day.
10:30 - Last feeding of the day. After that, we'll put her in her crib.
2:30 - Middle of the night feeding

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Danny's Wedding - New Orleans

One of Robbie's best friends from high school, Danny was getting married in New Orleans Friday night, and Robbie was a groomsman in the wedding. Danny was in our wedding and has been one of Robbie's closest friends. We were so excited to go to New Orleans to celebrate Danny & Lindy's wedding.

Hollon was great in the car ride down. I fed her right before we left and she ended up sleeping the whole way there until we were about 45 minutes outside of New Orleans. She woke up and I knew she was hungry. Driving around New Orleans with a screaming baby in the car just didn't sound like fun that day, so we pull off in a Hardee's parking lot so I can feed Hollon, change her diaper and let her stretch. I had my cape on, so I was covered and I just fed her in the car. Once she was fed, I took the cape off, I got out and changed her, walked around with her, let her stretch. What I forgot to do was button my shirt back up. So I can now cross 'flashing some small town outside of New Orleans' off my bucket list.

We made it to New Orleans (clothed) safe & sound.  
Walking to get some lunch
Hollon's first time in New Orleans!
We grabbed some lunch. Out of all the restaurants in New Orleans, we were lucky enough to pick the one right beside a building under construction that was jack-hammering. 
Hollon was not impressed with the jack-hammering
Rob went to the rehearsal while Judy, Hollon & I got ready for the dinner.

Judy made Hollon a new daygown. The pictures do not do it justice.

I was waiting for her to throw up all over it
Because next to screaming, she likes to throw up on perfectly clean clothes.
You never know if you are going to get sweet Hollon or screaming Hollon. Thankfully the wedding party table was next to the stairs, so I could make a quick exit with her if I needed to. To my surprise, she was an absolute doll during the dinner. She slept in our arms while we took turns eating. She slept during the toasts. 

The happy couple during the toasts - Danny & Lindy

It wasn't until right until the end did she wake up and decide to scream. Thankfully the room was crowded and noisy and drowned out the cry. We took a few quick photos (because who doesn't love a photo with a screaming baby in it) and then Robbie & I walked Judy & Hollon back to the hotel.

Judy sweetly offered to watch Hollon at the hotel while Rob & I attended the after dinner party in which all the guests arriving into town would be at. We got Hollon fed & down for bed and then met up with everyone at the cocktail party.
Robbie and his friend from high school Trena
The rehearsal dinner and cocktail party were at Acme Oyster House.

Another friend from high school, Robbie Page flew in that night for the wedding.
Robbie  Bush, Danny & Robbie Page
The next morning we all met up from brunch. I have to give Hollon credit, she was very good (for the most part) at the restaurant.
Robbie B., Danny, Trena & Robbie P.
These 4 have been friends since high school
The boys went to the boy's school McCallie & Trena went to the girl's school GPS
Then it came time to get ready for the wedding.

I had a grand plan all planned out for Hollon. The buses were leaving early for the wedding to not get delayed in Friday rush hour traffic. We arrived at the pavilion at 5:00 and the wedding started at 5:30. As soon as we arrived, I found a nice corner out of the way & fed Hollon. The wedding was outside, so we were seated on the end towards the back. Hollon was content in the stoller. She was awake but actually quiet during the wedding. I've never held my breath for so long. Since she stayed awake during the ceremony, I just knew she would fall asleep during the reception. 


Not only was she awake, but she decided to throw one of her screaming meltdowns. Thankfully part of the reception was outside and there was plenty of open space to push Hollon around in the stroller away from the guests. And her cries were drowned out by the band inside. Robbie, Judy & I just took turns pushing her around the park until the buses came back to take the first load back to the hotel.   

Due to our screaming child, we never got a picture with the bride & groom.
I at least snapped a picture from far away.
They both looked great.

I was trying to get a picture of her in her bonnet.
Another fail.

Robbie Page & Robbie Bush

Robbie B., Trena & Robbie P.

Our family (minus Jake!)
Judy snapped the sweetest picture of Robbie holding Hollon by the fountain

This is what we all took turns doing for 2 hours
That's what you get when you take a 7 week old to a wedding reception

The food was amazing though!
Once the buses were starting to run to take guests back to the hotel, I went with Judy & Hollon to get Hollon settled for the evening. Then I met up with everyone after the reception about an hour later.

Saturday, we had the day to just enjoy New Orleans. We ate lunch and then just walked around. 

Judy sent this sweet picture of Hollon sleeping.

Don't be fooled. An hour before that she was screaming.

We packed up and headed home on Sunday. Hollon was a champ again on the car ride back (except when we stopped at a drive through to grab breakfast) and slept the entire way back to Birmingham.

We had so much fun in New Orleans and I know Robbie enjoyed catching up with friends from high school and Judy enjoyed catching up with old friends from Chattanooga. New Orleans never disappoints and we had a great time celebrating a wonderful couple.

And because I love flashbacks, here are pictures of Robbie B., Danny, Trena & Robbie P. from high school.
McCallie & GPS Class of 1997

Weeks in Review / Strickland's Come to Visit

A great weekend visit by Chattanooga friends sandwich between 2 weeks in review. 

Two weeks ago....
Jake is my little helper when it comes to Hollon. I plan to do a post soon that is just all about him. He has handled the transition with the new baby so well. He gets that he is the older brother to a baby and has been so helpful and understanding. (One of the perks of having your children almost 6 years apart!) And to say he adores Hollon is an understatement. (Except when she is screaming.)
Entertaining H while I change her
Hollon is pretty smitten with Jake as well
I made a doctor's appointment on Monday the 13th without realizing that was Columbus Day and therefore Jake would not be in school. No problem, I'd just take both kids to the doctor. I thought it was just a 6 week post op, just to make sure my incision was healing correctly. Wrong. It was my annual exam. I cringed when I found out. Jake is obsessed with doctors and wants to know everything they are doing. That is all well & good when watching them on TV. Not good when he's there in person and you are the patient. With your legs spread. We moved Jake's chair to make it harder for him to see the doctor and I tried making him read his book he brought. But he still watched the doctor the entire time. And Hollon was crying the entire time, because, well, that's just what she likes to do. Good times.
Before the doctor's appointment
Big brother Little sister

Crying during an entire doctor's appointment will wear you out
This picture of Hollon just makes me laugh for some reason. She had just eaten, her belly is hanging out, she is in her underwear and she is taking a nap. The good life of a 6 week old.

Tuesday, brother had a football game
This was Hollon after the game. Panther's lost. :(

Friday morning, we got a scare. Hollon had been crying and when I went to pick her up, she was burning hot. She gets hot when she screams, but this was a different hot. It was time for her to eat, so I undressed her to cool her off and fed her. I held her for a little bit and she cooled down some, but still felt hot. I took her temperature and it was 101. I knew it was bad for babies that young to have a temperature, so I called her pediatrician and asked if I could bring her in and have them take her temperature. When they took her temperature, it was 101.5. Their policy is if the temp is higher than 101.3, you go to Children's emergency room downtown. Thankfully before they sent us, they did a series of tests of their own. Everything seemed fine. Hollon was still eating and she wasn't inconsolable. They did a urine sample and that came back fine. The last thing they wanted to do was check some things in her blood. Evidently, getting blood from the vein of a 6 week old is not easy. They tried for an hour, sticking the needle in both arms and both legs, trying to find a vein. The more they stuck her, the madder Hollon got. By the end of the hour, they had 3 nurses in there trying and H had screamed and kicked the entire time. They had no luck. I'm pretty sure we are on the pediatric nurses' most hated list. It was horrible for all and we all left with a little loss of hearing. Because they couldn't take blood from a vein, they just pricked her foot and tested that blood. (Not sure how that blood is different, but I guess it is.) It came back fine as well, so they let us go home and we just had to take Hollon's temperature rectal (am I the only mom that is terrified to take my child's temperature that way?!?) every 6 hours and if it went higher than 101.5, we would need to go to the emergency room. Thankfully it never did.

Later that evening, we were having our best friends from Chattanooga over for the weekend. Thankfully Hollon was feeling better by the time they arrived Friday night. It was fun to introduce her to the Strickland family!

Tyler & Addie getting to know Hollon

Addie was a little mama. She loved holding Hollon.

Jake had fun showing Tyler all his boy toys
Addie (5), Hollon (7 weeks), Jake (5.5), Tyler (almost 2)

The Strickland's left Sunday and then we prepared for our craziest week to date. I had 2 extremely important audits that I had to be in Chattanooga for Monday-Wednesday. Then, we were going to be in New Orleans for Robbie to be in one of his best friends weddings Thursday-Sunday. In the past, this would have been no big deal. Jake would have just spent the week with my parents. But now that he is in kindergarten, he had to be in Birmingham and we had a 7 week old to figure out what to do with. We absolutely could not have survived without the help of our parents. They went above & beyond the expectations of a grandparent, and we are forever grateful to them.

I wasn't ready to leave Hollon for a week, plus I'm her source of food and I haven't pumped enough to last her a full week. So we decided that she would just travel with me. My mom took the first shift and came with Hollon & me to Chattanooga. She watched Hollon at the hotel during the day while I went into the office. She is a saint for sitting in a hotel room for 9 hours a day with an infant that likes to randomly scream her head off for no reason. Monday, Hollon was good and slept most of the day. Tuesday, she had a rough day. I would like to apologize to anyone staying at the Marriott in the rooms around room 205. I would also like to apologize to my mom for the loss of hearing she received. Even though, as you loose your hearing to Hollon's screams, on the bright side, it makes her screams not as loud. On Wednesday, Hollon was in a better mood and my mom sent me this sweet picture.

 While I was in Chattanooga, Jake's football team had their homecoming game. I couldn't believe I had to miss it. Each cheerleader made their escort a sign and presented it to them after the game. How cute are these two?!?

While I was in Chattanooga, Robbie would take Jake to school, but we needed help with someone picking him up after school and taking Jake to meet Robbie at football practice. Which is where Robbie's dad earned his badge. He picked Jake up each day, fed him supper and got him to football. On Wednesday evening, mom, Hollon & I left Chattanooga and headed home.

I got home, unpacked, quickly washed some clothes and then packed for New Orleans. Judy met us at our house Thursday morning to go with us to New Orleans. Judy had planned on going to the wedding already, but sweetly offered to help with Hollon so we could enjoy the evenings. Again, such a saint. Chuck had to be in Auburn to get the RV ready for the game and we were all in New Orleans for the wedding, so there was no one to watch Jake. That is where my dad stepped up to earn his badge! He stayed at our house with Jake Thursday & Friday. He took him & picked him up from school, got him to football and stayed with him during the evening. Then Friday after school, they headed to Prattville for the weekend. And my parents watched Jake over the weekend. 

Now do you see why we are so grateful to our parents? They were amazing last week and we owe them a million times over. Thank you so much Nana, Gran, Granddad & Mimi!!

New Orleans post & pictures coming soon!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hollon Elizabeth - 1 Month

My precious Hollon Elizabeth,

Technically you turned 1 month old, almost a month ago. I've had this post/letter written in my head for a month, I just haven't sat down to actually type it out. But better late than never, right?

On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 was one of the greatest days of my life. I checked into the hospital, nervous and excited to meet my baby girl. The moment I heard you cry, cannot be put into words. I truly thought my heart was going to burst with love.

I fell in love the moment I saw you.

You surprised everyone by having black hair and being tiny (well, tiny for a Bush or Hollon baby).  Daddy was in the operating room with me and Nana, Mimi & Granddad were waiting to meet you by the nursery. Gran brought big brother Jake up to the hospital that afternoon. The next day, Aunt Lindsey and cousin Gaines come by to meet you. We all love our precious Hollon Elizabeth.

We came home on Thursday and had so much fun introducing you to family over the next few days. You met your Granddad Jake, GG Kathy, Aunt Leigh Ann, Uncle Billy and cousins Maddox & Marrell. Sweet Marrell calls you her little sister.

I've spent so much time playing with your sweet little fingers, rubbing your soft black hair and tickling your little baby toes. 

Once your umbilical cord fell off, we were able to give you your first real bath. You liked it!

We introduced you to Auburn and the RV and took you to your first Auburn football game.

Daddy & brother insist that you'll be an Auburn fan. I'm still holding out hope otherwise.

You like your pacifier except when you are hungry. You are smart and are not fooled. You want food, not a paci. Your 2 favorite pacifiers are the infant Nuk & Lamb Soothie.

You don't play with much, but you do seem to enjoy your lovee, playmat & mamaroo.

Each week you become more & more alert. You are great at holding your head up. You have a strong little grip and can kick your legs pretty hard.

You have the most precious grin, even if you are only grinning because you passed gas.

We all love to hold you and you love to be held. This first month has exceeded my expectations with you. I may be a little sleep deprived and have a slight loss of hearing in one of my ears, but that is all forgotten when I rock you to sleep in my arms.

You don't like to be startled or loud noises. Which is hard to accommodate sometimes in the middle of football season. Or with a 5 year old brother.

My 2 favorite faces you make are your "O" face and your Stevie Wonder face (you stretch your neck up, back and to the side).

You make the cutest noises when we hold you.

You have a big brother that absolutely adores you. He loves to sing to you (favorite song: Swing Low Sweet Chariot) and read to you (favorite book: Goodnight Moon). He helps me with you and loves to tell other people (and me) how to take care of you. And when you are lucky, he eats cookies around you and I'm pretty sure I saw crumbs fall in your mouth.

You are a good little sleeper. You take naps anywhere (laps, bouncer, swing, boppy) but sleep at night in the pack-n-play in mommy & daddy's room.

You are also a good little crier. Actually screamer. I'm still trying to figure out your cries and what is bothering you. You make sure to let me know when I am wrong. When you get really mad, you scratch up your face.

Hollon, you are the child that I prayed for, cried for and begged God for. I feel so blessed to have you and I just hope that I'm the mom that you deserve. I will make mistakes, I'll make you mad, I'll have to make hard decisions. But please always remember that no matter what, I love you so very much. I will worry about you, I'll hurt when you're hurting, and I'll want to protect you from every bad thing in the world. But I have to put you in God's hands. Because even though I love you more than it is humanly possible, he loves you even more. You were his child, before you were mine, and I hope I make him proud in the way I am raising one of his children. 

Hollon, you made our family complete. You are our precious gift that we celebrate and thank God for. We love you so much. This first month has been amazing, and I can't wait to see what the others have in store.

With all my love,