Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Our Family
Daddy and Me

Just playin some DS with Dad

Happy Birthday, Ryan!!

Tomorrow, March 23rd, is Ryan's birthday. Please join me in wishing him a Happy Birthday! I couldn't have asked for a better husband and Olivia couldn't have asked for a better father. We love you!!

Jodi and Olivia

Saturday, March 22, 2008 - Update

This is a picture of my first apartment. I loved it there. They were new apartment buildings and I was the first to live in my apartment. It was there that I decided on a new single, independent life. Of course, I didn't enjoy being single, but I was tired of every relationship turning into a disappointment. I thought that I might as well learn to support myself and learn to live life alone. That is. . .until Ryan literally walked into my life. It was a plan hatched by my boss and Ryan's sister at an Abigail Circle meeting at their church. Ryan's sister, Kim, talked about what Ryan wanted in a girl and my boss, Pam, thought it sounded an awful lot like me. Seven years ago today, Ryan agreed to come to the office where I worked to meet me. The rest is history. Funny how one decision in life can affect your entire future. If he hadn't come by, my life would be entirely different and our beautiful Olivia Paige would not be here.
Doesn't she look like a little mini-me? Except those feet. . .they are minature versions of Ryan's. If they sold that sweater in my size, I would totally buy it.

Mom, I have a question. What kind of animal is this?

The one and only. . .Olivia Paige.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008 - Update

K-State Smile
Daddy and Me

Any presents for me?

This is a big weekend for us. Not only is it Easter, but it is the anniversary of the first day we met AND Ryan's birthday is on Sunday. I've decided that he gets an entire birthday weekend. Ryan was off work today for Good Friday so we were able to start the festivities early. And, of course, she had a special outfit to wear just for dad.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Olivia Perfects the Pouty Face

How could you not give this girl everything she wants?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - Update

Just playin with my toys. . .

First of all. . .Happy Birthday to my brother!! I hope you are having a great birthday. Olivia was lucky enough to have Nurse Holli come by and visit. I could tell that Holli genuinely thought Olivia was a big girl as she saw her when she was just over a pound. It was nice visiting with her and we did get out to enjoy the nice weather. Of course, Olivia cried for most of the walk as she would rather be held than be in her stroller. Aren't babies supposed to enjoy stroller rides? Silly girl. Better go. . .Olivia is waking up from another one of her power naps.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - Update

Olivia and her Lil' Googles
Rebekah being as cute and adorable as ever!

Julia wears her braces as an accessory. . .that girl looks good in everything.

Laura, Rebekah and Julia

Laura, Julia and Rebekah stopped by today and gave us Olivia's first ever Webkinz pet. It's a Lil' Googles named Gwyneth. What is a Webkinz pet? Webkinz pets are lovable plush pets that each come with a unique Secret Code. With it, you enter Webkinz World where you care for your virtual pet, answer trivia, earn KinzCash, and play the best kids games on the net! As if I needed another reason to squander my time on the internet. . ho hum. I'm really looking forward to interacting with my nieces and nephews again. . even if it's only in a virtual world.

Olivia is doing well. We're still having some vomiting episodes, but they seem to be decreasing number. Last night I put her in her crib for bedtime. Usually, when I put her in her crib to go to sleep, I don't hear a peep out of her. She knows it's bedtime. Last night I laid her down and went to rinse out her bottles and she started crying. I went into her bedroom and found her poor face and body covered in vomit. It was awful. Thankfully, Ryan helped change the sheets, etc while I comforted her. Poor thing. . .I just hope it continues to get better over time.

A Spoonful of Empathy

As I sat down to write my list of 'What NOT to say to someone struggling with infertility,' I realized it's not always what is said, but the intentions behind it. The majority of people do not intend to cause you heartache (and the ones that do. . .well, as one person told me, when we can pray for those who have hurt us, we are on our way to becoming more like Christ.) If truth be told, on certain days, I could have probably said something to upset myself. I think that the key is empathy.

Empathy can be defined as: 1) putting yourself in someone else’s place and imagining how that person must feel. 2) A sense of shared experience, including emotional and physical feelings, with someone or something other than oneself.

Being someone who can probably empathize with an insect, I find it difficult to understand people who are not empathetic at all. My niece, Julia, has such an empathetic heart that's rarely seen in someone her age. I sometimes felt that people equated not being able to have a child with not being able to. . .buy a new car. It's something that affects your entire being and sense of self and worth and pierces you right through the heart. Telling someone to just relax and they'll get pregnant is like telling someone with a terminal illness that they just need to keep breathing to stay alive. What is easy for some. . .is not easy for others. Empathy is a two-lane road, however. For others to show empathy for your situation, one must also show empathy for theirs. . .no matter how different the two situations are. As I sit at my computer each day, I try to find words to express how I feel so that others might see what I see and feel what I feel. That's all people want sometimes. . .just to be heard, their feelings validated and to feel that they are not alone. By simply visiting my blog every day, all of you have done more for me than you will ever know.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Preemie Blogs I Read

I just thought I would share with you some other preemie blogs that I frequent (in addition to those on my sidebar.) Ethan, Evan and Emma were neighbors of Olivia's for a time in the NICU. Gwyneth was born to a mother with cystic fibrosis. . .an amazing story of faith and love. About a little 24 weeker named Ryan. A 23 weeker named Coy who recently went home from the hospital. Twin boys Hagen and Mason Julian, Dakota and big sister Madison

If I'm missing any others that visit my blog, let me know. I'd love to get to know your family as well.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008 - Update

Olivia is officially sleeping through the night. I actually had to wake her up a little before 7 am because I heard her devouring her hand. She has been doing really well lately. We met with a nutritionist from Rainbows on Friday and our goal is to increase her daily formula intake by about 4 oz (with no vomiting, of course.) We'll see how that goes. She loves her new formula. . . so we have that in our favor.

Yesterday, I actually packed my pump away. It was kind of sad in an odd sort of way. I just hope that she got the benefits that she needed from taking breast milk for about 5 months. I always want to look back knowing that I did everything I could possibly do for Olivia. I hope she always knows how much I love her.