My Child Comes First In My Life

Hi all, it’s been a while! I share posts on the Charleston Moms Blogs, and today I’m sharing the link to one of my recent posts on that site. My post “My Child Comes First in My Life” was in the top 10 most read posts in the City Moms Blog network. It’s one of my favorite posts!

Here’s the link:

http://charleston.citymomsblog.com/motherhood/my-child-comes-first-in-my-life/

Enjoy (no matter whether you agree or disagree!)!

Kennedy’s the CHS March for Babies Ambassador!

Kennedy’s the 2017 Charleston March for Babies ambassador, and today was the kickoff lunch! It was such a great time to be in the room with the other teams, each full of people ready to help support the March of Dimes mission.

Check out the cool video about her story!

If you’re compelled, we invite you to donate to her team here!

We are soooo thankful that we get to share our lives with our precious girl! She’s a warrior disguised as a sweet, perfect human. 🙂

 

One Year Home!

The other day we celebrated that our daughter got home from the hospital one year ago! How exciting!!! It’s soooo crazy to think that it’s been so long, and that it’s gone so fast!

Looking back at life last year, it’s hard to believe how much has changed. This time last year, we were worrying about vital stats, any remote germ that anyone might’ve been spreading, and everything else under the sun. Oh! I remember her one medication was at the top of that list too. Preemies get caffeine to help their heart, and it had to be dosed 24 hours apart. We were always terrified that we’d miss the dose and something would happen.

Now things are so different – our worries are “normal” one year old worries – did we pad all the corners so she doesn’t bump her head, what is she putting in her mouth, etc. What a nice change! It really is amazing to see how quickly things flipped around. Thank goodness!

Kennedy meets goal after goal and continues to amaze everyone she meets. She’s the funniest, sweetest, most perfect human I’ve ever met!

I love how she blows kisses, pretends to talk on her phone, washes her hands, and most recently, she started “cleaning” the floor, her toys, and anything else she can find. I’m not sure where in the world she learned that! I certainly keep my phone clean all the time, but I don’t constantly clean anything else that way. She’s really into the cleaning and it’s hysterical. I just couldn’t love that girl any more if I tried. She’s truly perfect.

There are many, many times each week that we talk about how lucky we are to get to be her parents. She’s such a fighter and she’s so bright spirited and perfect, I truly can’t believe our luck.

Reality Check

Holy cow, today at work I was working on our weekly newsletter and I was writing about our many holiday donation drives at our campuses. As I was typing the “wish list” for the drives, I was humbled. New or used blankets, shirts for women and men, coats, canned food, new and used toys, volleyballs.

The requests are so simple, yet receiving something from the list could make the recipients holiday.

Scanning that list, I felt like the richest person in the world – rich in life, not monetarily. Some of the used toys will go to adults with brain injuries. I am so thankful that I am healthy and that everyone I know is healthy. Most of all, I am thankful that my precious baby is perfectly healthy. She had one heck of a journey since she was born 3 months early and had to overcome a serious lung condition while in the hospital (and after Googling the condition the other day,  and looking at the odds of survival, I’m more aware than ever of her warrior spirit).

Back to the list, COATS. Can you imagine NEEDING a coat. Not needing a new one. Not needing a more fashionable one. Just NEEDING a coat. For the sole purpose of keeping warm. Can you imagine that there are people who don’t have homes? I mean, yes, I know that poverty, and hunger, and homelessness exist, but during the holidays, looking at lists for much needed donations, it really is a reality check. I wanted to run out the door and go buy everything on the list before even finishing typing the list! I wanted to go hug my family and friends for being amazing and for everything they all do for us and one another. I wanted to go build homes so no one has to live outside. I seriously can’t imagine that kind of hardship. I also want to make a concerted effort to do more for others year round, not just at the holidays.

Toys for Tots has always been an important organization to me. My dad grew up incredibly  poor and never received a gift until he began dating my mom – which was after he graduated HS. Literally, he got no presents growing up. Kids are smart and can reason through some things, so they may be able to understand on some level that their family can’t afford designer jeans, but Santa is MAGIC. Santa doesn’t have an issue providing gifts – he visits millions of kids around the world. So, I cringe at the thought of a child going without presents, because they must think that Santa – this magical man who visits all of the their friends – must hate them. So while toys aren’t the most important thing in life, I can’t deal with the thought of a kid not having a gift because there’s not a logical reason to explain why Santa would visit some kids, but not the less fortunate kids. Ugh.

With everything my daughter experienced, helping other families in the NICU has become very important to me. I’m passionate about preemies! My daughter is the 2017 Charleston March of Dimes March for Babies ambassador, and we’re proud to help support their mission and help other babies born too soon, but we want to do even more!

It’s tough to think about all the people in need and not be able to help everyone. As much as it stinks, I guess it’s most realistic to pick one or two things and work hard to help in those areas. But, as I go through my day, I am going to make an effort to be my best, be continuously thankful for the life I have, thankful for my health and the health of my family, thankful for all of the amazing family, friends and pets in my world, and look for opportunities to help others.

Kennedy’s My Fave!

What is it about babies that makes them so darn adorable and addictive??? Yesterday at work, one lady brought her 6-month old baby (because her baby got a fever and had to be picked up from daycare). The baby was so quiet – she didn’t make a peep all day! Somehow just seeing this sweet little peanut at the office made me want to literally go running home to my baby!!!

I ended up working longer than normal yesterday, and by the time I left I really couldn’t wait to get home! When I got through the door, Kennedy was waiting with a smile. That girl is too much! I just want to hug her all day, everyday! She’s really into high-fiving and making funny faces right now, which makes it even more fun when she greets you.

As it turns out, I did get to spend a ton of time with her yesterday, because that little night owl didn’t go to sleep until 1:30am! She has more energy than anyone I know. Foolishly, I thought putting the cool projector on would mesmerize her enough to fall asleep. That backfired. She did find the projector to be mesmerizing, but it just wound her up more!! She stood up in her bed, started pointing and oohing and ahhhing at the stars on the ceiling. Finally I just caved and held her til she fell asleep. Oops. I completely realize that I ended up wasting my time because ultimately picking her up just encourages her to do that again to avoid going to sleep, but 2 hours of that was enough for one night. 😀

She’s my only baby, and as mentioned in other posts, will always be the only baby. So, to be honest, I don’t really care if I “spoil” her or if she likes to be held all the time. She’s so special and with everything she went through when she was born, I want to snuggle her and don’t feel guilty about that at all! It’s really crazy to look at her now and imagine that she had a rough start. You would seriously never know. She’s my little Power Preemie who’s capable of anything! I’m ready for this girl to start talking and share all of her thoughts with us! She’s only one, but she’s had such an interesting life already and I’m sure she has tons of cool things to say!

Me and Miss Munchkin

Me and Miss Munchkin

 

Songs That Take Me Back!

Have you ever listened to a song and (in your mind) been magically transported to somewhere from your past? That happens to me pretty regularly! It never ceases to amaze me. It also cracks me up because a) when I hear songs in daily life, I never know which ones are ultimately going to end up on the sound track of life, and b) some of the songs that do end up on the list are really weird!

I like music, and I tend to binge listen to a song when I love it. I’ll listen to the same song on repeat for a full day, but overall music is not something that’s very important to me. I’m more of a TV girl – especially when Teen Mom OG, The Royals, Jane the Virgin, King of Queens, or Vanderpump Rules is on… Anyway, even though I’m not someone who’s obsessed with music, some songs make permanent imprints on my life!

I thought it’d be fun to share some of the songs on the soundtrack of my life (so far). Here are the ones I thought of off the top of my head:

  • Old Man River & They Call the Wind Maria – my mom singing to me when I was little, or my mom having me sing those songs while I was in the bathtub.
  • You Are My Special Angel by Bobby Vinton – riding home with my mom on weekends.
  • Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino – riding in the car with my dad, usually to or from my Aunt Stella’s.
  • What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong – Daddy and I danced to this at my wedding.
  • Turn the Page by Metallica – I love this, and it was the one song that Brian requested the DJ play at our wedding. I was so surprised he thought of it!
  • 5’Oclock World by the Vogues & the Smurf’s toothbrush song – playing records at my dad’s house.
  • Once Bitten Twice Shy by Great White & What it Takes by Aerosmith, the Color Me Badd tape – being in Diane’s basement, hanging out with Caleigh.
  • Unskinny Bop by Poison – being in Diane’s kitchen and seeing the video for the first time ever. Poison became one of my favorite bands.
  • Walk Like and Egyptian by the Bangles – calling the 909 phone number with Georgi to hear recorded phone calls with the members of the Bangles.
  • Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi – the talent show with Georgi.
  • Wild Side by Motley CrĂźe – the 3rd grade talent show where one of the kids played this song while trying to break boards using karate & also now it reminds me of my wedding – it was our entrance song (instrumental part only!).
  • I Touch Myself by the Divinyls – hanging out with my cousin, Laurie. We thought that song was so weird and hysterical.
  • Love Shack by the B52s – same as above!
  • The Barney theme song – watching the TV show a bajillion times with Caleigh.
  • The Wheels on the Bus – sitting on Caleigh’s front stoop singing this as the cars went by.
  • Into the Groove by Madonna – 8th grade talent show with LeeAnn.
  • Comedown by Bush – being on the bus on the way to school in 9th grade.
  • Push by Matchbox 20 – getting ready for school in 9th grade.
  • Barely Breathing by Duncan Sheik/One Headlight by the Wallflowers – driving around with Laurie, talking about hoping to find boyfriends.
  • Rock Me Amadeus by Falco/ 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton/Mickey by Toni Basil – driving around in the car with Dawn. For 9-5, I remember Dawn “playing piano” on my dashboard, right where the airbag was located! I kept thinking it was going to pop out one day!
  • Shimmer by Fuel – Dawn and I loved this song and could listen to it repeatedly. I remember wanting this to be the only song played at the prom!
  • Talk Dirty to Me by Poison – one of my first dates with Brian. He’s also a Poison fan and this song came on and I was like, whoa, are you trying to send me some kind of message?!? He was horrified! 😀
  • I Hear a Symphony by the Supremes – working at the car wash with Rob.
  • Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer – Watching She’s All That with Brian. I think it was on some sort of anniversary or other special occasion.
  • Bye Bye Bye by N’Sync – being at the prom with a guy I worked with at the car wash.
  • Everywhere by Michelle Branch – spilling my drink on my dress pants on the way to my internship in college.
  • Any Britney song (but particularly the early ones) – driving around with Caleigh in the summertime. We were particularly inspired by Britney’s abs, so we had a laminated pic of her stomach that we kept in my car to reference when we were feeling weak and wanted to hit a fast food drive through! Hilarious!
  • Behind These Hazel Eyes by Kelly Clarkson – driving to work at the Venetian.
  • Crawling in the Dark by Hoobastank – feeling like I hadn’t found my place in life when I was working in news. I knew I wanted to do TV, but wasn’t loving news! It’s way too negative most of the time!
  • Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds – This was playing right when  I got in the car after my last day at the TV station. It just seemed ironic!
  • Cold by Crossfade – working at the Venetian – being in the back bar server’s area.
  • California Love by 2pac – being at the gym in Vegas
  • Lindsey Stirling songs – Ashley loves her, so I think of Ashley whenever I hear Lindsey’s songs.
  • Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band – working at the beach resort.
  • Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen – being obsessed with this song.
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine – Reminds me of my wedding – this was our first dance song. It now also reminds me of Kennedy.
  • Best Song Ever by One Direction – driving in my car by myself, not believing that I’m probably too “old” to like a boy band as much as I do!
  • Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and Fight Song by Rachel Platten – makes me think of Kennedy. I feel like Eye of the Tiger is her song. She’s the strongest, toughest girl I know! Similarly, Caleigh said that when she hears Fight Song she thinks of Kennedy, so now when I hear that song I think of Caleigh saying it’s a good fit for Kennedy.
  • Reba theme song – Kennedy loves this song and she’ll snap her head right around to watch/hear, it doesn’t matter what she was doing before that – when this song is on, her world belongs to that song.

I’m sure there are a million more, but I can’t think of them right now!