Update on Jack

August 3, 2011

First of all, I just wanted to thank everyone for praying with us!  We’ve been surrounded by answered prayers these past couple of days.

On Sunday night, we took Max to the Spivas house- he spent the night with them (although he fought tooth and nail before falling asleep!) and Jill took him and Hudson on some adventures during the day Monday.  On Monday morning, Chad and I woke up at 4:50 and left the house by 5:20 with Jack. At 6am we began checking in and at 6:30, Kellee showed up to sit with us.  Around 6:40, we were ushered back to a room where they began prepping, taking Jack’s vitals, giving us the scoop, and we got to meet all the doctors and nurses who would be with Jack.  The staff was absolutely wonderful.  I canNOT gush enough.

Around 7:50am, I put Jack on a grown up size gurney and walked with him until we got to the OR door.  Then they kept going with my baby and I had to stop.  My chest clenched up and I wasn’t sure I was going to get another breath.  This was promptly followed with tears- and by far the worst moment of the whole experience.  But we were in our room about 15 minutes when they called to say that the anesthesia had gone great and they were beginning the surgery.  Then about 30 minutes later, his doctor was standing in our room, telling us that Jack was in recovery and the surgery had gone great!  About 20 minutes after that, they called and told us to go to our new room where we’d be spending the night and that Jack would meet us there. By 9:15, he was in my arms, awake from the anesthesia, but asleep from all the bustle and bustle.  Perfect!

The rest of our day and night was uneventful– the best thing it could be!  The only crazy thing was how many times Jack wanted to eat through the night…5 times between 9pm and 7am– whoa, but he was making up for the 12 hours of not eating leading up to surgery and post-surgery. His heart and breathing monitors never showed any problems and Jack never showed any signs of pain. He spent most of the day in my arms sleeping and I just starred at his sweet face.

Unplugged and ready to go home!

We were discharged by 9:30am and Chad and Max picked us up and took us to Dunkin Donuts.  When all was said and done, I just looked at Chad and we decided that it could not have gone any better.  Jack seems so much more comfortable, there were no problems at all, every single nurse and staff person that we came in contact with was phenomenal, and I enjoyed the cafeteria’s chocolate cake much more than I should!

We thank God for taking such great care of our baby and giving us such great doctors.  We’re also so grateful for all our friends and family that helped us out, prayed with us, and especially the Spivas and Kellee for doing it with us.  We’re blessed!


Memory Lane

July 28, 2011

A trip down memory lane is so bittersweet.  I took one yesterday and for as many smiles as it brought to my face, it sure did make my gut clench up and my chest tighten a lot as well.  Our wonderful new sitter, Nicole, sent me this picture of Jack– he’s smiling and looking so much like Chad that I got all worked up with excitement:

For some reason, this made me click through ALL of Max’s pictures as well- starting with his birth.  I couldn’t believe how precious that little man was… is… has always been.

I really love his age and stage right now- I enjoy all my time with him and laugh over things he does and says until my sides hurt- BUT I really loved the stage before this… and the one before that one, and the one before that. And I’ll never get them back.

Not to mention that it went way too fast. I’m not ready for him to be done being a one- I’m not even ready for him to be done being a baby.

He sleeps in a big boy bed and it’s time to potty train- and that darn passy needs to disappear, otherwise his classmates will surely make fun of him when he shows up for 8th grade in diapers with matching passies… but I don’t wanna!  I want to keep him just like this- but with the ability to rewind too.

The other night, after complaining about having to wake up and feed the J-man multiple times a night (he’s going backwards… instead of 6.5 hour sleep stretches, he prefers 4– brutal!), Chad pointed out how great Max was- goes to bed around 8:30, and we don’t see him again until around 7:30- at which time he can get out of his own bed and doesn’t need to be fed immediately.  That’s nice, right?

BUT that means he’s not a baby.  That means he’s not in a crib.  That means he’s going to go to college soon, and then meet a lovely girl and marry her and forget about me.

And I’m pretty sure his fingers won’t be chubby then.  And he probably won’t let me “kiss his face off” or run up and hug my legs so tight that I can’t move just because he’s overcome with love for me.

What happens when he doesn’t want me to hold him anymore?  Or he says everything correctly? What happens when going to the store with me isn’t the most fun he’s ever had? And what if he doesn’t want me to read him books anymore?

But on the other hand, these 23+ months have been AH-mazing.  More than amazing- there isn’t a word that properly communicates the wonderfulness of it.  So I’m sure it’s going to keep getting better and better- because I do just love him more and more each day.

But I just want both- I want to have my cake and eat it too- I want him as a baby and a toddler and a big boy.

I guess I’ll just have to relish every second- not wish anything away, not even the hard stuff.  I guess I’ll have to take more trips down memory lane, and look forward to the ages and stages to come.

But more than anything, as I hold my sweet baby Jack who’s learning to smile, and chase my big boy Max who’s mastering the art of onery-ness and love, and watch Gabe walk into the 3rd grade, I’ll just have to beam with glee- because I have the BEST job in the world– I’m a mom.

And my heart is so full that it canNOT be contained in this chest of mine.  Thank you Lord for these blessings- thank you for these ages and stages- impress each of them on my heart and allow them to shape me into the woman you’ve created me to be.

John Henry and Jack Henry

July 25, 2011

Over the 4th of July, I drove the boys to Indiana for a visit.  Beforehand, I was thinking that I was either crazy or gonna be when I arrived, since I decided to drive over 8 hours, alone, with two children under two.  But both boys totally surprised me and were even better than their great selves and we arrived with only about 30 minutes tacked on to our travel time.  We only got out of the car when I needed a restroom, otherwise, we stayed contained in the swagger wagon while I fed baby Jack– I even packed our lunch and snacks, thinking that would help pass the time. And it worked– the trip was painless and well worth my pre-travel scrutinizing and organizing to get us there without any debacles. Now why Indiana you might ask- especially since most people head to the beach or somewhere “fun” for the 4th of July. But my parents live there, my brother Sam, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and my cousins.  And all of the above see to it that my children think Indy is the greatest place EVER… and they love it! I’m not sure they’ll want to “vacation” anywhere else… at least until they’re old enough to know better!

Anyway, we’ve got lots of people there, and I was really looking forward to my parents loving on (helping with) the boys for a week- but my big reason for making the drive was my Papaw.  My Papaw, aka John Henry is one of the greatest men who have graced this earth.  So much so, that my sweet baby Jack is named after him.  Therefore I HAD to get their picture together ASAP.

My Papaw was a Christian pastor, he is the father of 5 children, one of them being my mom, the grandfather to 9 grandchildren, and great grandfather to four great grandchildren (thus far).  Now he has been known to tell “Papaw jokes”- you know the really corny ones, but he is the kindest, my gentlest man.  He’s a hard worker who will do anything for anyone, an early riser who spent a lot of time in The Word, a gardener, and the provider of donuts every morning that I visited him.  My Papaw came from Indiana to North Carolina when I was 9 years old, to baptize me on Valentine’s day, at my request.  He also rode us around on bikes, took us to the church playground many a times, wrestled and played with us on the floor, and was even the dean at church camp. My favorite thing about him is his ability to rock and sing any baby to sleep.  “You are my sunshine” is the song I’ve sung Max since he was born because of my Papaw- I can hear him singing it although it has been years!  I can only imagine how many lives Papaw has touched, beyond just our family, during his years of service to the Lord.

Unfortunately, my Papaw’s brain doesn’t work like it used to- he gets confused easily, forgets things a lot, repeats almost everything, asks “simple” questions, and really relies on my Mamaw for everything. But despite all that, he can still recite every hymn in the book and tell you what the scriptures say.  Now if that doesn’t point to a man who hid His Word in his own heart, then I don’t know what does!  He may forget what appears to be obvious here on earth, but what’s eternal is buried in his mind and heart forever.  That thought makes my breath catch in my chest!

And now, my sweet baby Jack is named after him, and I can only pray that my Papaw’s Jesus will soon inhibit my Jack’s heart and fill him, the way God has filled my Papaw for so many decades.

2 Whole Months!

July 21, 2011

Sweet little baby Jack, we have had you in our arms for 2 whole months!  Wow, time flies!  You’ve grown a ton and changed a lot.  There are days when you’ve looked just like Max, then Gabe, then me… but now when I look at you, and all I see is your Daddy!  And you’re about as laid back as he is too… although without the funny remarks 🙂

Pound it, Mom!

This month, just meeting your needs has pushed me and broken me more than I ever imagined.  Because of thrush, feeding you has been pure torture.  And then, thanks to thrush, I got mastitis– talk about horrendous.  In one week, I got 3 prescriptions– more than I’ve gotten in the last 3 years!  Every 3 hours, you needed to eat and I found myself in tears over it.  And I just hated feeling that way about nursing- it was supposed to be special- so I did everything I could- I read about it, I took my meds, I washed everything 4948 times- and I prayed.  And then I realized I was at the end of myself but still knew that nursing was best for you. And then it hit me- I was praying more and leaning on God for breath, literally, for about 10 minutes every 3 hours. Your life, and loving you has literally forced me into Jesus’ arms.  Thank you!  We are on the mend now, but my prayers aren’t ceasing!  But since I don’t weep or cringe or cry out in pain, I get to spend all my time looking at you.  And I am one blessed mommy!  No one else on earth gets this perfect view of you- while you eat, you’re so relaxed- your profile is beautiful, your yummy little legs exposed, and slowly, as you begin to fill up, your hand go from clenched fists to open, and relaxed– I can see your knuckle creases and caress your tiny fingers.  What a precious little man you are!

Beautiful Sleeping Boy

Today, at your 2 month appointment you weighed 10lbs 12ounces– that is DOUBLE what you were when we brought you home, you little chunky monkey!  And you’re 21.7 inches long… that means you’ve grown 2 inches since your 2 week appointment, way to grow, man!  You also had to get some shots- it was horrible.  You were asleep in my arms and they came in and pricked you like a little pin cushion and we both cried- which then made Max cry.  That poor nurse.  Luckily it was quick, and you were snoozing again before I knew it.  I think we’ll live, but I’m still shaking a little.  ALSO they confirmed that you have a hernia above your groin- which I knew- but we were just praying it would disappear. Unfortunately, you have to have surgery for it in the next couple months- but I’m not ready to talk about that.  Just thinking about my tiny baby and anesthesia make me feel like an elephant is on my chest.  So let me process that some more and we’ll discuss it further.  I’m sure you’re in your crib fretting about it right now…. Let’s be honest, the only person who will be scarred by this is me- you won’t even remember it, but blah!


Your schedule is pretty set and you’re easy as can be!  And this week, you’ve been sleeping for 6.5 hours at night, eating, sleeping 3 more when I wake you to eat, and then sleeping almost 3 more.  That’s right- a 12 hour night with a nice long stretch for your mother.  Your brother NEVER did that- never!  That puts you in the running to be my favorite– keep up the good work!  Although you can still fit into newborn clothes, you’ve been wearing 0-3 month clothes as well and they fit well!  I just still want everything to be super soft and cuddly– like when I change you, it’s usually from one pair of pj’s to another!  You’re in size 1 diapers, but I think you’re trying to edge up to the next size in those too– maybe in the next couple of weeks.

Cuddling with your Annie

Our goal for this next month is to get you to sleep in your crib, instead of your Nap Nanny and car seat.  You’ll fall asleep in there, but it never lasts more than 20 minutes.  I think you know how tiny you look in the bed.  And when you’re on your back, your legs still aren’t flat against the bed, so I think that wakes you up, too.  But we’ll work on it 🙂

You still have all your hair, and more, and you’re definitely going to be a toe-head.  Your eyes are bright blue- just like Gabe and Max’s.  Your legs are full, your chins are wonderful and your cheeks are delicious.  All my hard work in the nursing department has definitely paid off. You still rarely cry and prefer grunting, snorting, and groaning.  If the sun is in your eyes while we’re in the car, you just grunt until I move your shade.  Your Daddy thinks it sounds like somebody popped you and all your air is coming out.  But really, you’re just having a hard time pooping!  And man oh man can you pass gas– the noise level rivals your father, which is a feat in itself. (Between discussing your poop and you nursing, I can only imagine how this blog post will haunt you when you’re a teenager….)

You are one loved little boy!  Please know how truly awesome it is to be your mom and watch you grow.  You make my heart so full and I wish I could just sit and hold you all the time.  You are the most cuddly little thing and I just love kissing those cheeks.  Jesus loves you too, little Jack.  More than we’ll ever be able to understand.  He’ll change your life too– I can’t wait for that!

Say What?! Melt My Heart Edition

July 20, 2011

Since Max was about a year old, I’ve been trying to teach him “I love you”.  Of course it involves hand motions as well… I (point to your eye) love (cross arms over chest) you (point to Max).  I do this all the time and it makes him giggle.  But just like his manners, it’s like his tongue is unable to form such words.  Of course, he can say helicopter and ambulance and dinosaur, among other things, but “please, thank you, and I love you” escape him.  And Max is not a child the performs on command– if you ask him to say something, it’s a sure fire way to make sure he won’t say it.  (Maybe I should remember this for when he learns his first bad word…..)

Anyway, last night, I got home around 9pm from getting my hair cut and Max was getting his pjs on (with Daddy’s help of course).  So I went in his room and finished up the job, and we laid down to read a book.  His current favorite book for bedtime is “Kiss Goodnight” which my mom got him.  There is a little bear named Sam that doesn’t go to bed until his Mom kisses him 10 times.  And of course, when Sam gets a kiss in the book, Max gets one too!  Well after reading, I gave Max a hug, and he squeezed me and groaned to demonstrate how big the hug was…. then he said “IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII loooooooooove YOU!”- with hand motions and pointed to me.

And I cried.



23 months old (Not to be confused with almost 2)

July 19, 2011

Oh, my Max, my little man, full of life and love and stubborness!  You are 23 months old- and your second birthday is just around the corner- I canNOT believe it.  Thanks to Maternity Leave, I have gotten to spend the last 8 weeks with you- you can probably count the number of times I have been out of your sight on one hand.  And I’ve loved it.  And you have too 🙂  You think I hung the moon- and I’m not planning to tell you the truth for a long while!

During this month, you have embraced big brotherhood by loving on baby Jack, insisting I rush to his side every time he cries, and acting like you’re so big and in charge.  You’re so darn bossy– and yes, I only have me to blame.  But for some reason, I listen to you as you demand milk on the couch and Mickey Mouse clubhouse on the TV  for at least 30 minutes after waking up, and when you insist on playing golf outside before you even eat breakfast.  Mainly because you know what you want- so who am I to get in your way?  You are so much fun, but you are so fiesty- really, you are me in a little boy body. And while I love it, I’m thankful that Jack is already taking after your laid back Daddy!  There can only be so many of “us” in one house…

You now sleep in your big boy bed- and you love it.  You like to tell people that you sleep in your big boy bed and have a big boy golf club that says “M-a-x” (thanks Pop).  My favorite was when I put Jack down for a nap, then put you down for a nap, and I was so giddy to sit on the couch in silence for minute when all of a sudden I heard your door knob jiggling… then I saw your face and you said “I all done!”  Of course I laughed and then began to take you back to bed which set you off in a “on your tippy toes, bounce around, screaming” fit which made me laugh even harder– who knew that you could be cute while throwing a temper tantrum?  Well let me tell you, you are!

You had to visit the doctor last week, and they said you were 27lbs, 3 oz– growing big!!  I look forward to your 2 yr appointment next month to find out all of your stats… but then again, I dread that appointment, because you’ll actually be 2, yikes.  And just so you know, I’m not dreading you being 2 because this isn’t fun- it’s a blast- but it’s just going way too fast and I’m afraid that the 16 years I have left is not enough time to soak you all in– oh. my. goodness.

Besides a lot of Mommy-time, this month also included a week long trip to Indiana.  I drove both of you boys there and back, alone. I thought it was going to be long and grueling but you were delightful and baby Jack only woke up to eat. If you pointed out one ‘big truck’ on our drive, then you pointed out a million- and you cried when you couldn’t find a motorcycle.  All I can say is thank goodness I downloaded Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for your to watch on my phone, because a girl can only talk about big trucks and motorcycles so much– then her head explodes.  You wouldn’t want your mother’s head to explode now, would you?

While in Indiana, you got to go to the ball store with Pop and got your own golf putter- you love it!  And you went to an Indians baseball game (minor league).  You also got kicked out of Pop’s work for being too grumpy.  That was funny.  Me and Annie took you to the museum and the park- you’re getting old enough that stuff like that is really fun- but your afternoon nap is still a must or else it gets UGLY.  I think you also ate a whole bag of M&M’s while you were there– and cookies and ice cream too.  We were also there for the 4th of July and sat on their roof to watch fireworks.  You really love “fireworks in the sky” and have asked to see them about every other day since.  It’s really hard to explain to a toddler the whole concept of a holiday and once a year– you still can’t grasp the “yes, we’ll do that after such and such…”  Oh so much to learn in the world!

Max, you are so blessed!  You have a great golf swing- grown men covet it!  You have incredible friends– Lizzy, Reed, Haven, Hudson… the list goes on and on!  You have two wonderful brothers.  You go to a church where the nursery workers love you, both sets of your grandparents think you’re the best thing ever and brag about you, and your uncles (grown men) can’t get enough of you or your pictures.  Your smile is adorable, your eyes are gorgeous, your pudgy hands and feet are just too much.  And your Dad and me, well, we’re are absolutely smitten by you and your ways.  But that list of blessings doesn’t even begin to match up to the number of blessings I get from just being your mom.  It is the best gig, ever!  And to think that all of those blessing- both yours and mine- come from our Heavenly Father that loves us immeasurably more than we can even fathom.  That’s HUGE Max, HUGE!  I hope you know how loved you are- and that there’s nothing you can do to change that.  Happy 23 months, my boy!  I’ve enjoyed it!

A Life Well Lived

July 9, 2011

Today, Chad and I had the opportunity to attend a funeral.  I say ‘opportunity’ because it was the celebration of a life lived for Christ.  And despite the tragic accident that took this man’s life, God is receiving Glory.  Bryan Morgan was killed in a bike accident on the 4th of July.  If you live in the Atlanta area, then you probably heard about it on the news.  Bryan was the father of our dear friend Matt Morgan, and although I’ve only met him very briefly surrounding events for Reed, his grandson, after today, I feel like I know him well, and I have learned many things from his life.

Matt and Danielle are in our small group- and they’re part of our family.  This isn’t the first tragedy we’ve walked through with the Morgans, and it’s not the first death of a parent we’ve experienced within our small group either- but I’ve got to say, it doesn’t get any easier, despite our “experience”.  I spent the first half of the week in shock, just aching for my friends.  I would talk to Danielle each morning, and without fail, weep for their loss, weep over their pain, and pray.  I’ve prayed more this week than I have in a long time– and I know my Savior a little better because of that.  By the latter half of the week, I spent my time trying to figure out how we could help, how I could serve them, serve Danielle, and love them through the pain.  Chad and I have talked a lot about this week- just processing it all, hurting for Matt, trying to imagine what he’s going through- but today, my eyes were opened to a whole new side of it all.

Bryan’s memorial service was 3 hours- and I mean 3 very short hours.  3 of his closest friends shared about Bryan’s life, 4 of his 5 kids spoke about his love for them, and a Pastor reminded everyone of the Truth found in God’s word.  Time flew, as story after story was told about how this man loved God and loved others.  Songs of praise were sung to our God who has a plan– the same God who is in control– the same one who offers comfort– and most importantly, the same God who sacrificed his only Son on our behalf so that we may spend eternity in heaven with Him.  And of course, many more tears were shed– so much so that I had a crying headache by the time it was over. I cried watching Matt grieve, I cried watching Danielle hug on her hurting husband, I cried hearing about the way Bryan conducted his life, sad that he wasn’t here anymore, I cried for his young grandchildren who will only remember stories about him- but mostly, I wept for the lessons learned from this man that I didn’t even really know.  His life was still changing lives- even though he isn’t on this earth anymore!

Since that service this morning, Chad and I have talked about who we would want to speak at our own funerals, we have talked about what matters, we have talked about what it means to be intentional, what it looks like to focus on people, and how Jesus HAS GOT to be at the center of everything that we are.  I’ve got to tell you too, that after this week, the things that “mattered” last Sunday, aren’t the same things the “matter” now.  Life is short- regardless of how great of a person you are, regardless of how needed you are by your family, regardless of how healthy and happy you are- and so all that matters is love- loving God and loving others.  (Matthew 22:36-38)

I thank God for Bryan’s life, for the way he loved his wife and taught Matt to love his wife– I get to see my friend loved well, but also, as Chad and Matt do life together, Chad is growing as a result of Bryan too, also for the way he loved his kids- Chad and I can’t stop talking about all the things we can take away from hearing them speak today, things we can start right now and things for later, but mostly, I thank God for saving Bryan, for making him a child of God, who ran the race and fought the fight, and used his life to grow the Kingdom.

Although I am sad that Bryan is no longer here, although I hurt over the gaping hole in my friends life, although this is just the beginning of life without Bryan for so many loved ones, I am honored that I got to be a part of his celebration service today.

Psalm 86:11-13

11 Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.