Monday, August 29, 2011


Luke, I hope one day you are surrounded--be it in real life or virtually--by people with kind, compassionate, empathetic and sympathetic hearts.

Mommy sure is.

I needed to get what I wrote last night off my chest. I *really* need to do your blog because it's been over two weeks with no new pictures, but I just feel like my heart is so heavy sometimes with things I want to be understood, and sometimes, writing them and then being told, "I get it." just makes my heart a million times lighter.

I know everyone doesn't get it. That's ok. Even if no one did, that'd be ok. Many days, I don't.

So I want you to know, one day when you read this, that while I do think about what my life would be like if Matthew had lived and you'd not been born...there is no, no, no way that I would ever choose to give you back. For anything.

Or anyone.

That makes my heart hurt too, because I feel like in saying that, I'm saying I love you more than I love Matthew. That's not it. Nor do I love him more than you.

I wouldn't have chosen to give him back, either...if I had the choice.

I just want you to know how much I love you. You have been screaming your poor little head off for nearly an hour and 15 minutes, which is about the longest I've EVER heard you do that! You went to sleep just fine, but woke up sort of yelping and wouldn't settle. I changed you, nursed you, tried to rock you, let you try to settle yourself...Tylenol, Highland's Drops...nothing, nothing, nothing would settle you. Finally about 15 minutes ago, you let me hold you and rock you to sleep. I imagine it's a bit of your teeth, and a bit of you just being worked up, but I just wanted to fix it. As I held you, you gave those poor, poor little whimpers that proved you'd been crying a good cry, and I just melt over those every time I hear them. You are so precious to me. You brought sunshine back into our lives. Even on nights like this, I just thank God that I was able to sit in that chair with you and rock you...hold you in my arms and sing to you and let you know that I was there and would always, always love you.

If you ever wonder if you are loved, please know you are. If you ever doubt that I'd not move Heaven and earth for you, please know that I would. If you ever question whether I am glad you were born, regardless of how it came to be, please know that I am.

So much. More than I can put into words, and more than I think you could imagine.

You are truly our Luke...bringer of light...and I love you, sweet boy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I miss him every day. Stings more on marker days.

I'm going to be very, very honest. Judge if you want, but know that unless you've walked in my shoes, you couldn't possibly understand how what I am about to write hurts me.

Some days, it is easy to just *feel* like Matthew never even existed because life is so full with Luke. Matthew seems so far away. So much was a blur. He was gone before I even got much of anything with him. Certainly nowhere near what I've been able to have with Luke.

Other days, it is easy to wonder whether or not I would really even know what I was missing if Matthew had lived and Luke wasn't born? I mean, if Luke wasn't born, and I didn't know him and love him, and I had Matthew and my life was full with him, would I even know the difference? Would I even care? Would I know (or care) that Luke was not with me because I'd have Matthew?

And both of those thought branches make my heart hurt so much. Just thinking about them just overwhelms me with guilt and grief and disgust for the situation and my thoughts.

Especially on Marker days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Lovin'


I'm tired! Summer is disappearing at an ALARMING rate, and though we are busy, we are loving EVERY.SECOND.OF.IT! My boy is a lot more like me than just in looks... (though seriously, looking at these two pictures, it's pretty obvious he's my boy, huh???? Right down to the lip-suck thing I did until I was easily 5 or so, and even now, John says, when I am anxious or nervous. Don't know when he'd have any time to witness me being like that or anything...just sayin'.) In this picture, Luke is having a ball in his bath last week, while I am about 3 and pretty worried about something. Luke and I are a lot alike in picture taking as well...either we are worried about something or the whole darned picture is taken up by our gaping, laughing mouth!

Anyway, as I was saying, he is a lot like his mommy (and daddy too, though daddy could live without the beach if he had to choose beach or mountain and I'd pick BEACH every time!) because the boy likes warm water and loves the beach! He has had such a great time over the last few's so nice to be able to hop in the car and head to the beach for the day...I have to say that the week is SO busy in that John is working a lot, but we are enjoying not really having too much responsibility or obligation but hanging out together during the weekends!

He loves the beach so much, he didn't even fuss a bit when he went head first into the sand (for the record, dad slipped on this one, but who's keeping score???).

Daddy telling some water secrets, no doubt!

Sand is SO yummy! (Yes, those of you who know me so well...there's nothing that cures OCD like immersion therapy, let me tell you....)

He is really enjoying being a little social butterfly (again, not sure where he comes by that)...and we had a family day here in Jacksonville. He was such a trooper, in that even though it was cooler than it had been, it was still HOT. HOT. HOT! Let me repeat, hot. He just walked around with us, took in the sights and people, and had no problem letting people hold him and play with him. He's starting to really come into the whole stranger anxiety phase, especially when tired, but for the most part, he'll still be amiable to those who are interested in him. Getting more and more clingy with Mommy, but that's ok...I love it and it's a sign that he is developing just as he should be!

Some MAG 26 Family Day shots....

I adore this foot. Believe it or not...when he was born, it was SO big, compared to his body...just like his brother's! Now, though, at 7.5 months, it is STILL not as big as Matthew's was...AT BIRTH! Crazy, huh?
He weighs about 17 pounds, 10 oz. He's not really had any major growth spurt, and I guess he's eating ok because he looks fabulous and seems healthy. He's not nursing as much, much to my dismay, and not really even because he's more into solids, though he's getting decent servings of those...he is just TOO DISTRACTED and too interested in other stuff to nurse much. My plan is to wean him in October, after I get back from the Anchored By Hope memorial, and I am pumping to give him more breast milk when I've weaned him. There's a story behind that...but for another day and time. I'm not happy about weaning him earlier than I wanted (I'd keep him nursing for a lot longer than I thought I would, and certainly longer than a year, if I could...) but I know he's gotten a lot out of what we'll have done (he'll be almost 10 months). He likes solids, but he's pretty picky about choosing sweets over vegetables. Now his Grandma will tell you that he gets this pickiness from his mommy (love you, Grandma!!!!!!!) but that's not true because though I DO LOVE the sweets...I love the vegetables too. Except for peas, lima beans and sweet potato or yams. Which seem to be the veggies he likes (well, sweet potato and yams) so go figure. He LOVES peaches and bananas and I make sure he gets avocado and banana every day because he likes that and avocado is so good for him. I'm taking a Photoshop class (oy! I can't keep up!! My brain is FRIED!) and left Luke with John the other night for three hours. He was to feed him from a bottle and go through the night routine.

Luke was having NONE OF IT. Texts back and forth declared that Luke was all about Mommy. Period. He did not want the bottle. Period. This will present a big problem in a few weeks when I go to the Women of Faith conference with Nanci, so we bought Podee bottles and so far, I can get him to drink apple juice like a champ, so hoping that breastmilk will soon follow. We'll see.

My favorite part of that whole night was that John, the next day, talked of me leaving him with 'experimental food' for Luke.

If BREAST MILK in a bottle is experimental, we're in big trouble!!! John cracks me up sometimes!

Still sleeping well, though not really regular for naps except he needs them...and when he needs them, he NEEDS them! He will not fall asleep nursing anymore--if he's tired, he'd prefer to sleep rather than eat, and he will pull off and fuss and fuss until I put him in his crib to go to sleep. Who can complain that he's so used to his crib that he WANTS it????

A mommy who worries that he's eating enough, that's who. Sigh...there's always something, right?

I wish I had more time to write. I hate going between posts so long and my goal is to get better...mostly for me and our documentation. I take pictures and video ALL.DAY.LONG, but I want to remember little things that he does and that happen that I don't always capture in pictures. My dear friend Heather started doing this with her Liam (a boy we just love, love, love...he is four days older than Luke and his mommy and I were blessed to go through our pregnancies together being just days apart!!!) and I want to do this with Luke also. Not sure that I'll be good at keeping up, but I'll try.

So...I'll start with just a few things I miss:
  • How small and helpless he was...he is SO independent these days, it much a "I want to do it MYSELF" kind of kid, I think. I miss his needing Mommy more.
  • This look he would give John when John would turn him on his side in the bath to get his back...Luke would look back over his shoulder at John with the most trusting and innocent eyes...and then SMILE...just makes me melt thinking about it!
  • 3 AM feedings. Yes. I knew I would. I said I would. I always said I would like some solid sleep (and won't lie, it is SO nice that he's sleeping 11-12 hours straight!) But I miss just him and his room...looking at Matthew's nightlight (a very special little boy named Bricen is going to get his nightlight to match his room perfectly!)...those were very special and priceless times. I miss that.
  • Telling people how old he DAYS. I remember someone at the doctor asking how old he was and I said, "Six Days." SIX DAYS. Ohhhh...I wish I could freeze time sometimes.
Okay, I'm getting weepy typing. And it's late. are some pictures from the last two weeks. We had SO much fun at the Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival--I saw lots of friends and can't wait to see more. Plus, we had some photo shoot mornings that made me laugh because he was so funny. He's a camera ham.

Again...don't know where he gets any of that.

Just wait, Froggy...I'm gonna catch you SOON!


Taking his morning play sessions seriously!

Daddy wore this outfit when he was a baby. Luke is a little 'fluffy' for it....

Channeling Jack Nicholson...

Loves the pool!

Going into the Shrimp Festival....sound asleep!
But all smiles when he woke up!!

One of my SWEEThearts from years love seeing my 'babies'!!!

New pair of Babylegs!!!
His eyes were blue-green that day, but really are more brown/dark hazel consistently.

SUCH a great baby at the beach...gets tired...puts himself to sleep. Seriously, he's SO low maintenance!

Getting ready to stock up on fall/winter hats...this was just for fun!!!
More Beach fun!!!!

LOVE this..

Saturday, August 6, 2011

This Is What Six Months Looks Like...

ADORABLE!!! Of course, when Kris takes the pictures, there's no other option!!!!

Go here and check our cutie patootie's 6-month pictures:

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Yes, he is.

Just delicious.

His Uncle Shan first called him that, and it SO fits him! He is pudgy and squishy and giggly and cuddly and just delicious.

Luke-alicous indeed!

And he's SEVEN WHOLE MONTHS!!!! Today he wore a big old 7 on his chest and I could not believe it. As he sat there like such a big boy, I just couldn't believe that just yesterday, he was this itty bitty baby kitty I had to buy PREEMIE clothes for, and THOSE were big! He's a hair shy of 27 inches, so that's still in the 42ndish percentile, and he's about 16 lbs., 13 oz., which is the 23rd percentile for weight. His little head (following daddy's footsteps) is 16.75 inches, which is about the 14th percentile. These are all following the same curve he's been on for months now, so even though they are low percentiles, they are consistent with how he's been growing and if you look at him, there's no doubt that he's a pudgesicle!!!

A healthy one, at that. Still not so much as anything barely more than a sniffle since he's been born, and I'm so grateful for his health. We saw the urologist yesterday and he said that Luke's doing fine, but we should have an ultrasound every year until his kidney enlargement norms out. If it does. If it doesn't, long as there's no issue, no biggie. He did agree that any temperatures of 100.5 or higher should warrant a urine test, and again, I am just so thankful that he's been so healthy and we've not had any fevers yet. Here's hoping we don't for a long, long time!

We got to see all of my Dixon teacher friends. I have MISSED them so much!! It's such a blessing to be able to pick friendships up from just about anywhere like you haven't even missed a beat (or been separated by hundreds of miles for several years!). Luke thoroughly enjoyed being loved on by all his 'aunts' and Baby Nolen. Okay, Baby Nolen is now nearly EIGHT, and we can't call him Baby Nolen (to his face) any more, but he is a little miracle boy himself, so he'll always be Baby Nolen to me!

John brought the fish tank back and it is currently in Luke's room just because that's the biggest room in the apartment!

Luke is quite pleased with this arrangement! He gives the biggest grin imaginable when he sees those fish, and he desperately wants to get them!! Fits his ocean theme rather nicely.

He is sitting all the time now; scooting all over the place (only on his back, of course!). When he is on his tummy, he crawls....backwards. He gets very frustrated with this, so he turns over and then arches his back and inches his way every where he wants to go, with a big smile as he does.

He is eating pretty well--still only introduced a few things, but this week it was sweet potato and he LOVES it! His 'solid' diet palette now includes rice, apples, pears, avocado, banana, carrot and sweet potato. He eats the rice with something mixed each time, and he is better about carrots now. Tonight he had avocado and banana and he could NOT get enough of it! I think he may be going through a growth spurt because he is eating lots and sleeping more. Naps are anywhere from an hour to two hours, but he's easily sleeping at least 11-12 or more hours a night and still exhausted by about 7 pm. I read somewhere we should try to break the paci habit now, but I'm not really ready to give up decent sleep at night yet. I *just* started getting some, and seeing as he's only 7 months, feel like I have a few more months to go before I need to worry about it for real. I understand it's easier to take it now than later, but...can't bring myself to do it yet!

Here are some pictures from this week. He is just so much fun these full of personality and wants. Wants the phone. Wants the remote. Wants the water bottle. Wants whatever you are eating. Wants whatever his pudgy little hands can grab!!!

I may have said it before, but I felt this so strongly this heart is still broken into so many pieces over Matthew.

But each little piece is so full with Luke. I'm so grateful for his life. For both of their lives...

"I LOVE seven months!"

"Mommy cracks me up!"

Hard at work...rash cleared right up with the RIGHT creams!

"Umm, mom...are you sure you want to take a picture of me like this???"
"Oh, I look cute??? Ok, go ahead!"
Laughing at his Dixie Belle
All mommy's dear, dear friends. Who knows what Luke is seeing???
"Aunt Peggy, I need those glasses!"
"OH YUCK!!! This is rutabaga! I thought it was going to be sweet potato!!!!"

He looks like he's telling quite the story!

Aunt 'Juanita' makes me laugh!
So does "Baby" Nolen!
Luke is wondering whether Nolen has the creds to hold him!
Aunt Sheridan wanted to hold him with lots of open space!
Hanging out and gabbing!
Big boy with some hair growing in!
LOVE that tank!!!
"Seriously. I wish they'd stop putting me on my stomach."
Sitting up like a big boy!