Sunday, February 25, 2007

Birthday Recap in Pictures

I turned 28 on Friday. I must be getting old because (1) my husband did not get me a gift and I didn't care and (2) I was really looking forward to spending a weekend with my family in the country doing nothing. Well, I can't really say that we did nothing...

My birthday started with breakfast of oatmeal (hubby), a lean pocket (me), and eggs and a banana (Jayla). Then, I took my dad out for a walk. We walked a full mile...his longest walk since having his surgery. Dad wanted to start the walk at 10:21am because that's what time I had been born. So, as we started the walk, he told me how proud he was of me today just as he had been exactly 28 years ago at that moment. Sweet...I know. Anyway, my parents road is about 1/2 mile long so, we took one trip up and back to walk the mile. As we approached the house on the way back, Jayla and hubby met us outside:

Since it was such a beautiful day outside, we decided to hang out on the swing for a while:

As we sat on the swings, we heard someone come down the road. A guy was delivering hay for Dad's cows to eat:

So, we all watched him unload it and then watched the cows decide that they didn't want to eat it:

We soon found out that Jayla was no match for the soothing power of the swing:

We let her stay that way for the duration of her regular nap period.

Then, my mom came home and brought lunch for everyone and more importantly, a birthday cake!! (I really, really, really should have taken a picture of the cake but, I was far to busy eating it.) We all ate lunch together. Jayla managed to stick 1/2 of her rice to her shirt with peach juice so, we had to change her clothes.

After cleaning Jayla's mess up, the afternoon was spent much like the morning, outside, swinging - except my mom joined us (And really, if you can't wear a robe while swinging in your front yard, then why live in the country?!?!?):

And Jayla and I took a picture by a toilet:

Jayla also opted for a pre-dinner nap in the same fashion as her earlier one:

While Jayla napped (we moved her inside this time because it was getting dark), I decided that I wanted to get out for my birthday. So, hubby and I decided to go see a movie. We ended up going to an 8:00 showing of Norbit and then had dinner at O'Charley's afterwards. It turned out to be a very nice evening - and the first time we've done the dinner and movie combo since before Jayla was born. We arrived at my parents house that evening at 12:05am...making this year the absolute most low key birthday that I have ever had!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Slight Change in Plans

Two weeks ago I was all set to leave Jayla for the weekend while I visited friends in Nashville, TN. I had weaned her and readied myself for 60 whole hours away from her. Well, I went on a trip that weekend but, it wasn't quite the one that I had planned. Several of you already know what happened. But, I am still going to put it here.

Two weeks ago, just two days before my Nashville trip, I got a call during lunch. My sister told me that my dad had been admitted to the hospital that morning. He had apparently gone to the doctor because he didn't feel well. They admitted him immediately after seeing results of his blood work. After running a few tests, the doctors determined that he had 4 blocked arteries, one of which was about 95% blocked. They scheduled him for an open heart surgery - triple bypass on that Friday.

It hit me pretty hard. I was also torn about when I should go to Mississippi to be with him. I had an interview scheduled for the next morning and I really, really, really did not want to miss it. But, I felt like there was no way that I could focus on that while I knew my dad was in the hospital in that condition. A co-worker whose father died just about 3 months ago told me to do what I thought my dad would want me to do in this situation. It may have surprised her but, I know he would have wanted me to go to the interview. So, I did. But, I had to cancel my trip to Nashville because I definitely wanted to be with him before and after his surgery.

So, we headed to Mississippi in the car on Thursday evening and got there around 2am. The goal was to be at the hospital before his surgery, which was scheduled for noon on Friday. We barely made it. We had a rought night as Jayla decided sleep was optional for the night (quite possibly because we woke her up singing in the car at 1am) and was awake periodically until about 4am. But, we got to hospital in time to spend about 40 minutes with him before they took him in for the surgery. He was so happy to see us and I was so glad that we were able to be with him.

While he was in surgery, my husband, sister, Jayla, and I headed to the mall to kill time and eat lunch while my mom stayed right outside of the operating room for hourly updates from the surgeon. She called us with each one of them. When we got back to the hospital, several other family members had joined the wait with my mom. When the surgery was completed, we were taken into a small room where we got to meet the surgeon who explained what he had done during the operation. Then we were finally able to go see my dad.

It was so weird to see him laying there in such a vulnerable state. He had no idea that we were there. He was still sedated and on a breathing machine. I could see him shivering and it reminded me of my recovery period after my c-section. He was also coughing a little bit, which the nurse contributed to him starting to try to wake himself up. The hospital staff were very optimistic about his recovery and assured us that he was doing very well so far. I left the hospital that night to go finally get some rest.

The next morning (Saturday), we headed to the hospital in time for the 10am visit in the ICU. Dad was awake during this visit. He seemed very weak. I remember him saying 3 things to me: (1) "It seems like you're always seeing your dad in bad shape." (2) "I'm sorry you had to cancel your trip for me." (3) "I heard your interview went well...good." Amazing that in all that he had been through, he was still thinking about me and not himself.

I saw him during the next 3 ICU visit sessions (30 minutes each every 4 hours or so). During the last visit that day, he was sitting in a chair eating. He had started walking again and had a great appetitite. The ICU staff assured us that he was having a great recovery and would likely be leaving the ICU very soon.

On Sunday morning, we were there to help him move into a regular room. He seemed so much stronger already. We spent the day in that room with him - helping him walk and practice expanding his lungs and urinate for the first time again and trying to encourage him to continue eating. They took his bandages off that day and his scar looked great. We had so many other family members come visit that day. Jayla got to meet her 3 first cousins whom she'd never met before. Dad was loving having all of us around.

Then on Monday, I decided that my little family and I had better head on back to Texas. I thought he would be out of the hospital in just another day or so. I wanted to come back and catch up here at home and then return to Mississippi to help out once he got home. Dad cried when we left. It broke my heart but, I assured him that we would be back.

He continued to progress nicely and was released from the hospital last Thursday. He is now at home recovering. My sister spent last weekend with him and this weekend the three of us will be there. Our flight leaves tomorrow evening at 5:00pm.

So, hopefully this explains the brief hiatus that I have taken. I know we probably aren't completely out of the woods but, it just seems like we have escaped what could have been a bad situation. I am so thankful that he decided to go to the doctor when he did and that the problems were immediately identified. I am excited about spending another weekend with my parents, especially when the alternative was staring me in the face two weeks ago. I can't think of a better way to spend my 28th birthday...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Dreaded Return

Hello Unwelcome Visitor,

Although it’s been 26 months since we last met, I was still really not ready to see you again. And if you ask me, it really isn’t fair that you are back as I have only just weaned Jayla two weeks ago. Just two weeks. I thought surely you would not come around for another few months or so. I am not happy to see you. I do not need you since I am not planning to try to conceive any time soon. And what makes the entire situation even worse, you did not come alone. You have brought with you 4 pounds of water weight, killer hormone levels, fatigue, and cramps – none of which I particularly needed right now. I even purposely did not mention your absence as one of the reasons that I kept breastfeeding because I did not want to jinx myself by mentioning you at all. I had truly forgotten how your presence sucks.

Caught Completely Off-Guard,

Monday, February 05, 2007

But, what about me?

For the past week or so, I’ve been trying – really, really hard even – to find something to say about myself on this blog. I know I talk about Jayla ALL THE TIME here and that’s probably what most people come here to read about. But, really, I would like to say something about me. But, I have nothing. Every single thing I ever think of to write about involves her. Everything.

But, there’s probably a really good reason for that: for the past almost-18 months my life has revolved around her. Completely around her. I enjoy it. Actually, I love it. I am, however, going to venture out on my own this weekend. It will be my first time away from Jayla overnight. I am looking forward to it in a way.

I keep trying to tell myself that after almost-18 months, I deserve a break…even if it’s just for about 36 hours. She will be fine. She will be with her father whom she adores. She will likely realize that I am gone. But, it will not kill her. It will not kill me, technically, either. She will probably have a blast while I am away as she thinks her father invented comedy and all things that are funny. In my defense, she also believes that her mama invented hugs and kisses and all things that are comforting. So, we will survive.

I am such a drama queen. And I still can’t think of anything to write about myself.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

We need a bucket!

So, my child...the one who took 10 months to grow her first two teeth? Yes. The one who waited until she was 15 months old to grow two more teeth? Yes, yes - that's her. Well, now, at 17 months old she is having her first real experience with teething as it seems all the rest of her teeth are surely coming in at once.

When Jayla grew her first 4 teeth, there were practically no signs of teething - other than the emergence of pearly whites from her gums. And this time? She walks around with no less than 4 fingers in her mouth at any given time. Her mouth is a faucet. A faucet. It's pretty nasty. Jayla has never been a slobbery child, which has apparently spoiled me.

A few months ago, my husband and I volunteered in the church nursery one Sunday. There was a little boy in there that was drooling all over the place. I did not want to touch him. I did not want him to touch Jayla. I thought his parents needed to do something about it and oh, how embarrased they must be that their child can't keep his saliva in his own mouth!

Well, lo, I am now that parent that can't keep my child's saliva in her own mouth. My husband's solution? Last night he says, "Jayla, close your mouth and stop slobbering! You're too old for this." I merely rolled my eyes and looked at him in disgust. My solution? Pretend she isn't doing it and surely, no one will notice.

So, today Jayla is wearing a bib to school. Otherwise, her clothes will be her bib was by the time she arrived at school this morning. She has not worn a bib since she was probably 9 or 10 months old. She looks silly in it to me because apparently my husband's 'you're too old for this' attitude has rubbed off on me. But, when I dropped her off, I noticed that there were at least 3 other kids in her room with slobber-stained bibs on. So, at least she's keeping up with the Jones'.

Up next? How Jayla is now the bully in her class...