Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year

Last year at this time Andy and I were in California to watch the Badgers in the Rose Bowl. Despite the loss and the crazy way we got there, I would do it again. And I'm grateful for that trip, probably the best trip of my life because ....pause for warning of too much information....that is where Harper was created. Gag. I know I apologize. But honestly that trip created the best year ever for me. Without that trip I wouldn't be where I am now. Snuggling with my little angel. My pregnancy and my daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me. It wasn't an easy year on my emotions and 2012 is going to be the same right from the start.




I have never had a new year's resolution that I stuck with. But honestly who has? This year I'm not even going to pretend to have one. What I am looking forward to? A successful and uncomplicated heart surgery for Harper. My goal is to be a strong mama for little H. If I'm strong and calm she will be too.



I am overwhelmed by the number of emails, comments, and posts that have been sent my way. I open my email every day expecting nothing and I have many emails to respond to. THANK YOU! Harper hasn't even had her surgery yet but I feel the love. Big time.



As this weekend and year winds down I am busy getting ready. Trying to get the house back in order, trying to pack for the hospital (any advice is appreciated), and savoring every moment with H.  She's trying so hard to hold her head up all the time. She is a part time head holder but my guess is she will be a full time head holder the day of her surgery. Not sure if that's good or bad!


I promise to post again before the surgery and definitely throughout the process. If you are on Facebook and we are not friends yet please find me and add me!








Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Support

Down syndrome seems scary. I'm not going to lie when we found out that our baby girl was going to have Down syndrome I cried. I cried my eyes out. And then I got real and researched. That's what a good mom does is to figure out a way to make it work. If I found out that Harper had a peanut allergy what would I do? Research it and make it work.

I searched the internet for information and support and I came across this wonderful blog community. I haven't met any of these parents and yet I feel like I should have their phone number, sent them a Christmas card, or to meet them for coffee. They know what I am going through. They know what to expect and have suggestions for how I can handle it the best way I can.

My family is supportive but these amazing people in blog land are equally as amazing and supportive. THANK YOU! The emails, posts, and Facebook messages that I have received are overwhelming and I have a feeling that I will receive more in the next week.

Today was hard. My worst so far. But I made it through and plan to keep doing that until I can bring Harper home. The surgery is one week away. By this time next Wednesday I expect my little muffin to be out of surgery and in her hospital room. I know I wont be able to hold her but to just see her will allow me  to breath again.

To lighten the mood how about some new pictures of Harper?! Thank you to my bf Kristin for taking these pictures last minute! I love you my real life friend and owe you big time!









Monday, December 26, 2011

Harpers First Christmas

Christmas came and went. It was magical. I realize that Harper will never remember the day but I will and it was my baby's first Christmas. We slept in holiday pjs,  opened presents by the tree, drank coffee out of holiday mugs, and waited for company to arrive. I was tempted to leave our reindeer food and cookies for Santa but that would have been more for me than for Harper. Next year, my dear we will begin/expand on holiday traditions.

Organized chaos

No pouting on Christmas

Christmas morning

Christmas Eve


The day was bittersweet. Little H's first Christmas day, lots of family visiting, and awesome gifts. But it was the day that was keeping my mind off of the impending surgery. I hosted Christmas this year and was able to focus on decorating, cooking, and cleaning for company. Not focused on what will happen Jan 4th. 

The day is gone and my thoughts are not on my last 4 days of work or un-decorating my house. Those are just things I do to fill time. 

But for now......Christmas pics and we'll talk surgery later. 





Friday, December 23, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas from me, Andy, Harper and of course Brewer and Lola too!! As we celebrate our first Christmas as a family I want to thank all of you for being loyal followers and for your continued prayers for Harper's upcoming surgery. I promise to post at least once before Harper's surgery. I'm sure it will be jam packed full of adorable Harper pictures!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

one week two santas and a baby

I love Santa. I always have and this year I love him more. I understand that Harper doesn't care quite yet about the big guy in red but I do and the traditions start NOW!

At school we had a holiday program that included all the students in school from the infants to the school agers. Cue first Christmas outfit complete with tutu while sitting on Santa/daddy's lap.


I also love to bake. But this year I don't have the time (aka energy) to bake a ton. So it's been very limited around here. Until I whipped up a batch of yummy mint chocolate cookies!






Then Saturday was Christmas in Waukesha. This celebration was complete with the girls in matching outfits, a visit from Santa, and of course the new/old favorite wrestling game.





This week not only marks the week before my daughter's first Christmas but it also is the first week Harper is on house arrest. People can come in (germ free) but baby girl stays put. Today was a hard day. She didn't get to come to work/daycare with me. I felt like all those other moms who drop off their babies in my care and go off to their job. Honestly, I hated it. I didn't realize how much I thought about her every day because I could always walk down their hall and squeeze her. What a perk and blessing to have Harper at work/school with me (not to mention the 80% off!)

My girl is getting so big. Laughing, smiling and almost holding her head up all the time. I have to keep in mind that yes she will be 4 months next week but she is also considered a premie and should have spent 3 more weeks in my tummy.

And of course we fit in an impromptu photo shoot. Baby girl has style.






Sunday, December 11, 2011

Milestones

I know that I haven't been blogging as much as I like and I know all of my followers (yay 45!) want more also. I'm trying, I promise! After being back at work for more than a month I'm still trying to figure out balance. From what I hear from other mom's it's something I will also be seeking. But for now this is all I need:


Yep, your eyes are not deceiving you. She is trying to sit up on her own! Her neck control is improving everyday! And notice my hands are not in this picture. This is all Harper! This picture was snapped after laying her in her boppy and she scooted her butt back and picked up her head. She's been doing this for a few days so I am always camera ready!

Another milestone she is hitting: laughing at her mama! Melts my heart when I see her smile her gigantic smile because of something I did. Enjoy some Harper smiles!

video



At work we are focusing on teaching the children about kindness. Everytime a teacher sees a child being kind they are writing it on a star and we are posting it in the front lobby on our Kindness Meter. Simple things from helping a friend zip her coat, picking up more toys than asked, or helping hand out snack. This is important and I can't wait to teacher Harper about being kind and giving back. The holiday season always brings out the best in people but we should be kind year round. What kind acts have you done lately?

I have donated food to our food drive at school, donated mittens to our mitten tree at school, bought a gift off of the giving tree at church, and even put money in those red kettles that are everywhere this time of year.

I'm trying to be kind but I'm also trying out a theory. That good things happen to good people. I believe this theory but this is the first time that I am really putting it to the test. Harper is a good girl. Sometimes I think she's too good to be true. I mean she sleeps through the night 99% of the time and she is happy about 99% of the time. I am lucky. She is a good girl and Andy and I are good people so the good has to continue. But of course it doesn't hurt that I'm trying to be extra good this season right? So dear God, Santa, St. Nick, and anyone else who can pull some strings....remember on Jan 4th that Harper is a good kind girl.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Heart Update

Through the usual hustle and bustle that this time of year brings, this year we add on having an infant. And also a gazillion doctor appointments. 

Wednesday we had an Echo scheduled and then an appointment with the cardiologist to discuss the Echo. While nothing new was found on the Echo we did have a major conversation about Harper's eating. She definitely had changed her eating habits. A few weeks ago she was sick, put on Pedialyte and just didn't eat the same as she did before she was sick. She now spits up/throws up. Makes a momma nervous when she is supposed to be eating major calories each day. The good news? While we were in the Echo and the cardiologist was there (which is rare) Harper spit up/threw up. A lot. Like really a lot. We had a professional witness to what we had been dealing with and wishing to not happen. She determined it was reflux. Now I love my daughter but can I get a "really?" or "seriously?" or a "what else?" This reflux demands another prescription. The pharmacist's at Target know me by name....I'm not kidding. 

The other news is that one of her ventricles is still "borderline" and we need to pray that becomes normal before her surgery. Or that it really isn't a problem when the surgery begins. There are many reasons to be worried but this is the main one that is constantly in my mind. 

More good news....Harper laughs...at me. Just like everyone else! She thinks her momma is funny and I love that! She is smiling all the time, laughing, and babbling. 

For now, life goes on. I continue to worry as I will until we are out of the hospital. I can't help but have visions that something bad will happen but I know that's normal. But I have more visions of bringing my baby home and watching her grow so she can keep laughing at me! 

To all of my new followers...welcome and thank you. To all of you have leave comments or send me emails about OHS....thank you and please keep them coming. It may seem silly but reading comments from perfect strangers really helps me be positive. Feel free to pass this blog along to someone else who may enjoy it, someone to say a prayer, or someone that wants to see the cutest baby ever! 

Here are a few new pictures for you to enjoy! 







Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ho ho ho

Christmas is here! I am too much of a perfectionist to decorate for Christmas. I love it and look forward to it every year but it's difficult for me to finish. But I promised some pics so here they are:








I used mostly silver, teal, greens and blue. I love Christmas red but I can't take it next to the everyday teal I have in my house and I don't want to redecorate my entire house. 

Harper goes to the cardiologist tomorrow. We have an echo scheduled which will probably be the last one before her surgery. Cross your fingers that all is well. 


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks and Thanks

I know I already posted a Thankful post. But I wanted to link you up to one of my favorite blogs. Patti is the mom of 10, yes I said 10, kids. Her youngest, Lily, has designer genes just like Harper. And she posted about this little blog on her (way popular) blog a few months ago and it got me several more followers!  I've talked about her blog before. It's kind, inspiring, and I just plain dig it. Patti is one of the good ones. Take a few minutes to check out her blog and her hard work and dedication to Reece's Rainbow. Her goal is to help as many orphans with Ds as possible to make it out of Eastern Europe orphanages.

She recently asked her readers to send in pictures of our little ones and a brief explanation of why we are thankful for them. Of course I participated and you can read my little diddy and many many others HERE.

I'm thankful for Patti and her hard work and her honesty.

Now here are a few pictures from today!

Andy and Niko playing wrestling. If you know Andy you know this made his year.