Tummy Time Bootcamp

We got the results of Grayson’s MRI this morning. Basically, they found something abnormal-he has a thin corpus collosum (you can google it) and is being referred to an endocrinologist because this could indicate a hormonal/gland issue. He also has Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, which can manifest itself anywhere from simply poor vision to mental retardation. And they have no way of knowing how Grayson will be affected. Niiicce.

But, as scary as the unknown is, I’m actually doing ok. I know God made Grayson exactly how he’s supposed to be and he will grow and develop just right for him. And I don’t know if I want to know right how all this is going to turn out. I have this precious little baby and I don’t want to limit him in any way because of some diagnosis.

This afternoon, we had our first therapy session with Ms. Jeanie from ECI. She was great- and put my little boy to work! No more laying around napping all day for him- we are doing Tummy Time Bootcamp. Right now, Grayson tolerates tummy time, for about 5 or 10 minutes. Then he screams like I am torturing him until I pick him up. Well, he’s just going to have to scream a little more. Ms. Jeanie wants him on his tummy all day long unless he is sleeping. She even wants me to carry him around in my arms on his tummy. She also wants me to keep him awake more during the day. And she claims this will help with his sleeping at night- fingers crossed she’s right- every 3-4 hours for 4 months now is killing me!

So, big day for us, and lots of information and homework assignments to process! We are both tuckered out!

He’s going to have to build up his tummy-time endurance!


What a Difference A Year Makes

One year ago, I peed on a stick and saw this:

About four weeks later, I fell in love with this little blinking dot:

Then, 12 weeks after that, I fell even more in love with the face of our BOY:

Ten more weeks passed, and I got a real sneek peak:
I decorated his nursery:

My boy and I both grew, and we waited:

Then one early September morning, the wait was over:

And now, exactly one year after I peed on that stick, this is who I get to hang with all day, every day:

Life is good.


I’ve had an emotional and exhausting few weeks. I took Grayson to the doctor a few weeks ago for a cold. We had a discussion about his development and the milestones he should be meeting. There are a few milestones he has not met- most of them related to his eyes. He isn’t tracking objects with his eyes, doesn’t focus very well, and isn’t grabbing at or reaching for toys or other objects. His pediatrician suggested we see a pediatric opthamologist as well as have Grayson evaluated by Early Childhood Intervention (ECI).

We saw the opthamologist a few weeks ago. He agreed that there is some issue with Grayson’s eyes and vision- he has nystagmus, which makes his eyes shift back and forth. We aren’t sure the extent his vision impairment or any other issues right now. The opthamologist ordered an MRI of Grayson’s brain to rule out any neurological issues. We had the MRI this morning at Texas Children’s. Grayson was sedated through an IV while I held him, the scan lasted about an hour, and he woke up sleepy, but his normal, happy self.  Of course the whole experience was 10x harder on Ryan and me than it was on Grayson. The hardest part for me was not being able to feed him after 2:00 this morning- with our previous experience with dehydration, I am super diligent about making sure he gets enough to eat every day and was so worried that Grayson would be screaming in hunger and not understanding why his momma wasn’t feeding him. Well, I shouldn’t have been so worried- Grayson slept the whole way to the hospital and then napped again while we waited for the anesthesiologist to prepare the IV (yeah, he didn’t sleep through the IV actually being inserted!). We will receive the results of the MRI in a few days and have a follow up appointment with the opthamologist next Monday to discuss where we go next.

Last Thursday, Grayson was evaluated by ECI. The short version is he qualifies as a student with vision impairment, and also qualifies for occupational therapy because he has developmental delays in several areas. We are hoping the developmental delays are related to the vision impairment (example- he can’t see the toys very well so that’s why he’s not grabbing at them). His right eye appears to be worse than his left, and that corresponds to his motor delays- the right side is worse than the left. The good news is he will start receiving vision therapy and occupational therapy right away; the team is coming back to our house on Thursday to write up a plan of action.

This has been a lot to take in- it’s scary and overwhelming to think we may have a child with a disability. However, there have been so many people who have reached out to us already, and I have so much to be grateful for….

  • I’m grateful for Grayson. He is more precious, beautiful, sweet and perfect than I could ever have dreamed. He has amazed me with his strength just in the four short months he’s been on this earth.
  • I’m grateful for Ryan and that Grayson has a daddy that loves him so much and will do anything he can to give him a great life.
  • I’m grateful for my parents who have helped us by watching Grayson so I can work some weekends, helped us financially, and just love this little guy to pieces
  • I’m grateful for our family who have prayed for Grayson and again, just love him.
  • I’m grateful for my friend who is an occupational therapist in Charlotte who I got to see last week while in NC. She answered a lot of my questions and was very encouraging.
  • I’m grateful for my friends who have listened to me vent, written me encouraging emails, and sent me texts this morning during the MRI to tell me they were thinking about us.
  • I’m grateful for our new friends from church who came to our house Saturday night to pray for Grayson and anoint him with oil. They are also bringing us dinner tonight.
  • I’m grateful for our pediatrician who didn’t brush off my concerns and directed us to the proper people to get Grayson the help he needs
  • I’m grateful for the doctors this morning that kept Grayson safe while he was under anesthesia.
  • I’m grateful for Waggin’ Tails, for my job there and that my dogs love going there so much.
  • I’m grateful that I am able to stay home with Grayson and we have the time available during the day to get him as much therapy and help he needs.
  • I’m grateful that I can blog…it’s good therapy in itself!

So, there’s a lot going on and a lot to be worried about, but at the same time, there’s a lot of grace and love surrounding our little family right now too.

4 Months!

Didn’t I just do a 3 month post? How can I slow these months down?!?

Well, ready or not, Little Dude is 4 months old! We have so much fun together every single day- singing, reading books, visiting friends, laughing (or yelling) at our doggies…I love being Grayson’s mommy!

We went to the pediatrician on Friday, and here are the latest stats:

Weight: 11 pounds, 13 ounces (4%- yep, he’s doubled his birth weight and then some!)
Height: 23 inches (4 %- well, height genetics are NOT working in his favor!)
Head Circumference:  15 inches (1 %- yes, he has a tiny head, but we are going to cram a lot of knowledge in there! We are going to start memorizing multiplication facts very soon!)

The doctor said yes, he’s itty bitty, but he’s following “his” curve just great!

Eating: Grayson is up to 4-5 ounces every feeing. We switched to “Level 2” nipples on his bottles, which makes a huge difference!

Sleeping: Thursday night, Grayson surprised us and slept EIGHT AND A HALF HOURS at one stretch! This blows out his previous record of 5 hours! I really, REALLY, really hope this is the beginning of a pattern.
Favorite new pastime: Chewing on his hands. He can’t get enough of them!
Clothes: 0-3 months, but some of the pants are getting a little short!
Happy 4 months little guy! I love you to the moon and back!

North Carolina

Last Friday through Monday, my mom, Grayson and I took a quick trip to Charlotte to introduce G to his great-grandparents, great aunt and uncle, and some of my cousins. It was great to be able to have everyone meet the little one, but also was a nice break for me. There were plenty of hands willing to hold, feed, and change Grayson, and I was even able to get a few naps!

Nothing better than a bath in the sink after a long plane ride!

Grayson did great on the plane. He cried both times on landing, but 10 minutes of crying on a 2.5 hour flight- I’ll take it! Going through security was hectic, but my mom and I were able to do it pretty seamlessly (I have NO idea how I would have done it by myself- I could not have taken off my shoes and jacket, removed my electronics from my bag, taken the carseat off the stroller frame, folded the stroller up, put everything on the conveyer belt, all while holding a baby…impossible).

First time meeting their great-grandson

We took lots of pictures of Grayson with his great grandparents. My grandfather has really declined in health the past few months, and I wanted to make sure to document this trip because sadly, I don’t know how many more times Grayson will get to see his Great-Grandaddy 🙂

It was also fun to hang out with my cousins Amy and Jennifer (who are sisters). They are both pregnant, and, get this- have the EXACT same due date! How crazy is that?! We had a great time talking about baby names and I tried to give them advice about what they really needed to register for and what to leave off the list- without seeming too pushy.

Four Generations

It was a great trip, but too short! I really hope we can make it back out there again- maybe at Christmastime when there will be a few more babies around!
Grayson loves his Great Grandaddy!

In the News…

I love my XM Radio, and one of my favorite stations is Oprah Radio. Oprah’s best friend Gayle has a daily radio show where she discusses news and politics. She’s very good about presenting both sides of whatever issue she’s discussing, and takes callers who voice their opinions as well. The other day, she was talking about this story: 2 mothers in Pennsylvania are suing the school district because it won’t allow their junior high kids wear “I Love Boobies” bracelets at school, supposedly in support of breast cancer awareness. 
I listened to the story and all her callers, and then I went on her facebook page to read what people were commenting to her question. I was amazed at how many people (probably a good 75%) were in support of the lawsuit, citing free speech.  I know a lot of people who read this blog are teachers, and I am curious to know what you think.
Here are my opinions:
1. Obviously, these people have never worked in a junior high. Are they really so stupid/idealistic that they think junior high kids are wearing bracelets that say “I Love Boobies” because they want to raise awareness for cancer? This would be really easy to prove- just take away all their bracelets and give them bracelets with just a pink ribbon on them. See how popular they are then.
2. Junior high kids do not have the maturity to wear these bracelets without causing a distraction. It gives me a headache just imagining some of my students from last year wearing these in class. Last year, Silly Bands were bad enough- I just couldn’t deal with adding boobies to the mix!
3. I’m worried about the girls at the schools that are allowing the students to wear these. Again, most of these kids (in my opinion) aren’t thinking about cancer when they see/wear the bracelets- they are thinking about…boobies. Junior high girls are self consious enough about this subject without having it shoved in their face, or worn around their wrist- at school.
4. Seriously? You are SUING over this? Really? Do you have that much time and money on your hands?
That’s all for today!


This post has one purpose: to brag about my little sister Rebecca.

Rebecca is 11 years younger than me, and I am so proud of who she is and who she is becoming. She is a sophomore in college at Savannah College of Art and Design. She is majoring in photography, and is pretty much amazing. She’s not even 20 yet, and already has quite the photography business and fan base. She photographs everything from newborns, families, and high school seniors to funky fashionistas, and even dogs!

Grayson sure loves his Aunt Becc!

Rebecca of course did Grayson’s newborn pictures, our super cute Christmas card, our dogs, and recently some family pictures. She has also photographed Erin and Traci’s (two of my best friends) babies- Sadie, Sophia and Tessa- and they are pretty stinkin’ cute subjects!

Rebecca has her very own photography website and photography blog. Check out some of her work, including our recent family pics!



One of my favorite newborn pics


Three weeks ago, Ryan had knee surgery. His third knee surgery in just over a year, poor guy. However, this particular surgery was much more invasive than the other two. They actually sliced him open this time- eek. They sliced him open and put in his own cartilage that had been growing in a lab since October. How do they come up with this stuff?! Anyway, I knew going in that this was going to be a harder, longer recovery than the first two. Yeah. Um. I knew that. But 99% of my brain has been occupied with baby, baby, baby the last few months, and that other 1% really didn’t process what “longer and harder” meant in a practical sense. Maybe I should have given it a little more thought.

It’s been HARD. And LONG. And the end really isn’t in sight right now. Ryan is on crutches, and can’t put any weight on his leg at all. And he has to be on this leg moving machine for about 4 hours a day. He can’t drive. He can’t make his own meals. He can’t get up with Grayson at night. Can’t walk around with Grayson when he’s screaming. He pretty much can’t do anything. And it will be like this (on crutches) for at least another 3 weeks.

So I’m going to give myself a pity party for a minute. I’m TIRED. I’m caring for a 3 1/2 month old, 4 dogs, and my husband’s basic needs. I’m still not getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time. I’m doing all the house chores and all the driving. It’s a lot. I know Ryan is very appreciative and thanks me all the time, and I know I haven’t always been the nicest or had the best attitude about all this. I’m working on it.

I am SO excited about this coming weekend. My mom, Grayson and I are taking a little trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, one of my very favorite places. I am thrilled for Grayson to meet my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins. I’m also glad to be getting away for a few days. It will be nice. And as an added bonus…it’s supposed to SNOW!

How to Be a Bad Dog…by Izzy Baker

My mom and dad are constantly telling me that I’m a bad dog. It’s true- I’ve perfected the art of being naughty. I used to want to keep my secrets to myself- to be the reigning Queen of  Bad Behavior foreeeeevvverrrr (because of course, I plan on living forever, if for no other reason to drive mom and dad nuts until they die), but then I decided that I’m bad, but not altogether selfish. So I thought I’d hijack the blog today (I watched mom and memorized the password) and let you in on a few of my tricks.

See? No one would know I am BAD just by looking at me!

 Oh, before I begin, I must tell you the most important secret. If you follow all my rules, but don’t do this, the whole scheme will backfire. You will end up banished to the backyard, a “free to a good home” ad on craigslist, or sent to a “farm”. You MUST at all times, be completely, irresistibly adorable. Practice, practice, practice, and hone those skills- you know, the head tilt with the big, “innocent” eyes, the head on your mom or dad’s lap as they watch TV, the cute little ball that you sleep in, etc, etc…Don’t forget…be CUTE. Got it? Ok, let’s proceed.

Rule #1- Whining. You must whine any time you want something. Start off softly, just enough volume to get their attention. If they don’t give in to your demands, turn it up a notch. The higher the pitch the better. Be persistent- the payoff may not be immediate, but eventually you will get what you want. Example: when my mom and dad got married, they agreed- no dogs in the bed. Of course, they also didn’t want to listen to me whine from the other room all night long (and by all night long, I mean literally all night long). Well, here we are and guess who has the prime spot under the covers in the king size bed? Hint- it’s not my well behaved sisters or that goofy bloodhound.

Rule #2 Bathroom Habits. Now, read carefully- this is important. The key to this one is to be about 75-80% reliable on your housebreaking. Don’t go peeing and pooping all over the house EVERY time you need to go- that’s just barbaric. I recommend once or twice a day in the house, and mix up your location to keep it interesting. When you do go outside like you are “supposed” to, take forever. I know, sometimes you just gotta go, but if you are serious about being a Bad Dog, suck it up and hold it! Walk around the yard, sniff, circle, walk back to the door like you want to go in, make them take you BACK to the grass. Repeat this several times if you can. This works even better in inclimate weather- trust me. But if you really can’t hold it, fine, pee right away, but then go poop in the bedroom as soon as they let you back in the house. And I hate to even share this, because it’s so genius, but I will. What I do to really drive them up the wall is I absolutely refuse pee in the backyard (whine, whine, whine- all these rules are not mutually exclusive), which forces my mom to take me to the front yard on a leash. This causes great chaos in the house because my sisters and brother think we are going somewhere. If you do this, don’t forget to take your time out front too.

Be quick!

Rule #3 Steal Food. You have to be quick if you want to master this Bad Dog rule. My strategies- either sneak up behind them if they are eating a snack on the couch and grab the food directly from their hands, OR if they are eating at the table, wait until they get up to get more milk, or check on the baby, etc. and leap up on the chair and take the food directly from their plate. My brother Hank has a great advantage- he’s tall enough to counter surf. There have been several times I’ve been so proud of his antics I could just burst- like the time he ate an entire chicken casserole off the counter while my mom was asleep on the couch. Yeah, Hank can be mischievous, but he’s not a Bad Dog- he obeys mom and dad for the most part when they tell him not to do something. Which brings me to the next rule…
Rule #4 Ignore “No”. This one’s easy. Anytime they tell  you “no”, just keep on doing whatever you are doing. But remember- be cute while you do it.
Rule #5 Pretend You Can’t Do Things You Obviously Can. Like jumping up on the couch. This is especially important to do when your people are comfortable and it would be an obvious inconvenience for them to change positions to pick you up. Be sure your whine is especially high pitched in the this situation.

Baby feet taste delicious!

 Rule #6 Develop a Signature Annoying Habit. You know, chewing slippers, darting out the front door, chasing the mailman. Mine is licking. I act like a convulsive crazy person anytime anyone picks me up and cover their faces with my sweet kisses. I also like to lick feet, heads, arms…yeah, I know, it sounds disgusting, but you gotta do what it takes to be Bad. Oh and now that there’s a sweet little baby in the house, it’s especially fun to lick him, which drives them nutty.

So there are some Rules to get you started. I know, it’s overwhelming to think of the work ahead of you. It’s worth it though…SO worth it…Muwahahaha.

So embarrassing

 *Although  being Bad is totally, completely worth it, I need to be honest and tell you sometimes it’s not all fun and games. Sometimes, you may be subjected to total humiliation in a lame attempt to punish you for your behavior. Although, in this case, it may have had more to do with the cute thing…