The Latest…

Well, we all survived the weekend. Ryan and I attended a marriage conference in Kerrville- we had some good talks about the future of our family, slept two uninterrupted nights without dogs in our bed and a baby monitor by my ear, and got a private tour and wine tasting at a vinyard/winery near Fredricksburg. Grayson had a great time with his Grammie and Grandaddy and even slept 13 1/2 hours on Friday night! He does have some kind of a bug- not sure what, but he has a rash on his face, loss of appetite (grrr, I need this kid to EAT), and has kept me very busy with diaper changes today (ick). We saw the pediatrician last Thursday because I was worried he might have an ear infection- nope. We will see her again this Thursday for his 9 month checkup- my goal is to not have to see her between last Thursday and this Thursday. We’ll see.

We had our follow up appointment with the neurologist today. The good news is G’s  EEG and chromosomal bloodwork are normal. However, Grayson still has some of the newborn reflexes, indicating something is not working correctly in his nervous system. The doctor ordered MORE bloodwork (grr) and wants us to see a genetic specialist. Hey, what’s one more specialist, right?

We got printouts of all the paperwork- orders for the bloodwork, blood results, etc. One of them has Grayson’s diagnoses, according to the doctor. Here’s what it said:

Encephalopathy, Unspecified (something is wrong with his brain, but we’re not sure what)
Muscle Weakness, Generalized– upgoing toes persist
Other Cognitive Anomalies of the Nervous System– white matter delay likely explains neonatal feeding difficulties and current delays

Interesting. And pretty accurate I think. Grayson’s “upgoing toes” are pretty funny- his little toe just sticks our from the rest of his foot- bizarre.

I’m also struggling with something else. Now that Grayson is 9 months old, everyone who asks how old he is and doesn’t know his “story” asks if he’s crawling yet or says something like, “oh he must be crawling all over the place now.” Mmmm- not even close. Most of you know he’s not yet sitting up on his own, although we are working really hard to get there!

So when people ask, or comment, on crawling, I don’t know what to say. It doesn’t bother me or make me feel bad, but if I tell them he’s got some developmental issues, I feel like it makes them feel uncomfortable- like they shouldn’t have said anything (and I don’t want that. I love when people ask me about my baby). So should I just say, “Not yet” and leave it at that or should I say more? I mean, realistically, he’s not going to be crawling for quite a while, and then there’s walking, and talking, and all other big milestones that we just have no idea when Grayson will meet.

But he will get there- he will!


Giveaway Winners!

I’m off to a weekend retreat with the hubby today, but wanted to announce my giveaway winners. I am so excited because they are both friends I’ve met through this blog!

The winners are…

Esperanza from Stumbling Gracefully (and I’m so excited she won because I won her giveaway a few weeks ago!)


Stefanie from Baby Blakely (whose adorable Liam is less than 24 hours older than G-Man!)

Congratulations girls! Be thinking of what you want me to paint you and I will email you on Monday when I get back!

Happy Weekend everyone!

9 Months!

Dear Grayson,

My sweet baby boy, you are 9 months old. 274 days (and nights!) I’ve had to learn all about you, and to memorize your sweet face. And yet, you change every day. Every day, you are looking less and less like a newborn baby and more and more like a little boy. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves- you are still a tiny peanut, weighing in at 15 pounds, 2 ounces. We are a little concerned that you still aren’t packing on the pounds like you should, so we are going to see a doctor about that in a few weeks. I know, I know, another doctor. You’ve seen more specialists in 9 months than I’ve seen my whole life. But it’s only because we love you so fiercely, and want the very best care for you.

You’ve had a busy month. Daddy is home for the summer and you guys have been spending a lot of time together while Mommy goes to work. It has been so good for your relationship- I see your eyes light up when you hear your Daddy’s voice and you giggle when he makes silly faces at you. Daddy also taught you your latest skill- giving kisses. You are a very enthusiastic, but messy, kisser- you grab our faces and pull them into your open mouth when we say, “Give me a kiss.” Daddy just thinks it’s cute, but I recognize the beginnings of language, and you communicating with us. I’m thrilled (although I guess now we are going to have to stop cussing at Izzy in front of you!).

This past month, we’ve also introduced you to swimming! You look so cute in your surfer-dude swim trunks and floppy hat. At first, you weren’t sure about the water, but I think you are really enjoying it now. The last time we took you to the pool you were so relaxed that you fell fast asleep on my shoulder. I’m looking forward to watching you play in the water- learning to splash, kick, and swim. But if you want to nap in the pool right now, that’s fine with me.

I know I always brag about your mad sleeping skills, but if at all possible, you’ve gotten even better. You have started sleeping 12 hours straight through the night, from 6 PM to 6 AM. It’s not every night, and I am more than happy to get up at 4:00 on the mornings you do wake up, because I know you need the calories from that bottle, and you always go right back to sleep for a few more hours without any fuss. Every morning, I tiptoe into your nursery and sing, “Good Morning, Good Morning, It’s a Happy Morning”, and that it is. You greet me with the biggest grin and giggles and coos. Then we cuddle for a few minutes before we start our day. It’s quite possibly my favorite part of the day.

Your eating has improved drastically from a month ago. Solids “clicked” with you when I discovered the magic Grayson food- oatmeal. I am feeding you two solid meals a day- oatmeal mixed with fruit in the morning and oatmeal mixed with a vegetable in the late afternoon. You make a huge mess every time, but you’re eating, and enjoying it, so I don’t care one bit. I do wish you would drink more formula each time I give you a bottle, because it’s going to make you grow big and strong, little man.

You’ve got a big month ahead of you- this weekend, Mommy and Daddy are going on a weekend retreat and you are staying with Grammie and Grandaddy. This will be the first time I’ve been away from you for more than, well, half a day? Yikes- this is going to be tough on me. I’m sure you will do just fine and will be spoiled rotton by your grandparents (I just hope you sleep for them as well as you do for us!). Next week, we are going to visit your great-grandparents in Michigan for the 4th of July. This will be a very special trip- just like your trip in January to meet your other great-grandparents was so special. We will be riding on an airplane; the last time we did that you were only 3 months old- this might be quite a different experience! I am so excited for you to meet your Great-Grammie and Papap- they haven’t met you, but love you to pieces. I’ve been sending them pictures of you every month and they think you are the most beautiful baby in the world. Yeah, I know, Duh.

My sweet, silly, scrumptious baby boy- I love you more than words could ever express. Happy 9 Months Little Dude.


100th Post! And a Giveaway!

I started this blog last August, about a month before Grayson was born. I was hesitant to start a blog because I figured I would never stick with it and write regularly and no one would want to read it anyway. Well, I was wrong, about the first reason anyway. Turns out I did stick to it- and no one is more suprised by this than me!
I love blogging- and I do realize my blog is all over the place. Sometimes it’s a “let me show you how cute my baby is” photo album, sometimes it’s my lame attempt at being funny, and sometimes it’s me just being honest about my life- it’s a good life, but there are struggles. And as I continue to share my life in this little corner of the internet, I just want to keep being real.

So, to celebrate that I’ve actually written 100 posts in less than a year (seriously, I’m amazed), and to
make myself feel like a super-cool big-time blogger, I’m doing a giveaway!

Some of you know that I paint whimsical children’s artwork. I definitely do not consider myself an artist, but I like to be creative, and sometimes some of my stuff doesn’t turn out half bad. I’ve actually made a good amount of money on my stuff over the years, and am toying with the idea of revamping my “business” sometime soon.

I’m giving away one of my signs to 2 lucky readers. If you win, I can do whatever you want- a theme, match bedding, a footprint picture (if you are in the Houston area or if you want to mail me a canvas with your kid’s footprint), whatever! (See below for some examples). The sign will be 11X14 canvas with a ribbon hanger and pom pom trim. I can also add glitter glaze and even rhinestones (if you’re really nice to me).

To enter- leave a comment on this blog or on Facebook. I’ll number the comments and then use a fancy Random Number Generator on the internet to pick 2 winners. I’ll announce the winners on Friday. Sound good?

I’m excited- thanks for reading my blog!

Here’s a few examples so you can get an idea of the style of my stuff…


Tension. There’s been a lot of it in our house lately. And the tension has been over…stuff. Material stuff. Stuff we can’t take with us when we die. Stupid.
We have a house. We have two paid-off, reliable cars. We have clothes. Mostly outdated and unfashionable clothes, but clothes nonetheless. Our son has more toys and baby contraptions than he really needs, and an adorable nursery (yes, I admit, I am very materialistic when it comes to baby decor).

Every evening we straighten up the living room and it takes a good 15 minutes to put the stuff where it goes. It’s annoying, and I wish there was less of it. So why do we want more when we wish there was less?

Our Sunday school lesson this morning was on contentment. We discussed how greed is just a vicious cycle- we think, “If I just get ___, then I’ll be satisfied.” Um, no we won’t. There will always be something bigger, something newer, something more trendy then what we have.

I want to stop that cycle. I wish it was possible to just decide that. Just to say, “I’m now content- I don’t need anything else.” But then there’s the month that’s left at the end of the money, and contentment is nowhere to be found.

The thing that is most frustrating to me is most of the “stuff” I really want I don’t see as frivolous. I want Grayson and all our future kids to go to private school (I was a student and teacher in both private and public school and in my experience, private is better). I want my kids to be able to to do stuff like go to summer camp, play select sports, and go on school trips to Europe. I want to be able to go on vacation with my family. I just want options.

But right now I just want the tension to be gone. I want to enjoy the rest of our summer without the stress of how we are going to pay for ________ five years from now. I’m tired of the arguing, the hurt feelings, and the frustration.

So I’m adding “Contentment” to my list of things to work on- along with “Lose Weight”, “Learn to be a Better Cook” and “Not be So Annoyed with my Dogs.”

We’ll see how it goes.

Silly Little Fish

I just had to post these pictures of Grayson because they made me giggle. His vision teacher suggested the other day that we start working with him on associating objects and positions with things he likes. G has become quite the little high maintenace man lately- he just wants to be held ALL the time, instead of working on his sitting or his self-soothing (AAA!).

Grayson LOVES listening to music and his very favorite song is called “The Goldfish” by the Laurie Berkner Band. It really is a cute song with silly lyrics- if you have kids, you might want to check her out.

Anyway, G’s vision teacher brought a rubber fish for him to borrow so we are having him sit in his Bumbo several times a day, with the fish, and are playing his Fish Song.

Who knows if he’s getting the association or not, but at least he’s content for about 3 minutes at a time- sometimes I even have the luxury of using the bathroom or brushing my teeth (Wait a minute! We’re Fish! We don’t brush our teeth…Yes, this damn song is on permanent repeat in my head!)

3 Years!

Today is Ryan’s and my 3 year anniversary! Here are some pictures from our wedding on June 14, 2008- it was a perfect day!

I love that it took 5 girls to get my dress on!

My girls- I am blessed to still be so close with all of them

Walking down the aisle with my dad- I love the back of my dress

Just Married!

Just after the ceremony

LOUD bagpiper led us to the reception (did I mention he was LOUD?!)

Cutting the cake

Ryan’s Scottish bagpipe groom’s cake- the crown sat in our freezer
 for 2 years before we finally threw it out!

Super fun car with personalized lisence plate

And life begins…

Thoughts for Today

Ryan and I volunteered in the church nursery this morning. Ryan kind of grumbled about it, but I think he enjoyed it once he got there and got to play with some of the babies. Grayson doesn’t really “play” yet and I know Ryan’s looking forward to the day when he can push buttons on a toy, roll a ball, and stack blocks.

We were originally scheduled to help in a class with toddlers, but they were short-handed, so we ended up in Grayson’s class, which is a combination of little babies to early walkers. It was so interesting to observe and interact with these babies for an hour and to see what skills they have and how they interact with each other and their toys.

I know I’ve written about this before, but it’s really hard not to compare Grayson to other babies. Well, I shouldn’t even say really hard, because for me, it’s impossible. I forget, or it’s just not at the forefront of my mind most of the time, how different Grayson is. First, he’s just so tiny. When I’m with him all day, he doesn’t seem all that small (in fact, he’s nearly tripled his birth weight, which seems astounding to me), but when I see someone else holding him next to another baby, I realize how itty bitty he is. Second, obviously his development is delayed. I know, duh. But again, when I’m at home working with him, he’s just Grayson- not “Grayson laying next to baby who is meeting his milestones on time”.

The other day on the Today show, there was a woman who admitted that she never liked her child. As I watched the segment, I just grew angrier and angrier and so sad for her little girl. When she was a baby, she wasn’t meeting her milestones and had some social and emotional delays as well. The woman was disgusted and disappointed that her daughter wasn’t normal. I am anything but disgusted and disappointed with Grayson. I think he is the most precious, amazing baby in the world and I love him so much more than I have words to express it with.

No, I’m not disappointed for him, but I am worried about his future. I’m so scared he’s going to stay tiny, and especially with him being a boy, I’m worried about him being made fun of. Both Ryan and I love sports, and I want Grayson to be able to play if that’s what he wants to do, and it will break my heart if he physically can’t. I’m really worried about school- the way education funding is being cut, I’m not sure public school is going to provide what my son is going to need, and private school is not exactly in our budget.

I know- he’s not even 9 months old yet- BREATHE, Elizabeth. I’ve got to pace myself- I think tomorrow I’ll go back to worrying about when he’s going to sit up on his own (because that day will be so nice!)