I just walked downstairs as my two boys are snuggled up on a chair next to Miller's first Christmas tree. When you imagine having a child, I feel with almost utmost certainty, you envision the holidays with them. The season has a new magic to it that floats in our home and hearts. As with all great ideas in the past few months, Pinterest gave me the inspiration for Miller's tree. All the ornaments are frames with pics of Miller with friends and family. My sister, Celia, helped me with circle garland. We are so thankful for all the amazing people in our lives. Here are some pics (didn't take one of every frame)
My boys...oh how I love...
Not a typical tree topper but this Santa was too cute!
His little tree skirt I made him
Of course I had to put one of Miller's first Bulldog game:)
Have to quit blogging and continue decorating!!! Love and Hugs!
It's official! We have only approximately 290 days until the next Razorback Football game in Fayetteville (one more home game in LR this weekend). It has without a doubt flown by. We kicked off the weekend with a birthday celebration at Theo's for our dear friend Stephanie, Happy Day Friend! We had a great time and were able to catch up with friends from out of town, it was so fun (not quite as fun when Miller woke up in the morning, but we are learning we are not college kids anymore)!
You just never know who you might run into:)
We realized we had not been out on Dickson Street for a Friday night since we had Miller, wow...!!!
For those of you who know me well, you know I have a deep love for football, LLLOOVVVEEE it (really high school and college, not much for the NFL)! I had really had my heart set on bringing Miller to a game this year. He is at such a fun age and is so curious about all the things around him. We had decided earlier in the week that we would bring him to the last home game. I was beyond excited. I packed his diaper bag to perfection with all things warm and cozy and plenty of food to keep him happy. We were heading up to the stadium to tailgate when I received two different texts from friends in the Pit who said the wind was so out of control. When we got to the Boerner's House, Andrew and I had a discussion and decided that although our seats would be blocked from the wind, we didn't even want to give him any reason to get sick. I was so close to tearing up, which seems so silly, but in the end we made the best decision. We snuggled up in our pjs on the couch and enjoyed the Hogs victory together, it was perfect (the other perk was the ability to rewind the dvr no less than 10 times to rewatch Joe Adam's incredible punt return and Jarius Wright's beautiful juggle/complete pass). We just don't get to snuggle up as a family enough so I am so glad we had that night (but I promise, that boy will be at a game next year)! Here are some pics from the day and at the Boerners:
He wouldn't let me put it on himbut he loved it! Oink! Oink!
Sweet Bennett hadn't had much sleep
and later we found out he was sick, but
he is always so stinking cute! I was having
him check himself out in the mirror of the
phone. Look at those eyelashes!!
M with the birthday girl, Aunt Steph!
Such cute little piggies!
Pre-game chill out
What is it with boys and their remotes??!!
I don't stand a chance at ever controlling the
tv with these two!!
3 Pairs of Happy Feet!
Miller turned 10 months old today!!! What!? How can this be? He is such a tremendous joy and has filled our life with so much happiness and love. It seems like he has changed a significant amount from 9 months to now. He is still the happiest, smiliest, babbling little tiny but developmentally he really changed. Miller still wasn't rolling over, which didn't scare us too much as we, our doctor and a couple of PTs believed he had enough strength, but with prematurity there can be a delay in milestones. All the sudden three weeks ago, he became Rollin' Dolan, that boy is all over the place! Then last week he decided he was ready to attempt crawling. It is pretty adorable and slightly scary as we are now constantly saying "No Miller, don't pull the curtains down" No Miller, lets not try to grab the nightlight in the hallway" No Miller, it really isn't a good idea to crawl into Bear's kennel" Needless to say the moment it occurred we headed down to Target to buy any and all things labeled for baby proofing. He hasn't quite realized the power he has acquired and doesn't go too far but I am going to give that about another week. He still is babbling a ton...lots of dadas...no mamas...He is getting lots of hair and we are in the middle of another round of teething. I am currently watching him in the video monitor and thinking its about time for him to wake up so I can give him more medicine.
This time last year I was 100% oblivious to the following facts:
Worldwide, a million babies go to heaven each year because they are born too soon.
12 million more premature babies will fight through a rigorous journey of survival.
Hard to believe and sadly, the United States has one of the highest infant mortality rates of any developed country.
The United States received an overall grade of "C" for premature births, with Arkansas receiving a D.
Our country's premature birth rate has risen by 36 percent over the last 25 years.
Premature birth costs society more than $26 billion a year and take a high toll on families. Babies born just a few weeks early are at risk of severe health problems and lifelong disabilities.
I was also oblivious of the wonderful work of the following:
March of Dimes: "Working Together for Stronger, Healthier Babies" (our school organization, DECA, had always collected change for March for Babies, but I still didn't pay much attention to the seriousness of it). They work towards education on pregnancy, babies, prematurity and complications/health concerns of infants.
Willow Creek Labor & Delivery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
In December of last year, Andrew and I, as well as our friends and family were brought to light of all of this information. It was not the most ideal situation, but our sweet boy is healthy, happy and super fantastic. We have learned a lot from our experience and have new people in our lives now that I hold very closely in my heart and consider dear friends (including two very sweet, curly-headed littles who helped me stay well entertained in Room 20). The care we received both upstairs and downstairs was absolutely amazing!! We will forever be grateful and advocate for Parkhill (you just can't ask for better doctors!!, Em, get ready for weekly appointments some day... but not anytime soon), the Willow Creek staff, the L&D ladies (I miss visiting with them and watching them giggle when my friends and I asked them 5 million questions), and Dr. Wagle & Dr. Linn and their stellar team of NPs and NICU nurses (your knowledge and attention to detail is like nothing I have ever seen). Thank you all for helping us get our baby to the chunky, belly-laughing 20+ pounds he is now!!
Our friends and family, I still think daily about all that you did for us; I am still in awe. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Brooke, Andrew's back particularly thanks you for the mattress pad!
Most people at least know someone who has been affected by a premature infant if they themselves have not been directly affected. Most women, including myself, were oblivious to ever having anything other than a healthy full term baby. Unfortunately this is not always the case and awareness is the best way to educate.
The March of Dimes is working to wipe out the unknown and make it preventable. Please join them in this journey to help all babies be born full term and healthy. Know the signs, get educated and spread the word about preemies! For more information on getting involved and information on Nov. 17th (the first-ever World Prematurity Day) www.marchofdimes.com
Andrew and I have been married since August 13th, 2005. We met at Lakeside High School in Hot Springs, AR. We live in Fayetteville with our dog Bear and our new son, Miller. I am a teacher at The Springdale High School and Andrew works for Sam' Club Corporate. We love our friends and family and we of course love the Razorbacks! We are having a great time being new parents.