I am going to try something new, since Matt is at work all day, (and he does not have a facebook account), I am going to try to take pictures of what Daniel and I do during the day and post them on here so maybe Matt won’t feel like he missed so much. So here goes….

We made cupcakes

Melted some crayons

Colored with the crayons we melted

Melted some more crayons

Cute face

Took a bath with foaming soap

We also went to the playground, but I forgot the camera and we went to Wal-Mart.


Growing, it is a very involved process, so why do I get so upset with myself? There is a process that a plant has to go through to grow, planting, watering, bearing fruit, etc. Sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, but Charlie Brown saw the potential in that little shabby looking tree. I think God works the same way, he takes me a shabby little tree and makes me into something beautiful. He speaks life and love, and meaning. Why is it so hard for me to go through the process of being a shabby little tree to something beautiful? In the words of Charlie Brown Ugh!

I need to enjoy the process. It seems like sometimes I am getting no where, but I know those are the times when God is working the most. Right now I can say that I have been mad at myself for things I know I need to improve on. First of all my house, before I had Daniel I kept my house pretty darn clean and looking nice. Now my house has Nutella and milk stains on it, my living room is Daniel’s designated play room. I have a chair in the corner of my bedroom that used to sit so pretty with an afghan draped over it and a decorative pillow. Now it is holding a heap of my laundry, yes, I use it as my laundry basket instead of using the actual laundry basket. I have not dusted my house since April and I have dust bunnies floating all around my hardwood floors. The only two rooms I try to keep the most clean are the kitchen and the bathroom. Sorry, I had to rant there! Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom and having Daniel with me all of the time, but why do I beat myself up over all of this? I feel the need to be super mom, like Kelly Ripa and her Electrolux commercial.

I do have to say though, I spend the majority of the time teaching my son whether it be through play, crafts, reading, t.v., singing, and outdoor play. The most important thing to me right now is Daniel, and I want him to be a godly, well-rounded boy/man. I want him to follow God so closely, that everything he does he does unto God. I spend a lot of time thinking and praying about this.

Lately Daniel has been having a lot of tantrums and I think it is partly being a two year old and the other part not being able to express his feelings with words. I also beat myself up because Daniel has tantrums, thinking that it is my fault. Really, I over analyze everything. I guess it comes down to I am not perfect, he is not perfect, but God is perfect and through Him we are righteous, (thank you Sheila).

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by GRACE ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his GRACE in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by GRACE are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9)

Father’s Day weekend

Father’s Day weekend was kind of a lazy one, not because Matt did not want to do anything, but because Matt and Daniel both came down with a cold. So this weekend was naps and t.v. watching. Daniel and I did get out for a little bit just because he wanted to go bye-bye. His favorite thing is going bye-bye. So, we went to the mall and I picked up last minute Father’s Day gifts and we also had to stop by the Cookie Company, I swear I might as well have a running account with them as many cookies as I buy every week for Daniel.

Matt’s Dad came by on Saturday after he was done fishing and he caught us a rock fish. Daniel got to watch him fillet it. Then Matt and his Dad went to a gun swap, while Daniel napped and I watched a chick flick. I gave Matt his Father’s Day gift on Saturday night. I got him some lopping shears, because I thought he did not have a pair, but he did so he is going to exchange it for something else.


Sunday, we headed to church and afterwards we took Ed out to eat. Daniel is not good at restaurants right now but he did pretty good this time. Then we all came home and took a much needed nap. My main purpose of this post is to thank my husband for being such a great father to Daniel. He is so patient and forgiving, and a hard-working provider. He works so hard, so I can stay home with Daniel, and I am so blessed to have him as a husband, and Daniel is blessed to have him for a Dad. Happy Father’s Day Matt!




2 Years Old

My little man is 2 years old!  Daniel had a great second birthday, my sister Kim came from California, Nana and Fred came from Florida, and my Dad came from Florida as well. We did an Elmo theme for his birthday this year, and Daniel loved it. We had a great spread, it included: Chick-fil-a, pizza, corn salad, fruit, and last but not least an awesome Elmo cake made by my sister. Daniel got a lot of outside toys this year, so we had his party in our carport. The sandbox and water table were both a hit. It was a great time with family and friends.

So what has been happening since Daniel has turned two? He has been talking a lot more, he can say two word sentences, and some three word sentences. He sits on the potty, but so far that is as far as it has gotten. We also turned his crib into a toddler bed, and he has been doing really well with it. He has not tried to get out of his bed, he just goes right to sleep. He really likes to sing, and he can sing some of Jesus Loves Me, Ba Ba Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. He recently had his two year check up and everything was great. He is still drinking a bottle, and his doctor said that was fine, and that it will not ruin his teeth. He also said that it is o.k. that Daniel gets most of his calories from milk right now. Daniel is a very picky eater, but he will drink 24 oz of milk a day. Otherwise, he is a healthy growing boy. We take him back to Vaderbilt on June 27th to make sure the shunt is working right. I love my little boy so much, I get a little sad with every stage that passes , but I rejoice in every new milestone, and thank God everyday that he chose me to be Daniel’s Mom.

Sometimes it’s hard

Sometimes it is hard being a mother, especially when you find out that you are taking your son to Vanderbilt for surgery to have a plastic tube placed inside his body. Daniel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, (water on the brain) the cerebral spinal fluid had been collecting and pooling in his head due to him having an intraventricle hemorrhage, which is a bleed inside the ventricles in his brain. This bleed I was told happened while I was pregnant with him or it happened from a traumatic birth. Daniel’s head has always been large but we just thought it was genetic, because Matt has a big head.

We had a cat scan and an MRI done and then we saw a neurologist, which told us Daniel needed a shunt placed. The shunt will go from his head down into his stomach and help the fluid drain so no possible damage would be caused. Mind you Daniel had no other symptoms besides a big head, and I praise God for that. This shunt is a lifetime thing though, unless God decides otherwise. So we went for the surgery, and luckily Matt’s sister lives in Nashville so we would just drive up and stay with them for the night.

I cannot describe the feeling you get when you have to hand your baby over to the doctors to perform surgery. You feel so helpless as a parent. You have to trust in these doctors and also trust that God is guiding their hands. I carried this baby for 9 months and now I have to give him to some strangers who are going to cut him open! I only cried twice when I found out that Daniel had hydrocephalus, but when I handed him over to have surgery, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do so far being a mother. This was harder then labor. I went to the hospital cafeteria to grab a quick bite because I had not eaten all day. My Mom was upstairs in the waiting room watching our luggage, and after I ate I ran up to the waiting room and broke down.

Daniel was only in surgery for 45 minutes and it did seem to go by fast. We had to wait until he woke up in recovery to go see him. I think it took him about an hour or so to wake up. The nursers were great, they rocked him until he woke up. Another hard part is actually seeing your baby with an iv hooked up to machines with incisions on his head and stomach. I do not think I realized wow he had surgery, until I actually saw him. He did great and the surgery was a success.

We stayed the night in the hospital for one night so they could monitor him. He did remarkably well, as long as he had the tylenol with codine. We made it through the night, even with the nurses coming in to wake us up to check his vitals. We got discharged around noon, and were told the signs and symptoms to look for if the shunt was malfunctioning or infected. Of course that makes me a nervous wreck. One of the signs of the shunt malfunctioning is vomiting. Well, Daniel vomited in the car on the way back to Chattanooga, and then he vomited two more times when we got home. You can imagine what I was feeling. It was just after affects from the anesthsia thankfully.

After a couple of days being back home it was like I was over worried and alert to everything Daniel did, I was scared. Then all the sudden I got mad, mad that this had to happen to my son. I had no idea that I would get mad. I went through so many emotions. First I was shocked, then scared, then I was o.k. with it, scared again, and then mad. I was feeling pretty mad one day, and I just prayed to God and asked him to help me. It was amazing how over the next couple of days the madness started to go away and God was filling me back up with his love. He was letting me know that He is still here, and he is bigger than hydrocephalus. I know there is a reason why Daniel has this, who knows it could be his testimony. Daniel has no brain damage and is developing normally and had no symptoms. God has taken care of and touched my sweet baby boy.

Everyday is sweeter now, and every moment I try to savor. God is up to something, and He has a great plan for Daniel. All I can say is enjoy every moment, even if your house isn’t clean, or your laundry is not done, all that does not matter in the least. I am thankful that God brought Daniel into my life, he gives me something to live for. He is my angel.

My Gift

I can’t believe that it is almsot Christmas! It will be my baby’s first Christmas. This year my Christmas gift is my baby boy, God couldn’t have given me anything more dear or special to me. Daniel is 7 months old, and is growing fast. His favorite thing to do right now is to shake his toys up and down, it is so cute. He is rolling over more, and is on the verge of sitting up. This holiday season has been really enojoyable to me. We took Daniel to visit his cousin Olivia in Nashville for his first out-of-town trip, and we also saw Harvey and Aunt Lynda. We took him to the Opryland Hotel, and dressed him in his santa suit and strolled him around, it was so cute. Thanksgiving was fun, we went to my mom’s on Thursday, and then to Matt’s mom’s on Sunday. Daniel even got to see his first snow on December 5th. I made him a snowman, and a snowball. The first time I made the snowman, I was putting the hat on it, and its head fell off of the porch and smashed into a million pieces. So, I had to make it another head. When we took Daniel out to see it, he ripped its head completley off! I am so glad that it snowed just a little for Daniel’s first holiday season! I am pretty happy that I have got a good portion of our Christmas shopping done. It is nice to have that out of the way! Most of all, this season I am thankful for Jesus’s birth, and for the chance to teach my son about him.

I will be missing my family this Christmas! Kim, Michael, Richie, and Pupper, will not be here this Christmas. It will be my first Christmas without my sister. I have gotten used to not having my brother for Christmas, but it will take some time getting used to not having Kim here. Maybe, we can go visit them in California next year some time.  I can’t wait for Daniel and Olivia to have a Christmas together, it should be really fun! I am also glad I will get to be present for Olivia’s birthday. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

100_0897I really need to set aside more time to blog, but it sure is hard with a 5 month old baby. Yes, I said 5 months old! I can’t believe he is almost a half a year old. Well, that being said I will update everyone on how Daniel is doing. At around 3 1/2 months I started to give Daniel some rice cereal, which he did not like, so we switched to oatmeal and he loves the oatmeal. When he turned 5 months old, I started him on some squash. He really loves squash! Now we are trying carrots, and so far so good. He opens his mouth like a little baby bird, and he tries to help mommy put the spoon in his mouth. He gets the food all-over himself, so I am trying not to put him in any of the outfits that I like for fear of staining it. He can’t sit in his high-chair yet, so we have been feeding him in his bouncy seat. I think Daniel is not going to be a picky eater. He will probably be like Matt when it comes to food, which means man, am I in for it!
Daniel has not been rolling over consistently, but he can do it. He has rolled over several times. He does coo and babble a lot, and he has started screaming, which he thinks is funny, and it is, it just really is an ear piercing scream. He especially thinks it is funny to scream in the morning.
He is still sleeping every 3-4 hours at night, and wants to be fed his bottle, so Matt and I have not had a full night of sleep in a long time. That is fine though, I am sure when Daniel gets older I will miss those late night feedings where I can hold him and rock him. We have debated on trying the cry-it-out method, it was suggested by Daniel’s pediatrician, I am pretty much against it because one: I tried it when I layed him down for a nap and he was so upset he was hyper-ventalating, and tears were running down his face. Two: I read a lot about the cry-it-out method in Dr. Sears baby sleep book, and after reading it I really don’t want to put Daniel through that. Matt on the other hand, I think wants to give it a try. We shall see.
Daniel still loves Baby Einstein, and he watches it everyday, at the most twice a day. Sometimes it is the only thing that will calm him down. He smiles and coos at the babies and puppets on Einstein. I would recommend Einstein to any mother.
He is wearing 6-9 month clothing and can wear some 12 month clothes. He is just so long. If he was not so long he probably would not be in those sizes just yet.
I am so excited about the holidays coming up. I have already got him a Halloween costume, a First Thanksgiving outfit, and a couple of Christmas outfits. Heck, I bought him his 1st birthday outfit last week! I am planning ahead.
I love my little Daniel so much, I didn’t know that you could love someone this much! I am trying to soak up every moment, and when I get fustrated, I just tell myself, he will not be this little forever so I need to enjoy every stage he is in and not wish away him being a baby. Although the milestones are pretty exciting and fun, and somedays I do think about, oh, I can’t wait until…but, I am really enjoying every moment with him, even the tough ones. Not that he is a terrible baby, he is wonderful, but I think the most difficult thing is putting him to sleep for the night. It takes about an hour sometimes two hours to get him to go to sleep. I also like to see the humour in situations. I was just talking to my Nana on the phone tonight and I was telling her how Daniel is having trouble going to sleep, and her words were: “Welcome to Motherhood!” I think every mother could write a book on the funny, fustrating, and wonderful things that it takes to be a mother. I love being a mother and staying home with him. It is my dream come true.

How time flies!

DanielWow, it has been a long time since I have posted anything so let me get everyone up to date on our Little Man. He had is 2 month checkup on June 30th and he weighed 11.5 lbs, he was 23 3/4 inches long, and his head circumference was 41cm. He got his first round of shots and he did well with the first 3, he was sucking on his paci, but when they gave him the other two, he spit out the paci and started crying. At that point, I had wished I could take the shots for him, his little cry was so pitiful. I am glad that Matt went with me. Daniel fell asleep in the car on the way home, so I just let him sleep in his car seat when we got to the house, and I took advantage of him sleeping and took a nap myslef. Daniel did really good for the rest of the day and night, he just wanted me to hold him a lot. His next set of shots will not be until he is 4 months old.

He is drinking 4oz about every 2-3hrs and he is in size one diapers now. He wakes up about 6:30-7:00a.m.. every morning and after I give him his morning bottle we have some playtime. Susan let us use a tummy time mat that later turns into a tunnel he can crawl through. The tummy time mat has hanging toys and Daniel smiles and coos at them. He is smiling a whole lot, and starting to get really good at lifting his head while he is on his stomach. I can’t believe he is almost 3 months old! He has also been trying to turn over, he gets on his side but so far can’t make it all the way over, but I know he will soon. I have been trying to get him to sleep in his crib ( he has been sleeping in his bassinet since he was born) but so far he will only sleep in the crib for about an hour at a time. I am trying to get him to take his naps in the crib, maybe he will get used to it a little at a time. We shall see!

Time sure does fly!

The wait is over…baby Daniel came to the world on Tuesday April 28. Here are the stats:
Daniel Edward
7 pounds 2 ounces
20.5 Inches long
Full head of hair
Woohoo! Richell’s water broke 4:00 Monday evening. She was in labor for 14 hours and pushed for two hours. I can not imagine what is going through the mind of a person who refuses an epidural. We were in the hospital for 3 days and are blessed with a bouncing baby boy.

We came home on Thursday and had our first night together. Thank goodness he is eating every 4 hours and sleeping in between.

Needless to say it feels like I am standing on top of the world right watching a baby boy hang the moon for me. Somehow I will have to find the time to write a bunch of thank you letters for all the wonderful things people have given us over the past several weeks.

Anyway…enough talk. Here is the baby

Baby Daniel

Baby Daniel

So, it is almost here, almost time for baby. I have to say that I am ready. Can my stomach actually stretch any further than it already has? Bleh! It is getting a little bit more uncomfortable being pregnant in these last few weeks. My hands and feet have been swelling some, and I have had some trouble sleeping. If I end up on my back at night I feel like a turtle trying to roll over. The nursery is pretty much ready, all the baby clothes and blankets are washed. I have just been basically resting lately. I will do a little around the house here and there, and then take a break, or a nap.

Matt surprised me with a new vehicle this past Friday. It is a 2003 Honda CR-V. It is black, and it has the latch system for baby car seat. It has a sunroof, which I have never had before. I had no idea that he was looking at it much less going to bring a new car home. It was a really nice surprise. It will be great for family vacations.

I think these last eight months have been the busiest Matt has been in a long time. He has done a lot of work to the house. He built me a pantry and painted the kitchen in December. He had to take off wall paper in the kitchen which he hates. He also made cournises/curtains for the nursery, and now he has totally stripped the wall paper off of our one and only bathroom. He plans on painting it tomorrow. Oh, and he has also been doing some minor repairs and adjustments to the CR-V. All while working his regular job. I on the other hand have not been as active as he has been. I have just been staying at home, doing housework here and there when I get a burst of energy.

I just lost my preggo partner in crime, Megan. We were suppose to hang out last Thursday, but her baby decided to come Wed. night. We got pregnant around the same time, so it was nice to have someone to go through it with. We would get together almost every week and go to Northgate Mall or Target. Our weakness was the American Cookie Company and Cadbury eggs. I have to catch up with her now so we can take the babies out together. I don’t know what I would have done without having Megan to go through the pregnancy with.

My Mom threw me a family baby shower on March 28th, and it turned out wonderful. We were blessed with so many wonderful baby gifts. It was the perfect shower. We are still eating off of some of the cake from that shower.

My next baby visit is 4-14-09, I will be 34 weeks by then. My midwife delivers at Erlanger downtown, Matt and I took a tour of the facilities around mid March and were very pleased with everything. My Nana is planning to come up from Florida, right when she hears that I am in labor and my sister Kim is coming out in June. I am just ready to meet our little man. I am really curious to find out how I am going to go into labor. Everyone has their own labor story. I am ready to have my own. I go to bed at night dreaming about how it is going to happen. I have the baby’s bag packed and mine is semi packed. It is just a matter of time and I can’t wait.