Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Sun

I've enjoyed a number of sunrises and sunsets with Miah Jane since she has been born. My Uncle Bob and Aunt Linda are in town visiting from Indiana. Fantastic excuse to head to the beach and enjoy one of the many reasons why we live in this beautiful place. I love sharing evenings like this with our family visitors. It's times like these that I often reflect on my many blessings despite the huge one I lost. I am surrounded by some very special people in my life. I've always known that even at a very young age, but this past year's tribulations have brought that to a whole new level. I continue to survive the loss of my husband not only due to the joy found in Miah Jane, but all the unbelievably supportive and strong love from my family and friends. Everyone continues to love me, but up the ante with the love they share for my and Jeremiah's daughter. What a comfort to have such an awesome group of people as this amazing resource for our little girl to soak up like sun. The value in that is insurmountable. I love you all so, so much. (Thank you Aunt Linda for taking such great pictures for us! xoxo)

Look at my big girl stand! Keep in mind she is seven months!

She takes steps with Mama's help too!

Such a beautiful moment.
I love how she already shows signs of being a nature girl.

Stinky face!

Smooch you! Smooch you! Smooch you!

Where did she get those cheeks from?

Doesn't it look like she ran into this picture real quick?

Peek A Boo!

She could have stood there and watched the waves for hours.
OK, now someone invent a crib mobile that does this and I'm golden. Thanks!

Who am I kidding? She sleeps with me not in her crib.

Bye, bye Sun. We love you. Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Feeling good and Auntie Tanya is home from Chi-town!!

It is a gloomy, rainy Monday out there, but my little ray of sunshine is all aglow inside. Knock on wood, but I think we are out of the "Viral Spiral"! MJ woke this morning all smiles despite the thunderstorm thrashing outside. She slept through the night, woke with no fever, and had a hefty appetite! Soon after we finished breakfast Uncle Jordie brought Auntie Tanya home from the airport. She spent the weekend visiting a friend in Chicago and SHOPPING!! One of our favorite stores in the whole wide world is in the windy city, Land of Nod! Auntie Tanya just so happened to pay a visit to our favorite store and lost her marbles!! I think poor Auntie felt helpless being so far away from her niece this past scary weekend. We had amazing support from friends and family. Gma and Gpa even had a sleep over with us! There is no shortage of love for this special ray of light. Right back at ya everybody!! XOXO

Smooches before presents!! It's a hard price to pay!

Ooooohhhhh, First Snaps and First Pops! Likey!!

Oh yeah you did good Auntie!!

Everything gets a taste test. Hmmmm, she likes it!

For me? You shouldn't have!

This bird tweets the sweetest song. Kind of like my little wing.

So cool Auntie Tanya!

We have a thing for birds in this family.

While we were playing in our room.....we had some visitors come to our window (if you look close, you can see our first visitor sitting in the middle of the window).

Birds visit us quite often since our loss. Hence, our love and appreciation for them. We had a third visit our window, but Mama's camera died before we could snap him. Our little messengers telling us to keep up the faith.

Such a relief to have my girl back to normal again.
Keep on keep'in on!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Viral Spiral

Well, my little lovebug has a pretty nasty viral infection. This past twenty four hours has been yet another tremendous test on my heart. Hello!! Really? Do I need another one!! Sheesh!! Anyway, MJ was not acting like herself earlier this week. She was cranky and running a low grade fever. Her appetite was normal and so were the surprises in her diaper. Nothing out of the ordinary there, so I thought we were going to possibly see a tooth soon. WRONG!! Thursday afternoon rolled around and she had a fever of 102.2, so I made a doctor's appointment for Friday just to have the pediatrician take a look at her throat and ears before the weekend. After another rough night of sweats and no sleep we headed to the doctor with Gma. Ears looked good, breathing good, throat good, and no teeth cutting through in sight. Strange, so the doctor ordered a urine test to make sure she didn't have a bladder infection. Ok, this is where I start to get teary eyed! Two nurses come in to catheterize my child. This can't be good when TWO nurses come in to do this. I will spare all the details, not to mention I have to spare myself, because I don't think I can go through that again. The way she stared up at me in fear crying shook me to my core. Thank goodness my rock, my mother, was with us, because I could barely hold myself together. It literally took me the rest of the afternoon that day, as I relentlessly squeezed my little girl, to recover. Just when I thought we were going to get through this I decided to check MJ's temp and it didn't look good. 104.9!! Per doctor's orders we made a mad dash to the emergency room for blood work. Seriously? Needles!! As if a catheter wasn't enough today! I began to mentally prepare on the way to the hospital which is strategically a traffic light away from our condo. I have gotten pretty good with the "mentally prepare" thing. Deep breathes through the nose and out the mouth. "You need to be strong. You need to do this." Well after five and a half hours Miah Jane endured six nurses, one doctor, two rectal temp checks, complete physical exam, chest x-ray, a blood draw attempt in each arm, fluids through IV, and Mama squeezing her so hard she probably couldn't breathe. I sat on the hardest folding chair in America, Gma sat on the most uncomfortable stool in America with me, while Gpa and Uncle Jordie watched the Friday night side show in the hospital emergency waiting room (Auntie Tanya visiting a friend is Chicago trying not to have a nervous breakdown that she's not here). We all groggily went home with results that she has a viral infection. All we can do is keep her fever down by alternating Tylenol and Motrin. We also need to be sure to keep her hydrated with pedialyte or water. Otherwise the viral infection has to run it's course. Speaking of running a course that is sure what I feel like....the kick my ass obstacle course called "life". I'm doing it though. One breath and one day at a time.
MJ is doing great this morning. Jumping in her jumparoo like she never has before. Here are some pictures of my angel from when we went to the Botanical Gardens for Earth Day with our Schaps friends. I'm gonna go squeeze my baby some more.....

Dynamic duo Devin and Lexi Schaps. Lots of plants to water in the Children's Garden!

Thelma and Louise.

Is it just me or does this girl look ready to Hang 10?

Whoa! Lexi you dropped somebody!

This wasn't the first nor the last time she dropped her dear teddy bear.
Please, could she be any cuter?!

Hm. Let me process this for a minute Mama.

Pop up water fountains guaranteed to bring a smile to any child's face.

Oh how this girl owns my heart, mind, and soul. She's giving her Daddy a run for his money!

I heart you my Miah Jane.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!!!

Little Miss Miah Jane did not sleep very well last night. I can't tell if it's teething or she's coming down with something. She's enjoying a morning snooze right now. If she wakes with a smile, like she always does when she's running on all cylinders, then we have a fun filled day ahead! Today is Earth Day!! The Naples Botanical Gardens is celebrating today with all kinds of fantastic festivities. One of them being a ladybug release in the Children's Garden!! FUN!! If my little love is feeling up to it we will be headed to the Botanical Gardens this afternoon with our friends Devin and Lexi Schaps. Check back for pictures!! Keep in mind what today is all and everyday! It's the little things that we can manage in our day that count. Happy Earth Day!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Morning Cup of MJ

I am NOT a morning person. Especially prior to coffee. I'm not necessarily mean or grouchy. I try not to start someone else's day with a bad attitude. I simply do not grasp what is going on around me until I get my first whiff of the most glorious "house blend". All five senses combine together in my head and shout "YES!!" kind of like an episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. EARTH! FIRE! WIND! WATER! HEART!
Early in our dating years I noticed Jeremiah had a version of this going on in his head too, except his included the pollution of his horrendous smoking habit. Despite the naggy smell of my Marlboro Man, the most cherished moments of my life with my husband were spent in our rocking chairs on the back porch sipping coffee. Enjoying the breeze and the birds' songs of thankful welcome to the sun for another precious day.
This morning ritual has evolved into a "blend" of a different kind for me now. Not the one I envisioned, but I am in love with it just the same. Once Miah Jane has had her bottle I pour myself a cup of consciousness, lay out her play blankie (a kick ass blanket that Auntie Xannie bought us from Ikea) on the floor near the sliding glass door looking out to our back porch. First we may entertain ourselves with our arsenal of amusement that Gma keeps adding to. Between that and Baby Gap we may soon need to have an intervention. She is definitely showing signs of addiction. Anyway, once we've pressed every button and pulled every string on our menagerie of toys we often show signs of sleepiness again. That is my cue to snuggle her up, take her to the porch, and rock her in my rocking chair while I sip on my coffee. This is where we fall asleep to the breeze and the birds' songs of thankful welcome to the sun for another precious day.

Good Morning Sleepy Sleeperson!!

Really Mama? It's 6:30. Do I look like I want a camera in my face right now?

If you are going to pull this on me I need my "dooda".

Well good morning sunshine!!

Mama drinks coffee and I enjoy my foot.

Embrace another precious day.

We are.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Miah Jane's 1st Visit to Roberts Ranch

Never did I imagine in my wildest of worries that I would be driving down this familiar dirt road to not find my Sher-bear at the end of it. Nor did I think I would ever be bringing my little girl to this majestic place for the first time without my husband. Sherri Amber Howell was my "everyday". She was my partner in crime for years. She was that one friend, that so many of us are lucky to have, that you don't do a single thing without. The friend that you call 47 times a day for absolutely no particular reason. It was very rare that one of us was without the other. Sherri tragically died in a car accident September 7, 2002. Roberts Ranch is her family's home. A home that they have welcomed me to over and over again. I have been fortunate enough to have brought Jeremiah here as well. He was in heaven with the amount of wildlife at his every blink of an eye. Today was MJ's first time for what I know to be many visits to see this family that has a pretty big chunk of her Mama's heart.

When you go to Roberts Ranch you HAVE to go "ride'in". It's like the prize you find in a box of Cracker Jack's. You just never know what you are going to come across in these untouched, old Florida woods.

The Cadillac. You always go "ride'in" in style.

Colton "Sweet Pea" Cleckler patiently waiting to show us 'round the place. If you want your heart to melt like butter you have to hear this darling say, "Hi, Jo!" in his little cracker voice!

Chase "Frogmiester" Cleckler has a front row seat for the show.
If this little fighter has not given us all hope and faith then I don't know what else will do it for you.
Kicked Short Gut Syndrome's butt I'll tell you what!!

Hello ladies and babies. Excuse us.

Mama Heather schooling MJ on ranch'in. First time she saw horsies.

Meemaw!! I love that word. Let's say it again, Meemaw!!

This isn't the smoothest ride, but somehow still lulled "sleepy sleeperson" to schweep.

Oh Daddy's hands would be sweating right now!

Sorry Sweetie.

When we got back Pappy Randall came home from work.

This is one of Mama's top ten favorite people.
Mr. Pat Howell
It's all in the way he wears his hat.

Yee Haw!! Look who's wear'in the hat now!

Oh this is a good look for Mama's little Cherokee.

Thank you Cleckler and Howell family for a splendid day!

We love you so much.

Miah Jane's Sountrack

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