Tuesday, May 31, 2011

preston's first road trip

Phew.  Preston survived his first long car ride and his first trip to good ol' East Texas.  He slept the entire way both there and back, and as you can see from the pictures below, he enjoyed himself immensely.  We went out to the family lakehouse on Sunday, and Preston learned quite a bit of new things at the lakehouse...

... like learning to drive
{and he did take this thing for a spin while his mommy was having some baby-free time out on the lake}
... how to wear a cap

... and that he likes watermelon.
{it started with him just grabbing the watermelon}
{and then sucking the juice off his fingers}
{then he decided to face plant in the watermelon and lick it}
{and the evidence.}

Friday, May 27, 2011

memorial day.

Hope your holiday weekend is a good one.
We're heading to East Texas and the lake for the holiday.
It'll be Preston's first road trip, and I pray it's a good one.

See you next week. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

my lovings.

I'm loving that this is a long weekend (in fact, a 4 day weekend for me). 

I'm loving The Voice.  I look forward to my weekly eye candy... Mr. Shelton & Mr. Levine, sigh.

I'm loving my diaper bag, the Storksak.
(details to come... it'll be product of the week soon).

 I'm also loving that I'm headed home soon, and that this place is calling my name. Now I just need to decide whether I want a steak finger basket or a cheeseburger and tots.  Don't judge.  Diet will start on Monday. Deal?

Finally, I'm loving and loving and loving this little guy.  (You know I couldn't link up for my very first What I'm Loving Wednesday without posting about sweet P, right?) 

quit looking at me, mom ...
cuz, I'm gonna put that strap in my mouth ...
oh rats, she caught me.


Monday, May 23, 2011

hospital checklist (better late than never)

So I've been meaning to post this for a while now (four and a half months to be exact). Here's a list of things that helped make my my hospital stay (after Preston's delivery) a bit more glamorous.

1. The first essential would be your own pillow and pillow case.  I bought a new pillow case from the Pottery Barn Outlet for P's delivery because I wanted something a bit more colorful and fun than the generic white pillow case the hospital provides.  Mr. Gherkin made fun of me when I purchased it, but not only did I have a familiar, comfortable pillow that smelled of home, it also added some great color to the pictures taken to document P's birthday.  See...

2.  The next essential would be some smell-good, refreshing shower products.  I actually didn't think of this before hand, but Elizabeth brought me some of the most amazing lavender bath balm and bath oil along with some books and trashy gossip magazines to read.  Showering after a c-section can be both mentally and physically challenging, but I actually looked forward to it since I got to use my great smelling bath products.

3. This isn't really something that will help make the stay glamorous, but rather some advice that may make it a bit less stressful. If you opt to save your baby's core blood in a private registry then PUT SOMEONE IN CHARGE OF CALLING TO MAKE SURE IT'S PICKED UP!  This is the one thing I completely forgot to delegate on my very detailed agenda for P's birth.  Ideally the collection should be picked up and overnighted to CBR (we opted to use Core Blood Registry) within 24 or 36 hours (I forget which it is).  Turns out that late on Friday evening, well over 72 hours since P's first breath in this world, I found the collection kit buried under all my bags with the core blood collection still in there.  I freaked out.  I mean I completely lost it.  I had every intention to take care of it myself, but I was so sick the afternoon Preston was born that between the vomitting and hot flashes the core blood never even crossed my mind.  To make a long story short, after calling the 1-800 number for over an hour and many tears later I spoke with someone who said they would send for it to be picked up, overnighted, and tested for viable cells.  Within a week they called to tell me there were plenty of viable cells.  Phew!

4.  Air freshener! Hello, bad smelling hospital food.  Hello, postpartum flatulence.  Hello, lots of visitors.  Here's what I packed in my bag and it happens to be my favorite air freshener of all time.

5) Finally (and a more obvious one), you'll need a great pair of slippers and robe. I took these and a totally cute and comfortable robe from Anthropologie (thanks to a gift card from one of my favorite patients).  

6) Nipple shields. They're inexpensive enough to have around even if you don't end up needing them, but man they will help aid in latching in case your little own has latching problems initially. I actually didn't have any on hand, but that was the first thing I left the hospital to get when they did let Preston start nursing. 

Well, that's all I can think of for now. I hope I didn't forget anything.  I can hardly believe it's been four months already... 

Friday, May 20, 2011

puppy love

We were saddened to hear about the passing of Carter's girlfriend, Minnie, this week.  Minnie belonged to our neighbors, and her and Carter had a love/hate (but mostly love) relationship.  You see they were through-the-fence lovers.  Carter would pace at the back door all the time, and the minute we would open the door he beelined for the fence to greet Minnie every.single.day.  

Even though Minnie's gone, Carter still beelines for that fence every time he goes out.  My neighbor even heard him, with his nose pressed up to the fence, whining for Minnie last night.  It's heartbreaking.  I'll admit I cried last night when Carter was just sitting at the fence waiting for her (I'm clearly still very hormonal).  R.I.P Minnie.

So, I'm off to Pet Smart to round up some special treats to cheer this little guy up. 

Sorry to end this week on such a sad note, but I do hope you all have a fantastically fun-filled weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Preston has been cracking me up this week.

He will not take his eyes off the dogs, specifically Carter. They have some kind of special relationship. I mean seriously this boy can go from crying to smiling in two seconds just because Carter walks by.

Speaking of the dogs. They love Rosa, our nanny, probably more than us these days. Carter can be found waiting by the front door in the morning waiting on Ms. Rosa to arrive.

Preston also has this new way of communicating this week in the way of high pitched squeals.  It's quite funny.  His strong-willed personality is definitely starting to come through more and more.   Gone are the days of him taking a bottle in my arms. He wants to be sitting independently in his high chair like a big boy and will proceed to spit out my precious liquid gold his milk if we have him positioned any other way.

This boy knows what he wants that's for sure (like someone else in this house.)  Daddy will have his hands full that's for sure.  P's a fighter, but we appreciate that as his strong-willed, fighting tendencies were sure helpful after his open heart surgery.  

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

guest post from Cooking Up Faith: a praying mother

Big Fat Mama, from Cooking Up Faith, wrote a guest post for me.  I had no idea what she was going to write about when she offered, but her words came over e-mail at just the right time for me. I needed to read this just when I read it. I needed to be reminded that my son will be watching and learning from me all the time even at a young age. So without further ado, here's Big Fat Mama... 

But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and don't prevent them. For of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14

1. Let your kids catch you reading the Bible - I can still picture in my mind as if it were yesterday... I would come into my parent's room at night to tell them good night before bed and they would be in bed reading. My mom would always be reading her Bible with a pen in hand and a journal writing down notes. She never sat down and told me to read my Bible every day, but by just watching her do it, I now read my Bible daily and my nightstand has a pen and a journal full of my notes. My Bible is full of underlined scriptures and sticky notes of words that speak to me.

2. Have a prayer box - mine is on my nightstand with a notepad and pen by it. Tell your kids if they want you to pray about something for them, write it down, fold the paper, and stick it in the box. Pray for their requests and let them know you did. Start early so you lay a comfortable foundation for them so their prayer requests of "pray that Santa will bring me a dragon costume," will turn into a high schooler's prayer request of "pray for me to make the best choices at a party."

3. Search through your Bible and choose special scriptures that speak to you about each of your children. Write them down and read one or two to them at night before bed.

4. Make teachable moments short and sweet. Sometimes I have so much to say to my children that I want them to know that I tend to ramble, thinking the more I talk the more they will soak in. Not true. Just last week I was outside with my son and we were swinging and I was going on and on about how much God loves him and all the wonderful things God has put in him, and all the things he wants to do with him. He was listening so contently and I thought, wow this is really going well, he's really taking this all in, when he said, "oh, but mom, can lizards fly?" Short and simple sometimes gets to the point better.
Thanks, BFM! I appreciate your tips and your reminders. I adore your ministry (check it out if you haven't already). It's called A Meal in the Mail, and you can read more about it right here.  Just this week in Sunday School we were talking about different ways to get involved in God's ministry and what holds us back from ministering.  I thought about you, your ministry, and how we really do have a number of diverse ways to minister in today's society. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

weekly ramblings and pics.

My baby brother graduated from undergrad this weekend.  Really?  How did this happen so quickly? I can still remember holding him down on the bed when he was just five trying to convince him to brush his teeth and sitting at the kitchen table helping him with his math homework when he was in grade school.  Seems like just yesterday Tony and I helped him move into his first college apartment and I hid the tears under my sunglasses as we pulled away. Time sure does go by quickly and you only get one chance, only one time, to live in that moment fully.  Anyhow, I'm one proud sister.  Congrats, brother!

Since everyone (ok, so it was just my dad but still) complained about not seeing enough pictures of Preston in the last couple of weeks, here's your Preston fix.

first time in his stroller sans infant seat.
first time in a pool (it may be only 2 inches deep but it still counts, right?)
his Elvis lip curl

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

(baby) product of the week: bottle warmers

I remember ordering one from my hospital bed the day after my c-section (hello, amazon's one click shopping), and I'll be honest I ordered the cheapest one with free shipping.  I think it was the whole oh my goodness I may really get to bring my baby home and felt the need to scramble and get the necessities to the casa before he came home.  I wasn't happy with the one I ordered.  It would often get too hot and left a gross brown residue on the bottom. 

When at the Parrothead's house a couple of months ago, Mr. Gherkin saw her Dr. Brown's bottle warmer and was able to try it out himself when heating up P's bottle.  Within minutes I was ordered (by Mr. Gherkin himself) to order that bottle warmer ASAP.  No regrets now.  I love that there's a water reservoir on this one and that your desired warming time is saved each time.

So there you have it...not all bottle warmers are created equal. The few extra bucks are worth it, trust me. 

there was absolutely no compensation from Dr. Brown's or the Handi-Craft Co. for this post. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

one person's trash, another person's treasure.


I'm linking up with Emily over at Decor Chick! for her "Anything Goes Party" where she challenged me to finish the side-of-the-road freebie shelf I snagged a couple of months ago.  

I saw it on the side of the road one day while walking Mr. P and had Mr. Gherkin go pick it up for me.  It was rusted and gross, but one can never had too many shelves, right? 

After a good sanding, I covered it in a couple of coats of black spray paint.  

The only black paint I had on hand happened to be three cans of chalkboard paint, and since the baby was sleeping and going to the store wasn't an option, I used the chalkboard paint.  The shelf's conveniently located so that we see it when walking in and out of our back door under our breezeway, so I am hoping the use of chalk may be helpful around our house... 

Now I can keep my homemade mason jars on display, and with candles thrown in them, they are the perfect addition to an evening on the patio.  

You can read about these DIY mason jars here

Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy mother's day and happy (late) 4 months, Mr. P

Happy mother's day to all you fabulous mommies out there and to all of you who are yearning to be mommies someday. 


Happy 4 months to Mr. Preston. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

ramblings of the week.

First up, happy birthday to my nephew, Hunter!  It's his golden birthday y'all.  He turned five on Cinco de Mayo. Yep, that's 5 on 5/5.  

Preston had a really off night on Wednesday night. Instead of going to sleep at 10 pm, he decided it was time to party. I feel asleep at 11:30 pm with him still talking and cooing in his bed.  When I woke up about 1 a.m. to check on him, I found him completely unswaddled with his pants completely off.  I mean, really? He's four months old and already taking his clothes off.  Poor guy was freezing, but sound asleep.  Instead of wrestling to get his pants back on I just grabbed him and put him in bed with us.  He slept the rest of the night. 

Ch-ch-ch-anges are coming around here. That's all I can say right now, but we're excited. Change can certainly be scary and anxiety provoking but this just sort of serendipitously fell in our lap.  Stay tuned. I should be able to share in the next couple of weeks (and no, I'm not pregnant).

Finally, happy mother's day! My sweetness is being able to celebrate my first mother's day with my baby. 

p.s. Thanks for my sweet mother's day gift, Allison!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

guest post @ A Peek In Our World

I'm guest posting today over at A Peek in Our World for Brooke's "A Mother's Voice" project.  I love Brooke and although we've only "known" each other since late 2010, I feel like she's been a part of my life for much longer.  Her cutie pie daughter, Harper, got off to rocky start, much like Preston, when she was born with an omphalocele. Brooke's posts make me laugh especially her recent posts about the royal wedding, the mom uniform, and her new found freedom from the dreaded breast pump.  She most recently brought out my ugly cry when she shared and posted about her mother's day gift from her mom.  Enough from me, go check them out for yourself. Thanks for allowing me to post on your sweet blog, Brooke.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

houston bloggers.

On Saturday I ventured out of my little comfort zone to meet up with some awesome ladies at a Houston blogger meet up.  Not sure why I was nervous because this was the sweetest group of women.  Thanks to this ole blogging world it felt as if I'd known some of them for years.  

I completely failed at taking pictures, but here's a group shot of these super cool women. 

Much to my surprise a blogger from my hometown was there. It was nice to have something so small but yet so significant (you would have to understand where we're from) in common with each other.

Thanks Megan for coordinating. I'm sure you've all seen Megan's famous closet all over the internet, but just in case you haven't you must ... repeat ... you must check it out below. 

When I showed this to Mr. Gherkin he replied "I'm sorry, babe. I've failed you haven't I?"

Monday, May 2, 2011

and the doctor said...

Preston's heart function is "totally normal." 
Can you believe it? This guy went from being on the verge of heart failure in utero to having (and I quote) "totally normal" heart function. One valve (the mitral) still looks a little sloppy as a result of his defect in utero, but it's working almost perfectly. As for the rest of his heart, it functions normally and is much improved.
Whew! I felt like she was going to say his heart function was improved, but I wasn't expecting "totally normal."  Today's visit went so well that I told Mr. Gherkin as we were leaving that I felt as if maybe the doctor wasn't be totally honest with me about his status.  He told me to quit being so hormonal reassured me.  I give God all the glory for such a healing and for working through the doctors and surgeons to mend Preston's heart.  This doesn't mean that I won't quit praying ... I will continue to pray for him every single day.  That's my job, right?  As he grows there will be other things that must be checked out (like his coronary arteries and whether or not they are compromised in any way and we'll trust that his valves continue to function well), but I will try not to worry about that today. Today we will celebrate! If there's anything I learned through this whole process is to live in today and not worry about tomorrow. 
Thank you for all your sweet and kind words and for your thoughts and prayers today!

{all images via}

Sunday, May 1, 2011

365 days ago...

May 1st, 2010 ... the day I found out I was pregnant (looking back though it was fairly obvious when I woke up craving fast food and scarfed down a biscuit, hashbrown, AND an apple pie from McDonald's). I still remember every single detail of that day especially watching Mr. Gherkin's reaction when I gave him this ...

I prayed for conception. God granted that. Then I prayed for a healthy baby, and in the end (and after a lot of prayer on our behalf and yours) God granted that. 

We're off to the cardiologist tomorrow for a check up.  They will sedate Preston this time for his echo... I'm a little anxious about the sedation.  With the way this guy has been eating I'm pretty sure his heart function is getting better and stronger, but I will still be flooding the gates of Heaven with prayer tomorrow for a good report.