Monday, September 14, 2015

Baylor Football, Birmingham Artwalk, and Vaccines :)

So, needless to say, we are over the moon with having a baby Baylor bear in our home :) Someone asked me the other day where Victoria will go to college…hmmm.  Of course, I said, "Baylor!".  With that said, I need everyone to calm down!  Obviously she'll go where she wants, ahem.. where she gets a scholarship , obviously to Baylor.  :) 

And Daddy is super thrilled to have a future Baylor bear legacy :) Sic' Em Bears!

She's already learning how to do the bear paw "sic' em" motion…Go bears!

She found an easy way to nap while mommy and daddy watched the game :)
"Excuse me, if you don't mind."

At one point during the first half of the game, Baylor was struggling just a little against SMU.  Victoria felt it as badly as we did. Not a happy camper.  I mean, even when she cries, she's adorable.

Thankfully, Baylor pulled out a HUGE win and all were happy by the end!

Matt found out about the Birmingham Artwalk downtown this past weekend and we went as a family :)
It was so nice just to walk around. The weather was perfect!  I wish it would stay in the 60s-70s year round.  So wonderful!  Victoria enjoyed riding on her daddy's chest most of the time.

We did have to take her out once to eat.  Nothing like curbside feeding a baby and having people stop to take your picture….wait, what? Yep, you heard right.  Apparently, people think she's a sweet piece of artwork and totally picture worthy :)  We would agree :) (although, I did find it a little weird, and didn't know what to do in the moment…) 

A few random pictures that I want to make sure I don't lose!  Love this sweet baby of mine!
She loves her wittle lamb paci - it's her absolute favorite. 

Aunt Laura sent Victoria this sweet little outfit :)

The below picture came to me with the following text from Matt while I was at work one weekend day:
"I may have just had a blow out that went all up my back, so daddy put me in my PJs. Love you mommy.  Oh, and to add to the fun, there was only one wipe in the box when daddy went to clean me."

Sometimes, you gotta have hard conversations.  Like, getting FIVE shots in one day in just one more week for her first set of vaccines.  She wasn't too sure about that.  But her reasoning skills are impeccable. 

But, mommy knows how to soothe her baby :)  Sling time and get all cuddly wuddly.
Happy baby, happy mommy.

Aunt Laura also sent Victoria this cute little outfit :) 

Now, the morning I took this picture, Victoria had actually turned herself on her side by arching her head and turning her shoulders….but that was the first and last time. So, technically, although the statement is true…it's false. She's not quite there yet… :)

dun dun dun dunnnnnn……SHOT TIME.  This morning I took Victoria to the pediatrician to get her first set of vaccines!!! I was a little nervous and prayed over her last night and today! 
Is she not beautiful? Even waiting to get shots…

I know I was more nervous than she…she cried for less than 30 seconds. literally. I think she was more upset about her legs and hands being held down than receiving FIVE shots.

Our pups are still taking everything in stride :) we love this sweet cammie cam!! (aka. Campbell)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Victoria's First Roadtrip

I must be crazy.  Traveling with a newborn, by myself, for a VERY quick, 24 hour road trip to Mobile, AL and back to home in Birmingham.  What spurs on these inclinations I have is the sense of "this may be the only time I have to do this."  This has been a leading thought in my mind and heart with almost every big decision I've ever made, I think.  All of the overseas trips I've taken, exciting adventures on which I've partook, and then sometimes, even day to day events have often been guided by the notion that it may be the last time I get a chance to do "this" or "see" this person, or say "I love you".  On that note, it is very important to me that I make sure I hug and kiss my husband every morning before he leaves for work just in case.  I know that may sound morbid, but you never know what will happen day to day, and I want to make sure I have no regrets.  Now, can I cover everything? No. But I try :)

Ok, back to the road trip.  My 90+ year old grandmother was about to undergo her THIRD hip surgery in less than a year.  In the medical field, we know the odds for success are slim.  Most of the time, after the first surgery, the patient "goes down hill".  However, she's a fighter and has great strength of heart and mind.  When my mom called, though, and told me about the third surgery, I knew I must get down there to see her at least one more time and let her meet Victoria while there is still time.  Thankfully, my Meme came through surgery wonderfully!  I still feel the trip was worth every painstaking stop along that 202 mile stretch of highway.

Let me say, I tried to start off the trip as Victoria went down for her morning nap, just after feeding.  Well, an hour into her nap, I finally get to leave the house!  One hour into our drive, the cries begin…which quickly turn into wailing, and then I'm pretty sure I heard her say, "You're going to let me starve to death, aren't you?" :)  We stop at a gas station in Prattville, AL and end up sitting there for AN HOUR after changing her diaper and feeding.  Hmph.

However, the last 2 hours and 40 minutes of that trip, she slept like a baby…:)

Here are some pictures we took while visiting:

Meme immediately started singing lullabies to Victoria and kissing her.  
She kept saying, "what a beautiful baby!" and if anyone took Victoria away from her, she was quick to say, "Hey! I'm pretty sure that baby came to see me! Give her back!"
She was in love at first sight.
This grand lady is whom Victoria Louise is named after.  My meme, her great grandmother, 
Marie Louise (Burke) Turner. 

Then we even got to stop by and see my PawPaw Billy, Victoria's Great Grandfather.
What pure joy. I'm so glad we'll have these pictures (and video) to show Victoria one day. 
She is much loved.

She also met her PawPaw Gary for the first time!  Upon arriving to Mobile, Nana quickly changed her diaper to give me a break and PawPaw fed her.  And, of course, she fell asleep on him right after eating :)

Her Great Aunt Barbara - my dad's sister.

And as an extra special treat, we also got to stop by Pollard on the way back to Birmingham so Victoria could meet her other great grandmother, Grams Ruth. 

I will say as we were leaving Mobile, I once again tried to time it by leaving once Victoria went down for her morning nap, and ONCE AGAIN, left about 1 hour later…sigh.  We ended up having to stop in the worst area surrounding Mobile, Prichard.  We stopped at what I thought was a closed down gas station right off the interstate because all of its windows were boarded up…but people kept pulling in and looking at us.  Then I saw a couple people enter the old building.  I realized, it's not's windows must have been broken out (or possibly shot out) and it now has boards for windows.  I realized this as I looked across the street to another gas station with iron bars for windows, and the Burger King next door with iron bars for windows.  Needless to say, I prayed, locked the car doors, and fed my baby.

After leaving Pollard, this sweet little punkin' face felt like it was high time to be fed again :)  After a quicker 30 minute stop to take 3 ounces of formula, and one additional 3 minute stop to put her paci back in her mouth…we were on the road again.  Thank you, Alabama :)

Needless to say, once we got home, we switched to level 2 nipples for faster feeding :) She's done wonderfully!

Side note: One of Matt's coworkers brought this diet coke to him the other day - sweet. 

You may ask if I will ever take a newborn on a road trip by myself again?  A resounding "NO" would be the answer…unless it's an emergency, of course :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Catching up :)

Victoria turned ONE month old this past week.
  I can't believe how fast time flies!! We brought her home at day 3, and she's already 5 weeks old.  I took the below picture of her sweet smiling face at 4 weeks:

I wanted to document some of the sweet times we've had with Victoria and with friends and family who have helped us celebrate the arrival of our beautiful baby girl.

We have been thrown baby showers that have just been absolutely beautiful.  Below is at my best friend's house.  Don't you just LOVE that cake! And Victoria's name on that banner is just precious!

Meeting BB for the first time :)  Precious!

A few pictures of sweet friends who have been by - it was my "perfect" intention to capture all of Victoria's first visitors…well…it didn't happen.  I think some of those visits I was awake/asleep. Functioning, but like in a dream state :)  But here's a few we did capture:

Auntie Donna:


April and Lily Cate:
(by the way, April is like 28 weeks pregnant here…can't even hardly tell!!)


(who by the way, gave us Victoria's crib, a bumbo seat, a car seat, a baby book, and several other  items! Amazing friend and colleague!)

The Crooms crew swung through town for a visit and we all got to go to lunch one day with the Ayers'!

                   Sam, Stevie, and baby Dylan                                           Sarah and baby Gracyn

                                                               Lyndsey, Ben, and Mamie

Said and Jennifer

Our sunday school class also hosted a shower for us:

 And Matt's work threw him a baby shower :)

The couple who leads us in bible study on Wednesday nights brought us a delicious pot roast/vege dinner last week.  The wife, Karen (pictured above), also brought this:

She said she saved it for me for a long time, hoping and praying for the day when I would become a mom and she could give it to me.  Such a thoughtful gift! You know, out of all the "names" on these cokes, diet cokes - I have never seen "mom" until now.  Sweet!

We've also had family come visit!  You already saw that my mom was here from day 1.  My sister and Tyler also came to visit:

My sister in law, Laura, and nephews came by also!

 Matt's parents, affectionately known as Nonna and Nonno, came to love on their sweet granddaughter:

And they bought us this AWESOME Ergo carrier.  Matt was trying it out that first night we got it, and modeling it for me :)  Victoria loves being carried in this when Matt is wearing it.  She loves her daddy!

 I also use a Katan baby carrier, and love the Ergo as well :) Let's get stuff done, people! However, I will tell you…she has her moments. And sometimes, baby just needs to be held.  Not even these things work. I tell Matt that the days of having all the laundry done, dinner cooked, me wearing pearl earrings, red lipstick, and wearing a pretty dress when he comes home from work are in our future…BUT NOT TODAY folks :)  And when I say "future"….:)

I'm feel like just being able to brush my teeth in a timely manner in the morning and drink a cup of coffee is a major victory!  Most days I've heated and reheated my coffee at least four times before it actually gets consumed in its entirety.  Let's keep it real.  

But, this little punkin' face is all worth it…

Hey there!  I call this her Dorothy dress.  This was given to Victoria by a dear sorority sister, Holly.  I say she just needs some little ruby socks, and we're all set…"Toto?"

Of course, the dogs have a love/hate relationship with her :)  They are still getting used to having a baby in the house, all the crying, lack of attention for themselves.  But they LOVE her.  This is our sweet Campbell "sacrificing" to be a pillow.  If I let her, she would lick this baby all day long! 

Some more of our newborn photo shoot:

Goodness, I could just stare at these pictures all day long!! She's so beautiful! What a precious gift from God to us!

Our first family "portrait" :)

This is from 3 days to 4 weeks old.  Same carrier, Same outfit. My how much she is "filling out", right?! :) 
                                      3 days                                                                       4 weeks

This has also been how most of my quiet times with the Lord look now.  On days when I don't get to do this, I really miss it. I love my Lord so much, and need Him on a daily basis.  This is one aspect I have to get figured out. I certainly can't live this life and be a good mom/wife without this time with Him.

The dogs look like this most days :) All tuckered out - they mostly wrestle with each other as their form of entertainment now :) We really do show them attention, but it's usually after Victoria has been put to bed at night…and then it's like dog explosion on us - immediate lap sitting and tons of petting. 

I call this the "Pet Me, Mommy" look.  I am usually answering it with, "Feeding baby. Can't pet right now. No. Get down. Down. DOWN. Ok, I'll pet you later. Love you sweet girl." :)

And last, but not least,
Victoria's birth announcement: (the front anyway)