Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pumpkin Bee

   Originally this post was going to be called Pumpkin Pie, but the other day, possibly by accident, Michael called Emma "Pumpkin Bee" and now I like that.
  Two weeks ago (Monday, October 2nd) my parents came down to visit with Zach, Peyton and Helena so we could go to The Crayola Experience and then visit Emma. I liked naming the crayons and a few other activities and watching the presentation of how crayons are made, but was anxious to see our baby girl. We are still only allowed to have two people in Emma’s NICU room at a time, and one of those people when we have visitors is either me or Michael. I took Zach back first since he had not met Emma before, then my dad (for his second time seeing her), then my mom. They took turns watching Peyton and Helena in the lobby since little kids aren’t allowed in the NICU without paperwork saying they have updated shots, and even then only siblings are allowed in, not cousins. Peyton ended up crying because she didn’t get to really see Baby Emma. The FaceTime video wasn’t good enough. When my mom came back, she brought a bag of Halloween goodies. Luckily Emma was having another good day and liked the attention so she didn’t mind wearing the pumpkin hat for pictures.
   Last Sunday (October 8th) after kayaking we visited Emma who was having another really good day. She's actually had a lot of really great days this month. I keep waiting for the doctors to tell us that she's back on track to come home in six weeks, but they haven't yet. Not only was she not having episodes, but she was also smiling at herself in the mirror and playing with her toys. The nurse, Kim, had put a new pretty dress on her so we took advantage of her happiness for another family photoshoot. Kim was busy with another baby when we got there so Michael took pictures of me holding her. 
   We had a meeting two days later with the nurses and doctors. The week before they found fractures on her lower ribs and wondered if she has Brittle Bone Disease, but testing showed she does not. Thank goodness- poor baby doesn't need any more problems. The ribs are healing, but her trachea and bronchi are the main issues which cause the episodes when her throat closes, so we still don’t know when we can bring her home. I’m hoping in December, before Christmas.
   On Thursday (October 12th) along with Michael's birthday, it was also Emma's 4 month "birthday" and since she was doing so well we got pictures. I bought the four soft pumpkins at Target for $1 each. I want to get a bunch of real pumpkins so it looks like she's in a pumpkin patch, but I keep forgetting to ask security if that's allowed. Not sure why it wouldn't be. I'm trying to keep our life as normal as possible, still wanting to do as much as I would if she were home already. I have Halloween off this year so I'm planning on dressing up at the hospital for pictures. I have an idea of what Emma will be (the easiest costume to "make" ever- just one step up from throwing a sheet over her and saying she's a ghost.. maybe we should all be ghosts. Ghost family!) but Michael says he wants her to be something different. I don't even know what he wants to be for Halloween. He says he is going to dress up at work.  
 ^^ This picture makes me laugh. It's currently one of my phone wallpapers!
  It makes me so happy that she has been smiling a lot more lately and laughing a little bit. From what I have seen she doesn't cry as much as I assumed babies do. Maybe because she stays fed every three hours and we change her diapers often, or because I'm only around her for 1-4 hours per day. Everyone has been saying how great she has been doing lately, so that's always wonderful to hear. Max, the music therapist, recorded me reading a short version of the Wizard of Oz for the nurses to play when I'm not there. Apparently Emma loves it so they keep it on repeat.

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Ghost's Favorite Kind of Bees

   I was very pleased when I arrived home last night to find the skeleton pirate that Michael "destroyed" and dressed up last year hanging from the tree in our front yard. At the beginning of the month Michael said he didn't want to go into the attic to get all the decorations down due to us being tired and busy this Halloween. He promised we would decorate for Christmas. But maybe it's because my mom always had loads of decorations for each holiday, I still need our house to look a little bit festive. So where else to go for cheap holiday decor? Dollar Tree, of course! Also the dollar section in Target. I also almost got a cute little green witch doll with blue yarn hair to put on the living room shelf where the ballerina bunny has been sitting since April, but didn't want Michael to get upset that I was buying too many new decorations.
   It's interesting to see in some of these pictures what has changed around our house since last October. Mainly that this year we have a kitchen table and chairs and decorative window on the wall instead of the two random bar stool chairs that we gave away two months ago since we hadn't used them since 2012 when our apartment kitchen had a bar.. Michael got new curtains for our dining room (thin gray) recently and hung curtains up in our bedroom too (light gray with cream flower designs). Also on Christmas day he wired the chandelier in the living room. Let there be light!
  When we lived at the Bala Sands apartment from August 2014 to July 2016, Michael mentioned during both Octobers about how he wanted to have a Halloween/ dress up birthday party, which I thought would be a fun idea. We didn't do it though because we only had a one bedroom apartment (which probably could have still held 10 people for a couple hours) and also there was suuuper limited parking in the complex. I suggested having the people park at Walmart which was right next to the complex and we could pick them up, but Michael didn't like that idea. Last year we were able to have the party with a bigger space after buying our house and parking available along the sidewalks in our neighborhood! I didn't post pictures from the party last year, except for a couple with Mia and Tonia in my pregnancy announcement post, so here are the rest of them now.

   Our party at home was on the 30th and we were able to dress up at work. My costumes are usually the most awesome and elaborate and few other employees partake. Since I've been on day shift since last summer and have to get up at 5am, Michael did my makeup the night before and I just slept on my back. Michael and I were Grounders from the show The 100. Not really any characters in particular, but we did copy makeups from Octavia and Commander Lexa. My vest, gloves and wrist cuffs are from the Blood Widow costume. (Note to self ~ post more Blood Widow behind the scene photos. Soon!! Every time I talk about the movie, I barely have any pictures to go back and reference.) I was very impressed with everything Michael made to get his costume looking really cool, especially the head feather and shoulder pieces. I also loved that he wanted so many pictures of himself wearing it. I like when he is proud of his work. That seems to be unnecessarily rare. He also made my cape! Michael's friend Jennifer sewed his skirt.
Tonia (witch), her baby Ashlyn (cat), and Mia (flapper)!

Miriam, Garth, and baby Reece (Lord of the Ring characters)
Jackie (gypsy pirate) and her boyfriend Peter (Dipper Pines from the cartoon "Gravity Falls")
Tonia's husband, Jay, was dressed as a regular man  :p
   The party was four days after we found out that I was pregnant with Emma, but he didn't want me to tell anybody. Not tell anyone about the most exciting time of my life?! Not share the heavenly news about something I had been praying about for 11 months?! Pffsh.  I knew he didn't want me getting everyone excited in case I had another miscarriage, but I'd rather have the excitement than hold it in and feel lonely like we did the first time. By that time I had told at least three of my friends (Lindsey, Mia, and Tonia), but Miriam and Jackie didn't know. It was kind of weird talking to Miriam about babies and not being able to burst out "I'm pregnant!!" Peter took these pictures for us and since it was a small group, everyone was watching. After a few pictures, Michael said, "Hang on, can you take a couple more?" I really thought at that time Michael was going to make the announcement about us having a baby, but he just gave me this hot kiss instead. That was good too! ;)

   Hopefully next year we can have another party and we will do a family costume with Emma. Earlier in the year before we knew she would have to be in the NICU for so long, we talked about doing a Peter Pan theme- Michael being Peter Pan, me being Wendy and Emma as Tiger Lily.  So maybe we will do that next year and take her trick-or-treating! 

Answer to the blog title riddle: 
What are a ghost's favorite kind of bees?
Boo-bies! Baaahahahahaha!

My Young Husband

  Michael and I make jokes around our birthdays about how I'm so much older than him. It feels that way more from June 11th to October 11th while I'm "two" years older than him in numbers. Until last Thursday, I was 30 and he was 28, but now he's catching up again and is 29. But 30 doesn't seem that old anymore and even 60 doesn't seem old since that is the age our parents are in the area of. Now 90 seems old, so we have a ton more years to keep being young. And I often feel "Full Sail young" (age 22), especially when I'm dancing to music in my car at red lights. Tired half of the time and paying a mortgage, but still young. =)
Hubba hubba!! *heart eyes emoji* (photo taken by his mom)
   Anyway, this post is about my amazing husband! ☆  ♡  ✞ 
On Thursday after walking with Jackie, I met Michael at VAMP for birthday lunch at Panera. I felt kind of bad after, kicking him out of my car because I had an hour to get home and pump before getting to the hospital at 2:15 so I could hold Emma before the nurse started feeding her at 2:30. That night we went out to eat again since he wanted to go to Chili's. The next day his mom drove down, but I barely got to see her since I worked all weekend. They invited me to dinner at Bahama Breeze, but I went to the hospital instead due to the scheduling. On Saturday they went to the Farmers Market so Michael could get more juicy mangos, then they saw Emma, went for a bike ride, and out to eat again at a Thai Place Michael likes, then to see Emma again. On Sunday they saw Emma, ran errands to Target and Babies R Us where they picked up curtains for Emma's room, a cute bathing suit for her to use later when we can play in the baby blowup pool outside at home, and a "big girl" bathtub to use at the hospital. She's too big for those little gray buckets now!  On Sunday they saw her two more times, then made dinner at the house. Luckily his mom was still there when I got home after work, so I got to see her for 45 minutes before she drove back to her hotel and then left early this morning.
   I was really glad that she got a picture of him with some of his presents. She made the best photo album with a ton of pictures of Emma starting with when we told them I was pregnant last November. He opened the ones from me and my parents on Friday night. I got him The 100, Season 1 and Hook.  I also made him a card telling him how he is such a great husband and dad. Sometimes I feel like he needs (and wants) those reminders. He often asks Emma how we got so lucky to have her, but its us who are the lucky ones because we have Michael! I put two of our recent favorite pictures of us with Emma on the front and back of the card so he could take it to work as a make shift picture frame.

   I like to link back to previous related events in my posts, so here is the post from Michael's 28th birthday, but I never wrote about what we did for his 27th birthday in 2015. That might have been the year that he went to see a movie by himself because I didn't want to go. I'm not sure why I didn't since it was a cute kiddy movie (Hotel Transylvania 2) and not something scary and creepy, but later that night I felt bad and got dressed up then met him at the theater when the movie ended and "made him" go to dinner with me.. still makes the day sound like it's about me.. I need to work on that, but hopefully I've gotten better about it in the past two years!! Michael still asks me to go to Halloween Horror Nights with him every year, but I can't do that again.
   So in 2015, to make up for being a tooty pop head, the next day I asked him what else he wanted to do to celebrate, and he suggested kayaking at Shingle Creek in Kissimmee. I only have two pictures below from that which were saved in my email- thank goodness they were titled decently since I forget where on my laptop that I put my million of pictures years later. (We've been backing up all of our Emma pictures in several places and I try to keep those organized by month.) In the third picture with us wearing gray, I can only assume it was around the same time since it was in the same email.
   This year Michael said he wanted to go kayaking again, but found a different area. We woke up early and he drove us to Wekiva Island (close to Wekiwa Springs, and no that's not a spelling error. Half of the names in that area are Wekiva with a V and the other half are with a W.. confusing!). It had free parking which was wonderful since the springs cost $6 per car, although the kayaking was not cheap! But since it was for his birthday, his parents paid for it. They are super generous that way. I also love how his mom keeps complimenting me on my strength during the past four months- how strong I was in my C-section recovery, how we are learning so much medical stuff for Emma, and how I've been dedicated and have lost almost all of the baby weight already! Go me!.. I promise this post is about Michael! :)
  We rented the kayaks for almost 4 hours!! I tried really hard to keep a positive attitude when my arms were sore and we had to paddle against the current on the way back and I couldn't stop or I'd be pushed backwards. One arm felt sore the next day, but it wasn't bad. Michael said he didn't have any soreness, and I was so proud of him being responsible about applying more sunscreen every hour so he didn't get burnt! After kayaking Michael stopped by the food truck in the parking lot and ordered chicken tenders with fries and mango coleslaw. I loved that they had five vegetarian options and the veggie burger did sound good, but I waited until we got home to eat. We napped when we got home, then he said he wanted to go to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner. Ooooh, now who is trying to stretch out a birthday extravaganza?! ;)  We also have plans to go to Typhoon Lagoon on Saturday. I hope the weather is as clear and sunny as it was out today. Woooo, fun life!!
 And so much love from me, Emma, and Sasha!! You are the best ever. Like, for real. Other people may think that they have the best husband in the world, but they don't even know!!