Thursday, September 15, 2016

First Day of School

For some reason, I have struggled greatly with the decision of where to put the kiddos for school. I always seem to question myself and go back and forth on what is best. This year was no different and I literally spent months agonizing over the decision.  We ultimately decided that sending Aubrey to Victory Academy (a Christian private school) for K-4 was the best decision. We decided that Weston would go to Broardmoor Preschool (where Aubrey has gone for the past 3 years). We knew it would be a challenge doing two drop offs and pickups, but we felt that it would be worth the sacrifice for Aubrey to be in such a great environment. We signed her up, paid tuition, bought uniforms and even went to orientation. We were so excited and ready to go! 

Well...the best laid plans are not always what God has in mind. Once the flood hit our city, we had to totally reevaluate things. We were devastated to learn that Victory took on about 5 feet of water and lost everything. It was just horrible. Christian and I had to really re-evaluate things with my mom being misplaced and flooded as well...because I rely so much on her to help me with transportation to and from school with the kids...not to mention mom taught piano there, so she was at the school almost everyday. Now things have totally taken a different turn. The school has yet to reopen and they are working hard to get T-buildings in place for the students. Also, my mom won't be back teaching piano there this year.  Christian and I made the decision that for this year, it would be best to just keep her and Weston together at Broadmoor. Aubrey will definitely go to Victory for kindergarten, it's just for this year things didn't work out. We know God has a plan for our children, and we trust that He guides us in making the right decisions for our kids. I know both Aubrey and Weston will do great this year and it will be fun to have them together one last year. 

Here's to a great year for my sweeties. My prayer is that they will be a light at their school and blossom both educationally and socially in their classes. I pray for Godly friends and influential teachers and staff as well.  

First day for Weston was not quite the happy day we had hoped for. Weston has had a hard time adjusting to his new schedule and school. He sure is cute though.  

Aubrey on the other hand was all smiles. Miss social butterfly couldn't wait to see her friends.

Love these two and are so thrilled for new beginnings! Plus I am enjoying having a little one on one time with my sweet Baylor Jace! 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Baylor Jace-2 months old

This past month has seemed like a nightmare. I am still not able to fully comprehend the devastation that our city has seen with these floods. Our entire city has been is almost like a war zone. Driving through...all you see is mounds and mounds of people's belongings stacked stories high on the side of the road. Both of our parents lost is just heartbreaking. I will do a whole post of this horrific time in our lives, but I just can't seem to piece it together just quite yet. I'm still processing everything and trying to keep myself together.

For today, we celebrate the small things and one of those things is that our sweet Baylor Jace is 2 months old. I laugh because these past two months have been nothing short of hell, but having him around to snuggle...has truly been therapeutic. Looking into his precious, innocent face...helps me block out all the pain and devastation around me.

Baylor you are just pure sweetness. You are still the tiniest little thing and I can't believe you aren't even to the weight that your brother and sister were born at!  You weigh 5 pounds 11 ounces.

You absolutely hate the scream the entire time. You hate baths...again nothing but tears. Other than those two things, you are pretty laid back. You love to be held, you love to be swaddled, you love your rock and play as well as your mama-roo.  You do not like your swing or anything that moves.  You love to just chill on your quilt that Nana made you.

You are obsessed with your noonie and very rarely do not have it in your mouth. You eat every 3-3.5 hours by bottle that is breastmilk with a fortifier. I pump round the clock and let me say it is not fun. We have tried breastfeeding, but you are just not a fan. You eat at 9, 12, 4, 9, 1am and 5 am.  Daddy is such a huge helper with the 9 pm feeding as well as the 5 am feeding. He is a champ in my eyes for sure.

Baylor you absolutely adore your sister. It is the sweetest relationship ever. Aubrey is kinda a "rough around the edges" little girl, but her heart is nothing but tenderness and adoration towards you. She can calm you down in mere seconds and you will sit in her lap and just stare at her for the longest time. She is a huge help to me and I love the bond that you two share.

Baylor you still wear preemie outfits and some newborn outfits. You wear a newborn sized diaper. You also love for me to wear you in the Moby wrap.  I can put you in there and wear you for hours. You never make a peep.  Wearing you is one of my favorite things to do.

Baylor Jace we absolutely adore is beyond crazy right now, but having you with us makes things so much sweeter.  We love you little man.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Life Lately...three's a crowd

We are finally home and settled. Life is starting to form a routine and we are slowly getting the hang of adding a new member to the family. I have to say, Aubrey and Weston have been absolutely amazing with their new brother. There is not one hint of jealousy or anger towards him, but rather absolute love and adoration. They smother him with their love and attention and I am constantly telling them to get out of his face and give him some space! Aubrey has been a huge help to me and I am amazed at her natural ability to soothe and comfort Baylor. She has this little specific song she sings to him when he is crying, something about a seahorse she heard on Jake and the Neverland Pirates, but it cracks me up because every time he hears her sing that "aggravating, makes no sense" song from her, he immediately calms down and listens. She also insist on giving him his pacifier when he is upset because she can't bear to see him in distress. However, she doesn't just softly place it in his mouth but rather shoves it in.  Weston is also madly in love with Baylor, just in a more hands off approach...he constantly baby talks him, which I find hilarious, but isn't much for holding him. I laugh because Weston will say, "aw Bay so tiny" HAHA...he says that constantly!!  Overall they have welcomed Baylor with open arms and embraced his addition to our family like a charm. I am so proud of them and tell them constantly how great they are with him.

I laugh at this picture because Bre is shielding Baylor's eyes from the sun.  Haha!  She is such a protective big sis! 

She calls it "snuggle time with sissy" every single morning tradition.

Baylor is doing great, growing like a weed. At his last appointment, he was 4 pounds, 6 ounces. We had a cardiologist appointment this week as well and all looked good with his heart function and injection fracture. We go back this upcoming week for another check up and we have an appointment with the neurologist at some point in the coming weeks. Baylor is tiny, but he has no problem letting us know what he wants or needs. He is somewhat high maintenance and is not content unless he has a noonie and is swaddled tightly. He grunts constantly through the night which has earned him a trip out of our bedroom. I won't mention wear he is sleeping for fear of being labeled a horrible mom. (my master bedroom closet...hello I have to get some sleep to function)  Much to my dismay, the doctor has me waking, yes you heard me...waking Baylor up every three hours at night to feed him. Otherwise, I think he would sleep, but because we need to get those calories in him, this mama is making the sacrifice. 

Baylor is pretty typical in that he hates bathtime, car rides, tummy time and the car seat...really anything but someone's arms or a swaddle. Homeboy knows what he likes. Don't even get me started on red lights. I can't tell you how many yellow lights I have ran these past few weeks because Baylor screams bloody murder when the car stops. Oops there I go again shining the light on my terrible parenting. I laughed because the other day, Baylor dropped his pacifier on our home floor and I just blew it off and stuck it back in his mouth...with Aubrey, I would have sanitized and steamed the heck out that thing. Poor Baylor...third child syndrome is in full effect. 

Christian and I are adjusting pretty well, we have our moments where everyone is screaming or crying and we just look at each other and say, "let's pretend we are back in Jamaica and we have no kids!" That usually gets us laughing and then snaps us back into the reality that is our chaotic life. However we would not want it any other way. One night last week, Christian took the older two swimming and I was home alone for a few hours, and I honestly was bored! I missed my crazies and texted him to tell him to hurry home! 

We are sleep deprived, our house is a disaster, bottles are overflowing in every corner, there are dirty diapers on my floor, and spit up on my shirt, but life is so full of laughter, joy and tons of love. We are beyond blessed to be spending our days with these three crazies we call our kiddos. They are each so amazing in their own special ways. Adding Baylor to the mix just made it that much sweeter. 

Oh and as a final that I would request a standing ovation and a choir singing the hallelujah chorus...drum roll please...Weston Hayes is potty trained!  I had absolutely no hand in the training, but only by an incredible teacher at his summer camp can we say we have successfully made the transition from diapers to the throne!  We are beyond amazed that this is a reality and now we are working on not removing every single article of clothing and our shoes in order to potty...must be a boy thing. Holla!  Go Weston...keep it up big boy...well rather tuck it down!! HAHA!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Notes from the NICU

I tried my best to document a little bit each day, just so we would remember the milestones and special occasions along this journey in the NICU.  My grammar is all over the place so please don't judge me for my writing skills!
Tuesday, June 21
Baylor Jace is born at 7:15 weighing 4 pounds 2 ounces via C-section.  Delivered by Dr. Lafranca and Dr. Guidry.  Mommy doesn't remember much because she was miserable from the meds! HAHA
Wednesday, June 22
Mommy's first day meeting Baylor. We didn't decide until this morning what his name would be. We tested out Jace Maddox or Baylor Jace and ultimately we went with Baylor. This was a favorite name of mine and we laughed because Dr. Lafranca said it fit because we had to "bail" him out at the last minute! On this day, mommy and daddy got to hold B for the first time!!
Thursday, June 23
This was one of the worst days of our lives. This particular morning, the doctor said Baylor was very sick and needed to test for bleeding on the brain as well as meningitis. Baylor had a spinal tap done on this day. Baylor also had a blood transfusion on this day. Brother and sister got to take a quick peak for the first time.
Friday, June 24
A second spinal tap was done but still came back inconclusive. Mommy was discharged from the hospital this day and left that evening around 7.  It was heartbreaking leaving my little guy but it was nice to get home to my other two loves.
Saturday, June 25
Day 5 in the nicu. Baylor wore his first shirt today! It was adorable. Nana, Papa, Papa D, Meme and my sissy visited today!
Sunday, June 26
Day 6 in the nicu. Baylor had a great day. We were able to kangaroo today for about an hour. Baylor's weight dropped from 4 pounds to 3.11.  His platelets dropped from 120 to 90 to now 60. We will continue to watch and monitor. Meme, Papa D, CC, Uncle Brandon and Jessica came by to visit.  Baylor is taking 11 cc's an hour on continuous feeds. He even pooped on mommy today!  Great day.




Monday, June 27
Day 7 in the nicu. Sweet boy made such progress today! He did drop his weight down to 3 pounds, 9 ounces but his platelets went up on his own today! He was taken completely off of oxygen today so he is tube free! He also was switched from continuous feeds to Bolus feeds. This will help prepare his body to eventually take bottles. Carrie and Meme came to visit today.
Tuesday, June 28
Day 8 in the nicu. Baylor Jace you are 1 week old today!! Mommy had a very emotional day today and cried multiple times! I cried because they wouldn't let me bring my robe in, and later when I was unable to dress him. Your weight dropped to 3 pounds 7 ounces, and you had to be put back on the high flow cannula for oxygen. You are tolerating the Bolus feedings but spreading each meal out over 45 minutes. You and I got to cuddle today for about an hour and a half in the rain. It was so sweet.

Wednesday, June 29
Day 9 in the nicu. Baylor had another good day, his weight went up to 3 pounds, 9 ounces! My sweet friend Corrie came to visit all the way from Texas and spent most of the day with me! We had such special conversation together and it was so awesome to visit one on one with each other. Other special visitors included daddy, Meme, Carrie and Aunt Candice. Our nurse was Ms Suzanne and we really grew to love her.
Thursday, June 30
Day 10 in the nicu. Bloodwork is looking good, still a few things need to improve but overall he is making progress. He is doing one bottle feed a day and tolerating it very well! Weight is up to 3 pounds 11 ounces. Mommy, daddy, Papa Steve, and Meme visited today.
Friday, July 1
Day 11 in the nicu. Baylor had another great day. He was able to let mommy give him a bottle but he tuckered out after just a few sucks! was pitiful. Weight was 3 pounds, 9 ounces, so down a lil but that's ok. Meme, CC, Papa Steve, Mrs Jan, Aunt CC, BB and David Easton visited today. Daddy came by this morning before work.
Saturday, July 2
Day 12 in the nicu. Aubrey and Weston came to visit Baylor today! Aubrey got to hold him and she didn't want to let him go!! Nana also got to hold him for the first time! Such special moments. Baylor's weight was 3.10 and he is working on two bottle feeds a day. They tried him off the oxygen again today and he couldn't do it. He kept going into the 80's so they put him back on.
Sunday, July 3
Day 13 in the nicu. Me and my sweet boy got to cuddle for about 2 hours this morning all alone and it was so glorious. Weight is 3.11 and we are still doing two bottles a day. No bloodwork or labs today, just testing and growing stronger. Nannie and Dani came to visit today.
Monday, July 4
Day 14 in the nicu. Baylor had an incredible day. He was moved out of his incubator and into a regular bed!!! He is going to a bottle every other feed and most incredibly...he and I got to nurse today!!!!! I really never thought that was possible but he did amazing! He latched on and never once got frustrated. He nursed for a full 20 minutes and never let go. I am in shock. All his bloodwork and lived functions came back normal! The doctor told us he could go home as soon as a week! Praise the Lord!!
Tuesday, July 5
Day 15 in the nicu, Baylor is continuing to make great progress in nursing! It is such an incredible bonding experience for me and him. Mommy, daddy, Aunt Casie, Meme, Uncle Brandon came to visit. Weight was 3 pounds 11 ounces.
Wednesday, July 6
Day 16 in the nicu. Weight is up to 3 pounds 15 ounces. Nana and Meme came to visit as well as mommy and daddy. Today we tried taking Baylor off oxygen completely!  He struggled a little but we were determine for him to push through. The faster he gets off oxygen, the quicker he can go home!
Thursday, July 7
Day 17 in the nicu. Today was a wonderful day! Found out our insurance deductible won't be as much as we thought.  God is with us even in the small things. So thankful our Baylor is getting the best possible care.
Friday, July 8
Day 18 in the nicu. One of my bestie's... Carrie spent the morning hanging out with me and Baylor. Such special moments and conversations have occurred in this hospital room.  I am so thankful for my precious friends and all the support they have given me. Carrie and I had such a blessed time together...she is truly been a rock for me through all these days.
Saturday, July 9
Day 19 in the nicu.  Baylor is up to 8 bottles a day and is doing his carseat test today!  Nana and Papa came to visit today. Papa D came as well and we spent about 2 hours together just talking and hanging out.  What a blessing!  Brother and Sister came today and boy are they noisy!  Both got to hold Baylor.  Doctors are talking discharge so we are anxiously awaiting that news!
Sunday, July 10
Day 20 in the nicu.  GOING HOME TODAY!  Sweet boy was discharged today.  His weight was 4 pounds and he barely fit in his carseat!  Praise the Lord for his mercies.  Can't believe this day has finally arrived.