Thursday, December 10, 2015

Letters to Charleston - 4 Months Old

Dear Charleston,

Though you're only four months old, I'm amazed by the personality you're already showing; we're learning more about who you are every day.

From the moment my labor begin, I knew you were someone very special. You were the ultimate partner and champion in your epidural-free birth. From the moment you were born, you seemed much older than a newborn. You have made life so easy for me. Instead of the restless, frantic life stage that I expected to be in with a newborn, I have spent the past four months in total bliss. I have felt nothing other than rested, calm, and totally in love.

Each morning, you wake me up with your little baby noises and greet me with a happy little dance. Even though at times it's earlier than I'd like, once you smile at me, I can't help but smile, too.

While you could care less about rolling over, you have hit the belly laugh milestone. There's not a sweeter sound in our lives right now. When we get you in a laughing fit, everything in the house stops and everyone comes over to see you. You never fail to put on a good show. I often wonder if I have a future performer on my hands. You already have the ability to light up the room and make people smile. You LOVE attention. (Just like mommy) ;)

The love your older cousins have for you is just amazing to me! Little Jonathan who is only a year and a half has so much love for you it melts my heart. When he see's you he lights up and just wants to play with you. I love watching him interact with you. I can already see it, you two will be the best of friends. Both boys are such a big help when we come to visit, and they love holding you!

For weeks now you have loved to stand up. You've loved working at this and getting better at it. Today you can stand up for a long time. Your leg muscles have gotten so strong. Your daddy even had you stand up and balance by your self, and you balanced pretty well for a good 30sec. We were amazed. When your legs get tired and  you go down, you always want to get right back up. I want you to remember this at every stage in your life: always get back up. Falling is part of life; falling is how we learn; falling means that we're stretching ourselves, pushing ourselves, growing and striving to be better. Falling is living life - getting back up is living life to its fullest.

You love watching TV, at first I think it was just for the colors. But we can across this show called Kate & Mim Mim and every time we put it on you get the biggest smile you can make. You could watch that show for hours. Thank goodness for Netflix, we can put it on anytime.

You know, you may be little, but you've already had a profound effect on my life. When I wake up now, the first thing I do is look at you. Some days your already wide awake; others I see your closed eyes and your little lips pouting as your body moves with the rhythm of your breathing, and I can't help but smile, and reminded that all is well.

I grow more in love with you every day. Just when I think there's no way I could love you any more, somehow, there's even more room in my heart and more love to give. I can't even remember what life was like without you. In just a few weeks we will be celebrating your first Christmas and we are so blessed beyond words to have you in our family.

We love you,
Mommy, Daddy & your puppy Hera!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Letters to Charleston - 3 months old

Dear Charleston,

How are you already 3 months old?  What happened to my tiny 6 pound baby?  You're doing exactly what you're supposed to do, sweet girl... growing, learning, and thriving.

This past month was full of new little milestones, changes, and lots of smiles. But I must confess,  I have yet to start your baby book. Between sleepless nights for mommy, snoring noises by daddy, and everything else in between - I hope these letters help freeze time just a little bit by giving you a snap shot of what you were like at only 90 days old. We feel like you've been with our family forever while at the same time it feels like you were just born yesterday. 

Your smiles make my heart beat fast and my insides melt. You have been using those sweet smiles to communicate with us. I love making eye contact with you and seeing you smile at me. It's during these moments that I realize you have fulfilled something deep within me, you make me so happy to be a mom.

Your learning to take naps in your crib during the day, but your still sleeping in your pack n play at night. You still preferred to be held and snuggled, but we love to snuggle with you! You are still sleeping through the night, and I love waking up to your giggles in the morning. 

You love holding on to shirts when your eating or snuggling. Its so freaking cute. You have tiny feet, your newborn sized shoes still don't fit. You can still fit into some of your newborn clothes but your wearing 0-3 months for the most part. Some are still a little big. You are in size 1 diapers, but not sure if you will be in them much longer. 

We have not weighed you since your 2 month appointment, but I'm guessing your roughly 11 pounds now. Growing girl! You're also getting very strong, getting close to being able to hold your head completely on your own (even with those cheeks), and we are always shocked by your strong little legs.

You are often a little fussy in the evening, but nothing that can't be fixed by mommy snuggles. I always tell daddy - mommy snuggles are better because I can pick you up and with in minutes your fast asleep. Daddy try's so hard, but you just prefer mommy snuggles! You like to talk and coo. Your not much of a screamer, but we're not going to complain about that. You like driving in the car, but have had your moments where you want to be out of your seat. We recently took a road trip to Charlotte and you did so well. You go everywhere with me and do very well being out and about.

You LOVE to sit up and see whats happening around you. I'm not sure how far you can see and how clear it is but you like 
watching the tv with us. I think you just like the moving bright colors. 

You are so much more alert, smiley, happy, and occasionally a little "demanding".  You have acquired some new nicknames from us:  Sweet Pea, Chunky Monkey, and of course, my baby girl. 

You bring endless happiness to our life, even in the moments you are sad or grumpy. There is so much excitement, even in the little things, and it really puts life into perspective. We still spend a lot of time just staring at you. You are so special and I am reminding myself to cherish every day with you, because these days with my little Charli are numbered. You are growing so fast! 

Mommy loves you so much!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Halloween 2015

We drove to Columbia Halloween day to spend it with my mom, brother, sister, and her two boys. Before venturing out into the neighborhood, we were playing out side with the leaves. Jonathan enjoyed racking them and Hunter wanted to jump in them. 

Even Miss Charleston enjoyed her FIRST Halloween.... 
She didn't care too much for sitting on the ground thought 

All the kids and the dogs dressed up in someone from Star Wars...


{Darth Vader}

{Princess Leia}

{Obi-Wan Kenobi}


I'm Surprised how well the dogs did. We wanted to bring Hera, but we didn't have anymore room in the car so she stayed with Lolli & Pop back in Charleston. 

{The whole gang}

 {They steal my heart everytime}

{Brandy - they really do love each other}

I can't wait till next year bc Charli will be WALKING!!!!! :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Letters to Charleston - 2 months old

Dear Charleston!

In some ways it feels like we just met you yesterday, while at the same time it feels like you’ve been with us forever. How are you not a little newborn anymore? 

Mommy does a lot of traveling, especially back and forth to Columbia. So it's a good thing you like your car seat - and you have since day one. As soon as we put you in it, your fast asleep! Hopefully you stay that way during our longer trips to Florida and Ohio.

You are currently still in newborn clothes, although some of your 0-3 month clothes are starting to fit you. You started wearing size one diapers at 7 weeks old. Your 2 month doctors appointment was today and you weigh 10lbs 11oz. and your 22in long! Ugghh your getting so big!

You’re a perfect baby who loves to sleep, eats well and doesn’t complain about anything, besides a dirty diaper. Some of your favorite things are riding in the car, taking baths, swinging in your swing and giggling. My love for you grows everyday as I watch you change and become more alert. Seeing you look around at your surroundings is amazing. I cherish these moments with you. You've changed so much since we brought you home from the hospital. I can’t believe how much you have changed just this month! You went from a completely floppy newborn to a baby who can hold her head pretty still, work her arms and legs, and coo and smile. Your beautiful blue eyes are open so much longer during the day, you are learning to "talk", smile, and respond to us. I stare at you often because it's still hard for me to believe that you are a part of me, that those arms and legs developed and grew inside me. I feel a special connection to you, and it warms my heart to think that you are my daughter. I am still getting used to the idea that I have a daughter and I am a mom. It's absolutely the most surreal thing.

I can tell already your going to be a people person, because you love getting attention. Good thing for you there are plenty of people in your life who want to give you love and attention. In fact you are rarely left alone. The excitement of you being here still has not set in to most.... Your still greeted with the same excitement as if it was the first day meeting you.

Last year was hard when we lost your big sister, but welcoming you into our little family has made us feel whole again.  I can’t wait to do Mom and Daughter things with you. I already feel like you’re my shopping buddy and partner in crime.

I love to dress you in all of your adorable outfits which have been given to us by so many sweet friends and family members. Daddy tells me you have to many clothes, but gets so excited when you wear an outfit that says something about "daddy." Shh don't tell him, but I think you already have him wrapped around your fingers..

I am so thankful for you, Charli.  I love you.
Love, Mommy

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A letter to my daughter on her first birthday!


Today, you turn ONE! I can’t hardly believe it. 
I remember the day I found out we were expecting you like it was yesterday. I was planning on telling your daddy in an elaborate and creative way, I couldn’t stop smiling. I called your Aunt Brandy right away and told her! I couldn't keep that secret very long! I could barely hold it together! When I told your daddy I wrapped up the positive test in a present with a note. He read it twice before tears filled his eyes and he understood what it meant – that we were expecting a baby... that we were expecting you. 
The next nine months were filled with a lot of emotions. I was nervous too be a mommy, but mostly anxious to meet you! When we found out you were a girl - the shopping was on! Of course I had to do a gender reveal party with friends and family - that was another secret that was extremely hard to keep - but of course your Aunt Brandy knew! 
Though I spent nine months preparing for your arrival - finishing your nursery, packing our hospital bags, and researching everything newborn & new mommy related. But I knew nothing could really prepare me for your arrival! 
When the doctors placed you in my arms I was overwhelmed with love for you. You were my perfect little angel. I became a mommy and you became my daughter! 
I think about you everyday. This has def been one of the hardest journeys I've ever had to do, but I know your watching down on us! Keeping our little family safe. I wish you could meet your little sister. She looks just like you. I know you girls would of been the best of friends. Just like me and your Aunt Brandy!! 
For your birthday we had a small get together with some of your favorite people. We wrote notes on balloons and sent them off so you could read them. We ate cupcakes and wished you happy birthday! We love you so much and miss you like crazy' I can't wait to the day I can hold you again! 

Mommy, daddy and Charleston Love you!! Happy Birthday baby girl!! 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Payton!

I have a heavy heart today as the nation remembers the fallen from 9/11, my family and I are also thinking about my baby girl! This time last year I was sitting in the hospital getting induced bc we found out Payton had no heart beat! I still remember Dr. Fisher sitting in silence fighting back her tears as she told us. 

As I sat in the hospital watching my family and closest friends express their emotions, all I could do was hold mine back. I didn't know how to express mine. I don't know how to handle my own emotions let alone everyone else's! 

As Payton's birthday approaches us, I'm struggling with my emotions again! Not as if they ever went away. I'm not sure why people say time heals all wounds, bc it does not. I came across this quote: "The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone." Which fits perfectly! The pain has lessen over time, but the heartbreak and emotions are still there. When you tear off that scab, everything comes rushing back as if it happened yesterday! 

Having Charleston to hold close at this time makes you realize how precious life truly is. But I can't help but hate that Charleston will never know her big sister. We will never see her smile or hear her laugh, or watch her grow up... 

Tomorrow we celebrate Payton's first birthday and we have decided to celebrate it with our family! I want to do something every year weather we do it as just our little family or with our bigger family and friends. I just want to keep her memory alive and make sure her birthday is special. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Letters to Charleston - 1 month old

Dear Charleston, 

Today you are ONE month old! I can’t believe it - it has been the fastest month of my life. You came into this world and changed it for the better. 
Your sweet nature is a joy to be around and since day one, you have been a relaxed, happy-go-lucky baby. You only cry if you’re starving or you need your diaper changed. Except for 
a slight case of jaundice your first week, you have been perfectly healthy! 

For the first 3 weeks of your life, you slept a lot and woke up only to eat and then went right back to a peaceful slumber. In the past week you’ve spent much more time with your eyes open, taking in your new world. Nothing phases you: from your dog Hera giving you slobbery kisses to me running the sweeper. 
When you were born, We were surprised by the amount of thick, dark hair you had. The ultrasound tech told us at every visit you had hair, but we never imagined this much. Your sister Payton had hair, but no where close to the amount you have. 
Your first cries were music to your Dad’s & my ears. You def have a set of lungs on you. When they placed you in my arms it was love at first sight. I never wanted to put you down, but I had to share you with the rest of the family who was eager to meet you! You have stolen the hearts of many and you have two cousins who are already wrapped around your fingers. From day one they have taken you under their wing, smothering you in kisses and always checking in on you. It warms my heart to know you 3 will have each other for the rest of your lives.
Thank you for being a dream baby. Your first month has been wonderful. I can’t wait for us to do so many fun mother/daughter things in the future, but I wish I could push the slow down button on life right now. You are growing up too fast…
I’ll love you always,

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Second Pregnancy - Third Trimester Reflections

As we get down to the "business" end of this pregnancy,
I figured I would take a step back and reflect
on the third trimester.
(p.s. this was written over a few weeks time)


We knew from day 1 we would be inducing this pregnancy for health reasons. Dr. Fisher wanted to schedule the induction before we got to the 37 weeks and 6 day mark, which Richard and I agreed with 100%.  So that put us in the week of August 8th-15th. July has been a waiting game to get the hospital schedule of when we could narrow a date down, and on July 14th - we got that date! August 10th at 7 am. Now that we have a count down clock to watch, things have gotten more real, including my emotions.

We.. OK.. maybe me.. wanted kids back to back. I mean im not getting any younger. So even with everything that happened with Payton, we still wanted to jump on the bandwagon again. After our 6 week appointment we started trying again. It took me about 2 cycles - which felt like a life time. But when I finally saw those two lines, I felt immense relief. But that was soon replaced with the realization that I would spend the next nine months holding my breath. One of the greatest comforts to me over the last months was learning how many other women felt the same fear that I do and yet survived subsequent pregnancies. 

As the date gets closer to August 10th, it also means Paytons first birthday is approaching. My emotions are all over the place.We are about to bring our second daughter into the world and I don't know how to be excited. Friends and family keep asking me, are you excited, are you ready... I am, don't get me wrong I'm ecstatic, but I can't help feeling devastated and sad at the same time. I still remember looking at the glowing screen trying to make sense of the sonogram... there was no movement or heartbeat. I couldn't cry... I just sat in silence. As much I try not to think back on that day, its hard not too.


In some ways, this pregnancy has flown by. In other ways - I feel as if we have been on this pregnancy roller coaster for way too long. If I'm to be honest, this pregnancy was not as easy as the first one. Physically, it was harder, which meant mentally it felt worse. My first trimester was the long waiting in between doctors appointments, then patiently waiting to hear her heart beat.  The second trimester was getting through the dizzy/nauseated spells. But this third trimester the stress has built up and made it self known through more complications and less sleep.

At 27 weeks and 6 days we went into the doctors office because her movements had slowed down tremendously. Normally I don't feel her in the mornings till about 10-11ish because she's so active through the night, but she was not the night before. When we got in the doctors office they put me on the NST monitors.

(The Fetal Non-Stress test is a simple, non-invasive test performed in pregnancies over 28 weeks gestation. The test is names "non-stress" because no stress is placed on the fetus during the test. The non-stress test is a simple, noninvasive way of checking on your baby's health. The test records your baby's movement, heartbeat, and contractions. It notes changes in heart rhythm when your baby goes from resting to moving, or during contractions if you're in labor.)

I sat on the monitors for about 30 minuets while they checked over all the recordings. She stayed pretty active during the test and everything was reading on track. Which was a relief!

With in 4 days we were in the hospital because I was having a sharp pain on my left side. Dr. Dillon - the high risk doctor was on call so she helped us out and took good care of me. We got checked into the hospital about 6:30 pm and she put us on the NST monitors. She stated the sharp pain is very common in pregnancies and gets worse with each one. Its called a round ligament pain. Not something thats very comfortable I might add. But she knew everything that happened with Payton and wanted to keep me on the monitors for a little while. During this time she discovered I was having contractions. I was like really? I just thought it was pressure and the difference in the way I was carrying her compared to Payton. Or maybe braxton hicks. But that wasn't the case. With in an hour she decided we were gonna stay over night - because the contractions were not stopping and were pretty steady. She ran a bunch of test and even gave me some medicine to relax me to see if that would stop the contractions. About 2am she could not determine what was causing the contractions, but was able to determine I was not in preterm labor. Since there was nothing else she could do, she sent us home about 3am and told me to take things easy and look out for labor symptoms.

At 30 weeks we spent a week in Florida - we took my 1 year old and my 6 year old nephews to Disney World! Everyone had fun which was great, but the heat was ridiculous. I know Richard got his exercise for the week... he pushed me in a wheel chair through out the parks. I got up and walked around some, but it made the contractions more frequent. I made it back to Charleston - with no signs of early labor! woohoo!! lol.

Contractions never stopped. Around 33 weeks they got longer and more intense. At times, I was not sure she's was going stay put till we induced. She is def a wiggler and a shaker. I got more nauseated as well. Sometimes it was hard to determine which was making the other one worse - being nauseated or the contractions.

I don't believe I was blessed with the pregnancy glow this time around.. its more like a "I'm so tired and hungry" shimmer....

Similar to my last pregnancy - things in the "bump" department seem to have slowed down in the third trimester. Charleston is still growing beautifully, however we are predicting her to be similar size to Payton. She is a little bigger, but not by much. My weight gain was more this pregnancy, but shes had a bigger appetite then Payton did. Payton liked fruit, veggies and sugar! Charleston likes her hamburgers and sugar. I am sad she does not like seafood. Its the one thing I craved with Payton, and it still seems to be the one thing I crave with Charleston, I just cant handle the taste! 

As my third trimester is ending - contractions have gotten stronger. Some days they are close enough to track them, but not enough to rush to the hospital. My driving days ended about 34 weeks - I couldn't count on not having an intense contractions, so I decided I probably shouldn't be driving....


At 33 weeks and 6 days we did our Maternity photos with the Fabulous Kaity! Since we did maternity photos at the beach for Payton - we want to do a park or something this time around. Since we decided on the name Charleston, we decided on downtown Charleston! :) Here are a few of my favorites......


At my 36 week appointment I was 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced! Baby Charleston can come at anytime! Dr. Fisher said look out for my water breaking or contractions being 5 mins apart for an hour or so. The days following my appointment, my contractions def got closer and stronger really fast! During our ultra sound Miss Charleston was super active, but we got a few good pictures of her! I mean look at those CHEEKS!!! I'm pretty sure she gets those from me! They estimated her to be about 6 lbs and 1 oz. So she's def bigger then Payton! Lets hope she doesn't get much bigger then that by next week! lol. 


So today is my last day of being pregnant! I'm not sure what my emotions are because I'm to exhausted to even think about them! Surprisingly im not really nervous or scared about tomorrow. I know my feelings about the delivery day have been a little different through out my pregnancy - but now that its here, I think im ok! I mean i'm nervous - but who wouldn't be pushing a baby out! lol. 

Richard and I have decided to keep things as simple as possible tomorrow! We have to be at the hospital at 6:45 am. We have told family not to be at the hospital no earlier then 9 am. We have also told all our family and friends that we only want intermediate family at the hospital tomorrow, but everyone else is welcome to come see us on Tuesday. We just want tomorrow to be as simple as we can make it, and no stress for anyone. We will see how that goes! I at least will have my sister their to put anyone in their place if need be! lol. She gets me like that! :) 

So ready to meet this bundle of joy we have been so patiently waiting for! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Second Trimester

Good Bye Second Trimester

It seems like yesterday I was just talking about my first trimester. But if you've been following my pregnancy journey you know that this baby is growing and I am making my way through these trimesters.

The good news is the second trimester is over. Lol. As I get into my third trimester things have continued to grow and change as the weeks tick by. Other than feeling enormous, things are pretty normal now. I don't know why I feel so much bigger this time around, even though I know I'm right on track. I've found the physical growth and changes of pregnancy to be tougher this time around. 

I think im carrying a little lower this time, which is def more uncomfortable. I've been in maternity clothes pretty much the whole pregnancy. I feel more pressure and cramping especially on my little work outs and walks around the neighborhood. My pain levels are def higher this time around, so taking it easy has been my biggest project. 

She is always kicking and doing summer salts like a maniac, and I am distracted by it all day long. My hands are always on my belly, pushing back and saying hello as she pokes out a hand or foot. It's fun to connect with her. I think she will be a ball of energy just like her cousins. 
20 weeks & 6 days

My stress levels are starting to kick in as I get closer to the third trimester. Our next doctor appointment we will be discussing how we are going to handle the third trimester as well as narrowing a date down on when to induce. We want to make sure its safe for both of us, as well as she is healthy and fully developed. I was 37 weeks & 6 days when Payton passed and exactly 38 weeks when I delivered her. Dr. Fisher wants to deliver Baby C before we get to that point, not only for medical reason but also stress levels in me, Richard & her. My due date is August 29th, so that puts us delivering somewhere between August 8th & 15th. Our next doctors appointment is July 11th where we will have another ultra sound to make sure she is growing on track and we will also talk to Dr. Dillon which is the high risk OB. So between Dr. Fisher & Dr. Dillon we are in very good hands and they plan to do everything possible for us. So for me.. they only thing I need to do is keep my stress levels down! I'm not really sure how to do that..