HWW Countdown

This time of year there’s just something in the air. A cheerful spirit in people who typically, well, aren’t. A carefree excitement of sorts. A buzz of anticipation while awaiting…

    The Holiday Work Week

That’s right, y’all. Offices everywhere are trying to stifle their happiness, hold in their mad laughter, keep from doing cartwheels outside their cubicles.

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    In 2010 I had Holiday Work Week-itis. (see above)

All year long, like children looking forward to their summer break, grown men and women in corporate America count down the days ’til Holiday Work Week season begins.

But the HWW isn’t just a short week in which you get days off without having to use hard earned vacation. It’s a time of exhale and reflection on all the times you nearly pulled all your hair out or drop kicked the water cooler from deadline stress. Its an accomplishment; you made it through a year of crazy busy hustle and bustle.

The Holiday Work Week is your reward.

So…Happy Holiday Work Week to my fellow HWW observers!! May your work week be quiet and your work load be light.

Happy blogging,
Adrian

P.S. I’m so thankful for The HWW that it takes up Days 20-23 of the Month of Thanksgivings.

Family Matters

A Month of Thanksgivings: Family Matters

On Friday night (Day 18), I was thankful for quality time spent with JD and The Husband.

And Saturday, (Day 19) I was thankful for quality time spent with LD.

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Family life in general can get hectic with school, work and extracurricular activities. This can make it hard to have quality time with family. Add in the fact that we don’t see our oldest two kids everyday, and this gives us less time to spend together and even less one-on-one time with each kid.

Since LD and JD were little–long before AH came along–we’ve made a point to spend time with each child individually and have Family Night. Sometimes it’s a day of planned fun and other times it’s just something simple, like playing board games or a trip to the grocery store where they get to pick what we have for dinner/dessert.

Of course, the older they get, the less entertaining Family Night sounds to them. Plus, we added a little sister to the mix, so one-on-one time can be more challenging but we try to seize the moments when we can.

For instance, this past Friday, LD was staying at a friends house, so after AH went to bed, The Husband and I stayed up, ate popcorn and watched a movie with JD.

And on Saturday, while AH was napping, LD and I made cupcakes together and watched shows on Netflix.

I know it’s not likely they’ll ever thank us for the times we said “No, it’s family night,” when they asked to do something exponentially more fun than play Pictureka or Scrabble with their folks.

But hopefully, when they’re grown, they’ll look back on our family time and know how important it was to us that we had that time together. Even if it made us uncool parents for a little while.

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Happy blogging,
Adrian

In My Mother’s Words

Today I am thankful to be a thriving adult who was once a tiny fragile preemie.

I was born on Veterans Day thirty two years ago. I was six weeks premature and weighed only 3 lbs. 6 oz.

In pictures I am really small and there are IV’s, a bruised hand and my head was shaved.

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my mama holding me for the first time

I decided to interview my mom for this post because I’ve never experienced a preemie birth as a mother. I wanted to share my story from her point of view.
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What are the details of my birth story? How did you know something was wrong?

Well, there’s a God thing that goes on in this story because I didn’t know anything was wrong. I was visiting with a friend who was pregnant and due in November and I was due in the latter part of December. She was telling me a story about someone she knew who hadn’t felt her baby move in a long time and when she went to the doctor, it was too late. I had taken Lamaze classes and I don’t remember ever being told to worry if you hadn’t felt the baby move but that got me thinking, “When did I last feel my baby move?” I couldn’t remember but knew it had been a while so I started really paying attention to your movement. I still didn’t feel you move for the rest of the day or overnight so I got up that morning and I went to the hospital.

I got to the nearest hospital (not where I was delivering you) and they hooked me up to the heart monitors. Once I heard your heartbeat, I was relieved and thought, “Okay, my baby is fine.” However, they realized I was contracting and began to monitor those as well. I couldn’t feel the contractions; they weren’t painful, but they told me you were having delayed decelerations. Basically, this meant that your heart would decelerate after the peak of the contraction rather than during and this was causing you stress.

I was transferred to the hospital where you were delivered and they tried to stop the contractions and monitored me for a little while. Less than 48 hours later you were delivered via emergency c-section because you were no longer handling the stress well.

But had my friend never told me that story, I wouldn’t have known to worry about your not moving and wouldn’t have gone to the hospital.

What were your fears and concerns?

Oddly enough, I wasn’t really fearful. I always knew you’d be okay. The idea of you not being okay never entered my mind because if it had, I think I would have cratered. I wouldn’t have been able to handle that. Either I was young and dumb or it was footprints in the sand. I think the latter. God carried us both.

Why did I have to be fed intravenously and is this why they had to shave my head?

The digestive system is one of the very last things to fully develop so preemies aren’t usually tolerant of food in the GI tract. We tried it and this was the case with you, so yes, you had to go on IV’s. They tried to use the veins in your feet and ankles first but your veins couldn’t hold up. So the last resort – and the biggest veins – was in the head. And yes, that’s why they shaved your head.

I was 10 days old when you held me for the first time. Why did you have to wait and what was it like holding me for the first time?

You were in an incubator. Preemies don’t have enough body fat to keep their temperature at 98.6 so the incubator does that for them. Plus it kept you isolated from germs and bacteria. Once you could maintain your body temperature and you got a little stronger, you could come “out” for a little while. You were totally out of the incubator when you were about two weeks old.

When I held you for the first time, I felt like I could finally exhale. I can still remember how your skin felt when I kissed you….how sweet your forehead smelled….how warm you felt in my arms. They only let me hold you for about ten minutes. And I cried when they took you from me.

I spent the first month of my life in the hospital. How did you feel when you knew I was coming home?

I was happy but scared at the same time because now I had to take care of you all by myself. It’s the only time I ever really worried.

What else would you like to share about our story or your experience with other expectant or preemie moms?

First, technology is much better now than it was then. Have faith in your doctors, yourself and God. And kiss your baby all the time!! Most preemies are in isolation the first few weeks of their lives, so they have some snuggling to catch up on. 🙂
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I still have scars on my ankles and heels from needles in the NICU but aside from the tiny dots left behind, there aren’t any lasting effects of my being born six weeks too soon.

Not all premature birth stories have the same happy ending as mine.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and today, November 17th is World Prematurity Day.

To learn more about the problem or be a part of the solution, check out March of Dimes.

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Happy blogging and healthy babies,
Adrian

Worth the extra drive time

A Month of Thanksgivings: Day 16

Today I’m thankful for being able to take my 2yo to a loving, structured, in-home child care provider each day while I’m at work.

I wish I could be home with AH but I can’t. And the place I take her to adds 20 minutes on to my daily commute isn’t exactly on my way to work. But it’s a relief to know she’s at a place during the day where she won’t get lost in a crowd of other kids, she’ll have the structure of day care but will be in a home environment and Ms. A, the woman who cares for her, is really invested in each one of the children she takes care of.

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Ms. A interacts with the kids, they do crafts, sing songs, read books, play outside and most recently, learn knock knock jokes 🙂

Today is Ms. A’s birthday.

So this post is a “Thank You” to her for being so great with my kid. Because it means so much more than just having a place to take her during the day where her basic necessities are met.

The fact that you truly love the kids you care for gives me peace of mind that I wouldn’t have if I took her to a traditional day care.

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Thank you for all you do and Happy Birthday.

Adrian

Bookworm Baby

A Month of Thanksgivings: Day 15

Every workday has its morning and evening routine. And part of AH’s routine in the evenings is to come home, shed everything but the diaper and head straight to her books to “read.”

Of course she’s not actually reading, but she knows many of the stories by heart so it seems like she is, even though she’s only reciting what’s been read to her.

She’s loved being read to since she was a baby and naturally, as she gets older and wants to be more independent, likes to be the one to read.

I’m amazed at her ability to memorize story after story. By two years old she could recite The Little Red Hen, Daddy Loves Me & On The Night You Were Born, to name a few.

I am thankful for my daughter’s love of books and I hope her love of reading is something that stays with her into adulthood.

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Happy blogging,
Adrian

Thank Heaven for little girls…and elastic

A Month of Thanksgivings: Days 12, 13 & 14

I’m thankful for:

1. Playground equipment

AH’s new favorite thing to do is to go “play a playground” and she would stay there for days if we’d let her. At first we would climb and slide with her but after a little bit, she wanted to do it all by herself. Bittersweet. But I love that a swing, a seesaw and a couple slides can make my 2yo happy for hours.

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Love that sweet smile 🙂

2. Adjustable waistbands in children’s jeans.
My baby girl is super tiny and always has been. So, finding pants that fit her are a challenge. If they fit her in the waist, they’ll be too short in length. If they’re long enough, then the waist will swallow her. This is where the elastic adjustable waistband comes in really handy. Even with the elastic cinched up as far as it can go, they’re still loose but they stay on. I’ll take it.

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If it weren’t for the adjustable waistband, these britches wouldn’t stay up.

3. Long weekends
I left work early on Friday and had the luxury of an extra day off this weekend. It was great to have an extra day to recoup–especially since Sunday evening was spent nursing the headache of a lifetime. I was glad to have an extra day away from the office and end my weekend on a positive note.

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Day 2 at the playground. Sliding w/Daddy.

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Hope everyone has a great week!!

Happy blogging,
Adrian

A grateful civilian

Today, I am thankful for the men and women who serve or have served in our armed forces.

They endure sleepless nights and days without the luxury of a shower.

They spend months –sometimes years– deployed away from their families.

They suffer wounds that leave permanent scars both seen and unseen.

Some lose their lives. Their lives.

So, regardless of what your political stance is on current military endeavors, be thankful for the sacrifices of those who’ve stepped up to fill the shoes of the American soldier.

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Happy Veterans Day,
Adrian