Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflecting 2012. Happy New Year!!

As this year comes to an end and 2013 takes off, it's always a good time to reflect on the things this year has brought you and what exciting new things 2013 will have. I don't think anyone can really predict what is going to come in this next sometimes make those decisions for you. Yea you can set new year's resolutions and goals for the year but sometime God has other plans.

I would have to say that 2012 was the best year of my life so far. 2011 was a hard year of infertility and a year of change with moving to Indiana. Looking back now I can't believe what a year has done. I feel like a whole different person, a whole different family.

This time last year we were still renting in North Manchester and I wasn't pregnant with Riley yet. Now we own a beautiful house in Wabash county and have our amazing daughter Riley Mae that is almost 3 months now.

2012 has brought us great joy and also some challenges. Pregnancy was not an easy thing for me. I had quite a few complications in the beginning and pretty much worried myself sick for 9 months. I would say pregnancy is not my best friend. Did I love feeling her kick everyday? Yes. Was a nervous wreck the whole time? Yes. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

We also found out our daughter was born profoundly deaf in one ear and severe in the other ear. In all my life and all my challenges I think this was the hardest to wrap my hands around. It was a greiving process and family and friends pulled me through. Our baby is perfect and I actually think this "challenge" is going to make me a better mom.

I also lost my grandma in May 2012. This was hard. I love and miss her so. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her and wish she could meet Riley Mae. Mae is part of Riley named after my grandma Sandra Mae and will always be a part of our family.

After all things good and bad I will have to say Life IS Good! We get through. You pick your head up and keep on moving because this is what matters. The picture below is what life is about and when I think of 2012 this picture will come in my head....and make me smile.

2013 is going to be a great year with more surprises I'm sure. This time next year Riley will have her Cochlear Implants and be able to hear all the great things that life has to offer. I will look back on this post and remember how far we have come and what great things have happened to our little family.

Happy New Year to all.

Riley's Mama


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Beauty of Holland

I have been either glued to the phone or the internet looking up and researching articles, videos and blogs about Riley's hearing, cochlear implants and everything in between. I love to blog and love to read other blogs. I came across quite a few blogs families that have documented their cochlear implant journey and I will have to say it has been so uplifting.

Many of them had this story on their blog, describing raising a child with a disability (which is still hard for me to grasp) and it really got me thinking. This story was written by Emily Pearl Kingsley, a Sesame Street writer whose child was born a on.....

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful vacation plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very, very exciting

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The flight attendant comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland??" you say. "What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a while new group of people that you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you have been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland."

The first time I read this I cried...and cried. I have mixed emotions about this story because even though Josh and I are in Holland..NOW I know we can still go to Italy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2 Months Young

My Sweet Riley Mae,

I can  not believe it has been two month (that's plural now) that you have been in our lives. On one hand I feel like time is flying by and can not believe it's been two month. Then again I don't remember my life without you. I can't imagine it without you and I feel like you have always been there.

You are growing up before your eyes. You had your shots yesterday and that was a tramatic experience but you bounced back. You are so strong, cried for about 10 seconds and once you saw me you were over it. That makes my heart smile. You know who your momma and papa are and love being around us.

You are now 9 pounds and 20 inches. That means 10% on the growth chart for weight and not yet for height. That is totally find though because as you get older, you will be able to find  pants that are long enough for you! Your mama has long legs and it has always been a problem.

You are now discovering the world. You love looking around at everything. You love lights, ceiling fans, colors, outside, pretty much everything around you. You grab for things and you are slowing discovering your hands and how you can get them into your mouth. You love bath time. We put you in your little tub and its like you are in heaven.

I look forward to every second I have with you. You make coming home every night from work amazing. I rush home to hold and play with you everyday. You make the weekends extra special and our time as a little family so precious. I promise each day that I will work hard and be there for you every step of your life. I look forward to you discovering more of the world through hearing and the journey that we are going to embrace. You have truly brought so much joy to each and every day to our family's life.

Happy 2 months baby,

Love you,


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let there be LIGHT!

To say that the past week has been crazy is an understatement. It was my first week back to work and it was like READY. SET. GO! No turning back. I feel like the phone has been glued to my head and I am trying to figure out how to work full time, be a mamma and go to ever appointment for Riley and make sure I do everything in a timely manner (meaning FAST).

This week we had her evalation for First Steps. First Steps is the "early intervention" program through the state of Indiana. They will provide us with resources and hairing aids until she is 3 years old. Then she is into the school system (scary). This appointment is a whole post on its own. I think I had my first panic attack.

Yesterday we went to Fort Wayne to the Ophthalmology clinic to rule out any retinal abnormalities. This is important and usually first in the process because hearing loss and vision impairment can go hand and hand. This can rule out Usher's symdrome as of today. Usher's syndrome can develop over time, however the doctor seemed confident that this is not the case for Riley. PHEWWWW. I am so happy that her eye sight can back normal. They were able to dialate her eyes to tell her eye prescription and look at her retina. She is far sighted, which most babies are at her age, and her retina is perfect! You don't know how much of a relief that is. I have been driving myself crazy wondering if she can see, if her eye sight is developing. Such a relief.

Next step...hearing aids. She was fitted for hearing aids about 3 weeks ago but since this process has been taking so long I would like to get her fitted again. Her little ears grow at a fast rate and it is important that they fit perfectly. The process with First Steps is taking longer than I hoped but I pray that we have hearing aids in her ears by the time she is three months.

This week has been stressful and we are really looking forward to the weekend. All three of us.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Sound of Music

This weekend I was on my way to get my hair done and I was totally jamming to my ipod. Music up, had bobbin like the typical December day that it is 60 degrees. I was half way there when I just stopped. I stopped and listened to the music. I actually had to pull over because I was having a moment.

Will my daughter ever hear the sound of music? Music is something I live by. It heals me and always has. I listen to everything from country, hip hop, classical and now of course Christmas music. This is a part of my life that I take for grantite every day. I want that same thing for Riley. I want her to be able to dance to the Wiggles or whatever Disney group they have for toddlers these days. When I was pregnant with her I had such big dreams for her, and I still do. I wished for her health, drempt about her education and her taking over the world. Now I found myself wishing for the little things....I want her to hear the birds, to be able to say Mamma and Papa, to hear the train behind our house, the sound of splashing water when she baths, and also the sound of music.

That is why Riley's father and I have chosen to go the Cochlear Implant route. I am hoping to get bilateral implants (meaning both ears), hopefully be the age of 12 months. After Saturday I came home and did so much research out there about the process, the surgery, the results, and the dedication to making our daughter hear. I found countless stories, you tube videos and blogs about Cochlear implants and children that are in mainstream school that are hearing like their peers. How does a child go from deaf to hearing and talking like their peers. This is a whole new world to me, a world I never thought I would be in. I find my stories very similar to other mom's out there that would stop at nothing to get their child the best care. We are doing the same.

I am going to contact the IU Health Cochlear Implant Team at Riley Hospital (its a sign, I know) to get moving on the process for candicacy. This process takes awhile, lots of testing and then you have to be approved by your insurance and the FDA....this is no joke! However I could care less, I will drive  there everyday if it means Riley will have the best care. Indiana University was one of the first facilities to do the cochlear implant on a child and was an advocate for the FDA allowing the procedure to be conducted on a 12 month old.

Does all this research and statistics make me feel better? YES. Does the pain hurt any less that our daughter had hearing loss? NO. It hurts. It stings and sometimes I feel numb. She is the most precious thing on this earth and I would not wish our journey on ANYONE. Would I take back or change one thing about Riley. Absolutley NOT!

She is going to teach me more than I can ever teach her. The first time she says mamma I will cry for about 2 months. I know ever mom loves that moment but this one will be special. The research, the driving, the sleepless nights and the speech lessons will all pay off and the reward will be the biggest reward I have ever had. Bigger than any education I have, or accomplishment I have abtained.

I am going to dedicate this blog to our journey from here on out. NO more Pinterest, what I did today, or talking about Reality TV. I am on a mission and if one other family can benefit or heal from reading our story then it is worth it.

Thank you so much for my family and friends that have supported me through the past eight weeks. It has been hard but I know we have such a great support system that Riley Mae is in great hands. We love you.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Life's Challenges: a Riley story

Today I am linking up with another "mamma blogger" Becky to tell my story...

The last time I've blogged was almost a month ago....wowsa! I have been a bad blogger and hope to pick my game up and blog much more.

My little family has gone through some challenges the past month and to tell you the truth, I wasn't sure if I was going to keep blogging my life on the internet or not. Don't get me wrong, I love to blog and it sorta has been like theraputic for me (which I am sure it is for everyone that blogs).

Challenges come and go in daily life and some things you take for granted on a daily basis. Most of my life has been great but I feel I have gone through quite a few challenges and they just keep coming. When it comes to your own child, the love is so great that you could move a mountain. Everyone always tells you that "your life will be forever changed", or "it's a love like no other" but you don't really truly understand until you have a child. Until that little one is in your arms do you truly understand what love is.

Our lives were forever changed on October 7, 2012 when Riley Mae Niedzwicki made an early appearance in this world. Perfect healthly 5 lb 18 inches, all ten toes and finger and a cry that could melt your heart. Once you realize all that is perfect, you can finally breathe right? WRONG! You think the worry is going to stop once the child is here but it is only just beginning.

The days at the hospital were such a blur to me since I had so many emotions going on. They do a bunch of tests on the baby before they discharge everyone to make sure everything is okay with mamma and baby. You really pray everything is okay but you never actually thing there wouldn't be perfect. When a doctor tells you something is wrong, your heart literally breaks.

One of the tests they do on babies is the hearing test. This is a state mandated test to ensure a babies hearing is okay. It is mandatory because they earlier you detect hearing loss, the greater chance of the baby (child) having normal hearing and speech. When the nurse told me that Riley failed the hearing test I was devastated and wanted so me answers quick. Everyone, including doctors and nurses, ensured me that everything should be okay because she was early and most babies fail their hearing test at an early agae. We made an appointment at the ENT specialist to haave a follow up right away. I definitely wanted a piece of mind and couldn't wait much longer to have the follow up.

A couple weeks passed and I really didn't think much into it. My pediatrician said she was alert, growning and doing awesome for her age and weight. The specialist day came and mommy, daddy and baby riley packed up and drove to fort wayne (that is the closest specialist to our small little town). The test took about an hour and Riley was sound asleep the whole time. The want the baby to be asleep for the test and being she was so little, this was not a problem at all. The hooked her up to two wires that were attached to her ear lobes and put a wire in her ear that had the range of pitches.

Around 40 minutes into the test I started to get alittle nervous because the audiologist did not have any positive facial expressions (yes I analyze everything and anything) and I asked her if Riley could hear the pitches and she really didn't give me a complete answer. It was then that I started to panic. I looked at Josh and he could tell that something was wrong.

The audiologist came back with the results.....something no mother would ever want to hear. Riley has severe hearing loss in her left ear and profound in her right ear. Profound is the correct term for "deaf" meaning she has no hearing in the right ear. Every thing after that was a blur, I couldn't tell you what else she was talking about. She asked us if we had any questions....aaaa YES! How did this happen? Will she grown into it? what about speech? Will she have a normal life? Is this something I did to make this happen? The questions were endless.

The reality of it is that Riley will get hearing aids before 3 months old and she will be a candidate for the coclear implants at 12 months (the FDA won't approve it until 12 months). The coclear implants are implanted into your ear through surgery. It is like having a bionic ear and the doctor told us if her having normal speech is our ultimate goal, then the implants are the way to go. So yes, we are going the implant route.

I think part of me is still in shock that this is going on. Ever mother wantst the best for her children and I just pray pray pray that I can give her all the tools she needs to make this challenge into a positive. As a mother that carried her child for 9 months, the guilt was overpowering. Was it something I ate? Could I have prevented this? Was it because she was premature? The reality of it is that God has a plan for our family that is bigger than anyone could imagine. He puts challenges in your life because he knows you can overcome them. Riley is such a gift to our family and I know that she is going to teach us so much more than we can teach her. She has brought so much joy to all the lives she has touched.

There is still a part of me that feels the test were wrong, she can hear me. She looks in my direction, or her eyes get big when I talk to her. We are going to take it day by day and not worry to much about the future. The plan TODAY is to get her in some hearing aids and go from there. I am comitted to learning sign language and working with her everyday with a speech therapist to make sure her speech is as normal as any child. There is nothing we wouldn't do for this little girl. She has filled a void in our lives that I never knew was there.

I love this one...

This is our story of our challenge that lies ahead. It is not something you wish for, or even really thing is going to happen but it does. 1 in every 100 children are born with hearing loss in this country. I am just thankful that they found it when they did and we can move forward.

Have a great Tuesday.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Month Young

Dear Riley,

I can not believe that you are already one month today! Time does really fly by. You are such a joy in your daddy and momma's life. I can not imagine one day with out you. They say your life changes when you have a child but I guess I never knew how much my life would change when you were born. I'm not talking about change like "I can't just go to the movies change" (even though that has changed too), I'm talking about the love that we have as a family now. Every single decision I make now in made with you in mind. You have brought our family to life and no one could ever replace this feeling.

There are so many things I would like to shelter you from, or make sure you don't make the same mistakes that your father and I once made. Life is a journey and the destination is not what it is about. You are going to make mistakes and fall some time in your life. If we didn't go through everything we went through we wouldn't be where we are...we wouldn't be WHO we are. I think one of the best things about life is that it goes by fast...enjoy it, take it in, and don't look back on things that you could have changed because in the end it makes you, well you so keep moving forward.


You are the prettiest baby I have ever seen, of course I may be biased, but can you blame me with that face? Today was your one month doctor's appointment and you were 6 lbs and 11 oz., 3% of your age...woohoo we are now on the growth charge. Needless to say, your head was in the 25% so I know you are going to be one smart little girl.

You just started sleeping in your crib last night and I was in there about 10 times checking on you to make sure everything was okay. I think I should just sleep in there instead of you sleeping in our room. That way you are sleeping in your crib and I am there if anything happens, best of both worlds? Not cool though...I know. That probably won't be good when your 12 and want friends to sleep over.
For now I won't worry about when you grow up, I will just take in every second with you and enjoy the ride. Our lives are just begining. Happy one month baby girl and we can not wait for every single memory with you.
Love Momma

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Christmas 2012

Since it is now November 3rd I feel it is totally appropriate to start bringing Christmas into our lives. I am so ready for christmas music, decorations, wrapping presents and even crazy shopping people. I am really temped to put up my christmas tree already. I have 4 more weeks of maternity leave and that would make me very very happy. I doubt hubby will actually let me do that...we will see.

Everyone knows how I love Christmas and the holidays but this year is extra special. The first christmas with Riley Mae is going to be one to remember. We will have a lot of first this year but she is going to love Christmas as much as her momma.

This year I feel that I have everything I need in life. I have family that is asking me for a list of things I want but I have everything I could ask for. I just want a relaxing Christmas with family and friends. Christmas eve at the Jones's is anything but relaxing, with 30+ people and now 2 newborns being passed around. Yikes...I can't wait.

BUT if you have to get me something, here are some of the things on mommys list. It is very hard for me to even think of "non baby items" but that is what I've been told to do.

I really need some new clothes. I am sure some of you are rolling your eyes at this because I have a ton of clothes but new baby equals new momma. I think my clothes are going to fit differently and I am hitting the gym hard for my post baby body after the new year. I love gift cards from express, HM, tj maxx, kohls, Old Navy.

I also would LOVE a new northface jacket here with these Tom shoes also here. I so hope Santa is reading this!

I also LOVE these slings made by sleeping baby products here in pool blue, spring green or coral pink. I saw these slings in a magazine and through other blogging moms. How cute would my little peanut be in one of these in spring. I am not sure if this is for mom or baby yet? I think more for momma.

Riley will be so young this year that she won't even remember this christmas. Im sure that doesn/t mean that she won't be just as spoiled. I know we are getting her the first christmas ordament and the holiday 2012 barbie doll. I wanted to get her the doll that was from her birth year. Hopefully she will keep in the box for safe keeping....who am I kidding?

No matter what Santa Claus brings, I already have our miracle. I just ask for our health, home and happiness. In the meantime....get that tree up and CRANK UP THE JINGLE BELLS!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Due Date

Since today is actually the day that Riley was due to make her entrance in this world. I thought it would be a perfect time to write "our story" or as most call it, "our journey". It is amazing that she has been here for over 3 weeks so far and today was supposed to be her actual birthday. Take it from me...those dates are just guesses and never 100%. I couldn't imagine my life without her these past 3 weeks.

I was really hestitant to write our journey on the blog because once I is out there, on the internet, for everyone to read, judge and have an opinion. Our journey is something that is really personal for me and a time in my life I will never forget. Many blog moms (or TTC moms) have inspired me to put our story out there. Hopefully it can be hope for women.

We tried for two years to get pregnant, I know that is not that long for some couples but to me it was a lifetime. Josh and I got married in September of 2010 and started trying right away. I am 32 and I knew I was going to have some issues trying to conceive (TTC). I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 20 years old. I went off birth control in college and never really thought it was going to be an issue...until I wanted to start a family.

For those of you that know me, know I am very driven, I also put a lot of pressure on myself in every situation. This was no different. I started going to a fertility specialist right away from the Cleveland Clinic (one of the best) and got some tests taken. Hormone levels were alittle off but nothing to be too concerned about. We also got Josh tested and his little swimmers were PERFECT. That was ahuge relief because male infertility is a lot more scary then mine.

We started the clomid and started "baby making" regularly. You see, there is a big difference between baby making and love making. For those of you in this process, you totally understand. During this process we picked up and moved to Indiana from Cleveland, no big deal right? It was very stressful, fun and emotional all the same time. I missed my family so, but was excited to have a fresh start. We needed it.

One week after we moved to Indiana, we found out we were pregnant off of the Clomid. It was amazing. Totally one of those songs were you are laughing, crying and jumping up and down like you won the lottery. The baby was due October 25th, we were estatic.

One week later we had a miscarriage, we lost our little baby. We were both devistated. I do not wish that on my worst enemy. So we picked ourselves up and kept trying and trying. Weeks and months went by with no positive result. We started seeing an RE here in Indiana (who was a buckeye fan so we couldn't go wrong). We absolutely loved him. We drove 2 hours each way to go and see him once a month because he was the best. We had Josh tested again, had my dye test and had more hormone tests for me.

In the meantime we prayed...and prayed and prayed. I turned to God so many times during this time. I wasn't really raised with a strong faith background, or didn't have much faith in my life. This felt like my last hope. This process was staining on me, and my marriage.

Doc found I was "insulin resistant" and  put my on metformin from Halloween 2011 through the holidays. After the holiday we were to start the shots and get us pregnant! The holidays came and went and the medicine was not working. I was not regular and still not ovulating. I went 4 months without a menstual cycle and decided to put TTC behind us and start the house hunting! We found an awesome house we absolutely love....and guess what?? it has a swingset:)

The time came were the doctor wanted us to start the shots and give me something to bring on my menstrual cycle. I told him to hold off because I felt like it was coming and wanted it to come naturally. I waited about another week and still nothing. Doctor told me to take a pregnancy test and come in and start the next process. I got home from my spinning class and did what the doctor ordered. The test came out POSITIVE...I was pregnant. I took 3 more tests....all positive.

What..could this be real? This time it wasn't a crying, jumping, crazy moment. Josh got home from the grocery, I walked out and said "I'm pregnant" and we both just stood there, and looked at each other. It was surreal.

Infertility is hard, and it an be a long long process. I  think people that don't experience it really understand what it can do to a woman, or a couple.It definitely changed me, made Josh and I stronger. I hope to have more babies in the near future but refuse to put my family through this stress again. We have our angel and the rest is up to God's plan.

 Don't tell women to "relax" or "it will happen". Even though it did happen for us when I relaxed and didn't put pressure on it, I would never say that to another couple TTC. It is all in God's plan, and when God's plan isn't your plan...rely on each other.

I am grateful everyday for this little girl in my life. Every 2 hours and wake up, every diaper change and every time I pick her up and she stops crying. I kiss her and appreciate every. single. moment.

Riley, we love you! You are truly the best gift.
Shannon and Josh

Monday, October 29, 2012

Life Lately

First I have to say that being a mom is awesome. I have no idea what I am doing most of the time but it is the most rewarding thing EVER. I am a total "Momma in Training" these days and asking a LOT of questions. It seems like my mom knows it all now, I call or text her like once a day now! Even my friends that have kids know everything there is to know about poop, diapers, sleep deprivation and sleep patterns. It makes me happy they all had kids first! I've had such great support.

When they tell you your life changes the second you become a mom...they are not lieing. Having a newborn changes everything in your life. I found myself looking up baby clothes and headbands and no longer looking up cute fall outfits on Pinterest for mommy.

Riley is now 3 weeks young (old) and  is growing up so fast. She is very alert most of the time but still gets her beauty sleep on and off during the day and night. She has one period of sleeping 4 hours but is mostly up every 3 hours. Who knew sleep deprivation could be so awesome....

Daddy is also a HUGE help when it comes to Riley. He gets home from work and is on "baby duty", while I read, blog or cook dinner. He helps out with feeds at night so we both end up getting some sleep. There is nothing sexier to me than a good dad and boy did I score the jackpot on that one.

Harvest time is upon us and our neighbors are hard at work. These farmers are out all the time lately. Friday they were out at our nidnight feeding, then again at six oclock when we were getting up again. I guess they only really do this type of work twice a year but man are they working right now. The whole country and farming is still so intriqueing to me. I had no idea...

Our view from our front yard neighbors.

Back yard neighbors

See when I tell everyone I live in Indiana in the country, now you know it's for REAL.
What else is upon us soon. CHRISTMAS! Christmas is 56 days away and I can. not. wait. Everyone that knows me, knows it is my most favorite time of year (goes along with fall and football season). I can't wait for the decorations, wrapping presents, crazy malls and line, snow, cold, family and friends. I haven't even think of anything this year that I "want" or "need" because I have everything I have ever asked for right below!

Happy Monday
Thank you to Kay at Life After Blog for creating my new blog design. It is fun, classy and stylish!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Packing up the Pump

Okay it has been two weeks and I already had my first "I am failing as a mom" moment. I think that actually happened in the first week. It has taken me one more week to get over it (kind of).

Everyone knows that I am(was) dead set on breast feeding. I mean I have it all...breast pump, nursing pads (like 500), storage bags, nursing bras and everything else you will possibly need to have a heathy breast feeding baby. I have read all the articles that tell you breast is best. I know and understand what I have to do to go back to work full time and breast feed. WELL....just like everything else, it didn't go as planned. Here is my story:

Baby Riley was early and I was not producing anything, no colustrum, milk or anything. I don't even think my breast grew during my pregnancy at all. Since Riley was so small we had to start feeding her something. The doctors let us know that most babies can survive off little once they are born because of the vitamins they received from my placenta and cord. She needed some food to help her gain weight.

Part of my birth plan (again we all know how my plan worked out) was to have skin to skin breast feeding right away after delivery. Since I had a c section I was in recovery for about an hour after the delivery so that didn't really work out. She was having trouble latching on because of how small she was. So we used a nipple shield with a feeding tube and sringe. I know it sounds complicated but I was against giving her formula in the first place and did not want her to be introduced to the bottle before I could even breast feed.

Well then I pumped. I pumped every two hours, had her try and feed every two hours and then resorted to the formula (high calorie) that the hospital was providing us. Again this was all through a feeding tube, skin to skin, and attached to the breast. My goal was to keep trying until it worked. I was determined.

Then we got home. Feedings took abotu 1 1/2 each time. I was still determined to get her on the breast milk. I just was not producing anything...nothing was happening. The little that I did produce she would gulp right up and be starving, I mean CRY YOUR HEAD OFF starved. Once I finally gave her the formula (again the the feeding tube) she was gulp it like she had never eaten before. That was my OFFICIAL I am failing as a mom moment. My baby was starved and I wasn't able to norish her??!!

Then the realization came when I went to the pedetrician. She lost a couple ounces since she was home. She was born at 5 lbs, came home at 4 and 12 oz, and was 4 and 10 two days later. His concern was she wasnt getting enough food. She was alway starved.

Still I pumped, and pumped, and fed her through the nipple shield with the feeding tube. My last resort was my appointment with my lacation nurse. After taking new herbs, still pumping and my milk ducts not producing anything, she gave me two options. Both were prescription medications that would (maybe) help my produce. One is something you get from a combine pharmacy, or overseas in New Zealand (really?) or the other is one you can take once and it has a high rate of depression. Okay that sounds like something I am willing to do. I just had a newborn and already think I am failing...I think my hormones had enough depression from one lifetime.

AFter talking about it with Josh, we decided against the prescription and I was going to give it up (i hate those words) but I did. I cried, cried and felt so guilty it killed me.

Today we are doing great and have already gained a pound since the big decision. The feeding are easier with Josh in the mix and she loves her Tommee Tippie bottles. They are a total newborn musthave because they are designed to resemble a breast nipple.

Sweetie I tried! Just remember that mom gave it her all but in the end your nurishment is more important because I just was not producing. So that folks is why I am PACKING UP THE PUMP.

Since I have this awesome newborn, I have so many great  posts to write about. Here are some that are coming your way:

Riley Mea's Musthaves
Delivery Story
Our Journey
My Pregnancy (hopefully with maternity pics)
The will be done this week

Happy Tuesday


Monday, October 22, 2012

2 Weeks Young

Dear Riley,

I can't believe you are two weeks young already. I know you will read this one day and laugh, but two weeks have flown by. The next thing I know you are going to be 16 when I blink again. I am just enjoying every single moment I have with you when I am home on leave. I know when I go back I will be such a mess...but enough talk about that for now.

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You are getting bigger and bigger by the day. You were 4 lbs 10 oz when we brought you home and now you are 5 lbs 3 oz. You can tell you keep gaining weight because your face is filling out and you are almost out of premmie clothes. Our little girl is getting so big.

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You love your hands and arms. You can not have them tied down at all. This means in a swaddle, carseat or your swing. You will let us know really quick that you are not having that. You have long fingers like me. We will try to get a basketball in your hands right away, or maybe some piano or swimming lessons. I will contact the YMCA right away (even though its not for a couple years).

You are starting to smile, or it could be gas, but whatever it is, it is ADORABLE. We just can not get enough of you. I hold you all. the. time. You love to be on my chest and will fall asleep or soothe yourself right when you hit my chest. I think you recognize my smell and heartbeat from those 9 months you were inside my belly.

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You love your rock n play sleeper and your boppy pillow. You do not like getting undressed at any time. I think your dad likes this and is thinking for the future. The only time you cry is when you are getting undressed, diaper changes or if your extremely hunger. Usually we have to wake you up to feed you so when you cry out of hunger, you are STARVED. We try not to let that happen since we switched to formula.

I love everything about you and your hiccups. Dad and mom couldn't be more proud of you and look forward to every single day in our future.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Past Week...

Sorry I have been out of commission this past week with no word for me. It is all for good reason...

Guess who made an early appearance???

Riley Mae was born on October 7, 2012 at 1:08am. She is 5.04 pounds of pure awesomeness. Josh and I couldn't be happier because she is absolutely perfect.

So far 2 weeks of momminess has been a pure blessing. Who knew exhaustion could be so rewarding. There has been many joys and surprises with little Riley. Nothing about her delivery, feeding schedule, or due date has been planned. She keeps us on our toes.

She is our little pumpkin and we love her to pieces.
I have some future blog posts that will tell you all about the delivery, first couple weeks and her Rileyisms.
I never knew you could love this much. Our lives are changed forever...and we love it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I Believe

It's Friday and that makes me feel like....

I think that I deserve some sort of award for making it through another week. Maybe a metal, cookie, or I will just settle for some pizza tonight.

I'm linking up again to make my blog world become bigger and today is the I Believe day. I think I needed another pick me up. Enjoy

I believe in wearing things that sparkle

I believe that your best friends are sisters you never had.

I believe an apple a day really does keep the doctor away.

I believe in working out and exercising your body.

I believe in laughing until it hurts.

I believe that college football should be all year round.

I believe that morning coffee makes everything better.

I believe in Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media that makes this world turn.

I believe that blogging is awesome and stimulates the economy.

I believe that love can change your life.

I believe wearing heals makes you feel prettier.

I believe on being attached to your Ipad, Iphone or whatever technology vice you have.

I believe that family will always be there. NO MATTER WHAT.

I believe in the power of prayer.

I believe in FRIDAYS! Woohooo.

Have a great weekend. One week closer.



Thursday, October 4, 2012

36 WEEKS Folks!

It's 36 weeks and time is slowing down. This week has been harder then the past weeks. I am starting to slow down my work schedule and prepare for baby. This is probably going to be the last bump attack picture. Belly is perfectly round like a basketball and ankles are like cantelope.'s time for me to take it eassyyyy.

Oh yea...I cut my hair and dyed it RED! I love it. It was alittle shorter than I thought I wanted it but now I actually do it. When it was longer I just put it back everyday and went on with my day. Mom's got to be stylin' too.

How far along: 36 weeks

Gender: Girly girl all the way. You go girl!

Movement: Lots and lots. She is dancing away in my belly. Sometimes she is trying to escape and sometimes she is just letting me know she is there. Josh is totally amazing, and slightly freaked out, by how vivid her movements are now.

Size: Honeydew! I am not sure who comes up with these analogies but she looks and feels way more like a huge watermelon.

Cravings: Brocoli Cheese Soup

Sleep: Still sleeping pretty great (knock on wood). My body pillow is the third person in our bed

Best Moments this week:
Dinner with Josh's parents
crafts for baby's room
Knowing that next week she is full term!

Worst Moments this week:
Lots of swelling
harder to get dressed or even function for that matter

These next couple weeks we have so much to look forward to. Bags are packed and we are ready to go. Next doctor's appointment is Tuesday and we get one week closer. Full term baby...can you believe it?


Monday, October 1, 2012

Your Father

Riley, I wanted to do a post so you would know a few things about your father. I already know you so much and he barely gets to even feel you kick. There is a special bond between father and daughter that most will never understand; i know all about a father daughter bond. These are good tips for you (and hopefully your siblings) to maybe make fun or joke with him someday....

  • Your dad LOVES to nap. He can nap anywhere and everywhere. He would take a nap in the garage if I let him. I think it is just he loves to sleep. He will sleep all night and then get up and take a nap in like 4 hours.
  • He's from Georgia and a southern boy at heart. He loves the county life and is a hard working man. He is not even close to a suit and tie guy. I think he got all of his ties since I met him...and he doesn't own a suit.

  • He would keep ESPN on all day if I let him...don't worry sweetie, I never will.
  • I think he is in love with the yard. He would probably mow it 3 or 4 times a week if it didn't take him 3 hours each time. He takes a lot of pride in the yard.
  • He is a totally ORGANIZED! To the extreme. We even have separate closets because mine is so messy and his is color coordinated. He is very neat likes things clean. We are opposite in that area:)
  • Is favorite shows are Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, Big Bang Theory, ESPN, or anything that involves swamps, antiques or reality tv. He also likes the Kardashians (yup mommy makes him watch it and now he is hooked on the madness).

  • He loves to golf but knows he needs lessons. He would golf everyday if he could.
  • Loves to fish also. He never keeps the fish because he could never hurt an animal so he throws them back everytime. His cousin Fritz wants him to come turkey hunting with him next year...yea, we need to witness this.
  • He loves Georgia Football. By the time your old enought to read this and understand this you will be well aware of that.
  • He used to have long hair in high school. YES! Long hair...can you believe it.
  • He must have a treat every night before he goes to bed. Peanut Butter Panic ice cream is his vice of choice. He can not get enough.
  • Two things you MUST KNOW: He has a HUGE heart.


He loves you and your mom very much!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Madness

Well we got through another week....phewwwww! Each week we get closer to our baby girl. Josh wrote me the cutest note this morning that said "you have to have a Monday to get a Friday". That is so true and I am ready for the 35

This weekend was nice. I was ordered to stay off my feet and I sorta sorta didnt. I convinced Josh to take my to hobby lobby and get some oh so cute things for the nursery. After about 30 minutes, I stared to swell up like a watermelon and Josh started freaking out. Neadless to say that was the end of my fun for the weekend:( Lot's of relaxing and a whole lot of studying for the GRE. GROSS!

Did I tell you I love Fall?? Well one of my favorite things about fall and fall programming is red carpet season. I just love all the glits and glam that has to do with the awards and red carpet. Here are some of my favs from last night

Julianne Hough looked stunning! You can't see it here but her eyes matched her gown to the T. She looked awesome. This color was a big one on the red carpet last night.

And I loved Kerry Washington's dress...wasn't crazy about her hair but that dress was awesome.

I will have to tune in tonight (if I can stay up) to see if one of my pics got the best dressed award.

Changing the subject...I have decided to pay someone to design my blog. I am getting so into this blogging community and hope to keep expanding. The more I comment, join sites and link up, the more views I get. I was up to 40 views on my 34 week post! That may seem like peanuts but it is great compared to 4 or 5. Munchkin Land Designs ( will design your blog for around $50, I think that is a great amount for a hobby. Right? I am thinking maybe a Christmas gift to myself????

And PS...Christmas is in 91 DAYS. I am so excited I might fall out of my chair. I am already thinking about how to decorate the house what Santa is bringing Josh and Riley. I just love the holidays!!!!!!!!

Happy Monday! One more day towards Friday.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Letter's


This is not the normal Friday Letter icon, but it works. I actually really like looks sorta vintage.

Dear Friday: I had to put you first because I just love you and so glad you are here. I wait for you all week. Dear Weekend: It is you, me and Netflix this weekend. We are going to have fun doing NOTHING. I can't wait a second longer. Dear Riley: I hope you like your room. It keeps changing with all the little things I keep getting. Your mom is like a big kid somethings, the carebears in your crig are really for me. Sorry about all the swelling and staying off my feet, Doctor's orders! Dear Husband: Thank you for being you. You have been so supportive and loving through this whole pregnancy. Do I have to start cleaning again when she is born? Dear Kardashians: I still can not seem to keep my eyes off of you. Khloe you are my hero and I know how hard trying to get pregnant is....keep your head up. Dear God: Please keep me positive and strong through these next 5 weeks. Our miracle is almost here.

I hope you guys have  a great weekend.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I'm Loving...

I decided to try a new link up this week. I usually do the "So What", well today I am feeling the LOVE.

This is what I am loving....

1. The weekends: I just love the weekend these day. We have NOTHING to do. Well, when I say nothing that means we have a lot to do but no traveling, unpacking, packing, showers, putting stuff together. All that is done. I am ready to join netflix and get HOOKED on a new show. It's the little things I look forward to these days. Ohh how times have change:)

2. These beautiful things:

Baby headband - flower headband - infant headband - newborn headband - adult headband - pink flower

Light pink chiffon headband, baby headband, adult headband, infant headband, child headband

I may have to buy these...sorry sweetie! My poor girl:/

3. Ebates: did I not know about Ebates before. You get paid to shop. DUH????

4. Fall Weather: Have I said that before. This is like the most perfect weather to be pregnant in. I love the trees and all the colorful decorations that fall brings. I think my crafting may have to come out soon.

5. The Voice: I am such a reality TV junkie. I mean it's real...right? I watched the Voice for the first time last night and I am hooked. I have to say goodbye to my American Idol days. I am sorry but I can not watch Nicki Manaj judge on sing talent...I just cant. However C Low and Blake Shelton make a great couple:)

6. September is almost over: I love that October is almost here!!! WHICH MEANS....Riley is almost here. I can't wait to be a family of 3!

What are you loving today??

Happy Hump Day



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

34 Weeks

We are at 34 weeks, 6 more weeks, 42 days, or 1008 hours...whichever way we look at it we are almost there! This past month has been a crazy hectic month with traveling, family visits, showers, daycares and all things baby. It is nice now to know that we can relax and just wait for baby Riley to get here (and watch football on Saturdays).

Size of Baby: She is approximately 4.5-5.8lbs and 18 inches (says She is now the size of an butternut squash, yup I have a butternut squash inside of me. It seems more like a watermelon now though!

Weight Gain: I have gained 28lbs since my last appointment which was 2 weeks ago. I go again on Thursday so we will see what I top the scale at. My goal was 30 all in total but if I gain less than 40 I will be a happy mamma.

Gender: Girl, girlfriend, girly girl, all things girl in our world.

Movement: Oh yes! Lots and lots of movement. She has now given my ribs some relief and started to lower herself. She is turning around so I feel her all day. Most of the time we can see her movements through my belly and clothes. It freaks everyone out but makes me smile:)

Cravings: Still really no cravings. Everything that I have been eating I liked to eat before I was pregnant. Something I do notice is that I love things extra saucy...extra sauce on pizza, ketchup on hamburgers...etc. That's all folks, no ice cream pickle sandwiches here. Gross.

Things I miss: Energy, pumpkin spice coffee creamer in REAL coffee (decaf is not real coffee), painting my toe nails (or even seeing my feet at all), fall clothes that are not maternity or huge, my friends and family.

Worst Moment this week: oh the heartburn. It has taken over my life. I can breath and get heartburn. I guess the pizza and mexican don't really help...that goodness for Tums.

Best Moment this week:  I guess just getting through another week feeling good and knowing in only 6 more weeks we are going to be parents. Other things I loved about this week:
  • Washing all of Riley's Clothes
  • More movement
  • Spending the weekend with Josh
  • Great church service
  • Fall weather is finally HERE!
  • shopping for baby clothes (we destroyed the gap outlet)!!! I have a funny feeling this little girls closet is going to be bigger than mine.  
 PS...One of my favorite blog moms, Kristen, had her baby this morning. I have been following her journey and learning how to be the best blogger from her. Congrats on your baby Tristen!
Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So What Wednedsay

So What Wednesday

Today I am saying SO WHAT if....

  • I am slightly jealous of woman that are further along than me and are having their babies any day
  • I didn't have time to take a shower this morning before work because the extra 30 minutes of sleep was more important
  • as soon as I get home from work I am in my PJ's
  • I still have a baby to do list the size of Indiana...yea better get on that
  • I am thinking about paying someone to redo my blog design
  • Burger King french toast sticks make my day a whole lot better
  • I was in bed last night at 9pm on our anniversary...hey I'm 8 months pregnant, its okay
  • I am literally counting down the days until baby Riley is here (48 days and counting...Holy *&%$^%&*
Happy Hump Day! What are you saying SO WHAT to today????


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th

In the past September 11th has always been a day of rememberance. A day to stop what you are doing and remember all the people and families that had loved ones taken from them. All the firemen, police officers, and military fighting for our country.

I will never forget where I was on September 11, 2001. It was my junior year at Kent State and I was in class. They shut down the school and told everyone to go home. The whole campus was running around trying to get to their friends and family. I was in a complete panic state, until I got home and saw what was going on. My heart stopped, and I just sat down. My roommates and I just sat and watched as America was terrorized and taken over.

I still feel that same panic 13 years later. I can still remember how I felt and every year our country will come together and STOP! Think about this day and what we stand for. Just take a minute and watch this video...remember.

Two years ago September 11th became a different kind of day, a day to celebrate. September 11, 2010 was the day I married my awesome husband, and soon to be father of my baby girl. We went back and forth on wether to choose this day for our celebration. In the end we wanted to make September 11th into a good day...a day to celebrate.

Everything about this day was perfect! We had the best support and family we could ask for. My girls were looking good and having a great time in celebration of Josh and I. 

The guys were the best! The were so fun and great to be around. Everyone was in great spirits the whole time. This pic describes these guys, you can't get better than this.

That's our group...just walking across the street, stopping traffic as usual.


We had such a great time taking pictures, despite the rain. Our day was amazing all around and I wouldn't change anything about it.

I am so happy and blessed that I found Josh. We are learning more and more about each other everyday. Our love continues to grow with each other. We are not the same people that met at Champs on a Tuesday evening, we are better. We have so much life to live and so many memories to make.


Josh always tells me that our wedding day was the best day of his life hands down. My response is " in 7 more weeks, that will become the best day of your life hands down". I am so excited for our journey of parenthood together and can't wait to share our memories with Riley.

Have a great day. Thank God for the blessings you have and take time to call the people you love today. Tell them!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dear Summer

The time has come where we have to part ways for the year. I know in the past this has been such a sad event in my life but my life is continuing to change and that means with you too. It's not you, its me. You were once my favorite season of the year. I would count the days until you would arrive. I got all my dresses ready, pool gear and baby oil to rub down for that all around sunkissed tan. Times have changed, I have changed.

Fall is now my favorite season! I have always been a fan of fall but now I am ready for it to be number 1 in my life. Fall has such great qualities to offer me. The colors, pumpkins, harvest, chili, cold drinks and fall football. I can not wait to be able to take walks in the park and down our street and not sweat walking out of my house. I get to wear long pants, hoodies and sweaters. I can drink hot tea and pumpkin spiced coffee in the morning.


Although we had some great days and beautiful summer nights, I am looking forward to crisp fall mornings and dress cozy by the fire. I love to watch football on Saturdays and make pumpkin bread for Josh.

I hope there are no hard feeling. I didn't really get to enjoy you this year because you were hot, humid and make me swell up. I had to lather on the sunscreen everytime I went outside and I know that is only the beginning of our new relationship. You will be missed by many.

Now bring on Fall


PS. 54 days until baby Riley is here! WOOP WOOP (happy dance).