Friday, December 30, 2011

Thank You

The end of the year brings with it a look back on the past 365 days. This year will go down in our family history book as being one heck of a roller coaster ride. From surprise to elation, to excitement and fear, to dread and anticipation, to hope and relief. Some of you have been with us from the beginning. For you, I write this blog…

This year has been a learning experience. To name a few; I learned how to be a stronger person, how to be a better friend, and how to support the ones you love, and I learned these lessons from some of you.

When complications from my pregnancy first arose;
-For those of you that met me at Starbucks and helped quiet my fears
-For those at you that would come into my cube and pray with me for health and peace
-For those of you that brought fruit to my desk “just because”
-For those of you that dropped your work to sit with me when I couldn’t stop crying


During my six week of bed rest at home;
-For those of you that stopped by just to say “hi”
-For those of you that brought a meal or snacks
-For those of you that did laundry and cleaned my house
-For those of you that sent a card or package


During my 6 weeks in the hospital;
-For those of you that came to my room for a visit
-For those of you that called, sent an e-mail or text
-For those of you who brought lunch or a treat
-For those of you that sent goodies to the hospital
-For those of you that took wonderful care of me and my growing family


Throughout it all;
-For those of you that answered my plea for prayers
-For those of you that never gave up hope
-For those of you that encouraged me that all would be fine
-For those of you that I’ve never met, yet joined us on this journey


The depth of my gratitude is not describable in words. I appreciate you. I am thankful for you. This journey was better because you were on it with us. And you have made me want to be more like you; to support those in need.

Difficulties in life sometimes bring out the best in people, and I have seen the best in many of you.
Thank you

Merry Christmas Baby!!

He loves his blocks!
My favorite gift wasn’t wrapped in a beautiful package or nestled down in the toe of my red fuzzy stocking. It was found in my bed, snuggled between his father and me, breathing deeply, with arms stretched out. Watching the rise and fall of his chest beneath his soft polar fleece sleeper was mesmerizing. A little further across the sheets was a larger version of my tiny sleeping angel (minus the polar fleece sleeper). My two boys, breathing in unison, completely at peace, safe and sound and within arm’s reach…this is all I need or want…better than any gift that can be purchased in a store.

I whispered Merry Christmas to my husband and the littlest angel’s eyes flew open as if he had been patiently waiting for us to wake up. Morning hugs and kisses followed before we gathered around the Christmas tree. As P’s eyes fell on his colorful blocks, I put him down and his hands immediately went to work grabbing at them. I sat him on his push-n-ride and pushed him around the living room. I was more interested in showing P his new gifts and going through his stocking than I was with my own. Watching his eyes drink in the colorful books and balls, his hands didn’t know what to grab next. Scott and I took turns going through our stockings and gifts and enjoying the Christmas spirit that is so strong on Christmas morning.

Under our tree sat a Nativity. The Nativity belonged to my great-grandmother and has been on display every Christmas since I can remember. When I was younger the nativity was home to my Christmas elves that ran between the packages beneath the tree, accidently ripping open a gift or two. A small present was hidden behind the Nativity…the tag said “To: Mom, Love: Paisley.” Although I shouldn’t be surprised, I was touched that my husband would get a gift for Paisley to give to me. The gift was a mother and child necklace that has a diamond and Paisley’s birthstone in the shape of a heart. It was thoughtful, it was heartfelt, and it was from our son to me.
Christmas at the Fisher's
Our family of 3 headed to Scott’s parents for breakfast. Paisley got to interact with his cousins and we opened more gifts. Dumplin decided he needed some down time so he laid on a blanket next to his Momma and watched as we opened gifts.
Daddy with his girls
As the clock crept closer to lunch, it was off to my parent’s house for more Christmas cheer. After a delicious lunch of breakfast brunch items, we gathered in the living room and opened the beautiful red glittery packages. We learned that red glittery packages end up getting glitter everywhere! I found glitter in P’s diaper later that night! We had a surprise visit from my Aunt that I hadn’t seen in far too long. It is always good to see her as she is one of the funniest, most loving, and giving people I have ever met.
We received some fabulous gifts and Dumplin got a Little People Airplane that became his favorite gift that evening. My sister had cross stitched a dark haired girl and a blonde haired boy holding a baby with “The Fisher’s” stitched below it. It was framed in a beautiful wood frame and I can’t wait to hang it in P’s room. It was a priceless gift that touched the heart of my husband and I.

We chatted, we laughed, we passed the baby and drank coffee. There weren’t enough hours in the day to spend as much time with my family as I would have liked. It’s nice to love and be loved. It’s nice to have a group of people that love my baby and he loves them. It’s nice to walk into the house and feel like “I’m home,” even if it’s not the place I rest my head every night. Their company and love warmed my soul and I was so happy to share that with Paisley this year.
Paisley with his great-grandmother and cousins
As the evening nipped at our heels, we headed to Scott’s grandmother’s house for dinner. Paisley is so blessed that he got to spend Christmas not only with both sets of grandparents, but also with 2 great-grandmothers and a great-grandfather. Dumplin enjoyed laying in front of her Christmas tree and rolling around. There were more gifts and plenty of food, and entertaining little ones. As my eyes grew heavy and baby boy fussed for his bed, we packed up our car and headed home for the night.

We tucked our little dumplin in under the twinkling lights of his Christmas tree. I whispered Merry Christmas once more and we closed his bedroom door. Scott and I headed outside to enjoy the last few hours of Christmas in the warmth of our hot tub. The air was brisk and the clear sky was dark as coal. The stars twinkled brightly as if someone above had strung white Christmas lights throughout the sky. We breathed deeply and reflected on the activity of the day. Last Christmas as we wound down the evening, we had no idea we would be celebrating this Christmas with a little one. Now we couldn’t imagine a Christmas without him.

As I laid my head on Scott’s chest in bed that night, I prayed Paisley’s dreams were filled with images of the little baby in the manger, the faces of his family and a guy in a big red suit bringing him gifts. And I prayed each member of my family was safely tucked away in their beds, filled with the spirit of the season, and knowing they are loved and appreciated. Love is the greatest gift to give and receive. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the House...

Sometime during that Christmas Eve night, a jolly
little man brought gifts for all.
Christmas Eve has always been the most magical night of the year. Growing up, every Christmas Eve we would drive through Lincoln State Park on the way to my Grandparents house. Perhaps it was coincidence or something more, but we would always spot enough deer in the woods to make up Santa’s team of reindeer.

Their long driveway took us past their Christmas tree farm and up the hill to their home. It doesn’t get much more Christmas-y then owning a Christmas tree farm. My grandfather would always put Christmas lights around the pine tree in their front yard. We would burst into their home and be greeted with hugs and kisses and a variety of 12 different Christmas desserts.
My cousins would arrive and we would eat like kings and queens. There were H'orderves of every type, my favorite being my mother’s little chicken salad sandwiches. In the family room they had a large sliding glass door that I would stand at and look into the star filled sky, hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa’s sleigh. The fireplace would be roaring and the clock on their mantle would tick-tock the seconds away. It was safe and warm and filled with people that I love so much.
We would open gifts and the cousins would play. As the evening grew darker, my grandfather would play his harmonica as we all gathered around him. One Christmas while living in Wyoming, I was unable to make it home for Christmas. That year my mom held the phone next to my grandfather while he played so I could still be a part of that  tradition. I missed my family more at that moment than any other.

The 45 minute drive home from their house was filled with much anticipation. One year our car didn’t have headlights so my father tied a flash light to the grill of his truck to guide us home. My favorite times were the evenings it would snow. With my face pressed against the cool glass, I watched the ground accept the soft white blanket. At home, we opened 1 gift, it was always pajamas. When my sister and I were younger they were matching. As we got older, we were able to pick out whatever pajamas we wanted. Then it was off to mid-night mass, which was never really at mid-night, but 9pm. I loved to hear the choir sing and smell the incense hanging in the air. As I crawled into bed that night, I was too excited to fall right to sleep.  I would strain my ears to listen for the sound of hooves of our roof.  I wondered what would be waiting under the tree in the morning. I wondered how Santa could make it all over the world and hoped he had received my letter asking for the pogo stick, boom box, Holiday Barbie, etc. He always received my letters.
A few of the grandkids with our grandparents

Grandparents get older, harmonica’s lose their tune, and homes with the tree farm get sold. I wish my son could have experienced one Christmas Eve in the house on the hill. With this being our son’s first Christmas, we have a clean slate to start new traditions. I want to fill his head with memories that when he is 30 years old, he will look back upon and smile.
This year on Christmas Eve our family of 3 headed to Christmas Lake Village (a very appropriate place to spend Christmas Eve) to my Aunt and Uncle’s home. Not all of the cousins were there, but we were with family, and there was food, and there was love. We got to spend time with those we don’t get to see very often and got to meet the girlfriend of one of my favorite cousins. We took pictures and laughed and I was thankful that our car had headlights to guide us home. I was nervous to take our little bundle to mid-night mass…he could very well be louder than the choir of 15 adults and I didn’t want to upstage them. So home we went. I read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to Paisley and tucked him into his crib. Scott and I left the Christmas tree lights on all night because we wanted to make sure Santa could find our house.
A tired Momma and a happy Christmas Eve baby
I crawled into bed as anxious as I did when I was little girl. I was excited for our boy to experience Christmas Day and to feel the spirit and love that I had growing up. I didn’t have quite as much trouble falling asleep as I am a bit more sleep deprived these days than I was 10 or so years ago. With fingers crossed, I hoped Santa would find our house and that we can make a memory or two for our little fish.

…Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Wish for You

Image courtesy of Google

May today there be peace within

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith

May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you

May you be confident knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow you to be at peace

It is there for each and every one of us

*The author of this piece is unknown.  I felt compelled to share it as it is uplifting, hopeful, and true.  May it touch each of you.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quickest 4 Months Ever...

Great Scott! I'm 4 months old!
 Didn't I just write about our boy turning 3 months?  As quickly as the month has gone, we have squeezed a ton of activity and life into those days! There has been more growth in our boy in the past month than any previous month.  In just 4 months, he went from a 6lb. baby that had zero idea of the world around him to an almost 14lb. baby that loves talking and actively tries to be a part of this world. 

Birth Stats              4 Month Stats
6lbs. 5.9oz               13lbs. 15oz (25%)
19 inches long          26 inches long (89%)

This month, Paisley has;
Had his first slumber party!  Scott went out of town for work so P and I packed our bags and off to grandmother's house we went.  P slept like an angel in his pack-n-play and enjoyed the time with his Nana.  I didn't mind the extra time with my Momma either.

P flew to Florida and behaved like an experienced traveler as we went through security and boarded the plane.  Thank goodness he is a good traveler because his journeys have only just begun.  Along with flying to Florida, P got to put his feet in the sand (which made his toes promptly curl) and listened to the crash of the waves as we laid beneath a cabana.

He said his first word..."good" this month.  Why would a baby say the word "good" you ask?  Because both grandmothers spend the entire day, everyday, saying "You're good!" and "Are you good?"  Every conversation we have with P, he makes sure to mention that he is good.  I've instructed both of them to start working on "Momma."

Besides saying good, he tries to talk in sentances.  Sometimes it is just the word "good" over and over again, but he uses different tones and varies the loudness.  Sometimes he enjoys talking VERY loud.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say he gets that from me.

We have a rolling baby!  He's always rolled from his stomach to his back but he now rolls from his back to his stomach.  We have yet to actually witness this event, but every night we put him to bed on his back and by morning he is on his stomach.  He also enjoys rotating throughout the night.  He goes to bed with his head facing north but when I go in to feed him in the morning his head is facing south.
Playtime is becomming more and more fun!  Paisley will now hold (and throw) his toys.  He likes knocking over his stacking cups after I have stacked them up.  He loves sitting in his Bumbo and looking at everything around him.    

The wonderful world of teething has begun.  We noticed our boy was drooling more that a dog sitting 2ft away from a t-bone steak.  Then the chewing on his hands started.  Then he just seemed cranky.  After a quick trip to Google we decided our pumpkin was working on some teeth.  They haven't broke through the gums yet...but I have a feeling they will make an appearance sooner than later.

No more 3 month size clothes for our boy.  He is comfortably wearing 6-9 month.  It makes me smile while tugging at my heart a bit as I put away his outgrown clothing.  They look so tiny. 

P joined his mom and dad on the annual Christmas tree cutting excursion.  We bundeled up our Dumplin and off we went (Griswald style) to cut down a tree.  We crossed our fingers that Paisley didn't have any allergies to pine and/or sap (he does not).  It was a wee bit cold so we quickly went to work finding the perfect tree and cutting it down. 
Paisley got to meet Santa!  Of course Paisley told him he was "good" and enjoyed sitting on the big guys lap.  I hope as Paisley gets older he is always that happy and relaxed when talking to Santa.

Dumplin continues to be exclusively breastfed.  At his 4 month appointment his pediatrition did recommend we start feeding him cereal.  That should lead to some very cute pictures and a potential mess or two. 

I'm very pleased with P's sleep schedule.  He will go down anywhere from 8-9:30 and wake up one time throughout the night to eat.  It is usually around 4:00.  Then he gets up with me at 5:30 to start our day.  It is amazing how much better I feel only getting up one time verses when we were getting up twice. 

P's Loves:
Being read to
Playing in his Jumperoo
Putting soft objects in his mouth
Splashing around in his bath tub

Getting in his car seat
Laying flat on his back (he has a world to watch!)
Getting out of the bath tub
Every month it's the same thing...
you sit me in this chair and take picture after picture. BORING!
As we say good bye to 3 months we anxiously look forward to seeing what our 4 month old has in store for us!
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Baby Boy lives it up in Florida

Pictures tell a better story than is our vacation:

Baby Boy gets his Wings!

Some passengers looked at us with pride while others prayed we wouldn't be seated near them.  I admit, prior to my days as a Momma, I dreaded flights that contained children under the age of 15.  Now, here were my husband and I...holding the infant in 32D on a flight from Louisville to Atlanta. 

We thought about this trip long and hard.  Do we travel with our 3 month old or sit this vacation out?  It had become a tradition to spend every other Thanksgiving in Florida.  If we decided on going, do we drive or do we fly?  So much to think about and with the price of airfare rising by the second, we purchased our airfare and prayed Baby P enjoyed the trip. 

The drive to Louisville wasn't bad.  P slept the entire way.  As we got comfortable in our seats on the plane, I quickly pulled out my Hooter Hider and let P enjoy a mid-morning snack.  My plan was to do whatever it took to not have a screaming baby.  Down the runway we went and soon enough we were air born.  The flight was a little under a hour which was fantastic.  We had about 20 minutes to go when P started working on a fuss.  You know a fuss is coming when his entire head turns bright red and he squeezes his lips together to form a tight line.  I quickly learned what the fuss was for as he opened his mouth and shot projectile milk all over me.  Let me clarify; I was sitting next to the window and milk got on the window, on my shirt, on my scarf, in my hair, on my pants, soaked through to my underwear, on my cowboy boots, and last but not least, the purse that was nestled between my feet.  And suddenly baby was happy again.  I on the other hand now smelled like a rotten dairy farm.  Thank goodness we were landing soon.
As we got comfortable in Atlanta waiting on our flight to Tampa, I took the opportunity to clean up and Scott got Paisley down for a nap.  Who needs a pack-n-play when you have a carry on suitcase full of clothes?  It was the perfect bed for Dumplin! 

The flight to Tampa was less eventful which I was thankful for.  We touched down and welcomed our babe to the Sunshine State.  We hopped in our rental and hurried off to meet up with my family.  After all, it was Thanksgiving and we had a seafood dinner to eat!!
Happy Thanksgiving from Florida!!

My first Turkey!

An 18lb. turkey is probably a bit much for 2 adults and an infant, but who doesn’t love a leftover turkey sandwich?

It was a bit nerve wracking baking my first turkey because I didn’t want to waste a perfectly good bird. I threw on my apron and threw caution into the wind. I was bound and determined to start some traditions for our babe and having his Momma bake a turkey was going to be one of those traditions.

Here is the step by step process I took to bake our delicious Thanksgiving bird

-I removed our 18lb. bird from the freezer and let it thaw in our refrigerator for 3 days.

-The night before he went into the oven, I stuck him in the sink and gave him a bath. At this time, I removed the packet of gizzards and giblets that were stuffed inside him. After drying off the clean bird, I rubbed olive oil over the body. I sprinkled Black Pepper and Garlic Powder over the bird. My rubber gloved hands massaged the oil and seasoning into the birds skin. (I tossed the packet of innards in the trash as I was not interested in using those parts of the bird). Back into the fridge the bird went for the night with the seasonings soaking into his skin.

-The next morning, I put a stick of butter into the cavity of the bird, poured a can of chicken broth over the body, and draped an aluminum foil tent over the turkey breast. Into the pre-heated oven at 325 degrees it went. Since there was not stuffing inside our bird, I set the timer for 3 hours.

-As the bird cooked, the skin went from pasty white to a golden honey color. At exactly 3 hours, I pulled out the bird and inserted the thermometer. The red line hit the section that said “Poultry” and our bird was done!
Not to pat my own chef’s hat, but the turkey was darn good. Scott was shocked that my first attempt at baking a turkey was so easy and the results far surpassed our expectations. We took the extra meat (and there was plenty) and placed it in freezer bags in our deep freeze. I will use this recipe again next year!

A few key facts I learned:

-Turkeys, especially 18lb. turkeys, take time to thaw. By time, I mean days.

-Baking and roasting a turkey is basically the same thing.

-The turkey needs to bake/roast in a roasting pan, not a baking sheet.

-Leave the oven door closed while you bake. No opening and closing and opening and closing.

-Once you pull the turkey out of the oven, it is going to be hot and steamy. Don’t burn yourself.

-Your roasting pan will have some discolored stains in it. Nothing you do will get the pan clean.

Until next year!

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner

What does my little turkey say? Gobble Gobble!!
Thanksgiving was around the corner and a large turkey was sitting in our freezer. I had never had a turkey in our freezer before and I was contemplating what exactly I should do with it. The Fisher family had plans to spend Thanksgiving in Florida, but I wanted to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal before we headed south. Scott was out of town for a few days and I thought it would be nice for him to come home to a pre-Thanksgiving feast. With that thought, I removed the turkey from the freezer, popped it in the refrigerator and headed to bed.

The next morning while dropping Dumplin off at his Grammies, I casually mentioned to my father-in-law that I would be baking a turkey that night.

Me: I'm going to bake my first turkey tonight!

FIL: Did you already thaw your turkey?

Me: Yeah! I took it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge last night.

FIL: That turkey isn't even close to thawed. Did you pull the insides of the turkey out?

Me: Pull the insides of the turkey out???

FIL: You better consult a recipe book on cooking turkeys before you do anything else.

I took his advice and researched how to cook a turkey. It was then I learned that it takes days to thaw a 18lb. turkey, not just 1 night. I also learned a baking sheet is not what one uses when baking a turkey, but a special pan. As I picked up Dumplin that afternoon, I borrowed a special turkey cooking pan as well as some rubber gloves (I wasn't about to stick a bare hand inside that bird) from my mother-in-law. I found a recipe on the Internet that I knew I could handle and I was ready to bake us a turkey (recipe to come in another blog).
Our turkey carver!
After another 2 days of thawing my turkey was ready to go into the oven. I put the baby in his Jumperoo, put some finishing touches on the bird, and into the oven it went. As the bird was on its final hour, Scott got home from the airport. He was greeted with a Thanksgiving feast for 3 (although only 2 of us actually eat real food). It was a delicious pre-Thanksgiving feast that was a great way to kick off our holiday season!

Happy Thanksgiving from our table to yours!
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