Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ring In The New Year

Dearest Joshua David~

What better way to ring in the new year than with a visit to the eye doctor! :-P Yes, today was your follow up visit to see how your left eye has been healing, and to make sure your right eye is still growing properly. Gigi went with us. They had to dilate your eyes first. Then, Dr. Board came in and examined both eyes. He started with the left and then went to the right. They kept you in your car seat while letting your eyes dilate. Once your eyes were dilated, the assistant put you in the chair for the exam. You were so little in that big chair!

Dr. Board turned all the lights off for the exam. He used little lights and magnification. You did pretty good, but still cried a lot. I held you after the exam. :-)

The doctor said your eyes looked good! He was very pleased with the way your left eye has healed. And, your right eye appears to be fine for now, so no need for any treatment! We have another appointment in 8 weeks for another follow up.

One funny thing did happen at the doctor's office .... once the assistant placed you in the chair she said, "Look Dr. Board! He's wearing cute little UNC socks!" At that moment, gigi and I saw a huge diploma on the wall from DOOK! :-P And there I was in my Carolina sweatshirt, holding your Carolina blanket, with a Carolina diaper bag, looking at your Carolina socks! Ha! Go Heels! :-)

After the doctor, we took a quick trip to the bank (you stayed in the car with gigi) and then to Target (wonder if this store will still be around by the time you read this!). We didn't stay in Target for very long though .... it was just a quick errand.

Today is the last day of 2009. Traditionally, people stay awake until midnight to "ring in the new year." I don't know if I'll make it unless you decide to eat at that time! Usually, people make new year's resolutions, or a list of things they wish to accomplish during the next year. Your list could be something like:

1- grow a tooth
2- sit up
3- learn to walk
4- sleep through the night (that is daddy's and mommy's wish too!) :-)
5- gain weight (usually people wish for the opposite) ;-)
6- stay cute and adorable .... I know you'll accomplish this one!

Sleep tight little fellow!

I love you very much!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Better Sleep

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet little thing! Last night you had a good nap! You slept pretty good, maybe because you were awake for a lot of the day before. You slept for a little over 4 hours! Woohoo! And, again, when I changed you in the morning, you decided to pee on me. :-P

We had a pretty relaxing day today. I started on some thank you cards from the Christmas holiday. I signed your name to them since you still can't write. :-)

I read a cool book to you. Your (Great) Aunt Beth gave you a personalized baby book with animals in it as the characters. I read it to you as we waited for daddy to come home from work.

Your gigi and Uncle James came over this afternoon. Your uncle was going back to Chapel Hill, since the holidays were over, and he wanted to come by and see you before leaving. We all sat and had a hot chocolate. You slept. :-)

Tonight, your grandpa Mike and mimi came over for dinner. You were a little fussy, but eventually fell asleep around 9ish. Grandpa Mike held you for a little bit.

Tomorrow we go back to the eye doctor for a follow up visit since the surgery. You don't appear to have any problems, but the doctor will probably dilate your eyes and take a really good look. Gigi is coming with us to help. Hopefully, you won't scream too much, like in the hospital. Mommy didn't like that. :-(

It's probably going to be chilly tomorrow, so we'll have to bundle you for the car ride! Don't worry, you have plenty of blankets and warm clothes. :-)

Sleep tight little man!

I love you!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We Danced

Dearest Joshua David~

Today we danced! There were several times in the afternoon when you wouldn't fall asleep. You would yawn, but then stay awake like you were trying to fight the sleepiness. So, I asked you to dance with me. We were quite good, if I do say so myself. ;-) I don't know if I ever told you this, but your family loves music! Several people play instruments .... and are really good at them! In fact, your gigi actually played at my wedding while Grandpa Jim walked me down the aisle. So, being the music lovers that we are, you and I danced!

We danced to different types of music. I put a "Dixie Bee-Liner" CD in first, and we danced to a few bluegrass songs. Later in the afternoon, I put a George Winston CD in, and we swayed to some piano instrumentals. :-)

Guess what? More food from church came today! It was good too! Daddy and I need to watch out or we'll gain so much weight you won't recognize us! ;-)

Today is your (Great) Aunt Beth's birthday! Daddy and I called her this evening to sing to her. You were in the background doing the harmony vocals.

You ran out of wipes for your little butt, so daddy had to go to the store this evening to pick some up for you. Wouldn't want you to be all dirty!

Sleep tight little angel!

I love you very much! :-)


Monday, December 28, 2009

Three Outfits

Dearest Joshua David~

We had a very busy morning! Your 3am feeding took longer than expected. When I went in to change you, your diaper was very dirty! You were busy the hour before! It took awhile for me to completely wipe you and get you clean. Then, I changed your outfit since everything was dirty! :-P Once I gave you the bottle, I had to rock, sway, and walk with you to get you to fall back asleep. By 4:30am, I put you back down. You still weren't asleep, but you were yawning and I needed to lay down! By 6am you were hungry again. I changed you and you decided to pee everywhere! Again, I cleaned everything up and put another, dry, outfit on you. By 6:30am you were already in your third outfit of the day! After I fed you and put you back down, I ate a little breakfast and then we both took a nap. What a morning! :-)

I emptied your dresser and reorganized all your clothes. You got a lot of outfits from people for Christmas, so I had to redo the drawers to make room. I took out your preemie size outfits since they're getting a little snug.

Your gigi and Uncle James came over after lunch today. I showed them the Wii. Your gigi was good at multitasking .... she held you while sitting on the couch and still moved the controller to play the games!

When daddy came home from work, he held you and took another video of you with the pacifier. You sure love that thing!

We got our first hospital invoice in the mail today for your 8.5 weeks in the Intensive Care Nursery. You owe us a lot of money! I'll make a tab for you! ;-)

Sleep tight little one ....

I love you very much! :-)


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! Did you know you have a large family? And, that everyone can't wait to meet you? You got to meet three more relatives today! Your grandpa Jim's two sisters and brother-in-law came into town to see you! Your (Great) Aunt Pops came from Virginia, and your (Great) Aunt Peans and (Great) Uncle Tom came from Pennsylvania! Oh, did I tell you that everyone in the family has a nickname? The names "Pops" and "Peans" are nicknames that your great-grandfather gave them. :-) They all brought over more gifts for you and some food for daddy and me.

This morning, after we both had some breakfast, you and I took a nap together! We were tired, and that gave daddy sometime to relax in a peaceful house! ;-)

This afternoon, we all watched a movie together. It was about bluegrass music and had some concert clips in there of some of our favorite bands. It was really good! Again, you slept through some of it, but started to stir towards the end. Daddy plays guitar and banjo. I can noodle around on the mandolin. :-P I took lessons before you were born. Daddy played you some music on the guitar and you fell asleep.

This evening, we had food brought over from a friend from church! You didn't have any, but daddy and I ate a lot!! It was good! And, we have enough for a few more dinners!

We took all the tags off your new clothes and did your laundry this evening. Tomorrow I'll go through your dresser and reorganize everything. Your preemie clothes are getting tight, but some of the newborn clothes are little too big. You're "between sizes!" ;-)

Well, you're about to stir for your next bottle.

I love you so much!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Popular Fellow

Dearest Joshua David~

Today you got to meet more relatives! Your (Great) Aunt Beth (gigi's sister) and mommy's cousin, Stephanie, came to see you. You've heard about both of them. Stephanie is Charlie's mommy. You're borrowing a lot of his stuff right now! They both came to hold you and visit.

Daddy and I played with you today. And, we changed your little outfit.

There was a Carolina football game on in the afternoon. You slept through a lot of it.

You were fussy this evening. Daddy and I both walked around with you, and swayed with you, to help calm you. You eventually fell asleep.

Your daddy got a DVD of the Black Crowes for Christmas. You watched the concert with him while I cleaned. Daddy said you slept through most of it, but you smiled during the song "Torn and Frayed" (originally by the Rolling Stones). Daddy also likes that song. :-)

Your Uncle Brennan and Aunt Katie got daddy and I a Nintendo "Wii" for Christmas. By the time you read this, there will be some new video game system out there! We could create our own "Wii" characters, so daddy created one for him and we created one for you! I've been playing under your name. ;-)

Sleep tight little fellow!

I love you very much! :-)


Friday, December 25, 2009

Ten Weeks

Dearest Joshua David~

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Today you are 10 weeks old .... 40 weeks gestation! Today is your due date, so you're officially a newborn! ;-)

It's windy and rainy outside. You got to see the rain through the windows.

Daddy and I gave you a bath this morning, and put you in a Christmas outfit (your gigi gave it to you). It says "Santa's Favorite." :-)

This morning, daddy's side of the family came over. You got to see your mimi, grandpa Mike, Uncle Brennan, Aunt Katie, and your (Great) Uncle Ned! Uncle Brennan got to hold you for the first time. You fell asleep in his arms. It was so cute. :-)

You got lots of gifts .... mostly clothes, which is good! We're putting all the new clothes together in a pile so that we can wash them all. We've started to move you more into "newborn" size clothes, so this weekend I'll go through your dresser and update your outfits.

This evening, your grandpa Jim came to watch you for about 2 hours as daddy and I went over to gigi's to see mommy's side of the family. We have a few traditions in our family. I told you about the Secret Santa game that we play. We also do a "gag gift" exchange. The first year we did this (many, many years ago), your (Great) Aunt Beth bought a big can of peas and carrots. She wanted your gigi to get it, since she hates peas. But, your (Great) Uncle David ended up with the can. Well, the very next year he brought back the can and we've been passing it around ever since! This year, your gigi got stuck with them.

The crafts this year turned out really good! We were to make, or decorate, a stocking to represent your Secret Santa person. You had your (Great) Uncle Laurence, so you made a stocking with material depicting the Marines!

We all voted on which stocking we liked the best. Your daddy won! He handmade a stocking to look like a bowling shoe to represent my cousin Chris! The prize was a Mickey Mouse mug that plays music. The mug was my Nana's (mommy's mommy's mom!). She was the one that created this tradition of making crafts at Christmas. When she passed away in 2001, we continued the tradition for her and made the prize something "Mickey" related that belonged to her. My Nana loved Mickey!

I read a quote the other day:

"It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself" .... Charles Dickens

How precious that you're our little Christmas gift .... a sweet baby at Christmas .... when our Lord and Savior was born and a baby Himself! Between visitors, daddy and I talked to you as you fell asleep and told you that we loved you!

Sleep tight .... Merry 1st Christmas! :-)

I love you .... my little Christmas gift!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Dearest Joshua David~

We're counting down the hours until Christmas! Your very first Christmas! Daddy and I cleaned the townhouse to prepare for the visitors.

We celebrated Christmas with mommy's side of the family this evening. Your grandpa Jim and gigi came over. And, you got to meet your Uncle James for the first time! You, of course, got a lot of gifts! Everyone likes you! ;-)

Daddy made a homemade lasagna from scratch. Yummm! You had mommy's milk. You liked it though, and it was good for you!

You had a rough evening. We couldn't seem to calm you until late at night. :-P We put your pacifier in and you liked it. Then, you kept spitting it back out and we had to have gigi hold you to calm you.

Do you know what you want for Christmas? Have you been a good boy so far? :-) I'm sure you'll get lots of things tomorrow from Santa. Of course, YOU are our Christmas gift!

Sleep tight little fellow! I'll see you on Christmas Day!

I love you so much!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

First "Newborn" Outfit

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little fellow! How are you doing? :-)

Today gigi came to eat lunch with us again. She fed you and changed you and you fell asleep in her arms. :-)

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Daddy doesn't have to work the rest of the week, so we can be all together as a family for the next few days! How exciting!

You were a bit messy today with a few of your feedings, so we changed your clothing this evening. We decided to try you out in one of your "newborn" size outfits. We picked one out that looked a little smaller than the rest to see how you did. You filled it up quite nicely! It's still a little long, but you're definitely growing into it! It won't be long until you're too big for all your "preemie" size clothes.

You really liked your pacifier this evening. When I was laying with you on our bed, I gave it to you to suck on. I thought it was cute so I took a little video of you with it. Every time it fell out, daddy put it back for you. :-)

I read to you for about an hour today. I was behind on my Bible reading, so I read you different parts of the Bible. You fell asleep as I was reading.

Today is your (Great) Aunt Allyson's birthday (daddy's aunt). :-) She'll hopefully be able to see and hold you soon.

You are such a darling little angel!

I love you very much!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Week Home

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello precious thing .... one week ago today daddy and I brought you home from the hospital! I think we've done pretty good so far considering we're new parents! :-)

Today we got ready for our Christmas visitors a little. While you took a little nap earlier, I straightened the downstairs. We still need to do more, but it's a start. Boy, people can't wait to come over and see you! They don't want to see daddy and I .... only you! :-)

Gigi came over for lunch today. She helped feed you and change you. She brought me some more diapers for you and some extra hand sanitizer for the holidays. Now, when visitors come over, they will need to wash their hands when they come in, and then can use the sanitizer before touching you. We'll also limit the number of people to see you so that you don't get too overwhelmed.

Daddy and I do a Bible reading each day .... I read a verse this morning that I want to share with you ....

"Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from Him."
Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

I thought that was such a priceless image. You are our little gift from the Lord!

Sleep tight!

I love you little Joshua! :-)


Monday, December 21, 2009

Two Month Shots

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little precious! You had a big day today! Gigi and I took you to the pediatrician for your two month old shots. You got a shot in your left leg, right leg, and you had to drink some medicine. You did pretty good with it, and the nurse was really fast with the shots. The doctor listened to you again, weighed you, measured you, and checked you out all over. So far so good. You now weigh 6 lbs! She said you're gaining weight well, so we can continue on mommy's milk without any fortifiers. :-)

When we were leaving the pediatrician's office, one lady in the parking lot asked me if I "just had that baby" because I "looked good for having a newborn." ;-) Yeah, well, what can I say! You've got a good looking family! ;-)

After the pediatrician's office, we quickly ran by the bank and gigi's work. Each stop took about 2 seconds, so you stayed in the car with one of us. You slept in the car for the entire ride.

Guess who came to see you this evening? Your Uncle Brennan and Aunt Katie! Aunt Katie got to hold you. They got to see you take a bottle. Then you slept as we ate dinner. Once we moved you upstairs, you got a little fussy. :-P

Tonight you'll get another bath! I did your laundry today, so you have lots of fresh clothes to wear!

Some times you look really peaceful when you sleep .... I wonder what you dream about. I asked you once as you were drifting off to sleep. You just smiled back at me but didn't answer. :-)

You are a sweet angel and such a blessing to daddy and I.

I love you! :-)


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Crafty Baby

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little sweetie!

Today was a crafty day! Let me explain .... every year for Christmas, we draw names for a Secret Santa gift on mommy's side of the family. Then, you have to make a craft that represents the person you have. Each year the craft item changes. For example, we've done sponges, bottle of water, clothes pin, glove, sock, painter's hat, terracotta pot, written a story about the person, drew the person, paper bag, door hanger, etc. This year, the craft was a stocking. So, instead of purchasing a stocking to decorate, we made stockings for our Secret Santa people! Well .... actually .... daddy made the stockings while I took care of you. Look at what a good job he did!

The first one represents a person who likes pirates, specifically the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean." The second one represents someone who was in the marines when he was younger. And the third one represents someone in the family who is in a bowling league! You, technically, did the stocking for the marines person, since that's the person whose name you drew. I'll tell you who each person is after Christmas! Oh, and I forgot to tell you, we vote on the best craft each year and that person gets a prize! I can explain more about the prizes later.

Today you were fussy again. You seem to have a hard time falling asleep unless someone is holding you. Both your grandmothers came to see you today and you fell asleep in their arms.

Tomorrow we have our other pediatrician visit. You'll get your two month shots. Gigi is coming with us. She might have to hold my hand if you cry too much! ;-)

Sleep tight little one!

I love you! :-)


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bath Time Success

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet one! Well, yesterday's bath adventure was a success! Your first bath at home! We did it the way the nurses at the hospital taught us, so it was nothing new to you (quick washcloth bath). You did really well too! You were all cute in your hooded towel. Daddy and I did it together, and we did it fast so that you won't get too cold.

Today was interesting for us .... you never appeared to be sleepy! You were awake all day! Daddy and I tried everything to get you to go to sleep. We tried jiggling you, swaying, singing, playing soft music, feeding you, changing you .... and you appeared to drift off every time we did something .... but every time we put you down you started to cry. We've determined that you just like to be held! Finally, as I held you while we ate our dinner, and you started to fall asleep.

Well, as I told you yesterday, today was your first Carolina basketball game since being home from the hospital. We realized last night that all your TarHeel gear was too big for you, so we just put a hat on you (that your mimi got you) during the game.

We didn't win this game, but don't fret! We'll come back even stronger for the next one! ;-) Oh, and I never told you .... we won the National Championship this year ('08-'09 season) for basketball! That means you were born during a Championship year! You have that in common with your gigi (should I tell you what year she was born in?)! ;-)

You are so precious!

I love you little Joshua!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Nine Weeks

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! Today you are 9 weeks old (39 weeks gestation)! After I fed you this morning, I took this photo of you yawning. I thought it was cute! :-)

Today you were quite fussy and didn't sleep very much. You moved from a 3 hour schedule to a 2 hour schedule which left me with little sleep! I tried singing to you again to make you drowsy, but that didn't seem to work. Then, I played some Alison Krauss music, and you appeared to like that! But, once I sang with it you looked at me funny like, "Hey Mom! I'm trying to listen to the music!" :-)

It started to snow here today. Only for a little bit and nothing stuck to the ground. But, you got to see it through the window.

Gigi and your (Great) Uncle David came over briefly this morning. It was your first time seeing your uncle. They kissed you and you were all cute for them.

It's weird having you home with no monitors going off, like in the hospital. I'm so thankful that you are healthy though, and not in the hospital any more.

We finished wrapping our Christmas gifts to people. There are a few more things we need to get, but daddy said he would pick them up for us this weekend.

Guess what tomorrow is .... your first Carolina basketball game since coming home from the hospital. I haven't told you this, you are a huge fan! Well, ok, mommy and daddy are .... so you are too! ;-) We have a little outfit to put you in for the game tomorrow. :-)

Well, you appear to be waking a little, so I guess I'll get ready for your next diaper change and bath .... tonight daddy and I are going to give you a little bath for the first time without the nurses around!

I love you so much! :-)


Thursday, December 17, 2009

First Pediatric Visit

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little sweetie! I wanted to remind you of how far you've come. Look and see what you were like, and what you went through, when you were born .... this picture was taken at the hospital the day you were born ....

And look at you now! You truly are my little miracle and blessing!

We had our first pediatrician visit today! You did really good. I had to wake you to feed you a little early so that you wouldn't get hungry in the office. You did have a poopy diaper once we got there, but I changed you before the nurse weighed you. ;-)

The doctor is really nice! She checked your reflexes, ears, listened to you, asked how well you've been with feeding, etc. She said you sounded good and you have nice reflexes. I talked with her for a little bit about how far we've come, and what was done in the hospital. She said to continue with the breast milk for now. We have another appointment on monday for another weight check to see if you need any fortifiers, but you appear to be doing well on just the milk. Also on monday, you'll get your 2 month shots. :-P I know, it won't be fun .... but it'll be good for you. She said you're doing well, and of course, that you were cute! ;-)

You slept in the car for both ends of the trip. I was a little nervous with you in the car by myself, but you drifted off with no problems.

Some of our Christmas gifts that we ordered came in the mail today. I helped you wrap yours. Daddy asked me what I wanted for Christmas, but I told him I only needed you. He agreed. So, you're our little Christmas gift! :-)

You did better last night. You're still getting into a routine, as am I, but I think we're making a good team so far!

Right now you're napping. Keep dreaming little fellow!

I love you!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Flying Solo

Dearest Joshua David~

I think we did pretty good "flying solo" for your first 24 hours away from the hospital. It started out a bit rocky though .... I thought you'd never get to sleep! You're still adjusting to your new environment with different sounds and smells. You were awake every 2 hours starting at around 10pm last night. After 6:30am this morning, you settled down and slept until 9am. :-) Then, you were in a better routine of every 3-4 hours waking up. Now, with that being said, I guess we'll see how you do tonight!

I've been tracking your feedings and diaper changes. We go to the pediatrician's office tomorrow morning, and I'm sure they're going to want to see what you've been up to. I also have your discharge summary from the hospital to give to them. Oh, I forgot to tell you yesterday, you're a little over 18 inches long! When you were born, you were 14 inches.

We're both working out our daily routines. I got your laundry done and sterilized all your bottles between your feedings. I also did daddy's laundry and mine. I also tried to take naps when you were napping. That didn't always happen, but at least I'm trying.

After work, gigi came over and fed you. She showed me a different position on holding you when giving you a bottle.

I sang to you a little today. You gave me mixed reviews on the singing, so we'll keep coming back to that. :-)

Sleep tight little guy!

I love you so much! :-)


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Welcome Home

Dearest Joshua David~

Welcome home sweet thing!! Today daddy and I got to take you home! :-) You were born on October 16th and we took you home on December 15th. You are 8 weeks and 4 days old. And, you're 5 lbs 5 ozs. :-)

Daddy and I picked you up this morning, and had you home in time for your next feeding. You were so cute in your car seat! We brought cookies in for the nurses for all their help with you. They appreciated it. There was even a message on your message board that said you would be missed.

You're still on an iron multivitamin. We have to give you 0.5 ml once a day. I'll continue to put it in your milk so that you don't notice it. ;-) Oh, and you didn't need any fortifier in your milk. You're just on mommy's milk with nothing added. :-)

You have a pediatrician appointment on thursday morning. And, the hospital already made an appointment for your follow up check with the eye doctor on the 31st. Plus, they made an appointment for you in January with the child development team. Busy busy! ;-)

We can't believe this day has come! It's so good to have you here with us. And, your Uncle Brennan and Aunt Katie got to meet you for the first time!

Sleep tight little fellow! We're so blessed to have you in our lives!

I love you more than words can express! :-)


Monday, December 14, 2009

Almost Home

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little precious! It's almost time!

Daddy and I came to see you twice today. First we came when daddy got off from work. Then, we came back after the shift change to see the eye doctor.

We got to feed you, take your temperature, and change your diaper both times! During the second visit, we gave you a bath so that you would be all set and clean for your trip home tomorrow.

The eye check up went well. Your left eye is healing fine and your right eye still needs no treatment. You need another appointment at the end of the month for another follow up check. That will be done at the eye doctor's office, not the hospital.

Everything is all set for your discharge tomorrow. Daddy will be getting off work after a morning meeting so that we can pick you up early. Everyone's excited!

The nurse weighed you before we gave you the bath. You're now 5 lbs 5 ozs! You started at 2 lbs 4 ozs. You've gained over 3 pounds while here in the hospital. Good job! :-)

Can't wait to hold you in our own house!

I love you very much!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Visitors

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! We're not far now! Only a day or two and you'll be home with daddy and I!

Today gigi (mommy's mom) came with me to the hospital. I rocked you for about an hour and a half. We sang different Christmas carols and you had to tell us which song it was. :-) You did pretty good. There were a few in there that you didn't know. ;-)

After rocking you, I took your temperature and changed your diaper. You were quite gassy!

Daddy met us at the hospital later. Daddy and gigi gave you a bottle. Then, you fell asleep with gigi.

The eye doctor is coming to see you tomorrow for a follow up appointment. All the nurses say you're doing well, and your eye doesn't appear to be as red as last week. Usually, the eye doctor comes in the evening, after the night shift change (around 7:30-8pm). So, since we have to wait for the check up, we'll likely get to take you home tuesday morning. But, you never know .... maybe we'll get to bring you home at night! ;-)

Daddy and I have cleaned the house for you! We've done all your laundry, sterilized all your bottles, vacuumed, dusted .... we're all ready for you!

The nurses at the hospital went over some of the discharge items with daddy and I. Basically, we need to treat you like you're still in the hospital, especially with it being flu season .... limit the number of people over, no children around you, no one sick around you or us, everyone to wash their hands around you, and you can't travel except to the pediatrician's office. We're going to try our best to keep you safe!

Can't wait little one! You're so precious to daddy and I!

I love you so much!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mailed Letter

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little fellow! Look how cute you are! Guess who came to visit you today? Your grandpa Jim! He's seen you many times, but this is the first time I was able to snap a photo of the two of you. He wore his Ironman Arizona finisher shirt to show you.

It's getting closer to the holidays, sweet thing! I went ahead and mailed your letter to Santa. You've been a good boy so far this year, so I'm sure you'll get everything on your list. Did I ever tell you when your actual due date was? Christmas Day! You were supposed to be a Christmas baby, but you decided to come in October! By Christmas, you'll be 10 weeks old! :-)

Daddy and I had some fun with one of your photos today, to get into the Christmas spirit! You are so cute!

Daddy got to do a lot with you today. He took your temperature and changed your diaper. Then, he gave you a bottle. You did well with everything! Oh, the nurse stated that you passed your car seat test with flying colors! She even showed daddy and I your "report card" on the test. She was very impressed! Your vitals stayed healthy during the test and you had no trouble sitting at the 45 degree angle for over an hour. I guess that means you're ready to come home .... you're all set with the car seat!

I got to hold you after daddy fed you. You fell asleep on my shoulder as I rocked you. Daddy snapped this photo of you. So far, it's my favorite photo of you! Your face is so perfect and innocent. You're such a little miracle from God! Babies are so amazing!

We're still counting down the days until you're home! It won't be long now!

I love you so much little precious! :-)


Friday, December 11, 2009

Eight Weeks

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello precious thing! Today you are eight weeks old! You've come a long way since our first visit on October 16th. :-) You were only 2 lbs 4 ozs then, and needed help with breathing and eating. Now look at you! I'm so proud and excited!

Today daddy had off from work, so we went together to see you. You were sleeping soundly when we came to the hospital. Daddy picked you up and gently rocked you as you slept. After a while, you started to wake up since you were getting hungry. You smiled a lot at us today. We talked to you, and I played a game called "got your toes" which you appeared to enjoy!

We got to take your temperature and change you. Then, I got to give you a bottle. You took about 54 ml of milk before falling asleep. I got to hold you as you slept.

The nurses are excited that you're almost ready to come home with us, but sad because they will miss you. All the nurses love you. :-)

We're ready for you at the house. We don't have a big place, but I think you'll like it. You'll be staying in our room for a while. I picked up some books from my parents house to show you. They're books that they used to read to me and your uncle when we were little. Once you're home, I'll read them to you!

Keep resting little man. I'm counting down the days until you're home! It won't be long now! :-)

I love you with all my heart, sweet thing!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another Bath

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little man! Are you sound asleep? :-)

Daddy and I got to give you another bath today. You squirmed, as usual, but the nurse helped us do it quickly so that you wouldn't get too cold. Your hair became fuzzy again once I dried it. It was so cute!

The nurse said that you've been doing well today. You've been taking all your bottles and haven't had any issues. I got to give you another bottle this evening. Your vitamin was in the bottle, but you drank it up and didn't notice it. :-)

Your grandpa Jim came to see you this morning. He said you were resting when he was there.

You fell asleep after I fed you, so I just rocked with you as daddy and I talked to you. Every once in a while you'd speak up or squirm, but you mostly rested.

Oh, I opened the birthday gift from you after I saw you last night. Thank you for the TarHeel diaper bag! I'm sure you and I will get many uses out of it! :-)

Keep resting so I can take you home soon!

I love you .... forever and ever! :-)


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Birthday Wishes

Dearest Joshua David~

Thirty years ago today I had something in common with you .... I was also in a hospital. This hospital was located in Wilmington and it was a sunday. I was 7 lbs 9 ozs. You see, sweet thing, today is my birthday! And, what better way to celebrate it than with you. Unlike you, however, I was late (2 weeks past my due date).

When I came to see you today, there was a little card next to you that said "Mom" written in a heart. I opened it and the card read, "You make my heart sing .... Happy Birthday Mom .... Love and Kisses .... Joshua".

I just about cried when I saw it and read it! Two nurses came by and wished me a happy birthday and gave me a hug. :-) I held you and asked you how you managed to get that card and sign it all by yourself. It's still a mystery! I asked you if you had an accomplice, but you wouldn't say. In fact, you actually smiled back at me! Well, in any event, thank you for the surprise card! It really does mean a lot to me. And, to be able to hold and kiss you made my birthday perfect! I love you so much!

I spoke to the head nurse today. You're doing well, but they actually changed your release date. Last night, after your eye exam, you had a little dip in your heart rate for a few seconds. The nurse stated that it was likely just from the surgery, but the ICN policy states that babies need to be monitored for a few days (about 5) if that happens. So, you won't be coming home tomorrow. Instead, it will likely be monday, or tuesday. The eye doctor wanted to see you anyway for a post-operative check. This way, he can still see you in the hospital monday instead of bringing you to a different office. I didn't like the idea of not taking you home, but I would rather you be healthy. If it's better for you to stay a few more days, than I can wait. You'll come home in God's time when He says it's right. God will know when you are healthy enough and ready. We just need to be patient. :-)

I gave you a bottle this afternoon and you gulped it down. Then, I just held and rocked you. We talked for a little while, but then you fell asleep. Daddy came to meet us when he got off from work.

And, you're now 5 lbs 1.2 ozs! You broke the 5 pound barrier! :-)

I wish I could have taken you home with me, but I promise it won't be long. We're in the last stretch!

You are so precious to me!

I love you with all my heart! :-)


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eye Surgery

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little precious one. Daddy and I came to see you tonight after your eye surgery. We actually ran into the doctor as we were scrubbing into the ICN. He said you did really well with everything. He took a really good look at the right eye and again stated that it could just be watched at this time. The right eye was showing signs of improvement, but he'll keep monitoring it as you get bigger. Your left eye showed some retinopathy on the distal aspect, so he went ahead and treated it. You'll be getting some more eye drops as the evening progresses. I'll need to take you to a follow up appointment next week to see him.

Since you had some anesthesia for the procedure, you were pretty tired for us. I tried to see if you would even take a bottle, but you weren't interested. The nurse said that she would try to give you something when you woke later. So, I just sat and rocked you as you slept in my arms. I told you I would hold you after your surgery! :-)

After holding you, daddy and I let you rest. You had a big day today, but you did well. I'm so proud of you!

We're taking each day as it comes. We're still anticipating you'll come home by the end of this week. I can't wait!

I love you dearly! :-)


Monday, December 7, 2009

Big Changes

Dearest Joshua David~

There have been some big changes since I saw you last night. First off, you no longer have a feeding tube!! You've officially been on breast or bottle (without the need for assistance from the feeding tube) for the past 24 hours, so the tube was able to be removed! After an additional 48 hours of monitoring to make sure you do not need the tube, you are technically able to go home! I couldn't believe it! As of right now, you are "scheduled" to come home with me on thursday, December 10th, if all goes well. It may end up being on friday, but I'm hopeful it will be thursday .... one day after my birthday little sweetie! What a wonderful birthday gift that would be!

Speaking of birthdays .... today is mommy's uncle's birthday .... your "Great" Uncle David (gigi's brother). :-)

Daddy and I took a CPR class at the hospital today in preparation to take you home. God willing we will never have to do CPR, but I'm thankful the hospital provides that service.

I was able to give you a full bottle feeding for your 4pm meal, and daddy gave you the 8pm bottle. This evening you also had your bath and you were weighed. You now weigh 4 lbs 14.9 ozs! You're almost 5 pounds! Good job Joshua! :-)

The nurse told us to bring in your car seat this evening. We brought it to the hospital so you can have your car seat test. They need to make sure you can maintain your vitals at a 45 degree angle for at least one hour. The nurse will either test you tonight or tomorrow evening. I pray that goes well.

This evening was hard for mommy. When daddy and I came for your evening 8pm feeding, the eye doctor was there again to do his follow up exam. He had to dilate your eyes and you screamed a lot during the exam. I had to go to a different room because your little scream was hard for me to hear. :-( The doctor said that you have a mild case of "retinopathy of prematurity" that is common in preemies like you. Basically, your blood vessels are a little disorganized. But, the good news is that it is mild and only appears to be in a small section of the left eye. Also, the doctor said that you can see with both eyes and both retinas were attached. It's just a matter of correcting how the blood vessels are forming. The doctor said he would correct the problem with a quick procedure (about 30 minutes) tomorrow evening. After that, he will check you again in about a week. I will bring you back in next week for your follow up appointment. The correction procedure is minor surgery, so I promise to come and be there right after to hold and rock you, sweet thing! I don't like the thought of you needing a procedure, but daddy reminded me that we've been very blessed during this time. And, this is very small in comparison to other medical issues that other preemies need that you haven't needed. I'll say a little prayer for you, and I know everything will go well since God has looked after us so far. And, again, I'll be there to hold you right after! I'm been with you at the hospital everyday since the day you were born! :-)

You also had an assessment from the "child development" team. They checked your reflexes, strength, how you followed faces and voices, and how you responded to different stimuli like lights and sound. You passed all those tests, and the nurse liked how you always followed my face and voice! You know your mommy! :-)

Oh, other news. You no longer need any additional fortifier in your milk since you are gaining weight well. You're now on straight breast milk. :-) The pediatrician will keep monitoring your weight gain, and you may need fortifier at some point in the future, but for now you're fine without it.

You are so handsome without that feeding tube. I'm counting down the days until you are home with me!

I love you so much sweet baby!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Watched Last Video

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweetie pie! How are you?

Daddy and I had some encouraging news this morning .... the nurse asked if we wanted to see the last video about "going home." They show the parents this video when the baby is doing well and on the right track to leave soon. I'm confident it won't be long now until I can hold you in our own house. :-)

We asked the nurse what your last weigh in showed .... you're now 4 lbs 12.4 ozs! Good job! You're gaining weight really well!

For your 8am feeding, we did some breast feeding. You took 34 ml of milk and then fell asleep. Since you were so tired, we put the rest in the feeding tube. You kept sleeping as daddy held you. After a few hours, you began to stir and had a really large poopy diaper! Whoa man! I swear you smiled after that was done! ;-)

Since we watched the video as you slept, we were still there for your 12pm feeding. This time we went straight for the bottle. Daddy gave it to you and you took it all down. Plus, this was daddy's first time giving you a full bottle! You're no longer on the "slow flow" nipple. You've been using a regular flow nipple for your last several bottles. As we were leaving, your gigi and grandpa Jim were coming in to see you.

Gigi came back with me for your 8pm feeding. I gave you a bottle and you gulped that thing down in 15 minutes! Wow! You did really well! The nurse said all your numbers and stats looked good as well. We were there for your weigh in and you're now 4 lbs 13 ozs! You'll be hitting 5 pounds before we know it!

I can't wait until you're home! It's always sad to leave the hospital without you, but we're counting down the days until you're here with us!

I love you so much! :-)


Saturday, December 5, 2009

More Bottles

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! Look how cute you are (of course I'm biased since I'm your mother!). :-)

Daddy came with me for your 8am feeding this morning. We tried breast feeding and you set a record. You took 38 ml of milk by breast! Whoa! That's your best yet! Your feedings are suppose to be 56 ml, so you only needed 18 ml more. We tried to give you the rest in a bottle, but you worked so hard with the breast feeding that you were too tired. So, the remaining 18 ml had to go in your feeding tube. I promise that feeding tube will come out one day! Since you were so tired, daddy held you while the tube feeding went on.

At your 4pm feeding, gigi (mommy's mom) came with me. This time I gave you the bottle straight. You really took it down! You drank your entire feed of milk in about 25 minutes. Then, gigi held you.

The doctors and nurses say you're doing well. I'm hopeful you'll be home soon. You're doing really well with the bottles. There have been a few times where you didn't take the entire feeding by bottle and needed the feeding tube, but overall you're improving.

Christmas is coming little one. What do you want for Christmas? I want you home with me. :-) I know that several people have already gotten you things for the holidays. You are so loved!

You are so precious! Words can not express how blessed we are to have you in our lives! Keep doing well so I can take you home! :-)

I love you so much!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Seven Weeks

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! You are 7 weeks old today (37 weeks gestation)! And, you had an extra special surprise today .... your great-grandparents came to see you this afternoon! How exciting!

Before I get to that, let me tell you about your 9am feed. We tried breast feeding, and you took 8ml of milk. The rest of your feed I gave you in a bottle. At noon, the nurse fed you (since I wasn't there) and the nurse said you took 50ml in a bottle! Wow! Good job man! Since you're starting to get better with your feeds, the doctor has changed the order for you to be fed every 4 hours and not 3. That way, you can take in more at each feeding and can rest more between feedings. We're going to see how well you do with that. When I asked the nurse how much you weighed, she stated that at your last weigh in (last night) you were 4 lbs 10.4 ozs! :-) Such a big boy!

This afternoon your great-grandparents (mommy's daddy's parents) from Asheboro came to see you. They loved you! And, they both held you! I know it made their day to see, hold, and kiss you. And, you seemed quite happy too in their arms! ;-)

You're a lucky fellow .... you have such a large family! You have great-grandparents, grandparents, great aunts, great uncles, aunts, uncles, cousins, daddy and me! :-)

At 8pm, daddy came with me to see you. You took 18ml of milk by breast. Daddy gave you a bottle, and you took 24ml before falling asleep. The other 14ml went into your feeding tube. Tey have increased your feeding to 56ml since they changed your feeding to every 4 hours.

You were weighed again this evening and you had gained an ounce! You're now 4 lbs 11.4 ozs! Way to go! As long as you keep improving on your feeding, and start taking more milk in via breast or bottle, you'll be able to leave. I pray it won't be long!

I love you with all my heart!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Less Active

Dearest Joshua David~

I have some news for you …. at 3am the nurse gave you your milk in a bottle and you took the entire thing …. so, you have taken your entire feeding by mouth, via bottle, the past three mornings at 3am! You are certainly showing improvement! :-)

For the 3pm feeding, we tried some breast feeding. You took 10 ml before getting tired. Then, I gave you the rest of your feeding in a bottle. It was a struggle to get you to take it all since you were tired from the breast feeding, but we managed to get it all down over time.

At 9pm, daddy came with me again. You were really fussy. I tried to breast feed you, but you weren’t interested. Once you got going, you only took 6 ml and then fell asleep. We couldn’t even give you a bottle for the rest. It had to be given through the feeding tube. So, daddy just held you for about an hour as you fell asleep. Maybe tomorrow you’ll be more active.

You’re certainly a cute little guy! Can’t wait to bring you home!

I love you so much! :-)


Passed Another Test

Dearest Joshua David~

When I came to see you today, the nurse told me that you had passed a test that I didn’t even know you were having done today …. you passed your hearing test! Yippie! That’s one more thing we can check off the list of things to do before bringing you home. :-)

I held you for an hour prior to your 3pm feeding. You started to get fussy, so I took your temperature and changed you before the feeding.

I was expecting to try another breast feeding session with you, but the nurse offered to let me give you a bottle! You were given a bottle at the 3am feeding this morning, and you took 40 ml! Since then your feeding has increased to 42 ml.

The nurse showed me how to give you a bottle, since I had never given you one before …. this was your third bottle and I got to give it to you! I was so excited! You took the entire 42 ml! We used the slow flow nipple, which really worked well with you. They throw away the little bottles after the feedings, so when the nurse walked away, I took the bottle to bring it home! It’s so cute and I’m going to keep it to show you when you get bigger! I’m so proud of you! :-)

At 9pm, daddy came with me. We tried breast feeding, and you took 18 ml! And then I gave you the rest of your feeding in a bottle. Yippie!

The nurse weighed you before you left. You are now 4 lbs 9.2 ozs! Whoa! And your little outfit looked like it was getting snug. ;-)

Keep doing well! I want to take you home!

I love you baby Joshua


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Your First Bottle

Dearest Joshua David~

Congratulations! You took your first bottle at 3am this morning! And, you took your entire feed (38 ml)! The nurse used a slow flow nipple, which you did well with.

We did a breast feeding session at 3pm. It was just us, but the two of us did great …. you took 22 ml! We make a good team! I spoke to one of the lactation nurses. She was excited about your earlier bottle feeding. It’s natural that you’re not taking the same amount by breast since you don’t have completely developed suck pads in your cheeks. But, you’re getting there and we’ll continue to have more practice once you’re home from the hospital too.

For the 9pm feeding, your mimi (daddy’s mom) came with me. You weren’t as active as you were at 3pm, but you still took 14 ml by breast. You started to wake up more as we were leaving. :-P

The nurse this evening stated she may try another bottle at some point tonight again. She said if you wake up active then she’ll see if you’ll take another full feeding by bottle.

We were there for your nightly weigh in …. you are officially double your birth weight! You are 4 lbs 8.3 ozs …. slighty over 4.5 pounds!! Wow! You continue to surprise me! :-)

I can’t wait to take you home! Hopefully it won’t be too much longer!

I love you little Joshua! :-)