Friday, January 22, 2016


I haven't written in my "blog" - aka diary - in forever. I've been so busy with Ayla, work and school that I haven't even updated Ayla's major milestones in months.(mom of the year - I know) But today I feel compelled to write this down, because today (like many) I was overcome with the emotions of missing my sweet Sloan.

I'm constantly blown away by what can be the smallest of triggers. This morning on the way to take Ayla to school I was flipping stations trying to find music and when I got to one particular station a Keith Urban song was playing and these lyrics just caught my attention:

"They'll be days
your heart don't wanna beat
you pray more than you breathe
and you just want to fall to pieces
and nights with 2 am calls
where dreams become walls
and you just need a break

Break on me
shatter like glass
come apart in my hands
take as long as it takes
girl break on me"

Those words immediately took me back to my pregnancy with Ayla and how many times I did break. My faith often felt shattered and nonexistent, but it was also a key factor in getting me through that pregnancy. When I broke - I broke on Him. I'm not saying it was always a perfect and harmonious, pregnancy because it wasn't. Quite the opposite actually. The devil was able to get into my head and give me thoughts that no expecting mother should have on more occasions than I'd like to recall, but when he did I turned to my mighty God who let me bend and break, but who also put my back together and brought me through those deep, dark times.

The thoughts of my pregnancy then made me think of why my pregnancy was as hard as it was. Some call it post traumatic stress, I call it fear - plain and simple - because of what I had already lost. Her. Its no secret that every single day I miss her, but some days are easier than others. Today was not by any means one of the hardest, but for the first time in a very long time I missed her so much that my car just seemed to drive itself to her resting place this morning. After I dropped Ayla off & got a quick little jog in, I listened to a few songs{intentionally} that reminded me of both of my girls. Then I listened to Shane and Shane "Though You Slay Me" over and over again - as I usually do when I just feel like I need to hear that message. By the time I got close to where we live (30 minutes away from Ayla's school) the time came to make the turn to go to our house. By this time my eyes had already filled with tears that had made their way down my cheek and I just couldn't turn. Instead, I kept going straight - to the cemetery. My mind told me to go get her new flowers before going to her grave so I could take them to Granny to put together, but it was like my hands wouldn't let me make any turn that didn't lead to her.

When I got to her grave the wind was blowing and it was freezing. The minute I got there I sat beside her and started the song "Though You Slay Me" over again and set it on one of her stones. I started cleaning her grave a little and told her how much I miss her. And then, I just stopped. I stared at her headstone and I stopped crying. I didn't stay long, but I didn't feel like I needed to.

The more I think about the events of this morning and being at her grave, the more I believe that Sloan was telling me that she misses me too. As sad as I get sometimes when I think of her, these little "triggers" make me happy at the same time - because they help me to feel, heal, and keep her sweet memory alive. Her life was far from meaningless and deserves to be remembered.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Cor 4:16-18

Thursday, August 27, 2015

8-9 Months!

26 1/4" (7th percentile)

Weight: 15 lbs 13 oz (13th percentile)
Clothes: mostly 6 month, very few 9 month
Diapers: still size 2!
Sleep: Ayla is sleeping in her own bed and sleeps through the night... we usually put her to bed between 8-9 and she usually wakes up around 6am and takes a morning nap after she plays for a little while. She also takes an afternoon nap :)
Diet: Breast milk + baby food and baby "treats" like mum-mums and puffs. At this point the doctor told us we can go ahead and start introducing table foods and said she can eat what we eat. That totally overwhelms me because I don't eat the healthiest, but I don't want to give her some the of junk I feed myself and I don't even know where to begin with feeding her "table" foods. Luckily I have friends who have done this before and they can help me out in this department!
Toys: Ayla loves anything she can get her hands on... whether it was made to be a baby toy or not!!! 
Milestones/firsts: She has started pulling up on things, walks when someone holds her hands, can easily get from tummy to butt, she can wave - but its more like a fist salute & its not the most consistent - she is ALMOST crawling (she definitely gets where she wants to go though), and I'm pretty sure she says "hi"
Health: so far, so good!
Likes: Ayla likes to throw things and make us fetch them, she likes to stand, and loves to use mommy as her own personal jungle gym! Ayla also loves to suck on her bottom lip, which makes her look like she has basically no bottom lip so it looks really funny in pictures! 
Dislikes: We are still hating the carseat, but we've discovered that YouTube number songs tend to really help that situation when all else fails!! She is especially fond of 5 Little Speckled Frogs! She hates when you take a toy away from her and cries immediately! (She's not spoiled at all :-P)
Misc: I can not believe how fast time is flying and how much she changes every day!  She is definitely in to everything and is still such a mama's girl and I LOVE it! She rolls everywhere and changing her is really starting to become a challenge... I can't decide if its easier to change/dress her on the floor or on her changing table! BUT I think we are becoming pros at dressing her while she lays on her belly!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

7-8 Months!

Weight: 15 pounds, 4 ounces
Clothes: some 3-6, some 6, & very few 6-9
Diapers: size 2!
Sleep: Ayla girl still sleeps in her own bed in her room! She has been sleeping through the night more and more lately and is pretty consistent with it now! {YAY!} Except when she stays the night with somewhere else for the night... then she tends to wake up multiple times a night!
Diet: I still pump - so breast milk is still her main source of nutrition. She still gets baby food as well - usually 1-2 jars a day and has tried so many different things now! She gets so excited when you sit her in her high chair and she sees her baby food! We tried puffs, but she choked (gagged) and I had to do back blows... so that was the only attempt at those! She also tried yogurt melts (broken into fourths thanks to our puffs experience) but was not a fan of those quite yet... she kept making a horrible face and spitting them out. We've also introduced water more this month and she is doing so good with it... especially when she's hot! We've tried a couple sippy cups but she isn't a fan... she is starting to do better with a transition sippy cup though :)
Toys: I think her favorite toy is still her v-tech sit to stand toy at Grammy's house and took a small (accidental) step with it for the first time! I just ordered her one too for our house! She also loves the stack-able rings, although she isn't quite sure how to stack them quite yet! She still loves rattles and anything that makes noise! She has lots of sensory toys that she is loving too! She also loves her teethers :) Oh! And how could I forget the "toys" that aren't toys?!? She loves cups, bowls, and butter dishes too!! 
Milestones/firsts: Ayla has started pulling up on anything she can, but can only stand up when holding my hands. She can slowly get up by using me as a jungle gym when I'm on the floor with her. She also got her first tooth this month (7/11) & the second one popped through on her 8 month birthday!
Health: so far, so good!
Likes: Ayla loves to chew on anything and EVERYTHING!! Ayla still loves to suck cloth... either her blankie, Opie, or a shirt worn by whoever happens to be holding her. Ayla also loves little kids and gets so excited and screeches when she sees them!
Dislikes: Despite buying her a new car seat, she still seems to dislike it 85% of the time... especially when she's tired or someone isn't riding in the back seat with her... She also hates to be left alone! If I walk out of the room, chances are she will start crying almost immediately... she is definitely still a momm'a girl :)
Misc: I love when Ayla is tired, being shy, or just loving on me how she will nestle her little head on my shoulder or chest! It is the sweetest thing ever and melts my heart! She discovered how to put her feet in her mouth this month, so she does that occasionally. She feels/grabs my clothes or her clothes when eating her bottle to self soothe and it is so cute/sweet! She laughs, screams, and talks so much and I LOVE it! When Ayla gets excited she shrieks and flaps her little arms up and down like a penguin! I love EVERYTHING about this perfect little baby girl!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015


This has been the FASTEST month of Ayla girl's life so far!! It needs to just SLOW DOWN! These are the fun facts for this month! 

Height: ~26 in
Weight: 14 pounds, 8 ounces
Clothes: some 3-6, some 6, & very few 6-9
Diapers: size 2!
Sleep: Ayla girl still sleeps in her own bed in her room! She's been home with me for the majority of the past month & I haven't been working, so her sleeping schedule is a little messed up... (we like to stay up late). But she's such a trooper and adjusts pretty well to change! She has been waking up mainly around 5ish - sometimes there is the random 1 am feeding sesh, but that rarely happens! Daddy is still being a trooper too and waking up with her! Mommy has been so exhausted (and sometimes doesn't even hear Ayla) - but we just found out that my thyroid is out of whack again, so hopefully once that is corrected it will get a little easier for me!! Ayla has a tendency to fight her sleep and tends to go to sleep easiest when I put her to bed. 
Diet: I still pump - so breast milk is still her main source of nutrition. She still gets some baby food as well - usually 1-2 jars a day. The only thing I can think of that she has tried new this month is green beans... which she wasn't too sure about!! She has grown to like sweet potatoes though!
Toys: she is still loving all the same toys that she loved last month... but now she has a couple of new favs! She has a little tambourine that she LOVES and will reach for constantly and she has discovered tags - so I got her a taggie that she is loving so far! She also likes this little hand held music player and her "phone"!She also LOVES a toy that is at her Grammy's house - a little v-tech sit to stand farm toy. She basically loves anything she can push buttons on and/or that makes noise! I swear I go to bed singing all the songs of her toys at night!! 
Milestones/firsts: Ayla has mastered sitting up and is loving it! She can bend down while sitting and then sit herself up again, but occasionally still loses her balance and topples over.
Health: so far, so good! - mom is just a little overly cautious and took her to the doctor this month for a mosquito bite because I was convinced it was infected and she had staph... turns out it was fine, so Ayla got a $40 bandaid :/
Likes: Ayla loves to chew on anything and EVERYTHING!! Still no teeth that I can see/feel... but surely they will make their appearance sooner than later!
Dislikes: Ayla still has the same dislikes as last month, but I think it's safe to say she doesn't like to ride in her stroller if she can't see you either... we've taken the stroller out shopping a couple of times and end up looking completely ridiculous carrying her and pushing an empty stroller! 
Misc: I love the little face Ayla makes when she is concentrating! She pooches her little lips out and makes a duck face/kissy face... i just LOVE it! She is rolling EVERYWHERE... and FAST! This little girl of mine has one BIG personality and I love when she laughs! She is seriously such a happy baby and it is so much fun and so easy to get a big smile and laugh out of her! She loves when you sing to her, play pee-a-boo, and blow on her belly! Ayla girl reaches for EVERUTHING - including faces - and puts everything in her mouth! She also grabs the spoon when I feed her & attempts to feed herself - resulting in a huge mess & requiring her to eat naked most of the time. She loves to "blow bubbles" and make a tooting(?) noise with her mouth. She's talking more and more and has definitely turned into a momma's girl! Toward the very end of her 6th month she started loving tags on everything so of course I had to buy her a taggie :) Diaper changes on her changing table are slightly challenging since she is determined to roll as much as she possibly can and she has also very recently started to "throw" herself backwards. She also loves her feet and is still constantly grabbing them!! I'm still waiting for her to realize she can put them in her mouth but she hasn't quite figured that out yet! 

Here are a few of my fav pics from this last month: 
We got Ayla girl's ears pierced the day after her 6 month birthday!!
Visiting our favorite doctor & nurse!
Ayla girl loves her FEET!
sitting up!
Miss Independent!
still loving her bath time!
Father's Day 2015
Father's Day photo shoot!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

5-6 Months!


Height:  24" {second percentile}
Weight: 14 pounds, 3 ounces {twenty-fifth percentile}
Clothes: 3-6 month
Diapers: size 2!
Sleep: She is still sleeping in her own bed every night & I try to put her to sleep between 8-9. She does pretty good, but still mostly wakes up around 3:30-4:30am most mornings. Some mornings she will sleep until 6, but that only happens MAYBE once a week! Daddy is still the primary middle of the night waker upper... and I'm LOVING it! It is so much harder for me to get back to sleep once I've woken up to feed her, but he has no problem! :-P Sometimes I feel "bad" that he's the one waking up in the middle of the night, but then again I did it while she was in the hospital pumping every three hours religiously and when she came home I woke up with her every 2-3 hours to feed her AND pump, so I think I deserve a little break :) I always put her to sleep on her back in her crib, but it never fails that she will roll over and end up on her belly! I would just go in her room and roll her back over, trying not to disturb her too much - that failed a few times and I ended up with a screaming baby! - But the doctor reassured me that at this point it is ok if that is how she prefers to sleep.
Diet: I am still pumping, so breast milk is still her main source of nutrition, but she LOVES her daily container of baby food! She has had (and loved) squash, carrots, peaches, bananas, and apples. She's also had sweet potatoes but is NOT a fan of those! We get to start giving her more baby food and she can start taking water out of a sippy cup at this point!
Toys: she loves her play rings! She is constantly chewing on them and grabbing them... she really likes anything she can grab and put in her mouth! She likes to play on the floor and one of her favorite "floor" toys is a little cube that talks and makes different sounds that she will be able to play with for a while! It's a little advanced for her, but she like the different buttons and colors on it. She has gotten to where she will try to pick it up and put it in her mouth... but since the cube is bigger than her head, that usually doesn't end well for her! She also loves her vtech "phone". We got her a bounce around toy because she was always wanting to stand up on our legs and she LOVES it! She loves figuring out how all the little toys on it work and it is so much fun for me to watch her learn how to play with them. She got an orange and pink giraffe security blanket thing that she also likes that has been named Opie (for OP - orange and pink... clever I know)
Milestones/firsts: Ayla is a tad behind some of her peers - but she was a preemie & I tend to forget that when comparing her to other babies... but she is doing so good! She is so close to sitting up, but not quite there yet. She sort of-kind of tries to brace herself with her hands (when I help her) but just topples over eventually most of the time! She does better when I'm holding her hands or she is balanced on my legs. She is still rolling over and over... and over and is getting so fast! She has very recently started reaching and grabbing for things and is starting to scoot... kind of! She is also changing her tone when she "talks" and I swear sometimes she mimics what we say by her sounds. She is also laughing so much more now and I love it! (Who am I kidding though... I love EVERYTHING about this perfect little miracle & everything she does!)
Health: so far, so good!
Likes: Ayla loves to be up and be able to look around! She also seems to like to look at animals - horses and dogs in particular - and be outside. She still loves bath time and lotion "massages". She loves to snuggle when she is tired. She also likes to play peek-a-boo with her blanket and will pull it over her eyes on her own. She also loves to use her feet instead of her hands to play with her toys! She will put her hands in her mouth & maneuver her body and toys to where she can use her feet to play with them... It's so cute!
Dislikes: Ayla is such a happy and easy going baby, but she definitely has her preferences! She is definitely not a fan of the car seat... unless she's sleeping... and once you take her out it's even harder to put her back in because she is even more unhappy about getting in it than she was on the first attempt! Once she calms down though (or the car/stroller moves) she's usually pretty good about tolerating it. She also doesn't like to have her ears cleaned with a q-tip after her bath! And Heaven forbid you take too long to give her a bottle... when she wants it, she wants it NOW! 
Misc: Ayla is getting so big so fast! I can now hold her on my hip and don't have to hold her in my arms like a "baby"... it seemed to happen over night and I found myself asking myself "when did this happen?" She has given up her paci all on her own and won't even take it now, but has traded it in for her fingers and/or blanket! She will suck on her blankets sometimes to soothe her before she goes to sleep, and once she is asleep we take the blanket away from her... horrible habit to start, I know - but "whatever works" is my motto! She has been drooling like crazy and for the past couple of months I've thought that maybe she is starting to teethe, but I don't feel or see anything so far.

We participated in the March for Babies again this year! Last year we found out I was pregnant the day before the walk, so we were so thankful to have Ayla here with us to walk in memory of Sloan & in honor of her & babies everywhere! The NICU life was definitely not a "fun" life, but it was so worth it & we met some of the most amazing people who took such great care of our sweet Ayla baby!

My first Mother's Day with Ayla was this month! This is such a hard day for me, but all in all it was a good one! We went to lunch at one of my favorite places {Cheddar's} with some friends/family and it was so nice! It was light & relaxed and I was actually able to enjoy that part of my day!
Ayla's first time swimming!!!

Sloan's second birthday was this month, so of course we went for a visit and brought her balloons. Brady re-did the stones/rocks on her grave and we cleaned everything up. We released balloons for her and I took pictures of her grave like I always do. This is another hard day for me, and having Ayla here makes it easier and harder all at the same time. Brady, Ayla, and I went to lunch that day and that night we went to dinner with our parents. It was definitely a hard day, but we got through it...


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

5 Months!

Height:  idk because I haven't measured her yet :/ 
Weight: 13 lbs 6 oz
Clothes: some 3 month, some 6 month, some 3-6 month (all depends on the brand!) 
Diapers: still size 1... but very close to needing to go up a size!
Sleep: She is still sleeping in her own bed every night & I try to put her to sleep between 8-9. I don't swaddle her anymore because she's such a mover & roller now, but she tolerates it just fine! She usually wakes up to be fed around 3:30 or 4. Daddy has been spoiling me and waking up for these feedings every night this month! Usually by 6am she's ready to get out of bed (if daddy hasn't fallen asleep on the couch with her on his chest) so I will cuddle her for a little while then let her swing while I do my morning routine!
Diet: breast milk & baby food! Right now she is only getting baby food once/day after her evening bottle, but that will be increased really soon! She's tried squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots... Her favorite so far is carrots!
Toys: Ayla girl loves anything that lights up &/or makes noises & anything she can chew! She's learning how to grasp things better and usually takes it right to her mouth!
Milestones/firsts: Ayla is a tad behind some of her peers - but she was a preemie & I tend to forget that when comparing her to other babies... but she is doing so good! She rolled from back to belly on the floor for the first time on 4/10 and from back to belly to back on 4/12 and has been movin' & groovin' ever since! She has been doing MUCH better on her tummy since learning how to roll more consistently, but still gets mad sometimes when she "forgets" how to get back on her back! She is still working on her head control, but has gotten so much stronger this month!
Health: so far, so good!
Likes: she likes to talk, lay on her changing table & look up at her bows, and EAT! She loves to "stand" on our legs and to be up so she can look around! She is still loving bath time & I'm so curious to see how she will be this summer when we are able to take her swimming!
Dislikes: Ayla is such a happy baby & there isn't much she doesn't like... But if you are holding her and she is comfy the way she is, she does NOT want to be put down! That has turned into somewhat of a struggle this month, but I think part of that may be because of gas so it feels better to be up than to lay flat on her back... 

Friday, March 27, 2015

4 Months!

This has been a BIG month for our little family! On March 8th Ayla became a Christian through the sacrament of holy baptism! That evening she also rolled over from her back to her belly for the first time! Such a big girl! On March 9th I returned to work (sigh) but I know it was time. I'm not made to be a stay at home mom (because I would get nothing but snuggles done all day) but it was so hard to leave her at the same time. The only thing that made it easier was knowing she was at home being taken care of by someone who truly loves her! (We are so lucky that Brady's mom is able to take care of her while I'm at work!)
Here are some stats from this past month! 
Height:  23" - 5th percentile 
Weight: 11 lbs 8 oz - 5th percentile 
Clothes: 0-3 months 
Diapers: size 1 - mom prefers huggies snugglers or pampers swaddlers... I also like Luvs, but they aren't as popular & thankfully we still haven't had to buy our own since we were given so many at our diaper showers for Sloan & Ayla :)
Sleep: She tends to fight her sleep more these days, but it doesn't take long before she gives in. She naps during the day & was sleeping in her bassinet in our room at night... until one night (3/17) I laid her down for a "nap" in her crib and she just kept sleeping... until around 2 or 3 to be fed and then I put her back in her crib. Ever since then she has been in her room and seems to be sleeping much better in there. She goes to bed usually between 8-9 and wakes up around 3 and 630-7 to be fed. She just seems like she's such a good baby to me! I've started reading her a bedtime story most nights too :)

Diet: breast milk... I would guess an average of 3-4 oz per feeding, but she is really good about letting me know when she's done or wants more... I very much just follow her lead :) But on 3/26 we got to try baby food!! First up: squash! It wasn't love at first taste... but she finished her little bowl... with only a little mess!! ;)
Toys: She still loves her play mats, bouncer, & swing - especially the mobile on it!... I try to give her soft rattles to play with but she isn't very interested quite yet. Not sure if a bumbo counts as a "toy", but we are slowly introducing that too to try to help her get a little stronger :)

Milestones/firsts: she rolled from back to belly on 3/8/15 while on the couch with mommy! 
Health: perfect & thriving!
Likes: she likes to talk, lay on her changing table & look up at her bows, play patty cake, EAT, play on her pink play mat, car rides, and bath time!
Dislikes: we are still HATING tummy time - with a passion - but we still force her to do it some and it's hit or miss with how she will tolerate it... she usually doesn't last more than 5 minutes before she starts screaming!
Misc: one of my most favorite things right now is watching Ayla play with her hands... She has recently discovered them and seems to constantly play with them - especially when I'm feeding her! She loves to talk and laugh, and I just LOVE all of her sweet little noises! She's also started that pathetic/desperate cry stuff this month where it seems like she is just so miserable, until you pick her up - then she's magically healed! ;)