Shabby Blog Background

Monday, February 26, 2007

Working Wonders

I had my first web chat tonight. It was a lot of fun! I enjoyed talking to our viewers and getting your ideas on what to talk about on my "Working Wonders" web page. We are still working on it, but the first part is up and running. It's a forum for moms (and dads!) to exchange ideas. Are you having trouble potty training? Does your toddler refuse to eat veggies? Are you having a hard time juggling home and family? Do you feel guilty because you are working outside the home and missing certain moments with your children?

These are the kinds of topics I want us to talk about. More and more people are getting their information from the internet these days. And who better to learn from than other moms who have "been there?" We are a great resource. Let's tap into it! I got some great ideas from moms during our web chat tonight. I encourage you all to go to the forum and let's start talking about it! Just click here.

To the right of the page, you'll also see an invitation to post a picture on my "Wall of Wonder" page. I want to offer this to parents of premature babies. So many of you email me and share your stories with me about your little miracles. Let's take it a step further. Share your story about your premature baby whether he's 2 or 22 and we'll add you to the "Wall of Wonder" page!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Time for a Change

If you watched the 6 p.m. news tonight, you heard my big announcement. I am changing directions in my life and going down a new path. I am taking a job with the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, which manages the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. As many of you know, my husband Chris and I established this fund in memory of our daughter Melissa. All the money we raise goes to buy equipment for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children. I will have the opportunity to work directly on my daughter's fund. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

I actually made this decision while I was on maternity leave. For the first time in my life, I was home at night with my husband and children. I have worked nights for 10 years and until now, Chris and I made it work. But now that we have two children, it has become increasingly hard to continue to work those long hours and spend the quality time that I should at home. Right now, I get home at 7 p.m. and have about a half hour with Ann Catherine before it's time to give her a bath and then put her to bed. And then once she's asleep, it's time for me to go back to work.

My children are gifts from God and mean the world to me. I realized that I couldn't continue to work those hours and be the mother and wife that I need to be. As I was pondering that decision, the opportunity to work at the foundation presented itself. I prayed about it and agonized over it. And when I listed my pros and cons, I kept coming back to this: the job at the foundation will allow me to be home in the evenings with my family.

My girls won't be this young forever. And they need their mother. As I said on the anchor desk tonight, I have loved sitting next to Jerry for the past 7 years, but my daughters need me more.

I am going to miss my co-workers here at Channel 19. We have been through the good and the bad together. But I won't miss the crazy hours. Or coming to work during a tornado and leaving my family at home.

And the opportunity to further Melissa's legacy is just the icing on the cake. How many people get the chance to do something they feel so passionate about?

Although I'm leaving the anchor desk, I won't be leaving Channel 19 entirely. I will expand this blog. I want it to become a destination for women just like me who are trying to juggle career and motherhood. I want it to be a place where we exchange ideas and learn from each other. And I also want it to be a place for parents of premature babies to gather. I want us to share our experiences and help each other. I am currently working on the design of this blog, but please, email me and let me know what you would like to see. It can't work without you!

I will also host monthly webchats and appear on television from time to time. So I'm not walking away completely.

If you missed my announcement, please click here to watch it. And please email me your thoughts for my new blog at

By the way, my last day on air is Wednesday, February 28th. Until then, I'll see you on TV!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Must Be Dreaming!

I wake up and look at the alarm clock.

7:09 a.m.

I must be dreaming!

But I check Lily's bassinet and realize 'nope, this is real.'

She's still asleep!

Still asleep as in - we put her down at 8:30 p.m. and she slept until 7 a.m.

If you've ever had a baby, you know the exhilaration of the first time she sleeps through the night. Up until now, the latest she has slept is until 5:45 a.m. Normally, she wakes up to eat anywhere between 3 and 4 a.m. I get up and feed her, put her back down and she wakes back up anywhere between 6 and 7 a.m.

Now keep in mind that because I work "nightside", I don't leave the station until after 10 p.m. That means I go to bed - after unwinding - usually around 11 or 11:30 p.m. By the time I get in that really good sleep, Lily is waking up to eat.

And the kicker in all of this is that Ann Catherine slept until 7:30 a.m. (She usually wakes up between 6:30 and 7.)

I figured it out this morning - this is the first time I have slept through the night in 6 months. For the past three months, I was waking up in the middle of the night to feed Lily. Then during the three months before that, I was in my third trimester and getting up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom.

Thank you Lord! My life has been CRAZY lately, and this full night's rest could not have come at a better time.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Funny Valentines

I took these pictures of Lily and Ann Catherine tonight. Ann Catherine had a Valentine's Day party at her daycare today. They made sugar cookies with sprinkles - in fact, I think she was still on the sugar high when I got home tonight :) She also brought home a couple of things she had made. One had her hand prints on them. It almost made me cry looking at how sweet and tiny her little hands are. The "artwork" will go on the wall of her playroom. We got that idea from a friend of ours. That way, what she makes at school doesn't just disappear into some drawer.

Lily turned 3 months old today! Hard to believe. A couple of weeks ago, we went for her 2 month checkup and she weighed 12.6 lbs. Chris and I laughed because at that age, Ann Catherine only weighed about 4 1/2 lbs. They are just so different! Lily is in the 90th percentile of weight and height. She's a little chunky monkey :)

Chris got Ann Catherine and Lily candy and teddy bears for Valentine's Day. I told him after Ann Catherine was born, that a little girl's first Valentine's Day gift should always be from her daddy. Growing up, my dad got me and my sister flowers or candy every Valentine's Day. I think it's so important for men to show that kind of love to their little girls. I always tell Chris I think his responsibility as a dad is so important, because the way he treats Ann Catherine and Lily is the way they'll expect other men to treat them in the future. That's so important. I'm so glad that Chris is such a good daddy. I just feel sorry for the first little boy who tries to take AC or Lily out on a date. The hockey stick just might come out of retirement :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Giant Check for Tiny Babies

In previous posts, I told you about the jersey auction that was held through the Huntsville Havoc. Saturday night, we got the check! The picture is a little blurry, but I wanted to show it anyway. That's Dr. Novak standing next to me. She is so special to our family! She is one of the neonatologists in the NICU at Huntsville Hospital. In fact, she was working the day Ann Catherine and Melissa were born. She worked on Melissa and I will never forget all she did for us. She was the one who had to explain to Chris that Melissa's lungs had not developed properly and that the ventilator was doing all the work for her (she had to explain it to Chris because I had an emergency c-section and was still under anesthesia). I think explaining those things to parents is probably one of the hardest jobs of a neonatologist. But she treated Melissa with such love and dignity and I will never forget that. Standing next to her is Dr. Morris and his little boy. Dr. Morris is also a neonatologist and he just moved here within the last year. They accepted the check with us. Dr. Dworsky and Dr. Davison couldn't make it. And the really, really tall guy is Kevin Walker. He's the General Manager of the Huntsville Havoc. We just can't say enough about that organization and what they have done for us.

It was a great night! Lily was also there, but I decided not to take her on the ice. I just don't trust myself walking on the ice. And since Chris was already holding Ann Catherine, he couldn't hold Lily also. So, we just let her sleep in her car seat :) We had to leave after the 2nd period because Ann Catherine was getting tired. Then we learned on the 10pm news that the Havoc came from behind and won the game in a shootout! We are glad to say the Havoc is 2-0 in games involving the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund! We're just looking forward to the day when we can stay for the entire game. Unfortunately, we're probably a couple of years away from that :)

Monday, February 5, 2007

I'm Baaaaaack!

Before Lily was born, 12 weeks of maternity leave sounded like so much time.

Boy, was I wrong!

I had all these ideas of cleaning out Ann Catherine's closet, unpacking boxes of clothes for Lily that AC no longer wears and getting all those things done that I've been putting off.

Yeah, right.

Today, I am back at work and embarrassed to say that NONE of that got done! But, to be honest with you, most of that was my fault. I can remember a couple of times when I was holding Lily while she slept (and while Ann Catherine was at daycare) and thinking, 'I should put her down and get some things done.' And then I realized that I was doing the most important thing I could do at that point.

I was holding my baby.

So, here I am back at work - taking care of Jerry instead of Ann Catherine and Lily (just kidding, Hayes!) The most beautiful pink roses were sitting on my desk courtesy of my sweet husband. He did the same thing when I returned to work after having Ann Catherine and Melissa. I remembered that day, when I saw the roses, I burst into tears because I missed Ann Catherine so much. But today I didn't cry at all when I saw them. Does that mean I miss Lily less? No, not at all. But maybe after the second child it's a little easier to return to work. I know that she's in good hands and I know I'll see her as soon as I get home.

If you notice dark circles under my eyes during the evening news, be kind. Lily still gets up once during the night and then Ann Catherine is up - bright and early - at 6:30 a.m. I came to work today armed with concealer!

Let's hope it works!