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Thursday, May 31, 2007

What a Great Day!

Today was so special! We took cupcakes to Ann Catherine's daycare for her birthday.

Her birthday is actually Friday (June 1st). But we're not sending her to school that day. Chris and I both took Friday off and we're going to have a family day. We're going to take Ann Catherine to Big Spring Park and have a picnic and feed the ducks.

We actually started this tradition last year. I didn't think I would be able to work on June 1st - mentally or emotionally. It was the first anniversary of Melissa's death and I just didn't think I could do it. So I took the day off and Chris and I took Ann Catherine to the park. It was such a special time together that we decided to do it every year.

So, with that being said, we let Ann Catherine celebrate her birthday at daycare today. When Chris and I showed up in her class she was so excited! You could just tell she felt so special! Her class sang "Happy Birthday" to her and she was just smiling from ear to ear! Then, her teacher gave her the first cupcake. It was just adorable. And of course, they all had icing all over their faces!

When we left, I told Chris my heart was so full. Today was proof that, so often, it's the little things that make our children happy.

Like mommy and daddy taking cupcakes to school on your birthday. It's so simple, yet so important.

This was without a doubt one of the greatest days I've ever had.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Look What My Daddy Did!

Memorial Day weekend was not one of rest at the George household.

Chris decided to build Ann Catherine and Lily a playground.

Chris is a great daddy. He's a wonderful man and terrific cook and takes good care of us. But, this was new to him - it was the first home project he ever did by himself.

First, he had to till the rock-hard soil. That was no easy feat. Then he added bags and bags of mulch - 23 bags to be exact. Then he laid down 12 8-foot pieces of lumber and connected them together with rebar.

We bought the swing set a couple of months ago. My parents bought Ann Catherine a small playhouse for her birthday (which is this Friday) but they went ahead and gave it to her this weekend. The rocking horse to the left belonged to my cousin's children, who outgrew it and gave it to my sister's children, who outgrew it and gave it to us.

Ann Catherine was beside herself with her new playground! She played all afternoon Monday and stay out there tonight until it was time to come in for a bath.

This is going to be a great area this summer! It's actually in the one area of our yard that gets afternoon shade. And it's going to be a great place for her birthday party this weekend.

While Ann Catherine goes from the swing set to the playhouse to the rocking house, Lily just swings along. Is there anything better than being a kid in the summer?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Three Day Weekend!

In the twelve years since I graduated college, I have NEVER had Memorial Day off.


Television news is 24/7. It doesn't stop for holidays. Someone has to anchor the news.

I often tell college graduates that. If you aren't willing to work crazy hours and holidays, find another career.

In fact, it's one reason why I did just that.

At some television stations, the main anchors never work holidays. But when I worked as the main female anchor at WHNT, we all pulled our weight. I was lucky enough my last couple of years to not have to work Christmas or Thanksgiving, but I did work other holidays.

But this year, our office at the Huntsville Hospital Foundation is closed for Memorial Day. I've never worked somewhere that closed for a holiday.

That means THREE days with Chris, Ann Catherine and Lily. I can't wait for us to spend that time together. I am so looking forward to it!

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend. And while our nation is at war, take a moment to remember those this weekend who aren't with us because they died making the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

There are moms and children out there who will spend this Memorial Day without the ones they love. Some are only separated temporarily. Others permanently.

As you spend time with your family this weekend, say a prayer for those who can't be together.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

She's Getting So Big!

I told you last week that Lily and Ann Catherine were wearing the same size diapers. Ann Catherine turns two next week. Lily is just six months. Yet, they are wearing the same size diaper. Now we know why.

I took Lily to the doctor this week and she weighs 18 POUNDS! I laid her on the scale and those numbers just kept climbing and climbing. I couldn't believe it!

You have to understand, this is so new to me and Chris. We truly went from one end of the spectrum to the other with our children. Ann Catherine was born at just a pound 15 ounces. The entire first year of her life she was playing catch-up as far as her weight was concerned. Your child can sit forward facing in the car seat once they turn one-year-old and are twenty pounds. Poor Ann Catherine turned one, but still weighed 18 pounds. She was 15 months before we could finally turn her around. My pediatrician says he doesn't think it's because of the prematurity. He just thinks Ann Catherine is going to be small like me, and he's probably right.

Lily on the other hand came into the world weighing 7 pounds 4 ounces and hasn't slowed down since. She has the sweetest little rolls you've ever seen! She'll be twenty pounds before she hits one and will be begging to turn around in that car seat :)

It's amazing how two little girls can be so different.

Ann Catherine looks just like me. Lily Baker looks just like her daddy.

Ann Catherine has my big, brown eyes. Lily's are a beautiful blue, like Chris'.

Ann Catherine is strong-willed and feisty. Lily is laid back and such an easy baby.

Now, add something else.

It truly wouldn't surprise me if Lily was bigger than Ann Catherine by the time she turns one.

Ann Catherine better enjoy being the "big" sister for now. Before long, she may be the "big" sister in age only :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Terrible Twos

Ann Catherine will turn two-years-old in a couple of weeks.

You know what that means.


Maybe terrible is too strong a word. After all, she can be so sweet. When I tell her I love her, she has starting saying, "Luf you too." It just melts my heart.

But my little sunshine can also be incredibly headstrong, strong-willed and bull-headed.

In the South, this is what we call "payin' for your raisin'."

I was exactly that way as a child. In fact, my mother gets a good laugh these days watching me try to reason with Ann Catherine when she refuses to listen. I say the fact that Ann Catherine acts just like I did is proof that God has a sense of humor.

Don't get me wrong. In a way, I'm glad she's like that. I think it's important for little girls to be assertive and independent. I don't ever want her to think it's okay for someone to run over her or take advantage of her.

But boy, is it tough right now.

I think we're right on the cusp of the terrible twos. Just last night, I asked Ann Catherine to pick up the diapers she had scattered on her bedroom floor.

For the first time ever, she looked me square in the eye and said, "no." In fact, this is pretty much how the dialogue went.

Me: Ann Catherine, pick up your diapers.

AC: No.

Me: Ann Catherine, be a happy helper and pick up your diapers.

AC: No.

Me: Ann Catherine, don't tell your mommy no. Pick up your diapers.

AC: Nope.

You get the picture. Same story this morning when she poured her goldfish on the floor.

God grant me patience over this next year.

I'm gonna need it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

6 Months Old!

I really cannot believe it!

I cannot believe that Lily Baker is 6 months old. Seriously, where did the time go?

It seems like just yesterday that I was on maternity leave and would curl up with Lily in my arms and take naps with her. She's still a snuggle bunny, but is so much bigger than she was. I don't know how much she weighs now, but I can tell you this. Sunday she started wearing the same size diaper as Ann Catherine and they are 18 months apart :)

She also did something else Sunday. She ate baby food for the first time. And she LOVED it!!

We tried carrots first for both of our girls. Ann Catherine hated them. In fact, I was so upset because she wouldn't eat them and I was afraid it meant she didn't like baby food. Then, we tried sweet potatoes next and she loved those! And to this day, Ann Catherine still won't eat cooked carrots.

Lily is a different story. She can't get enough! We gave her a small bowl full the first time and we had to get her more.

I'm posting some pictures from Lily's first "dinner." When you see all the carrots on her face, you wonder how she got any in her mouth!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

What a great day!

It has been a wonderful Mother's Day so far. I actually got my gifts from Lily and Ann Catherine on Friday. Lily made me a sweet, framed poem with her little hand prints at the bottom. Ann Catherine also gave me a card with a sweet poem about being a mom, with her hand prints on the front. She also made me a ceramic ornament with her hand print on it. I will cherish those gifts as long as I live.

Chris gave me a gift card to a local spa, which I couldn't be happier about! I have been dreaming of getting a massage for some time now, so I can't wait to get that.

But you know what? My best Mother's Day gift didn't come from Chris. It came from God, when he chose me to be the mother of three such amazing little girls: Melissa, Ann Catherine and Lily.

Lily, who honestly just lights up the room and melts my heart with her smile. Ann Catherine, who started the world at such a disadvantage and literally saved her mother's life by refusing to give up during those 68 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. And Melissa who, after I had complications, hung on against the odds inside her mommy's tummy for seven more weeks, thereby giving Ann Catherine a chance to live.

I can't express the words I feel for my daughters. Today I asked Ann Catherine, "Do you know how much your mommy loves you?" and she answered "No." I said, "You're right and you never will truly know, because I can't even put it into words."

I had some rough moments today, thinking of Melissa and missing her so much on this special day. Church was particularly hard. After church we went to Publix, and when I got Ann Catherine out of her car seat, she put her arms around my neck and her head on my shoulder, and just hugged me. I felt it was God's way of sending me a hug from Melissa on this Mother's Day. It was her way of telling me, "I'm okay, Mommy. And I love you."

When I pray, I often ask God to let Melissa know she has a mother on Earth who loves her so very much. I believe she does know that.

Especially today.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Only a Mother Can Know

It's amazing what you think about in the middle of the night as you're consoling a crying child.

Ann Catherine has a bit of a cold and last night, she woke herself up coughing. When she wakes up like that in the middle of night, she becomes very upset because she's so tired. And when that happens, she just cries, saying over and over, "Mommy, mommy, mommy."

I went to her room, put my arms around her and just kept saying, "Mommy's here, mommy's here. It's okay, Ann Catherine."

At that moment, I was so sleepy and was thinking, "Baby, please go back to sleep. Mommy's tired."

And then it occurred to me.

As hard as those middle of the night "breakdowns" are, we as mothers are so lucky. Who do our children call for when they are upset?


Who do they call for when they are sick?


Who do they call for when they are scared?


Do you know what a gift that is?

As I stood there, rubbing her back last night, I realized that this is a gift given exclusively to mothers.

It means that there is someone in this world, who truly NEEDS us. Who DEPENDS on us. Who thinks we can make EVERYTHING better.

Being a mom is so tiring. In fact, it's downright exhausting. Right now, having two children under the age of two, I wonder sometimes 'Will I EVER get a full night's rest again?'

But what I get in return is so worth it. There are two little people in this world who are completely unaware of all of my many faults. Completely unaware how woefully inadequate I really am. Completely unaware that I have so many limitations.

I am just Mommy to them. In their eyes, I can do anything.

What a beautiful reminder just in time for Mother's Day.

It makes all those nights without sleep worth it.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Classic Crazy!

That's what I'm calling this week at work.

The Huntsville Classic Dinner and Golf Tournament is this weekend and it's the Huntsville Hospital Foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year. Things are pretty crazy at the office! The proceeds from this year's event will raise money to buy five pieces of cutting-edge medical equipment. KC & the Sunshine Band will play at the dinner Friday night at the VBC South Hall. Should be a lot of fun!! Tickets are still available. Just call the Foundation office at 265-8077. Then stop by Friday night to "Do a Little Dance...Get Down Tonight!"

After that, the Foundation's next big event is Swim for Melissa. Even though it's not until August, we're already working on it! I'll disclose details soon. In the meantime, be thinking of any children you know who are 5-14 and would like to form a team of eight to swim. The swim event is Saturday, August 11 at the Hampton Cove pool from 9am-12pm. It's not a competitive swim. Kids can swim one lap or 20. We just want them to get donations and then show up and have fun! We're are working now to sign up our teams. If you are interested, email me at or call the Foundation at the number above. ALL proceeds will go to the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund to buy life-saving equipment for the Neonatal ICU.

Speaking of the fund, we don't have any final numbers yet, but it looks like the fashion show that the duMidi Women's Club held last week will raise about $6000 for Melissa's Fund! As soon as I get a final number, I'll pass it on. The duMidis have always been so supportive of Melissa's Fund. They helped with last year's Swim for Melissa and Spirit of Hope tree lighting. I am so grateful to them for all of their help! And remember the Huntsville Quarter Midget Racing Association I told you about in an earlier post? The charity race raised $1175 for Melissa's Fund. Thanks to Terry Maples and everyone involved!

We are getting ready to make another purchase for the NICU! Stay tuned!!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Doctor was Right

One of Ann Catherine's doctors once told me that the average child gets 3-6 colds a year. The average child in daycare gets 12-15.

I believe him.

Lily has ANOTHER cold.

It's her 3rd one since February. That's when she started daycare. That's not saying anything bad about her daycare. In fact, I love her daycare. It's like that with any daycare.

When you have that many children together, it's hard to keep them from passing things around.

Take Ann Catherine for instance. She stayed home with my mom for the first 14 months of her life and wasn't sick one time. That's pretty amazing. Not a single sick visit to the doctor for the first year of her life. Once she started daycare, she got an ear infection each month and eventually had tubes put in her ear.

It's yet one more dilemma working moms must face. In fact, I've talked to mothers who worked outside the home and then quit, simply because their child was staying sick and they were having to call in sick to work too much. They felt they were actually losing money because their child was sick all of the time.

I'm fortunate that my mom is here and can step in and keep my kids when they are sick. In fact, she kept Lily today and I didn't have to miss work, which was great because I had an important meeting.

But not all moms have that option. It's one more reason why the decision to work or stay home isn't black or white.