Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sick again...

I think one of the greatest lessons I have learned over the last year+ is that I'm not in control. There are times in my day that I have the sense of having things under control, only to then be quickly reminded that I'm not in charge...and it is better that way. I am in the midst of one of those moments. Here is what I mean...Tuesday: "I can totally handle this kid, I have my routine figured out, he's pretty happy, plays by himself, I am merrily wrapping Christmas presents as he WALKS (more on that later) around the house. Wednesday: 103 fever, up 2x/night, house a wreck, haven't showered since ?. It's amazing how things can change in a day...or do they really change?

If I'm honest with myself, nothing changed from Tuesday to Wednesday except my perspective. I can't make James be healthy, I can't make him nap, I can't make him love Jesus. It is a reminder, as every day should be, that it is by God's grace that he is healthy and it will be by God's grace that James is His. I would love to map out my life and tie it in a pretty little bow. But what I would be missing is the freedom to let go; to trust God with each day/week/year; to be wise but not have a false sense of running the show.

Why does it always take a few tears and a little lack of sleep for me to realize this?! Okay, I'm over my word quota for the post, so I'll end with a picture





He is now back to his usual tricks, and the back up babysitter is on her way to help me make up some work hours tomorrow. Thanks Nana!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Some holidays are filled with grief, loss, remembering the past and what was....others are filled with delight in the moment and soaking up the joy of that gathering. As the baby of the family, I remember years of real sadness that the days of my siblings all being home for the holidays were coming the an end. This year was one of those rare years that was ALMOST perfect (just one sister and her family were missing). Rather than give you a written play-by-play, here is a visual summary.

 Family picture.
 BIG family picture...Byrds, Hartmans, Potts on Thanksgiving Day...more food than we could eat (3 turkeys), lounging in the sun on the front porch, throwing the football, watching football, and more eating.
 Friday we celebrate James turning 1 and Isaac turning 30! Isaac was delighted to celebrate his birthday with a one year old.
 Cake!!
 He squeezed it, threw it, and then devoured it.
 The Byrds, Brownlees, and Hannah made the trip over to celebrate with us. What a rare occasion to have both grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins around to celebrate such a milestone!
Lots of cousins around to play with....James is going to have a hard time this week with just me!

God has been so good to our family. As my grandfather often said..."look at all of these nice people, and they are all related to me!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

what a year

Well, this time last year, I was sleeping, reading, watching t.v. and pretty ready to get up and move. Today, I'd love to spend this rainy day sleeping, reading, and watching t.v. It's amazing how things change. 


I will admit there have been quite a few times in the last year when I've looked at Isaac and thought "what have we done..." such as when I was on magnesium, when I was on bed rest for way too long, when I was waking up every 2 hours with a crying infant, when James has been sick...okay you get the picture. 


But...


The other side of that are days when I think, how amazing to have this little person to enjoy, watch grow, laugh with and at, to cuddle, to bring such delight and joy, to get excited about things to come. 


Oh, I am loving this age. James is so curious. He thinks the strangest things are funny. He is a little wild! He makes our days quite exciting.


I'm tired most of the time; he is a busy man. But, let me tell you, it's a good kind of tired! 


So this Thanksgiving season, the Byrds have a lot to be thankful for....this month, we celebrate the birthdays of my two favorites, Isaac and James. More to come on that later. Isaac is really excited about celebrating his 30th with a 1 year old!


 At Parents' Day Out, James' class is making a scrap book and asked for a "family picture." I am now realizing that James' first year is mostly pictures of him ALONE. So, I'm resolving to get more family shots, if for no other reason, than to have one for his "class project."
This one at least has Isaac's legs...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fall

Don't you love fall. The leaves changing color, pumpkins, hot chocolate (yes, even in the 60s). We have been soaking up fall here at the Byrd household. James and I spend most of our days outside. This boy loves being outdoors. I have decided that we will just continue to bundle up on pretty days, regardless of the temperature....we get along much better after a little fresh air.

In contrast to last fall, the last couple of months have gone by so quickly. James is growing and changing so much. He took his first steps recently, and I think will begin walking soon. It's amazing to see him begin learning and remembering things. He favorite activities include: putting things in and out, playing tug-of-war with George and his toys, pushing his riding toys, corralling a ball (thank you PTs for that term), putting his toys in very random places, and climbing on pillows on the bed. Most activities end in a loud bang and crying (yep, his head). At the moment he has ~3-4 bruises or red spots on his head. Poor guy...he's destined for the emergency room.

I need to upload some new pictures of this guy, but until then, here is some of my recent footage. James is scooping sand at "My Big Backyard."
video



Friday, October 14, 2011

On a lighter note...the BEACH

The Potts clan packed up 5 cars with more groceries, toys, and people than we needed and headed to Ft. Morgan, AL. We totaled 5 children under the age of 5, 1 grown-up child (that's you, Michael), 10 adults. We expanded over 2 houses and took up almost every inch of space available.


We only had 1 case of the stomach virus (Dad), 1 fever virus (James)....3 others suffered after the vacation was over (2 of those were Byrds and poor Emily took one for the team). BUT, we had a wonderful trip. The kiddos played in the sand, in the water, on the porch. We lounged around during the day, soaking up the perfect weather and warm sun. We ate A LOT, talked a lot, and laughed a lot. It was  great vacation, orchestrated by the one and only...Judy Potts.

Here are a few pictures of our time together.

 There was a lot of love to go around....Sarah, the caretaker of the younger crowd.
 Pre-fever, enjoying the sand and sun.
 Many sandcastles, race tracks and other creations were masterminded by these two.
 Check out the crawling skills, even in the sand.
 Swinton is quite the walker these days. He could even run after the big boys in the sand.
They are still trying to figure each other out!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This time last year...

This time last year, we were celebrating fall in the hospital. My dear sweet friends and family showered me with pumpkins, flowers, a big tv, food galore, magazines, Rosetta Stone, and anything to take my mind off of the fact that baby Byrd wanted to arrive WAY too soon. As I write this, that little baby Byrd is pulling on my jeans and whining to be picked up. We have come a long way!

On October 12, 2010, I was on day 8 of my hospitalization at Methodist Germantown, and we received the news that my fetal fibronectin test was positive, meaning there was a 60% chance of delivery in the next 2 weeks. I was beyond disappointed. In my journal (a.k.a. my book of venting frustration and sadness) I wrote the following: "I am not in control and this baby is in the hands of the Father. He knows the day he will arrive and He is knitting him together just as he should be and in His time. Our baby has been fearfully and wonderfully made- at 28 weeks and full term."

I am so thankful for those extra 8 weeks God gave us for James to grow and develop. God is and was merciful and gracious to us.

I sang this hymn over and over in my head over those first few days:
Children of the heavenly Father
Safely in his bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
Such a refuge ere was given.

God his own doth tend and nourish,
In his holy courts the flourish;
From all evil things he spares them;
In his mighty arms he bears them.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers
Your protector never slumbers
At the will of your Defender
Ev'ry foeman must surrender.

Who would have thought that this 28 week- 2  pound, 12 ounce baby would end up weighing 21 pounds at 10 months.

Thank you for Your mercy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grandparents' Day

At PDO (parent's day out) last week, they celebrated Grandparents' Day. What a sweet thing to do, right? Well, I found myself sad that little James would be the only one there (I'm sure he wouldn't be alone and I'm sure he wouldn't notice) without his grandparents.
Thankfully, my mother came to the rescue, as usual. She took James to Kosciusko for a few nights, so I could get some extra work done (that's another story...I've been spending a lot of time with the elderly). So, James was spared being the "poor kid without grandparents," and instead he had a week/weekend full of love by both sets of grandparents. Unfortunately, I don't have documentation from the Byrds...the camera stayed in the car.


Playing on Maw Maw's front porch. He made a mess in a hurry. Note the small dog, Buddy...Buddy is rumored to be the catalyst for James' crawling (I didn't witness it). Buddy let James feed him, pull his hair and crawl all over him...he's quite good natured!

 This may not be the safest activity, but we were raised on the mower! I can remember riding with mom as she cut the grass many, many times. Doesn't he look content?

 Are these 2 not the happiest guys on the block. James made his debut at M&F. He loved crawling down the wide open hallway. Big Daddy was a great hit with James, as always!


As far as our life here in Memphis, let me tell you it is SO busy. James is pulling up, cruising, and into everything. When I finally sit down (like now), I get really sleepy (I will probably be asleep in 15 minutes). But, I will say, this stage is my favorite. I'll trade a still infant for a busy 9 month old any day! James goes to the pediatrician for a belated 9 month check up...I'm curious as to how he will "weigh in;" this boy loves to eat.

He looks like he's getting into something...right?!

Off to bed:).

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Go Rebels

As I type this, BYU has taken the lead. I hope by the time I finish blogging, the Rebels improve their game and come out on top. Until then, I'll fill you in on our christening of football season, at least for Isaac. This week has included: fantasy football draft, Memphis/MSU game at the Liberty Bowl, Grove grocery shopping/planning/cooking, game day pancakes, a day in the Grove with friends and family, Ole Miss football game (outcome to still be determined), and a very sleepy boy. I must admit I went into the day very, very skeptical as to how James (I) would handle a full, hot day in the Grove. He was dirty and tired, but I was pleasantly surprised. It may take me weeks to gather up enough energy to go back, but it was (for the most part) pretty successful--meaning few tears and no major breakdowns.

Now, for the visual documentation...

 ESPN game day in his jersey and diaper
 Seeing Ed, Emily, and Abigail (we also saw Michael and Katy)
 Meeting Trammell and visiting with Amanda and Lauren
 Hanging out with D
Too tired to stay awake any longer! Isn't he peaceful when he sleeps!?

Not looking good Rebels...

Monday, August 22, 2011

these are a few of my favorite things

Why do we even bother to buy kids toys? Here are a few of James's favorite "toys." A computer cord (all cords for that matter), Grizzlies koozie, remote control (only the one that works), a shoe horn, ANY of George's toys, (not pictured) my house keys.




Added to the list today...a fly swatter.
I realize that quite a few of these are not very clean, but I'll take my chances for 10 minutes of a independently play time!


Little James is beginning to push the limits a little. We have told him "no" and "stop" more times than I care to count to keep him from...falling, pulling lamps over, getting into dog food, etc. Yesterday, he was quietly playing and this is where we found him. (There is a lamp cord behind that table that he LOVES). I recognize that getting the camera is probably not the right reaction...but, you can't help but smile at his "caught in the act" face.




Just another reminder that we are all sinners; even little James wants what is fun and exciting for him. No one likes to be told "no," even 8 1/2 month olds. I find myself praying more and more for his heart, that he will never know a day when he didn't love Jesus...and that we, as parents will know how to train him in the way he should go. It is a task too big for us alone...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Can I come over??

One of my favorite things about my job is feeding therapy. Without getting into all of the details as to what exactly it is and why I love it, I will tell you that I have been using all of my "skills" with James lately. I must be pretty good at my job (or James inherited a great appetite). 

Today at lunch...black beans, cantaloupe, and yogurt. 
 Does he look happy or what?!

He also devours: cheese, soft bread, any kind of small cereal, goldfish, all baby foods (yep, even the yucky green ones), peaches, banana, beans (most kinds of beans), corn, graham crackers...the list goes on. I'm still working on cooked carrots and avocado. 

James is also very much on the move. He has discovered electrical plugs and is quite fascinated. He also entertains himself by sticking his hands in George's dog food and water bowl (this gets quite the reaction from me). Wouldn't you just love to have him over?! I'm sure his teachers are loving this silly goose. He started Parents' Day Out at Second Baptist 2 days a week while I work. He is still "adjusting!"

And a little picture to end on...this was right before he reached for the laptop cord!


And here he is after his second day of "school"
Notice George in the background staring at the squirrels in the neighbor's yard. Quite the protector!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

James is crawling!

video

After spending a few days with his older cousin, Swinton (10 months), James decided he needed to increase his mobility. After a few days at home practicing, he is quite mobile.

Out highlights from July include:
- crawling
- 4 new teeth (all on the top)
- fever virus and the stomach virus (2 different weeks)...we are loving daycare!!
- eating more and more table food (veggies from pot roast, creamed corn, avocado, graham crackers, cheerios and much more)
- we are desperately working on independent play...not going so well
- finger feeding
- pulling to stand on the bed (the crib was dropped today)
- fun times with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents
- swimming, splashing, and floating in the pool
- growling (yep, he growls) and "talking..."no babbling yet, please don't think of it as a reflection on my professional skills, James is limited to vowel sounds unless he is crying, then he sounds like he's saying "mama"
- sitting in the shopping cart (without needing to be propped up

It has been a full month. Her are a few pictures
 Nana with James and Swinton
 Check out those teeth!! Beware, he bites.
What a crew...James (8 months), Rachel (4 months), Burton (2 1/2), Swinton (10 months) and Sarah (almost 4)

Friday, July 15, 2011

We are feeling the HEAT

Not only are we feeling the 100+ weather, James's internal temp is up too. The week has been spent with a lot of Motrin and Tylenol. Apparently, James suffered from the "summertime flu" and on top of that, has not 1, not 2...but THREE teeth coming in. It's always baffled me when women said "oh, he must be teething," but I now understand that every one of those pearly whites comes with pain (not just for the child but for the parents too). So, I would be happy if all of his teeth came in at one time and it was over.

So, after a few days not working and cooped up together indoors. James and I were delighted to have an outing today to....Target! Does it get more exciting than that?!

As I was feeling sorry for myself and how exhausting it is to care for a sick child (thank you mom for all your years of patiently nursing us)...I ran across this blog. I think I'm tired...check out these women's schedules. She is featuring a variety of working mothers and their daily schedules. It's pretty interesting. Made me tired just to read it.
http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July

I have been a terrible documenter lately. When I have my camera, I don't use it and when I want it, I don't have it with me.

Saturday, we loaded up and drove to Pickwick for the day. James was zipped into a gigantic "infant" lifejacket (wish I had my camera). We had to unzip it so he could see out of the top. He bobbed in the lake briefly. Gerber puffs kept him going for a while but didn't keep the tears away. We had one major meltdown on the boat before he fell asleep from exhaustion.

Sunday, James looked pretty handsome, so I took a picture. This kid is going to think he was always alone with a camera, since we seem to only take pictures of him solo!
Backtracking a little...below is a fabulous party favor received at Allie Callicutt's 1st birthday party. Please ignore the drool.
 And here we are all decked out in patriotic colors, ready for the neighborhood "parade." James napped through most of the festivities, which I did not wake him up for! So, we made it in time for a few patriotic tunes and a quick chat with a neighbor.
 The weekend ended with Isaac cooking dinner and James relaxing in the swing.

By the way, is he huge or what? This week at daycare, he has been placed in a room with older kids. Some of the them are crawling and walking, and they are all either the same size or smaller than James. What happened to that tiny baby?!

Summer Reading

For my birthday, I bought myself a Kindle.
I have put it to good use this summer and find I read much more. A couple of clicks, a few seconds and you have a new book loaded and ready to go! 
So, here is my summer reading recommendation list. Please, no judgement...no highly intellectual books here. This truly is a "good beach read" kind of list. 

1. The Paris Wife (Paul McClain)
I read this before seeing Midnight in Paris. They are a great combo. It will make you want to plan your European vacation.

2. Room (Emma Donoghue) 

3.Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand)

4. Bossypants (Tina Fey)
I couldn't help but laugh obnoxiously loud so Isaac would ask what was so funny. 

I'm working on one right  now but don't have high hopes for it making the recommended summer reading list...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Go Rebs

Many people frown on putting a baby in non-baby clothes (e.g. bold colors, patterns, etc). Well, James loves to wear his big boy Ole Miss jersey. I must admit he looks pretty good in it too. He cooperated and posed for a picture, which was framed and given to his grandfathers and Isaac for Father's Day.

If you look closely, you will see 2 teeth on the bottom. Beware, he will bite, and it hurts!

Herbs or 'erbs

Check out the fruit of Isaac's labor. We (really...he) has dried his herbs and we have put them into containers for later use. Our house currently smell of rosemary, sage, oregano, dill, and parsley. I much prefer fresh herbs, but come winter, I'll be ready! 

 Freshly hanging in our closet! 
 Dill and rosemary after they have been dried.
Oregano, Sage and Parsley 

Here is a little poem I was introduced to by Felder Rushing. If you live near or in Mississippi, you should listen to his Friday morning show on MPR. So, I hope you enjoy a little gardening humor.

Herb or 'erb'?
  don't be disturbed
About the way
  to say this word.
Pronounce the H,
  or let it drop;
Botanically
  it matters not.
These useful plants,
  do so delight,
They'd be amused
  about our plight.
So say it Herb,
  or just say 'erb'
Whatever which-way
  you'd prefer!
-Rhonda Haavisto

Sunday, June 5, 2011

6 months old

James is now a "sitter." He can sit for a few seconds and then he topples over. He enjoys playing in his "nest" of pillows.

It has created a new world of observing and entertainment. So far, this is my very favorite stage...I love the responsiveness and the interactiveness. I must admit, I'm not much of a tiny baby person...too fragile and unengaged (and I don't handle sleep deprivation well). I'm trying to soak up this phase, literally, I'm soaking it up...James just projectile vomited all over me (sorry if that is a little too much info).
His 6 month shots aren't agreeing with him very well. So, James and I are spending a quiet Sunday morning at home, thanking God for this healthy boy. I feared so much having James too soon and dealing with major medical problems, but here we are, 6 months old and our biggest issue is a little fever and upset tummy.

My brother-in-law introduced me to this hymn (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/g/m/gmovesmw.html)
many years ago, and I read and re-read the lyrics while I was in the hospital (especially the first few days). God really did shower us with merciful blessings.

"God Moves in Mysterious Ways"

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.




Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Update from the Byrds

Isaac's garden looks great! We just tied herbs to dry in our hall closet. We have a few green cherry tomatoes, which I can't wait to ripen...everything tastes better when you know it's fresh.



In addition to gardening, we spent a few days in Destin with my parents. James was shockingly well behaved on the LONG drive down and back. He ate his weight in applesauce during the drive. The beach was beautiful. James tolerated it for a few minutes each day, but he wasn't a fan of the bright sun, sand in his pants, or the heat. So, we rotated babysitting and beaching. James preferred the comfort of his baby pool. My sweet husband and mother gave me quite a few breaks during the weekend to have alone time and grown up time. It is a different kind of vacation with a 6 month old. 



 I don't like it!!!
reading with Big Daddy in the morning


Speaking of 6 month olds, James had his half birthday on the 30th. For the sake of documentation (for myself) here is a quick summary of his tricks. James would love nothing more than to sit up on his own but not yet...he raises his head off then ground when lying down (like he's doing crunches). He immediately flips from his back to his belly (often in the middle of the night). He sleeps through the night but wakes up EARLY (5-6 a.m.) and ready to GO! He loves to eat. We introduced the sippy cup and he makes a mess with it and cries when it's taken away. Naps are a little inconsistent. No babbling yet but he makes a lot of vowel sounds. We are headed to the pediatrician on Friday for shots and a weigh in (he's a chunk). 


I'm over my self-allotted word count, so I'm going to call it a day!