Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

I LOVE the New Year! It is always so promising and full of energy for me.

I remember last year how I was so excited for 2012. I knew in my heart that 2012 would be such a wonderful year for my little family. I knew that in 2012 that my sweet little baby would be coming home. Day 1 of 2012, I walked with a pep in my step knowing that this year would be the best year that we have ever had together.

I know that I became a mother the day that we conceived Walker. I knew that at all my appointments that I was a mother to a growing baby inside of me.  I knew when we were registering and picking out things that I was his mother. When I found out that he was a boy, I knew I was a mother to a son. When we decided to name him Walker, I knew I was now Walker's mom. The day of delivery I had to make decisions, along with R, that made me realize that I was a mother. I served as his advocate and decision maker during those early moments when I hoped that God would guide me in the right direction on where to go. I knew I was a mother...

But all those long days and nights in the NICU and leaving without a baby in my arms did not make me feel like a mother. I went home, I slept through the night, I stayed up all night willingly, I had alone time with my husband, I went out on the town...In those moments, I did not feel like a mother. I felt guilty. Even the times I spent most of my day pumping on the couch, the idea of motherhood was far from my mind. I was not a mother. My baby was not with me. I had no clue what my baby was doing at exact moments of the day. What face was he making? Was he thinking of me? Was he wondering why I wasn't at the hospital when he was awake? Did he like me? Did he love me? More importantly, did he even distinguish a difference between nurses and his own Mother? Could he feel my love?

I've always been a person to over analyze situations and these questions were constantly going through my head. Some mornings and nights I could not take it and would jump up and get dressed in whatever clothes I could find, engorged to the point that I felt like I would burst at any moment, and drive as fast as I could to my baby. Just seeing him sleeping in his isolette or crib would rest my worries for the moment. I would head to the milk bank and release myself and most days let a few tears shed. Spending 6 months going back and forth to a hospital really took its toll on us. Every day, same routine, same faces, same nights spent driving home in silence just the two of us choking back tears. Because leaving your baby night after night and day after day is the most gut wrenching task to do.

When would this cycle end? When would Walker be home in his own bed? With his mommy, daddy and dogs? Would he even like his own home? Would it be too quiet for him? Would he miss the nurses? Would he be homesick for his "other" home? His hospital home?

When the New Year came I felt this sense of relief. This was the year that I would become a mother. I would wake up to a crying baby; I would only half sleep because he could make a noise that I wouldn't hear; I would witness my husband becoming the father we had dreamed about for many months; I would multitask with a baby in my arms; I would finally have a baby to show the world that I was mother and not some picture or story.

There were some dark moments in 2012 but we made it through them by the grace of God. 2012 was a year that filled our hearts with hope and love and our faith was restored. I think we came closer to God in this year than ever in our lives before. 2012 has been a fantastic year and we are sad to see it go. Some of our best memories, so far, were this year.

We can not wait to see what 2013 has in store for us. We have plans to sell our home and move to our forever home. Making another Emery is on the list, hopefully, somewhere in 2013. Enjoying every moment we have with one another as well as our family and friends. Celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary. Taking a trip and getting healthy. Watching Walker grow and learn and become the little boy he is already becoming. But most importantly sharing every minute we have with one another and showing and giving love.

Happy New Year! May you be as blessed as we have been.

Friday, December 28, 2012

GI Appointment

Walker has his GI appointment a couple days after Christmas to see how things are progressing. He lost a couple ounces from November but that is perfectly fine. He is nonstop and keeps moving until he passes out from exhaustion. I'm not kidding either. Some nights I watch him on the monitor, stand up, fall to sitting positions, face plant in his crib and he is out like a light. She said that was fine and that we had the go ahead to switch him to whole cow's milk. It's been a little tough. We are still mixing a little formula with his milk and he seems to like that.

This is also his 14 month birthday. He weighs 20 pounds 6 ounces, I believe. He eats chicken, turkey, beef, and has tried fish. He loves vegetables. He loves all types of food. He started drinking water from his sippy cup at meals and finds it very refreshing. He is finger walking along the couch, coffee table, entertainment center, anywhere he cruise along. He has two teeth. He can clap his hands. He gives kisses.
Look at how much he looks like a little boy here!

TCH has this amazing section in the crossbridge that is decorated for Christmas. It is beautiful at night. My Dad kept saying last year that he wanted to take his picture there at night and send it to all his friends. It's a great photo op.

 Last year R posed sitting next to it...
...And I was so happy it was still up to get a picture of Walker next to it.
Look how little he looks.

Smiling for Daddy.

We took a picture with cousin Adam like this last year. 
We might actually make this a tradition for a couple years. We'll be the creepers that show up to the hospital just to take a Christmas picture. Cool.

We headed to Tookies after the appointment for a good hamburger! Walker LOVED watching the train go round and round! He also loved the waitress. I was looking down at my menu about to order and heard his squeal. He was literally harassing her by trying to climb out of his high chair and grabbing her body.

Look at that face! So sweet and priceless!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Morning!

Christmas came and we all were so happy to see what Santa left! 
"Why is Mommy and Daddy both in my room this early?"
 Walker woke up happy as can be and we headed in the living room to see what Santa left.
"He does exist"
 Walker got a push toy that plays music. He was pretty excited about it!

"This is MINE!"

"Santa came!"

"What's that over there? Another present for me?"

 He got a phone to call all his lady friends and homeboys.

Santa remembered that he likes Bubble Guppies and he brought Walker some new bath toys.
 Santa heard Mommy's plea to please bring Walker his very own laptop so he would stop trying to get mine.
"Oh yeah! Just like Mommy!"

"I'll save that work for later."

 Walker got an activity cube.
 He seems less than impressed.
 Walker's BIG present from Santa was a bike! He loves it!
 We brushed our teeth and headed over to Nana and Papa's for Christmas breakfast and to open presents. I had the worst migraine ever and stayed in my pajamas all day long. Eventually R had to take me home and we left Walker so I could get some sleep and R went to his dad's house.
 Uncle Ben flies in from the Big Apple every year and this year him and Walker got acquainted. Last Christmas when Uncle Ben came to town, Walker was a mere three-very swollen-pounds with a bunch of tubes and monitors on him.
"Look how much you have grown!"

Best buds!
 We had  a great Christmas! We were so excited to have Walker home and  have him enjoy the holiday with family. This is one Christmas we will never forget.

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Birthday and The Night Before Christmas

We celebrated my 28th birthday and my Dad's 61st birthday at Salt Grass. It was so good but my throat was killing me. I self diagnosed myself with uvilitis. R gave me a year subscription to Us Weekly magazine. YAY! My brother in law "purchased" it for me one year but he got scammed and I was really sad. I'm so happy to keep up with my celebrity gossip every week.

The Emery family Christmas is that night and we had such a great time. They surprised me with Linda's chocolate fudge cake from the Cheesecake Factory! It was delicious and so thoughtful, Heather. Walker had so much fun with his cousin Kayla and she held him while he watched the Polar Express train go round and round. He had a minor freak out when we walked away. It's not an Emery Christmas until the train conductor goes missing or the train goes off the tracks.

That night R and I were very happy to get Walker ready for bed and talk about Santa coming. We read, "The Night Before Christmas" and then snuggled him into bed.
"So what you're saying is, that Santa comes in my house and leaves me toys?"

"Read it Momma!"

"Open! Open! Open!"

"Are you paying attention, Daddy?"

We all settled in for the night and were all eager to see what Santa brought us in the morning.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas with the Raineys!

We get to celebrate Christmas early with R's sister and her family a couple days early every year. We always have so much fun and the food is always delicious! No matter how full we get we always have room for some of Julie's cheesecake. It is so good!

Unfortunately, I got sick the day before and could barely breath out of my nose. R picked up a double and took care of Walker during the day while I rested. For some reason when R puts Walker in our bed, they nap together. When I put Walker in the bed with me, he thinks it is time to jump around!
They are such twins!

For Mrs. Charlotte! Thank you so much for the bibs!

 Walker LOVES his cousin Kayla! He sat in her lap and gave her tons of smiles and giggles! He spent the majority of the night hanging out with her.
He sat like this, stroking her hair, and staring at the Christmas tree. He was mesmerized! 

Eating at the dinner table.
 Aunt Julie always has an activity for the kids and this year was the choice of an elf hat or a Santa hat with a beard. We went with the elf hat because the beard wasn't going to work with him. Plus he was on outfit change number three and it was his "I love Santa" onesie. 

There we go! Kayla has her elf hat on too!

He's an elf!
Best Friends!

Cousin Collin came down for the fun!
We had such a great time spending time with the Rainey family. We love them so much and enjoy watching Walker play with his cousins! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm Watching You!

Now that Walker is very confident with pulling up to stand, we find that nap time becomes "practice time" instead. I caught him practicing standing up when he was supposed to be napping. He's so cute!

 We finally got the walker from Aunt Sissy's house and Walker was a little confused. He kept jumping expecting it to bounce with him. He moved a little in it but would rather push his toys around and walk assisted like that.
 Daddy came home and had a bunch of fun with Walker. We get him for FIVE full days all to ourselves and we are very, very happy! He pushed Walker around in this box for a little bit and he loved it!
"Hey, why did you stop?"

"This is fun, Momma"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Big Boy!

One handing it!

Crazy baby!

He has been trying to open cousin Adam's gift all week!