Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I am a mother. First and foremost - it's what I do. It's who I am. I carried these 2 babies in my body for a combined total of 18 months.  I nursed them for a combined total of 11 months.  Since I teach 2nd grade I know that 18 + 11 = 29.  Beckett will be 29 months old Thursday. I am on my way to being 29 years old.  I should know what the heck I am doing here...right?  With all of these months of experience under my belt? Nope...not so much. 

It was so, so easy having the babies live in a little bubble in my belly.  For 9 months I ate right(minus the few crazy cravings), took my vitamins, followed all the do's and don'ts of being pregnant and repeated again.  I loved being pregnant and feeling them move, knowing they were safe in that little bubble. I nursed both of my babies to keep them healthy. Found them great pediatric doctors for their well visits.  I do/did everything and more that I am supposed to do for them. 

When both babies came out perfect I just couldn't have imagined them ever getting sick. They were the epitome of health. 

Now, I realize that my children's illnesses of pink eye and viruses pale in comparison to some serious and incurable diseases but I HATE this feeling of helplessness when they are sick.  (And fevers scare me.) 

My poor, poor Emerson (Emma-emma-emmason as I call her) woke up with a 102.2 fever yesterday.  It went up and down from 103.7 to 100 all day. 

We went to the pediatrician after following orders of motrin/tylenol every 3 hours.  Constant temperature check, keep with the fluids etc. 
Dr. did a strep test - negative, white blood count was elevated, ears were pussy, red throat.  Could be hand, foot, mouth - we didn't really know at that point. So, she got a shot of of antibiotics in her leg to give whatever she is battling a kick start to heal.  
(We were both crying in the lab - the lab tech was dabbing both of our tears. It was a mess.)

We came home and I continued to give her tylenol/motrin and monitored her fever til about 1 am.  Finally, her fever broke and I laid her in her crib.  Neal woke up at 5:30 and said she felt warm.  Stupid me, I thought I set my alarm for 5 to check her temp. again but I must have slept through it :/ 

Back up to 103.7, more tylenol.  Back to the dr.  Her ears looked fine, another white blood count showed the numbers lowered and he decided to give her 1 more shot of antibiotics as opposed to 10 days on oral and maybe this could be Roseola.  

Luckily, I didn't cry today with Emerson - just the baby did.  Ok, I lied I saved it for the car. 

Like I said earlier I just feel so helpless.  I asked Dr. H - What can I do? Seriously WHAT CAN I DO TO KEEP MY BABIES OUT OF YOUR OFFICE EVERY WEEK!!! 

He looked at me and said - Well, you can keep them in a bubble or you can let them play with other kids.

Ok Dr. H that is not fair!  I liked when they were in that bubble in my body and I didn't have to worry about them being sick all of the time and could protect them from everything and wasn't exhausted from never sleeping. They were so comfy and precious and perfect in there. :(  

Now - you're telling me because I work part time and let my kids play with other kids and go out and do fun things that they are going to be sick 24/7?  

Ah - just can't take much more.  Emerson and I are wussies when it comes to shots, and fevers, and pain.  

Think we'll just stay in our little bubble that is my bed for the rest of the day and watch the Food Network. 

On the positive - baby E is 18.8 lbs. and 27 1/2 inches long - 95th percentile for height and weight.   Here are some pics from her visit today...off to our bubble we go.   

~xo Libby

Monday, May 14, 2012

Take 5

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!  In my head I had very different versions of how the day was going to play out than how it actually did.  

I envisioned me sleeping in (up at 6:00)  being made breakfast in bed with the sun shining and flowers on a tray (Neal - do you want some toast?) drinking mimosas at brunch ( 1 glass of boxed wine during nap time)  and taking lots of beautiful family photos outside ( I can't even show you any of me because I look like a hot mess ). 

I did make it to church with Emerson and my mom while Neal took Beckett to CMoR to play. We did have a 20 minute brunch at Halligans where we inhaled our food and took 3 trips to the bathroom because Beckett is 2. My mom and I did some yard work while Neal went to the gym and the kids napped.  And we were all asleep by 9 o'clock. 

Neal actually went to bed around 7 because he had a killer headache.  So, the kids and I snuggled on the couch surrounded by a tornado of toys and took 5 before bedtime. 

It was in the last 5 minutes of my day, sitting on the couch with my 2 babies that I really got it.  I really, really got overwhelmed by this feeling of love, and joy, and peace and total fullness.  My life is so full of love for these 2 little kids that my heart literally feels like it can't hold anymore.  Beckett was making Emerson laugh by tickling her and playing peek-a-boo and the 2 of them laughing together made me tear up.  How did I get to be so lucky in love?  

Despite me being exhausted from teething, cleaning up potty training messes,  being dirty from yard work and sitting on top of crushed Goldfish crackers and Yogurt Melts stuck to my pants I am very fortunate for those last 5 minutes of my day and they made/make everything worth it.  The card my mother-in-law gave me said, "The days are so long but the years are so short." Couldn't be more true...

I got some silly pictures that I will treasure forever and remember their cute little laughs and precious smiles always.  

Thank you B & E for being my greatest gifts.  I am one blessed momma. 

~xo Libby

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

10 years

Holy crap. I can't believe I just titled this TEN years.  After watching Glee, and crying just a little bit, I had to whip out my scrapbook I made Neal in high school to do some reminiscing.  Has it really been 10 years since we were voted Most Likely To Get Married???

I'll never forget some of my gf's wondering why they didn't win...I mean come on, have you met Neal?  


Anyways,  if you would have told me 10 years ago that Neal and I would be living in Richmond, VA with a son and a daughter I would have laughed in your face.

Yes, I always knew we would get married.
Yes, I always knew we would have children.
Honestly, didn't know where we would end up.

But, happy to say that we are here, have been in our home for 5 years and have two of the cutest kids I have ever laid eyes on. Ever. 

Neal and I have our rough days, our tough days, our in between days and our great days.  But, despite everything I can't imagine my life without him.

When we met at 15 he had every quality I could have ever hoped for in a husband....he is so loyal, so respectful, kind, loving, funny, honest, generous and he puts me first.  

Him putting me first has always been the kicker for me - gets me every time.  I really don't know what I would do without him.  I can't thank him enough for all the sacrifices and for providing for our family.  Always knew you were a keeper Nealy<3

My first, my last, my everything.  Loved dancing with you at our prom 10 years ago and love dancing silly with you now and our kids, now, more than ever. <3 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Before I post my thoughts let me preface by saying...I realize things in this house could be A LOT worse than they are right now and I am very grateful for my husband, children, home, family and friends. But, any support would be greatly appreciated. 

The past 7 days have been hellacious.  We got home from the OBX last weekend to find both babes sick with a capital "S".  

So, Monday morning I took both babies to the dr. after hyperventilating 25 times about how Beckett would behave in the office.  In the past he has banged on the fish tank even though the sign clearly says "Do Not Tap on the Glass."  Well, in his defense he wasn't tapping...anyways I am still not 100% comfortable taking them both places because of the 2's and thought of Emerson screaming.

Turns out Beckett was an ANGEL - I was in heaven.  Maybe we should send him to my MIL's for the weekend more often. He sat beside me, played with cars, was quiet. LOVE. 

So we get to see Dr. Christian, she checks the kids out and the first thing she asks me is "Do you have pets? Are your kids in daycare? Do you smoke?" 

1. Yes we have 2 dogs - a lab and beagle. 
2. Beckett goes to a church preschool with 3 other kids in his class. Emerson goes to a babysitter 2 days a week.
3. No, never, are you crazy.

To which she responds, 
1.  (with a grimace) Yikes, two of the worst for dander and long hair - no cats though right?
2. Ok that's good. 
3. Phew - even better. 

Then she proceeds to tell me that my kids are more than likely allergic to the dogs/pet dander and looking back at the history of B's 2 years that is probably where all of these problems are coming from.  I ask her if it's the pollen and she responds no - that is over. 

She was extremely concerned about Emerson's wheezing and made me have my 26th panic attack of the day. Even though she said how concerned she was about it her body language made it 100X worse. 

We left the dr. with 4 prescriptions - both kids had coughs, runny noses, double ear infections, Beckett had eczema all over his hands, arms, face and E with her wheeze.  We went to CVS where I found out to purchase these 4 medications it would be a whopping 253 dollars.  FML. 

I was sobbing in the car the whole way home, crying to Neal that we have to get rid of the dogs and he said do it.  We got home, gave E her first nebulizer treatment (which we repeated every 4 hours for 24 hours for 5 days), put both kids down for a nap, sat down at the computer and cried/thought. 

For 2 years Beckett has been sick, coughing, sneezing, ear infections.  For 2 years I have been listening to the dr.s tell me to get rid of my animals, and have my carpets cleaned and air ducts cleaned.  I hate to sound naive but shouldn't I listen to the dr.s and believe what they are telling me to do? If I had done this sooner would my kids not be as sick all the time?  For 2 years I have been giving him antibiotics and now Emerson is on her 2nd round at just 6 months old?  This is not good for them...or as my mom says, "It is destroying the flora of their colons!!!!!"

No questions asked - the dogs have to go.  As much as I LOVE animals, my pets, everyone's pets....my kids come FIRST.  I realize this is very hard for some people to understand but until you have been put in my situation you simply cannot understand.    

Sadie was my baby, she was all of 5 lbs. when we got her.  I loved her soft fur, her silly howl, the way she would run upstairs and flip all the pillows off my bed and roll around on it.  I loved the way she laid on Gracie's back like she owned the world.  

I love my kids more and I have to do what is best for them.

We found a wonderful, amazing family for Sadie. I had about 7 emails the day I posted just for her.  After searching them on facebook, google, white pages, maps and linked in. I knew it was right.  How selfish would I be to keep her, gated off in the dining room for the rest of her life, when she could go live with a picture poster perfect American family with a giant house, in an amazing neighborhood with another beagle - the same age, size and temperament!??!?!?

I spoke with the lady interested in adopting Sadie for 45 minutes on the phone and we swapped Beagle stories and I knew it was right.  When we hung up I criiiiiied all night long.  Luckily I had my sister to talk to about the situation.  She is a foster mom for animals and made me feel 100X better about it. 

We met Sadie's new family on Friday and the 2 beagle girls instantly hit it off.  I cried again watching Sadie get into their mini-van with her new sister Sara and continued to cry all night.  

I only want what is best for you Sadie girl, and for the kids.  I know you are LOVING your new home and family - the pictures prove it.  We miss you like crazy - Beckett keeps saying your name and the house is so quiet but the kids are doing better - no more green snot or coughing or rashes.  Gracie is still here... a 9 year old 90 lb. black lab is harder to find a home for. I'm so sorry I had to let you go but you will always be my sweet Sadie Marie... <3 
First night in our house 12-12-08

 Valentine's Day 2008

So playful - 2009

Couch potato - 2009

Sadie and Gracie on the Deck - 2009

Me, Sadie, B - Valentine's 2010

Sadie at her new home with her new sister, Sara.