Groundhogs Day! 🦔

February has come and gone along with the time once again! This time last year we found out we were having a bouncing baby girl! Blink your eye and a year just flies! Our lives are finally pretty normal for once! Which is nice after the year we’ve had! There hasn’t been much excitement this month which is fine with us! No news is good news! Still counting our blessings each and every day! So thankful Lilli has stayed and continues to stay so healthy! 🙏 We’ve just kept on with our routine, doing our own daily Groundhog Day thing. Same ol’ thing day after day! The Willamette Valley did get it’s first snow of the winter season! After having what felt like early spring weather the few weeks before (Thanks little groundhog). Oregon is just a bi-polar weather state. Wait 5 minutes and it changes again. So unpredictable! Lilli got to experience (eat and squish) the snow briefly for her first time! ❄️☃️

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Lilli loves her fur siblings and they truly love her! Pj is always trying to give her kisses (or eat her leftovers) and Kona is always sniffing her out 😂 Mostly Kona stands guard protecting Lilli like a gargoyle. Pj likes to borrow and play with Lilli’s toys. Lilli is very gentle most of the time with furry critters. Loves to pet them and get ticklish kisses. 😘 Garry is such a trooper watching and caring for Lilli and the cats day in and out! He does a great job with little complaints. He’s a rockstar Dad for sure! Being a stay at home parent is one of the hardest and underpaid jobs that ever existed! I feel so blessed one of us at least gets to be home with her during this crucial growing stage of life. 💙 Plus the constant updates and pictures/video help me get through my long hours at work. 👌

Lilliann had a wonderful 9 month wellness check up with with her amazing pediatrician. Her pediatrician loves how social and calm Lilli is. She is advanced with her social skills. Lillis iron levels also are great. Lilli is tall and skinny she’s still in the 2 percentile for her height and head circumference for her actual age. If we went off her adjusted age charts she would be in the 65 percentile for everything (weight, height, head) Lilli weighs over 14lbs (14.4, she’s gained 6oz in less then 2 weeks) and is 25.5 inches long with a 17 inch head. She’s our petite little string bean! Her size charts are incredible to look at. Her progress graph since birth to now just sky rockets! So amazing! I forgot to ask a question during our appointment and her pediatrician gave me her email a while back and I wrote her one and got a response very quickly. We are very happy with our choice with Lilli’s doctor! Our monthly early intervention educator is also always so impressed with how well Lilli is doing and does and says how blessed/lucky we are that she is doing so well from what she’s seen with preemies in her career and that Lilli is lucky to have us as parents, means a lot since she’s seen a lot over the years. Really makes us feel even more blessed than we already are. Lilli isn’t showing much delay as far as her development goes. We have a follow up appointment next month with our local child development research center at the university in town for OHSU. Last time she went she was 22 weeks old (10 adjusted) and was doing things 20 week old babies should be doing with their fine motor skills which is AMAZING for a micro preemie! Hopefully the up coming visit is just as smooth. Lilli is always so observant of her surroundings and is always studying everyone and everything. She’s so incredibly smart! You can’t trick this baby with anything. You can’t hide anything from her. If you put a toy in front of her to crawl to she will pull the blanket towards her to get it. 🤯 It’s so cute, there’s a family caricature drawing at my Moms house, Lilli always point and stares at the image of Garry and I. Lilli is now extremely active! She gets up and off of things easily and is moving all over and can’t ever be left alone! She gets into trouble too easily! 😉 Lilli is the light of our lives and our world would be so dark without her! 💕 She is growing quick and since she was born has and will continue to keep us on our toes. 💜 We have an almost 10 month old (7mo adjusted)! 😲 WE CANNOT BELIEVE THAT! 😱

 

Lilli’s 9 month update

  • Gives high fives 🖐
  • Got her first tooth (bottom) 😬
  • Working on waving 👋
  • Working on words 🆒
  • Makes engine noises while going for rides in the car 🚘
  • Starting to crawl (mostly backwards) 🚼
  • Opens mouth for kisses 💋
  • Throws toys hard 🤽‍♀️
  • Walks all over in her walker 🏃‍♀️
  • Loves eggs 🍳
  • Tried lemons 🍋
  • Loves pickles & peas 🥒
  • Sweet tooth monster (like her Dad) 🍭
  • Also likes salty and savory (like her Mom) 🍿
  • Squeals, loves her baby remote, also steals your phone 📱
  • Talks going to sleep and waking up 🗣
  • Sitting up pretty well on her own 💛
  • Pulls her self up to sit up, she’s tiny but mighty 💪
  • Raspberry blowing machine 😜
  • Thinks it’s funny to pant like a dog 👅
  • Professional cat napper 😴
  • Sits still getting her nails trimmed ✂️
  • Loves having the bathtub faucet run on her toes 🛁
  • Poops while jumping in her jumperoo 💩 it’s like her toilet 🚽
  • Loves to eat her baby snacks (mum mums, puffs) 🤤
  • Drinks water well from her sippy cup 🥤
  • Doesnt mind getting her hands dirty 🤲 (Mom does so they get cleaned often)
  • Always playing with her toes 👣
  • Still a major thumb sucker 👍
  • Very sweaty baby 😓
  • Hates blankets pushes them off ❌
    (Runs warm like her dad)
  • Loves watching disney & nick junior on tv 📺
  • Still sleeping through the night, takes 2-3 naps a day max (short naps, less than an hour, she’s got FOMO 😂)
  • Loves her family and jumping on laps 💞
  • Loves all animals ❤️
  • Such a good snuggler 🤗
  • Loves to “fly” in the air 🚀
  • Loves her furry monster friend toy we’ve named Melvin 💜
  • Always quiet as a mouse in public 🐭
  • Obsessed with sweatshirt strings 🧥
  • Starting to love story time 📚 (especially 5 little monkeys 🐒 jumping on the bed)
  • Has the best smile & laugh 😁
  • Loves tummy time 😍
  • Hates being hungry or having the slightest wet diaper 👎
  • Wiggle and kicking monster 🥋
  • Very ticklish from her Dads facial hair 🧔
  • Shakes when she gets excited 😂
  • Takes her hats off all the time 👑
  • Hates wearing shoes, takes them to chew on 👟
  • Strong noggin 🤦‍♀️
  • Stands with help/support 🚶‍♀️
  • Eats anything and everything great with help & spoon 🥄
  • Tried chocolate ice cream 🍨
  • Obsessed with sparkle and jewelry 💍 (like her Momma)
  • Loves putting anything metal in her mouth 🔗
  • Social butterfly, hardly ever cries 😍
  • Steals the hearts of everyone 💖
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Happy 2018

Happy New Year!!! 2017 was a bittersweet year for us but we are looking forward to what 2018 has in store for our little family! 👨‍👩‍👧💞
December was a very busy month for us just like so many others, so it’s taken some time for me to get around to updating with a monthly blog post.
We had a wonderful holiday and will love experiencing the years to come as they will only get more fun now having a child around. Right now Lilli was mostly interested in trying to eat the wrapping paper her many gifts came in.
My Mom (Lilli’s Grandma) and I went to our annual girls night out to the Nutcracker Ballet by the Eugene Ballet Company here at the Hult Center in town. This was our 26th year of going, it’s so special to me I hold each memory close to my heart… We’ve gone every year since I was 3 years old. It’s so fun to get dressed up and go out for dinner and drinks and enjoy a magical Christmas ballet. Really gets you into the holiday spirit. It also got me really excited because Lilli will be able to join us on our amazing yearly tradition in just a few years! 🤗 We had a low key new year. We are kind of in isolation mode since it’s been a really bad flu/RSV season so far nationally. The less we’re exposed to people the better right now for Lilli’s premature lungs. We are her first line of defense and we are trying and so far successfully have kept her healthy. I seriously wash my hands probably over 100 times a day when I’m working, I can’t even begin to tell you how much tamiflu my pharmacy has dispensed. 😷 She does get a monthly vaccine that introduces her to RSV antibodies called synagis which would make it less harmful if she were to ever contract RSV. It would hopefully limit her chances of being admitted back to the hospital and or being life threatening. She handles the monthly vaccine just fine but last month she had to get a couple others too and she got another fever. No ER visit this time since we now know Tylenol is our friend when she gets multiple shots at once! She’s a trooper and is handling vaccines better and better each time! 💪

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If you told the 18 year old me that in 10 years I would be walking around with a baby girl, dried drool on my shirt, hair undone and makeup not finished that you were crazy. Children make you so selfless. Yet make everything worth it! It blows my mind she is closer to being a year old each day that passes! Time to start planning her birthday party! She’s such a miracle and blessing added to our lives! We can’t imagine life without Lilli in it! ❤️

-How preemie Mothers are chosen 👇💕

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A few weeks ago Lilli was weighing in at 13 pounds 7 ounces and is still gaining at least a pound every month! She’s our tiny but mighty warrior princess! She’s solid, long and skinny (just like her daddy.) Most babies weigh that months ago so of course it’s hard not to compare Lilli to other babies her age. She should be full blown crawling, maybe even starting to talk or getting ready to walk. But I have to remind myself she is actually only 5 months developmentally not 8 months. She was born weighing 1 pound 12 ounces remember so she has truly come a long way! She amazes us though she really isn’t far off of doing any of those things she’s getting caught up. She even only has to do early childhood intervention once monthly rather than twice monthly since she is considered average with no major delays. She does things at her own pace and always has! We will only continue to be there to encourage and help her anyway we can. Lilli is also officially released from OHSU nephrology! Her last blood pressure check was totally normal and the only long term problem she could face which really is unlikely if she stays healthy is high blood pressure in her adult years. Lilliann is our rare gem and I think she will defy any odds that gets thrown her way. She is definitely unique, one of a kind. She inherited my universal O negative blood type (maybe she is meant to help others in the future) and we are still amazed by her ever growing red hair and still not sure how she got it other than it barely runs in both sides of our families. She also has beautiful ice blue eyes like her daddy which is very rare to have both red hair and blue eyes. Only 1% of the worlds population has this and she only had a 25% to get it with our DNA, since they are both recessive genes. We wouldn’t trade our lil red headed spit fire for the world! She was hand picked by God and chosen to be our princess for a reason! 👑

Lilli’s 8 month update

  • Belly laughs hard core 😂
  • Teething galore 🤤
  • Ready to pop some teeth 😬
  • Wearing size 3 diapers 💪
  • Very ticklish, especially her feet 👣
  • Likes belly raspberries 😝
  • Sucks her toes 🤢
  • Easiest & Happiest Baby I’ve met 💕
  • Yet has the most heartbreaking pouty lip 😫
  • Very expressive with her many faces and noises 😜
  • Growls and squeals very loud at you 🙉
  • Still a major thumb sucker usually when tired 👍
  • Likes to pull her socks off 🧦
  • Bath nights are her favorite 🛁
  • Plays hard and Fights sleep even harder 🙄
  • Grabs your shirt and pulls you in to snuggle close 😍
  • Needs her thumb and blanket like Linus from Charlie Brown ❤️
  • Still rubs her eyes all cute when tired 💤
  • Likes to “shake her butt” 💃🏻
  • Sings to you with the radio in the car 🎤🎶
  • Still sleeps all through the night (10:30pm-7am or later most nights) 😴🙌
  • Loves her morning bottle and long nap right after 🍼
  • Loves to hold your hand 🤚
  • During the day still eats about every 3 hours 😋
  • Takes short tiger snoozes during the day 🐯
  • Blows serious raspberries at you especially changing her once she has gone number ✌️💩
  • Kicks her feet when she needs a diaper change 🥋
  • Starting to sit up all by herself 💜
  • No more baby swing now in a big girl chair 💺
  • Rolling & ready to crawl 🤗
  • Scooting galore, scooter power! 👌
  • Likes to kick and slide off her chair 😱
  • Loves animals, they make her smile and giggle the most 😻
  • Likes to pet (and kick) her kitties 🐱
  • Always touching your face ✋
  • Loves to watch Sesame Street on TV 📺
  • Cookie Monster is her favorite 🍪
  • Likes to have water in her sippy cup 🥤
  • Likes the remote and daddy’s Xbox controller 🎮
  • Always grabbing at your food and drink 🍕
  • Jumps like a maniac in her jumperoo especially if you say “bounce bounce” 🐸
  • PJ kitty is her homie and Kona kitty is finely warming up to Lilli 😺
  • Loves eating sweets like peaches 🍑 (Her daddy let her try a tiny bit of some whip cream from his milk shake) 🍦

 

 

Lucky # 7

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First off how is it already December?! Second, how is our baby 7 months old?!
How is our tiny 1 pound 12 ounce baby so big now?! Can’t help but look back and see how blessed we are. Power of resilience in a preemie is STRONG. At under two pounds you were poked, prodded with tubes, needles, constant handling. You dealt with more than I have my whole life. Yet you still have the biggest smile on your face because you are happy to be ALIVE! We are very lucky Lilli had no ventilator, surgery or blood transfusions. Lilli thankfully made it out with no issues or delays. As she grows you can’t tell she was a micro preemie. The only battle wound she has is a small scar on her foot from the tiny IV she had in the NICU to prove she is a strong warrior princess. 👑

Lilliann is well over 12 pounds when last checked almost a month ago and recently she Gained 6 ounces in 4 Days… By now she is probably close to 14 pounds! At her last check up she is officially on the charts for a 6 month old!!! Granted it’s in the low 1-2% but she’s ON the charts when she was technically only 3 months adjusted. It’s so cool to see her chart rate sky rocket! Amazing progress I must say, her pediatrician agrees! Lilli also had more vaccines and did just fine. We are spacing them out a little so her little body doesn’t take on so much at once. She also had some lab work done to rule out any hormonal conditions and anemia. Everything came back totally normal and we cannot thank God enough! We got to switch her off of her preemie formula “neosure” finally! Lilli just has a blood pressure check (OHSU is coming to us this time!) 🙌  in the next week to make sure that’s still regular since she’s been off any BP meds for 3 months now. 🙏

We had a busy month of November! Started off with my birthday and we had a nice dinner out with family celebrating my 28th year on Earth I just don’t know how I made it so long without Lilli in my life! I couldn’t imagine life without her now, she’s our everything! Lilli is seriously a flirt, she smiles and giggles at everyone! The best baby therapy there is! She can put an instant smile on your face no matter how awful your day is going! 😍

Lilliann experienced many of her firsts this last month! She had her very first pedicure done by yours truly! I used a non toxic baby polish called piggy paint and she did pretty well and sat still! There will be many more in her future! 💅🏼 I love to paint nails and do nail art it’s a huge stress reliever for me but since Lilli has been born I haven’t been keeping up on my favorite hobby which is ok and honestly she will be made up more than me! It’s amazing how mommyhood makes you so selfless! It is hard seeing my closet full of nail polish go untouched! One day she will be in heaven! 💕 She also got dressed up and experienced her first wedding and long road trip! She did amazing in the car (slept the whole way there and back) and was mellow during the wedding! She impresses us every day! Such an easy going baby! I am not sure how we got so lucky! 😍

Our thanksgiving was very busy! We spent it between 3 different gatherings and Lilli got to try mashed potatoes and gravy at each one! We were all pretty stuffed! Next year will be even more fun when she can try all the goodies Thanksgiving has to offer! It’s crazy last year at thanksgiving I announced to our family that we had a little turkey in the oven! Time seriously can slow down! 🦃❤️

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It’s so fun that Lilli gets to experience all these holidays now! Which makes it more fun for us too! We are so thankful we aren’t in the NICU anymore but I do pray for current families going through that journey because being away from your baby is hard enough and adding joy that holidays bring and not having your baby home would be so incredibly difficult. 💔 This year we are incredibly thankful for Lilli’s health! Being a parent makes you humble and teaches you so much humility time and time again. Nothing ever goes as planned when you’re a parent but things have been going our way as best as they can! 👼🙏 Garry is an incredible Dad to Lilli! I work 10 hour days and he handles them alone most days like a champ! I get a break daily and he rarely complains about staying home with her. We’re blessed! Financially it is hard but worth it to us since she won’t be in child care for a while. Why work to pay someone else to raise your child?! Im glad we have the option to do it this way. ❤️

Lilli’s 7 month update

  • Starting to belly laugh 😂
  • Pre teething 🤤
  • Way too smart it’s almost scary 🤯
  • Loves to eat, sweet potatoes, carrots, pears, green beans, apple sauce, butternut squash and only fresh bananas! She has liked everything we have given her, hopefully that trend stays!🍠🥕🍌🍐
  • Wipes her own tray and mouth off 😋
  • Grabs the spoon if you don’t feed her fast enough 🥄
  • Strong grip and grabs everything hard including mommy’s hair & daddy’s beard 🧔 💁‍♀️😫
  • Blows major raspberries at you 😝
  • Has great eye/hand coordination 🤗
  • Likes to beat on you like a drum 🥁
  • Still a major thumb sucker usually when tired 👍
  • Thinks it’s hilarious to gag herself with her fingers 🖐🤢
  • Likes her diaper changed but stiffens her legs out so you can’t get a new diaper on 🤦‍♀️
  • Will not pee in a 💩 diaper and will not 💩 in a pee diaper
  • Tells (yells) @ you when she has to do one or the other 🤔
  • Loves “spa” bath time 🛁
  • Hates bright lights 💡
  • Loves Christmas trees 🎄
  • Plays hard and Fights sleep even harder 🙄
  • Rubs her eyes all cute when tired 💤
  • Talks herself to sleep some nights 😂
  • Loves to be rocked to sleep while you stand 🤱
  • Sleeps all through the night (10:30pm-7am most nights) 😴🙌
  • Squeals LOUD and shakes especially when excited 🤩
  • Loves balancing/acrobatics with Daddy 🤸‍♀️
  • Loves singing and dance parties with Mommy 💃🏻🎤
  • Scoots and turns herself around 💪
  • Doesn’t like story time yet, she gets bored 😑📚
  • Still Likes to play in her walker and jumperoo 🐵
  • Loves to play and throw her toys 🤹‍♀️
  • Obsessed with her Sophie giraffe teether toy, it goes everywhere with her 🦒
  • Laughs, smiles & stares at her kitties and animals 😻
  • Loves to watch the baby channel on TV 📺
  • Fitting well in 3-6 month and 6 month clothes 😘

December should be a fun month! Lillar Lillar Caterpillar got her first hallmark ornament, its of course a beautiful butterfly! Start of a series until she can pick them out herself and of course got a baby’s first Christmas one! It’s a tradition my Mom started growing up she gets us an ornament every year! It has so much meaning and sentimental value to me. & Of course there is Christmas and this year I’m sure Lilli will like the wrapping paper over any gift she receives! She is our gift this year, without a doubt! 🎁🎄 We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you next year! 🤦‍♀️😂🎉

 

Half A Year

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It feels like just yesterday that Lilliann was born but also feels like an eternity since she spent time in the NICU. She’s meant to be home and that’s where she is happiest! It’s been 6 whole months since she blessed earth with her presence and the world is a brighter place because of it. We couldn’t imagine life without her! She steals the hearts of everyone she meets and we just love her to pieces! A year ago I found out we were pregnant with our blessing so it just blows my mind she’s been alive for over half a year already! Blink your eyes and they grow up! November is prematurity awareness month. I never noticed before but prematurity is discussed in television quite a bit. One of my favorite shows growing up “Rugrats” has a preemie baby by the name of Tommy Pickles on it.

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If you told me a year ago our tiny premature baby would teach us so much in her short life I would tell you you’re crazy. Having a premature baby teaches you patience, endless love, strength, faith, hope and courage. These tiny babies are the true hero’s fighting for life everyday. They have such resilience! Lilli is weighing in at 11lbs 7oz when she was checked last! 💪 She’s come a long way since birth, only baby we know almost 12x her birth weight at this age.

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I’ll be trying to post an update on a monthly basis. October was a busy month! With Work, Halloween, appointments and lots of snuggling! We’ve also tried oatmeal and banana for the first time with Lilli and it went pretty smooth but for now we just feed her oatmeal in her bottle. She loves it, and the cats love cleaning up after her food messes! She even helps hold her bottle sometimes…

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When you start feeding real food and oh boy do baby’s get messier and stinkier so she gets a bath every other day. She loves bath time! Lilli giggles lots when she splashes us especially! We met with an early childhood intervention pediatrician, occupational therapist and physical therapist who are amazed at how well Lilli is doing! She won’t need to be seen by them for a while! We still meet with an educational therapist twice a month who sees no delays with Lilli’s development so far! 🙏  She is reaching milestones for 3 and 6 month olds. We also got her eyes checked again by the specialist and she is right where she should be for her age and won’t need to be checked again for 9 months! This appointment was much less invasive than the last appointment thank goodness! Lilli also had her first dose of synagis which is a vaccine that gives her anti-bodies to RSV which is just usually a cold for adults or full term babies but for preemies it’s deadly and if contracted almost always results in hospitalization and well we spent 75 long days already with her there and never want to go back. Lilli will have her 6 month check up this week. She will have her 6 month vaccines and lab work to check her hormone levels. We’re hoping they can split up her shots so she doesn’t receive such a heavy “cocktail” at once, since last time resulted in a high fever and an ER visit so we will see what her pediatrician suggests. 👩‍⚕️🤔

Lilli’s 6 month update

  • Giggling harder 😂
  • Blue eyed red head cutie 💙❤️
  • Still drooling a lot 🤤
  • Growing into size 2 diapers 💪
  • Loves to eat new things 😋
  • Major thumb sucker 👍
  • Still enjoys family walks if weather is nice ☀️🌞
  • Blows raspberries, chatty and mimics you 💋
  • Loves standing and dancing with Daddy 💃🏻
  • Rolling a little from tummy to back and back to side 🙌
  • Fights her sleep hard but sleeps at least 7 hours if not more every night 😴
  • loves to wake up and eat then have her morning nap 🍼
  • Found her toes and pulls her socks off 🧦👣
  • Now likes her binky if she is extra tired 💗
  • Likes to play in her walker and jumperoo 🐵
  • Plays with her toys & light up ball 🚨
  • Loves her Sophie giraffe teether toy, it goes everywhere with her 🦒
  • Playing with her kitties & getting head kisses from her little fur brother PJ 😻
  • Loves to be called beautiful or pretty and I love you, she will smile like crazy 😍
  • Umbilical hernia is completely gone 🙏
  • Fitting snug in 0-3 month clothes and perfect in 3-6 month 😫
  • We have too much fun playing dress up but her Dad doesn’t like all of her bows 🙄🎀
  • Lilli loves her ducks! 🦆💚🏈💛

Lilliann loves to be outside especially staying active with her Daddy! He helps get all of her energy out, so she sleeps well for us at night. It was nice to enjoy the outdoors as a family since the weather WAS cooperating! We aren’t looking forward to the cold months ahead where we will stay isolated at home away from all of the germs that come along with the season! 🌧☃️❄️

As Lilli gets older the less she looks like her dads twin and more of a perfect mix of the two of us! She is just beyond perfect for all the odds that we’re against her. She exceeds our expectations day after day. I may be biased but she is the cutest, smartest, happiest baby I’ve ever met. I love that she isn’t as needy as we were warned preemies could be. She’s truly a miracle baby! 🙏👼

(Lilli compared to Momma & Daddy, Lilli and I were wearing the same knitted outfit 27 years apart)

We had a fun Halloween and look forward to eating our little hearts out for Thanksgiving! (Our favorite holiday) Can’t wait to feed Lilli mashed potatoes for the first time! We also have a lot to be thankful for this year! 💕

Home Sweet Home

There is truly no place like home! After 75 days our baby girl Lilliann got to come home and make our family complete! She will get constant snuggles and attention. We will cherish every kiss, hug and cuddle for the rest of our lives! It’s been a long time coming, a rewarding and frustrating road we will never forget. We will never take this journey for granted and will truly miss all of the staff in the NICU that cared so much for Lilli and taught us newbie parents a ton! We are looking forward to the NICU reunion next month! It was very bitter sweet leaving the NICU. It’s like we’re removing a security blanket, we are going to face the toughest challenge of our lives by caring for our baby girl 24/7. There is so much to look forward to in our future and what a special time to finally privately bond with our daughter. The journey has made me a stronger woman/Mom and has made my love grow endless. We will look back one day and realize how fast it all really went by.

 

We are so glad we do not have to wash up for minutes and fight over sinks with people, people didn’t realize there were two sinks outside of the NICU. One for the north bank and one for the south bank and they would always use ours (which seemed to be out of soap often) when they were a ways down the hall… People have no respect or common sense! We reached our breaking point a time or two. Little things would get on our nerves like awkward elevator rides and lack of communication sometimes.

Things We’ll Miss
-Some Nurses
-Doctors & daily checks/updates/questions
-Fresh amazing ice & water for my hydroflask

Things we won’t miss
-driving to the hospital everyday
-checking in daily/washing up
-starving ourselves for food for longer snuggles
-hospital alarms, codes and trauma alerts

We felt like kids on Christmas, waiting all morning Sunday for the neonatologists to call and say it’s time to discharge and finally take Lilliann home! It felt like waiting on parents to say it’s ok to open your presents now! We have to be cautious and not expose her to too much to fast, it’s already going to be a culture shock for her. I am so thankful to be off of work currently and blessed to be able to do so right now, I will go back to work in a few weeks, once we’re settled. She does amazing in her car seat and on car rides and had a great check up with her amazing pediatrician! She gave us major kudos on how well Lilli is doing! Lilliann is the champ though! Gaining weight wonderfully which most newborns will lose weight when they first come home, not her she loves to eat! She’s gonna be our chunky monkey! We have a bath/scale at home to keep track of her weight progress too!

9F95C128-0DF8-4B46-87A4-406B142BC475(Baby rolls and double chin!) 💪😍💕

We are soaking up everything, every moment! There’s so much to get used to, first being the lack of sleep, she’s worth it but no matter how much you prepare for it you will never be. Parents are true super heros in my eyes! It’s been overall quiet and just hearing constant baby sounds with no monitors is an adjustment too but I love hearing all of her coos and baby babble. She’s got some serious lung power and has a great newborn cry! She even squeaks and squeals! Makes the cutest noises and Garry doesn’t get too annoyed by her cries, jokingly it reminds him of a car engine starting. She also makes a funny sound that reminds us of predator in the movie. 😂 She really only cries when there is good reason, for food, diaper change or snuggles! Can’t really complain! 😉👌 Garry keeps asking me if we have anywhere to go daily but it’s nice saying no, We have everything we need right here! No more daily hospital trips is just as amazing as I thought it would be! We are enjoying our new life at home with our princess, even her fur siblings are liking her! Kona has been a little stand offish as expected but PJ loves her! He guards her with his life! 😻

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We will try our best to blog on her progress and updates from home. We also will be accepting visitors soon, first we just want to get fully adjusted in a semi regular routine as a new family before we bring all these lovely people into her new world. Here’s a few links to read about what we’re going through and expect from our future visitors! Please take the time to read them and as hard as it is, remember no kisses!!! ❌💋

http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/visitors-and-visiting-after-coming-home-from-the-nicu.aspx

http://handtohold.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Were-Coming-Home-from-the-NICU-1.pdf

Remember to “Wash your hands and say your prayers because Jesus and germs are everywhere!” Our new motto and sign for home!

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Five Pound Wonder Child

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Lilliann is officially 5 pounds!!! Which it’s great seeing her gain weight despite being a spit up machine! She’s the hardest baby to burp we’ve only heard a single burp or two out of her since she’s been feeding orally. The neonatologists did an Ultrasound on her stomach to rule out pylorus stenosis. This was the first time we were informed of anything before they did a scan. Felt great to be in the loop for once. Lilli’s results are normal, she’s fine and has a functioning tummy, just has baby reflux and will hopefully grow out of it and not have it chronically like her Dad. She also has an umbilical hernia (outie belly button) from all of her straining, she should grow out of that too! Prematurity is so crazy how all of these things that could be wrong tend to go away on there own thanks to time.

564C197A-49FA-4064-920D-F8DE033AEAB8(Red headed spit fire!) 💋😍🔥 ❤️

This NICU experience has been grueling and rewarding all in one. Garry my husband has been my rock, my voice of reason through everything! I would not have survived this journey without him! He’s been so helpful and I haven’t given him enough credit for what he does and has done for us. He has set up every piece of baby equipment with ease and chauffeured me around to the hospital, work and home every day for the last few weeks without complaint. He would visit her daily while I worked and spend hours bonding with her, feeding and listening to music and singing her songs! It has really helped me be able to work without stress or worry knowing he was around her and her being in the best hands, he would even send me daily pictures to make my days away that much better!

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Lilli is 39 weeks gestation today! Now that she is a solid 5 pounds, we feel even more comfortable taking her home finally! We technically will still be bringing home a preemie not just a newborn, newborns can’t usually go home unless they are over 5 lbs, she just hit that mark this morning. She has more needs than an average newborn (medication & etc.) We can’t wait to not have alarms and codes going off all of the time, the NICU seriously can leave you with ptsd, it’s an intimidating place. We kind of relied on machines to make sure her stats were all ok so it’s a little nerve wracking that she won’t have those but not having any cords in our way will be amazing! We are so used to loud sounds and machines so it will be strangely quiet and peaceful when she is home, it will be like a vacation for her with no random people messing with her constantly. We’re thankful she has a strict manageable schedule, hopefully it will make our lives easier. We’re ready to be done with the hospital life and be home with Lilli and do nothing!!! Not having to leave anywhere will be amazing! We can’t wait to fully focus on her and only her, it will be great! It’s going to be crazy to take her home and adjust to our home life. Our cats can’t wait to meet their two legged sister! PJ our youngest kitty has been testing out all of her baby gear and keeping it warm for her. 😻

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Our moms (Lilli’s new grandmas) have and will continue to be be a huge help in making sure we have everything we need! Including constant amazing support. My mom is willing to take time off of work to help us once Lilli is home. Garry’s mom is having surgery soon so we’re praying for an easy healing process for her. Once Lilli is home we want her to get in all the snuggles she can before she won’t be able to until she’s 100%. Once she is better she will be our full time care giver for Lilli so Garry can get back to work eventually. Preemies are advised not to go to any day care until they are over 2 years in age. So we are blessed Garry’s Mom can help us out there when we need it. For now I’m glad Lilli and Garry will build a strong special bond once I go back to work in a few weeks he will be Mr. Mom! 😉💪
We can’t wait to go on walks and take Lilli out when she’s a little stronger in a few weeks. I’m glad she’s going home in the summer time where illness is less and weather is nice for going outside. It will be such an amazing thing for her to be outdoors and breathing that fresh Pacific Northwest air into her little lungs for the first time in her few short months of life! We Love our stroller and infant car seat combo, we ordered them separately not realizing they connect and match perfectly! I love when things like that happen! 🖤 We’re all officially set and ready for her homecoming! 🙏

28ECDEFF-1E07-4E53-A8A5-C56AB861A861(Jogging stroller/carrier combo ✌️)

Power Of Prayer

James 1:17 (NIV)
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

My goodness is our gifted miracle angel baby PERFECT! Lilliann graduated onto two big things as of last night! She’s out of her micro diapers and onto the next size up! She also is out of her fancy giraffe isolette! (It’s the only one like it the NICU has) I thought it is funny her incubator was called a giraffe especially since I watched that Facebook live video of April the giraffe who took months to give birth recently! Lilli is in a dry incubator now! 👍 Making great strides! We are proud parents! She’s a little rockstar! 🌟

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(Her first isolette/incubator, bye bye 👋)

Keep up the prayers they are working!!! 🙏

Baby girl has the sweetest cry but she can also scream very well! Yay for lung power! I like to call her a “preemiedonna” instead of primadonna, typo intentional since she’s a preemie! 😉

Everyone says how happy I look and sound now since Lilli was born. How could I not be?! She’s made me a Mother, a better person already. Our baby is growing & progressing amazingly and she’s alive and well! God does amazing things! It’s a big change from this picture hours before being admitted into the hospital to have Lilli. Garry’s Mom captured this precious moment of Garry and I hugging and holding each other as we cried on one another’s shoulders after taking an emotional last baby bump progression picture. (We had so much fun with those.)

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The hospital and the social work department make sure you complete postpartum surveys regarding your emotional/mental health. Mental health is so important to discuss! You can’t keep things bottled up. It’s best to discuss your fears, frustrations and confusion to family, friends or seek professional help! You only get one mind so we must protect it! Postpartum depression is REAL and it affects both Mothers and Fathers! Dads need love too! 💞

Speaking of Dads, Garry got to hold his princess for a second time last night and a beautiful rainbow appeared after a nasty rainy, crazy day! 🌧🌈⛅️

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We are making sure we are and getting fully caught up on our vaccines today! They are so important to get! We are asking anyone who wants to be able to hold or see Lilli in the future to at least get their tdap vaccine to help protect her from deadly whooping cough! Babies are the ones who get hit hard with the disease and can’t fight it off like adults. Many people are carriers and don’t even know it until it’s too late! Preemies immune systems are extra sensitive also, even more so than full term infants. We are protective of her especially until she builds her immune system fully. We as a new parent duo also have to stay as healthy as possible for our little one since getting sick would be heartbreaking for us because we wouldn’t be able to visit Lilliann in the NICU until we got better. So please if you are ill don’t even bother coming around us because we would be one pissed off Mama and Papa bear! You really don’t want to get on our bad side. Cancers and Scorpios can be very temperamental/mean individuals when provoked. We already have to be extra cautious about germs while spending many hours in a hospital daily. I am also still pretty careful on what I put into my body especially drink/food wise because a lot can be passed on to Lilli. I must say eating cold lunch meat though is one thing I missed during pregnancy and can’t get enough of it!

Garry and I are already talking about tattoos we want to get for Lilli! I only have one tattoo and it’s a bible verse on my rib cage.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

It’s a personal verse my Dad and I cherish together. Pretty fitting for our current situation too. I hope Lilliann and Garry have an unbreakable bond like my Daddio and I share. Garry is covered in tattoos so it’s no big deal for him to get a new tattoo, me on the other hand took years to finally decide on what I wanted to get permanently drilled on me. Im indecisive! 🙄🤔

It’s so nice living so close to the hospital so we can come and go as we please to visit our lil warrior and give her the rest that she deserves to grow. Our cats are so happy we’re home together too! It’s so hard to be away from them especially since you cant explain what’s going on. Animals can sense change so we’re trying to prepare them for their little sisters home coming weeks down the road. We are slowly bringing in scents of Lilli for them to adjust and get used to. We’re crazy cat people I guess you could say. (We love dogs too, just can’t have them in our upstairs apartment) Our cats are pretty special and unique. PJ stands for Patch Junior. He looks identical to his dad Patches, Garry’s Moms cat. PJ has a sweet blond mustache marking kind of like his human Dad lol He is a Polydactyl Manx which means he has a short tail and lots of extra toes on his paws (he has thumbs, and he uses them) 😂👍😻 Kona our first born 😉 is a Scottish fold Manx she has a single fold in her ears and a Pom Pom tail. They also have the best personalities! We love those fur babies so much! We’re a happy little family and can’t wait to bring Lilli home into the love! 💓🏡

Daily Lilliann Update:
She has gained another 1.2 ounces over night! & She is now 13 3/4 inches in length. She has also officially hit 2 lbs!!! 🙌 She isn’t needing as much respiratory help aka her oxygen is being decreased since she’s breathing smoothly! We are just going to go on auto pilot according to the doctor & just watch her plump up and grow and snuggle her some more! Praise the Lord! 🙏💕 Prayers are so amazing and powerful! Thank you so much again to our prayer circle/army! Keep up the awesome work! 👌

IMG_8969.JPGDaily Lilliann cuteness! 😘❤️ #snugasabug