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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Anna Claire!



Three years ago this afternoon I gave birth to my third child, Anna Claire. She was born 4 weeks early. I was induced due to my heart issue and high blood pressure. I was very nervous but she did GREAT! She came out nice and pink and nursed right away! We were all so shocked that she was a girl. We didn't find out what we were having because we wanted it to be a surprise. I carried just like I did with Jake and every time a stranger would guess they would all say they were just sure it was a boy and so was I! Ha!!! Out came a girl...




We spent the day playing with her new Baby Alive Doll and decorating for Christmas. Next Saturday she and Ethan will share a birthday celebration at Romp & Roll. Can't wait to share the pictures and stories with you!



Anna Claire is a very spirited child. She makes me laugh non-stop, I can't wait to see what her future has in store for us!




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yahoo! I got my first blog award!!!


Well, Congrats to me 'cause I just got my first blog award. Yahoo! Ginger over at The Neff Family tagged me. I am just so honored! I love reading her blog, her daughter Lillian is so cute and she is expecing a little boy very soon. Go check her blog out. Her husband is a brave soldier who is home after being deployed and I love reading about all the great things she is involved in like MOPS and helping out other Military families. She is also a Christian which is just the best thing ever...!




So the rules for the award are that I have to list 10 blessings and that shouldn't be hard at all...especially cause I already know 6 of them right of the bat!

1. First and foremost I am thankful that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and that he gave his only son to die for our sins.

2. My amazing husband. He is gentle, kind, caring and well he puts up with me so that should sum it all up :)

3. My first born son , Jake. I am thankful for his intelligence, his humor and for showing me a love like no other..the love of being a Mom for the first time!

4. My first born daughter, Gracie. I am thankful for her kindness, her love and always having a shopping buddy.

5. My second born daughter Anna Claire. I am thankful for her humor, she keeps me laughing all the time. I am also thankful for her spirit, she reminds me that it is OK to be silly sometimes.

6. My last born, Ethan. I am thankful for his strength, determination and big sweet cheeks that I get to kiss every day.

7. My friends and especially my Bestie Anne Marie. I don't know how I would function without her to talk through all my problems and laugh until we cry!

9. My Step Mother Lisa who has always treated me like her daughter and taught me how to be a Mother in the true way.

10. My Father, I am thankful for him for always being there for anything that you need like fixing anything and everything. I am also thankful for his Love.

Now, I get to tag 2 of my favorite bloggers...

Williams Family Blog

Belli's Place

Congrats and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Birthday Party Pictures!






This past weekend was a busy one




Jake had his birthday party Friday night at G-Force Go-Karts he invited 10 boys, they did 2 races, ate cake and ice cream and opened presents. It was a lot of fun. The go-karts go very fast and some of the boys were a little nervous but they all did great!







Gracie's party was Sunday afternoon at Pain-N-Play. The girls all picked out a piece of pottery to paint. They had a great time and it was so funny because girls just can't make up their minds. Some of the girls went back 4 or 5 times before they found the perfect thing to paint! I will go back in a week to pick up the pottery after they cook it and glaze it. It was fun and something a little different than the normal princess or jump parties. We all had a busy weekend. This weekend is Thanksgiving and the following weekend we have Ethan and Anna Claire's party!






Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Jake and Gracie!



9 years ago I gave birth to Jacob Christopher Hamilton. I had been on bed rest at home for 19 days and I woke up that morning about 5 am with contractions and heart palpitations. I suffer from SVT and had an ablation a couple years before Jake was born and had not had any problems until I became pregnant. I had to wear a heart monitor and had to go back on beta blockers to keep my heart from racing over 200 bpm. The contractions started and every time I would have one I felt my heart race and I felt like I was going to black out so I called my doctor who of course told me to come straight in. We got to the hospital at 7 am and they ran some blood work by than of course things had slowed down and the nurses felt I was probably headed home and it was a false alarm. I had not had anything to eat and was STARVING so Chris and I were planning for a big breakfast at Cracker Barrel, I had it all planned out. HA! I quickly learned a lesson in parenthood - don't plan!!! The nurse came back with my blood work and said I was going to be having a baby today because my bloodwork came back showing that I had toxemia so settle in Mama - it's gonna be a long day. I called my parents and when my brother answered I said I needed to talk to one of our parents, my Mom was hanging wallpaper border (in preparation for Thanksgiving) and told him to tell me that she would call me back. I told him to ask her if she was ready to be a Grandma because it was gonna happen. You can imagine the rest.....I labored all day and finally around 11:00 pm things got a little scary. Jake's heartbeat was dropping quickly and mine was rising even quicker. The doctor decided that they were not going to take anymore chances, they were cleaning the only available OR room because I was headed for a C-Section. The nurses loaded my epidural for the C-Section and I was feeling good or should I say not feeling anything. The doctor came back dressed in full scrubs and was ready to wheel me out when all the monitors started going crazy. She checked me and realized that I had crowned and Jake's heartbeat was in the 30s she told me I had about 30 seconds to get him out or she was going to be forced to go in with a forcepts. I couldn't feel a thing because of the epidural for the C-Section so the Nurse brought over a mirror so I could see "down there" Well, ladies, that was all it took - 3 pushes later - out came Jake. Blue and grunting with an apgar of 6. Off to NICU he went....He was 2 weeks early but did amazing. The next day when I went in to hold him he immediately started rooting on me and the Nurse said I could try and nurse him. He took immediately and was home 2 days later.




He had an IV as a with antibiotics as a precaution

Jake is a very bright, energetic and athletic boy. He also has a very sensitive side but don't tell anybody he would just die if ya'll knew! He likes to come across as mister tough guy. He loves Harry Potter Novels, Go-carts and football. I can't wait to see what an amazing young man he grows up to be.




7 years ago I was in a hospital bed being induced to have Elizabeth Grace Hamilton aka Gracie. My blood pressure was up and the doctor didn't want to take any chance with my heart so she told me I was having another baby on November 19. What are the chances - 2 kids 2 years apart on the same day! I was induced at 8 am and that little girl came flying out at 12:30 pm just in time for me to watch Young and The Restless, thank you very much! I had an epidural but it didn't take and things happened so fast, in fact my doctor was at lunch and a Nurse almost had to deliver her! I can tell you though that it was worth all 42 stitches...yes, ladies you read that one right!!!




Gracie is a very bright, energetic and friendly little girl. She is the life of the party and has makes friends with everybody. I love spending girl time with her, going to Starbucks and shopping are two of our favorite things! She loves Junie B Jones Books, Scrapbooking and playing dress up and babies with her sister. I can't wait to see what an amazing young woman she is going to become!





Thank you God for blessing me with these two wonderful children born on the same day 2 years apart...What a wonderful day November 19th has turned out to be in our life!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today is National Fight for Preemies Day- Did you know?

Today the March of Dimes has asked us bloggers to raise awareness about the 543,000 babies that are born too soon in the US every year. In half of these cases, doctors have no idea why these little ones came so early. We need answers. We need funding. I don’t want my children to have to go through the fear and heartache of seeing their child in the NICU. I don’t want to have witness another friend lose their child to prematurity.

You can help. Click here to find out how. Together we can help these babies thrive.

I am the mother of 4 and 2 of my babies were premature. Anna Claire was born 4 weeks early and was absolutely perfect, breathing, kicking, screaming and nursing within 5 minutes of being born. She went home 2 days later. Ethan was born 6 weeks early with mutliple birth defects and stayed in the NICU/PCN for almost 5 weeks.



This is Ethan 9 hours old.



Ethan needed a feeding tube to help him eat.


Many preemie babies struggle with eating and it took a lot of patience for this Mama - something I don't have much of but PRAY daily for it!




The "Car Seat Test"  When you have a baby in the NICU/PCN and they tell you to bring in your carseat for the "test" you know you are getting closer to home!




This is Sweet Ethan almost 12 months old!
















Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Pledge by an almost 3 year old...

It is so important to Chris and I that we teach our children the word of the Lord and the importance of our freedom. It is often not easy for a child to understand just how important a job of a soldier is especially because we don't live near a military base so our kids are not exposed to military. My father served in the Navy for over 20 years so we always remind our kids that our liberty is not to be taken for granted. Anna Claire has learned the pledge and it's just so cute that I had to share....

video

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Urologist Appointment


Today was Ethan's checkup with Dr. E, the Urologist who did Ethan's surgery. He was happy that Ethan has not had a UTI since the surgery.  They did a little ultrasound and boy was that fun, trying to hold him still!  It showed that he still has hydro on one side of the kidney which he probably always will it's just a matter of how much reflux he has.  We go into the hospital on Dec 10th for an outpatient procedure called a VCUG to see what stage his reflux is at now.  Before the surgery it was a Stage 5 on one side and 4 on the other. 

The last time I was in Dr. E's office, Ethan was 3 weeks post operative, had 2 bags attached to his body that collected his urine and a heart/apnea monitor attached to him.  Today all he had attached to him was a binky...isn't life great!  Praise be to God!

Ethan's Story - Hospitializations and Surgeries during his first year

The first year of Ethan's life has been evenful and full of stress and multiple blessings!  After he came home from the NICU he had weekly blood draws to check his metabolic readings and a couple of close calls with his potassium that brought us into the ER.  The ER doctors and nurses knew me by name during those first couple of months!  It became a regular part of our life and sadly the other kids adjusted very quickly.  We would have a blood test done on a Friday and be on our way to a basketball game to watch Jake play or Gracie cheer and would get a call from a frantic nurse who got the results from Friday and were instructing us to immediately go to the ER.

His first overnight stay at the hospital was in February just two months after he was sent home from the NICU/PCN.  In the middle of the night he started running a fever, grunting in pain and stopped eating.  I knew instantly that he had a UTI.  We went to the ER where they drew his urine and it was so cloudy, dark and filled with blood that I began to weep and knew that my poor guy was in a world of pain.  We knew that at 6 months the doctors wanted to perform surgery to repair the obstruction and re-construct his urters but they quickly decided it would happen a whole lot sooner.  He stayed in the hospital for 3 days and was sent home on a new prophalactic antibiotic and orders to visit the cardiologist so that they could approve his surgery early.



The next visit was the BIG SURGERY.  The formal term is pyeloplasty.  They also reconstructed both ureteras, repaired his hernia and did a circumcision. The surgery was supposed to last 4 hours but ended up taking 7 hours.  They gave us a pager and called us every hour to update us but it was the longest 7 hours of our lives.  We were so scared.  Putting him under anestesia so young was very scary but we had faith in our doctors and Our God and knew it was not in our hands.  He spent 13 days in the PICU (pediatric ICU).



This picture was taken during the middle of the night after his surgery right after the nurses had to call for a doctor to come to the floor because his stats were dropping quickly and his heart rate was in the 30s. They had to bag him and paddle him and all I could do was stand back and watch.  That was a hard night...The next day he received two blood transfussions.


They made the incision from one side of his abdomen to the other side.  He had stents inserted in his kidneys and bags coming out of both sides for urine flow.


Ethan stayed on the vent for 4 days.  We were asked to leave the room when they took the vent out.  He flat lined during the procedure but the wondeful doctor and nurses were able to save our sweet boy!

After 13 days in the hospital Ethan came home only to return to the hospital two weeks later.  He tested positive for RSV.  While he was still struggling to recover from major surgery he had to fight off RSV.  He was very week and almost ended up on a vent again.  We were lucky to avoid it.  He stayed in the hospital in the PICU for another 10 days.



A couple of weeks later he was back in to have his kidney stents removed and that was an easy procedure and we actually got to leave the same day!!




Saturday, November 7, 2009

THE CHOSEN ONES

A friend sent this to me and it just warms my heart....

THE CHOSEN ONES

I had a dream the other night. It came to me so clear. I stood before the throne of God, afraid to come too near. God said to me, "I hear your prayers. There are answers you can't find. I brought you here to talk to me and help to ease your mind. "I said,"Well, yes, God, I am upset...About my special one. This punishment is awfully harsh...Whatever have I done?" God looked at me and shook his head, He said, "My Dear, you've got it wrong. I sent this special child to you because you are so strong. I searched and searched to try and find someone with a love so rare. Parents so unselfish they could give him that special care. I try to save my special gifts,like those you're speaking of,for a special kind of parents I call the 'Chosen Ones. 'Of all the ones to choose from,I know I've got it done...Parents who deserve my best,an honor you have won." -Unknown

Friday, November 6, 2009

FIVE QUESTION FRIDAY!

My Little Life


It's Friday! I've got a semi laid back weekend planned. Jake's football team has a bye week before the first big playoff game next weekend so we get a Saturday all to ourselves. Whatever will we do? Oh, I know exactly what I'm gonna do....work on cleaning out the 3rd floor/attic. Ugh, it's a nightmare. Maybe I'll take pictures and blog about it. Ha! That will be a sight! I have a Tastefully Simple Party tonight at one of my friends houses and that is always a ton of fun! Sunday will be a church day and I'm sure some football game will be on that the boys will have to watch. Oh and I did get a 25% off of YOUR ENTIRE purchase at Gap so maybe I'll hit up the mall while they are watching football. Hmmm, the possibilities are endless...

So since it's Friday it's time for Mama M's 5 Question Friday.... here are the questions and MY answers. Link up and tell me what yours are!


1. What is your dream job?
I would love to own a coffee shop/book store. Wouldn't that be so great to just hang out all day and read and make coffee? OR a scrapbooking store, that would be fun also!

2. What song could you play over and over?
Right now I'm kinda diggin Gracie's Taylor Swift CD - that girl is just the cutest and I think the song that is getting played over and over in the van is "You belong to me" I also LOVE "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" that is a song that we play a lot for Ethan when he is napping and I just love IT!


3. Do you prefer to talk on the phone or text (or email)? Depends on who I'm talking to. I LOVE talking on the phone to my BBFF - we talk at least twice every day. I do like to email/text 'cause it's quick and I just don't have time to be talkin on the phone all day.

4. What is your must have beauty product? Burt's Bees chapstick - need I say more?


5. What is your favorite Michael Jackson song? Billie Jean - takes me back to my childhood. I rocked out the MJ purse and the pleather pants...can't you just picture it? Stop laughing....you had 'em to!

Have a great weekend!





MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hot and Healthy!

H&H Button




My fellow Mama over at My Little Life is hosting an awesome "gig" called Hot and Healthy through the Holidays and I am so In!!! After having four babies I am yes, yes, here it goes....50 lbs over weight. OH MY GOSH! I keep saying I'll start tomorrow and than tomorow comes and I have a stressful day and reach for a piece of candy and since I had one piece I might as well have two and you can guess what happens next....

So here goes friends...I'm IN.....

Go on over to My Little Life and check it out.

Here is the first goal:

The first week's goal (starting today...) is: at least a half hour of cardio 5 days out of the week. If you do more..even better! You can walk, run, jump rope, exercise video's, gym, ride a bike etc...running after the kiddos, however, does not count.

I'll let you all know next Tuesday how I did!


MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, November 2, 2009

It Don't Cost Nuthin to be Nice -by Bear Bryant

At a Touchdown Club meeting many years before his death, Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant told the following story and this story is one lesson I hope all football coaches pass along to their players:


I had just been named the new head coach at Alabama and was off in my old car down in South Alabama recruiting a prospect who was supposed to have been a pretty good player and I was havin' trouble finding the place. Getting hungry I spied an old cinder block building with a small sign out front that simply said "Restaurant." I pull up, go in and every head in the place turns to stare at me .. Seems I'm the only white fella in the place. But the food smelled good so I skip a table and go up to a cement bar and sit. A big ole man in a tee shirt and cap comes over and says, "What do you need?" I told him I needed lunch and what did they have today? He says, "You probably won't like it here, today we're having chitlins, collared greens and black eyed peas with cornbread. I'll bet you don't even know what chitlins (small intestines of hogs prepared as food in the deep South) are, do you?" I looked him square in the eye and said, "I'm from Arkansas , I've probably eaten a mile of them. Sounds like I'm in the right place." They all smiled as he left to serve me up a big plate.

When he comes back he says, "You ain't from around here then?" I explain I'm the new football coach up in Tuscaloosa at the University and I'm here to find whatever that boy's name was and he says, yeah I've heard of him, he's supposed to be pretty good. And he gives me directions to the school so I can meet him and his coach. As I'm paying up to leave, I remember my manners and leave a tip, not too big to be flashy, but a good one and he told me lunch was on him, but I told him for a lunch that good, I felt I should pay.. The big man asked me if I had a photograph or something he could hang up to show I'd been there. I was so new that I didn't have any yet. It really wasn't that big a thing back then to be asked for, but I took a napkin and wrote his name and address on it and told him I'd get him one.

I met the kid I was lookin' for later that afternoon and I don't remember his name, but do remember I didn't think much of him when I met him. I had wasted a day, or so I thought. When I got back to Tuscaloosa late that night, I took that napkin from my shirt pocket and put it under my keys so I wouldn't forget it. Back then I was excited that anybody would want a picture of me. The next day we found a picture and I wrote on it, "Thanks for the best lunch I've ever had."

Now let's go a whole buncha years down the road. Now we have black players at Alabama and I'm back down in that part of the country scouting an offensive lineman we sure needed. Y'all remember, (and I forget the name, but it's not important to the story), well anyway, he's got two friends going to Auburn and he tells me he's got his heart set on Auburn too, so I leave empty handed and go on see some others while I'm down there. Two days later, I'm in my office in Tuscaloosa and the phone rings and it's this kid who just turned me down, and he says, "Coach, do you still want me at Alabama ?" And I said, "Yes I sure do." And he says OK, he'll come. And I say, "Well son, what changed your mind?"And he said, "When my grandpa found out that I had a chance to play for you and said no, he pitched a fit and told me I wasn't going nowhere but Alabama , and wasn't playing for nobody but you. He thinks a lot of you and has ever since y'all met." Well, I didn't know his granddad from Adam's housecat so I asked him who his granddaddy was and he said, "You probably don't remember him, but you ate in his restaurant your first year at Alabama and you sent him a picture that he's had hung in that place ever since. That picture's his pride and joy and he still tells everybody about the day that Bear Bryant came in and had chitlins with him." "My grandpa said that when you left there, he never expected you to remember him or to send him that picture, but you kept your word to him and to Grandpa, that's everything. He said you could teach me more than football and I had to play for a man like you, so I guess I'm going to." I was floored. But I learned that the lessons my mama taught me were always right. It don't cost nuthin' to be nice. It don't cost nuthin' to do the right thing most of the time, and it costs a lot to lose your good name by breakin ' your word to someone.

When I went back to sign that boy, I looked up his Grandpa and he's still running that place, but it looks a lot better now; and he didn't have chitlins that day, but he had some ribs that woulda made Dreamland proud and I made sure I posed for a lot of pictures; and don't think I didn't leave some new ones for him, too, along with a signed football. I made it clear to all my assistants to keep this story and these lessons in mind when they're out on the road. If you remember anything else from me, remember this.. It really doesn't cost anything to be nice, and the rewards can be unimaginable.

~ Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Fall is my favorite time of the year. Since all of my babies have been born in November and Ethan in the beginning of December. The fall always reminds of being very pregnant and the excitement of new life!

I love football, cold weather, pumpkin patches and Halloween. Here is a sneak peak into the Hamilton's Fall.




Ethan's 1st Halloween!
I think this picture is so funny with Anna Claire on the side sticking out her tongue!

More tongue sticking out...


The 2 Gs...Gracie and Gwenyth - BFF


Jake and Eli (Gwen's little brother)

The Hamilton and Farley Kids

You can't have fall without football! Jake's team won on Saturday and are the division champs so we are heading to the playoffs!

This is how Ethan watches football, is there anything sweeter? I wish I could just bottle all that love up!

Me and my Girls!

HAPPY FALL YA'LL!