Friday, December 30, 2011

What I Didn't Know

Our family went to Wal-Mart tonight to order Will's cake for his first birthday...which is on Monday. My dear, sweet, lovable, kissable, snuggable, "love him so much I could just hold and squeeze him forever" Will turns one on Monday. I don't think the beginning of a new year will ever feel the same since having my almost New Year's baby in 2011.

I have been thinking a lot lately about what I didn't know this time last year. One year ago, on December 30, 2010, I was 34 1/2 weeks pregnant - a looooong 5 1/2 weeks from my due date with Will. Or so I thought. We had just celebrated a wonderful Christmas in Orlando. Since I was 33-34 weeks along in my pregnancy, we decided not to travel for the holidays. I was able to sing at the Christmas Eve service at our church. We had a sweet Christmas morning in our own home and got together with Donny's family later on Christmas day. We had received Sea World passes for Christmas, so we took the kids on Dec. 27 so that we could at least get a Sea World day in before the baby came. We put away our Christmas decorations soon after Christmas, and I was beginning to prepare for Donny to take the kids to Chattanooga for a week (without me) while he took a seminary class in Atlanta from January 3-7.

2011 was on it's way. I thought the only thing I didn't know was the gender of my soon-coming baby. How wrong I was. There was so much I didn't know.

I had no idea that January 2 would bring unexpected labor pains after church followed by the birth of Will that evening at 34 weeks and 6 days. I had no idea our son would be born and would spend 17 days in the NICU learning to breathe and fighting a virus. I had no idea where the labor and delivery floor was when we arrived, because I was going to visit the hospital the next week while Donny and the kids were out of town. I had no idea that Winter Park Hospital had a boarding option that is free for parents who had children in the NICU, and I had no idea I would need to use that service.

I had no idea how my church and friends in Orlando would rally around us.

I had no idea Donny wouldn't be able to take his class in Atlanta, thus adding 3 more hours to a very full final semester in seminary.

I didn't know that we would spend our 9th anniversary eating sandwiches from Publix in a hospital room.

I didn't know how much I would love carrying Will in my Moby after he came home. It's like I wanted any time I could get to hold him close since we were so separated in the NICU. I also had no idea that he would sleep in the Moby during choir rehearsal. While I sang. Loudly. I guess he got used to it in the womb.

I didn't know I would spend much of February through April fighting to be able to breastfeed Will as we dealt with some oral-motor issues with him. Lots of pumping, bottles, and oral therapy for him. I had no idea what a struggle that would be. I also had no idea what a joy it would be on the other side of the struggle.

The Bahamas - for five months - I had no clue.

New Jersey - Donny's first call as a pastor. I had no idea this time last year I would be preparing for a move to New Jersey. No clue.

If this year has taught me anything (and it has taught me a lot), I know that I know nothing. I have no idea what tomorrow holds, but my God does.

2011 has been so crazy. So. Crazy. When out on a date a few weeks ago, Donny asked me what the most memorable or significant event of 2011 had been. My eyes immediately welled up with tears. My dear Will and his birth was by far the most significant of many significant events of 2011. How little I knew a year ago.

I am thankful for 2011. My sweet Will. Donny's graduation from seminary. An interim pastorate in the Bahamas. A call to New Jersey. And so much more in between. God knows my days, what will happen, and he is near in it all. Nothing is out of his control. Thank you, Lord, for 2011. While I am excited about a fresh start and the hope of settling down into a new phase of life and ministry in 2012, I will take nothing for granted. What I know now is probably not how it will be. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever...and for that I am so very thankful.

Christmas Eve 2010 - I've still got 6 weeks, right?
December 31, 2010 - 34 weeks, 4 days - Heading to the Nolls for New Year's Eve
No clue I would be having this baby in 2 days

Jan. 1, 2011 at Sea World - Our last night as a family of four
The next night our sweet Will would be born.
November, 27, 2011 at Sea World
Will almost 11 months old.
What a difference a year makes and how little I knew about how it would unfold.

Friday, December 23, 2011

William Oliver - 10 and 11 Months

Nov. 7, 2011 - 10 months, 5 days old

Dec. 2, 2011 - 11 months old

It's December 23, 2011 - just 10 days away from Will's 1st birthday (WHAT???!!!) - The last two months have been such a whirlwind. On November 8 we moved from Freeport, Grand Bahama Island back to Orlando, made a 5 day trip to New Jersey, spent Thanksgiving in Florida, and then headed up to Chattanooga on December 6 for Christmas. Will hasn't quite been the same since we left Freeport. Not too many nights of uninterrupted sleep. Lots of middle-of-the-night feedings. He has become quite the Mama's boy. It's not all the time, but in the late afternoon and evening he really prefers me...which is just fine most of the time. Extra snuggles are nice.

At 11 months Will has the biggest smile you have ever seen. He got teeth numbers 3 & 4 (the top two) in the last two months. His hair is getting longer (and may need a trim soon - sniff, sniff). He naps twice each day for about 2-2.5 hours at a time. Since we have been in Chattanooga, he has been sleeping until 8 or 8:30 a.m. (which is great since my mom takes care of Hunter and Millie when they first wake up), so I have been sleeping a little later to make up for the middle of the night meetings with dear William.

No crawling yet. Lots of rolling and some army crawling. We definitely have to keep him out of the Christmas presents. There is one present of Millie's that Will constantly goes for. The poor tag is just shriveled.

Will has been eating more and more solid foods. Applesauce, peaches, baby mum mums, green beans, lunch meat, and even some tiny bites of dinner casseroles. For the most part, the flood gates are open, and Will is eating like a big boy.

I can't believe his one year birthday is almost here. I remember that day so vividly, like it was yesterday. I will have time to reflect on it in a week or two. For now, enjoy these pics of our sweet 11 month old. Still a baby (for now).

Thanksgiving 2011

Christmas pics at Bass Pro Shops

Merry Christmas from our favorite 11 month old!