Tuesday, March 31, 2009

dear graham

dear graham,

every day you look more and more like a little boy instead of my "newborn baby" and it's bittersweet. you are SOOOO full of personality and you are so funny. I absolutely adore your personality, it's so cute. this past weekend, we went to texarkana so you could spend time with mimi and poppi while mommy and daddy went to a crawfish boil in Hope with our best friends, Tabatha and Tal Rhodes (you will come to know them and their kiddos, payton and brady, very well). you are getting too big for Mimi to carry. she tried to carry you around outside while wrapped up in a blanket and you were slipping right out of her arms. i would say that you weigh around 20 pounds if not MORE. you are such a big boy. Mimi said that you will be carrying her around before we know it. friday night when we arrived, you were so excited and in such a playful mood. you wanted to bounce and jump all around. your legs are so strong and you absolutely LOVE standing on them. i stood you up and propped your hands on Mimi's ottoman and you stood up by yourself so well. i just could not believe it.

you are holding things in your hands so well and you always play with your paci and pass it from one hand to the other and then you want to throw it. you have quite an arm on you. maybe you will love baseball as much as mommy does. daddy isn't a huge fan. daddy pretty much lives, eats, sleeps, dreams RUGBY. It's his life, Graham. your daddy was a phenomenal Rugby player. we have so many pictures for you to see. it's daddy's dream that one day you will get to watch him play. daddy wants to play Rugby again so bad. daddy wants YOU to play rugby too but that makes mommy incredibly nervous. it looks rough, tough and dangerous and I swear if I ever saw you get hurt on the field, mommy would run out there and head butt someone. and i don't think you want to be embarrassed like that.

you are addicted to the television and i am so sorry for this. but mommy and daddy will NOT let you be a couch potato when you get older. no sir. we will be outside playing and having so much fun. I always sit on the couch with you and feed you your bottle and when I try to burp you, if the tv is on, you will break your neck to see what is on tv. it's so cute as much as i think it's bad.

in your bedroom, on your changing table, on the left side is where your lotions stay and everytime I change you, you have to reach completely over your head to grab whatever you can. and then you throw it...sometimes you want to smack mommy with it. you are so curious. and you used to be so still and so good when i would change your diaper. no more. you are the wiggliest worm.

you sleep every night ALL NIGHT LONG! it's so nice and mommy and daddy appreciate it so very much. we put you to bed around 8-830pm and you sleep until mommy wakes you up around 7am. I tell daddy all of the time how incredibly blessed we are to have you as our son. God has blessed us in so many ways. you are such a good and laid back baby. you just go with the flow no matter what. you don't HAVE to be on a schedule. sometimes we have to break your schedule and you are A OK with it. you just keep on trucking.

you are such an incredibly happy baby and i cannot tell you how much it warms me to the core. you are always laughing and smiling but you do have your moments where you are dead serious and you just want to study something or someone. Daddy has this funny voice and he says to you, "Where's tha baby?" and you just laugh and smile so big. you love your daddy soooo much and I tease daddy all of the time and tell him that you love him so much more than me. I know you love me. and I love how much you love him. as soon as daddy walks in the door from work, you just light up so bright. it's the sweetest bond I have EVER witnessed between a father and a son. you two are best buddies and I just LOVE it. You have such a wonderful dad and he will do anything for you and your happiness.

I love you so much, my lil man. you are the love of my life and I've never know a purer love than this.

Monday, March 30, 2009

our little penguin

i cleaned graham's closet out the other day and i found this tuxedo that his nana bought for him that he never wore so i decided to have chad put it on him before i packed it up. graham was not the least bit amused AT ALL! mommy and daddy sure were though. :) Sorry for putting you through that torture, baby boy.

daddy always makes everything so much better!

whew! what a rough night!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Pictures

Here they are!!! YAY!!! For our family, if you would like copies, please send me an email or comment and let me know which one(s) and what size. I mean, if our friends want one too, I would be glad to order prints for you guys as well...i'm just saying. ;) I put the number on top of the corresponding picture.




Sunday, March 22, 2009

Family Trip to the Zoo

Today was our first FAMILY trip to the zoo. Graham had so much fun with his daddy there. If you know Chad or me, then you know how much we LOVE LOVE LOVE the zoo! Before we had graham or were even pregnant with him, we went all of the time, Just Us Two and always had a blast. Now that we have Graham, I'm sure they will all know us by name by the end of the year. I felt so bad today because I didn't realize how warm it was going to be. I dressed Graham in a long sleeve shirt with FLANNEL lined jeans. HELLO?!?! FLANNEL!!! IN THE SPRING???? Well, I actually forgot that they were flannel. Until we got out there. mommy had sweat beading up all around her forehead and upper lip and I started freaking out because I was so scared that Graham was going to overheat. So i took off his socks and shoes, rolled up his jeans and pushed the sleeves up on his shirt. Poor baby. Don't worry. I gave him plenty of water in his big boy sippee cup.

We met our friends, Amy and Brad Steelman and their 7 month old little girl, Rylee out there. Rylee was super sweet on Graham and I just know they are going to be great friends! We are going to get the babies together again soon so they can roll around on the floor and play. They are both developing pretty much at the same pace (they are about 2.5 weeks apart) so it will be fun to watch them play.

what a life!!!

G was more interested in eating my hair than taking a picture

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Such a Daddy's Boy

this is how graham decided he wanted to rest on daddy for a while...they are so cute together...absolutely two peas in a pod.

*the most wonderful men in my life*

Big Boy Cup

this weekend, every time g would see me take a drink from my can or cup, he would start throwing a FIT and I mean a BIG FIT where he is throwing his arms all around and bobbing his head back and forth, my gosh, so I put some water in his sippee cup and it certainly didn't take him long to figure out how to use it. *sigh* just one more thing that gives me a big hard slap in the face to once again let me know that my baby is no longer a baby. *longgggg drawn out overly dramatic sigh*

he is also:
*getting pretty good at putting his paci back in his mouth
*sitting up for longer periods of time by himself
*trying to do the army crawl is what we call it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pics of Graham

I was supposed to post these Saturday but I honestly just didn't feel up to it at all. I pretty much laid on the couch all day. I was so weak and tired. I also had crazy muscle spasms in my back all day. That did not feel good at all! As soon as Chad walked in from work, I pretty much had him put the entire tube of Ben Gay on my back. Now the couch has a permanent medicinal smell to it. lovely. made me feel so much better though. :) I know I have only been on my medication for four days but I guess I was just hoping for a miracle drug. So far, I am not feeling any better but hopefully I will very soon.

Chad and I didn't do much of anything while Graham was gone to Texarkana. Saturday night, I cooked a healthy dinner of grilled fish and veggies and we were asleep by 10pm. We woke up Sunday morning and did some shopping at Sam's and Super Wal-Mart. And had lunch at El Porton. I really wanted to go get some fresh produce at Fresh Market but by the time we were done with everything else, it was passed 1pm and I really wanted to meet Mimi in Arkadelphia ASAP so we could get Graham. I missed him so much and I just could not wait any longer.

Today, Graham and I are at home. Graham is sick with a bad cough and runny nose and I'm not feeling that hot. So we have been resting. G is napping right now.
Last night, we did figure out a way to get him to sleep all night without his swaddle blanket. Whenever we stay at Mimi's or G stays with Mimi without us, he always sleeps all night long without his swaddle and you know why??? because Mimi spoils him with putting so many soft pillows all around him. It always makes me so nervous because I am so scared of SIDS and him suffocating. But i figured that he is old enough now and he can move around so well so I just let go of my fears and accomodated him like his Mimi does...and you know what...he slept all night long. No swaddle. No crying. Just coughing. So from now on, we will not use the swaddle and we will continue with the pillows until he grows out of that. I guess he just likes feeling enclosed and when we would have him sleep in his crib without his swaddle, we didn't leave anything in the crib with him besides several pacifiers and one "lovie."

Chad and I had to put G's crocs on him! They would only fit with his socks on! We could NOT stop laughing it was so funny!

I put G in some shorts last Tuesday for school. That was the day it was almost 80 degrees outside...I wanted him to wear the shoes without socks but again, that was the only way they would fit.

Here is G the next day in his Ed Hardy onesie with his Hurley jeans. It was in the 50's. It's no wonder why he stays sick. crazy arkansas weather.

G with Mimi at Cracker Barrel in Arkadelphia.

Friday, March 13, 2009

update on Hypothyroidism

Yesterday I went to see Dr. M about my thyroid disease and she immediately comforted me by letting me know that she too has hypothyroidism. That instantly made me feel so much better. I know that it is really common for women to be diagnosed with an under active thyroid. I have had several people tell me that it's no big deal. But they don't have it so of course they think it's no big deal. But it is a big deal to me.

According to Dr. M, I have an "EXTREMELY under active thyroid".

First let me explain TSH levels. TSH is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone. Its function is to stimulate the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone, so a high TSH level usually indicates that your body isn't getting enough thyroid hormone. This condition is hypothyroidism. A too-low TSH level usually indicates the opposite, or hyperthyroidism.

This link to me, explains hypothyroidism very well.

Dr. M said that when she sees people with hypothyroidism, their TSH level is normally around 10. Well, mine is 54.97 or maybe it was 59.47, I can't remember but none the less, it's extremely high and she said that she was surprised that I wasn't falling asleep at the wheel. I told her some mornings, I come pretty darn close. ha!

I asked her what could have caused this because I had my TSH levels checked about two years ago and they were normal. She said that she couldn't tell me that and there is really no way of knowing when it started or why.

We then talked about one of my MAIN concerns (besides the weight issue, of course): Fertility. She said because we caught it relatively early, that it shouldn't cause any problems in that area. She will just have to adjust my medication during the next pregnancy. Most reasons for infertility, miscarriages, birth defects is when hypothyroidism goes undetected.

We also talked about diet changes. I wasn't concerned when we talked about not eating processed foods because I have pretty much already cut that out of my diet. the one thing that really made me sad was the NO WHITE RICE. :( I'm Vietnamese. I love my Jasmine rice. What am I going to do? It's not that I CAN'T have ANY but I just need to really limit my intake. Carbs will be hard for me to digest.

She put me on Synthroid and she said NO GENERIC. I need to be on the Synthroid for a few years and then maybe we could do generic after that but I would rather just stay on the Synthroid forever if it's better than generic. and yes, i will have to take this for the rest of my life. She also said that after I start taking these meds (which i started this morning), I should start seeing some weight loss as long as I keep up my routine of eating right and exercising. She said I may not be able to fit in my size 0's and 2's again but maybe I could get close. :) So little ladies, I have lots of cute clothes if you would like to do some bargain shopping in my closets.

I'm feeling a lot better about everything now and I'm certainly not going to let it get me down. I just hope the Synthroid starts working FAST because I am so ready to feel good again and so ready to have the energy to play with Graham. Right now, it takes everything I have to pick him up and play with him because I am so weak.

Thank you again for all of the encouragement, love and prayers.

I will post some pictures of Graham this weekend. I will have some free time because he is going to stay with his Mimi and Poppi in Texarkana. They are so excited to have him and mommy is excited to get some much needed rest. Although I am still really sad and anxious about him going. But I think it's going to be that way for a while until I can get used to him leaving me.

Our new house cleaner, Laura, comes on Monday and Chad and I are sooooo excited!!! My friend, Shauntel, recommended her to me and said that she is FANTASTIC!! That she goes above and BEYOND the call of duty! I love the sound of that! :) Our last cleaning lady charged us 90.00 for a "deep" cleaning and I guess that deep cleaning consisted of DUSTING AROUND our things. she was lazy and just TERRIBLE!!! So I can't wait to come home Monday to what will seem like a brand new house! :)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


hmmmm. well, I am just sitting here staring at a blank screen and not really knowing where to start with this post. It's going to be a little somber and I'm sorry but that's just the mood that I am in. I'll be lucky to make it through this post without breaking down like a baby because quite honestly, I AM down. REALLY DOWN.

Let me just start from the beginning, I guess. For those of you that know me, you know that I have been pretty small my entire life, speaking weight and size wise. My weight, of course, has always fluctuated five pounds up, five pounds down, ten pounds up, ten pounds down. I've always been a dietier and I will go through periods of working out A LOT and then not really working out much at all. Being "thin" has never really come natural for me. I've had to work to be that way. So when I got pregnant, I really watched how much I gained. I never really OVER-ATE and I would stay as active as I could. granted, i wasn't at the gym working out like a mad woman but i would do the occasional walk and lift small weights, do some squats, etc. The only issue I had during my pregnancy as far as weight went was my sodium problem. I gained a lot of water and fluid weight because i cannot live without three things: salt, Tony Chachere's, and soy sauce (come on, give me a break-I'm half asian!). I ended up gaining almost 50 lbs during my pregnancy and actually lost quite a bit of it after I had Graham due to breastfeeding, eating right and working out. The pounds were coming off at a steady rate and I was quite pleased. Until recently, that is.

Within the last month and a half, I started feeling extremely tired and fatigued but very restless. I have also been really weak, forgetful, can't concentrate much less think, i have a lot of aches and pains, bloating and swelling in my face, hands, feet (really just EVERYWHERE). My belly had actually become quite flat and then pretty much overnight I was just BLOATED...and I seriously thought many times that I was pregnant. and even had Chad buy several pregnancy tests. also, i still hadn't started my period which was weird since it had been two months since I had stopped breastfeeding Graham. but the biggest thing (i know, this is going to sound extremely vain and I am sorry) is that I have gained so much weight back. it has seriously put me into a state of depression because I have been doing so good at eating well and exercising and was pleased with seeing results and then having it all come back. I just didn't know what to do or what was going on.

So, last Friday I had my 6 month post operation check up with my ob-gyn, Dr. H, and I told her everything that has been going on. She decided to do some blood work and see if it was my thyroid. She called me yesterday evening before I left work and sure enough, she said I had hypothyroidism. Apparantly, my thyroid is not producing enough hormones and it's causing my metabolism to work very slowly. I think that is how it works. i wish i could have remembered more of what she said but my mind was just racing and my head was spinning. i really didn't know how to feel or how to react.

In a way, I was very relieved to finally KNOW what was causing me to feel so bad and to have me gain this weight back. But then the other side of me is feeling down about it since I don't know very much. I have read on the internet that it's a disease that i will have to deal with for the rest of my life and I will have to be on medication forever as well. I'm just so confused about it all. I mean, i'm sitting here wondering if I should keep working out and eating right only to never lose the weight and even maybe gain MORE??? How is having hypothyroidism going to affect my life?

I'm trying so hard to look on the bright side and to be positive. I am very thankful that this is the worst thing that i have had to deal with so far. I'm very blessed and thankful to have such a healthy and beautiful little boy, a wonderful husband, awesome friends and family, a great job that I love, a warm home, and a car to drive. God really has blessed me with more than I could ever ask for.

I am going to see my general practitioner, Dr. M, tomorrow at 3pm. I am anxious and so ready to see her so i can get some answers and find out what kind of treatment we will have to do.

Has anyone ever had to deal with this or know of anyone that has?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Playdate & Cookout w/the Kelly's

Sunday evening we went to the Kelly's for a cookout. The food was so good and the company even better! David and Amy had salad, corn, potatoes, and yummy steaks! Thanks guys for everything!

Graham and Caroline in their Paul Frank PJ's...so cute!
Caroline hams it up for the camera! She is too sweet!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Silly Monkeys

Friday, March 6, 2009

6 month stats

Yesterday, our lil man turned 6 months old and oh how the time flies. I know I probably say that all of the time but seriously. it does. and i want it to stop. It's all happening just way too fast! I have been trying so hard to write things down that he is doing and I frustrate myself so much because I feel like I am not doing enough to remember and capture everything. With the way my memory is these days, I am so afraid that his babyhood is going to be lost if I don't keep a memento or something of EVERYTHING. i'm whack. ha! does anyone else feel this way or am I the only crazy one?
I took Graham to Dr. this morning for his 6 month vaccinations.

Weight: 18.14 lbs - 75th percentile
Length: 26 7/8 inches - 75th percentile
Head Circum.: 43.1 - 40th percentile

He did great with his shots. he just screamed very briefly and then was over it. Dr. said that everything looked great and he is growing and developing as he should and no worries! It was a pretty short visit. :) And I love having the first appointment because we were in and out in no time! 9am appointments it will be from now on! but let me tell you, it was no easy task keeping him still on that table. that boy is a force to be reckoned with for sure. he was all over the place. ha! He was putting on quite the show. I wish I had my camera with me so I could show what the white paper that lines the bed looked like when we left.

Graham loves rolling over from him back to his tummy now. We cannot get him to stay on his back. but when he is on his tummy and gets tired, he won't roll back over to his back. he refuses. he wants mommy and daddy to do it for him. silly boy. spoiled rotten. he is really interested in his toys now. he loves playing with everything and is grabbing at anything and everything. his favorite toy right now though is his walker. he even turns himself around in it. he isn't quite doing one foot in front of the other very well though. right now, he just kinda pushes himself off with both of his feet similar to how a kangaroo hops. he notices now when chad or I leave the room. he will try to follow us with his head and darn near breaks his neck trying to turn to see us. we are still trying to get him weaned from his swaddle blanket at night. Last night, we put him to bed around 9pm without being swaddled and he did great til around 2am. He kept whining in his sleep and wouldn't stop for an hour. so we decided to swaddle him and he didn't wake up or make a peep until 8am this morning...and that is only because I woke him up to get him fed and ready for the doctor.

I love these Paul Frank PJ's that I bought Graham at Dillard's. It says "Chicks Dig Scars" and has little band-aids all over. So cute!

Tuesday night, Chad had a piece of individually wrapped cheese and he gave it to Graham to play with before he ate it. Graham took it and waved it all around and had a field day with it and did NOT want to give it back to daddy. So, Chad finally got it back and unwrapped it and put it to his mouth while Graham was watching Chad's every move. So I told Chad to give it back to Graham and see if he would mimic him. And he sure did. As soon as Graham got it back, it went straight to his mouth. What a ham! I love it! and no, he did not take a bite of it. ha! We grabbed it back before we let him do that! None of that til he is a year old.

So much else is going on in our lives that I don't even know where to start. So I apologize now because this will probably be a LONGGGGG post instead of me making a lot of small posts. I'm kinda in a hurry to get this posted since I have to see my OB at 1:45pm for my 6 month post operation check up for my c-section. I hope that is all that it is. eeeeeeick.

Chad has been really stressed at his job because his union is in contract negotiations with AT&T and they are all afraid that they are going to have to go on strike pretty soon...and strike could last a min. of 4 days and there is no telling how long it could go on. AT&T wants them to pay 80% of their insurance premium and right now we don't have to pay ANYTHING which is sooooo nice! If we were all on my insurance with the state, it would cost us almost 500.00 a month!! Please pray that it won't come to this. Also, Chad gets a raise every 6 months and AT&T wants to take that away from them as well. There are so many issues that's being discussed right now and nothing that is great. Please pray for us. I don't know what we would do if the union went on strike. So, we have been really stressed out about that.

My job is going pretty good. Since the Legislature is in session, we stay quite busy going through all of the TONS of Bills that are being drafted to give us more General Improvement Funds which means more grants that we have to administer and more work...hope they plan to give his more pay! :) Also, it's my conference planning time and that keeps me EXTREMELY busy!

I have been sick for the past week and am FINALLY getting over it. I took the day off yesterday because I just felt terrible but I stayed drugged up so I feel a lot better today. And GRAHAM IS GETTING BETTER TOO!!! I better knock on wood. He still has a little bitty tiny cough and a little bit of a runny nose but generally he is doing so well!!

Here is Graham in Daddy's Rugby Helmet.

Graham LOVES this book!! This is a fun book that the Kelly's got Graham and it teaches him out to spell his first and last name...well, in his case, middle and last name. :)
I got the proofs back of Graham's spring pictures at school and OH.MY.GOOD.NESS. They are sooooo adorable!!! I tried to scan them but they didn't turn out so good so I am just going to buy the CD from the photographers so I can make as many copies as I can. It seems to be the cheapest way to go because the individual packages are so expensive and I can't mix up the poses. and I want copies of EVERY pose! Am I a proud mommy or what?? I have been terrible at not printing all of these THOUSANDS of pictures I have of him though. I will get on Walmart.com and start uploading and then I get so overwhelmed and stop. But family, I will get on that soon, I promise! I know you all want new pics of Graham..