Friday, May 30, 2008

Blessings...

I feel very compelled to publicly thank God today for the health of my precious son. I'm very heartbroken today with the news of the death of a co-worker's son that was born the week after Cooper. He truly protected Cooper during my pregnancy and I feel so grateful for the healthy life that he created. Thank you God for a healthy, happy, baby boy.

Dear God, Let Cooper dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Be his refuge, his fortress, his covering, his shield. Do not let him fear the terror of the night, nor any type of plague or sickness. Do not let any harm or disaster come near Cooper. Command your angels to guard him in all his ways and keep him from hurting himself. When he calls on you, answer him. Be with him in trouble; deliver him and honor him. Satisfy Cooper with long life and show him your salvation. Psalm 91

In addition... Hem the Pardue family in - behind and before; place your hand upon them so that wherever they go and whatever they do, they will be accompanied by your presence. Psalm 139: 5-10.

A little something to brighten your day (and mine)...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Stitches

We made our first trip home this weekend since Cooper has been born. We headed up on Thursday afternoon and came back on Sunday. We had a great time spending time with my parents, having an extended family cook-out on Friday night, and stopping by a Chrysalis flight on Saturday morning.

Saturday took a dramatic and scary turn as we were driving back from the Chrysalis flight around 10:00am. We got a phone call that my sister, Keisha, and my niece, Addison, were in a car accident and were riding by ambulance to the hospital. Another driver had run a red light and slammed directly into my sister's car as she was turning - right at the passenger side door where Addison was sitting in her car seat. My sister was fine minus some bumps and bruises but we had many scary hours waiting to make sure Addison was ok.

At 9:00pm that night, 11 hours later, Addison was released. She had two 2cm. gashes on her head and one 1cm. gash. The gashes were so deep that they were almost to her skull. They had to take her to the operating room and put her to sleep to sew them up - mainly because she is so small, the cuts were so deep, they were on her face so the stitches needed to be done well not to leave a scar, and she was having a fit each time the doctor came close. She had to get two layers of stitches for each cut (you medical people can explain this better than I). She was exhausted and quite pale after all the blood that she had lost. Two days later, they are doing well.

My dad spoke to the wrecker driver and he said that it was a miracle that she did not get hurt any worse. The passenger door is pushed in all the way until it is touching her car seat which gives you an idea of the force of impact. Keisha's car is totaled but we are just very thankful that they are ok. What a weekend...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Opa!

On Friday, Sean, Cooper, and I attended our local greek festival. I LOVE things like this. I think it comes from my childhood and all of the fun family times at cheap hometown festivals. Where else can you enjoy an afternoon for $1 per person that benefits Brenner's Children's Hospital? I heard the advertisement on the news on Thursday night with a personal commentary by one of the broadcasters that it was definitely a great experience. That's enough for me - I decided that we were going to go!

Sean says this is nothing like the Asheville festival that spreads throughout all downtown. This one was at the local Greek Orthodox church (like 2 miles from our house) but I thought it was fairly impressive. It was already packed with people which surprised me for Friday lunchtime. I'm sure it was nearly impossible today.

It was our first experience at the Greek festival, although many say that they make it an annual event. We sampled Greek Entrees, ate some yummy Baklava, watched Greek dancers, and strolled the marketplace. In the marketplace I happened upon two treasures. I found a gorgeous nativity set made of Olive wood directly from the Holy Land (so the sign said). The sellers were from Waynesville (my hometown). Not being willing to fork over the hundreds of dollars that it cost though, I settled for the minature version in a Christmas Ornament that cost only $8. Still pretty, still made of olive wood, and boasts to be still from the Holy Land. I also bought another angel (I collect these) for only $7.50. Not bad for handmade crafts and a wonderful family afternoon.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Week 5



Cooper is 5 weeks old today. I realize that most, if not all of my posts have been about him and hope that you all enjoy, rather than tire of hearing about his small but yet momentous accomplishments.


When kids hit the 4 week mark, you can begin doing fun things with them such as introducing the bottle and having "tummy time". To help strengthen their neck muscles, at 4 weeks kids can begin having supervised "tummy time." The attached picture is of Cooper having "tummy time" on his play mat. Also is a clip of him playing with his discovery gym. I'm trying this to see if I can actually get a clip to work on the blog so this one may not be the best quality yet. He is really looking at and noticing things now. He's also really kicking his legs and waving his arms. He gets really excited whenever one of these movements results in one of the hanging toys moving. He doesn't quite realize the cause and effect (if he moves his arms a certain way, the thing will move) yet but it's fun watching him on this mat. I think I cut the clip off just as he was really getting excited, but you get the idea.
Parker the dog also felt the need to participate in this photo shoot. The second I got the camera out, he began trying to get in shots. Poor guy, I think he's been feeling neglected. You'll see him walking around in the background. I did take a few shots of just him so that he would feel special too :). He's still been GREAT with Cooper and has thoroughly enjoyed the steady stream of visitors - this means he gets extra pats!
Also is a picture of his first bottle. He took the bottle the first time without any problems - except that the bottle only held 4 oz. and he wanted more! Since he's been nursing, I wasn't sure how much he was actually getting - guess he's eating more than I thought!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Diapers

Thanks everyone for the Pampers suggestions. Yes, we too are HUGE pampers fans. My students threw a diaper shower for me which was wonderful in stocking our closet full of all kinds of diapers and wipes! We have had a variety of diapers trying Pampers, Huggies, Target, Wal-Mart, and Food Lion brands. It's been great to see what works and doesn't work for Cooper. All kids are made differently too, I'm told, and these brands work wonders for some. I have to agree with many of you though, our favorites so far are the Pampers.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Graduation/Mother's Day

Wow! What a whirlwind weekend! It is official...Sean is officially a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This weekend was graduation weekend and it has been busy, exciting, and exhausting all at the same time. Sean has graduated with a Master's Degree in Nursing - a family nurse practitioner degree. He will now be able to see his own patients and write prescriptions upon passing his boards later this summer. He has not accepted a job position yet but we will let you know when he does. Now for a rundown of the weekend....

I had decided a long time ago that Sean really deserved a wonderful celebration for his hard work. Truly, I have an amazing husband. I cannot express to you the grace that I have seen in my husband throughout the past three years. Looking at his weekly schedule would make anyone exhausted. Besides working full time he has also been doing clinical hours, attending class, doing homework/papers, volunteering in church ministry and absolutely being an amazing husband, son, friend, and brother through it all. I really have to just brag on him. He has worked so hard to get to this point. So...
Thursday night, Sean's mom arrived and Friday mid-morning she and I hit the ground running! We began organizing for Sean's graduation dinner party that we threw on Friday night at the church fellowship hall. The party store took longer than expected which pretty much put us behind for the rest of the day. Factoring in time to feed, diaper, and hold a crying baby didn't help much either. Amazingly, we got it all done and we had a wonderful time celebrating with our friends here in Winston-Salem. I could have definitely not done it without her! Meanwhile, Sean went to the airport to meet his Auntie who was flying in for the occasion. We were blessed to have his mom, dad, brother, Auntie, Rachel, and my mom and dad in for the weekend as well. The party was so much fun and well deserved for Sean. Thanks to everyone who made time to attend and extend their well wishes. Our friends here in Winston are really more like an extended family and many of them have prayed us through this process. It was nice to be surrounded by them at the end of this journey.


Sean with his cake at the Graduation Party

Saturday began with brunch at a local restaurant with Sean's family. We then dressed and headed to Chapel Hill for some photo opportunites before the ceremony at 5:00 pm. After the ceremony we attended the nursing school reception, took a driving tour of campus led by Sean (more stopping and photo opportunites), then finished the night with dinner at Outback. Arriving home around 12:30 am, we realized that we had been gone for 11 hours. Cooper is absolutely a wonderful traveler - he was a jewel the entire time. I do realize that this is probably the prime age for an 11 hour day when he can nap and eat pretty much anywhere and that it won't last forever but he really did do wonderfully.



Family Photo



Aaron, Rachel, Sean, Christal



Auntie E and Sean


Sean and his parents


Sunday was Mother's Day and I was determined that Cooper was going to attend church for the first time on Mother's Day. There was just something sentimental about that - and trust me, I've been very sentimental lately. So, I drug Sean, Cooper, my mom, and dad up to be at the 9:00 church service because Sean led the middle school boys small group at 11:00 and I wanted him to be with Cooper during his first church service so we couldn't attend the 11:00 service. Let me just say that was an experience. First of all, we were 20 minutes late. I am blaming the entire church fiasco on Huggies Diapers. We were (reasonably) on time...until the diaper leaked and Cooper's precious (Thanks Keisha) outfit was soaked as I picked him up to go in the car seat. So we had to change a diaper and were into outfit number 2 (number 3 if you count the pajamas that he started out in this morning). We finally get to church just as Cooper decides that he's hungry. I head back to the nursery to feed him and get partially finished when I feel a wet spot on my black (thankfully) skirt. I stand up and realize that he has successfully pooped all over both himself and me - thanks Huggies for leaking yet again. I look like I have mustard smeared across the front of my lap. I clean us both up (outfit number 3 or 4 depending on how you're counting) and proceed to finish letting him eat. By this time it is 10:00, we have missed an hour of church and the service is ending shortly. I just decided to wait out the last 15-20 minutes or so in the lobby chatting with those coming in and out instead of entering and being a distraction at the conclusion of the sermon by crawling over people to my seat. So, Cooper's first experience with church was spent in the nursery. It was a nice try! I did end up having a wonderful Mother's day though. Cooper gave me earrings which are his birthstone. The attached picture shows us in comfy clothes rather than our church clothes because of the whole Huggies mess.

Furthermore, we would like to say a very special Happy Mother's Day to Nana, Grandma, Aunt Keisha, Great-Nana Giese, and Nanny Ruby. We love you all very much!

And by the way...Cooper is in bed now and on outfit number 7 for the day. The poor kid has had more wardrobe changes than a celebrity!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Week 3 Milestones


I've heard from other parents that these first few weeks and months seem to fly by with an abundance of changes and milestones along the way. I have to say that it doesn't seem as if Cooper should be 3 weeks old - in just another week, he will be one month old! I am thoroughly enjoying being home with him. In my earlier post, before delivery, I was anxious about leaving work. Now, I can honestly say that work is a distant memory. My days (and nights!) are filled with this little wonder and I am loving every minute - well, maybe not the 4am minutes, but you know what I mean! He is a joy - and right now as he is sleeping peacefully and I can hear his steady breathing in the baby monitor, all seems well in the world.


This week brought more changes for Cooper. Changes that he didn't appreciate very much but something that I had been looking forward to. This week his umbilical cord finally fell off and he was able to get his first real tub bath. He screamed like we were killing him the entire time, but in the end when he was dry, snuggly, and smelling oh so good in my arms - he did let out a soft peaceful sigh. Enjoy the picture!