Mollie arrived to us on July 6, 2010 at 10:42 AM. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 6 oz and 19 inches long!
We could not be more in love and can already see the start of our little family blooming!
Thanks for your continued love and support ~Leigh Ann, Matt & Mollie

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time to Reflect

"Don't pray when it rains, if you don't pray when the sun shines."  

As we get older, responsibilities change, as do our priorities. Thanksgiving is always a wonderful reminder to look back on the year and be grateful for all that we've been blessed with and the people in our lives, more importantly. Praying when things are good is not my strong suit. I've always been the one to lean on God and ask for help or strength when I need it, just bad with saying thanks for when I do actually have the answers!

As I've come to see with Mollie, material items sure do mean a whole lot less than being able to spend time with each other. I love that Matt is an awesome dad and looks forward to spending time with his wife & daughter. I think it's safe to say it might be his favorite thing to do. I for sure can say, spending time with those 2 people sure is MY favorite thing to do:)

2 years ago this week, I was sleeping on the floor of the ICU waiting room with my mom & sisters, watching my dad cling to life. I always knew my family was the core of my existence, but going through something so bad, sure can bring you closer to one can sharing your Thanksgiving meal in a hospital cafeteria. No fancy serving ware. No cooking in the kitchen for days. No real holiday decor. We were just grateful to be with each other. We were grateful to be eating warm food and have chairs to sit on. We were grateful that our dad was going to make it at least one more day. Those simple joys in life that don't cost a dime will ALWAYS outshine anything that has a dollar value. Nothing will ever compare to those moments and honestly, I'm glad it happened over Thanksgiving to really let us see all that we have been given in this life, all that we've worked towards & then be the most humbled I've ever known.

This past year at Thanksgiving, my family & Matt's family were all gathered in Myrtle Beach. Dad was also still a living miracle at that time, too! Thanksgiving day, Matt and I had the great honor of announcing to our families the coming addition to our family, now affectionately known as Mollie:) Only then, we had no clue boy/girl or anything else-we hadn't even been to the doctor or seen an ultrasound! We had known for a couple weeks if I remember correctly, but we stayed hush hush about it until we knew they'd all be together. It was one exciting day that's for sure!

Here we are in 2010 & we'll actually be able to celebrate Mollie here with us & also feed her her first REAL food-yummy sweet potatoes! My dad is truly a miracle. He survived 3 major surgeries and 74 days in the hospital with doctors not knowing exactly what would come next.

Not only does Thanksgiving bring us the natural meaning of thanks, but it's also a nice reminder to not only pray when it rains, but also pray when the sun shines! Be thankful everyday of the year, not just Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to you & all the wonderful people in your lives!

Its easy to pray when times are tough...and just as easy to pray when life is good and say, "Thanks" :) ~compliments of my friend Alaina

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grub time!

I swear Mollie was born a foodie. First, she took her sweet time rush, just wanted to savour every bit. Then, with a bottle she wants to chug it. If you take it from her and she is not done or you might by chance need to wipe her face a bit, she'll cry and/or squeal to let you know you better give that back to her ASAP. Don't mess with this chick at meal time.

Now, onto the food!! Matt and I had no clue what to expect when feeding her for the first time with a spoon. Would she open up? Would she eat/swallow it? Would she love it? YES to all of the above!!
She already wants to 'help'
She seriously opened her mouth and ate her rice cereal off the spoon with no hesitation--she did make a slight squirmy face when she first tasted the rice cereal, but it could not have gone smoother. She polished off her entire (little) bowl and just loved it!!!

So, we'll be on rice cereal for a little while, but Matt's dad 'Poppy' is going to fix her some sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving!! YUMMMMY! Haha, we cannot wait to see the look on her face when it's actually something delicious she's eating:)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

4 month update

Mollie is technically 4 months & 12 days, although we had her 4 month Dr. appt today, which included her 2nd round of vaccines:(
Took her shots like a champ!!
Of course as the Dr is talking to us, Mollie is just squealing and smiling at his assistant & it's hard for any of us to focus! Last weekend she began rolling from tummy to back and now is a pro, hardly staying on tummy for 2 seconds. Now today at the Dr office, she has learned to roll from back to tummy!! Haha, show off! So she is now a true roly-poly...No stopping her:)

Pediatrician said she is of course very healthy & yayyy ready to start some solids!! Well, that term is used lightly as 'solids' in the beginning is 1 Tsp rice cereal to 4 Tsp breastmilk. Hmm doesn't seem too SOLID to me! It will as time progresses, but either way, Matt and I are pumped to start trying to feed her this weekend. Here we come big girl spoon & bowl! Per Matt's request, we also got the go-ahead to try sweet potatoes or squash for Thanksgiving--she is def her dad's daughter! Don't worry, pictures and probably a video will come with a story I'm sure:)

Some stats, as of today 11/18/10
Height: 24 3/4 inches (75th percentile- Must have gotten our recessive genes!)
Weight: 11lbs 14oz (10th percentile- I couldn't believe she's not 12lbs yet, but Dr says she's great, just long & lean!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How things change:)

I received this list of  '42 things that change when you have a baby' in an email & felt the need to share. Most of these I totally related to and many sure did bring a big smile to my face:)

What changes when you have a baby? A better question may be: What doesn't change? Here, writer and mom Rebecca Woolf lists her most notable post-baby observations. Then scroll down to read our favorite comments from readers about how their babies changed their lives.

1. You finally stop to smell the roses, because your baby is in your arms.

2. Where you once believed you were fearless, you now find yourself afraid. [See a reader's perspective in #37, below.]

3. The sacrifices you thought you made to have a child no longer seem like sacrifices.

4. You respect your body ... finally.

5. You respect your parents and love them in a new way.

6. You find that your baby's pain feels much worse than your own.

7. You believe once again in the things you believed in as a child.

8. You lose touch with the people in your life whom you should have banished years ago.

9. Your heart breaks much more easily.

10. You think of someone else 234,836,178,976 times a day.

11. Every day is a surprise.

12. Bodily functions are no longer repulsive. In fact, they please you. (Hooray for poop!)

13. You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.

14. You become a morning person.

15. Your love becomes limitless, a superhuman power.

And from our readers...
16. "You discover how much there is to say about one tooth." — Ashley's mom

17. "You finally realize that true joy doesn't come from material wealth." — Anonymous

18. "You now know where the sun comes from." — Charlotte

19. "You'd rather buy a plastic tricycle than those shoes that you've been dying to have." — Sophie's mom

20. "You realize that although sticky, lollipops have magical powers." — Roxanne

21. "You don't mind going to bed at 9 p.m. on Friday night." — Kellye

22. "Silence? What's that?" — Anonymous

23. "You realize that the 15 pounds you can't seem to get rid of are totally worth having." — Brenda

24. "You discover an inner strength you never thought you had." — Ronin and Brookie's mom

25. "You no longer rely on a clock — your baby now sets your schedule." — Thomas' mom

26. "You give parents with a screaming child an 'I-know-the-feeling' look instead of a 'Can't-they-shut-him-up?' one." — Jaidyn's mom

27. "Your dog — who used to be your 'baby' — becomes just a dog." — Kara
[Many readers begged to differ, saying things like, " I disagree with this. My dogs are my additional children," "Nothing about previous babies, whether two- or four-legged, changes when a new miracle comes along," "My dog will never be 'just a dog," and "This is sad to me. My dog is still my baby too."]

28. "You take the time for one more hug and kiss even if it means you'll be late." — Tracey

29. "You learn that taking a shower is a luxury." — Jayden's mom

30. "You realize that you can love a complete stranger." — Dezarae's mom

31. You find yourself wanting to make this world a better place. — Arizona

32. If you didn’t believe in love at first sight before, now you do! — Ciara

33. You start to appreciate Sesame Street for its intellectual contribution. — Anon.

34. You have to quit watching the news because you see every story from a mother's perspective and it breaks your heart. — Brooke&Boys

35. You just plain love life more - everything comes together and becomes better because of one tiny person and your love for them. — Anon.

36.. You finally find out the real reason you have those breasts. — Anon.

37. In response to #2 [above], I'd say that where you were once afraid, you're now fearless. I was always very timid and shy and let myself get walked all over … but now where my kid's concerned, I'll speak my mind and really connect with my inner "b"! — gummismom

38. The support you get from other people surprises you, because the people giving it are not always the ones you'd expect. — japanese_macaque

39. Nothing is just yours any longer. You share EVERYTHING! — DylanLsMom

40. No matter what you've accomplished in life, you look at your child and think, "I've done a GREAT job!" — Anon.

41. You want to take better care of yourself for your child. — Treasor

42. You can have the most wonderful conversation using only vowel sounds like "ahhh" and "oooo." — littlehulk2008

Monday, November 15, 2010

Milestone weekend!

What a super fun & exciting weekend we had! Mollie has just been an absolute angel (what's new?!) during the days and nights. For all new parents, or seasoned ones for that matter, a good night's sleep for baby AND us is soooo lovely! On occasion she'll wake up once at some point, but just need to be patted and loved for a second, then she goes right back to sleep. For the past week at least, she has slept straight through the night...7pm-6:30am!! It's been awesome. So awesome, that I've now taken to waking up about 5:30 for the day and enjoying some quiet sofa time & news time with my cup of coffee.Ahhh.

So, Saturday morning Molls wakes up after her 11.5 hr slumber and we go into the living room to play for a bit. The girl was on her stomach for just a few seconds and she ROLLED OVER! After the first time she did her new trick, of course we had to video it:)

Some of you without children might be saying big deal, but really, when you have this little tyke that doesn't make any movements other than kicking legs, swinging arms and laying on back or tummy time, anything new in their development is exciting:) And it's a proud moment too...your little one is growing up & learning!!

We also ventured downtown on Sunday for '2nd Sunday', where they close a large part of King Street to all cars making it the perfect place to go with a stroller! Another brilliant Charleston happening, just doesn't get enough PR! Second month in a row now, the only place I hear about it is on the early AM news ticker.

Mollie and I ran into some friends, had some frozen yogurt at this new shop (well I did, M just watched in awe), danced to some fun tunes and then a couple hours later, she zonked out in the car on the way home. All that socializing can wear a girl out:)

I so wish Charleston would do this every Sunday or even twice a month! The weather could not have been more perfect or the people nicer. Shops had racks of items or tables outside, some places had little nibbles or drinks set out, it was just wonderful. We had a great time & of course Mollie was a ham to just about everyone who came up to her, young and old...smiling and squealing- just stealing hearts of course:)

Friday, November 12, 2010

A True Partnership

I recently read an article in our local newspaper The Post & Courier titled Unfair Labor. Please read for yourselves, but the premise is that women carry a heavier load of duties at home than their male counterparts. As I read into the story a little bit, I was quickly reminded (yes, I already knew) that I have a very helpful husband and really don't feel like I carry a heavier load. Although I honestly will say that I think women in general do tend to do more around the house, such as cooking & cleaning, although in the Garrett household we are a true partnership.

It's pretty much always been this way, but since Mollie's arrival, we've had to be more specific in our duties and who does what, as to be as efficient as possible. Matt has always cooked for me, I think from the moment we met. I know, I know, he's a doll. His culinary degree sure does come in handy in our home or else we'd be having cereal every night or maybe a grilled cheese on a special occasion! I'm really not THAT bad, just don't enjoy cooking or being in the kitchen much. I do all of our laundry & sheets, as Matt hates that chore. He unloads the dishwasher, as I hate that chore. We have always been very considerate of each other and feel grateful for that type of relationship.

Our good friends & neighbors have a daughter 2 months older than Mollie. He's a doctor, therefore on call a good bit, which leaves the mom to do just about everything, whether weekday or weekend! On the rare occasion it's been just me for a full day/night I quickly realize how hard that is. I cannot even imagine how a working single mom does it--how do things even get done and where do you find the money to do it? The only time you'll be able to get any work or something else around the house done will be when your child is napping or asleep for the night. That's not much wiggle room. They've had such a hard time adjusting to that lifestyle that she is now going to be working just part-time so she is able to 'pay the bills, clean the house and go to the grocery store without their child!' If that's what works for them and will help her feel better about the balance in their life & relationship then go for it!! I'm happy that my friend's 'hamster wheel' will finally get off track a bit & she'll have some time for herself.

Take this week for example, I've had a couple things before AND after work which inhibits me from dropping or picking up Mollie. If Matt had any different schedule than he does, we'd be in trouble. How would we function and what would we have to sacrifice? How would we afford babysitters all the time outside of work hours? At night when I'm putting Mollie to bed, Matt's in the kitchen fixing our dinner. I just have to walk out and it's ready on the table. Maybe even a beer or glass of wine to accompany it as well:)

As the article states, "Men spend about 1hr and 10mins per day on all household activities, and women spend about 1hr and 55mins." To argue both sides, sure, I know some men who don't lift a finger...and I know some women who don't either! I'm so blessed that Matt and I both participate to what we feel is equal in our home. I love that Mollie will see her dad cooking in the kitchen and creating his weekly menu on our chalkboard. I love that she'll see me out in the yard trimming hedges or fixing a broken door knob. We do what we needs to be done around the house and help each other out, whether it's a coined 'mans job' or a 'woman's job.'

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

Time to switch our AC to Heat. Time to switch from iced morning coffee to hot. Time to use our fireplace and fire pit! Our weather suddenly got pretty cold, which means Matt & I had to break out the winter gear, as well as Mollie. I felt like this bundle of joy needed a post about her being all bundled up:)

I've always hated dressing for winter. It takes too long & you miss the days of just throwing on a summer dress and being done. You can't leave the house without a jacket, obviously, but as soon as you begin to enter indoor locations, the temperature is consistently different everywhere you go. So if you layer, which most of us in the South know we must do, then you might start out in 4 layers, then go down to 3, back up to 4, then down to 1. This could be because of the drastic temp change or because people don't understand what a 'comfortable' AC/Heat setting is....

Now, dressing an infant in general is pretty tough. Arms are a flyin', legs are a kickin', sometimes there is laughter, sometimes crying. It's a feat to get a full outfit on a child, I swear. And then if you're lucky, they can stay in that outfit for a few hours at least before it gets soiled one way or another:) Layering a child takes forever. Then they'll have a dirty diaper and you have to go through that whole process again. Guess that's why time management starts to have a whole new meaning for moms. I've definitely learned to give myself a few extra minutes here & there and prepare for the unexpected. Not that I have this all figured out or are always on time, don't let me fool you!

To put us all in that cold weather snuggle mood, here are some pics of Miss Molls ready for her first winter:) Cannot wait to see her look like a snowman when we're in Boone skiing for Christmas!!

My precious

Lazy Saturday in front of the fire

Lil gangsta..

Rosy red cheeks:)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Getting so fun!

This child is so funny!! She's growing and getting just more wonderful by the day. As incredible and absolute miracles as newborns are, Matt and I have realized we love the interaction that an infant and beyond brings..Those first 2+ months were hard!! I know you seasoned moms are shaking your heads saying, 'Just you want until they can walk and say No!' Haha, when that times comes we'll probably be like, Man remember when we could just lay Molls on her playmat and she'd coo or squeal and stay in that one spot for a while??' The squeal gets me & Matt every time. It's the cutest sound ever and she is just in hog heaven.(I really hope this video below works, but might not) I love a happy baby!!! Her personality is starting to show & so look forward to seeing more.

Here are a few updates on the Mollster:
Favorite thing to hold: Still babydoll that she cuddles with in her swing or Matt's chest hair, haha!
Best Friend: Gunna have to say Matt on this one.. :)
Favorite toy: Toss up between playmat and Jenny jump-up
Favorite sound to make: Oh, the SQUEAL!
Favorite sound to hear: Mom, seriously, really. I don't know what's wrong with her, but she loves to hear me sing! I just need to learn more verses in all the children's songs so she doesn't start to learn my made up lines!
Favorite Food Network host: Ina Garten
Favorite (current) Song: 'Stuck Like Glue' by Sugarland. We love to sing along in the car:)

We celebrated Halloween in style by playing with our friends across the street and hanging out in costumes. Well sort of. Poor Mollie had this HUGE bumblebee outfit and she was not having it.
Mad as a bumblebee:)
The rest of the day we were in our Halloween onesie & Frankenstein bib and socks.

She's getting great at holding her head up and wants to see all the action happening around her (not that that's anything new!) Think that's why she loves the Jenny jump-up, she gets to hang out with us with us in kitchen and still do her own thing. We're also on the hunt for a good jumperoo or excersaucer. Just another large item to add to the living room..What do people with kids do in cramped spaces?! Pretty sure our living room (or entire house) will never look like the adult place we had in the past, but we have no problem with it as long as Mollie is happy in her home:)