Sweet boy....you are 13 months old now! I'm still working on getting pictures together of your 1st birthday party....you were such a good boy and had a great time with all of your buddies!
At 13 months you are 26 pounds and all boy...rough and tumble for sure! You have moved up to a new class called the Kittens at school....Ms. Betty, Ms. Jane and Ms. Keisha are your teachers. You have so much more room to play and move in your new class where hopefully within weeks you'll be taking your first steps...you are so close just not quite sure enough to let go and just be free. You no longer sleep in a crib at school but you're very own little cot where you are averaging 3 hour naps daily. You are also sitting at cute little tables to eat....no more highchair at school for you! Your favorite foods right now include goldfish crackers, strawberries, bananas, spaghetti, waffles with peanut butter and anything with apples! You have also been quite the chatter box...new words this month are: "ball", "duck duck" (bathtub rubber duckie), "daddy", "mama", "bye bye" and "sheeshush" which is your way of saying Jesus!
We're also dealing with a bit of sickness lately....in the past few months you have been fighting something called RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus). RSV showed up suddenly with fevers, runny noses, heavy coughing and wheezing in your chest. You haven't slept well and daddy and I have been very worried about you. For about 2 months now we've been doing breathing treatments for you everyday and thought we had seen a great turn for the better. About 2 weeks ago, the symptoms flared up again.....our poor little man just off his game and missing the sparkle in his eye and smirky little grin. We finally took you back to the doctor today and got the best explanation of what we need to do long term to help you get better. RSV in young children can cause lung tissues to be sensitive to outside pollutants, allergens and colds. This is true esp in babies under 2 years old...the doctor described RSV as a forest fire.....it comes in and does alot of damage at once and over time it goes out but sometimes there are little embers that can flare up again until eventually they are all put out and it goes away completely. The only cure for RSV is time....and until then, any little colds or exposure to irritants/allergens can turn into things that cause wheezing, fevers,etc. We do have things that can help....for the next 3 months Daddy and I will be helping you take medicines to help you breathe better 2 times a day...Mommy will give you medicines before we take you to school, sometimes your teachers will have to give you medicines at school after you play outside and then at night, we'll do your medicines again before you go night night. The doctor also told us today this could lead to asthma down the road but we'll deal with that when and if we do face it. We did get a great report on your ears....no new ear infections and your tubes look to still be in place and working well!
As I write this Liam, I am hopeful...You are a trooper my little sunshine.....you have been through so much health wise in your first year....Everyone tells mommy this is good because it means you're getting it out of your system now instead of waiting until kindergarten. RSV is just a temporary setback in your awesome growth and development. You are excelling in more ways than we can count in every other aspect of your world. We will beat this little stubborn virus...Daddy and I hate to see you upset, in pain, tired from all the medicines and such but we know you can beat this! You have your daddy's determination...and I am here my love to snuggle and cuddle as much as you need if you're feeling yucky. One day we'll all look back on this time and be able to say we got out ok....God is watching over you my love and He alone will heal you and make your path straight!
I love you my sweet boy....so very much!
Today, April 15, 2011, is the eve of your birthday. You are one year old…one year has passed. Fifty-two weeks, twelve months, five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. I find myself really struggling with this concept….for so long, you were just a dream, a wish and a hope and now we’ve already had one year with you and it seems surreal. I clearly remember in full color picture in my mind your first breath on this earth…that very first moment of your life. You came out and were laid on my chest, you and I locked eyes and in a moment I became a mother and you were my son. You looked frightened and then you grabbed my finger…your five little fingers grasped mine and you took a deep breath, slowed your breathing and nuzzled your baby face into my chest. You were familiar with me and I knew in that moment you had my heart forever. We had waited so long for that moment Liam…the moment when we could finally meet after 9 long months of you growing and forming in my belly. Sometimes I wish you were still rolling and tumbling under my skin as I dream of what you’d be like. But then I look at you now, a year later, and realize I am so amazed at the gift of you. God’s gift to us and the whole family….you truly are a miracle that started as the size of a poppy seed. You have changed Daddy and I for the better. You make us better people and you make us better for each other. You have shown us the meaning of love in ways we never could imagine. Your birth reaffirmed our faith and helped us to look towards the future. Your life is a precious gift that just continues to grow and give over and over again every day we wake up in your presence. My heart swells to see you smile, laugh, dance and even cry. I love being able to hold and comfort you when are hurting or sad-knowing that you rely on me to make you feel better is humbling. I love our special time together at night when I get to sing you to sleep and brush your hair with my hand as you drift off to dreamland. I love watching you wake in the morning just like your daddy….stubborn at first and a tad grouchy but as soon as you sit up you are bright eyed and ready to face the day. From the moment your little feet hit the ground you are ready to discover. Your passion for learning excites me and I love introducing you to new foods, smells, sights and textures. You are a lover of music, bobbing your head at the second you hear a note played. You are the true definition of a rough and tumble little boy, not afraid to take a risk and overstep boundaries. You are infatuated with books and I hope that we can develop that love of reading in you for a lifetime. You love being outside, getting dirty and playing in the grass. I hope we can continue to show you the world in that way, let you learn your own boundaries and instill a sense of pride in you for taking those small moments and making them matter. Son, I want you to know that even at this young age and very beginning stages of your life, I believe in you and your abilities whole heartedly. I know that God developed you to change the world and every day I pray that God will make you a world changer and send you on a clear path with definition and purpose. Be confident in your abilities, don’t be bashful or shy, proud of where you came from and know that Daddy and I always have your back and support you with every ounce of our being. Love Jesus with your whole heart and soul. Surrender you fear and worries to Him and He alone will make your paths straight and open doors you could never imagine. Be a man of honor, courage and strength and be the one to set the example for your friends and loved ones. Be inspiring, encouraging and helpful to others…giving back gives you peace and develops your character as a person.
As we close this chapter of your life and look towards the next year ahead, know that I will miss your true newborn/baby year. The helplessness that only Daddy and I could provide help for. Knowing that you relied on us for everything and that our faces were the first ones you ever recognized. Your sweet baby smells and yes even late nights changing wet or stinky diapers. Hearing your first laughs, watching your first smile, your first crawls, claps, screams, tears and discoveries. Seeing your mind work as you learned about new toys, new things in our house and new people. Watching Grammie, Grandpa, Nani and Pops with you and the joy in their new grandson. You are their gift, their promise of the next phase of their lives and their renewal as they watch us raise you. I am ready baby boy…ready for year 2….ready to hear you speak your first words, ready to watch you walk, run and jump. To see you feed yourself, learn how to swim this summer, get dirty in our yard, wrestle with daddy, make new friends, discover the holidays through your toddler eyes. I love you with my whole heart and soul Liam. You will forever be my tiny newborn who fit snuggly in my arms even as you grow in the man God wants you to become. Happy birthday my love….Happy Birthday!
The joy we felt last night celebrating the New Year is summed up in this one single shot of Liam. The month of December has been the best of 2010 by far. Watching the joy of the holidays through the imagination of our son was something I will never forget. His joy was contagious, his curiosity was infectious and his laughter was priceless. To know that God blessed us with the gift of His Son during the Christmas season and then some 2000 years later, we were blessed with this son to watch during Christmas and to celebrate is beyond anything I can even begin to comprehend. Per my last post, it was definitely a crazy 2010. But last night as the clock struck 12 we heard our sleeping boy stirring in his crib upstairs and we just knew he had to join in our celebrating. He was the best gift of this year and he had to be there to help us say goodbye to the year he was born and help us ring in the year he will continue to grow into a little man. Adam ran upstairs while I entertained friends and watched the ball drop....and then it hit me...the year my son was born is over. It was a weird feeling to think I could say I gave birth "last year" but I was grinning ear to ear with the next thought of Liam turning 1 "this year." And I watched as Adam brought Liam down the stairs to join in our festivities and I paused with him on the stairs. His eyes were filled with tears and I wiped one away as it rolled down his cheek. I just knew the feeling had overwhelmed him and he said "I just lost it upstairs...I picked him up out of his crib and it was just one of those moments when it hit me that he is my son." We both just stood there and grinned, our sleepy boy in his green footie pj's with his hair messy from his crib, and we had a family moment....just the 3 of us...2010 was over....the year of challenge, sickness, happiness, depression, tears, smiles and so much more. And we were all together to celebrate the start of a new year together....our first "full" year with our sweet boy....and it was time to just smile, hug our boy, kiss my sweet husband and enjoy the moment. We stayed up long after our friends left....and just chatted about Liam....as he lunged towards us with huge sloppy wet kisses and smiles that could make the most sad person smile. Trading stories back and forth about our year and how much Liam has changed us for the better. So much joy, joy beyond measure....
I don’t even know where to begin….I realized today when I checked my blog that I had not written in 2 months. I want to do this little blog justice and I want it to be a place where Liam can look back and see where he comes from and how he’s grown.
I have allowed time and stress and so many other factors take away from this outlet that I love so much so I’ve decided it’s my goal going into 2011 to really dive in and make it my hobby. Being a full time wife and mommy doesn’t allow for many hobbies but this is one I love and I don’t want to lose the passion I have for writing and getting my thoughts on paper. It has been quite a year. A year filled with ups and downs, joys and sadness, hardship and triumphs. All the while I have stuck to one truth…My Lord is watching us thru it all. I have become a stronger believer in my Savior than ever before in this year alone. Even more so in the past 6 months than any other time in my life. Many of my readers and even close friends and family don’t realize exactly where we’ve been or what has been happening in our little family. So I want to use this long winded journal post to fill everyone in.
2010 has been the best year of our lives. 2010 has been the hardest year of our lives.
January-I was 7th months pregnant with a sick husband in the hospital and trying to stay afloat at work. That basically sums up the start of the year.
February-We moved to our new home….our awesome new home with the help of our amazing small group and were more enveloped in Elevation church than ever.
March-We had a baby shower, I was hugely pregnant and as we anxiously awaited his arrival, I was getting sick…almost pre-eclamptic, I was put on bedrest for a month and didn’t return to work for 4 months. Bedrest and sleepless nights can lead to some strange places mentally. This was the start of the most joyous and most sad time ever. This began the most reflective, thought producing time I’ve ever endured. And it was the best thing that has ever happened to me…..even though in its midst I couldn’t see it.
April-Our son was born. William Brafman Phillips. All 8lbs of him. Perfect. Beautiful. The epitome of God’s love pouring out all at once. He was born on Friday, April 16th after 12 hours of labor at Presbyterian hospital in Charlotte, NC at 6:49 in the evening. He was born to a room filled with the sounds of Dave Matthews Band. The only people for a long while that he heard or saw were Adam and I and it was perfect. Our little family-the start of our next journey. The start of our new life. Overwhelming joy. Happy Tears.
May-August were truly a complete blur…I was home on maternity leave….I honestly hardly remember this part of the year. I was overjoyed and sad all at once. I didn’t know why. I was both tired and energetic. I was an emotional, hormonal mess even in the midst of the happiest time of my life. I felt joy and I felt deep heartfelt aching. We were just trying to stay afloat-a new schedule, a new baby, a new life, a new balance of responsibility. My husband truly became my hero during this period. He is now hands down the strongest, most generous, God given gift I know. He went thru a lot with me during these months. Things that a lot of couples would not make it thru. We realized at the end of it after finally praying it thru that I needed to talk to someone. That someone helped me to realize that I was suffering from postpartum and I was digging a deep hole that I needed help to climb out of. This time also allowed me to reflect on my true calling. To finally take a step back and realize that I needed a new path. That as I was growing as a woman, a wife and a mother that God was placing BIG plans on my heart that I was scared to follow. I thank Him daily now for continuing to speak those truths into my life. He did not give up on me and I needed that more than ever. God is my peace, God is my provider, God is my portion. I can fully say after this time that I trust in Him and Him alone….He makes me who I am. He makes me strong. He has given me a leader of a husband, blessed me with an angel baby, and we are good. Our life is good. Anxiety, depression, thoughts that the enemy places in my way will no longer have a stronghold. God is over all of those worries and He is in control.
September….ahhhh fall!!! A time of change….for certain!
Leaves turning, colors changing, my heart stirring stronger than I have ever felt. A rewewed energy, a clearing of the fogginess, a light at the end of the tunnel. A growing healthy child….happy, laughing, saying mama, becoming independent, joyous little boy.
A new found love for Adam. Respect and trust. No fear or anxiety. Look what we have created together. Look at all we have ahead. This is an exciting time!
Health wise was a bit scary-Liam was hospitalized for an eye infection called Orbital Cellulitis but was luckily all healed up pretty fast. I end up in the hospital ER one night for a stomach bug. But Adam’s health is great because of Remicade-continued treatments that help his joints and stomach condition. Loving his new job! An amazing teacher, soon to be coach, leader of FCA for his high school. I have never been prouder of him than I am right now. He’s becoming a wonderful man of God right before my eyes. God is turning something in him too….I can see it everyday!
October-we have a 6 month old! Liam has surgery for a small birth defect….comes out okay and is just perfect! Halloween, holidays upon us, cold nights, cozy Saturday’s, Farmer’s Market, time with family. And the talk of a new career. Possibilities are endless. I am not afraid. I am stepping out…I am taking a leap of faith for the first time in my life. I am trusting God to open doors.
November….Thanksgiving in Charlotte, dear friends, close neighborhood, The Hamilton’s, The Ward’s and The Loeffler’s-truly God’s gift in our lives. These are amazing people and we are so lucky! Liam is growing like a weed. Eating solids, starting to crawl, laughter all the time, Da-Da, Ma-Ma, standing up with support, playing with his puppies, a cuddlebug.
December….Here we are….whew what a year! We made it. We are healthy, happy and better than ever! Liam’s 1st Christmas is coming!!! Family will be here. God opened doors and I start my new job on December 9th. I will be with people…where my heart longs to be. God has provided. Even when we strayed He has stayed. Here is to 2011….I am not afraid, I am happier than I have ever been. I am one blessed girl. Bring it on!!!
This week Daddy and I got you all dressed up in your "my first Halloween" outfit and took you on an adventure.
Near our house, there is a magical place called Hodges Dairy Farm. Everyday that mommy goes to work she gets to drive by this place and anxiously await each season change as they always have the most wonderful events depending on the time of year. The farm is HUGE....acres after acres of sunflower fields, a big red barn, an old farm house, horses, cows, chickens, pigs, goats, fresh vegetables. This is mommy's favorite time of year there because they have a pumpkin patch that is available to visit 7 days a week during the entire month of October. They have pony rides, a petting zoo and fresh mums the size of bushes. It was the perfect fall day....crisp air, bright blue skies without a cloud in sight so we set out on an adventure to introduce you to the world of pumpkins and all things fall.....You were amazed!
You wanted to touch everything in sight...you squealed in delight as you saw your first pumpkin....your laughter was infectious...Daddy and I just marveled over watching your mind working a mile a minute. We captured the moments in photos but I will never forget your first fall...that first vision you had of a holiday and what it means to celebrate something with family. I love you my little punkin.....I have a feeling fall is going to be your season!
You are now 5 months old…..I know I say it all the time but words just can’t express how fast this time is passing. One day you’re so dependent on me for everything and the next you’re holding your own bottle and finding your own way to entertain yourself in the mornings as mommy gets ready for work. This really is a special time my little man…The fall is coming….I can feel it….I wish you realized just what this means but one day it will all make sense. Just know that mommy and daddy are super excited to share this time of year with you. Fall means change… Fall means color….crunchy leaves underfoot….warm cozies to bed…..slippers on your feet…..hot cocoa around a fire with friends….Football……warm chili on a cool day…..snuggling under a blanket…crisp nights and cool mornings…..lightweight coats…..trips to the mountains… pumpkin patch…pumpkin bread….sweaters….scarves….static in your hair….pumpkin spice anything…smell of homemade goodies throughout the house…football……..wait did I already say that? Football? Oh yeah that is the most important!! We are a football family son….Daddy is a Raiders fan and one day that will become all very clear to you and it’s meaning and Mommy is a Panthers fan……Some of our best memories revolve around football, around fall weather, around lazy Sundays on the couch snuggled up together under a blanket….and now, for the first time, you get to experience it all with us. We can’t wait to watch you in this season…..I have a feeling you’re going to be a fall loving baby…..you’re such a big snuggle bug already…..Plus, we’ve recently learned you just love squash-actually your new favorite food….so you’re speaking right to mommy’s heart….I see lots of yummy squash casserole being shared between us….daddy doesn’t like it so much but we’ll eat it a lot! You’re doing great in daycare….sleeping well, playing well and just an overall happy kid. You love green beans, peas, squash, pears, banana and peaches. You are eating oatmeal twice a day and you still love showers before bed. Your favorite toy right now is anything that is soft-because EVERYTHING is going into your mouth-so you like to chew on it or throw it and pick it back up. You think daddy is so funny. Your laugh is infectious and beautiful. You’ve started scooting like crazy and your butt shoots up in the air like you want to push off to crawl and then it falls back down….You’re so close….we’re gonna have a mover on our hands in no time! You’re growing like a weed…I can barely keep you in 6 months clothes right now.
And years from now when you read this and understand it…. Daddy and I just want you to know that we love you…..you’ll always be loved….you are amazing…you are funny…you are the sunshine in our days….and you have changed our lives for the better. We love you little man!
you're changing every day right in front of our face.....you're getting so big and starting to grow further and further from our little newborn. I think this is our favorite time with you so far....you are funny, you have a personality, you are all smiles, a happy child to say the least, you love your daddy with all of your heart and think he is the funniest thing you've ever seen and you like to cuddle with mommy and bury your face on my shoulder when you first meet someone because you're bashful. At your four month appointment, you weighed 16 lbs 10.5 ounces and were 25.75 inches long. You're in the 75th-90th percentile for height, weight and head size. Dr. McDowell gave us the "ok" to start you on solids and you are taking to them wonderfully. Rice cereal is not your favorite but you love oatmeal. So far we've also introduced green peas, squash and green beans and you've liked all of them! Mommy is determined you will be a fruit and veggie eater so as you get older we can go to the farmers market on the weekends and pick out yummy foods to share. You love tummy time and are scooting your way across the floor....you'll be crawling in no time! You've also started daycare at Presbyterian CDC! You are in the Bears class and your teachers are Mrs. Tina and Mrs. Star.....So far you like playing bubbles and reading books there and are starting to learn to finally sleep in a crib.
You've also discovered Buster and Maggie recently....You think it's so funny when Maggie comes to give you kisses and you watch them play for long periods at a time. You've started reaching for them to touch their faces and you laugh at them when they are near you. Your favorite toy is a red square teething ring....you are grasping it with both hands and you love to just hold it while you sit in your bumbo seat and look around.
You are growing so fast punkin.....Daddy and Mommy are amazed at how fast you've changed and how much you've grown. We can't wait to watch you learn to sit up soon and start crawling.
We love you baby boy! You are a true gift from God.