Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What a year!

A total whirlwind…what the last 8 months have been.  Busy doesn’t even describe busy.  We’ve had really high highs and really low lows.  Days where I have sat on the floor and cried with both babies, and days that I’ve smiled, so big tears have rushed down my face.  I am so truly blessed and there is not a day that’s gone by that I forget to thank to the good lord for what he has given me. 


The last months have passed too quickly; this year in itself too.  This was my first full year part time at the hospital…but unlike my thoughts of slowing down, the opposite happened.  We have welcomed our sweet baby girl into this world, celebrated  2 family marriages and a four year wedding anniversary, completed our first round of potty training, constructed an over the top (said I was NOT going to do so, totally worth it) BIG #2 birthday for Crew man and experienced the sweet success of “crafting” bows. 


Baby updates come as quickly as the sun rises…Crew is coming into his own, talking till he’s blue in the face, jumping off of everything and claiming property of every item in his sight.  Wondering how many times a week I say  “do we need to read the Minosaur book again, Crew you need to share with your sissy” actually comes out of my mouth.  And sissy, well she is just a pure joy.  She’s is the happiest, most content baby.  Her new-found mobility, along with the wild child, has turned our house into a landing zone for EVERY thing you would hate to accidently step on.  Essie has also popped her first tooth and learned to clap.


And as much as I love to write, I just haven’t found the time.  This year has been a “best year of my life” and I have had several “best days of my life” to think back upon.  There are moments that I will never forget…watching my very best friend look into the eyes of her true love on her wedding day, spending the much anticipated night with Jarret at the hospital before having Essie (there’s not a better man in this world…minus my daddy), pulling my baby girl up on my chest for the first time, hearing my Crew say “I love you” and sharing EVERY special moment with my sweet Momma.….this life is so wonderful.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. 


Cheers to the new year. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My worries have changed.

Last night while I was laying in the bed, going over every important detail that HAS to been attended too – to make the following day go off without a hitch, the thought “look at me now” came over me.  How my world has changed over the past several years, and I laughed at how my “worries” have now changed. 

I used to lay in the bed worrying about work…did I remember to check on an order, reschedule an ad, or remind myself to not forget something (haha I used to text/call my voicemail as a reminder).  I would worry as to when the new JCrew magazine would arrive in the mail in hopes of new outfit ideas.  I’d worry about upcoming social events, should I go – should I not go, when the next football game is, when can I go shopping…

My worry list last night consisted of the following:
Did I remember to re-pack Crew’s book bag with extra socks?
Did Crew eat enough protein today?
How can I manage to get a trip to Asheville in on Friday…should I go before or after nap time?
School shootings
Teenagers that can drive

Really Callie.

How am I going to ever make it!?!?!  One day at a time.  (repeat to myself over and over).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's how you look at it.

During the craziest of daily life, the craziest of the sometimes scary world we live in, a moment of good – big or small – can ground you.  It can ground your mind, setting you mentally back to “how wonderful life truly is”.  It can also bring you back to a sense of well being…that your purpose in this world is to love and love every minute you are given. 

After a “discouraging” to say the least last week battling with what I’m calling the “terrible two’s”, the little things have refocused me.  Temper tantrums, whale cries, crocodile tears, fish flops on the floor were totally forgotten after last night’s quiet time with my Crew.  My baby’s head on my chest and kisses on my lips was all I needed.  Pulling over multiple times this morning to “pee pee”, with no performance I might add, after my tardiness grew and grew, my patience dwindled and dwindled, my drive to work ended in a smile.  A smile because somewhere in between the fuss, a true conversation with my toddler occurred.  As we were talking about going to school and getting to see all of his friends, Crew began to list all of them, by name.  My mouth dropped…he totally understood me, totally answered me, TOTALLY unrehearsed.    

And after getting to work, late to my Rotary meeting,  busy emails, voicemails, deadlines, I was in a full dash to make my 10 am meeting.  It was an interview with a heart transplant patient.  Not knowing the significance of my upcoming encounter and with intentions to hurry, get the story, get the photo, do my best, get back to work and get back to those hour later I was still sitting with my interviewee, both of us in tears, celebrating life. 

The world is still a good place, there are still good people.  Every minute matters, the good ones, the bad ones.  Every minute should be cherished. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Modern day scrapbooking

I have always loved looking through my baby book, re-visiting photos from my childhood, and hearing my mom/dad re-tell me stories of my youth.  As I became a parent, I promised myself I too would keep track of all the special moments for my babies.  With my already hectic life I decided to stray from the norm, revising the “paper” scrapbook to one on the world wide web.  I opened up Gmail accounts for both Crew and Essie.  As the days past quick, it’s a wonderful way for me to keep up with all the changes, a wonderful way to track life’s memorable moments.  Whether its stats from a recent doctor visit, a video capturing a reached milestone, or just a silly face photo, one day my babies will be able to look back and see their childhood.  I email them everything I want them to remember.  I email them everything what I want to remember about them and MANY MANY words of I love you.  I’ve emailed them song lyrics, photos of their first friends/doggies, photos of their bumps and bruises, words from family and friends, and many others.  All of which are encouraging, positivesent with love. 

Different this morning though.  After reading horrible news via Facebook (and yes, I emailed both Crew and Essie the article), it’s changed my mindset of subjects suitable for emailing.  For all the years my momma preached and preached, “don’t to that, you better not”, “something bad could to happen”, “there are crazy people in this world”, I am truly appreciative.  I only wish those words stuck with me when I was young, before I became a parent.  They all ring SO TRUE.  All those times my I walked home in the dark with friends,  drove way too fast in hopes to make it somewhere on time, jumped off too high of cliffs in to unknown waters, I was just lucky.  Lucky that nothing bad happened. 

So I will continue my previous trend of “happy” emails…along with “warning” ones…both sent with love.  Stories of real life. Stories of how scary this world really is.  All of this in hopes that my babies will think of consequences; learn to be careful, responsible and value the freedom of normalcy.  That and among the thousands of times I will say those “warning” phrases…I can only hope it will stick.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nursing bad advice

With recent mommy-nursing-events, I have discovered some not so fabulous facts.  Facts that once I read, saw for myself, I felt horrible; horribly misinformed and totally naive to the mass medical advice given via the world wide web.  About a month ago, I began taking a herbal supplement, fenugreek, to increase my milk supply (nursing baby number 2:))  I wasn't as to concerned that my supply was low, but as my pumping production while at work was.  Instead of listening to my body, calming down and NOT working while I pumped, I started googling and decided I would try an over the counter supplement.  I even contacted the Le Leche League for assistance.  EVERYTHING I read encouraged the use of fenugreek, going as far as recommended daily dosage amounts.  All legit websites.

Fast forward to now, and after taking my seriously sick, vomiting baby back and forth to the doctor, I was told fenugreek was NOT ADVISED to take with lactation.  Surprised, I argued back and explained the literature I read/was given, backing up its safety, positive effects on milk production.  My sweet doctor decided to show me what her medical factual read.  "fenugreek adverse effects:  allergic reaction, asthma, diarrhea, hypoglycemia, wheezing and loss of consciousness in peds."  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!  I was shocked!  Shocked that I had been taking it for several weeks, shocked of the side effects and shocked that the world, well the ones who rely heavily on internet medical knowledge  are TOTALLY mislead...hell the International Breastfeeding Association advised fenugreek.

Needless to say, I stopped taking it.  And I hope all that read this, that are taking it or have mommy friends that take it, STOP!  A HUGE breastfeeding advocate, I was completely bothered by my findings.  Breastfeeding has so many benefits for momma and baby; my heart hurt that misinformed mommies and myself, could be passing along harmful additives without even knowing it!

I shared this with one of my best friends, who at the time was taking it.  Her baby was also having extreme belly issues.  As a mom of two, nurse and breastfeeding pro, she was just as floored!  (she has now stopped!)

From what I have learned and what I believe, even more now, a mommy's body makes exactly what your baby need to intervene.  I'm leaving tonight with a fabulous article I found on one of my favorite blogs.  Nursing mommies, this will make you proud:)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Calloway family update

It’s been a while since my last post…particularly because my days just fly bye WAY to quick and by the time I have a free minute, I realize that my sight’s only focus is the back of my eye lids!  I totally…and always have…brought on my busyness.  I have always thrived on a constant go thrived with a busy schedule.  My husband used to joke that I never sat down…I didn’t then….and I for sure do not now.  The last year or so I have filled my cup to the brim and at the end of the day, even with utter exhaustion, its worth every second.  The newest addition to our family, 13 week old Essie, has brought a new meaning to busy.  I was warned and like my mom says “You wanted them”; I can’t help to think I have created my madness.  I say this knowing it’s a “blessing, most valuable, priceless, and loved” madness.  I have been tested every day since she has been born.  Newborns have no schedules, nursing occurs around the clock, my husband travels for weeks at a time, sicknesses are brought home from babies at daycare, sickness sprouts from other sicknesses, my ten month old puppy has grown to the size of a horse (yeah…another addition to the family that probably would have been a better decision at a later date, but who could tell me that), maternity leave comes to an end, the sun still sets and the world still turns.  There have been days of excitement and days I’ve cried till my whole face is puffy.  But guess what…I’M STILL HERE…I MADEIT!!.  The first week my husband traveled for work, I high tailed it to my Momma’s house for help.  I thought it was going to be impossible to handle a 17 month old and a newborn alone.  It wasn’t, and in fact, my first week back to work my husband had another work trip and I survived.  I anticipated that week for weeks.  At the end, when my husband returned, I felt on top of the world.  I felt like supermom.   As if my life wasn’t crazy enough, I myself, have battled sickness after sickness (mastitis, migraines from the raging hormones and sinus infection after sinus infection). 

With all the chaos I have learned (well I still have to remind myself daily) to take in these moments…remember this is what I wanted and thank the lord for what he has given me.  One minute I’m thinking… “is it time to put the babies to sleep yet?” and the next I’m thinking…”sitting in the floor, playing with trains can last all night…I’m having too much fun”.  My emotions are all over the place.  Pregnant with Essie, I thought this is it, no more babies for this girl…and at my post baby check-up I left somewhat sad thinking it was probably the last time I would make that type of visit.

Life is busy…here’s what we have been up to!
1.        As a family (including my mom and dad), celebrated my very best friend’s wedding in Greenville, SC.  Another “best day of my life”.
2.       Watched my 19 month learn new words (my favorite lately is “pretty”), say two word sentences, new tasks (jumping on the trampoline, going to the potty, and acting out songs like “the itsy bitsy spider”) and bounce off every wall possible.  Totally the wildest child…just like his momma!
3.       Watched our sweet Essie roll over, smile and SLEEP!  Extremely thankful that I have a child who likes sleep:) Crew still doesn’t!
4.       Waved farewell to Daddy (Jarret) as he has travelled to California, Florida, South Carolina and Michigan over the past two months.
5.       Enjoyed our first “picture day” at school.  This was a hoot…they took individual photos of both and a “siblings” shot.  The photos were beautiful…as well as hilarious! 
6.       Potty trained Crew.  A HUGE SUCCESS and couldn’t be more proud of my baby. 
7.       Experienced the first time I have honestly felt like a woman!  Funny, but while driving to work one day, both babies in tote, the feeling just came over me…I felt mature; I felt as if I arrived. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Welcoming Baby Essie

Essie Caroline came into this world Tuesday, April 23rd at 2:29pm with much anticipation and awaited love. As much as you try and prepare for the experience it is one that takes its own, happens not when or how you choose.  A few weeks ago I shared the birth story of my first baby, Crew, and as I expected, Miss Essie had her own plan.  Through out the pregnancy I never imagined I would make it to my due date, go past my due date and even be induced.  Crew came early, on his own and so smoothly.  After a few days of back and forth driving to Asheville, cancelled and rescheduled inductions, I was admitted to the labor and delivery unit that Monday evening.  I was given Cervidil and Pitocin was started the following morning.  By 11am I had progressed to 6cm and at 12 noon I got my epidural.  12:30pm my OB broke my water and soon after labor really kicked in.  Essie was FINALLY ready to make her appearance ..toward the end of my pregnancy I began to think she would never decide to make a show:)  With just a few pushes, Essie was born and placed on my chest...THE MOST WONDERFUL feeling in the world.  Going into this, I was kinda bummed about the situation, sad I didn't go into labor on my own, sad that it didn't happen as I originally thought.  But afterwards, it couldn't been more special, more perfect.  This labor, at least the last part, was pain free.  I was able to take in every second of every moment.  With Crew, its much a blur due to the pain.  Not only did Essie literally fly out but she also came out head and arm...another reason why I happy I went the pain free route.  Regardless how babies come, the only thing that matters is holding them in your arms afterwards.

Jarret was once again my support, holding my hand through everything.  I will never forget the look on his face when he saw Essie for the first time, the same face he made when he first looked at's indescribable,  full of love and sweetness.  My momma was on my other side...and there's nothing better, more comforting than having her with me in the delivery room.  This time, unlike last, she was able to video the birth.  I think I screamed afterwards when she told me she got the whole thing on camera!  I never thought I would be the type to want to watch my own L and D but after having Crew and not being able to actually see it, I was hoping this time I would get the chance.  I was so proud of my mom, for holding it together (something I probably wouldn't) and holding that camera still.  Watching your little girl give birth has got to be one of the most emotional experiences one could go through.  And one day I will be able to show my little girl how she came into this world.  

Almost two weeks into baby is more hectic than ever and also filled with more love than ever.  I'm completely in love with my little family of four.  It's hard to fathom how blessed we are...I will forever be thankful.

My first look at her!

Crew meets his sissy!