Saturday, July 18, 2009

6th Birthday Party!

We returned to Kids Planet for Jake's 6th birthday, at his request. He loves this playground! It is nice to have a July birthday in that you can pretty much do any kind of party you want, indoors or out, wet or dry! It isn't so nice because lots of people are not able to come because of vacations, and the kids in his class don't always come since it is summertime.

During the school year, Ms. Leigh let each child with a summertime birthday pick one day during the year to celebrate. They were able to act just like it was their birthday and not miss out on cards from their classmates, cupcakes, or anything! That really meant a lot to Jake!

On the Friday before his birthday, we invited some of his close friends to the park for pizza and cake. We didn't realize when we planned it, that it was this little lady's first birthday that day! We were so honored to spend it with her (she had a party at home earlier in the day with her friends and family!). Happy 1st Birthday Lilian Brooke!!




(Congratulations Uncle Dave & Frankie on your engagement!!)

There are "misters" in the playground meant to let the kids cool off with a tiny bit of water. Jake figured out how to get totally soaked from them!








I let Jake choose his cake this year...can you tell? :)











I {heart} this face!! :)
You would think it was his first birthday all over again...







Several gifts were put to use before we left the park. The "whoopie cushion" from Uncle Dave, Frankie, and Caleb was one of them....
It produced lots of laughs!
The marshmallow gun from the Mattas' also got a lot of use in the park....the boys (and girls) fell in love with it! :)
The birds liked it a lot too....it left a lot of snacks for them!
Daddy loads up the leftover pizza...wow!! We'll have lunch all week!


Glowsticks for everyone!!
I forgot to take a group picture until we were about to leave and a lot of his friends were already gone. Thank you to everyone who helped Jake celebrate his big day!!

Going, Going, Gone!

At camp this week, we discovered that Jake had a little surprise in his mouth! His permanent tooth had come in behind his baby tooth! His baby tooth has been loose for about a month now but not really loose enough to come out.
Until now....
Jake woke us up this morning shouting that his tooth had come out!! He had apparently been lying in the bed trying to wiggle it free. He said that he figured out that you had to move it side to side and twist it to make it come out. Ew!! That just makes my stomach turn.
I guess we'll have the very first visit from the Tooth Fairy in the Waddell house tonight!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Precious Firstborn

"...you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power."
Genesis 49:3

Oh how I love telling these stories! It is so much fun to stop and let yourself go back years ago to that one day that changed your life in every way... to relive the emotions that rolled like a freight train over your heart at the first breath your newborn took.

6 years ago today my life changed forever.

I became a mommy.

My pregnancy with Jake was the hardest 9 months of my life. I was very sick the entire time. I was in and out of the hospital with vomiting and migraines. I honestly think, at times, 2-3 weeks would pass without my leaving the house. Needless to say, I didn't have the pregnancy "glow"!

I was due on July 24, 2003. Being my first pregnancy, I was ecstatic when my ob offered to induce me at 38 weeks, on July 11. Looking back, I'd never recommend someone to be induced for no obvious reason at 38 weeks. Jake may have been developed enough to thrive, but he just was not ready to enter the world.

On July 11 at 7am I went into the hospital and was started on pitocin. I was joined by the fan club of a firstborn child, firstborn grandchild on one side, and first grandchild in 7 years on the other! We filled up the waiting room! The day was uneventful despite my water being broken and getting my epidural (before I even felt a twinge of pain).

We had named the baby several months earlier. He was going to be "Jacob Cole" and would be called "Cole". At some point during the day, I remember Michael deciding that it would be nice to have his son named after him. I agreed (because I had tried to talk him into that months ago but he thought there were far too many Michael's in the world!). So, on that day, we changed his name to "Jacob Michael". To avoid having yet another Michael, he would be called "Jake". We kept that little secret until his arrival!

By that evening, I was definitely in labor but still not close to childbirth.

Evening came and went and finally at around 11:00 the doctors decided I was ready to push. By now I was feeling much, much more pain as my epidural was wearing off. I was told that I could not be given any more medicine. They said that I should have a baby before the day was over.

Nope. We still had a loooong way to go. I started running a temperature, which is a no-no in the labor room. I had to be given antibiotics. Jake's heartrate was dropping quickly. A monitor was put directly on his head via the birth canal. I was given oxygen to help him out (which is a horrible feeling...trying to keep that mask on while birthing!!) and was made to turn from side to side while enduring ever-worsening contractions. By that time, my epidural had completely worn off. So had my patience.

I felt each and every pain of the next 3 hours of pushing. That is NOT something you want to feel.

3, yes, 3 long hours of pushing later, at 1:59 am on July 12, "Jake" entered the world. He came with knotted cord and the biggest cone head you have ever seen!! His little head had a huge hematoma (fancy word for big huge bleeding boo-boo) where it had been pressed on the cervix for oh, so long.

At 2 am, our fan club was still going strong. They piled into the room for the first glimpse of baby Jake. He did not disappoint. He was a living, breathing, perfectly formed combination of his daddy and I.

I remember the first days at home with Jake. I remember the genius contraption we had that he slept on, and how it promised to sound an alarm if he stopped breathing (I was a bit paranoid). I remember the first time it went off in the middle of the night. Not. Funny. Michael and I both were literally on top of that poor child within a second. He was wide awake now and not too amused. Neither were we.

5 days later, (right after his picture session thank goodness!) people began to comment on his perfect complexion. I wondered where he might have gotten that beautiful skin tone. Oh, is that what jaundice looks like? Shoot.

We went directly to the hospital to have a "consultation" with the lactation consultant (since eating and pooping are apparently related to a newborn's jaundice). He didn't seem too enthused by the idea of breastfeeding. She couldn't get him to cooperate either. She sent us directly to the pediatrician because he didn't look quite well and was under 6 lbs now. They drew blood and determined that he needed to go back into the hospital because his bilirubin was too high....he had jaundice pretty bad.

I had a mommy meltdown. You can't send me home with my precious newborn and then take him back!! He was thankfully admitted into the NICU (instead of the PICU) which is not normal procedure since he had already left the hospital.

Thank our good Lord we had chosen Mary Black. The beauty of that hospital is that we were both given a room to stay in so that we did not have to leave his side. We stayed at the hospital like it was a hotel, and I was able to continue nursing him while he returned to normal human pigmentation, as opposed to the pumpkin color he had achieved! :)

After that, life resumed and our baby boy began to teach us what life as parents was all about.

He was the most precious chubby, bald-headed baby you had ever seen. He had only white fuzz on his head until he was about 2. The nursery workers at church all nick-named him the "cabbage patch baby." They must not have been far off because at a drive-through once, the lady asked me if I had a Cabbage Patch in my carseat. It must have been one of those rare moments when he wasn't crying!! :)

There has not been a dull moment in Jake's six years. He has kept us on our toes every minute. Jake loves to play tricks. He will hide your keys in a heartbeat and probably forget where he hid them! He loves to tell jokes and laughs big belly laughs at every one he tells.

Sports of all kinds are his true love - much to his daddy's delight! He has had a passion for football since he could stand and hold a ball. He can already throw a mean spiral! He looks forward to the start of football season each year when he and his daddy go to every game they can, regardless of the team! It is the rare time when he sits without moving to pay close attention to the game.

He asks more questions than I could possibly ever answer. And if your answer doesn't quite match what he had in mind, he will quickly inform you that you are wrong and give you the "correct" answer.

His favorite playmate is his sister, but he doesn't admit it often. He would rather play outside than anywhere. He owns Clemson, Florida State, and Carolina Panthers football uniforms and on most days you will find him in the front yard sporting one while practicing his plays. His absolute favorite time to play football in the yard is if it is raining! It never fails that if we are out and it starts raining, he begs to go home so he can play.

He has a huge imagination and can dream up elaborate games inside and out. He prefers those games to toys any day!

He is friendly to a fault and there isn't a stranger in this world. He often offers up more information to them than his mom cares to share! He also asks more embarrassing questions of them than mom would care to remember!!

He is often complimented on his sweet southern manners when we are out and about and he loudly calls out for a waitress or a cashier, "MAM, MAAAAAAMMMMMM!!!". They overlook the loud, persistent calling since he is afterall, calling them mam. :)

He is as strong-willed as the day is long and independent is his middle name. He has been desperately trying to be "big" since he knew how to walk and talk.

We often find him in our room sleeping in his sleeping bag or at our bedside begging to come snuggle. He often says, "Mom, after daddy leaves for work, I'm coming to cuddle with you." He curls right up with you and must be touching you in some way while he sleeps. He knows exactly when to rub daddy's back to make daddy forget all about bedtime!

He is a succer for anything that has to do with water. Don't dare leave him alone with a sink or a water fountain....he will quickly find a way to cover himself and anything or anyone around and leave it dripping! Likewise with anything liquid or semi-liquid in form...he'll squirt it, sling it, spit it, or spew it before you can shout, "Jaaaaaaakkkkkkeeeee, DON'T!!!!!" ;)

He keeps us on our toes but we would not trade him for anything in this world.

His sweet cuddles and "I Love You's" make up for every little trick he pulls.

Genesis 49:3 is absolutely my verse for Jake. He was no doubt the first sign of my strength. There is a bond that you have with your firstborn that is like no other. Your firstborn teaches you what it means to be a mom. He teaches you what it means to love and give beyond what you ever thought you were able.

He is the first child his daddy and I ever loved with every ounce of our being and will always be....our precious firstborn.

Happy 6th Birthday Jake!! We love you!!

Momma, Daddy, and Ella Kate









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