Friday, December 23, 2011


Nathaniel stays at an in-home day care near our house. His sitter is wonderful and planned crafts for the month of December and a party with a visit from Santa. Nathaniel did great with Santa. I was sure he would be scared and cry, but he didn't mind at all. We couldn't get him to smile for the camera, but I was just happy he wasn't screaming! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CJay says the darndest things: Take 2

CJay has a way with words; I have a great memory. What a perfect combination! I have no disclaimer this time because well, he doesn't know I'm posting these. Like last time, I'm sure he'll ask in disbelief, "Did I really say that stuff?" Yes, dear. You did.

Don't rush me. It's important that my avatar is accurate.

Oh, like having a baby is such a big deal. 

Look at all those gray hairs! 

Your cookies are pretty good, but they could be better.

No, I do like this. I'm just stunned by how delicious it is. 

I stepped in dog poop again. Why do bad things keep happening to me?

I have to do everything around here!

How did you even pass kindergarten?

Aren't you supposed to be my secretary?

And my personal favorite:

We should rent our son out to single men. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

You've come a long way, baby!

One year ago today, Nathaniel came into this world. What a year it's been! He's walking, talking, and becoming a little person. It's exciting and a little scary. We've had so much fun this year getting to know this amazing little guy. What a joy and a gift he's been to all of us, and I know I speak for all of the family when I say I can't wait to see what this next year brings!

November 28, 2010
Always smiling! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bad Blogger

Yes, I've been a bad blogger. I'm not sure how so many months have passed since I updated the blog. I'd like to blame it on my classes. Now that I have a break, I'm going to keep this blog up to date. Well, I'm going to try my best. :) Nathaniel has been walking since he turned 10 months. He moves fast now. Too fast. His vocabulary is growing. My favorite word is "nigh nigh". I love the way he smiles up at me when I put him in bed and he says "nigh nigh." It's so sweet! He's such an affectionate kid. He hugs and kisses us all the time. Even with a snotty nose, a kiss from that boy will melt your heart. No matter what kind of day I've had, coming home to Nathaniel always makes me happy. I'm so happy to have him around.

He loves bath time. 
Great Grandpa, Uncle Devin, and Nathaniel
A trip up the mountain to get fresh apples.

Playing with his John Deere. 
Saturday afternoon in the pool. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nathaniel at 6 Months

Nathaniel turned 6 months old on May 28. It's amazing how much a baby changes in just 6 short months! He has his first tooth. He eats solid food. He's crawling. He's sitting. He's smiling and laughing. He's such a social person too. He loves when new people acknowledge him. He's incredibly laid back about almost everything, yet he seems to have his opinions. He loves our animals. When he does fuss, which is rare, I'll have Cocoa come over and wag her tail. Nathaniel will become so fascinated that he forgets that he was mad about something. He's drinking from a cup already and squeals for carrots! He's trying to pull up too. We tote him everywhere and he rarely complains. Everyone comments about how happy he is and most people ask if he's always like that. Yes, he's almost always happy and smiling. He wakes up smiling in the morning and coos himself to sleep in the evening. He is so much fun to have around!

Here are the stats from his 6-month check up:

Weight: 18 lbs 10 oz (73%)
Height: 26.1 inches (45%)
Head Circumference: 16.9 inches (33%)

First day of life

1 Month

2 Months

3 Months

4 Months

5 Months

6 Months

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day

I've been a mother for three Mother's Days. Three. This was the first Mother's Day that I've had the privilege to celebrate with a child. It's so much better that way. It doesn't change the fact that I missed Isaac, but I'm so grateful for Nathaniel.

It's true that anything your child makes for you is the most wonderful thing you've ever seen. Funny how that works.

Thanks to Vicky for helping Nathaniel make his first Mother's Day presents. I love them!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What is today?

The milk carton in the fridge says March 24. I've been looking at it for a few days and wondering why March 24 gave me that feeling. You know the one: there's something I'm supposed to remember about March 24. March 24. What is it about March 24? Today, I was running it around my head again. What is it about today? Finally I remembered. March 24 was Isaac's due date. I was sad that I didn't remember that detail about something so important. I find it upsetting because I've always wanted to remember everything I could about Isaac, and to know that it wasn't the first thing on my mind worries me. I know there are other things taking my attention these days, but I still want hold on to the small things about my experience with Isaac.

I read Stacy Delisle's post about her Isaac and Eliana. I've thought so much about how we'll be able to keep Isaac a part of our lives and teach Nathaniel about his brother when his life was short. Her post was encouraging. It is possible that Nathaniel will understand he's a little brother. My only struggle now is being able to talk with him about it. Any time I've tried, I've been close to tears. It's nearly impossible to speak over the lump in my throat. I hope I'll be able to do what Stacy has done and help Nathaniel know how important his brother was and still is to us, even if I don't always remember all the tiny details.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Laughing Baby

Nathaniel started laughing last week, but it was nearly impossible to get video evidence. He's too mesmerized by the camera! I was finally able to get him on video. CJay had just gotten home from work and was only talking to Nathaniel, but I guess that was enough!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happy Birthday

Isaac would be 2 today. I imagine that we would have traveled to Tennessee this weekend to be with our families. There would have been balloons and cake. Grandparents would have been snapping pictures and enjoying their little energetic grandchild.

I really don't let myself explore the "what ifs" and the "could have beens". It's a road that leads nowhere and really only makes me sadder. The truth is that this weekend is hard. We miss our first born. CJay and I have to talk about what was happening this time 2 years ago and remember the agony of letting go of our son. It's part of the process, I know. So many parents have done this too.

Losing Isaac was the hardest thing I've ever experienced, but I'm so thankful for what Isaac's life gave us. I miss him everyday and would give almost anything to see his sweet face again.

Happy Birthday, Isaac Liam. You are missed!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baby Samuel

Amid my list of blessings infinite,
Stands this the foremost, “That my heart has bled.”

- Edward Young

I think I'm fairly optimistic. I want to be positive and hope for the best. I try to count my blessings and remember how fortunate I am. Food on the table. A warm home. A healthy son.

But there are days, days like today, when I remember only one thing: my heart has bled. It bled for my son and it bleeds again today for baby Samuel Wyatt Rice. It bleeds for his mom and dad whose lives are forever changed. It bleeds for a family that will always miss their grandson, nephew, and maybe one day, brother. The loss is immeasurable. The pain is unreal.

I hope you'll take a few minutes and send all your thoughts, prayers, love, and hugs to the Rice family as they struggle with what they've been through these past few days and as they face what lies ahead.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

3 month update

All is going well with Nathaniel. He's a very happy little guy, content with looking around and watching the dogs play. He loves going out in the Baby Bjorn, and when we've had some warmer days, I've taken him outside to play with the dogs in the evenings. He's been sleeping up to 9 hours - not every night but several in a row - and I'm actually starting to feel like a human again. I've been back to work for a month, and we've been so fortunate to have a great sitter who keeps him during the day. She even sends me texts and pictures while I'm at work!

Other little tidbits on Nathaniel:
- He's hot natured like his parents.
- Almost everyday he gives a morning and evening dissertation that includes loud cooing at his mobile. He takes his speeches very seriously, complete with high-pitched noises and a furrowed brow.
- He enjoys being "punched" by his dad.
- He likes being held upside down (by his father, of course). Our Jack Russell, however, does not like this and gets very agitated until the baby is back to a full upright position.
- He likes sitting in the bumbo while I work in the kitchen. The only downside is that I get distracted by his cuteness and do things like leave the refrigerator door open or leave the water running. Whoops.
- He doesn't like tummy time but will tolerate it more now than he did a few weeks ago. We're working on it!
- He's advanced and very strong for his age, according to the doctor.
- His hair is growing in quickly, and even though we thought it was going to be dark like CJay's, it actually has red in it like mine.
- He moves a lot in his sleep. Really. I've provided a picture for proof. He starts in his little wedge that's supposed to keep him still, and ends up at the bottom of the crib. And no, moving him closer to the bottom didn't help.

Here are a few other 3-month-old pictures.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What I wish...

I wish this was my second time with an 8.5 week old.

I wish we were rummaging through infant clothes that we had packed away when Isaac outgrew them.

I wish we were propping Nathaniel in Isaac's lap for pictures.

I wish we could marvel at both our boys.

I wish Isaac could love Nathaniel.

I wish we were chasing an almost 2 year old around the house.

I wish Isaac was here now.

Having another baby in the house doesn't mean I've been too busy to think about my first. It's amazing how much more I wonder what he would have been like at Nathaniel's age. Would he have been this easy going? Would he have smiled like Nathaniel smiles? I tried not to think about the what if's after we lost Isaac, but it's nearly impossible not to now that there's a healthy little boy in our house.

What's truly amazing is how much CJay and I value Nathaniel's life and health. Before Nathaniel came we promised each other to keep our perspective. We didn't know how tired we would be or how irritated sleep deprivation could make us, but we've tried our hardest to remember that none of that matters. There were times when other new parents made comments about being so tired and longing for sleep. Like other parents without their babies, CJay and I have talked about how much we wanted to be up at night, if that's what it took to hold Isaac again. What matters is that every hour of sleep lost is worth it. We wouldn't trade it. Of course, it's hard, but Nathaniel is such a worthy little investment of our time and we're so incredibly thankful for what we have now and for what we've lost.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011