Category Archives: children

Hello 2021 Goodbye 2020

I almost did write this post. As we all know 2020 has been one for the birds. I’ve personally gone through some of the scariest moments of my life. The uncertainty of this time has added a lot of extra stress and anxiety to my life. But, in addition to chaos, 2020 brought smiles, giggles, slobber and a little girl that I didnt know I wanted.

Piper will be 10 months old next week. These last 10 months have been rough at moments yet amazing at most. I dont want this post to be filled with the dreadfulness that we have all come to know. If you need any of that look back at my older posts where I talk about my terrible post partum depression.

Usually my New Years posts are filled with reflections, but the only positive reflection I have is Piper ElizabethAnne Jones. And she is something to look forward to as well.

We dont know what 2021 will bring us. If nothing else this year has taught us that. But we do know that whatever it is our Father God will bring us through it.

I pray you all have an amazing New Years eve. We are going to some friends house and have a bonfire and play some games. A little different one again than recent years, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Be Blessed WordPress!

She Has an Angel

To everyone else this is just a simple picture of a cute lamp sitting on a chest of drawers. To me it represents us being one step closer to my little girl having her own room. We have gone through so much to get to this point. We have lost someone special along the way. We know he is looking down and watching over our girl. He would gladly give up his room so that she could have it. We miss him but we will make sure Piper knows what a wonderful human being her Uncle Mark was. Now let the Unicorn fun begin!! #PrincessPiper #BeautyFromAshes #CantWaitToDecorate

Life in the Q:Day 2

Good evening my fellow WordPressers! Today was another productive day. The boys were able to finish putting down the wood floor in the living room and Eli’s room. I was able to finish about 5 loads of laundry and I went through all of Piper’s clothes because she has hit a growth spurt. She is officially in 6-9 months. Our girl is getting so big!

I had to get a little creative with keeping her happy. There is only so much time she can spend in her walker, bouncer, and play pen. It was such a nice day. I took her bouncer outside and put it on the front porch and she and I sat out there for a while and watched the birds. Then I put her in her stroller and we went for a little walk on the dead end, side street by our house. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day and we will continue our lock down. But you know it’s nice not rushing around trying to get all that food cooked and dreading going from house to house. It won’t be a typical Thanksgiving but my little family of 4 will all be together and be happy and count our blessings that we are all still healthy. 2020 has been a heck of a year. It’s taught me so much and probably the biggest lesson is that it’s ok to take time and slow down. Sending time with my boys and my baby girl these last couple of days has been just what I needed. 

Thank you Father God for the little things like watching my baby eat ice cream for the first time and seeing how she has learned to run around in her walker. Thank you for my son and how he is such a big helper to his dad and I. I don’t know what we would do without him. Most of all Lord thank you for this special time we have together and for keeping us all safe and healthy. I think we all need this down time ever now and then! I love you Lord!!

                                     Love, LaBranda

Life in the Q:: Day 1

Yay! We survived day 1 of quarantine! I’m still married, and both my children have had an adventurous day. I was able to get a hold of my boss who had the Head Start nurse contact the CDC to see what the appropriate practices would be since I was exposed to a positive case. I was advised to stay in and hunker down until December 7th. Tj was also given the advice from his boss to take a 2 week break. Both of us will be paid for this thank God.
We started our day with opening all the windows in the house since it was so beautiful outside. I was really pleased yet shocked at how on board my boys were with agreeing that we should spend the rest of this week getting the house in order. Next week we can make the best of our time together and just relax. We made a big dent in our laundry mountain, as well as sorting through our drawers and closets and deciding on the clothes we need to keep, donate, and trash. There is still a good amount of laundry to be completed, but hey, why rush, we have 13 more days! HAAAAA! Eli got a bit of his room done. Their plan is to get everything out of there so that Tj can finish the floor in there and then they can start in Piper’s room.
We spent some time watching YouTube documentaries and playing with Piper. All in all I enjoyed day one and hope the next 13 go as smoothly.
I am determined to use this time with my little family and admit this is God’s way of telling us to slow down and enjoy each other while we can. After all, my children will only be children for a minute in time. If you are reading this I hope that you had a great productive day and that you will stick around and watch how the rest of this quarantine saga plays out. Be blessed!!

                                        Love, LaBranda

Sunday Blessings

This weekend has been pretty amazing. On Saturday Piper and I went and celebrated A’s 2nd BIrthday with a Minnie Mouse party. A is a beautiful little girl that my best friend is fostering. She has had her since she was 3 months old. 6 weeks ago she also got A’s new born baby brother, Baby J. I pray that one day she will be able to adopt them both and we will no longer have to refer to them as letters. I hate that when we take incredible pictures that we have to scribble them out. For those of you that have never been touched by foster care, let me tell you that it’s an amazing journey. It takes someone selfless and willing to put their feelings aside long enough to take care of these kids as long as God sees fit to keep them in their lives. My friend doesn’t like to think ahead too far. A is so much a part of her family that she couldn’t imagine life without her in it. All she can do is have hope and pray that God’s perfect will will be done when it comes to their best interest. She is an amazing person and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Look at my Piper Girl at 8 months old!

In other news Eli has a new friend. Well I guess she isn’t really new. They have been “friends” since September. She is the sweetest girl. She has so much talent! I can’t wait to see where it takes her in life. She is super good at taking pictures and today she sent me these sketches that she did of Piper just because she was bored. I was instantly in love and wanted to share them with my WordPress family. I hope you all have an amazing week!! BE BLESSED!

Elijah and Bailey

Day 17 of NICU Life

Hello all! Life is surly very strange for us all of us these days. I just wanted to hop on and update everyone on our Piper girl!

Today is day 17 in our NICU life. We had originally been told this past weekend that we would be released to go home today. She passed her hearing test and her car seat challenge with flying colors. She no longer has her feeding tube and is taking all her feeds by mouth. She is consistently gaining weight and is currently 5 pounds and 14 oz!

After reviewing her chart, doc decided he wanted to watch her for a few more days while they weaned her off some meds. I get it, but it’s still so hard to leave her here every day. But I’m trusting that God’s plan and timing is perfect and these nurses and doctors know what they are doing.

We are so eager to get her home. I can’t believe I heard myself say the other day that I couldn’t wait to get her home and get some bows in this hair of hers! Just think a few months ago I didn’t know what I was going to do with a girl!

It’s been a long and sometimes sad road, but we are thankful for God’s mercy and faithfulness through it all. Be blessed WordPress!

Never Say Never

I was discharged from the hospital last Tuesday, I never thought I would have a baby and then have to leave it behind in the NICU.

They say that chances are that Piper will have to stay in the NICU until her due date, April 6, 2020. I never thought I’d be a NICU Mommy.

I waited the longest 48 hours of my life to finally hold my little girl!

My son turned 14 on Feb 16. I never thought I’d have a baby at my age, less than a month after this particular birthday.

When I had Eli, I guess I was just young, maybe selfish, and uneducated, but I had no interest in breastfeeding or pumping. Now my day my daily routine goes like this. Wake up between 4-5 am. Pump. Eat, check on Piper, look at Facebook, pump. Take a nap, pump. Eat lunch. Pump. Watch TV. Pump. Go see Piper. Pump. Watch TV. Pump. Go to bed just to wake up and do it all over again. And I wouldn’t change it for anything. I feel so helpless seeing her little body in that cold room and I know that all I can do to help her right now is bring her milk every day. I never thought I’d be a breastfeeding/pumping Mommy.

Daddy and his girl!

In the last week, my husband has changed right before my eyes. He went from a laid back child like demeanor to a fierce, gentle, protective Poppa Bear. I’ve seen this man cry more this week than I have the entire almost 18 years we have been together. His love for his little boy is unshakeable, yet his love for his little girl is something completely different but just as powerful. I never thought I’d see my husband take such good care of me or our baby the way he has these last 7 days.

Her very 1st bottle feeding!

In conclusion, never say never. My plans were to work all the way up until March 27th. God’s plans were for me to be done March 3rd. As hard as it is to leave her everyday, I know without a doubt that HIS plans are always perfect!

We finally got to put some clothes on her yesterday!

Into The Land of The Unknown

Today I am officially 34 weeks pregnant. This is uncharted territory for me. I gave birth to my fist baby at 34 weeks and 3 days. That was 14 years ago. I made the comment yesterday that I couldn’t wait for this baby to be born so that I could get back to my normal self. My son remarked that it was still too early. I informed him that at this point in my pregnancy with him, I had already been in the hospital for a week and a half and he made his grand appearance 3 days later. He could not believe it!

Its just strange. I’m excited to see and feel new experiences this time around. I’m a little nervous about the unknown. Will my water break while I’m at school? At one of his baseball games? Or at Walmart? I’m a planner and list maker by nature. I like to know what to expect. Yet, I know that God has a perfect plan for Piper’s arrival.

I’d like to share a few pictures from my baby shower. I hope you will all enjoy them. I’ll try and do better about keeping you more informed. Six more weeks to go!

Me, My Husband and Son
This cake that my Mom had made is so special to me. She had some of the decorations from my sons baby shower cake added to it.
Me and my Baby Daddy!
I swear he was more into opening those gifts than I was!
Piper’s P that everyone signed!

30 Weeks!

Today I am officially 30 weeks pregnant! I’m still shook at the fact that in 10 weeks or less I’ll have a little baby girl to go along with my little (14 next month) baby boy. This pregnancy has flown by thus far.

Things I’ve been dealing with…

– I’ve been in labor and delivery twice in the last two weeks because of high blood pressure readings. It’s not surprising since this is about the time I started having issues with Eli’s pregnancy. I ended up having to do a 24 hour urine collection; not fun at all!

– I ended up failing my 1 hour glucose/diabetes test. That resulted in me having to take the day off of work last Friday and have the 3 hour test done. Again, not fun. I found out today that I did pass it, but barely because my numbers were on the low side. That explains a lot. I’ll have moments of dizziness and weakness and just feeling awful. I had a spell yesterday and Tj took checked my sugar and it was 65. I stayed in bed all day feeling blah and having sugar checks all day.

My doctor wants me to keep a record of that and my blood pressure for the rest of the week. I’ll go back next Monday and see him. They want me to keep some juice or candy with me at all times in case I have an episode.

I’m really hoping that this is not something that I have to do on a regular basis because im a big ol baby when it comes to those finger pricks.

Other than that things are going pretty well. I find myself getting overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done before she gets here. My boys did a good job this weekend taking care of me and getting some things knocked out around the house. They drive me crazy at times but I really am blessed to have them.

I’ve been trying to get all the details of my maternity leave at work all ironed out. I believe I’ve finally got someone to fill in for me. My plan is to let March 27th be my last official day. It’s the Friday before Spring Break. She is due the Monday we come back from Spring Break.

I’m trying not to stress too much. I’m really hoping it all works out the way I have planned, but in reality I know better than that. God’s plans are always more perfect than mine. He sure showed me this time. I may need some of y’all to remind me of this if she was to come earlier than March 27th.

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15 Weeks!

Tuesday Piper and I had an OB appointment. I dont know why, but for some reason I was extra anxious about it. I dont know if it’s because the week before I thought I might have felt her move a few times, and then I didn’t feel anything the rest if the week. I find myself getting so caught up in posts and things I see on Facebook. As you know this is Pregnancy Loss Awareness month and there have been many visual triggers going around. I cant help but to stop and read each and every story. It hurts my heart and spirit to see these terrible accounts of the worst days of these peoples lives. I tend to put myself in each scenario and the emotions I’d imagine myself having if these events occurred for me. I obsessively look for signs of missed misscarrage and of baby dying in the womb. I know to others around me that it makes no sense. It makes none to me either. I just cant help myself. I think of those families that have lost so much and even though I really do believe that God has me and Piper in his hands, didnt he have these families as well? What makes me so different than the lady who’s baby lived until the day before it was due to be born? Or the lady who has lost multiple babies, and I don’t mean to early miscarriage, but to more than one still births. I couldn’t survive just one, much less multiples. Please dont think that I’m questioning God. I’m simply thinking to myself, what makes me so special? After all, I’m just as human as these other women.

Ok, enough of that sadness. I dont want anyone to think that I’m doubting Gods Faithfulness. At this point I’ve discovered that that is nearly impossible. I have so many good and wonderful, God fearing prayer warriors in my life that have me and Piper covered. They remind me DAILY that this is real and its part if His plan. That he loves us and would not bring us to this without a good reason. I pray I can really really embrace that thought whether things end in a good way or a bad way this time around.

Back to our appointment. I talked to my doctor about my terrible headaches. He said I need to make sure I’m good and hydrated everyday, to keep an eye on my blood pressure. (It was slightly elevated that day.) That I needed to learn to listen to my body more and take a break when I’m feeling overwhelmed. He also mentioned that this is just part of the new normal for me and pregnancy for a woman my age. I absolutely love my doctor. He is quick and to the point and dosen’t take 25 forevers for an appointment. I got to hear her heartbeat on the doppler and it was still good and strong. That was so reassuring. I’m on the look out for one that I can have at home. I think I’d be more at ease if I could hear her, even though it’s too early to feel her just yet. I have been through this before but that was many years ago and honestly I was so miserable with Eli that I dont remember what week I first felt him. And plus I’m a little thicker than I was when I got pregnant with him.

I’ve finally started collecting a few things!

All in all it’s been a good week. I’ve got the makings of a head cold and cough, but was able to find some meds I could safely take to help.

We will go back on Nov. 19th for an anatomy scan ultrasound. I’m excited and I want to see if both my boys can come with me to see how well she has grown.

I will close by saying Thank God its Friday and tomorrow is going to be a rainy snuggly day! Be blessed!

❤ LaBranda