Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Learning a Lesson

Trust your mommy instinct!!  It'll save you $35 and an unnecessary trip to the cardiologist.  Okay, so maybe it won't save you exactly that.  But believe me, it'll save you some hassle.  This is something I've been really good at so far, but the closer we get to surgery the more I get paranoid.  Knowing my baby is in heart failure does something to your mommy instinct and still makes you question things.

Over the weekend I noticed that Kennedy was breathing a little heavier when she was playing and really active.  Of course, I know this is probably normal with her heart defect, but the paranoid side of me got nervous.  I called Saturday morning, hoping our cardiologist would just assure me she was fine.  I should have known I was doomed when I found out that it wasn't our doctor on call, but the one that I HATED from the NICU.  He has no bedside manner, and stood in front of us arguing with the sonographer over the echo.  I should have known this spelled trouble!  He called me back and told me to take her to the Emergency Department.  WHAT?!  He said that she should be seen right away since she's in distress.  Excuse me?  Did I say she was in distress?  I told him I was NOT taking her to the emergency room where we'd sit there for who knows how long to be exposed to who knows what kind of germs.  I emailed our doctor, and she agreed.  I got a call this morning that I had to take her in today.  I walked in and they told me they were going to do another echo.  I wouldn't be me if I didn't question things.  I pretty much told them they were crazy.  They didn't tell me they were doing an echo, I didn't bring enough milk to spend the whole afternoon there, and we're having an echo under sedation next week.  Did I mention we pay $300 out of pocket for each echo?  Our doctor was on hospital rounds so we had to see my BFF from the NICU and my weekend call.  He acted shocked that she wasn't blue or struggling to breathe and couldn't understand why I was concerned.  When I explained for the hundredth time that she's breathing heavy when she's active he looked at me like I had ten heads and said that was totally normal.  WHY couldn't he tell me that over the phone?

It's a good thing I'm not a parent who trusts everything a doctor says.  I would have wasted a day and a lot of money sitting in the ER just to be told what I suspected - that it's normal for her case.  Or I would have spent $300 on an unnecessary echo, had I listened to them today.  This will teach me to trust my mommy instinct.  I knew she was okay, and not in any distress.  But the whole "heart failure" diagnosis can really mess with a person. 

"I don't want my Lasix.  I will not open my mouth, and don't think about taking my ball away!!!"

Monday, May 30, 2011

She's Not THAT Small and Other Ramblings

So here we are at 3 1/2 months old, and weighing just over 10 1/2 pounds.  Some of Kennedy's friends that are her age weigh as much as 16 pounds.  Yes, I know my baby is small.  She's barely on the charts for an "average" baby, but she is in the 75th percentile for weight and length on the Down syndrome growth chart.  I have to admit, I'm really sick of hearing how small she is.  People constantly ask how old she is.  When I tell them they look at me in disbelief and they all say the same thing, "She's so small."  And then they just stare at us, as if I'm starving her or something.  I really have no interest in giving complete strangers a play by play on my daughter's heart condition, so I usually just let them think what they want.  I thought it was just me, but after being out and about for most of the weekend my husband said the same thing.  This is only one of the things that people say that drives us crazy.  We won't get in to the rest.

In more fun news, Kennedy is SO close to rolling onto her belly from her back.  She hates to be on her belly though, so I don't expect that it will happen anytime soon.  My shopping addiction has been all about the clothes since I found out that we were having a girl, but now she's finally starting to enjoy toys, so my priorities are shifting again.  We got her a Baby Einstein ball this weekend and she's doing really well holding it.  We also got her a monkey security blanket that she seems to love (maybe I should buy a few back ups now.)
  The elephant makes car rides bearable for mom and dad and fun for Kennedy!

"Daddy this elephant is sooo funny!"  (She was really thinking - if I keep daddy amused he won't realize how much mommy is spending on my new clothes.)
"Hey I finally figured out how mommy makes this thing talk!"

"Mommy where did you put Sophie?  Wait I see it - what's it doing down there?"

 Hi Mommy!!!

"Oh my gosh these friends are just sooo much fun!"

"Back away from my monkey!"

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Don't Remember

I seriously can't remember what my life was like before Kennedy was born.  All I know, it must have been pretty darn boring.  Yes, I love my husband.  Yes, we have done a ton of great things, taken amazing trips, and had a lot of fun.  But nothing compares to our life with Kennedy.  In years past we spent Memorial Day weekend traveling...usually hitting a beach and having lots of drinks with fruit and umbrellas (oh, and alcohol) in them.  Tonight we kicked off the long weekend at home with Kennedy, a couple of steaks on the grill, and a glass of red wine.  We rolled around on the floor with her while she kicked at her play mat and gave us giant smiles and endless giggles.  It was better than any beach bar.  However, Kennedy is apparently a real party girl, since she's kicking off the weekend by staying up late tonight.

As I was laying on the floor I couldn't help but think how I've never been happier.  Yes, we're facing open heart surgery next month.  And yes, I'm still completely terrified.  But - we've got an amazingly strong little girl and she's going to do awesome.  It was exactly 14 weeks ago that we were heading to the birth center.  It's been the most amazing 14 weeks of my life.  It hasn't been with out challenges, but each has made us stronger.  The time has flown by.  It feels like just yesterday that she was born.  It makes me sad that she's growing up so fast, but I love everything that she's doing.  It hit me this week that she's not a newborn anymore and she's really turning into a little person.  I just love her little personality.  And I could listen to her "talk" all day (which is good, since she does!)  I guess she takes after her mama. 

Today after her nap (a very short one at that) I went in and picked her up and she gave me the BIGGEST smile.  It brought tears to my eyes when I saw how happy she was to see me.  The baby kisses are endless, as are the snuggles.  Last night, she fell asleep holding onto my hand.  This morning, I woke up when she hit me in the head with her rattle.  (Note to self - don't bring toys to bed.)  Even though it was a rude awakening, I loved seeing that she found her rattle and picked it up.  She's so close to rolling from her back to her belly and I am SO proud of her.  Today she stayed on tummy for almost 45 minutes and was doing great at pushing herself up.  I know these things are REALLY hard for her, but just like her mommy and daddy - she doesn't give up.  She's going to show the world that she can do so much and make a difference in so many lives.

There aren't enough words to express how much I love her and how much she's made my world brighter.  Things that were once really important, suddenly don't matter at all.  Our lives have changed a lot since Kennedy's birth, and we're loving every minute of it.   

Kennedy learned that it's fun to hit her toys with the rattle.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our Lazy Day

I absolutely love days where we're shopping or swimming or having play dates.  But sometimes we just love a day at home!  Kennedy and I had a private party from 3-4 and then woke up for the day at 6am.  I decided to scrap the trip to Target and we're jst hanging out and playing with toys all day!  And snuggling of course. 

I love Kennedy more than anything, and I'm pretty sure she loves me too.  But I think this picture says it all!  I hope she knows how much her little smiles make my day and brighten my world.

And I can't help but share a video of how miss wiggles got herself stuck on her play mat today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Adventures in Tummy Time

Since Kennedy's Early Intervention therapist can't work us in for another 2 weeks I've been working overtime to get Kennedy to strengthen her neck and upper body before her surgery.  She absolutely HATES tummy time.  I've tried everything.  Sometimes she rolls over.  And other times, like today, she tries to make an escape.  I guess at least we know she has really good lower body strength?  At this rate she'll be crawling before anything else. 

Notice - the foot and the arm up.  I swear she was trying to crawl away.

Once again - trying to escape?  Face buried in the floor, and on her knees.

Then she gave up and decided to suck her hand.

In addition to all the fun (sense the sarcasm?) we had with tummy time, we also went swimming.  Grandma came over to play today, so we were able to get some pool time pictures!  As usual, Kennedy had a great time!  She is most definitely a water baby.

And to finish things off (because I've been slacking on photos lately) - here are some more play time photos.
I'm not entirely sure what this face was all about.  I'm pretty sure it was part of a "conversation" with one of her friends!

Kennedy has recently been very into her rattles.  Today, she finally figured out how to call daddy at work.  Then she hit herself in the head with the rattle, and wasn't so happy.

However, she did not learn the importance of leaving a voice mail, so if you get some random calls from us, you know who it is.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Black Cloud Approaches

Kennedy's Cardiology appointment went really well this morning.  She weighed in at 10lbs 9oz, which they were very happy with.  She said she's doing wonderful.  We go back in two weeks, for the final echo before surgery.  We'll meet with the surgeon the week after that, and we're on target for surgery at the end of the month.  The doctor performing the surgery will be Dr. Quintessenza, whom I've heard amazing things about.  He's the head of the department at the children's hospital, so I know we are in good hands.   If all goes well, it's my goal that we will be home and on the road to recovery by my birthday.  What an awesome gift that would be. 

Once again, I had a meltdown at the appointment.  I'm absolutely terrified, and nothing can change that.  I don't care how amazing the surgeon is, and I don't care how many times they do this.  It's open heart surgery, and it's my baby - nothing can make me feel better about it.  In fact, I used to think that meeting with the surgeon might make me feel better, but I'm pretty sure that it's just going to give me even more things to be terrified of.  The day we have to take our daughter for open heart surgery will absolutely be the worst day of my life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Sleepy Little Baby

Kennedy has always been super active.  Never napped.  Slept all night.  The last few days, she's getting more and more sleepy.  She's falling asleep after every bottle, and tires herself out playing with her toys.  Tonight she even fell asleep on her activity mat.  She's sleeping even longer at night, and napping during the day.  I know this is "normal progression" of heart failure, but it breaks my heart.  I feel so bad for her, and I know that her body is working on overdrive just to function.  I miss my wild and active little baby.  I'm really dreading the surgery, as I've said before, I'm completely terrified.  But I can't wait to have my baby back to normal.  In fact, she's going to be more normal than I've ever seen, and that excites me.  I booked our first post-surgery vacation today.  I need something really special to look forward to - our first real family vacation.  I can't wait to start really living life with her.  We go back to the Cardiologist tomorrow.  The closer we get to surgery, the more I dread these appointments. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Can't Get Enough...

I can never get enough of the giant smiles and sweet giggles from Kennedy, and I would imagine it's only going to get better the older she gets.  We have a new game, called "mama kisses."  I give Kennedy kisses, and she opens her mouth wide, squeals and giggles.  It's the most simple game, but one that we both love the most!  These pictures show it all.

I'm pretty sure she's saying, "Mommy you are sooo funny!" 

I also can't resist showing you all this video of Kennedy and her pink elephant.  She absolutely loves this thing, and it makes car rides a piece of cake!  She will just talk and talk.  You would think it answers back!  My poor husband must feel like he's a chauffeur.  It's not because Kennedy CAN'T sit on her own in the backseat.  (Although she seems to notice when there are two other people in the car and she's alone.)  I absolutely love to watch her talk to her pink elephant, so nine times out of ten, even when she's totally content, I'll sit in the back seat so I can watch.  This could make for some interesting road trips this summer.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Way To Go Team Kennedy!!!

Today was the Congenital Heart Defect Walk to support the Children's Heart Foundation.  I'm proud to say that the support of our friends and family helped us raise over $1300!!!  We even received a plaque for being one of the top fundraisers!  The site will remain open for 3 more weeks, so if you missed the chance to donate, you may still do so.  (Team Kennedy Donation Page)

Here are some pictures from the event!  Kennedy did great on the walk and slept most of the time.  I think the rest of us wouldn't have minded if it was a bit cooler, or even less humid!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy 3 Months Kennedy!!

She decided to kick of her day with holding and shaking her rattle for the first time.  Then she decided it would be more fun to drop it every time you handed it to her.  Apparently she'll be a fan of the "dropsies" game. 

She also made some ridiculously adorable faces.  I just love all of her expressions!

I still can't get over the fact that she's already three months old.  I think this makes her surgery even more realistic.  It's getting so close.  When they told us about it in the NICU, it felt like an eternity.  Now it's right around the corner.  I'm completely terrified.  I came across this quote today; "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."  No matter how much I feel like I can't get through this - I know that somehow, we will.  I remember sitting in the NICU saying, "I can't do this."  Obviously, I was going to.  But I had no idea how.  Some how, some way - I've mustered up the strength to get through it.  And I think we're doing a pretty darn good job.  That said, I'm completely terrified of surgery, and I have no idea how I'm going to get through it.  I don't have a choice.  I need to figure out how to get through it, and find the strength, just as I have for the past three months.  

I also came across this article today.  It was truly inspiring and brought tears to my eyes.  This is the kind of world that I want my daughter to grow up in. 
Prom King and Queen

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When Did This Happen?!?!

Kennedy will be three months old tomorrow!!!  It's so hard to believe that exactly three months ago, we were on our way to the the birth center.  I've faced some of the biggest challenges of my life, but they have also been the most amazing three months.  I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but now that I am, I really don't even remember what life was like before Kennedy.  She truly is the best thing to happen to our family. 

But she is growing up WAY too fast!  I need a pause button.  She's up to 10lbs 5oz and 22 1/4 inches.  She's still my little peanut, but her personality is really coming through, and she's definitely out of the newborn phase.  She even sits in her stroller like a big girl now!  She loves taking walks now that she can see the world.

Just a reminder - Saturday is the day that we walk for children with Congenital Heart Defects!  There is still time to make your donation if you haven't done so.  Every penny makes a difference, and we appreciate all of the support from our wonderful family and friends.  I'm happy to say that we have raised almost $1000!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I hit the pediatrician jackpot today!!

I left the house with very low expectations today.  I expected to come home frustrated and having to continue my search for a pediatrician.  Well, instead - I came home feeling like I hit the pediatrician jackpot today.  I'm pretty sure it's as good of a feeling as winning the lottery!

I was very hesitant to go with a large practice at first.  I really liked the idea of a solo practice, but since I've had so much luck with finding a good one (sense the sarcasm?) I decided to give this one a shot since I've heard such great things about her.  Well, I'm glad I did.  I will admit, it's a large group.  I did have to wait a short amount of time.  And no, the office staff sure won't remember me or my daughter when we walk in.  BUT - none of that matters to me, as long as we have a good doctor who listens to my concerns.

And that she is.  I was very impressed that she spent 35 minutes talking to me and evaluating Kennedy.  She was very much in agreement with the idea of using oils and not formula to help her gain weight.  Speaking of weight - she was very pleased with Kennedy's.  She said that she's in the lower end of average for a Down syndrome child, and that with her heart condition she wouldn't expect more than that right now.  She is also willing to be semi-flexible on the vaccines after surgery, which is about all I can ask for at this point.  She agreed with my feelings that Kennedy is a little behind with her motor skills as far as her neck and upper body strength.  She gave me some ideas how we can continue to work on it, until Early Steps gets their act together and starts her therapy. 

On that note...back to hounding my Early Steps Coordinator...

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Job As Mom

I've done a lot of things and worked a lot of places in the past 15 years.  I've sold pagers, penny candy and audiometric equipment.  I've been a receptionist, and I've been a manager.  Each job had it's perks. 

Being a mom is by FAR the best job.  It's more work and more stressful than any other job, and definitely has the lowest salary in dollars.  I never stop worrying about Kennedy.  If it's not her weight gain, it's her breathing, it's the upcoming surgery, it's making sure she's getting the right stimulation to help her develop appropriately.  The laundry is never ending, and neither are the dirty bottles.  There's always just one more.  BUT - none of that outweighs the wonderful moments.  I wouldn't change any of it.  (Okay, that's a lie.  I would change the fact that she needs heart surgery.  But what mom wouldn't?)

Every day I realize how lucky I am, and I enjoy being a mom more and more.  I'm sure there are plenty of my Facebook friends who are absolutely sick of seeing the 10,000 pictures I'm posting.  But I can't help it.  I love showing her off.  I'm so proud of her, and I love all of her expressions.  She's becoming so interactive, and as much as she's not a "newborn" anymore (and that makes me sad) this is SUCH a fun age!  This morning I woke up to her smacking her lips and tongue.  I looked over at her and gave her kisses.  She had a huge smile on her face and was "talking" up a storm.  What better way to start your morning?  Back in the day, the only way to start my day was a coffee from Starbucks or McDonald's.  These smiles go a lot further than any cup of coffee.  This afternoon she was sitting in her bouncer.  She was SO excited by the bird hanging above her.  This is the same seat she pretty much hated up until a week ago.  Does this look like a baby who hates her seat?

There's something about it that just makes my heart melt.  She has the same conversation with the sheep on her swing, and I just love it.  I could seriously watch this for hours.  Tonight I was giving her kisses.  With each kiss that I gave her, she gave me a huge smile back and one of her precious little squeals.  That's the best payment I could receive for such a hard job.  

And of course the snuggles.  She's by far the most snuggly baby I've ever met, and I take every opportunity to enjoy it.  She's growing up, and she doesn't want to snuggle ALL the time like she used to.  I sure hope that the snuggles never end, no matter how big she gets.  

Being a mom might be the hardest job I've ever done, but it's also the most rewarding. 

This truly is the perfect way to end the night.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Has it really been a year?

One year ago today, my husband and I said, "I Do."  We had an amazing wedding, and relaxed in St. Thomas afterward.  It feels like it was just yesterday.  Had you asked me where I thought I would be in a year, you can bet my answer wouldn't be that we would be waiting on a date for iur daughter's heart surgery.  But the realty of it is, we are.  We've been together for eight and a half years, and this will definitely be the hardest thing we've ever been through.  But through it all, I couldn't ask for a better person by my side.  I know it will be the hardest day of our lives, but together - we'll get through it.  I'm really lucky to have such an amazing husband.  I'm so fortunate to be able to stay at home with Kennedy.  He makes that possible.

It's amazing how much has changed in just a year.  Even though things haven't been what we expected the last couple of months, we've already made some wonderful memories and traditions.  I absolutely cannott wait for more to come.

Three months after we met we took our first vacation - a cruise to the Bahamas! (2003)

And 6 1/2 years after we met, we were engaged. (Engagement Photos @ Honeymoon Island - 2009)

One year later we were married in Clearwater Beach, Florida (May 15, 2010)

One month after we got married I found out I was pregnant.  

One year after we were married, we celebrated our anniversary with our beautiful baby girl.

As usual, Marlon and I made the celebration last all weekend.  I couldn't have asked for anything better.  As always, I was completely spoiled.  But best of all, was all the great family time this weekend, and continuing to realize what an amazing husband and father Marlon is.  This video shows it all, and completely melts my heart.

Our first year as husband and wife was very exciting!  I wonder what the second year will hold?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Setting a Record! (And Tales From the Dinner Table!)

What an exciting week this has been!  It certainly isn't because I got so much accomplished around the house - my husband will tell you that first hand.  Kennedy had a pretty busy social calendar which included two playdates.  The love bugs are gone and we finally were able to really enjoy the pool yesterday!   

Kennedy modeling her new swimsuit!

In other news - the change to Level 2 nipples has been a HUGE success.  Kennedy can now drink a 3.5 ounce bottle in under 20 minutes!  Up until now, these feedings sometimes took up to 2.5 hours!  Not only is she eating in record time, she's eating in record amounts!  Today she took 24 ounces!!!  And the best part about it - I don't have to obsess anymore.  She takes her bottles, and she takes them well.  I can actually enjoy my time with her and not feel like all I do is force feed her.  Now, of course there is a trade off.  She has once again, pretty much stopped breastfeeding.  However, after changing the nipples, I see that it really is easier for her to take the bottle.  She doesn't get sleepy, she doesn't breathe as hard, and she's taking more.  So I'll be comfort nursing between now and surgery, and crossing my fingers that she'll go back to breastfeeding after surgery.  But, I'm not going to get my hopes up.

It has been so nice to enjoy things and not worry about how much Kennedy is eating, or trying to force her to finish a bottle the whole time.  Tonight we took Kennedy to dinner at The Melting Pot, to celebrate our first Anniversary (on Sunday.)  I was extremely worried that Kennedy would decide to be "that" baby during dinner, especially since the average dinner at The Melting Pot lasts 2-3 hours!  Lucky for us, Kennedy did a great job.  She was a perfect angel and the hit of the restaurant.  

Celebrating Mommy and Daddy's First Anniversary!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bumbos and Bottles

Kennedy had an exciting day!  She decided she'd go back to being a dream baby, and slept from about 9:30 until 5:15.  Then she ate 5 ounces!!!  She's never eaten that much at once!  I was shocked!  

Grandma came over and we went shopping and to lunch.  We picked up some new clothes for her (imagine that) and I needed to get button down onesies for after surgery.  Hey, at least I had an excuse for shopping this time.  I decided to take the next step, and graduate her to level 2 nipples.  Well, this just might be my answer.  I may not have to spend my ENTIRE day feeding Kennedy.  She drank 3.5 ounces in about 15 minutes!!  Then she threw up....

Okay, so clearly that was too much at once.  After all, she's been taking 3.5oz in 25 minutes, or it can take up to 3 hours.  So, my next test was to give her 2oz at a time.  I made her take a break after an ounce.  She finished 2oz in 10 minutes, and was ready to play.  Tomorrow will be my true test.  2oz of milk, every 1.5 hours (except when she's breastfeeding.)  It'll be more feedings, but it should take a lot less time.  Of course, I'll spend most of the extra time washing bottles.  I guess this calls for another trip to Babies R Us for more bottles.

Now, you have to understand.  My mom is like "Grandma Gone Wild."  Kennedy is her first grandchild, and my mom does what Grandmas do best - completely spoils her!  I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful mom, who not only completely spoils Kennedy (and I) - but who is willing to do anything she can for us, and goes out of her way to come over at least once a week.  Thank you mom!  Anyway, not only did she stock her up on clothes, she bought her a Bumbo.  At first Kennedy wasn't sure what to make of it, but she got used to it and she seems to love it!  My mom is three for three with her recent purchases. 

 Kennedy watching TV in her Bumbo!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kennedy Became a Real Baby Last Night

I never had that "new mommy exhaustion" that everyone talked about.  At least not until today, at 6am when my alarm clock went off.  At almost 12 weeks old, I had my first bout of "new mommy exhaustion."  Kennedy has been sleeping great since I've been able to let her sleep as long as she wanted.  Usually she sleeps anywhere from 10pm until somewhere between 5-7am.  Of course, I don't usually get to bed until around 12:30 or 1am.  Last night I got to sleep around 12:30.  Kennedy woke up, and I was shocked to look at my phone and see it was 2:15.  I thought maybe she was just making noise in her sleep, so I shined my cell phone in on her.  Big blue baby eyes and a huge smile.  A new diaper, and some milk, and back to sleep, on mommy's chest.  And before I knew it, we were awake again.  Big blue eyes and a huge smile.  I look at my phone.  3:45?!  Are you serious?  Who kidnapped my sleepy baby?  It was almost 5am before I was back to sleep.  I remember Marlon leaving for work, but I have NO idea what was said in our conversation.  He couldn't understand why I was so tired though....I didn't realize that he had no clue that Kennedy and I had a private party all night.

Needless to say, I didn't make it to my appointment with the pediatrician.  There was no way I was going to get out of bed, and get out of the house by 7:30.  I've rescheduled for next week, at 10:30.

I wonder what tonight will bring?  Am I in for a whole new lifestyle that includes new mommy exhaustion?  On a good note, she then slept until 10am.  Perhaps I just need to stop planning on doing anything in the morning.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Search Continues...

I thought I had found the perfect pediatrician...or at least by recommendation.  I called today and guess what!?  They aren't accepting new patients.  She told me to try back in three months.  I feel like this search is never going to end.  So....I called another based on a recommendation from someone else.  I'm meeting with her at 8:30 tomorrow morning.  Please, please, please let this be IT.  I'm trying not to go in with high expectations, but I really hope I *love* her.  Especially since they are making me register as a patient, and pay a copay just to meet the doctor.  An important lesson I would now tell any expectant mom, choose your pediatrician wisely BEFORE your baby is born.  I thought I loved mine, until we really needed him.  Now I'm stuck on an endless search, which I have to drag Kennedy along with.

More to come...hopefully some good news!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!

I wanted one thing today - to spend the day with the people most special to me.  And that's exactly what I got and so much more.  I am so grateful for my amazing daughter and wonderful husband.  Kennedy has been sending daddy on all kinds of secret missions this week. 

He started out the day by putting her in an I love mom onesie.  It was so cute, and since daddy isn't used to dressing Kennedy, it took him awhile to put it on her.

Then Kennedy sent Daddy to Dunkin' Donuts.  He came back with my favorite donuts!  As well as coffee, a Mother's Day cupcake, and chocolate covered strawberries and flowers!  (I also got a special necklace from my mom!)

We went and picked up my mom and Marlon's mom, and headed down to the beach for brunch.  After brunch we headed to the beach.  Kennedy poked her toes in the water  and sand at Clearwater Beach.  It was a short visit, but we had fun!  We're so excited to take her back to the beach in a few weeks.

I feel like the luckiest mom ever to have such an amazing and wonderful baby.  I'm also the luckiest wife in the world, to have such an amazing husband.  I also have a really amazing mom who has taught me so much.  I'm so glad that we have the relationship that we do, and that she gets to be such a big part of Kennedy's life.  I hope that Kennedy and I always have the same kind of relationship that my mom and I do.  This was a perfect day, and I'm going to bed feeling truly blessed.

Now - on a side note.  I absolutely cannot go with out mentioning the craziness that took place at brunch.  Maybe I'm the crazy one, but I could never think of acting like this.  There was a gentleman and his wife (?) sitting at the table across from us.  She was eying Kennedy from the get go.  Apparently when I went up the buffet she told Marlon she was tempted to kick the chair that Kennedy's seat was on - so she would wake up!!!  Long story short - Kennedy woke up and the lady said, "let me see that baby."  So I held Kennedy up and turned her around so the woman could see her face.  She held out her arms, like I was actually going to hand over my baby!   Was she CRAZY?  I'll admit - I've had my days of stalking cute babies and oogling over them.  Marlon used to tell me someone was going to have me arrested for staring at cute babies.  But this lady wanted to hold mine!  When I refused, she got offended.  She was shocked that I wasn't going to let her hold my baby.  Finally, I told her that Kennedy had a heart condition, and we had to be extremely careful.  In a way, I'm mad at myself for telling her.  What business of hers is it anyway?  I shouldn't have to defend why I'm not letting a COMPLETE STRANGER hold my baby.  What is this world coming to?

A New Tradition (And more Kennedy Cuteness)

Last year for Mother's Day, Marlon and I took our moms for lunch at the hotel where we were getting married at, just a week later.  Tomorrow, we will go back to the very same hotel, a week before we celebrate our one year anniversary.  I remember sitting on the patio saying, maybe next year at this time we'll have a baby on the way.  Instead, here I am celebrating my first Mother's Day, and I couldn't be happier.

My Mom and I - Mother's Day 2010

Today I was watching Kennedy stare at her new "friend" on her car seat.  She was so excited by it.  She had the biggest smile on her face and was watching her pink elephant so intently.  It made me so happy to see how much she liked her new toy.  That's what life is about now.  That's what makes me the happiest.  Seeing my baby girl smile.  Seeing her face light up with excitement.  Seeing her snuggle with daddy.  And today, she made me especially proud when she stole daddy's Visa card off the desk!  She's learning from mommy already.

Kennedy and her new friend, the pink elephant!

Afternoon snuggles with Daddy!

Come on Mommy, let's go to the mall....I got Daddy's Visa card!