Avery Kate

Avery Kate was a healthy ten week old baby girl who went to sleep for a nap and woke up in Heaven. We miss her every second of every day. SIDS became a reality in our family and we will never forget our beautiful baby girl.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Making Arrangements

November 10, 2011. I woke up that morning not knowing at all what my day would bring. I took a shower and as I was getting ready I kept looking back into our bedroom looking for Avery Kate. She wasn't there. I kept listening for her hiccups. It was silent. We went to Mr. Keith's house. This day is very blurry to me. I'm not sure the order of events but I know it was a day of decisions that a mother never wants to make.
An old college friend of mine had lost her baby girl at birth to Trisomy 18 two years ago and I remember her saying she wanted a white gown and Reese's name monogrammed in pink for her to wear when she was born. I knew I wanted the same thing for Avery Kate to wear at her funeral. I sent Mrs. Christy and Terri to Pink & Blue to get the white Kicky Pants gown. They went to Threadworks to monogram her name on it and brought it to me at Mr. Keith's house. I just stroked the soft material and wished that I'd be able to hold my sweet baby in this gown, but I knew the reality.
The only medicine I took during this time was on that Wednesday night. I took a Xanex to help me sleep, but I knew I would want to remember everything from this time as painful as it would be. I wouldn't want to wake up one morning a few months from now and not know what happened or have myself in some sort of denial. I was going to tackle this head on. I knew God would not bring me to something that He didn't plan on bringing me through. I knew he was on my side, for he lost his only son and knew my pain.
We went to the funeral home. They just wanted me to pick out a casket without actually looking at it. I knew I had to see it in person and get that first breakdown out of the way. They took us to the back to see the tiniest little casket I had ever seen. I still never had that breakdown I was expecting. I just didn't think it was fair that the manufacturers should have to make a casket so little. They asked me to pick a prayer for her prayer card. The only thing I could think of was my friend Noelle's voicemail she had left me the night before. She always knew the right thing to say to people no matter what. I knew there was nothing that could be said to me to make me feel better, but sure enough when I played her voicemail, all she did was sing the perfect song. She never missed a beat. "May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warmly on your face. May the rains fall softly on  your fields. And until we meet again....Until we meet again. May God hold you, in the palm of His hands." I knew right away that that song would be on her prayer card. I played it right there in the meeting room for everyone to hear. They asked me to find about 20 pictures of her for a slide show and bring them back on a CD. I gave them her gown and realized that I could not give up one of her bows, I needed a new one. Mary at Pink & Blue gave the bow to my friend Lindsey who came in from Houston. Lindsey brought it to us at the funeral home. I couldn't believe that I was picking out an outfit for my child to be buried in. It just didn't seem real, didn't seem right. She never suffered a day in her life. What was so terrible about her life that she had to be taken from it? There are kids suffering from abuse every day, who have no homes to go to at night, who have parents who don't love them.....and they are living. Why not save them? Why take my baby? We love her, we care for her, we had hopes and dreams for her. Why, God why?
I remember getting my laptop to gather up my favorite pictures of Avery Kate. I went through my albums of her and slowly rounded up a few pictures. The funeral home knew she was only ten weeks old and didn't expect me to get exactly twenty pictures but somewhere close to that number would be fine for the slide show. I carefully only picked my absolute favorites. Once I finished I realized that I had exactly 96 pictures! I couldn't believe it...and again, they were only my favorites. When I gave the CD to the man at the funeral home, he was shocked. He said ummm.. I don't know if we can use that many. The music is really short. "No problem," I said, "I have this DVD already made with music, etc from her birth, I made it a few weeks ago." Again, he was shocked. "Umm... we can't use copyright music. But umm... that's great."
Well then, just loop the music. You are using all of these pictures," I told him. He didn't know what I was talking about, but he sure did take the CD and they all showed up on the DVD.
Next we had to go to the graveyard to pick her plot. Again, this is all very fuzzy so I'm not even sure of the order of this day. We sat in the meeting room and picked her plot and her headstone. We noticed there was another Avery Kate just a few graves down from the one we picked. Avery Kate would be buried in BabyLand. There are only babies there. It's just to sad to think that a place like this is even necessary. We walked outside and saw the place and agreed that she would be happy there. Although, I thought she would be best with me at home. I did not like any part of this graveyard business. Next we had to pick out the saying, or quote to go on her headstone. We chose, "Remembering a Tiny Angel." I still couldn't believe that we had to pick out our child's headstone. This is not the order of life. This is all wrong.
Then we had to go to the flower shop. All the Christmas decorations were out. I didn't like any of them. How unfair that my child was going to miss Christmas. I picked out all my favorite flowers and told them to put them together in an arrangement. I knew I wanted happy flowers, nothing sad and depressing, but happy pinks and greens. Of course they told me that all the ones I picked just "didn't go together." I really didn't care. I told them that that was my taste and they could go from there. I didn't care what was in it as long as they were happy flowers. I remember going back to Mr. Keith's house and visiting with my friends Ashley and Lindsey, talking on the phone with my OBGYN and our Pediatrician, but not much else. I know there was cheese dip involved somewhere in there too :) I'm pretty sure Jonathan and Chauntel brought it, and let me tell you, Chauntel was wonderful, especially with Hallie. I just had no energy for Hallie, and she made her feel special. I am so thankful for such great friends in my life.
 I know Fr. Keith came and asked us about readings and songs for the service at some point that day. I wanted Amazing Grace for sure, because the night before she died, I randomly sang that song to her after her bath. I don't know why I sang that to her, but Brandon went to CVS on his nightly run, and I started singing it to her. Please note that I do not sing except when I am drunk at a wedding, and even then it's only "Proud Mary." I guess I must have been inspired that night to sing to her and that song came to mind. I also knew I wanted the song, "On Eagles Wings" because it has been sung at all of my relatives funerals, although they were all older with a long and happy life behind them.
I never in a million years would have thought I would have to bury my child. It's something you think only happens to other people, never to you. Well it happened. I don't know if throughout all this time I was just in shock or if I had God wrapping his arms around me, but I made it through this day without medicine, without a breakdown, and unfortunately without my baby.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Telling Hallie

I realized that I forgot to mention the moment when we had to tell Hallie that she would never see her baby sister again. We went to pick her up from Mrs. Kathy's at around 4:00 I guess. Brandon and I slowly walked up her driveway and tried to put on a happy face. I remember seeing Mrs. Kathy, her neighbor, and Mikie right there at the door, but we went straight to Hallie. She was sitting on the couch just so happy and innocent. She had no idea what had happened that day, and then again would she ever really know what happened? She was so excited to have mom and dad picking her up! We both just squeezed her tight. How were we going to tell her? What were we going to say? We said nothing. We just smiled and pretended everything was ok. We buckled her into her carseat and I waited for the question. She looked over to Avery Kate's carseat. "Where A-E Kate?" Brandon and I looked at each other. "Umm....well, she went to Heaven baby." "Why?" "Well, she went to be with Jesus." "Oh." That was it. I knew she had no clue what we were talking about. Hallie was just so excited to see all her grandparents and other family members that afternoon that she just played and was happy as can be, just as we hoped she would be.
It's hard enough to have lost a child, but to care for a sad child and comfort her for the loss of her sister.... I don't know if I could have done it. Hallie was at the perfect age to experience this tragic loss. She knew her sister; she loved her; she remembered her. But she did not understand that she would never see her again on this earth. She knew she went to Heaven, but where exactly that was, she did not know.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The day my world came crashing down

Wednesday, November 9, 2011. It was Brandon's morning to feed Avery Kate so he woke up around 6:15 to feed her. I had already dressed her the night before in order to save time in the morning. I'm just not a morning person at all. I woke up around 6:40 and started getting ready for school. Hallie had made it into our bed earlier that morning and was sound asleep. Brandon put Avery Kate in her swing next to our bed and came into the bathroom to get ready too. Well Avery Kate was really noisy, so I would straighten a piece of my hair, then run in there to give her the pacifier and then back to my hair again. Then she got the hiccups. Not just any ordinary hiccups though, the kind that sound so painful. They were so loud, Brandon and I just smiled because even thought they sounded horrible, she was still so cute! Those hiccups reminded me of those last hiccups I felt from inside my belly the night before she was born. Once I was ready, I went to dress sleeping beauty lying in our bed. She had on some Christmas pajamas. I know it was only November, but she wanted to wear them. I dressed Hallie and let her go back to sleep. I put Avery Kate in her car seat in the kitchen and let her watch me fix my sandwich for lunch. Before I went to buckle her, I thought, I'm going to take a picture of her in this outfit. It was Hallie's FIRST outfit. When I found out I was pregnant for Hallie, Mrs. Christy bought us a boy outfit and a girl outfit from Pink & Blue Avenue. The outfit Avery Kate was wearing was the girl outfit. I thought she may spit up on it during the day so I better get my picture now. As I turned on my phone, I noticed Heather sent me a message asking if I wanted Starbucks. Yes, Please! Then, I snapped the picture, buckled her up, and grabbed her blanket out of the dryer. It was the blanket. Next, we were on our way to Honey and Pops. I dropped her off and headed to school.
Now for those of you who don't know me, school starts at 7:40; I get there about 7:39 each morning. Well when I walked in everyone is asking me why I am so early. Am I? I thought, well I didn't mean to be! I had no idea what happened. Heather had my pumpkin spice latte' waiting for me. Mrs. Fetter was in the hallway for duty. Since I was early I wanted to show her the video of Hallie doing our 2nd grade Turkey Named Bert dance that I videoed on my phone the night before. I dropped by bag right inside my classroom by the door. I normally keep it in the back corner of the classroom on my desk. When I turned on my phone a picture of Avery Kate popped up. She had on the same outfit that I had dressed her in. Wait a minute, is this Hallie? No, I guess I already dressed her in that outfit before. I thought I had taken that picture that morning for nothing. While Mrs. Fetter watched Hallie's videos on my phone, I got a text message. She showed it to me, and my heart sank. It was Honey. I slowly opened the message. She was just asking what time Avery Kate had eaten last. I remember telling Mrs. Fetter how my heart sank every time Hallie or Avery Kate's babysitter would text me. Whew! Nothing is wrong. We watched the cute little videos and I went in the classroom to change the date on the board. Then Brandon called me. He asked if we could eat supper at his mom's that night. Of course, I said. I thought how lucky I was to have had my phone nearby. I usually forget it in the car or have it tucked in my bag on silent all day. I hurried and put my phone on my laptop and let the kids come in the classroom. Normally I allow two kids at a time to go to the library. Well for some reason this morning I felt like everyone was asking to go. I told the kids we would all go as a class. We lined up, and headed to the library. I visited with the librarian. She asked about the girls and then asked if I was going to have any more children. "Absolutely not!" Was my answer to her. She said, "You didn't get anything permanently done right?" My response to her still gives me goose bumps. I said, "No, you just never know where life is going to take you." Then we left the library. We had a great morning. I finally felt like I had their behavior under control and I was feeling really good about our reading lesson that morning. I just felt so happy with everything in my life! At 10:15, I brought my class to art for enrichment. I came back to my classroom to clean up a few things and call a parent. I picked them up at 10:55 and brought them back to the classroom to pick up their art folders. Then we had to go to computer lab. Now, I never bring my phone with me to computer lab or to lunch, so it was still sitting on my laptop right near the door. I asked the class to line up for computer lab and they were just too noisy. "Let's try that again," I said and they went back to their seats and lined up again. Still too noisy, so they had to do it a third time. Finally they got it! Right as I motioned to my line leader to go I saw my phone blinking out the corner of my eye. It was Honey and Pop's house. I said, "Hang on y'all, let me answer this really quick." It was Pops. "Avery Kate's not breathing. The ambulance is on its way. Women and Children's Hospital. Hurry!" "I'm on my way!" I said. I reached down and grabbed and bag near the door and motioned for a teacher in the hallway to take care of my class. Mrs. Fetter was in the hall and I screamed to her that Avery Kate wasn't breathing. I ran down the hall as fast as I could. Our janitor, Mr. Mike kept shouting to teachers to go with me. I kept saying I was fine. When I close my eyes and think of that moment I was running in slow motion down the hallway and Mr. Mike was throwing teachers at me saying, "Goooooo!" I know it wasn't really like that, but that's how it seemed. Kate Valentine, a 3rd grade teacher ran after me and hopped in the car with me. I immediately called Brandon and told him to meet me at the hospital. We put on our seat belts and she said, "Let's pray." I couldn't remember any prayers at that moment. She said the Guardian Angel prayer. Honey and Pops live in the same neighborhood as my school so I was just about to turn down their street when I remembered Pops saying the name of the hospital. He wants me to go there, I thought. She must already be there. So I passed up their street and continued on to the hospital. Kate called Terri and my mom. My mom was at Mr. Roy's funeral in Franklin so she didn't answer. Terri said she was on her way, which at the time I thought she was over re-acting. I knew babies stopped breathing all the time. They just skip and breath and they're fine. That's what happened to Avery Kate right?
We pulled up at the hospital and Brandon was there outside in the grass waiting for me. I jumped out the car and Kate parked it. I continued to call my mom's phone. No answer. I texted her to call me 911. I also texted any family members that I thought may be there with her. We were still waiting for the ambulance. I called Honey and Pops' house. Pops answered and I asked if she was breathing. "Nooo, get over here." was his response. I fell to my knees and shook my head "no" to Brandon. He screamed. Then Pops told me the ambulance was pulling out the driveway. We waited. When the ambulance pulled up we ran up to it. Brandon kept saying, " I don't want to see her like this." I still thought everything was going to be OK so I talked some sense into him. I told him that she was going to be fine and we were going to go and hold her hand through this so she would know she wasn't alone. The paramedic kept trying to get us to go away. "Just tell me if she is breathing!" I asked. "We are breathing for her," was his response. Whew! I thought. She's OK. I guess I'm just a mother who would only assume that her child was going to be fine. Brandon hugged me and said, "No matter what happens...." I cut him off, "Stop! She is going to be fine. Come on." We clung to each other's hands and walked into the emergency room. They pulled the curtain close and escorted us to the triage room. I saw our school counselor and Kate sitting in the room and motioned for them to come in. Again, I still thought she was fine. They did not come in. Brandon and I sat in the room and talked. He said, "What if it's that SIDS thing?" "Brandon," I said, "Quit! She is going to be fine!" The doctor came in. "What happened?" he asked. "I don't know she was at the babysitter's house. Is she breathing?" I said. "Well, she's gone." was his response. I stood up and said "What!" I just couldn't believe the words that came out of his mouth. Brandon tried to hug me again when I told him that I just wanted to hold my baby while I still could. I let out a loud scream and ran to hold my sweet baby girl.
Her outfit was cut down the middle and she was still intubated lying on the table, lifeless. I just hugged her and kissed her and held her little hands. "Are you sure?" I kept asking. They were sure. Through all this, not one tear came to my eye. I was in shock. She looked fine. How could she be gone? They took the tube out of her mouth and wrapped her up for me to hold her. I squeezed her as tight as a I could. She was still beautiful as ever. Brandon's mom came into the room to be with us. Then his grandma came in. She didn't know and seemed relieved when she saw me holding Avery Kate. "She's gone mom," Mrs. Christy said. She dropped to her knees. "Nooooooo!" She screamed.
I just held my baby girl that entire day while we thought of people to notify. Father Keith came and talked to us. He was a big comfort to have with us. Our friends and family kept pouring in. Honey could not even stand up, so they wheeled her in. She just couldn't believe the outcome. Brandon calmed her down and told her how wonderful she was and that if we had another baby, that baby would go straight to her watch during the day. This was not her fault. Heather stayed by my side and helped me the entire afternoon. I didn't even want to be by myself in the restroom, so she was there. My dad, Terri, Eric, and Jessica were coming from Youngsville so they were on their way. My mom and family were coming from Franklin so they would be even longer. We had so much love and support there that day. The nurses were putting together a little gift bag with memories of Avery Kate. It said, "Threads of Love" on it. They took her footprint and cut a wisp of her hair. When they cut her hair, I lost it. That was when I realized that my baby was gone and this would be the last time I would ever get to hold her in my arms. Then I remembered the picture I had taken of her that morning. Then I knew exactly why God had me do that. It's my last picture of her. We held her all afternoon until all our family had come to see her for the last time. I remember asking the social worker there, "Where do we go from here?" "It's just one step at a time, honey. Just do what you think can do....blah blah blah" "No," I said. "Seriously, like from here, where do we go? I can't go home." That was probably the only time that day when I laughed. All of my parents finally arrived and got to hold her and kiss her. It was undoubtedly the hardest day of all our lives. But we still had out baby with us, for now.
Then the time came that I had been dreading all day. The time where I'd have to leave my baby...forever. Everyone said their last good-byes. Then it was time for Brandon and I to give her to the social worker. I know I felt millions of knives enter my heart. It was the worst moment of that entire day. I walked out of the hospital to a crowd of support, but still I broke down in tears. It was real, and I'd never have my baby back with me again.
We went to Mr. Keith's house because we just couldn't go home. Everyone came with us. Heather and Ellen went to our house to get a few things and also move some things that I knew Brandon and I couldn't bear to see. I knew there was a diaper on her changing table and a bottle on the counter. Seeing that would crush me. Food started to pour in but I had no appetite. We visited with everyone, then made the decision to go home to go to sleep. My dad, Terri, Eric, and Jessica went a minute ahead of us to put her bassinet, swing, bouncy seat, and bottles in her room. They knew those things would upset us. When we walked in the house, I went straight to her room and sat in the rocker. I just couldn't believe my baby wasn't with me. I couldn't believe that I'd never see her again. It was the longest and hardest day of my life. My mom and Corey slept at our house with us that night. I went to sleep that night crying and praying that when I woke up the next morning, I'd realize this was all a dream.


Tuesday, November 8. Back in August we found out that a little boy in my second grade class had Osteosarcoma. He had been going through chemotherapy treatments the past few months. His mom told him that God did not do this to him because he was bad, but because God knew he was strong enough to handle it. I just thought how amazing that mother was and how she saw the positive in such a sad situation. I knew I could never handle things.
Our school had a fundraiser for the little boy and we had invited him and his parents to come to school to get the check. They came to my classroom and we videoed it all. They were speechless and in tears at the amount of money we raised for them. They were just so thankful! The little boy was so happy to see his classmates and answered all the questions the kids had for him. As they left I had such a strong feeling of happiness and inspiration from that mom. I wanted to be just like her. She wasn't going to let life get her down. At that moment I knew she was the strongest person I knew. Tears of joy came to my eyes. God had them in his arms. They were taken care of.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Everything Happens for a Reason

Sunday, November 6. I woke up that morning to a text message from Terri. She and Jessica wanted to come and see the girls for a little while. Hallie was jumping up and down with excitement. I dressed Avery Kate in a little pink and gray Hallie hand-me-down (of course). It had the cutest little hoodie. Terri and Jessica picked up Five Guys Burgers and Fries for us to eat. It was wonderful! They visited with us, but mostly fought over who was going to hold Avery Kate. Terri actually fell asleep on the kitchen sofa with Avery Kate so sweet and peaceful on her shoulder. I ran over and took a picture with Terri's phone. They were just too cute! It really was the perfect day. I was so glad they came, and it was just spur of the moment. Actually, now I know that God had that planned all along.
So back in April or May My good friend Lindsey from Houston sent me some matching pajamas for the girls. I kept Hallie's in Avery Kate's room because I didn't want her to wear them without her sister. I looked at those jammies often and could not wait for them to wear them together. I did fear that one would outgrow them before the other would fit in hers. I kept waiting and waiting for Avery Kate to fit in hers. That same Sunday night I thought, hey, let's try tonight! I was so excited about it. I bathed them both together and put their jammies on them. They fit! They looked so cute. I, of course, took a bunch of pictures of them together and texted them to friends and family. Brandon's mom, Mrs. Christy, came over to see the girls. Brandon and I were doing our usual "cheers" and "stunts" with Hallie in the living room. We had such a great time. I just loved those little jammies on them. It was something I looked forward to so much and God maade sure I had no regrets, once again. I realize it's something so little, but those are the things I looked forward to with having two little girls so close in age. They were only two years and two months apart. Hallie was such a good big sister to Avery Kate. I thank God for their time together, even though it was not nearly the time I had imagined it would be. And we all know it was not nearly enough.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Premonition

Saturday, November 5, 2011. 7:00 AM. I feel my phone vibrate underneath my pillow. I feel it even though I'm sleeping, but I mean...really? 7:00 on a Saturday? All of a sudden my mind starts racing. What if something happened to my paw paw? Oh my goodness! I have to wake up and see what's going on. I look and my phone, and sure enough, it was my mom. My heart starts pounding as I slowly press the button to call her back. She told me that my paw paw's best friend died of a sudden heart attack about an hour earlier. I just couldn't believe it. Paw Paw was the sick one. "Uncle Roy" as we called him, was perfectly heatlhy. He had just met Avery Kate two weeks before and just came back from a cruise a few days ago. I was in shock. I pulled up his daughter, Lauri's facebook. I looked at pictures of him with his family and just couldn't imagine what their family was going through. They had some great pictures with him, and I remember thinking, "What great memories they have together."
So I'm lying there wide away at 7:30 on a Saturday morning. For those of you who know me, you know this is a rare moment. Brandon was asleep next to me, Avery Kate was asleep in her swing, and Hallie had somehow made it to our bed during the night. I thought about Uncle Roy some more. I just couldn't wrap my head around it. He seemed so healthy ya know? I also thought about this next week I had coming up at school. I couldn't wait for Friday to come. We had off for Veteran's Day and the date would be 11-11-11. Brandon had to work, and I couldn't wait to spend the day with my girls.
All of a sudden I had some sort of day dream. I was wide awake, but it was still very dream-like. Brandon was not home. Hallie was sleeping in her room and the door was closed. Avery Kate was next to me in our bedroom in her swing and something was wrong with her. I don't know what was wrong with her, but she needed medical attention. I was freaking out. I didn't know what to do. OK, I thought, I will call Ellen down the road and tell her to come sit with Hallie while I take Avery Kate to the hospital. No, She doesn't always answer, I'll call Amy on the other end of the road. I'll just close the garage and give her my code. OK, wait, what if she doesn't answer either? I can't leave Hallie alone. What if she wakes up and no one is there to get her? OK, so I'll put Avery Kate in her carseat and.... no that'll take too long, I'll just hold her in my arms and drive down the road laying on the horn and the first person to come out will jump in the car with me and we'll go to the hospital together. I had all of these thoughts go through my head and I just never came up with a solution on what I would do. I quickly shook my head and thought, "Brandi, why would you think of such morbid things. Stop it right now." And I never thought of that moment again. I quickly put Avery Kate in the bed with us and just held her tightly. Then I took my phone out and took pictures of all of us in bed together that morning. The entire family in bed, it doesn't get any better than that!

I truly believe that Avery Kate was supposed to die on Veteran's Day, 11-11-11. God knew that I could not handle that and instead, that is the day we put in her in the ground. I know that God will not give you anything you can't handle, and he knew that I could not handle that situation at home. He changed it...for me. I am at such peace with his decision and I know that is a huge reason why I am OK today.
Never once did the thought of calling 911 enter my mind....never! I just knew I had to get my baby girl to the hospital. I would have never forgiven myself for not giving Avery Kate the proper care she needed to stay alive. I can't imagine what I'd be like today if this would have indeed been our story. Hallie would have been scarred for life too. We would be much different people. I thank God every day for not letting this happen to me, and every time the clock hits 11:11 I think of Avery Kate. Her hospital room, the day we buried her, 11-11. Although, I do smile when I see the clock now, because I know she is with me.

First Week Back at School

So my first day back with the kids at school was November 1. It was rough to get back in the swing of things, but Brandon and I had worked out a system at home. We would take turns feeding her every morning and also alternate which side of the bed we would put her swing. (She ended up hating her bassinet and would only sleep quietly in her swing) I would bring Avery Kate to the sitter and Brandon would bring Hallie to hers. I would pick them both up in the afternoon. I would always pick up Avery Kate first because she was closest to me, and her babysitter, Honey and Pops, stopped working at 4:00 where Mrs. Kathy, Hallie's sitter, would keep them until 5:30. Our system worked wonderful for us.
At school, I was finally remembering all the kids names again and learning what our schedule was like. It's funny how your brains go to mush after having a baby! I had the hardest time remembering how to do things! The kids adjusted well though, and I felt like my life was right where it was supposed to be. I just loved everything in my life; my husband, my children,my family,  my friends, my job, etc. I couldn't have asked for anything more. I was literally on cloud nine.
Saturday, November 5. Finally it was time for the big LSU/Alabama game! I dressed Avery Kate in her LSU Tiger onesie. She was smiling for me on her changing table, so I took pictures of her with my phone. She was just starting to smile at us, and I wasn't going to miss a single one! We went to our friend's house to watch the game. Avery Kate was so good! My friend, Heather held her while I made the green beans. Hallie made herself some new friends and was running around like crazy. We had a projector in their garage and watched the game there. We put Avery Kate in her car seat with a blanket...the infamous blanket of course... and she slept the entire game- screams, claps, and all- our baby was sound asleep! LSU won during OT and everyone was happy. I changed her into her pink and white striped Kissy Kissy footsie outfit and the matching little hat since it was kind of cold outside. She was just so snugly! I remember holding her and sniffing that sweet baby scent. I'd give anything to have that moment back...anything. We went home and put the girls to sleep. We had an amazing night with both of our girls right by our sides. What more could a parent ask for?

Busy Baby

I looked through some of my latest posts and realized that I just didn't give her life enough credit. Even though she was only here for 9 weeks and 5 and a half days, that little girl was soooo busy! She went to Holly Beach when she was only 9 days old, even saw the Gulf of Mexico. She's had numerous trips to New Iberia and Youngsville. She's been to Target, Wal-Mart, the Mall, and even The Nail Studio in Lake Charles. She's been to countless restaurants and friend's houses. I took her to the McNeese State University homecoming parade and everything. She rarely stayed home all day and night. She's had a better life in her short time with us than many people have in a lifetime. We loved her so much and took her everywhere with us.
I would sometimes get jealous of some of our friends who would be able to go anywhere and do anything they wanted and always had someone to watch their kids. I used to think they were so lucky. Now I know the truth. We are the lucky ones. I had almost ten weeks with our baby girl and never went an entire day without seeing her sweet face. I had her in my arms every night at 10:00 to give her a nighttime bottle. I got to snuggle with her until bed time each night. No matter where Brandon and I went, Hallie and Avery Kate were right along with us. I love that about her life. I feel like she knew us and her sister. I know she was only a baby, but I know she loved us as much as we loved her. Actually, I know she still loves us as much as we love her. Gosh, I miss that baby girl!