Make Room for Campbell

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Back in August, we started thinking about how our lives would change with the addition of Campbell. We made a Things to Do list (ok, I made it for Tommy)….and on that list was to order a big girl bed for Addisan. So, the first weekend in August, we went to USA Baby and ordered Addisan this beautiful white bed with a trundle underneath. The bed has a classic look to it with the hope that its simplicity will suite all of Addisan’s budding tastes growing up. After we returned back from USA Baby, we put Addisan down for a nap. She was not in her best mood when we took her upstairs because we would not let her sleep with a necklace on….the awful parents that we are:) By the time we got downstairs and looked at our video monitor, we heard a loud thump and hysterical crying. She escaped from her crib…we are still not quite sure how! We rushed upstairs and I was so worried that she might have hurt her neck during the fall. She was not crying from the pain of the fall, but rather for her necklace that was downstairs! This girl has a high threshold for a pain! That afternoon, we took her mattress out of her crib and she slept on that for a number of weeks. Her crib does convert to a toddle bed, but it was still too high for her. When I look at her now, she is a not a baby anymore, but a little girl.

Addisan amazes me and surprises me each day. After only telling her once that she has to stay in her bed after she wakes up….she followed the directions! We placed a basket of books next to her mattress for her to read when she wakes up. She would stay in her bed and read to herself and her baby doll until we came in to get her. Once Addisan’s new room was ready, we placed her mattress in there for her to transition to her new place. She did great as usual. Once her bed came in and we purchased mattresses, we moved her to the trundle and then to the regular bed. She is growing up way to quick. I am loving this stage of life with her! She never ceases to surprise me. Below are pictures of her old room post crib escape and her new room.

Addisan’s former sleeping arrangements.

Here is Addisan’s new room that is a work in progress. We still need to order her a dresser and night stand as well as get up some wall decorations. That will hopefully be coming soon!

Pumpkin Patch

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I joined a group called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) down here in Richmond. All the moms are really down to earth and their kids are great. We meet every other Thursday for a few hours. The children have a huge playdate with each other while we enjoy some adult time. The MOPS group does charity work, outings (with and without kids!), crafts, and supports one another in anyway that you can imagine. I love the fact that they have mentor moms to lean on for support…knowing that they have already been through what we are going through now and survived to tell about it! It is nice to have a support system down here in Richmond while away from all of my friends. I took my first outing with the group to the Chesterfield Berry Farm to go pumpkin picking. Addisan enjoyed herself. She did though love the hay ride more than the actual pumpkin picking. When I told her to pick the pumpkin she wanted to take home….she would sit on it and say, “This one” and then two seconds later sit on another pumpkin and say the same thing. I am happy to report that we did come home with only two pumpkins!

Addisan running around while waiting for the hay ride.

Addisan enjoying the hayride to the pumpkin patch.

Addisan sitting on one of the many pumpkins she wanted to take home with her.

Addisan and I on our way back from the pumpkin patch. She was so worn out!

Addisan reflecting about the day after she woke up from her nap.

Touch-a-Truck

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The Junior League of Richmond sponsors an event called Touch-A-Truck each year. This event raises money to help support other charities and causes that they are involved with helping. The concept is so simple and all the kids LOVE it….they ask companies to bring their work vehicles and let the children touch and climb in them. Addisan got to sit in construction vehicles; played with all the built in cages in the SPCA truck; sat in an 18 wheeler…just to name a few. We met our friend Jason and his two kids as well as Clare and her family. Addisan had a blast. Even though she enjoyed all the trucks, I think though her two favorite things were the animals at the SPCA and the toy trucks she got to play with in the field.

Addisan sporting her new construction hat.

Addisan in the bulldozer shovel.

She is one tough cookie riding an 18 Wheeler.

Addisan riding and eating Halloween candy at the same time in a Bobcat.

Addisan riding the GRTC bus. She did not want to get off of it.
Freedom! Here she is running around the field after riding the vehicles.

Clare and Bradley taking a break for a photo op.

Addisan and the toy vehicles.


Addisan’s Birthday Bash

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We had such a fun day celebrating Addisan’s birthday with family and friends from home on Saturday. Sara, Colleen, and Clare’s kids came and it was so much fun to see them all play and interact together. We decorated foam visors with stickers, ate lots of pizza, and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Tommy and I gave Addisan a doll house for her birthday gift and she LOVED it. It is all wood and so are all the furniture pieces that came with it. She has spent so much time taking all the furniture in and out of the house and repositioning the dolls on it. I can watch Addisan play with it for hours. Below are pictures from the party.

Addisan is taking a swing at the pinata. None of the kids were able to break it open…even with the slits that I added. So we just took the candy out for them and let them dive into it.
The doll house was a gift to Addisan from me and Tommy. This is one of her favorite things to play with at the home. She takes all the furniture out and rearranges it on the floor and then puts it back in and does the same. Here Aunt Boop and Popeye are playing with her.

Me and Julie just hanging out. Note the circles under my eyes…who knew a SIMPLE birthday party for a two year old would wear me out.
Here Addisan is opening her many gifts. She is one spoiled girl! I think she enjoyed the bags and tissue paper as much as she did the actual gifts:)

Here is the crew sitting on the couch attempting to all pose for a photo shot…

Marissa, Bradley, Drew, Julie, and Addisan.
We ordered a photo cake for her party. This is what happens when Daddy goes to pick it up…he does not check to make sure everything is spelled correctly…like her name!:)

Popeye and Addisan just hanging out. She was so tired from all the excitement of the day!

Miss Maggie Moo

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I watched my friend, Ryan’s, little girl on Friday. Miss Maggie is three months old and is such a sweet, easy kiddo. I was really looking forward to spending some time with Maggie and really anxious to see how Addisan responded to a little one on her turf. Addisan did wonderful. She wanted to be part of everything that Maggie did. If I laid Maggie down on the floor to play with her, Addisan would lay down right next to her. When doing so, it was clear that Addisan was not trying to take my attention away from her, but rather wanted to be part of the action. Another sweet moment was when I took Maggie out of the swing and Addisan quickly said, “My turn.” I was thinking to myself….oh boy, she thinks she can fit into the swing! I was wrong, it was her doll baby’s turn to swing. We’ll take Maggie anytime! We had such a fun day with her.


Addisan and Maggie just hanging out and relaxing.

How Time Flies!

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It feels like it was just the other day when I went into my 32 week OBGYN appointment after school and I got the news I was having a baby that night! I had told Tommy that morning he did not have to go with me to the appointment because it was just a quick check up, nothing big…so I thought! Before arriving to my appointment, I had thought that my doctor might put me on bed rest. I was so swollen that I could not fit into pants that fit me two weeks prior. I blamed my condition on the beginning of the school year and being on my feet. When my doctor told me that I had gained 20 pounds in two weeks, had high protein in my urine, my blood pressure was high for the first time ever, and had the worse kidney count (what ever that means) that she had ever seen…at that moment, my heart just sunk. Here I was alone and no one to dry my tears. She diagnosed me with preeclampsia and the only way to save me and the baby was to deliver Addisan that night. I did not have any of the other common symptoms of the condition such as double vision, seeing spots, or headaches. I was scared to death, to say the least. I remember just being in shock and telling her that tonight would not be ideal for delivery because I had no sub plans for my first graders ready, I did not even tell them good-bye, AND my dogs had to be let out. Needless to say, they wheeled me down in a wheel chair to the third floor of the hospital where I admitted myself. To top everything, I could not reach Tommy at work. What an afternoon…and it was beginning! I called my mom and my best friend Sara up home in Northern Virginia. They calmed me down until Tommy came to the hospital. At 10:04 that night, Addisan Paige Taylor was born. She was and continues to be our miracle baby. She weighed in at 3 pounds and 2 ounces and was breathing on her own. I never thought hearing a baby cry would ever sound so good to my ears. She spent the next few weeks in NICU until she could regulate her own temperature and reached the four pound bench mark to be released. Holding Addisan was similar to holding my class guinea pigs…very light and still. I did not have a chance to hold her until a day and a half later after delivery. It was pure torture not to be able to hold your own child and watch her be carried away in a incubator while on the operating table. We had a wonderful experience at NICU. The nurses and staff were amazing. Their knowledge and emotional support surpassed any of my expectations. My doctor told me the following week after I delivered Addisan that if I had waited two more days, that I would have had seizures and most likely been in a coma. Timing is everything in life! Addisan was a fighter from day one and still is! I look at her now—talking in complete sentences most of the time, going in the potty like a big girl some days, sharing her love with others, and loving life….just like any two year old! I count my blessings each day for her. She is truly a gift that Tommy and I gave to ourselves and we know that she is already a gift to the world.

The Birthday Girl just sporting her special shirt on her birthday.

This is a picture of Addisan right after delivery.

This is Addisan at the spa (this is what we called NICU because all the nurses pamper these babies….just like the pampering your receive when you go to a spa).

A picture of our happy family.
This was the first time I was able to hold her. I told Tommy with no make-up on and feeling as fat as a cow, I felt prettier that day holding her and being with him than I did on our wedding day.

My Birthday!

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Tommy and I had a great day with Addisan on her birthday! We started the morning having breakfast at Chick-Fil-a and then we all went to my 28 week check up at the doctor’s office. Addisan did pretty well there until she reached the hour mark and then got a little tired of being there…but how could we blame her?! After the appointment, Tommy left for work and I proceeded to take Addisan to the mall to meet her Popeye and Ju-Ju (for those who don’t know, that is what she calls Tommy’s parents). We had lunch together in the food court and then went to Barnes and Noble where they bought her some more books. Addisan could start her own personal library, she has that many books! That evening, we had the neighborhood kids over to celebrate her birthday. Addisan is very spoiled on our street with all the love and attention that she receives. I made cupcakes and punch for the kids. It was a lot of fun! The children brought wrapped dog donations for a local dog rescue. Addisan loved opening the gifts and it all went to a good cause. She has so many things to play with here at the house already, it was nice to give some things to animals in need. I really want Addisan to have a strong understanding of giving back to the community and for her to realize the real gift of having birthday parties is being with your friends. Tommy and I got her a stuffed puppy that came with a bed, a bone, a bowl, and leash for her to keep. Below are pictures of all of her friends on the street who helped celebrate her birthday and the dog donations that we collected.

We collected two full bags of dog donations. I know we made some rescues very happy!

We were just barely able to squeeze all of Addisan’s neighborhood friends onto the stairs.