Friday, July 29, 2011


Before I start updating the blog, I want to take a minute to say I am such a slacker! Well, not really, but in the blogging world I am! I have not even updated my pictures or headers or anything since the arrival of Kirby! Actually, the pictures on our header are sooo old too! I am not apologizing anymore for lack of posts, but just excusing it with the simple statement that I am now a mom of 3 kiddos and I work (well, officially I go back to work August 1)! Enough said!

Now on to the good stuff, but I promise not to bore anyone. In a quick summation of what has been going on in our world since the arrival of Kirby, I will do a quick list because it's too much to detail:

1)school got out and I stayed home (for the most part) with the kids for the summer - what was I thinking? I have learned that I am definitely NOT a stay-at-home mom! The girls have driven each other and me crazy!
2)signed the girls up for all kinds of camps and activities for the first part of the summer while I tried to get adjusted to life with 3 - little did I realize that when I scheduled all of these activities, I would be running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to drop off and pick up and keep Kirby on some sort of schedule. The poor baby had many a bottle in the car and many a nap in his car seat!
3)spent some awesome quality family time at the lake house - and got a few good, full nights sleep while my parents got up with Kirby at night!
4)took a last minute trip to the beach for 5 days - it was a much needed/deserved break from the monotony of staying at home!
5)started Crossfit (and eventually the Paleo diet) to get this body back in shape once and for all after having babies! Man, I didn't realize how out of shape I really was until I started Crossfit. Back in the cheering days, I was used to doing hundreds of crunches/sit-ups a day - it was a HUGE blow to my ego when I could hardly do 10 sit-ups those first couple of weeks! Yes, I realize that I was just 6 weeks out from my 3rd C-section, but still...UGH!
6)now we are all sooooo ready for school to start back. I've decided that this is the true reason for summer break - the kids (and parents) are so excited to not have to be up and out the door on a schedule for a little while and then we all get bored and tired of each other and tired of all things summer (the heat mostly) AND then that's when it's time to get back in the groove of school days again! It's a welcome relief! Mary Mac starts 1st grade in a couple of weeks, Anna starts her first day of her last year in preschool on August 1, and Kirby starts his first day ever of preschool on August 1!

All of that being said, and I know it sounds like I've not enjoyed my summer with my kids, it has been a GREAT summer with lots of great memories and times! The girls have gotten so big and mature and Kirby is growing leaps and bounds! For him to have been so sick in those first couple of days of his life, he has just progressed and grown so much so fast! And he LOVES his big sisters! They make him laugh already all the time! We have been most surprised at how good and involved Mary Mac has been with him. She has never been much of a baby-lover, but she wants to do everything with him AND she's very good with him! I'll post pictures later, but for now, I'm out!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Welcome to the World, Kirby

Well, let's just go ahead a proclaim that my body is just not meant to carry babies to full term and in a "routine" manner - they call it the curse of the nurse, even though I haven't practiced in years! So this past Saturday, after a birthday party and an Easter Egg Hunt, I was exhausted and laid down with Anna to take a nap. About an hour later, I woke up and had a major contraction that was the most painful one I'd ever had then had another one right after that and was really hurting. I called Sam (who was out at the lake) and called my doctor who told me to go ahead and come on in and he would check me out. As soon as they put me on the monitor, it was obvious that I was contracting about every 1-2 minutes and the baby was also having some heart decelerations when I contracted. My doctor was not excited about what he saw on the monitor but couldn't figure out what had changed since my weekly check-up on Tuesday (I was having to go in for weekly non-stress tests on the monitor due to my history). After watching this go on for several hours, he made the decision that even though I was only 35 weeks along, it was going to be better for the baby to be born than to continue to be put under the stress of the contractions. My parents had the girls with them and they were so excited about possibly meeting their new baby brother, that they had not gone to sleep yet and it was 10:30pm so I told them to just go ahead and all come to the hospital to await his arrival. These first couple of pictures were from the waiting on his arrival (yes, they are in their PJ's). They took me back to the OR and Samuel "Kirby" Collins was born on April 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm weighing 5lbs 13 oz. As they delivered him, my doctor found why he was struggling so much and why I was hurting so much - my placenta had started to abrupt (separate) and was only halfway functioning, but it was in a place that had not allowed for any of the blood (the cardinal sign of an abruption) to escape. He came out screaming and was looking great, until they got him back to the nursery. They ended up having to admit him into the NICU and eventually put him on a ventilator. He had a rough first night and next day and gave us all a little scare, but it looks like he's turned the corner for now. As we know all too well, the adventures in the NICU is usually never a smooth ride - there are almost always bumps along the way, so we are praying that we are over that bumpy road and on the road to coming home very soon. He is so sweet and we cannot wait to be able to hold him and cuddle him. The girls are so proud of their baby brother and have been very brave little girls when going to see him with all of the tubes and wires connected to him. We are hoping to have him weaned off the ventilator within the next 24 hours! I should get to go home tomorrow, but we don't really know when he will be able to come home yet.

Waiting patiently with Daddy


Watching through the cracks in the nursery





Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Belated Ash Wednesday!

While we did not make it to our church's Ash Wednesday service this year (they only held one at 6:15 this year for some reason), I would like to wish everyone a Happy Ash Wednesday, a day later. Are you giving something up or taking on something new? This year, I've decided to give up all thing iPhone-app-related!!! I know that sounds crazy, but Sam has declared that I am officially addicted, and I think he may be right to some extent. So, this includes Facebook and I'm hoping that, at least for the next 40 days, I can devote the time I've spent on Facebook to our blog to document these last weeks before we move from a family of 4 to a family of 5! I'm actually kind of looking forward to not being directly connected to my phone for a little while - it may be refreshing, which is what would be a nice change in our hectic lives these days!

As for Samuel Kirby Collins, we are doing great and moving right along on target for a May delivery - fingers crossed! He is measuring much larger than both of the girls, so I am anxious to see how big he is at birth. Right now, the earliest my doctor would schedule my C-section is for Friday, May 13!!!!! Yikes! He said he would consider taking a tiny bit earlier, but we would have to wait and see! I guess, in one way, all of our kids would have a unique birthday - Mary Mac shares her day with Sam's dad and Anna is an April Fool's baby, so why not have Friday the 13th baby!!! Sam highly disagrees! Last night, while at the dinner table, Sam told the girls that we really needed to settle on what we are going to call this little man. And as it's been for a while now, we were still a house divided. So, Sam suggested we let the dog make the final decision - crazy, I agree! And the dog chose Kirby (YEA!), but only time will tell if this sticks or if Sam goes back on his word and says that the dog shouldn't be the deciding factor - which would totally be MY argument if Kirby had NOT won the vote!!!! We are about 95% ready for the baby already - clothes washed and hung up, room almost ready, bottles washed, new car seat ready, etc. Oh, and next week we get to have our 4D ultrasound while the girls are out of school for Spring Break! I will be sure to post pictures!

Mary Mac is playing her first team sport this year and believe it or not she's playing SOCCER! Sam nor I know NOTHING about soccer, but she is pumped and so excited, especially since she is on the same team as 2 of her best little friends! Her first game was supposed to Tuesday night, but got rained out so tonight is the makeup night. And, it would only be right that she picked out the #7 jersey to wear! She is actually really good at soccer in practice, but we'll know tonight how she is during a game! I will have my camera ready!

And last, but not least, Mary Mac's school celebrated Dr. Suess's birthday last week with a Book Character Parade. It was so cute to see all of the kids all dressed in full costume of their favorite book character. And of course, Mary Mac's favorite book is Every Cowgirls Needs A Horse, so luckily we already had a costume for that character and we made a big poster for her to carry. She also took a horse, but said she didn't have enough hands to carry the poster and the horse in the parade. Here are some pictures from the parade. The principal and the librarian even got in on the fun dressed as Cat In The Hat and their were 2 kids (twins no less) that dressed up as Thing 1 and Thing 2! Sorry the pictures aren't great - they were moving pretty fast through the halls!


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

More Fall Pictures

Our Little Cinderella
My Little Pony - of course!
School Birthday Party - her teacher makes their Birthday such a Big Deal! And the cookie cake is a unicorn!
The real Party!


Silly Girls!
Our "famous" pumpkins!
Our Little Indian Performer - Thanksgiving Program. She obeyed our instructions of making sure she was front and center!
Ahaha! I'm out from the behind the camera for a change! After the program.


Christmas Pictures

My grandfather, cousin, and Anna
Some of the great grandchildren
My mom's siblings and spouses
Our family (minus my brother's family)
Almost all (except my brother) of my cousins


Fall Pictures








Here we go AGAIN...

Before I get too carried away - no, I still haven't had time to make any collages of fall pictures, but if I feel froggy I may try and add a few pictures to this post (fingers crossed).

So, now on to more exciting things! Since my last post, the weather here has been totally crazy! Mary Mac finally started back to school, at least for only 2 days before we were out for another 2 days with snow/ice (more ice than snow in our neighborhood). Then she went back to school on that next Wednesday to only be called by the school nurse Thursday to tell me that she was running fever! GREAT! So she was out half of Thursday and all day Friday. Then Monday was MLK day so another day out! You can only imagine out crazy I was by the time she finally was able to go back to school. AND add to that - this is one of my most crazy times of year at work so she was BORED to tears sitting with me at the office for all this time! And since then we've had snow flurries and sleet several more times and another snow storm expected to come tonight! I do not remember a time in my life that we had this much "winter" weather in Tuscaloosa!

Another exciting moment - Mary Mac has lost her 2nd tooth! The toothfairy has surprised her with gold dollar coins for each tooth so far! She thinks that is so cool and Sam and I think it's pretty nice too since it's still money, but a little harder to spend than dollars or change! The first tooth, she pulled on her own (I know, we were shocked too)! She just kept wiggling and playing with it until one day it just popped out in her hand! Thank goodness - Sam NOR I are really big fans of being "Teeth Pullers!" It pretty much grosses us both out! So with the 2nd tooth, it has been really loose for a while but she had a little more hestitation with this one. The first one didn't hurt, but I think she just wasn't convinced that this one wouldn't either. Anyway, it was getting pretty loose and she wouldn't let me mess with or Sam. So one night, I told Sam I was just going to leave them alone for a little while and see what he could convince her to do. He tends to be able to "talk her down", so to speak, better than I can - I guess it's b/c they have similar personalities and he knows what works! Unfortunately, he came downstairs without success, but he was able to get it really loose. He was afraid that he would hurt her and then she wouldn't trust him anymore (such an awesome Dad!)! The next night, we had a babysitter and Sam and I went to the Alabama basketball game. Well, when we got home, we had a missing tooth! I'm not sure if it was the threat of having a dentist appointment the next day or what, but whatever, it worked! She pulled it herself, AGAIN! Now the only issue we have is her new permanent teeth that are coming in! YIKES! That's about all I can say. She has no room for her permanent teeth and they are HUGE! One is turned totally sideways and the other is coming in so far back in her mouth. Braces are definitely in our future!!!

Now, on the title of this post: Here we go AGAIN... this pertains to my pregnancy! I've been doing really good so far, but I really think he's going to be BIG! Right after my last post, we learned that one of Mary Mac's little best friends was diagnosed with Fifth's Disease which is NOT a good thing for an expecting mother to be exposed to. We were keeping our fingers crossed that none of us would get it, but I'll reference my above comments about Mary Mac having fever and you can guess that, unfortunately, after the fever came a rash and then last weekend she had the typical "slapped cheeks." So that being said, as soon as I confirmed that her friend had Fifth's Disease, I called my doctor immediately and was told to come in for some blood work to check to see if I was already immune to it or not. Well, I got the results yesterday at my check-up and it showed that, yes I was immune, BUT, that I had just recently been exposed and/or infected within the last month! The risks with this to the baby is possible fetal anemia. So for now (and I'm guessing the rest of the pregnancy), we are having to have ultrasounds and check-ups every 2 weeks to make sure he is ok and not developing anemia or other issues. So, any extra prayers will be greatly appreciated that everything remains good! Oh and we had an ultrasound yesterday that showed him already weighing about 2 lbs!!!!!! And I'm measuring 30 weeks even though I'm only 25 weeks! And I failed my first glucose test! As you can imagine, it was NOT the best check-ups for us! I just have to keep telling myself that this was all meant to be and that God does not give me anything that I cannot handle! And as my doctor said - I wouldn't have expected anything different from you Leigh! (Meaning, I've had some kind of crazy issues with each pregnancy!) So here we go AGAIN...

The girls and 2 of mour neices at the Pumpkin Patch in September
Sister Love - ha! Notice Anna is not sure what to do with MM hugging on her!
Mary Mac finding her prized pumpkin - she looked long and hard for hers!
Anna found hers - she didn't look so hard and long - she picked the first one she saw!

The weather could not have been better that day!


Monday, January 03, 2011

OMG! It's been way too long!!!

Yikes - it's really been almost 3 months since my last post???? Ok, so for months now I've been trying to figure out how to update the blog on what all has been going on in our crazy lives and everytime I think about it I start to cringe because I KNOW how long it's been and it will take sooooo long and too much information and pictures to post to catch everyone up. So, part of my New Years Resolutions (no, I actually do not make any because I feel that they set you up for failure and we have enough of that in life as it is - so my "resolutions" only serve as a "guide" for me to try and live by, but if I don't then NO SWEAT!) is that I would just start from a clean slate on the blog this year instead of trying to play catch-up! That way I'm not so overwhelmed with what I haven't blogged about and can focus more on the HERE and NOW (which is also one of my "resolutions")! And just maybe, if the mood strikes me and I have the time, I will digress back to some of important events of the past year and slowly get caught up. So, just know what that if you start reading one day and it sounds like I'm living in the past, don't be confused - I'm just catching you up!

So, to start this year of 2011 off better (blogging-wise), I am starting from what has gone on this past week! I am officially halfway through my pregnancy with Baby Collins #3...

**Oh yeah, I just realized that since my last post was in October (announcing Baby #3's arrival), some of you may not know that we were lucky enough to have an early ultrasound from a friend when I was 14 weeks and found out that we are having a BOY!!!!!! Sam is still awaiting more confirmation on this (I have another ultrasound this week) before he gets toooooo excited, but we've pretty much wrapped our brains around having a baby boy in the house by May!**

...and I'm finally feeling really good, for the most part! Everyone has gotten to feel him kick a little bit and he seems to already be a very active baby! We are pretty set on the name although we haven't settled on what we will call him - Samuel Kirby Collins! After much deliberation, thought, and conversations, we decided to stick with the tradition of using a family name (as we've done with both girls). Some of other considerations that were eliminated were Lane, Colt or Colton, Henry, etc.

We have had a FABULOUS Christmas and New Years - it has definitely been the best ones yet! I am usually the one that is quickly packing up Christmas decorations and getting my house back to normal (like Christmas day or day after), but this year was very different! I'm not sure if it was hormones or just growing up. The day after Christmas, the girls were playing at my in-laws with their cousins, and Sam and I had the house to ourselves until he left to go hunting, but I just couldn't bring myself to put it all away yet! I kept tearing up and when Sam asked why I was crying, all I could say was that I wanted the girls to stay this age forever because we had had such a fun year with them and that packing it all up made me feel like I was closing that chapter of our lives! I know - it sounds ridiculous, but I'm so afraid of them growing up too fast and not being able to enjoy the mystery and fun of Christmas! But, then Sam reminded me that we still had another baby coming along and that unfortunately the kids all have to grow up! He's such the realists!

Then we left last week for the beach to celebrate New Years with my parents and Sam's parents! We had a ball!!!! The weather was not bad at all down there - just really windy! We shopped at the outlets (great sales!), ate lots of yummy food (too much), watched lots of football (Roll Tide! Even Sam and Dad said they had had enough football for a while), and rang in the New Years! It was so fun this year though because this was the first New Years that we felt the girls could actually "stay up" to see 2011 - well, at least we stayed up to see the Eastern time zone ring it in, but don't tell the girls! We had a yummy home cooked dinner (by my mom), fabulous dessert (by yours truly), sparklers, and even some sparkling grape juice in plastic champagne glasses! Needless to say, we all napped the next day! We came home Sunday and it was back to the grind today (except for Mary Mac). Mary Mac does not start back to school again until Thursday, but it was nice to get the rest of us back on a normal routine. She told me when she got out of school for Christmas break that she would just rather not go back to school again (we were all ready for a break!)! I'm pretty sure that by Thursday, Mary Mac will be more than happy to go back to school after spending the week at the office with us!

So, that's where we are for this week! Like I said, just starting from NOW! I have my 21 week check-up Thursday and another ultrasound. So far so good with this pregnancy. We are praying for an uneventful pregnancy and birth for this special baby! I'll keep you posted as much as possible!

Oh, and YES, I did finally get the Christmas decorations all put away, but it wasn't until last week right before we left for the beach! The thought of having to come home and get it all done before getting back into the work week was all it took to get me over that little emotional attachment to the decorations! Also, I plan on finally posting more pictures on the next post. I may try and do a little collage of pictures from the fall and Christmas instead of overloading you with tons of pictures! Happy New Year to all you Bloggers - and even though I wasn't blogging, I was still keeping up with you!