Living The Blessed Life...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Amelia and I seem to do a lot of talking in the time after we turn out the lights but before she drifts off to sleep. Tonight I was thanking her for being such a good girl today, telling her how proud I am of her thoughtful spirit to which she replied, "But Mommy, I whined and didn't say thank you." I told her that everyone makes mistakes but those mistakes don't make us bad people. They're just the wrong choices and all we need to do is apologize if we've hurt someone and learn from the mistake.

She asked what makes someone bad, and instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. She said hurting someone on purpose is something a bad person would do, and as much as I wanted to tell her there are no bad people, just good people that make bad choices, I couldn't. I think of people that kill their kids and child molesters, and I cannot see any excuse for their actions. None.

Anyway, she asked if I had made any mistakes today and I laughed, thinking to myself, "Sheesh. Did I do ANYTHING right today??" Again, I asked her if she could think of any mistakes I had made, and God love this child, she couldn't think of any. So, I owned up to a few and then told her my biggest mistakes were not holding her enough, not saying I love you enough and not telling her how grateful I am for the sweet girl she is. She smiled and told me she loved me while David snorted, probably thinking there was no way I could've done any of those things more than I already did. ha.

We talked about what choices we could work on tomorrow to make it better than today and she said she could say thank you more and I agreed to be more patient while she tries to remember. :) She asked if I would please remind her if she forgot and I assured her we would work on these things together.

Some days I'm not sure if she's 5 or 25, but I'm sure glad I get to live these moments with her.

OH!! For Amelia's 5 year check up, she was 39 pounds and 40 inches. When I got home, I looked up the average size for a 5 year old girl and it was *drumroll* 39 pounds and 40 inches!!! God is good!

I had carpal tunnel surgery on my left wrist today. You know...because the right hand was so much fun! 

As Amelia and I snuggled last night before going to sleep, I went over again that I was having surgery in the morning and that she would sit out in the waiting room with Daddy. She again asked if she could go with me instead, to keep me company and hold my hand. I explained that it wouldn't take long and that she'd have fun with Daddy. She brushed the hair off my forehead and rested her sweet little hand on my cheek, and said, "But Mommy, I'll be patient. I just want to be with you." She smiled, reached over and gave me a kiss and said, "I love you, Mommy..."

*sigh* Such a sweet baby. 

When I went in for my right wrist, it took them 8 IV attempts, accompanied by a shot of lidocaine each time for a total of no less than 16 needle pokes and prods to get one, stinkin' IV in. They tried my hand, upper arm, lower arm, foot and finally got it in the underside of my wrist. 

Dear Lord in Heaven, please help me to nurture this sweet spirit as she grows. Please protect her heart against the coldness of this world and let her find strength in Your peace and goodness. Amen...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Routines

Random factoid - Amelia made up her first song to the tune of an actual song the other day. 

To the tune of "Are You Sleeping?" or "Frere Jacques":

"I love my Mommy.
I love my Mommy.
Very Much.
Very Much.

Yes, I love my Mommy.
Yes, I love my Mommy.
Very much.
Very much."

Personally, I think it's the greatest masterpiece ever written. ;)

We went to the "City Park" today. It's not exactly how I remember it from when I was Amelia's age, but not bad. Amelia realllllllllllllllly wanted to feed the ducks, and believe it or not, that was the only place I could think of to go. Of course, we're greeted with big, obnoxious signs politely asking us to not feed the ducks. We may or may not have accidentally dropped/tossed/thrown what may or may not have been an entire bag of popcorn in random spots around the pond. It's possible that Amelia might have been charged by a flock of white and brown ducks.

I have a love/hate relationship with my camera. I absolutely treasure every single moment I capture but I hate how cumbersome the camera is. It gets in the way of life while I'm trying to capture it. 

Amelia is proof that God still answers prayer. I will never, ever, never, ever, ever, never doubt the power of prayer. That said, if you have a second to say a prayer or two for us, we'd be much obliged. Long story short, I'm no spring chicken and my eggs are fried. ha! No, seriously, it's no secret we'd like to have at least one more baby and you all know it doesn't happen all that easily for us. I hear my clock ticking and Amelia seriously wants to be a big sister more than anything. She told me just today that she'd "let me help her take care of the baby if God sends us one." Why, thank you. That's so very kind.

Speaking of "kind," as we were leaving the park this evening, I heard, "Miss Red Tu-Tuuuuuuu." Truthfully, I ignored it until I heard it again, even louder. I turned around to see an older lady sitting in her car waving a $5 bill at me. She said, "Honey, here. Won't you take that sweet angel for some ice cream?" I smiled and assured her that I had just had that very same idea. She insisted I take the money, saying she had never been able to have children and that she tries to spoil others when she can. I tried to politely reject  her offer again, but she said, "Please let me do this. It'll make me feel better." What can I say to that, but "Thank you."

I really talked the event up to Amelia, stressing how generous and kind it was for a complete stranger to do something like that. I told her we need to try our best to always be sweet to people, even when we're mad and even when we don't know the person. I believe we'll take it a step further and "pay it forward" somehow. I just now thought of this, so I'll talk to her in the morning and see what kind of idea she comes up with. (Can you tell I generally have no idea what I'm going to say until I start typing? I actually wrote the next half of the entry first but figured it'd be better off last. Make sense? lol)

Read on if you're curious how our sleeping arrangements are going. If you couldn't care less, and who could blame you, I'll just say "THAN YOU FOR BEING HERE" and "GOODNIGHT."

I caved. Amelia caught me at a weakened state and I finally did it. I crawled my big ol' butt into her toddler bed. There's a reason they're called "toddler beds." They're for miniature adults. This would be a good time to praise the manufacturing of said bed. Not a single creak, I tell ya.

As soon as I laid down, it began to thunder and the rain started to ping against Amelia's window. She was a little unsettled, but thought the sound of the rain was "interesting." When I thought she was asleep, I started to get out of the bed/sardine can. She popped up like a jack-in-the-box, grabbed my arm and wrapped her arms and legs around it like a bear cub. She fell asleep sitting up beside me. At 6am, she woke up screaming for me and finished the remainder of her sleeping in my room. 

We decided to do books, prayers, and talking in my (and David's. lol) room last night. She wrapped her little arms around my neck, gave me a million kisses and was OUT. Wonder of all wonders, I fell asleep and slept through the night as well. Not entirely through the night. I've come to realize, I actually DO sleep better if she's not in bed with us. I wake up every single time she moves and she pushes me to the corner of the bed. Yep, she's a bed hog, but David's just not going to budge for anybody! ;)

The first thing I heard this morning was, "Aw MAN! I was going to sleep in my bed last night!" After talking for a bit, we decided to keep our bedtime routine and IF she fell asleep anywhere but her bed, I promised to put her in her room so she could wake up in there. 

Tonight, the same thing happened. She was out within seconds of finishing our prayers and I kept my end of the bargain by putting her in her bed. I said to David, "my baby's too little to be all by herself," you know, as if she wasn't in her own bed from the day she was born until after she was a year old. Hopefully, she won't wake up screaming in a few hours and we have found a good compromise to our new routine - 'cause I'm not getting back in that itty bitty bed. 

If you read all of that, I'll again say, "THANK YOU" and "SWEET DREAMS!"

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The End of an Era

From the time Amelia came home from the hospital, she needed me to fall asleep. We started out rocking together as she drank her bottles and then I'd put her in her bassinet or crib once she was asleep. As she got a little older, we'd lie down together in my bed and then I'd put her in her crib once she was asleep.

When she was 15 months old, we went to the beach for a week and she had to sleep with us the entire time, with no crib to go to once asleep. When we got home, there was no turning back. I tried placing her in her crib a few times, but she'd immediately wake up screaming for me. So, I stopped trying and we just let her sleep with us. 

In the last three years, we've attempted to have Amelia sleep in her toddler bed. She lasted one night on a few different occasions and even two nights one particular time. Tonight we are on Night 5, and if I'm being completely honest, I'm heartbroken. I miss my Bunny.

It all started Saturday when she and I were cleaning her room. I had the bright idea to go through her stuffed animals to see if there were any she could live without. There weren't. While we were getting the stuffed "friends" out of her bed, I asked when she thought she might want to try sleeping in her bed. She said, "Ummm, prolly a couple weeks." I smiled and said that was ok. 

We finally got it cleaned out and this is what we ended up with:

She quickly climbed into her bed, jumping and laughing. Then she hopped down, grabbed a book, and climbed back in saying, "I got a book I knew so I could read to you, Mommy!"

It wasn't quite bedtime yet, so we went to have a snack and chill out for a while. When it was time for bed, I asked where she wanted to sleep and *gasp* she chose her bed. I smiled and said, "Ok" never thinking she'd actually stay. We put a new bulb in her nightlight and she moved it over by her bed. She chose two "animal friends" from the stack for her, chose two for me to keep me "compny" since she wouldn't be there,  turned on "Nightlight Dinosaur" and commenced to begging me to stay.

We discussed how her toddler bed wasn't long enough for Mommy but that Mommy was never far away. She made me promise that I was still close even if I wasn't in the same room. We talked about how all her "animal friends" were sitting there, watching over her. We said our prayers and "thankfuls" and then it was time for me to walk away. After several "sssshhhhh" and "go to sleep, baby" she was out.

I checked on her more times than I care to admit. I had to rearrange her several times so that she didn't fall out and I had to remind myself this was a good thing. It took everything I had to not pick her up and take her to bed with me when I finally crashed. 

I woke up before she did Sunday morning. She and I both were so proud of her!

Amelia was a teeny bit clingier than usual and didn't want to go to Children's Church that morning. I don't know if it had anything to do with that or not, though. 

Sunday night, she started to cry a little while asking me to hold her while she went to sleep, "and then put me in my bed, please." Did I? Absolutely. We turned the lights off in the living room and snuggled while she settled down into her "happy place."  

Monday night, night 3, I hear: "But, Mommy...I don't want you to be far. I miss you too much when you're not here. Mommy, can we get a longer bed so you can sleep with me? Pleeeeeeeeeease?" The thing is, I don't want her away from me, either.  We don't mind her sleeping with us. We just want her to know she can. I want her to know it's ok for me to not be right.there.this.close all the time - even if that's where we're both most comfortable.

Tuesday night, we laid down in my bed to say our prayers and snuggle a bit before she went to her bed. We both ended up falling asleep and when I woke up a couple hours later, I didn't take her to her bed. When I went back to bed a few hours later, I just moved her over and climbed in just as I've done countless times before. For whatever reason, she and I seemed to toss and turn more than usual. When she woke up, she put a stuffed animal in bed with me, and went to her bed. I asked what she was doing and she said, "going to my bed like I said, Mommy." I had to let her know it was morning.

Tonight, which I suppose is technically Night 5 although she didn't quite make it to her bed last night, she went straight to her room. I even tried to get her lay down with us to say our prayers and talk for a minute before she went to bed, but she didn't want to do that. Of course, she wanted me to crawl into her little bed with her, but well, yanno...

I honestly never thought she'd actually be willingly sleeping in her own bed right now. She was so adamant about "not being ready." She seems to be sleeping solidly and hasn't woken up in the middle of the night one single time since moving to her room. That could be how late she's actually going to bed or maybe she's just not being disturbed. 

I'm extremely proud of her and I'm sure this is a good thing. At least, that's what my brain says, but my heart isn't so sure for some reason. I've always listened to her cues and would never hold her back. I just miss that snuggle time! I miss that sleepy, "awww, sweet Mommy.... I love you" while she settled in close. I miss the little kisses on my cheek as she wakes me up in the mornings. I miss baby. 

I know I sound insanely emotional and crazy, so I'll just say I'm having a very rough time with this whole not-feeling-needed-anymore thing. 

And that I'm looking for a twin bed...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Due to a lovely sinus infection and migraine induced nausea I hid under the covers in the cool, dark bedroom this evening leaving David and Amelia to entertain themselves. I woke up as they were coming to bed, just in time for my nightly snuggles. Amelia gave me the biggest hug, kissed my forehead and asked if I felt better. Even if I hadn't felt better, I wouldn't have had the heart to tell her.

We all three put our hands together and said our prayers. Then she asked:

A - "Mommy, is it time to say the things I'm thankful for?"
Me - "Yes ma'am. Let's go for 5 things tonight." (I say "ma'am" to her so that it's second nature for her to say it to others.)
A - "Ok! Will you count for me while I say them, please?"
Me - "Of course!"
A - "I'm thankful for you and Daddy. I'm thankful that you have your dresser for me to put my milk on. I'm thankful for the whole world. I'm thankful for our house. I'm thankful for my toys." 

We're working on being thankful for non-tangible things and people instead of stuff, but it's cute to see how a kid's mind works. She always starts with being thankful for mommy and daddy, but the rest of what she says is completely random. Sometimes she is thankful for people in her life, naming them one by one, and other times she looks around the room and is thankful for things like the ceiling fan and TV. Each night, I'm thankful for her thankfulness. 

She tossed and turned for minute, lifted the covers, snuggled up to me and said, "Ahhh! That's better. That's why I couldn't get comfortable. You know I just can't go to sleep without snuggling with you, Mommy. Silly me! I just love you, Mommy." 

God knew what he was doing when he sent us such a loving, affectionate child. She heals me daily and teaches me how to love freely without fear of rejection. For that freedom, I am thankful. 

Click to see Amelia's original journal.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday!

Four years  ago I had just been rushed to Labor & Delivery from my bed in Antepartum with David following behind. Our “25-weeker” immediately made her grand arrival and was greeted by an army of nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists. It all happened so fast, I had to ask David if I had just had a baby.

He later told me they briefly held Amelia up for him to see before whisking her away but it would be several hours later before I saw our 1 pound, 11 ounce miracle girl. Her nurse was very technical and seemed to assume I would retain the terminology he was throwing at me. Apparently he hadn’t been informed of the Vicodin and Morphine I had just been given because he handed me a thermometer and encouraged me to check the temperature of this tiny little being.

I was terrified and anxious all at once. I NEEDED to feel her but her little body appeared so frail. The width of her leg was smaller than my finger, her fingers the size of toothpicks, and her head felt like a baseball in my palm.

She would surprise us all in the months and years to come. The nurses described her as "feisty," and most days, that description still fits. She is the sweetest, most compassionate child I've ever known, with a determined spirit I admire and respect even during those days I want to pull my hair out BECAUSE of that determined spirit!

Amelia Gracelyn Rumfelt, you are a dream come true for many. You were prayed for long before God sent you to our family. Mommy and Daddy love and cherish you more than you will ever know and look forward to experiencing your life's journey as your biggest supporters. We are so very grateful to have been chosen to be your parents.

Happy Birthday to Daddy's Angel, Mommy's Baby & Sunshine, Granny's Munchkin, Nana's & Pawpaw's Girl, Uncle Heath's BabyGirl, Aunt Wendy's playmate, Pawpaw's Sweetheart and the world's Wonder Preemie.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Just a Typical Day

Nothing exciting happened today unless you take into account random, loudly sang renditions of various songs alternated with moments of whiny, clinginess. No fever, no aches and pains, no runny noses, nothing pinpointable but Amelia just didn't feel all that great. Nothing major but enough to make her be a little "off" from her normal self. Well, sometimes. Other times she was bouncing off the walls. Kinda strange...

She's having a, shall we say, independent week. One in which she's decided it's cute to tell us she doesn't "have to" do this or that. I'm not impressed although I can take most of the responsibility for inadvertently teaching her that phrase. If there's some mundane task that doesn't matter whether or not she does, I'll say some version of, "you don't have to."

"Let's play with your blocks!"
She picks up crayons.
"Ok. We don't have to play with blocks. We'll color instead!"

So...there it is.

She also seems to mostly say it when "don't want to" would be more appropriate, but it still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up while my mind is thinking, "Really? You don't HAVE to? Wanna bet?" lol

I try to pick my battles wisely but there have still been some times I've had to refresh her memory that I'm a little stubborn when I'm trying to make a point that matters to me. Manners? Yeah, you DO have to have those. Respect? That's pretty much a given as well. Brushing teeth, baths and general hygiene? We allllll have to. lol Staying seated while you eat? You know...I really don't care about this one and it drives David crazy. She's two. She has more energy than the Energizer Bunny and if she needs to stand up to eat, then more power to her. At least she's eating. I promise she will eventually learn to stay seated, and not even on my lap. Ha!

Eh, I don't know. I firmly believe in structure but not in all things. I want her to be able to be a kid, to truly enjoy her childhood, without feeling like a miniature adult while learning the fundamentals of what it means to be a good person so that she'll naturally mature into a respectful, happy adult. She's so articulate that it's sometimes easy to forget that she's really just a two year old pre-schooler.

We've been going to a new church for a few months now. We started putting her in the nursery but she never stays for long without crying for me. Never. I seriously have YET to hear an entire sermon, and although that part bugs me, I don't see the huge deal is that she's asking for me. I hate that she gets so hysterical at times but I'm not surprised that she wants me. She's always been this way with me and it's not like I'm keeping her isolated from others. I fear I may scream the next time someone says to me, "She just needs to be around other kids" or "you need to cut those apron strings" or any other variation of making me feel like a failure.


Common knowledge: Yes, she is attached to me. Yes, she spends the vast majority of her life with me. Yes, I realize I'm not the only interaction she needs.

What I know about my child: She does not like walking into groups, especially noisy, fast paced groups and is much better with one-on-one interaction. She does fine with "parallel play" beside another child or children. The more you force her, the less likely she is to do whatever it is you're expecting of her. She needs to walk in, step back and observe before delving in and she prefers to do that from the "safety" of my arms. She prefers consistency and familiarity. Once she warms up to her surroundings, she's usually good to go as long as she feels like it's on her own terms and people aren't trying to force her. She does MUCH better earlier in the day than later in the evening.

Honestly? Does she sound all that different from other 2 year olds? From most people?

Considering Amelia was born at 25 weeks, I'm not surprised that she shows some traits of hypersensitivity. Preemies are notorious for hypersensitivity and it's not something they all outgrow. I was born prematurely and have always be ultra sensitive to crowds, noises, sudden bright lights, and I feel things more intensely than what most people probably do. I was a nervous wreck while she was in the NICU because of all the alarms. I'm not projecting my own issues onto Amelia but I am a little more observant and understanding than maybe I would've been had I not experienced it on my own.

The irony? David is loud...abruptly loud. He goes from complete silence to making some random noise, scaring Amelia and me half to death. lol Just tonight, he quickly turned around and started making a strange monster noise to Amelia, a noise he's done a million times, but she wasn't expecting it. She screamed and came running to me, saying, "Daddy do?!" Translation: "What the heck is wrong with him?!" Bless her heart, he scared her so badly, she was shaking but he had JUST been playing with her, just not that loudly. lol

She gets excited about going to church because she's going to "sing songs and play." She's been asking for David's cousin's kids all week, wanting to see them. She just acts like she has no idea who these people are when we get there! lol She did really well at Thanksgiving because she was able to roam around AND the gathering took place earlier in the day. I'm really hoping the church nursery won't be such a big deal to her now that we'll be going on Sunday mornings instead of Saturday evenings. I'm crossing my fingers and praying at least! :)

Anyway, I encourage Amelia to play, explore, and become more independent. I'm just not going to NOT go to her when she needs me. Yes, I do think it's a "need" vs. a "want." I've said all along that I will never deny her when she asks for me, especially after the first time I held her and her stats became perfect as she settled against my skin. For that brief moment, I "fixed" her. I am her mother. I am her comfort. She won't always be like this. Haven't I said that a time or two over the last 2.5 years? LOL!

She is such a sweet, funny, energetic blessing. She watched an episode of Dora the other day where someone had a baby. Of course, now she's asking when "Mommy have a baby." That, my child, is the million dollar question!

I've had several requests for the link to the original Caringbridge journal so I will try to remember to put it at the end of each entry over here for a while. Things may not be as on-the-edge-of-your-seat exciting as they were while she was in the NICU but each moment is a gift from God that I never take for granted. Thank you to those of you that still read. ♥♥