Sunday, July 13, 2014

Kate Amelia Ferguson

It has been awhile (just over two years...) since we have updated our blog. Sorry about that. But some big events have taken place in our lives recently and we felt like this was a good time to update family and friends on everything.

Most importantly, our second child, Kate Amelia Ferguson, was born into our family on June 22, 2014 at 3:19 am.

She weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was 20.5 inches long. She was much smaller than Thomas when he was born and she didn't have as much hair. So far her hair has stayed mostly brown. She has been great. I don't know if it is because this is our second time being parents but she seems so much easier than I remember Thomas being.

Em and I were planning on Kate coming late since Thomas was so late (Thomas was 10 days late and was induced). The doctor’s visit the week before Kate was born was very standard and it didn’t look like Em’s body was progressing towards a delivary. The doctors kept assuring us that it is still really unpredictable and you never know when you can suddenly go into delivery. On June 21, we had a really buys day cleaning and preparing our house for friends to come over for a barbeque. We recently bought a house (pictures will follow) that has a lot more space than our townhome did so it is SO much more pleasant having friends over. Plus, having a grill is a first for us and we have had a hayday grilling as often as we can (grilled food just tastes better!). Em had had a couple of very minor contractions in the days leading up but we didn’t think much of them. A couple of hours before friends started coming over, Em started having stronger contractions. I remembered that they had to be really strong and really frequent to indicate actual labor so I still didn’t think much of them but Em started having a feeling that it was going to happen. She started preparing hospital bags while I was entertaining friends downstairs. Throughout the party she started having much bigger contractions where she couldn’t talk much while she was experiencing them. As friends started leaving, Em called her doctor who said that we should come in. It was hard to believe it was actually happening and we were very fortunate to have our friends help out with everything. We have good friends, the Greco’s, who just moved in down the street (they were in our last ward and also just bought their first house) that took Thomas over for a sleep over. I was a little worried how Thomas would do but he was thrilled and they said that he was perfect the whole time. Some other friends, the Stampers, helped clean up things while we prepared for our hospital trip.

When we got to the hospital they let us right in and Em’s contractions slowed way down (from every 5 min to every 15 min). We were worried that we would need to go back home but about 1 hour later they sped up again. It was around midnight that they put us in a room and the contractions started getting really painful for Em. It seemed to take a really long time for the epidural to come but once it did, she relaxed quite a bit. Overall, the labor appeared to go much smoother this time (as ‘smooth’ as giving birth can be). Emily was much more relaxed about everything, likely because it wasn’t as new. She was also really excited that she went into labor on her own, as she didn’t think it would happen. There were a couple stressful moments for her such as when the power went out (thunderstorm), or when various machines would start beeping for no apparent reason. It also didn’t help that it was the second or third day that the hospital had switched over to a new computer software that I am pretty sure they trained a total of three people on. No one (I am only partially exaggerating here…) knew how to use it. The nurses’ stress over the program made us a little nervous from time as they would say things like “this does not look right!” while staring at the computer screen. Other than that, the hospital workers were great. I was amazed again at modern medicine – epidurals especially!

When it came time to push, Em pushed for about 10 minutes and Kate was here. It was more emotional for me this time around – not quite sure why. She was such cute little girl and the first thing that came to my mind was ‘perfect.’

We got to bed around 6 or 7 am and the next couple days are kind of blurry for me. There was lots of feeding, and intermittent sleeping, and hospital food (surprisingly good). I had always figured that our daughters would not have middle names - not completely sure why, maybe since Em didn't. But while we were in the hospital we had changed our minds. Em has always loved the name Amelia but I didn't want to name our daughter that. Amelia is my grandma's name who past away last summer. I adored her and she was everything a grandma should be: loving, fun, smart, sweet, and she made you feel loved just by being around her. Despite my love for my grandma, it seemed weird to name my daughter Amelia - it just didn't seem to fit a child. My mom ended up sending me a text right after Kate was born where she described feeling like my Grandma and Grandpa (Amelia and Kay - who was equally amazing) had known her before she came to us. I told Emily about this and we decided to give her that middle name. Again, it felt 'perfect.'

Another reason to believe that my Grandpa had something to do with Kate's arrival is the fact that Wimbledon started the next day. This may not seem like a big deal, but now that I work full-time, I don't get to watch tennis as much. But since Kate came when she did, I had a whole week off to spend with my family AND watch Wimbledon matches everyday - so awesome. Grandpa Kay loved tennis.

We had our friends the Greco's and the Flores' come visit while we were in the hospital which was a lot of fun. Thomas came with the Greco's and was pretty cute. We gave him a truck (# 587 and counting) 'from' Kate which he loved and he mostly just played with that. He did hold Kate for a bit which was sweet - something I'll never forget. It was the first time all four of us were together.

Emily's mom, Laura, and her youngest sister, Liza, flew in two days after Kate was born. It was so helpful having them here. Both of them helped throughout the week, cleaning, shopping, decorating our house, and helping out with Kate and Thomas. Thomas loved both of them. We also played a lot of games, watched movies, and had a fun 4th of July party with some friends. We were sad to see them leave.

After Liza and Laura left, my mom and Loel flew into town. My mom likes to have projects when she visits and we had a lot for her to do. They helped with trimming all our bushes and trees in our front yard, removed LOTS of weeds, helped lay down new mulch, helped organize our garage, cleaned our house, etc. etc. etc. In a nut shell, they were so helpful. We haven't posted pictures of our house so I am going to do that here. This will include pictures of the yard (front, side, and back) along with the inside of our house. There aren't pictures here of our upstairs - maybe I'll do that next time I blog in two years (kidding...hopefully).

Along with the amazing help that Liza, Laura, my mom, and Loel, provided us, we have had many friends help out and many people bring us food. It made the whole process of adding another child to our family that much easier, and we cannot thank everyone enough!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


It has been awhile since we updated our blog so I thought I’d do it since I have a lot more free time now than I have in awhile. I finished up classes a week and a half ago and have loved having free time. I will include pictures of Thomas throughout since all of our pictures nowadays are of him.

Overall this semester was a little too stressful. Coming in to this semester I didn’t think it would be too bad (which is why I interviewed for the Quintiles 20-hour a week job) since I was familiar with 90% of the material (so I thought) that we would be covering. Well, it turned out that although one of the courses I took had the same name as one I took at BYU, it was vastly different and much harder. I haven’t really had a Saturday and Sunday without any homework or studying since January. In February, after talking with Em, we decided it would be best if I spoke with our Bishop about my calling. I was in the young men’s presidency and was assigned to the deacons. I would teach every Sunday (which wasn’t time consuming at all – very easy) but was also required to attend Wednesday night mutual and go on the monthly campouts and attend other service projects. I wished I had the time to do it but it was hard when my Saturdays and Sundays were my ‘catch-up’ days and then I had a campout. It would have equated to very little sleep and no time with Em and Thomas. The bishop was very understanding and moved me to a Sunday school teacher position for the same group of deacons and other 12 year girls in the ward. I have loved it (the kids were really excited when they saw me come in to teach the first time – it made me feel good) and love how it doesn’t require anytime during the week!

My job at Quintiles has been fun. I like working there and it is pretty low stress and still interesting. I work in the Innovation department (specifically the Center for Statistics in Drug Development) and I basically help my advisor, Russell, with implementing new methods to be used in the data analysis of clinical trials. So far I have worked a lot with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Depression, and Anxiety, data – it has been fun.
Overall the semester went well despite me being busy and I am really enjoying this downtime. I love going to bed at night knowing that I have no classes and nothing due the next day! I still work 20 hours a week for Quintiles but that is it. In a little bit I will start studying for my basic exam (the PhD qualifying exam in August – I have to pass it to stay in the program) but I will do the bulk of that studying when we return from our Utah/Hawaii vacation.

Em and I are big in to celebrating milestones (and pretty much anything we can make an excuse to celebrate about – I think I got that from mom) so after my last final we went to the Cheesecake factory for lunch, spent some time at the mall, and then went to Heather and Eric’s house that evening for dinner and to watch Thor. It was a great day. The following Monday we went to their house again to watch Captain America and then tonight we are going out with them to see The Avengers in IMAX 3D! I am very excited. Em is not too into super hero movies but has graciously been willing to watch all these movies with us. I liked Thor more than I thought I would but didn’t like Captain America very much. I am hoping Avengers is good.

The days after my last final were filled with two more celebrations with my friend Doug and his wife Charisse (he is at Duke doing stats) and then with our friends in the ward Keith and Katie. They were both fun nights filled with good food, games, and movies (saw War Horse and thought it was pretty good – althought definitely a one time viewing movie).

Our phone contract with T-mobile ended in April (hallelujah!) and we made the move to Verizon on a family plan with Em’s sister Abbie and her husband Jon. Em let me get an iphone4 while she opted for a basic flip phone. Needless to say, I love the iphone! We have taken SO many more pictures and videos of Thomas because it is always in my pocket. I have also loved being able to check something on the internet (address, food info, etc.) while we are out. Also, I love going running and installing new podcasts, music, or listening to Pandora, while I run – so convenient. The main downside is that there is an Atp tennis app that I have installed that lets me check scores and results instantly… I have now become addicted to checking it. I also find myself checking email too much simply because I can. Em and I had debated for so long on whether or not to get one (me always saying we ‘need’ it and she saying that it wasn’t worth it). Ultimately I think we were both right, it isn’t a necessity but it does provide a lot of things that have made life easier. My main problem with people with iphones is when they pull them out when you are visiting with them. You wouldn’t pull out your laptop when you are eating dinner right? Or when you are it the car with other people and they opt to looking at their phone over making conversation. I can see how it is tempting, but I have made a point not to use it when there are people I could be visiting with.

Em and I have also started getting back into tennis. There is a club about 15 minutes away that has a ball machine that we can play on. We did it the other day and had fun. We also went and played at some local courts just the two of us. Yesterday I played competitively for the first time since Christmas (with Tara) with a 42 year old 5.0 man. I don’t know what level I am in terms of 5.0, 5.5, etc. but because I beat this guy soundly, I think maybe I am 5.5? It was really fun and felt SO good to be out hitting again. He told me that there were lots of leagues 5.0/5.5 that would love to have me be on their team. I think I will do it. Em also said she is going to look for a league or group of women her level that she could get involved with. Have I said how much we are loving summer?!

We have also been taking more walks around the nearby lake, getting fresh fruits and veggies at the local farmers market, playing games every night before bed, and reading the (I am reading the new Brandon Sanderson book – its good). We also are addicted to weekly episodes of Chopped, Modern Family, Food Network Star, and tennis whenever Nadal is playing. Watching cooking shows is fun being married to Em. I can say “Dang, that looks good! We should make it!” and she can. The other day she made a spring vegetable risotto, which looked very complicated and had around 20 ingredients and it tasted amazing.

Thomas is growing up so fast. Em and I looked at pictures the other day of when he was 1 and 2 months old and he looks completely different. In fact, the other day someone told us that Thomas looks exactly like Emily (I was there next to her) which was a first. Emily was thrilled! Mostly people say that he looks like me because of the hair but overall, I think he looks more like his mom. It has been so rewarding having him in our lives. He has a huge smile, and smiles all the time.

He loves Elmo’s song and sometimes dances to it – it’s hilarious. He also smiles and shakes his legs and arms whenever he sees a picture of Elmo. He now grabs things and pics them up and plays with them. He is still working on letting things go – he doesn’t really know how to do that yet. He also has been sleeping through the night (about 10 hours and then a feeding, then sleeps 2 more hours) for a little over a month. It has been great. Em has read in lots of books the importance of keeping the baby on a strict napping/feeding schedule. Also, I know lots of people who do this. Maybe its just me, but then I feel like our whole day is scheduled around his naps and it makes it hard sometimes to do things that we want. So we still definitely give him 2-3 naps a day (usually one between 9-11, another between 1-3, and maybe one around 4)but they are rarely at the exact same time and sometimes he only gets 2. So he is on a schedule which is great, but it is flexible and I feel like the whole family benefits from it.

Thomas can now sit up, just not indefinitely. He will sit up for awhile but if he looks behind him, the weight of his head pulls him down and he falls over. The other day we went for this 6 month checkup and we had to answer this long questionnaire about his development. It asked things like “Does your baby pick up cheerios with his fingers and place them in his mouth?” And after reading the questionnaire I think Thomas may be a little behind in his fine motor skills. But in terms of making noise and trying to talk, I think he is doing very well.

This past week we started feeding him solids. Em made him a avacado breast milk parfait and sweet potato mush, and he didn’t like either of them. He also doesn’t love water. He seems most happy with plain old breast milk.
He is also playing more independently now. We have some toys for him and sometimes he will play with them for 20-30 minutes at a time. He spends most of that time talking to them. Is favorite toy is still his hands. He stares at them and twirls them and talks to them.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Latest

 How did this little guy......

Turn into this one?

Our little boy is Growing up!  We don't want this to happen undocumented as he is changing so much so fast.  It is crazy to thing that he is already 4 months old!  He is really starting to develop more of a personality.  It is really fun to watch.

He is a very verbal baby.  He talks all the time!  Mostly ohhs, ahhs, and dzzzz with lots of drool and bubbles.  I have heard a da in there every now and then, but it is just one of his noises (at least I have to tell myself that to remain hopeful that he could still say ma first :)).  He talks to mom and dad a lot, but we are not his only audience.  He performs the best for his hands and his feet!  It is really cute, but yes undocumented.  We need to be better at pictures and videos.  Brad is convinced we will do this better if we get i-phones.

Other things as of late are that I have noticed when I get him out of his crib in the morning, or after a nap, he has often turned his body 180 degrees or more in the crib (not from back to stomach...Thank goodness, but from the head of his crib to the foot of his crib).  I am not quite sure how he does this.  I think it has a lot to do with how he plays with his feet as he is falling asleep, and his uncoordinated hands and arm movements to get himself calmed down.  He will also roll from the side of his body to the other side also, to try and find his binky if it falls out.   He doesn't cry to much for us to put it back in, but tries to get it himself.  We like to see that he is becoming more independent.

He is starting to hold toys in his hands.  He doesn't put them in his mouth quite yet (although he does that a ton with his blankies), but he just holds them and stares and talks to them.  He is fascinated by them, and he will pick them up himself if they are in his sight.

He laughs like crazy at certain things like when we blow raspberries on his tummy, when we take his shirt off and get close to his armpits (he is like both parents in ticklishness), when we sing made up songs from daddy and mommy,  us smelling his "stinky" (but not really stinky) feet, blowing in his face, and doing superman and airplane.

Overall, Thomas is a very good baby.  He puts himself to sleep just fine for naps and bedtime.  He had a two week stretch of sleeping through the night, but about a week ago he started waking up more again.  I think it is a combination of us going out of town and getting him off schedule a little bit, and going through a growth spurt.  We have had a couple nights since then where he has slept well, but it is not a recurrent pattern yet.  Hopefully soon!  He also can keep himself entertained.  He is very patient.  I feel like I can take him anywhere and not have to worry about my baby fussing too much.  We do hang out here a lot so he can get his naps, and so we can play.  I am grateful for his good nature, and hope that will continue throughout his life.

Unfortunately Thomas has had an abscess on his bum for the last 6 weeks or so.  It went away for about 10 days, but then came right back.  At the beginning of February we noticed it, and took him to the doctor.  We go to a group of pediatricians and typically see a different one each time we have a last minute appointment.  The first doctor looked at the abscess and thought that we should take Thomas to the Pediatric E.R. at a hospital out here in Raleigh.  It is actually a really great E.R. unit for kids.  The staff is great, and they had the cutest little hospital gown for babies.  It was adorable to see Thomas in it, especially since he was as happy as a clam. Here is a picture.

The doctor sent us there because it was a Saturday, and he just wanted to get a second opinion so we could rule out anything serious.  He also said because of his age, he wanted to be careful (Thomas was just under 3 months at the time).  It made me nervous, but Thomas didn't have a fever, and he was really happy, so I wasn't too worried.  They looked at it, drained it to get a culture but couldn't get enough of the drainage, and gave him a topical antibiotic ointment.  That didn't really work.

Here we are 6 weeks later, and Thomas has had four more rounds of antibiotics, probably about 6 different doctors visits and it is still there.  The problem is they can never get enough of the puss out of it to see what antibiotic to treat it with.  Augmentin made it appear as though it had gone away, but now it is back.  We tried a different antibiotic, but now we are back on Augmentin.  The doctor is going to look at it after 10 days, and hopefully it will be good and gone.

Although it is an annoyance, the abscess and the antibiotic haven't left Thomas unusually grumpy or uncomfortable.  We are grateful for that.

Brad had Spring break last week.  We were lucky to go to Maryland to spend time with Andy and Julia and their darling new baby girl Miriam.  We went for her blessing, and also to just hang out and spend time with them and Paula and Loel who were in town.  It was a lot of fun.  We had a great time, and were so glad to be there.

Here are some pics from this get-away

 Thomas and baby "Me-um" as Bryce says.  This was on Miriams blessing day.  Paula got this beautiful dress at a flee market in Paris when they were there on their mission.
 Thomas in his bumbo chair laughing at Grandma
 Thomas and Bryce
Thomas and Miriam

After Paula and Loel spent time in Maryland, they came here to North Carolina to spend time with Brad and I, and Heather and Eric and their kids.  We had a blast!  Loel and Paula helped us out a ton while they were here.  Loel put up some shelving units in our pantry, and helped us with other handy tasks like putting up a file shelf thing and stuff.

Paula did 90% (or more....I just don't want to look like I didn't do anything) of the cleaning while she was here, and helped me organize Thomas' clothes, my closet, the pantry and other cupboards in the kitchen and etc.  It was nice to have her help and company while we did these things, and to have advice from somebody who is better and enjoys it more than I do.  I like to be organized, I just don't enjoy doing it.

While we were organizing Thomas' room, we found this hat I made for him before I had him.  We tried it on.  It doesn't fit as well, but it sure looks cute on him.

We didn't just clean and organize, but did some fun things too like go to pullen park to ride the train and the carousel.  We went with Heather's family.  Thomas didn't ride the Carousel because he was too small, but he went on the train.  Here is a pic.

While we were there, we had a picnic lunch.  Here is a pic of Thomas and Averie at lunch.

We also  decided to have Loel take some Pictures of the three of us while we were at Heather's house one day.  Loel took some great pictures, and it was also nice to have Heather there too to give us ideas for good spots to take pictures in, lighting, and etc.  Paula also did a great job playing crazy clown to get Thomas to smile.  Heather was nice to let us use her backyard, let me borrow her boots because I forgot my black shoes, and helped me find a nice lip color for the picture.  It turned out really great.  Here are some pics of that photo shoot.

 I had to add this photo of Paula and Thomas as it is the only one we have of the two of them for this trip.

I just wanted to add this last picture of Thomas as it is so adorable.  Brad put this outfit on him because he thought it was so cute, as did I.  It is just a little too big still, but it will fit him soon enough.

Just for a little info on Brad and I.  Brad is still working 20 hours a week at Quintiles, and taking classes full-time, and doing research.  He has been extremely busy.  It has been a little hard for me, as I get bored and lonely sometimes, but I need to get used to it because I know we will have times like this in our lives.  I have been able to make some great friends out here that I go for walks with, hang-out with during the day, exchange babysitting, and etc., so that helps.

Spring Break was really nice, although Brad was still busy, just not as busy.  I look forward to the summer when he can focus just on preparing for his qualifying exams, and work 20 hours a week.   That should free up some of his time so that he can spend even more time with Thomas and I (He makes a point to spend time with us, even during this busy time of our lives). 

Well, that puts us up to date.  Thanks to Paula's iphone for nearly all the pictures posted this post, and for Loel and Heather for taking our family pics.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!