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Preemie donna

Updated: 2017-06-23T08:29:38.724-05:00


Happy Cinco de Mayo


She was not the best model yesterday but I got at least one good image out of her in her dress.  

Please remember do not download, crop or alter. 

If you like my photography please like my page Give Me Props

5 YEARS ...


Such a beautiful day today.  Took Bella's 5th birthday pictures. So my baby girl will be 5 on Wednesday, can't believe it has been five years. It is hard to believe that 5 years ago I had no clue what I was having all I wanted was a healthy full term baby but God had other great amazing plans for us!  I am so grateful and blessed to have been giving the greatest gift in the world of our beautiful health little girl.  I love what having had a preemie has given me & allowed me to be able to share with other preemie mom's.  I think it is such an amazing gift. So in the last year Bella has been a busy girl.  Lets get an update on her likes and dislikes & who she is. Plus lots of pictures! Mom is crazy with the camera. This year we had actual snow without ice & Bella loved it till her butt got wet & cold then she was done.She was Sofia the First for Halloween down to her stuffed clover to carry with her when she went for her Tricks & Treats.A little mini me photo session. Found this 20 questions seems perfect1. What is your favorite color? Pink2. What is your favorite toy? All of them! never leaves her baby 3. What is your favorite fruit? apples4. What is your favorite tv show? My little Pony5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Mac & Cheese6. What is your favorite outfit? anything pink7. What is your favorite game? tag 8. What is your favorite snack? fruit snacks9. What is your favorite animal? Kitty - She wants to trade Parker in for a Cat10. What is your favorite song? She still loves the Tron soundtrack11. What is your favorite book? Sofia the First12. Who is your best friend? Abby13. What is your favorite cereal? 14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Go to the Parker with daddy15. What is your favorite drink? Chocolate Milk16. What is your favorite holiday? all of them, she loves being with family & any celebration17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? This has not changed much, she sleeps with the same crib blanket that was on her glass castle in the NICU, she has dirty baby (that her grandma gave her), her lady bug pillow (also a gift from grandma & I love putting her to bed with those two things it is like grandma is with her).  But new to her bed is fluffy puppy, zebra (from her POP) & a polar bear.  Some nights she will let her doll Suzy sleep in the bed in her sleeping bag but dirty baby is a must! She never sleeps with out her! 18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes & bacon on the weekends.  Weekday toast & chocolate milk19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Kraft Mac & Cheese 20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor like Doc McStuffinStill thinks her brother is the greatest brother in the world and well he is!She loves to go to Playschool.  Can't wait till school starts she is so ready.  She loves to watch the school bus drop kids off everyday in front of our house! So just made sense to have a school bus 5th birthday!She is still healthy & growing. 36 Inches 30.2 ozNaps are few and far betweenI would tell you what words she knows but that would take to long.   Let's just say she told me Sunday her birthday party decorations were Fabulous.  Think she is spending way to much time with her Nana.  She has her Pop wrapped around her finger.  Along with her daddy & everyone else!We are so blessed to have this beautiful little bundle of energy & attitude.  Thank you to everyone who has followed her story & prayed for her over the years you are all apart of her life & I am so very grateful for that.[...]

Summer Time


Had to share a summer pic of Bella by the pool.  
 Photo's by Give Me Props - AKA Momma

Bella is turning 4


That's more than 3 and less than 5, Bella is so smart sometimes.  She has been counting down the days till her birthday.  This year she is so excited about her birthday she keeps telling me that it is like Christmas but all for her. LOL A little selfish I know but she did help me pick out all her party decorations and the stuff for the goody bags.  We spent the day taken pictures and tomorrow for her birthday she will spend the day with Nana & Pop one lucky rotten little girl.  Can't believe how fast 4 years have gone by and how amazing & wonderful they have been with her.

3 Year Home Sweet Home


Ok be prepared lots of Bella pics of her Summer Time fun... It is hard to believe it has been 3 years since we brought home our tiny little girl. So since I have not updated in a while lets get you all up to date on the Bella Baby. Lets start with this little girl since day one has had a mind of her own even on her due date. And she still does. She does everything in her own time and when she wants to do it. Down to potty training, we have had a battle of the minds on this one and so far no luck. She knows the potty, she loves her princess panties, she does not hate the potty but she does not really want to be potty trained just yet. LOL She talks like crazy. In three years we never made a trip to the ER for healthy issues, but this summer she got a new princess chair and managed to fall backwards out of chair and hit the back of her head. We called 911 because she had what seemed to be a seizure. EMT's said she seemed fine and had us take her in. Doc at ER confirmed she is ok. Seizure like symptom was an over stimulation of nerves causing muscle contraction. She is ok and is her normal self. mom and dad on the other hand were a nervous wrecks! Once we got back for the doctor to check her out first thing she asked him was for chicken. This summer we took her to the beach. She loved it lucky for us we have her big brother who takes her to do things that we might not do like go in the ocean. LOL She loved the big waves knocking her down, she just got back up and waited for the next one. I also spent my first long weekend away from her in three years. We made a trip to Houston to pick up her big brother it was nice to get away for a weekend just the three of us. We love our Bella but we were three for so long that it was nice to just be three for a short time. She loves all things princess, this is her reading a bedtime story to her baby. She spent the weekend with her Aunt Misty and Uncle Joey and got in to Graycie's polish and did her own toe nails. This was after we spent the day in the ER, we took her to Chili's to feel better. As you can tell sprite & mac/cheese made everything better [...]



“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Jeremiah 1:4-8


Bella's 3


So I decided that this will be my last Bella's post for a while probably not another one for a year. But don't worry she will make apperances on my other blog ;)I could take a long time telling everyone who reads my blog that Bella is the love of my life and that I can't imagine spending the day without her even when I do take a break after an hour I can't wait to get back to her and I spend that whole time wondering what she is doing. I think instead I will just share some picutres with you all of Bella's past 3 years.So Bella has come a long way from the 15oz 3 years ago1st Year2nd Year[...]

My little Junk Baby


In case anyone was wondering if Bella has become a real Trashette the proof is in the boots.

She loves her pink Junk Gypsy T-shirt and her pink Cat Daddy Cowgirl boots. Not to mention some silver spoons. She is becoming just another member in the Talking Trash Family.


3/9/09 23 weeks 1 day Bella's survival rate jumped from 10% to 53% this is probably because most hospitals do not consider 22 weeks to be viable yet and for our hospital under 24 weeks it is the parents choice to put them on the vent. We had to choice to put Bella on the vent.

Among babies born alive at 22 weeks, fewer than 10% survived; at 23 weeks, 53% survived;

Last Day


Today was our last day of therapy with ECI. Seems like it was just yesterday we started I can't believe we are three years later and done. I can't imagine not having the help from all the therapist at ECI over the last three years. They are the one thing that helped keep me from going crazy.

So lets talk about Bella, well she will be 3 next week can you believe it this time three years ago I had no clue what I was having and was in the hospital trying to cook a baby girl.

Today it is three years later and we are 5 days away from her 3rd birthday. A birthday that doctors told us we would never have, not a 1st, not a 2nd and never a 3rd birthday. Doctor said we should never put her on the vent because if we did we would never get a chance to hold her alive. Last night our crazy little girl woke up at 3am and knocked on her door and said "momma come mer". And before I put her back to bed I held her. Everyday that we wake up and get to hold her I thank God for that day.

3/8/09 22 weeks 6 days... I was told not a viable baby. A micro preemie born before 23 weeks gestation has no chance of survival to 10%.

Today before I put her down for a nap she said I love You.

10 Years


10 years ago today I said I do. I said I do to a wonderful caring man and a perfect little 6 year old boy. Our 10 year journey may be one filled with lots of bumps in the road and some heartache but I always remember how truly blessed I am to have these two men in my lives and I wouldn't have it any other way. On this day I try to remember the vows we took 10 years ago. No one ever thinks about the for worse only the for better. Marriage is so much more than just good times; I am grateful for the strong family the lord has blessed me with to be able to weather the storms.

3 years ago on our 7 year anniversary our whole word was almost riped apart by the word viable. This week I have yet again been reminded of how great our God is and how blessed I am.

My son Brandon is one of the strongest 16 year old kids I know. He has had more heartache than most of us adults have in a life time and he walk strong and does not dwell in his swore, his mother would be so proud of the amazing job she did to raise such a young man.

This week he asked me to print a paper for him for school and as I was printing it I saw that it was a paper that started out with him talking to his mom so I saved it to read later. Little did I know this story was about his journey 3 years ago and what it was like for him. As I read the paper I also got word that a very good family friend had given birth to her son at 30 weeks just 3 oz under 3lbs. So as I am reading this and getting this news it brought back so many memories of our own journey. I think some times it is nice to have a good cry and remember just how much God has given me. My tears are of the great gifts I have been blessed with. The two children God has blessed me with to raise who love each other more than anything else. A husband that supports my dreams to be home to care for our family.

I am so grateful for all that God has given me.



The next few months for us is crazy. February my husband and I will be married for 10 years. Seems like we just got married and now 10 years has passed. So what do you get for 10 years together well I tough I wanted a new ring and then I decided I don't need a ring as much as I need a new building for my new business I am running out of room in the garage and running over into the house with my vintage wedding photography props and need a space to keep my clutter organised. Or he could get me new cowboy boots this would be handy for upcoming Zapp Hall right!!!! Guess we will see what I get. Owe and I also asked for a bunny. LOL I would love chickens but we don't really live in the country; plus the fear of snakes makes me think that a good idea.

It is also getting closer and closer to Bella's 3rd birthday.. Big plans I am SO excited about it. 20 children 5 and under. :0 She had a small first birthday a big 2nd birthday but this will be her first party with so many kiddo's. Wish me luck I will post more details as they come.

So lets see Bella is going strong
She is a crazy 2 year old
We just transition her to her crib converted to a toddler bed, this was the big task we have ever had with her. I think this was harder than the 5 months in the NICU. She wanted nothing to do with the toddler bed we bought her so we then tried decided to convert her crib and see how she did. It was not easy but easier than the toddler bed. So now we have a new toddler bed that we spent an hour putting it together just to have to take it apart.
she is talking like crazy..
We are thinking about putting her in preschool soon two days a week she has a lot of energy she needs to run off with some other 2 year old.
We finish with ECI in March.

She loves her Wheeler....

And painting..

Stationery card- Bella's 3rd Birthday


Giddy Up Pink Birthday Invitation

Shutterfly has unique and fun birthday party cards.

View the entire collection of cards.

Bella's 3rd birthday is just around the corner, can you believe it she will be 3 does not seem like it has been 3 years. Found these cute invitations on shutterfly will have to get some of these

Christmas 2011


Christmas Morning (Brandon and Bella) Uncle Joey (AKA Joey Angry Bird Game)Nana (showing off her gift from Pop)Bella's Great Grandpa, Great Aunt Judy, Great Uncle James and Pop at our christmas dinner Pop and Nana Bella open her Santa Gifts By the time Christmas Morning came around Bella had the gift open down. It is crazy how fast they learn how to open presents. She got some gifts before Christmas from her Great Uncle & Great Aunt and Great Grandpa that I let her practice on first. They took her some time to open but then by Christmas Eve when we got to Nana's to open she got the whole open present down and once she was done with her gift began to open Graycie's good thing Graycie is crazy about her. I did each of the kids a tree this year that we did not put out till Christmas Eve and under that was there gifts from Santa. As Brandon is 16 I had to put more time into the idea I had for his tree. I started by getting Kiss Christmas lights and ornaments and then I found a lava lamp ornament at Hobby Lobby. Then to fill in I went online and found different classic rock band concert poster images and printed them tiny and put them on card stock. I think he liked it as he asked if he could keep it all year in his room. Bella's tree was done in candy and cupcakes and it was pinks and greens. Loved the colors once it all came together.Most of you know my mom says she is not crafty but growing up I remember her Christmas tree not being the Department store trees they are today and not filled with ornaments we had made her. I guess they were the start of her Dept store trees. She made bows and then made ornaments out of small mirrors she got in the homecoming mum store and some red ribbon. To us it looked like she had spent 100's on her tree, the same fake white tree went up every year and was retired this year after 30 years of severs to our family. But it is not in a garage sale it is stored in my parents christmas building, thats right I said building. Not attic or garage building. This spring my mom said we will be pulling everything out and have ourselves a family day and she will hand down some of her christmas stuff to us. In later years the bows, fruit and mirror were replaced with Hallmark ornaments, now they hallmark ornament are replaced with new things for the grad kids[...]

Christmas Tea Party


Bella has been MIA since October, she has been a busy girl. We had all the family over for Thanksgiving, she ate she played and then she took a nap like everyone else. But still wanted to share a late Happy Thanksgiving with you. Now it is time for cooking making and the Christmas season to being. She began her Christmas Tea party earlier by making homemade sugar cookies. Rolled out her cookies.....laid out the cookie cutters..... Then began to cut out her cookies.... With some help from me we got the cookies in the oven ready for a tea party... Bella is such a good little southern girl... She began by putting her outfit together and I would like to say I did all this but she actually came in the closet and picked what she wanted to wear with some help from me by giving her only party dress choice to choice from. So once she was dressed it was time to set her table.... Her home made cookies and water... Table was all set... She served up some fresh brewed tea (water)..Took a sip and began to have herself a Christmas Cookie Tea Party...Once she had all the cookies she wanted and tea.. She grab the dish towel and began to clean up her tea party.Some days I am pulling my hair and then I tell myself that I would not change it for anything. I would not give up days like today when she is a prefect little angel playing tea party. Days when she makes cookies and eats the cookie dough and says yummy. We are so blessed and I am so thankful everyday for the gift God has given me. [...]

Brandon turned 16


The last month has been hard for Brandon as most of you know from my mom's blog. We wanted to keep things low key but still wanted to celebrate his 16th birthday. We started our birthday celebration out small just the three of us and Brandon's granny for mine and Brandon's birthday. Then the following weekend we had a small party with our close family. We had the wonderful Melissa come out to take pictures, she is so great with him. April and Shawn made homemade cupcakes and decorated them with cute signs for the soon to be driver.[...]

Foto Fabulous


If you are looking for an AWESOME photographer who is great with kids even the teenagers this is the person for you. I don't think we have a picture taken by Melissa that is bad. This is last years pictures of our family fall session with Foto Fabulous. Below are from Bella session of her modeling some new accessories she has this year.[...]

Time Flies


So I was told by my hubby that I have not posted in over a month. So here goes....Bella has been a busy girl spending her day with ME. Aren't I lucky she likes spending time with her mommy.We had a pizza party for the daddy's birthday. It was a lot of fun and here is one of the pizza we made.Bella in her super Bella Cap and petticoat.Bella posing with momma and baby Ruby. Ruby is a growing little girl already 11lbs at one month.Got this in the mail, who doesn't' love some Red Neck Glam.. If you don't have some you should get some if you can't get to the show to get one from the original Queen of Duck Tape and Pearls go check out her blog I bet you can get one shipped to you. I have already worn mine several times. Loves to sit on top of her daddy while he is on the computer. This is one of her Cheesy Face.She is turning into a little chatter box repeating everything I say even the bad words. Opps.She can count to 6 and is starting to learn her letters. Last week we went shopping with Nana and the cart had the words Thank You on it and Bella pointed and said O. She gets her annual with ECI at the end of the month to determine if she is still behind on her development.Sunday we spent the day playing in the back yard and then finger painting her Pop a happy birthday picture, in case you didn't know her Pop aka Cat Daddy will be celebrate his 60th birthday this Saturday at Zapp Hall Antique show.To get ready I am sure you read on her Nana's blog her post about getting ready for the show.Hope we get to see lot you all at the show next weekend.[...]



I have been best friends with April since we were 5 years old. After 30 years of being friend we really don't consider ourselves just best friend we are more like sisters. I am not sure what we would do without each other. We know each others good and bad. Not anything we don't know about each other. So when I told her that I could understand why her mom wanted to be in the room when she had her baby and that if I could I would be in there too she of course being the good BFF went to her hubby and asked if me and her mom could be in the room. I don't think he wanted us in the room but I think in the end he was happy with giving in to her request.

I did the video and then 45 minutes in baby was crowning and Dr. Matthews(he delivered Bella too) was ready to bring baby in the world. Well not exactly Ruby Marie was coming even if no one else was ready no pushing nothing she was coming. The whole process was so fast and it was so amazing to watch this beautiful sweet baby girl come out and be placed on her mommy. I am so grateful to have been allowed to experience this with my best friend and her family.

Bella meet Miss Ruby last night. Bella had on her party dress to go see her new BFF and she really wanted to hold her. It was so cute how she kept touching Ruby's check and hand. And saying baby.

Big Brother meeting Ruby Marie Ranford, she weight 9lbs 19 1/2 inches long, she looks just like her big brother.

(image) This is April and Wheeler after we brought Bella home two years ago this month.
(image) Bella waiting for her turn with Ruby.

Dinner Time


So last night's dinner homemade beef pot pie. I was shocked at how easy it was to make pie crust I don't know if I will ever buy store pie crust again. It came out so light and flaky and just the right amount of butter taste. It wasn't a pretty pie crust but it was tasty.

Today I am trying my hand at making pulled pork enchilada's and we will be eat it with the left over frozen beans from last week and rice.

Now on to Bella Friday she will be getting a review to see if she will test out of speech therapy, the OT for her food therapy has only come one time so far but I have seen a big improvement in her eating. Don't know if this is because of the therapy or if just having someone reassure me I am doing things right has made me less stressed at dinner time and Bella is just picking up on me. Who knows all I know is I am happy she is trying new things and not gagging on them.


A Home Run


So I made this easy dinner this week, that I kind of pulled out of my butt. My son had two friends over to spend a few days and I had to make something that would satisfy three hungry teenagers. And it was a home run. We generally have leftovers but not that night they came back for seconds. This was so easy and cheap. I made my own version of BBQ Pulled Pork Spaghetti. Nothing fancy about it just slow cooked a package of pork ribs without the bones in the slow cooker all day. Then I boiled some spaghetti noddles open a jar of Stubbs BBQ (the only BBQ Sauce to buy) mixed it all together and baked it for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, really that easy.

So easy it left me the morning to spend outside playing with Bella before the day got to hot and time to make two new banners to take to W&T on Friday to sale.


I was so excited Bella learned how to blow bubbles this week and then she learned how to eat the bubbles.

She also enjoyed playing in the fresh cut grass, that I think she could of spent the whole day playing with.

Last nights dinner menu slow cooker Roast with new potatoes and carrots. Today I have been slow cooking beans that my hubby will enjoy and the left overs will be frozen for re fried beans this weekend for breakfast. Lets just say my slow cooker has been a busy girl this week.

So I am not sure if this new thing that OT got for Bella to chew on is working or if Bella just really hates therapy but since starting to us this thing that looks like a tooth brush but has ridges on it her gagging seems to be way better. When trying something new her first instinct has always been to gag until she throws up when it is something new. So OT says it sounds like she has a texture issue. Since using this chew thing she has been actually letting the food stay in her mouth and not gag and just taken it out if she does not like it. She actually ate two bits of a strawberry and today a Waffle still eats like a bird but I will take that over throwing up her food any day. We have a second apt next week so we will see how that goes.

All and all a week that started out off is ending up to be a good productive week.

My New Normal



Busy busy and loving it. My new normal is all day with Bella cooking, cleaning, running after her, playing for hours with her and crafting. This time around I am actually getting good at this finding time for everything and I think getting better each day.

So Bella latest. Well she is become a chatter box or at least when no one is watching. She can count to 3 putting words together. Her speech therapy is going really well, she was once a week now she is only getting it every other week.

Now we are starting OT which I like to call Feed Therapy. Bella has some texture issues with fruits and vegetables. So we are starting back with OT to work on this issue ever week. So far after only one visit she is doing great. I can already see big improvements. Today she actually tried a strawberry and she did not gap on it.

I know she loves staying home with me I just hope I can keep it up for a long time.

So today's Menu is BBQ Pulled Pork Spaghetti and for desert strawberry pie, go check it out. Refreshing on this hot summer days.

Hope everyone is having a great summer. I know Bella is.





Bella got new flip flops.... her first pair and if you know her Nana and mommy you know we are flip flop nuts. Lucky for us we live in Texas so we can wear them 90% of the time. Lucky us. Of course finding flip flops to fit my tiny foot baby has not been easy but i do have to say that Me~In~Mind are the best they are just as cute and great as all the yellow box ones I steal from my mom.
Check them out at
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happy july 4th


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Happy Father's Day


Happy Father's DAY!?So have I told you about my awesome dad?He ROCKS! He likes to watch cartoons with me, lets me watch lots of music video's and teaches me about all things 80's. He thinks this is very important to know about. But he also lets me watch Yo Gabba Gabba cause mommy won't and Wonder Pets while I he feeds me my afternoon snack everyday.Today mommy fixed daddy french toast for breakfast and since I have mastered the fork I feed myself some yummy french toaste and BACON!I am turing into a little chatter box or at least when I feel like it. I can say all kinds of words now I just don't do it for the therepist maybe I enjoy her company and don't want her to stop coming. I am putting words together too. I can say I do IT and I see YOU. I am 31 1/2 inches tall not much weight gain only 21lbs but I don't stop till they make me. I have not had a bottle in a month and now drink from a straw sippy cuppy. I use a fork and a spoon. Mommy got me a bigger kiddie pool this summer and I love to play in it, sure beats a bath.Hope everyone has a safe and happy father's day. I am off to nap before I take my daddy to buy some new shoes for father's day. :)[...]