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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Growth this Summer

This summer was the perfect storm for old Megan.  You see, old Megan loved to have everything in her life planned out.  She hated financial stress, she hated not knowing what was going to happen, and she ESPECIALLY hated it when plans fell through or things didn't go smoothly.
 
Welp, all of the above happened this summer and there was nothing to do but deal with it.  I'll just share a little bit.  I've been wanting to do a vent post for a long time, and boy have I had some doozies you would have laughed about, but I knew that wouldn't do me any good to complain or call others out.  I wanted to wait until I'd made peace with it so that it could be an uplifting post.  Ranting used to be my release (see old blog posts--I should probably delete those), but I'm trying to keep things in until I have wrapped my head around them more.  There's enough anger and people upset in the world, not enough that internalize and ponder before they speak.  Hopefully this will accomplish that.  I'll try to just give you a brief glimpse into a few things that rocked my world this summer:
 
We thought Claudy was going to graduate in August, only to find out he had classes left we hadn't counted on.  We had planned our entire lives around that.  It was why I had quit my job because we had saved and saved and thought surely, by the time Claudy graduates our savings will get us through until he can find a full-time job.
 
Welp, everything went up in smoke because he couldn't start working full time having classes smack-dab in the middle of the day for FOUR MORE months (best case scenario).  And, to top it all off--he couldn't even find a part-time job.  He was applying everywhere.  Come to find out, it's kinda hard to get a job mid-summer in a town with two large universities full of eager, young workers like Claudy.  Even more so, if you don't have a degree.  He was humble and applying everywhere.  I'm talking groundskeeper, grocer...everything.  And, we weren't hearing back on a thing.
 
Meanwhile, our savings was draining faster than an hourglass with a hole in the bottom. 
 
Nothing was going to plan.
 
Had I imaged the answer to my prayers that I should stay at home?  Should I go back to work, since I had the ability to make good money?  Had we made the wrong choice?  If we had made the right choice, why was nothing working out?
 
Then, to top it off our apartment flooded for the THIRD time. We woke up one fine Saturday morning and rain water had come in under our front door (like the two times before) and gotten our living room, kitchen and down our hallway.  I wanted to throw up.
 
Because it had sat for a few hours until we woke up (normally it's happened when we're awake, so we're able to bail and mop it up right away) it had soaked up the walls.  The restoration company had to tear holes in our walls to get the wet sheetrock out.  We had 5 large industrial fans and a dehumidifier that were so loud they were terrifying Carter. 
 
In our small, two bedroom apartment, our living room furniture was shoved everywhere, so that the only space we had was our small bedroom...with two small children.
 
We asked if the landlord would get us a hotel since it was clearly unliveable.  We were told no, and that's what our renter's insurance was for.  But, our deductible is $500.  I'm not paying the deductible for something the landlord should have fixed a long time ago.  Nor, did we have it, seeing as we had no job.
 
This was one of the most stressful things I've dealt with in a long while.  I felt so stuck.  I felt inadequate as a parent to provide a healthy, safe, clean environment for my children to live in.  I walked around feeling like I was sucker punched in the gut.
 
To make matters worse--where in the world was I supposed to feed my child?  With 29 food allergies you can't just eat out while you don't have a liveable kitchen/apartment.  Nor, did we have money to just eat out for three meals a day.
 
I should have written it down, but I believe it took 5 days for our apartment to dry out/to not be full of machines.  The restoration company packed up and left and we had no word from the landlords what they were going to do.  The carpet pad had been thrown away, so we had a dirty piece of carpet sitting on cement.  That went on for several days.  Finally, they had a carpet guy come and put in new pad and stretch the carpet back out.  He put in the wrong size of pad, so the carpet is uneven where the old and new pad matches up, and you can tell he didn't cut it right because there's a hole where there's no pad at all by our bedroom door.  Classy.
 
But, still the carpets were not cleaned (even though everyone who worked on it mentioned it was imperative that we get it cleaned since it had been outside/rain water that had come in) and we had gapping holes in our walls.  While drying out the carpets, the fans were pointed under the carpets, so that they were flapping as they dried.  It shook out any dirt that was in them and everything was covered in dust.  We were left to clean up everything.  Even though you think you vacuum a lot (I do at least several times a week) there was layers of dust on EVERYTHING.  Nasty.
 
We had packed up (a lot to pack by the way with two small kids and medical stuff and safe foods to take for Carter) and slept at my sweet, generous friend's house.  Well, tried to sleep.  Carter's not a fan of the pack-n-play, I'm not a huge fan of blow up mattresses, and having a new baby was rough.  She's single though, so I felt terrible imposing on not just her, but her three roommates.  We did that for three nights, and finally felt like we had to come home. 
 
I was worried about Carter's sever asthma since insulation was left exposed and who knows what dirt and crap was stirred up and out in the open from the walls being cut open.  Sure enough, after being home for two days Carter had a sever asthma attack.  Claudy was at school with our one car (another trial) and so I had to race to borrow a friend's and get him to the doctor.  He had to be put on a systemic steroid for seven days to get his lungs to calm down.
 
I felt so low at this point.  Truly vulnerable, and felt at the mercy of others--and I don't like feeling dependent or having to rely on others.
 
It was at this point we gave our 30 days notice to our landlords.  I didn't know where or how we'd find a place, but I knew we couldn't stay here any longer.  I'm sure many will think, flood me once, shame on them.  Flood me twice, shame on me.  Flood me three times and you're an idiot.  You have to understand that we felt like we were doing what was right--not getting into more debt while my husband was in school.  The rent was so cheap and we kept thinking he'd graduate soon, so we thought we'd just stick it out.  But, we finally saw that our time had come and gone here.
 
Did I mention what a pain it is to try and find housing when you don't have income to list, and school has already started so that everything is already taken?  That was a fun way to spend my "extra" time.  Not to mention, Carter spilled bubbles on our reliable laptop and it completely died, so I was trying to do all of this from my super slow, old, mini laptop.  I truly wanted to pull my hair out sometimes.
 
But, you know what the funny thing is?
 
It was such a wonderful summer too.
 
Isn't that weird?
 
Instead of fretting, "Why isn't Claudy able to be at work right now?"  I would force myself to think "Enjoy this time where you can spend it as a family and have your husband home to help.  Isn't it great that we can go to the park in the middle of the day?" 
 
I had to chase away negative thoughts and worry.
 
Instead of "What in the world will we do when our savings runs out?"  I would think "Money is not what matters.  Look how blessed I am to have two wonderful boys."
 
Instead of "I live in a hell hole of an apartment."  I would tell myself "There are so many people in the world who do not have heat, let alone air conditioning and a roof over their head."
 
I will not say that I am perfect, but by having a shit storm of problems all happen this summer and so many things "seemingly" not work out...something in me changed.  I learned to let go.
 
I learned to be happy DAILY, despite my "I-would-have-never-chosen-these-how-in-the-world-did-I-end-up-here" circumstances.  I listened to Elder Uchdorf's talk on gratitude on repeat.
 
I found the positive.  I reached out to friends and family and was uplifted when I was down. 
 
And, there were so many happy moments.  There are silver linings if you look for them.  Things like: both my boys slept at the same time so I was able to get a nap!  Or, we found the best patch of shade so I could sit with Calvin in my lap while Carter played in our little wade pool.  Or, otter pop popsicles are the tastiest way to cool down after a great day at the park--especially when I can share them with my toddler who couldn't eat hardly anything last summer.  Or, my toddler finally beat his fear of going down the slide by himself.  Little things, all around me, that I had taken for granted suddenly got me through the days.  And, the best part is, I feel like I'm a different Megan at the end of it.
 
Sure, I was frustrated many times--but I didn't hold onto the frustration and become bitter.  I didn't wonder "why".  I knew why.  I knew that I was supposed to grow, to rise above my current and often negative/freak out thinking.  So, I just tried to have patience and pray through it.
 
At the beginning of the summer I had prayed, "Let Claudy graduate in August and find a full-time job with great benefits and that we can move to North Carolina and get the heck outta Utah."
 
When we found out he wouldn't be able to graduate our prayers slowly shifted.
 
We prayed, "Let Claudy find a job before school starts in September so he can know what time/schedule to make his classes."
 
When that didn't happen we then prayed, "Let Claudy find a job before our savings run out."
 
When that didn't happen, we didn't give up, we still continued to pray "Let Claudy find a job that he will be happy in and that we can have our needs met."  But, we finally  understood what "needs" truly were.  We had been humbled.
 
Now, here we sit.  It's fall.  We found a place that is bigger and well taken care of.  We are moving in 8 glorious-can't-come-fast-enough-days.  Claudy found a job that he really enjoys--working with troubled teens.  Is it a full-time job?  No.  Is he still in school?  Yes.  Do we know what we're doing once he graduates?  No.  Do we have any sort of a plan?  Not really.  Do we have a savings?  No.
 
But I am happy!  I am grateful.  I don't need those things to be content.  I am looking through a new lens and learning to let the Lord guide my life.  There is no point in worrying when the Lord is in charge.  I'm going to end up where I need to.  I can either enjoy the detours, or kick and scream the entire way.  I don't like screaming, it makes my throat hurt.
 
I truly hope I have learned my lesson, but I have a feeling the old Megan is a stubborn one and will creep up from time to time.  I'm sure I'll have to endure similar things again, because, well, it's life.  I hope I will be more prepared next time. 
 
I always wondered what people meant when they said they were grateful for their trials.  I never got that.
 
I finally understand.  I am grateful for the hard, but still so many good moments, summer that we had.  I am grateful for growth and the chance to be better because of difficulty.
 
If you're going through a hard time know that it will end and that you will be better afterwards if you allow the Lord to be with you during your trial.
 
Thank you Fall for coming, but thank you Summer for your lessons.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Carter is Famous--Again

It stinks dealing with Carter's medical issues, but I refuse to let our suffering be in vain.  If we can help raise awareness, educate or help others I am all about it. 

Carter's had a local TV news piece done on him about this time last year. I recently did a live radio interview on 97.1ZHT about food allergies and told Carter's story there (it's at 98 minutes in the podcast if you want to listen to it).

And now he has a magazine article (both online and in print!).  Here's why his latest fame came: Carter has been in the local early-intervention program since he was about 11 months old.  At first, he was just in it because he wouldn't bear weight on his legs, and was behind in his gross motor skills.  Then, we realized that he had a gagging/eating issue (which was actually probably due to his disease and not motility) and now he's in it for speech therapy.  I'm so glad we got him in the program so that as all of these different issues arose we already had trained professionals ready to help.

It's been awesome as they come to our home (so I don't have to go out for yet another appointment.)  And, it's paid on a sliding scale of how much you make, so that everyone can afford it.  I believe every town has one.  I had never heard of it until our pediatrician told me about it.  So, if you're worried your child is delayed in one area or another--ask around!  They do a free assessment to see if your child even needs it, or if you don't need to worry.

Anyways, I guess they asked the Provo office if there was any client that would be good to spotlight and surprise, surprise--they thought of adorable Carter.  I mean, who wouldn't want to cover him?

It was fun because they brought a professional photographer and took pictures of him at a park.  I just adore getting pictures of Carter, especially ones I don't have to take.  The photographer got a few with me in it and I'll cherish these.  It was a win, win--helping spread awareness for services that have totally blessed our family and getting a free photo shoot. Woot, woot!

Here's the article they wrote:

Two-year-old Carter loves the playground. Playing on slides, swings and water play are some of Carter’s favorite things to do. As an infant, he was diagnosed with an esophageal disease and numerous food allergies that caused him a lot of pain and made eating extremely difficult. While receiving therapy to help with feeding and swallowing, they discovered that Carter was delayed in large motor, language and other skills. Easter Seals-Goodwill’s Provo Early Intervention Program stepped in to help with speech therapy. Therapists came to Carter’s home and work to help Carter catch-up. “I’m beyond words to express my gratitude for ElBea and Easter Seals-Goodwill staff for coming to our home to help Carter,” said Carter’s mom, Megan. Carter playing on the tunnel slide Having in-home therapy meant they could use the toys and surroundings already familiar to Carter. It was easy for Elbea to show Megan how to help Carter between therapy sessions using items already in their home. Elbea and other Easter Seals-Goodwill staff become much more than therapists. “Whenever I had a question about Carter or if something didn’t seem quite right, they were always there to help us,” said Megan. As a bonus, Megan plans to use the speech and language skills she learned with Carter to help ensure his 3-month-old infant brother gets a good start in life. “These are things that will help us for the rest of my kids’ lives,” says Megan.
 
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Copyright to Gallivan Photography

Provo Street Fair

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I forgot to mention this, but back in the summer Provo had something called Provo Street Fair.  We decided to check it out, and boy are we glad we did.
 
It was completely geared to little kids and it was so much fun.
 
There were a tons and tons of little tents set up with activities in each one.  There was a football throw which Carter, although one of the littlest, got 2 out of 3 in the designated hole. Everyone around was starring and some guy in the back of the line yelled out, "Get that kid in baseball!"
 
They had arts and crafts, and science things for the kids to do.  Every booth that you did,  you got tickets.  Those tickets could be redeemed for fun things--like face painting.  By the time we finally got to the front of the line for face painting the girl told us, "I have no idea what I'm doing, I'm just a volunteer" so I tried to think of something easy to do other than a smiley face.  I thought of a mustache and it ended up being hilarious.  He was the only one with a mustache and people kept pointing and saying how adorable it was.  What made it even cuter was that they had a DJ and Carter decided to boogie out in the middle of the street--with that huge mustache and all.  He was quite the sight and you could tell he was brightening people's day cuz they couldn't walk by without smiling at his pure joy in dancing in the street with his silly face paint.
 
They had large bubble makers, free popsicles that he could actually have, and an airplane he could sit in.  They even had a fire truck but he was still traumatized from our fire station visit where they turned on the loud the sirens so he was afraid of them.
 
It ended up being an entire morning worth of fun.  With our last bit of tickets we went and got Carter's very first cotton candy (not until I had checked the label of course).  At first he wasn't too sure, but he ended up loving it.  It melted his black mustache and he was a sticky, colorful mess but it was worth it!
 
Sometimes I really don't care for Utah, but then I'm reminded what a family-friendly place it is.  They almost always have something going on that is kid centered and I do appreciate that.
 
Thanks for a fun Saturday morning, Provo!  I hope if we're here next summer you'll do it again.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Capturing Calvin: 4 Months

I should be packing right now, or writing my freelance article that is due tonight, but how can I not write about you, my sweet little boy?  I've already let a little time slip since the official 4 month birthday and I shouldn't wait another second to document your amazingness.

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You scared me pretty bad at your 4 month appointment.  You had chunked out and leaped up to the 30th percentile in weight at your two month appointment.  Nothing had seemingly changed--as you still ate the way you used to.  I was expecting to see several pounds added to the scale.  When the nurse said the number I had to have her weigh you again.  Just 12.74 pounds??  That's even lighter than Carter was at four months--and I thought he had weight gain issues! Not even a full pound more in two whole months?  You had dropped from the 30th percentile in weight to only the fifth.  Even the pediatrician was concerned.  I was baffled since you seem content and happy after each feeding.  I only nurse you on one side, so the pediatrician wants me offering both sides.  Since doing that you're spitting up a lot more, so I think you're over eating.  I was pretty much a wreck that night feeling like this was the last nail in the coffin for an EOE diagnosis.  Although we won't know until we scope you (and I'm hoping to put that off until you're closer to a year) you have so many of Carter's tell-tale signs: horrible (in fact worse than Carter's) eczema, when I eat dairy and wheat it upsets you, mucousy diapers, and now a failure to gain weight.  I'm trying so very hard not to worry prematurely, but it will be incredibly difficult for me to put you through what Carter had to do.  I don't know if my heart can bear it.  You can gone up to 24 inches and your head is still in the whopping 40th percentile, so at least there's that.  My boys sure love being oranges on toothpicks :)
 
The appointment did end on a happy note.  You received your immunizations and of course started crying.  I asked Carter to give you a kiss to make you feel better and you promptly stopped crying once he did.  It was so incredibly sweet, even the nurse commented on it.
 
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You are FINALLY sleeping well.  You literally went from waking up like 6 times a night, to just once.  I thought you'd ease into it, but I'm OK with you just going right to AWESOMENESS.  Now, you seem to go to bed around 8:30p.m. and wake up around 2:30a.m. to eat.  Sometimes you wake up at 6:30a.m. to eat and then go back to bed until around 8a.m.  I'll take only two feedings in 12 hours.  I feel like a new woman.  Bless you, my thoughtful little boy!

Speaking of sleep, you love to sleep on your side, with your arms around your seahorse, with your binky in your mouth and swaddled.  I'll cater to you as long as you sleep :)  You, unfortunately, still sleep in the bathroom.  So sorry!  The joys of having a parent still in school and living in a tiny apartment.  It's the only room without windows and the total darkness, and sometimes the loud fan has really helped your sleeping improve, so I'm not apt to want to move you anytime soon.  Eventually you'll join your brother's room, but I'm terrified one or both of you might regress when that happens and now that I'm finally sleeping well I'm not ready to give it up.

You finally like your swing.  I'm so glad I didn't get rid of it.  Not that you fall asleep in it, but you're totally content to sit in it and watch your brother run around.  I think you like it because it's the only place that you can be propped up well.  You seem to not like to lay down, as if you're missing out when you do. 

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You have a fabulous grasp, as my hair can attend.  You also can find and grasp the rings and toys that hang down in your jungle gym mat.  You also rock at tummy time in the same matt.  You can completely keep your head and shoulders up all the way like a pro for tons and tons of time.  It's quite impressive.  You can also move 45 degrees by wiggling and adjust your position on the matt it's so fun to watch you figure it out.
 
Even though people constantly have hair envy and speak of your luscious locks, you're going totally bald in the back.  You have just wisps of hair back there.  No one usually notices because of the way you're in your car seat or being held.  I'm pretty sure many would still trade you, even with the back baldness.  It's part of your charm.

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As this picture depicts, you REALLY want to be able to sit up.  I think you can tell you're the only one in the family who can't and it bothers you and you want to catch up!  When I put you slumped in a corner, you're just wriggling and wiggling to try to force your way into a sitting position.  Unfortunately, you usually put a little too much "umph" and go too far forward.  However, if I give you a hand to help steady you you'll sit upright and you can tell that you think you're THE Man for being able to.  When I lay you back down you protest quite loudly!

Your brother sometimes makes loud noises that scare you (crashing his cars together, or hurtling something large and heavy across the room...sigh) but you just love to watch his antics.  I can tell you are counting down the days until you can join in his craziness.  I'm loving that you're immobile and want to prolong it as much as possible :)

Speaking of prolonging--I totally nap with you sometimes.  I NEVER would have done that with Carter and was very textbook about sleep training and not starting bad habits.  However, you'll often wake up when Carter goes down and some days this momma really needs a nap.  So, to bed we'll go.  You'll often go back to sleep if you're in my arms.  It's a guilty pleasure of mine and I love to look at your angelic sleeping face and wake up next to you (even if my arms are asleep by that point).  Please don't punish me and be a bad napper because I'm slacking, OK?

You still love to chew on your fingers, and it's come in handy since you're getting your two bottom teeth.  Both you and your brother started getting teeth at 4 months.  You can see they're just about to break through.  Other than having to have Tylenol here and there you're really taking it like a champ and it hasn't affected your sleeping. 

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I have to keep you covered in long sleeves and long pants because of your eczema.  If your hands aren't in your mouth and your skin is bare you are attacking your skin.  You can see that your skin is red in some of these pictures because you were thrilled to finally be naked and be able to scratch as you pleased.  Thank goodness it's getting cold so that I can keep your poor skin covered.  You're so coordinated that you can even pull up your shorts to scratch, hence why we have to do long pants now.  You're too smart for your own good! 

Someone told me the other day that I make "cookie cutters".  Everyone is talking about how much you look like Carter.  It seems the older you get, the more people see it, even though I've seen it all along.  I guess you can reach perfection twice :)  I commented back, "Yep, I make beautiful babies, just not healthy ones."

Speaking of coordination--you're starting to lunge and reach for things.  If we're holding you while eating you try to get our plates or food.  You're getting good and fast...there's been a few close calls to our plates being spilled!  I will hopefully be feeding you solids between 5-6 months.  I'm not in a big rush since it's messy and a lot more time consuming than breastmilk. 

You are making these hilarious grunting noises now on top of your cooes.  If I'm in the other room and you start up, I can never tell if you're upset or just making noises.  Sometimes I think you're not too sure either. :)

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You just light up when you see me coming.  Your smile seems to take over your entire face.  And, if I happen to walk past you on my way into the kitchen or elsewhere you wail and let me know it's not fair to tease you like that.  You're very aware that you can cry/whine when you're upset with something and don't hesitate to let us know! 

Now that your eye sight is good, I can say your name and smile at you from across the room and you'll just be elated I'm giving you attention--which helps if I'm stuck doing another task but still want to calm/reassure you.  I love that I make you happy and that you are so happy to see me.  It helps me feel like I'm doing something right if you enjoy my presence so much!  You seem fine if other people hold you, but you seem to be much more smiley for me than strangers.  I'll take it!

You also giggle now.  It started as just a simple "ha-ha".  But now, if we squeeze your thighs, or play with your feet, or play with your arms, or put you far away then bring you into our faces you'll laugh.  It's funny because even though that seems like a lot of ways for you to laugh, you don't fall for each one every time and sometimes make us work to get a laugh out of you.  You seem to laugh longer or harder if we laugh with you, silly boy!

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Carter is totally fine with your presence now.  He'll often give you kisses and will sometimes get upset if we forget to have him give you goodnight kisses.  He'll remind us and have to remedy the situation before he can fall asleep.  He likes to point you out in public, pointing to the car seat and proudly proclaiming "baby Calvin!".  Now that you're trying to do things, he'll often come do tummy time or lay next to you.  It's very sweet.  Since I'm often coo-ing at you, Carter will now say "goo Calvin goo" but in the most flat, monotone voice ever.  He also likes to say "gross Cal" when you spit up.  Or, "ewy Cal" when you've pooped (which thankfully is still only like once a week).  It's hilarious hearing it not in the typical high-pitched-baby-talk voice. 

You're such a sweet tempered little boy and are so great to take places.  You will often cry a lot in the car if it's your nap time (especially at stop lights--I'm always praying for green ones), as it's not your favorite place to hang out when you're sleepy, but other than that you are quite easy.

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Keep being your handsome, happy self.  Happy 4 months Calvin!!!!  We love you.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Top Ten Summer Count Down

Since Summer has officially been over for a bit (sniff, sniff) I thought I'd recap our favorite things by selecting our top ten.  This has been one of our best summers.  Since Claudy only had a few classes a day, he was home a ton.  We made the most of the time and it felt like it was just such a quality family bonding time all the time. If you ever have to have your husband be out of work--do it when you have a newborn!  It was a trial with a huge silver lining because we got to have him home so much during the best season and I was able to nap almost every day because I'd hit the bed once he came home to watch the boys.  I don't know if I would have enjoyed the summer as much if I hadn't gotten those precious and much needed naps since Calvin was sleeping so horribly at night.  

This glorious summer we were falling in love with Calvin, exploring and teaching Carter and just enjoying one another.  Here are the top ten things we especially loved summer 2014--although no in particular order because they all rocked:

  1. Going for lots and lots walks--while Carter either ran ahead, or rolled along in his dump truck
  2. Splash pad/parks
  3. Otter pops (more than I'd like to admit--but so fun to see Carter enjoy a 'normal' childhood summer fav)
  4. Fishing
  5. Playing in our kiddie pool, in our front yard in the shade (over and over again...)
  6. 7 Peaks Water Park
  7. Roasting marshmallows
  8. Hiking the Grotto trail
  9. Having my parents in town
  10. Blessing Calvin
While none of these were going to Cancun, or backpacking in Europe--we still had such a wonderful time!  Those small moments, where Carter was giggling while riding horsie on our back, or watching Carter give Calvin kisses were better than anything fancy we could have done.  There were several moments where we'd be sitting down for dinner together and we'd all be laughing and I'd turn to Claudy and remind him, "These are the best moments of our lives."  And, I believe that with all my heart.  

Onto a fun fall!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Amen!

We try to say a prayer at family dinner and during our bed-time routine, so Carter's pretty familiar with the format.

Recently, he's started trying to repeat what we say as we pray.  It's pretty, stinkin' adorable.

The other night he said his most complete prayer and I had to stop what I was saying to hear it.  It went like this:

"Hmmm Father,
thank you this day
thank you (for) Daddy
thank you (for) cars
thank you (for) Jesus
Amen!"

My heart was so full I was glad I only had to utter amen too because I don't know if I could have said much more.

It's so touching to hear such truth uttered out of such an innocent and trusting mouth.  He knows these eternal truths that so many look for.  I hope and pray that he'll always feel a connection with prayer and know that God, our loving Heavenly Father, is truly listening.  How could He ignore such true intent and such a wonderful little boy?  Impossible.

I was just a teensy bit sad I wasn't mentioned, but I'm sure it's because he doesn't have the words to express his immense love for his perfect mother...right?  Am I right???  

Either way, I'm so proud of you my sweet, little boy!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Capturing Calvin: 3 Months

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Wow!  I'm almost an entire month late.  So sorry Calvin!

Your beloved big brother broke our laptop, so I kept waiting for it to get fixed because that's the only laptop that we have that is compatible with our camera to upload the photos.  I finally took some on Claudy's smartphone--but you weren't in a good mood and wouldn't smile.  I kept telling myself I'd re-do them, but by now you're basically 4 months old so we'll just have to go with these...which makes me a bit sad since this was the month you learned to laugh and you have become so smiley, so I wanted something to capture that.  Be ready for your 4 month shoot is all I have to say!

You're still in size 2 diapers, and I feel like I hardly have to change you because you only have a bowl movement like once a week.  Bless you!

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You've actually been sleeping worse!  You've been in the bassinet next to our bed and the pediatrician finally told me what many people have told me--to move you.  So, after spending every night inches from each other you've been banished to the bathroom.  Sorry--but it's the only room without windows so that it's pitch black.  You still are only doing about 3 hours during the night for eating, and now that I've tried to start giving you the binky to help you realize that you can fall asleep without eating I'm getting up even more.  I think the other night I counted like 8 times, because I keep having to go in and pop it back in after it falls out.  I have a love/hate relationship with that thing.

However, you, Mr. Mouth, LOVE it and anything you can get in your mouth.  You definitely have an oral fixation, which Carter never did.  You're totally content if I even give you a clean burp cloth to hold in your hands.  You find it entirely fascinating to try and bring it to your mouth and are delighted when it does get in your mouth.  Your whole body curls around it as you joyfully slobber and gnaw on it.

Your horrific eczema finally got better when I gave in and put a topical steroid on it.  Your legs were so terrible and we had given it so much time that we thought it was better to heal it.  Around that time I figured something else in my diet must be bothering you.  I went off eggs for like 6 weeks but it didn't seem to help.  I've since added them back in and don't notice any bad side affects, so hopefully that means they're benign.  I did finally give in and gave up wheat.  That was really tough for me!  I truly miss my chocolate twizzlers.  There isn't anything I can find at the store when I'm having a sweet tooth that is both dairy and wheat free except for a few candies--but since I'm a baked good kinda gal and not a candy lover it's rough!  Your skin seems to be responding to me taking out wheat, although it's still not 100%--I'm not sure if that means it needs more time, or...if, heaven forbid, there are more foods I need to cut out of my diet.  I cringe just thinking about it.

Speaking of eczema--you've figured out how to scratch.  You'll sit and open/shut/open/shut your fingers on a spot that must be bothering you.  You've really given yourself some bad scratches, and somehow still manage to gouge yourself even if I've just cut your fingernails.  Like your brother, you especially dig at the back of your head.  I'm not sure if that's because that's your worst bald spot or what.  Because of this, you can't sleep long, because when you're upset you scratch yourself, which in turn wakes you up even more.  So--for bedtime we swaddle those scratching machines down.  You always manage to get out of it (even the velcro swaddlers) but at least it holds you down for awhile.

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When it comes to falling asleep--you're pro!  I can put you down with your eyes open and you can perfectly drift off on your own.  No rocking, bouncing or anything from me.  I'm so glad you've mastered this.  Once you get sleeping for longer periods/not waking up we will be golden!  You also seem to prefer to cat nap--meaning like 20/30 minute stretches.  Every once in awhile you'll do a 2-3 hour nap like your brother used to, but most of the time you're up and then down in shorter cycles.

You are so happy now.  It's hard to believe you were such a cranky newborn.  You really only cry if you're hungry or tired.  I really attribute it to cutting out the dairy.

You fill out 3-6 month clothing great and look so handsome no matter the outfit.

Your hair is super curly now, no more just waves--at least what's left of it.  You're getting some back and side balding, but still manage to pull that look off!

You're such a trooper.  We're usually having to go to some appointment for your brother, or are taking him somewhere to keep him busy or burn off energy.  You're so easy to pack along and rarely make a peep unless you're hungry.  I've gotten very comfortable leaving the house with you two, because you're the easiest.  Other than the heavy car seat and double stroller sometimes it seems like you're not there because you're so effortless.  I appreciate this easy time, as I'm sure someday you'll want a say in where we go and what we do...but for now you're the cutest accessory I've got.

I love you Calvin and know Carter does too.  He likes to call you "baby Calvin" and will tell people about you when they ask for him to introduce himself.  He usually points you out first before answering and saying his own name.  He seems very proud of you!

Your laugh and big gummy smile melts my heart.  Thanks for spending these last three months with me!

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