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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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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nursery

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Claudy snapped this pic right when he dropped off Carter at nursery.  I know I'm biased...but I'm pretty sure you could be blind and still think he's THE cutest kid in nursery.  I just adore dressing him up.  Claudy usually gets him ready for church, so I can't often take the credit for the cute coordinated outfits--other than I grew him, of course. :)

I'm sure between bites of rice chex (the approved food they make all the kids eat so Carter can eat it too...so nice of them!) and drinks of water during snack time the little ladies are thinking: "Who's that hottie in the bow-tie??"

Carter sure loves nursery and I'm so glad to see him be excited and bounce up the steps to go to it.  He can hardly wait for Sacrament to be over.  I hope he'll always have this attitude about church.  I melt when I hear him getting more and more words down of the sweet primary songs.  He's recently learned that he can use the "potty" card.  He'll tell his leaders that he needs to go potty just to have them walk him down to me.  I'll take him to the bathroom and he'll promptly tell me "nope".  He just likes being escorted too and from.  I think he thinks he's pretty sneaky.  There was one time where he asked to leave like 3xs!  Not that he doesn't love nursery, but he loves attention more!  He's always sprinting back to class.  

I'm so grateful for free babysitters, I mean, nursery leaders.  It cannot be an easy calling, but it is SURE appreciated!

Testing!

My heart is exhausted and heavy as I write this.  My toddler has been crazy lately and it is sure tiring!

I get that it's natural for growth and development to test boundaries.  I just never realized how hard it was to follow through as a parent.  I feel like I have these conversations a gazillion times a day with Carter:

"Don't throw that."
Chucks it.

"Don't spit."
Blows raspberry.

"Don't jump off the couch."
Leaps.

"Come here."
Runs in opposite direction.

I really hate having to enforce rules and dole out punishments.  It's so hard.  Sometimes I just want to be a crappy parent and let my kid get away with everything.  I judge parents a lot less now.

Tonight I was sitting down to read the scripture reader with Carter.  He tried to whip both Calvin and I with his blanket.  So, I took it calmly and tried to keep reading.  Then he picked up his sippy and threw it at us, and while I was telling him no, he hurry and launched a sneaker at us as well.

I stood up, told him I loved him but that bedtime was over.  He would not get rocked and he could put himself to sleep because he was not listening nor being nice.

He's been whining at his door to be rocked.

Oh, little one!  If only you knew how much I enjoy rocking you.  If only you knew that I want us to have that time together just as much, if not more than you do.

If only you knew how much I enjoy our wind down where we can talk about what we did as I stroke your beautiful curls and feel your warm, sleepy body in my arms.

I know you think you're being punished, but sometimes I feel like parents are punished more.

I'm sick of giving time outs, taking toys away and having to get after you.

I really don't know if I'll have any gumption left by the time it's the big leagues and he's a teenager.  It hurts now to go through with what I say (even if it's just not giving him fruit snacks) so how in the world will I be strong enough to really set boundaries when it's time?

This parenting stuff is not for the faint of heart.  I pray the Lord will strengthen me, because I want so badly to be a good parent.  I hope someday Carter realizes that I am constantly hoping that he'll choose correctly so that we don't have to always have bad consequences.  I'm constantly saying "please don't throw that and make me take that away" when I watch you play.  Know that I'm just trying to prepare you and do my best to teach you--even if it's hard for the both of us.

Thank goodness for bedtimes and the chance for both of us to sleep and wake up up with a new start tomorrow.

Monday, September 8, 2014

What Was Lost Now is Found--Prayers Are Answered!

Last September I took a nap.  I took my ring off and set it on my nightstand.  It was the weekend, so Claudy was at home watching Carter so I could catch some z-z-z-s.  I was pregnant, but I didn't know it at the time (hence my tiredness!).  I faintly remember Carter's fuzzy hair bobbing along the bedside.  I was exhausted so I just rolled over, thinking that Claudy would come shoo him out soon.  When I awoke I found my ring missing and knew that it was Carter who would have moved it since Claudy and I didn't.

We looked everywhere.  In a small, 2-bedroom apartment there aren't many places to look.  I was heartbroken.  I absolutely loved my ring and all it stood for.  I was sick knowing that we wouldn't be able to afford another one for a LONG time, not to mention I didn't want another one.

I was terribly afraid Carter had flushed it, since that was his M.O. at the time.  (We had a broken toilet and cars caked in poop to prove it!) We even had Provo City Water Department come snake our toilet and put a camera down it with no luck.  

I figured it was either gone forever, or still in the apartment.  I had glimmers of hope when I thought about how we always have the garbage up out of his reach and how our air vents are on the ceiling.  

I never stopped praying I would find it and figured that when we moved it we didn't find it then all was lost.

Just a few weeks ago, our landlords mentioned that we could use their garage to store a few things.  Since our room had stacks of rubber maid totes in it (so Martha-Stewart-esque, I know).  Claudy decided to go through them and determine what could go in the garage storage.  Thankfully, he's thorough--unlike me.  He decided to dump it out completely to start from scratch.  When he dumped it out, this precious thing fell out:

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I don't know how Carter would have been able to lift the lid, or if it just happened to be open that day.  I really don't care.  All I care is that IT IS FOUND!!!

I am so grateful.  I never went and got any other ring.  Many people recommended I just get a simple band, or even a fake ring from Wal-Mart to have something on my hands.  While my hand felt naked, and I even felt like I sometimes got looks being pregnant with no ring I refused to have anything but the REAL thing on my hand.

I am "reunited and it feels so good".  When Claudy presented it to me I screamed "yes"!  I'd definitely marry him again, and am thrilled to have the proof on my finger.

The Man Makes the Suit

Since Calvin is filling out nicely, a natural consequence is letting go of his adorable baby outfits.  We managed to squeeze him into his blessing suit one more time and had to snap a picture of it.  Unfortunately, he wasn't willing to smile or even look in the direction of the camera, but I still love it.  All three of my boys look so fab at church.  I'm proud to sit by my handsome men, especially knowing that it's the man who makes the suit and not the other way around!

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