Thursday, September 5, 2013

He loves you more

Dear Caleb,

Today was a rough day. I was tired from the get go and I suspect you probably were too. You threw one tantrum after another (including throwing your Cheerios cup at the dog) and refused to nap all day long. You even managed to unroll toilet paper from the bathroom to the kitchen without breaking it. I still have no clue how you handled that one! I'm sure some of the tantrums I handled with grace, patience, and love. But quite a few of them were met with an exasperated sigh and an impatient mommy. At one point we were both in tears, and I was begging God for wisdom in my mothering. That's when I heard a still, small voice whisper "I love him more." It stilled the storm raging around me. It quieted my anxious heart. No matter how violent a tantrum you throw, it won't change my love for you. No matter how defiant you become, you'll always be my boy. But the best reality of all is that no matter how much I love you, God loves you more. I've loved you since the moment I knew you were on your way. God loved you first. He loved you so much that He sent His only Son (whom He loved more than I can imagine) to die, so YOU could live. It's a beautiful thing, my sweet baby boy, that in the midst of tantrums and bad choices and broken momma hearts, God loves us more. My prayer today is that neither one of us ever loses sight of that. I pray you'll never know a day or a moment when you don't know in the core of your being that God loves you more.

The Bible promises us that His mercies are new every morning. So tomorrow we'll get up and try it all again, with fresh mercy and a fresh heart. If tomorrow is wonderful, I'll love you. If tomorrow is a disaster filled with even more tears, I'll love you. And this momma will trust that the God who called us and saved us, loves us both more than I can imagine.

I love you my sweet boy!

P.S. -- Tonight when I asked for a good night kiss, you stuck your fist in your mouth. When your daddy said "Give your momma some kisses!" you shook your head no! Not cool little man. Not cool.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

12 months - 1 year!

Dear Caleb,

You are a year old! I can hardly wrap my brain around it! I'll write a separate post about your party and your birthday celebrations. For now I'll just say it was a wonderful time and a sweet celebration of our precious boy!

You are now a walking man! You are done with crawling and want to walk everywhere you go. In the past 2 weeks you've learned to stand up in the middle of the room - no more pulling up on furniture. No more sweet furniture cruising. All walking. All the time. Your favorite thing to do is find one or two toys and walk around carrying them. You cruise from room to room and just babble away. I'm not sure who you're talking to or what you're saying but it is precious! You aren't attached to one particular toy or blanket, but you tend to pick one favorite item for the day. The other day is was a paper towel tube you found in the recycling bin. You would not let me take it away! I finally convinced you to play with something else when the tube had completely disintegrated and I was pulling chunks out of your mouth.

We took our very first family vacation this month! We rented a little house on Cedar Creek Lake and spent 2 nights there with our dogs. When we arrived you were uncharacteristically fussy. When your daddy picked you up, you were burning up with a fever. We kept Tylenol in your system all weekend long and gave you lots of extra snuggles. We went straight to the doctor Monday morning and it turns out you had a horrible ear infection. One strong round of amoxicillin later, you were good to go! Dr. Thomason encouraged us to use a probiotic to help keep your tummy happy so I ran to the pharmacy and picked up the same brand we used last time you were sick. I gave you 2 doses before I realized that it contained milk! I'm not sure why I never checked the label before, but I have a feeling the probiotic may have been the cause of your extended bout of diarhea a few months ago... I returned the box to the store and picked up a new brand that was dairy free! I felt awful for giving you milk, but you don't seem any worse for the wear now that it's out of your system. And mommy learned a good lesson in always checking the labels!

One of the most exciting things that happened this month was meeting your Indiana cousins. Uncle Jeff's kids came to visit Gaga and PaPaw for a week and we got to go see them. You also got to meet your Uncle Jeff and Aunt Brittany for the first time. It was a fun week and you loved seeing everyone! You loved it so much that you decided not to sleep while we were there. Your daddy and I crawled into bed about 1 every night (we were enjoying getting to see the family too!) and you'd wake up, ready to play. We finally got you to sleep around 4 or 5 every night. Our day would start about 7:30 or 8 when everyone else got up. We were exhausted!!! You finally slept well our last night in Waco and we were oh so thankful!

Left to right: Caleb, Luke, Mercy, Ben, and Grace

I love watching your little personality develop! You are a happy boy and have a smile for just about everyone you meet. You talk and babble a lot, but make funny sounds more than anything. You love to blow raspberries and make a "tsss" sound when you're really focused on something. Most recently, your babble has sounded much more conversational. There are several times when we swear you say "What's that?" We always answer you and you usually seem quite satisfied with what we have to say. Sometimes you blow raspberries and shake your head. You are such a ham! One day as I was getting you out of your high chair you clearly said "Mama" and cuddled up to me. I'm not sure if it was an intentional word or if you just happened to make those sounds. You've only said it one other time and you were looking at Granny so I'm not entirely sure you know what those sounds mean.

One night you snuggled right up to me and fell asleep.
My heart was so full I thought it would burst!

You are growing into such a precious toddler and are so much fun to be around. I've enjoyed the slower pace of summer but I'm looking forward to the structure and play dates the fall will bring. I'm also excited to get back to MOPS. We both love hanging out with the people we see there. You are such a people person you do much better when we get to go out and see people. Since I was pregnant with you your Daddy and I have prayed that you would have God's heart for people - it's amazing to see how God is already answering that prayer!

I love you so much my sweet pumpkin! I am so blessed to be a mom to such a special little boy! I'm a little sad that you're no longer a baby and are now a toddler, but I'm excited about this new season with you. I've never been a mom to a toddler before and I'm thrilled to learn all about what's to come for us as a family! I love you!

Love, Mommy

Friday, July 12, 2013

11 months

Dear Caleb,

Last month I struggled with the fact that you were turning 10 months old because I felt like you were leaving the baby state and getting dangerously close to toddler hood. I was right! This month your daddy and I have noticed so many ways that you're no longer a baby!

You now take up a shocking amount of your crib. When I rock you in your room the legs that once fit safely in my arms, now wrap around my body and stick out the side of the glider. You are walking all over the place. We've officially started the weaning process. You no longer play with a lot of your baby toys - we even packed some up in the attic to make room for your big boy cars. You refuse to be spoon fed purees and love feeding yourself finger foods. There are fewer and fewer sweet baby curls. Instead you have a head full of hair that is often crazy and unruly. You have learned to crawl out of my lap when you're done nursing. You're such a big boy! Oh how the time has flown!

Sometimes those sweet baby curls need a little bath after lunch...

You crawl on all fours at lightning fast speed now. No more sweet belly crawling. I feel like I'm watching your days of cruising around the furniture quickly come to a close. You love walking around and can cover quite a bit of distance before you fall. At the beginning of the month you just fell on your face. It wasn't long before you figured out how to catch yourself and control your fall.

Now that you can walk up to the window in your room, it'll never be clean again!

One of the biggest events this month was your first visit to the allergist. I was very nervous about the appointment, but you handled it like a champ! I was so proud of you! The doctor ordered skin testing and we had to keep you laying flat on your tummy for 20 minutes while the stuff sat on your back. Thankfully, you fell asleep in my lap and it was a breeze! When all was said and done, you tested positive for milk, egg, peanut, and dustmites. We go back in August for bloodwork that will tell us more about the severity of your allergies. For now, we are keeping you on a dairy, egg, and nut free diet. Sometimes it's quite the challenge, but we're getting in a groove and figuring out how to keep you safe. The diaper bag now contains 4 Epi-Pens (2 for you, 2 for me). We are a food allergy family!

You still LOVE going outside! It's getting harder to spend time outdoors as the weather warms up, but we do what we can. This month you went swimming for the first time. My child, you are fearless! We have to hold you close and tight or you dive underwater. You kick your feet as hard as you can and love being in the water! I'm so excited to be raising a little fish.

You are a champion sleeper and a hearty eater! I'm already worried about the grocery bill when you're a teenager! Avocados, Cheerios, and broccoli are still your favorite foods. Although, fresh fruit is right up there on the favorite list. When we get out a plate and knife, you wiggle all over with excitement! This month we added soy milk in the afternoons and you seem to like it. I'm so glad, since we're quite limited on milk options for you!

I can hardly wrap my brain around the fact that you only have a month left as a baby. You're quickly becoming a toddler and I'm not quite ready. You are a busy little man and are constantly getting into everything! Just when I think the world is safe, you find some other way to get into trouble. You're learning the word "no" even if you don't like hearing it!

The POPPArazzi!

I am so blessed to be your mom! I am daily amazed at how richly the Lord has blessed me with you! Your laugh comes so easily and I will do just about anything to get a smile and giggle out of you! I'm cherishing this last month with my baby and those sweet baby curls that get longer by the day. I'm praying daily for all the Lord has planned for you. He's put a special spirit and a beautiful heart in you and He's going to use you in big ways. I love watching that sweet spirit develop and can't wait to see what God's going to do! I love you Pumpkin!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where my heart is

We've been on vacation for almost 2 weeks, but it feels like it's been a month! For 2 weeks I've been living from a suitcase and putting a baby to bed in a pack and play and feeding Caleb carefully planned meals. For 2 weeks we've traveled and visited and hugged and loved. And now we're home. We pulled into our driveway yesterday with a deep sigh of relief. Home. At last.

We walked in our house to discover our A/C wasn't working. The temperature was 87 and quickly climbing. (It got to 94 before all was said and done.) We unloaded the car and I sadly left DJ at home while Caleb and I sought out a cooler place to hang out. We finally returned home at 9:45 when the temperature finally went back down to 86. It was a rough night for our family, to say the least.

Today was still rough. My heart was crabby and I snapped at DJ more than once. I couldn't figure out what was wrong and everything seemed to annoy me. Everything was just off. Then tonight, I cooked dinner. It's a little thing, really. It wasn't anything spectacular - just left over meatloaf and some roasted zucchini. But then we naturally slipped into our evening routine. DJ gave Caleb a bath and I cleaned the kitchen. Suddenly, my heart sighed a happy sigh. This was right. This was where I belonged. I belonged in my home, caring for my boys. I was so deeply content wiping down my kitchen table, washing dishes, listening to the happy squeals from the baby in the bathtub.

So now I sit in a quiet house, the crickets singing their song outside my window. Laundry from a wonderful vacation is hanging around the house. Clothes are sitting in the washer and the dryer reminding me that I'm blessed to have people to wear them. The scrapbooking room is a cluttered mess of a thousand half done projects. The list of things to do for Caleb's birthday party isn't getting any shorter. (Can he really be having a birthday in a little over a week? Yikes!) Despite all of that, I'm deeply content. I'm so thankful to stay at home with Caleb. I'm so happy to be a mom. I'm so thrilled to be living this life. This is where my heart is happiest. This is where my heart belongs.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reasons Caleb is crying

Have you seen that website of a guy who takes pictures of his kid crying? Cracks me up every time! So here's a list of why Caleb is crying, sans the funny pictures.

He wanted a nap.
I put him down for a nap.
I told him to stop chewing on the recliner.
He wanted to walk.
I held his hands to walk.
I let go of his hands so he could walk.
He wanted to eat lunch.
I put him in his high chair to eat lunch.
I moved a basket so he couldn't climb onto the fireplace.
He climbed onto the fireplace.
I took the lamp away.
He wanted the remote 2 inches away from him.
His walking toy was in a corner.
His walking toy was in the middle of the room.
His walking toy was in the doorway.
The bird outside chirped.
Mommy had to go potty.
Mommy left the bathroom.
Mommy didn't play chase.
Mommy played chase.
He wanted the toy in my lap.
He wanted the toy in his lap.
The ball rolled away.
He wanted to nurse.
I put him in my lap to nurse.
I wouldn't let him crawl off the edge of the bed.
I wouldn't let him roll off the changing table.
He needed a diaper change.
I changed his diaper.

It's been a day in our house.  I blame it on the weather. How's life where you are? Why does your child cry?

Friday, May 24, 2013

10 months

Dear Caleb,

I have struggled accepting the fact that you're 10 months old! I refused to tell people that you were 9 and a half months old and told your daddy that if he ever said you were almost 10 months old I'd hit him. I'm not sure why this month's "birthday" has been so difficult. Maybe it's that you're losing so much of your baby face. Maybe it's that you're much closer to your first birthday than you are to your birth day. I just could not wrap my brain around the fact that you're growing up so fast! I think you knew that this month you were supposed to grow up and be more "little boy" than "baby" because the day before you turned 10 months old you took your first steps right into your daddy's arms. I'm so glad you waited for your daddy to be home. He wanted to be there so bad!

This month you finally decided crawling on all 4s was better than crawling on your belly. You are doing your new, traditional, crawl more and more but most of the time you want to walk. Or run. Or fly. :- ) You love cruising around the furniture and, most recently, love walking with your push toys. You also love to walk when we're holding onto your hands. I was quite exctied the day you grabbed my fingers and led me outside to the back yard. You walked over to the blueberry bush I'd showed you just the day before and plopped yourself down. We sat outside enjoying the sunshine for over 30 minutes. Now we go for a walk down the sidewalk every morning and go sit in the grass in the backyard every afternoon.

Just after you turned 9 months old someone gave us a very nice camera. I've taken a few hundred pictures of you this month as I've tried to figure out all of the settings. That's a good thing - because my old iPhone was starting to fill up and I'm having trouble deleting pictures of your extreme cuteness. As soon as the camera came in the mail we rushed to the largest blueberry field around and took some good old fashioned Texas pictures. Your blue eyes in the field of bluebonnets were just stunning!

You are still sleeping 12-13 hours at night. Most of the time you only need 2 naps but every now and then we have to squeeze in a third nap. The end of the month saw fewer and fewer of those 3rd naps... You are still rocking your 8 teeth and I'm not too anxious to add any more to the mix. You're way ahead of schedule as is! You're wearing 9-12 month clothes which makes me happy. It's one of the first times in your life you've fit in the clothes that match your age. You have decided that you don't like to be spoon fed and would much rather eat finger food. So this month I tried every finger food I could think of! You are in love with feeding yourself - and rubbing it all in your hair. You're working to master the use of avocado as hair gel. This month we added veggie pasta, black beans, pickles, chicken, and homemade teething biscuits. I've also started giving you whole fruits and veggies instead pureeing them first. You're thrilled! Your favorite is still avocado, but black beans and Cheerios run a very close second.

I've decided that I love taking pictures of you when you're in your high chair. The lighting in the kitchen at lunch time is perfect and you are actually still enough to get a great picture. Plus it's quite cute to see the mess you make as you learn to feed yourself.

Your hair gets longer each day and I know we're dangerously close to your first hair cut. However, I'm quite in love with your "sweet baby curls" popping up on the back of your head. I know I'll miss them when they're gone so for now, I take a lot of pictures and admire the extreme cuteness!

You are, hands down, the happiest baby I know. You laugh easily and still love to flirt with the people you love. Your daddy and I make the funniest faces just to hear that precious giggle! (It's still one of my favorite sounds in the world!) I feel like the luckiest person in the world to get to stay home with you each day. You are such a sweet little man and I try hard to cherish every moment we have together - even when you're into everything and making a huge mess. I love you pumpkin! I can't wait to see what God has in store for you as you grow up.


Monday, May 13, 2013

My First Mother's Day

Growing up, I always thought Mother's Day was a bit corny. Dad told me it was a day to honor my mom and tell her I loved her. But I told her that every day. I knew we got to go out to eat but it was always to some boring restaurant with my grandmothers and great aunts. They didn't even have a playground! Or a kid's meal! I remember thinking, "How does sitting quietly in a chair eating boring food like green beans qualify as 'special'? We eat green beans all the time! Special is going to McDonalds and getting a nice cold ice cream cone after you get all hot and sweaty playing on the playground!" Still, every Mother's Day some teacher had me make a card with my picture or handprint on it and Mom would cry every year.

When I was in college and then as an adult I appreciated the day a little more. I saw it as a chance to let mom know just how special she was. I made efforts to travel to see her or go out of my way to love on her just a little bit. (I can, however, think of 2 Mother's Days that I screwed up royally. Man do I regret those days in hind-sight!)

As a young married woman I remember Mother's Day meant the day would be filled with a twinge of pain. A twist of heart ache for the babies I wasn't carrying. None were so gut-wrenching as the Mother's Day just 2 months after my miscarriage. I remember soaking my husband's shirt with tears as I cried for the baby we lost. I still celebrated the moms in my life and I was thrilled to honor them. But in it all was a seed of hurt that never quite went away.

Last year many people wished me a happy first Mother's Day but I felt guilty accepting their praise. I was big and pregnant and while I had put in my motherhood time in the morning sickness department, that was it. I hadn't labored to bring this child into the world. I hadn't spent sleepless nights pacing the floor with a crying baby. My child was still tucked in safe and secure - not running around giving me countless heart attacks each day. I enjoyed the day dreaming about what would be, but didn't really count it as my first Mother's Day.

This year, however, was different. I've put in my time on the motherhood clock. I'm in the mothering trenches every day! (And I love it!) But something else changed this year. Suddenly Mother's Day didn't seem quite so corny. Yes, DJ showered me with love and a break from kitchen duty. Yes, Caleb slept in and was happy all day long - even though he didn't get many naps during the day. Yes, we finally got to take the family portraits I've been begging for since January. But more than that - I had a chance to reflect on my blessings. I got to look at the man God gave me to stand by my side. I got to look into the eyes of the little boy who made family our name. And I got the blessing of another day to love them. This mothering business is already going by way too fast. (As DJ pointed out several times yesterday - my baby is almost 10 months old. That's sneaking dangerously close to not being a baby anymore, folks!) I also realized all of the mothers who poured their hearts into me in order to get me where I am today. I wouldn't be the woman I am without a mom who sacrificed everything to stay home with the 3 of us. She didn't just teach me how to be a woman, she taught me how to be a wife, how to be a mom, and how to glorify God every step of the way. She cherished me even at my worst and always made me feel like I was her favorite child (despite my sibling's insisting that they're her favorite). For that, I am forever grateful.

I love you mom! Thank you for teaching me about life. Thank you for staying home when it was the tough thing to do. Thank you for showing me, every day, how to lay down my life for my family. I'm the mom I am to Caleb because of the mom you are to me.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

9 months

Dear Caleb,

You're 9 months old! That means you've been outside my belly as long as you were in it! Wow. Just wow. Your personality grows a little bigger each day - just like you do. You love to flirt and bat your eyes at anyone who will pay attention. There are so many days that I feel like you're just too precious for words.

You sleep a solid 12-13 hours a night and nap 2-3 times a day. (WOW!) That third nap is still quite tricky. Some days we can't live without it, some days you really could care less. This month you got your first fever. It quickly turned into a heck of a journey! After 2 days of diarrhea and a fever a little over 101, I took you to the doctor. You had your first tummy bug AND your first ear infection at the same time! We went home, prescription in hand, and put you in your pajamas. When I gave you the antibiotic, you immediately threw up. I decided it was because of the tummy bug and just gave you another dose the next day. A few days later I was changing you and noticed large splotches all over your arms and legs. I called the doctor just to be sure everything was ok. They told me to bring you in immediately and to call 911 if you stopped breathing before we got there. My heart stopped and we got to the doctor in record time. You never stopped breathing, but the hives got worse quickly. The doctor gave you Benadryl and told us you were never allowed to Azithromycin again! Luckily your ear was clear and we didn't have to go back on an antibiotic. However, after the weekend your fever went back up and you were up at 2am Monday morning. So we trekked back to the doctor. This time, you had a respiratory virus. That night you screamed for over 5 hours. I've never seen you so sick and miserable! Of course, your daddy was out of town at a tennis tournament. I am so thankful that Granny was able to come stay with us! You were awake for 22 hours straight! I was one exhausted mommy! By Thursday your fever was still elevated and Daddy was home sick with strep throat. When we went back to the doctor (4th time in a week and a half!) she said you probably had strep and put you on a new antibiotic. Luckily you didn't have an allergic reaction to the new drug and you were better in a miraculous 24 hours. It was a rough two weeks in the Hammond House and I'm thrilled that we're done with it! :- )

You were a snuggle bug during those two weeks of sickness. However, as soon as you felt better you learned to pull up on anything and everything that will support you. (And a few things that won't.) You're already quickly cruising around the furniture. You love to go all the way around the living room. You're quite proud of this new mode of transportation. You still army crawl when there's no furniture around but you're already starting to discover that walking is much more efficient! You love to hold onto our fingers and walk around.

As you started pulling up I suddenly discovered that you know how to dance! You shake that little hiney while you smile and laugh. Your favorite song, by far, is "Good Morning" by Mandisa. I can turn around a fussy day with the first few notes of that song. It is officially a part of the soundtrack of our lives.

Last month I thought you were into everything. I had no idea just how inquisitive you would become! The bathroom door now stays closed. Our coffee table and end tables are now completely clear. The fireplace has toys strategically blocking it off. (You like to chew on the brick. Yikes!) I can no longer leave you in a room alone. As busy as you are, I love every single second of it!

Because of your run in with tummy issues we held off on introducing a lot of new foods. So this month we only added broccoli, cereal puffs, and Cheerios. It took you a little while to figure it out but now you love eating finger food! I'm busy doing lots of research on finger foods you can handle and that won't flare up your allergies. We tried some scrambled eggs while we were visiting Gaga but you were not a fan. The next day you woke up covered in big red blotches. However, there was a fertilizer plant that exploded 20 miles away the night before, I had a horrible cold I may have given you, a cold front blew in overnight and brought a ton of rain with it. So are you allergic to eggs or did you have a reaction to one of the other factors around you? Just to be safe - we'll avoid scrambled eggs for a little while!

This month we were so deeply blessed to celebrate your first Easter together. On Saturday we went to the Easter service at our church, then had a fun Easter dinner with the Williams'. (I cooked my very first ham!) We had a fun mini-Easter egg hunt in their living room with Ethan and Jack. It was fun to watch all 3 of you boys try to figure out what you were supposed to do with the eggs and the baskets we kept putting in your hands. You weren't too sure about the whole thing, but you loved the Cheerios inside! On Sunday we went to church with Granny and Grandaddy, had lunch at Aunt Nerfer's house, then spent the rest of the day with Granny and Grandaddy at their house. It was a wonderful time to celebrate the reason we have hope in this world.

This month our world also saw some heart break I can't begin to comprehend. Some people who don't love Jesus hurt people in Boston. Then, just 2 days later, a fertilizer plant exploded and lots of homes were destroyed. A few people were hurt. There was so much heart ache I wanted to just hold you close and never let you go. But in it all, there were so many helpers! So many people stepped in to help those that were injured or had lost everything. Everyone donated food and clothes and household items. Doctors, policemen, and firefighters worked around the clock to help. As I watched those who were hurt I felt an intense need to protect you. I wanted to keep you safe from the world that is so full of pain. One day while I was praying for the people effected by these tragedies I realized something. I can't protect you. I can't keep you safe forever. But I trust in a God who loves you more than I ever could imagine! He holds you in the palm of His hand. All of your days were planned before one of them came to pass. God is so much bigger than a bomb in Boston or an explosion in West. He is bigger than my longing to protect you, and greater than my ability to keep you safe. When you see hurt around you sweet little one, look for the helpers. Be a helper! And trust the God who made you.

You are still the happiest baby on the planet (even when you're sick) and are so easy going. I'll never forget how excited you get when I open the garage door. You love people and love going to see others. You still have the most beautiful relationship with your daddy. The two of you are going to be quite the dynamic duo one day! I love you sweet boy! You are such a blessing and such a wonderful baby. I'm so glad you're mine! Please don't grow up too fast. I want to enjoy this time with you and it's all flying by! I am so glad God chose me to be your Mommy! I wouldn't trade this life for anything in the world.

I love you sweet boy!


Friday, April 12, 2013

8 months

Dear Caleb,

It seemed a huge surprise to me that you turned 8 months old. It completely blindsided me! What happened to the past month? Where did it go??? Shoot - where did the past 8 months go? You are one fast moving army crawler! You are extremely curious and are into everything. Everything. EVERYTHING! One day you got the dog's water bowl and flipped it over onto your head. I had only stepped away for a second to check the washer and you managed to get soaked! Then you pulled all the DVDs off the shelf. Then you spit up on all of the DVDs. All before 9am! :- ) You are a boy on the move!
It didn't take long this month for you to pull Pooh into your lap...
And you're off! You never stay in one place for long!

Right now, you weigh in at a staggering 21 pounds, 7 ounces! You've officially grown out of your 6-9 month clothes and you're now in 9-12 month clothes. Although, I've found several 18 month outfits that fit you. It makes me just a little sad when I see little baby clothes in the store. You're not a little baby anymore.

This month you had a major nursing strike that scared me to death. You went an entire day without nursing unless you were sound asleep. When all was said and done, I decided that I'd hurt your sweet little feelings when I yelled after you bit me during a nursing session. The nurse at your pediatrician was less than helpful (she said to give you fruit juice) but the lactation consultant from the hospital was wonderful as we figured out how to work through it. Ultimately, your strike ended as I prayed over you through every session. It was a wonderful time to just love on your and pray blessings over your life. That week and a half taught me a lot about letting things go and trusting the Lord. It also changed our time together during a nursing session. I spend a lot more time in prayer and a lot less time on facebook. I suddenly realized how fleeting this time is and how much I want to cling to every moment! Now, when we sit down for your first nursing session of the day you stick your thumb in your mouth and lay your head down on my chest. For just a moment it's total bliss and my heart swells. After a half a second you pop your head up and start squirming for breakfast, but I cherish that moment every morning and look forward to it each day. I know it won't last. I know the moment is fleeting and it won't be long before you don't do it anymore. But for now, I love it!

You absolutely love eating solid food! Right now you eat rice, oatmeal, bananas, apples, pears, avocado, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, and carrots. You like green beans, peas, and carrots best when we mix a little apple or pear in them. You like bananas, avocado, and sweet potatoes best of all. When we feed you that first bite of food you make a face like you hate your food. (Unless we feed you avocado...) After the first bite you remember that you like what you're eating, but I think that first bite you're always hoping for avocado and seem sad when you don't get it. One day when we were visiting Waco, we went out to eat with some friends and I forgot to bring your food along. You were starving so I asked the waiter to bring us an avocado or a banana to feed you a little dinner. He brought me a whole, frozen avocado. No knife, no plate. Just an avocado. I stabbed it with a fork, peeled it, and mashed it in an empty chip basket. Sadly, you weren't a fan because you hate cold food. But it sure made for some good laughs over dinner!

Your new favorite game is whenever we toss something up in the air and catch it. I have a video of you laughing so hard you fell over. I love your laugh so very much! It's absolutely one of the best parts of my day! Overall, you continue to be the happiest, most easy going baby on the planet! You bring so much joy to our lives and I love watching your sweet personality grow each day. You absolutely love going to church on Sunday mornings. You dance and sing during worship, and then usually nap during the sermon. I'm getting more involved in MOPS and as a result making more friendships. You have come to love play dates so much that when I open the garage door you shake all over with excitement. You also get quite excited when your daddy comes home each afternoon. I love watching the two of you play together. You're just so precious!

I am so blessed to be your mom. I love watching you grow and I love getting to know you more with each passing day. I do my best to savor each moment with you, but it's all going by so fast! I love you sweet Pumpkin! You're my little buddy and I am so glad you're mine! You're such a special boy! I love you!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

7 Months

Dear Caleb,

 My little baby is 7 months old! 7 months? Really? I'm just not sure how that happened! (I think I say that every month and every month it's very true.) Each month as I sit down to write your letter, I go back and read the one from the month before so I am sure what accomplishments are new to this month. This month I am flabbergasted at the changes! You're growing up so fast and changing soooo much! I love watching you grow and love to see you learn new things each day. Sometimes I get misty eyed just watching you play.

This month we've struggled with figuring out a napping schedule. You don't quite need 3 naps in a day, but you can't quite go without that third one. Therefore you very often go to bed at 7pm. However, you're sleeping a breath-taking 13 hours a night so I won't complain! Adding solid foods to your daily routine has helped stretch naps out quite a bit. You're now eating 2 meals a day. You are eating rice, bananas, sweet potatoes, avocado, oatmeal, and apples. You are generally a very enthusiastic eater and love food. We often can't put it in your mouth fast enough! Last night you ate sweet peas for the first time and you weren't so sure how you felt about it. Today you have a bit of a rash all over. I'm not sure if you're allergic to peas or you just have a rash because you seem to love rashes.

The biggest accomplishment of this month is that you're mobile! You have a precious little army crawl that is incredibly effective. Your legs often flail around behind you and make me giggle. Sometimes those legs are helpful, sometimes they just get in the way. It won't be long before you wear the belly out on all of your clothes.

You are a master at sitting up and are getting quite skilled at getting to your belly to begin crawling. You love playing with your toys, but your favorite right now is the karaoke machine Santa brought you for Christmas. I hear those songs so often throughout the day I find myself absent-mindedly singing them in Walmart! You squeal and laugh and bang on the instruments like you're a real member of the band. I love dreaming about what you'll be like when you grow up. I can't wait to see what little pieces of your future I'm getting to glimpse now...

Your new favorite game is whenever I cover your face with something and say "Boop!" It doesn't matter if it's a burp cloth, your pajamas, or your stuffed ball. You just laugh and laugh until you can hardly catch your breath! I love it! I've noticed that my phone is running slower and slower these days because I keep filling it with adorable video clips of you laughing hysterically. Maybe I should bust out the video camera once in a while... :- )

We had fun on your first Valentine's Day! You and I made several Valentine's to send to the ladies in your life. You are such a cutie and everyone was excited to see your first scribbles on their cards. We attempted to do some painting with your friends Ethan and Jack but we mainly managed to make a huge mess and laugh hysterically. It was a wonderful day and Ms. Amanda and I laughed until we cried as we watched you three boys attempt to paint. What a mess we made! I loved every moment of the sweet Valentine's crafts.

Your personality grows more precious with each passing day. I love watching it develop and dreaming about the little boy and man you'll become one day. I'm so thrilled to stay home with you my sweet baby boy and love every second of it - even the days when I swear that clock is moving backwards! Your laughter fills my heart with a joy I've never known before. I'm so thankful God gave me you! I love you Little Man!