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!