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.