Monday, December 20, 2010

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year..."

So since it's been six weeks since I've updated my blog, I've probably lost all three of my followers. ;)  But just in case, one of you is out there reading this, I'm finally updating!  There's no way I can re-cap all that has happened in the last six weeks, so I'm just going to focus on the holidays and tell you how fun it's been with Caeden this year!

Last year, he was only 4 months old, so while it was fun, he had absolutely no idea what was going on!  This year he knows what a Christmas tree is, loves to eat candy canes, and points out every Santa Clause he sees in the stores.  It has been so fun involving him more in our traditions this year.  He was able to help us decorate the tree, make Christmas cookies with us, do fun crafts, and learn about Jesus being born.

Our Christmas season started with driving to Springfield, MO with my family to take a picture with Santa Clause at Bass Pro Shop.  We've done this for the last 14 years because they use the same Santa every year and he looks so "real."  Caeden didn't cry as he approached Santa, but he was definitely nervous:

Then there was the decorating of the tree.  We strategically started decorating right before his bedtime so he could "help" put on a few ornaments and then go to bed.  Reid and I took it from there.  Here is a picture of him putting our first ornament on the tree:

It was really hard for him to learn not to touch the tree, but I have to say he's doing a great job!  I think he was in time-out enough the first few days that he figured out we were serious.  But he will walk up to it, stand two inches away, and just stare at an ornament.  Or sometimes he'll "smell" the tree. HA!

We also made sure to take lots of pictures with the lights on our Square.

Also, Caeden, Ella, and I did a few Christmas crafts each week, which was so fun!  We have "Table Time" every day.  This is when we have a short Bible lesson, sing songs, color, etc.  So now, when I tell them it's Table Time, they both run to the table, so excited!  Caeden loves seeing his finished crafts hanging around the house.  On December 1st, I started doing Advent with them both.  It's so great because now I'll show him the picture of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and he can point to Jesus and Mary.  We've talked a lot about how "Jesus was born" on Christmas.  I tried to do lots of fun, concrete activities to teach them this and we've all three had so much fun!!!

Then last night we baked and decorated our traditional Christmas cookies.  My family has made these since I was little, EVERY Christmas!!  It's my grandma's homemade sugar cookie and icing recipe.  We did it with Caeden last year, but it was more of posing with the cookies.  This year he actually helped us cut a few cookies out of the dough and got to decorate two!!  He then ate one of the two right before bed!  It was so fun and I was so impressed with how he actually put the icing on the cookie and spread it he knew exactly what to do! 


We have thoroughly enjoyed this Christmas season with Caeden and know that each year will only get better!  We are traveling to Missouri on Wednesday and will be there for a week visitng family.  I pray that we all remember the reason we celebrate Christmas....which is the fact that our Messiah finally made his glorious (but humbling) entry into our world!  Thank you Jesus for coming to save us!  Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sick :(

So Caeden experienced his first "real" sickness yesterday.  He got some kind of stomach bug that involved a small fever, LOTS of throwing up, and just plain not feeling good.  He threw up 5 times throughout the day...he was so hungry and kept wanting to eat, but of course I couldn't let him.  It was awful!  And it was so sad...Everytime he would throw up, he would just look at me like he didn't know what was happening!  It hurt my heart so bad!  But I have to mention my great friend, Alison, who stopped what she was doing in the middle of the morning and drove 25 minutes over to me to bring me Pedialyte, Lysol, Carpet cleaner :), and Desitin (for possible diarrhea).  I needed these things so bad as I was quickly going through towels and outfits, but I knew there was no way I could get him out to Walmart.  Thanks Alison for being such a selfless, great friend!  It was a long day, but he woke up mostly better today.  Still has a low-grade fever and a little fussy, but no throwing up!  So that's great!  I was a very tired mommy yesterday...thus causing me to go to bed at 8:30!  But I needed the sleep so it was good!  Now we're just praying that Reid and I don't get what he had.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Caeden the Monkey

So this post is going to be all about our Halloween celebration!  It all started last week.  We read pumpking books and Halloween books to Caeden all week.  Then on Friday, we did a Halloween craft....We made Popcorn Pumpkins!!  Caeden and Ella had so much fun!  At first, they wanted to eat more than they wanted to glue on.  But by the end, they were getting the hang of it.  Now it's hanging on our fridge. :)

Sunday night, Caeden got to go trick-or-treating for the first time.  Last year he was only 2 mos old, so while he DID dress up, we just went to hang out with some friends.  This year, he actually got to walk house to house with his other toddler friends while they learned how fun it was to get free candy. 

Here is a picture of him with all his friends before we actually started.

And here is Caeden the Monkey!!  Just so cute! :)

Family Pic...

And off they go!!

I have to say that Caeden did a great job keeping up with his friends.  He would follow them to each door, take candy from the bowl (with mommy and daddy's help) and then put it in his bag.  The hardest part for him was actually dropping the candy in his bag.  He wanted to hold onto it and eat it right then.  I don't even know how he knew what it was!  But we finally got the hang of it and had a blast!  When we got home, Caeden's best friend Ella came to visit and take pictures.  Aren't they just so cute??  The Ladybug and the Monkey...Awww! 

Well, I guess that's it!  It was a fun one!  And I'm sure it will only get better each year!  Happy Halloween to everyone!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mommy & Caeden Day!!!

So first I have to report that Reid and I had a lovely 24 hours alone last weekend.  Caeden was at Nana & Papa's while Daddy & Mommy got to go to dinner, watch a GREAT movie that I would highly recommend ("Life as You Know It"), sleep in until 10:00am!!, and watch some Razorback Football with Amber and Caleb.  It was a good time!

Ella has been gone this whole week, so mommy and Caeden have gotten some special time together. :)  Although I know he misses his friend (he goes to look at her empty bed throughout the day), we have had much fun together.  On Monday, we went to Joplin to see his grandparents and aunts and uncles...what fun!

On Tuesday, it was rainy.  So we played inside, went to the "zoo" (A.K.A. PetCo), and played outside when we got home. By the way, I have to tell you that his favorite animals at PetCo were the birds, cats, and mice!!!  Seriously???  But it was funny to watch!  He kept going back to those same animals and would watch them for such a long time! HA! 

On Wednesday, we went to eat lunch with Daddy at school, went to Target, played outside, and then went grocery shopping after Caeden's nap.  Normally, we don't go on a whole lot of outings because it's so hard to get 2 babies out.  But we've been out & about lots this week. 

TODAY, Nana is coming to visit!  So Caeden is just having a week full of fun!  And so is mommy!  As much as I love having Ella here to love on and to play with Caeden, I have enjoyed this private, special time that we've had together.  :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Still learning..

So Caeden had two "firsts" yesterday.  Neither were something like smiling or walking....but they were just as memorable.  The first one was not such a good one.  But he got to experience time-out for the first time yesterday. :(  But I have to DID work (this one time anyway...)!  After me repetitively telling him "no" and moving him away from what he was doing wrong, he continued to do the wrong thing and was even MORE insistent about it.  So I put him in his crib by himself for a few minutes, then we talked, then he didn't do it anymore.  Again, I HOPE this continues to work if I need to use it anymore.  I'm sure some days won't be as effective....I'm prepared for that.  But it was encouraging to see that it worked the first time.

Now the second "first" was much more special!  So we have prayed with Caeden every night before bed since he was a baby.  We always take his hands in ours and put them together while we pray.  And we try to pray before meals, but I will admit that I'm pretty sporadic about that during the day.  HOWEVER, I've remembered before almost every meal this week.  He's been so good to let me put his hands together while we say a short prayer before we eat.  WELLLLL....last night we finished his bath and putting on his pajamas and sat in his rocker.  Then he immediately put his hands together on his own!  We hadn't even put ours together yet. :)  He knew what it was time for.  And as usual he sat quietly while we prayed.  We tell him each time that we're going to "pray and talk to God."  Even though I'm sure he doesn't understand what we're doing.  It was huge to me that he KNEW what we were going to do next and that it was important enough to do every night.  I pray every day that he grows to have an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus and maybe this is just the beginning...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

So we took Caeden to the pumpkin patch today!  When we took him a year ago, he was only 2 mos old.  It's so crazy that this year he was walking around and picking up pumpkins everywhere. :)  We just went to a local stand to get some cute pictures.  His favorite part was carrying around (and throwing) the really small pumpkins. We let him pick out his own and that was the one he liked best. Ha!  So now it's sitting on the fireplace...mainly for him to play with.  Our "real" pumpkins will be on the front porch.  He had fun and so did we!  I know it's only going to get more & more fun as he gets older!  Enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Finally...An Update!!

So after seven weeks, I've finally found time to sit down and update you on our lives. :)  Since I have so many followers...haha.  Yeah, August and September were very busy for us and we were out of town almost every weekend, visiting grandparents in Carl Junction, taking Caeden on his first trip to the zoo, going to Razorback football games, and going camping. Sigh....It's finally slowing down.  Now that fall has hit, we actually don't have anything big going on this entire month!!

So just as a small update, Caeden has been having much fun during the day playing with Ella.  We play outside EVERY DAY as I'm trying to take advantage of this weather before winter hits.  He still loves his playset he got for his birthday, and is learning how to use it in more of a purposeful way. :) 

The last 3 months, we've gone to First Friday which is one of our favorite family events.  We get to go hang out on the square, Caeden gets to eat Chick-fil-a (which he loves), Reid and I get to buy our Swalty popcorn and Caeden LOVES the ponies.

Several weeks ago, Caeden also learned how to eat at the table without his high chair!  Much cleaner for mom and dad!  However, I will say that during messy meals, we definitely pull out the tray. :)

And about a month ago, Reid and I found out that we're going to be an AUNT & UNCLE for the first time!  This is so exciting for us...and so weird to actually say. :)  My sister Amber, and her husband Caleb, are 15 weeks along and due on March 24.  We are so excited  and can't wait for Caeden to have a new cousin!  Here's a picture of her from last weekend (at 15 wks).

And as some of you have seen on Facebook, Caeden got his first haircut last week.  It was finally getting long and straggly enough, that it needed some style.  He looks so cute and "grown up" now.

And lastly, I just want to mention how loving he is right now.  Caeden LOVES giving hugs and kisses...and I'm soaking up every one of them.  Two nights ago, he was crying after his bath while we were putting on his PJ's.  I stopped, picked him up and laid his head on my shoulder.  After a minute of comforting him, he looked up at me, smiled, and gave me a big open-mouthed kiss!  I said "Thank You" and he gave me another.  Then he just contentedly laid his head back down on my shoulder.  So sweet!  It was like his kissing me was his way of telling me thank you for picking him up and making him feel better.  I love this boy!  Thank you God for blessing us with Caeden!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

School's Starting = Ella's Back!!

So school is officially starting tomorrow!  I have to say, this has been the shortest summer we have ever had...literally!  Reid did not get out of school until June 11 and went back August 9!  So sad...But we definitely cherished every moment together!  Caeden loved having his daddy home...and so did I!  Reid and I took turns sleeping in so that was my favorite part!  And I love that Reid got to be home for so many "firsts" for Caeden....including crawling, starting to point, clapping to music, saying "dada," using a spoon, pulling up on objects, learning to drink from a straw, WALKING, and celebrating his first birthday!  It was definitely a special time for Reid to be home with us each day!

Teacher meetings actually started last week.  And I was dreading the day Reid was going to go back to work.  Not only was I going to LOSE a "helper" (who changed half the diapers, helped with half the meals, etc.) but I was going to GAIN another baby, since Ella was coming back.  I figured this actually quadrupled my workload!  I was really I, Caeden, AND Ella would handle this sudden transition. 

But I'm glad to say it's gone great!!  Ella only cried the first few days when her mom dropped her off....Now she happily comes in to play when she first arrives.  Caeden LOVES having a friend around.  He always wakes up from naptime first (b/c he takes short naps) so when Ella finally wakes up to play with him, he runs into her room smiling the whole way (no joke), and sometimes greets her with clapping or a hug!!  They love to play together!  And it's actually been very fun for me to have two babies here!  It's more entertaining for me AND for Caeden! 

They are both at this pre-toddler stage that is so fun!  It's like they're ending their "babyhood" but not yet a full-fledged "toddler."  This means they still come to me crying and wanting help if something is wrong, but they love to interact with each other, laugh, and play games!  I've already had so much fun with them this past week and am looking forward to this school year I get to spend with both of them.  Here are a few fun pictures to end my blog for now.  I took these this past week of them playing together:

(Sometimes, I think that in their mind they're playing house....HA!)

(or attempting to put it together). :)

(You'll notice in the second picture that Caeden is frustrated that the basket won't move...Little does he realize that he's pushing it against the couch...)  :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CAEDEN'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I will now continue my labor & delivery story from yesterday!  On this day last year, they started giving me Pitocin at 6:00am...contractions definitely got worse!  They were awful!  I remember rolling side-to-side in bed, crying tears, and moaning...forget the breathing!!  I was in too much pain!  At 7:30am they took me off the Pitocin because they said I was progressing fine without it.

I immediately requested an epidural and was feeling great by 8:30am!!  I decided that the epidural was the greatest invention ever!!  At first it didn't work on my left side but after about 20-30 min, it was working perfectly!  They told me I could push the little button to re-dose every 15 minutes, so you betcha I did!  I even had Reid set his stopwatch to go off every 15 minutes so I knew I could push it again!  HA!!  That's how bad the pain was - cannot describe it in words!

So the next several hours were spent in peace, visiting with family and sleeping.  At 11:30am the doctor came in to check me and said I was at 5.5 cm.  Thinking I still had awhile to go, I fell asleep and took a small nap.  They woke me up at 12:30pm (1 hour later) to check me again and I was at 10cm!!!  Crazy!!!  

I started pushing at 12:58pm, hoping that it would be a quick 20 minute thing.  Boy was I wrong!!  An hour and a half later, at 2:31pm, Caeden made his arrival!  When he decide to finally join us, he actually never crowned.  He came out so fast that the doctor didn't even have his scrubs on and the medical team was not in the room.  It was just the nurse, the doctor, and Reid.  So within 1 minute, a whole bunch of people were in the room tending to Caeden.  I was crying tears of relief that he was "finally here!"  Unfortunately, with my 3rd degree tears, I did not get to hold Caeden for 1.5 hours, while they stitched me up.  I then got to feed him and see the rest of my family..

Sigh....the rest was the beginning of something I could have never prepared myself for.  There have been some really hard days this past year...many spent in tears, frustration, and confusion.  But there have also been some extremely rewarding days....the time he smiled at me for the first time in his bedroom when no one else was home, the first time he started reaching for a toy, when we finally got down the "breastfeeding" thing, the first time he reached his arms out to me when he wanted me, and the first time he gave me an open-mouthed kiss on the cheek!  I feel so blessed that God gave him to us and I only pray I can do the best job I can at being the right kind of mother for him!  I pray that God reaches his heart, regardless of how well I do.  And I pray that he will have a desire to love the Lord with all his heart and will love the world as Jesus does.  I love you Caeden!!  Happy 1st Birthday!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Looking back...

So tomorrow is offically Caeden's birthday!  Today my mind has constantly been on what was going on this time last year.  This was the day my doctor decided to induce me.  My appointment was at 11:15 that morning.  I was so excited to know I would surely have Caeden in my arms by tomorrow night...but was also nervous about the unknown.  She told me not to eat anything after 3pm.  Sooo...Reid and I went to have a huge meal at McAlister's around 2:30pm.  :)  The rest of the afternoon was pretty laidback.  We just came back to the house, did a little more cleaning and packing up...and more waiting.

Finally, at 6:00 that evening we went to the hospital.  I was still very excited and anxious.  At 7:45pm they started the induction with Citotek (a cervix softener).  They decided not to give me a second dose since the first dose caused me to start progressing pretty easily.  I remember being up almost all night with contractions being pretty uncomfortable...I did lots of walking and breathing...and very little sleeping.  So far things were going great...I was just so excited to have Caeden finally here!  Today has been crazy remembering all the emotions I experienced on this day and mainly just how excited I was...and how I had no idea what was to come!!!  I'll finish the story tomorrow on his birthday.....!

Now...On a fun note!!  Yesterday Caeden got to move to his "big boy" car seat!!  He has ALWAYS hated his baby car seat...since the first car ride home.  90% of the rides we took in the car were spent listening to fussing, crying, and sometimes screaming!  So yesterday was an exciting day!!  We ran a short trip to Walmart just so we could try it out and so far he loves it!  He was really focused on the cars in front of us and the buildings we were passing on the side...I realized he was looking at a view he had never seen before!  I think he felt so big!  He didn't fuss at all!  Now...I realize this was only a 10 minute car ride so we'll see how he continues to do, but I'm praying he'll continue to like it more than his rear-facing car seat.  Here are some pictures below:

Helping Daddy read the Owner's Manual

Getting Buckled In!!

And off we go!!