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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Guy's Weekend Worth Repeating


This past weekend while Ashley went to a Beth Moore conference in St. Louis with her mom and sisters for a girl’s weekend Caeden and I had a guy’s weekend here at home. I was excited about the usual guy’s weekend stuff. Poker, golf, napping, shooting guns and steak dinners… were substituted with changing diapers, baby food and naps. Hey, at least one of them lined up. Actually, we went to New Life Ranch most of Friday to visit Uncle Rhett. Caeden was very serious the whole day and hardly cracked a smile at anyone. He was very entertained by all of the summer campers on the ball field (see picture) and swimming and playing in the creek. He would watch them go down the slide and then bounce off the blob, then down the other slide and across the zip line to drop in the water. We could have sat there all day and he wouldn’t have made a move. It was hot out and the pool water was pretty warm making it not so refreshing but Caeden loved it anyway. I know he is going to love going to visit Uncle Rhett as he gets older.

Saturday morning I was very proud that he knew to sleep in during a guy’s weekend. I never thought that I would appreciate sleeping until 7:00. After breakfast we headed to the square to the Farmer’s Market. If you ever want to attract some attention, just put a hat and sandals on Caeden and take him to the Farmer’s Market. I wish I had been selling something. I’m thinking about scrapping together some junk and setting up a tent, I think I could make a fortune. After playing in the fountain for a while I ended up buying some blueberries - the guy had a kid with him so what was I to do? Anyway, this led me to discover that Caeden loves blueberries. I usually cut up some strawberries from my garden to give him at meal times and he eats them in no time. For lunch I put strawberries, blueberries and cheerios (another favorite) on his tray and he pushed everything aside and picked out all the blueberries! It looks like I’ll be going back this Saturday for more. Maybe I can barter some of my junk for some blueberries.



That afternoon I decided that no guy’s weekend would be complete without a trip to a lumberyard. So, we packed up a diaper bag and headed to Lowe’s. I love Lowe’s so it was meant to be that he would love it too. I could (and have on occasion) spend hours in Lowe’s looking at all of the things that I would like to build, grow, own, etc… It is true that each year Lowe’s gift cards are at the top of my Christmas list. I could tell by Caeden trying to grab anything and everything on the shelves as we walked past that he feels the same way. The sights and sounds of Lowe’s seemed to have worn him out because he nearly fell asleep on the way home. After his afternoon nap we played in the front yard until mommy came home and he was mighty happy to see her.

All in all it was a great weekend. We may have to send mommy away every summer for a few days so we can do it again! I told Ashley the other night that I didn’t want him to get any bigger. Maybe talk a little and walk a little better but not any bigger. I know I can’t slow it so I had better enjoy it – which I am very much.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Feeding Himself with a Spoon!

Since Caeden was 6/7 mos old, we have let him hold his own spoon when we're feeding him. Well, last night I decided to see if he could feed himself with it. And he did! If I put a small amount of food on the spoon and handed it to him, he would eat it. One time, he put the spoon in his mouth upside down, took it out, looked at it, and fixed it. So he knew how it was supposed to go! He's only 10.5 mos old so of course, I was very proud of him. This morning we practiced scooping his oatmeal out of the bowl with the spoon...He actually did pretty well. But I definitely wouldn't say he can do THAT independently yet. We got part of last night's feeding on video so you can watch and enjoy! Crazy how quickly they learn and how fast he's growing up!
video

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day! And Happy Birthday!

First of all, Happy Father's Day to Reidy! This is Reid's first official Father's Day and I hope it's special for him. I want him to know how much I truly do appreciate him as Caeden's daddy. From the day Caeden was born, Reid has been so very involved...I think he changed more diapers that first few weeks than I did! He has always been willing to get up in the middle of the night with Caeden when he needs to...even when he has to go to work the next day. And after coming home from a long day at work, with 75 students, he is still willing and eager to play and "wrestle" with Caeden. I know that as Caeden grows up, he will have a daddy who makes a huge difference in his life...Thanks and I love you Reid!

And of course, Happy Father's Day to my dad!! He, too, is amazing! As I have become a new parent this year, I have a new respect for my parents! I now understand how selfless it was of my dad to come home at night and play with me after working all day (sometimes two jobs and going to school full-time when I was first born). The times he blocked out just for me - coming to eat lunch at school with me, going on field trips with me, teaching me how to play softball, his willingness to "let go" so I could learn to ride a bike :), taking me on MANY family vacations that I will never forget, letting me have my friends over to hang out in high school, leading me to the "right" University (U of A of course), coming to my school dressed as Santa, when I was a teacher, so my students could experience the magic of Christmas, and this past year even being a GREAT papa who loves to see Caeden and play with him! We all know our parents have a role in who we become as an adult. I, too, can credit much of who I am to the things my dad taught me through life.

And lastly, Happy Birthday to my mom!!! Yes, I know...Funny how all of the important people in my life are celebrated on the same day! :) She too, did just as much as my dad did. I was a hard baby, to say the least...crying for hours upon end, never sleeping for more than an hour a day, and having to be always entertained...it was hard to make me happy! But my mom so patiently loved me, walked the floors with me, and helped me grow to who I am today. Again, having a baby, I have a new appreciation for moms! There have been days where Caeden reminds me of my characteristics as a baby and I say, "I don't know how you did it mom!" I see so many tiny things that I do for Caeden that he will never know. And I know my mom did those same things for me. I'm sure that there are too many to count...things she did that I will never realize or know of. But I know they were so important! I'm so thankful to have a mom who stayed home with me when I was younger. And my mom and I definitely have a special connection. She has definitely been a parent to me, teaching me right from wrong along the way. But she has also been a best friend...someone who I can share anything with and who loves me unconditionally! I remember waking up in the mornings and always seeing her read her Bible and praying....she still does to this day...EVERY DAY!! I have to say this is part of why I enjoy spending each morning with the Lord also. Everyone has struggles and weaknesses in life, but I can honestly say that having a consistent "quiet time" has never been one of my struggles. And I think this is largely due to the fact that I saw my mom do one every day and the fruit that it produced. Thanks mom and I hope you have a great birthday because you sure deserve it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Home...

So let me start with last night. When we laid Caeden down to sleep last night, he refused to take one sip of his bottle. We hated this because he was not allowed to have any food or drink after midnight, since his surgery was today. Since he wouldn't take it at bedtime, we woke him up at 11:30pm to try again....hoping it would keep him full until after surgery. Nope! Still adamantly refused it! So we went to bed again...thinking "That just gives us all the more reason to trust God in this situation - that he will take care of Caeden's hunger in the morning."

We woke him up at 5:45, changed his diaper, and put him in the car. Upon arriving at the hospital, we went through 1.5 hours of pre-op stuff that was no fun! The nurses were very kid-friendly, but were definitely not in any hurry! And Caeden got bored quickly...none of his toys and nothing in mommy's purse was making him happy. Everything we handed him, he would chuck on the floor with all his might! I have to say, I was so mad that I forgot my camera!! They gave him a little hospital gown with tigger on it...it was so funny-looking/cute on him!

Anyway, FINALLY, at 7:30, the doctor and nurses came back to get him. He willingly went with them, and didn't even look back at us. According to the doctor, he didn't make a peep the entire time. He just sat on the bed, watching everything they were doing...so interested. Then the gas quickly made him fall asleep. :) Reid and I were in the waiting room for only 10 min and they were done! When the doctor came to get us, he said that Caeden had already gotten another ear infection in his left ear even though he has only been off antibiotics for 9 days! Crazy! I'm so glad we did this!!

He was still asleep when we went back there but woke up within 5 minutes...and was NOT a happy camper! He wouldn't take a bottle or anything...nothing could console him. I think he was just confused because he wouldn't open his eyes for the first several minutes. The second he opened his eyes, he calmed down. I'm pretty sure he was just cranky from being dilirious and confused. Once we got into the car, he drank 4 oz. of water...and started crying again. He was pretty fussy until we laid him down for a nap at 8:45...after taking 8 oz of formula he fell fast asleep and slept for almost 2 hours. When we heard him wake up, he was a different child! He was rolling around in his crib, talking, playing, and laughing. Ever since then, he has been our normal Caeden again! We are so thankful! Praise the Lord that He let him feel better so quickly! Reid and I hated seeing him so upset this morning! So thank you for your prayers...he's taking another nap now and hopefully will continue to feel normal as the day goes on!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Surgery

Tomorrow morning, at 6am, we will be at the hospital with Caeden. He is having surgery at 7:30am to get tubes put in both ears. We are glad this has finally happening, after seeing him suffer through 4 ear infections and 4 rounds of antibiotics...just in the last 3 months. However, it's still nerve-wracking to have to leave your baby in a room with people he doesn't know. We are praying that he will willingly go, not scared. And that his recovery will be VERY quick so we can have our active, non-fussy, little boy back quickly. Please keep us in your prayers tomorrow as it will be a long day, I'm sure.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WALKING!!!

So Caeden is officially walking! He goes all over the house, from one thing to the next. I still stay close behind him since there are many falls. But he can definitely walk the length of the living room all by himself! It's hard to get on video because one of us is usually following behind him and you don't want a video from the back. :) But we were able to get a short clip today.
video

Also, some new things he's learned the last few days....how to point. :) Yesterday he was pointing at pictures in a book we were reading and today when he woke up from his nap he saw Reid in the office as we were walking by. He grunted and pointed at him...then proceeded to smile and laugh. He also has learned to clap when he hears music. We did it with him one time and after that, he claps almost everytime he hears music coming from somewhere. So fun!
video

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Watching the Half-Marathon!!

We are in Carl Junction this weekend and this morning I got to see my sister run her first half-marathon! For those of you who have been to races before, you know the hype and mayhem that goes on! It's so fun when you see your sister and her husband in the distance, tired and wet from running 13 miles and all of a sudden you hear the crowd cheering, shaking cowbells, and the announcer encouraging them! Amber and Caleb sprinted at the very end...looked to me like they were trying ot beat each other! :) It was so awesome, I felt like I was going to cry! I used to run a little but the furthest I ever ran was a 5K....I can't imagine anything more than that! And 13 miles...2 hours!! Wow! I'm so proud of them...sometimes it makes me think, "If they can do it, surely I can do it!" But then I quickly shake that out of my head! I think I'm doing great if I get a daily walk in! Ha! You can see a video of her finishing the race on my facebook page if you want!

Lastly, I thought I would share some advice one of the ladies in my Wednesday night Bible study shared last week. I was talking about how the addition of Caeden has been a huge adjustment for Reid and I, as a family. Honestly, having a baby has been really tough for us....which is not what we expected! As you read in my post the other day, it's getting much better and much more enjoyable! But there are still hard days! In talking about this, one of the ladies shared some advice she received 23 years ago, when her first daughter was born. She said:
"Don't expect your life to go 'back to normal.' You have a new 'normal' now. It may take some time to find that 'new normal' but you'll get there."

I thought that was very smart! Maybe Reid and I expected our lives to continue on as they were...just with a new baby to take everywhere with us. Obviously, that didn't happen!! But that doesn't mean it's a bad change...it's just a "new normal." And we are slowly finding that "new normal." Of course, someone was quick to point out that it will all change again when we have ANOTHER baby! Haha! I guess each time we enter a new phase of life, we should move into it NOT expecting our lives to go BACK to normal, but to find a new normal...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fun age!!


So I've decided that this is officially my favorite age of a child....of course, I'm sure that will change next month...when THAT becomes my favorite age! :) But right now, Caeden is 10 mos old and is seriously learning new things EVERY day! I have a calendar that I keep for him and the last few months have been SO full because he's learning so much! He's also very interactive with Reid and I, which is so fun!

He and Reid went on a bike ride tonight and when they walked in the door, he waved "hi" to me. He uses his whole arm to wave. And it made me think how something so small, that we do as we drive down the street without thinking, takes so much effort and thought for a baby. That in just 10 months, he's gone from eating and sleeping all day (doing nothing!) to making the connection that when he sees someone walk into a room, he should greet them by moving his arm up and down! So crazy!

He makes new sounds with his mouth every day, loves to clap and wave, and walks around the house kicking whatever he can find to kick. :) Today Reid sat down to give him a bottle and Caeden took out his pacifier, threw it down, and grabbed the bottle with one hand to start drinking! He normally always holds it with two hands. So it was funny that he just held it with one hand, chugging the milk! We were laughing that he was holding his bottle like we hold our cups. Just the tiniest things make our day!

And as of Wednesday, he is officially mobile everywhere. He's gotten much faster at scooting on his tummy wherever he wants to go, started to crawl on all fours this morning, and cruises next to whatever he can touch. He walks along our kitchen chairs, along walls, along cabinets....anything! If he can touch it, he's walking it! Seeing him take his first steps several times this week, I know it won't be long until he's WALKING everywhere! It's just fun to see how he can go wherever he wants now.

So this is a long post....but I just love watching him learn and wanted to post my thoughts for the day! He is always imitating Reid and I....facial expressions, sounds, anything! So fun! I feel like he's more like a "kid" now and not just a "baby." Maybe I can consider him a "pre-toddler." Well, some of you may read this post and totally not understand the joy I'm expressing. And some of you will totally get it! I just thank God that He gave us such a healthy, beautiful baby boy 10 months ago!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Swimming!!

Last weekend, Caeden got to go swimming in a "big" pool for the first time. We weren't really sure what his reaction would be, but he loved it! We bought a small float with a sunshade so he sat in there for awhile. Then he got out and let us carry him around the pool. It was funny because when he saw something he wanted he would lean forward, splash his arms, and kick....so it looked like he was really trying to swim! :) I'm sure he was just excited and splashing/kicking was his way of showing excitement, but I liked to tell myself he was trying to swim. :) I put a video on Facebook if you want to see him "swimming." Here are a few pictures:




Monday, June 7, 2010

First Teeth & First Steps

So last Wednesday I wrote to you saying that Caeden was cutting his first tooth! Weellll...he actually has 4 teeth now! And they're all on top! It turns out he was cutting two at the same time....and then a few days later cut two more! The 4th one is still cutting through....and mommy and daddy are tired! He's actually done pretty well as the week has gone on. I think those first two were the worst of it!

And now for the big news...Caeden officially took his "first steps" yesterday! He walked between Reid and I several times....just 3-4 steps each time though. In the last few weeks, he would sometimes do this randomly. But yesterday was the first time he did it consistently! We are so excited! Unfortuntaely, we couldn'g get it on video though, because there was no one else here to film it! We're going to try to get it soon so we can post it!! Have a good week!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Caeden's First Memorial Day Weekend!!

Sorry I haven't written in awhile. We got back from camping on Sunday evening. And I've spend Monday and Tuesday taking care of a sick, teething baby. More about that in a bit. But I finally have the chance to post! So here it goes:

We left Saturday morning for Morrilton, AR where we went camping at Petit Jean State Park. My family typically goes camping 3-4 times a summer but we've never been to this particular campground, so we were excited! It was a 3 hour drive and Caeden did well most of the time. Once we got there, he was ready to eat some lunch. This is a picture of him gnawing on a strawberry...one of his favorite foods!


After lunch, he wanted to play! This is him sitting in his chair.


Now for his chance to show that he is "all boy!" I think his favorite part was playing in the dirt. He also loved to push this truck back and forth. He would put rocks into the truck...and take them out...over and over.




After the play, it was time for his afternoon nap. We brought his pack n' play and set it up in my parent's camper. He actually slept pretty well! After his nap, ready to explore some more!


That night, we had bathtime outside!! He was not a fan! I think mainly because the water was cold....I don't blame him.




That night, he slept pretty well. He kinda whimpered a few times but went right back to sleep. Come to find out, he was whimpering because he was cutting his first tooth and had an ear infection. When we woke up the next morning, we could tell he had a fever and took his temp. It was fairly high so we gave him some Motrin and kept our activity low. It was also at this time, we noticed his first tooth cutting through on the top. After his morning nap, he seemed to be feeling better so we went on a hike. Caeden got to ride in the backpack that his Uncle Rhett bought him!




Once we returned from our hike, we took his temperature again, only to find he still had a high fever, even with Motrin AND Tylenol in him. We decided this was probably not from the teething. So while he was taking his afternoon nap, we made the decision to leave a day early and try to make it back to take him to Urgent Care. We quickly packed up. As soon as he woke up, we headed out...hurrying the 3 hour drive, trying to make it back before they closed for Memorial Day. Needless to say, we pulled into town RIGHT as they were closing! Thankfully, we found another Urgent Care that was open on Memorial Day. We took him first thing Monday morning and found out he had another ear infection. This is his 4th one in 3 months, so we're probably looking at tubes in the ear soon. The last few days have been rough. He obviously doesn't feel good, due to the new tooth and the ear. Reid and I are both tired. However, I have to say he has been sleeping very well, which I am thankful for!!! Just very fussy during his waketime. But we're making it and thinking we see a second tooth getting ready to poke through as well.

Soooo....if our family pops into your head this week, say a prayer for baby Caeden - that his tooth will come in quickly and that he will start feeling better soon! And for Reid and I, that we will have patience with him and the energy to take care of him. Soooo....now that I've written a novel, I'll let you get back to your more interesting life. Big weekend for the Pierce's!!!