Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bath Time

Sponge bathing Caleb has gotten easier for Mommy, and what a treat to wrap him up in this cute towel from our sweet friends, Chris, Tara & Crosby. :) Thank you, guys!! :) Doesn't he look so cozy? :)
Our little froggy. :)
Mommy and Caleb time...sweet moments that I know won't last long! I cannot get Rhys to sit still with me for even 30 seconds! :) So, I'm trying to soak up as much cuddle time as possible!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy 19 Months, Happy 2 Weeks & Happy 3 Years!!!

Rhys turned 19 months this week! He's growing like a weed, has several more teeth coming in, is as curious as ever (has his daddy's engineer brain, trying to figure out how everything works!), loves his baby brother, giving Caleb kisses and rubbing his head on Caleb's head :), playing hard, learning a lot, saying new words, etc! He is a pleasant boy, and I do enjoy our days together!

Just last Friday, Papa and Grandmom and I took him to play group, and he learned how to ride a scooter! He hasn't quite mastered riding one alone, but shoot, if someone else were willing to balance and push it while I stood on it, I'd let them, too! He's a smart little fellow! ;)

It's been a fun month, and "Daddy and Mommy wish you a happy 19 months, sweet boy!"

Caleb turned two weeks yesterday! I took him to his 2-week pediatrician check-up, and he's above his birth weight at 7lbs 4oz! Hooray! So, he's eating well, sleeping well, and he's just the sweetest little cuddle bug! He has a head FULL of black hair! (Rhys had a head full of hair at birth, too, but it had a red tint to it!) I'm so thankful for this new little man! He is really easy to care for, and I realize this go-around that this infant stage passes so quickly, so I'm really taking advantage of the sweet cuddle moments. Thank you for your prayers for a safe and smooth delivery and recovery. Caleb and I are doing GREAT, and we are all transitioning, praise the Lord, very smoothly!

Finally, Russell and I get to celebrate three wonderful years of marriage today! It's been more and more fun and fulfilling each year that we've gotten to celebrate! I praise the Lord for my wonderful husband, who is amazing to me, and who is SUCH a great father to our children! I thank him for his selfless service to us, always putting us before himself!

We got to celebrate last Friday night by going out for a yummy dinner and sweet time together, while Russell's parents kept the boys for us. It was FUN to get out and EAT without getting stuffed after one bite! Not being pregnant definitely has its perks! :) More room for food in the belly and not having to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes because there's no longer a baby sitting on my bladder! Ha! Anyways, we plan to spend good quality time together with and without the boys this weekend, which will be great for our hearts!

Happy THREE years, my sweet husband!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Now, A Family of Four

Caleb was 'scheduled' to come into this world last Friday by c-section. However, he decided to change all of our 'plans' the Tuesday before, August 10th, at 3:30am. Russell was heading out the door, off to his morning physical training, but I was sure to 'warn' him that I was hurting in my belly area...Caleb seemed extra heavy that morning, and I was feeling a lot of pressure. I was not really excited because I was terrified of having to go through labor pains {my memory of labor pains with Rhys is still VERY vivid!!}, and, frankly, we had it all planned out...if only Caleb would stick to the plan! :) See, we have Rhys, and what in the world were we going to do with him if we had to go into the hospital before childcare hours???? {I knew he wasn't supposed to be present if I were admitted, and I KNEW I was about to be admitted!}

Well, I called Russell, maybe 10 minutes after he left for PT. His phone went to voice mail TWICE!! I left him messages, letting him know that I was fairly certain that I was in labor and contracting. He called me back several minutes later {his phone had been on vibrate}, and I told him that my contractions were as close as 5 or 6 minutes apart, I'd already called the hospital to let them know I was coming in, I was packing last minute things into our hospital bags - in between major contractions! - and I was needing him home NOW! I wasn't really that 'firm' with him, but I was speaking as lovingly as possible, considering the pain I was in!!! He was home by 4:30ish. He loaded up everything, including Rhys, then, he found me on the floor on my hands and knees, trying to get through another contraction so that I could get myself into the van. Russell was AWESOME!!! He put on his emergency flashers and made a 10 minute trip in 5 minutes! We got to the hospital, and I won't go into detail, but it was the most painful experience I've ever had...labored for two hours before an anesthesiologist showed up. I went from wanting to punch his lights out for being so LATE to wanting to kiss his feet for giving me that spinal and making the pain go AWAY!!! Hooray!!! It was smooth sailing from there!

One c-section later, Caleb arrived, just as beautiful and healthy as could be, and we've been a family of four ever since! :) And I have to make mention that both Russell and Rhys were SOOOOO good through the whole thing! Russell held Rhys in one arm and offered me his other hand the entire time of laboring! Rhys just watched all that drama and did fine. We had nowhere else to take him, but I remember thinking (while sweating, screaming, breathing and TRYING to NOT push) that God prepared Rhys for this morning, is giving him such a sweet composure through all the drama and will surely protect his sweet mind from remembering anything too terrifying. Rhys did so great, and I know we needed that! "Thank YOU, Lord!!"

Warning: LOTS of pictures, but that's what everyone's been asking for. So, here you go! I'll try to let the pictures tell the story...
A delighted Mommy and Daddy with their new little one!
Finally home! Jenn, Ryan, thank you for Caleb's super-comfy blanket!! :) Soooooooo soft!
And, Ashley, do you recognize the red onesie below? :)The boys...And don't forget Papa!! Russell's parents were here as fast as they could get here! They drove 10 plus hours from Louisiana and were here the next morning to keep Rhys company at home while we were still in the hospital. And they've stayed for 10 days to help ME {and the rest of us :)} adjust to life with two little ones. They leave tomorrow, and I'm sure I'll cry and grieve the loss of HUGE HELP and uplifting fellowship!! I'll save those tears for tomorrow, as I move on...
Look at this cute, little bundle of love and joy!

A proud Papa!! A very loved little man!

And I canNOT get over how BIG Rhys is next to Caleb! He's so LONG and even HEAVY {only at 24 lbs!} compared to Caleb's light-weight 7lbs. This boy is CHUGGING some milk, recently! Just yesterday, he had at least 30 oz throughout the day, and he's eating all of his Grandmom's good, home-cooked meats and veggies! Thankfully, there's enough left over to freeze and serve for several more of his meals! I'm taking notes on how to cook such yummy veggies so that I can get Rhys to eat them! :) "Thank you for the cooking tips, Grandmom!" :)

We are doing great! Russell's been training everyday, even while I was in the hospital. He's ready for a weekend to rest and experience our current family. He's home in the evenings and is amazing with Rhys, Caleb and with helping me, even as tired as I know he has to be!! I've transitioned well in feeding Caleb and taking good care of him, while also spending intentional time with Rhys so that he adjusts to the 'newness.' However, next week will be my first week without help, so I'm already praying toward that transition to be smooth, as easy as possible and that the Lord would give me supernatural energy and motivation. It's going to be difficult in the midst of the transition. I'm sure that each day will be different from the next, but God has allowed us this gift of life at this time of life, and we're all thankful and know full well that HE will carry us through it in such a way that HE is glorified!

We do praise HIS name for this sweet season of life! If you feel led to pray for the coming week(s), I would appreciate it!

A Fun Saturday Evening with Friends...

I am so behind on sharing how we're doing, but my type-A brain is making me go in chronological order! I started this post before we went to the hospital unexpectantly to have Caleb, and I'm just getting back to it. Seems I have to finish it before moving forward! :)

God has blessed our lives RICHLY with the meeting of these new friends since our move to Missouri. I could never have planned such a perfect provision as HE worked out for us through this wonderful family, Joshua, Cristina and their two little ones, Jocelyn and Jude. We got to spend Saturday evening (two weeks ago) with this sweet family, celebrating Jocelyn's 3-year birthday. It was a FUN (HOT :)) evening with yummy grilled burgers, hot dogs and chicken, fun side dishes and yummy yummy vanilla with strawberry icing cupcakes. They went all out to make the party special, and we all had a great time of fellowship!

Jude & Jocelyn...aren't they precious! Yes, Jocelyn is wearing her bathing suit. The kiddos threw water balloons and had a large tub of water to jump in and out of and other fun water toys to keep them cool. Great ideas for an August birthday!!Rhys enjoyed playing in the water...He discovered a water gun for the first time! :) Look at that inquisitive mind at work! :) Hee hee!!!Then, he climbed up and found the food! He started eating anyone's food that was left on the table, starting with left-over cupcake pieces and juice boxes! That child has to be watched at all times! :) I love him, and I'm enJOYing this age! He keeps me going, that's for sure! He would've eaten the paper if I'd not stopped him. Seriously, he already had a chunk of it in his mouth!
Russell and Joshua are in training together and have become buddies very quickly. Joshua did a great job manning the grill!This may be the ONLY pregnancy picture I have this go-around, and, of course, it's when it's HOT, and I was all nice and swollen feeling! :) All in all, this pregnancy was WONDERFUL, and I'm ready to do it again! As God would permit, we would be elated! Maybe round 3 would give us a little girl???? :) Whatever the LORD wills. Amen! Joshua & Cristina. God knew we needed the fellowship and encouragement of this precious couple. They love the Lord, and Cristina quickly became a life-long friend to me! "I love you, girl!!!" My 'battle buddy' :) during our season of growth here. {Caleb was very ready to show face! He came less than 3 days after this picture! :)}

What a sweet season this has been here in Missouri, even sweeter with such great friends in Christ! We are thankful!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pics of Caleb and Family

Here are some pictures from our hospital stay. I know I said I'd let Shireen post the first pics but we have no public access to the internet at the hospital. (I guess Al Gore hasn't gotten to that part of his internet project...too busy with global warming I'm sure) So, since demand is so high I figured I'd go ahead and steal all the glory.

Here is the new family of four.

Rhys talking with his little brother

A better picture of Caleb

Caleb playing peek-a-boo

Thankfully my parents made it to town yesterday to take care of Rhys during this time. Tomorrow Shireen will be discharged and we will enjoy the weekend together at home.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Caleb has arrived!

Weight: 7lbs 3oz
Length: 19.5 inches
Born at 7:12am August 10th, 2010

Yes, he came early! The morning has been complete chaos. But we're excited to say that everyone is healthy! God continues to be so very good to us. I'll have Shireen post the first pictures and description of this morning but here's the update.

The C-section went well (once we got into surgery). Shireen has returned to the room and fed Caleb and is resting. I've taken Rhys back to the house for a nap.

Thank you for the prayers and support!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sweet Moments

My heart is so full for the time I've recently had with these two guys. I acknowledge how UNworthy I am for the Lord's love, and that He would bless my heart SO much through such a good husband and a precious son absolutely overwhelms and baffles me! I praise You, O Lord! YOU alone!!!

While I was posting on the Annual Duck Race a couple of weekends ago, Rhys was napping off some of the afternoon fun. After a couple of hours of snoozing...into dinner time, too...I decided to go in and awake him. I spoke to him, nudged him, and I realized what a picture-perfect moment it was, so I went and got my camera, turned on the light and snapped a few shots of this precious sleepy head...
Really, I'm not sure that there's anything more precious than this site...a soundly sleeping, contented little one.
Moving on into our week, we had some not-so-fun incidents. I think Rhys is going through a growth spurt because he's not quite a sure-footed as usual, tripping over his own feet. It's kind of funny because he'll normally trip, look up, pick himself up and sometimes do that number all over again...over and over, poor guy. :) Then, there are times when he runs into something, like our glider or a metal chair, which results in the black eye below or in a torn lip and gums above his upper teeth (not pictured b/c I was too shaken!). Praise the Lord, he is fine after all these little mishaps. Whew!Next thing you know, he's running around playing again! Yay!!!
Here, sporting Mommy's sun visor and Daddy's military hat/cap (?). :)
Father-son time...sharing a yummy plum.
You think Rhys knows that I'm taking his picture? :) Oh, he IS the center of attention...these days! :)
I look at this picture and see a little MAN sitting next to Russell! I can't believe how big Rhys is getting!!! Growing up so FAST!

Those are some fun shots to finish off the month of July. I look forward to sharing a little of our start in August shortly!