Thursday, January 31, 2008

A baby no longer

I can't believe a year has already passed since Ethan was born. After having Colin and Cameron on my own, this time around I had to be induced. I wasn't all that concerned about doing it until the night before I went in--then I freaked out. I can't even tell you why. The emotions of it all were just overwhelming me, I think, to know that by 'this time tomorrow' Ethan would be here. There really wasn't all of that speculation like there is when you are waiting for baby to arrive. I knew exactly when he was coming, and unlike the other two, it was a very different feeling.

Lynette arrived the night before to take care of Colin and Cameron for the time that I was to be in the hospital. Shane and I woke very early, because I had to be to there by 7:00 a.m. to get everything going. We headed over there, got checked in, and they got me all set up (I should say "hooked up" to everything under the felt like it anyway).

I decided to have the epidural from the get go, and can I just say that I was so glad that I did? I did the whole 'no meds' thing with my other two labors, and it wasn't fun. I realize that birth isn't supposed to be fun, and it is supposed to hurt, but I must say that I loved and much preferred this route! I am not going to be ashamed to admit it, either. I was able to rest all day, in comfort (for the most part), and it was great!

Even though I was on a pitocin drip, Ethan decided that he was going to be moving slow that day. By 4 p.m. , I was only dialated to four. Four! (I came in at three, by the way.) I couldn't believe it. It had been eight hours already....I was so sure that this labor was going to be much quicker than my other two!

Well, by 5:50 or so, we all knew that I had spoken too soon. Dr. Shepherd came in and checked me and found that I was complete! Whoo-hoo! I pushed a whopping twice, and Ethan was here!

Last shot of the pregnant woman!
Fresh out of the oven!
Proud Daddy

Hi sweetie!

First shot of the three of us

Ethan had what neither one of my other two babies did: HAIR! I was so excited! We called my mom and Shane's mom, and they brought the boys over shortly after I delievered, so we all got to spend a little time together that night, which was really special!

Cameron checking out his baby brother! My three precious boys

It was just the greatest birth experience, I can't say that enough. We had a great time visiting that night in the hospital, and for the most part, my hospital stay was wonderful. (I had a couple of complications, but besides was good).

The next shots are from the next couple of days in the hospital:

Daddy, resting with Ethan
Notice a pattern?
Cuddling with Mommy on our last morning at the hospital
And, my absolute favorite shot of Ethan from the hospital. I wanted to take a shot of him, showing how small he was in comparison with everything else, so Shane and I decided that our hands would make good comparisons! I think the shot just turned out beautifully, and it is one of my favorites EVER of Ethan!
Today, Ethan and I share our birthday. I like celebrating his much more than mine, so today, this post is dedicated to him. I love you, my sweet baby boy--Happy First Birthday!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One year ago today.....

....this is what I looked like.

But not for much longer!

I know, I's a little scary....but I am showing the picture to you anyway.

That's baby Ethan hiding out in there by the way, but only for one more day!

This shot was taken about 7 p.m. the night before I had check back tomorrow to get the whole story on his birth!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Very Veggie Fun

This past Saturday, Shane and I did something that we have never done before with the boys--took them to their very first movie! It was the Veggie Tales movie called,
"The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." ***actual film footage***

It was so exciting. For months now, Colin has been looking forward to this. Literally--I mean like, for three months. We saw a preview for this movie on one of the new Veggie DVD's that the boys got for their birthdays (in October). We explained to the boys that this was going to be a real movie--one that plays in a theatre with a screen that is as big as our living room--and of course, ever since, Colin couldn't wait to see it.

(And Cameron just does whatever Colin does, so technically, he couldn't wait to see it either.)

My mom was so gracious in giving up half of her Saturday to watch baby Ethan so we could do this (thanks again a million mom!)

We had to drive over to Savoy (about 45 minutes or so), but it was worth it. The boys could hardly contain their excitement!

Our entire family was actually able to get in to the movie completely free--we had two free passes (one given to us--thanks Tim and Sarah!--and one we got for purchasing the sing-along that goes with the movie). Shane and I were expecting to pay for ourselves, since the tickets were supposed to admit one child, but the super generous ticket man decided that Colin and Cameron both looked 'little enough' to let in for free! He said he would count the child passes for our admittance--YAY!
Then, we had a coupon for a really cheap popcorn/drink deal--we got a huge bag of popcorn and a drink for $3.04--another YAY! (I really wanted to do the whole 'movie experience', so I was so glad to have had this coupon!) A very expensive day was made a little cheaper by coupons--that's always a good thing!

Here's Daddy and the boys, just before heading into the movie (that's Daddy's hat that Cameron insisted on wearing, by the way):

Then it was mommy's turn for a picture:

Heading up to the stadium seating.....oooooh

The instant the boys sat down and actually saw the huge screen, they were mesmorized!

Munching some popcorn

We love the Veggies!!

Needless to say, the boys loved the movie (and if you are a mom looking for a GREAT family movie to take your kids to--this one is a winner, hands down!) Afterwards, to end our special day, we took Colin and Cameron to Chili's for a late lunch.

We took a couple of pictures there, too--Cameron snapped this one himself!

The first big boy outing to the movies was a complete success!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Please pray

One of the families that I have been praying for, the Stanfields, had their sweet baby boy, Maddox, yesterday at 4:30 p.m. Unfortunately, he lived only a few moments before Jesus took him home to heaven.

Please, take a minute to say a prayer for this family--better yet, pray for them today without ceasing. I know they would appreciate it. You can even jump to their site and let them know that you are praying for them if you would like.

Thanks, prayer warriors!

***8:55 p.m. EDIT: Kenzie has just posted a few pictures of sweet Maddox. You can check them out thru the link above. Please, continue praying for their family!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Can you spot the socks?

This time, the funnies come to you in pictures.

The other night, as we were headed to bed, Shane and I did our final check on the boys. We always have to re-situate and re-cover them one last time.....after playing in their beds for sometimes what seems like hours before actually falling asleep, they are usually all 'out-of-whack.'

I covered Ethan up, and then moved on to Cameron.

This is what I saw at his head end (so cozy with his 'bay-bay' in his mouth):
And this is what I saw at his foot end.

Cameron is notorious for taking his socks off. And, he had apparently done it I was looking around his bed for his socks, but I couldn't find them anywhere. I'm looking, looking......"Where in the world could he have put them?" I thought to myself.

I don't know why, but something caused me to look up on Colin's bed.

This is what I saw there:

Notice anything on Colin's hands?

I just about died laughing. I called for Shane, then proceeded to run for the camera. I don't know why Cameron's socks ended up on Colin's hands, but it was the funniest thing to both of us. We laughed for several minutes and I snapped a few pictures. Since Colin seemed to be so cozy, I decided to cover them both up and leave the socks right where they were!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The start of the 2008 funnies

Several months ago, I did a few posts on some funny things that Colin had said recently. (If you missed them, you can check them out on the favorite posts sidebar!) I don't know why I stopped posting those sorts of things--it certainly isn't for lack of him saying things that are down right hilarious.

Two examples from the last several days:

1. (Disclaimer: if you are grossed out at potty-training stories, skip down to number 2!)
Cameron has been working very hard on potty training. We sometimes reward him with treats if he 'goes' on the potty. A couple of 'date nights' ago, my mom was watching the boys and Cameron told her that he had to go potty. She of course took him, sat with him, and wiped him; then began the clean up process. That's when little Colin appeared at the door. He came into the bathroom carrying not one but two treats.

My mom then says to Colin, "What are those for Colin?"

He replied to her, "Well, this treat is for Cameron, for going poo-poo on the potty; and this treat is for you Grandma, for wiping his buh-butt!"

2. Two days ago, I noticed that Cameron's fingernails were in terrible need of being clipped. I mean, they were long. I usually clip all three of the boys (fingers and toes) all at once, so I started with Ethan, toes and fingers, then did Cameron, toes and fingers. Colin unfortunately has picked up the habit of chomping on his nails, so I usually don't ever have to cut those. I just sort of skipped right over him, and of course, he took notice.

"Mommy, aren't you going to clip my nails?"

"Colin, you bite your nails. You don't need mommy to clip them--you have nothing to clip."

"But my toes are really long. You better check them."

So, I did--and they were even longer than Cameron's fingernails had been! It was awful, I was truly embarrassed that I had let them get so long. I don't know how I didn't notice! And, I felt bad for Colin--I knew that couldn't have felt very good in shoes.

So I said to him, "This is really bad Colin-these are sooooo long!"

And he says, with a smirky-smile on his face, "I told you that you should check them!"

"Have these been hurting you at all?"

"Well, not too bad....but they do scrape in my shoes sometimes."

Poor kid. I felt horrible! I got done clipping, set him down off of the bathroom counter, and he says:

"Man, that feels so much better--I can finally walk on my tip toes again!"

He never ceases to make me laugh....I'm sure there will be more funnies soon!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A miracle in the making

Talk about miracles. I've watched one happening before my very eyes over the last week.

You are about to meet baby Gwyneth Rose Lawrenson.

You may have seen "The Lawrensons" on my 'praying for....' sidebar. If you haven't checked out Nate's blog, you are missing an incredible blessing.

Here is the long story broken down into the bare minimum facts: Gwyneth's mom, Tricia, has Cystic Fibrosis. If you don't know what that disease does, it basically eats away your lungs until they can't function anymore. (It is incurable.) Tricia was all set to begin the process of a double lung transplant, which would, in effect, cure her, when she found out--SURPRISE! She was expecting. And, no longer eligible for transplant, at least not while she was pregnant.

Now, talk about faith--against all medical advice, the Lawrensons continued the pregnancy, knowing full well that they were putting both the baby's and Tricia's life in danger. To quote Nate, they understood full well that God was the maker of life....and only He should be able to take it away. So, keep the baby it was.

Tricia fought as long as she could to keep Gwyneth in utero. But one week ago, Gwyneth made her grand entrance into the world! She was born via emergency c-section (for Tricia's health sake) at an astounding 24 weeks, 5 days.

No, that was not a typo--24 weeks, 5 days. She was one pound, six ounces at birth.

Here are some amazing pics to give you some perspective (you can see more really good ones here) of how tiny baby Gwyneth is:

Nurse's hands turning her over

Next to Daddy's hand

And my absolute favorite (you can click on this and see the amazing detail of her fingers--it is so neat!), clutching Daddy's finger:

The pics may look a little scary (she is off of the UV lights now--that was a precaution against jaundice) but little Gwyneth is doing incredible well for a 24 weeker. Tricia is fighting hard as well, but has a long road of recovery ahead of her.

I know that this family would appreciate your prayers as well--take a minute to visit them and be incredibly encouraged by their faith. Pray with me that God will continue to take care of them, as He already has!

Specific Requests

If you are one who joins me in praying, I have a couple of specific prayer requests today.

The Summons family, who I mentioned about 10 days or so ago in this post, had baby Mary Grace yesterday morning. She was here on earth for about 7 hours, until about 2:30 p.m. The family was happy to be able to have some time with her, but of course, you can imagine the sadness of losing their little girl after only seven hours. Even though I know that they were preparing themselves for the worst all along, the pain of this must seem unbearable right about now...I would ask you to join me in lifting them up in prayer over the next several days, as I am sure they will be some of the hardest ones of their lives.

You can find a few pictures of Mary Grace here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

He's really getting it

Last night, one of the best things since I became a parent happened to me.

I have been working with Colin, just a little bit here and there for the last few months, on learning simple Bible verses. He of course knows the all-time standby favorite, "Children, obey your parents in all things." We use that one pretty often.

And he knows a few others:
"Be ye kind, one to another" (that's a frequent one when you have two brothers!)
"And the child grew, and became strong...." (our children's church verse of the week--complete with motions!)
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."

We're big on those obedience ones. If you couldn't tell.

I have always wanted to start helping the boys learn memory verses, but never really knew quite what to do or how to do it...they are still young, and I didn't really know if the capabilities were there for that quite yet.

Until Cameron started quoting entire verses to me.

"The tile gew, and 'came stong." "Be kine one to 'nudder." "Tilden, obey your penents in all tings."

That's little people talk for "the child grew and became strong" and " Be kind, one to another" and "Children, obey your parents in all things."

That's when little Cameron taught me a very big thing: if he has the capability to memorize verses, then Colin certainly does.

And, it's not like I don't think Colin's smart. I do, very much. As my family has known for some time, he is my prodigy. :-) He knows a lot of things, and I am constantly teaching him more, as I believe it is my job as his mother to do so.

He knows his ABC's. He can recognize about 80% of them, and can identify about 50%. He is also starting to write them as well. He knows his numbers, up to twenty. He knows all his shapes, colors, and lots of concepts. He knows lots of get the idea.

I don't know why I thought he wasn't ready to do verses.

Anyway, once I realized that both of them were ready, I needed a way to keep verse memorization in the forefront--something to remind me to work with them on it each day. Someone gave me the idea to do a little 'table tent'. Take a 3x5 card and fold it in half; write the verse on one side, and the reference on the other. Then, leave it on your table, where you are at least three times per day. It will be right there and ready for conversation when you sit down.

What a great idea.

So, Thursday morning, up it went. And, we started working on it. Where did we start? In the very beginning.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1.

Thursday and Friday we would say it, over and over....but Colin never really said it all the way through by himself. He got lots of bits and pieces, and threw in as many words as he could, but wasn't completing the whole thing. I thought, "Well, it's only been two days....I have to give it some time."

Jump ahead about a few hours. Shane and I came home from our date night last night, and were putting the boys to bed--doing the whole nighttime routine of brushing teeth, washing faces, going potty, getting drinks, etc. Cameron was done and in his bed, and Colin and I were finishing up. Out of nowhere, he turned to me, and clear and complete as could be he said:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genet 1:1. (That's not a spelling error--he didn't quite get the reference--but it was really close.)

I looked at him and just absolutely LIT up. I smiled, and grabbed him, and hugged him, and congratulated him on how well he had just said the verse. Of course, then, he said it again, just as well as he had said it before. It was a great moment for me.

Then came something even better.

I said to him, "Colin, how did you do that? Did you work with Grandma on your verse tonight?"

And he said, "No mom.....God helped me say it!"

Unbelievable. Beyond learning his ABC's, concepts, and numbers, his realization and understanding that God was helping him learn his verses was the greatest thing he has learned in the short four years he has been on this earth.

And I couldn't have been more proud of him.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Snow adventures

A couple of weeks ago, we here in Catlin got a LOT of snow.

Like, 8 inches, or close to that. It was our first 'big' was so pretty coming down, and they boys were just aching to get out there and play in it.

Colin and Cameron haven't really 'played' a lot in the snow--they are still little yet, and of course, I can't take them out there because I have Ethan to worry about. He can't go out in the snow! (A side note here: in all actuality, Ethan is just a wonderful little excuse for me. I do not enjoy the cold, and especially do not enjoy playing out in it.....I am so glad I have to stay in with him!)

Anyway, back to the boys and their was a great thing (for me!) that their Daddy was home that day! Shane agreed to take them out and play, so I began the bundling process. Four shirts, three pair of pants, two pair of socks, one hat, one pair of boots, one coat (with another hat) and 27 minutes later, they were ready to go! What a site.

The boys, ready to go!
Cameron, just....well, being Cameron!
Colin, performing his first snow angel
Cameron, with Daddy's help, copying Col's angel

Colin was truly enjoying himself. He thought this was just the greatest thing. Cameron, on the other hand, thought that this was all sort of neat, but did NOT like getting snow on his gloves or his face. If that did happen, he would go walking over to Shane, calling for him to "help me, Daddy!" It was really cute, and despite him not being very sure of the whole thing, he hung in there for a good length of time.

They were really enjoying themselves for a while.....

As the boys began to tire of just 'playing' around in the snow, Shane had a bright idea. Build a snow mountain!

Colin especially thought this was the coolest thing! He immediately turned it into a sliding apparatus, climbing to the top and going down on his belly!

Cameron really didn't get the hang of it--you can hear him in the video (at the bottom of the post) saying, "Don't know how!" when I told him to take a turn going down! So, Daddy decided to 'help', and loaded Cameron at the top of the mountain, and poised him to go down, just like his big brother! (Meanwhile, I am seeing disaster written all over this)

This was the result. Just as I suspected....

....he was not a happy camper.

That was basically the end of the outside adventure for Cameron. He really never recovered from the face-plant. They all played for a couple more minutes, while I ran inside and whipped up some hot chocolate for all three of them.

Cameron's hat head

Here is some video, shot through the window, as were all of the pictures (I was certainly not going outside to take the pics!)

Ah, a day that gave us many memories!