Sunday, May 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Granny

Happy Birthday Granny!!

10 Months Old

I can't believe I forgot that Josiah turned 10 months old on Friday. We were sitting outside last night at church talking to another couple when they asked how old Josiah was. I replied that he was nine months old. A few minutes later, I realized what day it was and that he was no longer 9 months.

At ten months, he is definitely a mover. He has started letting go and taking a couple of steps at a time. I have a feeling in the next couple of weeks he will really take off. It is so much fun to watch his personality grow. He knows what he wants and makes sure we are aware. He is learning how to crawl down the stairs. We only allow him to do this when we are close by to catch him. He loves to sing along to the music. He often can be found playing in his brother's room even without Caleb. About this age, I introduced Caleb to the computer. I tried to allow Josiah to explore the computer and he only wanted to turn the keyboard over. Maybe we'll try again next month. I also need to get a full size keyboard to put the baby smartronics keyboard on top of it. It's hard to believe that he is almost one year old. This is also the time last year that we started the process of moving out to California. This year has definitely gone by fast.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Embracing Motherhood

Okay. I'm sure after my husband reads this post he will think that California is actually starting to grow on me. Maybe it is a little. Anway, over the past few days, I have really been reflecting on my role as a mother and how different it is than I originally had planned. Since Caleb was born, I have been struggling with what I felt was the best way to raise my children versus how society thinks children should be raised.

Moving to California though has allowed me to finally feel confident and validated in the way I choose to parent my children. I love having my kids with me pretty much all the time. I find I rarely need a break except that which I get when everyone is sound asleep at night. It is really quiet at 11:30 at night. I can spend time with my husband and feel connected with him without having an official date night. Creativity and patience is the key. I love snuggling next to Josiah in the night and nursing him when he wakes. Yes, he wakes often, we cosleep, and I'm not worried about it. I treasure the times at night when Caleb and I read books and he drifts off to sleep snuggled up on my arm especially since he chooses Daddy most of the time to put him to bed. I don't mind when Caleb wakes up in the middle of the night and needs someone to snuggle next to. I enjoy nursing and feel no pressure to stop as soon as Josiah turns one year old. There has been no pressure to leave Josiah for any reason. I get to homeschool my children. And I have a wonderful husband that fully supports me in all this. I have finally found other moms out here that feel the same way as I do about parenting. Our pediatrician is a big supporter of this parenting style. And yes, this parenting style has a name, attachment parenting, but I prefer to call it natural parenting since I am raising my kids the way that feels natural to me.

Was this what I envisioned when I was pregnant with Caleb? No. Do I have any regrets about natural parenting? No. Did I have to move to California to come to this understanding and confidence? Yes. Why? I don't think I would have gained the confidence and support elsewhere that I needed to proudly say how I feel outloud outside of my parents, mother-n-law and sister (and husband of course). Why did I write this on the blog instead of in my journal? In case new moms are reading this and feel like they are the only ones who feel this way (I felt so alone with my first), I want them to know that it's okay to pick your baby up when he cries. It's okay if your baby isn't eating solids at 6 months. It's okay if your baby needs to be close to you at night. It's okay if your baby falls alseep while nursing. It's okay if you're a mom that doesn't really need a break. And it's okay to love that baby more even when you turn around and realize he isn't a baby anymore and that he is a six year old boy.

I admit it Honey, I'm glad we moved, not just because God told us to, but so that I could fully embrace motherhood and all that comes with it with a joyful heart.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Around the Block

For the past month, Caleb has been practicing riding his bicycle without training wheels for the past month in the backyard. We finally made it out front tonight. He did great! Our neighborhood is one big square and he circled our entire neighborhood. I have no idea what that is in terms of distance. He looked like it was an everyday occurrence, riding around the block. I could also tell that he was proud of himself. Maybe we will start evening walks as a family.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Granddad's Visit


Josiah, Granddaddy, and Caleb in front of our house


Granddaddy, Caleb, Mommy and Josiah


Caleb and his friend Austin


All the boys


Caleb catches a ball during practice


Josiah and Granddaddy

My Dad flew to California late Thursday night. Caleb was pretty excited to see Granddad and Josiah did amazingly well with Granddad for not seeing him since February. Friday morning found Granddad, Caleb, Josiah and I heading to the park to play baseball. Both of my boys love being outside and had a great time. After baseball, we came home for lunch and then freshened up before going to the church. Granddad needed to check in before the Rockbridge graduation that night. We didn't stay that long at church and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon relaxing at home. That evening we all (Kerry included) went up for Rockbridge's first graduation. Of course, Josiah didn't last long, so the boys and I went outside to play until it was over. Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice reception, and then we went out for a very late dinner.

We were all pretty tired by the time we got home. I took time to get things ready for the next morning, closing day for t-ball. Caleb was excited for Granddad to be there for the last day. Instead of a game, it was a team competition. Our team won! They had a home run derby, throwing contest, relay race, and throwing to first base contest (not sure of the name of this contest) The boys were so excited to receive the trophies and medals. Josiah enjoyed all the attention from Granddaddy carrying him around.

Our time with Granddady was way too short. After the closing day, we had a couple of hours with Granddad at home before we had to take him to the airport. We are so glad that he was able to come and enjoyed our time with him. Caleb said he wished he could stay for 18 more sleeps. My thoughts exactly.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Updates

*Once again, this post was actually completed on Wednesday even though it shows up as Tuesday.

*Mother's Day has come and gone, but it was nice while it lasted. Kerry and Caleb took very good care of me on my special day. Since Sundays are always busy, we celebrated on Monday. I did not have to worry about any the meals or clean up. Kerry played long and hard with both boys. Josiah took two great naps. I got to enjoy reading and watching tv. I had to remind myself not to work and it was worth it. Thanks to my two big boys for taking care of me.

*Caleb finally decided to get his hair cut. I ddn't realize how used to his long hair I was. I almost cried when they starting cutting it off. But he looks super cute and he loves it. I just won't get Josiah's cut until he is at least two. Caleb's last t-ball game is this Thursday and end of the season festivities are on Saturday. He's had a great season!

*Josiah's four teeth have broken through! He is very fast climbing up the stairs now. He enjoys table food now, but can't figure out a sippy cup. He's getting plenty from nursing, so I'm not concerned. Josiah is really starting to bond with Daddy. He crawls to Daddy as soon as he gets home. Precious memories!

*We have a busy rest of the week. Our church has a conference going on this week which means Daddy is pretty busy. The boys and I went up to church for a couple of hours yesterday. Tonight we will be up at church for night of worship. Tomorrow we plan on going up to the church for a little bit to see Daddy and then we go to the airport tomorrow night to pick up Granddaddy! Granddaddy will be here until Saturday afternoon. We can't wait to see him!

Friday, May 12, 2006

For My Mother


Caleb, Granny, and Josiah

Kerry and I had been dating for almost two months before I met his Mother. At that time, I already felt a peace from God that Kerry and I would marry. So, in the back of my mind, I knew I was meeting my future mother-n-law. I can't say I had any major expectations, but I was a little nervous about making a good impression. What if Kerry's Mother didn't like me and told him that I wasn't the girl for him? Would he tell me it was over? Upon our first meeting, I knew that everything would be okay. She made me feel right at home and even accepted the fact that I was a picky eater. After that first visit, she would send me kind notes in the mail which always made my day. I remember that she came to my college graduation even when she didn't have to. After Kerry and I were married, I remember going to visit her and bringing all of our laundry with us. Do you know what she did? She helped us wash and fold all of it.

When Caleb was born, I didn't realize how our relationship would change and it did for the better. I was now a mother of a son, and I finally understood all the emotions she probably has when she thinks of Kerry and Kent. And I know how strong those are. We started gettting together once a month, and I think that's when our relationship started to grow. We would either go to her house, meet halfway, or she would come to our house. Caleb has such a special bond with his Granny and I hope that one day Josiah will too. We have traveled together and she is one of the most laid back travelers anyone could ask for. When she visits, it's like she's always been here, and there's no awkwardness, just a chance to catch up and visit and talk about our boys. I'm even able to cry on the phone with her on hard, lond days. I am so thankful that God gave me the best mother-n-law there is around. I only pray that I will be able to be the same if my two boys marry someday. Happy Mother's Day! I love you!

For My Mom


Mom, RyAnn, and Stephanie (me)

With Mother's Day upon us, I wanted to share with you a little about my Mom and what she means to me. Growing up, I never realized how blessed I was to have a mom like my Mom. My Mom met my Dad when she was seventeen. They were married when she was eighteen and I was born when she was nineteen. She dreamed of getting a college education but put that off to stay home with my sister and I. I still remember her playing dolls with me when I was little. She would lay with my sister and I every night until we were asleep. As we got older, she started taking classes when we were in school. Eventually, she received her teaching degree and began teaching when my sister and I were a little older. Going through the teen years, she was one of my closest friends. I'm sure I had my moments, but for the most part I think we enjoyed each other's company.

Up until this past September, we lived minutes away from my parents. I definitely took that for granted. Sure, we would talk on the phone and go shopping, but I just assumed we would always live close by, even though I knew in the back of my mind that being a minister's wife meant moving when God calls. We saw each other about once a week for Sunday lunch and sometimes a little more, but it was part of the routine. But now that over a thousand miles separate us, I treasure the times we spend together. Our visits have become more meaningful to me, and I am thankful for everyday we see each other. I am also thankful for cell phones which allow us to talk for free everyday and for the webcam so that my boys will know her. She is still my favorite person to go shopping with; so, I save most of my mall excursions until we are together. I still love getting Christmas presents and birthday presents from her, because she is probably the only person that can buy me something that is not on my "list" that I will like. And whether we are visiting her in Texas or she is out here visiting us, I feel at home. Thank you for everything you do for me, for loving me and listening to me. Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Trip to Big Bear


Kerry and Caleb on the alpine slide


Caleb, Mommy, and Josiah at Big Bear Lake


My four boys on top of the clouds


Josiah and Caleb on the back porch of the cabin

The weekend of April 28th, we took a few days to get out of town. We had heard about a place called Big Bear here in Southern California and decided to check it out. During the winter months, Big Bear is a place to go skiing up in the mountains. Instead of skiing, we took the weekend to enjoy some uninterrupted family time. I found a cabin with a fenced in yard that allowed dogs to come as well. Bailey enjoyed not being left behind and sniffing out all the new smells. Caleb enjoyed driving through the clouds, the alpine slide, hikes with Daddy, and the hot tub. Whenever we visit a small town, Kerry and I daydream of moving to a town in the middle of nowhere and savoring the slower pace of life. Monday came way too soon. As soon as we got down the mountain, it seemed like we were back into the business of life.

This week is going pretty well, except that Josiah has four teeth coming in. He developed a fever on Sunday night, but it went away yesterday. He is having a difficult time sleeping at night due to the pain. And I am changing a lot more diapers. One tooth has broken the skin and the other three are pretty close to breaking through. He has learned to play peekaboo with a blanket this week which is so fun to watch.

Caleb only has three t-ball games left. He decided he didn't want to play soccer in the fall but would like to try basketball. He also wants to continue playing baseball, so Kerry's checking to see if there are any off season leagues. We have less than 30 days left of first grade. Caleb and I are both ready to see the end. With Josiah's birth and our move to California last year, it didn't feel like we got much of a summer break. We plan on enjoying at least a few weeks between first grade and second grade this summer.

Monday, May 08, 2006

New Post

I created a new post about Mother's Day. I wrote it on April 17th, but did not publish it until tonight. It still came up under April 17th, so if you want to read about my idea of the perfect Mother's Day, look at the April 17th entry.

Caleb's Birthday


Josiah, Nana and Caleb at Caleb's t-ball game


Josiah sleeping peacefully snuggled with Nana


Caleb is ready to open his presents


Daddy, Caleb, and Mommy with the soccer cake


Caleb, Josiah, and Nana

I finally got around to getting my pictures developed and have pictures of Caleb's birthday celebration and a few pictures of Nana's visit.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Doctor Visit for Two

Yesterday I took the boys for their check ups. Caleb had his six year check up and Josiah had his ninth month check up. I thought it would be easier if I took care of both visits at one time. Since this was Caleb's first visit to the doctor since we have been out here, we were both not too sure of everything that would happen at a six year old check up. The first thing he had to do was give them a urine sample. By the way, this was my first check up with both boys without Daddy present. After the urine sample, both boys were weighed and measured. Caleb was 47 inches (75th percentile) tall and weighed 52 pounds (80th percentile). Josiah was 28 and 3/4 inches (75th percentile) tall, weighed 22 pounds, 11 ounces (80th percentile) and had a head circumferance or 18 and 3/4 (90th percentile). Caleb did not have a 9 month check up, so I can't compare the two. I did check and at Caleb's one year check up he weighed 22 pounds, 15 ounces and was 30 and 1/8 inch tall. Then the doctor came in. Both boys looked just fine. The doctor did suggest that Caleb try to have a breakfast with more protein in it. Anything would be a step up from the chocolate poptart he had for breakfast that morning. Chocolate poptarts aren't our normal breakfast food. It's just that it's grocery day today. I thought that would be the end of our visit except for Josiah's shots, but I was wrong. They have a new vision test for babies. Josiah did fine. And then Caleb had his eye and hearing tests. He did great on both. Then came the dreaded shots. I was all prepared for a lot of crying, but I was wrong. The same baby who cried because he couldn't crawl out the door of our room did not make one sound when the shots were given. I was in shock! I was glad it was all over. Even though both boys did great, it wore me out!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

For My Husband


I spend most of my time on this blog sharing the happenings of our two children. However, tonight this post is for my husband, Kerry. I want him to know what a wonderful person, husband and father he is. So, I have compiled a list of things that I love about him.

Reasons that I love you!
1. You are a brother in Christ.
2. You're relationship with Christ is the most important thing in your life.
3. You are doing what God has called you to do.
4. You are a wonderful provider for our family.
5. You are there when I need you. (example: I called you in the middle of a meeting and you stepped out of it to help me get the splinter out of Caleb's finger)
6. You love me.
7. You love our two boys.
8. You play in the backyard with Caleb.
9. You are teaching our boys to be men of integrity.
10. You let me cry.
11. You listen.
12. You call me during the day just to check on us.
13. You let me be the mother I have always wanted to be and don't pressure me to leave our boys.
14. You snuggle up with Caleb when he needs you at night (not all Dad's would do that).
15. You don't mind that Josiah needs his Mommy almost all the time right now.
16. You play with Josiah as long as he enjoys it.
17. You stayed up at church tonight so I could go to a meeting but have Josiah close by for when he needed to be fed. (I know you were tired)
18. You don't mind that I'm a picky eater.
19. You make me feel safe wherever we are, even on the street next to the Wendy's on our way home from our trip this weekend.
20. You let me homeschool Caleb.
21. You let me go back to Texas when I'm feeling homesick for family.
22. You stand up for what is right.
23. You are a man of integrity.
24. You are straightforward and give me a straight answer even if it's not what I wanted to hear but needed to hear.
25. You know what I would say here, but that I don't want to put it on the blog.
26. You don't hesitate to help a friend in need.
27. You are a great leader.
28. You never meet a stranger.
29. You don't complain when I sleep late.
30. You cook good bacon.
31. You are good with outdoor stuff such as camping, hiking, etc.
32. You are selfless.
33. You let me pick out my own presents and don't have a problem with that.
34. You are patient.
35. You take out the trash.
36. You don't complain when I say we're having hamburgers or sandwiches again for dinner.
37. You love your Mother.
38. You love my family.
39. You bring me joy.
40. You are the best husband any girl could ever ask for!

I LOVE YOU!! I CARE FOR YOU!! HAVE A GREAT DAY!!