Sunday, September 30, 2007

10:00 At Night

Kerry's birthday is tomorrow. As Caleb gets older, our birthday celebrations change for us parents. Caleb and I discussed ahead of time what kind of cake he wanted to make for Daddy. He knew that Daddy needed a chocolate cake with white icing. I would ice the cake and do the trim. He would design the top. Ever since going to the X Games and watching Kyle Loza win the gold medal, Caleb has assumed the Monster Energy drink is pretty cool since it's one of Kyle's sponsors and Daddy likes to drink them. So, at 10:00 tonight, Caleb and I started decorating Daddy's birthday cake. Daddy's cake has a Monster Energy design with I love you dad written on it. Very interesting. Caleb is so excited that he drew the top part of the cake by himself. Daddy realizes how important this is to Caleb so I know he will be excited about the cake tomorrow morning since he was sent upstairs while we finished the cake.

I'm sure our boys will have more and more ideas about our birthdays and Mother's Day and Father's Day. Just knowing it was their idea whatever it is makes it special whether it's something we would have chosen or not. I'm sure we will have stories to tell as the years go by. It's one of the many joys of parenting.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Daddy's Home

Kerry arrived home Thursday afternoon. All of the boys were so excited to see Daddy. Caleb had drawn multiple pictures for him. It's always fun to watch the boys run to their Daddy at the airport calling out his name and giving him big hugs. What a welcome home that must be! We've had a pretty normal week/weekend since then. Caleb has a baseball game tomorrow afternoon and then the boys and I will go to church Sunday evening with Kerry.

Having boys has changed my life, especially since mine are all boy. Caleb has been saving his money for the past few months with one thing in mind -- a skateboard. When I was growing up, it appeared that those that skateboarded didn't always make the best choices. It's been a little hard for me to understand why Caleb would want one, but he has been steady in what he was saving his money for. Tonight, he finally had enough money. My seven year old was wearing brown sandals, jeans, black shirt, black knee pads, black elbow pads, black wrist guards, and a black helmet. But you know what, he's the sweetest 7 year old boy I've ever met. He helps around the house, loves his brothers, snuggles with Mommy and Daddy and loves Jesus. I guess God is using Caleb to teach me it's not about what's on the outside but what's on the inside that matters.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 4: Without Daddy

Today was our last full day without seeing Daddy. The boys have been great this week. This morning was school followed by lunch and naps. Even Caleb took a nap today which is not his norm. I wonder if he's taking a growth spurt since that seems to be when he gets really tired. It's about time for him to out grow some of his pants since I just bought him a couple of pair in his current size. Caleb had baseball practice this evening which was great. Josiah loves being out in the open. He's getting so much better about not running off. He even sat in his little chair and the bleachers for part of the time. After practice, we made a quick trip to Target. Once again, Josiah informed me that he wanted to walk. He seems to understand now that if he runs off he gets no more chances and I put him in the basket. There are days when he amazes me. It is fun to see what catches his eye as we're walking down the isles. Tonight, it was make-up, a pink baseball helmet, and an Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch Christmas thing. Very random. Our shopping trips last longer, but it's worth it since he's learning to follow directions.

We're looking forward to seeing Daddy tomorrow. Caleb has been drawing pictures for Daddy and cutting out motorcycles from magazines to show him. Josiah is ready to go to the airport again to get Daddy. And Levi has started saying Da-da more frequently. Maybe he thinks if he says Da-da, he'll get to see Daddy. Tomorrow will be here before we know it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Day 3: Without Daddy

We're holding up with Daddy out of town. I sometimes think we stay busier when Kerry is gone than when he's home. Today, we had a shortened version of school in the morning but lessons well learned. Then, we headed to the outlets with Jessica and her kids. It seems like every year about this time, I start going through the kids' closets to see what they need. I did very well sticking to my list and came back feeling like I accomplished a lot and got some very good deals. We didn't get everything we needed, but it was a very good start. All five of our children did well. I'm sure us moms could have shopped a little longer, but we realized when our children were finished for the day. We dragged them around for at least three hours with hardly any complaining. The least we could do is realize when they had reached their max. Caleb was such a great help. I don't know what we would have done without him to help chase Josiah and Drew, the two very adventuresome boys.

We got home right around dinner time. We had dinner and then Josiah wanted to brush his teeth and lay down. I think he just wanted some snuggle time with Mommy, because he snuggled for over an hour before falling asleep. I didn't complain and enjoyed the time watching tv and talking with all of my boys. All three boys are asleep and I can barely keep my eyes open. So, I'm off to bed.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Day 2: Without Daddy

CALEB LOSES HIS TOP FRONT TOOTH!
As much as we miss having Daddy around, we've had a pretty good day. Our day started out with something exciting happening. Caleb was taking a bite of his biscuit when his tooth fell out. He was so relieved that his tooth finally came out. For me, it was the reality that he is no longer considered a little boy. Losing those top teeth seems to define that ending time. I'm a little sad, but I won't complain since he still loves to cuddle at night, especially when Daddy is out of town, I get some extra snuggles that he normally saves for Daddy. His other top tooth is loose, and I think he will lose it in the next couple of weeks. I took a close up picture so everyone could see his expanders. They look just like retainers but have a key to turn them. We have to remind him frequently to put them back in after meals or he will forget. I have to remember he is still seven and not seventeen and still needs reminding.



JOSIAH ONLY SCREAMED ONCE TODAY!
Potty training is still going well. We have not had a perfect day yet but he's doing a little better. I on the other hand need to remember to take him to the bathroom when it's been awhile instead of asking him until he gets the hang of it. The great news is that for two weeks he has gone poop on the potty without having any accidents of that kind. I can definitely handle cleaning up the other. Josiah is also our screamer and with no apparent reason. Today was very pleasant seeing that he only screamed once today. Some days, Granddaddy can relate after his visit, he will scream over and over again even when consequences are given. Josiah sang his first complete song last night. Can any one guess what it was?



LEVI SITS ALONE!
Levi just started sitting unassisted on Friday for short periods of time. Even though he has been army crawling for about a month, he's starting to pick up speed. He is realizing that his crawling can take him places. He has started crawling on the tile floor and wood floors in the past couple of days. I'm just glad that he didn't pull up the week after he began crawling like Josiah did. He seems smaller than my other two at this age. I guess we'll find out when we go for his check up next week. I know I say this every time I update, but he's been such a wonderful addition to our family. I love watching his personality develop.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Day 1: Without Daddy





Last night, all three boys slept in my king size bed with me. It's great that I finally have a bed that they can all fit in when Daddy is out of town. Our morning started with Josiah waking up ready to go downstairs at about 7:45am. I was able to turn on the tv for him so the rest of us could sleep a little longer. Shortly after, the phone rang and it was Kerry assuming we would be up and moving. With Kerry gone, the boys tend to stay up later and sleep later (good for me). We ate breakfast, cleaned out the car, played, mommy got ready, nursed Levi a couple of times and then it was time for lunch.

After lunch, we finished getting ready for Caleb's baseball game. Our entire afternoon was spent at the baseball game. Caleb loved playing baseball. Josiah loved running in the grass and playing on the playground. Levi was just content to hang out in the sling. After the game, we took one of Caleb's friends home from the game and ran to Target to drop off film. I forgot my camera when we went to the zoo, so I bought a disposable one so we would have some pics with Granddaddy. We came back home, relaxed, ate dinner, and then went back to Target to pick up the pictures. At this point it was close to 6:30pm and Josiah still had not had a nap all day.

We returned home around 7pm after a trip to Target and the gas station. The boys played some more, watched part of a movie while I watched the service online and talked on the phone. Then Josiah comes crying to me telling me he needs his pajamas on. I get him ready for bed, snuggle up with him and he falls asleep within five minutes. Levi falls asleep while I'm typing on the computer at about 9pm. After the movie, Caleb is ready for his snack and I tell him to let me know when he's ready for bed since he wanted another movie. It's Sunday and he and I are relaxing. I start blogging and start to say something to Caleb only to discover that Caleb has fallen asleep on the floor. Josiah wakes up crying and I go in and snuggle up with him and he falls back to sleep right away. I decided to put my old wrinkles dog in his bed snuggled up next to him hoping he thinks it's me all night long. It's been hard for Josiah to sleep well while cutting his 2 year old molars that are coming in one at a time.

And now that all the boys are sound asleep, I have wasted a couple of hours on the computer but I have enjoyed it. I will now publish this post, drag my 7 year old to bed, let Bailey in, get ready for bed, spend a few minutes with God, watch a little tv, snuggle up and nurse Levi, and fall asleep with hopes that I will get a few hours sleep until I'm gladly needed again.

Granddaddy's Visit

We had a very nice visit with my Dad the past few days. His plane came in earlier than expected so he met us at the van. I always like bringing the boys inside the airport to greet family with big hugs and smiling faces but they were ready in the car. As I was telling the boys that we were going to get Granddaddy, Josiah said, "Granddaddy hug me." It was so cute. He knew he was going to get a hug from Granddaddy. Granddaddy was kept very busy with holding Levi while I got ready and two older boys wanting his one on one attention.

Thursday, we went to lunch and then we went to the baseball field where Granddaddy helped Caleb with baseball. Caleb did very well listening to what Granddaddy had to say. Josiah was a little upset all day after jumping off the slide at lunch and hurting his fingers. Later, we noticed that they were swollen. As of today, they are pretty bruised, but nothing looks broken.

Friday, Granddaddy and I took the boys to the Santa Ana Zoo. It was a nice zoo, but it could be just a little bigger. It needed a few larger animals and more reptiles and it would have been great. But the boys had fun and that was the most important thing. Caleb had batting practice that night and then we all watched a movie together. All of the boys fell asleep (Kerry included) during the movie.

Saturday, we went to Boomers. Caleb was reluctant to go to the zoo on Friday. I explained that since Josiah's getting older, we have to take turns choosing fun things to do. Caleb wanted to play miniature golf. We had maybe our second rain this year Friday night which made the ground too wet for miniature golf. He enjoyed playing video games though. Caleb's top front teeth are very loose. Granddaddy's visit ended with a very upset Caleb worried about his teeth. You will be able to see what I mean in the pictures. We look forward to seeing Granddaddy again very soon! Thanks for coming to see us!

Granddaddy with his three boys


Granddaddy and Levi


Granddaddy and Josiah


Caleb and Granddaddy


Granddaddy and Mommy (I look old! I guess I need to look into that anti-aging make-up that Clinique lady mentioned back when I was pregnant.)


Oh, the memories pictures help us remember! This is what Caleb looked like after Boomers when he noticed how loose his teeth were. He didn't eat breakfast and only a little bit of lunch. After Kerry left last night, I told him I wasn't going to pester him about his teeth and they would fall out when they did. He's been eating just fine and back to his normal self.


Here is everyone outside of Chick-fil-a before Granddaddy went back to Texas. Once again, you can see how Caleb is feeling.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kerry's Mom is Taken to the Hospital


Kerry received a phone call this afternoon from his mom that she was in the hospital in Longview, TX. For the entire story from Kerry's perspective, click here. Words can't express the feeling I had when Kerry told me the news. Kerry's mom has been the best mother-n-law a girl could ask for. She has always supported me 100% when it comes to our family. Even when I was young and selfish and planning a wedding, she just asked how she could be of help. I have to admit that I felt pretty bad knowing that she was home alone when this happened and that we were not there. This is when California is far from Texas. Kerry is now on his way from Arlington to East Texas as I write. We don't know many of the details, but Kerry is staying for several days. Like Kerry said on his blog, we really would like Granny living with us out here, but ultimately that is up to her. Granny, know we love you and really want you with us. Please keep her in your prayers and we'll keep you updated.

I'll write about my dad's visit either tomorrow or Monday. We took my dad to the airport today at noon only to return to take Kerry to the airport several hours later. My parents were wonderful to pick Kerry up at the airport and let him borrow one of their cars. Thanks Mom and Dad for helping out even late at night!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Granddaddy's Coming!


In less than 12 hours, my dad will be here in California. I am so excited to see him! About six weeks ago, my dad asked what we had planned around September 20th. I told him we didn't have any major plans, and he went on to say he thought he'd fly on out for a visit. Josiah is so excited that he's coming tomorrow but doesn't quite understand that Nana will not be with him. Caleb will be excited once tomorrow comes, but it's best not to make a big deal out of change around Caleb until it actually happens. If Levi knew what was going on, I'm sure he'd be excited as well. We don't have anything major planned except to enjoy spending time with him. I've been feeling tired the past few days which in turns makes me homesick for my family in Texas so this is perfect timing. I guess I should get a little sleep in before he comes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Today

We have stayed pretty busy today. I really didn't want to wake up this morning. I've been staying up too late at night enjoying the quiet of the house. This morning was school. Caleb did pretty well. I don't think I realize how much little brothers can be big distractions. Several times today, when I would remind Caleb to listen or keep working on something, he would tell me it's just so hard when he hears Josiah. Especially, now that Josiah is having a little school time each day, Caleb doesn't like to miss out on that time either. I've thought about trying math and language during Josiah's nap, but Caleb seems to be a little tired and less attentive after lunch. I may try it for a week and see how it goes though. It never hurts to try.

This afternoon, we had some friends that we hadn't seen in 9 months come over to play and they live about a mile from us. Austin was one of the first friends Caleb made out here. They played t-ball together the first spring we were here and us moms enjoyed visiting during practices and games. The kids picked up right where they had left off which is always fun to see. We got to meet baby Ethan for the first time -- such a cutie and all smiles. They also have a little girl Lauren. Lauren was surrounded by 5 boys today (if you count the two babies). Our time went by way too fast and we look forward to getting together sooner than nine months.

After playing with friends, Caleb had baseball practice. Overall it went well. After practice, the coach quietly came up to me to let me know that even though they know Caleb wants to pitch, he just can't seem to get it over home plate consistently. He was so nice about it and went on to say that he loves having Caleb on his team and that Caleb seems to love baseball more than any of the other boys. I don't know if he thought we would be upset, but we understand. That was in the introduction letter for this season. I asked him about suggestions for helping Caleb improve in that area and he told me that we needed to practice with him everyday from short and farther distances until he improves. And if we see improvement, to point it out to him. The tough part came when Caleb commented in the car that he saw the coach talking with me and wanted to know what he said. I think I did a fairly decent job explaining to him. At first he seemed a little upset about it and said he didn't want to play anymore. I told him I would start taking him out everyday after school and I would practice with him. He really seemed to warm up to the idea when I told him that he could throw as hard as he could to mom. I know I'm going to be wishing I had the catcher's gear. He mentioned he didn't want to pitch but wanted to catch. I had to explain that for that position he needed to be able to throw it back to the pitcher every time. I don't know how I will manage to take him to the park to practice everyday with two little ones but I will do it if it will help him improve and that's what he wants to do.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Back in the Swing of Things


Caleb has had two AA baseball games so far. He is enjoying playing again and it's fun to get to sit and chat with some of the other parents from last season during the games. Caleb is getting back into a routine with school. He's working on some 2nd grade and some 3rd grade subjects. I've discovered he really enjoys singing just as long as no one else is around (including Daddy). I think it's one of his favorite parts of school these days, but he won't admit it. He's been having a few bad dreams recently which seems to have him a little scared of certain things. Kerry and I think he was looking at the scary costumes in a magazine a little too much. I think he may be growing again since he seems pretty exhausted. This tends to happen during a growth spurt and he will occasionally take a nap or two a week during these spurts. We switched the boys' beds and comforters and Caleb really likes the new look of his room. I think he feels more grown up.


Josiah is getting so good at going potty. That's all I seem to think about these days with him. He had 1/2 of an accident at the very end of the night tonight. We have kept him in underwear since a week ago even during outings. He did so well at the baseball game and church yesterday. His newest thing is he loves to put his dishes in the sink. Without fail, he will drop or toss his plates, cups, utensils in the sink. I'm sure something will break one of these days but what a great habit to start at this age. He loves going to Caleb's baseball games and playing outside either alone or with the other kids. He is doing so much better without the pacifier but now his molars are all coming in one at a time. I think they should all be broken through the skin in the next couple of weeks. It's making it hard for him to sleep consistently which is not like him. Josiah is still terrified of fireworks. We saw only one firework on our way home from the store Saturday night and he cried for about 30 minutes that the fireworks hurt him. I'm trying to figure out how to help him over his fear in a gentle manner. He is enjoying his school time and comes and sits down ready to learn each day.


Levi is about 6 and 1/2 months old. His 6 month doctor's appointment won't be for another week or so since his last round of shots had to be delayed a couple of weeks due to a small illness. He can army crawl almost anywhere. So far he hasn't attempted to crawl on the tile which I'm glad. He's not that sturdy with his crawling yet. Levi is still the most precious baby. We haven't started introducing solids and we'll probably wait another month or so. He's doing just fine with Mommy's milk. He has now discovered that he can scream and it's a lot of fun. I know I've said it multiple times but he is just so wonderful! He's almost too good to be true. He rarely fusses, only occasionally crying but only for a couple of minutes max until I discover what he needs. I love snuggling in bed with him at night as he drifts to sleep. He loves his brothers dearly. His face lights up when they talk to him. I am savoring this time with him because I know it will be over way too soon.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Kerry's Dream Come True


One of Kerry's dreams came true this morning and probably Caleb's and Josiah's as well. Our garage is now full of dirt bikes and a four wheeler. Kerry says he was almost in tears this morning it felt so good. Some friends of ours asked if they could store their bikes in our garage this fall. Josiah is having a hard time since he can't live in the garage where he would like with all the dirt bikes.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Homebound: Potty Training

This week, the boys and I have been at our house all day everyday until tonight. Why you ask? Well, it's potty training time and I decided that Josiah and I needed one complete week at home to get used to it. It's going pretty well but not as easy as Caleb. He still has a couple of accidents a day, but I'm changing no poopy diapers (of Josiah). Hurray! He is also starting to initiate when he needs to go more. The past couple of mornings, Josiah has woken up, wanted to take his diaper off and will go into the bathroom himself and go potty. He has even gotten a little upset two nights in a row because he wants underwear instead of a diaper. I simply wait until he falls asleep and put the diaper on him for the night. Several times, he has gone on his own without me saying a word.

Tonight, we had our first outing in underwear. I was a little curious about how he would do. We went to Caleb's batting practice. I packed an extra pair of shorts and some pull ups just in case and a plastic up. The good thing about boys is that they can go to the bathroom in a cup in the van and think it's a whole lot of fun. We even made a quick trip to Target and home with no accidents! Of course, I asked him almost every five minutes if he needed to go potty. He did go once in the van (thanks to the cup) and once at Target. Tonight as we were laying down, he told me he had to go to the bathroom. Since I was nursing Levi, he went into the bathroom on his own and went poop all by himself!

Overall, I am pleased with his progress and mine as well. The hard part is making myself put underwear on him first thing in the morning and after naps. It's so easy to become lazy. He's been a trooper and does not fuss about going to the bathroom. I'm hoping that he'll be pretty much potty trained (going by himself) in about a month. I think that's a pretty realistic goal.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

2 Years

Friday, September 7, marked our two year mark here in California. I still remember the day vividly. I woke up early that Wednesday morning to say goodbye to my mom before she left for work that day. We were both crying as she hugged six week old Josiah one last time. In my mind, I was wondering if I could really do this thing, move half way around the country from my family that I was so used to seeing on a weekly basis.

Year one was pretty much a blur. We were considered newbies out here and people were very understanding as we adjusted to life out here. I had my ups and downs but God truly did place different people in our lives at different times during that first year. I still remember standing in line at Albertson's soon after we arrived and started talking with the lady in front of me. She let me know that she did not attend the same church we did, but handed me one of her deposit slips from her checkbook and told me if I ever needed anything just to give her a call. God also placed some Baylor grads in our lives as well which helped make me feel a little closer to home.

This past year we were no longer newbies. Reality that we weren't just on an extended vacation started to sink in. God blessed us with our third son, Levi. Caleb and Josiah have grown so much this year. Josiah is taking after his brother and talks nonstop. And Caleb wants to do everything Kerry does. And Kerry is still ready to try almost anything. During this year, God has sent me a true blue friend, Jessica. Now I can't imagine her and her family not being apart of our lives. I can be completely honest with her. She knows the good and the bad. Where did the time go this year?

God only knows what this next year will bring. I have to admit that I'm glad I don't know what the future holds. I am excited about it though. Knowing that God is in control of our lives is all I need to know and I'll do my best not to worry about it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Family Vacation: Days 1 & 2




I had to add this picture in since I called one of my grandmothers Mamie.



Last Sunday, Kerry and I loaded up our three boys and headed to Mammoth Lakes, California. It was a much needed trip with just the 5 of us. Since moving to California, our trips tend to focus more on going back to Texas which I love. But we also need time away from everything with just us. The boys did great traveling the 6 or so hours in the car. We stopped twice so Levi could eat, get gasoline and drive through McDs for dinner.

Kerry suggested we take it easy on Monday so that we could get used to the mountain air. I'm glad he did. We drove around town and picked up groceries for the week. I was out of breath just walking up the stairs to the condo. While Levi and Josiah napped, Kerry and Caleb went fishing. After dinner, we attempted to watch the sunset, but it was too windy and cold. We were glad to get back to the condo.

Day 3: The Gondola


Caleb fishing on Tuesday morning


All of us enjoying the beginning of the gondola ride






After looking around the town on Monday, we thought it would be fun to take the boys to the top of the mountain on the gondola. I thought it looked like something we would all enjoy. Caleb and Josiah were so excited to get to ride on it. As Kerry and I get older, we have discovered that we both aren't too fond of being high above the ground with no control. It was very windy at the top of the mountain so we didn't stay too long at the top. On the way down, we decided to get off at the halfway point and hike the rest of the way down. Supposedly, this was a family friendly trail. For the most part, it wasn't too bad. However, there were times when I thought I could easily fall while holding Levi. It was fun though and I'm glad we decided to hike halfway down the mountain. Kerry and Caleb were also able to get in some fishing before Josiah, Levi and I woke up. They had a great time spending some much needed one on one time together.

Day 4: Yosemite National Park

Wednesday was set aside as our day at Yosemite National Park. One of the things I have always wanted to see were the giant trees I had read about. Even though it was probably the farthest point away from where we entered the park, we knew we couldn't pass up this opportunity. Let me just say, words and pictures can never do these giant sequoias justice. They were truly an amazing site to see. We saw other spectacular sites like Half Dome and El Capitan. I marveled at all of God's creation on this day. I am so glad that my boys appreciate nature and found this day as fun as a day at an amusement park. We arrived at the condo completely exhausted but so glad for the day we had. As we were leaving Mariposa Grove (the giant sequoias), I said to myself that one day I'll be back to the these wonderful trees again. I can't wait!


A picture of Half Dome


Josiah, Levi, Mommy and Caleb with Half Dome in the background


All of us in with Half Dome far in the background


El Capitan


Josiah and Caleb in front of El Capitan


We decided to take a ride on the tram to get a closer view of the giant sequoias without walking. The driver had mentioned that the back seat would be a little bumpy since it wasn't full in the back. We had no idea that his idea of bumpy meant flying out of your seats. I was holding Levi's head close to me the entire time in fear that he might get head or neck injury it was so bad. It also caused Levi a lot of distress and when we made our first stop, we thanked the driver and chose to hike the approximately two miles through the large trees back to our car. It took Levi some time to settle down which is not like him. I felt so bad that we put him through that but we had no idea. The other two thought it was lots of fun getting tossed around.



Can you believe how big these are?






My four boys


Levi putting his feet in the stream


Aren't they cute?


Caleb was disappointed that we didn't let him swim in the water.

Day 5: Earthquake Fault

Kerry and I were completely worn out on Thursday morning. Caleb and Josiah woke up with the same amount of energy as they do every day. Josiah has now heard me say over and over how much energy he has that he can say the word energy perfectly.

We wanted to get the boys outside for some time without having to walk long distances. We ended up at an earthquake fault. It was actually a fissure which if I understand correctly, occurs during earthquakes. We were able to see where the ground had separated and it was very apparent to see that if the two sides were pushed back together, they would connect perfectly.


After naps, Josiah wanted to fish. He hadn't gotten to fish with Kerry and Caleb and was ready for his turn. He was very excited and proud of himself for fishing. We found a place for dinner and then got to see a few deer on the side of the road. We were all ready for our beds early this night.