Thursday, January 31, 2013

Snow Fun

It's been a long week...very long.  Colton came down with the flu (the FLU) on Friday, and today is her first day back at school.  The poor kiddo has had it rough.  I am sure he has lost a good 5-7 lbs along with feeling cruddy.  And he didn't have any extra to lose.
Today is also Ethan's kindergarten screening.  I am actually writing this as we are waiting for his Parents as Teachers educator to arrive.  I just want to say I'm still not ready for him to go to Kindergarten.
Simon is just growing every day! Can't wait to post 4 month pictures and info.  The baby melts my heart daily.
It is cold outside, and we are running out of things to do.  But I thought I would post some pictures from a few weeks ago when it snowed a little.  The boys had a great time!
Snowball mid-throw at Daddy
Ethan making a snowball for the snowman.  This is the first year he was really enjoying the snow.
Colton being the big brother he loves to be!  Honery
I have to say their ages are really great for snow days.  They are both old enough to put on their own snow suits and bundle up for the most part.  And they can stay out there for quite a bit longer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Fun Weekend

The boys and I took a weekend trip back home last weekend.  It had been over seven months since we'd been up there last.  Erika was in with her family from North Dakota, and the kids have been ding-donging to travel up there.  Willy stayed home so he could use the opportunity to work on our living room floor.
We really had a great time!  We stopped by my mom's on the way in to Washington so the boys could say hi and I could feed Simon.  He woke up about 10 miles out and was not having it anymore.  I walked in and Emily came over to me and raised her arms so I could pick her up.  Miss that lil girl so much!  She just hugged me, even though I am sure she had little idea who I was.  She just "knows" I guess.
We then headed to my dad's.  The big boys headed to bed pretty quick, as they were complaining of being tired.  I stayed up for awhile and visited with my dad some.  It was midnight before I headed o bed, and that is quite late for me these days.
On Saturday morning we woke up, I fed Simon, then we headed back to my mom's.  My grandma was coming up to visit, and mom was making breakfast for us all.  The boys opened their remote control cars from her and Gary.  All four of us girls were together for the day.  The visit with grandma was wonderful!  And Simon never lacked for attention.  
My grandma and Simon
Aunt Boo loving on Simon.  This was the first time she'd been able to hold him. And lil Miss Emmy was not a fan of it.

Emily and I.  And Penny the Pig.  She loves her Scentsy animal.  
I miss my family.  My sister has grown up so much since moving away, and she is becoming an amazing mom!  I love her and can't wait to see her and her family when they come back down.
From mom's we headed back to my dad's to nap.  Then out to eat with Michelle and her family.  We then hung out at their house til Midnight! It  is so crazy how fast time flies when your having a great time.  Simon slept most the time in his travel bed in her room.  And we just sat around and talked while the kids played.  I truly love how much our kids love each other.  They are family!
We spent Sunday hanging out at my dad's.  I was exhausted and not looking forward to the drive home.  We honestly just chilled out.  It was bitter cold outside, and the boys seemed okay staying in.  I hate that I didn't get any pictures of dad and the boys together.  Will be on top of that next time. 
It was a really nice trip.  Just alot stuffed into less than 48 hours.  It wore me out quite a bit.  And next time we will definitely be up for an extra day or two.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Gloomy Thursday

I was going to post about our awesome weekend, but picture won't load.  And I really feel I wouldn't be doing this journey any justice if I didn't share about the horrible visit from grief on Thursday.  Writing is helpful, but I couldn't even make it to the computer to write that day. 

My grandma (mom's side) has been sick for awhile.  Colon cancer.  I won't go into details because she is a pretty private person.  But things are looking good anymore. 

My grandma and I are extrememely close.  I talk to her several times a week.  She has been a faith mentor to me growing up.  And she is just an amazing person.  I really can't describe how close we really all, because there are no words to do our relationship justice. 

Having lost two babies of my own, I know the pain of grief.  And I know how much losing her is going to hurt.  I really know.  And combining that knowledge with the winddown of the holiday season, I had a tough day.

It was one of those days when I couldn't think without crying.  The crying that comes with the inability to catch your breath.  Much like the crying the first few days and weeks after saying good bye to my sweet babies.  I would get up and try to think about dinner, and the tears would flow.  The loud cries that turn heads.  I would get frustrated and just give up on that task.  I'd move back to the couch, push play on Netflix, and curl up under my blanket.  I'd resurface when Simon woke up to eat.  Then he would smile at me, I'd think about seeing double the smile, and the tears would fall once again. 

I would then get angry that I was holding my perfect, smiling little boy, and still be crying.  I am incredibly grateful to have Simon. But there are days like Thursday when holding him also brings back the pain of losing his brothers.  There is such a delcate balance there.  I felt guilt for not being able to fully be in the moment with Simon.

When grief sarted closing in, I tried to fight it.  Then I realized that I really just had to Walk Through It.  It is easy to forget at times how to grief in a way that is right for you.  Being 31 months out, I don't have days like this very often.  And yet it always blows me away how fresh the pain is on days like that.  And I hate it.  I felt like my heart was being ripped out and shredded all over again.

I must say, though, that the day wore on.  Around 6 or so I began to feel better.  Walking through, chocolate, and lots of prayer helped me through the day.  I want to share that it is refreshing to know that I no longer feel anger towards God on days like Thursday.  That's a pretty big step. I am not sure when that transition was made, but I love it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Simon-3 Months

I am amazed by how fast time is flying.  It seems like Simon just grows by leaps and bounds every day.  Month 3 was such a fun one, and he was busy changing daily.  With the holiday season happening at the same time, wow, it was crazy.  
Last month Simon really started interacting with his toys and everyone around him. This baby boy has a smile that will light up the entire room.  And it melts my heart every time.  I just want to bottle up every smile and giggle. 
Simon also had his first overnight trip with Grandma in December.  Boy, it was a hard one for me.  Simon has pretty much been by my side every moment of every day.  I feel incredibly protective over him, as I know how quick it all can change.  Not that I live in fear of losing him, I don't really.  I just know and the thought hovers in the back of my mind. Anyway, I woke up Sunday morning ready to hold him and kiss him again.  But he did great at grandma's house.
He found his temper last month also.  Oh  boy, does he have a light switch of a temper.  Colton and Ethan always slowly became upset.  Simon goes from smiles and giggles to screaming in an instant.  It doesn't happen very often, but when it does eveything and everyone stops.
Simon loves his play mats so much.  He spends plenty of time on them while I'm folding laundry or tending to the older two.  He'll even squirm in your lap to let you know he wants on the floor to stretch and play.  He is sleeping well.  11.5-12 hours a night straight through.  AMAZING!  Love every bit of it.  He naps regularly and I can set a clock to his wakings/feedings.  All of this as long as he is swaddled in his swaddle sack.  Not sure what we will do when he is too long for it.  And he moves all over his crib while in it.
He also had his first long car ride last month.  We drove 2.5 hours to Columbia on the Saturday after Christmas and drove back that evening.  He handled the time in the car incredibly well, but was off kilter that night and the next day. 
Here are some pictures from the last month
Tummy time.  He lasts only a few minutes anymore before wanting to be turned over
Getting mad that his cow fell.

Discovering Mo the Monkey.  This is the first time he actually began to interact with his toys by grabbing them and talking with them.

 Watching the boys on the carousel at Bass Pro.
Holding his picture owl.
Mid-sneeze.  His sneezes shake his whole body.
Love his smiles and how blue his eyes look in this picture.  They almost match the blue in his diaper cover.
More play mat time.
The collage of the first three months.  We've used the same onsie each month.
Newborn vs 3 months old.

I am really enjoying watching Simon learn and grow every day.  Breastfeeding is going well, and I know at his 4 month well visit it'll be mentioned about staring cereal soon.  I really don't know if I want to start cereal at four months or not.  What do you think?  I know many of my breastfeeding moms have waiting to six months to start.  I haven't done too much looking into it yet, but what pros and cons do you want to share?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas 2012

I am sure I don't have to tell anyone that this Christmas was better than the last two.  Simon is here, and everyday I feel grateful to have him.  And although I still felt the pain of missing Lucas and Caleb, I was still able to enjoy the season more than I have the past couple years.
We always get together with some of our closest friends throughout the holiday season.  We had our annual Parents Christmas party on the 15th.  This was an absolute blast.  Everyone's children are with sitters and we can to enjoy time together without our kiddos.  We love them, but it is nice to reconnect as adults sometimes.  I didn't take any pictures, but there was tons of food, and I laughed more than I have in ages.  I am so grateful for the friends we have been blessed with.  They have walked through this life with our family, and I couldn't ask for better.
Our family always opens up a present on Christmas Eve. Normally it is just the Christmas pajamas, but we decided to shake it up a little this year.  Colton and Ethan took time and special thought in picking out gifts for each other, Simon, Willy, and I.  We really wanted them to open those gifts so they could appreciate the thought and be grateful to each other.  It was so much fun!  The excitement they had, oh dear! And Willy requested I open my gift from him and the boys...
I am truly loved!  They named her Rosie, and she cleans my floors every night after the boys go to bed.  It makes it so much easier to keep them clean, and the boys feel more motivation to have ALL their toys picked up before bed. 
We then headed out to Willy's parents house for our Christmas Eve gathering and food.  Oh the fun here!  And when I walked in and looked under the tree, and I saw Simon's stocking, my heart just swelled.  My baby boy's name on his very own stocking.

Ethan's face with each and every gift he opened.  Priceless!

Simon checking out the lights and music.
Playing Connect Four Launchers with Grandma and Grandpa.  This game really is fun!

We came home that night and the boys headed straight for bed.  They were so excited for Santa, that there were no problems there.  And I set off to wrapping.  I have decided that besides scaling down next year, Santa's elves will take gifts out of the store packaging (minus legos) and put them in plain, square boxes. Wrapping those awkward boxes is tough, and frustrating the second and third time around.
After Santa visited.
 Santa got tired and left a few toys unwrapped under the tree.  The boys were so excited and were able to open and play with them while I fed Simon.
Not sure about the stocking
Snickers digging into his stocking.

Loving on his elephant rattle.  This is quickly becoming a top toy.

The mess.
But hey, check out our new floors!

Ethan and the marble maze he asked Santa for.  I think gifts like this should come already assembled next year.  
No excitement here!  Santa left this for the boys also.  They have been barely holding on for Christmas to see if they would get Skylander's Giants....they even got it for the Wii!
Happy Simon

This is a Christmas gift from Colton and his teacher Mrs. C.  She is so amazingly thoughtful, and I am grateful. For my baby boys to be remembered just swells my heart, especially when it's someone who is relatively new to our lives.  Thank you!

The boys Monday morning.  Taking a break from enjoying Christmas haul to read a lego magazine.

Christmas was good this year.  2012 was really good to us.  And as I held and snuggled my baby Simon, not a moment went by when I didn't think the Lord for my so many blessings.
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