Friday, June 22 was Evelyn’s actual due date and two of the best things in the world happened. We brought Evelyn home from the hospital so we could finally be a family of four in our own place! Such a relief to have my tiny girl back with me. Caleb also finally came home. He had been with Zach’s parents and then my friend Ann and his buddy Lukan since Sunday! Zach and I both missed our boy so much. But the best thing next to having all four of us under one roof was that finally, after many many months of hoping, wishing, and coaxing, Caleb finally said, “Love you!” This Mama’s heart is full to bursting. It grew like the Grinch’s to twice its normal size.
Category Archives: Caleb
I know most of you know this already, but since I never formally announced the news on here, we are expecting baby #2! We used the above photo taken by my dear friend, Hannah Bunker, to announce to our families at my birthday dinner back in October. Everyone loved the photo so much that NO ONE paid attention to the overall big picture “Zach + Barbie + Caleb = 4”. Thankfully, we had Caleb wearing his new Big Brother shirt I had made under his button down. He did a Superman style reveal and then everyone understood!
Both Zach and I were SO excited to find out another baby was on the way, especially so soon after miscarrying. Definitely helped to ease the blow of that loss. I was really happy to have very positive tests show up quickly without having to squint, turn, and reexamine to see a second line, or as we web momma’s call it, a BFP (BigFatPositive). After having a ‘laptop’ ultrasound at about 6/7wks my due date was determined to be June 22, 2012 and it hasn’t changed since! Caleb will be just shy of 2 when the baby arrives. 2 Under 2 for a month until the Terrible Twos start! Thankfully (?) Caleb has already started that in a way with little tantrums and being overly stubborn here and there. I’m glad it’s not like a light switch thus far. I don’t think I could handle a sudden change to Terror Child with a tiny baby to care for too!
We had our ‘Big Ultrasound’ on January 19 and it very clearly and easily showed that our baby is a GIRL! We are both very, very excited. We had prayed and hoped for a girl next for several months before we even thought about actually attempting another. I have to admit that watching my friend’s daughter, Mikayla, a few times cemented that for us. She is so cuddly and sweet that Zach fell in love with the idea of having a Daddy’s Girl around. And really, what man doesn’t when there is an adorable little girl clinging to your neck making you want to call in sick to work?!
At this point you are probably wondering why on earth I have titled the post ‘V-Day’ and haven’t mentioned a thing about Valentines Day. Well, while our Valentines and 2nd Anniversary were both amazing, I’m talking about a different kind of V-Day that doesn’t necessarily happen in February. Today I am 25 weeks into my pregnancy. In the world of crazy online moms we call today V-Day because it is the time when a baby is first viable outside of the safety net of it’s mother’s womb. Clearly, this would be very early and with the help of many medical technologies, but it is another milestone we preggos like to celebrate. Viability Day! Granted, earlier delivered babies can and have survived before 25 weeks, but at 25 weeks there is a decent decrease in the chance of life changing delays and handicaps such as blindness, deafness, and mental abilities. Due to the fact that I miscarried right before this pregnancy, and that it was my second miscarriage, I’ve been a pretty paranoid momma this entire time. Each ultrasound that shows a healthy baby and each belly measurement that puts me ‘on track’ for my due date is like a major sigh of relief. I seriously considered buying a home doppler to listen to her heartbeat any time I wanted because I was THAT nervous. Was, I still AM nervous. It is a daily battle to give it up to the Lord that He has his hand on me and our daughter and that she will be born full-term without complications. It’s like an extra mantra I add in to my prayers about delivery.
Now for a Caleb update! WOO! He is 19 months and going strong of course. He is finally ON all three growth curves, though still very low percentile for weight. Fine by me but it does cause a problem keeping his pants up when he isn’t wearing a cloth diaper. The kid has no bum and his waist is about a 6 month clothing size. He is too tall of course, needing a 12 month at least in length. Obviously this is a dilemma. Baby belts don’t really exist so much in the retail world. Between myself and my MacGyver husband we decided a dog collar that buckles for a small ankle-biter dog just might work. After an $8 trip to Petsmart we have discovered this works great! Just a blank nylon collar is working wonders as a belt. They have leather too for those dressy occasions! Caleb has become much more cuddly as of late which we are eating up. He has a very sweet personality, wanting to make sure those around him are ok or happy. One morning at breakfast I asked him to ‘bump it’ with me as he likes to do. He refused several times. I made a very sad face and put my head down as if crying. When I looked up again he was looking at me, fist out ready to bump, and his classic “hmm?” It was possibly the sweetest thing he has done to date.
Back in December we took a short trip to DFW to go to the final TCU game of the regular season. We were lucky enough to stay and visit with my brother and his family. I LOVE having them closer than DC! It felt weird being at the game without Dad, but I think we have started a new family tradition. Caleb LOVED the experience. He started shouting when we entered the stadium and bouncing in our arms. It was awesome to see him so excited about a new experience, especially one so close to my heart. We tailgated with some former coworkers of my Dad’s, the people who were part of the reason I even ended up going to TCU. When we were inside watching the game Caleb enjoyed watching the game intently and especially the crowd’s reactions and cheers. Made me pretty darn happy that my little guy is a cheering Horned Frog! I am hoping we can attend a game for the 2012 season, TCUs first in the Big XII conference. Not only will the stadium be fully redone, but we’ll have new and better rivals to face! It will be interesting with a tiny baby, but I did happen to buy a ringsling in a lovely shade of purple that should be perfect for the occasion.
Caleb has quite a few words these days. Some come and go and others he says constantly. It is frustrating that we KNOW he can say milk, but any drink is ‘jus’, but I know the word will reappear at some point along with plenty of others who go on vacation from his daily use. I thought I’d include an abridged dictionary of Caleb’s version of words. It is funny how other kid’s words seem strange to you when they mispronounce them, but your own kid’s words just become second nature.
“Boppy” – monkey; his best friend who gets frequent baths in the washing machine. All monkeys are Boppy.
“Dut” – truck; my brother and SIL got Caleb four CAT trucks for Christmas and he adores them!
“Batpat” – backpack; we have a bag from the hospital actually that was full of formula. I used to store my pump in there on the go. Caleb has adopted it as his own
“Beeeeeee” – sheep; He loves the stuffed sheep in his room, but mostly Timmy of Timmy Time. He’s also started ‘baa-ing’ along when he sees a sheep. Adorable.
“Hone” – phone; I have no clue how he knows there is an ‘h’ in phone but he is choosing the make the p silent instead. He carries around his ‘hone’ and tells us to ‘call’ someone. He also carries on short phone conversations
“Hoosh” – shoes; he LOVES his shoes, but mostly everyone elses. Caleb loves to take your shoes, sometimes off your feet, and try to walk in them. He recently pulled a pump off the shelf at Naturalizer and placed his Converse sneakered foot right in to give it a test run.
Hopefully I will be able to post a BIT more often. Shouldn’t be hard as I haven’t set the bar too high here. Aim low, I always say. Ok, not really but I’m trying to not be too hard on myself. It’s been a tough pregnancy so far and blogging wasn’t topping my list of priorities as much as attempting to eat enough calories to make it to tomorrow. Until next time….
Today’s post is about a giraffe. A sweet, fluffy, adorable giraffe that often hangs with Caleb in his crib. Said giraffe has been banished to the laundry room for a month or so now. No, he didn’t bite or hit, he was an innocent bystander. A helpless victim of a horrible incident. In short, he got ralphed on. Yup, I said it. My child hurled all over his crib in his sleep, leaving us a lovely find in the morning. Thanks to my Rockin’ Green detergent the sheets, clothes, bumper all came out clean and fresh.
No-longer-fluffy and now-very-smelly giraffe could not be submerged in the wash, so surface scrubbing was the only option. I sniffed once, to make sure where the ick was since it had dried and blended cleverly in with the drool spots, and then proceeded to wash with warm water and soap at the kitchen sink. Result: giraffe’s butt still stank like a week old diaper. A few days later I did the same thing. Yup, even down to the sniffing because I thought maybe the air out had helped. Nope. Same awful stench. Round 2 wash with warm water and soap. Result: now giraffe’s butt smelled like a week old diaper that someone attempted to perfume with honey.
After relaying the Plight of the Giraffe to my mom, a sympathetic giraffe-lover, she suggested baking soda. Baking soda! AHA! It soaks up smells and is gentle, except when mixed with vinegar of course (VOOOOOOLCANO!). She suggested that the giraffe was probably clean now but that the smell had settled in the stuffing and fur fibers. Yum. After her advice I put off cleaning the giraffe yet again. Don’t ask me why, I just did. A few days ago I finally got around to giving the baking soda a try. I dumped some into a small bowl and mixed with water to create a paste. I then pasted giraffe’s booty, tail, legs, etc. in a generous helping of the salve. This was actually pretty fun. I felt like a medicine woman concocting pastes and ointments to save the world, or in this case, save the giraffe from his own smelly bum.
After a few minutes of sitting to really soak in the baking soda, or I suppose to let the baking soda soak up the stink, I washed giraffe’s booty off. This was messy and took some effort since baking soda likes to stay behind a bit. I let giraffe dry for a few minutes in the dryer and then set him to air dry once again. Result: Clean smelling giraffe, tush and all! Finally, a success for this poor, abandoned animal. He could once again resume his proper place in the Court of the Crib. Now because I let him air dry his fluff was a bit more spiked. Today I used my blow dryer with diffuser to refluff and unspike his fur. Now giraffe not only smells nice, but he looks good, too!
Did you know that baking soda can be used for a lot of things around the house? Not only does it help you bake cookies and keep the smells out of the fridge, but it can be used in a large variety of ways to cheaply and effectively clean all around the house! Check out these helpful tips from Arm&Hammer’s website.
- Got a stinky drain/sink? Pour baking soda down the drain while running warm water.
- Need to freshen your carpets? Sprinkle baking soda, let sit for 15min, then vacuum away! I suspect too, that for a stain you could make a magic carpet healing salve, er paste, with the baking soda, scrub a little, let it sit, then vacuum it away.
- Clean your entire kitchen with a damp sponge and baking soda, including the sink, appliances, and counters!
- Run out of Dawn? Soak dishes in hot water and baking soda for 15 minutes, then wipe away the grease and grime!
- To clean baby toys, mix 4 tablespoons baking soda with a quart of warm water, then rinse. A much better option to me than bleach!
- Did little Johnny draw his latest masterpiece on your wall? Make a paste with baking soda and water to gently scrub away his canvas for tomorrow’s work of art.
- Pamper yourself! Mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water and gently scrub to exfoliate away dead skin and bring on the youthful glow. Even gentle enough for daily use!
These are only a few of the hundreds of uses for baking soda. Check them out on Arm&Hammer’s site. The thing that attracts me most to using baking soda for cleaning certain things, especially baby-prone things, is that it is chemical free and generally safe. While there are warnings on the box about using baking soda orally on a full stomach or giving it to children under the age of 5, I suspect that a small amount would not be cause for calling poison control. Dog gifts, juice and coffee stains typically have to be cleaned from the rug while Caleb is awake. I hate this because he cannot touch the Resolve on the floor beneath that tempting soaked paper towel. From now on I will try baking soda instead so I don’t have to live in fear that Caleb will end up sick, thereby causing more stains to be cleaned (haha), or worse, dead, from using baking soda on the carpet. You don’t have to use much and any small amount that he might get in his mouth before I catch him would likely produce nothing more than a strange look on his face from the salty taste.
Have you used baking soda in a non-conventional way? Please, share with the class! Give some of these tips a try and let me know how they work out for you and your family. I’m very interested to see if I was the only one living under a rock about baking soda’s many powerful skills.
Nope, I am not referring to soccer, I am more of a baseball girl. I am talking about boobs. More specifically: Boobs as food for baby! I originally planned to breastfeed for 6 months and evaluate from there. 6 months came and went and Caleb and I were still going strong! I made a new goal of 12 months and I can’t believe it is already here. Caleb is down to only one nursing session a day, first thing in the morning, and I’m sure I could easily wean him from it. Heck, most of the time he wails like a banshee between sides for NO reason anyhow. Pretty hilarious to see him sit up in the bed, start wailing, spot the booby, and then awkwardly lean forward for more. He is nothing if not creative! Surprisingly, it is actually me that hesitates to wean him entirely. I know I don’t have to yet and I could certainly keep going no problem. We are not on a timeline and Zach doesn’t care one way or the other. Best I can determine, my hesitancy to be done with nursing boils down to two main things:
- Emotional closeness
- Denial that my son is growing up
Emotional Closeness – Caleb has never been cuddly. Even as a tiny guy in the NICU he wasn’t nearly as snuggly as most newborns are. We have napped a total of ONE time together when he was about 2 weeks old. He hasn’t fallen asleep on my chest or hardly anyone else’s (Papa is quite comfy though!) since about the same time. Zach and I tend to cherish the rare moment when Caleb will stay on our laps or want to be held close. They are few and far between so we eat them up! For that reason I have loved the closeness and emotional bond that breastfeeding creates. Perhaps if our guy was more cuddly I wouldn’t think twice about weaning, but that one time in the morning is often the only time during the day I get to be that close to Caleb where he is content.
Denial – On many levels, like all parents, I am in denial that I am now the parent of a one year old toddler, not a baby. Sure, he’ll always be my baby *cue Mariah Carey* but Caleb grows more independent every day. He is already the independent type so every little accomplishment seems more like a leap away from me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be pretty darn excited when he can wipe his own booty, but even that I can (and will have to) handle for a while longer. Time is just flying by and somehow I feel like I’m left in the dust. Everyone around is changing, growing, doing new things and I feel like I’m frozen in time. I know I have to let go but I thought that would be in a few years when he starts school, rides his bike, and later learns to drive and moves out on his own. I did not expect to ‘let go’ of my son in any way, shape, or form in his first year or so of life! For me, though, I suppose letting go will soon mean weaning him entirely from nursing. Part of this denial too I believe is roped in to my grieving for Dad. I put off designing Caleb’s party invites for weeks because somewhere in my mind I couldn’t acknowledge that yes, he was turning one, and no, Dad wouldn’t be there to see it. Each milestone Caleb hits is another that I also grieve about because my dad isn’t here to witness it. So often Mom and I look at each other and say how much Dad would enjoy this stage of Caleb’s life, the laughing, silly, easily entertained, innocence of being a toddler. Letting go of nursing will be acknowledging that Caleb is growing up which, 1) I’m not ready for and 2) my Dad is missing out on.
I guess the jury is still out on the exact timing of weaning. My best guess is it will just happen one day when I’m dead tired and I tell Zach to just give him some soy milk in his straw sippy because I am not moving a muscle.
You have probably noticed (or I sort of hope…) my absence in the blogosphere as of late. Considering writing is a great outlet for me in general, I thought blogging might help channel my grief into something constructive. Maybe I should because I feel that grief is still pretty taboo in our culture. Then again, I’m private about my grieving process and I don’t know that I’m ready to lay it all out there. Might be better to do a series on it a couple times a month or something. I don’t want this to be such a Debbie Downer of a read. I welcome tears but usually more due to laughing so much, not pure sadness. There is a time for that, but I don’t want people to avoid my blog because it always makes them sad! Yikes!
So much has happened since my last post! Here is a run down:
- I celebrated my first Mother’s Day with an outside baby! Though a few days late since Zach had a show that day. Instead of sweating in the heat at his show, Caleb and I spent the day with my Mom watching the Royal Wedding on the DVR and eating crumpets and baked brie. I did get my FABULOUS Lucky Elephant bracelet as a gift from Caleb and Zach. Perfection! I wear it often.
- After much harassing of my friends and praying I’d win, I WON a gorgeous bracelet from the Lucky Elephant! It is a triple wrap Sundance and I adore wearing it!
- Zach celebrated his first Father’s day and we enjoyed a meal out with his family. His gift didn’t arrive until just a few weeks ago, but it was worth the wait. An amazing handstamped silver guitar pick from Under Her Charm! The owner is so sweet and was very excited to be adding some Hebrew to match Zach’s tattoo as she has a Hebrew tattoo as well! I love meeting people that get as excited about things as I do!
- The day after Father’s Day we found out some fantastic news: Zach’s brother Jason and his fiancee, Alison are expecting! Due in early February! We are SO thrilled for them and anxious to know if we’ll have a new niece or nephew.
- I have launched a new little business venture on the ever-popular Etsy! My new shop, Sweetpea a la Mode features onesies and T’s in fun colors with trendy ties! I am about to add some new product lines as well with numbers for birthdays, initials, and some girly things, too! I am loving getting in touch with my sew creative and fashiony side. Fabrics are my new vice.
- I cannot believe it but Caleb is now the big O-N-E. How the heck did THAT happen?! Didn’t we just meet him and welcome him to our family as a tiny little baby man? Now he is ONE?! His rock ‘n’ roll party was a blast and he loved being the center of attention. He is quite the little ham these days. Not walking yet, but he was sure showing off his standing skills for everyone to “oooo and ahhh” over. He demolished his slice of rainbow cake and got lots of great presents! Poor guy was exhausted but slept great that night!
- We received the great news that my brother Robert, seester (in law) Colleen, and their sweet baby Samantha will soon be living in DALLAS! And by soon I mean a few weeks! We knew for a while that they would be coming to TX and likely Dallas, but the final word came and next thing we knew they were hiring movers and planning the big trek. We are all thrilled they will be much closer since DC is not somewhere we can visit too often. Caleb and Samantha can grow up together and I won’t feel like a bad auntie missing out on all of her wonderful stages!
That is the main breakdown for now. But to keep you coming back for more I will 1) make a pact with myself to blog frequently and 2) leave you with some incredibly adorable photos of Caleb…I know you are all really here to see him anyhow.
I wanted to post on Valentine’s and had even wanted to share a craft or something, but alas, I did not plan ahead. Plus I felt much worse on Monday and blogging just wasn’t my priority. Zach had to work but I still had a wonderful Valentines. I spent the entire day with my little man, who didn’t know it was Valentines but did try to eat his first Valentine from his friend Rowan. Cute, but not good since it was covered in glitter! Zach got me the cutest cupcake charm for my bracelet. I’d been wanting that one for quite awhile. If you don’t know, I have a bit of an obsession with cupcakes, as food, decor, you name it! I also woke up to find chocolate covered strawberries, a card, and beautiful flowers waiting for me on the raised bar in the kitchen! We may not have spent the day together but I still enjoyed it. Our anniversary is Friday and I much prefer to make a big deal of that given the choice between the two.
My big priority for this Valentines was to remind people around me that they are loved. Valentines so often makes those without a significant other feel as though they aren’t good enough, are worthless, inadequate, and, the worst feeling, unloved. Despite what commercials, cards, flowers, or chocolate say, getting these things does not determine worth as a person or strength and deepness of a relationship. Whether or not you have someone special in your life romantically – You. Are. Loved. Our Heavenly Father loves you more than you will ever know or understand. He loved us while we were yet sinners. For God so loved the world that He gave His Son. We are His beloved. I did my best to remind those I came into contact with, especially those that I knew were ‘alone’ on this day of Love, that THEY are loved, deeply, beautifully, and eternally by our loving Father. What a wonderful gift – unconditional love. And all because we merely exist.
Today, I am heartbroken. Seems odd to say during a week so full of ‘love’ – Valentines and our wedding anniversary, but heartbroken I remain. A sweet and beautiful woman of God went to be with the Lord early this morning. Sarah Chidgey Hughes was just 27 years old when she met her maker. A teacher, a newlywed, a fun-loving beautiful soul. Sarah was a member of our church here in Houston and while I was never blessed enough to meet her, I read her blog, especially a lot over the past few days. Sarah and I would have been amazing friends if I had had the pleasure of knowing her personally. This fact was clinched by her blog post on November 19 that you can watch here, in which she excitedly tells of her new mixer given to her by a friend. It is apple green and beautiful, which I take to mean it was a KitchenAid. She mentions how as a girl she wanted to get married so she could get a great mixer. This was the moment I knew we were kindred spirits. I used the say the exact. same. thing. From following Sarah’s journey, I like so many others, feel that I have known her. She shared the ups and downs of her life with cancer. One that started so easily only to return quickly and with a vengeance. Her blog is addicting, in a good way. She is so real, so uninhibited, and so funny! Always upbeat and positive through the pain and the trials. Even when you can tell it was a tough day there is still a smile and a sweet surrender to her God. Something Sarah would always say and her blog sign off was – Shine bright, firefly, shine bright. If you grew up in church it likely reminds you of “This Little Light of Mine.” Today the colors are more muted, the sky isn’t as blue, and we mourn the passing of a sweet spirit in Sarah. We know where she is and that she is happy, pain-free, and undoubtedly has the angels rolling with laughter, but that doesn’t make the ache of her absence any easier to bear. Please be in prayer for her husband, Eric, and all of her family and friends.
In honor of Sarah,
Shine bright, firefly, shine bright. Just some thoughts . . .
No, no, I am not giving away our sickness, though I would like it to GO AWAY. Zach and I have been sick for about 3 weeks on and off. Sick, almost better, one of us gets sick and the other follows suit. Caleb had a cold and got over it but now he has a fever so off to the pediatrician’s we will go tomorrow. Zach has bronchitis, I have swollen glands, and baybay is just not himself. Poor little man.
It’s been a rough couple of week actually. I ended up with a staph infection on my chin. Yes, you read that correctly. My chin. I am JUST that lucky! My love of ripping things off of my face finally decided to take revenge on me. One awful blemish that hurt like Hulk Hogan was pinching my chin turned into a red, swollen, scary mess of infection. That resulted in a trip to urgent care after the dimwit at my derm’s office didn’t call back until 4pm when I called at 1pm and then acted like I was nuts to ask if I could come in right away. Not my fault you didn’t call me back sooner, pal! Urgent care was ok. I got mega antibiotics and was told I couldn’t breastfeed on them. Also called the pediatrician’s office to double check that since the doc didn’t seem to know what he was talking about. Nurse said that no, I could not breastfeed. That means for a week I had to pump and dump. I pretty much wanted to cry pouring that milk out and I have a new respect for pumping mamas. I hated it and I don’t know how anyone does that exclusively. I had about 4 days of frozen milk in the freezer and I am so blessed to have two friends who gave me milk for Caleb. We didn’t have to buy any formula, woohoo! Pretty awesome if you ask me. Mamas, don’t ever throw out your extra milk! Donate it to a local milk bank or give it to a mom you know with an infant. Share that Liquid Gold wealth! A big thank you to Ally & Mikayla, Heather & Jackson for sharing with Caleb. To add insult to injury I went to my OB yesterday for my annual (joy!) and found out that I COULD have breastfed on those antibiotics. I pretty much wanted to scream at that point. Word to the wise, always call your OB office about BFing questions. They apparently know a lot more. My doc said they have the most up-to-date references and guides for medications and what will go through breastmilk. At least I know for another time.
Enough about sickness. We are just praying we’ll all be better ASAP. Anyhow, now on to the GOOD STUFF.
I mentioned that along with the redesign I would be doing fun things like sharing crafts, recipes, and giveaways. This giveaway is not through me, but my friend who is the lovely author of Our Growing Garden. She often reviews items and then has something from that brand or company to giveaway. This one is a Scandinavian clothing company with some freakishly adorable kids and baby clothes! Go directly to her giveaway post by clicking here and enter away. I promise not to be too angry if you win instead of me. Take a look at how she operates her giveaways as I will be taking my cues from Our Growing Garden for how to run my giveaways. I am so lucky to have some amazing ladies to use as a guide for things like this!
I also wanted to mention that I will be doing personal reviews of baby items as well. Something I meant to mention before! Watch out for those posts and be sure to bookmark them for future reference or to pass along to expecting mamas you know. Word of mouth is always the best kind of referral for anything, product or service. Hope y’all are all staying warm and well, unlike the Artsy Fam…