Category Archives: Faith

titles are pointless sometimes . . .

As I laid in bed this morning it hit me, it was 8:15am and a year ago you were still here. Well, medically you were still here but I think Mom, Bob and I all knew you weren’t really there anymore. This realization hit like a load of bricks. I couldn’t move. I could barely breathe. My entire body had turned to cement and there was no way I could budge even a toe. It’s been a year and I still don’t know why you’re gone. I still don’t understand why on earth God would take you from us, from me. I know heaven is supposed to be just unfathomably amazing, so I understand why you’d get there and never want to leave. You have the best common sense of anyone I know. Street smarts says if you find a good thing, keep it! I know God has already used your passing to His glory and to be honest that’s the only thing ‘good’ I can see in all of this. Just two days later at your memorial at least 6 or 7, by my count and probably more, came to know the man who you found to be the true Messiah. It was the only bright spot in that entire wretched day. Knowing that you’d made an impact so much in these lives that when Garrett made the offer to those willing and ready, many accepted.

Despite that fact, I remain selfish. I remain a little girl, broken-hearted, that her Daddy is no longer here. Wondering why I only got to have you for 25 years when it could’ve, and should’ve in my opinion, been many more. Sure, they were the best 25 years a girl could ever ask for or imagine, but that doesn’t mean I was ready to give them up! I wasn’t ready. I’m not ready. Maybe I never will be. I don’t know and I can’t know that, not right now. I still see a granite blue Silverado or a green Expedition and double check to see if it’s you. I know it isn’t. But I have to check. Just in case. I often expect to hear the garage door at the house open, then the door, and the sound of your boots and scraping paws as Angel excitedly bombards you. But you aren’t. You won’t be coming through that door. Instead, you’re waiting on me, Mom, and Bob. I’m sure when we get there you’ll be thinking “Gee, that was fast!” but for us it is such a long time.

Enjoying chocolate cake, pretty much the embodiment of you.

A year has flown by and yet seemed like an eternity. This post was how I felt a year ago and how I will always feel about the amazing person you are, Dad. Glenn Allen Martin, 56 years on this earth, 25 in my life, and forever in my heart. I love you, Daddy. . .

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Grief for Dummies (apologies to the book since it likely exists)

Last week I had the honor to be a guest poster on my friend’s fantastic blog while she vacationed. Below is the post I sent her. I’ve added in some photos as well! Be sure to check out Building Our Story. Censie has great reviews of baby products, giveaways, and entertaining stories. Give it a read!

Dad and tiny Caleb in the NICU

This year so far has been probably the toughest of my life. Some might look at all that I am blessed with and think, what on earth could be so bad about her life? That is because grief is not something we wear on the outside. There isn’t a scar that people see across a room. There is no sign or mark above my head plainly informing the world of all I deal with daily. I still dress in stylish clothes, fix my hair, and spend time with friends. I laugh a lot and I cry a lot too (which if you know me is entirely normal).
But what most cannot, and some will not, see about me is that I am living in a season of intense grief. On March 17, 2011, after 18 days in the ICU, my dad died of acute renal failure stemming from viral pneumonia. He was 56 and healthy as a horse. This completely blew my family out of the water. No one, not even his doctors expected this outcome.

I am the definition of a Daddy’s Girl. I have rarely ever been truly angry at my dad, though I’m sure I was often a challenge for him! While in many ways I am like my mom, in personality and other innate character attributes I am exactly like my dad. He understands me in ways others cannot. I don’t even always have to fully explain, Dad just ‘gets’ it. We used to talk daily, often multiple times a day because one or the other of us would think of something to call about, creating yet another 30 second phone call before we forgot. Having that type of relationship so quickly and permanently ripped from my life is something I will likely never get over. At 25 years old I was not ready to deal with this. I still had another 20 years before it was time to start prepping myself for that eventuality. Yet here I am, dealing with the death of my Daddy and trying to be a good wife, mom, friend, and daughter. It is a lot to juggle, believe me.

Sadly this is not the only grief I’ve had to deal with lately. I also recently found out that I was pregnant, only to miscarry a week later. This is my second baby that I won’t meet in this life. It stuns me that I am a mother of three but I’ve only met one, my son Caleb. Losing a parent is devastating. Losing a child is different yet equally life-changing. Both types of grief are something that the vast majority of people have no clue how to deal with.

August 29, 2011 - Lil pea here and now gone

It isn’t their fault. If you haven’t been through this type of grief, losing someone so very close to you, you just won’t understand. At the same time, in our culture we don’t talk about grief. Growing up no one teaches you what to say to someone who is grieving or how to act. Most people are just winging it. I’ve been there. I’ve been the one who was winging it and now I look back and pray that I didn’t cause additional pain to those I know who were dealing with the death of a loved one.

Now I’m on the other side. I am the one that people awkwardly spit out condolences at all the while I can tell they are wanting to run the other way. We don’t like dealing with grief and death. Chin up, sweep it under the rug, move on. So, based on my experiences and those of people I know, I am going to share a quick and easy Do’s and Don’ts of dealing with others’ grief.

Don’t . . .
1. Say, “Everything happens for a reason,” “God knows what He is doing”, or especially “God’s timing is not our timing.”

Each of these, especially if it is someone dealing with a miscarriage or stillbirth, come off as rude and insensitive. Sure, they sound good and just what they teach in Sunday School, but to someone who just lost a baby all they will be thinking is, “Really? God had a reason for my baby to die instead of living a full life? He planned this to teach me something because His Plan is better than mine?” All I could think when people told me that about my miscarriage was that MY God would never take a baby’s life. And He doesn’t. It happens, sure, but He didn’t cause it any more than I did. He will use the experience to teach me and strengthen me, but God did not cause my baby’s death just to teach me a lesson.

2. Say how tragic it is. Clearly, death is always tragic. It is heartbreaking and heartwrenching. Anyone who keeps lamenting on about how awful, terrible, horrible, and tragic it is should expect that the grieving person they are talking to will have a look of disgust and a strong desire to dropkick you across the room. Nothing worse for the person who is truly upset to have to listen to someone yammering on about how sad THEY think it is. Really? Shut. Up. I promise the grieving person is fully aware of the situation and just how ‘tragic’ it is.

3. Say you understand. Unless you have lost a parent, spouse, baby, best friend, whatever the situation is, you DO. NOT. UNDERSTAND. But you know what? That is okay. No one expects you to understand what you haven’t experienced. However, claiming that you understand what the grieving person is going through will only cause them to feel as though you are trying to one-up them in the life sucks department. Remember this: empathy is being able to understand and identify with what a person is going through. Sympathy is feelings of sorrow and sadness for someone else’s misfortune. If you haven’t experienced it, you have sympathy for the person. Don’t try to empathize and make them feel as though their grief is less important…aka don’t make it about YOU.

4. Expect me to spill my guts to you if we have never been close. Our level of friendship will not change from acquaintance to BFFs just because someone died. When deep in the throes of grief, those whom you are closest to are the ones you want around. Those who typically are good in small doses or have never been someone you consider your inner circle you typically want far, far away. In short: the people you would usually want to spend time with are the ONLY ones you want around and the people that kind of annoy you normally now make you want to pull out your hair and yell profanities in foreign languages.

5. Expect me to answer my phone, emails, or texts, and do not get angry and offended when I don’t. As soon as the Great Tragedy that is death occurs, the grieving one is flooded with phone calls, emails, flowers, visitors, etc. and it all becomes very overwhelming. First, they are dealing with the death of someone they love and now they are being contacted en masse by everyone they know via every type of communication device. It is simply too much to handle. People fall through the cracks because too much is happening. Do not take it personally and turn it into drama of your own. Likely they either turned off their phone or were so inundated by people that they couldn’t keep up. (When I finally checked Facebook after Dad died I had over 100 notifications….I closed my laptop and slowly backed away).

6. Expect me to call you. If you want to spend time with me, keep calling or texting me because I’m just a bit busy dealing with this new feeling of intense sadness while trying to do day-to-day basics. It isn’t that the grieving person doesn’t want to see you, their good friend, they are just not going to remember to call, or for that matter who it was who said to call. And really, would you?

Do . . .
1. Say how much this sucks. . . Because it DOES. Period. No getting around it. Losing someone special in your life sucks hardcore. Another great thing to say is, “I’m so sorry you are going through this.” If you care about the grieving person at all, you are sorry they are experiencing this hardship. It makes much more sense than saying a plain “I’m sorry” because unless you killed the person, it isn’t your fault and the apology doesn’t do anything.
2. Offer to spend time together. Coffee, dinner, going to the movies. Just because someone is sad doesn’t mean they want to constantly dwell on it. In fact, it is good to get out for a change of scenery and to do something other than sit around in your pj’s surrounded by a mountain of snotballs, bawling your eyes out.

3. Offer to help with meals and normal daily basics. While not everyone completely shuts down in times of grief, usually basic things like eating are not top priority, especially if you have to cook it yourself. In addition to meals, things like laundry, cleaning the house, or even walking the dog can be a HUGE help and relief. Simple daily tasks can seem insurmountable and overwhelming while dealing with the newness of death.

4. Make them laugh! It may seem inappropriate but I promise it isn’t! Even if they start to cry again after a good laugh, that is ok. That short burst of happiness and endorphins as you laugh really brings relief from grieving and is refreshing, even if short-lived.

5. Keep calling, sending thoughtful notes, etc. after the hub-bub of the death and services have died down. So many people think to do and send things when everything first happens. Often so much that you read a ton of cards but later have no idea what they said or remember so-and-so sent it. But then the funeral is over, family goes home, and the weeks pass on. The life of the non-grieving person moves on  and returns to normal while the people deeply affected are just settling in to the realities of their loss. My mom had several people who continued to send her cards in the mail in the weeks and months after Dad died. Just cute and thoughtful little notes to brighten her day and remind her she isn’t alone. I had an amazing group of ladies who sent me all manner of gifts and cards in the weeks after Dad’s death. I had some other friends, too, who sent cards later on that I actually had the presence of mind to read and appreciate. It was nice to know I wasn’t forgotten. I had a friend who was grieving tell me how everyone left her alone to heal but then she felt abandoned. Just a quick call, email, or note in the mail does wonders for the spirit!

6. Talk to me about the person I lost. Obviously for a miscarriage this is a bit harder to do. They never got the opportunity to know their little baby and thus stems a large portion of their grief. But even with a miscarriage it is ok to talk about it, if they are willing. For other situations it helps tremendously to share favorite stories and memories about the person they lost. It keeps them alive and brings back memories they may have forgotten.

I hope this has been an informative and somewhat entertaining tutorial on how to help those you know who are dealing with a loss in their life. I could think of many more things to do or not do, but I’m probably about to lose your attention. I think I’ve covered the main ones that tend to drive me nuts. Don’t misunderstand, the thought really does count. Your friends who are grieving will truly appreciate that you at least tried, since many don’t, but they will love and be grateful for you all the more if you can use some of these helpful hints. Grief changes your perspective on life and people. You do not want to be ‘that guy’ that made it worse. You’ll never escape it in their mind…

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder…umm, here’s hoping.

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.

Caleb's 6mo shoot!

With his big puppy, Angel

Modeling his Sweetpea a la Mode onesie!

What fun, I'm ONE!

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See ya later, Alligator. . .

My dad's goofy smile

On March 17, 2011, my family said, “See ya soon” to the most wonderful man I’ve ever known, my dad. After 18 days in the ICU, 11 on a ventilator, Dad met his Messiah in heaven. None of us expected that his pneumonia would take this turn. Even his doctors and nurses were shocked because previously he was the picture of health and very lively and strong at 56. The memorial service was perfect. About 500 people came, many wearing bright colors and cowboy boots. At the end of the service the pastor did a salvation message and at least 6 (we haven’t confirmed with him yet since the service) people who knew and loved my dad, now know and love my dad’s Savior, too! Such a wonderful bright light in the darkness of our grief. My mom was so very brave and was able to read a note she wrote to my dad. My brother and I were not as brave as our wonderfully strong momma. We both chose to have someone else read our words for us. In my case, the pastor’s wife read mine. Here is what I shared about my Daddy at the celebration of his life.

I have always been a Daddy’s Girl. As long as I can remember my Dad has been the number one man in my life. We went to father-daughter dances, Girl Scout camping trips, dates, and outings to the gun range. When I was sick in the middle of the night, I called for Daddy, not because Mom trained me to as he would always claim, but because it was Dad that I wanted to cuddle with. Dad introduced me into a world of music, drama, and laughter with a large variety of movies. I watched so many black and whites I would swear they were color. To this day my favorite movies are mostly those that my peers have never heard of, half are musicals and the other half star Cary Grant. My passion for movies was constantly cultivated by my Dad.

Dad always encouraged me and Robert to go for our dreams, whether that meant being a CEO, a photographer, or a parent. He desperately wanted us to have college degrees, even if it was in underwater basket weaving, because he knew the value the world put on that piece of paper. Unlike my brother, I never knew what I wanted to ‘do’ when I grew up other than being a mom. My Dad would always tell me, “It’s ok, we’ll figure it out when we grow up.” Dad was often Mom’s third kid. He would crack jokes at inappropriate times, make mischief with friends and work colleagues, and eat cookies or cake for breakfast. He also instituted ice cream sundaes for dinner. Dad always scooped because everything food was in mass quantities, this included ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ scoops of Blue Bell.

I could go on for days talking about the funny things Dad said and did and giving examples of the strange things we do as a family because of Dad’s sense of humor. However, the most important thing about my Daddy is that he truly is the earthly example of a heavenly Father. He loves unconditionally; I can only remember one or two times in my entire life where I was truly angry with him. He has a way of making everyone he talks to feel as though they are the most important person in the world. Dad never met a stranger. Dad adopted my friends as his own and took on the protector role, offering to shoot or hunt down any offending boys. He loves to spoil me and my mom, but never to the point of rotten. He can make anyone laugh through tears and remind them that life will go on. In everything Dad does, he lets the love of God flow through him in a way that is effortless and truly indescribable.

Daddy, I miss you more than words can possibly say. I have been so blessed to have you for 25 years. I see so much of you not only in myself, but in Caleb. In the movies I watch, the weird things I come up with to say, and the BBQ sauce I make I will always be reminded of a wonderful man and a loving father. I am so glad God gave me to you and Mom because I couldn’t have chosen any better. I know that every time I see a classic car or I think of a quote from My Blue Heaven I will have to stop myself from calling you. Thank you for being the most incredible Dad I could ever imagine; sacrificing all that you did for my and Robert’s sake. You are truly the greatest man I will ever have the privilege to know, to love, and to be loved by. I love you bunches, and bunches, and bunches, and bunches. Socks up, boss. I will see you soon!

Love – For all Eternity, Your Little Girl

TCU Graduation - Dec 2008; Dad was SO proud

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Shine bright, firefly, shine bright.

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 . . .

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Nine weeks since the day

Happy to start his new job as assistant photographer

Caleb is now nine weeks old and just past his two month birthday! My goodness, how is it almost October already? Next thing you know it’ll be Christmas and I’ll be looking into solid foods for him. Monday was Caleb’s two month checkup with our pediatrician. He is now a whopping 10lb 2oz and 21.75″ long! His head is 15″ around, but I still don’t think it’s quite big enough for any of his cute hats just yet. Since he started off small, Caleb is still in the smaller range of the growth charts, but he is healthy and growing right on track. Doc says he will start to deviate from some of those growth curves as he plays catch up and pudges out on momma’s milk. He has a quite supple double chin that is just itching to be a triple. Caleb also got his 2 month vaccinations. 3 shots and one oral. He actually didn’t like the oral one and kept spitting it out as the nurse would put some in like it was a game or something. Eventually she got enough in there to consider him vaccinated. He was not a fan of the 3 shots, but really who is? The nurse set him up with some nice circus animal band-aids and the trauma was over. I had given him some baby acetaminophen beforehand and the rest of the day Caleb was just sleepier than usual but no other side effects of his busy morning. He is still getting over a little cold, fighting the sniffles, but overall he is taking it in stride and is still his happy, bouncy self. We will go back to the doctor in November for his 4 month checkup, and more shots.

On Sunday, Caleb’s two month birthday, we did his baby dedication at church. It was so nice to see the love and support our church has for our little ones. We had several people come talk to us after the service and offer prayers for our baby boy. How awesome! We went out to lunch with our families and then enjoyed a much deserved Sunday nap. Caleb is now smiling more than ever and thinks everything is funny. His little laugh is still silent however, just the expression of a laugh with the occasional squeak. Hopefully soon we will hear his precious belly laugh! His new favorite pasttime is bouncing. He LOVES to bounce. We’ll hold him up under the arms or by his little fists and he’ll just bounce away wherever he is standing. Caleb has very strong little legs and gets a lot of momentum in those bounces. He also likes to stand up, sometimes pulling himself up if we’ll hold his hands. It is so incredible to see how he is growing and changing. Every time I look at the hundreds of photos I have I see just how different he is already. I am so glad I’ve taken an overload of photos so I have tons of his brand new look after birth and how he is growing now. His eyes seem to be getting and staying lighter. I am really hoping he’ll get Zach’s green eyes instead of my brown! Only time will tell. From looking at Zach’s newborn photos I think his eyes will stay nice and light. It is actually scary to see how much Caleb looks like Zach as a baby. Same expressions, same double chin. I did, however, finally get a photo of Caleb where he looks like ME! I do notice sometimes that he’ll make expression that reminds me of mine and Robert’s baby photos, but overall he is definitely a Spruill. The photo below is in his outfit for his dedication. He is lookin’ pretty fly for a small fry.

My chubby cheeked look

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A month old?!

A few days shy of 1 month old

Somehow or another is has been a over a month now since Caleb was born. Where has the time gone?! At times it has seemed to drag, like when we were waiting for him to come home, and at others it has flown by (he needs to eat again?!). It has been an eventful month, but just the past week has been filled with many ‘firsts’. In addition to his one month checkup, Caleb also had his first visit with Bubbie and Zadie, wore his first pair of shoes, and went for his very first swim!

Our one month appointment was actually on Caleb’s one month birthday. His updated stats are 7lb 11oz and 21″ long! All that mommy milk must be doing his little body good. Dr. W said he is growing perfectly and chubbing nicely. All of his newborn labs came back normal and we won’t go back until September 20 for his two month checkup. That same day Caleb’s Bubbie and Zadie (my Nana and Pa, aka my dad’s parents) came in for a visit to meet their first great-grandchild. It was nice to have them in town for the weekend and Caleb got lots of extra love from his Grandma and Bubbie. Grandpa and Zadie mostly observed, but definitely enjoyed the free entertainment that is Caleb and his cast of facial expressions. He is Charles Grodin in training for sure.

On Tuesday I decided it was time to take Caleb for his first swim. I finally found a sunhat for a good price at babyGap so we were ready to rock and roll. The shorts I bought to be his swim trunks look so tiny, but when we put them on they were humongous and fell right off. Diaper, sunhat, and Clinique sunscreen were all this little guy had on. We probably only stayed out 10 minutes, if that long. It is so hot and  the sun is intense, but an ulterior motive was that maybe he would have a good association with the water and possibly begin to be less of a terror during bath time. We shall see. He did great in the pool! I tried to just dip his feet and he was pretty unhappy, but once I held him close, poured some water on his back, and then ventured out into the water more, he really liked it. So long as I was holding him fairly close to me, he didn’t mind the water. Even when I dipped down more to get him wetter, he didn’t mind one bit. Here is to a successful short swim!

Caleb is currently in another growth spurt. He’s typically wanting to eat slightly early, he’s waking an extra time at night, and he is a bit fussier than usual, especially around meal and nap times. When he sleeps he is sleeping hard. Grow, baby, grow! I think he is actually at the 8lb mark now as I’m noticing I tire faster when holding him and lifting him seems just a bit more strenuous. My little baby man is getting big already…so sad.

In my last post I had mentioned about cherishing the time I have with Caleb since it is precious and ultimately limited, especially at this sweet cuddles stage. I have made it a point to cuddle him even more and to remind myself that time is flying by. Last night I prayed as I was falling asleep for our family, Caleb, some other things, and mostly to help me continue to be a good momma and do what is best for my son. Unfortunately, Caleb awoke at about 3am, which he normally waits until at least 4 or 5, and though I was not thrilled, I did notice that I was much more content while feeding him and I thought to myself how special that time was for just me and Caleb. How many times throughout his life will I have to hold him close and give him exactly what he needs in the middle of the night, just the two of us? While right now it seems an eternity, in the grand scheme of things I won’t have many opportunities for that. I hope that every night and every day, even in the wee hours, I can continue to keep my eyes open to this reality and soak in as many memories as I can. I think that in the long run not only will I look back and be grateful for those memories, but also having done this will make me a better mom because I am putting my parenting priorities, love being first, in the right order. God has entrusted Zach and I with this life to raise up, but ultimately we are to be an earthly example of a heavenly Father and the best way to do that is to love unconditionally and with passion. As humans the best and possibly the only way we can truly be Christ-like and in God’s image is to love other as He has loved us. Such a simple task that we make so very hard. Yet, what a relief to know that that is really what He’s asking of us, just to love.

Here are a few pictures of this week’s activities and some just because I like them!

Bathtime Burrito!

Cuddles with Grandma

Getting measured

Recovery from measuring

Caleb and Dr. W

First pair of shoes!

Being a smart shopper

Chillin' with Bubbie and Zadie

First swim

Good shot, Zach

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