Thursday, November 13, 2014

And Then He Was Three

On February 1st, 2014, sweet Asher, you turned three.  By this time, no longer a baby, you had grown into a boy.

We were living in our new home.  Adjusting.  At three you were learning.  Learning how to manage your thoughts and feelings.  Learning how to communicate on a whole new level.  Learning how to be a big brother.

At three you loved playing outside, turning anything into a weapon and talking.  At three you were talking allll the time.   You wanted to be heard, your questions to be answered.  You felt that you were one of the adults and you had something to contribute to every conversation.  While a bit frustrating at times, it was an endearing part of you and a peek at who you would be some day.

When you turned three we celebrated in our home with friends, cupcakes and mud in the backyard.  And then with family and a carrot cake that you helped mommy make.

Asher, you continue to challenge us in ways we have never known.  While we're supposed to be teaching you, you are actually teaching us.  Every single day.  You are precious to all those who know you and we cannot wait to see the man you become someday.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Reese's Birth Day - September 6th, 2013

Reesey, girl.  You arrived in the most cavalier way.  We were scheduled for a c-section on Friday, September 6th, and that's exactly how you came.  I put on make up, I did my hair.  Your daddy and I hugged your brother goodbye, knowing we'd see him in a few hours, when we'd become a family of four.

As we drove to the hospital we decided your name.  Reese Abigail.  Reese means enthusiasm.  Abigail, father in rejoicing.  It was perfect. 

We checked in, daddy ate lunch, I had preliminary work done and then I walked the hall to the OR.  I sat on the operating table while the anesthesiologist proceeded.  Daddy and then Dr. Shimer entered and within the hour, you had arrived.  Perfect.  Seven pounds, seven ounces.  Twenty inches long.  FULL head of hair.  A sweet little cry.  Daddy went with you to the nursery where, through the glass, he showed you off to the family.  

I was wheeled into recovery and you came back.  The nurse laid you on my chest and encouraged us to just bond.  No need to nurse right away.  But she didn't know.  She didn't know that our bond had already solidified before you took your first breath.  You nestled in, rooted, nursed, then showed us how strong you were at two hours old by pushing off my chest, holding your head high, then passing out.  It was precious.  And I didn't think it was possible but at that moment you felt more a part of me than ever before.

Soon after we found ourselves in our postpartum room, waiting to see your brother.  The nurses kept you for a few minutes so Asher could get acclimated to seeing me on the hospital bed, all hooked up. Then the nurses brought you in.  You were placed in my arms where Asher met you for the first time.  He was sweet and a little curious about you.  Also, a little hesitant.  But he touched your swaddle, your face.  He came close for pictures.  He would soon learn what being a big brother was all about.

All fresh and new, you were as sweet as can be and I didn't want to let you go.  Ever.  Your way was relaxed, your cries were few.  You were the perfect addition to our family.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

When You Turned Two

Asher, my boy, when you turned two, life was so sweet.  You were my constant buddy, going everywhere with me.  You made us laugh, kept us on our toes and always, always wanted to be doing what we were doing.  Cooking, working out, in the mix of conversation.  You were far beyond the skills and personality of a two year old.  I could have sworn you were at least three.

We celebrated you turning two with friends, more friends and family:

Some of the things you loved at two were:

Music.  Whether it was guitar with daddy, drums, singing or just playing music in the house or car. You LOVED music and you were not shy to perform.

Golf.  You had a few different sets of golf clubs, mainly toy clubs at the time.  You were happy just running around the house or yard hitting practice balls constantly.

Your buddies.  You loved, loved, loved, your friends at this age.  Playdates, time at the park.  And you and Nolan.  There's a special bond there.  I can't wait to see what you two are like 30 years from now.

At two you were running fast and learning even faster.  Your words morphed into sentences that morphed into questions.  And your humor and personality were really starting to shine.  You were also starting to show your serious and studious side.

We had no idea what life would continue to bring us but when you were two, we couldn't imagine it getting any sweeter.  And then you continued to grow...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pregnancy, Second Time Around

It's a bit unfair that I didn't keep up with writing about my second pregnancy.  When we were pregnant with Asher, we took tons of pictures and I tracked everything monthly.  Second time around was not quite the same.  But I'll do my best to recap for the sake of having it on record.  It was truly a special time.

Reesey, when we found out we were pregnant with you it was between Christmas and New Year's 2012.  It was not really a surprise but that didn't take away from how excited we were.  We were thrilled to be growing our family again.  In the following months we debated selling the house and finding something bigger.  During that time (first trimester) I don't know if it was the hormones or the stress of the housing decision but my face broke out something terrible!  A red rash all over the lower half.  We didn't know yet the gender but it was jokingly said that you were a girl and that you were "stealing my beauty".   Sure enough, we found out at 20 weeks we were having a girl.  We were over the moon!
If you look close you can see the last of the rash...
Taken at the end of the first trimester, three months pregnant.
Other than that terrible rash in the first trimester and one week about half way through that I had pharyngitis, a double ear infection and an awful cold (I seriously felt like I was going to die), the whole pregnancy was absolutely lovely.  I know many women who would gag at me saying this.  Or roll their eyes.  But I want you to know that growing you in my belly was a sweet, sweet time.  I felt a closeness to you that I can't even describe.  As you grew in my belly I felt like I was already getting to know you and your personality.  I felt like our hearts were connected, not just by sharing my bloodstream but through our souls.

Through the nine months of carrying you, this is what life looked like:

Asher, your brother, had his first trip to the ER, requiring a CAT scan.  A few weeks later, he turned two and we announced we were pregnant with you.  In March we signed a contract to build a house and in April we sold our first home, moving in with Gramps and Grandma Gigi.  The plan was to live there for a couple of months, then with Grammy and Papaw for a couple of months, closing on our new house in September.  Ironically your due date was September 8th and our projected closing date was within days of that.  We were completely insane for doing it.  Leaving our home, packing everything in storage, potty training your brother and pregnant with you, all living like nomads for months.  At this time, your daddy even worked from home - which meant he'd be working in a make-shift set up in our temporary housing.  Not what we were accustom to at all.  And for the family that housed us, they were saints for sharing their space with our craziness.

Taken in May, about six months pregnant.
Over the course of living with family and building a house we had some fabulous highs and some serious lows.  Asher got bigger and more independent.  You and I got bigger and bigger.  Watching the house come together was so exciting yet decisions throughout the building process took over our marriage.  We were missing church and bible study was on summer break.  And in July we got news that your womb buddy, sweet Evan, had ascities and it was a very serious and life threatening situation.  (Your sweet friend is a miracle and you can find out more at To say that we were brought to our knees in prayer during this season is an understatement.  It was a humbling time and shaped us beyond what we had expected.

Originally we had chosen to live with family during this time because we thought it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Asher.  Little did we know that it would be just as sweet for us.  Living with our parents allowed us to "go home", back to our roots.  Our relationships with our parents (your grandparents) grew in ways we didn't expect.  I pray that you will get to see and experience the lasting effects of this growth.
Eight months pregnant, right before heading to my Sprinkle.
So all this brings the timeline to late August.  We were scheduled for a csection on Friday, September 6th but I was sure you were coming early.  I was huge and having contractions every night for weeks.  You had dropped in mid August and I was ready for your arrival.  We had also realized by this point that the house wouldn't be done until October.  We were at the mercy of everyone else.  Just waiting...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oh My Heavens - January, 2013

There's a dark side to being a parent that just flat out stinks.  It's inevitable, it's normal, everyone experiences it.  But it is awful.  It's the part when you have to watch your child suffer and there's really nothing you can do.

I type that and can't help but feel overly dramatic.  My family is healthy.  We are blessed in that way.  I know many families cannot say the same. But I will journal this experience nonetheless because it's our story.

Asher had his first concussion.  Long story short, he fell on ceramic tile, on the most tender part of his head - the side.  Smacked his cheek/ear/temple right down on it.  I could tell right away he was dizzy.  Unfortunately, as it always seems, this happened right before nap time.  We were at my parents house and set to leave anyway so after a few tests (walk to me, what's Gigi's dog's name, etc.) I felt he wasn't in immediate danger but I would call the pediatrician on the way home anyway.

Asher fell asleep in the car as I spoke with the pediatrician's office.  The doctor said just watch him and if he vomits, becomes confused or loses consciousness either call them or head straight to the ER, depending on the severity.  Well, I pulled into our driveway and he threw up.  So we headed into the doctor.  She looked him over and all seemed to be fine.  Eyes, ears, mobility, responsiveness.  But my mommy gut said, "Eeehhh, I don't know."  He was really clingy.  He's only clingy when there's something seriously wrong.   She said to take him home, monitor him and if things got worse, go to the ER.  (She also did say, you know your baby.  If it would make you feel better, go to the ER now.)  Well, the question of what to do was immediately answered when he got sick as I was pulling out of the doctor's parking lot.

In an attempt not to panic I pulled over, cleaned him up the best I could and tried to calm him.  He didn't look good.  His eyes were heavy.  I headed straight for Children's Hospital which, fortunately is minutes from our house.  I talked to him the whole way trying to keep him awake without scaring him. Without scaring me.

By some crazy grace of God the ER was empty when we got there.  They got us back and into a room.  While we waited he fell asleep on my chest.  I tried my best not to cry.  A broken bone, stitches, even a high fever (been there a few times) I can take.  The head, that's different.  That can change a person forever.  So of course I was fearing the worst.

The nurse gave him Zofran - apparently this magic drug that stops vomitting.  The ER doctor ordered a CT Scan.  Austin arrived and we headed down the hall to radiology.  The nurse swaddled him and I thought I was going to crumble.  He looked so scared and I could do nothing about it.  Partially because I was pregnant and couldn't stay in the room with him.  Logically, I realize he was fine, especially with daddy by his side, but as a mom it just tears your heart out.  

Over the course of our six hour stay he enjoyed a dose of Mortin, cartoons, apple juice, a popsicle and one more xray on his leg (he was acting like it was bothering him and the doc said there was a chance he could have a toddler fracture based on how he fell.)  Everything came back ok.  He stopped throwing up and looked more like himself, plus a sugar high.

His diagnosis: a concussion.  A seemingly bad one based on his recovery.  He was visibly a bit dizzy the following day and seems to be slowly recovering.  Although it's difficult to tell as two days after the incident he came down with the stomach bug.  Completely unrelated but threw up for 24 hours. It's true, it stinks.  It's the dark side of things.

What I will say is in those dark moments I suddenly appreciate more than ever, the messes, the tantrums, the teaching, the patience needed.  I will gladly take those over scary any day.  But as any parent knows, this is only the beginning.  I am humbled and incredibly grateful for Austin, an amazing husband and dad and our family and friends.  They make those dark sides to life much brighter.

The Holidays, 2012

We had an AWESOME holiday season this year.  We alternate our holidays with our families.  Thanksgiving with one side, Christmas with the other.  It's more of a formality as we still see the other side for the holiday it's just not on the actual day.  It started with...

...a very full Thanksgiving.  This Thanksgiving was with the Joneses and McCanns.  This meant that Austin's aunt, uncle and three cousins from Colorado came to stay with my in-laws and we got to celebrate with them TONS!  As cheesy as it sounds, it was just really fun.  The cousins have grown up so much in the last few years and this was also their first time to meet Asher.  We ate, played games, laughed and then ate some more.  Asher LOVED being around everyone and still asks about the McCann clan often.

...Christmas was long but in a good way.  It started on (Friday) the 21st for me this year.  Austin and I went on a double date with the Newtons, to which we attended concert called Yuletide.  Let me just tell you, the group Folk Angel has changed my life.  I thought I loved Christmas music before but MAN I love what they've done with all the old songs!  That night made my heart sing. (Pun intended.)

That weekend we were set to spend a bunch of time with my side of the family, including my grandparents who were in from Arizona.  Unfortunately, everyone came down with the stomach bug.  First my dad and grandpa, then my mom and grandma.  So, suddenly our weekend was open.  While we were sad to miss out on visiting with family, snuggling in with our own little unit was the sweetest gift.

Christmas eve we attended service at our church.  Asher love every minute of the music and wanted to go up and see each of the instruments.  He kept saying "That's a lot a instruments!" We came home, had Pasta Bolognese, cookies and then put Asher to bed.  Immediately following, Austin assemble Asher's first Christmas morning present.  A toddler motorcycle.  It's plastic, without a motor or batteries.  It was perfect.

On Christmas morning we I woke up before it was light.  I was so dang excited.  Thank goodness Asher started to stir shortly after.  We scooped him up and brought him out to the living room where he immediately spotted his stocking and the motorcycle.  We opened stockings, had breakfast, then opened presents, then had cinnamon rolls.  It was a precious morning spent together and I can't wait to do it all over again next year!

After all the excitement we headed to my parents' house.  We packed a "just in case" bag because the weather report said snow.  My dad laughed.  Then ate crow 'cause IT SNOWED!!!  A few inches in fact.  Northerners, don't laugh.  That's a lot for us Texans.  It made it a white Christmas and I felt like a kid.  We celebrated all afternoon and evening and ended up staying the night just to avoid the icy roads.  It was so nice to spend the time with the family and especially to see my grandparents with Asher.  It's a luxury to have the relationship I have with them and huge privilege for our son to know them.

I say it all the time but I never get tired of it, we are blessed.  The Lord has blessed us in so many ways and this holiday season was such a beautiful reminder of what He has given us.

It's been too long

So much has happened since I last wrote.  Enough to keep me from writing because the thought of digging in becomes immediately overwhelming.  But if I don't, then I'm cheating my daughter of the possibility of understanding what life was like.  Before she was born, when she was born, and how she grew.  So it's time to get back on that horse...

I leave this post to bridge the gap from the last entry.  Last time I wrote, Asher was a year and half, we were in our old house and we were headed into the holidays.  Austin and I took a quick trip to Florida at the beginning of December for a wedding.  It was a sweet getaway, time spent just the two of us.  Four weeks or so later we found out...well, you'll see.  But first I'll publish this and the other two posts that have been hanging out, waiting.