Monday, October 21, 2013

A Little Bit of Randomness

So I always have the best intentions about blogging more, but the truth is I probably won't be blogging regularly again, for a while. Fact is, I've picked up other hobbies and they now take the time that was once for blogging. 

But today, I'm recovering from the stomach flu and I hardly have the strength to stand for more than a minute or two at a time, so I've been sitting. A lot. And I thought I would sit a while and blog, but also because I'm recovering from the stomach flu, a thought doesn't seem to stay still long enough to blog about. So I decided to blog randomly :) 

I went shopping with Treyton the other day. The boy needed shoes pretty badly and some long pants (not jeans) for the winter. I had a 30% off at Kohl's so we decided to try there first. So we walked in and went to the little boys section and much to my agony, surprise he is now in the "big boy" section. No longer are we shopping in the 2T-7T, he is now in the 8-20 sizes!! What? When did this happen. And on top of that, he actually needed to try a few things on and he went into the dressing room alone!!! Yes, I realize these things seem somewhat obvious for most parents, but they came as a punch in the gut for me…. just the other day, I went to the store (with or without him) threw the things that I liked into the cart, bought and paid for the items, brought them home and put them on his little body with not so much as an opinion out of him. Now, I find myself standing in Kohl's discussing what color shirts he would prefer, and which style of pants he likes!!! (Insert shocking gasp here). Now don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't enjoy this new stage, I love getting to know what he likes and what he prefers and watching him grow into a young man that can and does make decisions for himself, but already?!?! 

IMG 9453

I mean do you realize, I REMEMBER BEING 8 years old!!! I remember a LOT of things from when I was 8! This boy now has a memory! Oh my goodness, it seems all too much to process right now. 

IMG 0107

In other household randomness, I opened an etsy shop and started a Facebook page for my mom and I's crafts that we're making. I've already made 2 sales off of the easy account and it feels really, really good. I'm proud of selling something that I've created and put time and effort into.

I was recently talking to Tim and was shocked when it occurred to me that in February it will be 9 years since I've worked outside of the home! 9 years!! And I'll be real, sometimes I miss it but truthfully I LOVED my job (I was an office manager at a car dealership). But I love what I do now even more and I feel blessed to say that I've been at home for that long. 

IMG 9854

Audrey is now in 2 speech classes. She loves them both and brags about having TWO speech classes!! Bless her heart, she is trying, and it's a relief to see some progress being made. We're realizing how long of a journey this is going to be for her, for us, and at first I was a little disheartened by the sheer overwhelmingness of it all, but now I'm learning to be more grateful for the little and big things. 

One of her speech classes occur at a rehab center where LOTS of different types of therapy are done, and let me tell you, when you walk in with a family that has a special walker for a child that can't seem to bend properly or walk properly, it puts your own struggles into perspective and reminds you to be grateful. I know that Audrey's struggles will one day be over come, I know that in the end this delay will not define her but rather challenge her to grow in areas she may not have grown in otherwise. 

IMG 0114

And on top of all of that, I realized this week as I was getting ready for some one-on-one time with one of our other children that Audrey looks at her speech class as one-on-one special time with mommy. She goes (by herself) somewhere with mommy and we go and play games and do fun stuff, it isn't something that Audrey sees as bad or burdensome or even as a negative thing, at all. And for that I am very very grateful. 

School is going really well. It continues to be exhausting to motivate Treyton to want to do school, but we press on knowing that this training we're going through now will be with him for the rest of his life - I mean lets face it, our lives are full of us mustering up the energy to do things that we often don't "feel" like doing. The sooner he learns to find joy in the midst of less-than-perfect situations, the better off he'll be. Alexa on the other hand LOVES school, I mean LOVES it! She's usually sad on the weekends when we're not doing school. She literally had the stomach flu on Saturday night, and on Sunday morning (while she's laying on the couch next to a bowl), asks to do her school. I said she could, so she sat at the table with me and did two lessons in math and one in her phonics book!! While I was watching our church's sermon online, I was sitting there taking notes and she grabs some paper and asks me to write down some sentences she could copy…. copy work…. she wanted (and did) pages and pages of copy work!  

I love her eagerness! 

IMG 0051

Titus is doing very well. He's standing now and constantly pulling himself up on stuff, but he doesn't really like to take steps until this week, even when we would hold onto his hands and try to "make" him walk he would basically just let us drag his feet along. IMG 9874But recently he's started to actually pick up his feet and take "steps" with them. Usually he gets so excited after he takes one step he's too busy jumping and waving to take another one, but it's encouraging to see progress :) and that fact that he's excited about it is even better!! He was the first one to get the stomach flu and has had the hardest time recovering, and since last Thursday, has lost quite a bit of weight. When I put him on our scale he was 15 pounds 13 ounces (with clothes and diaper on), at his one year he was 16 pounds 9 ounces…. clearly this is not the direction we would like to see his weight moving in. I have considered taking him in to make sure everything is okay, but I think I'll wait a few days to see if it turns around on his own. Thankfully he's not puking anymore, and is eating fine, but he doesn't really want to drink anything. Today, however, he's drank 1 full bottle and part of another, which again, is progress. 

IMG 0274

Treyton just finished up (or has one week left I guess) of flag football. He LOVED flag footballl, and this past weekend which was the only game I wasn't able to make I guess he had a 20 yard run! 

IMG 0282

He's on the younger end of the team (it's 3rd -5th grade) and it's interesting, to say the least watching boys from 8-10 years old playing and "talking" football. Makes me appreciate being a girl :) I'm not sure I could have pulled off "boy" :) 

IMG 0277

Well, I guess that's all for now. I'm sure there's so much more but I hear Titus waking up from his nap, which means it's time to hit "send to blog" and move on (sorry for the lack of editing, it's publish or forget about this post until I have time to edit, which means, it never gets published :)). 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: Audrey Bunny

I recently had the privilege of reviewing Angie Smith's newest book "Audrey Bunny". 

NewImage

I've "known", or perhaps I should say "found", Angie back in 2008 when my daughter, Alexa was only 6 weeks old. Her writing has inspired and encouraged me on so many different occasions. When I heard she was writing a children's book I knew right away that I was going to own it! 

The story was inspired by Angie's daughter, Audrey, who was born and lived a few short hours on this earth with a heart defect. The day this book was released Angie shared even more of the backstory of this beautifully, heart warming children's story which you can read here.

BOOK REVIEW

This was a cute little story written from the perspective of a stuffed bunny with a mark on it's chest. Once one of twelve bunnies in a store, she was left as one of the last to be chosen, until one day a little girl, by the name of Caroline chooses her. Even once she is chosen, and named, Audrey Bunny struggles with fear of rejection.

This is a story about love, acceptance and friendship. Well written and very beautifully illustrated, it's an easy book to love.

Children and adults of all ages will fall in love with this story. I know my family did! 

 

BOOK DETAILS 

This book is priced to retail for $14.99 hardcover, however it is currently available on amazon for $9.99

 

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Flyby Promotions and B&H Publishing one of my readers are going to receive their very own copy of the book!! 

This giveaway is open to readers in the United States and Canada only. 

To enter to win simply comment below (be sure to leave your email address) 

The giveaway will close on Monday, October 28th at 7:00am, a winner will be chosen by random, the winner will have 36 hours to get back to me or another winner will be selected. 

 

UPDATE: Commenter #8 has been selected by random.org Congratulations Amy!! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Titus's 1st Birthday

How joyful it was for us to celebrate Titus' first birthday! 

IMG 9750

 
IMG 9784

Coincidentally we had family pictures scheduled for the morning of his birthday. So Dad came home from work for us to get them done.

IMG 9775

As soon as they were done we had to go back to work. That night, as soon as Dad walked in from work we did Titus' birthday cupcake…. which he demolished!

IMG 9789

IMG 9794

IMG 9798

IMG 9804

Then Tim and the kids went to piano lessons, and I went to Bible Study.

The next day we actually had him open his presents, so it was kind of like having a two day celebration :), right?

IMG 9823

IMG 9830

We also had his check-up appointment on the 18th.




He weighed 16 pounds 9 ounces and was 27 inches long - after adjusting his age he falls in to the 3rd percentile.  This is great news!! This is the first time he's actually been "on the chart" - even if he needed to have an adjusted age, this is awesome! 

IMG 9747

It's hard to believe it's been a year already! And I realize I've said that 4 times, with the passing of each child's first birthday, but it is still just as shocking, if not more so with each child, and perhaps even more with this particular child. 

I mean, really? One year?

One year since Tim and I walked into the emergency room, uncertain and a little anxious, yet completely unprepared for the time warp we were about to step in to. 

One year? 

One year since all our birthing expectations and hopes for bringing home our second son and child number 4, completely unfolded from our best laid plans to God's ultimate plan. 

Has it really been 12 months since I was curled up next to my man in a hospital bed, both of us trying hard to sleep, knowing that we needed it, but unable to surrender to it?

365 days have passed since we were laying there in the dark, with the silent hum of machines and the occasional beeping of monitors as we both began to realize that sooner than we would have hoped our precious baby boy would be joining us in this big scary world, no longer protected and kept safe by the womb.

It feels like it was just yesterday. 

I remember it all so vividly. Test result after test result moving in the wrong direction. 

Making the decision to induce and to induce quickly with no drugs, no real answers, only hope and uncertainty. 

12 months.

One year, since I heard his first cries. They were strong cries. Not too loud, but strong. 

I remember the few minutes I got with him after he was delivered. I remember them clearly very clearly, for they were all I had of him the next couple of days. 

I remember after 3 days leaving the hospital alone. A newly delivered mother with no baby to bring home. It was all so unnatural. Yet in the unnaturalness of every moment we so clearly felt HIS presence and grace. 

In so many ways the last year has been the shortest and longest year of our lives. But it's been a year we can look back on and absolutely feel grateful for. 

And we are. 

We are so grateful, truly thankful to have watched this once tiny bundle who was unable to simply nurse on his own, grow into an energetic, adventurous, spazz of a little boy. 

At one year old Titus is a true joy. He is become a fairly easy-going, fun and energetic baby.

He is hitting most of his milestones, even without the age adjustment.

He is starting to mimic us. He's said "da da" a couple of times but won't do it on demand :) of course. And today, I even heard him making "ma ma ma ma" sounds, but stopped as soon as I got excited. 

Titus is pulling himself up all the time but doesn't like for us to try to "make" him stand. He definitely prefers to crawl than "walking" with our help. He's "quick on the crawl" which I think is why he would rather not walk at this point. 

He loves to laugh, and to entertain. Once he realizes you are laughing at something he is doing, he will do it over and over again. Laughing the entire time. 

He is an amazing little boy.

IMG 9763

Blessed. We are so blessed. 

Even in the midst of all the unexpected turns from the last year, watching TItus grow and develop into a healthy little boy with such a bright and bubbly personality has been one of the greatest treasures of our lives. 

 

We love you so much Titus, 

Happy Birthday from Mom and Dad.