Sunday, June 30, 2013

Prayers of my little one

Em has finally started saying her own prayers. I say finally because for the longest time she would either list her "thankfuls" every night as prompted by me OR she would say or sing a few memorized prayers. It is precious when your two or three year old says "God is great, God is Good..." at the dinner table, but it is even better when they say a full prayer out loud in complete sentences completely from their heart. It is so precious that my heart just melts. MELTS!

My heart smiles because she almost always starts with, "Dear God, it was a beautiful day." Then she starts naming the people she loves and the fun things we did that day. She is starting to learn that we can pray for other people. We try to pray for Hunter and Hudson a few times a week because they are so far away from home. We have been praying for one of my friend's children who broke his leg. (He's the same age as Em.) She usually thanks God specifically for baby Caleb and tells God how cute he is. 

This week I'm going to miss my little girl's prayers and sweet cuddle time at nap and bedtime. I'm tearing up just typing those words even though I'm thankful that she's going to stay with my parents for five days. Five days is just a long time. Mom has wonderful things planned for every day--a trip to KY Down Under, a trip to a butterfly sanctuary, pool time, library time, church, etc. Emily will have a blast--WAY more fun than she would have here as Jeremy and I work our butts off trying to get this house ready to put on the market this week. Also, Em is my biggest mess and trouble maker. I'm almost giddy at the thought of cleaning my house ONCE and it will stay that way for a few days instead of minutes. I'm incredibly thankful for my mom and dad for helping us. I'm glad that they want to spend quality time with her and that they have the energy to keep up with her for almost a week. I know Emily will make wonderful memories with Nan and Pop this week. I'm hopeful that we will be able to accomplish a great deal now that Jeremy's finished with his job and we only have one kid. 

Jeremy and I have been aggressively decluttering our home and selling or donating items we no longer need or want. Little by little, the basement is looking better and more organized. It has been hard work, but I feel a little bit lighter every day. We held a yard sale last weekend and made about $480 on stuff we no longer needed. Most of the stuff was $10 or less, but it adds up. At times, I've had a hard time letting go of some things. For example, I donated an armoire and other home goods to God's Designs , a company that does "Extreme Home Makeover" projects for deserving, needy families. Even though I no longer needed it, it had sentimental value as a gift from my parents after college. Then, I remember that I've used it for almost 13 years. I most certainly got our money's worth out of it and now it was going to a needy family versus sitting in our basement collecting dust. As I sort through our past that has long been in storage boxes, I'm trying to discern what is truly important to keep and what needs to go. Some decisions are hard, but I don't want to hoard things that could be a blessing to others. God has blessed our family in countless ways. Giving back a portion from the overflow of blessing should not be a hard thing for us to do. These donations are not even "first fruits." They are things we no longer love or need. It is sad that it is takes moving to California to motivate me to deal with it all.

I was thinking tonight about how even when you are grown and independent, you still need your parents sometimes. I think Jeremy and I kind of pride ourselves on handling things ourselves and being financially independent. It has been very humbling to need help with this move. I don't like to ask for help or to feel so needy, but I'm in a situation where we are moving incredibly far away in a very short time and we have two children three and under. In the past few weeks, both of our parents have helped us with the children and house prep. We've had friends come over and help with the kids or with odd projects. I AM SO THANKFUL. I'm realizing how much it means when people ask specifically to help and give you permission to call them. It is so much better than having to "cold call" a friend to use their truck or ask for some favor. It is easier to ask for help when someone tells you to call if you need anything. I hope that I will remember that next time I'm in position to be a blessing to others. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Nine Months

Caleb is now nine months old! I'm glad to say that we finally had his baby dedication at church. Jeremy and I were incredibly motivated to pick a date once we realized that we would be accepting the Twitter offer and moving. It worked out really well to have it on Father's Day Sunday. I thought it was particularly special to dedicate our baby boy on Father's Day and I think it was meaningful for Jeremy, too. We chose Psalms 127:3-4 as his verse. "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth."

Since Caleb's baby dedication fell on a holiday, we did not attempt a big open house party. We are WAY overwhelmed right now with preparations to get our house ready to sell and move. We couldn't handle a big party, but we did have my parents and Jeremy's parents over for lunch and dessert. Also, Stephen, Becca and the kids came up for the baby dedication and to spend the day with us.


Baby dedication at SMBC 6/16/13


First Father's Day with Caleb!

Kisses from cousin Madelyn, 18 mon.

Emily always seems to find Uncle Stephen's lap!

Kisses for Dad! We got him a cool Louisville Slugger i-phone cover and a handmade card.

Emily and Pop

I think this is the first 3 generation photo I have with Poppy, Jer and Caleb

Dad, Stephen, and me. Missing Laura in this shot!

We couldn't get Emily off her bike long enough to take a photo with Pop, so we did a little improvising!

We recently announced to our friends that we were moving. I sent an email to our class at church explaining our plans. We posted a photo of Caleb on facebook with him wearing his San Francisco Giants onesie. I had people guess where we were moving. Funny thing is that we've had this Giants onesie since Christmas well before any potential San Francisco job. This is the ONLY clothing Jeremy has bought for Caleb. Another San Francisco coincidence???

9 month stats
Height: 28 1/2 in. (60-70th%)
Weight: 19.2 lbs. (30th %)
Head Circumference: 17 1/4 in. (25th%)
Caleb had his nine month doctor's check-up today. He only had to get one shot and he cried big crocodile tears. Emily was concerned that she was going to have to get shots, too, but Dr. Johnson and I explained that she was off the hook today! Caleb has been around the 40th-50th percentile for weight and he fell off a little this month. Dr. J. says that this is normal in active babies. We definitely have an active baby. He crawls around the whole house during most of his awake hours.

We are now going to the pool regularly. Yeah for summer! These photos were taken during our first pool visit in June. The water was still a bit cold and Caleb did NOT like it as you can see in the below photo! We went to the pool Sunday and he was a much happier baby and floated around in his "boat" completely content. Jeremy was working the afternoon we went to the pool, but he came over on his lunch break to take photos of little Caleb during his first time at the pool. (What a great dad, right?)


Too cold, mommy!!!

"If you hold me like this, I'll be fine."

My pretty blue eyed girl


I love how content and sweet he looks in this one!

And finally in other baby milestone news:

~Caleb still army crawls everywhere for mobility. He can hold hands/knees position well. We often find him like this in his crib, but he prefers to crawl on his belly.

~Pulls up to tall kneeling

~Pulls up to stand. We found him standing one morning in his crib. Cutest thing ever to see your baby smile at you when you come in the room and the little booger is standing up waiting for you!

~Picks up items neatly with finger/thumb. He now loves to eat puffs! He has this little snack when we need to buy a few more minutes with him content in his high chair.

~Transitions from belly to sitting and sitting to belly smoothly

~He protests much more if Emily takes away a toy!

~Actively searches for items he knows you are hiding from him.

~Interacts more with Emily in the back seat. She faces forward and he faces backward so they can see one another. She LOVES to make him laugh during car rides.

~Bounces to music. Baby boy is learning to dance! :)

Sleep Schedule:

Caleb goes to bed at about 7:30 pm and wakes up between 7-8 am. I'm thankful that he sleeps so well. I always nurse him before bed and cuddle and rock him. Sometimes he will fall asleep on me. Most of the time, he is pretty fidgety--like he can't get his nest made. So, I lay him into his crib and he immediately grabs his lovey and tucks it close to him. I cover him up and walk away. If he fusses at all, it's just for a minute or two. I can't believe that we never had to sleep train him. He still falls asleep with his bottom up in the air and legs tucked under him. It is the cutest thing. By the time Jeremy and I go to bed and check on him, there's no telling what position he has worked himself into--on his back with arms outstretched, on his side, on his belly, horizontal in the crib, or up next to the bumper!

He hasn't taken a paci in a long time, but I've noticed that he makes a sucking motion with his lips while he holds his lovey. He has learned to soothe himself without the paci. Caleb takes two naps. Morning nap is about 9:30-11 am. Afternoon nap varies depending on what we have going on. Usually he sleeps from about 2-4pm. I try to keep him up a little later in the afternoon so his nap will overlap with Emily's more, but he tends to start getting tired at around 1:30 pm.

Eating:

Caleb now has FIVE teeth! He got the bottom two teeth in first. Then, the lateral incisors started coming in. He was starting to look like a little vampire baby, but now the top central incisors are poking through and one has almost caught up to the others.

He is able to eat small chunks of food now (bananas and other soft ripe fruit.) He mostly eats stage 2-3 jarred baby food fruits, veggies, and some meat combinations (apples/chicken is a favorite). I make a small amount of his food and then we let him try small bites of our food when appropriate. We are working on letting him eat more finger foods for himself. He nurses about 5x/day.

Temperament:

He is really an easy going baby. Very social. Loves to interact and talk with you. Loves to play peek-a-boo and bouncy games. He is curious. If you leave the room, he will come find you. If a door is partially closed, he will push it open and crawl through. As long as you keep him well rested and fed and give him a little attention every so often, he is content. The time of the day that is the hardest is from about 5:30-6:30 pm. I'm trying to get dinner on the table. Caleb isn't getting as much attention as he would like and he's getting tired. By this point in the day, he has already played with a lot of his toys and he just wants to be held or have us feed him and put him to bed. It isn't a good time to try to put him on the floor with a pile of toys. He's SO over that! But, it is hard to cook with a baby on your hip! Lately, Jeremy has been getting home later and it is really hard on me. Frankly, I go a little bit crazy at this hour because I'm tired, too at this point. I'm really scared about how I'm going to survive in California if Jeremy has a long commute home from work.

And a note to baby boy:

Caleb,

I'm so proud to be your mommy! You have a great personality and you're so stinkin' cute! I think you will be very outgoing like your mama and daddy. I've enjoyed watching you grow and develop this month. A month ago, you were just learning to go from sitting to crawling. You more or less fell into that position. Now, your movements are confident and smooth. I love going to your room to pick you up in the morning. You are in such a sweet mood and well rested. Lately, you are waiting for me and standing up at the end of the crib. You see me and light up with your cheesy vampire grin. Sometimes, I get really silly and play with you. I hide from you behind the crib bumper and poke my head up over the rail just to see you smile and laugh over and over again in anticipation of where I'll be next.

This month Daddy and I had to make a really hard decision. We have a great life here in Louisville, but Dad got offered a really cool job far, far away and we decided to take the opportunity. In some ways it was a difficult decision, but in other ways, we had a peace that we were doing the right thing for our family in the long run. You're too little to understand this now, but living with regret is no way to live. We would rather try and not succeed, than let life pass us because we are too scared to take a chance. Son, I hope that if you are ever given a chance to do something special, you will go for it and not be afraid to fail. I hope that one day we will be able to tell you great stories about our adventures in California. I'm planning on taking you backpacking in Yosemite so you had better get ready!

I know that sis has a strong bond with our KY family already, but I worry a little about you. Who will love on you in the church nursery? Who will take care of you when Mom desperately needs a break? Who will be our family when your sweet grandmas are two thousand miles away? I hate that our family will miss some of your baby/toddler years. They go by too fast anyway, but I would rather us be away now while I can keep you safely home with me than for us to be far away during your school years. Those are the years you will be making childhood memories. I don't think your grandparents are happy about this AT ALL, but to their credit, they are trying to be supportive.

Caleb, we are so very thankful for you. I love you always.

Mom






Friday, June 21, 2013

Moving On

Jeremy officially accepted a new job. In San Francisco. With Twitter. THE Twitter. I still can't believe it! We are moving to California? What? How's this possible? Girls like me don't run off and move cross country for a job. Even though Jeremy has been having phone interviews since February, I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around all of this. I'm sure to the outside world our decision looks rather impulsive, but the writing has been on the wall for awhile.

For several years, Jeremy has wrestled with the tension of wanting to be in Louisville--his hometown and a city close to both our families--and wanting to really spread his wings and work somewhere special. When Emily was a baby, Leo Burnett ad agency from Chicago called him about a job. At that time, neither of us wanted to move there so soon after buying our first house and having a baby. Jeremy worked for himself for awhile and while the flexibility of being your own boss was wonderful, there were also things that he didn't like--like having to wear so many hats! (e.g.  the CFO, the account executive, the designer, the gopher, etc.) I kept asking him if he wanted to grow his business and hire another person, but he never felt that he wanted to do that.

When he started talking to Twitter in February, I really didn't think anything would come of it. We talked about  the possibility of moving there if they offered a job, but we both felt that it would have to be a great offer for us to consider it and pack up our whole lives for a job. I worried very little about it this spring.

About a month ago, Twitter flew Jeremy out for an interview. Now it started feeling serious! Jeremy had a great experience there despite some travel glitches. (He didn't get to his hotel until 5 am Eastern time and had to do a presentation and all day interviews the next day.) He came back telling us all about how awesome Twitter headquarters was. He especially raved about the completely FREE cafeteria that serves quality, healthy food prepared by chefs. He also was super-impressed with the people. The employees are talented and incredibly intelligent, but completely down to earth. He said he never felt any hint of ego from anyone he met that day.

A few weeks later, we learned that an offer would be coming. Jeremy and I wrestled with what to do, but the decision pretty much made itself. Ultimately, I think it came down to a feeling of "Let's do this and have no regrets!" God willing, Louisville will still be here. We can come home again, but we may never get another chance like this.

Today I've been thinking a lot about the verse in Ecclesiastes, "There's a time to plant and a time to uproot." Our family is firmly planted in this community. For the past five and half years we've owned our home, I've tried to make it a comfortable, happy place for our family. I'm really feeling the pain of uprooting. Even though I'm so proud of Jeremy and excited about our future, the unknown is much scarier than continuing on the path we were traveling. At this time in my life, I pictured us building or buying our next home where our children would grow up. I pictured us owning more land and being able to play in a big yard--not renting a small house or condo in California! It has been hard to let go of the expectations I had and dream new dreams. Then I think about all we will be able to see and do during our California years and I get so excited! This is a part of the country we would probably never really know. We vacationed in San Francisco almost wo years ago and got a small taste of all there is to see and do nearby--Muir Woods, Point Reyes, Pacific Coast Highway, Yosemite, Wine country. This will be a season of exploration! I don't know how much we will be able to do with young kids, but we're going to certainly try our best!

So, I'm allowing myself to feel completely excited, overwhelmed, scared, sad, and blessed. I've cried a lot the past few weeks. I trust that Jeremy and I will grow closer to one another if we allow God to help us through this challenge. The next few weeks are going to be very difficult and busy as we try to get our house ready to sell and find a new place to live in the Bay area. Every time I get overwhelmed I try to remember a quote I recently read, "Always remember that the future comes just one day at a time." That's all I can handle right now.