Good-bye, my babes! Have fun... and be good!

Friday, June 27, 2008 8 Comments A+ a-

My internal clock woke me at 2:20am, I knew that Jon wanted to be on their way to the airport by 3:00 and suddenly I was lying there wide-awake. I crept back into our bedroom and pulled a sleeping Hudson into my arms for cuddling. (Both kids woke in the middle of the night needing comfort; Jon took Hudson and I took Devyn, only I fell asleep in Devyn’s bed.) As I tried drifting back to sleep, I couldn’t help but kiss the back of Hudson’s neck or comb my fingers through his soft, curly hair. I placed his limp fist around my finger and just absorbed my sleeping Hudson.

I heard the alarm go off and had to shake my sleepy husband awake; he finally rose and dragged himself into the shower. While he showered and packed up the truck, I continued to lie in our bed with Hudson draped across my chest. Again, I just soaked in the sensations of my son. The soft cadence of his rising chest, deep in slumber; the wet curls on the back of his neck from being too hot; the little murmurs he made as he shifted his weight. Then Jon appeared in the doorway; he came to the side of the bed, bent down, whispered in my ear, “Its time to say good-bye Mama”, and lifted Hudson into his arms. I got out of bed and hugged Jon from behind, so my face was next to Hudson’s; I kissed Hudson’s rosy cheeks and bid him good-bye. It wasn’t until Hudson roused from sleep and reached for me that the tears began to fall.

As Jon put Hudson into his car seat, I snuck back into Devyn’s room and crawled back into bed with her. I repeated the process of stroking her hair, wrapping her sweaty, curly tendrils around my finger, and kissing each eye, cheek, and her nose. She never woke when Daddy picked her up in his arms and, still with tears running down my face, I kissed my little girl good-bye. Jon returned for his own good-bye once the kids had been safely placed in their car seats. I was wrapped in the strong, protective arms of my husband and he kissed my tears. I held on longer than normal, wanting to soak up every moment of being there, the one place that always feels like home. With another kiss, one more tender than usual, and a tight squeeze, he too was out the door.

I stared out the window, still dark and black out, and watched the headlights fade away. I turned back to the empty house, its amazing how a house just knows when its loved ones have left, and kept repeating to myself, “Its only four days, its only four days.” I returned back to bed and battled the anxious thoughts that had consumed me just a few weeks earlier. (A few weeks ago, I had cried myself to sleep over the thought of something happening to Jon and the kids. I can really let my imagination run wild if I let it.) I tossed and turned; it was still too quiet, too dark, and I wasn’t able to fall asleep. I finally turned on the TV for some noise and after an hour of watching Law & Order (that show is always on!), I was finally able to fall back asleep, the TV as background noise the rest of the night.

Despite getting to the airport by 4:30 this morning, in the hopes of catching the 6:45am flight to North Carolina, Jon and the kids were bumped from one flight to the next to the next. Such is the case of flying stand-by, you arrive knowing that it can happen and you must have the patience to wait it out. They just got on a flight about an hour ago and are now thousands of miles in the air; I’ll breathe a little easier once I know they’ve landed. And tomorrow, when I get to sleep in, I wonder if I’ll be thankful for the time alone or if I’ll be sad that the house is devoid of noise. I’ll let you know.

Such a gift is Devyn Paige

Thursday, June 26, 2008 5 Comments A+ a-

While driving the other day, Mom and Devyn passed a Catholic church on the way to where they were going. As the church bell tolled to announce the new hour, Devyn’s eyes grew wide. She turned to my mom and said, “Nana, I heared that!”

Mom chuckled and asked in response, “Do you hear the bells?” Devyn nodded, still in awe of the ringing bells. Mom pointed at the church as they sat at the red light, “See, Devyn, the bells are coming from the church.”

Devyn shook her head solemnly, “No Nana! Those bells are from Cinderella.”

When Mom told me the above story, I laughed and laughed. Conversations and anecdotes like the one above are happening on a daily basis right now. My favorite time of the day is putting Devyn to bed; after a story and bedtime prayers, we lay facing each other and just chat about this, that, or the other. Whatever comes to her mind, we’ll chat about it and every night I leave her room amazed at the progress she’s made in six months.

This past weekend, my cousin, Jared, came up and grilled shish-kabobs for the whole family. (While this is not the point of the story, I just have to point out that it was one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time! Thank you, Jared!) As we sat on my parents’ deck, with the sun hanging just above the mountains, I was awed looking at my little girl. Every time the sun hit her eyes, I couldn’t get over how green her eyes are turning. There was one moment when I realized that Devyn had been asking me a question, yet I didn’t hear a word of it because I was so humbled by the idea that God had given me such a precious, beautiful little girl to mother that I had been rendered speechless.

Every day, every moment, with Devyn is such a gift right now. In the six months since she started speech therapy, a whole new world has opened for her and for us as her parents. To know what she wants, to understand what she’s saying, to have actual conversations with her, means more to me than I could possibly put into words. I’m getting teary just thinking about how proud I am of her! Granted, along with new skills and new vocabulary has come new trials as Devyn sets forth to assert her independence, but I’ll gladly take those over never being able to understand my little girl. There are still letter sounds and words that we need to work on, but we also have to remember that Devyn has only been talking for six months. Jon and I laugh and joke that now we can't get her to stop talking!

I don’t know why God chose me and even though I’m still finding my way in parenting an introverted child, I do know that I’m incredibly blessed to have her in my life. Three and a half years later, she can still take my breath away.

A rose by any other name...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 21 Comments A+ a-

We had the girl's name picked out for a few weeks before we found out we were pregnant. Jon and I are constantly batting name ideas around, even when we're not pregnant, and both of us fell in love with this name. We found out we were expecting #3 the day after his grandmother passed away, and we instantly knew that if we had a girl, her name would be Reagan Jacqueline. Jacqueline was his grandmother's middle name and it just seems fitting that, if its a girl, this child should carry that name on.

However, the boy's name is another story and we've come to an impasse. I have fallen in love with a boy's name, so much so that I'm already using it when referring to this child. It just seems to flow so well by itself and within the mix of Devyn and Hudson. However, Jon is not convinced. The impasse... unless Jon can come up with a better name than the one I'm currently using, then the name is staying.

Do you see the poll at the top right column? Please feel free to vote on your favorite name, I'm making no promises but it'll help in our decision for the perfect boy name. We are also very open to suggestions, the only stipulation being that the name must end in a "n". Weird stipulation, I know, but when you discover that you've started a pattern, you must (or I must) continue it. Take a look for yourself: Jon, Jenn, Devyn, Hudson, and Reagan or ???.

[Oops! I messed up on the first poll, my sincere apologies to anyone who already voted. Please vote again. I promise not to touch it this time.]

And then my heart stopped...

Monday, June 23, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

When I first noticed the kids climbing on the lawn mower, it was to see Hudson in Devyn's spot. I think we may need a playground or jungle gym of some kind. [Side note: This yard is going to look a lot different a month from now. I can't wait!]

Another One Bites the Dust

Sunday, June 22, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

In true dancing fashion, our little man has taken to bopping to anything with a beat. He especially enjoys Alvin and The Chipmunks' song, "The Witch Doctor". Hysterical! (You will have to turn the volume all the way up if there's any chance of hearing the music.)

It seems that shaking and moving run in the family... To check out Devyn's dancing moves you can click either here or here. I so enjoy watching our babies dance their little hearts out!

Yummy Pickles!

Thursday, June 19, 2008 4 Comments A+ a-

I’m sitting here at the computer, indulging myself with a mouth-watering pickle. Pickle juice is running down my fingers and threatening my keyboard, but I’m more than willing to take that chance. When a woman wants herself a pickle, a pickle she must have!

Life in our household is moving along and though the nausea still rears its ugly head on a regular basis, the constant throwing up has been held at bay. Truth be told, this pregnancy has been much easier on me than the first two and for that, I’m so very thankful. With both Devyn and Hudson, I was making twice and thrice-daily trips to the bathroom, up to 14 and 18 weeks respectively. However, I have only had two really bad days thus far and I can’t help but think that perhaps I paid my dues with the first two pregnancies. We heard the baby’s heartbeat at my first prenatal appointment last Friday; 165 beats per minute and it was music to my ears.

Next Friday I will send my husband and children off to North Carolina to visit his mom; I will join them a few days later. I can’t help but wonder what I’ll do with my time alone. While time off sounds divine to many, I’m literally at a loss as to what I’ll do with no husband, no children, and mom, dad, and sisters out-of-town for various weddings. I think a trip to the library to stock up on books is on my list, I made a dinner-date with friends, and I have plans to spend time with Christine (the only other sister in town) and her husband, Caleb. *Sigh* While I know that I’ll enjoy the time alone, I also know that I’m going to be VERY lonely with everyone gone. Such is the plight of an extrovert… we constantly need require enjoy having people around us!

So, that’s our life in a nutshell at the moment… I feel like there’s so much I need to catch you up on and perhaps while the house is empty I’ll finally be able to update you on Devyn’s speech therapy, our dancing 16-month-old boy, and the things that are weighing on my heart and mind right now. But now I must go, though the pickle was finished many minutes ago, the smell of the juice lingers in my senses and I must have another.

Update: I just made a haircut appointment for next Saturday, which means I get to add something else to my to-do list for my time alone.

What a difference a year makes!

Monday, June 16, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

In true Father's Day tradition, we took the kids fishing yesterday. What a difference a year makes!

Do not get between a boy and his fishing pole!

Jon teaching Devyn how to cast... she hasn't quite mastered the technique.

Daddy and his children, I may have to frame this one!

Mama and Baby #3-to-be relaxed in the sun tent, offering snacks, and a comfy place to cuddle when the need arose. Its hard to believe that a year from now another little one will be joining us on our fishing excursion.

Radiant Christine

Thursday, June 12, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

She glows; every pore in her body is seeping happiness, contentment, and joy. After watching her struggle for so long, it is a thrill to witness the happiness that is hers. I’m talking about Christine and the joy I feel in watching my sister cherish each moment of this pregnancy journey.

It was a hard first trimester, I won’t lie, each family member took turns reassuring, praying, and offering a listening ear as she struggled through her fears and her doubts. Since I’ve never experienced a miscarriage, I can only assume those are very real and very normal feelings. But week by week, ultrasound by ultrasound, heartbeat after heartbeat, Christine is finally in a good place. I’m not sure when the change occurred, I only know that it has and oh, it makes my heart happy.

Mom and I took her maternity clothes shopping a few weeks ago; correction, Mom and I helped Christine spend her money on maternity clothes. It was the first time that Christine actually enjoyed shopping; it was the first time that I’ve ever seen Christine feel beautiful; it was the first I have ever had a good shopping trip with Christine. You could see the wheels turning in her head as she gazed at herself in new clothes, in a body she doesn’t recognize, basking in the new curves of a pregnant mama. She looks amazing!

I had a home decorating party last Friday and at one time, we had five pregnant women in my living room. I guess it’s the season of life right now. At a similar party in early winter, Christine was blinking back tears in my kitchen as pregnant friends or new mamas compared pregnancy stories. It broke my heart knowing that she was hurting in such a way, and knowing there was very little I could do to stop the natural conversation. Fast forward to this past week, Christine was among the group, laughing and exchanging information. She positively glowed!

And just now I received a phone call from Christine, her voice light and full of happiness. “I’m definitely showing,” she whispered into the phone. “Even customers who don’t know I’m pregnant are starting to notice.” Oh, I can’t begin to explain how full my heart is, seeing my little sister and one of my best friend’s get their heart’s desire. I have tears in my eyes, just thinking how God has answered our prayers. God is so good!

Random, Pure and Simple

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 10 Comments A+ a-

In true “We Can Cry If We Want To” fashion, just some jumbled, random thoughts from this afternoon:

  • It never fails, I’ll have the best day (morning sickness-wise) and by 2:00 or 3:00, I’m struggling to get through the afternoon. I could really go for a nap this afternoon.
  • My cravings are especially weird with this pregnancy; I indulged my desire for corn in my chicken noodle soup last night. Weird, right?
  • It was wonderful seeing Christine surrounded by pregnant ladies on Friday night and seeing her glow during their pregnancy-related discussions. In fact, she just glows all the time right now, she looks amazing.
  • Courtney’s wedding gown arrived last week, along with the ring bearer pillow she bought for Hudson. Both are beautiful, but her wedding gown tops everything; it is the perfect “Courtney” dress.
  • Devyn is walking around the house complaining of being sick on an hourly basis; when I ask her what’s making her sick, she says “my baby” and rubs her tummy. I think we may have a thespian in our midst.
  • I’m jealous that Christine and Caleb are leaving on Friday for a ten-day vacation; as if that didn’t make me green enough, they’re going to Hawaii.
  • I’m still trying to figure out how I got pregnant… If you only knew how many “oops” we’ve had in the past and how none of those resulted in pregnancy.
  • In spite of the fact that I found the baby’s heartbeat this morning with a borrowed heart Doppler (thank you Sarah!), I still don’t quite believe that we’re having a third child.
  • Hudson is a walking bruise; seriously I don’t think there’s one spot on his forehead that’s not blue, purple, green, or pink. I really wish the kid would… just… slow… down.
  • I cringe at the idea of two boys; I can’t imagine having Hudson x 2. But the idea of raising two teenage girls… well, I’ll just leave my thoughts on that to your imagination.
  • We’re not planning to find out the gender this time around, no one believes us. In fact, bets are being placed on how long that idea lasts.
  • Seriously, folks, the bets just make me want to dig in my heels even more; I’m now even more determined to be surprised at the birth. Who wants to place bets on who is more stubborn?
  • I’m open to ideas on how to convince my head and heart that a third child really is residing within me. Please, I’m desperate…14 pregnancy tests didn’t do the trick.

Quick Shout-Out

Thursday, June 05, 2008 4 Comments A+ a-

I need to give a quick shout-out to my blog designer friend, Judi from Doodlebug Designs. Didn't she do an amazing job with this design?!

I never did the Blurb book as a Mother's Day present, too much to do and too little time to do it in. So I asked Jon for a new blog design instead, he happily obliged and that's how it came to be that I started working with Judi. Ladies, she is amazing to work with; so fast, so thorough, and so very talented. I highly recommend giving her a visit and see if she can work a little magic with your blog as well.

Thanks, Judi, you did an amazing job!

Day 31 of 31

Wednesday, June 04, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

This is just a cute picture of the kids playing outside... Hudson isn't able to touch the pedals but he adores being pushed around and loves his bell.

Well, I think that wraps up our 31 days of daily photos; thanks for visiting! I've gotten requests from family and friends to continue, and I'll probably do this again soon, but right now life is hectic. I'm in the process of growing this baby, weekends are chock-full right now, and I think I just need a break for a little while. I'll still be around... it just won't be on a daily basis.

If you're interested in the daily life of someone living in Hawaii, I highly suggest you check out Kamma's blog. She just started doing her daily photos and those pictures are amazing!

Day 30 of 31

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 5 Comments A+ a-

Even these did not help this morning; three times (and counting) that I've paid tribute to the porcelain god. Hudson put his hand on my shoulder and kept saying "Uh-oh". Make that four and five times! The doctor has been called, hopefully relief will soon be mine.

Day 29 of 31

Monday, June 02, 2008 1 Comments A+ a-

When Devyn said she got chicken, I didn't think anything of it. It was a few minutes later when I looked over at Hudson that I realized Devyn got chicken for her baby brother. Apparently she thought he was hungry. There is nothing funnier than watching an 18-pound, 15-month-old carrying around a whole chicken breast.

Day 28 of 31

Sunday, June 01, 2008 15 Comments A+ a-

After celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary with a dinner at the Olive Garden, we laughed at the size of my 8-week baby belly. As we made our way into the car, I asked Jon to take a picture of it... I think I may start lying about how far along I am.