Anna Sweet. So excited to show off her hard work, with the help of Grandma Susan, when they were finished decorating the tree.
We kept Benjamin occupied with a Veggie Tales movie (Wizard of Ha's) while the decorating was going on. He does not really get in to watching movies or TV at all, but for some reason LOVES this movie and will watch it over and over and over.
Caleb at 2 1/2 weeks. I was trying to get a shot of the crib he was moved in to, but you can't even see it in the picture. I was also trying to get a video of his "whisper cry" after his ventilator came out, so Ethan could hear it, but no such luck. Caleb rarely cries when I'm around.... 'cause he loves his mommy. (The hand in the second pic is my dad's...just so there's no confusion. :)
Caleb and Grandpa Dew. My baby and me...so much better snuggling with him now that the vent is gone, and more wires/tubes are out of the way.
Random Thoughts and Updates:
- Winter is here. And if there was any doubt, it's been snowing pretty much non-stop since Saturday night. It's funny that I spent nine months constantly hot and sweaty, no matter how chilly the weather. Then, within days of delivery, I was freezing with this winter weather. Crazy...I'd almost forgotten what it had felt like. Oh, and snow is really inconvenient with two little ones to bundle up. It takes forever to get ready to go anywhere!
- I was thinking that it hadn't felt very Christmas-y so far this month. I'm sure it's due to all the craziness and busy-ness since Caleb's birth. Thank goodness my Christmas shopping was done in October...just in case. I'm mainly referring to the commercial aspect of the holidays, so that's fine by me. We have been trying to play Christmas music around the house, and Anna and my mom decorated on Sunday(and are currently whipping up some Christmas cookies during Benjamin's quiet time). I've recently started describing and discussing one aspect of the Savior's birth for scripture time with Anna and Benjamin. Then I choose a Christmas song to go along with it....the angels, the wise men, Bethlehem, the star, etc. Silent Night has become a favorite of mine to sing to Caleb. We've also been turning off all the lights except the tree and singing Silent Night before the kids go upstairs for bed. These things, and reading the December Ensign articles, have really helped me focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Having so much time to sit and rock Caleb and sing to him, has given me a lot of time to reflect on how Mary must have felt when Jesus was born. It's been a sweet experience.
- Anna got to go to The Nutcracker Ballet with her Grandma Susan and cousin Rebecca. She LOVED it. I think it was especially exciting since she is taking ballet lessons right now. Immediately following the ballet, Anna had a birthday party to attend at the Children's museum. She is such a social butterfly. It was fun watching her play with her friends, and nice to meet some of the other parents of kids in Anna's class. I'm so happy that Anna is loving school, making friends, and is such a sweet pea. She has been so helpful and patient with me lately. Love my pretty girl!
- Caleb is still in the NICU...three weeks now. He is currently just needing a bit of oxygen assistance, and then the main factor is giving him time to learn how to eat. Yes, more time is needed before he can come home. Being a bit premature, being so sick for the first two weeks, and then being on a vent for so long are all factors that have made learning how to eat a big challenge for him. (And right now he is receiving the breast milk with a bottle because natural feeding will be an even bigger challenge for him.) He does love his milk...they had to keep increasing his feeding amounts, and he still gets hungry before his next feeding sometimes. It's hard for the nurses to find clothes that fit Caleb because he's so big (for a NICU baby...and for how big he was at 36 and a half weeks)! AND he's already gained a pound and a half since his birth, which is really, pretty impressive considering he was so sick at first. I think we're in for another little chubbers. I love it! So, the main thing with Caleb is giving him time to build up the stamina to finish all of his food, because he gets tired out half way through, and gets the rest through a feeding tube. Hopefully sooner rather than later. We are so ready for him to come home!
- As you can see in photos, Caleb was born with hair. It was quite the change for us, being used to two baldies. hehe. I LOVE brushing it. I think he has more hair now than Benjamin had on his first birthday. I'm still anxious to see what he will look like; I'm not very good at seeing features in babies.
- Ethan gets back tomorrow!!! He had to leave for a week and a half to go back down state and finish up his semester, take finals, clean/pack up his apartment, tie up loose ends, etc. We are all sooooooo excited to see him. The kids have started making a list of things they want to do when daddy is here; it's cute. They want to have a slumber party/movie party and sleep under the Christmas tree, they want to go sledding at the sand dunes, Benjamin wants to go buy some Jelly Bellies with daddy, they want to play dress up and put on a play, they want to have lots and lots of fun, which is just perfect because Ethan is a natural at thinking of fun things to do. I am so anxious for him to see Caleb. When Ethan left, baby Caleb was still on the vent, which means Ethan still hasn't held him yet. So much has changed since then. I am also relieved to not be the only parent visiting Caleb anymore (although grandparents can visit too...it's a pretty exclusive club). It has been kind of overwhelming, a little stressful, and a bit lonely without Ethan here to help with everything...especially hospital stuff. Thank goodness I have the sweetest, most helpful, giving mom in the world. I have felt so torn wishing I could be at the hospital more, and having two other little ones to be a mommy to...and feeling pretty guilty that my mama has had to help out so much. I usually go for a few hours in the late morning, and a few more hours in the evening/night time...or more if it works in for that day. That's just not enough, and Ethan will be able to help with that. Yay! Ethan will be here until January 3rd, three and a half weeks! Then he will begin his first 10 week clinical placement in Iron Mountain, which is just a mere hour and a half away. He'll commute some and stay with a family in that area some. But we are excited to see him more often, and have him near...compared to the 6+ hours away he was for the whole last semester. And I am excited that he is done with the school work part of his program. Good job babe! I'm so proud of all his hard work...especially everything he had to balance this semester. He really had to stay focused.
- I got rid of all my maternity clothes yesterday (since I already fit in all my old clothes...have I already mentioned that? :). Ah, that was a good feeling. And yes, I got rid of them because I know I will not be having anymore babies. Like officially...as in, tubes have been all tied up. Just wanted to throw that out there. I am very happy with my little family, and three babies is the right amount for me. Making such a permanent decision was not something we took lightly, but as you all know there are some serious medical issues we needed to consider. It is something we prayed about and felt right about, and so while they were already in there for the c-section, they fixed that up for us too. I am not a fan of pregnancy, so it was very exciting bagging up all the preggo clothes. Just thought I'd share.
- Benjamin Bear is probably the cutest two year old boy I have ever met. (I know I'll have to retract that statement once Caleb turns two...and I had to specify "boy" because do we all remember Anna as a two year old?! Seriously... :) He is so clever and speaks so well, and comes up with the funniest ideas. Adding to the adorableness factor, in my opinion, is Ben-Ben's cute little lisp. I LOVE it. Hopefully it will be easily fixed with speech therapy once he starts school, but I love it for now. :) Ethan took a video of him recently, specifically to document his lisp, and I'll have to try and post it soon. Considering Benjamin's little world has been turned upside down yet again, pretty much since I had to go on hospital bed rest, he is handling it really well. I, of course, have my mom to thank for that, as she has definitely become a second mommy to them this past month. When I tell him I need to go visit his baby brother, he always says, "Can I come too? Pleeeeeath? Pleeeeeath!" (Kids aren't allowed in the NICU.) It just breaks my heart, but my mom is always there to tell him some fun thing she plans to do with him, and I know he will be okay.
Well, better run. Benjamin's quiet time is almost done, and I need to take my kiddos to the library, try to get more "To Do" list stuff done, and clean up a bit. Hope you're all having a wonderful month, and feeling the peace and love of the season.