Friday, December 31, 2010

Thoughts on 2010

Our Blocks of Remembrance

Twenty ten just sounds like a monumental year. And for our family it was.
We'll start with the biggest milestone- baby A. The year started with feelings of both excitement and anxiety as I was in the second trimester of my pregnancy. We were thankful for another pregnancy, yet honestly, fearful. Many hours were spent in doctors offices, receiving extra care and monitoring, and many prayers were offered on this sweet baby's behalf. We were again blessed by our family and church family around us with prayers, excitement, and help caring for Hudson during all these appointments. Halfway through the year...a long name discussion took place a few days before a very quick labor for Mom, all with the result of a precious Athan Lane coming into our lives. I felt like Hannah when she said about Samuel, for this child I prayed and the Lord has heard my prayers.
Activities and travel were present as usual. Some hi-lights were: Nashville Hall of Fame induction for Rockey (as usual, Hudson was a champ on that trip!), skiing in Crested Butte with our favorite kids (Jay taught Hudson while Mom and baby in belly were sidelined), a mission trip for Jay days before Athan was born, a hectic but wonderful trip to Colorado to welcome Lauren as Uncle David's bride (we made it!), an Orange Birthday party for H, the annual Pumpkin Party with Pa/Gigi/and crew (wonderful chaos, we call it), Thanksgiving hosted by the Thompsons, and a special Christmas visit to Starkville in December.
As we consider how our prayers were answered this year, Athan's health and development have to top that list. Close behind is how well Hudson has adjusted to the arrival of his baby brother. Aside from a few requests for Athan to be held by Dad in the early days, Hudson has shown nothing but love, excitement, and pride for his brother. He has such a loving heart. He continued to show us how he loves life and having fun. Like most little boys, his play can sometimes get too aggressive, but it is always in the spirit of fun. Some new fears and a sensitive side led to a few rough months being dropped off in the nursery and at preschool, but we ended the year feeling like we overcame most of those issues. Hudson's developmental accomplishments of the year were moving to a toddler bed and then a twin bed, joining playgroups and then starting preschool, and learning to use the potty.
In ministry this was a milestone year as well. We saw a class of seniors graduate that were so special to us. Many of them we knew as middle schoolers, and they have grown to be a part of our family in the past five years. Hudson considers most of them his own friends. It was a bittersweet time as we reflected on the years we have spent together, instructing them in God's word and walking with them through their teen years. Jay and I thanked God for the opportunity to know them. They were a faithful group who we have missed. In this second half of the year, we have enjoyed seeing how the dynamics of our ministry has changed and how younger students have grown.
Personally, my year was marked by prayer and growing in my knowledge of who God is. I thank God for a friend named Mary Herrmann who led me and a few other preschool moms in a prayer group this spring. On the other hand, I also found myself recognizing my fallen, selfish nature many times this year. I was so thankful for Athan's life, yet I struggled with patience when months passed, and we didn't have a good sleep routine with him. I found myself feeling angry about that, and taking it out on others in the family. It was a humbling experience. I've been thankful for the forgiveness I find in Christ and grateful that I get to start every morning with new mercies from God.

A meaningful verse to me this year was from the book of Colossians, when Paul states about God, "for He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." What encouragement I found in remembering my redemption, even when I fall short as a mother. I do belong to the kingdom of His beloved Son and can find victory in that. With that hope in mind, I look forward to 2011...

Athan's Sixth Month

Halfway through the first year. So much to celebrate!

There were not too many changes this month in the ways of scheduling. Athan's sleep routine just continues to get easier, so much so that I actually look forward to those quiet moments with him. I NEVER could have imagined that a few months ago.

Athan did start cereal on Thanksgiving day, and we continued that once a day. To celebrate his half birthday, I offered a small taste of cookie icing right after his first taste of sweet peas. I thought it was a good pairing! (Note: before you judge, this is the only sweet I intend to offer him until his actual birthday)

We enjoyed the many celebrations that come from this time of year. Athan adapted well to all the activity. A great blessing was a new car seat from Pa and Gigi as his infant car seat was just getting a bit snug. That, combined with hanging towels on the car windows, made for much better car trips.

A favorite game we played with rolling the ball with Hudson on the ground. We call the game, "push it back to Huddie."

Happy 1/2 Birthday, A!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why 3 is My Favorite

I was warned about " the 3's." Many mothers told me that you only thought 2 was tough. Just wait until they turn 3. Sure enough, days before his third birthday, Hudson decided to try running away from us in public places. I was shocked. Where did this come from? And then there was the night he told me he wanted another Mommy. Yup, he said that! I was crushed. Remembering what those other mothers had said, I just chalked it up to a difficult year ahead.

What I think some of those mothers forgot to mention was how much good comes from a three year old. Sure, they ask even more questions now, and you spend way more time in a bathroom than you ever would have wanted. But there are so many things that I love about Hudson being three. Here are a few...

1) His sweet, sweet nature. Hudson has always complied when I asked for kisses, but now he really kisses me back. He'll also look me straight in the eyes and tell me he loves me. The best is when he does it without my saying so first.

2) His desire to please. He really does want to make us happy, and it's hard work for a little guy. There are so many temptations out there to do wrong (couldn't we all agree with that?!), and their self control is still developing. So I appreciate it when I see him struggle to choose good. Great example last night at dinner. He took his first bite of tomato soup out of obligation- he's always disliked soup. But then we convinced him that it really tasted good. He tried so hard to be excited about the next few bites Jay shoved in his mouth, but the sour face he made as it went down told us he really, really did not like it. It was priceless. We had to bite our tongues not to laugh.

3) How he wants to help. He is so proud of Athan Lane Felker and wants to be the best big brother possible. I love it! His job is to run and get the burp cloth whenever Athan spits up (that's a busy job!). He also insists on turning out the lights and getting Bailey a treat whenever we leave. It really is helpful.

4) It's even more fun. Christmas has been so special this year watching Hudson take it all in. He LOVES all the lights and is so excited by it. He gets things. We go to football games, and he can understand some of what's going on. He is creative and enjoys things he did not before. Example: pictures of dressing up like a train conductor and painting like "Sue Burm" (an elephant who paints on Curious George).

So, for today, here's to the Terrific Three's!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Athan's Fifth Month, seriously???

Wow, to think that we're talking about Athan's fifth month already is hard to believe. On the other hand, I do feel as though this month we really got to know little Athan so much better and enjoyed him. It's an incredible experience how you are handed this little stranger one day who you love instantly, and then you spend the next few years actually getting to know that baby.

One major reason joy marked this month is because we got to experience his sweet chuckles for the first time. He's always been a loud baby and squeal before now, but this month we heard definite laughs. Love it! Love tickling him, making funny faces, and saying goofy things to get him to laugh. And, of course, Hudson joins in the fun as well.
Athan's vocal cords have developed in other ways as well. He seemed to be so much louder this month, both in expressing happiness and frustration. Early in the month I noticed he seemed to have an insatiable desire to chew that would just make him crazy. That's when the mad sounds would come. He also had a week long spell of crying when we started to put him to sleep. It seemed to come out of nowhere and then slowly faded away after about a week. It's not just his voice that's growing stronger. His legs are much sturdier, and he loves to put weight on them. He spends much of his day standing in our arms.
We feel like we understand Athan more and more when it comes to what helps him to settle down for sleep. Our keys have been: dark darkness, swaddling (thank you Laura for letting us use your miracle blanket!!), sitting, and the paci after all that is done. When doing this, he is usually settled in to sleep within minutes. He still wakes up twice at night (once to say hi, please hold me and give me my paci; once to eat). It's manageable, and we're content with the progress he's making. His night is getting longer, often from 8 to 8, and he has cut back to 3 naps most days. It's funny how happy I am that he is taking 1 less nap a day.
A fun quirky thing this month- we've discovered Athan's favorite song, at least for now. Great is Thy Faithfulness settles him down like nothing else, especially when he is fussing in the car and out of my reach. A few lines of that great hymn, and his little soul is settled. It is precious. Once again, Hudson has tuned in to this and loves it. He has learned the words to the chorus, which just makes my heart so happy. Great is Thy faithfulness, O Father above, in giving us such wonderful boys!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh, October!

Hudson's favorite game at Countryside's party- the Goliath slingshot
The boys had a great time...A stayed up past bedtime like a true party champ!
Tractor Hay Ride with Gigi Thermal Windows party
OSU Homecoming Parade...go Pokes! Happy Birthday, Hudson! Mini golf pro
Oh, October! In our life October is a crazy, fun activity filled month. We started the month off with a surprise birthday party for Aunt Kandace. Then, Hudson's birthday followed right behind. We celebrated ourselves with a family day playing mini golf and then-- throwing up at Eskimo Joe's. Yup, that's what I said. Hudson made a quick recovery in time for his birthday party where we covered everything and everyone in orange to represent all the fun things that come with this time of year. We enjoyed OSU homecoming with the Pattersons, and this year even a few Thompsons came down for the festivities! Halloween was exciting for our fireman and dalmation. We had a weekend filled with parties. First, it was a trick or treat through Thermal Windows, then an incredible party at Pa and Gigi's house (only my parents would have a party like that for their 6 little grandchildren!), and finally the Hallelujah Party at Countryside.
When we weren't celebrating on the weekends, we enjoyed playing outside this month. Hudson and Jay have spent many hours outside playing football. Thanks to a great trick from Aunt K, he's actually learning to catch the ball. It's a great month for family fun!

Athan's Fourth Month

Roll, Athan, roll! The biggest accomplishment our baby A achieved in his fourth month was rolling over. He wiggled from his belly to his back for the first time very early in his fourth month (September 21, I believe). I think he knew my eyes were in disbelief because he went on to do it two more times after that. Hudson was stoked to watch A roll over as well! It took a few more weeks before Jay got the privilege of seeing Athan's new moves in person. He went on to roll over a few more times in the month. It's all about getting that head up and looking another direction. His body just follows behind.

Another first for the month was staying in the nursery at church. I felt very blessed that the worker in our infant room during Sunday School (the best time for me to leave him) is a very experienced mother of 7. I leave him while I help Jay lead our junior high class, and Jill rocks him to sleep. I feel good about him getting his rest and enjoy the opportunity to do something different. He will still hang out with me for awhile the other times we're at church throughout the week, but it's been a good start.

We did make the move from his bassinet to his crib this month. It just happened a little differently than we had planned. After a trip to Starkville when he slept in a crib there, we decided it would be the best time to make the switch for Athan. We ended up moving it into our room. This was not my plan, nor is it the most aesthetic arrangement. I liked the way I had set up the room for the boys. BUT I think it's the wisest thing we've done since having two boys. I was so anxious about Hudson and Athan sharing a room and how I would handle night time or keep Hudson out of HIS room for most of the day while Athan napped. This has worked perfectly. Athan has also adjusted well and seems to sleep a little better in the crib. As I was rearranging things, I also hung up a very dark red blanket over the window next to the crib. That has been a big help as well. I've decided the look of the house is nothing compared to the happiness of those who live in it! Athan is still learning how to sleep through the night, and we're working to figure out the best way to get him to sleep, but we feel like we've made some major strides this month in this area.

He's also continued to grow and grow. The big little man weighed in at 17 lbs. at his four month check up. That's in the 90th percentile if you were wondering! He measured 25 inches, which was right in the middle. We're just glad he's growing, even if it means he grows out of his tiny baby clothes faster. Oh, and this may seem like a strange thing, but we have grown to love his sweet little smell. I've never known another baby to have their own scent, but A sure does. We've said if only we could bottle this up because like everything that happens in this first year, we know it won't last long...

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Two Year Recap

We've hit a perfect trio at our house. First, my car hit 33, 333 miles. Then Athan turned 3 months, and now Hudson has celebrated his third birthday. What milestones! This calls for some time reflecting on Hudson's year as a two year old.

Hudson started out the year as a toddler and has changed into a preschooler. When I think back to Hudson as a young two year old, he still had those sweet baby curls. Those were gone quickly after his birthday. He started out sleeping in his crib, but then we changed that into a toddler bed after Christmas because he had started attempting to climb out. In the summer he made the big move into a twin size bed and has done so well.
His passions have been everything transportation. Digger trucks, trains, garbage trucks, fire trucks, freight trucks. He loves them all. We do try to limit our TV to about an hour a day, but Hudson would probably chose to watch more. He enjoys Thomas the train, Curious George, and Seasame Street. Thanks to a long car ride to Colorado, he also has become a huge fan of the Cars movie. He loves to swing and play outside or go to the park. We have enjoyed seeing him become more willing to try new feats at the playground.

Oh, the things he will say! The vocabulary of this little boy is just constantly growing. Now that he is three there's not much he doesn't say. He says such big boy things like "well, how about..." or "I have an idea!" He is famous around our house for saying "I want to talk to you" with his cars, "read the letters" when we're looking at a book, and "I love it!" He is very polite. We love hearing him say please, thank you, and most recently the way that he asks permission for most anything he does.

Some of our more recent changes are the start of preschool and a church program called Puggles. We started potty training in May, and now a few months later he seems to be getting it. We still use diapers overnight, but we do venture out in public without diapers. There has been much humor associated with potty training. One result is the fact that Hudson spent much of the summer at our house without wearing shorts. It was just easier that way, and he wanted it that way. It was funny to look back on pictures of him around the house and notice he was rarely wearing shorts.

He is a fabulous, loving big brother. He is very patient as we take care of Athan and give attention to him. I do lament that I don't get to hold Hudson in my arms much anymore. He used to want me to hold him all the time, but he seems to be used to the fact that Athan is held and he walks now. He loves to help with Athan and tries to play with him.

Our dear Hudson is still so silly and loves being around little people. He gets so excited and gives big hugs. He loves to play with Bailey and would roll around on the floor with her all the time if we would let him. He laughs often and is just a happy little guy. We are so thankful for our fun little red head!

Athan's Third Month

3 months exactly- 13 weeks- with head held high
12 weeks...just had to capture that face!

11 weeks

Baby Athan has already reached his third month. It's hard to believe he's a quarter of a way through his first year.

This month was filled with new adventures and developments. My favorite development has to be the sounds that Athan will make. He enjoys mimicking our mouth when we make "motor" sounds with our lips. We do it, and then he follows. I was quite impressed with his intelligence the first time he did this. It's great to have that interaction with him. One physical change is the development of his belly. Athan's belly button officially became an "innie" after hanging out for 2 months. :)
Sleep is still a big topic of conversation around our house. After going so many weeks without consecutive hours of sleep, I have to say we've gotten to a new level of exhaustion. Hudson was sleeping through the night by two months, so this was territory I had not yet encountered. We're pressing on and thankful that he always does sleep eventually. He's kept up about the same schedule of 13-14 hours of sleep a day mostly in his own bed with 4 naps and the middle one being the longest. Most days the long nap, a.k.a. "mega nap," goes about 2 hours, but that's not always a guarantee. The other naps are usually around 45 minutes, sometimes a little less or more. Overall, he has made progress and often gets to sleep in what we find to be a reasonable amount of time- around 20 minutes. He winds down very quickly once he is swaddled and in the rocking chair with a pacifier. The work begins when we move him to his bed. Goal for next month: move to the crib in the room he will share with Hudson. Stories about that to follow, I'm sure!

What we have just come to adore about our sweet Athan is his delightful personality. He does not cry often and is just a fun little guy. Even though we have struggles with sleep, we do feel like we are in tune with him and usually know what he wants. We enjoy playing with him, exchanging smiles and sweet cooing sounds. It's a sweet process of getting to know your own little child. We're thankful that God has answered our prayers with Athan.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hush, Little Baby

In my few years of parenting, I have found nothing more challenging than putting a baby to sleep. I'm not sure what it is, but nothing intimidates me more than this daunting task. It's not just that I'm wishing I could get a fraction of the sleep that the little one is getting. It's also how important I know his sleep is, and how I know that habits, good and bad, are learned early. Before Athan was born, I did my research to make sure I felt prepared to get it right from the start this time. Hudson was a good sleeper, sleeping through the night by 8 weeks, but I remembered that putting him to sleep could be a challenge.

Well, at some point in those early weeks we must have made some mistakes this time, but it's hard to say when it was or what it was. All I can say is that by the end of his first month, I was already frustrated with trying to put Athan down for sleep. It could take up to an hour to get him to sleep. Obviously, that is frustrating for us (me- Jay does help, but it does work, too!). The new complication this time around is having Hudson. I feel so guilty when I'm working with Athan for an hour back in my room and practically banishing Hudson from the room. We got better at it with time, and I realized Hudson's noises were often not the cause of Athan's insomnia. It was just Athan. And to brag on Hudson for a bit- he has been terrific. He has not in the least started to resent his baby brother for taking up so much of Mommy and Daddy's time. He has also complied for the most part when we've asked him not to drum, hammer, or play the piano when Athan is sleeping.

So, back to that little one. We've tried MANY different approaches, often saying to ourselves, "this is it!" We've hovered over the bassinet holding his arms, tried more awake time & less awake time, given him the pacifier an insane amount of times, attempted a strict schedule, let him "work it out" (not cry it out), rocked him and rocked him, walked around, stood in dark closets, and the occasional last resort of just finally driving around the bock.

What have we learned from all of this? We know very little, but will survive. Two months have already passed, and he has actually slept. To my surprise, he does have a bit of a schedule that HE created. Short nap at 10, long nap at 1, medium nap at 4, short nap at 6:30, and bed at 9:30. The predictability does help me.

This week we're employing techniques from the Baby Whisperer, so far my favorite baby book. I spent a good deal of time researching additional information from forums devoted to answering baby whispering questions on Saturday. We came up with a very specific sleep routine. So far it really has gone well and given us more confidence. We're two days into it and not using that stupid pacifier anymore to sleep! :) (It just wasn't working for little A) As I read the posts, I feel like I received permission in a way not to make Athan fall asleep the "right way" every nap. The reality is we have two young children, and it's just not always possible. Our goal right now is to follow his sleep routine for 2 naps a day and at bedtime.

I wanted to record our thoughts right now so that we can see how this sleep journey goes. Since I'm publicly sharing that we're trying this new method I'll have a little more accountability to stick with it. And maybe if you think about it, you can pray for us to wisely teach Athan good sleep habits, but not at the expense of enjoying the journey!

P.S. Thank you, Aunt K, for answering all my sleep questions and reassuring me over and over again! :)

Here's a bit of what we're using.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Athan's Second Month

8 weeks old official picture
8 weeks- relaxing at the Youth Lake Party
6 weeks- lifting up his head
Three key words sum up Athan's second month in my mind: smiles, sleep, and sounds.

Smiles. This is one of the greatest milestones a baby achieves. Being the first real milestone in the first year, it's the first indication that things are going okay. For me, it also serves as the first glimpse into his little self and personality. I saw Athan's first responsive smile in his fourth week as I stroked his head. His little smile let me know that he liked that. We then saw what I consider his first social smile a few weeks later. Daddy got those first grins given in his direction during Athan's seventh week.

Sleep. Oh boy, this has been our issue! During baby's first weeks, eating seems to be the top priority. Nothing else is as important as making sure they are gaining weight and receiving adequate nourishment (which, by the way, is not a problem for this little guy!). Once that was established for us, we turned our attention to the issue of sleep. We've gone back and forth on different approaches and have just ended the month recognizing we're no more sure of how to put Athan to sleep than we were at the start of the month. Still, I can at least say he did sleep about 14 hours a day this month with a solid night of sleep and 4 naps a day. He has his nights well established and mostly wakes only to eat. It just takes a great deal of effort to get him there.

Sounds. The sweet, sweet coos have started. Although life is busy, I try to stop while Athan is happily awake and enjoy these conversations with him. His happiest times are after a good rest, early in the morning and usually after a long afternoon nap. One of his favorite places to be for a good time of talking is his changing pad. Funny, but Hudson also enjoyed that.

Other hi-lights include weekly visits from Gigi and an extended visit with Susu. Grandmothers have helped keep us going! I am so grateful for their help. We also started to get out a little more this month and attempted to make it to church for our regular services.
And, as I said, Athan has been growing like a champ! At his two month check up, he weighed 12 lbs., 10 oz. Way to go, little man.

Our Daily Routine

Here is a little about a life in the day of the Felkers, family 0f 4. One of my favorite things to look back at in Hudson's baby book is the part where I described what our days were like. It's incredible how much change there is within the first year and how quickly you forgot those days. It can seem monotonous at the time (how many times am I going to put this baby to sleep??), but it does change almost without our realizing it.

Right now (now being the key word) this is what we're doing:

Athan usually wakes up twice in the night, around 1 and 5, to eat. It has become like clockwork. His morning wake up time varies, depending on how long it took him to fall back asleep after the second feeding. He sleeps until around 7-9 in the morning. I try to get up before he does to start getting ready. On a good day, Hudson will sleep until 7:30 and get in bed with us if someone is still in bed. Jay gets Hudson ready for the day and feeds him breakfast if he can(thank goodness for flexible hours and a small town without a long commute!!). After Jay goes to work, it's playtime and naptime for the boys. It seems as though I spend a good portion of my day trying to get Athan to sleep. He naps about 4 times a day. We've attempted a 3 hours schedule of eat/wake/sleep, but we've really just made our own version. More on that later. He eats for a total of 7 times a day. That is fairly standard.

While I'm working with Athan, Hudson is great at entertaining himself. His imaginiative spirit has continued to grow as I've been forced to spend less time with him recently. I love overhearing him talk and describe his play. He has gotten interested in the Cars movie/story, so he enjoys acting those scenes out with his cars. It's wonderful. He does have some of the actual characters, but mostly he just plays pretend with regular matchbox cars. I love it and really would rather he do that than have the real ones. As good as he is at playing by himself, Hudson still gets bored and wants my attention. We've increased our TV watching for that reason. I normally try to keep that to 1 hour a day, but it's a little more right now. I'm okay with that. Hudson also loves to play outside, but he really wants someone else to play with him. Sometimes he'll just put himself in his swing and wait for me to come out there to push him. That always looks so pitiful when he's waiting on me.

Back to Athan. He can stay awake for about 1 hour happily, and then he's ready to start working toward a nap. During his awake time, we walk around, lay on a blanket, run errands, or go on a walk. When it's time for a nap, it can take up to 1 hour for him to get to sleep. Can you see why Hudson gets bored?? We're working on that and have seen some recent improvements with Athan. Jay comes home for lunch when he can to help me juggle that time period of fixing lunch/cleaning up/going down for a nap for Hudson. It always seems that Athan needs to get to sleep during that time as well, so an extra hand is much appreciated. It also still allows me to make that time with Hudson enjoyable. The afternoons are slower as Athan usually takes a longer nap at some point, and Hudson rests as well. I try to get some quality time with whoever wakes up first. They're both usually happy then. Jay comes home a little after 5, and we just trade off boys for the evening as we cook, eat dinner, clean-up, play, bathe and then put them to bed. Hudson goes to bed around 8:30 and take forever to fall asleep!! Another point we're working on. Athan usually falls asleep around 9-10. This, of course, looks different on nights when we're out of the house.

I've had a lot of strong feelings about trying to put Athan on a schedule/routine since he was born. I really felt that would be best for us now that we have two children, but as I have gotten in to the reality of bringing home a unique baby with his own temperament and preferences, I have found myself becoming more upset trying to put him on a schedule instead of just enjoying this sweet, fleeting time. I've taken what knowledge I can from other "experts" and tried to incorporate what works into our family. I want to enjoy my children, and this is working for us right now.

One thing I did take from a baby wise mom "professional"...a daily cleaning task. I have enjoyed putting myself on a schedule and accomplishing one tangible thing each day other than just laundry. Jay said to me recently that he doesn't know how I can keep the house so clean. I told him I think that's part of what keeps me sane. I know that my job is to care for our boys, and that is the most important thing I do each day. Still, I enjoy seeing some fruits of my labor and that often comes in looking at a clean house. Strange, isn't it?? :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Athan's First Month

My blogging void from the last month is directly related to today's topic...Athan's first month!

I decided to be realistic and let Jay handle all the posting of pictures and telling the story of Athan's birth and just focus and recovering and caring for our newborn. It was great to see how fast he did post pictures and stories about Athan. I loved seeing his excitement.

Now one full month has passed and so I want to record a few details here before they are erased from my mind. I think two things surprised us the most about Athan in the early weeks with him. (1) This baby can sleep! We were shocked at how much he slept and how he didn't really want to wake for feedings. We had to wake him to eat. I even set an alarm a few times at night because he wasn't old enough to go the 7 hours that he once went on his own without eating. Of course, we knew this was change as he grew older and reached more of his full term age (he was over 2.5 weeks early). (2) And, oh boy, is he loud!! These aren't so much cries that I'm talking about as just regular noises. He grunts in his sleep and makes all types of sounds. His digestive noises are even loud. Jay and I have gotten many laughs in the middle of the night just listening to him.

Our biggest event of the first month was a trip to Colorado for David and Lauren's wedding. He was just amazing on our trip. He slept so much of the time and adjusted so well. The only time he cried in public was at the end of the reception. He did have a few meltdowns in the hotel or car. The most memorable was our last night in the hotel as we were trying to get the boys to sleep. Jay was holding a screaming Athan, and I was consuling a hysterical Hudson after he ran into a dresser (he was in serious need of sleep). Another great moment was at a gas station near the Kansas border when he shot poop out all over me and the car (thanks for letting us borrow your car, Gigi!). I yelled at Jay to come help and before we could finish cleaning him up, he had peed all over me again. You have to laugh in these moments!

Hudson has done great. He has adjusted well to being a big brother and has the sweetest "little" voice when he talks to Athan. He loves to talk about how he is going to teach Athan about sounds and how to do all kinds of things. We've had to work on being gentle, not squeezing Athan when he gets the urge or trying to pick him up. Every once in awhile he does get tired of Athan being around or being in my arms and just asks for me to put him to bed or lay down on the couch. I'm really proud of him though.

We've had a good first month. We're grateful for all the help we've had from wonderful family and friends. Extra helping hands and a warm meal have meant so much to us. We're adjusting to our new sleep schedule and trying to be realistc about what we can expect from Athan. It's sometimes hard to remember how much work it takes to get a little one to sleep. We can remember Hudson doing well, but we may forget how much effort it took on our part and how he has to get a little older before he can do more on his own.
I'm thankful for this time and for Athan's great health. God has heard our prayers.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Potty Training, Fun?

Knowing it could potentially be the great struggle of Hudson's third year of life, I have researched potty training almost since Hudson was born. From all of my reading and question asking I decided it would be best to present potty training when Hudson first showed interest and then wait for him to show signs of readiness. That sounds quite simple, but it's not so easy. How do you really know when your child's ready? He's been fascinated with the toilet since he was a year old.

We've had a few attempts at potty training before, but this month he really seemed ready. Still, it's felt that most of the month I've gone back and forth on thinking he was ready. Our first attempt ended after about 3 days. There were only 4 stickers on his paper (meaning times he actually used his potty), and about 20 accidents with dirty pants for me to clean. I couldn't do it anymore. I thought I would just give up for awhile, but he's stayed interested and wanted to use his potty at different times throughout the day. So, I reluctantly decided I better not be missing my opportunity and should go with it again. This week has gone so much better with much more success, meaning many more stickers and fewer accidents. We'll see.

My favorite part of all this has been listening to Hudson talk about the subject. When he feels the need to go, he'll say, "it's coming! it's coming" and then take off down the hall exclaiming, "it's like a race!" We've talked about how we're proud of him, and he can feel proud, too. That has turned into a very sweet returned compliment. If we tell him we're proud of him, he'll tell us that he is proud of us, too. Love it! Then there was also the time that he brought me the little bucket from his potty to show me he had gone on his own. I couldn't believe it...he just ran through the house with a bucket of pee and thankfully it didn't spill!!!

On another note, the pregnancy is going well. Baby brother is growing and growing, and I've got a nice round belly to prove it. Poor Hudson still insists on trying to find a spot on my lap to sit even though there's really not room. We're still working on a name, and Hudson has given good input. He's taken to a baby we borrowed from a friend and calls it baby brother. Sometimes he'll offer a snack to my belly for the baby. He seems to be excited about the baby, but we know it will be a challenge for him. We're praying for a smooth transition and much love to abound.

I wonder which will happen first...potty training complete or baby brother arriving??

Like Music to My Ears

Hudson surprised me recently when he started singing this song on his own. I've been singing this to him at night before bed for awhile. I'm not sure how this became a bedtime lullaby, but he loves it. He always listens, and I guess was learning the words. I think this was the most beautiful rendition of Away in a Manger I have EVER heard!

Along the same lines, Hudson has recently started offering, or really insisiting, to pray before meals. This is the standard: "Father, thank you for this day, time to play outside. Thank you for Jesus. Amen." LOVE it!

Monday, May 10, 2010

LOVE this kid!

In celebration of Mother's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to blog about Hudson a bit. What I love most about my blog is getting to talk about our family as much as I want without worrying if I ramble too much, or say too many times how much I adore them. Also, I am a sporadic blogger, leaving me with several little things about Hudson I've been intending to record for awhile.

So here it Mother's Day blog with some of my favorite Hudson-isms since I last blogged just about him. I really do love this kid!

The addition of the word "actually" to his vocabulary- as in, "that's actually a wheeled excavator, not a track excavator."

Good morning kisses! Our little one is often an early riser (a negative by-product of moving to a toddler bed), so the routine is that he climbs in bed with us until we're ready to get up. He knows wake up time has finally arrived when we announce it's time for good morning kisses. He likes to say "good morning kiss" and then offer a sweet kiss to start the day.

How he talks about the new baby. Talk about funny conversation. On his own he told me we should name the baby "Jesus." When I told Hudson that there was only one Jesus, he offered that we could call the baby "little Jesus" (if only you could hear the way he emphasized "little"). He also talks about baby brother being in his belly. Put these two together and you get this from Hudson- little baby Jesus is kicking in his stomach. Oh my, not even sure how to address that one! More recently, he has started kissing baby brother through my round belly.
His creative imagination and inquisitive nature. He has gone through a phase of choosing a different name that he wants to be called. I love seeing his imagination blossom. Some of his favorite names have been Bertie (the bus on Thomas) and Herman (from a great song about a worm). As for inquisitive, his questions never stop. When we're in a store, he will often ask loudly "what's her name?" about someone near us. He's always wanting more information about people and things around him.

Hudson singing! He comes home from the church nursery full of new songs that he credits Ms. Mary for teaching him. Favorites are My God is So Big, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, ABCs, and Jesus Loves the Little Children. He also has come to love me singing to him Away in a Manger at bedtime. And then, of course, learning Herman the Worm. Love, love, love hearing H sing this one with Daddy.

And, finally, a new accomplishment in the area of grammer. I've been proud to hear him begin to learn the proper use of pronouns, correctly substituting "you" for "me." For the longest time he'd ask me to hold him by saying "hold you, Mama." Now he's started to unravel the great mystery that is personal pronouns. Who needs potty training? To me, this is a great milestone, indeed!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hudson Can Ski!!

We were so proud of Hudson. He loved skiing, especially the conveyer lift and the helmet!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Christmas Surprise

I meant to post this one some time ago. This one is mostly for the Lane crew, but hopefully you other readers can find the humor in this. Christmas morning, my clever father had made a switch to one of Spencer's (my nephew) gifts. My sweet mom had thought Spencer would enjoy a "manly" doll to play with when he and Ally play dolls. He's two and has an older sister...playing dolls is just going to happen. So she picked out this prince doll. My dad thought it was way too girly (princes wear tights), so he wanted Spencer to have a GI Joe instead. Mom said no. Dad bought it anyway, changed the doll inside the prince box to GI Joe, and the rest you see here. The end of the story...Spencer picked the prince. Gigi knows her grandbabies.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hosanna, Jesus is King!

On Palm Sunday, Hudson came home with a craft from Sunday School telling me that they learned how the people lay down palm branches exclaiming, "Hosanna, Jesus is King!" Throughout the week and on Easter Sunday, we had great fun proclaiming this truth together. And I must admit, although I did briefly share the Easter story with Hudson, those are some big concepts for a little one. I've told the Easter story to children many times, but telling it to my own two year old this year was somewhat intimidating. So for now I just enjoyed hearing Hudson say, "Ho-hannah, Jesus is King!"

Our Easter celebration was wonderful. We started the week off with an Easter egg hunt during his play group on Wednesday. Friday night, Susu came to town. And on Saturday, we had an Easter party at church. Pa, Gigi, and the Thompsons came up for that as well. Hudson was as excited about hunting eggs as I would have expected. He got motivated to find some when Jay told him there was candy inside, but then lost interest after spotting the trucks in the sand box. He did not like the Easter bunny, but loved going on the inflatables with Aunt Kandace. Easter Sunday we worshipped at church. Hudson stayed with us through some of the songs and then went on to play with his friends in the nursery. Susu helped us make a festive lunch, we rested, and then he opened his Easter baskets in the afternoon. A great day for our little guy!

Group hug as requested by Hudson Happy Easter, Susu !!

Some more of our favorite people... Hudson giving up on the Easter egg hunt

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reflections on 09

Oh, sweet Hudson, how much fun we've had in 2009!

In our second full year with you, we experienced many joys and learned many new things. Between your first and second birthday it has been incredible to listen to your vocabulary develop. You accomplished great feats in the way of physical movement in your first year of life, but in this second year and beyond you are learning new words at such a fast rate. At the end of this year, we've noted how much more you are talking than even at your birthday in October. You can repeat almost anything, and you remember just about everything! Just yesterday I took you to a place we'd been to once before, and you asked for a balloon because you had been given one before months ago. How do you remember these things!

You are a sweet, happy little boy. You love life and get so excited at the opportunity to play with other little people your size. Outgoing, joyful, and sometimes silly are words I would use to describe you, little Hudson. You enjoy the nursery at church, as well as playing in the youth house and getting a chocolate in Daddy's op-ice. Daddy is your hero, and you are still Mommy's baby. Thomas the train, Pa's tractor trailers, and most any other types of truck have been your favorite playtime choices this year. When we leave the house, you can usually be spotted grasping some type of vehicle in your hands. You have continued to love books. I can clearly hear you saying, "Mama read." In your love of reading we've gotten to read more to you about your Heavenly Father. How could we ever say no when you ask us to read your bible to you? Haircuts have been a new experience for us this year. We've been thrilled to see that even after we cut your hair, those red locks keep coming back curly. Your hair attracts so much attention.

Some of our biggest struggles have been over food. You just don't love to eat, well, that is, you don't like to eat vegetables or dinner foods. Pea-boo-butter and bread is one of your favorite cuisines, as well as chicken nuggets (you are like your father). Fruit you will also eat well. Desserts, of course, are not in question. As in so many other ways of life, you've challenged us to be more healthy eaters as we know you are always watching and wanting what we have. Even though we conflict over this issue, you do want to please Momma and Daddy, and tell us you will obey. It is a very sweet sound.

A few travel hi-lights of the year include a second journey to the mountain of Colorado, a trip to the Florida beach, a mission trip to Galveston, and a visit to Nashville complete with a stay at Opryland. You are a well traveled little boy!

You are a precious gift, and we cherish each day with you. Even when you wake up early in the mornings, you bring a smile to our face and make us eager to start the day. Happy New Year, Hudson!

P.S. Hudson has now been sleeping in a toddler bed for a week. He has transitioned better than I even hoped. Way to go, Hudson!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Merry Christmas

Our Christmas celebrations officially began the morning of Christmas Eve. This morning was designated as our family time. When Hudson woke up, we sat in the living room munching on breakfast goodies and reading Christmas books. Hudson was delighted to have that cuddle time with us and truly enjoyed hearing the Christmas story. He has learned the simplest elements of that great story. I'd have to say this was my favorite Christmas moment. Hudson is still so young that he didn't know presents were coming next and feel the need to hurry on. Instead, he just enjoyed reading with us. We then went on to exchange a few presents. He took his time playing with each gift before moving on to see what else he had gotten.

Then the weather first the sleet and snow seemed picture perfect with the fire keeping us warm in our home on Christmas Eve. Maybe it would have been perfect had we not had travel plans. Church was canceled for the evening, so we drove over to Tulsa after Hudson's nap. I'll just say I was praying before we made it to the highway in Stillwater. The normal 1.5 hour trip to Gigi and Pa's took 3 hours! We were just glad we made it when it was all over. Hudson wasn't a huge fan of this snow storm. The drifts were so high around the house that he couldn't walk in them, and he fell a time or two as well. When we got back to our house, we did convince him to give it another try, and he enjoyed it then.

As for family time, we had a great visit with the Lane side of the family on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. The cousins enjoyed their play time with one another. Hudson was not too interested in opening presents Christmas day as the train table for all the kids from Pa and Gigi that was left sitting out was far more interesting than any other gift he could open. Even though we couldn't make it out to church, we took time together to reflect on our reason for this celebration with a reading of the Christmas story and a nativity reenactment as well, all focused on the little ones, of course.

Rockey, Susan, and Stephen journeyed over from Mississippi the next day for another Christmas celebration with us. Hudson seemed to get the present opening this time and was delighted to see gifts fill up under our Christmas tree when they first arrived. His interested was further sparked when he realized many of his presents were from Thomas and other trains. Thanks for coming to see us!

We hope you and your family had a joyous Christmas celebration as well!

Getting the driveway cleared off!