Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby James

Baby  James.

It's a term I've been trying not to use lately, despite Caleb's recent nickname of just "Baby."

You have been my baby this year, my sweet little boy who stayed a baby longer than most. I have enjoyed all the extra cuddles and snuggles. And I'm so happy to see you starting on your independent way. You sit so well, and watch us so closely. I can't wait to see you crawl, and find where you go and what interests you most. I have a feeling you will make a beeline for the cats, and follow your brother whenever and wherever possible! "Baby" James you will no longer be!

I am so proud of you. You make me happy in so many ways. I love your sweet smile.
James and Aunt Leanna
 I love your silly grin!

Calvin, James, Caleb

I love that you're pretty okay with most any situation, willing to be held by people you may not have seen in awhile.
James and Grandpa Ken

I love that you smell like a dozen ladies at the end of church on Sundays, because you are just so holdable! And I love how ticklish you are, and quick to laugh.

So what are you doing at the big One Year mark? Well, let's see....

You're sitting up like a champ. You really want to crawl, but can't seem to get your back end to work with your front end just yet! You have two teeth, with a third coming in. You eat baby food, with your favorites probably being applesauce and peas, though you're really not picky. You don't have any words, yet, but you use lots of syllables and LOVE to talk! "Mamama, dadada, bababa, gagaga," and more. You are going to be a talker, I can tell! Other milestones are smaller, and I know them only because of our therapy sessions. Who knew that holding three blocks at once would be an accomplishment, but it is, and you've done it!

You love to play with your brother. You watch him devotedly, and Caleb enjoys the devotion! He showers you with hugs, kisses, and tickles. You also love your Daddy, and I think you just might be a Daddy's boy. He can calm you down and settle you to sleep better than anyone else. Your favorite toy is your exersaucer, where you can jump and play to your heart's content. You are still taking two naps a day, but I have a feeling that's going to change soon. As a second-born, you're bound to the schedule of others, and you take things in stride even when you don't always get your naps and bottles at the normal times.

You've started many therapies just this week, and the new therapists already love you and your sweet countenance. They're proud of how much you've already accomplished, and are confident in your abilities.

You are stubborn when you want to be, and that is why I know you will accomplish all that you desire in life. Your stubbornness...and the fact that people are praying for you! Your family, friends, and even those who haven't met you. Even Kris, the cashier at Wal-Mart, prayed for you when you were so small. She didn't know you, but now she likes to find you and say hi when we are in the store.

James, you have made further strides than most when it comes to opening the hearts of others. You are a blessing, and I am so thankful for you! I love you! Happy birthday, sweet boy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Visit with Mawmaw and Grandpa Ken

I always love our visits with my grandparents. I have sweet memories of my childhood visits with them, and I'm so glad that my children get to experience their love and fun as well. I know these moments are fleeting. At the end of every visit, I think, "Why didn't we do this sooner?" and, "We will not wait so long for our next visit." But, alas, living so far away and dealing with church schedules, therapy schedules, and just everyday life, it always feels too long between visits. We do our best, and I love that Caleb knows and loves his great-grandparents very much. James is also getting to know them. And I get to know my grandparents in a new role. I love it! They're even more "grandparenty" with my kids than they were with me! We are truly blessed.
Caleb finally overcame his fear of the scooter

My boys

Mawmaw and Grandpa Ken

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Visit to Dave and Karen

Our visit with Uncle Dave, Aunt Karen, and the newest Norvell. Plus a little side trip to Hard 8 BBQ to visit with Uncle Joe, Aunt Leanna, and Owen.

Kisses for Calvin


Aunt Karen reads a riveting story

Cheese!! We are all taking pictures!

Caleb and Owen playing at the restaurant


Caleb's very comfortable with babies!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

To Children's We Shall Go

Sorry for the photo computer is in the shop. I should have it back this time next week!

It is entirely too late to be blogging, so let me be brief.

James's cardiology appointment went great. He still has an ever-so-slight leak in his valve, but "nothing abnormal" the doctor says. We don't go back for another appointment for 18 months!

Caleb's appointment was in regards to the high fevers he's been getting like clockwork every month the last several months. I had done my own mama research online, and had diagnosed my son with something called PFAPA (pronounced "fappa"). Turns out, I was right! It's a handful of symptoms--high fever, red throat, swollen glands, mouth ulcers--that recur on a very regular schedule. For us, it's about the middle of every month, almost to the day. The cause is uncertain, it's not contagious, it doesn't impede his growth or development, and he will gradually outgrow it. Until then, there are a couple ways to minimize it. The first is to give him a small dose of steroid at the onset each month. His fever should respond within hours (the real test of whether he has PFAPA or not). If that works, we'll continue on that course. The dose is small enough, and infrequent enough, that there are no harmful side effects. A more invasive option is a tonsillectomy, which seems to have a good success rate. However, doctors aren't taking tonsils out like they used to, and are much more careful to ensure that it's absolutely necessary.

Caleb was a trooper! After having his blood drawn a week ago, he was pretty leery of this doctor. The doctor assured him that he didn't have any needles, so Mr. C relaxed and shared his litany of owies. That kid is a walking bruise...much like his mama as a kid! The doctor regarded each scrape and scab and deemed them to be healing nicely. But alas, they needed to draw more blood. After I showered him with stickers pulled from my bag, and the nurse brought him more stickers and bubbles, Caleb sweetly passed out stickers to everyone: the nurse, myself, James, Jon. We all got stickers! I wondered how often the nurses receive stickers from patients, and was thankful for a generous boy. (I repeat that prayer of thanks when he shares his Starbursts with me at the library story hour. We've raised him well.)

Anyway, if this is truly PFAPA, Caleb will have another episode mid-September, and we'll give it the true test of the steroid dose and see what happens!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Conversations with Caleb

Heard from the direction of the bathroom: "I'M DONE!!!"
"Caleb!" I say in a hoarse whisper as I make my way to the bathroom, "Be quiet! James is asleep!"
"But I want to HOLLER!!"
"Caleb! Hush!" This time my words are sharp, and I see him start to crumple. His lip begins to tremble and pout as he says in a much more subdued tone, "But Daddy said...but...but I wanted to holler...."
Heard from the kitchen: "Oh, that would be my fault. I told him to holler when he was done."


A few minutes later, Jon walks past the bathroom where Caleb and I are still sitting...
A small whisper: "Daddy?"
No response. Caleb makes a small chirping "Hm" sound.
A little louder: "Daddy?"
Still no response, and another chirp from Caleb, accompanied by palms upraised in a I-don't-know-why-he-doesn't-hear-me gesture.
Louder still: "Daddy!"
From the back room: "Yes Caleb?"
"You have to be quiet...James is sleeping!"
"...Okay Caleb."
Caleb looks at me with the same puzzled look as before: "He didn't say thank you! ...You need to say thank you, Daddy!"
From the back room, quietly: "Thank you! Now hush!"
Caleb to me: "What did he say?"


In the car, Caleb points out the window. "What's down that road?"
"The movie theater."
"Can we go see a movie?"
"No, they don't have any good movies."
"Hm. Maybe my movies?"
"You want to let them show your movies?"
"Yes. I think Thomas."
(Thomas the Tank Engine, one of his "favowit" shows, if you were wondering)


In the car, whispering: "Mommy, I have a secret to tell you."
"What is it?"
Still whispering: "You have to ask Daddy what is the magic word."
"Okay, I'll be sure to ask him."

(I've learned to just go with it. He'll eventually figure out how secrets work.)

At home, to Jon, "Mommy has to ask what is the magic word!"
Me: "Yes, Daddy, I'm supposed to ask you what the magic word is."
Jon, "Well, Hm...the best I know is..." and he leans down and whispers in Caleb's ear.
Caleb comes back to me with a big "I love you!"
Then a moment later..."No, that's not the magic word. It's Meeska, Mooska, Mickey Mouse!!"
(From Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, his "favowit" show at church.)


And these are conversations just from yesterday--and a shortened day, at that, since much of it was spent at church! This boy cracks me up.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Caleb's Hot Springs Adventure

While James was hamming it up on the dock in Hot Springs, Caleb had other activities in mind.

Playing a game with Daddy on the iPad

This is a favorite face of his these days. It means lots of things: I'm sad, It was an accident, I hope I don't get in trouble,....

Our friend and host, Thad, helping Caleb throw bread to the ducks in the water.

Caleb off to the boat!

Hi mom. I'm off to try something new without you. I'll be off to college before you know it.

My camera stayed with me, but Jon tells me that Caleb was pretty quiet on the boat ride, taking it all in. They got in the water and tried out tubing! Caleb seemed to have fun, and came back excited to tell me about it--mostly about how he spilled his water bottle and our friend Mary Elizabeth found a cup holder for him. It's funny what sticks in kids' minds!

Here are the fuzzy iPhone pics of my boys in the water.