Saturday, February 23, 2013

Be careful, little ears...

I have been struck by how much Caleb hears. He may not understand it all, but he listens and remembers. Of course, there are the things he repeats that I wish he had not heard...or maybe that I wish I had not said. But it is so cool to hear truth come from such young lips!

Here is Caleb singing his Awana Cubbies theme song.

Caleb prays the same prayer every time he prays: Thank you, God, for a great day, and for helping Mommy and Daddy feel better.

Recently, we asked him to pray something different. After all, Mommy and Daddy were not sick any more. And he said, "I'm praying that you'll feel better from your sin!"

Huh. Oh. Well, keep praying for that, then!

He has branched out to pray other things. Sometimes it's funny, often sweet. And every once in awhile, a reminder of how much he listens. A few nights ago, it was, "Thank you, God, for a great day, and for helping Mommy and Daddy feel better. And please, God, we don't deserve you, but we need you."

In church on Sundays, he often answers the pastor's rhetorical questions.

Bro. Doug: "Do we follow others, or do we follow Christ?" (pause for dramatic effect)
Caleb, from the pew: "CHRIST!"

And now that we've been doing Cubbies for a semester, he's got quite a few verses tucked into his brain...or at least snippets of each one. His favorite seems to be, "Jesus is the resurrection and the life." But it's just as easy to recall, "All have sinned" or "God loved us and sent His Son" when we're trying to explain things.

I don't say all these things to say what a spiritual child we have; he's a "pleaser" and would probably remember whatever he thought was important to us. He's too young to understand much of what he says. However, it is such a reminder for me, as a parent, that it is never too early to start talking about the truth of Christ! It's good for him, and it's good for us, too!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Reminder That I Am Not In Control

I'm not sure how to start this off. It's not fun or light-hearted. But I have two reasons for sharing. One, because it's not fun or light-hearted. I never want to give the impression that our lives are peachy, and that our faith in God is only because everything goes so well all the time. And two, because I need people to know. I don't want a lot of sympathy notes or casseroles. I just want people to know.

Two weeks ago I had a miscarriage.

I was about five weeks along, which means we'd known about a week. I already had my announcement blog written, as well as a list of things to add to my Amazon wish list once it was "official."

Last time we announced to family, we'd only found out that very morning. This time, since Caleb is older and more aware of things, we'd decided to wait to tell family members until our first doctor visit at 8 weeks or so.

The pregnancy started out differently from the other two, with spotting. I'd read that could be normal, and a phonecall to the doctor confirmed that. The spotting stopped, but resumed a few days later, this time more like real bleeding. Of course, it was a Friday afternoon, so I worried and Googled all weekend. We also called our parents to let them know what was going on, so they could join us in praying. By Monday, I was sure that I was miscarrying, and that was that.

However, at Monday's appointment, my doctor suggested that I might have sub-chorionic bleeding. That can be problematic in and of itself, but it meant that what I was experiencing could right itself, unlike a miscarriage. I regained hope that the pregnancy would make it.

On Monday, and again on Wednesday, I gave blood to test for HCG levels (pregnancy hormone). By Thursday, my bleeding had mostly stopped, and without any of the cramping or huge clots I had read would occur in a miscarriage. I told myself that the doctor had been right about the sub-chorionic bleeding, and that it was already healing, but an afternoon phonecall relaying my abysmal (and falling) HCG levels confirmed my fears.


The nurse said that what was done, was done. I was no longer pregnant, and thankfully there would be no need for further procedures or tests. As a matter of fact, had this happened 30 years ago, I would have assumed my cycle was weird for the month, and never suspected pregnancy.

When we heard the news, I really didn't feel anything. I didn't cry. I was grateful to know, one way or the other. The chipper little BabyCenter 6-week email didn't bother me; I just logged into my account to delete my third child I'd set up on their site. Just like that.

I wondered if I was just pushing down the grief--that maybe it would surface one day, and I'd be a ball of tears. So far (so far...) this hasn't happened. I've known many of my friends who have miscarried--some very recently. That, combined with the almost constant spotting/bleeding during the pregnancy, somehow protected my heart from being too certain that this baby was going to make it. And you know, God IS in control. I trust that with all my heart, and I trust that He has a good plan for me, and for my family. He has shown that to be true over and over again in my life, and I don't doubt Him on this one.

It's a good reminder that I am not in control: I cannot will things to happen in my life that I wish would happen.

It's also a good reminder of what's important. So many times when we were going through that week of uncertainty, as I listened to a minor complaint (that seemed major to the person complaining), I wanted to say, "Don't you realize how trivial that is? Do you realize I am losing my child inside of me, right now, and I can't do anything about it?"

And I guess that comes back to why I feel the need to write this post, instead of just letting things be. It just seems--though it was only a few moments in my life--that it's something I will always think of. Though it played itself out so quietly and quickly, it was significant.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

This year was our first time ever to be a part of a Valentine's Day party. We have recently been a part of a playgroup, and it has been so much fun. That playgroup got together for a Valentine's pizza party, and almost everyone was able to attend...which added up to 20 kids or more! It was a bit chaotic, but the boys had a great time. I think the best part was the anticipation of it.

We were only supposed to wrap the Valentine's box, and then decorate it at the party, but Caleb was very anxious to use the stickers we bought for decorating.
Caleb's car is #1, the biggest and fastest!

Switching sock monkeys!

Taking his time to find just the right sticker.
 We also attempted a homemade Valentine, which I confess it did not even occur to me that boxed Valentines even existed until we'd gotten all the supplies for this fun craft. I also gotta tell you, I loved it! Sometimes (a lot of times) I convince myself that my life just has too much in it to take time for creativity, and I forget that creativity often makes me a better, happier person! I was quite happy cutting and pasting on Tuesday night.

Following the template from the Family Fun magazine.

Yep, it was a mess!

The clothes pins are holding everything in place while it all dries.

All done and stacked into a box, ready to distribute. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see it so neatly packed in! Seriously.

"You're fan-tastic! Love, Caleb & James"
Tada! It opens up to a heart fan! The kids thought it was so fun at the party!

My two boys, at Hope Landing on the morning of the party.

At the pizza place for lunch. Someone's excited about all the goings-on!

James is ready for food!

"Take a picture of the bubbles, Mommy!"

James checking out the pizza.

Caleb dives in

And so does James! This is huge for James to try pizza!

He only ate about four bites, but I was so proud of him!

Caleb passes out his fan to one of his favorite friends, Lilah.

Dropping it in Lucas's box.

We came home with quite a box of goodies!
To top it off, Caleb enjoyed cupcakes and passing out the last of his Valentine's at Awana on Wednesday night. I don't think he even realized we'd been celebrating a day early, but he didn't care. I didn't either. It was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

James Walks the Dog

James is working with a new therapist at Hope Landing. Her name is Lucy. She wears a bandana to work every day, sleeps in the corner when she's not with a client, and she loves dog treats. She's a beautiful Lab mix, owned by another of James's therapists, Suzanne.

At their first official meeting, James was fairly nonplussed by Lucy. He had seen her at a campout before (and thoroughly broke her in by screaming his excitement in her face), and apparently books were more interesting on this particular day. Later, however, he got a chance to walk her down the hallway. Gena (his OT) held one hand, and he held Lucy's leash in the other. Usually, his one-handed walking is fairly wobbly, but I loved watching him walk with such confidence!

He's taking more independent steps each day. Last week, we recorded 9 steps in a row in Physical Therapy with Sam, and he repeated it several times! This week, we've been laid up with sickness, and James has been particularly pitiful about walking, but even then, he's been more daring about taking his own steps. It's fun to see!

Oh, see, you say? (Oh say, can you see?) Here's a little video of James walking the dog!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Thanksgiving 2012

My in-laws have lived in their home for several years, and yet we have somehow never had a family holiday there! We had to adjust a little--our party of four got to stay in a nearby house, but we really enjoyed being all together. It's always fun when the Norvell men get together, and we "add-ons"--the Norvell women--well, we have a lot of fun, too!
James cheering for the iPad.
Playing outside at a neighbor's house

The diner is open for business!

Caleb pulls the whole mound of flowers, roots and all

Nana helps Caleb make rainbow cupcakes for his birthday

Nana and Granddad with all the grandsons

James is an accessory guy.

The cupcakes are baked! Now time for icing and sprinkles!

Story time with Granddad

Caleb being silly

Granddad loves his boys

...ALL of them!

Nana with Caleb and James

Throw Calvin in there and see if we can get the shot!

Father-son time

It's party-time!

Caleb opens his super hero cape!

And a bow and arrow set...just what he wanted

Ooh, a nerf gun from Uncle Dave and fam

Uncle Dave (our police officer) explains gun safety

The masked avenger!

Our family photo