Friday, January 30, 2009

who are we to say a child's life would be too difficult?

I saw this on Val's blog and thought it was an excellent way to send a message to lawmakers that there are some excuses people use for abortion that are simply not good enough or acceptable (e.g. being born into a disadvantaged home, an unwed mother, etc) and that there is no limit to any child's potential, despite his/her upbringing.

P.S. turn off the music

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hope. And no, I don't mean my name.

I almost don't dare say this out loud, for fear of jinxing us...but there is a small possibility that a solution to Wyatt's night terrors may be within sight. My insightful father-in-law, John, had mentioned that some children suffer from something akin to sleep apnea, which can at times trigger nightmares or night terrors. Since then, I've tried to pay more attention to Wyatt when he's sleeping soundly. I can't say I've heard him actually stop breathing, but I can hear him snoring loudly and the air seems to almost struggle to come in and out. Today I took Carson to the pediatrician for his ears (which are still infected...we're trying one more antibiotic, but there's a 50/50 chance that by Valentine's Day our baby will have tubes in his ears.. So sad.), and while we were there I asked the dr. to look at Wyatt's throat and ears to see how he was doing during this miserable cold season. The doctor said there was no sign of infection or redness in either his throat or his ears, but he did take note of Wyatt's gigantic, monstrous-sized tonsils. He asked how Wyatt breathed at night. I mentioned the conversation John and I'd had and Dr. Black completely agreed that this was worth looking into. I've made an appointment with an Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor for Friday morning.

I hate to build up hope within myself, but I just can't help it. Three years with a child that sleeps (or doesn't sleep) like a newborn, only louder and angrier, has taken it's toll. I've felt very discouraged of late, as though my prayers have been hitting the ceiling and that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Sleep deprivation takes a lot out of a person. Ironically, Brett and I were talking in bed just last night about how the past three years have drained us. I feel empty, as though emotionally, and at times even physically, I feel I have very little left to give. I can't imagine what price parents have paid who have children with demanding physical or emotional needs. I keep thinking about Cal and Ruth, best friends of my parents, who have earned sainthood with the nearly-forty years of devoted love and care they've given their daughter, Julie, who had as a toddler developed a high fever and suffered severe brain damage. So yes, I know our situation could be worse. I know I should be more patient and have more faith. But to go so long without feeling the comfort of the spirit encouraging me to even just endure has left me feeling desperate. And now the very idea that a possible resolution might come to pass was overwhelming.

I wept the entire drive home from the doctor.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

3..2..1..Happy New Year!

To help us ring in the new year, we invited some very FUN and fabulous friends from the neighborhood over for a party. Some friends were new, some not-so-new, but now they are all dear to our hearts! It was pretty low-key...just games and food...but wonderful to spend that time with people so worth being around. We wanted them to feel free to invite their kids, and we also wanted our kids to have fun on New Year's Eve, so we did something we've never done for a party before: we hired a sitter. Cami is our kids' favorite "night-time" sitter and I say selfishly NO, I WILL NOT GIVE YOU HER NUMBER! We want her all to ourselves! She rode herd on the kids up in the playroom, feeding them treats, playing games with them, and helping them have a good time. It was a bit of a splurge to hire a sitter on a holiday, but let me just say it was WELL-WORTH IT! I highly recommend it! And in the end our friends that brought their kids generously pitched in--thanks guys, that was certainly not expected! Thanks for celebrating '08 and welcoming '09 with us! Maybe we'll have to do it again next year!
So 6 years ago, our friends Jesse & Ely introduced us to a the New Year tradition of eating 12 grapes (one for each month of the year) within the first minute for good luck..Here's Jenny, Brandon, Dave, and Heather getting those grapes down so their wishes could come true! Technically, it wasn't midnight (seriously, how can anyone with kids stay up that late? We counted down at 10:00. We might be pansies, but at least we're well-rested ones!) I wish I would have gotten more pictures, but we were too busy having fun!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Christmas Eve & Christmas Morning '08

One tradition I remember my family doing several years when I was younger was turning off all the lights in the house and only having candlelight coming from many, many candles. With my young children, I'm a little too nervous to follow this tradition completely. But thanks to the beautiful centerpiece we got from Faith and Les, we were able to eat our Christmas Eve dinner just from the soft glow of the Christmas tree and the light of the centerpiece candle. It was really quite magical and the kids l-o-v-e-d it! Maybe we've started a new tradition of our own...

Did I just hear Santa's sleigh outside??? Quick, kids! Get upstairs to bed! they are from Christmas morning. By 6 a.m. I couldn't stand it any longer and Brett let me get the kids up! I was just too excited! We'd told them they had to stay in their rooms until 7:00, and being the sweet kids they are, they were being obedient, but Halle and Wyatt were already awake when I went to get them!
Wyatt was so excited to get one of their favorite-of-favoritest movies, "George of the Jungle"! He even did a little dance to celebrate.
Wyatt Earp?
Wyatt was so antsy for Brett to open up the gift Wyatt had bought for him at the dollar store: Cookie Dough mix. Made with artificially-flavored chocolate chips. YUM-MY!
John and Dixie gave us something so great...
tickets to see WICKED at Capitol Theatre this spring!
Dixie's so clever...the note about the tickets was attached to this
awesome Halloween decoration!

Every year Brett gets me a new calendar. It's something I look forward to receiving from each Christmas--he always chooses something beautiful. This year it was Robert Duncan. And that little purple envelope? Oh...nothing special...only a MASSAGE GIFT CERTIFICATE!!!! Thanks, hon!

2008 will be remembered as the year we realized our daughter watches too much "Extreme Home Makeover". Her reaction to every single gift was uber-dramatic and over-the-top, "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!"
I love this picture below. It's that moment that every parent waits for at Christmastime.
Halle's really gotten into the idea of cooking lately. My mom made her the most adorable apron. It's seriously soooooo stinkin' cute! Halle had been using an old Strawberry Shortcake one that I'd had when I was little, but she was kind of outgrowing it. I love this because it's her size, it's perfect for a girl, but Halle loves it because it doesn't look "baby-ish". Thanks, Mom! She also gave her this darling gift bag with brownie mix and a mini-spatula in it.
The boys got this tent from does wonders for the imagination!

Carson loved his farm

our amateur photo shoot for Christmas cards...

The kids had these bold, colorful fall sweaters that I just loved...and I wanted them for our Christmas card photo shoot. It's so difficult to get a shot with 3 children each looking good (smiling, hands and feet where you want 'em, etc)...I think we shot about 85 pictures. Here are some of the good and the not-so-good...but even if they weren't great, you can tell we were having a great time! If it weren't for Brett's parents and Aunt Heidi helping, I don't think we would have gotten a usable one. And thanks to Kami, my sweet friend, for her skills, the perfect one came together!

Brett and I had not intended on being in the picture, but when it was realized we were all wearing red, we were "forced" (I made Brett change into one of his dad's red shirts, though...I was not sending out a card with a Diamond backs t-shirt on it. In the end it didn't matter...the winning photo ended up being only the kids.)

Do we really have to hug our sister?

This is so Wyatt. Even when he was a baby, it was hard to get a good picture of him when he was laughing or smiling big...he always got too excited and would wave his arms around!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Carson, Today you are 2!

I'm learning very quickly that having a December birthday in the family is a challenge to say the least. I've come to the conclusion that for our family the best way to celebrate is as early in the month as possible. So what if the U.S. Government doesn't recognize his birthday until Dec. 22nd? The first weekend in December was good enough for us! And best of all, we weren't yet competing with busy holiday schedules!
Open Wide! Tishamingo coming through!
Our favorite Great-Grandparents!
Part of our birthday gift to Carson was a Diego jeep and figurine. For the next two weeks, wherever Carson went, Diego went, too. Even mealtimes.
"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson