Blog Background

Monday, August 31, 2009

Caleb Thomas Caulley

Caleb is due today! It's hard to believe that he has already been here 9 days...
OK, so exactly 10 days ago, on Friday, Don and I went to Picnic with the Pops at the Kentucky horse park. Some friends of ours at church had a couple of extra tickets, and we were excited at the chance for one last date before the onset of a newborn. So we packed our picnic dinner, dropped the boys off with our wonderful friend --former neighbor here in Wilmore, and off we set. After the picnic, we "enjoyed" some music from an Abba group (imitation of course). Dave and Eryn, couldn't help but think about you guys.

I was feeling a little extra miserable that night. I must say that overall, this pregnancy has probably been the best of the three. I know that is a shocker for all of you who saw me complain through the healthy low-carb diet I had to follow because of gestational diabetes. But it turned out to be such a blessing. I didn't feel so lethargic and swollen. As it turns out, I was thankful to God for my gestational diabetes. Can you believe it? Anyway, as I was saying, I was feeling pressure on my bladder... I know, duh... I'm basically 9 mo prego. But this was different. This was like major pressure. It was hurting, even though it didn't feel like contractions.
Another interlude at this point: we had told Jon David and Luke that they might be able to spend the night at our friend's house if we were too late getting home. So I had packed a little overnight bag for them and everything. They were very excited to have their first spend-the-night party with their friend (he is four years old, and they all play well together). So sure enough, by the time we got back to Wilmore, they were both asleep. I had told my neighbor that this would be a great little "run through" for the night I actually go into labor and in the event that they should need to spend the night w/her... Ha! Well, as it turns out, it was the real deal!
Don and I went to bed. A few hours later, at 3:00 A.M., I woke up with a VERY painful contraction. At first, I thought it might be a false alarm, b/c I had occasionally had an isolated painful contraction during the previous weeks.
But no... here came another one, w/rectal pressure even... uh oh... After 3:30, and after trying to throw the toiletries and other stuff into my bag between the contractions, I decided I needed to wake up Don. Mel, the following pic is in your honor. :) You are so good a/b taking pics of yourself in the most bizarre of circumstances. So here I am trying to be brave (in more ways than one) and taking a pic of myself before waking Don... I think you can tell I am in labor.

We both had decided that we were not going to wait too long to go to the hospital, since 1) it was a good 30 min drive away, and 2) Luke came w/in an hour of my hospital arrival four and a half years ago, and 3) neither one of us wanted a Jeep delivery :). So, I got Don up, he helped me finish packing and put everything we needed in the car.
OK, at this point, I need to interject again. Sorry to keep doing this, but I want to be able to remember all of these details, so I'm trying to write everything down as it comes to me. You never know, this might be good rehearsal dinner material! :)
Anyway, I need to interject that Don was awesome! He helped me practice relaxation and breathing exercises during the couple of months before labor (I was using the Bradley method book). And so during every contraction, he was coaching me through. In fact, he kept doing this until it was time to push in the hospital. He even would stop mid-conversation with the nurses to help me through it. I truly felt him with me every step of the way. Thank you, Lord, for Don Caulley! I'm so glad I married him. :)
So back to 4 A.M. We loaded up in the car. Thank you, Lord, that it was 4 A.M. and there was no traffic!! Thank you, Lord, also that the boys were taken care of!!! We called my midwife on the way. Thankfully, she was already en route b/c she had another delivery. When we got to the hospital, my midwife gave me the good news: I was 9 cm!! Wow. Talk about God working everything out!! I am so thankful that the boys were already taken care of!! I am aware of God's hand throughout this pregnancy: the timing of conception (we probably would not have picked that time to get pregnant); the spotting @ the beginning and God taking care of that; the morning sickness being better, and even subsiding for our 3 day road trip to KY; gestational diabetes as I mentioned earlier... and then the labor and delivery.
Well, unfortunately, the labor was not what I would call easy from that point on. For about an hour, I labored with painful contractions, and Don was at my side. Then, for about an hour and a half, I pushed... the progress was slow, and the midwife told me that the baby wasn't quite turned correctly... I would grab Don's arm and the nurses arm and push, and I'm talking major squeezing of their arms! I'm sure it was hard work for them just to steady me while I was pulling on their arms as if my life depended on it. My midwife had me get up on my hands and knees for a few contractions in order to turn the baby over. Finally, because my contractions were still not quite close enough, and I was not progressing enough, the midwife suggested potossin... My heart sank, and I began to lose courage. I had gone natural to this point. I was very doubtful that I could continue going natural with potossin (sp?). I asked if I could get an epidural, even though I really didn't want to. She said that if I needed it w/ the potossin, I could. Don later told me that he was interceeding for me. I believe that made a difference, b/c all of a sudden, the contractions kicked in hard and fast, and I was pushing differently. I think I had gotten on my hands and knees again... at this point, everything sort of runs together in my mind. I think the baby finally turned over into the right position. The midwife said "nevermind" to the IVs, and after about 4 or 5 more contractions (and some major pushing:), the indescribable elation of 7 lbs. 3 oz coming out of my body washed over me. I couldn't do anything but thank God. Caleb was placed on my chest. He cried, but quickly got quiet, so they suctioned his mouth and gave him a little oxygen, and he began crying again.

Jon David especially LOVES to hold his little brother. He is so loving towards him.

Luke calls Caleb "little guy." He will sometimes whisper "I love you, little guy" into his ear. It is sooooo sweet!!!
I have had to explain the whole nursing thing to the boys. Luke thought that Caleb was sucking on my belly. We went ahead and established the fact that he was sucking on my chest, not my belly. Jon David said "that is one lumpy chest, and those are some serious ribs!" I started losing it. He kept on: "When I get big, I bet I'll have some big ribs like that!" I started hollering for Don through my laughter, so that he could take him out of the room while I finished nursing.
At the risk of embarrassing my mother, I must say, and I'm sure you'll agree: She is so beautiful. Except for the fact that we look a lot alike, I don't think you would know that she is old enough to be my mother. She still has energy and vigor, and I am extremely grateful that she is here helping us right now!!! I plan to blog more about this in the next post. There is still so much to blog about...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ode to Luke

Well, it's the first day of school, part deux: Luke's turn. He goes 4 afternoons a wk, from noon to 3 ish. Don and I took him together (Jon David was in school himself, so he couldn't come). His class met in the gym first, where they interacted with their teacher, and started off their day. He got to shoot a few basketball hoops before things really got started. Don and I hung around until more children were there, and school got started. We said "bye" when it was time for us to leave. I had to walk over to him to give him a hug. He was so funny. It was so no big deal to him. Talk about a different experience! In Jon David's defense, preschool is definitely a different animal than first grade. But it was great to see Luke so relaxed, and ready to go. The first pic is of him at home.

When we picked him up, he was happy, said he had a great time, and that he got some M n M's (candy is always a winner with Luke--way to go teach!). He was so laid back about the whole thing. Jon David, Don and I kept trying to come up with new questions to ask him. Everything sounded like it went smoothly. We celebrated with ice cream. The waitress found out it was his first day, asked him a/b it, and he responded w/ "it was totally awesome." I think that pretty much sums it up! :)
Yesterday, Luke and I went to Walmart. On the way there, I heard him saying from the back seat "take your dum picture." I asked him to repeat what he had said... After he repeated it, I asked him if he said "darn". He finally clarified loud and clear "D - D - Dum!!!" "Oh, I said. Well, we don't say that, Luke. Where did you hear that?" He said he heard in on Clifford. Jetta (a character from Clifford) said it. Oh, I said, well, we're going to have to not watch that episode any more (we have several episodes on DVD). Ha! Just goes to show that no TV show is totally exempt from inappropriateness.
Well, once at Walmart I found some star wars ships (quick side note: JD has really been enjoying first grade, however still struggled for a few days in the mornings saying goodbye--not so much crying, just clinging a little too much, and saying "I don't wanna go..." Don and I decided that we would get the boys prizes if they did well and did not cling at drop off (esp JD obviously). Also, Don has been watching the Phantom Menace with the boys, and Jon David especially is SUPER into it!! I thought that something star warsish might be a good bribe... sorry for the long parenthesis). OK, so I found a pod racer ship, and an X wing fighter (yea, slowly getting the lingo. It's survival when ya got boys.) I tried to sneak them in the cart. You can guess how long it took Luke to spot them. So I tried to slough (sp?) it off and say that I wasn't sure I was going to buy them. Besides, I said, what if Jon David got the pod racer, and you were sad b/c you wanted it too?... I said maybe we should just not get them. He said "that's OK Mommy, we can ask Jon David which one he wants, and if he wants the pod racer, then I'll have the X wing fighter." Sweet Luke. I was so proud of his generous heart.

So I'm going backwards in time: starting w/most recent, and moving backwards. This past Sunday, we went to a little festival in the area. The boys and Don played a game typical to the region called "corn hole." Evidently, it's big in this area. I tried to take pics to explain. You basically have several bean bags and try to throw them in a hole cut out of a wooden plank several feet away (or several yards--if you're not JD and Luke). It reminds me of the Kentucky version of batche ball (or "petanque" for the French readers). Not so much in the actual game plan, but in that it's sort of what people play around here, on nice summer evenings when they're grilling out w/friends.

The boys have both started fall soccer. They both love it! I am so proud of them. Here they are in the back yard practicing:

But they aren't the only Caulleys playing soccer. Don has been playing with a group of Koreans. A friend of his from seminary hooked him up, and they play other teams mostly made up of Koreans and Latin Americans. Essentially, he's the only white guy. It's great. I love watching him. He is not intimidated by it at all! One funny story I have to tell on him: A few wks ago, there was a lady on the other team--Spanish speaking. Her name is Cibella. He was trying to be friendly to everyone, so at one point, he asked if her name is "Abuela" (abuela means grandmother in Spanish). She repeated it back questioningly "abuela?!" Everyone around laughed. It was cute. They took it well, and explained what her real name was.
Anyway, Don plays well, and it's fun to watch. He scores frequently. In fact, this last game, he scored 3 out of the 7 goals his team made (they won!).

This is a sandwich blog. Luke is the bread. I will end with the home visit that his teacher paid us last Thursday (Can you believe this preschool!? The teachers come to visit each of their students at home). So this was 6 days before his first day. She had several things to ask me, and she had Luke do some hands on activities to see what he was capable of, and just to get to know us. She brought her assistant along.

(Luke doesn't play the piano. She just asked him if he wanted to play. So they banged around for a little bit. It was cute.)

He is so smart! Does every Mommy think that a/b her kids? :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ode to Jon David

The agony and the ecstasy... Jon David is in first grade for the first time today as I am writing these words. For some reason, first grade is harder for me than kindergarten. It's probably due to the fact that it's all day. We had the luxury of doing half day kindergarten--both in Castle Rock, and here in Wilmore--where we finished out the school year.
The summer has been GREAT! We had such a fun time traveling, swimming, playing, eating, talking, going to the library, parks... He and Luke had 4 wks worth of swim lessons, and did GREAT! However, the past couple of wks have been a little long... August rolled around, and I was starting to really look forward to school. This past Monday, we had some errands to run, and Jon David was bored, always wondering how long everything was going to take. He asked me for food almost non-stop, he didn't listen very well to simple instructions, and I was getting very annoyed. Yesterday, I decided that if he asked for food too much, I would not give him a snack. And, in the words of Mom, he finally "put his hairy toe over the line." I was prepared. "Ok, Jon David, no snack this morning." It was quite shocking to him. No snack? He sobbed. Not for 1800 hours? (or something similarly unreasonable). Well, I said, yea, lunch is 3 hours away. (Can you begin now to catch a glimpse of the rediculousness of him having been hungry in the first place--it must have been 9:00 A.M. or something). Poor kid. His metabolism drives me NUTS sometimes!!! I know that Mom is laughing uncontrollably at the memory of me being constantly hungry too... I know, I remember, and still am frequently hungry. Everybody knows that I eat like a horse (when I don't have gestational diabetes). I guess it's payback... I also have memories of just being hungry a LOT--my stomach growling @ school, longing for a snack... what are you going to do? At some point, the kid's gotta toughen up and get used to the fact that not everyone travels around w/endless amounts of peanut butter crackers on hand, oh, and a drink too, please... Sweet boy came out of the womb hungry like this. I remember him wanting to nurse CONSTANTLY. I felt like a cow: lying on the bed, feeding my son hour after hour, minute after minute... OK, so I'm exagerating a little for effect. All of this to say that my precious 6 year old's gravy train is quickly coming to a screaching halt. Mommy has officially had enough. I kept thinking, " I can't wait for school, I can't wait for school"--well, not so much in front of him, but to myself. He is growing up. And he is growing up in many positive ways of course, too. He is getting very smart, and interacting well with his peers. He is beginning to learn how to navigate the social aspect of life, learning how to play soccer, swim, read... It's a little scary sometimes how quickly they grow up. Long story short, we were all pretty pumped about this first day of school--for a variety of reasons :). We went to see his teacher yesterday and drop off school supplies, and JD was happy about his new room, etc...
This morning finally came, and I had studied ways to get his stomach nice and full for breakfast, offering him pancakes, bacon, eggs, tea... So after a hardy breakfast, off we set: Mommy, Daddy, Luke, backpack, and everything. We arrived at the classroom and again, all was good. Jon David turned around to give us hugs, and seemed confident and ready for the day. The teacher asked Jon David if he wanted to show Daddy his desk, so instead of leaving right away, we went on in (is there some foreshaddowing going on, here?). Several other parents were in there, too. I saw one or two Moms that I recognized and chatted for a few minutes, becoming gradually aware that we needed to make an exit soon. Sure enough, I turned to take one more picture of him at his desk, and -- as you might observe -- there was a slight shadow across his face.

I gave him a goodbye hug, and made my way towards the door.
Well, I don't know if it was all of the kids he didn't know... or the lack of activity... or the fact that reality was just beginning to sink in... or the fact that he was the only one sitting as his table grouping at the time... But whatever it was, he lost it, and right around the time I made it to the door, he ran into me with an intense hug crying out "I don't want to go!" Thank goodness Don had come with us. He pried Jon David off of me, and said he would handle it. Luke and I waited in the hallway. There were so many people, we had to walk a ways down, so I couldn't hear what was going on. After a while, Don came out. He said that the teacher finally said that she would take care of it, and Don had to pry Jon David off of himself (still crying) in order to exit the room....
All of a sudden, it didn't matter how much he had pestered me the previous two weeks about not wanting to do his hooked on phonics; or asked for snacks and/or attention, and toys at the store; wanted me to tell him a story; or wanted to tell ME a story; wanted entertainment; wanted to go to a friend's house, or a friend to come over to play with him; argued with Luke; been sassy or disrespectful... All I wanted was to be sure that he was OK. I wanted to go see if he was still crying... I wasn't sure I was ready for the big school thing afterall. Don knew it, too. He kept looking at me in the hall on the way out. I finally told him to stop. I was trying really hard to suppress the tears. As soon as we got home, they all came spilling out. And I had just told a friend yesterday that I wasn't one of those sad Moms on the first day. I was ready! Well, I guess not...
Having kids is truly the biggest roller coaster I have ever been on... OK, except for dating Don, if I'm to be true to myself (you're welcome, Don). There is a nursery rhyme that goes like this:
There once was a little girl,
With a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very very good.
But when she was bad,
She was horrid.

I have often thought about that poem. The first phrase of this blog post "the agony and the ectasy" describes what it has been like to parent Jon David in a lot of ways. He is such an unbelievably wonderful child. His heart for God is incredible. He loves people and wants to do what's right. Forgive me for not elaborating more on his good qualities in this post. But when things take a down turn, ... yea, well you get the picture.

So, I take Luke to the park, talk to Mom for a while, and a friend. When I get back home, I notice that there is a message from Jon David's teacher. She said that he is fine, and that we should not worry, enjoy our day, and that she will call us if there are any problems. Thank You, Lord! God heard my anxious prayers that he would stop crying and be OK. And what a great teacher!
So all's well that ends well.
Luke's first day is a week from today. Maybe I'll write an ode to Luke, too. Anyway, my heart, stomach and other bodily functions have calmed down and are now functioning properly again. Life is good.
Again. :)
Ah... what adventures do I still have ahead of me as the Mommy of Jon David. I love you, JD!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

37 wks on Monday...

I guess it's count down time already. I can't believe it! The boys are feeling it too, I think. Luke really likes going into Caleb's room and winding up the mobile. Today, I unpacked another baby toy that he got a kick out of... Why is it that older kids like baby stuff so much? I guess some of the toys are kinda fun. They have been really sweet to help me with small things that they can do around the house, like bringing me certain tools when I'm hanging pics, dusting or cleaning the glass, even emptying out parts of the dishwasher. They are really growing up. I have had to say "no" more often to things like lifting Luke onto the swing, moving heavy things, wrestling w/the fam, etc... Sometimes, if I say that I can't do something, Luke will say "it's because you're pregnant." The word pregnant sounds so funny coming out of his mouth. :)

Jon David starts school on Wednesday, and Luke the following Wednesday. If the baby holds off until his due date, I'll have 4 afternoons a wk totally to myself for about a wk and a half!!! I am so thankful for the timing of school and Caleb's arrival. Lately, I have been scurrying to get baby clothes washed, and the baby's room ready. Don has been GREAT. He has come home and moved boxes for me, put the baby bed together, helped with the boys, gone big shopping for me, and grilled out many times for dinner.
He is becoming quite the intelligent nerd, taking Greek 2. :) He is really enjoying it, and I love seeing him so enthusiastic about it.

Sometimes the days get a little long with Don in classes and/or studying all day. And with me having a harder time being energetic, I think Jon David and Luke get a little stir crazy. Their swim lessons are over now, but sometimes, we go to the YMCA pool. Sometimes, we go to the park--thankfully it is still usually pleasant in the mornings here. We went to the library last wk. Sometimes, I watch them ride their bicycles on the front sidewalk. Below are some pics of them playing with their bows and arrows from Mimomo in the yard. We have played several games of Yatzee, Uno, I think we played Ants in the Pants one day, Bingo, Hullabaloo... The boys have also gotten really good at finding different ways to set up the Thomas train tracks. They enjoy watching TV, of course, but their favorite lately has been playing Curious George computer games on

I have been trying to do some learning time with them this summer, too. Jon David has completed half of the first grade hooked on Phonics, and Luke did an addition workbook. They have both done well, but I think after doing it for about a month, they are over it now, which I guess is OK since they're about to start school anyway.
Back to gestational topics, I have decided to go with a midwife this time. I'm excited. I'm nervous about labor and delivery overall... I'm just trying to prepare myself for the pain again and everything. If you think about it, please pray for me, for a smooth labor and delivery. Also, please pray for a healthy baby. I don't know if it's just b/c I'm older, or maybe I've forgotten that I had these same worries w/the other two, but I sometimes have nagging fears that something will be wrong with this one. Please pray that God will give me peace, that this baby will be healthy, and that I will love this one as much as the other two no matter what!!


My Blog List