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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Caleb: 3 months old!

Above: Caleb at two 1/2 months.

Caleb turned 3 months old on Sunday, November 22nd. So here is a recap of his last week as a two month old:

We started off the week with pinkeye for JD and Luke. JD stayed home from school, and Luke doesn't go to school on Mondays. So here we all were at the house again! Well, a package from Aunt Sarah arrived and saved the day! :) She had sent dress up clothes, complete with hats and other accessories. They had a ball!

Notice Jon David's arm in the background. Sigh.

Always the clown.
They played as if they had a mission to do (with the Ninja and army outfits). I would send them on certain missions, and they would carry them out. So Jon David had to write a note at one point, letting me know their status. All very official, you know.

Translation: Something is not right. Enemies are coming.
The rest of the week was a recovery time. The boys attended school most days. It's been a little slow getting back to normal. But God is healing us. If you are reading this, please pray for Caleb. He now has the sniffles! :(

As another random note, Saturday night, I was reading them the story of Noah. There was a discussion question at the end asking "how do you know if someone is old." Jon David responded saying that they are wrinkled, they pull their pants up, they have gray hair (I think), and comfy couches in their houses. I was cracking up!

On Saturday afternoon, we went on a hike. It was beautiful. It did me a lot of good to get out. I soaked it up.

We saw a turtle on the way back. Jon David wanted to take him home.
Is it just me, or does Jon David look really old all of a sudden?

Sweet Luke Jombers. He loves to hike. He's like a machine. He kept with Don in the lead the whole way back.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A day and a half

(Wednesday) Morning: pretty good. Take Luke to school @ noon: Caleb does better in car seat (he has been crying a LOT more in his car seat during the school commutes). Don and I decide to go to Jon David's school for his Veterans Day program at school. Jon David doesn't even perform as it turns out. We stay from 1ish until 2:15 ish. No JD. He and his class just sat in the bleachers and sang songs with the rest of the assembly. Hmmmm. Not the greatest communication by the school, maybe? So glad we sacrificed to come to this. Caleb ended up doing OK during the first half or so. I tried nursing him--oh yea, IN the auditorium surrounded by kids and parents (Mel, thanks a MILLION for the nursing apron!!!). Then Don walked around with him. Finally, I tried to nurse him again on the bench in the hall way. And all this for nothing!!! :( (btw, Luke was at his school during this time).

Jon David gets home from school in an OK mood, but is pretty high strung. He makes a mess of his snack, comes to talk to me while I'm trying to put Caleb to sleep, and then begs to take a shower b/c he got ketchup in his hair. ????? Thankfully Luke's afternoon was a little less eventful.
I was determined to try going to church tonight. 40 minute commute there. Caleb is already overtired. Doesn't really fall asleep the entire way. Chooses to scream instead. Traffic seemed especially bad and annoying and horrible. Eating dinner goes well: a very nice person held Caleb for us so that I could eat (@ church). He starts getting upset as church time approaches. I try to nurse him to sleep in the nursing room. He falls asleep. Put him in the car seat so that I can go to class. He promptly wakes up. So I check his diaper. He is happy as a lark while I do this! Really!? So I try to nurse him on the other side. Wide awake. So, I decide to just try to enjoy church as best I can. Maybe he will be happy. He was happy for about 10 min. Then got grumpy. So I took him into the nursing room again. He laughed with me a little bit in the mirror. I love his laugh! Then went back into church just in time for it to end. Another nice person wanted to hold him after church. I told her I would love for her too, and that I would also like to go to the bathroom. In the bathroom, I looked down at my shoes. This is what I saw:

And this, ladies and gentlemen, sums up my day. :)

Today (Saturday) was CRAZY!!! I don't even think I want to go into detail too much, b/c I'm exhausted just thinking a/b it. Maybe some things are best just forgotten. Yesterday was crazy too. I was single Mom'n it b/c Don had the famous surgery! Which I am very thankful for. Suffice it to say that this small town sometimes drives me nuts letting the train come through main street right during my commute from one school to the next w/a screaming infant. Yes, I reached my hand back to let Caleb suck on my finger WHILE driving back through our neighborhood, detouring around a school bus, and making it into the car lane for Luke's pick up. And yes, I took Caleb out of his seet and nursed him in the front seat while sitting in the car lane waiting for Luke, w/Jon David in tow...
Today we went to the Main Street Veterans' Day Parade. It was cute and fun, and Caleb fell asleep in his front carrier! Life was grand:

The boys got lots of candy and loved that, of course!! It was like trick-or-treating all over again.

Small town, America. Gotta love it.

Afterwards, we went over to a friend's house for a lunch playdate. It was a good break from being around our house so much. And Don was able to rest.

But tonight was a different story... dinner... Bama game... try to put boys in bed... Read to them while Caleb cries. JD gets a nose bleed. Don lets JD and Luke sit with him while I try to settle down Caleb. No use. Don helps get older boys to bed. I let Caleb cry off and on for about an hour. Try nursing, rocking... Finally he goes to sleep. Today kicked my tail!!! Thank You, Lord, that it is ovah!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fall in Wilmore

Fall is my favorite season here. The colors are brilliant. And the weather is so nice! Today, I think the high was 71. We have cold nights and mornings, but then it often warms up. I finally got a few pics with some leaves, but they don't do them justice at all! And the most brilliant ones have already fallen.

My new little rebel

Here is a little tid bit a/b Luke. I think he is still getting used to Caleb. He loves him so much, but I think he is trying to find his place in the family. One day recently, I was nursing Caleb and trying to help Luke get ready for school at the same time. He was being ornery and putting off obeying a little bit in his own sweet Luke way. I told him to go put some chap stick on. He came back announcing that he put some on his cheeks and in his hair as well as his lips. I am very disappointed to say that I do not have a picture of this, but sure enough, he had some nice pink streaks in his hair. Yes, this is Luke James! Ha! Since this happened right before leaving for school, he had to go to school with some pink hair.
He has also developed his own little language for Caleb. For some reason, he got to where he said "Dar ndi dar dar dar dar, Caleb." Then he started using the "t" sound to start off each word. So, for instance, if he would say "Caleb, do you want to watch Star Wars with me?" It sounded like this: "Taleb, too too tant to tatch tar tars tith tee?" And it graduated to "t" sounding nonsense. For a while, he made a little clicking sound with his mouth that made him sound kinda like a bushman or something. By the time I got him on video, he sounded a little different:

Yesterday, I had to get on to him because he kept on asking me to play Go Fish with me while I was on the phone. I really do try to play games with him every once in a while, but this time, I couldn't: I was talking on the phone. He kept insisting. Finally, I told him to go to his room, and to close the door (this usually means Time Out). So he went to his room, and slammed his door shut! Well, we had to "visit" about that, as Mom says. It's always so sad when he realizes he messed up. He is so penitent! Honestly, it's hard to be tough on him at all. He has such a sweet nature. This stage may be due to new baby, or the fact that he had the flu and was sick for so long (post sickness syndrome :).
Well, later that morning, he had gotten the Go Fish cards organized in front of Caleb's bouncy seet, and was playing Go Fish with Caleb! He had a stack of cards that was Caleb's, and was even talking for him. It was so cute! My heart melted. Sweet boy.

Here are a few miscellaneous catch up pics:

Caleb Thomas: 2 months old.
Jon David looks so old in this pic!! And a little bit like Alfalfa? :)

Don putting Caleb to sleep.
Jon David and Caleb (2 months).

Bath time.
Luke riding his bike.
Caleb hanging out while Luke plays outside.

Luke and Caleb Thomas (2 months).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

OCD? and recovering, I hope: an essay. or novelette.

I probably should have posted this closer to Halloween, 'cause it's a little scary. This is intended to be a glimpse into my brain. Why, you ask? Good question. I guess because this is my blog, and, well, I find it amusing to write. Or, maybe at some point somebody might feel a little less weird just knowing how weird I am.
Well, they don't call me the 'lyzer for nothin. Annalyzer. Haha. A nickname that I acquired in my younger years, and haven't yet outgrown. You have heard it said that "your strength is your weakness." I am no exception. Coupled with my tendency to analyze, I am also blessed with a perfectionist personality. You can imagine what a great combination those two things are. :)

When a family trip is coming up, I prepare far in advance to the actual departure. Typically, a week before the trip begins, I start the planning, packing process: at the beginning, this is just trying to get caught up on the laundry. In the next couple of days, I go through the boys' clothes and hold out the ones that I want to take in a pile, so that they can mostly wear what we are NOT taking until we leave. Then I get suitcases out, start filling them up, make a store list, start a "do not forget list." Yea, I know, a little nauseating isn't it? Towards the end, I usually plan bags or backpacks for the boys to have for the car. These will include toys, books, crayons, etc... that they already have, and also usually a few cheap new things from the Target $1.00 section or something. Finally, I prepare a bag with snacks, videos, and such that I keep up front with me to use when the right time comes. The positive side of all of this crazy deliberate planning is that on the road, things usually go pretty smoothly--for a while anyway. The negative side is that the boys come to expect a lot. They are spoiled, you might say. :) If things don't go well, I often blame myself, wonder what I could have done better to avoid certain catastrophes, and drive Don crazy in the process.
I recognize that God has blessed me with my personality traits. I am thankful for theses aspects of myself. For example, they come in pretty handy when planning a nursery schedule or heading up children's ministry events. Though I might drive people crazy checking off all of my to-do list, making sure that all the proverbial ducks are in a row.
I have really struggled with overanalization when it comes to relationships (in high school and college: with boys; since I've been married; with my own peers). Granted, many people struggle with stuff like this at some point.
Probably less common is my tendency to worry about sickness. When I was younger, I could hardly get excited about traveling anywhere, because I immediately wondered if I was going to be sick... how sick I was going to be... how long the trip was going to last? Would I be able to sit in the front? If there were trains and airplanes involved, then I was usually doomed. Shoot, I would start turning green just thinking about it. I'm really not kidding. The thought of carsickness was enough to make me car sick! I can't tell you how many trips started off with me feeling sick before we even got into the car!! (Mom and Dad, you are my witnesses. :O )

As I write this, I am struggling with the fact that I did not turn in our library books on time... 20 cent fine per day per book! btw, does that seem a little excessive to you? Maybe it's just me. Anyway, I just returned 10 books (did I miscount?), and realized that my account says that I have 11 checked out in my name. Unfortunately, no one will check the drop box until tomorrow... so I won't know for sure until tomorrow if I just miscounted, or if indeed I am short one book... and then 20 more cents to pay. And also, where is the bloomin' book? No tellin!! In Jon David's bed? In the car? In the toy box? What if I don't find it? What then? What if I end up having to pay $30.00 or something for a lost book!!!
So there ya have it. I am miserably analyzing something that will probably resolve itself quickly. And why? Because one, I have to analyze in order to solve the problem in my head, and two, I have made a mistake, and so my brain is not computing. It has to have perfection in order to operate correctly. Such a miserable existence ( grossly exagerating just for fun).

This brings me to the main point of this essay. I was inspired to write about this because I have felt myself actively fighting against this part of my nature since Caleb has been born. I think the reason is in part due to the fact that after Jon David and Luke were born, these aspects of myself got a little out of control. I would agonize over what to do at almost every moment of the day, it seemed. If they were crying, I had to figure out why. If they were not sleeping well, surely there was something I was doing wrong, and worse: it became my mission to fix it. Although the pressure I was putting on myself was too much, I didn't realize that I had the option of letting it go. I truly thought that if I had the right formula, and put it into practice, then my babies would be perfectly content. And if this didn't happen, then it was simply my fault, and I would have to perform better next time. I began to see everything in a negative light. Sadly, Don became my dumping grounds. My world was cloudy most of the time, and I'm quite sure I had some mild depression going on.
I was determined that things would be different this time. God had taught me so much during the praying period before pregnancy, during 9 months gestation, and through the actual birth. I didn't want the divine groove to end. :)
So I decided that I needed to try to reverse most of my thought processes. Instead of trying to time everything out from the beginning--feedings, sleepings, play times, etc... I tried my dead level best to just go with the flow. For me, this meant that if someone (like Don) suggested an idea that I had not had time to analize, I should just do it anyway. Give it a try. What was there to loose, really? If something was not working, just try something. Don't necessarily have to have a reason, don't put in through the 'lyza. Just do it. Just live life. Just enjoy Caleb. If I don't know what it's time for, and Caleb's crying, just pick something and do it. And if it doesn't work, don't put myself go through self deprecating thoughts until I feel like a failure. I gotta tell ya, the reprograming still doesn't always come naturally. But I am so much happier. Also, now that Caleb is a little older, it is a little easier to predict what needs to be done.
The cool thing is that, just as my perfectionism and overanalization used to bleed over into almost all aspects of my life; my victorious moments now also spill over. I do not expect to ever be rid of these traits. I definitely still struggle, and I'm sure this seems silly, absurd, or both to some. But hopefully, I can use them constructively. I can decide that I'm going to clean only part of one bathroom today, and not both, because, well, just because. And it doesn't cause the whole system to fail and for me to become discouraged. Lord, thank you for working on me! Please help me not to fall back into my old ways!
Hello, my name is Anna, and I am recovering from OCD.

Oh, btw, I woke up this morning after having written the library paragraph. The extra library book was on the boys' side table. Yea, it still feels good when things fall into place. :)


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