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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Smatterings of January



It snowed here at the beginning of the month. The boys' schools closed for a couple of days. It was fun! Not bad for a southern state. :)
It is snowing again today! Don and the boys are out sledding. Fun times.






I try to get the boys outside when it's not too cold outside-- Caleb too. Many days, it's just too cold, but we have had some nice days, too. Below, Caleb at 4 months:


Luke is coming into his own. He really seems to be maturing all of a sudden. He has struggled a little bit with getting really emotional when he gets frustrated. He also goes through stages of being clingy to me. I think a lot of it is lingering adjustment to not being the "baby" anymore. But here lately, he seems to be moving past it. I am so proud of him. He looks older, taller, healthy. He seems happy again. And that makes me happy too, of course! One of his most recent hits is the following that he came up with during one of our doctor's visits with Caleb:
Luke: Yoda's like a pickle.
Me: what makes you say that?
Luke: Well, he's green, and he's an oval (shape). Later: well, except for his ears. His ears don't make him look like an oval.

He and Jon David have been experimenting with different ways to sing happy birthday. (I think they were inspired over Christmas by their cousin, Nicholas :). Here is one of Luke's most recent versions:
"Happy birthday to you. You're one thousand and two. You look like a monkey and your beard looks like a shoe." Um, I think the rest is something like "10 years later I turn into Darth Vader, and then I turned back into Anakin again"?... Anyway, it all comes back to star wars eventually. ;)

The other day I told the boys that a friend was coming over to see us. Jon David asked if she had any kids. I said no, and that she is not married. Luke then asked if she had a husband. :)

Thursday of this week was a Luke day. We played Chutes and Ladders, memory, Candy Land.
I love that kid.

Jon David also has been maturing quite a bit. He is learning how to handle friends, how to act around adults more. Sometimes I get glimpses into that brain of his, and I'm amazed to realize how much he is learning. Two days ago, he had to pull two "tickets" (for behavior) at school... Would you like to guess what the tickets were for? Talking. Huh... well, there's no tellin' where he gets that tendency. ;) He is learning to assert himself when someone is not kind to him. He is learning to be OK with the world when things don't always go his way. He is dealing with car sickness better. The other day he said this to Don: 40 is a pretty important number in the bible, isn't it? Don asked him why. Jon David said because Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, and it rained on the ark for 40 days. I am so proud of him. I love that kid, too. ;)

While I'm on a bragging roll, here are some highlights of their report cards:

This next one makes my heart melt. I can picture Luke doing this!... I asked him if he sometimes gets embarrassed when his teacher asks him a question in front of the class. He said yes... sweet boy. Well, let's just say that he and Jon David have different personalities. ;)

Well, after the ambulance incident, things settled down a little with Caleb. He eats prunes every day, and he has pooped much more often, even if he is still not very regular. Thankfully, he seems to enjoy the way they taste: (4 months old)


Don has finished his Hebrew class. He did great! He got a good report card too! ;0
I really seem to be enjoying various punctuation mark faces... Ha!

As for me, I am doing very well too. I am working on trying to be more positive on days when I don't want to be. I have a tendency to focus on whatever negative thing is available. God is really teaching me a lot, too. I hope I can learn and get a good grade! Smiley face again. I am so thankful that God is so full of grace.
I feel like He dropped a neat opportunity into my lap a couple of weeks ago. I am now watching a couple of children from Jon David's school a few days a week. They are very sweet.
Other than that... well.

Allright, well here it comes. If I didn't mention the wii, I could not accurately portray the month of January in the Caulley household. I have gone through various emotions about it. Right now, I have made peace with it, I think. When we first received the gift, the boys were on an emotional high. However, the honeymoon abruptly ended when they were unable to complete "missions" like they wanted to. Luke would cry, Jon David would get angry. Wii wii wii. All the way home. It was not pretty. I gave serious thought to taking Grandaddy up on his offer to keep it at his house for a while. Then we got home, and were able to monitor them and lay some more defined ground rules about the length of time they could play, etc... Things got a little better. Then, sometimes Jon David and Luke would get upset with each other because they each wanted to do different missions, and they each have different strategies... We have had days that they have gotten obsessed with it, and we say "no wii!" We try to encourage them to play the old fashioned way, you know, with actual toys!-- inside or out. At times I have felt like it has overtaken their young lives. We have had brief conversations about how God is much more important! I would say that overall, after having a month of playing some almost every day, they are doing much better. I use the timer a lot, and they don't throw fits about stopping. They aren't the only ones enjoying the wii... There is another... See if you can guess who that is! Anyway, we are all learning how to handle this new part of our routine, and it's been fun. In some ways, I feel like I keep closer tabs on how much "screen time" they have. They know that they need to save up for the wii, so they won't watch TV as much. It's still a challenge, though. Especially on days like yesterday when the high temp outside was like 24?!
Luke really gets into it--with his whole body. It's so funny to watch! Especially when he was first learning, he was hilarious. The first two video clips capture snippets of this. The rest of the clips are just glimpses into what our life has looked like this month. Thank you, Lord for a great start to 2010--eventful, and full of God's blessings.

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Below, Caleb: 4 months.
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Writer's Blog

This was my Christmas present to myself this year. I love it! As cheesy as it sounds, I have already read my blog book cover to cover. I don't know if this shows how much I really like it, or that I'm a little too self-absorbed, or both... :) Anyway, I would recommend this to anyone wanting to use their blogging as a journalling/ scrapbooking substitute. My only complaints are that the pictures don't always match up with the text. So if you label your photos, they might not always appear in the order of your narration. But they are always attached to the correct post at least. So that's good. Yay!



Above: back cover.
Below: front cover.
There is a link to Blog2Print at the bottom of my blog page if you scroll all the way to the bottom.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

9--1--1 Sabatical -- shmatical!

9--1--1. Yes, you read right. This was a Caulley first, and hopefully NEVER to be duplicated. Don and I dialed the famous number early this morning... And oh, Public Enemy, it's no joke.
By the way, before I begin the story, everyone is fine now!! Don used to say that I tortured him by plunging into an elaborate story, stringing him along for an indefinite amount of time, without so much as a don't-worry-we're-OK-now. So, just so you know, we are OK. In fact, here is a picture of Caleb post-traumatic experience. He is sitting behind me as I type, watching Baby Einstein.

And I would like to say that Luke's PJ's being on the floor is atypical, but it's not.

So here goes. Last night, Caleb woke up around midnight for his usual first feeding of the night. When I picked him up, he screamed a few times, and when I tried to feed him, he gagged, resisted nursing, and then fell back asleep almost instantly in my arms. He felt limp almost. WEIRD! I thought. Especially the gagging. I mean, the kid LOVES to eat normally. This was my first red flag. I thought oh well, maybe he is just not quite awake. Tried putting him back in bed. Nope. High pitched screams again, limp again, asleep again, no interest in boob. Don woke up. Caleb woke up again, screamed some more. Same song, second verse. Don finally settled him down and got him back in bed--without feeding. But we were pretty disturbed. Don got on the internet, and I got out my famous sleep book, reading the paragraph about night terrors, strange sleep intervals, etc... Anyway, he stayed asleep, so around 1:30 or so, Don and I went back to bed, too. At 5:20 A.M. He wakes up again. Ok, first of all, his last real feeding was probably around 6:30 P.M. I think he nursed some before going to sleep around 8:00, but not much. So by now it had almost been 10 to 12 hours since his last feeding. The longest this baby has EVER gone w/o food previously was probably 6 or 7 hours. So at this particular awakening, I thought: it's going to be normal, he will eat, all will be fine, and maybe he is stretching his sleeping and feeding times. Wrong. Same thing. In fact, this time he gags several times. For those of you who know me pretty well, you know how much I hate vomit of any sort, and the stomach bug is just, well, something to be avoided at almost any cost. But I'm actually thinking he needs to throw up or something. I wake up Don. And by the way, Caleb falls back asleep. This is getting too strange. Don suggests that we actually should try to wake him up. So he slowly wakes up, looks around very calmly, lethargically... Were we scared? You better believe it. I felt sick. I was BEGGING God to heal him, to let him be OK. Just let him be OK, God, I kept saying over and over again. As Don held him, and we watched, he looked so pale, almost green. He would look at us, but had very little expression on his face. I called the pediatrician, hoping to get a beeper number. Got a number for a triage nurse instead. She was no help. I was getting ready to drive him to the ER, but the almost lifeless expression on his face scared me out of my wits. Caleb finally threw up the tinyest amount, and it was a strange yellow color. By the way, the order of all this is already running together in my head. So that's when we made the call: 9-1-1... Don told them what was going on. We waited for five dreadfully long minutes. I kept begging God to let Caleb be OK. Well, 5 whole minutes later... still no ambulance! We call again. They were a couple of minutes away. I hop in with Caleb, and we are in route to Central Baptist hospital. I felt nauseous the whole way. My mouth was dry. I answered all of the questions as best I could. The EMT was very nice, and reassuring. I was thankful for that. Ironically, I had given in and watched "Scrubs" with Don last night. I felt like I was on any number of medical TV shows as I walked in the automatic double doors, with about eight faces watching us, sitting on go. I was impressed. The doctor walked right in the room with us and examined Caleb immediately. Quick backtrack. Right before we got in the ambulance, Caleb smiled at us a little. He was calm the whole way there. Thank God! He smiled at the doctor, and I was beginning to think that he was about to make me look like a total and complete idiot!! Which I would not have minded.... at all!!! But everyone was great to say it's better to be safe than sorry. They were nice, reassuring, and just great all around. By the time 10 minutes went by, I had been seen by a doctor looking person, another nurse or doctor person had followed up, and two or three other people had taken all of my other information. Wow. I guess that's what you get when you take the ambulance. They took an X-ray of his abdomen. Well, everything looked great, except that their was a GINORMOUS amount of poop in his colon. One doc asked if he had pooped since July!... Poor little guy. How ironic that I typed up the second half of this post yesterday. No joke! As much as he pooped yesterday, and he also pooped two days ago, he is STILL backed up in there. Amazing. Well, he has a bad case of constipation. We have noticed that he tends to go about 6 or 7 days between poops. The ped said it was Ok at his 4 mo check up. Well, it's not Ok for him, I guess. Oh, and Caleb ended up eating hungrily shortly after our arrival at the hospital, and has been eating normally ever since. So they realeased us, sending us on to see the pediatrician. Don had taken JD to school, and with Luke in tow, came to pick us up. We arrived back home, and Don helped me get Luke and Caleb out of the Jeep and into the van. Don went to class, and the two kids and I went to the pediatrician to get more advice on how to help Caleb release the hounds. The doctor had told me he would need to get on a laxative. My nurse practitioner explained that there is a nerve wrapped around the stomach and heart, which could make Caleb feel faint when he strains so much--which he has definitely been doing when he poops --possibly explaining the limpness and faintness during the night, from pain?... :( . She also said that the yellow bit of spit up could just be curdled milk. Afterall, it doesn't seem as if that milk had any place to go! So after hearing more about how and what can happen with constipation, and being reassured about all of the bizarre symptoms, I went to the pharmacy to get some suppository laxatives and then back home. Ugh!!! Not exactly what I had in mind to start off the day, but whatever.

Come si de rien n'etait....
Mr. poopopotamus -- as Don calls him when he has one of his famous blowouts.


I had actually typed up the following yesterday, so as not to forget it:

Don has been taking Hebrew in January, and so he has been saying Calev (pronounced Kahlev) because this is his Hebrew name. I kinda like it.
Caleb rolled over for the first time at Grandma and Grandaddy's house over Christmas. I think it was on December 29th. He rolled from back to front, and then from front to back again, a few times. Yay, Kahlev! ;)
He is HEALTHY! Praise God. In fact, we all are. Hurray!
He enjoys watching baby Einstein from time to time. Here is our four month old:



He sits in his exersaucer and jolly-jumper some. Below is a picture of us after church. I love these little corduroy pants, and white sweater. They were given to me by a friend here at the seminary. What a blessing to get hand-me-downs.

He has gotten to be a great car-seat baby. He falls asleep sometimes when I take Luke to school. It is so wonderful. It has been really cold here. We have had quite a bit of snow, and temps stayed below freezing for several days. So I have to bundle everyone up. Again, thanks so much to my friend from seminary passing this warm footed and hooded coat for him!!

He also LOVES taking a bath now. It is so cute to watch him kick his little legs as hard as he can, and splash himself. He has a satisfied, happy look.

But by far his favorite toys are Jon David, Luke, Mommy, and Daddy. :)


Caleb is also discovering his voice. We are still trying to capture his adorable laugh on video, but here is another new trick he has learned: the squeak!

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Caleb loves to eat. He has tried rice cereal, oatmeal, green beans, and most recently... prunes. Yea, sweet boy is constipated! Big frowny face. :( Today I could tell that he was trying to push while in the high chair. His entire face turned red in the effort... He finally got it out, though... Luke said "Mommy, something stinks..." Yea, OH YEA!!!... Carried him to the changing table, and well, I could see that the back of his shirt was a little brown. Incidentally, Julie, he was wearing the adorable outfit that you gave him! (Thankfully, it washed out just fine). You know it's extra bad then you take off the pants, toss them on the ground, and notice something brown tumble softly on your foot. I'm not kidding. I felt like I had to bloomin' perform surgery to get the poop off this kid. I opened it up, and Oh, Nelly! It was in the diaper, allright, and on his foot now, and so then also on the alarm clock (which sits at the foot of the changing table), the top of the wipes, and the changing table pad, of course. I had to peel his shirt up, folding it inward as I went so as to envelop the poop, and spare his back from getting smeared--let alone his face, because wouldn't you know it, this would be the day that I choose to put a onesie on him instead of his usual snap up the front footed sleep-n-play. Ah, the life. Well anyway, with a cloth underneath him, I moved him gingerly to the bath tub. Like I said earlier, he enjoys his bath. Spray the clothes. Wash. It's all good. ;)
Here are a few pics Pre Poop:


At his four month check up on January 11th, he was 90th percentile for height, and 75th %tile for weight. So he is doing great!


Now if we could please just stop these freakishly disturbing runs to the hospital!

Well, God is good. He answered my prayer. Caleb is healthy and once again, peace has been restored to our little house in Wilmore, KY.
That's the story, and that's all for now. Thank goodness.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sabbatical from blogging

Much needed after like 8 thousand posts in a row!
When I'm walking around the house narrating the next post in my head, um, yea. Time for a break. Also, I find myself feeling strangely dejected if no one comments. Again, time for a break! I think I just revealed my inner-loser.
For those of you who like reading, thanks for the encouragement, and I'm sure I'll be back on track sometime in Feb.

Love,
Anna

Christmas vacation part huh?

I actually lost track! Crazy. Let's get this overwith. This is the last Christmas post, I promise! Well... until Christmas 2010 of course.

You might have guessed... that the boys did get a wii for Christmas. Grandma and Grandaddy gave us a family gift this year. It was GREAT!! The boys were thrilled--the understatement of the holiday. Santa left them the Star Wars wii game and nun chucks under Grandma and Grandaddy's tree.
And then we enjoyed several days of hanging with Rich, Laura, Andrew, Nicholas, and Grandma and Grandaddy of course!! After Laura and Rich left, we stayed through New Year's day. Here are some highlights:



Don and I got to go on another date. I can't tell you how much we appreciate these dates. I am not ready to leave Caleb with anyone except family right now. So when we're in Wilmore, it's either dates at home, or take Caleb, or no dates. So thanks a million!!!

My beautiful sister-in-law. :)

A game of kick ball with Aunt Laura and Grandaddy (above: Grandaddy chasing Luke).

Jon David kicking.


Below: Andrew--profile.

Above: Nicholas holding Caleb. Precious moment!

Good times.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas vacation part three

Sorry for the excessive blogging. I guess the holidays left me w/a lot to blog about, after my nearly one month drought. And let's just say that Christmas, well, it's Christmas after all! It only comes once a yr. And despite our consumerism mentality, which we all would openly rebel against, we all also resort to buying toys for our kids at Christmastime because, well, it's too fun to resist. Just kidding! Everything in moderation, right? Maybe giving a little and getting a little is OK.

Anyway, on to our Christmas Eve at Mimomo and BeePops': BeePops had the boys out in the shed during the afternoon. Mom and I were watching White Christmas. Dave, it was NOT the same w/out you!!! Danny Kaye just reminds me of you, now. "How much is WOW?" ;)
So Dad was awesome to entertain the older two boys. I love it when Dad gets into something. He never does it half way. David, my aforementioned brother, had a LOT of playmobil when he was a tot. One set that Mom has kept over the years (much to my pleasure), is the fort for the cowboys. And believe it or not, almost all of the pieces appear to still be there. So Dad rekindled the make believe fires and off they went into the land of bravery and wars, where my star wars fanatics were all too willing to engage their adventuresome spirits.

I mean, does that look cool, or what?!

David, I know you're a little jealous. :P

Mom cooked a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner, and then it was here: the night before Christmas!! Jon David and Luke took turns telling the story of Jesus' birth with one of Mom's nativity scenes.

And then Dad read "The Night Before Christmas" from the book that I remember so well...


Jon David and Luke both seem to believe in Santa. This is a crack up to me--especially for Jon David. Because we have told him that Santa is not real. When he was three years old, he wanted to know, so we told him. However, when he was four, we pretended a little harder. I went through a sort of metamorphosis with Santa. My emotions are mixed. I resent that you're a party pooper if you decide to ever so much as hint around at the obvious around a child. Why do we go out of our way so much to protect a lie? Would our children enjoy Christmas any less if they knew that the gifts actually came from their parents? Are any of them currently saying "whew! Good thing Santa got me this new playdough kit. It just wouldn't be the same coming from Mom and Dad." Please. Also, I think we set them up for eventual disappointment--when they actually find out the truth.
Having said that, it does seem a little more exciting to think of Santa bringing the gifts instead of plain old Mom and Dad. And what a dichotomy is it that since my own kids actually believe in Santa, I know that I would be disappointed if someone came up to them and said "you, know, actually, he's not real." Ha! It really is kinda fun watching them do all of the Santa preparations. I guess there really is a part of us that enjoys this strange pretending game.
Sooooo... to make a short story long! Jon David and Luke wrote letters to Santa on Christmas Eve. They were so cute! Luke asked for a video game, and Jon David asked for a star wars wii game. They have been asking for this last thing for a while. We have been trying to tell them that wiis are expensive, and that Santa doesn't have much money this year either. Isn't it convenient how the Santa story can vary from family to family, and from year to year? I guess we all tend to hatch the Santa egg in our own image (to partially quote George McDonald. ha). Jon David never gave up. He said that Santa's elves could make one in his workshop. Luke, however, finally relented, and decided that he would be OK with a video game. So Don explained to him that he might not get exactly what he asked for, but that Santa would surely bring him something that he really liked! Again, molding that Santa tale.
Mom helped them make cookies for Santa, and they set them out on a plate with milk beside. In front of the fireplace. Earlier in the month, Luke had asked me where our fireplace was. After realizing that he was wondering how Santa would get into our house, I told him no problem: we would be at Mimomo's house, where there was a fireplace. That worked out great!
They were so cute going to bed. Boy do I remember the trouble I used to have sleeping the night before Christmas. But eventually, sleep came, and so did Santa.

Here are some Christmas morning photos:

First, Jon David reading Santa's note back to him and to Luke. Letting them know that he had left them something at BOTH Grandparents' houses, as we were headed to Thomasville later in the day. Talk about spoiled! :)

Santa brought them clone trooper guns, and Mom and Dad gave them Star wars figures. They were very sweet and excited upon opening--always a releif for Mom and Dad, right?

Don was excited to get a new sweater from Mom and Dad

and I was SUPER excited about the clothes that Mom bought me for my gift a few days before!!!

Above is Mom reacting to a gift she and Dad received from us: framed photos of grandkids! :)

Mom and Dad got Jon David and Luke some really cool nerf guns. They love them! In fact, we got them home and realized that you can put batteries in them to make a neat red beam shine to create a target for the darts. Too cool!



They had a very, merry!
Still to come: Grandma and Grandaddy's. :)

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