Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another year gone?!

I can't believe 2009 is already coming to a close! It feels like yesterday we were all preparing for Y2K, right?? And it REALLY feels like it was yesterday when we got this incredibly sweet e-mail from my mother-in-law last New Year's Eve :

This has been a very good year! As we are ringing out 2008, I'm thinking about how special this year will always be because of Carter's birth! Think of how many times Carter will write "2008", or just "08" throughout his lifetime. He's the highlight of the whole year. He's sure a precious little guy, and we look forward to being with him and y'all next week. Happy New Year!
Love, Mom & Dad

I hope she doesn't mind that I shared that. It's one of those e-mails that I want to save.

I don't know that 2009 will hold the same precious memories for Jack as 2008 held for Carter. After all, his due date was TODAY (!!), and even though he came a tad earlier than anticipated (my induction date was scheduled for the 28th), I think his arrival is still sinking in. Instead, I think 2010 will get the honor of being 'Jack's year'. So with that in mind, I'm certainly looking forward to a great year and many many happy memories that are yet to be made. Including Jack's second 'first Christmas', since this year's shouldn't really count in my opinion :)

Imagination blossoms in Dallas

The weekend before Jack was born, Little C, Mom and myself hitched up the wagon for a trip to Dallas to visit my mom's parents and a few college girlfriends.

Our first stop was to see my friend Lindy who just had her (ADORABLE!) second little one in October. We had visited them back in August and her daughter Reese and Carter hit it off famously, so it took them no time at all to pick up where they left off playing like old friends. Carter at one point had a cup and spoon and was 'eating' out of the cup with the cute to see him using his imagination. It was however not-so-cute when he freaked out at me holding Lindy's baby. I thought for sure it was a foretaste of what was to come when baby Jack arrived, but luckily it seems it was an isolated incident.

The rest of the time we mainly tried to visit with my mom's parents. This proved to be a challenge since it was a REALLY cold weekend - it was actually the weekend it snowed here in Houston, and mom practically drove through a blizzard to get from the south side of Houston to my house to meet up with us on Friday, and even though Dallas didn't have any snow, the temperature made it really difficult to spend any time out side. Visiting hours at the independent living facility where my grandparents live don't really float the munchkin's boat in the entertainment department and a park is usually our go-to activity to break things up, but was out of the quesiton this trip. So, desperate for a little kid-friendly activity, we hit up a local pet shop on our way back to the hotel on Saturday and let him play with a puppy for a little while. It was wonderful!! He had so much fun. The puppy they let us play with was a havanese (sp??), and it was this tiny little thing that I was sure my son was going to hurt, but the people that worked there assured me that it was a sweet breed and good with kids and that's why they chose it. It was great, it ran around like a wind up toy while my son shrieked with delight. Then when we got back to the hotel, Carter was crawling all over the place. my mom and I couldn't figure out why he was doing this since he hasn't crawled anywhere for the better part of the last 9 months. Finally he sat up and said "roof roof!" He was pretending he was a dog!! It was so cute. I've seen him pretend to do stuff, but it was the first time I'd ever seen him pretend to be something. It was such a neat milestone.

We had a great time and I even had the opportunity to sneak away Saturday night for a girl's dinner with Lindy and Jessica who recently turned the dirty 30. We had sushi, and wine and then closed down the starbucks catching up. The cherry on the sundae was the by-the-seat-of-our-pants win that Texas pulled out at the last second (literally!) to take the title of Big 12 champs and secure us a seat in the national championship!

Who could have guessed, that the very next weekend I would have Jack, but it was an awesome way to spend my last weekend sans an infant!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

The arrival of our newest addition has been one of many mixed feelings. I know I would have had a lot of these same feelings regardless of when/how Jack arrived, but I can't help but look at Carter and feel the tiniest sense of sadness that our time with just him was cut short. He was supposed to get three more weeks as our only child, the star of the show. And I was supposed to get three more weeks to adjust to the idea that I wouldn't forever be available to completely and utterly devote all my attention and love to one child.

Carter has been such a trooper with all the changes taking place around him, but we've definitely had a few difficult moments. The other day, he hauled off and hit me and a few hours later he bit me. I've read repeatedly that kids his age are overwhelmed by their emotions and, incapable of handling them, will take out their frustrations on a trusted care giver or loved one. I guess I should be flattered that he trusts me and feels safe enough to take out his frustrations on me, but it just made me cry. I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for bringing this tiny newborn into his life and demanding that he adjust to it.

Don't get me wrong, I love Jack. I look at him and I'm overcome by a sense of care and devotion, but then I look at Carter and I'm reminded at how little I really know our new little addition. I KNOW Carter, though. Even though he's only 19 and 1/2 months, I know what his tastes are and I know what his personality is like and I know what his laugh sounds like and I know the sound of his voice. My love for Carter has grown exponentially since the day he was born, and as horrible as this sounds to admit, I often wonder when my love for Jack will catch up.

My mother gently reminds me that a time will come very soon when I can hardly remember the brief period in our lives when it was just the three of us, and while I know she means to comfort me with this notion, it makes me sad. It was such a beautiful and special time, I hate the idea that it is over, let alone that it might be forgotten. But when I think about how abundantly and dramatically more amazing our lives became the moment Carter entered them, I am reminded that they will be equally, if not more abundantly touched and enriched by Jack's precious life.

So once again, a chapter of our lives has ended. Our family of three is no more, but another exciting chapter has begun, and I can't wait to see what joys and challenges our family of four will bring.

Abundantly blessed.

The morning after the last post I made (elf yourself of all things!), our lives were changed forever. Our newest addition made an early showing (3 weeks early!) after a very scary series of events.

I was in a car accident Friday morning, December 11th, on my way to my 37 week OB appointment. I am embarrassed and ashamed to say I fell asleep at the wheel. Carter was with me and we were south bound on 288. I veered off the left side of the road and hit the barrels in front of a concrete column support of an overpass going approx 40-50 mph. After the initial impact, the car ricocheted back across all four lanes of the highway before hitting the concrete retaining wall on the opposite side of the highway where we finally came to a stop. We truly were being watched over by guardian angels. Any one of a million things could have happened in those split seconds to have made the outcome very different, but as it was Carter and I walked away without a scratch and no other vehicles were hit.

We were taken to Memorial Herman by EMS just as a precaution. Carter was immediately given the green light to go home, but because I was pregnant they wanted to admit me for observation since a potentially fatal complication can occur after an abdominal trauma called placental abruption. It is where the placenta separates from the uterus causing blood loss to baby, mom or both. While baby Jack appeared to be fine, the doctors all agreed that since he was 37 weeks, he needed to come on out.

They began the induction Friday evening around 6pm, and despite a slow start, baby Jack arrived safe and sound at 1am on 12/12/2009.

It turned out I had developed a mild abruption...about 15 percent of my placenta separated from my uterus, so I am very grateful that my doctors talked me into the induction because I was initially against it.

We have been so abundantly blessed throughout this process...I cannot begin to thank our friends and family enough for their prayers and support. We were fortunate to have my mom as well as Stephen's parents available the weekend of Jack's arrival to watch Carter and prepare our very messy house for our baby boy's homecoming. They even washed the bassinet and dug out all the baby clothes that were still in Tupperware bins and washed them so Jack would have something to wear when he arrived home!

Our homecoming was so special. My sister-in-law and her fiance were even able to come in town for the afternoon. We just have the most amazing family. Even the people that couldn't be there were so supportive and sent their love.

As hard as it was to let her take him, Mom took Carter home with her and we were blessed to have dinners brought over during our first week on our own so that we could just focus on feeding Jack since it was initially an around-the-clock job. As a sleeply late pre-term baby, it took him almost an hour and a half to eat in the beginning and he needed to be fed every 2 hours. Luckily, it's only taking him about 45 minutes to eat these days and the time between feedings has stretched closer and closer to the 3 hour mark (though we are not quite there yet).

I just can't begin to put into words how blessed our little family has been this holiday. Despite the circumstances, Jack's arrival was miraculous and the love and support of our family and friends has just been overwhelming.

Our love and thanks to all of you this holiday season and always,
The Childress Family

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It never gets old!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Time Out

Carter had to go to time out for the first time last Monday at Mother's Day Out. He pushed another kiddo in his class. He's gotten very aggressive lately pushing and pulling on other kids that he feels have somehow invaded his space. He doesn't seem to be scared of pushing around kids twice his size either as I watched in disbelief while he shoved a 6 year old out of his way at Chick-fil-a the other day.

Little C also has started throwing things that are a no-no (e.g. anything 'hard or heavy'). While MOST of the times he gets in trouble, it's because he threw a toy out of frustration or defiance, but there are other times when he's just playing around. It's been a challenge to try to determine when/if a punishment is necessary because to a certain degree I know we've brought this on ourselves. Up until about a month ago, we would praise and encourage him when he would throw small balls and such, but his pitching practices started expanding to things like blocks and rocks, so we now are having to back-track and enforce a no throwing in the house rule, and a no throwing anything hard or heavy outside rule. I know it will be a good thing in the long run, because he can do quite a bit of damage even with a light weight ball, but it's just coming at a really difficult time.

The munchkin has also started down the road of undressing himself. Luckily he has not managed to get anything more than one arm out either through the bottom of his shirt, or one time through the neck (where it got stuck), but I have no doubt we will soon have a naked toddler running around. He's also gotten very good at taking his shoes and socks off, particularly when we are running late.

Of course all of this is just PERFECT timing with the arrival of a new baby around the corner. Lord beer me strength.