Sunday, May 30, 2010

John David Turns 3

Saturday our family celebrated our nephew, John David's, birthday.  He will be three on May 31, and he loves the story of David and Goliath.  When we arrived at the Kizziah home Uncle David was dressed like Goliath, complete with black wig, and Aunt Katie had made an amazing Goliath birthday cake.  It was so much fun getting to spend time with the Kizziah family in their brand new house. 

This was James' first time to ride in the big-boy seat.
He was really excited to be sitting up.

We saw Mr. and Mrs. Kameron Pugh for the first time since their wedding.

John David got a trampoline for his birthday.

Isn't James cute in his bathing suit?


Baby Claire is the jumping queen!

Ella loved the trampoline, too.

If you look closely you can see the ball hitting Goliath's face.
John David threw the ball (like a stone) and said, "I trust in the LORD!"

Friday, May 28, 2010

An Everyday Miracle

Tonight Ella ate all the green beans and corn on her dinner plate.  There was no crying, no spankings, and no pouting.  Amazing.  Thank you, Lord!
Last Bite of Corn

Clean Plate

If you know my daughter, you know why this was worth documenting.  This was the pleasantest meal we've had together as a family in a long time.  Quote from the table:  "Let's talk about, celebrations and good news."  I'm not really sure where that came from, but her eating her dinner with a happy heart was much cause for celebration, and it was definitely good news.

Live from the Pugh House

I almost don't know what to write anymore without my year reviews.  So instead of looking to the past this will be a live update from the present (and maybe a little bit from the past).  We did have a very busy weekend attending all of Kameron and Olivia's wedding festivities.  Traveling is so much harder and more complicated with young children, and the night before the wedding was a nightmare, one of those times I look up to the heavens and think, "Really?  Okay, then."  

We were staying at my grandmother's house, and my sweet father came to help take care of the children so KJ and I could be where we needed (and wanted) to be.  James went to sleep well at the start, but then he woke up about an hour or so later, and every time my dad tried to put him in his bed he would begin crying again.  When I came in from the rehearsal dinner about 10:00 dad was just sitting in the rocking chair holding him.  I took him and was able to lay him down and get ready for bed.  I had been asleep about 40 minutes when James woke up.  I rocked him, I fed him, I gave him medicine, and 45 minutes later he was in his bed crying.  KJ came in then and offered to rock him.  I was so tired, and my condition was exacerbated by my taking a Tylenol PM to help me sleep (I never sleep well the night before events I'm excited about.).  Every time KJ tried to put James down he would begin crying.  At 2:15 KJ was giving up, and I took a turn.  I was able to get him to sleep and put him down, but he woke up and was crying again at 3:30.  So, I rocked him back to sleep and put him in the bed, and then he woke up at 5:30, so I nursed him again and then just held him in the bed because I was too tired to make it to the rocking chair.  I was able to doze a little bit between his crying out periodically because he's not used to being held while he sleeps.  I heard Ella wake up at 7 a.m., and dozed a little while longer until 8:00 when I knew I had to get up because we had to be at the church by 10:15.  

Because He is a great God, we miraculously made it through the day enjoying ourselves, and it truly was a beautiful ceremony.  It was a delight to be able to look at Kameron and Olivia's faces (while everyone else just saw their backs).  As Olivia sang The Church's One Foundation she looked absolutely overflowing with joy and worship.  I also enjoyed the look of deep satisfaction on Kameron's face as he looked at his bride and all those who had gathered as witnesses to the covenant he was about to make.

KJ was preaching Sunday morning and night, because his father was on vacation, but sadly, I missed hearing him.  I stayed at home with a recovering James (and mother) from the night of no sleep and travel.  Sunday night we had a LOST finale party.  My first reaction to the finale was a little bit of disappointment, not with the episode as a whole but mainly with their explanation of the flash-sideways world.  As I have thought about it throughout the week I have found more things to like about it because there were elements of things I believe to be true found in it.  Perhaps I will write more thoughts about it later.  It definitely was a good show to spark conversations about big themes in life, so perhaps it was appropriate it ended with a discussion on the afterlife.  We had a wonderful time sharing the experience with several friends, though, and I hope to post a video soon of some of our reactions.

Great Cake by Hillary
It says "The End" in the middle.

Hillary spent the night Sunday night and stayed with the kids Monday afternoon so KJ and I could go out for our anniversary.  I have to say that she is the best babysitter ever and I wish I could keep her around.  She managed to exercise, put James down for a nap, shower, and clean up the house while we were gone.  That is more than I manage to do some days.  We enjoyed our last night of making dinner together (yummy biscuits!) and the last episode of 24 ever.  Good-bye, Jack!

Afternoon Date
Our front door is still sporting our "Namaste" sign from the night before.

The Last Supper

James got his schedule organized for 2 days, sleeping through the night and taking two great naps.  Then last night he woke a little before 4 a.m. wide awake. I was rocking him, and he just pushed himself up and looked at me with a goofy grin on his face.  Crazy, sweet boy.  Sweet KJ stayed up with him, completing the two hour task of getting him back to sleep.  I'm so grateful he let me sleep.  James is now napping, and Ella and I are about to get down to the busy task of cleaning up our house and ourselves so we can go shopping.  I have the best girl in the world!

P.S.  Right after I typed that she was disobedient and had to be corrected, resulting in loud fake crying.  I just thought I would throw that in there, too.  Life has its ups and downs.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Learning to Crawl

James is not officially crawling yet, but he is making progress each day.  It is really fun to watch because Ella was the baby that just crawled one day and then walked one day with no practice or toddling about.

James is totally different.  He started a couple of weeks ago creeping out on his hands from a sitting position and going after things.  He wants everything, and he is figuring out how to get it.  He has been pushing up with his arms straight for a while, and a couple of days ago he started doing planks, completely off the ground on his hands and toes.  I took these pictures yesterday because he made it to both knees.  He wasn't sure what to do from there, but he was working hard.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Bosom Friend

So, I was reminded by my dearest bosom friend that I skipped her wedding in my review of last year!  But here is why, sweet Kristen.  I was using my pictures as a stimulus to remember things, and the pictures from July 2009 were in another place on my computer so I didn't see them.  I am so sorry!  I will also plead forgetfulness because it really has been a lot of work to write summaries from every year as well as load all of the pictures.  But because of my oversight and your funny reminder, here's a whole post to you!!

Kristen Dumas Sosebee was (and is) my kindredest spirit from my youth.  I should probably let her blog about her love story for you on my blog, but she met her husband, Corey, while she was in China, and they were married last July.  She asked Ella to be her flower girl, and it was such a special time last summer seeing her married and beginning her own adventure.

The Bridesmaid's Luncheon

With "my favorite Kristen's" as Ella calls them
at her Lingerie Shower

Notice how she dropped one petal at a time.  She's very meticulous.

Reading a letter from her beloved one
I think he kept sending her letters and roses before the ceremony.

Steve Dumas with all of his beautiful ladies
Jenni, Beth, Kristen, and Katie

You can't tell how hugely pregnant I am in this one.

Dancing at the reception

I would write more details about this wonderful wedding, but it is late, and I need to go to bed.  I just wanted to rectify my error in leaving this out of the 6th year review.  So sorry, Kristen!!

6 Years and Counting

Year number 6 began with celebrating John David's 2nd birthday.  Ella had a great time riding his motorcycle and playing with his gifts.  Shortly after that KJ left to go to Brazil with a group from the University of Mobile.  Ella and I went to Arab for the week, and I could not believe how much I missed KJ.  This was the longest we had ever been apart since getting married (10 days), and I was a pathetic mess, crying the first two nights without him.  We weren't able to talk on the phone but instant messaged through Facebook.  I was really glad to finally pick him up from the airport.  

KJ with a group of students in Brazil.  I love how people in every country he visits love to throw out a peace sign.

Ella loved her souvenirs.
Kameron and Olivia got engaged in June, and we found out we were expecting a son.  We were very excited about James Harrison's arrival.  My ultrasound revealed that my umbilical cord only had two vessels instead of the normal three.  There are some problems that can be associated with this, and we had to have a special ultrasound done to look for any birth defects.  That was a somewhat frightening time, forcing us to put our trust in the Lord yet again.  Coming on the heels of my miscarriage, it gave us added fears, but we were so thankful to learn that our baby boy was completely healthy with no sign of any problems.  We celebrated the Fourth of July at KJ's parents with the Kizziah family, as well.  Ella had her first experience with sparklers and learned to recognize the American flag, which she called for several months, the "Obama flag."  KJ had told her who the president was when he was speaking on the news one night.  Of course he was standing in front of the American flag, which evidently made Ella equate the flag with Obama.  We have finally succeeded in getting her to call it the "American flag."  Katie and I were shopping for baby bedding and trying to get ready for the babies coming in the fall.  We also got to go shopping for a wedding dress with Olivia and her mom and sisters.

It was an extremely long and hot summer for me.  I could already tell that my son was a big boy.  The only possible issue the doctor thought I might have with the two-vessel cord was a low birth weight baby.  I was beginning to feel like that would not be a problem.  Finally it was September and time for Ella's birthday and only one more month until James' arrival.

Labor Day weekend we met my family in Birmingham and enjoyed barbecue at Jesse's new furniture-less apartment.  Dad took Ella to the Galleria to ride the carousel, which she absolutely loved.  A couple of weeks later we welcomed baby Claire into the world on September 24, 2009.  That same day I got the okay to be induced the following Thursday, and I was ecstatic.  We welcomed sweet baby James on October 1 at 12:57 p.m.  He exceeded all expectations in the weight department, weighing in at 8 lbs. 9 oz.  He was perfectly precious from the beginning.

Even though everyone exclaimed over how "big" he was, he felt small to me.
He was perfect.

1 week with 2 week-old baby Claire

One Month

We traveled to Arab when James was 6 weeks old and had a great visit.  He was a much sleepier newborn than Ella was, so he made it much easier on me.  We also spent Thanksgiving in Arab with the whole Murphy clan.  It was another very cold Thanksgiving.  James had to stay wrapped up for the family picture.  Ella adjusted very well to her new role as big sister.  It was a bit harder for me learning how to juggle two different schedules and meet both Ella's and James' needs at the right times.  KJ was a great help, too, letting me sleep in before he left for work every morning.

6 weeks


Christmas was fun because Ella was so involved in everything, putting up decorations, wrapping presents and watching Christmas movies.  She quickly grew to love White Christmas and still asks to watch it now and again.  Jesse graduated from the Birmingham Police Academy as well as proposed to Sandy Habrial, so we had another new addition to our family party in Arab.

2 months

Christmas shopping with Debo
2 1/2 months

Christmas in the Park (in Arab)
2010 started with KJ's 27th birthday (wow!) and James' 3 month birthday.  Later in the month we were able to take a trip to Disney World with the Pugh family.  It was so much fun introducing Ella to the Magic Kingdom.  She had such an enchanted time, and James did really well riding in the infant carrier.  We were also able to visit with KJ's grandparents at Lake Santa Fe on the way home.  I spent my 28th birthday in the car.  It was a very long day driving back home.  But we really did have a great vacation in Disney World.

Everyday life is so busy with two small children it is hard to remember every detail, but I think February passed uneventfully apart from the day-to-day.  We had the chance to attend our church's marriage retreat in Gatlinburg in March (with our children, of course), and that was a lot of fun.  It was fun to take a little trip together, and KJ's mother kept the children so we could go out together and to a teaching session.  We really enjoyed the spring weather that arrived just in time for Easter, although our time outside made James sick.  It is hard to believe that summer is upon us already.  We celebrated our 6th anniversary at Kameron and Olivia's wedding, which was a worshipful and beautiful celebration.  

4 months

February Snow

5 Months and 3 1/2
James first fake smile

Gatlinburg Trip

Making biscuits with Hillary

6 Months with Big Daddy