Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The First 6 Months:


Things we have learned the past 6 months:

- We are the best parents for our son. We don't know it all. We won't be perfect. But we were created to parent him. And he was created to be parented by us.
- It is a team effort. Team Castle has to work together and communicate with each other to make sure all of our needs are being met.
- Babies do learn how to nap...eventually.
- It might sound bad, but there were things that I dreaded when it comes to being a parent. I have learned that most of those things that I dreaded are really not that bad. The diapers, the waking up in the middle of the night, getting shots, going grocery shopping, etc. You just take it as it comes. You can't start thinking about it all at once.
- Henry is a little human, who has bad days, gets cranky, and has preferences. Just like me...and every other human. On those days he just needs extra love and patience. Just like I do when I am having those 'off' days.
- It is okay to lay in bed until 9:00 am drifting in and out of sleep together...that might be the only cuddling I get from the constantly-in-movement little guy all day.
- Breastfeeding is hard...for me at least. But it is worth it. And, only 6 more months to go!
- Watching Doug love and care for Henry make me love him even more and in some many new and different ways.
- I have to take care of myself in order to be the best mom for Henry that I can be. I need to eat breakfast, breathe deeply, spend time in the Word, take a shower, and go on walks.
- Sometimes you just have to load up the car and go for a drive.
-  I had always heard parents talk about how great it is being a parent. I never understood what they meant until now for obvious reasons. The love grows, the worries and concerns are there, the smiles and laughs seriously melt your heart, and it is truly the best and the hardest thing I have ever done.
- It gets easier having the baby sleep in their own room. It will take longer than one night to adjust to the change..but it does get easier.
- Take lots of pictures and videos. And then back those things up. Just in case your laptop decides to die. Not like we would know anything about that. (Thank the Lord I rarely delete pictures from our memory cards and we have thousands of pictures on our cell phones.)
- Those first few months are so hard. But it does get easier. Thank the Lord!
- Eyeliner helps hide sleepy eyes.
- Bananas stain.
- You have to be intentional with the time you have after the baby is in bed for the night. If not, you will think you are constantly in need of a date night and lacking good conversation. Play a game, talk, flirt, and cuddle. It fills your love cup.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Reading Program:



I am not much of a reader. I think I have been in recovery the past four years from college. I had to read a lot for my major and I think it just wore me out. I am making myself read again. I know it is good for me and I know I like it when I do read. So, I am currently half way through To Kill a Mockingbird. Doug looked over and saw me reading the other night and asked me if I was doing the summer reading program.

Friday, May 25, 2012

This Past Week We:


- I made my first quilt. It is not perfect, but I did it. Doug was the perfect cheerleader and even helped me thread my machine and wind some bobbins. I don't really enjoy trying new things, because I am always scared I am just going to get frustrated and fail. This quilt stretched me in good ways and Doug told me it warmed his heart to see me using my sewing machine that he got me several years ago.
- Henry rode in the grocery cart seat for the first time. He loved it and was rather sad when I took him out and put him in his car seat. At dinner the same night he sat in a high chair.
- Had a girl's night at one of the staffs house. Her family live in town in this awesome house.
- Played Draw Something late into the night
- Cheered on the OKC Thunder.
- Had a staff pool party, which most people forgot about. And the water was too cold for us. But we did enjoy sitting outside by the pool and talking with other families.
- We watched We Bought a Zoo

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Camp:



The summer staff have arrived this week at camp. They are currently doing training sessions and getting ready and prepared for camp to start in June. This is always my favorite picture of the summer. I am so excited to see how the Lord uses this awesome group to impact His kingdom. We are deeply blessed to be a part of it all. Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recent Favorites:


- Going on walks with these two. [p.s. look at how long my babies legs are!]
- Yahtzee, Phase 10, and Skip-bo
- Draw Something
- The David Letterman show
- Coffee with cream
- Reading on our bed in the afternoon
- Aldi's
- OKC Thunder Basketball

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

6 Months:



Eats oatmeal, avocados, sweet potatoes, and bananas
Loves to scratch on things...the couch, Doug's jeans, the floor
Still waking up throughout the night at least once but usually more
Is much more mobile...scoots and rolls all around the floor
Is in a constant state of movement
Sits up with just a little bit of assistance
Makes new sour faces when he is crying
Naps much better, most days

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dinner Dates:


Last night we drove into town for dinner and to pick up a movie. As we were eating outside and enjoying dinner we talked about how we like taking Henry with us. I know there will come the day when we will want to leave him at home while we go out for dinner alone. But for now, we really like having him with us. Doug and I have only eaten dinner without him in tow two times since he was born. We like having him with us when we are out and about and we want him to be comfortable with being out in public. My two dinner dates were perfect. And so was my tuna melt.

Friday, May 18, 2012

This Past Week We:


-Watched two Thunder basketball games. Henry fell asleep on my lap during one of the games and everyone in the room was very considerate of the sleeping baby as they cheered during the exciting last minute of the game.
- Cleaned out our junk drawers and organized Doug's closet
- Ate all of our meals in the dining hall
- Played two games of Yahtzee
- Went into town after Doug got off work to get junior hamburgers, fries, and shakes from Braum's.
- Ran once. (I have to start somewhere...right?)
- Spent almost every morning snuggled in bed with the baby boy. [It would be real nice if he would start sleeping through the night again]
- Summer staff starting showing up
- Cried while reading my devotional one day. Perfect words at the perfect time.
- Had many moments this week where we just had to get through the next thing and keep moving. May is the hardest month here at camp. It is so so so busy. Doug took time to love me well and fill my cup. I tried to do the same for him.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

First Mother's Day:



- Doug went and got coffee and breakfast sandwiches 
- I was given a new breast pump
- We had lunch at Blue Moon with Doug's mom 
- Had a perfect day celebrating our mom's and celebrating the fact that I am blessed to get to be a mom to our little guy. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

4 Years:


To celebrate our anniversary this year we decided to stay home and cook. We can cook a better meal than we can buy in town. Doug arranged to take Henry to our neighbors while we cooked our dinner. We had brie and bread, cedar plank salmon, grilled asparagus, and chocolate cake. We watched Crazy Stupid Love (which is a perfect movie to watch on your anniversary) and played Skip-Bo.

Some Highlights of Year 4: going to California, having our baby boy, Montana for Christmas, Spring Break trip to Florida, moving to a new house, buying a new car, and seeing Other Lives and The Civil Wars in concert.

Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

Friday, May 11, 2012

Four Years Ago Today:


We got married. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mom and Me:


One of my very favorite things about this stage is our mornings. Doug will bring Henry into me before he heads to work. Henry lays next to me in bed. Sometimes we drift back to sleep and other times we stay up and look at each other. I love watching his face light up when he sees me. I feed him. We watch the news. He talks to me and grabs my face. At this time in life we are able to have a slow start to our mornings in our bed. I realize that he is the only child I will be able to do this with. Once another little one comes a long I have a feeling Henry will not just want to lay around in bed with us.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Family Walks:



When Doug does not have to work in the evening we try to take a family walk. Especially with this nice evening weather. It helps us all process our day and get us to bedtime. We bring Maxwell to let him get out his energy. So, it is me and three males. I feel pretty well protected on these walks (and deeply blessed as well). Henry loves to look up and see who is carrying him and offers encouragement to keep walking by grabbing your chin. The smell of honeysuckle fills the road as we walk. If only we could keep this smell all year long. We are in the time of year where we try to focus on quality of time rather than quantity. These walks are quality.

Monday, May 7, 2012

This Past Week We:


- Went on several family walks
- Bought a new car
- Made some blueberry muffins and salsa
- Had some house guests (Ben and Jaime Beswick)
- Played Phase 10 with each other and then with the Beswicks.
- Our good friends, Justin and Cheryl, got married. Doug and Jon played a beautiful song during the ceremony. It was a full weekend filled with so many wonderful people. Every wedding I attend makes me so thankful for the wonderful husband I have been blessed with. Marriage is such a beautiful gift.
- Went to Quick Trip after the wedding for a late night snack and coffee drink. Walked in to find an empty doughnut case and a sign on the decaf coffee decanter that said out of service. So, we waited and got our coffee and doughnut fix on the way home the next morning.
- Had several days where Doug and I only had time together for a few minutes each day. As we pulled into the garage this morning we looked at each other and were so glad we had made it through the past 4 days. This evening we will stay at home alone together and probably have an early bed time.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The New Car:



Our car now has less than 100,000 miles 
Does not leak all kinds of fluids 
Has a radio and CD player that work
Has a trunk that opens easily
Doors that lock and unlock 
Seats up to six people
Is much safer and more reliable



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Soooooo...

You know how yesterday I said Henry was so great in the car. Well, I think he knew I wrote that and he wanted to show us that he can also be really bad in the car. We are looking for a new car, so we went to test drive some cars. He cried for 40 minutes in the car on the ride home. Not just cried, but screamed. We also hit every single red light that we could (which was around 10 to 12 different lights). As soon as we got home and took him out of his seat he just smiled and was so happy to be out. What a silly little boy.

About the new car. Our current car is old and has close to 200,000 miles. At one point this past week all the caution lights were on. It has been a great car for the past two years, but it is not nearly as reliable and dependable as we need, especially now with our little one. We are going back to look at the car that we looked at yesterday. Last night Doug and I played Phase 10. I had never beat Doug at the game. Before we started to play Doug said "If you win, we buy the car. If I win, we don't buy the car." I beat him. So then he said we needed to play one more time. I won again.

Is that a good enough sign that we need to go ahead and buy the car?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ages and Stages 5 month old:


Each phase and stage of parenting will have great things and hard things. I pray that Doug and I will always be able to delight in the highs of each stage and have patience and endurance to make it through the lows. The great and the-not-so-great of Henry as a 5 month old.

Great:
- Not mobile yet. You put him in one place and the only thing he will be able to do is scoot or roll around in a circle. No baby proofing or chasing a crawler or walker around just yet.
- The smiles, laughs, and bright eyes when he sees you
- Likes car rides and does not mind being in his car seat
- Cuddles and lays in bed with you in the morning
- Knows mom and dad from other people.
- His facial expressions

The-Not-So-Great:
- Teething
- Nap time battles
- Shots
- Losing that darn pacifier in the middle of the night and not being coordinated enough to put it back in