Friday, February 28, 2014

27 Months:

Henry, you...
- are going through a rough sleeping patch. Naps are hard to come by and if you do fall asleep the longest you stay asleep is about an hour. And nights, let's just say, you love your freedom of your toddler bed and you find your way into our way multiple times every night. You tell us "I so scary" and it makes us weak and so you are allowed to sleep on the floor side by our bed.
- love strawberries, frozen blueberries, cheese, and pancakes most of all.
- love love Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. You ask us to sing the intro song and the other night we went on a date and you sang the little tune "grown-ups come back" to us. You also are a fan of Elmo's world and you wave and say "bye Elmo" every time it is over.
- are a great big brother. Jack loves talking to you and watching you. He thinks you are the best.
- love your books still. This kid's dictionary from the 90's that I found at a thrift store, remains one of your favorites.
- will play with a pan full of beans and dried pasta and your diggers for at least 10 minutes alone. This is a long time in your world.
- love to build blocks and will tell us you want to "build the biggest tower in the whole wide world"
- are still pretty apprehensive in unknown social settings. You take a while to warm up, but once you do, you love the attention. At home, you warm up much faster and love to entertain and make people laugh.
- have shown zero interest in potty training. In fact, you cry for a diaper if I don't put one on fast enough. You are also very addicted to your paci's. You still need two to sleep. One in the mouth, one to rub on your face. We will tackle these things later. Maybe once you are sleeping better at night and we are able to see straight during the day.
- love going to your 'class' at church and walk right in most times. You love playing with other kids and you tell us every time that you 'shared toys'.
- love to pretend. One of your favorites is to go under a blanket and you call it your cave. You pick strawberries from the enchanted garden (another Daniel Tiger reference) and then make pancakes. You also like to pretend to reach in your pocket and give us money.
- are still working on your two year molars. Teething is a long, rough journey for you. We are getting close though. Hang in there, buddy, only four more teeth to go!
- continue to make each day better and brighter. I still miss you when we are apart for even an hour (even though I also greatly enjoy that time). You are the best first born son I could have ever asked for.
- knows all his colors, shapes, counts to 13, and recognizes about half of the alphabet

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Three Months:

Jack, you...
- laugh when we kiss your neck, play patty cake, and when big brother Henry talks to you.
- met Papa for the first time this month and because of various reasons you have seen your Gram three times!
- like to sit on our laps looking out towards the room. You are aware of what is going on around you.
- try to suck your thumb on a daily basis. Sometimes you are very successful but for the most part you just suck your paci.
- are very talkative once you make eye contact.
- give me the biggest and brightest smile each time I go to your crib to get you up. Thanks for those.
- speaking of cribs, you are still sleeping by our bed in a bassinet. I am thinking it is almost time for the big move to your crib.
- are still sleeping very well. Let's keep that up and just breeze right through the four month sleep regression...okay?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Valentines Day 2014:

The number of valentines I have just keeps growing. I felt pretty loved and cared for by my three valentines this year. We had left over chili for dinner so we decided to go into town for an ice-cream date. On the way into town Henry asked if our adventure was going to be "tiger-tastic". Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is still a favorite in his life if you can't tell.

We traded babysitting with the McKinney's, so Doug and I were able to get a Valentines Date in. We enjoyed a dinner in town, complete with pecan pie and (more) ice-cream. And it was pretty perfect.

I love holidays with these sweet boys of mine.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

These two...

Our dear friend, Esther, has done it again. She has blessed us tremendously with some new pictures of our family. She is always so patient with our non-smiling active toddler and works quickly in the windy conditions for the baby. She is such a blessing to our lives and one very very talented photographer!

I think I almost cried when I saw this picture of Henry. He looks so big to me here. The look on his little face. His hair. His eyes. All of it. So big and old. He has been so much fun the past few days. Last week we had one of the hardest longest mornings in the history of two year old Henry. But ever sense then, he has been much more pleasant, cooperative, and fun to be around. I told Doug that hopefully he hit his peak (for this stage anyways) and maybe we are on the down hill. This past week he has been pretending animals are chasing him around the house (buffalo's and hedgehogs mainly), counting to ten, and asking for rockin' music on a daily basis.

And our sweet (old man) baby Jack. He has always looked a lot like my Grandpa Melivn. So these pictures of him make him really look like an old man to me. And in the absolute best way of course. He is still our sweet little one who makes us all smile every single day. This past week he has filled way more than average diapers full of poop, learned the game patty cake, and cried his way through the church service on Sunday. Typical almost three month old behavior.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Welcome Baby Clark!

We have another boy cousin, Baby Clark! He is so far away in California that we had to make some signs to send our love to him. He was born premature so he has been in the NICU for the past two weeks. Any time we pray if we forget to pray for baby Clark Henry will loudly remind us to pray for him. He has also looked at Jack and said in a confused voice "baby Clark?". To which I have had to explain that there are lots of babies. Baby Jack and Baby Clark are two different babies. I sure do love watching his mind work and figure things out.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Doug's Birthday Weekend:

These are the only three pictures I took the entire weekend. I documented pretty poorly this year if you ask me. 

Doug and I had a few hours boy-less! We went to the mall to look for some shoes for Doug. The mall was crazy crazy busy and we left empty handed. But we did enjoy time alone together and enjoyed running into a few friends. 

We met up for dinner with Karen and the O'Hara's. We ate buffalo wings, chatted about babies and toddlers, wrangled toddlers in highchairs, and Doug enjoyed a free piece of cake. (And they didn't even sing to him!)

We woke up on Sunday to snow coming down and a sick toddler. We had made it two years and two months without any throw-up. The streak came to an end this weekend. Henry has never really been sick, so he had a hard time knowing how to be sick. He would get sick, then feel better, then ask to eat all kinds of things he could not have, then jump around, then get sick again, and the cycle continued throughout the day. 

Grandma came to the rescue and offered to keep Henry home with her so we could go to the Odom's to watch the Super Bowl. We brought pizza and salad and Emily had a muffin with a candle for Doug and brownies and ice-cream. We had the game on the entire time, but really we just talked and played with Libby. Doug had Libby laughing really hard about what a chicken says. We talked about home loans, traveling with kids in cars, and what we would do with 1.5 million dollars. The hangout time with the Odom's saved Doug's birthday. 

And, isn't Doug just the best. I have been so impressed and challenged by him this past year. A lot has happened from year 27 to 28.  He has grown and matured in big ways and I am so blessed to be the one that has gotten to watch this take place. He pushes me to be a better person and to try new things. He is a good one I tell ya. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Reflections on life at 28

When I turned 18 I certainly thought often about my hopes and dreams for my adult life.  It is difficult to remember exactly what I thought my life would look like now, but I am absolutely certain the reality of life at 28 has far exceeded expectations.  18 year old Doug thought he knew a lot, and of all the things he was wrong about, I am glad he was wrong about how sweet life could be. This Groundhog's Day as I celebrate another year of life, I offer these reflections:

Surely the raging, hormonal dream of love from the opposite sex knew nothing of the nuances of a marriage drenched in forgiveness and service.  Through tremendous joys and difficult trials Christ reminds us that our pride will always tempt our hearts, but humility will give life to our love. Teenage Doug could have guessed that the physical expression of marital love would be great, but he had no idea how much love could exist in the subtle looks of affirmation and the silence between carefully chosen words during a disagreement.  I don’t know much about psychology, but I know that our insecurities make it difficult for us to understand how God, or other people, could possibly love us so freely and unconditionally.  I admit that there have been times when I have resisted the incredible love that Danae offers me because in my sin I am aware of how little I deserve that love and I fearfully believe the lie that I cannot love her the way she deserves.  I can love her well, but only because of the work of the Lord in my heart.

Danae- We’ve got a good thing going.  I hope I am loving you better today than ever before in our storied history.  How beautiful, and rich and profound is marriage!  We had no idea it would be this challenging, or this great, but I do believe we knew we were all in from 05/11/08 to the very end.

I have said somewhat jokingly recently that no one is thinking rationally when they decide to have kids.  It is an emotionally driven decision.  It never makes logical sense to have kids.  They ruin everything.  I say those things somewhat jokingly.  At 18 I would have said that I wanted kids, but I had no idea what I was saying.  I had no idea I could love a little human so much, so quickly.  Being a dad continues to stretch every notion I have about love and about the potential for our human hearts to be transformed for God’s good purposes.  From day one my heart was ripped from its comfortable cage as I watched Henry get loaded into an ambulance bound for the NICU.  That first week permanently ruined my tear ducts, making me much weepier than 18 year old Doug, and that is saying something.  I love my boys, and I love being a dad.  Most days they reveal the best and worst in me as they test the bounds of my selflessness, which are regrettably still quite limited.
Henry- At 2 you are already one of my best buds. On any given day I would rather hang out with you than 99.9% of the other human beings on the planet.  I am trying to give you my best, but I know I will fall short.  I hope when you are old enough to understand my shortcomings that you are willing to forgive me. I pray that the Lord will use your strong will, your sense of humor and your intelligence (along with your other positive qualities) to do great things.

Jack- At 2 months I am just getting to know you. I already love everything I know about you. You are sweet and very pleasant to be around.  You have so much to learn, and I hope to help you learn all the most important stuff. Whenever you start talking, I want you to know that I am up for talking about anything.  I am so excited to learn more about who you are and I just can’t wait for all of the fun stuff we are going to get to do together.

I have always loved my family, but the on-going expansion of my family and Danae’s has been yet another joy I could’ve never imagined.  In-laws, nieces, nephews, and parents becoming “grands” make family something even more precious to me, and in every one of those categories I am incredibly blessed.  No matter what the circumstances it is so comforting to know that my family members are in my corner.

[Friends not pictured because I don't have a picture of ALL of them together and I didn't want to leave anyone out- also I realize I left out a lot of family members in the picture....get off my back it's my birthday.]

At the risk of driving my point into the ground I should also point out that my friends are the best in the world.  I have come to believe that the friendships Danae and I have been blessed with are quite rare and I hope I never take those friends for granted.  My friends challenge me to be a better person, they encourage me, and they take good care of me and my family.  I hope that I have done my part in contributing to the great network of care and love, of which we have reaped such benefits.

I have been a so-called adult for 10 years, but I feel that there is still much to learn (something 18 year old Doug probably did not appreciate).  In recent years I have come to value peace, perseverance and patience more than I did in my youth and I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use my reflections on those things to shape my character.
If you made it this far in this post I’ll leave you with the valediction I always used on my Xanga page at age 18…

Love to you and everyone you love,