Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Baby Shower for Bennett

It has been said many times by LDS leaders that there are no coincidences in life.  From various situations and circumstances in my life, I think I whole-heartedly agree with that statement.  Especially when it comes to people you meet and friends that come in to your life (and the way you meet them too!).  When I think of the friends I have made in the last 5 years (and things and events that have come around because of them), I know without a doubt that every single one of them were/are in my life for a reason.  And I am so thankful for them!  Living away makes you depend on friends a lot more than you normally would need to.  (Um, Beau had to sleep over at our dear friends' house the night I delivered Bennett.  While that normally would be a grandma duty, neither were available.  We appreciated good friends we could call last minute--and late night!---to take him.) 

A few of my dear friends threw me a surprise baby shower after I had Bennett.  So not expected.....this is my second baby, and another boy to boot.  I didn't really need anything besides to sleep-hoard before the little guy arrived. :)  However, my dear friends got together and schemed and planned anyway.  Originally we were getting together for a girls' night out for frozen yogurt (as far as I knew) because I had declined multiple offers for a shower.  We had the night set, husbands were set and ready to babysit (those are few and far between for all of us!), and then wha-laa---I delivered 2 days prior to the event.  :)

It was rescheduled for a few weeks later, this time to be a girls night out/meet-the-new-baby event.  And I still thought we were getting together to chat and eat ice cream and pass around my then-tiny and hairy baby (he is oh so bald and chunky now!).  I knocked on the door, and walked in to my friends yelling surprise, surrounded by treats, gifts, and decorations.  Such kindness.  Truly.  I was blown away.  Very surprised to say the least.  It was so fun!!  While I really didn't need or expect a shower, it was so fun to still have one anyway!  Thank you so very much to all those involved in the surprise.  I love and appreciate every single one of you, including the ones who couldn't make it but checked in by text message to hello and congrats anyway.

Simply put, women need women in their lives.  Good friends they can count on and laugh with and gossip with and discuss all sorts of things with that men probably would prefer not to discuss unless forced. :)  I will forever be grateful for the non-coincidence people I've met, and for the blessings they have been in my life (both inside and outside of the girls at this shower.)  Life usually takes us all different directions (and far away), but I love knowing that I can still check in and feel like it hasn't been a year since I've seen some of them.

Thanks again to my dear friends for the adorable shower and generosity/creativity in pulling it off!  It was such a fun night!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Life Lately

Time seems to be speeding by.   Just like that Bennett is over 3 months old, chunky as can be, and so interactive.  I think it's safe (and sad) to say, the newborn phase is quickly coming to a close.  Why do they grow up so fast???  I've already got a pile of infant clothes needing to be boxed up that no longer fit him.  I'm not ready for that yet!  I just got all those baby clothes out!  I swear I just delivered a few weeks ago----I'm still supposed to be up to my elbows in burp cloths and newborn diapers and nursing pads (still nursing, by the way, against all odds).  No way has that much time gone by.  I want him to stay tiny and fuzzy just a little longer!

Despite my inability to slow the clock down, life does seem to be normalizing again.  What once was kind of hard and chaotic (not in a negative way) is suddenly getting easier.  (That's not to compliment me, though. :) Time has a way of forcing normalcy.)  We're getting into a routine.  I'm starting to know what to expect from my days and nights.  Most days I am showered and functioning before noon (but not much earlier than that unless forced!).  Bennett is starting to sleep at night (cute little guy), and is fairly predictable on his sleep patterns now.  He's usually in bed by nine or ten---our late night parties have ended.  I no longer have that panicked feeling if I'm not in bed at 10pm trying to catch 20 minutes of sleep before he wakes up again.  (He even slept 8 hours solid one night.....too bad I didn't go to bed when he did!)  That's not to say I'm feeling energized....because he still gets up 1-2 times a night, sometimes more when he feels like it, and his morning alarm clock is even earlier than his big brother's.........but I'm no longer a walking zombie. :)  There is nothing funner than walking in to say hi to him in his crib.  I am always greeted with a huge smile, his hand goes immediately to his mouth like he's suddenly shy, and starts the full body wiggles.  I love my little fatty.  Feels like he's always been here.

I have to be completely honest---when I first had Bennett I thought to myself, "This is a breeze.  What in the world is everyone talking about?  The transition to 2 kids isn't that hard.  This hasn't been bad at all!"  Then a couple more weeks went by, and I was quickly humbled.  That's not meant to sound negative at all---because I love my boys with all my heart---so please don't take it that way.  But I think I had forgotten what it was like to take care of a new baby---not necessarily a newborn---that didn't just sleep all the time. :)  My time management and organizational skills were really tested, and I failed miserably some days.  Still do, let's be honest.  Bennett also was ultra fussy for a solid 2 months.....I didn't know how to help him.  It seemed to be a different issue with a different solution every night.  His fussiness lasted all day sometimes as well.  But then, one day, literally overnight, he up and decided he wanted to take a binky.  (I've tried and tried every different kind and size there is, with no success.  I'm not really sure what changed his mind.).  It was out of the blue, and when I say it was an overnight I change, I sincerely mean that!  And I'm telling you, he is a completely different baby!  So happy!  So very easy.  I needed this change.  99.9% because of work.  I think heaven might have had a hand in it, and I am thankful for it every day.  I mean that in complete humility. 

Bennett is 100% sleep-trained......meaning he puts himself to sleep for all naps and bedtime.  In his own crib.  (Learned my lesson with Beau!).  He smiles and talks all day (he has Beau's same massive smile with a huge dimple in his right cheek), and just sucks away on that binky all day.  (I'm buying 20 of them.)  I love him so much---he's adorable to me happy or grumpy--but my heart is much less stressed knowing he's happier!  There is nothing that breaks my heart faster than puckers and tears....especially from a still-very-new baby that feels huge to me when I hold him, but shrinks about 10 sizes when I see him in other people's arms.

Beau is still my wild, crazy, loving two year old.  He cracks me up.  I am surprised every day by his speech, and what he is catching on to.  I think he has aged about a year in the last 3 months.  He suddenly feels and acts so much older to me.  Not sure how to explain it.  He just simply feels more grown up in every sense of the word.  And not just because we have a new baby in our family.  I will always love and appreciate his happiness, and his ability to show genuine love and emotion.  I think he makes his baby brother a little nervous---one too many rough well-intended hugs, and a lot of loud voices that scare him to death. :)  Still, though, Beau can usually get a smile out of Bennett every day.

So life goes on.  Busy as ever.  Summer is all sorts of fun and playing with (a lot) of work in-between.  Thanks again to our wonderful families for helping watch Beau and Bennett.  We appreciate your help, and also love the time all 3 of us get to spend with you.  Looking forward to seeing Dev soon, missing our friends in AZ, but thank goodness for technology and social media.  It's a love-hate relationship sometimes, but it keeps us in touch!

A zillion more pictures to be uploaded later when I have time.  I wish I could post all (3,000) of them, but I can't.  I know I shouldn't just randomly post so many pictures, but I know if I don't I'll rarely look at them again.  I file and organize all my pictures on my computer (and back them up), but just don't have time to look at them all that often.  This is my way to freeze time for just a second and upload little moments that I don't want to forget.  These two are my world.

Lake Powell June 2014

We missed Callie and Devin on our first trip to Lake Powell this summer.  I will never ever get sick of Lake Powell, and hope the dang water level will stop dropping so we can continue to go for years to come.  They say the water is rising a foot a day, but the water looked awfully light in color, and the water ring around the canyon seems to be getting higher and higher every year. 

Regardless, it as always,  was a very fun trip.  Quite the different dynamic (5 kids under age 4!), but it’s always a party.  Bennett decided he loved binkis on this trip, so we didn’t hear much out of him the entire weekend.   (Yes, I know, breaking him young.  I’ve seen younger at Lake Powell though.)  He also tolerated his life jacket great.  Good thing, too, because besides eating (for Bennett), diaper changes, and a few pictures without life jackets pushing their chins into their cheeks, those life jackets were cemented on all 5 kids. 
We had some major boat trailer issues getting to Lake Powell, but thanks to a few kind souls (angels, really)  who stopped to help give it a temporary fix, we limped our way into Bullfrog about 4 hours behind schedule.   I stayed in the hot truck trying to keep both boys happy while my parents sat outside battling an army of mosquitos with the rest of the kind people who were helping us on the side of the road.  The poor boat/trailer remain in Lake Powell as we speak getting both trailer axles fixed.   But we are thankful we were still able to boat and have a fun weekend despite the unexpected curve ball.  (Does Lake Powell ever not throw a curve ball?)
We stayed in the Bullfrog trailers---so awesome because we all got our own rooms, but could still congregate in one main area to eat and talk and cook dinner.  Highlight for me at night?  Seeing Bennett asleep in my suitcase.  It doubled as a crib on that trip!  (Ashley Allen, if you still read my blog, I got the idea from you!)  Best sleep he’s ever gotten----8 hour stretch one night!
Thanks mom and dad for a great trip!  Can’t wait to go again!  There’s no place like Lake Powell! Picture overload coming right up (because that's just how I do it, and Sister Firth needs to see pictures!)..........