Sunday, January 31, 2010

Check out my new Poll!

Read below post and then take a vote!


More kids?

Hello Everyone Out There,

I trust that you are well and good?

These past few days have been hard. Calvin has RSV, which is a pretty serious respiratory virus. Blessed as we were, we caught it in time before he had to be hospitalized or anything. He has been taking an antibiotic, a steroid and two different nebulizer meds (breathing treatments) that have to be given to him every 6 hours, which of course he loves. This is the first time he has really been more seriously ill and let me tell you-it's kind of scary. It really makes me more aware of the depth of my love for my little son. I feel his pain actually physically, in the pit of my stomach when he coughs and coughs and gasps for air. We had to go get a chest x-ray done for him and I was an emotional wreck. Looking back on it, it wasn't so bad and I know it will make me stronger for the next time that happens, but geesh, it's hard being a mom! I really do respect mothers more than ever. We are a strong breed- are we not? :) Today I can tell he is feeling a little better. It also helps having the nebulizer because I know that is what they would do if we took him to the hospital, so it's nice having it on hand and it helps him breathe so much better. I daresay we are coming out of this fog-Thank you LORD!

This seems like one of the worst transitions to bring up this topic, but we have been thinking about more children lately (I know kind of hard to believe) -but we are! Just thinking ahead really, trying to foresee what would be the best timing with my job and with the age difference they might have. I've heard a lot of different advice lately..."You just know when you're ready"...."Two years apart was good they played together all the time"...." Two years apart was too close"........"Four years was nice because you only had one in diapers"....."It's nice when they're close together you can do all the diapers and then be done with them".......I've heard it all. It seems there is no definitive answer- Surprise! Just wondering what you think out there in cyberspace (all two of you who read this on occasion;) ?

Some of our factors are:

I have the summers off, so when Calvin was born in late March, I had the rest of the school year off and then the whole summer which was nice.

Our "childcare" aka "grandmas" might be overwhelmed with two young children? And I'd like to work for at least 4 more years if possible.

Dan was two years apart with his brother Nick and they seem like they really enjoyed it and played together well.

I was three years apart with Graham and we were pretty close-although I was definitely the older sister.

How many kids do we want to have total? Because I don't want to be too much older than 30 and still having kids.

And then there is the factor of what God blesses us with. Maybe Calvin is our only child, if that is so I will be happy, but we'd really like a few more. We've also talked about the possibility of adopting in the future as well.

Dan is a great Dad. Really, He is like the Dad's you see on sitcoms like "7th Heaven" and "Full House". He is so good with Calvin. So patient, so steady and so loving-no matter how hard it is. He is the classic father. I am SO blessed to have him by my side in this journey into family-hood.

Ultimately I am SOOOO blessed in a number of ways, I am excited for our future! But if we do have a choice in the matter...what do you think?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Patty-cake! 10 Months

Calvin is growing so fast it sometimes makes me sad. But this is also such a FUN age! He is 10 months old today. Lately he's learned to clap his hands together every time we say "Do you want to patty-cake?" it's so cute, he gets a big smile on his face and starts clapping right away. He also knows the sign for "more" when we are feeding him. Although now "more" and "patty-cake" look a lot alike. He is also using some new sounds like the "c" as in C-ooper. I think he understands that that is his name because everytime he sees Cooper he looks at him and makes the "c" sound. The other day he was on the floor crawling and he hadn't been home all day and he saw Cooper for the first time. They were so excited to see each other, it was really cute. Cooper kept licking his face and playing with him and Calvin was laughing so hard! It was this deep baby belly laugh-adorable. It made Dan and I start laughing too!

Another thing Cal loves to do is open and shut any kind of door. He LOVES it. He will sit in front of his bedroom door and open, close, open, close. He also loves the cupboards in the kitchen. It never gets old to him.

So I am really enjoying this age!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another crazy idea.

I am confused by myself lately. Why can I be so into an idea or a plan and then on a whim completely change my mind and direction? I guess I am a woman, that's probably part of it :) I think I need more outlets for my creativity, because I exhaust myself thinking up crazy ideas and mapping out every detail of them. I spent hours last night researching daycare licensing. I mean hours of intense internet research and scheming. Dreaming up ways to convert our entire basement into a fabulous child care facility. I get really into "creating spaces". That is my favorite thing to do. I have been feeling lately like I'm being somewhat held back at work. I love my job...but- I should have my teaching certificate and be making more money because I can surely do the job and am doing it now, sans teacher salary. Why am I so obsessed with money too? I could potentially make more money pretty easily I think if I were to take in 4 or 5 kids at my home. No going back to school to get certificates, no more student loan debt, and then the trouble of finding those elusive job openings for elem. ed. teachers in this hard pressed economy. But I do enjoy the teacher schedule.

So here's a brief synopsis of my new idea: Finish our basement (including the garage) into two nice big play rooms and a half bath. True this would cost a bit, but Dan could do a lot of the work himself. And we'd like to finish it anyway for our own kids to play, and potentially sleep, in later. Plus the way the space is set up, it has it's own entrance and is on the ground floor and is separated from the rest of the house so we could have our own space to live in. It also has several windows so it doesn't feel so much like an old basement (which is really what it is, truth be told) Only problem is we don't really have a backyard to play in, but we do have three or four parks within a mile of our house.

Take in a couple kids to start. And see how it goes. Oh and only watch Teachers' kids. So, hopefully I can keep the same schedule.

I also have been feeling a call to somehow minister to under-privileged kids. Which I already kind of do at school. But I think it might be cool to offer some really cheap childcare to a couple of kids as a sort of ministry, after I've been doing it for awhile. I am also curious about being a foster parent and this seems like a sort of in between step to get there and still make a living. Plus, I can spend more time with my own kids at home too.

Here I go again. Business idea number 13 in the books. I guess I'll sleep on this one for awhile.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

~2009~ The year of babies!

All I have to say is wow, when I look back on 2009. This was without a doubt our biggest year yet. I am somewhat sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful and challenging year, but excited for what this new year means too.

We started off 2009 in true Michigan fashion sporting one of the biggest snowfalls I could remember in a while. I remember sitting in our cozy little house on Van Brunt watching the fat flakes fall in the street light. It was a beautiful snow. My belly was getting bigger at this point, it was nice to have that extra warmth of a baby belly. I was 6 months pregnant.

Besides being pregnant, we also bought our very first house!!!!! We got a great deal on this little fixer-upper gem and we spent the better part of February and early March painting, painting, painting, sanding floors, laying tile, rewiring the electric, getting new appliances put in, cleaning cupboards and on and on. We had so much help thanks to our amazing family and friends!

It's a good thing we worked so hard getting our new house ready for our little bun in the oven, because Calvin came almost a month early! We had our entire house packed and ready for the moving crew in the morning when my water broke at 4 am! What an exciting and memorable day(s) that was! March 22nd, we welcomed our sweet baby boy Calvin James into our lives and into our new home. Words really can't describe the feeling of holding your son for the first time ever.

Spring finally came and with the new sunshine and fresh grass marked the beginning of a new era for our little family. We found ourselves wrapped up in the amazing growth of our child. Watching his first smiles, lifting up his head, sleeping through the night (thank you Lord), rolling over, sitting up, laughing, saying "da-da", and "ma-ma", giggles and squeals of delight, crawling, and now pulling up and dancing and eating big boy food.

Calvin made his first trip away from home down to Anderson IN to visit Uncle Nick and Aunt Mary and watch them graduate! We also got a chance to see Melody and Rachel my good friends and roomates from college. Rachel had her son 2 weeks after I did, and Melody has since had identical twin girls!
Krissy, Dan's sister also graduated from Highschool.
We began to really make our house a home and felt more and more comfortable there!
Dan's Aunt Peggy passed away in June from brain cancer. It was a terribly difficult time for all of us, but we were all so incredibly touched by her courage and her steadfast faith in God throughout her life, especially towards the end. Her memory is with us always and there's not a doubt in my mind that she is with her savior and Lord smiling in heaven.
We visited Dan's family cabin up north a few times this summer. Making it the fifth generation of first born sons and their first born sons to experience Jehnsen Lake. Dan did most of the fishing while I stayed back with Cal. Dan turned 26 while we were up there!
Us enjoying the beautiful St. Joe summer ........
My grandma had her 80th birthday party this summer. A lot of our my mom's side of the family was able to make it to the party, but we were still missing a few :)
Dan's cousin Holly came for a visit from California and Calvin and Brody got to meet each other!
Uncle Graham finally came to visit. He is living in Nashville with my Dad and decided that he would join the Coast Guard in the coming year.
In August we took a trip down to Nashville to visit my Dad, Stepmom, and little sisters. My granny and papa came to meet Calvin too.

Our "HOUSE" group of young adults had a great summer. The softball team won the championship in the church league. We also had a lot of great beach side bible studies and discussions.
With the end of summer, came a beautiful autumn, my 26th birthday and Calvin as a monkey for Halloween. We also had a visit from Melody, Allan and their twin baby girls. So many babies!

One of my bestest friends from college got married. Yay Shanna! It was a perfect fall wedding, nestled in the woods. It was so good to get together with all the cottage girls and our respective babies.
Calvin started eating baby food and is feeding himself finger foods now.
We had our annual friend's Christmas party with Tori, Matt, Jen, and Rachel. Here we are playing pin your "elf self" on Santa's lap. Fun times.
And of course, Baby's first Christmas. He loved ripping the paper and has so many new toys to play with.
I'd say one heck of a year! I'm so blessed even by writing this little review at how amazing my life is and how many wonderful people I call family and friends. Thanks for all your hard work (moms aka "gramma" and "nana") and for all that you do to make our lives beautiful. God is good.

Here's to an even better 2010!