Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A First

As a Mama, I get to experience a lot of "firsts."  Not only for myself, but for Carson as well.  He is obviously experiencing a lot of "firsts" in his young life, and I love to be right there for almost all of them.
One "first" that I got to be front and center for, as it tugged at my heart strings a bit, was Carson's first Friend Date!  I honestly can't even fathom the fact that my baby is old enough to have friends.  Let alone understand the concept of having a friend join us for a fun activity.

Carson's first friend date took place at a pool.  And let me tell you, we all had a blast!  We pulled up to Carissa's house shortly after lunch, and Carson and I were both so giddy.  I may have also been a bit emotional, because, well---I don't know why.  I think because my heart was so happy.

The ride to the Grundy pool was priceless.  I heard a lot of chattering in the back seat, and I just smiled.  Hearing two two-year-olds talk to each other is one of my new favorite sounds.  I understood most of it, but some of it was a little too gibberish for me.  But, they understood each other, clearly, because everything was followed with laughter, and kicking of the feet in excitement.  

I witnessed a lot that day, and I soaked everything up.  My son playing with a friend, and playing very nicely.  Carson and Carissa having fun together in the pool--splashing each other and making each other laugh.  The sound of two little people giggling, healthy as can be, and having fun together---is definitely something to thank our good Lord for.

We played for a while. Took a break with an icey. Played.  Break.  Repeat.  The whole entire time we were there :)

Carson sucked all of the juice out if his icey, and Carissa took hers down like a champ.  To the last drop. 

Both kiddos were so tired after our fun day, and zonked out on the way home.  It was so precious.

My heart was happy that day, and smiling.  As it is today.

I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to do this with Carson and Carissa.  I know it made them happy, and I love that!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

God Bless America

......Land of the free.

I feel like this is a statement that is all too often overlooked, or taken for granted.  I, being one of those people.

I catch myself, more often than I would like, taking the phrase "Land of the Free" for granted.  Having never lived anywhere other than the USA, and not doing much traveling, I feel it is easy to do. 

So this year, on July 4th, I made a huge effort to give this statement more thought.  Why it took Independence Day for me to do this, I am really not sure.

I thanked a Soldier for his service.  There are so many men and women who fight for our freedom.  That is something to truly be thankful for.  They put their life at risk....for each and every one of us.  Not to mention, their families go for extended periods without them home.  They worry, and are concerned each and every day for their safety and well being.  I can only imagine what they go through.

I saw a picture and saying floating around on the internet lately with these very hot days that we have been having.  It said something along the lines of..."if you think today's weather is hot, imagine what a soldier is going through in 110-120 degree temperatures, with their heavy gear on"...all the while fighting for this wonderful country.  That was a huge eye opener to me, and some food for thought. 

While thinking about this, it really made me stop and think about how blessed I am.  I have so much to be thankful for, aside a free country.  I have a beautiful family-- loving husband, and two amazing and healthy sons.  Supportive parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, etc.  A roof over my head, and food on the table for every meal.  A job.  And so, so much more.

Even with all that being said, we live in a society that feeds us with the need to want more.  A bigger, newer house.  Name brand clothing.  A new vehicle. A bigger income.  A smaller waist.  And the list goes on and on.

I am aware of these things, and get sucked in.  That's when it hit me hard.  There are people putting their life at risk for me, and I am worried about this pity stuff?  That is crazy. 

Carl and I have recently talked about wanting a different home.  We would like something bigger, and we caught ourselves getting frustrated with not being able to find something.  And then I stumbled across this...

How true is that.  When we want more, I am trying to remind myself to be patient, and be happy with what we have.  Because we have a lot to be happy with.  After all, the title of this blog says it all.  We strive each and every day to Admire the Small Things.    

Don't get me wrong, I want to continue to move forward, work towards my goals, strive to better myself.  And believe me when I say I have big goals.  But I want to do these things all the while being thankful for my current situation.  Because in the end, my life is pretty grand.  The roof over my head is plenty big enough for my family.  Because in reality, that means our house if full of stuff.  Stuff that takes up space, making our life even more plentiful, and added items to our list of things we need and should be thankful for.  Not to mention, the size of our house does not matter, just so it is filled with love.  And you better believe our house is filled with a ton o' love! 

So, I am trying my best to be present.  Live in each and every moment.  Cherish the little things that are placed in my day.  That precious smile across each of my boys' face.  The giggle from Carson that I absolutely love to hear, or the coo from Weston that melts my heart.  The love from my husband--that spontaneous moment when he grabs for my hand, just to hold me.  Cuddles from each of my boys at night.  Our bedtime routine complete with a prayer......and a moment to stop from what we are doing, to thank the good Lord for everything.

We live in a wonderful Country, and I am proud to be an American.  Even during this "troubling" time of our economy, or the political debates that are being the end of the day, we can all be thankful for something.  If nothing else, we can thank someone face-to-face for their service.  

I write this post as a reminder to myself, and possibly to others as well.  A reminder to always strive to look around, and be thankful for what I/You have, and be content.  That is the key word.  Contentment.  Something to aim towards each and every day.

At this moment, I am content in my life. I feel like I am right where I need and should be. And that, is an amazing feeling. 

"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TWO Months

Our Dearest little Weston is two months old already!  Wow, time is flying by, that's for sure.  Weston has been such a joy of an addition to our family.  I am still so in awe of him everyday.  He is our littlest miracle, and we feel so blessed to be raising this little soul.

We had Weston's 2 month check-up the end of last week.  He got 3 shots, which were no all.  The nurse's got a glimpse of just how well Weston's set of lungs really do work.  I felt so bad for the poor little guy, because I think he had a little reaction to the shots.  He was really fussy, and cried for a majority of the afternoon and through the night.  And it wasn't a whine, it was a painful cry, which broke my heart.


On to the monthly questions......

-Weight: 12.8 Pounds at his Dr's Appointment.

-How much is he eating now: 4 Ounces about every 2-1/2 to 3 hours. 

-Wears size 1 diapers.
-How long does he sleep at night: His nights vary.  A lot of times he doesn't go to bed until 11:00, or shortly after. He will sleep until about, we are making huge progress in that area!  I am still hoping to get him on a little different schedule as I go back to work, though.  To bed a little earlier would be nice, as I catch myself not getting to sleep until after midnight every night.  We are working on that a little bit each night.

-What size of clothes is he in:  Weston fits into his 3 month clothing so very nicely at the moment.  I am loving going through Carson's old sleepers, and putting him in them.  He has been wearing a lot of sleeveless outfits with it being so hot and humid lately, and he looks so darn cute in his "muscle" shirts!  Hehe.

-Facial Expressions:  He is still full of expressions, and says so much with his eyes.  It's so cute to see an eyebrow raise while you are talking to him.  He is also full of smiles, and I love that about him.  He is a cheeser, which makes the view even better---complete with a double chin and all.  A smile from Weston is enough to make my day! 

-Learned anything new this month:  Daddy is doing exercises with Weston, just like he did with Carson.  They have started with sit-ups, and he is moving to standing.  Carl and I are all so impressed with how strong this little guy is.  He can stand for long periods of time, and is constantly "jumping."  He is a champ when it comes to holding his head up, has an amazingly strong neck and back, and loves to sit in the bumbo.  He has also started to coo a lot this month, and it ranks at the top of my list for favorites sounds!  Between Weston's coo, and Carson's giggle, this Mama's heart is overflowing with joy.

-Is Weston a good traveler:  He is still a great traveler...just as long as we are moving!  The car ride instantly puts him to sleep, no matter the distance.  If our destination is only a few blocks away, that is enough to put him to sleep. 

-Did Weston celebrate any holidays this past month:  Weston's big holiday this past month was Father's Day!  He got to honor his Daddy for a whole weekend, and we all had a blast!

-Recognize anyone new: Weston is really responding to voices these days, and it is so much fun to see him do so.  I love how his face lights up when he hears a familiar voice.  That's enough to make your heart melt.  He is also concentrating a lot, and tries very hard to focus on objects.  Hence the funny pictures below :)

-Anything else: Weston has a killer pouty face that about makes you cry every time.  And, trust me when I say....he knows how and when to use this little weapon of his.  He usually gets what he wants when he puts on a big show for us!

This month, Weston made it one step higher in the bath department.  He no longer uses his sling, and is now in the plastic bath tub by himself!  We have also moved bath time from on the sink, to into the tub---if that tells you anything.  He loves to splash!  We all gather 'round the tub, and laugh as we watch him be so serious about taking a bath.  He kicks, and really gets himself moving back and forth, and splashes everywhere.  Carson giggles, Weston smiles, Carl and I laugh....and our world feels so complete. 

Happy TWO month Birthday to our littlest Wee Lad!  We thank the good Lord for you every day, and you have truly been such a blessing to our family.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A New Pool, and a Family BBQ

Carson loves to play in the water.  I remember many, many evenings last year that we spent at the pool, and his love for water then.  I was excited to see if this year held the same story.  And sure enough, it does! 

We have gone to the pool many times, he goes a lot with daycare, he loves to play in the pool and hose in our backyard, and loves the river.  That's my boy....with a love for water. 
The Friday before last, I set up a play date with a friend of mine at a "new" pool.  Carrie has a daughter who is just over a year old, and she loves to play in the water.  So, we scheduled a little pool date at the Grundy pool.  I had never been to that pool before, but heard it was a lot of fun.  We gave it a shot, and I instantly fell in love!  It isn't chaotic like a lot of other pools I have been to, there are activities for all age levels, a slide Carson can help himself down, and a no-depth section....which equals a perfect pool for us.

Carson had so much fun that day playing with everything.  He always has his buckets to play with, and is entertained for the longest time with them.  He climbed up the slide, and slid down a hundred times, filled his bucket and dumped it out a thousand times, and displayed a smile the entire stay.  He played hard, and it showed.  After about 2 hours of playing, he sat on my lap to enjoy a snack.  About 5 minutes later he was zonked out, and enjoyed a little cat nap on the full-length chair at the pool. 

That Saturday morning, we had another little friend/cousin date, and made our way to Sarah and Joel's to have some fun with the kiddos.  Carl was scheduled to play in a golf tournament, so we thought it would be fun to find something to do while he was gone.  While we were there, we decided to walk to the marsh, and let the kids have fun throwing rocks into the water.  Who would have thought such activity would be so much fun? 

If you know Carson, you know that he gets "attached" to different toys very easily.  If he finds a toy he likes, he guards and protects it like it's his own.  He doesn't share that toy very well, and gets rather defensive of it.  While we were at the Kalkwarfs', he found this mower, and took to it right away.  He pushed it everywhere, including all the way to the marsh and back.  It made for a long trip, believe me.  But we made it there and back, the kids almost all got clocked in the head a few times from rocks being thrown, and we somehow walked away from the scene accident free.

Our weekend continued on, and my Grandma Sally was making her way to Iowa for a few days, and was due to arrive in the area on Sunday afternoon.  So, we had a family BBQ to get everyone together to see her.  It was so much fun! 

This would be Weston and his Cousin Kaylee.  What a cute pair!

The 3 youngest babes in the family.  I have a feeling these little kiddos are going to have so much fun growing up together. 

Carson and Zoey had so much fun playing together that night.  They used to go to daycare together, and I think they picked up right where they left off....over a year ago.  There is over a 2 year gap in age between these two, and that doesn't matter one bit to them.  Isn't there so much beauty to be found in little souls? 

I was a little nervous for this family get together, as Carson already had a big and tiring day under his belt.  He was going on no nap, and we had spent the entire afternoon at the Grundy pool.  We went right from the pool to Aunt DiDi's house.  But, he surprised us all with his energetic, and happy self.  I was shocked, and pleasantly surprised.  We had a few mis-haps, but nothing out of the ordinary for our going on 3 year old :) 

Natalie was the lifeguard on duty that night.  I didn't get a picture of her pointing her finger at the kids, but that is exactly what she was doing.  Pair that with her cute little jibber-jabber, and you have one adorable little lifeguard! 

The Grandmas of the evening did what they do best--loved on the little ones.  My boys love it, and so do I. 

The kids played outside in the water for the longest time, babies got passed around, we had great conversations, and everyone enjoyed the beautiful Summer evening.  I am loving all that this Summer has to offer.  We are making memories like you wouldn't believe, and I wouldn't trade that for the world.  There is no greater thing than spending time with family.  What a wonderful weekend!