Three Point Five {on my baby being three and a half}

T I M E   F L I E S

Last night, he walked out of the garage to follow his daddy and “help” mow. I reminded him about staying off the street because of “fast cars,” and he immediately replied “I’ll be fine” with a thumbs up. I laughed on the outside, but mostly in an effort to avoid crying.

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Everyday he says something clever, new, and I am amazed at what a spectacular young man God has given us. I worry (waaaaaaaaaay too much) that the influences of the outside world, other people, and media will harm him, but I MUST remember that our Heavenly Father loves him infinitely more than I can even begin to imagine.

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He admires his Daddy, me, and by the Grace of God, we’ll do our best to show him Christ’s love and help him learn that his greatest calling is to glorify God, love Him and love others.

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Having him look at me with his 3 and half year old wisdom and say “I’ll be fine,” was a heavenly reminder that God is in control and the plans He has for my little man are greater than any I can think of.

DSC_6775He is a fierce lover (and sometimes fighter), passionate, assertive, creative, intuitive, and just plain fun! I can’t wait to see what the rest of “three” is like!

Six Years

Happy Anniversary to me and my man! Six years ago today I was all nervous-giggly and talkative. (I get SUPER talkative and giggle WAY too much when I’m nervous or anxious.)  A lot of our wedding day is a blur, but I do remember a cold shower–our hotel had hot water issues–make-up at the Clinique counter with some of my bridesmaids, not having much to eat because of nerves, and having some of my closest friends hold my wedding dress up while I used the bathroom. I remember our pastor encouraging me to always be Rusty’s cheerleader and encourager…something I admit I could work on more. I remember our limo driver driving off with our wedding meal, and I remember my mother-in-law calling my new husband just minutes after we drove away….not funny at the time, but it’s something I can laugh at now.

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Little did I know that six years, two houses, two kids, one dog, two churches, and four schools later, I’d love this man more than I did on the day we married. It’s not a grand, romantic love like the media tends to portray, but a better one. It’s deep, unconditional, and reassuring. I am blessed to have a man who loves me enough to change dirty diapers, clean up poop, wipe snotty noses, give numerous baths, read thousands of bedtime stories, wake up early, pick up milk and eggs (and probably some cookies), and make sacrifices for his family. He loves the Lord, and he demonstrates his love for me in ways I never imagined. He gives up time with his friends, watching live sports events (thank the Lord for the invention of the DVR!), and extra duties at school in order to make his family a priority. I am forever grateful for his leadership, commitment, sacrifice, and that he can always make me laugh (and probably roll my eyes too). He’s an amazing father, husband, and friend, and I’m so excited to see what is in store for us in the years ahead

Three is HARD

Someone should’ve warned me just how difficult a three-year-old can be. I’ve always heard about the “terrible twos,” perhaps I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses, but in our house, 2 didn’t seem all that terrible. Sure there were tantrums, the whole potty-training bit, and general neediness, but that was nothing compared to 3. When did this adorable, intelligent, energetic baby become such a demanding, constantly negotiating, very opinionated child? One minute he’s strangling his baby brother and the next he’s saying, “I love you mama” in an aren’t-I-so-sweet-and-innocent voice.

This morning was especially hard. Dadda had to be at a powerlifting meet by 6:30, which meant everyone was awake extra early–like 5:45 AM. (In my honest, accurate opinion, if the sun is not up, then I shouldn’t be either.) Curious George was not the babysitter I hoped for, so anything more than 10 minutes for shower, make-up, etc. was out of the question for this momma. Both boys needed to be held and cuddled, and it’s times like this that I wonder why God didn’t give parents more arms.  Sadly, when both are crying and having meltdowns, I tend to have less patience (and since it was 6:15 AM on a Friday, I had zero patience) with my three year old. I know I should be more understanding….he was INSISTENT on wearing his basketball pants. (Again, I needed a warning that my 3 year old boy would have such strong opinions about his wardrobe.) Unfortunately, someone is behind on laundry and the basketball pants aren’t clean which caused an even bigger melt down, and it was all down hill from there. After lots of tears, the forceful putting on of pants, we loaded up and headed to school. I felt a wave of relief when I dropped the boys off, followed by immediate guilt.

Sure, three is hard. But three is also very entertaining, imaginative, inquisitive, and just plain fun. I love his constant questions, his playful imagination, his need for social interaction and the great outdoors. I love that he wants to read books over and over and play “school.” I love how he {sometimes} want to play with his younger brother (this of course is short-lived because the next minute he’s pushing or choking him).  I’m certain every age will be hard, but I don’t want to waste the time I’m given with them. I don’t want to react in anger or not have any patience just because it’s still dark outside on a Friday morning. My boys are not inconveniences. They are precious gifts. I can only pray that God’s grace will be sufficient, that His power and strength will be evident in  my NUMEROUS weaknesses.

On another note, I’ve discovered that I tend to accompany apologies with food…like, “I’m sorry this morning is rough. Want to grab a donut before school?” Pretty sure my boys will be in therapy someday for emotional eating…

My baby is one…

We’ve been snowed in. THREE days for me being out of school, four for the hubby. I have enjoyed it so much! The best part was I got to spend my little guy’s FIRST birthday at home with him. We didn’t do anything elaborate…made him pancakes for breakfast, sang “Happy Birthday,” and took some pictures together. We just enjoyed being together. I found his birth story that I actually wrote out last February while most of the details were still fresh on my mind. His birth is one of the highlights of my life and a day I’d gladly live over again. Here’s his story, followed by a couple pictures and a video.

On Sunday, December 9, 2012 we welcomed a beautiful eight pound, five ounce baby boy into the world. Hudson Elwyn Hall was born at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City at 1:31 p.m. He was 20 ½ inches long, with a little bit of light brown hair on top of a perfectly round head.

For Hudson’s birth we decided not to find out the gender of the baby before he was born, although, I “knew” all along I was having another boy. Rusty was certain it was going to be a girl. We had two boy names chosen and one girl name, but nothing was certain until we met little Hudson. As soon as we found out we were having another baby, I began reading about natural childbirth. I did not want the same experience I had with Cannon’s birth and knew I wanted to have as much energy as possible after the birth. Even though I decided early on to have an unmedicated labor and delivery, when I mentioned it to Rusty and a few other people, their reactions made me doubt whether or not I could do it. Thankfully, God blessed me with a quick and easy labor process, and I would gladly give birth again without drugs.

The estimated due date for Hudson was 12/8/12, but I always assumed it would be a week later–around the 16th. The only thing we were hoping to avoid was interfering with Lolli’s children’s musical on the 8th and 9th. On Saturday, the 8th, I began have contractions sporadically, and Rusty, Cannon, and I went to Wellston to see the musical. The entire evening people remarked about being sure to NOT have the baby until after the musical on the 9th. I assured them it wouldn’t happen that soon, but I was wrong. I woke up at 4:15 a.m. on the 9th with a painful contraction. I went to the bathroom and then back to bed; however, from then on I was awakened about every fifteen minutes by contractions. I knew they were regular, painful, but I thought I still had quite a ways to go before meeting our new little one. Around 6:30 a.m., I took a bath and began paying more attention to how often I was having contractions. Interestingly enough, I understand why people choose waterbirths–the pain was considerably less while I was in the bathtub. Around 7:30 a.m. Rusty and Cannon woke up and I told them we probably wouldn’t be going to church because I didn’t want to have contractions as painful as I was in front of our Sunday School class. I sent Lauren and Megan text messages to find out where they would be in case we needed to have them watch Cannon. At this point, I was beginning to think we would find out if we were having a boy or girl by late that night or early the next morning. I made breakfast for us, attempted to watch some TV with Cannon, and cleaned up the kitchen. As the contractions got stronger, but still not closer than 10-15 minutes apart, I decided gather Cannon’s things together and asked Rusty to load up the CR-V, just in case. By around 8:30, I decided it was better to be safe than sorry and head to the hospital. Before we left, we made signs with the three names we picked out. I distinctly remember having to stop while writing and wait for contractions to pass.

I drove Cannon to Lauren’s apartment, where he stayed until Megan and Josh got back to her place–they had been on their way to church, but turned around for us. Another very vivid memory, is driving down 15th street, singing the “ha ha song” and attempting to stay as relaxed as possible through contractions. Once I’d dropped Cannon off, Rusty had arrived with the truck, a full tank of gas, and we were on our way to Mercy. This was when I decided to actually call Lolli, Nana, and Holli. I also sent Dawn a text asking if she would come in the hospital room if Rusty needed relief from coaching me. We told Lolli and Nana that it would probably still be hours, but we were heading to the hospital “just in case.”

We arrived at the hospital at 10:55, made our way to the fifth floor to check-in, and I filled out the paperwork, all while having some pretty hard contractions. In the triage room, a young nurse, got us settled in, asked us all sorts of medical history questions, and then checked my cervix. While she was checking me, she got a very puzzled look on her face, and I remarked at how long it was taking her. She said she was sorry, but was kind of confused because she thought I was an eight! I did not believe her and remember feeling disappointed because she was probably just getting my hopes up. She called in another nurse to check me, and she also said I was an eight. Rusty and I were in shock. Both nurses hurried to contact others to get a room ready for us, an IV in me (blowing veins in both wrists), and quickly wheeled us to room 638. Rusty called Lolli, Nana, Holli, sent texts to aunts, updated our Sunday School class via Facebook, and held my hand. According to the nurses, we’d have a baby within an hour or two. I was just worried about “ruining” the children’s musical and whether or not Holli could make it to take pictures.

Once we were settled in our room, our nurse Keely, and the charge nurse, Christina (who was my nurse during Cannon’s birth), called Dr. Wayman, talked to us about pushing, answered my many questions, and checked my cervix again–now I was a 9. From 11:15 to around 12:45, I remember thinking “this isn’t too bad.” Rusty was a great coach, reminding me to relax through contractions, holding my hand, giving me water, ice, and making sure family and friends were up-to-date. Dr. Wayman arrived, and I asked her to wait to break my water until Holli came. She laughed at me and said that was a first for her–someone wanting to wait on their photographer. Everything was good, but both Dr. Wayman and the nurses agreed that as soon as my water broke, we’d be meeting our baby. At some point, Holli did arrive, and all I know was around 1:00, I was thinking I was crazy for not having pain medication. IT HURT. Dr. Wayman came back to the room, checked me again, broke my water, and the pushing began. To me, the pushing seemed to last for a while–I would’ve guessed 10 minutes, but according to Rusty and Holli, it wasn’t even 5 minutes. Pushing was not painful, but it was hard work. At 1:31 pm, Dr. Wayman put a perfect baby boy on my chest, and he peed on me for the first time.

It’s hard to explain the emotions that come with giving birth, and there was a distinct difference between the first and second times. A few weeks later I remember someone asking if we had one day to choose to relive over again–a good day–what day would it be? Without hesitation, my first thought was the day I gave birth to my “chill boy.” Hudson’s birth brought such a mix of emotions–fear, peace, frustration, pain, joy, and love–and it’s an experience I’d gladly go through again and again.

Hudson’s birth day was such a good and perfect gift from God! I’m forever grateful and blessed.

Hudson is here!

Hudson is here!

My chill boy is ONE!

My chill boy is ONE!