Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Summer Fun!

I know...I know...I completely missed the entire month of June when it comes to blogging.  Oops!  It is not because we have been laying low...on the other hand we have not stopped!  I decided this summer to keep the kiddos with me, instead of doing a summer camp, and I honestly have loved every minute of having them with me full time.  I have totally been soaking up their sweetness and loving having them with me.  I think last week was the first time I actually found myself frazzled and thinking, "when does school start back?"  Mid July and just asking myself that question for the first time...I'd call that success.

Overall it has been a fabulous summer.  We spent all of June doing swim team and both Aubrey and Weston rocked it.  Aubrey more than Weston, but I have to give Weston props for hanging in there and not giving up.  He is a tiny fellow so getting across a 25 yard pool is no easy task, but he gave it his all.  Bre Lane did amazing and was in the top 10% for all girls aged 6 in the entire city.  I was so proud of her. She gets it in her mind that she is going to win and she gives it her all.  She loves the thrill of the competition....she reminds me so much of me at that age.

We have done a ton of leisure swimming at Meme's and Nana's pools and also had a great time in our backyard pool from Costco.  My kids could swim all day long if I'd let them and they always sleep extra good when we have had a long day at the pool.  7:30 pm and my kiddos are out cold...score one for mommy.

Weston Hayes is 4.5 and still a huge mama's boy.  He does not let me leave his sight.  It is really sweet and cute until I need some alone time...then it can be difficult.  Weston is a child who is either one extreme or the other.  He is either an absolute charmer and the sweetest thing you will ever meet, or he is Mr. Temper/Grumpy.  I have to really try and teach him to control his temper, again, he is the most precious, sweetest soul...unless you make him mad...then watch out.  Weston compliments me all day long.  He is such an encouragement to everyone.  He will tell me he loves my clothes or that I look beautiful or even that I smell good.  Just a genuinely sweet little boy.  He totally has me wrapped and I secretly soak in the fact that he is so obsessed with his mama.  I know it won't last forever.  Weston is incredibly smart and amazes me with his vocabulary and ability to remember things.  Weston loves to take baths and be warm.  Give that boy a hot tub over a pool anyday.  Weston is such a joy and he makes me laugh each and everyday.  He melts my heart with the things he tells me and I think hands down he is the best snuggler in the world. 

My Bre Lane is 6.5 and inching her way closer to 7.  She is becoming such a joy.  Aubrey has always given us a run for our money, but lately she is sliding into the role of becoming my easiest.  She is incredibly talented at anything she tries.  She can do swimming, dance, gymnastics, art, cooking, singing...the list goes on.  She just has the ability to succeed at anything!  She is crazy smart...she can learn and master tough board games and then beat me!  Aubrey has never been an overly affectionate child, but lately she loves to be held and hugged and kissed.  I absolutely love it! I am loving that Aubrey is becoming more fashion aware and really having her own sense of style.  She is very girly but also loves athletic things...she is just the best mix of everything.  Aubrey is such a happy girl...she truly loves life and has a great attitude about all things...she gets excited about new things and really embraces all aspects of life.  She can make a friend in about 2 seconds and never meets a stranger.  She is extremely inquisitive and will ask me 100 questions every single time we get in the car.  I try and be patient and really teach her things because she is genuinely interested in soaking it all in.  Aubrey loves her brothers and she makes the best big sister...she and Baylor have a very special bond that I just adore.  Aubrey loves to spend time with Baylor and he thinks of her as his second mama.  It is the sweetest thing ever.  The other night she bathed him, changed his diaper, dressed him in pj's, rocked him and then put him in his bed.  When I went in to put Baylor to bed, I realized that Aubrey had already done it...when I peeked in on him he was sound asleep!!!  I was shocked (and kinda offended) that he was so content to let her do the bedtime routine! 

Baylor Jace has been such a stinker lately. His vocabulary has grown exponentially and he is absolutely hilarious.  He repeats anything and everything he hears.  He loves to say phrases that he knows he isn't supposed to say.  Things like poo poo, toot and dad gommit.  He also loves to say the phrase, "I spank your butt" and just laugh his head is pretty funny if I do say so myself.
Baylor loves the water and is participating in a swim class for special needs children.  He absolutely loves it.  They sing songs, move and kick and just get acclimated with the water.  Baylor soaks it up and thrives on the one on one attention he gets from the volunteers.  He is still working hard in therapy and continuing to amaze us with his progress. I am so proud of that little stinker.

These crazy kiddos bring me such joy.  They can wear me slap out and make me wanna pull my hair out at times, but overall they are such sweeties.  I wouldn't trade these summer days with them for anything.  I am so thankful for these weeks to spend together and throw all routine and obligations out the window.  Here's to many more lazy days with my cuties!! 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Taking Steps

When I was about 3 months pregnant with Baylor, barely even showing a bump, my brother in law's father approached Christian and I at a Thanksgiving party and said that he had a word for us.  Keep in mind that this is someone we see maybe once or twice a year, someone who barely knows us. He is a pastor and a faithful man who loves the Lord with all his heart.  He told us that the Lord told him that Christian and I were being called in the ministry of something having to do with special needs children. He said that he believed that in our future, somehow or someway, we would deal with children with disabilities.   At the time, Christian and I smiled politely and thanked him for his words...we weren't really sure what the heck that meant!  We had never, ever considered or even had it cross our minds...special needs was so far off our radar.  I never even once considered that the child I was carrying at that exact moment would have any disabilities or challenges.  We totally just took that moment for granted and moved on.  

Fast forward to about 6 months later when we have a preemie with health issues and it becomes clear to me that Baylor is different.  I begin to think back to that word from Mr. Steve, but again I tuck it far away.  To be honest, special needs children in general has always made me uncomfortable.  It is not something that anyone really knows how to deal with and even when I just see a child who is different, I usually just smile and move on quickly.  It's just human nature...different makes us uncomfortable.  

At 10 months old, I absolutely knew Baylor had something wrong.  Call it mother's intuition or a gut feeling, but I knew without a doubt Baylor had Cerebral Palsy.  After an MRI confirmed that Baylor did indeed have moderate to severe brain damage, I knew our lives would never be the same.  Those spoken, prophetic words were front and center in my heart and mind.  

Here we are about 8 months after the original diagnosis and our precious Baylor is doing wonderful.  He makes strides every single day and his progress has baffled many professionals.  Baylor has beat every odd and he is doing things we didn't think we would see for many more years.  I have no doubt that Baylor will still struggle every single day to do things that others are able to do freely, but I also know he will rise to the challenge.  Everything he does...he does with a supernatural sense of joy.  He never...ever gets discouraged or lets his disability get him down.  He smiles all day long, whether exhausted, behind or even hurting...he continues to smile.  Seriously...he is the happiest little guy ever. 

So with as much progress as Baylor made, I have many different feelings that arise.  Extreme happiness that my little man is doing so well, excitement that Baylor is overcoming the odds, but also some guilt and sadness for the many others who aren't able to overcome their disability as well as Baylor.  

Lately Christian and I have been discussing what exactly God has in store for our story.  We honestly don't believe Baylor is the end to what God wants to do in our family...we strongly believe he is just the beginning...the catalyst that will propel us into further action.  We are seeking God's guidance because we know the knowledge and resources that have been given to us when it comes to cerebral palsy are something that we need to take and use for God's glory.  What does that look like...we aren't really sure.  Does that mean we begin some sort of foundation or group for local families who are walking this up-and-down roller coaster that is CP?  Does that mean we begin a walk or race to raise funds and awareness for this illness?  Does that even mean that one day we adopt another child, perhaps from another country, who otherwise wouldn't have the resources to deal with the disability?  We honestly don't know...but we do know that we have to take steps towards God's ultimate plan for us.  Please pray for us as we research, pray and learn more about where Baylor's incredible story will lead. 

In the meantime of trying to figure out our next steps...we are rejoicing over our sweet man's progress.  He is a fighter in every sense of the word and he amazes us daily with his attitude and determination.  I am so proud to call him mine.  

Love you Baylor are my hero.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My Happy Place

We took our annual "us only" beach trip which is always something I look forward to all year long.  There is just something about the beach that makes me relax and soak in the sweetness that is my family.  I just love watching my children experience the thrill of the ocean, the waves and the sand.  It is honestly getting more fun now that they are getting a little older.  Aubrey absolutely loved the water...we couldn't get her out of the waves.  I just love her braveness and adventurous spirit...she definitely is my child...lover of water!  

The boys enjoyed the beach too, just not quite as much.  The only way we really could keep them satisfied was to give them lots of snacks.  Baylor was content to just stay in his inflatable pool, free from the sand.  HAHA!  

These crazies are so sweet, so special and so much fun.  I just eat up every single second with them and the season of life we are in right now. I wanted nothing more in life than to be a mom, and these three make my dreams pale in comparison to my reality.  I am just so blessed and thankful for these memories and the special moments I will remember forever.

Random facts about our beach trip...

We listened to the Greatest Showman CD at least three complete times on the ride there and back....Aubrey and Weston can belt out every single song.  

Not to mention, Christian played the Greatest Showman on the beach and Aubrey and Weston were doing the songs and dances...musical theater style on the beach.  No shame.

Christian, Aubrey and Weston went crabbing and caught a crab.  Weston named it Max Moots and then cried like a baby when they let him go.  He apparently wanted to bring his new friend to show and tell.

A few ladies came up to us on our last day and told us they voted us "the cutest family on the beach" award.  We were very honored...we took our accomplishment very seriously...even if they were kinda tipsy.

Baylor took his very first steps in the sand...he wasn't a huge fan, the uneven ground made him unsteady but he did take a few steps!  

Christian bought a wagon that could carry all of our beach things... chairs, toys, towels, umbrellas, etc.  I honestly don't think I have seen Christian so excited. I could have offered him a million dollars and I don't think he would have traded it for that cart.  He couldn't believe how fabulous the cart made it to get to and from the beach. Total game changer for him.

We went to eat one evening out by the bay and they had a pirate ship that came by and shot a canon, had real pirates and even squirted them with water.  Well Weston Hayes did NOT like the fact that they squirted him with water.  He was very upset and highly offended.  Oops!  

Baylor Jace has discovered Mickey Mouse on the television/phone and he is obsessed.  One morning he woke up (he was in our room in the pack and play) around 6 am and was standing in his bed yelling "mickey...mickey"!  It wasn't really funny at 6 am but it was later. 

My Aubrey Lane is such a friend maker. She is so sweet and friendly...she can make friends in any situation.  She met a friend on the beach and it was just too precious. They played together for hours.  I laughed because she met her on the beach and they played for a while, but then she saw her later at the pool and Aubrey went up to her and said, "hey it's me Aubrey...I'm the girl from the beach, I just have a new swim suit on, I just wanted to make sure you knew it was me!"

These were just a few special tidbits I want to was such a great thankful we can make special memories!  Back to life...back to reality.  Bye Bye Beach...see ya in a few weeks!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March Madness

How the heck is it March already?  And I have yet to blog one single time...I'm a terrible slacker!  Things have been so busy...which is the usual around here.  So many times I am out before my head hits the pillow at night. We just go go go all day...everyday!

We started January off with New Years Eve with Aubrey Lane.  This was the first time we let her get up at midnight and watch the fireworks and she was just elated!  She was so excited it was just her and she popped out of bed right when we got her up...she was ready to go!

We also celebrated Weston's 4th birthday and let me tell you...this little 4 year old is amazing.  I don't get to gush about my little guy as often as I should, but this boy is pure delight.  I may or may not have an extra special bond with him that Christian says is borderline unhealthy!  HAHA!  He is such a mama's boy.  He kisses me, tells me I'm beautiful, and wants to go where ever I go.  If for some reason we aren't together, he insists on calling me to talk or facetime!  We've recently had his little butt as a bed guest at night and while I love snuggling with him, C is determined to get him back in his own bed! Around 2:00 every night he crawls in my bed and tucks those little feet under my back...pure sweetness right there.  Weston is the smartest guy I know (just like his daddy) and will blow you away with his vocabulary and intellect.  I have no doubt that Weston could be president in 30 years.  Mark my words.  Weston loves PJ Masks, Legos, Ninja Turtles and anything on television.  He adores playing with his big sis but can play by himself for hours on end. He isn't a big eater, but he does love fruit snacks more than anything.  We love your sweetness Weston make everyday a lot brighter!  

Mr. Baylor Jace is busy each week with Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy.  His sweet little smile makes all the craziness worth it though.  Bay Bay is doing great and making strides.  We continue to pray over him and are believing great things for him.  

We decided to do a camping weekend and boy oh boy did we make some memories!!!  We went to Percy Quinn State Park, somewhere I loved as a child, but unfortunately it wasn't quite as magical this time.  We get an A for effort but I don't know if I will want to camp again any time soon.  I am much more a beach/resort kinda girl!  

It was beautiful outside, but it was really cold and my sweet Weston was sick.  It just wasn't good conditions for being outside.  

We did have some fun moments in between the craziness. 

Biking was a big fail.  Weston couldn't manage the big hills, Aubrey fell off her bike just minutes after the trail started and Baylor was not a fan of the hills in his carrier.  

Our cabin was absolutely straight up nasty.  We would have been better staying in a tent but it was just so cold.  Oh and did I mention there was a mouse in our room?  Yeah, I so wanted to sleep in the car but Christian made me tough it out.  I have never been so ready for morning and leaving a vacation.  Christian said this was the first time he had ever wanted to leave a vacation early!

We had the greatest opportunity to meet up with another family who has a little girl with Cerebral Palsy.  These two angels hit it off immediately...there is just a supernatural sweetness about these kiddos with special needs.   Not to mention getting to pour out my heart to someone who completely understands and can relate.  It is a relationship that I can't wait to nurture and strengthen.  I truly feel like God put this family in our path and I believe we will be lifelong friends.  

My little man started soccer and it is so much fun!!  I am new to the soccer world but I am loving it.  Weston likes it a whole lot better than t-ball and I love getting to see him work hard and meet new friends. 

A little LSU gymnastics one Sunday afternoon was a blast! 

Special Donut breakfast with my big guys!  

What a great few months.  Always busy... but always a blast!