Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reagan Joy's First Birthday

Dear Reagan,

A year ago tonight I cuddled you in a hospital bed astonished at how blessed I was that God gave me the baby girl I wanted to complete our family with. Tonight I am still just amazed at how blessed our whole family is by you Reagan.

As far as a first year, it is hard to imagine a baby doing it better. It is a good thing no baby in our family has to follow your example. You have slept very well, hardly been sick, are very social and sweet, meet every developmental milestone right on time, didn't spit-up constantly like your siblings, eat almost anything we give you, snuggle and love on us, and are just generally a ideal baby. We have so much fun with you. When I say "we, " I do mean all of us. Adore is not a strong enough word to describe how your siblings feel about you. Ainsley is so delighted to have a sister and loves taking care of you. Hudson has always been just enamored with you and is so sweet and attentive. Camden, while not always as safe as we would like around you, just loves you. He has been given the job of finding choking hazards which he takes quite seriously.

You have 5 little teeth, which you love to use. We do have to watch our toes and sometimes even our legs because you like to try out your teeth on us. Ainsley read the Series of Unfortunate Events books this year and there is a baby in the book named Sunny who bites everything. You are right there with her. What really cracks us up is when you try and bit the kitchen table in an effort to raise yourself higher so you can see what is going on up there. You bite tables, couches, books, toys and even the wall corner once. It is never out of being mad, just something your trying out right now. Cute as it is, we won't be sad when you move on to something else!
You crawl everywhere and pull up on everything. And while you do cruise around while holding onto furniture, you don't seem super close to walking yet. Your not at all interested in standing up on your own, so I think we have a few weeks before you find your legs. Crawling doesn't slow you down much, you get most places you want to go. You wave and clap, and I think are starting to say something close to "mama" intentionally.
A couple of weeks ago you had a sudden enlightenment. You discovered you could open cupboard doors and also at the same time quite being easily distracted away from things I didn't want you getting into. I learned you did in fact understand the word "no." When you would crawl over to the open dishwasher and I would move you away from it and say no you no longer would get distracted with something else. Now that makes you want the dishwasher even more and you run/crawl right back over. When I in a more stern voice tell you no you throw yourself back and cry. And so began the busy training period that will last for... well... years.
A month or so ago someone commented to me that you don't look like your siblings. I said, "I know, I look at her and can't believe that she is really mine." The lady commented back, "it is actually your other kids that you should be confused about if they are yours or not, she clearly belongs to you!" You may not look like your siblings, but just like what happens with them, people comment all the time about how cute you are. You are so fun to take places because when someone looks at you and comments about how cute you are, you grin and coo at them as if you totally understand what they are saying. You have your Daddy so tightly wrapped around your little finger it is amazing. Putting your hair up in two little pig tails is just about his favorite thing in the whole world.

I know we have lots of training to do with you in the next few years, and that parenting gets more challenging all the time. But as a family we have so enjoyed this year with you Reagan. It is a cheesy movie line to quote, but truly you have completed our family. The addition of you has made your daddy and I love each other and each of your siblings even more than we did before. It is just amazing how love multiplies.
In the crazy, business of life I forget to thank God for you every day. But I should. None of us can imagine life without you. I want to savor ever second of your littleness and at the same time I am so excited to see you grow and find out what sort of person you are going to become.

You were a spectacular birthday girl. You loved your cake, and were so cute when you opened presents. You loved the toys and were just delighted with the whole experience.
My prayer today for you Reagan is that you would continue to be such a joy to the people around you that people can't help but look to God because of you.

Happy Birthday baby girl.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


It has in fact been over a month since I have found time to post. So in the interest of catching my little blog up quickly, here is a glimpse of the last month in bullet points and pictures:

*We survived Camden's tonsillectomy. It was less than fun, putting it mildly. He actually did well, if it wasn't for a VERY BAD reaction to the steroid. Wouldn't you know, the steroid is what I thought was going to make this round so much easier because it was supposed to shrink the swelling in his nasal passages. It may have done that, but it had the side effect of making him crazy. If you have ever spent more than 2 minutes with Camden you know he is plenty active. Now imagine that times...oh... say 1,000. We are talking 2am the morning after surgery JUMPING on my bed, running around the room, literally (and I really mean literally- people use the word literally and don't mean it) bouncing off the walls. Crazy. He didn't sleep from 2am until 4 the next afternoon when finally my parents drove him around for hours to settle him down so he would sleep. This after going on two walks and a bike ride. Thedayafter having surgery. Seriously crazy. But we made it. Here he is with a get well cookie from the Carls. What I still find perplexing is that the steriod made him so nuts that he didn't really register pain. He never complained about his throat hurting. He ate anything. I had to be careful to not feed him things that could get stuck in the holes in his throat because that should have been self-regulating with pain making him only want soft foods. Didn't work that way. That was a long bullet point. I'll try to go faster....

~Soccer. 2 kids, 2 teams. Really fun. Don't have any idea how we will handle it when there are three playing and doing activities. Let alone 4. Please note there is an opposing player between Hudson and his teammate Lucas. He isn't fighting one of his own teammates for the ball. (not that we've never seen that before though) That was a much shorter bullet point.

~Trip to the pumpkin patch with Grandma and Grandad. Look at the size of these pumpkins!
We are finding it challenging to get all four of the kids to take a good picture at the same time.
My favorite part of the pumpkin patch was the kids with the map. The place we went to had tons and tons of activities (Bauman Farms-near Salem) and they had a map with everything on it. The kids all three studied that map and plotted out their course. This picture is when they are looking at the map after one activity to find there way to the next. Super cute.

~Field Trip to Astoria. Andrew has to do this one next time. It was a pretty long day. Ft. Clatsop (good, but not worth the trip to Astoria) and the Maritime Museum. (at one point Ainsley came up to me at the museum and said, "I just don't want to hear anything else about boats." that pretty much summed it up.) It was fun to go with her friends. She has great friends and the kids were amazing.
Deep Creek 4th graders. Cute bunch of kids.

I need you to know that Reagan puts this bucket on her head herself! She does it over and over and thinks it is the funniest thing ever. Somewhere in my blog archives there is a post about Camden putting a white (not Halloween) bucket on his head. What is it with these kids?
Here is the group of kids from our neighborhood that we went trick-or-treating with. Can you say mob-o-kids? We had a potluck first with the Katz family and then all took off together. The first house Camden went to when they got to him he asked the lady who answered the door, "how did you know we were here?"
At Jim and Polly Carl's house.
Here is everyone in their costumes. Ainsley is a Barlow cheerleader, Hudson is Darth Vader, Camden is a football player, and Reagan is a dog. And yes, Hudson's pumpkin does have two plastic bats coming out of it. And no, I don't know why.
Reagan is a good sport about all the places she gets drug around to. When I think of the life Ainsley experienced (like specific nap and meal times) compared to Reagan it is astounding how well Reagan rolls with the punches. Halloween made very little sense to her. And as you see in this picture, she let us know a couple of times!
There is no shortage of candy at our house. My favorite part of Halloween is when they get home and sort it all out and the trading (manipulating) begins. It is hilarious. The kids were excited to give out candy when we got home to a few kids. Another cute Camden moment was when the first group showed up and our kids were passing out candy he yelled at the kids, "Hey, what is your names?" Because really, if your going to show up at our house and take our candy, shouldn't you introduce yourself?

~Yeah! All caught up!