Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Family Ties

While we didn't spend Christmas in TN with my family, we were able to make a quick trip there before the holidays for my cousin's wedding. Everyone was together, which has become a rarity these days. And it was a great chance to introduce Caleb!

Fortunately, my friend Melissa let us borrow her DVD player for the car. That made a huge difference and the trip was quite enjoyable for everyone!

I had a great time with my sisters. We love eachother and have tons of fun together. But we're spread out across the country (one sis in Texas and the other in Ohio), so these times do not happen often enough.

My uncle, my mom's youngest brother, was also able to come home. He is a fellow attorney so we have many exciting (or some may say boring) discussions!

Here is my brother's daughter, Layla, holding Caleb. She absolutely loved him and asked to "hold that baby" all day long!

This visit was a little different for us all. My sister Kate brought her boyfriend home to meet the family. For Kate's sake, I won't write much about this. But my husband did his part in embarassing both of them and divulging all the family secrets.

We are so very blessed to have a large family that enjoys being together and loves eachother.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas

We hope your family had a wonderful Christmas! This was our first year to spend Christmas Day at our home. Several years ago, I would not have expected to enjoy this "first". I come from a very close and very large family. We LOVE Christmas and make a very big deal of it. Breaking that routine, I expected, would be somewhat depressing. But I was wrong. We had a lovely Christmas together. Bob and I tried to make Christmas a very special day for eachother and for Eveley (Not to forget about Caleb, but it doesn't take much to make his day special!).

On Christmas Eve, we put Eveley to bed in her Christmas pajamas and began to prepare the family room for Christmas morning. Bob put on some Christmas music and we assembled her Christmas presents by the light of the Christmas tree. It was great fun!

On Christmas morning, we waited for the kids to wake up. I'm not sure if Eveley knew exactly what was awaiting her, but she did know it was Christmas, it was Jesus's birthday, and there would be presents. We brought her and Caleb into our bed and read the Christmas story from Luke 2.

Evie has major bed head!!

Evie giving her little brother a kiss. (We are working on being gentle!)

Then, we walked down the stairs and this is what Eveley saw.

As soon as she turned the corner, she began running and said, "Oh Boy!"

I had wondered what to get her for Christmas. She is only 20 months old and I knew we weren't planning to pile on the presents. But each day, Eveley sits at my feet in the kitchen while I'm cooking and begs to "stir". She loves to pour things into bowls and open and shut cabinets. So a kitchen was the perfect choice. She absolutely loves it, especially the phone and the huge basket of play food. It was great to see her so excited. We spent much of the day on the floor playing with her and eating plastic food.

Also, Bob got me one of these for Christmas!

Haven't taken it out of the box yet. But give me some time and, hopefully, the quality of my pictures will improve drastically! Yeah!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Divine Design

I just had to show off my homemade stockings. Please do not click to enlarge! =) The order is: Bob, Eveley Joy, Robbie, Caleb, and me. Eveley's has Christmas trees and "Joy" all over and Robbie's has Christmas dogs! Caleb's is kind of generic because I had not even met him yet when I picked out his fabric!

I hope to take some individual pictures of our ornaments for a later post. We have been given so many special ones by friends and family and I'd love to document it all. This may have to wait until after Christmas!

Caleb Robert was born on December 8. As I hinted at earlier, this was a very significant date. First of all, it was my paternal grandfather's birthday (my dad's dad). Daddy Paul, as we called him, was a wonderful, fun-loving grandfather who loved his grandchildren. He would often slip me a few dollars ("mad money" as he called it) when I would be home from college and you could see the sparkle in his eyes as he was able to bless and love on me. He passed away during my senior year of college.

Maybe it's not too random for your child to be born on your grandfather's birthday. But how about doing this twice?? Robbie was born on my maternal grandfather's birthday. Poppy was very pleased to have his first great grandchild born on his birthday. So, my two sons were born on my two grandfather's birthdays. Pretty neat, right?

December 8 is very significant for another reason. Robbie went to heaven when he was 10 days shy of turning 20 months old. On December 8, Eveley Joy was 10 days shy of turning 20 months old.

In the past, I had wondered about the time when Eveley would "pass" her brother's age and we would begin to experience new stages with her. On this very day, the Lord brought Caleb Robert into our family. For Bob and me, this has reminded us that the Lord redeems.

I find myself to be a "skeptic" in some ways, hesitating to identify or interpret "signs". But I must say that this birthdate will serve as a reminder of God's goodness, His sovereignty, and His great love for us, His children. In this special way, God was reminding us that our pain has not gone unnoticed. And this large master plan that has been crafted by our loving Father is far too beautiful for us to comprehend.

Job 19:46 "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Okay. So, I forgot how life was with a newborn. Exhausting! Caleb had a difficult time sleeping the first several nights. Twenty-minute increments just wasn't cutting it for him or for me! I really thought I was going to collapse at some point. But there's just something about that little booger that keeps me awake in the middle of the night and brings a smile to my face as I'm stroking his soft hair at 3 am! Last night was much better as he slept in 3-hour increments. That said, he is a very good baby and we are very blessed.

We have also been so blessed to have family helping us out this past week. My mom was a HUGE blessing and helped keep Eveley preoccupied and happy while I tended to Caleb. The family left on Sunday but my sister Carrianna was able to stay with me this week. This has allowed me to sleep in a little while she takes care of Eveley in the morning. I cannot say thank you enough to them. I don't know how people do this without some help!

The big question -- Who does Caleb look like? I'll let you judge for yourself.

Pretty funny! Maybe people are right when they say all babies look alike. If you can't figure it out, the order is: Eveley, Robbie, Caleb. I think Caleb looks a lot like Robbie but seems to resemble Eveley a little too. A perfect combination.

We've been trying to keep Eveley in a normal routine and let her feel secure and happy. A trip to the mall to ride the carousel accomplishes this very well!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Where to Begin?

I have no idea where to start, so I'll begin with pictures!

I cannot begin to tell you what a whirlwind Caleb's birth was. My due date was actually the 9th but, like most women, I was hoping he would come early. And my mom came into town on Saturday to help with Eveley.

On Monday, I began my day at the DMV. My driver's license had expired on my birthday, and I had to renew. I then headed to the doctor's office for my appointment. He told me I was 3 cm dialated and said the baby could come anytime. We decided to try and walk around a lot that day so my mom and I finished some Christmas shopping ate a yummy lunch at Long John Silvers!

That evening, Bob and I put Eveley to bed around 7 and then sat down to watch Jon & Kate plus 8. I had been having some cramping on and off but that was it. At 9:01, the contractions started and they were coming every 3 minutes. Miss Eveley, who never wakes up from her sleep, woke up and called for mama. I got her and she laid on my stomach while I sang to her (in between contractions). I then put her back to bed and called the doctor at 10:05. He said to meet him at his office just to make sure I was in labor. We arrived there at 10:30 and I was 6 cm. We walked across the street to the hospital. I got into my room about 10:50, put on my gown, answered a bazillion questions and realized this was it. The pain was very intense and the nurse decided to check me once more. As she began to tell me that I was 8 cm, I had a very strong contraction and screamed, "Is there a baby?" She saw the head and pressed the emergency button. People raced into the room, and Mr. Caleb was born at 11:47. Wowsers! I was not prepared for that.

But here is a special verse that my mom shared with me:

A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. John 16:21

Can I get an Amen?!

Eveley loves her little brother, but she's still trying to figure everything out. She becomes very concerned when she hears him crying and immediately runs over to give him a kiss. She is amazed (as we all are) by his thick, soft hair, and she loves to rub it.

We came home from the hospital late yesterday morning. When we walked into the house, I was expecting Evie to run for her mama, which she did. But she was mainly excited to see the balloon we brought back.

Last night was pretty rough, by my two babies are sleeping at this moment. God is good!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Waiting No More

We welcomed our precious bundle of joy

Caleb Robert

into this world at 11:47 p.m. on December 8. He weighs 7 pounds, 1.5 ounces and is 19 3/4 inches long.

There are so many details to share - the significance of his birthdate, the meaning of his name, the whirlwind of his birth, Eveley Joy's adjustment. But, for now, these pictures will have to suffice. I feel as if I've been hit by a very large truck! But we are so blessed and excited to enter this new stage in our lives.

Thank you all for your many prayers and beautiful words that you've shared with us.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What's in a Name?

I don't know about you, but, for me, when I found out I was pregnant for the first time, my immediate thought was -- What will we name him or her? That seemed to be the most exciting and monumental task that we would have.

Of course, I browsed through all of the name books and websites, but when we found out our first baby would be a boy, I knew my role in this task was no more. My husband is a Junior and he was adamant about having a Third. So our firstborn son would unquestionably be named Robert Emmet the Third. I was not opposed to this. I think that's a great heritage and wonderful way to create a legacy. But, I will admit, it took the wind out of my sails. You see, in my family, we have a blue million Roberts. This includes my father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, three cousins, and two uncles. And that is just on my side.

So, I decided to focus my energy on what we would call him. Some options were Trey or Tripp (due to his "Third" status) and Bo. My great aunt insisted that we call him Bert. (If you know our last name, you would understand why I immediately vetoed this suggestion.)

We decided on Robbie and, of course, it was perfect.

Then, we found out we were pregnant with child #2. Once we discovered we were having a girl, I declared myself the sole name chooser since I had a very minor role in choosing Robbie's name.

For me, I want my children to have significant names -- names with a purpose. I knew I wanted to name my first daughter after my grandmothers. They are both saints -- beautiful, godly women with the most amazing spirits. My maternal grandmother had no namesakes. This could be due to the fact that she is known as "Footy"! But her given name is Evelyn (Footy was born out of her older sister's inability to pronounce her name). I heard the name Eveley and decided on that.

A few weeks after Robbie went to Heaven, we were driving in the car and I was contemplating what Eveley's middle name should be. It had to be meaningful and capture some of the circumstances surrounding her birth. The name Joy came to me, and I knew that was perfect. A song we had been listening to for many months before included the line from the Bible verse: Though sorrow may last for the night, Joy comes in the morning. And Eveley Joy has been the perfect choice.

Here we are again -- trying to decide on a name for our third child and second son that will encompass our prayers for his life, the timing of his birth, and our thankfulness to God for His wonderful blessing. We have chosen a name, and we both agreed right from the start. So, number three has been a definite joint effort.

We can't wait to meet the little guy, and we will tell you his name after we've told him!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Weekend Update

It is hard getting back to work and the "normal" routine after a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving vacation. My husband's parents came to visit from upstate NY. They stayed for the week and were able to spend lots of time with Eveley. I am sure they are worn out! Eveley kept them busy reading books and playing outside. She had a great visit with her grandparents.

We are now just playing the "waiting game" as the due date approaches. No matter what you hear from the doctor, friends' stories, or babycenter.com, there really is no way to predict when the baby will arrive. Other than your water breaking (which I have always wished would happen to me), you just have to sit around and wait for the pain to begin. Haven't I mentioned that I am not a patient person?

This really has been an ideal time to wait though. There is so much to keep me busy - holidays, parties, gift buying, decorating - that I think I'm doing a better job of waiting with this pregnancy.

Those of you interested in the stats: I am 2 cm, 70% effaced and the baby is at -1. Really, this means nothing at all. I have tried all of the "old wives' tales" on how to induce labor -- raspberry tea, walks, Mexican food, castor oil, and other unmentionables. The castor oil worked with Eveley. I took it at noon, contractions started at 4, and she was born at 8:58. But I'm trying to be patient this time. We'll see.

Anybody have any methods that worked for you?