Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blessings...

So, I just read a blog post that my younger brother wrote from Iraq. I wanted to share part of with you, my friends, as it just opened my eyes to the reality of blessings.

Excerpts from his letter:
I started to get a bunch of cards wishing me a happy birthday and Thanksgiving, and I kind of got into this rut where I didn't care about either of the two. I went to the chapel last Sunday, and the chaplains played a video that ended up hitting me pretty hard, or kicking me in the butt, which ever way you want to look at it. The video was talking about people relating their blessings to their circumstances and how that is usually what we do. It went on to say that for this season, instead of worrying about what circumstance your in, thank God for what you actually have. I realized that God has given me protection for the last year. With not long to go before this deployment is over, I have realized that I have been blessed incredibly throughout the time here. So when things come up and circumstances you find yourself in aren't favorable, look at the good things that have happened for you. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday this month.



I mean seriously, what a simple concept...be thankful for what we have been blessed with no matter what circumstance we may currently be in or what we may be going through.

Yesterday at school (Parent's Day Out), Chloe made a little Indian hat that had 3 feathers coming out of the back of it. On each feather she had listed what she is thankful for. The first feather said Blanket and Passy, the second feather said Family and Lunchbag (she is obsessed with her lunchbag), and the third feather said blessing (she LOVES to sing her blessing before meals). I just thought about how cool that is. The innocence of childhood is awesome. She is thankful for something as simple as a lunchbag and a blanket. So, I have decided that I too am going to "make a hat" but mine will have 10 feathers in it (since I'm older).

So...here's what I would list on my feathers.
Kelly is thankful for...
1. a baby boy who is now 100% healthy - and I even feel like I was blessed when he was so sick all of the time because of the lessons that God taught me through it.
2. my daughter who is growing and learning more and more everyday and is already starting to sing and talk about God with no cares of who hears her or where she is when she does these things (she started singing Daniel Doss's song "Great God" to her pediatrician yesterday at her check-up.)
3. My husband who loves me and the children tons and would go to the ends of the Earth and back for us.
4. keeping Jordan safe while he's in Iraq
5. the friends that God has placed in my life since moving to Clarksville and the friends that I had to leave behind throughout my life.
6. David's business. God has provided us with an increase in sales and customer counts. We thought for sure that our sales would decrease when the hospital moved, especially since Lowes was not open behind us yet. Instead, God showed us again that He is bigger than any hospital or Lowes and that He provides for our business, not the surrounding points of interest.
7. being able to stay at home with my children full-time and watch them grow and learn everyday
8. our church. We love our church family here and feel so blessed that God led us to Grace Community.
9. mine and David's parents who are the best grandparents ever! I feel so lucky that Chloe and Brody get to experience parts of their lives with them even though they are all out of state. I just remember how special the time was that I was able to share with my Nanny and I want that for my kiddos too.
10. Last, but NOT LEAST...my salvation.

So, what would you list on your feathers?!?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Big, Bigger, Biggest

See how he has grown...



3 days old



1 month old



2 months old



3 months old

3 Months Old!

Time flies! Brody is now 3 months old and I just find that the past 3 months have flown by. When we were in them though, they seemed painfully long as he would scream, cry, and vomit incessantly. Now though, I see how short of a time period that was and how far along he has come since then. Now, he is the HAPPIEST, most content baby on the face of the Earth. Seriously, all he does when he is awake is smile, kick his legs like he is going somewhere, and laugh. He is currently trying to roll over as well and has begun to reach for his toys. He is such a little joy - no matter what is going on in this crazy life of ours, I can just look at his sweet little smile and everything seems to be alright in that moment. It's a great feeling to wake up every morning and know that I am going to be greeted by a smiling baby and a happy toddler.
The other day I ran into the bedroom to get something and left Chloe in the living room with Brody. He was propped up on his boppy and she was playing with her new easel. I was gone all of 30 seconds but when I came back, I found her sitting with Brody and talking to him. It was such a sweet moment to see that she did that all on her own with no prompting whatsoever. She really cares for Brody and it's evident in the small things that she does for him or with him.
Here are a few new pictures of Brody so that you can see his growth progress. ENJOY!




I know it looks like he is content to be on his belly, but really he was just getting ready to start screaming. I just happened to snap the picture at the right time.


And the truth comes out. He hates being on his belly.





Look at how long he is! This is a 3-6 month sleeper and he is already about to reach maximum length capacity.



I know this is blurry, but I wanted to include it because his dimple is just shining! I love it!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Blevins Went Down To Georgia...

Last week, we packed up the car and headed down to Atlanta. The trip was for 2 reasons really...David had a work retreat to attend on Wednesday through Friday at Winshape Retreat on the campus of Berry College. This is just north of where his family lives. And the other reason for going was that David's dad had still not met Brody. So, we decided to go down there as a family and visit. We got there Monday afternoon after a very uneventful car ride. Both kids were fantastic throughout the entire trip. Chloe was entertained by watching her DVD player, and Brody slept the whole time. He's gotten to where if he is in the car, he's going to be sleeping. No complaints here! So, Monday and Tuesday we just hung out with his parents and grandmother. We did visit with his brother and SIL and their children for a few hours as well.
Then on Wednesday...well, let's just say that day was quite eventful. David had to be at his retreat by 11:00 (or so he thought) so our family of 4 plus his mom set out to go to Rome, GA to drop him off. We got there around 10:45 or so and he was still the first one there...strange, but not a big deal. So we dropped him off and were set to head back to Atlanta. Directions in his mom's hands, and me behind the wheel turned out to be not such a good combination. We didn't hardly get off campus before making a wrong turn. And the bad thing is that we didn't realize it until we were probably 20 miles down on the wrong road. About 10 miles into it though, Brody started getting fussy as did Chloe. Of course I didn't pack any snacks or formula because it was supposed to be a short trip and everyone ate before we left home. We saw a CVS so I stopped there, got Chloe some snacks, juice and a sippy cup and got Brody a bottle and a can of formula. I get up to pay and realize that the formula wasn't going to work because I didn't have a can opener. I just decided that he was really okay for about another 45 minutes and by then we should be home - or so we thought. Anyways, I had David's mom pour Chloe her juice for me since I was driving and all of a sudden I hear her make a comment and then start laughing so hard that she was crying. I look back and she had poured the juice but not taken the lid off of the cup so it went everywhere. At that point, we were both laughing hysterically. Another 10 miles down the road is when we discovered that we had gone the wrong way. So, we turn around and start heading back towards the campus where we left David. Then my phone rings and it's him. He says that he just remembered that he didn't have to be at the retreat until 3:00 and that he has nothing to do and nowhere to eat. The cabin he is staying in doesn't have a TV and he didn't bring his book with him. So...I tell him that we are heading back that way anyways and that I will just stop and get him and we'll all go and find a place for lunch. So...by now I realize that I have to find formula somewhere so I stop at a Food Lion and get the can of formula but wouldn't you know it...they were out of can openers. What?!? Are you kidding me?!? Then it dawned on me to just get the powdered formula (like we use at home, duh!) and buy a bottle of water off of the shelf that is room temperature. So, that's what I did and we headed on up the road to get David. We ended up finding a McDonald's in Rome, GA and stayed there for a few hours letting Chloe play and get some energy out. Before we left McDonalds though Chloe had to have her diaper changed twice...wouldn't you know that I only had 1 diaper in the bag! Seriously, this was supposed to just be a 3 hour trip total. So, we find a Walmart and go in to get diapers. Then we set off to take David back to campus. After dropping him off, we were careful to turn the correct way out of campus and ended up going the right way back to Atlanta. What was supposed to be a 3 hour trip turned into an 7 hour debacle! All in all though, it was an adventure that no one will forget for quite sometime.
Anyways, on Thursday my MIL and I took Chloe to the Children's Museum in Atlanta where she played and played and would have played until they closed if we had allowed it. It was an amazing museum with tons to do. Then on Friday the kidlets and I headed back up to Rome to get David and then started back to Clarksville. Luckily I didn't get lost going back to pick him up by myself and we made it home safely with no wrong turns at all!!!




Chloe putting her smock on so that she could go into the painting area.



OK - notice the little boy on the far right side of the picture. Then notice Chloe yelling at him because she was in that car first. Yes, it was big enough for 2-3 small children, however, she was not in the mood to have passengers in "her" car.



Playing the guitar in the band area



A new fun thing for Chloe...playing the piano. David's mom has a piano at her house that she let Chloe bang on and "play." She loved it... so based on that and the fact that Chloe would sing all day long if she could, I just may have a musically inclined child on my hands.



There was a water area at the museum that had little raincoats for the kids to wear. Here's Chloe wearing hers and fishing.



I caught one!!!








Playing house. She really loved the kitchen area.



She was very possessive over her basket of produce to the point that she wouldn't even let me hold while she went down the slide. Instead, she took it with her.



Shopping at the grocery store. I so wish that she would eat even 1/3 of the things that she put in her basket.



YAY!!! Finally there is something for me to do.
The museum had a baby area so there were tons of little baby toys for him to play with while Chloe played too.



I can't wait until I am old enough to come and play with everything else! Sitting in this stroller isn't the most fun thing to do.

Monday, November 17, 2008

For Moms with Young Babies...a must have!

Hi everyone! I have a friend in Utah who has started a new business. She makes carseat blankets that completely cover the carseat by attaching to the handles. They are absolutely adorable and I am definitely getting one for Brody. These will come in so handy now that the cold weather has set in along with cold and flu season. And as a added plus, it keeps those strangers' wandering hands off of your baby. You know who I'm talking about...the people in the grocery store who think that they can just come up and touch your kid's cheek or hands.

Check out this website and let me know what you think. I am going to get the blue paisley pattern for Brody's blanket.

http://carseatblanket.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 10, 2008

Words From Chloe

Of course, if you read this blog you know that Chloe had 10 ear infections in 8 months beginning when she was 5 months old. Finally at 15 months old, she got ear tubes put in and has only had 1 infection since then. Due to all of the past EI's her speech development was really slow to come. She wasn't hearing sounds properly for almost 10 months so she pretty much had to start over hearing and learning them again. Anyways, as we approach her 2nd birthday in just a few more days, my little girl is finally talking up a storm! Since Brody's birth, her language has exploded! Some of the phrases and things that she says not only shock me, but make me smile because I have waited to long to hear her speak to where I could understand her.

So this post is about the things that Chloe says:
1. Mama, where are you?
2. Milk in pumpkin cup. (her favorite cup now that she has learned how to use a straw)
3. Brody not wake. (she has finally started using his name and does not refer to him as "that" anymore)
4. Go school? Yay!!!
5. Get lunch bag mama.
6. Daddy at work?
7. Brody in seat...right there! (when she wants me to put him down)
8. Passy and blankie
9. Please and Thank You (she still signs them and says them at the same time)
10. Toons - Word World!
11. Play Emmy Abby (when I tell her we are going to play outside she automatically thinks we are going to have a playdate with Emily and Abigail)
12. God our Father (part of her blessing before meals)
13. Great God, oh oh oh oh oh (one of Daniel Doss's songs that she belts out in the car)
14. Stopsign - STOP!!!
15. Love you mama. (my personal favorite!)

She says tons more words, but those are my favorite phrases. Seems like she went from hardly any words at all to speaking in phrases and sentances overnight.
And while I am bragging on my baby, let me just say that she also knows...
1. 4 colors (and her favorite is green)
2. about 10-12 letters of the alphabet by just seeing them
3. can count to 11
4. knows the shapes circle, square, heart, star, and triangle. also she can draw circles if you ask her to (that's her favorite shape. every night she asks for her "circle" jammies)

OK - I think I am done now. I know that the grandparents will care more about this post than anyone else so if you are not family and have gotten this far into this post, thanks for bearing with me while I share these things.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Best Day Ever!

OK - I can't really say that it's the BEST day EVER, but it ranks pretty high up there. I'll just run through what all I did today...

First off, after getting everyone fed and Brody down for his first nap, I started cleaning like a mad woman. I mean mopping, scrubbing, etc... Aaaah, it felt so good to do that. While at it, I decided that I would go one step furthur and clean my oven. BIG MISTAKE!!! I do have a self-cleaning oven but somehow the dang thing caught on fire! I mean flames everywhere in the oven. I panicked but did turn the oven off and immediately called around to find out if fires can happen when using a self-cleaning oven. I was told "no" but hey, there's a first time for everything. After that debacle, I got everyone dressed and ready and we headed out to Silke's Bakery and met up with a friend and her little boy for lunch. It was fantastic!!! Then, we came home and I put both kids down for their naps and I continued cleaning. Just as I was about to wrap things up and do the last bathroom, Brody woke up. So, I went and got him, fed and changed him, and then we played for a very long time. He was giggling out loud, kicking his legs like he was going somewhere, and just having a big time. It was a blast! After that, David came home early so that Chloe and I could have a girls' night out. WOO-HOO!!! I had mentioned a few nights ago that I really miss having that one on one time with her and that I want to start doing something special with her a few times/month. So, he surprised me by coming home early so that she and I could set out on our little adventure. Of course, it landed us at Toys R Us where we finished getting things for her birthday (I love being able to shop for her birthday with her being with me and she not have a clue), and one extra surprise for being such a great big sister to Brody (by the way, she was a little upset that he was not coming with us for our girls' night out). After that, she wanted a cupcake so I headed to Food Lion and got a pack of cupcakes for her and then she wanted a balloon so I got her one of those too. She was in heaven and said "thank you mama". We laughed and were silly during our whole outing! It was such a blast. Then we came home and rejoined the boys for dinner, a cupcake, and an episode of Word World. FUN TIMES!!! I am looking forward to our next girls night out!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Brody is better! (and some more pics)

Well, I think Brody is FINALLY better! Here's the short version of that has happened recently. He continued to throw up all of the time so I took him back to his pedi last week. She put him on Reglan to help his gastric motility...basically move the food through his stomach faster so he wouldn't vomit. The medicine worked great for that, however, he started screaming the day after he was put on it and didn't stop for nearly 48 hours. It was horrific! On top of that, his hands started twitching so we immediately stopped the medicine. After doing some research, we found out that many parents experienced this after putting their child on Reglan and that it can even cause permanent neurological damage if taken too long. We called the pharmacist and we were told that we could stop the medicine right away and didn't have to wean it since he was only on it for 3 days. It took about 2 days to get completely out of his system. Anyways, in the meantime, we switched him to a hypoallergenic formula (in case he was allergic to the soy milk he was on). Guess what!!! He has not vomited or had any other GI problems since switching formulas. We did a bit of research on soy allergies and wouldn't you know Brody had 4 of the 6 symptoms. Now, he is the happiest little baby ever! He's laid back, content, always smiling and kicking his legs, sleeping perfectly, eating a lot, and we believe he is finally gaining weight! His cheeks are getting chunky!!!
Since he is better now from everything, I decided that I would take this week to finish "baby-wise-ing" him. He was already baby-wised in everyway except for naps. It took me one day to get him to where he doesn't cry when I put him in his crib for a nap. I lay him in there when he starts exhibiting signs of tiredness, give him his blanky and passy, tell him I love him, and leave the room. He may fuss for a few seconds, but then he goes on to sleep. It's the best!!!
Now, on to Chloe...she has ventured into her own form of artistic expression. A few weeks ago I went in to get her up from her nap. She sort of looked at me funny and then I noticed the ballpoint pen on her floor. Immediately after that, I saw where she had drawn on her closet door and walls. WOW!!! I couldn't be mad at her though because clearly David or I left the pen laying around so I just reminded her that we do NOT write on anything except paper. She just grinned and gave me a hug.

Well, here are some new pictures. Enjoy.


Art on the walls...



Chloe's artwork on the closet







Our "soon to be" BIG boy!



I was going to give Brody a bath but after I got him undressed down to his diaper, he fell asleep so I took the opportunity to just cuddle with him.

Halloween Fun...(post contains pictures!)

So Halloween was great fun this year! It actually started with a little party that Chloe's Parents' Day Out School had the day before Halloween. All of the kiddos wore their costumes to school and then trick-or-treated through the different classrooms. After trick or treating, they changed back into their regular clothes for the remainder of the day. Well, everyone changed except for Chloe. Around 10:30 I received a phone call from her teacher saying that they took Chloe's costume off and she screamed for 20 minutes so they put her back in it. They were worried that I would be upset because she was out on the playground with it and they didn't want her to get it dirty or ruin it. Seriously...I told them that it was perfectly fine for her to wear it as I wouldn't want her to scream all day about it either. So, that's what she did. She ended up wearing it until lunch time and then she couldn't fit in the high chair with it on so they forced her to change but she was fine with it then.
On Friday, actual Halloween, Chloe started asking me to put her bumblebee on and Brody's peapod on at 2:00. I told her that we couldn't do that until Daddy got home from work so as soon as he walked in the house, she started yelling "bee...bee...bee." So, I dressed the kids and got ready to go trick-or-treating. We just stayed in our neighborhood which was enough! We were actually out almost the whole 2 hours and didn't even get through 1/4 of the neighborhood. At each house, Chloe would jump out of her stroller, run up to the door with me or David, say "tii-o-tee" get her candy, say and sign "thank you" and then run back to the stroller while screaming "soller." She wanted to hurry back to her stroller so she could hit the next house up for the "canny." When we got back home, she cried becuase she wasn't done yet, and she didn't want to take off her costume. I bribed her to take it off with some of the candy that she got. This child has NEVER had candy before so she was in heaven. She had a miniature Kit Kat bar and some other little piece of chocolate. She was so hyper after that got into her system. But...she went to bed and slept great.
All in all a super fun holiday for the Blevins family. Here are some pictures of crafts that she made at her school and of us out trick-or-treating.



Chloe and Brody ready to go. Brody wasn't near as excited about it as Chloe was.



Costume - check. Pumpkin - check. LET'S GO!!!




Trick-or-Treat!




Look at all of this candy! What should I eat first?!?




Oooh, I love chocolate!



Far left is a door knob sign she made at school. It's actually Chloe's footprint upside down to look like a ghost. The pumpkin is a craft that she and I did at the library and the spider she did at school. It's her handprints turned sideways. She is so proud of her artwork (and I am super proud too!)