Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another year over...almost

Wow, can you guys believe this year is almost over? I most certainly can't. The older I get, the faster things just fly by. I look back on the goals I set for myself, and sadly, I can't say I met most, if any, of them. I can blame it on working full-time and being a wife and toddler's mom. However, I will try and not make excuses. Frankly, I'm just too tired and more days than not, there just aren't enough hours in the day. For 2009, I am really looking forward to becoming a stay-at-home-mom. Although I think I will trade the stress of a 40 hour work week for the stress of a 24/7 work week, I look forward to being home with Carter more. I think this opportunity will not only make me a better mother but also a better wife. I feel like I have often neglected my responsibilities as a wife and mom because of my sheer exhuastion after having worked all day. I heard one working mom describe it this way..."My job gets me when I'm at my peak, fresh and alert. My family gets me at the end of the day when I'm tired, all out of energy and all I want to do is put my feet up," Man, do I know what she's talking about. I can't even begin to describe how excited I am to finally be able to stay home. I tell Theo all the time that I'll be working harder at home than I do at work :) but it will be a much more fulfulling and rewarding type of work.

This year has been a blessing but we've also been through some struggles. But God is good. And if there is one thing I can proclaim at the end of this year, God is faithful and in control. This past spring, we experienced something so terrifying as parents. Some of you may already know this, others may not. In April, Carter went through a 5 day phase of waking up screaming, unable to open his eyes, and couldn't walk without running into things. At first, I wasn't too concerned. But when my strong, never wavering husband said "Jaime, if you don't take him to the doctor, I will", I was freaked out. Carter looked like he was having a migraine. He couldn't stand to be in a lit room or outside especially. He would sit in his carseat with his hands over his face. My first thought was that Carter had a brain tumor. I see cancer patients all the time. We took him into the pediatrician on that Monday and within 24 hours he had an MRI of his brain performed. Those few hours were some of the longest and most difficult hours I've ever endured. Hundreds of "what ifs" were running through my mind. I prayed to God and begged him to let Carter be okay. I remember writing in my journal that this was the day we would find out if our only son had a brain tumor and how weird that felt to write that. I prayed that his MRI would be normal and there would be no sign of a brain tumor.

God heard me. He listened to my pleading as I literally cried out to Him and reluctantly placed Carter's life in His hands. Praise God Carter's MRI was normal. Carter did end up having a rare eye infection (rare in kids). We spent many days in the opthamologists' office and took a few weeks of various medications. God is the Great Physician and He showed us that by healing Carter. For those of you who know me, you know I can be somewhat of a control freak and always want things planned out and done my way. This experience was so hard for me because I truly had to let everything go and place it in God's hands. People say they trust God and trust in His plans but when that's truly put to the test, it is extremely difficult. I remember thinking that God knows how I feel. He had to give up his only Son and allowed him to endure pain and suffering because it was all part of His ultimate plan. I remember thinking that I'm not near as strong as God and I can't unselfishly give up my son for some greater plan. God knew my heart and He stepped in and intervened so that we would not have to go through such pain. For weeks afterwards, I would just cry everytime I went to church knowing how truly amazing my God is and how amazing He continues to be.

From this to this....... (top photo: Late April 2008 bottom photo: Early May 2008)

I am eagerly waiting to see what God has in store for us in 2009. I am excited about the plans He has for me and my family. I pray God's richest blessings on you and your families for the new year.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas and celebrating our Savior's birthday. We went to church last night at St. Judes then came home, had hot chocolate (Carter had milk) and read the Christmas story-Bible version. Today, we have had a fabulous day (except for when I spilled a full mug of hot chocolate all over our living room floor)! Carter slept until 8:00, then he came into the living room and discovered the fun of Santa. He got a Thomas the train set and he kept exclaiming "Dank You Santa!". We opened presents from Grandpa, Nana and Grandma and PopPops. Then we opened our family Christmas presents. I'm telling you...Carter racked up this year! Next we headed out to Omaw and Papaw's house for our traditional family Christmas breakfast. Carter had such a good time. He's actually starting to understand Christmas and loves ripping the wrapping paper off his presents. Tonight, we're heading to our friends' house for our third annual Christmas Chinese food dinner! I'll miss this tradition when our friends move away in the spring.

I hope each and everyone of you are having an amazing Christmas and enjoying being with friends and family. God bless all of you and Merry Christmas! Pictures to follow soon.....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Prego Patrol

Kim, Kaliina, and Caraline......in 2006, we were all pregnant at the same time. What a bunch of hormonal fun we all had together. This picture was taken the weekend in June when we went on a girls road trip to Dallas. This was definitely one of the most fun girl things I have ever done! Kim and Kaliina were pregnant with their second babies and Caraline and I were pregnant with our first babies. It was this weekend that I first realized I was having Braxton hicks contractions. We were walking through the mall and I told Kim that I was having a tightening feeling in my belly. I was only about 24 weeks at the time. She said I was having Braxton hicks. I was like no way! Sure enough, Kim was right.

Kim and I both graduated from nursing school together. I have known her longer than I've known Theo. She left nursing temporarily and now runs her on cake business. And man, she can bake! I admire Kim so much. She is a wonderful wife and a fantastic mother. She makes it look easy and fun to be a mom. She and her husband are the social mecca of our group. Now that they have moved a few states away, we don't see them near as much but we are excited they have this amazing God-given career opporunity.

Kaliina is another member of the prego patrol. We have a lot in common, especially our love of books. While Theo and I were dating, some of the "work" wives started a book club and invited me. I never will forget our first book club selection picked (title will not be mentioned here :) ). Kaliina knows what I'm talking about! We stuck with the book club for a long time until we all started having babies. I miss our monthly get togethers which a lot of times consisted of talking a little about the book and a lot about life and love. Kaliina is a blast to be around and I do believer Carter is falling in love with her two year old daughter. Kaliina never hesitates to welcome people into her home. She is a great wife and mom! Now that several of our friends have moved, Kaliina and I share a common bond in that we sometimes feel "left behind". I'm glad her family is still here with us. Don't know what I'd do without them!

Caraline is the fourth member of the prego patrol. We were both pregnant with our first babies the same time. It was so exciting to share all of the things I was experiencing with someone who knew exactly how I felt. Caraline and I have known each other as long as I've known Kaliina. She was in our book club for a while too. We became friends fast. Something about being from the South tends to make people stick together. Caraline is by far one of the funniest people I have ever known. She makes me laugh every time we talk. Sometimes I think we could be related. Caraline and her family also moved over the summer. I cried all the way home the last time I visited her before she moved. She is only a few hours a way so I am hoping to visit her in the next couple of months. Caraline is an awesome mom and wife and she tells it like it is. That is one thing I love about her the most. She is so real and down to earth.

All of these women are some of my closest friends. They are all beautiful on the inside and outside. I admire them so much and they make me want to be a better woman, wife, and mother. I love you guys more than you will ever know!
*Another friend of ours, Esther, was also pregnant with us. She wasn't able to go on our girls trip with us. She was the first one the pregos to move. We all miss her and her family too!

Not Me! Monday

Hi everyone,

It's that time of the week again! Click on over to MckMama's blog for some more Not Me Monday therapy.... www.mycharmingkids.net

Today, I did not realize I hadn't posted anything on our blog since last weeks Not Me! Monday.

This week, I most certainly did not leave Carter at home with Theo for 4 hours on Sunday while I went to church alone and then Christmas shopping afterwards. This was not after I had already taken off from work 2 hours early to go Christmas shopping. And I definitely do not still have more Christmas presents to get (only 2 left though!)

Saturday, I did not go from wearing a short sleeved shirt with no coat on Saturday morning to bundling up in my sweater and winter coat Saturday night because the temperature here dropped from literally 75 degrees that morning to 30 degrees that night.

Carter did not use the wall next to his high chair as a napkin to wipe his ketchup on because I wasn't quick enough in getting him a paper towel......for the third time!

I am definitely not looking forward to having the rest of the week off and am not counting down the days until I go from full time pediatric nurse practitioner to full time stay-at-home mom!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me Monday!

I have been following MckMama's blog for a few weeks now. Every Monday, she blogs (for therapeutic reasons of course) about all of the things she most certainly *not* do the past week. Check out her blog for other versions of Not Me Monday (at http://www.mycharmingkids.net/)! I am in much need of therapeutic blogging at the moment and here's why...

Just today, I most certainly did not put on a 4 episode Diego DVD in order to have 20 minutes of alone time to take a bath.

And when I emerged from the tub, I definitely did not have Carter enter the bathoom sans his pajama pants, carrying in his hand a poopy diaper and saying "It's dirty". This was not the second time in a little over 24 hours that he had done this.

When I came back into the room living, I did not see a pile of poop on the floor that Carter had apparently emptied out of his diaper. Then I did not laugh out loud to keep myself from crying.

As if this wasn't enough, I certainly did not get a call from the Toyota place saying it would cost $500 to fix the driver's seat because the motor went out this weekend and we can't adjust the seat and it's in permanent long-legged Theo position. This money was not in addition to the other $200 we are going to have to pay for some other car part.

Lastly, I did not finally sit on the couch and cry for a few seconds because I could no longer hold it in.

But God is good. He is our provider and I'm thankful for money in the bank that we can use to pay for these car repairs. I am thankful that Carter is feeling much better and is back to his normal self again (although I didn't realize the new normal would be him pooping all over the living room). In the grand scheme of things, are lives are really good thanks to God. So although I may need some therapeutic blogging today, all in all, things are good.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Feeling Better

For those of you who weren't aware, Carter has been really sick the past few days. He started running fever Thursday afternoon and by Friday, his fever was up to 103. Along with the fever, he had the worse cough ever, wheezing, and very yucky nose and eyes. We saw Dr. M on Friday morning and he tested him for RSV...that came back negative. So although we don't know exactly what is causing this, he is finally starting to feel better. His chest x-ray from Friday looked ok so thankfully he doesn't have pneumonia. Theo and I had a million things planned for this weekend. We have still been able to do just about everything but only one of us went to our various functions and the other one stayed home with little man. My mom came over last night and was such a blessing to us by watching Carter so Theo and I could go to his work Christmas party. This party is something we have attended every year together since we met and we look forward to it all year. So thank you so much "Omaw" for coming over to watch Carter. It seems he just needed an "Omaw" fix and now he's much better :). As long as he doesn't run fever anymore, I think we'll talk him back to Michele's this week and I'll pick him up early so he can get his afternoon breathing treatment. We're going back to the doctor Wednesday or Thursday so I'll keep everyone posted on how he's doing. Prayer works! We are thanking and praising the Lord that our little precious one is finally feeling better.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I love this time of year! I love the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. When I was younger, I really looked forward to getting a whole bunch of "stuff". In fact, I couldn't stand to wait to find out what I was getting so I would try and unwrap my presents before Christmas. Now that I'm older and much more mature (well, maybe not so much), I don't get near as excited about opening a bunch of stuff. Now as a parent, I have way more fun shopping for Carter and my other young family members than I do for any adults (sorry guys, no offense). I figure the adults in my family all have jobs and can essentially buy anything they want. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy giving gifts, but I'm no longer obsessed in getting/giving stuff.

Christmas has become so incredibly commercialized that if we let it, all of the material things can easily overshadow the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Theo and I saw on the news that a lot of stores do 30% of their business for the whole year on "Black Friday". (Yes, we did go shopping that day but bought very little) I want Carter and any children we may have later to know exactly what Christmas means. I don't want our family to be so caught up in acquiring things that in a month's time won't be that imporant anyway that we forget to stop and celebrate Jesus' birth.

How did the two most important events (Jesus' birth and resurrection) turn into Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, candy, presents, etc etc? Yes, I want Carter to enjoy the innocence of believing in Santa and the Easter bunny. But I want that to make up a very small percentage of what he believes about Chirstmas and Easter. I want him to be more focused on Jesus' birth than Santa showing up. I want him to understand the eternal significance of the Messiah being born when he's old enough to comprehend such concepts. But in the meantime, we are practicing singing "Happy Birthday" to Dedus Jesus.

Now more than ever I am so grateful that God sent His only Son to die for me. Everyone I know and every single person on the planet has access to heaven through Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection. All they have to do is confess and believe. How amazing is that! The best part is that God gave me salvation even though I'm completely undeserving of it. And God loves me just the way I am. Talk about unconditional love!

So this Christmas, you will find presents under our tree and a very excited two year-old Christmas morning. You will find a beautiful Christmas tree in our living room and decorations throughout our house. You will find me shopping in various stores and on-line to find gifts for my family and friends. You will see us gonig to look at Christams lights. You will hear Carter singing Happy Birthday Jesus. You won't find us breaking the bank in order to give Carter to biggest, newest, most expensive toys. You won't find me buying many new Christmas decorations because the ones we already have are special to me. You won't find me obsessing over finding the perfect gift for someone because whatever I choose to buy will be given out of love. You won't find me trying to outdo the "Jones'". You won't find me saying "Happy Holidays" because I'll be saying Merry Christmas. You won't find me too stressed out because I have a peace that passes all understanding. And more importantly, you won't find me forgetting the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Carter's first Christmas and my, how things have changed.......


This is my second "friends tribute". Georgette and I have known each other for at least 5 years now. Our husbands work together. We instantly became friends. Fellow southerners have to stick together :) Georgette and her husband are also Carter's godparents and Theo and I are godparents to their beautiful little daughter. We live in the same neighborhood so we often hang out at each other's house. She has been such a big help to me when I'm in a pinch and needing someone to watch Carter for the day. They will be moving in the spring and I have already cried my eyes out over this. Life is not going to be the same without having them down the street.

What I love about Georgette is how funny she is. We often poke fun at our husbands (and I'm sure they do the same about us). We can joke with them about things with each other that I can't joke with other people about. We don't ever have to hold anything back from each other. She also sure knows how to throw a party (Guitar Hero rocks!!)

I will truly miss Georgette and the rest of her family. Carter will certainly miss his Nanny too. She is one of my closest friends and I already am making plans to go visit them in the very near future. We love you guys!

Friday, December 5, 2008

"The Boys are Back in Town"

You all remember that song right? I thought it was a perfect title for this blog post. Theo and Carter arrived safely home Wednesday night. And when I tell you my boy was excited to see me, it's an understatement. I was in the car picking them up and I had to pull up a few feet to park and Carter began screaming hysterically because he thought I was leaving again. Once he realized I wasn't, he jumped out of the stroller and threw his arms around me. It was so sweet and I don't think I have ever been happier to see him. I took the day off yesterday to spend time with my two fave fellas. It was nice. We decorated our Christmas tree last night, Theo lit a fire, and we listened to Christmas music. My definition of a perfect Christmas tradition. Unfortunately Carter had a rough night. It took him half an hour to fall asleep on his own and then he woke up a half dozen times crying in the night. I'm praying he'll have a smooth transition going back to sleep in his own bed.

While we were in NY, we went to the city and saw the Intrepid, a Naval aircraft carrier/museum. Theo really wanted Carter to experience this. It was a neat thing to see and if Carter had not been acting so terrible that day (and I do mean truly terrible!!), we probably would have had a much better time.

Alas, I digress.....I wanted to post some pictures of our visit. Note to self: toddlers can not fully appreciate the value of visiting a military museum and learning about naval history. We will definitely not do this again until he is older :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Home Sweet Home....Almost

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in New York visiting Theo's parents. I had to come home Saturday because of work so Theo and Carter are still in New York. Theo wanted Carter to have some quality time with his other grandparents that he doesn't get to see that often. I thought this would be all fine and good....until I had to leave Carter at the airport. I can't even describe how sad I felt turning my back on my screaming son (saying "MOMMY, HOLD YOU!!") and walking into the airport. I know it is only going to be a few days that I won't see Carter and Theo but it hurt my heart so much. By the time I landed in Dallas, Carter of course was fine and no longer screaming. But as soon as he got on the phone with me, he said "Mommy, hold you". Seems this is his favorite phrase lately.

So although I am always happy to be back at home, it is very strange being home without my two favorite boys (Theo insists however that he is not a boy, but a man!) I am taking advantage of my alone time and doing things I can't normally do easily with a toddler around. I am definitely looking forward to seeing those guys again. I'll post more NY pictures soon! This one is Central Park at night. Absolutely stunning!