Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Owen is FOUR!

Exactly FOUR years ago this week we welcomed our sweet boy into the world (the day before I was scheduled for induction)!  Our birthday boy is energetic, thoughtful, sneaky, comical and determined.  He weighs 38.5 pounds (75th percentile) and stands 40.5 inches tall (50th perc).  In fact, he sprouted several inches on the growth chart at Big Daddy and Lita's house over the summer!  We need to put a brick on his head!  The four year old well child visit is still just as dreadful as it was with big sister (several vaccines, vision and hearing tests).  His vision is 20/40 which Dr Knight says is great at age four.  He now wears size 9/10 shoes and mostly size 3T clothing.  Dr Knight said he looks as healthy as can be and said that Owen is "lots of fun"!  As he examined his ears Dr K made a chirping bird noise and Owen returned home excited to tell his daddy that he has "five birds in there"!

He prefers not to sleep alone.  He usually falls asleep with Emma and climbs in bed with us at some point during the night.  I don't mind....just wish we had a bigger bed!  Naps are definitely a thing of the past....although he occasionally will fall asleep in the car!  In that case he usually has a hard time falling asleep at bedtime.  One night very late I discovered that he had turned on his closet light to "read" :)

He enjoys painting, playing football, being outdoors and helping clean the house.  He loves to ride his bike to the park and to attend his weekly gymnastics class!

He likes Superheros: Batman, Spiderman and Superman in particular!

"Little boys are just superheros in disguise!"  :)

His speech has definitely improved.  The progress he has made over the last year is amazing.  He finally tells climactic stories, tattle tells on his sister and speaks in paragraphs!  Ever since big sister was promoted out of his Sunday School class Ms. Jamie says that he has really opened up!  With her around he never spoke for himself.   He is a very curious dude.  His top three asked questions are "How was your day?", "How do they make ____?" and "What time is it?".  Some other phrases he often uses include "I love they", "I ate all they", "Those boots aren't my favorite (translation: I don't like what you are wearing!)", "You're mean, Mom!" and "What's all this stuffs"?  Jarrod calls him a little comedian.  He already has a cute sense of humor!  He often says "Why did the chicken cross the road?"  His answer is always different and hilarious.  He still surprises us daily with his vocabulary but we are still working on pronunciation (specifically the 's', 'r', 'f' 'th' and sounds). With my input Dr Knight referred him for speech therapy.  We want him to be able to clearly express his needs/wants, thoughts and ideas.  We also don't want him to fall behind at any point in time.

He still eats very little but his favorite go to snack is a peanut butter sandwich (always shaped like a football). Occasionally he will even eat three in a row!  He usually enjoys goldfish, rice, tortillas with queso, garlic bread, yogurt, apple sauce pouches and pop corn.  Recently he has asked for bananas and apples (hooray!).  He can even be bribed into eating broccoli (gee thanks, Lita!).  His favorite Sonic happy hour drink is lemonade ("memnade").  Most days he skips breakfast altogether but requests a Pediasure as soon as he wakes up.  When dining out the safest thing for us to order him is good 'ole Mac-n-cheese.  When at Chick fil A he scarfs down nuggets and chocolate milk in record speed (of course so that he can go play!)

He really looks forward to school days!  Mrs. Anitra is a blessing and has really figured him out.  She has almost completely caught on to his lingo and even knows that he eats more of his lunch when she plays a game and tosses pieces of PB sandwich into his mouth :)  He is enjoying the added structure this year with 'handwriting without tears' and chapel.  He has learned to trace his first name as well as how to write other letters of the alphabet.  He comes home telling us the Bible story he learned that day.  I notice that he talks a lot more the days he has school.  As soon as we get to the car he tells me who sat in time out and exactly what they did :)  He enjoys recess and comes home with sand in his hair and acorns in his pockets!

His newest phrase is "I do it all by mykelfs!"  This includes opening doors, unbuckling his own car seat (even if it takes awhile), pushing the big microwave release button, getting his own juice from the refrigerator (and pouring it - yikes!), putting his shoes on, going potty and so much more.  My sweet mama's boy is turning into such a big boy way too quickly!  He doesn't curl up in my lap near as often as he once did.  If ever I happen to refer to him as my "baby" he is quick to correct me and say that he is a "big boy".  He says that he wants to grow up fast so that he can go to first grade and drive a yellow Jeep :)  He has the sweetest spirit.  That is, until he doesn't get his way!  We are working on that.  He is as shy as can be but treasures his favorite little friends.  He adores Emma.  He totally expects to marry her and thinks I'm crazy for telling him otherwise!

1.  The wildest of all animals  2.  a noise with dirt on it
3.  most precious to their mothers

A quick survey with Owen (His answers are in red!)

What is your name?  Owen

How old are you? Three, haha, I'm really pour (four)!  

What are your favorite foods? Fruit snacks (gummies), rice and that's all.

What is your favorite drink? Pediasure

What is your favorite T.V. show? Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster (Hello, Disney Jr!)

Where is your favorite place to go? McDonalds 

What do you want to be when you grow up? Cop

Who is your best friend? Beau, Levi, Jaxon....

What makes you happy? Toys

What makes you sad? When I can't have more Pediasure

What do you like to do? Play

What are you good at? Football

What's your favorite color? Bool (blue)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Precious Picasso ~ Candyland

This is Owen's second year to attend preschool (MDO) at Discovery Days, part of University Heights Baptist Church of Huntsville.  He looks forward to school days and we have been very pleased with the curriculum, environment and leadership there.  Owen attends two days a week and has seven other little friends each day.  Last week the kids and I attended their annual fundraiser called Precious Picasso.  This year's theme was Candyland.  The absolute highlight of the evening was that each class performed a song and dance on stage.  The older 3's performed "I like to (jump, clap, dance because He loves me)".  Although our Owen can be very timid he shines on stage!  He was so excited to perform and knew all the moves :)

The kiddos loved the yummy candy bar and enjoyed way too much sugar that evening.  Owen discovered Pixie Sticks and loved them!!

Sweet siblings :)

Each class created and sold their masterpieces.  What an artist!

The kids loved playing the life size Candyland game and Emma even won a king size Hershey bar!

Family Photo Booth

Last but certainly not least, Owen gave us a brief tour of his classroom.  Mrs. Anitra explained how he loves these cool pretend glasses and requests to wear them each time she reads a book to the class!

So proud of his art work :)

We enjoyed the "sweet" evening and consider Owen's school such a blessing!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Angel Baby

Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day is observed today, October 15th.  This is very close to my heart right now.  In honor of this I'd like to share my recent experience.

At the end of Summer we discovered that we were expecting Baby Smith #3!  We were thrilled.  We have always wanted a big family.  We had already made the decision not to find out the gender before delivery.  After all, we already have one of each and thought it might be a fun surprise!

My first doctor appointment was in mid September.  Jarrod took off work to be there.  Our cute little bean looked great on the sonogram and we were glad to see the strong heart beat ~ 144 beats per minute.  It was determined that I was six weeks along.

Over the next series of weeks things seemed to be going well.  I suffered from exhaustion a lot more than with my other two pregnancies but I wasn't near as sick.  We shared our news with Emma and Owen as well as with our families, supervisors at work and  just a few close friends.  I had even crossed the line from wearing my regular pants to wearing some maternity ones.

Last week I suddenly started to feel way too normal.  All of my pregnancy symptoms had completely disappeared.  I tried to reassure myself that perhaps I was beginning to regain my energy and feel better since I was getting closer to the second trimester.  When I arrived at my check up on Thursday I felt very anxious and uneasy.  In my heart I felt like something was very wrong.

The sweet nurse took my weight and escorted me back to the exam room.  She asked if I had experienced any pain or complications since my last appointment.  I said no.  I did tell her how strangely normal I felt.  She attempted to calm me by explaining how each pregnancy is different.  I almost felt silly complaining about feeling so great!  Dr Deahl came in shortly thereafter and I explained my loss of symptoms to him.  He was very calm and said that my initial sonogram looked perfect and that he would prove to me that baby was fine.  First he attempted to check the heart beat with the doppler.  He moved it around on my stomach for what seemed like forever.  I just kept praying that he would find the right spot and that we would hear it loud and clear.  Unfortunately we never did.  

He instructed me not to jump to any conclusions because at 11 weeks I wasn't quite far along enough to always hear it on the doppler.  He took me across the breezeway for a sonogram.  As soon as the first image came up on the screen I knew the baby was gone.  Where there had once been a visible heart beat there was not one.  The baby was much bigger on the screen than it had been weeks ago.  It should have been wiggling everywhere but there was no movement.  I never ever though this could happen to me.  He reviewed my options and I was scheduled for surgery the very next morning.  The first surgery of my life.  On game day.  

I didn't sleep much at all on Thursday night.  We took both kids to school early Friday morning and arrived at the surgery desk at 8:25am.  They escorted me back almost immediately.  The medical professionals were all so attentive and informative.  I can barely remember one in particular tell me how sorry she was.  I really appreciated that.  My knees shook uncontrollably and my hair net was anything but fashionable.

Jarrod was so sweet to be there for me through it all.  I'm so glad I chose him to share the ups and downs that life brings.  My parents came to the hospital along with several members of our church and community.  My parents stayed through the weekend and helped me tremendously.  I appreciate all the calls, visits and messages.  We are truly blessed with supportive and loving family and friends.

Through this unexpected trial I have certainly gained a new appreciation for my babies here on earth as well as for any future pregnancies we are blessed with.  I have also gained more respect and sensitivity toward other women who have ever experienced loss of a child in any form.  God is sovereign and His plan is much greater than my own.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding;

 in all your ways submit to him
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6