Monday, November 25, 2013

9 weeks

9 weeks

When I was pregnant with Carter, I took pictures approximately every other week to track the pregnancy progress.  I took two with Samuel.  Two.  The main reason was that I kept saying, "No, I look like a mess today...we'll do it later."  Poor Samuel, victim of his mother's self absorption.  So this time, even when I look, well, like I do above, I am going to take pictures.  Because I don't think I'll look back on this season of life and wished I would have never snapped the matter how I look in the frame.

I may also try to fill in the following questions each week....or every other.  Because, let's face it.  I was 9 weeks last Thursday and am just now posting this :)

Weight Gain: 0 pounds 

Sleep: Totally normal for a mom with a one and three year old.  
Gender: I think it's a girl, but I have the worst gut instincts about these things, so...with a grain of salt.  Carter agrees with my instinct, Samuel doesn't care and Steven thinks it's silly to try to guess :)

Name: Still Ella Kennedy if it's a girl and still don't know if it's a boy

Feeling: Blegh.  I don't remember feeling quite this bad with the boys, but memory softens those things and I also have two small children this time to care for.  That makes a difference.  I'm hoping the bone weariness and getting sick on the regular are going to start easing up soon.  I am grateful that the cold I instantly get after getting a positive pregnancy test is gone.  I don't know why that always happens, but it's a bummer.

Health:  Regardless of how I currently feel, I am grateful that I am very healthy as is the tiny baby the ultrasound showed last Wednesday.  A nice strong, 180 bpm heart rate.  What a blessing!  I'm hoping I can jump back into running next week or so.  I know I will feel better with exercise...I just have to be able to do it without throwing up.  (And yes, for those of you who count backwards, I had juuuuust found out I was pregnant when I ran the half marathon...another reason for slowing down at the end.  But, will I always say that I ran my first half pregnant? Yes.  Yes I will :) 

Movement: not yet :)

Next Appointment: December 9th...and we go back for our anatomy ultrasound February 12th. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Samuel: 18 months


I'm sorry. I  know all caps are a bit of a computer faux pas.  But seriously.  Carter didn't start sleeping consistently through the night until after Samuel was here.  And now...three years after my last season on consistent all-night sleep, I slumber again.  It is the. best. ever.

**This was actually a few months back.  But I never wrote about it...and it deserves a post, right?

Can I say that I'm glad though?  I'm glad that I spent those nights with the boys.  While I don't think there is ONE RIGHT WAY to teach children to sleep through the night alone, I did follow my convictions for these two boys.  Even what I did for the two of them was different, tailored to their individual purposes and needs.  And I am so grateful that I can look back on the time without regrets.  I am grateful for a community of friends and family that doesn't look down on different choices, but celebrates individuality and discernment God gives individual parents for their unique children.

All that aside feels kind of amazing to sleep through the night and wake up for the first time the next morning.  My body is still catching up...I still fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow and wake up for the first time the next morning.  But, I am slowly feeling more and more like the person I was off the  mind-numbing drug call sleep deprivation.  And it's kind of amazing.

So...that's basically my favorite thing about Samuel right now.  His sleep.  :)

But that's not the only thing to love.  I don't even know an adequate way to describe his little personality right now.  He reminds me a little of Steven right now.  He has this quiet sense of humor these days that will make us roll in the floor.  Even with his limited vocabulary, he'll say things at just the right time, tilt his head just a certain way to communicate what he's thinking....he's just so funny.  He loves to tell us "no" to everything...laughing because it's funny that we can't figure him out.  He doesn't get frustrated...everything in his world is just a big, funny joke.  He's silly but doesn't have the tilt of straight-on crazy that Carter maintains at all times.  He's not cautious about physical danger, but sticks close to me in social situations.  If I am holding him, he is wide open with his smiles and waving. When we run, everyone we pass gets a huge smile, "heeeeeeeey!" and a giant wave.  He gathers lots of smiles and laughs this way.

Samuel remains such a snuggly bug.  I don't know how I was blessed enough to get two boys that LOVE snuggling, but it is my favorite.  Samuel LOVES to put his head on your shoulder and wrap his arms around our necks and just sway with us.  On the other hand, this little guy is tough as nails.  He loves, loves to wrestle with Carter.  He pounces all of Carter and never, ever seems to get hurt.  Carter is pretty good to not lay him out, but he isn't easy on him either.  Samuel never gives up... Carter is always the one to get tired of the wrestling first.  If you have ever met Carter, you know this is a pretty big deal.  After wrestling with Carter for about one minute, I am totally tapping out.  Samuel could go all day.  After wrestling, Samuel loves to chase Carter, and boy does Carter love to be chased.  This remains their favorite way to spend time.  The first thing Samuel asks for when he wakes up is, “Car-Car.”  If anyone loves Carter completely, it is Samuel.

Samuel's favorite thing are balls and trains.  He calls them "choo choos" and it's super cute until he wrecks Carter's whole train table and there is an epic meltdown.  He's got a pretty good arm for throwing and loves to toss balls, go get them and continue on playing fetch with himself :)  Among his favorite things to do has to include screaming.  It is not a happy or sad is a scream for the pure benefit of entertaining himself.  It is shrill, deafening, and makes him happier than a pig in the sun.

Samuel's other favorite thing is ingesting food.  Oh. my. gosh.  These boys eat like nothing I have ever seen.  Samuel is ALWAYS trying to get the pantry and refrigerator door open to ask for a "nak."  He loves bananas right now and will give his right arm for a grape, granola bar or applesauce.  He also loves spaghetti, cheerios, and whole apples.  (Never, ever cut...always whole)  His favorite food is still rice and beans though.  These boys are definitely their daddy's sons :)

Samuel loves singing the alphabet with the phonetic sounds (I know, once a teacher, always a teacher) and thinks it so fun to mimic letters well as monkey noises.  He has a million "words" that are just random sounds he consistently uses for the same things.  It means that he is earlier at communicating than Carter, but I am the only person who knows his little language.  Carter never tried at words he couldn't say correctly, so it's a fun time hearing all of Samuel's little stabs at the language.  Two of my favorites are the way his says, "Andi" and "Boo."  Andi is "An-hee" and Boo is a raspberry sound on his lips.  He grabs my phone all the time and says, "Call An-hee and Bthbhthbth!"
Along with sleeping through the night, Samuel is finally staying happily in the nursery.  (Or at least happily after the first bit.)  There were so many patient men and women who held sweet Samuel while he grumped about being separated from me.  But he is bending to the sweet grapes from Nana Stevens, the persistent arms of some of my friends who are committed to teaching him to love the nursery, and some very kind men who Samuel preferred to snuggle with in those early weeks.  He's a guy’s guy, and these men were so patient to love on him and teach him what a safe, fun place the nursery was.  I am so grateful for a community of believers in which to raise the boys!

Samuel is sweet balm to me.  When I am overwhelmed, his head tucked in my shoulder is the ten big breaths I need.  When I lose center and get discombobulated, he has this look that smiles right into my soul and reminds me of what is important.  He makes me laugh, he warms my heart…and I am so glad he’s my little guy.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Our favorite photographer, Laurin, did our family photos again.  Oh my, she just never disappoints.  She is a joy to be around, a wonderful photographer, and is so patient with the fact that there are more tiny people who don't want to follow directions every single year.  I've said it a million times, but if you are local, you should totally check her out.

These are just a feeeeeewwww of my favorites....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Castillo Trio

That's right...our dynamic duo of boys are about to become the Castillo Trio.  We are so excited and thrilled more than we can say that we are expecting another precious baby in June.  Carter is certain this is a girl, Samuel is certain it is in his belly instead of mine, and Steven and I are certain we are blessed beyond measure.  I'll be posting more updates soon about doctor's appointments, ultrasounds, and these first weeks of pregnancy soon.  Thank you, as always, for your prayers as we begin a brand new adventure!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

A hero.

A man who can fight enemies.

A man who was almost still a child, facing evil with courage almost lost in this world.

A man who saw camo with as much honor as dress blues.

A hero is a man who can fight battles, stare evil in the face, and summon courage as deep as the ocean and still come home to love with the tenderness of a father.

A man who hold his wife's heart and hand every day.  It's true bravery, honor and courage this man has.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

It is rarely this still for long.  Carter will listen to books for hours.  Samuel still wants to pull the pages right out of the book and climb all over us.  He's listening, though.  He repeats lots of phrases from the books we read when we think he's not listening.  Carter loves reading books more than almost anything...especially if they are about trains or Curious George.  

Footie pajamas look like they would never fit your little one.  Ever.  Those are waaaaaay too long for my baby.

And they fit just so.  And then the "baby" looks that much longer in them.  *sigh*

Grateful for these days of books, footie pajamas, and bedtime routine.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Snapshot: October 2013

Snapshot: September
Snapshot: August
Snapshot: July
Snapshot: June
Snapshot: May
Snapshot: April
Snapshot: March
Snapshot: February
Snapshot: January
Snapshot: December
Snapshot: November
Snapshot: October

Friday, November 1, 2013

Trick or Treat!

You never know when you take toddlers to do something fun with lots of variables.  Trick or treat is filled with fun and friends...but it can go awry in a moment of anger of costume discomfort, fatigue from being up late, and any given bout of normal toddler ornery-ness.

Last night was fun.  No meltdowns and lots of happy kids who normally don't get sweets were happy to indulge.

We had soup with friends before heading out with them to trick or treat.  We have done this with them every year since Carter was born.  It is so much fun to go together!

Carter warming up for the trick or treating action.  I dressed the boys up as Charlie Brown and Snoopy because I LOVE Peanuts, it was less than $20 for both of their costumes, it was easy to make, and they were super comfy aka they were willing to wear it.  For the win!

The boy's super cute partner in crime.

Snoopy himself.  He actually wore the hat for most of the night.  But then he yanked one entire ear off, so that was that.  

These two.  They are such friends....especially when there aren't toys to be shared.  They get good sharing practice when they play together :)

Finally we stopped taking pictures in the driveway and let the kids get started!  Samuel got some boosts up the steps!

Carter did such a good job of waiting for Samuel and holding his hand down the driveways.  Samuel didn't want to go trick or treating unless he had his brother's hand at the door.  I loved it.  A lot.

Carter thought ringing the doorbell was so fun, he did it more than each house.

He said, "Trick or Treat!" and then, "Thank you!" and then just stood in the doorway.  Sometimes he got more candy.  Sometimes I had to usher him away.  I feel like it was part of his game.

This picture is a favorite and it is also a lie.  This lasted for about 1 minute before both children started looking for Andi.  Then Andi was the only hand to be held and the only one who could carry Samuel :)

Our crew in a line.

What actually happened:

Samuel kept squeezing Snickers bars and refusing to put them in his pumpkin.  I wanted to hold out on giving him any candy because I knew that would be it for the rest of the night.  He finally BIT THROUGH a Kit Kat packaging to get the the chocolate.  I opened one for him after that.  Look at his eyes.  Snickers-love must be genetic.  Or universal.

We had such a good night trick or treating.  The boys are at the perfect age for enjoying the night with friends.  And I am sure they will wake up this morning, ready to dive into their pumpkins at the rapid-fire pace of one piece per day! :)