Hudson Thomas: 8 & 9 Month Time Capsules

Hey little man!  Once again, a little late on updating!  But if you are ever wondering why that is, I will point the finger right back at you buddy!  Because you have been a real handful lately!  I say that with lots of love- and thank goodness you are so darn cute.

Let’s catch up on what you’ve been up to!

December 11, 2017-4December 11, 2017-2December 11, 2017-3December 11, 2017-5

-You officially turned 8 months old on Christmas day!  We didn’t get an “official” photo that day, but we have lots and lots of great Christmas photos of you having a great 1st Christmas and many happy memories!  I took the photos above very close to your 8-month mark so let’s let those count 😉

-I believe I also forgot to share your baptism photos here!  You were such a good boy and we had such a nice time celebrating you!

November 12, 2017-7November 12, 2017-17November 12, 2017-13

-Just after you turned 7 months, you celebrated your first Thanksgiving with these two turkeys:

IMG_4623

-As I mentioned before, you turned 8 months on Christmas Day!  Look at all the fun you had!santa pics-7santa pics-6santa pics-9santa pics-2

December 25, 2017December 25, 2017-21December 25, 2017-19December 25, 2017-16December 25, 2017-8IMG_4794

-You love to play, especially with your sisters (even if they make you play dress-up!).  Lila loves playing with you too, but she doesn’t often let Mommy take her photo so you have LOTS of pics with Charlotte instead.

IMG_4646IMG_4558IMG_4555IMG_E4830

-Let’s talk about the swing, shall we?  Oh little boy, how you loved this swing!  You loved it so much that you broke TWO of them from using them so much.  This is a photo of you taking a nap in a broken, NON-MOVING swing.  After a few weeks of that, it was time to part ways with the swing, but you did not like that one bit, little man.  In fact, you spent most of December and January protesting it VERY LOUDLY in your crib, refusing to nap.  We took lots of car rides to get you to sleep at least just a little bit and, therefore, your mommy now knows all of the backroads in our beautiful part of Loudoun County.  Thanks for that.  You’re still not sure about the crib (at least you will sleep there at night- PRAISE THE LORD!) but as of the past few days, you’ve made great progress towards napping in your own bed!

IMG_4854

-Here you are, looking like an adorable lumberjack.  Just because.  Your smile and fluffy hair melt my heart SO MUCH and I love that you and I have such a special bond.IMG_4762

-Just a day or two before you turned 9 months old, you decided that you would finally like to have some purees.  Pears (and only pears) got you started and only when Mommy left the room.  Now you have progressed to fruit blends, but you really, really hate vegetables and the bottle.  Are you going to be a picky eater?

January 02, 2018-3

-You enjoy grabbing the puffs off of your tray with a pincher grasp, but are not quite sure what to do with them yet.  That’s ok.  Daisy does 😉January 10, 2018-You love playing in water and splash your hands and feet excitedly!  We can’t wait for your swimming lessons to start this month 🙂January 08, 2018

-You are doted on by everyone and everywhere we go, people stop me to comment on your smile and overall cuteness!January 03, 2018January 03, 2018-4

-Your official nine month photos, below.  I just love watching you do this sideways thing with your tongue after your teeth popped up on the bottom!

January 25, 2018-4January 25, 2018-3hudson9months

We love you so much Hudson Thomas!!

 

 

Advertisements

6 Years

MVIMG_20180127_105255.jpg1:55 PM.

Six years ago.

It seems like a lifetime, but also like just a moment has passed.

Six years since Callie left us, one January afternoon.  The doctor looked at us and told us you were gone.

How did that happen?  One second you were there in our arms and the next, your spirit was gone but your body remained.  I will never forget you lying there on the bed, swaddled in a blanket as I was wheeled away.  Alone.  It is not something I can unsee.

 

I dreamed the other night that I was walking on a beach.  Someone was holding my hand.  I could feel the sensation in my dream even though I could not see who it was or even see my hand being held.  It was just like I was there, feeling that hand, walking and watching the waves and the sunset.  Was that you, Callie?

And then there was the other night, on my way home from yoga.  I was driving home and as I pulled up the dark road near our house, a little baby deer popped into view.  I smiled because this was the third time I’d seen this little fawn in the dark and she looked back at me and then turned and started trotting away in front of my car so that I was moving at a snail’s pace behind her.  It was really cute and kind of funny so I started to laugh and said aloud, “Ok, little one…where in the world is your momma?” and as the last word left my lips, I was struck, absolutely struck, with a feeling beyond description.  I froze and started to cry as the little deer looked back at me and then darted off into the field out of sight.

Was that you saying hi Callie?  Were you with your momma after all?  I remember you visiting us like this in the garden once before.  Was that you again?

I desperately wish I could know what you would have looked like as a six year old.  Oh, how I wish I could know what you will look like when I get to heaven.  Will you still be a baby?  Will you grow alongside of me and be an adult? What if I go to heaven as a granny and you are still a baby?  I don’t know.  I wish I did.  These are the things I wonder about.

I’m so glad you are in my life sweet girl, even if it is from heaven and it hurts so much.  I have needed you lately to remind me of how sweet life is and how trivial my worries are.  I feel such guilt over taking so many things for granted and forgetting so many of the lessons you taught me.  Looking back over the past year, I can see how blessed we have been and how much I have not appreciated those blessings as I should have.

I’m so grateful that I can start each day fresh and choose to see, to really see.  Choose to love and to laugh.  To take a deep breath.  To take care of me so that there is more to give.  To let go of my failures and not beat myself up over them.

You are my inspiration and my strength.

I’m so proud to be your mom and your Daddy and I miss you so much.

 

 

Hudson Thomas: 7 Month Time Capsule

November 27, 2017

You turn 8 Months in two days, so I’m just squeaking this one in by the deadline!!

Hudson’s Seven Month Time Capsule:

-This month, your favorite thing to eat…is your TOES!!  You love to put your little piggies in your mouth.

-We tried giving you some baby food for the first time this month, but you weren’t really a fan.  You also really, really, REALLY don’t want to take a bottle anymore!

-During the last month, you got your first two little teeth and you love to stick your tongue out so you can feel them.  Our favorite face you make is when you stick your tongue completely sideways!  So adorable!

-When you are happy or excited, you love to wave at us and kick your feet!

-You officially started sitting up this month and you love to play with toys while sitting up like a big boy.  🙂

-Still in a swing for naps, but you are sleeping in the crib at night!!  Yay!!  and you love to be worn in a carrier.

-We love your sweet noises and your adorable giggle.  Your smile is heartmelting!

November 27, 2017-3November 27, 2017-4

Hudson Thomas: Five & Six Month Time Capsules (oops!)

October 09, 2017-4

Well, here we are buddy.  I promised I wouldn’t do any more combo posts, but I hope you’ll forgive me for just one more.  These past two months were a doozie!!

 

Hudson’s Five Month Time Capsule:

-Your fifth month was spent anxiously waiting for our new home to be finished.  That apartment was TIGHT QUARTERS.  I didn’t take many photos in there because it was dark and small, but I’ll always remember the girls trying to make you laugh and smile whenever they could!

August 28, 2017

-You went to your very first Virginia Tech Football game with some of Mommy’s best college friends and their families.  It was SO fun!September 09, 2017-5September 09, 2017IMG_4024 2IMG_4076

-This month your laugh and smile was a much needed distraction from the craziness of our move (and your sisters’ fighting!!)IMG_4108

-A few days after you turned five months, we closed on our house!!  It was such a special day!

FullSizeRender 6

Sixth Month Time Capsule:

October 26, 2017October 26, 2017-3October 26, 2017-4October 26, 2017-5October 26, 2017-6

-Your six month pictures were cute and also kind of sad with those big tears and bottom lip sticking out.  Kind of the story of your life right now though buddy!  Love you!

-On our first day in our new home, we brought you all inside and the girls ran around like crazy people and you just watched them from your car seat, taking it all in.  We slept on air mattresses (you in your swing of course!) and had pop tarts for breakfast!

IMG_4193IMG_4197

-This month, your sisters still get the biggest smiles from you.IMG_4217IMG_4221IMG_4246

-Your newest trick is putting your toes right into your mouth as soon as they are free of your footie pj’s or socks.IMG_4286

-Oh hey, look!  Your very own room!!!  This month you started sleeping through the night in your crib.  Naps on the other hand…IMG_4287

-…are still in the swing.  You don’t like naps too much.  Why not???  What’s not to love?

October 09, 2017-2

-Hudson is not quite sitting up yet.  Maybe next month will be the big month!!  He has to get some practice first…his favorite thing is to be held by mommy or in the carrier!IMG_4327

-You went on your first hayride to the pumpkin patch.IMG_4344

-Hudson got his first two teeth on the bottom this month and his hair is starting to come in a little more.IMG_4388

-Hudson really does love his exersaucer despite what this picture looks like 😉  He’s gotten so tall already that it’s time to move it up a level…in the matter of a week or two!!IMG_4405

The last two months have been crazy, but fun and we are so glad that you are in our lives little man.  Thanks for all the snuggles.  We are looking forward to (hopefully) things slowing down a little bit more and getting settled into our new place.

Love you sweet boy!

Hudson Thomas: Four Month Time Capsule

August 25, 2017-2Our little buddy is four months old and I think it is safe to say that I am pretty enamored with him!

Here’s what’s new (and not!) for Hudson this month:IMG_3989

  • Hudson weighed in at 13lb 11oz and was 25.75″ long at the doctor for his four month check up.  That put him between 10-25% for weight and 75% for height.  Long and lean!
  • IMG_3915This month was a little bit more of the same as the last….still rolling over, but now that he has that trick down pat, he doesn’t do it EVERY SINGLE TIME you lay him down like he used to!

IMG_3865

  • H-man still has the sweetest smile (a little sideways smile with a dimple!) and an adorable laugh.
  • Our little Huddy Buddy started “talking” to us and is quite the gabber once he starts going.

IMG_3964

  • Another new skill this month is that Hudson loves to reach out and grab objects.  He will hold on to toys and bring them to his mouth so he can slobber all over them. (He is quite the drooler!) He grasps our fingers and holds our hands so sweetly!
  • Hudson can’t quite decide whether or not he wants to suck his thumb.  He will sometimes suck his thumb with all of his fingers up in his face, but he doesn’t do it for very long.  I’ve been waiting to see if he would follow in Lila’s footsteps with this….Time will tell!

August 22, 2017

  • He started using the Bumbo seat this month and does really well sitting up in it!
  • We have noticed that Hudson really hates to miss out on all the action.  He doesn’t love the Ergo because he can’t see everyone and will crane his neck around trying to catch a glimpse of all he’s missing out on and fuss until I take him out.  We are borrowing the Ergo 360 from a friend to see if that helps a little.  Even if he is SUPER sleepy, he will fight a nap if there are a lot of people around.  He’ll seem happy as a clam, but his little eyes will be droopy and then when it’s too late, it’s WAY TOO LATE and he’s a hot overtired mess.

IMG_3967

  • His sleep is alllll over the place.  Most nights, we still rely on the trusty swing to help Hudson fall asleep and we recently purchased the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit to help him STAY asleep throughout the night since he has a crazy big startle reflex still.  The suit has helped him sleep with fewer night wakings, so that’s great!  Now if only we could master daytime naps!!!  We will tackle that beast when we move to the new house.
    August 14, 2017
  • Speaking of the new house, we have entered the ‘finishing’ stages.  Drywall has been hung, trim has been put into place, and the cabinets are up!  We have our final walkthrough on 9/22 and are set to close on 9/28, just after Hudson turns 5 months old.  He is still sharing our bedroom so he will get to ‘graduate’ to his own room then!  (woohoooo!!!)  There are lots of little boys in the neighborhood for him (and the girls) to play with and we can’t wait to get settled in.

We love you to the moon and back Hudson Thomas!!

Hudson Thomas- Three Month Time Capsule

July 25, 2017-2It’s a few weeks late, but better late than never.  Hudson has us wrapped around his little finger!

Hudson’s Three Month Time Capsule:

IMG_5872-Hudson, you had your first laugh this month!  It is SO adorable!  You usually start by making a sweet smiley “goo” sound and then when we smile back you laugh at us!

IMG_3832 2.JPG-Since I’m writing this post a little late, I get to tell everyone that you rolled over from your back to your front for the first time this month!  (See, there are benefits to being late!!)  You impress everyone with how well you hold your head up and how strong you are.  Show me those guns, bud!

IMG_3740 2– This last month though has been MUCH calmer for you and MUCH less stressful for your mom and dad.  You have been much more mellow and less fussy and have started sleeping for great big stretches at night- thank you!!!!  We have been having a fun summer and life has gotten much more settled.

-Swinging in your baby swing is your favorite way to snooze.  You share a room with mommy and daddy still since we are in such a small apartment and most nights you start off in the swing and then get transferred to the crib when we come to bed.  Every once in a while, you will let us lay you down in the crib right off the bat, but not usually.  You will outgrow the swing soon and we are a little afraid of how that will go, but hopefully you will rock it!  (No pun intended!)

-Your sisters still dote on you and are so very sweet to you!  Charlotte helps you be happy in the car (well, she tries!) and Lila will make sure everyone knows to be quiet when you are sleeping.  I can’t wait to see your relationship with them continue to grow.

-This month, you had your first trip to the beach!  You *loved* taking naps on the beach and hanging out with family.  You got to hang with Nana, Pops, Uncle Adam and your cousins, Zoey & Levi, along with Aunt Carly & Dave.

FullSizeRender 5-Your head is as fuzzy as a little peach, except for that endearing bald patch on the back!  We love rubbing your sweet noggin’ and sometimes that puts you right to sleep!

IMG_3751 3-The squeaky wheel must have gotten oiled, because you no longer make that funny squeak sound when you eat anymore.  You grew out of it just like the doctors (including your auntie Dr. Katie!) said you would.

-You weigh somewhere in the 11 pound range which puts you at the 10% for weight, but are longer at almost 75%.  I’m not sure how long it will stay that way though because you have been eating nonstop lately!

IMG_3836 2-The construction of our new home began this month!  The foundation was laid at the end of July!  And now in mid-August it is really taking shape!  It’s exciting to think about moving in this fall!  We can’t wait to do your nursery all over again!  The builders have told us that we aren’t allowed to paint at all for a WHOLE YEAR or they won’t repair drywall damage…won’t even touch it.  This will be very hard for your Mommy, but I’m sure Daddy is pretty happy about that!

The Empty Seat in Kindergarten This Year

IMG_0100August.

Back-to-school ads play on the TV and radio.  The stores have devoted giant sections to school supplies.  Kids wait with excitement (or perhaps dread) for their class placements.

Very soon, the schools will be filled with students walking down the freshly shined floors to new classrooms, new beginnings.  Through those busy hallways, the little kindergarteners will find their way like tiny fish in a fast current, half-swimming, half being carried away.  Perhaps their boisterous nature is good-naturedly corralled by a teacher, maybe they are clutching their mom’s hand, eyes brimming with tears.   One way or another, they will find their desks, put their things away, and look around to the faces of their peers, wondering what this year will hold, each of them filling a small chair, full of potential.

During this beautifully crazy scene, what none of them realize is that there is an empty chair.

A chair that held that same potential.  One that was supposed to hold a little girl with brown hair.

Five years ago, when Callie passed away, I had coffee with a friend who had lost her son.  We talked about how hard all those ‘firsts’ are without your baby.  First Christmas….what should have been her first birthday… and so on.  But what I wasn’t expecting to hear was that there are other hard ‘firsts’ that stretch well beyond that first year of grieving.  At that time, her son should have been getting ready to enter Kindergarten and it was an especially painful reminder of all that she had lost.  I remember not really being able to fathom what I would feel like in five years.  I was only able to go one day at a time.

But now, we are here.

With the wave of Kindergarten registration in the spring and now back-to-school mania in August, I am once again feeling that sinking drop in my gut, that punch and twist in my belly.

I wake up in the middle of the night wondering what things would have been like, dying to know what it feels like to send your child to Kindergarten on a big yellow school bus.

They say that when you go to Heaven, you are whole and healed.  What does that mean for my sweet Callie?  I ask God this all the time.  Would she have Marfan syndrome still?  I guess I won’t know until I see her when my time is up, but I think the answer is yes.  Yes, because Marfan syndrome was written into her genes, God’s blueprints for us.  That was his intentional design for her, not an accident.

But I do believe that, up in heaven, the hard parts about having neonatal Marfan syndrome are gone.  {Marfan syndrome can be subtle and not detected until later in life -if at all!- or very severe, like for our sweet girl.}  I just know that, in heaven, her heart is strong, her sight is perfect, her spine is straight as an arrow, her hands and long fingers move freely without any contraction, and she is able to run, walk, and play with all the other angels.

If she had lived, what would school have been like for Callie?

Would people have stared at her because she looked different?  Would kids have been cruel and called her names?  How would she have felt during recess or PE, knowing that she would not have been able to participate in the same way as her friends?

She would have had to be strong and so would we.

I won’t lie.  Sometimes, I thank God for sparing her all of the pain of this world.  But then other times, I get mad at him for not giving her the chance to prove herself.  I know with every fiber of my being that she would have kicked major ass in school if she had just had the chance.

Back in the Kindergarten classroom, the teachers are wondering what this year will hold too. They have prepared, planned, and prepped some more. The long hours of creating, doing, dreaming, checking lists (only to make more!), has led them to this day.  In kindergarten, you can bet that teacher is giving hugs, wiping a tear, smiling, singing, and somehow getting 20+ five-year-olds to do what she needs them to do. In short, she is performing magic.

Does she know that there is an empty seat in her classroom?

One that should have been filled with a tall and thin little girl, with brown eyes behind glasses.  One whose left hand doesn’t open up quite all the way, but who is incredibly smart.  Maybe she needs help getting around a little bit (a walker perhaps?) but still she sits in that chair, eager to please, ready to make friends, just like the rest of her classmates.  I’d like to think that her personality is sweet and that she follows all the rules (especially since her mom and dad have their hands full with her sassy, independent sisters).

Would her teachers have seen her for the amazing person that she would have been?   Would they have believed in her?  Would they have treated her differently?

We will never know.

And the not knowing is so incredibly painful right now.

All I can do is daydream and wonder.

But also hope…

…hope that because of that empty seat, a teacher this year will work that much harder to help a student who looks different or learns differently.

…hope that because of that empty seat, a child will be an includer instead of an excluder.

…hope that because of that empty seat, a parent will take that extra deep breath with their Kindergartner and give a few extra hugs.  (And at the very least, won’t complain about school supplies).

…hope that because of that empty seat, a stranger will make the world a brighter place by doing an act of kindness (donating school supplies, maybe?).

All because of that empty seat.