Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Good Day

This day was characterized by nothing in particular, except that it was good. It couldn't help that we started the day with the little secret we had sent out to our family and friends via e-mail the night before, and we secretly awaited their suprised responses. Finding out last night that we were pregnant with our third child seemed almost surreal.......then waking up remembering that there is now a child growing inside of me! The baby won't be here for nine months, yet how quickly that time goes. I can't help but wonder, what will the little child be like? What personality and characteristics are even now developing? It was fun to see Caleb and Emet get caught up in our excitement about a new baby. One minute they were hopping around in excitment, holding the pregnancy test for the picture - the next Caleb declared he did not want a new baby. Well, it's a little late now! He asked the other day (before we knew we were pregnant), "What would we name a new baby?" Both he and Emet like to cuddle with baby Caleb, 4 months, from our Bible study. He is a mystery to them. Funny, but I wonder sometimes if Caleb even remembers when Emet was a tiny baby, or if what he is now blends in his mind to create the past? That happens to me too. I try to think back to when Caleb was a baby or even Emet's age, and I have a hard time separating the present from the past. I simply cannot remember. I remember little things here and there - or particular events, but not the general, daily personality. I don't seem to have a recording in my brain to pull from.

Our friend Julia is pregnant as well. Their baby is due October 20th -ours October 29, exactly 5 days from Emet's birthday (October 25) and 5 days from Caleb's birthday (November 2). Given that Caleb was 2 weeks late and induced.....and Emet was 5 weeks early, I guess there is little guessing when this baby will actually be born, but it is likely that it will be October or November.

The reader must wonder if we are planning this only to save money and time on years of birthday parties? I guess we'll take that one year at a time....but so far the Ordway Family Birthday Gala has gone pretty well! :-)
We had a bonfire tonight on "the other side", as we call it. What started with three couples and our friend Randy plus 5 children between us all (not including the buns in the oven), ended with Jason, Randy, and myself (boys now sleeping soundly in their little beds) talking by the fire about politics, relationships, and life in general. It's amazing how something as small as standing around a fire, can draw us together and relax us enough to be able to open up and talk. No one would probably stand around in a circle staring at the grass and share such deep conversation. Yet, there we stood, coffee mugs in hand, waving away the smoke and discussing life. I sit here on the couch, Jason now up rocking Emet who awoke crying, smelling like camfire, staring at our own flaming woodstove, and typing in this blog.

Our land,1.7 acres, long and narrow is divided by a stream. We are right on a busy country road - a long, straight 50mph stretch in which cars often go much faster. That used to bother me to no end. However, I am truly coming to feel settled here, on our place in the country. The land around us is open, and we have beautiful, pastoral views. Our small country home is cozy and warm (many thanks to our new woodstove), and there is alot of potential to what we can do to both our land, our buildings and our little house, even if we have to fight with the carpenter ants to do so. I am content, and there is great peace in that. That took a while in coming, for though I was trying to be content, I guess I always sort of wished my house were not the house it is.....I wished our land was in another spot. I wished the traffic were not so busy and loud. I was always looking forward to what lay ahead, the next place we might call home, never allowing my heart to settle here. I guess what I am saying is that I still look forward to what God has for us, as a couple, and as a family. We still have a dream of having alot of land and a big house to share with those in need of rest or relaxation. However, in the meantime, God has us here. We are called to share what we have now - right here, and make it into as much of a place of warmth, relaxation, and solace as we can.....a lighthouse for those who enter. What I'm learning is - it probably doesn't have as much to do with the location, the landscaping. the space, or the interior design as I once thought.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


What a little cherub is our Emet. In transferring all of my files from my old laptop to my new one, I came across a photo of Emet from when he was only a few days old. Funny thing is, I can see the little Emet we know now in his little newborn face. I’ve come to the realization that beyond your first child, it must be near impossible to keep track of the exact day and order of new events (new words, new actions, new concepts). My organized, type-A mind strongly desires to keep on top of these things, my very human body and reality prevent me from doing so. Thus, here I write – often times weeks from the “first”, quite possibly out of order – but recorded nonetheless.

Outside of the words “Mama” and “Papa”, which Emet has used for quite a while now – he has perfected the word “Down”, which began as “Doon”. Now it is definitely “Down”, but with a very strong emphasis on the “ow” as in “ouch”. This word means “Pick me up”, “I want up there”, “Put me down”, and “I’m tired of being in here (ie the car seat, stroller, etc.) and I want out!” He says it frequently and repeatedly. What a sweetie! The word down will never again hold the same meaning for us. Saying it will likely always bring a smile to our face. The irony is, though I say this now, it is likely that in another year or two that I won’t remember that about Emet at all, save for the reminder of reading through this blog. I can’t quickly recall similar words from Caleb. It is a gentle reminder that I am just to cherish the now, soak it in, experience it fully, internalize the joy – record it if I can, but just live life to the fullest. If I am constantly worried about not capturing the present, I may miss it in the process.

Emet definitely says “Greta”, which sounds like “Gray-ya?” You hear him calling her from the laundry room, with his little face pressed against the door glass, standing on tippy toes. We also think he may say “thank you”, though if he is saying this, it sounds like “Tyu”. Caleb? Well – he calls to him, but we’re just not sure how to even interpret what he’s saying. He says something like "Doc" (or something similar) for Dog, and "Shu" for shoe. His only other phrase to note at this point, at least that I can remember, is “Dat one?”, which he says as he points to something in question. It is as if he is asking who or what something / someone is.

He has begun to use the sign for “more”, for which he claps his hands. (today, he may actually have done the actual sign - Jason saw it). He can also sign “thank you”, but much like Caleb – he must be prompted for this. Sometimes you can see that he wants to sign something, such as “drink” and ends up just trying all of his signs at once in sort of an interpretive dance of the hands. Then he looks at you inquisitively as if to see if you understood.

He is walking so fast now that he is practically running, and on that note can go so fast that he is practically pitching and stumbling forward – which occasionally he does, crashing into whatever is nearby.

One of his latest gestures is that he likes to shake his head “no” teasingly. For example, if asked if you can have a kiss, he will often shake his head “no”, whereas before, he always would oblige and lean towards you with a wet, open mouth for a slobbery kiss. Now, you’re lucky to get one of those!

Another of his favorite things is listening to music. Every time we turn on Veggie Tales, he looks happy and starts clapping his hands and moving his head from side to side. It's funny how children seem to just "connect" with children's music. When he is really happy, his little mouth is wide open in a big, happy smile.

Puppy, his little brown soft toy is becoming a fast and dear friend. While he has always had it nearby in bed, it seemed to be more that we put it there than that he chose it. However, Puppy has grown near and dear to his heart, and he will look for it. Another fun toy of his is his big, soft, bright green, yellow, and orange frog which croaks. It is almost as big as he is, but he hauls it around, throws it down, and then falls on it. He loves to press its button to hear it croak, then pick it up and give it a hug. What a precious site!

Caleb has also taken to "fathering" Emet's frog, and he says "I'm singing Emet's frog a song to help him go to sleep". He tenderly holds his own "friends", as he calls them - looking them in the face, then giving them a hug or kiss to care for them. We tell him he is such a good Papa.

He loves to be held in the presence of strangers, and when they talk to him, he often shyly buries his little head in my chest, peeking out at them and giving a little smile. What a flirt! He definitely has a “favorite” lady in the nursery, a pretty long-haired blonde teenager name Lia. It brings her great joy that she is often the only one who can comfort Emet when he is upset. What a ladies man he is! He has a flirtatious grin and an inquisitive brow, which he can use to tease or frown when upset.

Both boys are recovering from bad colds and earaches, Caleb’s which began Sunday and was bad enough to where he was holding both ears and saying “my ears hurt”. He skipped out on playing with the kids at Bible Study and opted to snuggle on the couch with Mama instead. Not that I like him to be in this pain, but it sure was a welcome change to have him so desire to be with his Mama. That night, he and Papa “camped out” on the couch. I think they both thought of it as quite the adventure, snuggled under the down comforter, warmed by the wood stove. Papa would help Caleb and give him drinks when he woke up, chest heaving with terrible coughs. Emet was sick for about 2 weeks, between colds, earache, and teething. (He seems to be getting all of the rest of his teeth at once, and they come up and go down over and over before pushing through, unlike Caleb’s who did that only for short periods.) He seems to be past the worst of it though, and is much more chipper these past few days.

Caleb’s maturity continues to amaze us. He is becoming such a little person, who thinks and reasons on his own, asking questions as they come to him, outside of the “Why” stage he was in for so long (though we definitely still get our share of “whys”.) He seems much more able to articulate things than he was before. One of my favorite things is to glance in the rearview mirror and see him or Emet gazing out the window and wondering what is going through their little minds?

Caleb’s imagination is definitely on the move, and he can often be found “pretending” various things. One of his favorites these days it to pretend he is a monster truck, jeep, race car, etc. and race around the house, stopping for gas as needed. I’ll often ask him what he is. The other day, I asked and he said, “Just Caleb”. J Is there such a thing as “Just Caleb”? I think that is probably the most special of all.

Recently a firetruck came to our house, as the neighbors barn was on fire. The firemen were kind enough to let Caleb get inside the truck. They then gave him some stickers and a plastic firemans hat. He loves to wear this hat around, and it is already cracked in a 100 places. I'm thinking we might have to hunt down a sturdier one for him at some point, with all of the wear and tear this thin plastic hat is getting. He will bring it to me and ask if I can tape it to fix it.

Something Caleb says frequently to Mama, Papa, and others is “I like your shirt [pants, hat, coat, shoes, apron, hair, etc.]” He can be such a little encourager. His spirit is as strong as ever and as sweet as his encouragements are, his rebellious, defiant side is hard at work as well. A frequent struggle we have is his common response to us of “I will NOT [do whatever we have asked]!!!”, “I will break [whatever we are doing that he doesn’t want us to do – ie I will break your walk, your Quicken night, etc.]!!”, and “I will TAKE [baby Emet’s toy]”. He definitely doesn’t like feeling a loss of control. However, as he is starting to realize that actions, both good and bad, have consequences, he is starting to have to control his emotions for things he strongly desires. For example, Grandpa O recently purchased a Jeep. Caleb really wanted a ride in Grandpa’s Jeep as he has a particular fascination with Jeeps. He was being naughty and I told him that a ride in Grandpa’s Jeep was on the chopping block and that with continued misbehavior, he would lose privilege to ride in it. I could see him physically trying to hold in his response. It was amazing! Normally, he would rage out with “I will NOT!!!” (followed by a time-out, spanking, loss of toy, or some other consequence). This time though, he REALLY wanted to ride in the Jeep and knew Mama was serious. I guess the moral of that story is to learn what it is that day and time which provides the best leverage to your cause. Always loosing the same thing or toy loses its effectiveness.

An acquaintance of Jason’s through his work just lost his 11 year old son Kasey to Brain Cancer two weeks ago today. Kasey’s mom, Amy, updated the Caringbridge website today with a truly touching note – simply sharing her heart, and how it feels to be missing her son, realizing that his little brother misses him too. Last night, her son went to bed and she could hear him in his room talking to himself. She thought about how they used to laugh and jabber on together in their room. Immediately, I could almost hear my two little boys giggling and laughing as they interact together, and I could physically feel the pain of her loss, and that of the little brother who now stares at an empty bed in a quiet room. I wanted to share a piece from her update, as it so truthfully captures the heart of a mother.

Good morning Crew!

Something is sticking out very firmly in my mind right now..
Two weeks ago today, our ^Kasey^ became an angel. The last two weeks have gone by so slow. I wish sometime that I could just skip through my life and go right to the end. I know I know.. that's not the plan.. so, I will live through it and wait my turn. My other boys need me right? Colbey was sick yesterday so he stayed home from school. Oh how his requests and ailments sounded just like Kasey's. "Mom, will you sit next to me? Mom, can I have some more sprite? Mom, I have a worser headache than before. Mom, my feet are so cold, will you warm them up." I longed for Kasey's voice with some of those requests. But.. I sat with my Colbey, I got him his sprite, passed out the tylenol and warmed his feet as best I could. We ran out for lunch with another of Kasey's favorite lines.. "Mom, can we go out and get lunch today?" I couldn't say no.. not for one second.

Last night after I tucked Colbey in bed for the 100th time, I heard him talking to himself. Not sure what he was saying.. but.. I waited for that other little voice to chime in just like so so many nights before. They would talk and talk to each other forever. I think Colbey misses that too!

It's just not right.. his chair is empty, his stuff just sits. I want him back.. I just want him back. The old Kasey.. the healthy Kasey. I wouldn't dare have him back to be sick and in pain.. no.. I wouldn't ask for that. I just want to hear his voice.. feel his touch.. see his smile. Someday right??

Somedays are not has hard as others. I know Kasey is healed, he is free. I can't help but smile and rejoice for him. How proud his dad and I are of him. So glad to have had him if only for 11 years. Thank You God for blessing our house and our family with Kasey Ryan!

Have a good Wednesday! Hug your kiddo's extra tight. Tuck them in, and one more time if you have too. Take a mental note of that smile.. always and forever say "I love you!" They are only young for a little while and not necessarily ours to keep.
Continued prayers for all our warriors out there!

Love and Hugs,
signing off at 7:26am pst

Amy.. ^Kasey's^ mom