Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Therapy Update #2

Do you remember when I updated our goals for Beckett's physical therapy just a short month ago? (8/19) I mentioned that our objective for our new goals was three months from then, but last night we got to check them all off and write new goals! (2 months early!) Proud momma, very proud. All of these stages were really fun when Kennedy achieved them, but it is a whole new level of excitement around here when Beckett reaches them. He works so hard at therapy that his muscles shake by the end. But he really has grown to love it; he loves all the fun toys and doesn't have any stranger anxiety with his therapist.


The most exciting goal that Beckett met is that he can get himself down from the standing position! This means when he stands up in his crib we don't have to keep going back in to put him down or he doesn't just stand at the couch and scream for help.  He just learned this on Monday and he is already becoming fairly graceful.  

Beckett can now pull himself up to the standing position using correct form and pulling up on everything. We are still working on getting him to lead with his left leg, he is much stronger with his right leg so he chooses to always lead with it when we stands. These two skills combined means he is just crawling around, pulling up, getting down and repeating. He is so thrilled with himself and his new independence. 
  
Lastly Beckett is "cruising" along the furniture! This was so hard in the beginning for him, we were forcing him to do it and you could tell it wore him out quickly. But now he pulls up the the couch and start cruising completely on his own!
video

Our New Goal: (To be met in 3 months)
   1.) Continue to gain strength in his left ankle and have him not point this foot out while he crawls. 
   2.) Cruise and transfer from one peace of furniture to the next. 
   3.) Walking with assistance (hands or a push toy)
   4.) and finally...walking on his own! 
   

Sunday, September 7, 2014

One Decade Later

 
I have jotted down notes, wrote & rewrote, and deleted this post several times for two weeks.  This may be jumbled and have spelling errors, but I don't think my 4 readers will care. =)  Ten year ago today, my mom lost her battle with brain cancer and went home to meet her maker. I remember so many details from that day that it feels like yesterday.  But in the same minute, it feels like a whole different life time ago.  A decade.


Last weekend we spent the weekend in Des Moines.  Everything about being back there reminds me of my mom and also we took the kids to her cemetery site.  I have never taken the kids there before, but I wanted to go and get a few pictures of the kids there.  I was actually doing well at the cemetery, holding it together until we were about to leave.  Then Kennedy started crying because she said, "I want to see her.  I want to see Grandma Sue."  It broke my heart, I tried to explain how we will see her again some day but she is just too young to understand.  She just kept repeating herself and I just kept assuring her, "I want to see her too baby." 
I am currently working through the book, "Inside Out," with a small group of friends.  This book encourages us to feel our pain and not just push it aside.  This is hard for me, I was taught to push it all down- I am strong, can handle anything, and don't need to waste time being sad. I am working on this. 

That being said, it is hard to not spend a lot of time wondering why, crying over what could have been, sad about everything she is missing out on.  Because all of these thoughts are somewhat selfish.  I selfishly want my mom her on Earth with us...

  • I want her here so she can meet her grand kids.  This is something I will always struggle with.  Today is not only the 10th anniversary of my Mom's death but also Grandparent's Day. So perfectly fitting.  My mom loved children.  Not only were us four her world, but she was always babysitting, had an in-home daycare, ran a preschool and took two other kids in at different points.  She was a wonderful mother and would have been the best grandmother.  One thing that has given me peace over the last few years is knowing that unborn children go to Heaven.  I like to believe that my mom is there, holding Brady and I's lost baby and sweet baby Peyton Stetson.  (My brother and his wife's first baby) She doesn't get to meet her grandchildren here on Earth yet, but maybe she got to meet these two babies that we didn't and there is nobody else I would want taking care of our baby. 
A mother's love- holding Baby Shawn
 
Holding our cousin's baby just a month before she passed.

  •  I want to introduce her to my husband.  Sometimes I am convinced that she some how had a hand in God's perfect plan for Brady and I meeting.  He is exactly who she would have picked out for me herself.  She would have loved how he loves God.  She would have loved how he loves me unconditionally, takes care of me and treats so well.  She would have loved how he loves our children.  She would have loved his family.  (It is hard to not believe she picked them out for me.  Brady's mom reminds me so much of my mom and they have accepted me and love me unconditionally also) She would have loved his appetite. =)  My mom expressed her love to family by cooking and baking for them, she would have loved to feed him and host him in her home. 

  • I want her here to be my friend.  I feel like I missed out on the years when daughters really get to become "friends" with their mom.  My first two years of college we were just starting that relationship.  I remember calling her between classes on my long walks around campus to my next class.  My first week back to classes after she passed away, after every class I would instinctively think about calling her and then my heart would sink.  I just want to be able to pick up the phone and call her. Ask for a recipe.  Ask her about her pregnancies.  Cry to you during hard times.  Rejoice with you as we shared good news. Ask you to babysit.

I want her here so I don't have to miss her anymore.  But all of these wonderful earthly things and grandchildren that she is missing out on here, is nothing compared to wonderful life she is living in Heaven.  She is better off where she is. She is restored to her glory and living with Jesus, why would we want anything else for her? But that doesn't mean I wont miss her every day.
(More sweet pictures from our trip to the cemetery)


  



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Des Moines Adventures- August 2014

We love Des Moines, Iowa.  There is so much to do there.  Most of the time when we go back we spend the whole weekend with family and friends, that we don't get out much to do a lot of the fun things they have to offer.  A few days before Labor Day weekend, we realized we didn't have any plans for a 3 day weekend.  Since we are Glutens for punishment we decided to head to Des Moines and see how much we could fit into two days.  I made a list on my phone, sent it to my sister and we made a plan.  Since Beckett got Tubes a week ago, we were convinced travelling would be magically easier.  I will say, our way to Des Moines was the best he has ever had.  We left when Brady got off work on Friday. The way home...not so much.  We had such a fun weekend as a family and with my family.

We got up Saturday morning and hit the ground running.  I have been wanting to check out the Farmers Market downtown, so we left early to beat the crowd.  It was awesome.  A huge area of downtown Des Moines is blocked off each Saturday morning all Summer and there are several hundred booths. The kids did great, loved their balloon animals and all the dogs that were there.






We went straight from the Farmers Markey to the Blank Park Zoo.  Kennedy and Jonathan were so excited. We had the place to ourselves for a while and the weather was perfect.  We took a double stroller but Kennedy never once got in. She loved walking/running and being Miss Independent.  Beckett did good for us making him skip his nap. 

Cousins dressed in green



 
It is so impossible to get a good pic of everybody these days!


Kennedy loved her first train ride.

 
We laid the kids down for a nap and then Brady and I got to go on a bike ride around Johnston. The bike trails are amazing in Des Moines, you can connect to go all over the Des Moines area. Fun little day date for us! 

After naps we headed out to dinner with my friends. We took Kennedy and Jonathan but let Beckett stay home with Grandpa and Lois for the night. They helped us several times with Beckett so we could take Kennedy to do big kid stuff that Beckett just isn't quit ready for.  After dinner we walked to the Iowa Cubs game. The game didn't start until 7, which is Kennedy bedtime but she was too excited to act tired and insisted on walking the whole way.  The kids loved the game even though I'm not sure they watched a single pitch. They shared an ice cream malt and they shared so well it amazed us. 
Can't you just see the excitment on her face?


 
They had a little splash park inside the baseball park.  This is the closet Kennedy got to it.
 
That was all one day! Kennedy didn't get into bed until 1 and we were of course all up by 6:30 on Sunday! During Becketts first nap we took Kennedy to a neighborhood park, we had it all to ourselves. There are parks in every neighborhood, plus city parks.  Most the parks have regular sized equipment and toddler areas, which is perfect for Kennedy!



We ate a quick lunch and headed to one of the many aquatic centers in Des Moines. They had a whole area for toddlers. The adults took turned watching the kids so we could go down the water slides and lazy river.                    This is just the toddler area

 


During naps Sunday we loaded up the bikes and drove to Madrid Iowa. We have been hearing all about the Trestle Bridge there. It was an awesome ride with a great scenic view. 



 
Monday we woke up, packed our bags and drove to the cemetery that my mom is buried at. I'll save those pictures for another post. Here is a sneak peak at one of my favorites.
 
We attempted to drive during Beckett's AM nap, hoping he would sleep. He of course did not.  And was a mess. Oh well! The rest of the weekend was perfect and well worth the drive.