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Monday, November 10, 2014

An Apology

I would like to apologize to anyone I may have hurt/offended by posting breastfeeding articles, etc. on Facebook.  I realize it can be hurtful to anyone who can't/doesn't want to breastfeed and I never meant that.  So, I'm going to say this.  If you don't breastfeed your child, it's cool.  No really, it is.  And I don't need to hear any excuse.  You are doing what is best for you and your child.  If you choose not to breastfeed for medical reasons, or because it creeps you out, or because you adopted, or because you want your spouse to be able to get up in the middle of the night and feed the baby too, or you're working and pumping is the worst (because it is), or you just don't want to, then that's cool.

I chose to breastfeed for two reasons.  1. Because I was lucky enough that I could.  2. It's free.  No really, I'm a cheapskate. All the other stuff is nice, but the free part was what decided me.  I had no lofty reasons, so I'm really in no position to judge.

Here is what bothers me about the breastfeeding stuff, and what the majority of what I post about on Facebook is really about: it's doing it in public.  If a woman chooses to feed her baby in public and she's formula feeding, no one gives it a second thought.  It's a non-issue.  If a woman chooses to BREASTFEED her baby in public, she better quickly toughen up because someone, at some point, is going to say something.  And that's just not fair.  And why I chose to educate myself before I started doing it.  I needed ammunition, a comeback in case anyone asked me to leave, or cover up, or go into a bathroom (eeewww), or whatever.  I wanted to know what was allowed and why it was important.  And then I probably got carried away.  I admit it.  But for such a long time, you feel like you have to fight for it.  Because at some point in your child's babyhood, you will have to feed them in public.  Because babies have ridiculously tiny stomachs and have to eat ALL THE TIME.  And Semmes was that baby that refused to be covered.  So I just gave up...and toughened up.  But probably too much.

So if anyone, at any point, has felt in any way judged by me on the breastfeeding vs. formula feeding thing, I'm sorry.  I'm really not judging you for feeding your baby formula.  Really.  I just had a bunch of walls up because I was just waiting for the fight to happen, you know?  But now Semmes is only eating once or twice a day.  So it's totally a non-issue now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Post

We went to the pumpkin patch last week.  We went to BoBrook farms, which is where we've gone for the last four years and where we pick blueberries.  Cooper, for the first time, did not get to go this year.  With him missing a week of school for vacation and then him being sick off and on, he really can't miss any more days, especially not the quarter.  Plus, he has a Halloween Carnival at school and we have lots of Halloween stuff this weekend, so he will get his fair share of Halloween stuff.

Anyway, pictures!

Semmes loved the animals (of course).  They had goats, pigs, and chickens.

Owen and Semmes were REALLY into this "truck."  Would not get out of it, even though it was covered in mud.

Then we got this "truck" over by the corn pit.

Mom friends!!

My sweet boy:

He was very distracted by the giant, furry spider above us.

And then daddy got to come too!

This is the best one!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Talk at St. Mark's

I was asked to give a 1-2 minute stewardship talk about my experience at St. Mark's.  I gave the very short talk on Sunday.  I wanted to share it here as well.  If you're shopping for a new church home, you should consider checking out St. Mark's!

My husband and I are accidental members of St. Mark’s.  In the best possible way.  We moved here in June of 2010 for Brad’s pediatric residency at ACH.  We had been to a couple of churches, but were still church shopping when my dad and I visited St. Mark’s.  I liked the service, everyone was kind and welcoming, and the priests were great, so I filled out a visitor card.  Luke called me that Tuesday.  We talked for a while.  I told him that I was pregnant and due in about a month and he told me about their new ministry where members of the church bring food after the baby is born.  I said that that seemed great and that I would see him Sunday.  I gave birth the next day.  I honestly don’t remember how the church found out, but we had a couple of St. Mark’s visitors in the NICU, where Cooper spent his first eleven days of life.  Then when we got home, people just started showing up with food.  None of these people had ever met me, I had attended church there exactly once, heck, my husband had NEVER even been in the building, but the people of St. Mark’s opened their hearts, and their kitchens, to us.  It was pretty obvious that we had found our church home in Little Rock.  We officially became members the week before Cooper was baptized.
            When Cooper was about six months old, he was finally healthy enough for us to start attending church more regularly.  Brad was very busy and worked constantly that first year, so often it was just me and the baby in the back.  In this way, I got to know Sydney, who eventually invited me to join her Christ Care group.  This group of women has become my Little Rock family.  We get together weekly to share what’s going on in our lives, we pray for each other regularly, and I value each of the relationships I have with them.  My Monday nights feel empty on the weeks I have to miss Christ Care. 

            Cooper was born early and with an undiagnosed chromosome abnormality.  In the past four years, there have been a lot of highs and many, many lows.  My Christ Care group has been there for all of them.  They’ve sat with us at the hospital; they’ve let me cry with them; they’ve celebrated milestones with me. I give thanks to God often for their friendships. I am so blessed that we found St. Mark’s.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Best Friends

Cooper and Semmes are best friends.  Just ask Semmes.  If you ask him, "Who is your best friend?"  he will say, "Bubba" (his word for brother) without hesitation.  We talk about Cooper all the time.  Semmes laughs when Cooper laughs and cries when Cooper cries.  It's sweet and something I want to instill in Semmes early: that Cooper, his special big brother, is his best friend.

Posts like this make me want to cry. Cooper will never protect Semmes like a ninja or have candid, never-ending talk sessions.  He will never save him from trouble, share any secrets with him, or fight over silly things.  And that's fine.  There are many other ways to interact.  I dream about waking up one morning to Semmes and Cooper in one bed because Semmes crawled in there with him overnight.  I hope Semmes talks to Cooper, telling him all his secrets that he knows Cooper will never tell anyone.  I want them to be best friends in this way, since there are so many ways that they can't be best friends.  And this is why I have taught Semmes, all his life, that Cooper is his best friend.

The day may will come when Semmes will resent Cooper for something.  Our little family of four will never be able to all play together; someone will always have to be with Cooper. We will have to take turns riding rides or swimming or kicking the ball or whatever.  There is much you have to put aside when you have a child with special needs, and that's ok, but I know that at some point Semmes will complain and whine that it's unfair, and he will be right.  It is unfair, but Cooper will still be his best friend.  Because he was taught, from a young age, that Cooper is his brother, and therefore his best friend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Do the right thing, people

Cooper is the kid that if something is going around, he gets it.  And it's always worse for him than for other kids; a cold in a typical kid is RSV to Cooper.  So it drives me crazy when parents send their sick kids to school, takes them to an event/activity, or just in general gets them out and about when they have a fever.

Monday night, Semmes had a fever with a barking cough that made it pretty obvious he had croup.  So I informed all the moms that we had been around that day and cancelled our plans for Tuesday.  Early Tuesday morning, he woke up and was still warm and struggling a little with breathing, so we gave him an oral steroid and put him back in bed.  When he woke back up for the day, he was GREAT.  I mean, running around, full of energy, no fever, great.  But I did the right thing and kept him home.  Because one day of him being a little stir crazy at the house is worth not spreading nasty croup to everyone we come into contact with.  He's totally fine today, and we ventured out into the world this morning, confident that we weren't going to be spreading germs everywhere we went.

Yesterday was the first day of fall.  Along with pumpkins, gorgeous orange and red vistas, scarves, and boots comes colds, runny noses, and upper respiratory infections.  Brad says the ER is already full of kids with croup, so do the right thing!  Keep your sick kid home (and if you're sick, stay home).

Does this look like a sick kid (or for that matter, a BABY) to you?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cooper's birthday party...only a month late

We had a really fun 4th birthday party for Cooper last month (I am so far behind on blogging).  It was a beach/summer theme party.

This is the super cute invitation.  We had it on the Friday of Cooper's "summer break" from school.  They get two days off between school years, so the teachers can do inservice and the kids can get new classrooms.  We invited Cooper's class and a few of the kids came!  We also had most of Semmes' toddler group, plus a few kids from church.  It was a good time! 

I got Cooper the cutest little beach shirt with his name on it.

We did beachy muffins (muffins since it was in the morning).  They turned out so well!

Goldfish and Swedish fish in beach buckets.

The water was in an inflatable pool.

First, we played outside on the playground.  Semmes ran around like crazy and Cooper liked the swing.

Then we came inside to sing happy birthday and eat some yummy snacks!

Semmes liked the snacks (go figure)

Cooper ate some frosting.

We loved getting to see all of our friends on a weekday! 

We did it in the youth hall of our church.  It was perfect for Cooper because we could put him in his pony and let him go!

He had so much fun!

Our attempt at a family picture:

We had such a good time celebrating our big four-year-old!!