January 30, 2012

Sick Sunday

There are many things that pull at a Mama's heart. One of those things is a sick child. I woke up around 3:30am Sunday to Chase calling out for me from his room and crying. As a parent, you just know the when there's something different about that cry. I heard that different cry, knew something was wrong, and immediately jumped out of bed. When I got to his room he said in a sad, pitiful way, "I'm sick", which I knew meant he was probably about to throw up. SO I ran with him in my arms to the bathroom and that is exactly what he did.

That poor little voice saying "I'm sowwy" when he threw up on me just made me want to cry. We snuggled and cuddled all day (with a trashcan close by, of course).

I can't imagine how parents feel when they have a child who is truly sick or terminally ill. I'm so very thankful for my otherwise healthy little Chase who is apparently feeling much better today.

January 25, 2012

Chase's big day

Yesterday was the big day. It was Chase's first day of 'school'. I've been so emotional about this whole process for many reasons. I'm sad that Leslie is no longer his babysitter/teacher. I'm anxious about leaving him with complete strangers for 9 hours a day, 3 days a week. But I'm really excited about this opportunity for him to build relationships with 13 other kids around his same age.

He's such a little sponge, soaking up new things every day in so many different ways so I know he's ready.

He is such an independent, social little person who connects with everyone that he meets. So I knew he'd be ok.

Here are some pictures that I took before we left our house. Before school, Chase had a doctor's appointment. I didn't realize that I was supposed to bring him in for a 2 1/2 year physical (I mean, it's not like I have anything else going on, you know) several months back so this was basically a late-30-month-physical/early-3-year-check-up/get-the-daycare-forms-signed appointment. all in one.

And, for the record, he's still a little runt, measuring in at a little over 29 pounds. So he's still 25th percentile in weight and 75th percentile in height. (Anyone surprised by that is welcome to meet my 170-pound, 6-foot-2-inch husband. :) )

Here are some pictures from the school parking lot. I managed to hold myself together all morning. somehow. (Ok. well. except for when I woke up and had an email from Leslie wishing us luck and saying that she'll miss Chase (have I mentioned that I love her??). Not gonna lie. There were a few tears in my sleepy eyes when I read that).

I'm so thankful that Chase is a social, independent little boy. I'm also so thankful that Leslie has always made a point to promote that independence in every way since he was 9 months old. All of her teaching has helped prepare him (and me) for this day.

When I picked him up yesterday afternoon, he made no movements to run towards me when I got to the playground. He was in the middle of explaining to the teacher and 4 other kids that the sand was dirty. After he got done explaining this fact, he looked at me and asked me to go play with him on the slide. I think it's very safe to say he had a good time. And I did all that worrying for nothin'. :)

(Let's just hope that day 2 goes as well as day 1 did...)

January 19, 2012

A big thank you

Two years and one month ago I had to find Chase a new babysitter. With Chase being only 9 months old and our first and only child, Matt and I were nervous to leave him with just anyone. I met with Leslie, a stay-at-home mom to Samantha who was 6 months old at the time. Leslie's husband, Tim was (and is) a graduate student at Duke and she wanted to use her previous work experience as a preschool teacher to bring in extra income while staying at home with Samantha. We met at Bean Traders, a coffee shop very conveniently located close to both Leslie and us and decided to give it a try.

We felt like it could be a good fit and just had a good feeling. After visiting many other in-home daycares, this definitely felt like the right decision to us.

Now, looking back, it's crazy to think about. Chase couldn't talk. He couldn't walk. He couldn't feed himself. And we left him with a complete stranger. We trusted Leslie to take good care of our sweet little boy.

And man did she. Within the first day, our 9 month old was painting, drumming, shaking noise makers, playing, laughing and learning all kinds of things. She was so creative and Chase had an absolute blast every single day.

For quite awhile, Chase would cry when I had to leave in the mornings. I would fight back tears, remind myself that it was just a phase, that he would be fine as soon as I left and I would walk out the door. Every single time this happened, I would have an email by the time I got to work with an update and reassurance that Chase was not only fine but playing happily.

These little things that she did meant more than this first-time-Mama can even tell you. She just gets it.

We have been so happy with every day that Chase has spent with Leslie and she is definitely more than a babysitter to us. So when she told us that she was pregnant with baby #2 we were very happy to hear the news but also nervous since we knew this would inevitably change things a little bit. She has been very honest with us in saying that she's not sure how a newborn will change our current situation. I so appreciate her honesty and took this as a sign for us to begin looking into preschools. Chase has learned so much during his time with Leslie and I knew that he would be getting close to being ready for preschool. So we've been looking. and that day is now here. (sniff, sniff).

Tomorrow will be Leslie's last official day keeping Chase on a regular basis. And next Tuesday will be Chase's first day at "school". This is such a big step. He will do fine... I know. But I'm not sure I will...

Leslie has become such a big part of Chase's life and we are so thankful for all that she has taught him.

Thank you, Leslie, for being the best babysitter we could ever ask for!!!

January 7, 2012

Christmas (continued)

I will try to make this the last post about Christmas 2011. I was very excited to get a new (and much-needed) camera so I had some pictures on one camera and some on the other. Then we also got a new laptop (thank you, Don and Betty Ann!) so I've been trying to wait and download all the pictures from Christmas on one computer rather than 3 different ones.

At any rate, it really was an awesome Christmas for us and about time that I wrap it up by posting the rest of the pictures. I'm also having problems with the blogger website so rather than bore you with my chronological order of Christmas family events, I'll just leave you with some sweet pictures for us to help us remember Christmas 2011.

In typical Chase fashion, he was very sweet in using his manners and thanking everyone for each of his gifts. (God, I love that child.)

This was definitely the year of trucks. and tractors. and cars. and trains. Being one of 3 girls in my family, I grew up with mostly dolls and all things girly, so all this boy stuff is new for me. I imagine this won't be the last Christmas involving trucks, tractors, cars and trains. (Surprisingly, I love it. Didn't think I'd love being the mama of a little boy, but I truly do. I love it so much in fact, that I'd really love to have another boy one day rather than a girl. but that's for another blog posting.)

This tub o' popcorn was almost as big as Chase but he loved it and continued to eat it on the ride home (with it in his lap. in his car seat.) until he fell asleep with his hand in the popcorn.

He loved his new train set from Aunt Lauren. And his comfy new 'banas' from the Comptons.

We're so lucky to have such amazing families with so many family gatherings. I think about those people who don't have any family to celebrate the holidays with and it put things into perspective for me. Chase doesn't even realize how many people love him but I hope that he is learning.

I can't finish this Christmas summary without talking about a particularly special Christmas gift that I got this year that made me feel so special and so loved. To give a little background information, Matt's aunts, uncles and cousins draw names each year. Since there are about 20 of us, it makes it very manageable to only buy one reasonably-priced gift for one person. Each year, everyone is really thoughtful about asking for what their person really wants. Hannah had my name this year and worked with her mom and dad (Sarah and Lanny) on her gift to me. Sarah has known for a while that I've been really wanting a china cabinet/hutch for our dining room. She has been looking on craigslist for a long time to help me find something that was my style and also in our price range. Apparently, the week before Christmas, they found this china cabinet and together sanded it, painted it and this was the beautiful final product:

Not only is this an amazing gift but it is EXACTLY what I would have picked out myself. It means the world to me that they spent their time and energy working on this as a family. It also means so much to me that so many people in the family were involved with the process (Sarah sent pictures to Betty Ann to make sure she 'approved', then Don drove his truck to Creedmoor to pick it up, brought it to Henderson for me to see, stored it in Gordon's garage to hide while we all opened presents, then brought it to our house on Christmas day.) I am so blessed to have such an amazing family.

January 3, 2012

Christmas Eve

I still can't believe that Christmas has come and gone already this year. I'm still trying to catch up on my blog postings with all the Christmas pictures that I took.

So, here are some pictures from Christmas Eve. We started the day by eating lunch and exchanging presents with Matt's extended family in Henderson.

This year was interesting to watch how Chase experienced it all. He quickly got bored with waiting to open presents and instead became more interested in his (or in this case, someone else's) old toys. He also had fun with the bows that came on the wrapped packages...

He became interested in Pam's 'gun' that shot out these little nerf-like discs...When Pam opened it, Chase turned to Betty Ann and asked, "Can I share?" It was pretty cute. :)

He was had a blast with Matt's cousin, Olivia (who he calls, "Lee-ya").

I think she had fun with him as well. :)

After that, we headed over to my Nanny's house to eat some more and let the boys open their presents and spend some time with my dad.

Then, after dinner, hanging out with my dad's family, we headed to my mom's house. Luckily all this was in Henderson.

Chase enjoyed showing Meme his new Sesame Street CD player and book that kept him entertained earlier in the day.

There's a picture of my mom, my sister (Katy) and me. Abby hadn't gotten there yet so we're missing a sister in the picture.

We managed to work in a quick family portrait before leaving to head back to Durham to get ready for Santa.