Sunday, December 28, 2008

10 Months Old

Happy 10 months to the sweetest girl in the world! Even though Kate will be 11 months old very soon, I couldn't let this 10th month go by with out a post. It has been challenging and sweet. Challenging because she has been so sick all month. We have prayed over this little girl so much this month. We have prayed for complete healing just to have something else come and take the place of the last illness. But I believe that the challenges of this month have been far outweighed by the sweetness. Our beautiful girl's personality is really showing. She is feminine and dainty. She is flirty (she kept waving at the little boy ahead of us in the line at Target until he noticed her :) ) and gregarious. She loves to be around people. Her favorite places to people watch are the mall and Target. She squeals with delight when we walk in either place. As the days go by I am becoming more and more convinced that she will skip crawling and go right to walking. She does crawl a little bit (a modified version) in short distances. But what she is really doing right now is transferring. For example she will be standing by our couch and turn around to stand by her activity table. She uses our legs as her go between. Her verbal skills are growing everyday. She definitely says, "Daddy", "Mama"(Although a lot less than Daddy), "Oh No!" "Two", "Dog", "Nana" and a cute little saying we like to call "Ah Hoo". We're not really sure what that one means yet but we love to repeat it back to her and she loves to repeat it back to us. I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but she loves to pat my belly and put her head there to rest. I tell her that that is where Carson is. I think she just likes the fact that it is a raised place to put her head.:) Waving is her back up to any situation. We call it her awkward pause gesture. I guess if she feels like things have been too quiet for awhile she will break out in a wave. She is already learning how to keep a conversation moving. What I have loved watching this month is the special relationship between Kate and her Daddy. They play and laugh and seem to carry on this special mutual admiration society. It is absolutely precious to watch as a wife and Mom. Because Jared's job affords him two weeks off every month we get him all to ourselves for those two weeks. We are so truly blessed to have him for that long. We both love it. Her smiles and giggles are our entertainment. I heard that Alan Jackson song the other day on the radio. "Remember When." That line in the song reflects our life right now, "Remember when...the sound of little feet...was the music....we danced to week to week." We are in some unique and special times in our lives and we are savoring every moment.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A First Christmas

I have to say that this has been one of the most enjoyable Christmas Days I have had in a long time. I had begun to think of Christmas as just another day in years past. But today changed my perception. I loved today. It started with Jared, Kate and I spending some family time in our bed when she woke up. It was great to experience Christmas through her eyes even though she really didn't know what it was all about. My Mom and I cooked some of our traditional favorites together. It was fun being in the kitchen with her and asking her questions about recipes. Jared's family came over in the late morning and we took pictures, and ate (the food was delicious and plentiful!),opened presents, and played 2 fun board games. We had so much fun just talking and laughing. When everyone left Kate played with her new toys and was ready for bed early. She had such a big day! But it was such a good day. Enjoy some pictures from Kate's wonderful first Christmas. In many ways, I felt like I was experiencing a first Christmas also. I hope that everyone had a blessed day. I feel so thankful. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Cutie

Happy Christmas Eve Everyone! Sleep Tight!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Carson's Sonogram

Yesterday we had Carson's last sonogram. I was excited to post it on the blog but to tell you the truth, he is so cramped in there I couldn't make out anything very clear.I can tell you some things that we learned from the sonogram which are very interesting (at least to me!)

1. Carson is in the correct head down position and ready to go.
2. His head is down, his bum is up by the center of my chest, and his feet are near his head at the bottom! He is almost folded in half! Sounds like a very uncomfortable position but he seems to be very comfy cozy!
3. Hopefully he will stay in this ideal position until he is ready to be delivered. My Dr. said that once babies get in this position there is a less than 2% chance he will turn
4. He weighs about 5 lbs right now. He will gain about a 1/2 pound a week.
5. The average of his calculations are measuring for a February 4th due date. Not far off from my original due date of February 3rd. Here is something I am worried about, his head is measuring for January 25th!

Jared, Kate, and I are looking forward to spending time with Jared's family on Christmas day at our home. Then we will be doing Christmas with my family New Years week. We hope that all of you have as much fun with your families as we are anticipating we will have with ours. This time of year reminds you how special it is to have family near and how blessed we are by each and every member in our family. And when you see the added joy they bring to your little girl it's such an added bonus. We love our families! Maybe it's the fact that we have a child this year but I feel more of the Christmas spirit than I have in a long time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Next Up....Long Division

Tonight while I was giving Kate her bath I dropped her little duckies in one by one and counted them for her. I kept repeating 1, 2, 3 as I dropped each one in the water. After a couple of rounds of this I dropped the first one and waited to hear what she would say. And then she said it, "Two." I thought I must have heard it wrong so I did it again and she said "Two" after I said "one" again. I scooped her out of the bath and wrapped in her towel and ran her downstairs where my Mom and Jared were talking. I told them I didn't know if she would do it again but I told them to listen. I started "One..." and then she chimed in "Two." and I ended with three. We were all ecstatic. Jared and I were high fiving each other. Truly a wonderful moment. Look out world! This girl is going places!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Carson's Quilt and a Kate Update

We received Carson's quilt in the mail yesterday. I would have to say that Maw has really outdone herself this time. It is beautiful and as with anything this special the pictures do not do it justice but I had to try and post some pictures to give an idea of how great it looks. Not only did she make it a golf themed quilt but she made it an antique golf quilt. Thanks so much again Maw. It is truly special!

Well I do have to say that Kate is offically over the Virus of 2008 as we came to know it in our family. I waited a week to post that sentence because that virus had a clever way of proving me wrong. My Mom would call everyday to ask how Kate was doing and just when I would say "she's doing much better" or "I think we have turned the corner." She would get sick again. Now I am just praying that she won't catch this cold that I have. I used to have an immune system of steel. I would get sick once maybe twice a year. It seems like when I got pregnant I pick up everything that floats by! Did anyone else experience this while pregnant? Someone told me it is because your immune system protects the baby instead of you. It is so frustrating to me. I have become an expert handwasher and Lysol spray and wipes are my 2 best friends but I still pick up anything and everything. Another question, how do you as Moms keep from giving your sickness to your kids? I would appreciate any advice! Hopefully when Carson is born my immune system will be up to speed. It won't be long now!

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Loyal Macy

If you have ever spoken the words, "It's just a dog" then please do not read this post. It will be lost on you.

Today I lost my friend of 13 years, my beloved dog Macy. 13 years is a long time to know someone. She went through all of my good times and bad times in those 13 years. Through it all she never left my side, nor would she ever want to. You see Macy's main goal in life was to be with me. Her main passion was to be right by my side wherever I was. A constant companion. If I was in the shower, she was right outside the door. If I was in the bathroom she was right outside the door. If I was typing on the computer she was right there at my feet. My Mom loves to tell the story of when I was visiting them in Kansas and a tornado was coming through. I lingered up stairs to get something and Macy waited for me. She would not go down with out me. That was Macy. Always with me. That's exactly what she wanted.

I got Macy my junior year in college. My parents told me that I did not need a dog. They were probably right then, but it turns out I really did need a dog later. I went to pick her out at a local shelter. She had been dropped off with about 5 of her other brothers and sisters. I chose her because she was the only one that came right to me. She just walked right up to me like she had known me her whole life. I was in love.

When she was about 7 months old I almost lost her. She ran out of my apartment door and ran across a busy street safely. It's when she tried to run back after she saw me on the other side that she got hit by a car. The car ran right over her right hip. She was so hurt that when I went to touch her she bit me. We got her in the car and drove her to the vet who met us at his office. He didn't think she would make it through the night. She did. She needed an operation to put pins her hip to repair it. People told me it wasn't worth it. "Put her down" they said. But I knew better. I went to visit her in the vet's office and when they let her out of her kennel she limped over to me and plopped right in the center of my lap. I knew then that we needed more time together. I will always thank my parents for giving me 13 extra years with Macy. They paid for the operation with out saying a word.

Now, Macy was not perfect by any means. Her favorite crime was dumping over our trash. She ate more than her share of McDonald's, Chick Fil A, and Sonic if we left it too close to the edge of the counter. And don't tell Macy that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. The night before our wedding she ate a whole pound of chocolate with no consequences. She has eaten gum, gummi bears, chocolate chip cookies(she picked through the oatmeal raisin ones that were on the plate and ate only the chocolate chip ones) and anything else that we left out. One time I took her to a friends Birthday party. She ate half of the cake while we were in the other room. Oh and she loved bread! I can't tell you how many loaves of bread she has eaten in her lifetime. Too many to count!

I had been putting off this decision for so long. I knew she was hurting and having trouble breathing but I wanted her to still be here with me. Everyone always talks about the wonderful fun of having a dog but no one ever talks about the hard decisions that you have to make later in their life. If Macy could have it her way she would suffer through pain and whatever else so that she could still be by my side right now. I realized that it was my responsibility as the person who loved her most on this earth to make a very tough decision for her. It was so peaceful in the end. I cried into the soft fur on her neck and told her how much I love her and how she is and always will be the best dog I have ever known.

I miss her. I am heartbroken. I'm so used to her being here that it is strange to not turn around and find her sleeping behind me on the sofa. She was so much a part of my life and now she is gone. Are there dogs in heaven? I'd like to believe so. I'd like to think that she is up there running and playing like she used to. I'd like to think that she is up there just waiting to be right by my side again like she did here on earth.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Comparison

Kate and Mommy 32 weeks

Carson and Mommy 32 weeks

One more of me and my boy

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Return

Just when we thought the virus had finally left her it came back with a vengeance last night and today. I honestly am baffled. I don't know why it won't leave my little girl alone so that she can laugh and smile and play like she used to. Please continue to pray. It's still very much here. Here are some pictures of some happier times last week.

I love this picture because it shows how much she loves her baby food. It is a hilarious experience because she really enjoys her meals and makes this satisfying MMMMMM MMMMMMM sound.

My Mom gave Kate this open snow globe as an early Christmas present.It plays Christmas music, has lights, and the people skate around the little rink inside. She loves it. It has been a really good distraction for her when she is not feeling well. Another favorite these days is that awesome stocking cap she has on. She doesn't seem to mind it and seems content to wear it everywhere (even in the house.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Please Pray for Kate

I know that this post will seem overly dramatic to some of you veteran Moms out there but I am scared so please bear with me as a first time Mom. Our girl is sick and has been since Wednesday morning. Apparently there is some nasty stomach flu going around that is short lived for adults (I know because Jared and I both had it) but very long lived for babies. We are going on our 6th day dealing with this horrible virus. I will try to spare you some of the details but let's just say for the past five days Kate has woken up covered in sickness. I have been to the Dr. twice and they both assured me that she is not dehydrated so that put my mind somewhat at ease. For some reason this virus or whatever it is will not leave my girl alone. Could you please pray that it will leave just as quickly as it came? I would also appreciate any stories where your child was this sick and recovered.That would encourage me. It is hard for me to picture her fully well again. I know.That sounds dramatic, but that's the way I feel. Today I looked at blog video just so I could see what she looked like happy, playful,and smiling. She is just not herself. So would you please pray for our girl? I don't think I have seen this on any other blog so I am only assuming that other Moms take these illnesses in stride. But I wanted to post just in case if you read this that you would offer up a prayer for Kate. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How many pull ups can Kate do? One!! So Far...

As Kate was winding down for her afternoon nap I noticed an unusual amount of crying and carrying on. I thought that it sounded weird so I went in her room to check on her. Below is a picture of what I found. It looks like Daddy will be lowering a mattress when he gets home!

Gowens Look-alike Meter

I did this when Kate was just born and she looked like Jared by 11%. here's the updated version. I think this proves what Jared and I have been saying all along. Kate looks a little bit like both of us, but mainly Kate looks like Kate!

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Geneology - Family history

Gobble Gobble!

For Kate's first Thanksgiving we decided to head to Waco to be with Jared's Mom's family. We left on Thursday morning and stayed until Saturday. We had a great time spending time with family. Jared played some golf with his uncles on Friday morning and Kate and I hung out with the girls and the boy cousins. I quickly realized that my little girl was seriously out numbered by the boys but she took it in stride and picked up the cars and played. I worried a lot about breaking up her routine. I worried about how she would handle 2 days with out her scheduled naps and her crib where she has been used to sleeping for so long. I didn't need to worry. She improvised and took her naps on my shoulder and slept in her pack n play 12 hours straight both nights with out a peep. Thanks Uncle Burke for that pack n play. Almost 1 year later it was a life saver. On Saturday morning I got a wonderful surprise baby shower. Our family was blessed with presents for our boy Carson. Let's just say this little boy will be very well dressed. Thank you to everyone for the wonderful gifts! Here are some pictures from our week end. Next up? Kate will be 10 months old on Monday,our last sonogram for Carson on the 22nd, and Kate's first Christmas!

The cousins picture, slightly more organized than the Halloween picture

The Gowens Family

Jared's Aunt Sheron introduced Kate to a new buddy, Curious George

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Zoo

Price of an adult admission to the zoo on Half Price Wednesday: $6.00
Price of admission for a 9 month old to the zoo: Free (thank goodness!)
Price of parking: $5.00
Riding around in your stroller in the sunshine, people watching, and talking non stop: Priceless (to Kate)

This picture is for you Alie! See, the leaves really do change in Texas!

Kate got a kick out of the snake/lizard house because the animals were right next to the glass and she could see them up close. Although I'm not really sure that it wasn't her reflection in the glass she was reacting to!

Here's our green girl with a penguin racing past her. Did she look? No! She was more interested in the kid next to her!

Getting a snack in

We love our weeks off with Daddy

Here was our best find of the day. A spotting of the rare 9 month old species of a Kate. Simply beautiful!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Carson, Your Dad and I were second kids to!

Ah the second child. Don't they always get the raw end of the deal? Ten photo books filled with the first child's photos and just the obligatory birthday and Christmas photos of the second child. I realized that I am not tracking Carson's development on this blog like I was with Kate. Pictures every week showing my belly bump progress, how I was feeling, my thoughts. Sorry sweet boy! The truth is my pregnancy with Carson has been very easy so far and he has not required that much attention as it were. He just seems to keep growing and taking everything in stride. Typical second child.But here is a post dedicated to my wonderful second child. On Monday we went to the Dr. and heard that galloping horse sound otherwise known as his heartbeat. It was and always will be one of the best sounds in the world to me. So strong and loud! Every now and then it would be punctuated by a deep thump (a kick). I asked my Dr. what my chances were that Carson would be early like Kate was. He said my chances were pretty good since she was so early. He said, "Let's put it this way. I don't think you will make it to your due date (February 3rd). I think this will be a January baby." Hallelujah!I think my Dr. has some intuition since he is already wanting to see me every 2 weeks and I am just 30 weeks. With Kate he started seeing me every 2 weeks at 36 weeks. In 4 weeks we will have our 3rd and final sonogram. Hopefully he will be in the right position and ready to go. I have learned that resting my body does not necessarily mean closing my eyes and going to sleep. If I can just lay down for a little bit I feel better.I have had very severe allergies with this pregnancy. It is hard for me to get a full nights rest in because I am so congested. I experienced this a little bit with Kate but this is on a whole new level. Other than that I feel very blessed to have a good easy going pregnancy so far. His room is almost finished save for hanging a couple of items, finding a glider/rocker, and putting Maw's wonderful quilt over the chair.Side note- Jared's grandmother AKA Maw makes these amazing quilts for each and every grandchild in her family. We had a little baby boom in the Gowen's family in the last year so she has had to make FOUR quilts including Kate's and Carson's. Jared's cousin James and his wife, Shavonne are half way through to having their second boy which will make the fifth quilt.These quilts are very special. You can see Kate's in every picture of her pink chair. It is beautiful and I can't wait to see Carson's. I know it will be just as wonderful. Thank you so much Maw for all of the hard work that you put into these quilts. They are very special to us. Another side note: I think that the "I'm the big sister shirts and I am the little brother" shirts are so awesome. I went to look for one for Kate and it seems that people don't have kids as close in age as ours will be.The smallest I could find was one for a 2 year old. So when you see those wonderful pictures of Carson's birthday and Kate looks like she is swimming in her "I'm a Big Sis" shirt you'll know why! Ok, so you see the ticker at the top? Now we have at the MOST 69 days to go until we meet this boy Carson. Come on sweet boy, we are so ready for you!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

So I withheld these pictures from the original botanical gardens post because I thought I would use them in some clever way for a picture Christmas card. Then I saw how much picture Christmas cards are.Then I thought about all of the postage to send them. Then I remembered that we are a one income family now. Then I remembered this blog is FREE! So Merry Christmas and Happy 2009! One of these pictures would have been on that Christmas card. Maybe next year!

God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6