Baby It's Christmas

Anyone else in a post-Christmas coma?

Our Christmas Day was full to the brim with family love and traveling and newborn snuggles and gift exchanges and birthday candles and gender reveals.  I've never felt such a potent combination of wanting to cry from joy and collapse from exhaustion.

And even though I was barely able to open my eyes today, I'm in full holiday mourning.  A whole 365 days until Christmas?  No, I'm in tinsel-covered denial.  Grammy, Camden, and I sang carols all the way home from the decked-out mall tonight while watching for blow-up Santas and snowmen.  We will be stretching Christmas out into next weekend.

 I'm writing with one hand while the other strokes the silky hair of my sweet newborn nephew, who is blinking up at the white lights of the tree.  Babies are awesome.  I am so in love with this boy already.

Loving on this little guy is making me all the more excited for our own new addition.  So let's derail from the holiday hubbub to talk about the very beginnings of our little girl's story.  (Still can't believe she's a girl!!)

It was September and I bought the pregnancy test against my better judgement.  They had proven to be nothing but heartbreaking negatives every time, and I knew it was going to be the same.  We'd learned that being a few days late means very little for us.

So my friend Madelyn was over in the afternoon, and our boys were running around in the backyard.  I waited until Madelyn was distracted and went out after them when I grabbed the test and stole to the bathroom to get my negative.  You know, just to stop thinking about it and have that final and undeniable NO once again.  Rarely did I tell Roy when I was testing or if I ever had hopes because I saw no point in dragging him down.  Infertility hurt him just as much as it hurt me.

These things were running through my head when I did a double take at the test.  
Two lines.  

My heart got caught up in this whirlwind of euphoria and I felt like I was floating up after it, ready to burst I was so filled with pure joy.  I thought I'd never come down.

At some point I remembered Madelyn was out there with all three kids and thought I better go out and help.  But I didn't want to say anything to anyone before I talked to Roy.  After giving myself a minute to compose myself, trying to suppress the unsurpressable smile, I came skipping down the hallway.  Like, literally skipping. 

The minute I locked eyes with Madelyn that smile just exploded right out and I screamed, 
"I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!!!"  

She screamed, I screamed, we wrapped our arms around each other and jumped up and down and screamed, laughing with a little bit of crying.  For an hour we were broken records, "I can't believe it!  Pregnant!"  And together we tried to come up with a cute way I could share the happy news with Roy.

That night when Roy got home I was standing at the front door with my phone on record.  I asked him to hold out his hand, and in his open palm I placed a poppyseed.  

"What's this?"

"That's the size of your baby right now!"

Roy lit up like never before.  All the celebrating was caught on video, but I neglected to take a picture.  It was such a special and unbelievable moment for us.  Even though I thought we should wait to tell Camden, Roy simply couldn't hold it in.  And considering my own initial reaction with Madelyn, I really couldn't blame him.

Camden immediately and cooly informed us that it would be a little sister.

When it was time to share the news with our families we decided to have Camden help.

(Every Pirate Needs a First Mate!  Mine Arrives 5/2016)

Roy's mom read the shirt aloud over FaceTime, which was really fun hearing everyone's reactions at once.  My own parents didn't notice the shirt for a painfully long time, but when they finally did there was much rejoicing.  Leah guessed what was up before she noticed the shirt, and proceeded to wish twins upon me.  All the while Camden seemed more and more unsure about what was really going on, but we knew we had plenty of time to better prepare him.

It was nigh impossible to wait for week 13 to tell all of our friends.  But when we did, the outpouring of love was overwhelming.  We have such an amazing and supportive tribe.

This pregnancy has been quite different from Camden's.  I started out pretty dependent upon Ginger Ale, but then moved on to only the occasional migraine.  The weight has been piling on differently, and I felt the baby start moving much earlier and much much more frequently.

And then there was the gender reveal!  Buuuut that's a story for another night.  The post-Christmas coma is strong.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good ... 
zzzzzzz... zzzzzzz... zzzz...

Roy Returns to Newport

No one was more excited for our Thanksgiving trip than Roy.  It was all he talked about for a week leading up to our flight into Portland.  Thanks to school and work, he hadn't been back to his hometown in 2 1/2 years!  And even though Camden and I had visited without him, we were stoked too.  I've said this a thousand times on this blog, but the Oregon coast is just the coolest, most unique place.

It also has some of the greatest people in it.

But I must add, Newport is deceivingly cold in November.  Ok?  You absolutely must visit this place, but if it's November, pack a parka.  I grossly under packed warm clothing for my little family.  Oh, I also grossly under packed pants for myself.  Pants.  The only thing I had to wear on my legs were the stretchy pants I wore on the airplane.  Why?  I have no idea.  Apparently pants are not important to me.

Pretty sure Roy saw it as a ploy to get my shopping on, but sadly I really am just that air-headed these days.  Pregnancy sucks away my brain power.  I can blame it on that, right?  Is there a pregnancy card limit?

Pants or no pants, we were bound for a fun time with Grandma and Grandpa.  It got even more exciting when the Carpenters showed up.  Camden and Danny Jay are such buds.  It's so fun to watch their little budding relationship, which we all determined will someday soon be full of mischievous adventure.

When they were babies nine months seemed like such a large age gap, but it's a gap that's closing quickly.  Danny required almost no help scampering after Cam.

… and vice versa.

Of course we all spent a day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

How is this the only picture I took of my sweet baby nephew and niece?  The weekend went way too fast.

{In memory of the eel I almost kicked in the face on our honeymoon.}

Then of course there was the beach and exploring.

Camden found these slimy seaweed "snakes" up on the dry sand and was determined that they be released back into the ocean.  Thing is, these beaches are huge.  The journey from sand dunes to the crashing sea foam is no small jaunt--pack your hiking shoes, since we're making a list.  And pants, did I mention you should pack pants?

The distance didn't deter Camden for a second.  He was on a mission.

Roy said he remembered doing the same thing as a kid, toting seaweed behind him for various missions.  He threw the stuff out into the water, showing Cam how it's done.

Later we were lucky enough to see the spouting horn on an exceptionally powerful day with a high tide.  The pictures don't do it justice -- there was water spewing forty feet in the air!  From what I remember reading on the little plaque, the blow hole is formed through erosion of the lava rock.  You basically end up with a lava tube that opens straight up to the sky, and water explodes out of that opening when the waves hit just right.  It was like oceanic fireworks!  Roy said the huge blast of water has been known to splash onto the road alongside it.

Through all of our coastal adventures, our favorite thing to do was to spend time with family.  Camden couldn't be more in love with his grandparents.

We were also happy to have Aunt Kelsey there.  She spoiled Cam rotten with the attention, and soon they had inside jokes and handshakes.  In fact, just today when I gave him a plain old knuckles he corrected me, "You gotta do 'fie-yeh'!"  (Wriggles his fingers like Kelsey taught him.)

With the gracious combined efforts of Kelsey and the grandparents, Roy and I got some movie dates in.  There was Camden's birthday, which I mentioned in a previous post, and a day trip to visit friends in Salem.  Then of course there was Thanksgiving dinner, during which I took absolutely no pictures.  Lately I've learned that in some moments being present it more important than capturing it.  I'm a slow learner.  

Of course the food was great, and the already fantastic company was made even better with the arrival of Sue, Jay, and Justin.  I loved that it was kept casual, personal, and stress-free.  The perfect holiday.

Even though the trip revolved around Thanksgiving, the meal I remember best was actually pizza on a random night.  But let me tell you, it was the best pizza I've ever had in my life.  I've been craving it ever since.  

Jalepeño popper pizza!  (Drool!)

Halfway through my first heavenly piece I bit into a particularly juicy jalepeño, which promptly squirted it's fire juice right into my eyeball.  Oh, the pain.  I rushed to the bathroom and tried to rinse out my eye quickly so I could get back to that pizza!  And I had two more pieces after that.  Worth the pain and the smeared demon mascara look.

Hmm… what other memorable things shall I mention?  This is the problem with writing weeks after the fact.  Hmm… I remember the little twins just melting hearts all day long, can't forget about that.  I remember Dennis taking us on a tour of the jail--super interesting.  I remember Leah, Laura, and I chatting late into the night while Leah did my hair for me--she's awesome.  I remember Roy yelling at me to stop leading Camden into poison ivy--clueless desert rat over here.  

I remember every day was epic for this little explorer.   

Thanks, Buckmasters, for being awesome.  Couldn't ask for better in-laws.  (Also, I'm looking forward to seeing some of these pictures with Kelsey and Kirsten photoshopped into them.  Let's put them on a unicorn.)

Camden is 3!

Holding our new baby that warm November night, I tried to imagine what he would be like as a kid.  I stared at his tiny newborn features and just couldn't imagine it.  What would his voice sound like?  What would his favorite game be?  What color would those eyes settle into?

Answers: a) Raspy but with a high-pitched, shrill laugh.
b) Cars, which carry on conversations and enjoy driving to the park to go down the slide.  (There is almost always an ouchie that a "car doctor" rushes to fix.)
c) Handsome hazel, just like his daddy.

It's crazy to look back at how much he has grown and learned since that first day, three years ago.  The dimpled hands and squishy kankles of babyhood are gone without a trace, and now this boy has opinions, observations, and an imagination to boot.  It all happened so smoothly and yet so suddenly. I'm quite sure it's impossible to explain.

On the big day we were in Newport visiting Roy's side of the family.  We went out for dinner and the sweet waitress surprised all of us with a little birthday sundae.  Camden would have been happy if we stuck a lit candle in a sponge - he just wanted us to sing to him and blow out the candle - so he was in Heaven with the added treat.

There's a lot more to write about Newport, but I'll get back to that in a another post.  Onward to Camden's "green car" birthday party (and the end of my imagined career as a cake decorator)!

Now that Cam is officially a kid with opinions, he was very specific about his birthday theme.  It wasn't just a car party, okay?  It was a green car party.  

We were thrilled to have my parents in town to help execute such a specific theme.  Really, I don't think I could ever throw a party without my mom, the party expert.

It was a blast to have so many fun little friends running around, not all of whom happened to run in the right direction to join this picture.  Camden had this smile plastered on his face almost the whole time.

And again the Happy Birthday song and candle-blowing was the main event for this dude.  Even though a breeze blew out the flames during the song that didn't stop him from dutifully breathing all over the cake at the end.

Always the comedian.

This boy was so showered in fun books and toys he didn't know what to do with himself!  I loved how interested all of his buddies were, too.  At this age there is truly nothing more exciting than new toys.

Happy birthday, little monster.  You are thoughtful, helpful, kind, always trying to make others laugh, and very particular about lining up your cars.  You're inquisitive, imaginative, and still pretty generous with your hugs and snuggles.  You've always tried to be obedient, although I swear you woke up on your third birthday and decided it was high time to test the boundaries.  We're going to have fun with that, I'm sure.

No matter what, we love you.