Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is (Manly) Christmas over?

Joseay is doing much better now – she has transitioned from the continual scream phase to the just-scream-sometimes phase with frequent spitting up. We can handle this phase. Not sure how long we could have endured the previous phase. Hopefully that is behind us now. She is getting big with rolls of fat and is nearly unrecognizable if you havene’t seen her since her first week of life. When she goes to her nursery reunion, she won’t have to wear shades to be incognito.

Brown had his first episode of croup last night which was not exactly fun, but he seems to be none the worse for wear. He has had lots of fun playing outside in this freezing weather which may explain some of the croup.

Our Christmas traditions are just getting off the ground for our family. We have the tree cutting with the Ernest hatchet (see, trimming the tree, the Misfit party, and of course lots of food with lots of family. I don’t consider myself a city boy, but I didn’t exactly grow up on a farm. I am always envious when I hear of people who grew up in the country and spent the holidays with family, where the men would get up early to go quail hunting with the dogs. It always seemed like such a great bonding/family/tradition time. The men being manly, braving the frosty air, crunching through the ice in search of their prey. Each man with his son, showing him the rules of the woods, how to shoot a gun, how to respect the land and the game, how to train a puppy to be a hunting dog.

With this in mind, I have been looking forward to taking Brown out on cold frosty walks in the woods during the Christmas holidays to share manly insights with him. I thought I would capture our first such walk with a picture. Here it is:

Yes, that is Brown, with his cousin’s manly pink stroller that he loves and has just about worn the wheels off of as he goes up and down the street, pushing it and laughing with glee to see the pink sparkles and hear the turn of the wheels. He especially loves going to the top of the hill and then watching it roll back down. At least there are woods in the background and he is out in the frosty cold. And no animals were harmed in the writing of this post.

Ah well, new generations, new traditions. Merry Christmas one and all.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Brown is two years old today. Last night, as I was carrying him from our reading spot in the rocker to his crib, it struck me again what a young boy he is. He has lost much of that baby fat and is beginning to run more like a boy than a toddler. His expressions of his wants and desires are becoming more vehement as are his protests when he is not thrilled with what we are asking him to do. Having a small infant in the house to contrast has been interesting in pointing out just how much development has taken place in the last couple of years. Trying to cradle that 35 pound boy like a baby is laughable, but I will continue to do it in the evening as long as he will let me. Which may be only tomorrow.

Speaking of prayer (nice transition), prayer I think is poorly understood by most people, especially me. We Christians like to sit around, tell each other what we are going to pray about, then begin the prayer as if God wasn’t listening until we directly addressed him. Quite humorous. We don’t generally have altars at which we spend much time on our knees in prayer. I have heard parents of teenagers say that “you will never pray harder than when you have teenagers” and that maybe so. My experience is only with my younger kids, but I would echo the sentiment. Children drive us to prayer. I think it is because we recognize how vulnerable they are, they could so easily get sick, or have and accident, or choose the wrong path, or…or… We see their vulnerability so easily. God must laugh that we see how much prayer we direct at kids because of their obvious need of God’s guidance, but don’t recognize that need in ourselves. So in this way in my life, God seems to be using Brown and Joseay to teach me a course about prayer. Glad He has several years to teach this course as I have much to learn. But through my introductory course, God has shown me that there is no better altar to pray over than a sleeping child. The love, the desire for protection, the recognition of vulnerability drives me to prayer repeatedly.
May the joy of Advent fill our homes as we see again how much a Father can love us through a young child knowing the sacrifice that would be made.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gratefully Exhausted

What time is it? How long has it been since the last feed? Are we out of diapers again? Are there any dry burp clothes? Ok, not dry, how about if there are some that are just damp and not soaked? Ok, then how about just a somewhat clean tshirt of the floor? No the one under the Cheerios. Is that diaper on inside out? Which one of the kids smells? Is that me? How long has she been screaming? Did I tell you I dreamed about her screaming last night? How old is she now? Is this colic? Should we change formula? Am I supposed to be at work today? Which office? Do we have any clean bottles? Remember when we used to take showers regularly?

In case you have never had small kids or have conveniently forgotten (like we obviously had), this catches you up on the conversation in our house for the past month. For those of you who talked to us or came by recently, I want to apologize for our whining. We probably dwelt on the small and fleeting issue of no sleep, and almost entirely neglected the huge point of what a blessing it is to have Joseay in our house. We have been like kids who have begged and begged to go to the park, and then complained because the slide is too steep. One day ( I hope very soon ) we will look back and think how interesting it was to be up at 4am having some alone time with our growing child (9 pounds now if her neck rolls and our home scale are to be believed). We are grateful. In fact, we have begun to use the phrase “gratefully exhausted” to describe our state of mind right now. Lord, help us to recognize the amazing gifts that you are raining down on us constantly and to quit complaining about getting wet in that glorious rain.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2009 Christmas Tree Cutting

We are old. Wimpy and tired. At least I have caffeine to get me through the days. Curt can't have caffeine because of migraines, so I don't know how he is functioning. My life is mostly on caffeine autopilot. Feels kind of fake, but it is working.

Joseay is doing better every day. We started her on zantac for reflux/heartburn issues a few days ago. It was just a shot in the dark, but it seems to be helping with what seemed to be digestive issues that were causing intense screaming fits. Needless to say, we are quite relieved that those fits are subsiding. I think Brown is starting to like her more too now that she is not crying as much. He kept kissing a picture of her today, which was very cute. He's not a big fan of kissing her actual head, but doesn't mind kissing her picture now, at least. We tried to put them together on the couch a few days ago for a photo opp and you can see the results below. He was trying to get out of there as fast as he could. Look how sad Joseay looks in the second picture!

Anyway, things are good around here, but we just feel kind of worthless. Many friends have cooked meals over the last many weeks which has been SO helpful and we really appreciate it. Curt actually made the comment to his friend yesterday that he has been so tired that this weekend he bailed out on going to a Christmas party, bailed on church, and even bailed on bathing. Pretty pathetic, eh? :)

We had a really fun day yesterday when we went to cut down our Christmas tree. Brown loved being able to run freely through the trees and kept running off to explore on his own, with some hide and seek with daddy in between. I carried Joseay in the Ergo and she quite enjoyed the experience, too. She wasn't very helpful in helping us pick out the tree, but I guess we'll cut her some slack this year.

They found it... the perfect tree.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Typical Parents of a Second Child

So yes... we are taking fewer pictures of Joseay and blogging less. BUT... we have an excuse. She has been killing us the last couple of weeks. I would have put money down that she was for sure going to have colic. She would scream in pain a LOT of the time when she wasn't asleep. Good times. It was definitely wearing on us as we were trying to figure out ways to make her feel better in the midst of our sleep deprivation. Well, we switched her to Soy Formula a few days ago and it has been slightly miraculous! I am in heaven. Now THIS is fun! This is how I remember a newborn being - sweet, cuddly, sleepy. Good stuff.

Brown has also finally started taking an interest in his sister. Especially when I told him today that she has a belly button, too. That's what we are pointing to in one of the pictures. He had a rough first couple of weeks with her around, but I think he's finally caught on that he's still our favorite boy and he will still get attention - ESPECIALLY with this beautiful soy calming her down. WAHOOOoooo!
My favorite!

It's hard to find hats to fit that tiny head!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chubby 6 Pounder!

Well... first of all, OK, OK, you were right. We are having a hard time keeping this blog as up to date as we did for the first child. So there. You were right. So here is a quick update. I took Joseay to her 2 week pediatrician appt yesterday for the official weigh in. WAHOO! She has gained a whole pound since birth!!! The pediatrician was VERY impressed. She's a good eater, that one.
I also wanted to include my very favorite homemade card we have received. This is from the daughter of one of Curt's nurses. "Hip Hip Hooray! It's a girl!" I love the detailed caricatures of each of us. Curt looks like a preacher man screaming the gospel in his black robe. And I look like the lady on the TBN network (right after I got my lip augmentation).

I love this! Thank you, Allyson!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nothing mushy... just cute pictures of Brown

Every time I think about writing a blog entry, I just feel too overwhelmed so I don't do it. I was just staring at Joseay after I finished feeding her. She was fast asleep with a little drop of milk on her bottom lip. She looked SO CUTE! I just kept staring at her and thinking... I can't believe you are my daughter. It's just wild. But I don't want to get into all of that mushiness right now. I really need to be sleeping instead of posting anything on the blog. This is not smart, because she will be waking me up in about 84 minutes to eat again.

BUT... I had to post these pictures of Brown. He was taking a bath the other night and he was just precious. I felt like he was getting ready for a little date or something... getting suddsy, combing his hair. He LOVES combing his hair and brushing his teeth. So funny.

the finished product...

And not to be left out, this is a picture of Curt rewarding Joseay with milk after her sponge bath today that she wasn't a huge fan of.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What a great day!!!

If you ever followed the "Brown Blog", you probably picked up on the fact that my (chris's) parents just aren't "baby people." I've always known that. Ask any adult who has ever taken their children into their Barker's jewelry store in Louisiana. There were no babies curling up on those laps. Now, to clarify, Curt's mom and dad are all about the grandbabies and keeping them and baby sitting all the time. Well... you CAN teach old dogs new tricks.

My parents are suckers for this baby. And they are the ultimate suckers for Brown. They have already been a huge help for me as I am trying to get used to this two child thing. While I am feeding Joseay and trying to keep her awake for more than 6 minute intervals so we can fatten her up, they are playing hard with Brown outside and wearing him out. I can hear my mom howling laughing in the other room right now at whatever Brown is doing to make her laugh. My dad just told her to stop laughing so hard so she doesn't have a heart attack. They eat this boy up. And... don't tell them I said this, but they are SLIGHTLY becoming "baby people" with this cute little 4 pounder in the house. She is such a little cutie! We are staying with my parents this week while Curt has had to go back to work. It has been great. They play and help, and I get to play and look at my kids. KidS. Wow... plural. I still can't believe it.

Anyway... it's not like there are a lot of new events happening. Besides the fact that Joseay is getting cuter every hour, there really isn't a lot to report. I'll attach a couple of pictures, but again... it's not like Joseay is doing much but hanging out. Sleeping. Eating. Sleeping. Cutening. etc.

Curt's mom (Nana) and Joseay

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brown Meets Joseay (video)

We wanted to capture Brown's expression when we introduced him to his new baby sister. It's a pretty uneventful video, but I love his blank stare as he is checking her out. I also love how my mom shoved her hat down over her nose and mouth when she was trying to put her hat back on for me. But my favorite part is at the very end when I put Joseay down on the couch right up next to Brown and he pushes his arm against her to get her away from him. Hilarious! Sorry buddy... she's going to up in your grill for the rest of your life!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Did this really just happen?

To say that this has been the most intense, dramatic, unreal month of our lives is really an understatement. In the last 30 days, we have experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows of our lives. 30 days. It has been packed. And it has ended on the sweetest, most unexpected note we could imagine. Yesterday we received a call from our adoption attorney that there was a baby that had been born the day before, and the birth mother wanted to meet us. So a few hours later we drove to the hospital to meet her. It went really well and she said that she thought we were a good match for her baby. And... that was it! We picked up the baby girl from the hospital today and here we are... sitting on the couch together. Snuggling. Looking. Staring. Wondering if we are going to wake up from this dream. So surreal. Wonderful. She is beautiful. Tiny. So petite. Precious dimple in her chin. This is crazy! I can't believe that this just happened to us. We have been waiting... dreaming of this moment. And it's here. And I just can't believe it's real.

We are so happy. Thankful. Undeserving of this sweet little thing. Brown is very curious. It is too cute! When we brought her in, he couldn't stop staring at her. No smile. No frown. Just staring at her... wondering who she was and having no clue about how she was going to completely rock his little world. After the initial shock, he was very sweet and kept handing us her milk for her. So cute. I am about to feed her and then get a couple of hours of sleep before the next feeding tonight.

Thank you for being a part of this insane adventure with us. Thank you for weeping with us when we wept, and now rejoicing with us as we are overcome with joy... and the realization that we aren't going to wake up from a dream. This is real. This is our family. We can't wait for you to meet Joseay Rebekah Chaffin.

(have you ever seen Curt look so happy!?!)

We are happy to be able to give her our family names. Joseay is a combination of Chris's dad and grandfather who are both named Joseph, and Curt's grandfather who is named Seay. It sounds like Jo-See. We know, we know... but she'll get used to it.