Saturday, September 12, 2009 how things have changed

--copied from our family site--

Well, it’s certainly been a while. I neglected the site for quite some time, but only because life has been full and eventful lately, in a wonderful way.

As you all already know, my wonderful husband is home! His time in Iraq was cut short (thankfully) because he has orders to transfer to HSL 48-- so he had to be back before the rest of the group. I did not tell the kids about Daddy’s return until an hour before he was set to land in Jacksonville-- finally, I have learned, right? Anyways, they were beyond ecstatic of was an awesome thing to see. The homecoming was one of the most exciting things I’ve experienced and it felt wonderful to have my husband in my arms again. It was the sweetest day.

He’s been home for a couple months now, and we quickly settled back into our routine as a family of 5. And can I tell you how incredible it is? Kaiti would not leave Jeremiah’s side for weeks-- I am not kidding. I had to fight for a spot on the bed, and even if I got close to him, she was not far behind, wiggling her way in between us. Being the happy baby Jack is, there was NO adjustment to Daddy being home. Jeremiah quickly got filled in on all that he missed-- with Jack sitting, laughing, babbling, and jumping in his jumperoo. Tyler was equally happy to have his Dad back, and to have his load lightened. Even though he is only 5, Tyler is entrusted with a quite a bit-- baby entertainer, door holder, dog feeder, recycler, grocery carrier in-er. Kaiti helps, too, but Tyler seemed to revel in his big-shoed role. So I was a bit surprised when he seemed all too happy to relinquish his many titles.

Since Jeremiah has been home, we have had a very full summer. We went to Charleston and saw the aquarium and walked downtown, and swam A LOT. The kids held a baby alligator and saw sharks swimming just a few feet from their noses.

We visited Flat Rock, NC, with Ellie, Vic, and Hayne and had a wonderful time hiking beautiful mountain trails, wading in streams, and admiring waterfalls. The boys went golfing while Ellie and I enjoyed quiet time, and we filled our bellies with great food every day. It was a blast- Jeremiah and I decided the mountains of North Carolina is a place we’d like to set down roots.

When Grandma Julia came in August, we did a lot of fun little outings here in town, and then took off to Hilton Head for a couple days of fun. While there, we sailed on a sunset dolphin cruise, made tye-dye shirts at the Salty Dog cafe, went to a hand’s on children’s museum, splashed and swam in the pool, visited amazing historical sites (Old Sheldon Church and a plantation near Beaufort), and stopped at charming little shops and bakeries- Grandma Julia spoiled us all with chocolate alligator pops, yummy fudge, gummy treats, and chocolate dipped marshmallows.

We were blessed to have time together as a family and to be honest, I’m a little sad that summer is fading, which is surprising to me. I’m a fall girl- never realized it til I moved to Florida. Taking a walk on a crisp autumn night, seeing the beautiful leaves of Florida oaks turn a fiery red reassure me that this is where I am meant to be.

But the end of summer meant the start of school-- and
Tyler entering big school. That’s right, my not-so-little boy is a Kindergartner. He was so excited to go to big school an had been wearing his backpack and sharpening his pencils for days, so that when it was time to go, he didn’t even turn to offer me one last wave or hug. So I stood outside his classroom door for a while, biting my bottom lip, hoping the tears did not spill over onto my cheeks, making sure my little boy found his place. And he did. It is such an intense feeling I’d imagine most parents feel. Knowing that I have to let him go, but seeing your child, so small amongst a sea of so many, and hoping, praying, you’ve given him what he needs to find his way. I was a mess that day. That was almost 3 weeks ago. It has gotten better, but I still have my moments. The only struggle he has with school is the time he has to wake up for it. He’s my child, after all.

Kaiti started VPK this year with Miss Pat, and she was a little apprehensive-- which comes as no surprise based on how she was last year. But when it came time to drop her off on Tuesday, a little panicked that I would have to peel her little fingers from my thigh, and suppress my tears while wiping away hers, my daughter surprised me. She saw Miss Pat and Miss Betty, gave them huge hugs, turned to me and waved, and told me she’d see me in a bit. This was not something I was ready for, and once again, I gave it my all to keep the tears at bay. And they held out long enough for me to fasten my seat belt and turn to see my little girl in a whispered conversation with her little girlfriends, smiling and looking so happy. This time, the tears were joyous, that somehow my beautiful baby girl had found within herself what she needed to face something a bit scary and new. My heart swelled with pride the whole drive home.

As for Jack, well he continues to be our little butterball of bliss-- most of the time. He is truly the happiest baby I’ve been around, so long as you catch him from 8am to 8 pm. He is now crawling EVERYWHERE. If he hears bath water running, he takes off, and I usually round the corner just as he is about to throw himself over the edge of the tub. He started taking steps, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say he is walking, because after about 3, he either plops down on the floor, or falls face forward. Tyler walked at 9 1/2 months, Kaiti at almost 11 months, so we’ll see what this guy does. He really beats to his own drum, so just when we think we’ve got him figured out, he throws a new one at us. As for his health, we continue to be blessed with how healthy our boy is. In June, Dr. Lacey- Jack’s cardiologist- told me that she thinks he has Kartegener’s Syndrome. She explained what it was, and told me he needed to get into to see the geneticist as soon as possible. The news broke my heart. There I was, with my 3 little ones, Jeremiah far, far away, while this amazing doctor tells me that Jack might have something that would could limit him, create problems for him, as he grows. But she- Dr. Lacey- looked at me and, while urging me not to google it (the last time I googled something they thought Jack had, I did not sleep for weeks) and reassured me that with all the things Jack was up against before he was even born, he has been, and continues to be, a very healthy, GROWING, baby boy. She is absolutely right. And when I spoke to Jeremiah that afternoon on the phone while he was in Iraq, he reassured me that if it were true, and Jack has this condition, we would not let it affect his life. Thank goodness I had the foresight to marry such an incredible rock of a man. We have been to the geneticist since then, and he thinks that Jack may have a ciliary condition (which is the category that Kartegener’s falls under) but that it might not be as severe as Kartegener’s. He thinks that all of Jack’s health idiosyncrasies are linked to one common condition, and now we have to figure out what that is. We go see the geneticist again next week- but we have learned that answers about Jack are slow to come by. So I have had to learn patience in all of this. I am still learning. But as soon as we have answers, we’ll be sure to pass them along. Every night, we say our prayers, and we ask that God continue to watch over our family and our friends. Every once in a while, as we are finishing our prayer, one of the kid’s pipes in, ‘Excuse me God, can you please make sure that our baby Jack is okay.’ Tyler and Kaiti have been there every step of the way with Jack, from the scary news in the beginning, and I often forget how this has affected them. And then they remind me, while we pray, about the compassion this has taught them. I think we all know how blessed we are that Jack is a healthy boy and it could be much, much worse. I am so incredibly thankful for my family and the blessings that have come our way.

Before I close, I wanted to share with you all that my old friend Chris- Christine, now that she is all growed up-welcomed her second child, a healthy, beautiful baby boy, they named Dylan, a couple weeks ago! Glad to hear she has already been inaugurated into the ‘Mama of a Boy’ club......hehehe.

Love and hugs to you all!

p.s. had to share this with you- as I have been typing this, Jeremiah has been baking cupcakes for Kaiti’s fishy, Lady-- it’s her 1st birthday today, according to Kaiti. he even went so far as to make buttercream frosting--- isn’t he great????

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