Friday, June 12, 2015

18 months


My baby isn't quite so much a baby anymore! Davis is growing like a weed and learning all sorts of new things every day. Somehow, he's now 18 months. 

He finally decided to start walking the day before he turned 17 months. Just within the past few days has he been walking more than crawling!

Davis is such a happy, funny kid and keeps us laughing. 


How he likes to do down the stairs:
video

"Racing" like his brothers:
video

Davis at 18 months:
Stats: 31 lbs. (98th percentile), 33.75" (90th percentile)
Wears size 5/6 shoe
Words include: mama, dada, Bo, go, bye, wow, no, toodles, hi, moo, eye, papa
Says "bye!" (sounds like "Bah!") and waves to everyone
Can point to his nose, ear, tongue
Can open doors
Shakes when he gets excited
Is into EVERYTHING and makes lots of messes
Doesn't like taking bites-- prefers shoving everything into his mouth whole
Dumps any food he doesn't want on the floor
Trys to climb on everything
Likes sleeping with two stuffed animals: pooh bear and "orange guy"
Opens his mouth wide when he gives you a kiss 
Favorite toy is any type of ball 
Loves the trampoline and is trying to jump on his own
Likes to yell, "No!" and point his finger at you
Thinks it's funny to put his toes in his mouth when you change his diaper 
Will sit by the fridge and wait for you to say, "go!" and then will race into the family room

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Last days of school

Somehow school is out and it is summer! Both of our boys loved school this year and their year-end programs were really cute.

Kindergarten program

Sean and I were giggling because Jackson was pretty serious during the performance! 
video

All smiles with his best friend when it was over!

We loved the kindergarten performance during the dance festival. Jackson is in the back on the left.
video

I cannot say enough good about Jackson's teacher, Mrs. Richey. She was awesome. I had the opportunity to volunteer in the classroom on Wednesdays and I was really impressed with how she ran her classroom. Jackson always looked forward to school and I am so glad kindergarten was such a positive experience for him. 

Bode finished his first year of preschool this year and loved it. His year-end program was darling! They had a circus theme and he got to be a clown. 

video

This video of him singing just makes me giggle because he is so intense in the chorus! 
video



He also loved his teachers and they told Sean and I that Bode was one of the very best 3-year-old singers (as in "enthusiastic") they had ever had. Made us smile because he is always singing at home.

Bring on summer!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Elise


It has taken me awhile to write this post, mostly because I don't know how to describe my thoughts.

My brother and sister-in-law's beautiful baby girl, Elise Catharine Whittington was born a few months ago, on March 8. She was born with an unbalanced translocation of her 3rd and 9th chromosomes, and as a result, faced many health challenges, including missing part of her brain and underdeveloped airways. Doctors told my brother and sister-in-law that her body was retaining carbon dioxide and she would not live. She spent more than a month in the NICU and then went home on hospice care. She passed away in her sleep May 8th.

How do I put into words everything I feel? Love, heartache, sorrow, humility, dependency, compassion, comfort-- these words don't even scratch the surface.

I had the opportunity to go to Boise and meet Elise when she was just a few weeks old. It was a powerful experience for me, and again, I don't know how to describe it. From the moment I walked into her little corner in the NICU, I felt something so powerful. The spirit around her was tangible. My heart was filled with such love for her and I knew she was truly special. As I hugged her little body close to me, I kept whispering to her how much we all love her and that she was perfect as she was. There was a moment when my brother, dad, and I were in the NICU together and my dad and I had tears streaming down our faces. I told Thomas I wasn't crying because I was sad, but couldn't find the words to finish. My dad finished my thought perfectly and said, "It's because we love her so much." She was a perfect, celestial being here on this earth. I have no doubt of that. I remember feeling inadequate, thinking I was in the presence of this angel and I didn't feel like I was worthy to even hold her. 



A few of my favorite pictures of Elise:






In the dress I bought her.



I have admired Thomas and Megan throughout all of this. There is no doubt how much they love their little girl. They faced every parent's greatest fear with such courage and a strength I don't think I could replicate. My heart aches for them, and my feelings are still so tender.  I remember thinking the same of my sister and her husband when they lost their beautiful daughter, Grace, to SIDS. Life is hard. So, so, hard sometimes. I can't imagine their loss. I have a friend who lost her dad a few years ago and described it as "beautifully hard." That's probably the closest description I have found for my feelings. Neither Grace nor Elise had anything to prove on this earth. They were perfect and will be reunited with their families someday. I look forward to meeting both of them again. In the meantime, I know they are angels in heaven, watching over their families and doing an important work. I've had the thought several times, "How lucky are we to have two celestial spirits in our family?" Both of these little girls share the common bond of having Catharine as a middle name, after my grandma Catharine. I know they are together, watching over all of us, and that brings me peace.

It's never easy seeing such a small casket, but Elise's was beautiful and the funeral was really nice. 

Megan and her sister set up this beautiful display for the luncheon after the funeral. 

I love this.

Elise was no doubt special. Her impact was far reaching, and she was a powerful force for good in her short two months of life. I know she was an example to me in so many ways and I learned a lot from her. She was strong, beautiful, and humble, and taught me more about love and compassion. 

 I'm grateful for this family of mine. I'm grateful for my testimony of eternal families. 

A beautiful video of Elise and her family taken a few days before her passing: