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28 January 2011

Project 52 | Hard Decisions | Week 4

52: 4

motherhood is

hard decisions.

that sometimes your child doesn't like.



but is better for them in the long run.

This week, after seeing a pediatric occupational therapist for Jarvis' triphalangeal thumbs (see labels on the side for previous posts), she noted a slight deviation (curving) of his thumbs inward. Particularly on his right hand. So she sent us to the hand therapist and he is now fitted with the night splint you see above. Right now it's a testing period, we will check for any noticeable changes and evaluate where to go from here. We are in the process of getting a referral to a hand surgeon (most likely to Minnesota) to get a little more thorough check up.

He doesn't mind it that much really,
 he just wants to do is chew on it, which is fine, the splint is very hard...
except if the tape gets wet enough, the he can just pull it right off. 

Never been more glad he uses a paci at night!

(please ignore the yogurt on his face, he REFUSED to let me wipe it... 
pick your battles, right?)

PS: as a hobby photographer (with no plans to ever be professional!) I would love any advice or tips on how to improve!


21 January 2011

12.5 months

So, a while back I said I was going to do a 12 month post.... sorry I am just now getting around to it! I have lots to share though!

First off, let me share a few photos from his first birthday party! We had quite a blast with a lot of friends and Gammie and Grandpa, who flew up for the celebration!

The birthday boy at 11:20, the exact time he was born!

Gammie with the 1 year-old!

Playing with the barn set from mama and dada!

Jarvis' party was construction themed, and I have to admit I may have gone a bit overboard, but I had fun! I purchased a 'printable' package off of etsy and was able to print everything I needed so the party was cohesive. Here are a few pictures of the party (much more on shutterfly!).

Avocado/Chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese/cauliflower icing for the kiddos.

I branched out and tried some new things (with guidance from the Make a Cake series over at make it and love it), for Jarvis' birthday cake. It was a carrot cake with applesauce, dried apricots and dried dates, and covered in a cream cheese/cauliflower icing. I made all the fondant decorations myself from scratch (which was surprisingly more difficult than I had imagined!).

One of my favorite parts of the party! These were the favors the kiddos got to take home, homemade truck crayons... sadly, they were all disappointed they weren't chocolate! haha!

With Grandpa in the construction hats the kiddos decorated!

Birthday boy chowing down on his cake! Took some encouragement, but he finally dug in!

Our family, with the little blue-bearded boy.

Jarvis was quite thrilled to have Gammie and Grandpa up here for a visit!

And now, onto an update about his progresses!

Probably the BIGGEST change we have seen over the past few weeks is sign language. J and I have been signing a few signs to Jarvis since he was about 6 months old, but he only really ever picked up on one, all done. However, the day he turned 1, the silly baby started signing back like crazy!! He now signs, all done, more, milk, cheese. We are currently working on eat, bread, water, diaper change, fruit, yogurt, and many more! He has definitely figured out he can communicate what he wants and we will give it. He wakes up from naps signing milk and asking for his bottle. He will crawl up to the fridge and sign milk, milk, milk! No matter what he is eating, he will sign more and cheese, his favorite thing to eat! Now mama and dada are frantically learning as many as we can!

He is also starting to associate actions with objects or books. His current favorite book is Eight Silly Monkeys (remember the song about them jumping on the bed and falling off and bumping their heads?) and he loves to read it over and over again. He will go searching through the books, bumping his head with his hand, looking for that book. If we say, 'where's the bonk your head book?' He bumps his head with his hand and looks around for the book. It's fun to see his recognition and connections!

He still loves chasing the puppy and kitty and giggles like crazy when he gets close and they run away... poor animals!

On the walking front, we are still oh-so-close! He has taken several steps now (up to 5 at a time) but still seems a little hesitant to try any more. His favorite activity right now, however, is walking circuits around the house behind his little lion walker. (check out the videos on youtube!) If he runs into something, he fusses until someone turns him around so he can keep right on walking! One of these days, he'll get brave enough, and then watch out world!

And an update on a few of our goals for this year, we are transitioning even more to table foods (for a week during his 'wonder week' he refused EVERYTHING on a spoon, even yogurt!). He is still getting purees, but is eating more veggies and fruits as finger foods. Although he is hesitant to try a new finger food (even if he loves it as a puree) unless Mama and Dada are eating it too! We have also dropped the afternoon bottle that he normally got after his nap, 1 down, 3 more to go! But we are taking it slow and giving him plenty of time to adjust. He is drinking alot more milk out of his sippee cup, so we are not concerned about taking away the bottles nutrition-wise, just comfort-wise. 

Hmmmm, think that's it for now.... I'll add more later if I think of it!


J, C, & J

Project 52 | Exhausting | Week 3

Here we go again, another week. 

My dear friend Shawna, over at styleberry blog, is doing Project 52, but in her own way. She is focusing on all the little bits of motherhood that are often brushed under the rug. The things that we don't want to forget, but that fade in the joy of our children.

After feeling little inspiration this week for the theme with the project 52 I was using, I've decided to jump ship. I've decided to join Shawna and capture all the little things that make motherhood. No matter how beautiful or un-beautiful they may be. I feel more inspired with this theme. And although I won't be following her weekly themes, as they are whatever is speaking to her heart at the moment, I will be following the heart of her project, and posting whatever is speaking to me. 

52: 3

Mother hood is...


physically. mentally. emotionally. 

and some days are just

no makeup, dark circles, ponytail type of days.

and that's just perfect. 

Now, not every day is like that. I believe being a stay-at-home mom is a job, and should be intentionality treated as such. But some times, even the best of babies don't sleep. And so neither does mama. And those days, simply being with Jarvis in my lounging clothes, no makeup, ponytail and the deep dark circles of exhaustion is more than enough.

I'd rather not be sleeping because I have him, than be sleeping because I don't.

14 January 2011

Project 52 | Cold | Week 2

In last year since the AF moved us to North Dakota, I have developed a new respect for cold.

For the frostbite in 2 minutes, frozen nose hairs, can't breathe, feel it through 3 layers of clothes, icicles on your eyelashes type of cold.

For the your car won't start, mailbox is frozen shut, even salt refreezes, 2 hours of shoveling snow type of cold.

But it's beautiful. No denying that. The North Dakota winds create gorgeous 6 foot snow drifts with little waves.

So for this week, I went fairly obvious and braved the -13 degree weather (with a -25 degree windchill) and up to my waist drifts to get some snowy pictures!

52:2 | Cold

Snow clinging to a tree in our backyard

 Love the way the sun shines off of this one..

Trying to get some individual snowflakes... 

My favorite thing about the snow: the way the light makes it sparkle! 

And for amusement's sake...covered in snow!

It may not look it, but that is thigh high snow on the side of our house. 

And as part of this project, I will be linking back to  all the blogs participating:

styleberry blog |  bump meet baby | capturing memories | capturing my time |cyan baby bliss | fitori | katie clay photography | new mom adventure | phreckle face photography | {rik-see } photography | surviving endrometriosis | the buckeye homestead | the vandyck family | wicked kate

Go check out their blogs and posts for this week!

Hugs, C

07 January 2011

Project 52 | Newness | Week 1

One of my goals for this year is to work on my personal photography. Images are so important to me. I love looking back at pictures of when I was growing up, and I want to capture those things for Jarvis and future children. I'm already forgetting details and things, and I feel that photography can capture the everyday moments that slip through our fingers.

So I have decided to participate in a Project 52, at least one picture, every week, for a year. Some weeks, there may be more than one picture, but at least one. As of now,I am following weekly themes suggested by another blogger to improve on various aspect of photography. This may or may not change.

This will be a journey. To record life this year, and to learn how to master my camera! I have a feeling I will need a software upgrade before long!

So to start this week off....

52:1 | Newness

Fresh from his bath... I love that newly clean baby smell. Or toddler smell. (Although I'm still denying that!)

Obviously this means there will be at least a weekly post from me, often it will not have many words, just a picture. I am planning on posting on Fridays or Saturdays, at the end of that week.

So check back next week!


06 January 2011

Jarvis' birth | A reflection

As I sit here (in tears) on the eve of my firstborn’s birthday, I can not help but be astounded by the depth of love I have learned in the past year. Through my precious son, my Lord has taught me just a small measure of the love He feels for me. To have been blessed with this amazing child who makes me want to be a better person every day.
I’m not going to include every detail, just the basics of how his birth progressed, just to remember, to celebrate him.

We were overdue by nearly a week, but I honestly wasn’t that uncomfortable. However very anxious, excited, and ready to meet him? YES. Daddy was simply mourning the loss of the tax-deduction in 2009, haha!

We went in for an induction at 7am on the morning of January 5th. Soon-to-be Daddy and I got up, showered, and got all ready to go. I even did my hair and make-up; ha! As if it was that easy J.  I was blessed to have my hubby and parents there throughout the entire labor and birth. Since the limit was 2 guests in the room, the three of them rotated throughout the 30 hours, keeping me entertained and well-taken care of. When we arrived, I was hooked up the machines which showed I was having small contractions relatively close together; close enough they wouldn’t start inducing me. A couple of hours of walking the tiny halls of the maternity ward, the contractions had slowed. So they started me on pitocin. Shortly later they broke my water. Due to the nature of this hospital, since I had an IV for fluids and pitocin, I was not allowed to walk the halls, but had to stay hooked to the fetal monitor. Babies under induction must be monitored constantly. It was mid-day when they started the pitocin… skip to the evening and I had finally begun to feel the contractions. The only way I found to manage the pain was standing. Keep in mind that I had been walking or standing since 7am at this point in time. 

Every time I was checked (around every 4 hours) I had progressed some, but slowly. Sometime around midnight, I received a small dose of narcotics, which only served to make me very, very sleepy, but did not help the pain at all. Around 2am, at 7cm, I decided to go ahead with the epidural. By this point in time I was in the last stage of labor, however my chances of a c-section had increased dramatically. In this particular hospital, there was only one ER for emergency c-sections (un-scheduled ones) and it was very small, husbands were not even allowed in for the birth. But biggest of all, if I had to have an emergency c-section (which it looked like I might be headed for), and had not already received an epidural, there would not be time for an epidural and they would put me under general anesthesia, meaning I would be asleep for the entire c-section. So much goes through your mind at this moment. The pros, the cons, your goals, your hopes, the pain, the baby’s safety, the payoff. The fact that at the rate I was going, I was looking at close to 6+ more hours of labor. So much. I made the decision, against my original goal, to go ahead with the epidural. Ultimately, I wanted to remember his birth, to at least experience it some, even if not completely. Will I do it that way again, probably not. Do I know now what to prepare for, what to expect, yes, will this help me? I’m not sure. We will see.
Immediately, the pain faded, amazing, but shortly after the epidural, Jarvis started experiencing some stress. I spent the next several hours on my side, with oxygen after they shut off the pitocin. Suddenly, my chance of c-section grew even larger. The doctor wanted to go ahead with a c-section, but the amazing nurses fought for me, and were able to extend him. We started back up on pitocin and around 8am we were ready to start pushing. With my mom and hubby coaching me, 3 and a half hours of pushing later, our baby was finally born. Apparently, as they laid him on me, the doctor said he was boy, but I didn’t hear. I kept asking, what is it?? J They took him over to be cleaned and my amazing hubby stayed to kiss my forehead and tell me what an amazing job I did as I tried to push him to go over to the baby! I couldn’t hear him cry and I was terrified. Finally, his little cry rang out and I have never felt a joy like that. My mom and hubby went with the baby to be cleaned, bathed, measured, and apparently, only after that did my mom remember to go tell my dad. Unfortunately, without going into detail, the delivery was not easy on me and I had quite a bit of healing to do. But every minute was worth it.

We treasured learning to breastfeed, changing poopy diapers, counting wet diapers, and even watching Texas play in the National Championship long past visiting hours ended. One set of my in-laws arrived just minutes after the birth and were able to hold a brand-new Jarvis. In fact, seeing my father-in-law cry as he held my child was the first moment it really hit me. I was a mother. This child was mine. He was my responsibility and my blessing. The other set of in-laws arrived the day after we took him home. What a blessing for Jarvis to be surrounded by all his grandparents so closely after his birth.

We have truly enjoyed every minute of the past year, of every lesson and failure, of every cry and laugh. Thank you, sweet Jarvis, for being the amazing child you are. We love you forever and are so thankful the Lord blessed us with you.

And if you aren’t crying as hard as I am now… then you aren’t normal J

05 January 2011

2010 | Jarvis' first year

So, instead of doing two recaps (2010 and Jarvis' first year) I'm combining them! Most of 2010 is about our sweet boy anyway!

Just a warning, this is VERY picture heavy!!!

On the eve of my baby turning 1, I am remembering what it was like to be in the hospital in labor with him... I've never actually written his birth story down (newborns keep you busy!) so maybe later this week I will do that. For my memory's sake! But I do remember the anticipation, the fear, the unknown, the excitement. I knew my life was changing big time, but I still had no idea what an impact this sweet boy would have on us. Granted, it's a lot harder to do some of the things we used to do, and I have a new understanding of complete sleep deprivation, but the highlight of my day is seeing that sweet face! He's changed so much and grown so much!! I'm planning on writing a 12 months update... so watch for that, but now... onto the recap!


Morning of the induction, Jan 5, 40weeks, 6 days

Just born- IT'S A BOY!  Jan 6, 11:20 am, 7lbs, 8 oz, 20 inches long

Heading home! Jarvis William

Our new little family!

Our little Froggie! 


Smiley babers!

Head control- check!

This is also when Jarvis began to lose weight due to nursing issues and we switched to formula :( not what I wanted, but better for him in the long run! February's pictures are the hardest to look at because he has thinned out so much and lost his hair. :(


We went to Texas!! (I have apparently misplaced half my pictures from this trip... more to come later!)

Jarvis meets his cousins, the Mason-Briscoe clan!

Jarvis gets baptized at Hope Presbyterian (where I was baptized and in a family gown). 

Of course, bluebonnet pictures! 

We roll over for the first time!! 

 He meets Great-grandparents!


We start independent play time in the Pac N Play!

Mr. Handsome! We finally start packing back on the weight (and hair) after our feeding issues.


We learn to roll over consistently and start sleeping that way, which Momma is not a big fan of! :(

Bathing in the bigger boy bathtub! 

A little ham! 

We eat cereal for the first time, not really sure what to think!


We go swimming for first time in Minot's freezing waters!

We start practicing with the sippee! 

Great-grandparents Bowen come up for a visit! 

6.10.2010, we discover that Baby #2 is on the way, due February 2nd.


We start on veggies and fruits! Yum!

We discover, and fall in love with the jumper! 

We make a quick trip to Texas to meet Uncle Chris for the first time! 

We enjoy swimming much more in the Texas heat! 


We've got this sippee cup figured out!

We discover puppy wants to eat our food...

We diagnosed Jarvis with Triphalangeal Thumbs. 

And underwent futher testing to determine it was an isolated mutation. Praise the Lord!

Jarvis got his first tooth! 

And we packed up, after just 7 months, and moved into a bigger house! 


This was one of the hardest months we have ever faced in our lives. On the 16th, we discovered that our Duckie had passed. Job Whitcomb McCown was stillborn on September 18th.

We fall asleep in the highchair for the first and only time after a friend's birthday party!

Someone discovers independent play time isn't so independent after all! 

Jarvis finger paints for the first time! 

Jarvis pulls up to standing for the first time! And independent play time moves into the crib in his room! 

We enjoy the gorgeous fall weather with the swing in our backyard! 


 Jarvis got his first haircut (this is before!)

Visited a North Dakota Pumpkin patch and corn maze! 

Took some fall pictures! 

Jarvis was a monkey for his first Halloween! 

Trick-or-treating with our playgroup friends! 

Happy halloween!!

Discovered snow... not such a big fan!

Poppy and Oma came for a visit!

Mommy finally finishes up the felt playhouse!


We went to NC to see Grandma Pam and Grandpa Greg for Thanksgiving!

North Dakota winter continued fiercely! 

We went to the Santa Fly-in at the squadron and waited in the freezing cold for Santa to land on a helicopter! 


Daddy's co-pilot! 

Sitting on Santa's lap- NO CRYING! He didn't mind at all! 


Our snowy house!

Our tree!

Christmas Eve service!

Christmas morning in the matching Pjs I made! 

Christmas morning! 

Well, that about wraps it up!! Sorry that was so long, but it was nice to look back!! Unfortunately, I have not taken the time to figure out how to add iphone pictures on here, which is a bummer, because alot of firsts for him were captured on my iphone, simply because it was handy! But I will work on that. 


J, C, & J