>When did time grow wings? It’s FLYING!

So, my baby is now 5 weeks old. How in the world did 5 weeks pass so quickly? Though I cannot answer that question I can say I knew it would be this way. I am amazed at the transformation of a family. Though much of our life resembles before Parker arrived, some aspects are different. For one, my three oldest children have, for the first time, fallen head over heals over someone. When Carson and Bailey were born, the older sibling(s) were still so young that the addition of another person went unnoticed for the most part. The rules were simple: “Don’t touch the baby.” Okay, that was only one rule, but it worked. Now, at ages 8, 7, and 6, the addition of another person is a really big deal. Each boy wants to show his affection and this leads us to the rules… which are multiple and not simple in any way. “Support his head.” “Don’t touch his face with dirty hands.” “Don’t try to carry the baby…stay seated.” And to make these many rules more clear, the boys and I headed to ACS for a “Big Brother” class. (Note: This class does not exist. I emailed the contact listed on the New Parent Support Program website and the contact created this class just for us!) She was able to show the boys some calming techniques, to remind them of the very rules I repeat over and over, and she showed them the dangers of shaking a baby. She had two dolls with clear heads, each revealing a brain. One of those dolls demonstrated how the brain moves inside the skull, the other doll cries and, when shaken, parts of the visible brain flash. Drawn on the brain are small images of eyes, feet, hands, mouth, etc and the light flashing shows what part of the brain was damaged: the part that controls sight, speech, walking, etc. My boys had never considered shaking Parker, of course, but the lesson was great for them to hear. And it stuck with them. Bailey’s first words to me this morning were, “We should never shake Parker like this…” (said while shaking his blanket). I agreed wholeheartedly and told him that there is a dad in the US guilty of shaking his baby and the baby died. Bailey’s face drained and actually went white. He had not even considered that someone HAD ever done this to a baby. He just thought it was a warning of what NOT to do. It really hit him hard.

That class was great and I am so thankful for LaTasha taking the time to organize it and present it to us.
Hayden, Carson, and Bailey love to hold Parker and adore hearing his grunts, burps, and toots. (We don’t say fart. Okay, yes we do, but we also like Brad Stine and think he’s hilarious! Click here to find out why!) If they walk into a room and I’m not holding him the first thing they say is, “Where’s Parker?!?” They line up to hold him and WATCH OUT if I let the wrong brother hold Parker out of turn! They have fallen head over heals in love and I think it’s precious! I have to add this: Bailey had picked out a nick-name for Parker before he arrived: Parky. Well, he has ended up calling him “Teensy.” It’s absolutely adorable!
At 4 weeks old Parker started making “cooing” faces. It really looked like he was trying to talk. His favorite spot in the house is on his changing table. He loves to look at the patterns on the quilt hanging on the wall. It was on this table that he started making faces that resembled those my other boys made when they were cooing. Well, today, at 5 1/2 weeks, he cooed for the first time! One “awwwwooohhh” and it was over, but I was excited. I must write now that I admit to being one of those moms who spends 2 years teaching her child to talk and the next several asking him to be quiet.
Today we had our first scare. I haven’t even had a chance to tell Matt yet. I had put him in his car seat and driven over to pick up an extra kid to take to PWOC. While there he cried during the process of getting that other seat loaded and the child buckled in. This didn’t concern me because I know that he fusses until we get going. Well, about the time I started to get the car turned around (takes about 39 points to get the XL van turned around in this driveway built for a SmartCar) he got really worked up. By the time I was pulling forward he had stopped breathing. He was only able to suck in a VERY small amount of air. I stopped and got him out as quickly as possible, saying aloud a quick prayer. His lips were slightly blue. As soon as I got him out he cried very loudly for about 5 seconds and then was fine. I, however, was not. I spent a few minutes holding him until I was sure he was fine. I buckled him back in and he slept through the process and all the way to PWOC. Once I got there I took him out and held him the entire time. I didn’t want to put him down or look away. So, we’ve gotten that out of the way. He doesn’t have to scare me like that again!
Because I haven’t blogged in a while I want to cover a few things simply because I love to journal.
During the two weeks after Parker was born people delivered meals to us almost every night. I didn’t cook for several weeks and let me say, it was fabulous! The food was great and we were so blessed to not have to think about what to prepare! And if you recall, I had created MANY meals and frozen them for that time period. That means I am STILL not having to cook! I just thaw a meal and serve it to my family! Thank you to each lady who took the time and effort to provide for us! You were such a blessing, and that blessing is still reaching to me today, 5 weeks later!
Mom and Dad headed back to the states and life resumed. We have a new normal, for sure, but it, for the most part, resembles our old normal. The first 2 weeks back to school were rough, as the boys and I are all ready for summer break. It was taking us SO long to finish each day that I thought we might never see the end. But now we are back on track and have 15 days left! Can’t wait!
Parker’s sleeping habits are doable. He wakes up once a night, something that Bailey had quit by this point, but I don’t think I was putting Bailey to bed as early as I am Parker. The hardest part is that he is not happy for an hour or so each night and I just hate to see him that way. As happy as he is all day it’s hard to see him grumpy. He gets his “exercise” during this time…
As far as world news, the volcanic ashes flowing through the air stream has affected our lives. We have friends stranded in Portugal, Ireland, here (some trying to get to the US, some trying to get back to England) and Greece. Amazing that this volcano so far away is grounding flights here in Europe!
We had our family pictures taken Saturday and I am SO excited. The picture of Parker with Matt’s hand on his head is my absolute favorite. If you’re in Germany, you must check out Jessica Ceason. Amazing photographer (and fellow Army wife, if I may say so!)! And here is what she had to say about our family. We had a blast during the shoot. We just went to a park and had fun! She came along and snapped pics the whole time. Great plan if you ask me!!

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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