Monday, December 31, 2012

One for the books

Seriously I think this year had 12 weeks instead of months! What the heck happened to it!? Let's see...

The highlight of our was when we brought our sweet Hudson into our lives. Which started our year off wonderfully! After him followed and year of firsts for us! Many good things and a few bad things. It has been the best and hardest year of my life though! And I'm sure I can speak for Curtis too. Well the hardest part of the year has been being a parent! And the best part of my year, well, has been being a parent!! I can't help but just talk about my Huddy in this post since he has just taken over our lives this year! It's been all about him! He's been the good, the bad, and the ugly that this year has been for us. Hah! It's him who has made it hard for me and us. But he is the one who has made it all WORTH it! Of course he has brought more good than bad though... :) The hard part has been constantly learning to be a mom. It isn't easy. The ugly part has been watching Hudson endure all that he has this year. You want so bad to just do it all for him, everything, but you have to sit back and let him learn and experience everything that tags along with a cleft lip and palate. Although I keep wondering whose trial it really is? His? Or ours? We sure have learned a lot from this little boy in just one short year! He's one amazing kiddo! He's definitely been the best part of our year!

Underneath the fame that Hudson has brought we've also had time to work on our house. And OH how we love our house!! We've slowly filled it with furniture, decor, pictures, many, many toys, and our own smell. :) We I've also worked real hard on our backyard! I'm very proud of it! We planted grass in April and by the end of summer it was beautiful! I battled weeds everyday, laid a rock border, watered and mowed that yard! We finally got a weedwacker for Christmas and I got to be the first to use it! After all summer of mowing the lawn I was finally able to finish off the edges!! And now you can actually see my rock border. I enjoying keep up with the backyard. It's definitely our dream home for being first time homeowners. We do love the area of San Tan Valley and we love our ward and the friends we have made in it!

We were able to take a little family vacation to San Diego in July! We absolutely love the beach and enjoyed watching Hudson experience it too!

In September Curtis lost his job at Go Daddy which we had been expecting but hoping for the best. I had faith we were just being pushed into a new direction. After 2 months of no job he finally got one at a specialized loan serving place. Which he hopes to move up in and gain more experience in the loan servicing world. He's decided he wants to get a degree in business and eventually work for the Phoenix Suns in that aspect. So you've got to start somewhere!

Also towards the end of September we found out I was pregnant, again! Besides our worry of what the future might hold for us then we were still very excited! Our new baby is due June 6, 2013 and we hope to find out what we are having in the next few weeks!! We are both hoping for a girl this time! Being pregnant around this time of year AGAIN has been so weird to me! Just this time last year we were waiting for Hudson to arrive! We joke about "not making this a habit". None the less I'm still excited to be pregnant again besides the aches and pains it brings. Just the thought of having another little baby in June thrills me beyond words!

In October we celebrated our 2nd anniversary! Also where the being pregnant joke comes in again- "lets not make this a habit of being pregnant for every anniversary". A new year a new baby!! Why not?! I feel like we have been married for so much longer! In a good way though! We have this beautiful house, a beautiful child, and another one on the way! Why wait? We have eternity together!

So this year has roughed us up a bit and I can't say we've really ended better than we started. (Besides our sweet boy) We are still recovering from Curtis's job loss and we are kind of at a cross roads in which direction we take next. Another "ugly" part of the year. Big decisions lie ahead but I know if our plans can be inline with God's plans for us then I know things will work out for the better.

In church yesterday our Bishop mentioned new year resolutions. I know it's something we all think about as the new year approaches whether mentally or written. We all start out with high hopes in bettering ourselves and making new goals... again. He pointed out that if you take apart the word "resolution" it is then re-solution. Instead of trying again for resolutions this year we should just drop the "re" and actually find solutions to our list of things we hope to better or accomplish this year. Find the solutions this year so that come next year it wont become another "resolution".

I'm glad we get to ring in the new year with the celebration of Hudson's first year of life!! It's definitely something to celebrate! He has been such a joy and blessing in our lives. I love him to death! We also have a big surgery to look forward to the end of January or in February! I have high hopes for our little Hudson during this time! I know he'll be a champ through it, just as he has proven himself so this last year! And of course we look forward to having another baby in our arms in June! Despite our trials I still can't ignore all the blessing that have come our way this year as well. We've had so much of our family and friends rise up and support us as we welcomed Hudson and again when he had surgery and again when Curtis lost his job. We are surrounded by wonderful people and many blessing in life if we just open our eyes to them.

I do love my family! Even on the days that I don't like them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Everything can change in an instant.

The second it takes you to check your blind spot could mean the missed brake lights in front of you. In that instant you forget all the lessons you had in Drivers Ed. class. The ones where you learn that turning into the skid will get you out of the skid. No one remembers those when the only thought going through your head is "Why am I not stopping!? Why am I not stopping?!".

It could have been so much worse, and why wasn't it? The freeway had just turned into 3 lanes and I wanted out of the slow lane. The second it took me to check my blind spot caused me to miss the the breaking cars in front of me all too fast. I swerved to the left to avoid hitting the car in front of me which caused me to overcorrect and I started to skid out of control. What was happening?! I turned the steering wheel to the far right and then to the left as I slammed on the brakes. Why wasn't my car stopping!? And why couldn't I steer out of the way?! My car spun and the front passenger side hit the median of the freeway where I ended up facing the opposite direction.

Today I am grateful. I'm grateful my son wasn't in the car with me. I'm grateful for the road workers who stopped the traffic for me and allowed me to turn my car around when no one else offered to help me. No one saw me spin out of control? No one saw me hit the median and crushing the front of my car? No one noticed the the smashed car that was facing THEM!? No one thought that "hey that backwards car might need help?". No one helped the crying pregnant lady but some roughed up workers on the side of the road? I'm grateful someone was there for me.

Today I'm grateful for medians. The one I left my mark on and saved me from driving into the on coming traffic. I'm grateful I didn't hit anyone else around me as I took up almost 3 lanes trying save myself. I'm grateful for family who helps me without blinking an eye. I'm grateful for the little being growing inside me I saw moving on the screen today. Today I am grateful to be alive.

It's moments like these where you step back and realize how horribly wrong it could have been but somehow it wasn't, and why? I can't help but think after the events of this week that we were being watched over. It was just yesterday I received a call front the man that loaned me money to buy my car over 3 years ago release me from my debts. My monthly payments to him were by no means a lot compared to other car loans. But to a family recovering from a 2 month job loss it is. And the fact that I still had 8 more months of payments put me into tears as I told this man, who I admire, what a blessing that would be to us. My eyes again teared up last night as we get a knock on the door only to find 2 boxes full of household and food items. So my heart is full of gratitude today for a Father in Heaven who lead these people to do the things they did and prevent a life threatening accident from being just that.

Count your many blessings folks and give thanks to the One from which they came.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fast forward

Hudson just gets more and more entertaining as the months go by! Hudson is 11 months young today! And I just can't believe it! Good thing I'm already pregnant because I've been real baby hungry lately... My next monthly post about Hudson will include a 1st year birthday party!! This past year has just been in fast forward. I wish I would have sat back and enjoyed it a little more. But I'm always so excited for that next step in Hudson life!

I can't say there is anything really new with this kiddo this month. Just improving on his last set of new skills. Like walking! He's pretty good at it now! He thinks he still needs help though. He'll be walking toward me whining because he wants my hand so he can walk. But he's already walking! Silly boy! Still has one tooth. The one coming in on his cleft side is really taking it's time. It's been poking out for the last month but has not made any progress. Hmmm He did learn how to say "hello" and hold a phone up to his ear! Although it's really not a "hello" but more of the sound of "hello". Still cute.

Hudson's favorites lately are:
-Pushing buttons
-His ball pit. Which he will play in and out of for hours!
-Walking, as always
-Being chased. Which is so cute! I'll growl at him and come after him on my hands and knees and he squeals and tries to get away real fast. It's SO cute!
-Being tackled and kissed by Daddy. And dancing with him too
-The dogs. When they are chasing each other around the house he tries to keep up with them while laughing at them
-Throwing fits. When I take him away from something he shouldn't be doing or take something away from him he starts to scream and cry and wiggle out of my hands. Or he throws himself to the floor. It's pretty funny. For now at least...
-Food, as always! I can't believe how much he eats! He was in heaven on Thanksgiving. We all just kept stuffing him and we finally had to stop because his stomach was getting so tight and he just wouldn't stop himself! Does he ever get full?! He's been so good with just about every kind of food out there! He rarely chokes anymore! And when he does it's because he stuffs too much food in his mouth and can't do anything. I'm impressed.

Now that we have AHCCCS we were finally able to move forward with his palate surgery. Although AHCCCS doesn't cover any of his surgery! But now that we do have it we have to apply for CRS (Child Rehabilitation Services) Who will pay for everything. But I was told that wont take long before Hudson gets that. Hopefully by the end of the year. THEN we can get a surgery date which will now be the end of January or beginning of February. Mercy. We can also finally see an ENT for him. And Hudson will most likely get ear tubes when he has his palate surgery. In the mean time we are stuffing him full and hopefully adding on the pounds!

There is really not much to report for this month... I look forward to the upcoming month for sure!! Christmas will be so much fun with him around! I can't wait to give him the gifts we got him! And then we are hopefully planning a birthday party for him!! I still can't believe he will be one! He's too little to be one! :( What a year it has been!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To a special little boy

You weren’t like other children,

And God was well aware,

You’d need a caring family,

With love enough to share....

And so He sent you to us,

And much to our surprise,

You haven’t been a challenge,

But a blessing in disguise.

Your winning smiles and laughter,

The pleasures you impart,

Far outweigh your special needs,

And melt the coldest heart.

We’re proud that we’ve been chosen,

To help you learn and grow,

The joy that you have brought us,

Is more than you can know.

A precious gift from Heaven,

A treasure from above,

A child who’s taught us many things,

But most of all- “Real Love

-Sharon Harris

Monday, December 10, 2012

Oh baby!

I'm pregnant!! Surprise!

Bet ya didn't see that coming! If you thought having your first baby was crazy try having another one! I feel so advanced in life... yet not really... Hah

So baby number 2 will make it's appearance around June 6, 2013! Sooner rather than later I hope... Stinkin' Hudson! 8 days late is unacceptable! I'm so excited I can't stand it! The day I had Hudson was the best day of my life!! (sorry Curtis, you just can't beat bringing a life into this world ;) ) To think I get to practically relive that day makes me excited beyond words. And knowing the joy that a baby actually brings this time around just adds to all my excitement. I feel so much more prepared... and then not really. Hah! I know what it's like to have a new baby but not to have TWO babies! As blessed as we have been with Hudson I'm actually not worried about him at all. He's been such a good baby I just have a feeling he'll be a good big brother too. As lucky as we got with him I know this next one is going to give us a run for our money!! What are the chances we have 2 good babies... in a row!? Ya right.

So I'm already about 15 weeks pregnant! It has gone by so fast this time around! Thank goodness... Me and patience don't go well together. And my morning sickness is finally fading away. Just when you think it'll never end! It's actually a good thing I'm writing this now with out morning sickness or else I'd be saying things like "I hate being pregnant!" or "Why am I doing this again?!". It probably wouldn't be a very happy post. But things are looking up finally! My house is not being neglected and either are my husband and child. Dark times that morning sickness is... dark times. I don't care who you are, being pregnant is rough! Yet I do love it! I finally have a little belly to show for it! That makes me more excited, then it becomes more real!

I know our chances for another cleft baby are still lower than 10% but I still can't help but worry this one will have a cleft too. I have had so many dreams already that this baby will be born with a cleft too. As much as I want to have a baby with no defects... I also just as much want another cleft baby! It's a weird feeling and I don't think I could ever explain it to you for you to understand. I think so highly of my sweet Hudson. He is so special to us. Why wouldn't I want another choice spirit to come to us? He has inspired me and made me so proud! And yet on the other hand... I don't want to deal with weekly appointments, another possible NAM, and of course more surgeries and costs. And after all our bottle struggles (not to mention I hate cleaning them...) I really really am looking forward to breast feeding this time around. I am almost more anxious to find out if this baby has a cleft rather than if it's a boy or girl! Cleft or no cleft I know I'll be more than happy either way. But we are both hoping for a girl... :) After all... a cleft baby is ALL I know.

Sorry no pictures of Hudson's announcement... :( Apparently I have used all my free space and can't upload any more pictures.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Double D!

Hudson made it to the double digits! (Not that I didn't think he would...) He is 10 months old today!! And what a 10 months it has been! Holy crap he'll be one in 2 months!! He is definitely not old enough to be one... He's still my baby... My growing baby.

Slowly but surly he is growing. At his 9 month check up he weighed 15.13 lbs. So He's probably made it to 16 lbs by now. Still in the 0 percentile though... Hudson's 10th month brought many new changes! Let's see if I can name them all...

-At his 9 month check up we found out he had his FIRST ear infection. Which we didn't even know about. That's how awesome he is. And despite the fact that cleft babies are prone to them, he managed to last 9 months with out one!
-He's also been sick for the FIRST time. Not terribly sick, but along with his ear infection he's had a major runny nose and has been coughing since. But I'll have you know it's hardly phased him. We have been so lucky to have such a healthy baby!
-The probable cause of these... setbacks, have been 2 pearly white front teeth that have popped through! He's finally got teeth!! His top 2! How odd is he? I was so happy to see that he actually had is upper left one! That's where the notch in his gums is. I can tell it'll be crooked. Bu I know he's got a long way to go before he has perfectly straight teeth!
-He has started to stand all on his own!
-Along with standing he has been taking a few steps!! It's usually when I hold my arms out for him, but sometimes he thinks he can already walk and just take off somewhere. He gets SO excited when he's taking his steps that I can't even put him back by the couch to let him walk again because he starts taking off again! He is getting braver and braver! I can just imagine him running all over the place when he can actually walk. Chasing the dogs...
-He can say "Uh-Oh". It's so cute!! I've been saying it to him for a long time now whenever something drops and he would usually just get one end or the other. But he pulled it together about a week ago.
-He learned out to clap! And boy do I love seeing him clap! It's the cutest thing when he gets those little arms going!
-He can give high fives
-And he can wave good-bye
-He is still obsessed with tags and strings
-Lately he has done a lot of "collecting" He likes to gather a bunch of things in one hand and crawl around with them. If he drops one thing he'll stop and gather everything back up in one hand. It's quite entertaining. And he goes on forever doing this. It's usually with my phone and the remote.
-I have to say how impressed I am with how and what he eats. My mom was feeding him pieces of Teddy Grahams a few weeks ago and I'll admit that I almost didn't want her too in fear he would choke on the hard piece. But he crunched away on them like no big deal! Since then I let him eat anything and everything! I never though I would be able to do that with his cleft palate. But if you know Hudson then you know he is one determined little boy! His cleft doesn't hold him back from anything! It only proves that our own weaknesses or setbacks or whatever is in our way we CAN overcome it! He amazed me once more.
-Along with his determination he has learned how to go out the doggy door. Which at first I though it was cute but now I end up pulling him out of it more than five times a day. And he usually isn't happy about it. Or if I'm too slow I have to go outside and dig him out of the dog bowls. Which makes him even more mad of course.

He's one funny boy! I can seriously not get enough of him. I love watching him learn. I can just see his brain working so hard to figure new things out. He is so smart! I think of how he was never newborn to me. Maybe the first 2 weeks, but after that... he has always seemed so old to me. And maybe it's because all he has been through. It made him grow up faster. Because really, no baby should have to have surgeries and mouth pieces and have to work for their food. But this is life. And this is HIS life. And it's who he is and he has made the best of it! He gives me hope that he can overcome what ever is set before him, whether it be yet another surgery or the temptations of life. But all parents have big dreams for their children don't they? Well Hudson is something extra, I can feel it.

There is a story I read because someone on a cleft group I am in mentioned it. And I have to share it...

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

By: Emily Perl Kingsley

It makes me cry every time I read it. Maybe it's because I'm pregnant... ooops thats for another post. I couldn't have said it better myself. The day I found out about Hudson's lip I felt these exact feelings. I had my time to mourn over the fact that this is not what we signed up for. But I chose to move forward from those feelings. And look at where that has brought us! We chose to enjoy our journey rather than live with regrets. We are enjoying our Holland. We love who Hudson is and all that he has brought into our life, even if it means a few extra hospital bills and a long bumpy road ahead of us and not to mention a few extra friends that we would have never met. It's never changed how we felt about Hudson. I'm proud to be his mom! 

Cleft Buddies

Have a good day!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The begining

Our cleft journey began one year ago today. It was this day we received the news that our baby boy would be born with a cleft lip. As devastating as that news was at the time it makes me happy today. It brought us the most adorable, the strongest, and the happiest baby I have ever known. And THAT makes me one proud mama! I'm so happy he is ours no matter how he came to us! He's definitely an extra special boy.

Our journey has been one of tears and frustration but many many more smiles. If you ask me its all been contradictory. We were blessed with a perfect little baby and then told he needed a fixing. No, no he doesn't. He's already perfect. But we knew it had to be done. It wasn't an elective surgery because we wanted Hudson to look "normal". It was a very necessary surgery to improve eating and speaking habits which if not corrected could cause health issues and communication problems. If nothing else, that is the one thing I want other people to understand. We didn't need Hudson to look "normal" we needed him to eat with out problems and speak properly. Who wants to be normal these days anyway? Well it was definitely love at first sight when I first laid eyes on Hudson. And to think the face we fell in love with would have to be changed made me just a little bit sad. Ok so I was more than a little bit sad. But I have done my best to make this journey positive. So my come back to that is: we were lucky enough to be blessed with TWO adorable little smiles! Take that!

Hudson has seriously been the best baby I have ever known. And thats why I have to say, our cleft journey has really been a piece of cake. I feel totally and completely blessed to have been given such a cooperative baby with what lied ahead of us and him. We've had some rough spots don't get me wrong... don't make me have you go back a read our feeding difficulties, day 1 of the NAM, that moment when I watched my baby disappear behind those surgery doors and that heart breaking first cry when he was back in my arms. BUT in the big scheme of things Hudson has been a champ! He deserves an award! Although those trying times have made us all stronger (what doesn't kill you makes you stronger) I like to focus on just how amazing Hudson has been through what he has been faced with. I'm telling you he was MADE for it! I have definitely enjoyed our journey. Hudson has made it more than worth it.

Ok ok enough of how amazing and wonderful Hudson is, well you are reading my blog...

Hudson and I made a familiar drive back out to Phoenix for a check up with his surgeon Dr. Beals yesterday. I was rather excited to meet with him again after a long 3 months. I had a few questions and concerns I wanted to get out of the way. If you have not had the pleasure of looking into the mouth of Hudson then you don't know that he has 2, yes 2, uvulas. Dr. Beals assured me he would sew them together to make one. I was tempted to ask him to leave the 2 but decided against it. :-P He also explained to me how he would close his cleft palate, but to save you all from confusion I'm not going to try and explain it. Rest be assured it sounded good to me. He also wanted Hudson to meet with an ear doctor. I told him Hudson just had his first ear infection last week and that he handled it so well that we didn't even know about it! But by what he said to me I got the impression he wanted Hudson to have tubes put in. He told me cleft babies are more prone to ear infections and can't handle all the extra drainage caused by the cleft palate. Which I knew and thats why I was so impressed that Hudson JUST had his first ear infection. I'll still meet with the ENT but I almost want to decide against tubes since his ears have not been a problem for us but on the other hand since he is more prone to them I want to go with the ear tubes just as a precaution. Decisions, decisions... Hence why I will still meet with the ENT.

Hudson also had a mini photo shoot while we were there. If you know Hudson he loves having his picture taken. Which is why ALL my pictures of him are smiling ones. I assured the lady taking the pictures that he will smile for her. And sure enough he didn't let me down and right as she was about to snap a photo he flashed her one of this breath taking smiles. And continued to smile until he had to lay down. He wasn't about to lay down for nobody! She though it was so funny that he actually smiled for the camera. That's my boy! He knows how good he looks!

My main excitement for this appointment was to get an idea on when his palate repair will be. Dr. Beals does palate repairs between 9 and 12 months and said that Hudson is ready for it. So we spoke with his surgery coordinator. Although I knew what her answer would be for me. Since Curtis lost his job and has yet to get a new one we are in the middle of applying for AHCCCS. With surgery in our near future I wasn't about to go without insurance. So with that in mind the coordinator told me once we are approved to give her a call and THEN we can set a surgery date. I was hoping we wouldn't have to wait but we couldn't avoid it. She told me it would most likely be in January right after is first birthday. Awesome, Hudson will get to pig out on cake right before surgery. That should give him the extra weight he'll need!

All in all everything was covered and our journey continues.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

9 months and counting!

My little pumpkin is 9 months old today! Dang! And somehow I love him more everyday... This past month we've have been able to spend lots and lots of time with daddy! Hudson LOVES his daddy. Although I'd rather have Curtis at work, it sure has been nice to have him home with us. He's been a great help in so many ways!

Hudson has been on the move for a while now! He frequently rearranges our DVD's, changes channels, tips over trash cans, loves play with the toilet if we forget to close the door, and digs handfuls of dog food out of the bag if we forget to close the pantry door too. If he can't have it he'll find a way to get it! He's good at keeping himself busy for hours though! He'll only start to fuss when it's time for a bottle or nap time. He's pretty awesome. The dogs have become less of a fan on his though. Hudson fails to recognize their presence and steps all over them as he cruises along things. He also loves to hang onto their tags. He does think they are a hoot though! He'll craw up to them while they sleep and sit there and just chuckle at them. It's pretty funny.

Lately Hudson has become only a mama and daddy fan. All of a sudden he started to realize not everyone is his mom and dad. He only wants ME! I must say I've been waiting for this moment for a VERY long time... Ever since I was young I've always want a baby to want ME, and reach out for ME! How special it must feel! So since I had Hudson I've been waiting for this! It sure does make me feel special and wanted too. I love that I know Curtis and I are his favorite people. Selfish? Maybe. But what can I say he IS mine. :) Along with this he's also been oh so cuddly!! I love it! He just cuddles up right in my neck and I squeeze him so tight! I've rocked him to sleep a few times because I just can't let go!

He never ceases to make Curtis and I laugh with his goofy expressions and silly noises. He is definitely an added joy in our home. We can't get enough of him! I can't wait to hear what his surgeon has to say next week about his palate repair!

Since I had the opportunity to share Hudson's Story on the Cleft Palate Foundation's website I've had a few responses from other cleft moms. Some who just happened to find my blog. I love hearing how inspiring our journey is to them. That is all I have hoped for in sharing Hudson's story. It makes me happy that I can help out other moms who are looking for help or some reassurance. I've tried my best to make it a positive experience. I love that my baby is different and he will grow up knowing that he had a cleft. It's not something I want to hide from everyone because it's made him who he is! And I'm proud of all that he accomplished in just 9 months of life. THAT'S something to be proud of!

"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" Dr. Seuss

At "Hudson Park"

You can't camp without a hammock! 

Smile? Goofy faces, what I tell ya?!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why we do what we do!

It's 5:20 in the morning and I pray that the noise I heard wasn't the whimper of a little boy but it quickly grows louder. I rush into his room (seriously I run sometimes) to catch him before he stands up. If he is still laying down the chances of him going back to sleep for another hour are greater and if he is standing I know it's going to be an early morning... He usually cries harder when he sees me and desperately reaches out for me as if his teddy bear were about to eat him. He clings onto my shirt and I finally pull him out and give him a long squeeze and a few good morning kisses. As much as I hate getting out of bed so early I usually instantly forget about my anger once I hold that warm little body in my arms. And yet another day begins.

My impatience has won me over this past month as I have constantly battle over sleep with a little boy.  I've gone insane as I fight with him to stay on his back while I change his diaper or when his little hands are just too quick for me and knock a spoon full of veggie puree onto his high chair, and when he thinks he needs to stand up in the bath. I've been easily annoyed lately and I feel terrible when Hudson has to see me so upset. He never ceases to make me smile though.

I've focused more on the bad this past month rather than taking the time to enjoy the good. Like having the chance to spend the past 3 weeks (yikes) at home with Curtis and Hudson. I feel like I have made it more miserable than enjoyable for them both! Curtis lost his job the beginning of September which provided us with awesome insurance for ourselves and most importantly Hudson. It's taken a big toll on Curtis as he has stressed and worried over an income but somehow we have had more money in our bank accounts than we have had in the past few months. Since Curtis started school this semester we've be able to get grant money which has been a huge blessing! I also have a very strong testimony in paying tithing to the church and even though we are trying to save all we can I know it's more important to put the Lord first in our lives and have faith that everything will be OK.

So I welcome October with open arms, new goals, and a better outlook. October is kind of a special month to us. It's the month when we got married, the month when we got sealed in the temple and the month where we found out about Hudson's cleft. Amidst all our trials in life I'm thankful for special moments such as these to remind me why I do the things I do. To take me away from all my frustration and back to the things that mean the most, my family.

So it's Hudson's Story I want to share. Which I absolutely love to do. He has just been so inspiring to me. He always amazes me. His story is featured on the Cleft Palate Foundation website as their Story of the Month for October. And I'm so glad that it just happened to be THIS month. So if you have not already heard or read his story (or want to read it again, like me) here is the link to the site...

Hudson's Story

Like I've said before it hasn't always been easy but he has made it, oh, so worth it! Life could never be more meaningful with out these two in it!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

8 months going on 2?

I swear I was just in 7th grade yesterday. Where does time go? Life has been good to Curtis and I in the big scheme of things. Now if you get down to the details... but that's for another post. Our Huddy Buddy is 8 months old today! I swear he is a 2 year old in an 8 month old body. He is busy busy busy! He's too smart for his own good! He has been doing so well this last month with so much improvements and accomplishments! I have been bringing him to his pediatrician for weight checks every two weeks and he now weights 15.3 pounds! It was so good to finally see that number higher than his pre surgery weight! I'm feeling better about his up coming surgery now. I can definitely tell he is filling out too! He has been eating so well! And he sure does love his meals!!

Here is what's new with the Hud:

-He crawls! Yay!!
-He can pull himself up to anything now! Yay!... Not so much. I then had to lower the crib. I do find it cute when I go into his room in the morning and he is standing there reaching out for me.
-He LOVES his little puff snacks! He takes 2 or 3 at a time and tries to stuff them in his mouth! I must say I'm a little embarrassed that I even doubted he would make it to finger foods with his cleft palate. After a few choking episodes and throwing up his food I almost gave up on trying. But he never gave up! And I should have known better with him. It took him about 5 days to learn how to chew and swallow his snacks with out choking on them. Oh man he just makes me so proud! He is one smart little boy! Nothing stops him!
-He LOVES to walk, with assistance of course. He would walk all day long if it didn't kill our backs! He gets angry when you sit him back down. Then you have to hide your hands. Once he finds them it's all over and you know you just can't resist that face! I wont be surprise if he is walking by 9 months! Yikes...
-He loves his sweets! Yogurt, otter-pops, lollipops, ice cream, the list goes on... Good thing he doesn't have any teeth yet! Healthy foods on the other hand... doesn't care for them. I figure those extra fat calories are good for him. :)
-Huddy sure loves his daddy. And it's the cutest thing. He gets so happy and always reaches out for him. Here I do all the work and Dad's the hero...
-He is very very ticklish and I love it! His laugh is the most sweetest thing I have ever heard in my entire life. I could listen to him laugh all day long. I can't help but smile and laugh along with him.
-His favorite things are tags and strings. Hey that rhymed. He will spot a tag from a mile away and heads straight for it! And he has a favorite blankie which has tags all over it. I love when he crawls around and drags it with him. And when I get him from his crib in the morning or after naps he has it in hand when he stands there waiting for me.

Hudson is such a delight to be around! Anyone who has met this amazing little boy can attest to that! We have been so blessed to have him in our lives these past 8 months. He has changed our way of life. Being a parent has brought a new meaning to the word proud. I've been trying to get him to hold his bottle and sippy cup forever now and just the other day he was sitting in his high chair eating snacks and I look over and he had his sippy cup in both hands and was drinking from it!! It's the little things...

Gosh it seems like years ago that he had his NAM. I sure don't miss it! I was really hoping I could keep it but I guess his surgeon had other plans for it and we never got it back after surgery. I still can't believe all that he has been put through. I love that he is ours and that he was born the way he was though. I love that he is different. I can't say it's always been easy but the good days always make up for it. I keep wondering what I am suppose to be learning from this whole experience. Patience? Probably. But it hasn't happened yet and that's because it isn't over yet. Darn. I love hearing all the complements on how great he looks after his surgery. It truly is amazing. Of course I notice his scar, but everyone tells me how you can't even notice it. All the glory goes to his amazing surgeon for sure! I just get to be his proud mom.

I've been so anxious for his palate repair. I can't wait for it to be over. We don't meet with his surgeon again until October 24th though. I stress about when it will be. He said when he is between 9-12 months old but then it's the holidays around that time and then his birthday... But I really don't want to wait any longer. Because it's Hudson I know he'll amaze us once more with another surgery. I just don't know if I can handle another one! I said it before and I'll say it again, he was definitely built to handle what life has given him!

He loves that table!

Monday, September 10, 2012

When you love someone...

I always thought it would be Missy who would get married first, being the oldest and all. Then I could go to her for dating questions, marriage questions, and then of course she would be the first to have a baby, so I would ask her baby questions too. But you never know what your going to get in life! She went on a mission and I got married and had a baby. I sure felt old when she came home last December to see me 8 months pregnant, married and owning a house! She was the one who asked the dating questions and the marriage questions. And sometime in the future she'll ask me baby questions I'm sure. I love it! I have always looked up to her! She has always been an amazing example to me! Saturday the 8th I got to see her and Lance get sealed in the Mesa, AZ Temple! It was such a special sight to see! She deserves nothing less! It made me think of the day Curtis and I were sealed. One of the best feelings I've ever had was kneeling over that alter with him. Families can be forever!

So Lance is from the Mormon colonies somewhere around Chihuahua, Mexico. His family still lives there so the Wednesday before they got married we all packed up and drove to Mexico! They had a reception for them there on Thursday. It was a blast!! Lance's family is awesome! We all had so much fun with them! I was kinda sad the day we left.

The first night we got there we played games with them and went 4 wheeling in the rain! The next day we went 4 wheeling again and drove for about an hour into the mountains to a little dam that had a zip-line that we rode into the water! So fun! That night was the reception that turned out amazing and had delicious Mexican food of course! And the next day we pack up again and drove home. This time with Lance's family. And then Saturday they got married and had a reception here. I love weddings! It was such a busy week and little Hudson was a trooper! I so happy to have a sister married now! Now it's Coco's turn in just about a month!

This was his neighborhood! I loved it!

And his parents house.

The area was so beautiful!! We drove past hundreds of acres of farms.

Did I mention the weather? It was awesome! 

This was our trip into the mountains. It rained so hard the past couple of days that the dirt roads had huge muddy pools of water! It was so fun to drive through!

The dam




I did go down it, but I don't know what happened to the picture!

Lance's nieces were the cutest!

Lances nieces and nephew. They all love Missy.

Huddy and Uncle Alec

Auntie Coco

Alec was happy with the girl to guy ratio. 

The drive back to America. We all laughed as we turned onto a dirt road! We drove on it for about a half hour. We were all impressed when we found out Missy's honda civic could go 4 wheeling too! A little scary a times though...

Then all of a sudden we turn a corner back onto the street and there was New Mexico! It was hilarious. This was not the way we came so we were all surprised when we saw the border so quickly.

We almost had to leave Hudson behind. I didn't know I had to bring his birth certificate! Luckily I had his shot records and they said that was ok. And it was a really small border station and they said the bigger ones aren't so nice. They wouldn't have wanted him anyway. :P

Happy Day!

My favorite people!

They asked for it...

 Oh I enjoyed the week so much! I'm so happy for Missy and Lance! I told Curtis we need to move the Hofmann family to Mexico! I loved it there! Now I can't wait for some nieces and nephew!!