Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Super fun weekend!

This last weekend was so much fun! We of course had to go back up to OP given the arrival of little miss Caitlin Grace McCarver, just the most precious little thing in the whole world. Linda and baby Caitlin are doing great. Caitlin is just so beautiful! She has a full head of thick dark hair and just took my breath away when I got my first look at her. She was just so sweet and peaceful and it was like I was looking at a little tiny version of my Winna Kaye (well with dark hair). She does have a tiny bit of Patrick that I could see but Linda's features are what jumped out at me. The happy little fam was just too sweet, those first few weeks are just so precious (before the sleep deprivation sets in, lol). I am so happy for them, they sure deserve this amazing gift, they are just such a great couple. It is so fun to go through life together. I can remember us, as litlte girls, talking about how we would have babies together and how they would be the best of friends. So, to grow up and cheer each other on as we "do life" and our dreams come true, just such an amazing gift. I am so thankful for our friendship and that we have remained so close. I can't wait until Caitlin is old enough to play with Sammy, will be so much fun! Congrats again Winna Kaye! We love you! Give that sweet girl a kiss from me!

We had lots of times with family, Sammy loved his time with "Nendy" (Cindy) and his cousins. He has been asking for Cindy several times each day since. Uncle LaVaughn and Stan have the boys, Duncan and Quiten visiting (my little cousins who recently moved up to GA) so Sammy absolutley loved swimming with them. He simply adores all his big cousins and thinks everything they do is cool. Julie & Bryan came over on Sunday and we had blast in pool. My little Julz is growing up way too fast, it blows my mind. Such a beautiful girl, inside and out. Sammy discovered Aunt Sandra's monkey/gorilla collection from Uncle Tom. Each Valentienes he gets her one of those that sing or dance, Sammy had all the buttons going that he could at once, it was a lot to handle. He also fell in love with one particular one and hugged it all weekend (See video below).

We also had the pleasure (I am being facetious) of having pics done. Thankfully mom treated us to 18 mos pics of Sammy and the photographer said she would take few family pics. It could not have gone more wrong. Sammy was pretty mad b/c he had to let the giant red balloon she brought for the first few shots go and it was all down hill from there. Thunder and lightening rolled in, sand storm blew sand in our eyes, bugs were buzzing around Sammy's face. Needless to say she thankfully asked if we could reschedule a re-do, continuoation appointment. So, I am glad for that but hope it won't be quite as stressful! It is alot to get us all ready and color coordinated. She did give us sneak peak of couple of the pics and they are good so atleast few turned out. We loved Amy, the photographer, she is very skilled.

I love this one, mommy & baby, so sweet!
So proud of you Linda! You did it!!!! Can't wait to watch our girl grow =)
happy little family
The first of many important conversations with my little "niece"
Daddy changing the princess's diaper, it was a rough one and he did a fantastic job! very impressed!
Everyone say ... "awwww" here

My Aunt Sandra and Uncle Tom, love you both!

I think he's sweet on her! =)
Sammy had fun "talking" with Aunt Sandra and had many things to show her. I won't lie and say it didn't hurt my feelings in the least when he kept calling her mommy... ouch!

Our budding musician, he just loves music (and trucks, the truck he found at Aunt Sandra's never left his side all weekend)

This is how we found him when we picked him up fro Debbie & Glen's after hanging out with Cody (more later), fast asleep with his little friend Jamie Lynn. They apparently danced the night away and were tuckerd out. They play so well together, so cute! Just wish we lived closer so they could play more. Thank you to Debbie & Glen for our fun night out!

THE END~ (I just couldn't resist given the nature of this last picture)

making memories

Sammy had so much fun visiting his grandparents recently. We have always had fun with him but now that he is older he can do so many more things. We have loved watching his relationships with each grandparent grow, it is just so sweet. He has really started loving art so he has been busy making little things for each person and is just so very proud of himself. He surprised both Grammy & Papi with pictures he had made for each of them that they proudly hung on their fridge. We laughed b/c literally at least 10 or 12 times he went and pointed to the fridge and clapped for himself, he would get us and take us to the fridge to show us how his work was displayed. Very cute.

I was thinking how things like this, little daily moments that seem typical to us are not so typical to God. He uses these to shape and mold our children into little forms of the people they will eventually be. As most of you know I study child development and the first 3 years are just so critical for so many aspects of development, particularly attachment and self-concept/esteem. Just like so many other topics, it has just been amazing to see first hand with my own child all the things I have learned in school. It makes me think a lot of the kids at Casa and other kids we know who don't have people to cheer them on and celebrate each little accomplishment. I can see now just how critical the little moments like that are in confirming his importance to us and building confidence and it breaks my heart that so many kids don't have opportuinities like that. I don't know what the future holds for us but the more I watch Sammy grow and learn the more I think about adopting our next child rather than having one naturally. Sam is on board with either option as long as it is very far in the distant future, lol. How great would it be to change the life of a child in such a way?

I often think of how I hope that in some way Sammy will understand just how blessed he really is to have so much, to have so many people who love him and want to be a part of his little life, to have so many opportunities. Heck, he has done some things in his first year and a half that it took me half of a lifetime to do! I hope we can instill in him an appreciation for what God has blessed him with so that he does not take all he has for granted. I have met so many amazing children with hearts for God and who seem really selfless for their age and I think to myself, this is how I want Sammy to be. On the other hand, I have met unfortunately MANY more other children who seem so ungrateful for their quality of life and just expect new things all the time. Sammy will obviously be his own person but I hope we can teach him to be grateful for what he has and to learn to see things and life from other people's persepctive. This is how he will feel compasison and empathy for others and be thankful for what he has. Big mission for parents but one worth investing in.

Well, I've digressed so back to what I orginally planned to post, here are some pics from time with Sam's fam! See this is what reading a million papers about the effects of poverty on child development will do to ya, I am sooo sick of studying for my qualifying exams. In fact, yesterday on my way in to a meeting I actually thought to myself "how great would it be if I was driving to my actual quals defence meeting right now...." seems forever away but I know Sept will be here before I know it so back to the books for me!

Sammy is such a good helper! We stopped by Papi's garage and he loved "helping" Papi with everything. He is Papi's right hand man for sure!

Soneone thought it would be fun .. (Sam's dad) to give Sammy an entire ice cream sandwhich of his own, um let's just stay this was the start of a very very long sugar rush and NO nap that day. Sam's dad actually said he wants to give Sammy that much sugar every visit b/c he had so much fun with him. =)

Sammy and Papi watching the froggies, just imagine a lot of "this?" "That?"