Friday, May 19, 2017

Aspen Michael: 3 Years

Dearest Aspen Michael,

Time certainly does fly! How are you 3 years old already?! You are so big in many ways. You are tall and strong. You have all sorts of words, thoughts, and ideas. You put great sentences together and well thought out paragraphs. You have a very sharp memory, and you are definitely an observer.

These last 6 months have come with a lot of challenges. Probably the most difficult in your little life. You have battled sleep apnea which has made for an equally painful time for you and for me. With the bad sleeping, you have had some pretty horrible tantrums and meltdowns. It has been hard to watch as your mommy because you are by nature a sweetheart. And when you are not throwing a fit, you are that gentle, lovable baby boy.

To help with the sleeping, you had your tonsils and adenoids removed about 10 days ago. You were so brave during your surgery and have been making good strides at getting better. You took your pain medication for a few days then just started refusing it. You have had some bad night terrors due to the anesthesia and adjustment in your REM cycle, but I am confident that this will be better for us all in the long run.

You love copying your big sister and playing right along side of her. And you are working on being a better "helping" big brother! Sometimes you think Brighton is your size and play a little too rough with him.

You love Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Kenney, your teachers, and you have so many friends/classmates. You have grown a lot this school year and it has been a joy to watch. You truly have blossomed into a good student which makes me smile. 

You love playing basketball, tennis, and golf. You are attentive and listen to instruction. You love riding your balance bike and Adelaide's bike as well. You love ice cream, yogurt, and salads. You have been enjoying Starbucks' vanilla bean frappuccinos too! 

Your snuggles are contagious as you always ask for one more hug and kiss at bedtime. I know one day you will not want to hug your mommy as much or kiss me in public so I am trying to savor these moments even when it adds an extra 15 minutes to bedtime!

I want to apologize to you for losing my patience with you at times recently. We are both so exhausted that it weighs on you and I in different ways. I know you are doing your best to control your emotions and impulses. And I know that you are just a little boy. I promise to remember that more often than not in year 3!

I love you!



    Thursday, April 27, 2017

    Mommy. Is. Pregnant!

    I knew that I wanted to incorporate the kids into telling Ryan that I was pregnant. I racked my brain for ideas since I had a few days as he was out  of town. I kept coming up short with something over the top or elaborate. So I finally settled on simple. Signs and balloons. Because what kids don't love balloons!

    Getting them to stand still and in order was the tricky part. As Ryan came down the basement stairs, they forgot to let him read the signs and rather ran screaming "Mommy is pregnant!"


    Wednesday, April 26, 2017

    Mimi & Papa's 10 Little Eggs

    The. Most. Amazing. Thing. Happened. On. Tuesday. February. 21. 2017.

    Yes, you read that correctly. A pregnancy test that read: pregnant. It happened so fast that I barely had time to finish brushing my teeth. I was terrified to take the test as I was not sure what the result would be. I did feel extremely hopeful that it would read those glorious words. But I was oh so nervous to know for sure, one way or the other.

    When I looked to my right after what seemed like only a few seconds of waiting, I began sobbing. Head in hands, brought down to my kneed of thankfulness and gratitude crying. The type of pure joy and peace and faith that can only be found by raising it all up to God.

    If you know me, then you know its been a real struggle the past seven months. Having had a later miscarriage at the end of July and suffering postpartum depression coupled with the fear and anxiety of thinking I would never again be able to become pregnant had taken its toll on me. But at the end of January/start of February, I committed myself to restoring my faith in God. To letting go of the anger and sadness, the wanting to know "why me". I was finally ready to accept what happened, move forward for myself and my family's sake, and let God lead me.

    And what a beautiful place He has led me...

    Because Ryan had taken off for D.C., I didn't actually tell him the news first! My parents were set to leave for GA that morning, so I dropped the kids at school and rushed to Target. I grabbed a grandparents-to-be card and a package of mini chocolate Cadbury eggs. As I was pulling into the driveway, they were loading the car. I quickly signed the card thanking them for starting this every growing crazy family all those years ago and to please pray for us as we add the newest member of the Collins Clan. Then I counted out 10 of the little eggs. I handed my mom the card and the chocolate eggs asking her to count them. She counted 10 and became confused. I said and you have how many grandkids? 4 for Kendahl, 1 for Shane, 3 for me...that makes 8. Plus 1 on the way for Amanda & Shane and 1 on the way..."You're pregnant!" Followed by a huge hug and a few tears and a high five from my dad!

    For all of those who have prayed for me/us, from the bottom of my hearts I cannot thank you enough. You have no idea how helpful it has been to be able to talk things through with so many women, family & friends, during one of the most difficult times of my life. Your love is forever etched in my mind and in my heart. Please continue to pray for our family and for our sweet baby!

    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    A Hoppin' Good Easter~ April 2017

    We had such a great time celebrating Easter for several weeks. Dyeing eggs, decorating eggs, numerous egg hunts, a beautiful mass, Easter bunny fun, and family celebrations!