Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Precious

There are tiring, grueling days where I feel impatient even frustrated with the boys.  Toddlers can be a challenge with their developing minds, personalities and determination.  Of course, I love Luke and Bo beyond measure, but I certainly have realized that I take the moments with them for granted many days, or I am too quick to scold rather than understand or slower to respond to their needs.

This week has brought a hefty dose of reality.  One of my dear friends unexpectedly lost her precious baby boy after just 6 short months on this earth.  There is no greater tragedy than losing a child, burying an innocent baby with so much hope for the world, and figuring out how to possibly move on in the face of such sadness and loss.  My heart is breaking and the weight I feel for their family is extreme.  I cannot possibly fathom all of the pain they are experiencing and facing the times ahead. 

I wish it didn't take a tragedy to wake me up from my fog, I want to wake up every day and live it to the fullest, hugging my babies tightly, laughing more, loving stronger, like it was possibly the last time, because the reality is that we never know when it just may be the last moment.  When tragedy hits, it is easy to recognize this, but as time passes we all too quickly fall back in step with the monotony of life, focusing on frustrations, or lack of sleep rather in the moments that make it all beautiful.

My prayer is that this time I permanently learn to step back when I feel myself getting frustrated or overwhelmed.  That I can realize just how blessed and undeserving I am to have my two precious boys, my amazing husband and family.  I want to love bigger and longer and better.  There are so many insignificant things that we allow to weigh us down, I pray I can have some perspective when I feel myself going down that path.

Please pray for my friend and her family as they face the times ahead without their sweet baby boy.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Bomerica

On July 1, our sweet little sunshine, Bo Bo Keller turned 1!  I can't believe how quickly the year has flown by....the transformation that a human being makes during the first year of life never ceases to amaze me.  On the other hand, our stubborn little boy who refused to turn in utero, is well, still pretty stubborn!  This year has been an absolute joy, blur and an exhausting, yet thrilling, journey!

Bowen has the sweetest smile that can light up a room, he craves attention and works hard to engage anyone and everyone.  He is an explorer, a dare devil, a giggler and a force to be reckoned with!  He is also such a lover, and snuggles on my chest still like a newborn.  He eats us out of the house and never bores of sitting in his high chair-we are talking over an hour each night.  He loves music and dances to any song regardless of genre (unlike Luke who constantly tells us "I no like this song").  He is a chatter box and is right now saying, mama, daddy, dog (all the time), ball, throw, no no no no no, hi, bye, all done, and probably many other things that we haven't caught on to yet.  He is definitely my baby and as much as I love watching him grow up, I definitely want to keep him small and all mine forever!

Before Bo was born I hoped he wouldn't be born on the 4th of July...I wanted him to have his own day, but as the big day approached Drew and I thought it would be fun to celebrate his birthday with family and friends on the 4th, to make it more festive.  I had envisioned a simple red, white and blue theme with some stars etc.  Drew on the other envisioned something a bit different.  I tell you what, the man never ceases to surprise me.  My metro sexual, preppy, conservative husband coined the term BOMERICA for our celebration. His rationale:  Happy Birthday America, Happy Birthday Bo!  When he casually mentioned he wanted to make a poster and would put his creative team on it, I just blew him off....until a large cylinder arrived on our doorstep the end of June.  When I unrolled it this is what I discovered:


Yes, that is my sweet son in a George Washington wig and our boys photoshopped on to Luke and Bo Duke...and take a little closer look, oh yeah, that's my face on Daisy.  Needless to say, Drew really got in to Bomerica Day!  It was actually really sweet and made the celebration that much more festive.  So now we have a new holiday each year, Bomerica...I am sure this poster will resurface maybe around Bo's 21st birthday!

On his actual birthday, we spent the day at the lake and then had dinner at Stroud's with my parents.  Bomerica was spent at the lake and Bo enjoyed boat rides, swimming, BBQ and loved having every one's attention while they sang happy birthday.  He enjoyed the icing in his hair far more than eating the actual cake!

If you are one of those party poopers who is disgusted by parents who allow their children to play with their first birthday cake then stop reading now.


For me?
What do I do Luke?




I get by with a little help from my friends!



I can't believe I ate the whole thing!


Love Luke's expression watching Bo!

End then Mom got covered in frosting too!


Happy Birthday baby boy!  We love you more than you know, you have completed our family and we can't wait to see what you have in store for us in year two!





Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Long time no see....

It's been so long since I have written a post that I almost want to permanently throw in the towel on the entire thing....too much has happened to even begin to catch up.  We have had Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, Bowen's first birthday and the Fourth of July and that just covers that holidays....never mind that Luke got a second set of tubes, Bowen got his first four teeth (finally), we are VERY close to having a walker (tonight Bowen took his first solo steps before face planting and laughing it off), we have had lots of fun lake days and time at the pool, we rode on Thomas the Train in Baldwin City, caught fire flies for the first time, mommy took a girls trip to Nashville, daddy had a boys escapade to the All Star Game and probably about eight million other things!

We are constantly hopping around here!  Luke is a chatter box, he never EVER stops talking.  He is in full blown 2 year old mode, with many demands, tears, tantrums, hugs, kisses and love.  His favorite thing to tell me each day "I love you mommy, I miss you"  He can't say I love you without throwing in I miss you.  For some reason he gets words with b's and s's switched up so he loves to "play in the hasement with his haseball and hasketball!"  According to Luke, he is a "super swimmer" and tonight he informed me he is "as big and strong as daddy, bigger than mommy and Bo!" We have had to start watching our toddler appropriate language much more carefully as Luke repeats EVERYTHING we say, and seems to have an affinity for inappropriate words...thus leading to him yelling "Dammit" when a firework went off during Bo's birthday party!  Not embarrassing for mom and dad at all, not at all! He has a love/hate relationship with Bo.  He doesn't like to share, he thinks all toys (including those Bo got for his birthday) are his, he bops Bo on the head when Bo interferes with whatever Luke is building, but as soon as Bo goes to bed he gets upset and says "I miss my Bo Bo!  I sleep with my brudder, I want my brudder, I love Bo and I miss Bo"  At the lake the boys share a room and Bo usually cries when we close the door at night, Luke sings to him though and Bo quiets right down, it is so sweet.  This past weekend Luke did not want to take a nap and over the monitor we could hear him yelling "Drew, Drew, where are you Daddy? Drew, Drew, Drew, my daddy Drew Color (he says Color instead of Keller) where are you?" Luke also moved to a big boy bed last month!  The first time we tried it the night ended with mommy reassembling the crib by herself...that might be where Luke learned the word dammit!  But the next morning Luke woke up and said "I ready to be a big boy tonight mommy, I sleep in big boy bed!" and a few nights later when we tried again it was a success! Luke also really like to take his clothes off right now...honestly, it doesn't bother me much, especially out at the lake and with how hot it has been, but a few weeks ago we had people over on the patio and I turned my back for a minute and the next thing I knew Luke had taken off his clothes and diaper and was loudly announcing to everyone "I pee in the mulch!" Classy.  Especially during dinner.

Bowen is doing fantastic.  He is bold, daring and fearless.  Last night I found him sitting in the middle of the coffee table drinking his cup of milk.  He desperately wants to keep up with Luke.  He is trying so hard to stand up on his own from a seated position....he tries, and tries endlessly, laughing each time he falls down.  He still believes that Luke hung the moon, but he also is quite the fighter.  Drew witnessed the boys fighting over the iPad the other morning and Bo was boxing Luke out and definitely was in control of the situation!  He has MAJOR separation anxiety, not for daycare, but if we walk more than 3 feet from him at home he screams...we pray it passes soon because it is absolutely wearing us out!  He loves music and dances and claps to any beat!  He is an absolute joy and such a little snuggler.  I don't think his hair could get any blonder....I LOVE it!  It seems impossible that he is already one!  He seemed to really enjoy everyone singing Happy Birthday to him last week!  He loves any and all attention!

It is really heartwarming to watch the boys relationship grow and change, they are playing with one another more and more, and we are refereeing!  We laugh a lot, but rarely sit down!

We had a blast on Bowen's birthday, but those pictures and story I will save for another post...hopefully it won't take me months to start it!
Mother's Day...complete with Luke's first shiner!

Sweet blond lake baby!

Getting ready to tube for the very first time over Memorial Day weekend!

So proud of our tough guy!  Although usually when we are on the speed boat he yells to Drew "slow down Daddy, slow down!!" Meanwhile, Bo throws his arms up in the air laughs!

Our good friend Thomas the Train!


Love how they are looking at each other!


For over a week Luke was obsessed with wearing his goggles....even around the house

Case in point, he will kill me someday for this pic!

Such a mischievous little look!

A rare moment of unsolicited sharing and brotherly love


"Super swimmer!"

"I a big boy now in my big boy bed!"

Four generations of Keller men on Father's Day


Monday, May 7, 2012

I wish...

I wish someone had prepared me for the worry that comes along with parenthood.  In all honestly though, I don't think its something that you can adequately prepare for, it is on the job training at its best!  Its not that I thought parenthood would be worry free, I just didn't understand what it would feel like, the way it can keep you up at night when you are already weary, the way it pulls at you, the way you are drawn to google even when you know you shouldn't, the way it reminds you that despite your best wishes for you child, there is only so much you can control.

We have two amazing and blessed children, in our humble and unbiased opinion!  In the broad scheme of life they are healthy, happy and well adjusted, they pass the eye test.  Despite our constant blunders, they are surviving us.  That being said, we have had some health concerns with Luke.  Sometimes I get pretty bummed out when I think of how many doctor's visits he has had in his short 30 months and how many specialists he has seen.  Then we make another trip to Children's Mercy and I see the despair of so many parents and I am ever so grateful that we are there for the reasons that we are and I hold our little man just a little tighter and say a thank you to God that he is as healthy as he is.  I am grateful that these are the issues that we face and that he comes home with us each night and runs and plays as any child should.

As most of you know, we have been somewhat concerned with Luke's slowed growth since he was about 9 months old.  I was told that all kids growth and appetites slow at this point in time and as they become more mobile.  In all honesty we weren't shocked that he didn't weigh a lot, but we started to grow concerned when between 9-24 months his height barely increased.  I would listen to other parents talk about how their kids practically grew over night, that their clothes were always too small, that they were always buying new shoes before the old ones wore out.  Luke on the other hand rarely outgrows his clothes, he wears the same size shoe as last summer and we watched as kids 6 months+ younger than him slowly started to creep past him in height.  In February after a height and weight check that again showed him at the 5th percentile for both height and weight, we were referred to an endocrinologist.  Friday was our first visit.  We had already ruled out many disorders through blood work so I knew going in that he didn't have an Endocrine disorder or Celiac Disease etc.  Some blood work had shown a low insulin like growth factor so we were prepared for that discussion.  The Endocrinologist believes that Luke has Constitutional Growth Delay.  Basically kids with this have decreased growth during the first three years of life, but then grow at a normal rate, just on the low end of the curve.  Bone age xrays in these children show that their bone age is actually younger than their chronological age.  When puberty hits these children are often again delayed behind their peers which further accentuates their slowed growth, for some kids they achieve their full height potential just a few years later than their peers, for other kids they need growth hormones, or medications to help keep the growth plates open longer if they fall too much below the curve during puberty.  Based on our heights, the Endocrinologist believes that Luke should be in in the 90th percentile for height, not the 5th.  We are holding out hope that Luke can achieve his full potential height.  One of the concerns with kids that have CGD is the emotional stress of not only being small, but going through puberty later than their peers.  At this point though it is just too early to know what will happen, hopefully Luke catches up over time and it won't be a challenge for him in high school, but in the mean time it is a hurry up and wait scenario.  To add insult to injury, Luke's asthma medications can have negative growth side effects, so we are working to balance the least effective dosage of asthma medication to potentially improve growth with keeping him breathing well.  The positive is that in the last 6 months at the higher dosages of these meds Luke has still gained 2lbs and grown just under 2 inches, which for him is HUGE growth! I know I can't worry about that which I can't control, but you always want the most peaceful road for your children, this world is tough enough without other hindrances.  I am grateful that there is nothing more serious going on though.  And, on the bright side, Luke and Bo might wear the same size clothes which would make shopping and laundry a whole lot easier! :)

In the mean time, please keep our little man in your thoughts and prayers.  Please pray that he grows strong, whether that it is height and weight or in character (hopefully both!).  Mostly, we want him to be healthy and confident.  Please keep him in your thoughts Thursday morning also when he gets his second set of ear tubes!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Patio

Two babies, two massive dogs that destroy the grass chasing squirrels, spring time rain, big muddy paws, a doggy door, a tired full time working mommy...this is a LOSING combination!  After resodding a portion of a backyard the last few springs only to have the dogs destroy it over the winter and trek massive amounts of mud in to our home, we finally surrendered.  Last month we took out the landscaping and grass behind our deck and added a flag stone patio and fire pit.  Functionally, it was necessary to do something in that area that didn't involve grass.  Practically, we live on a busy corner and kids needed a place to ride trikes and scooters.  Realistically, we spend a lot of time at home now and needed to make our outside area more fun, not just for the kids but for mom and dad too! We have spent almost every evening and all weekend outside since it was finished and we are so happy we finally made a change!

We toasted the deck with a marsh mellow roast for S'mores a few weekends ago while my brother was here.  Last weekend, Drew and I pulled a TV out on the patio, built a fire and watched the Royals (lose) game.  We have grilled hot dogs over the open flame for dinner with Luke and just had a great time!  It's going to bring us years of fun and we hope to host little campouts in our backyard for the boys and their friends as the years go by.  

Pretty good Saturday night...Beers, Fire and Baseball!

Hot Dogs!



First Keller S'mores Night!

Hanging with Uncle Aaron

So GOOD!!!!



Giggles...

There is lots of giggling going on around here these days...the boys think they are pretty funny and giggle at each other...the rest of the time we have lots of "mine", "no" and tears...but lots of giggling too (thankfully)!  It is really starting to get fun as Bowen becomes more mobile...the kids chase each other around, play peak a boo and get into mischief!  This week Drew was out of town and at night when Luke and I would put Bo in his bed, Luke would cry "No, mommy I stay with my brudder, I stay with Bo, Bo!"  He was just devastated that they couldn't sleep in the same bed together...it was very sweet.  Sometimes at daycare Luke refers to himself as "Bo Bo's brudder."  Luke loves to sing songs and last week we were singing a song before bed; the words are "you fill the world with happiness you bring us joy each day" and Luke sang "you fill the world with happy feet and bring us toys each day!" Every night he tells me "Love you moon to back mommy."

Bo turned 10 months this week and I cannot believe that in just a few short months he will turn one.  This year has gone by so quickly.  Bo got his first two teeth over the weekend and handled it like a champion, wouldn't have even known he was teething, hopefully that trend continues!  He is in to everything and starting to develop very strong opinions about how things go in the house.  He throws little fits when he doesn't get what he wants and Drew and I are little frightened for what the toddler years will bring if he is already so strong willed!  He seems to have no fear what so ever...frightening to say the least.  He has eaten KC's best in food...the kid loves Stroud's and Gate's and we are enjoying having a child that enjoys food as much as we do!  He absolutely adores books, loves to point at the pictures and turn the pages and sits STILL and QUIET when I read to him.  He and Luke are SO different in almost every way!



Always at each others heals...





Bo may think Luke hung the moon...


He looks so much like Drew here...


We love watching these two grow in to amazing little men, who make us laugh and run our world!