Monthly Archives: March 2010

Welcome Baby Ashlin!!

My step-sister, Lindsey, and her husband, Dustin, welcomed their daughter (and first child), Ashlin Davea, into the world on Sunday, March 14th at 1:28 pm!  She weighs 5 pounds, 10 ounces and is 18 inches long.  

After dealing with severe swelling and extremely high blood pressure, also called toxemia, last Tuesday, March 9th, Lindsey’s physician sent her to the local medical center for additional evaluation.  They determined at that time to take her by ambulance to the university medical center a few hours away.  The medical staff, trained to handle high risk pregnancies, was able to bring her blood pressure down to a less serious level with blood pressure medication.  She also received several rounds of steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs develop in the event that they’d have to deliver her early.  The staff continued to monitor Lindsey and the baby for the next several days and after her condition seem to improve somewhat even considered discharging her with strict instructions to go home and stay on complete bed rest.  However, after her blood pressure began to spike again, it left them with no choice but to take the baby by caesarean on Sunday, March 14th. 

I am happy to report that both mama and baby are doing well considering the complications.  Lindsey was discharged yesterday morning.  Baby Ashlin was born six weeks premature and will remain in the NICU for now.  They are running some tests today and depending on those results she could be discharged as early as this Saturday.  We’ve seen God move in big ways over the past week by protecting Lindsey and the baby from serious harm and by providing them with outstanding medical care.  God is good and we are so thankful!

Congratulations, Mama Lindsey and Dada Dustin!  We’re so excited for you!  We can’t wait to meet baby Ashlin one day soon!!     

(A special side note, Ashlin was born on Granny Knighten’s birthday…that’s Lindsey’s granny.  She passed away several years ago from complications from diabetes.  She was a beautiful and lovely lady.  What a special gift to Lindsey to have her daughter born on the same day!)

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Filed under Arkansas, Family, Health

35 Weeks


I have some exciting news to share…we’ve decided on a name!  Drum roll please…Jude Hudson!!  We’re so excited about this name!!  Jude is a name I have liked for a very long time (we even considered it when we named Ben).  With the passing of my mom on November 20, 2009 (her name was Judy), we thought it would be perfect to use the name Jude for our little guy.  Jude means “praise.”    

Picking a middle name was definitely more of a challenge.  I can’t even count the number of names we discussed.  Most of our conversations went a little something like this… 

Me:  “What do you think of THIS name?” 

Jake:  “Oh, no.  Not THAT name.” 

(And vice versa).

So one day Jake came home from work and said, “I heard the name Hudson today and really like it, what do you think?”  It was the first time we both REALLY liked the same name!  Hallelujah!  And there you have it…the story of how baby #2 was named!  Hudson means “Hugh’s son.”  But, obviously in our case he’ll be Jake’s son!  ha ha

We are certainly counting down the days until baby Jude arrives and we’ve been busy getting everything ready to welcome him home!!  I’ve had so much fun going back through Ben’s old clothes.  I’m sure he’s tired of hearing, “Look Ben, can you believe you used to be this small!”  Then he responds, “Ben wear that today!”  It’s been fun explaining to him that he’ll be the big brother now and that Jude gets to wear all of his old clothes!  We also moved Ben to his big boy bed in his big boy room.  Now we’re in the process of decorating it!  I’ll post pictures as soon as it’s done.

I’m feeling lots and lots of kicks these days with continued Braxton Hicks contractions.  This boy kicks hard…hard enough to stop me in my tracks on many occasions until he stops kicking and I can catch my breath!  I’ve had some slight swelling in my feet and ankles recently, but other than that I’m feeling pretty good (minus the frequent, every one and a half hours frequent, trips to the bathroom at night)!  It’s no wonder I’ve felt a significant decrease in energy lately…with interrupted sleep like that it is hard to feel well rested in the morning!  My next appointment is on Thursday of this week so I’ll post again soon with any new info!


Filed under Jude, Orlando

Happy Birthday, Dear Ben!

Ben turned two on February 26th!  About a month before his birthday we received a birthday card in the mail from a little preschool club we belong to through our neighborhood grocery store.  Ben gets fun things like crayons and coloring books when we check out and I get coupons.  (Not a bad deal…and for free).  This card set the birthday wheels a churin’ in Ben’s head and for the entire month preceding his birthday we’d hear him singing, “Happy Birthday, Dear Ben!”  He’d also tell anybody and everybody he came in contact with, “Ben will be two on birthday!”  And I’m pretty sure he asked for cupcakes just about every day too!  How exactly do you explain to an almost two-year old that he has to wait 30 more days before he can celebrate his birthday?!?  I can assure you it wasn’t an easy task and yes, a few tears were shed.   

We chose a race car theme for his party this year (shocking, I know).  In the weeks and days leading up to his party, we picked out steering wheel plates and speedway napkins, checkered flags and pennants, a monster truck bounce house, party favors, food, and cupcakes.  Jake built an awesome racetrack for the kids (and adults) to race their cars down and a bean bag toss game (I’d forgotten how fun that game is!!). 

I share all of that to say, you can pick, plan and predict many things when it comes to pulling together a birthday party, but there’s one thing that no one can predict quite accurately…guesses anyone…not even the chief meteorologist got it right…yep, that’s right…the weather!!! predicted rain to begin at 1 pm and we were keeping a pulse on any weather changes hour by hour as the minutes ticked down to party time.  With the party scheduled to begin promptly at 10:30 am we thought a 1 pm rain shower would be alright.  The party would be over by then and everyone could enjoy a nice nap at home while listening to the pitter patter of rain outside their windows.  At 10 am there were a few drops of rain, then a steady sprinkle and then…we had a downpour, people.  So we quickly opted for plan B.  Rearrange living room furniture to accommodate a racetrack (10 inches wide X 12 feet long), serve all food inside (including cupcakes…I’m pretty sure the thought of that made my blood pressure spike just a little), and pray.  I prayed that nothing would be destroyed by little hands and wet feet trampling through our house and that everyone would have a good time, especially Ben! 

We ended up with forty something people packed into our house (a little like sardines) and we had an AWESOME time!!  The kids picked out their race cars as soon as they arrived and they all had a blast racing them down the track!  I had recorded the Daytona 500 from a couple weeks back as another back-up for this particular situation so we had it playing in the background.  Many of the kids even braved the cold and rain to jump in the bounce house outside.  Who am I kidding, they were thrilled to play in the rain!  After the whirlwind of a party was over I was beyond pleased to find that no red, yellow or green icing had been smeared on anything and other than some seriously dirty tile floors, our house was in decent shape. 

Most importantly…Ben had the time of his life surrounded by lots of friends and family (my dad and step-mom flew in to surprise him)!!  I was reminded of one of the Bible verses Ben and I had memorized a couple of weeks earlier from Ezekiel 34:26, “I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessings.”  The little story that goes along with the verse says, “the next time a raindrop hits you on the nose, think of God’s many blessings.”  We are blessed to have such wonderful friends and family and a little boy who laughs so hard he gives himself the hiccups, sings at the top of his lungs and doesn’t care what he sounds likes, dances like no one is watching, can radar a mud puddle from several yards away, believes a kiss can instantly heal any boo boo…who brightens our lives and melts our hearts each and every day!  This will be a second birthday to remember!!  And as one last funny little side note…a few days after his party, I was getting Ben out of his crib one morning and he said, “Mommy, friends come over and play with racetrack today!”  “Not today, honey,” I replied.  (I need a few more weeks to recover!)  

Here’s a fun little slide show all about Ben’s big birthday weekend!!  (A big thanks to my Dad for taking all of the photos at the birthday party, if he hadn’t I’m pretty sure I would have forgotten to take any!!)

Thank you to our friends and family for making this such a special day for us.  We missed those of you that couldn’t make it, but greatly appreciate all the birthday messages, cards and gifts sent/given to Ben!  I have to say a special thanks to my Dad and Linda too!  They flew in the night before Ben’s birthday and were delayed…arriving at 2 am instead of 10 pm.  Then we were up early Friday morning (and in bed late)  to work on the final preparations for Ben’s birthday bash.  After a whirlwind of a party on Saturday morning we all settled in that evening on the couch to watch the Olympics (and the back of our eyelids)!  Thank you for all of your help…I don’t think we could have pulled it off without you!! 

From the mouth of Ben:

We were outside playing one afternoon when Ben ran up to me and said, “Mommy, you are so cute!”  Ah, those sweet words melted my heart especially when I’m not feeling so cute these days…with a basketball for a tummy!

A couple days later while hanging out in the playroom I heard Ben tell Jake, “Mommy is big!”  So that statement didn’t quite give me the warm fuzzies like the “so cute” statement, but I did get a nice big chuckle out of it!

Jake, Ben and I were outside playing basketball one evening and Jake was trying to teach Ben how to tell me I had “mad skills” (clearly because I have such amazing basketball skills).  When Ben turned to me he said, “Mommy have mad squirrels!”  Yikes, I hope I don’t need a tetanus shot for that!

Ben was eating some diced cucumber at dinner one evening and said, “Tastes like Larry!”  (In reference to Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales!)  He likes to have a little Ranch dressing to eat with them too.  The first time he tried Ranch dressing he said, “Mmmm, smells like candy!”

We’ve been working with Ben on asking, “May I be excused please,” when he is finished with dinner.  Since he is usually the first one finished our reply is most often, “No, you need to wait until everyone else is finished.”  So recently after he asks to be excused he answers himself, “Yes, you may.”  And to make it even more fun (I’m thinking this has some connection to the “terrible twos”) he says, “That’s not fair,” when we repeat that he’ll need to wait until everyone’s done.  “That’s not fair!”  Really, are kids born with that phrase ingrained in their brains or just where did he pick that up?  We’re still trying to figure it out!

Jake and I were sitting at the table after dinner talking one evening while Ben played with his cars and trucks nearby.  Some time during our conversation Ben came up and put one hand on my leg and one hand on Jake’s leg and gave us both a little pat at the same time and said, “Be safe.”  I’m pretty sure he’s heard us tell him that about a million times! 

Ben was sitting on my lap while I was trying to put his shoes on.  The entire time I worked to put them on he was pulling on my little finger.  Then he said, “Ben pulled mommy’s finger.  Mommy toot now.”  After a good laugh, I called Jake and asked who was responsible for teaching our son the “pull my finger” joke.  His response, “Well, Uncle Tim taught it to him, but I might have reinforced it!”  Fantastic!  I can’t wait for him to do that to me in public!

Our prayers with Ben have become quite lengthy lately.  At meals he likes to pray for everything on his tray (milk, chicken, grapes…you get the idea), friends and relatives (calling them by name), mommy, daddy, Dakota, himself, baby brother, cars, trucks and anything else that might have really made an impression on him that day (like the fire truck we saw at the station or the car transporter we saw on the interstate.)  It’s always fun to find out what he’s going to pray for next! 

I was sitting outside on the back porch soaking up some much-needed sun while Jake and Ben de-pooped the yard and pulled a few weeds.  (That makes me sound kind of lazy doesn’t it…I’m pregnant people…with puffy ankles…I needed the rest!)  I was leafing through a magazine and not paying much attention when I heard Ben say, “A leaf, Mommy,” while placing something cold and wiggly on my arm.  I immediately jumped up and screamed scaring Ben half to death.  I looked down on the porch to find a chubby, round worm struggling with all of his might to get away from us.  For those of you that know me well, you know that I’m a big scaredy cat when it comes to bugs.  I wonder if there is some sort of therapy I can receive to help me overcome this fear because apparently Ben LOVES bugs and I have a feeling this will be the first of many many encounters with them!


Filed under Ben, Birthdays, Family, Food, Friends, Orlando

23 Months on January 26

(This little jewel of a post has been sitting in “drafts” for almost a month now…I think it is about time I posted it already!!) 

Trying to snap a 23 month picture proved to be quite a challenge.  Say, “CHEESE”!!

Doing what he loves best…playing outside with cars!

How is it that 23 months can feel like 23 minutes?  As I type this I’m listening to Ben sing on the monitor.  He’s in his crib, supposed to be sleeping, but would rather be singing, playing, talking!  That’s our sweet little boy.  The moment he wakes up he is galloping and running around the house playing with his toys and talking up a storm.  “Hi, Mommy.”  “Hi, Daddy.”  “Hi, Dakota.”  All the while Dakota is usually barking as he waits impatiently for his kibble, and Jake and I are fumbling around in the kitchen making coffee and deciding on what we’ll eat for breakfast.  I love how Ben welcomes each new day with grand excitement and a special kind of crazy energy!  (Wish I had an ounce of it…I could really use it these days!)

Back to that talking.  Just to give you a little insight.  Here are several clips taken over the course of a day.

He is very into taking care of his cars, trucks and trains.  Lately, his yellow train named Molly has been tagging along to the changing table where we change her diaper first (yes, we actually put a diaper on her), then Ben holds her (diapered and all) while I change his diaper.  When we call him to the table for a meal, he likes to find a vehicle that is also hungry and brings said vehicle to the table to feed it.  Here he is feeding yogurt to a truck.  (Listen closely and you can hear him making smacking noises like the truck is really eating.)

Here he is practicing “crash mode”.  While playing outside with his coveted dump truck he’s started a new thing by tipping the truck over and falling down next to it.  Then he’ll look up at me and say, “Ben and truck fall down.”  He usually goes on for several minutes wallowing around in the grass or dirt! 

While taking a bath one evening, Ben began crying and flailing his arms and legs all the while trying to scramble out of the bathtub.  After removing him from the tub and calming him down we discovered that he was scared of the blue lint floating in the tub.  Apparently his blue socks from the day had left lint between his toes and it washed off in the bathtub making him think there were “bugs” in the bathtub.  After explaining the blue bugs were just blue lint, Ben was still NOT getting into the tub.  He would tell us “Ben scared of lint.”  So after several days and several attempts of trying to get him into the bathtub, we decided to try bubbles.  Success at last.  Goodbye lint, hello bubbles.  We no longer have to worry about our son being the stinky kid.  We’ll also be keeping Mr. Bubble in business for many years to come.  We should probably buy stock in it! 

Ah, yes.  Here’s our little Da Vinci.  Ben loves to paint all kinds of things with his watercolors…including his face!

He was painting while I was making dinner one evening.  My back was to him so every now and then I’d stop and turn around to make sure things were going okay.  One time I looked up to find him painting his face and then sticking the brush in his mouth.  Thank goodness for non-toxic paint.

He was asked to decorate a Kleenex box for his Valentine’s Day party at Mother’s Morning Out.  I covered the box in construction paper, gathered up some foam Valentine’s Day stickers and red fingerpaint and let him go.  He had a joyful time lathering up his hands in red fingerpaint and smearing them on the box.  He was also delighted to find that the package of stickers contained not only hearts, but monkeys too!  After a few minutes of this he said, “All done, Mommy.”  Here’s his masterpiece!  (A funny little side note…his teachers told me that all throughout the party Ben was singing, “Happy Birthday Dear Valentine” and when they got to eat their cookies he said, “Mmmmm, yummy birthday cookie.”) 

One beautiful Saturday morning, Ben and I decided to help Jake out in the yard in preparation for Ben’s second birthday party (more on that coming soon)!!  Ben and I were in charge of pulling weeds in the flower beds.  To my surprise we actually had a lot of fun doing it and Ben was a great helper!  He wanted to wear gloves just like me!  A perfect fit, don’t you think?!?

I’m starting to think that all the stuff Ben wants to take to bed is getting a little out of hand.  Pillow, trains, Shamu, dinosaur, bath toy truck, quilt, bear, and Cars vehicles.  Where does he sleep exactly?  One night Jake and I heard the clanking of toys all night long on the monitor.  We thought Ben was up at different times during the night playing with his toys and devised a plan to remove them immediately.  The next morning when I picked him up out of the crib I  noticed that the sleep sack he was wearing was clanking.  Turns out he had decided that all of the Cars vehicles needed a blanket too.  He looked up at me and said, “Snuggle snuggle!”  (Another funny sidenote…each morning he holds up each of the Cars vehicles for me to kiss and then we pretend to feed each one gas and oil (making smacking and burping noises) BEFORE he wants to get out of bed.) 

From the mouth of Ben:

Ben sneezed the other day and said, “Bless my nose.”

One evening we stopped by Subway near our house for a sandwich.  Jake, Ben and I were sitting at the table when Ben turned and looked at me and said, “Hi, Mommy!  How are you?”

When having a conversation with Ben these days if he’s in agreement with what I’m saying he’ll respond, “I know it,” and/or “Of course, Mommy.”

We were picking up a few grocery items at a nearby store one morning and just so happened to cruise by some frozen pizzas displayed at the end of an asile when Ben said, “Pizza sounds good.”  Pizza sounds good to this kid anytime and he would most likely eat it every day if we’d let him.

I was sitting on a bar stool eating a late lunch and watching Ben play when all of a sudden I hear, “Mommy, go long.”  I looked up just in time to get pelted with a football upside my face to which Ben responded in hysterical laughter.  Cute, real cute.

After one of Ben’s recent hair cuts the stylist gave him two plastic army men to take home.  Who knew that army men could bring such joy to a little boy?  He likes to take them in the bathtub with him too and when they jump off the sides of the tub and land in the water he says, “Cowabunga dude” and “Geronimo!”  (I recently picked up a whole bag of them for a dollar…army men get lost very easily…so I keep them stashed away and pull a new one out each time we lose another one to the couch or car.)

“What’s that?”  This is one of Ben’s new FAVORITE questions.  I hear it all the time…driving in the car, reading books, out shopping, etc.  The other day we were reading The Cat in the Hat before nap time and he pointed to each and every thing on every single page and asked, “What’s that?”  Have you read The Cat in the Hat lately?  Do you know how many objects are on each page and that the book has many many pages??  Approximately 30 minutes later we finished the book and both of us needed a nap…it was exhausting! 

We were driving in the car on the way to church and heard Ben say, “Squawk!”  I turned to look at him and he said, “Squawk.  A bird, Mommy.  Squawk!”

I recently purchased a book for Ben called, 100 Ways to Know God Loves Me!  100 Songs to Love Him Back.  Each morning at breakfast Ben and I spend a little time reading a short story from the book including a Bible verse.  To my amazement Ben is actually memorizing the verses!!  His first verse was Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you.”  Another favorite he’s memorized is Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times.”  I love this verse!  We talk about it a lot…on the way to Mother’s Morning Out, playgroup, birthday parties, church, etc.  We talk about how if we are loving and helping our friends at all times then there is no time to push, scratch or hit them.  =)

In the mornings before Jake leaves for work he gives Ben a hug and kiss goodbye.  Ben will usually say, “Daddy go to work today.”  Then he’ll say, “Ben go to work today.”  We like to ask him where he’s going to work and these are his top two responses.  “Mom’s Out, play with trucks.” Or he responds, “Golf course.”  It’s tough work, but somebody has to do it! 

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