Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Carter Pavona Hundt: Month 10

Our not so little Bing Bong is TEN months old.  Here's what's been up with him...

What We Learned About Carter:
This month Carter has been all about practicing to walk.  He LOVED to use the toy walker thing we have and he also likes to practice while holding on to someone's hands.  He can stand on his own now for a moment, but hasn't been brave enough to try to move his legs.  I'm assuming taking steps will be anytime now.  Since day one, he's been wanting to do what his brothers are doing; certainly walking is no exception.  His brothers are doing a fantastic job of making sure he stays safe.  If we are upstairs in a bedroom, Judah will rush to shut the door so Carter can't crawl away to head for the stairs.  If we are in our family room, they will make sure he stays there so he doesn't go heading towards the basement stairs.  Nolan and Judah, especially Judah, love to regulate on his behavior and make sure he's not touching, eating, or going near anything he shouldn't.  It's cute to watch, but they need to cut him a little slack too.  He needs to explore and touch and experience things and of course is always under safe surveillance from Josh and I.   

He's definitely still in the stage or not wanting to be left alone (was he ever NOT in that stage?! I'm not sure).  If he is in a room solo for even a few seconds, he breaks down into tears.  

Diaper changes have been SUCH a struggle with him.  He HATES them...just hates them.  He cries, flops all over like a fish, and tries to crawl away.  This in of itself is not easy, but then, heaven forbid he should successful get away, he will no doubt pee on the floor within a minute or two.  

Carter loves to play peek-a-boo and he will lead it himself.  His favorite is to go behind a closet door and then open it up and peek his head through and then repeat and repeat and repeat.  It's so stinking adorable I can't even.  

I've been paranoid he won't like books as much as his brothers do.  Nolan and Judah, especially Nolan, will pick up books to read before most any other toy and they've always been that way. When they were little, we would spend a good chunk of the day reading books.  With Carter, I am having to do things to keep him busy and also things to keep his brothers busy so reading happens, a lot, but not as much as it used to.  Carter is a lot more into doing what his brothers are doing than sitting and exploring through a book.  This month, though, he's been much more engaged in them, which has been great.  He maintains the same favorites, but also likes Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?, Where's My Sweetie Pie?, and any touch/feel book.  

He's been great in the bathtub lately and is turning into quite the little fish, just like his brothers.

Some Firsts:
-February 22nd --> Stood on his own for the first time
-Early March --> Tries spaghetti for the first time... such an important milestone for a Pavona
-Carter can also wave now

What I Learned About Being a Mom:
This month, I've been more disciplined with my fitness.  Josh and I got a membership to Planet Fitness in January and I've been going, but back problems and a couple of bouts of sickness did not allow me to get as consistent with it as I would like.  This month, I've been going there as well as doing some workouts at home.  I am trying to workout two or three days a week and I'm satisfied with that for now.  It's been ten months since I've had a baby, I guess it's about time I exercise a little more ;) It's been a lot harder to "bounce back" after Carter... working out is just not a priority for me right this second.

Josh and I don't have much alone time together.  We cherish and look forward to the time after all three boys are in bed and the rare occasions where I don't have school work to do or there isn't a huge amount of cleaning to do either. If a "free night" arises, we've been "celebrating" often by getting some kind of treat, which is usually ice cream.  It was becoming like an equation.  No work or household commitments + everyone in bed = FOOD.  It was like a date night for us; we don't get out much afterall :)

Lent started this month and both Josh and I gave us sweets.  This has been a HUGE punch in the face to our routine in a good way.  Instead of vegging out and eating ice cream, we've played some board games, or vegging out without the food and that's been totally fine.  Eating less junk coupled with exercising a bit more consistently has been helpful for my overall psyche.

I went to our family doctor about my back this month as well.  I have pulled some kind of muscle that keeps getting re-injured in all the regular human lifting and chasing I'm doing all the time, but I also had him take a look at my abdomen as well.  A while back, after Nolan and Judah were born, I wrote about having diastasis recti, which is a separating of your abdominal muscles.  I've felt like, after Carter, that's even gotten worse.  It's hard to describe without seeing, but my stomach is saggy; like supper saggy.  Also, when I wake up, my stomach looks kinda flatish... by the time I'm done eating throughout the day, I look like I'm at least 25 weeks pregnant.  My belly button is still popped out and sticks out terribly.  My whole stomach area really is in bad shape.

At first, as I was describing, the doctor was blowing it off as no big deal, just like my OBGYN did.  Then he had me lay down so he could feel around a bit.  As he was doing that, his face looked a little weirded out. I said, "yeah, not normal right?!" and he said with absolute certainty "Nope, not at all."  He shared with me that basically I have no abdominal muscles at all; nothing is holding in any of the important organs around there and that basically, if he pushed enough, he could've probably went from my belly button and felt all the way to my spine.  It was important for me to hear and confirm that my stomach area is not normal.  It cannot be corrected with exercises, but only surgery.  He seemed to think that I might need  a fake netting of some sort put in to hold everything in place.  I am BEYOND thankful Nolan and Judah were big big babies, but MAN did they mess me up.  I'm not sure what I will do about this, but it was comforting to be taken seriously about it.  I'm well aware your body changes after pregnancy, but I'd sure like my organs to be protected in there. Sheesh.    

First Valentine's Day <3

Not sure he likes playing in the snow
This is Carter. 

Lots of snow during this month! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Church: The Most Difficult, but Most Important Hour of our Week

Josh and I work hard to take our three kids to church.  I will honestly say it might be the longest, hardest, most difficult hour of our week.  

We will attend whatever church seems to have the most convenient time for us on any particular week, but would choose every time, if we can get up, dressed, fed, and ready on time, to go to the 8:00am church at St. John's Student Parish in East Lansing.

We started driving there, from Holt, when Nolan and Judah were probably six months old.  The 8:00am mass was a perfect for us at the time: We could totally be up and ready to go (boys were waking up at 6:30 on a good day) and we'd be home in time to put them down for a morning nap when we got home.  We went there for convenience, but stumbled upon an amazing "church family" there that we now love very much.  There are several families that have been sitting in the same spot, at the same mass, for years and years.  We, on accident, picked to sit by them and have been there ever since.  They have totally takes us in.  They go out of their way to talk to the boys, ask us how we are doing, and have truly made us feel welcome since the first time we showed up at that mass... seriously, the first time.  We left there that day knowing we would drive out of our way again and again to be around that atmosphere.  One older couple in particular, "Mr. Bob" and "Ms. Elaine," really watch over us and even used to hold the boys when they were little and now try to get Nolan and Judah to sit with them during mass.  

The BEST thing these families do is accept us fully when our kids are NOT perfectly behaved.  Let's be real: I have three very active boys under three; they are NOT perfectly behaved in church.  This community giggles when Nolan tries to take money OUT of the baskets or when Judah tries to run away from us after communion, or when Carter is squirming wanting SO badly to just be put down so he can crawl and explore.   They also look at us with understanding when Josh and I have had to shuffle people in and out of the chapel because someone was crying or having a temper tantrum.  

Taking small children to church is a lot of work: it is exhausting, embarrassing, and Josh and I are not getting that much out of mass ourselves at the moment.  I'm lucky if I can remember one of the readings and Josh and I often have to check in with each other to make sure we understand the message of the homily since, chances are, we each only caught bits and pieces of it.  Our Catholic faith is important to us, but is this torture worth it?  We often drive home frustrated and wondering why we even bother. 

But then...Judah will put his hand in the holy water and try the sign of the cross after mass is over.
But then...Nolan will kneel down next to me during mass.
But then...Judah will sing the "Hallelujah" hymn at home.
But then... Nolan will walk up to the huge crucifix hanging on the wall, touch the feet of Jesus and tell him "hi." 
But then...Carter starts "singing" (more like screaming) when others in the church are as if he's trying to participate.
But then...all three of my boys see others looking at them and interacting with our family with love, compassion, kindness, acceptance, and understanding. 

To me, that's so much of what being a Catholic really is anyways, those five words: love, compassion, kindness, acceptance, and understanding.  My boys not only hear that in the scriptures, songs, and rituals of mass, but they see it in action from the people who go to that mass and fill up that church each week.   

The more time has gone on, the more our boys confirm to us that going to church is the right thing to do.  Even more than that, we know that trying to go to THAT church at THAT time is the right thing to do.  So we scramble and rush... throw on clothes, scarf down a breakfast, and rush out the door as often as we can to show up at 8:00am at St. John's Parish in East Lansing.  Even despite the nice people who sit near us, Josh and I still get embarrassed and frustrated and it still is a whole lot of work, but we show up and that's what's important.