Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cameron's New Pet

Those of you who know me well would know that I had a near heart-attack when I met Cameron's new pet.

This little (or should I say BIG) guy made his home right off of the side of our front porch. I have an EXTREME fear of spiders. I really hate them. Yes, I know "hate" is a very strong and not a very nice word...which is why I feel perfectly okay using it in this situation. :) This has got to be the LARGEST spider (and I mean THE LARGEST) I have ever seen (besides a tarantula). As you can see, it's as big as a plank of our siding. It's easily as big as the palm of my hand. I immediately started to tell Cam to kill it but he was too busy playing with it.

Now, in Utah the only thing I really had to deal with was the Black Widow...which I found them quite often making their sticky little homes on the stairs in my parents garage. I avoided going down those stairs like the plague. I use to dread the Christmas season because I KNEW that meant many a trip up and down those stairs carrying box after box of my mother's ENDLESS supply of Christmas decorations. By the way Mom, who does that now that I live in Missouri???

Anyway back to the that I live here in "Misery" I not only have Black Widows to worry about, but also tarantulas and the VERY scary Brown Recluse (which are VERY common here).

Side note: Last year I was walking off of the Showboat after work and Cameron and I walked around a corner and I almost stepped on a HUGE tarantula....traumatic experience.

My other "side note": A lady that we worked with on the Showboat was just sitting at her desk in her office and was bit by a brown recluse numerous times. She's now completely blind in her left eye.

I'm starting to think: "What in the world was Heavenly Father thinking about when he chose Missouri?"

Anyway, back to our new "pet." I, being the paranoid person that I am, immediately ran into the house and Googled this spider. I was SO incredibly happy to learn that it's a Yellow Garden Spider and COMPLETELY harmless. Ever since I learned this bit of material, we have co-existed together in (or on) the same house for almost a month now. Family: You should be so proud of me. This little guy has brought such a fascination of spiders into my life. Amazing isn't it? I find myself watching him quite often. I've also found myself joining in on Cameron's fun of finding a grasshopper or katydid and throwing them to the mercy of the UNmerciful black and yellow spider. It's so interesting to watch him move so quickly. Wrapping and wrapping and wrapping that web so quickly and efficiently. It always reminds me of Frodo and that HUGE spider (for you Lord of the Rings fans).
He has the most amazing and most beautiful web I think I've ever seen. Kind of like Charlotte's web. It's so amazing to see at the end of the day the imperfections and signs of battle and war that have occurred on that web throughout the day. Then, come morning, the web is once again restored to it's perfect and beautiful state. It has made me think of this thing that I've feared my entire life and what beauty has come from such a scary and intimidating creepy-crawley. But, it also makes me think of the many imperfections and battles that have occurred in my own life. I'm grateful for the Atonement in my life. I love knowing that my imperfections will be made whole by the time the "morning" rolls around. Can you tell I teach Sunday School? :)

This is just a cute picture I took this morning. Kashton's favorite toy lately is his feet. He's also officially 5 months old now (as of yesterday!).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Summertime...and Colic!!!

Hello everyone!!! I thought I would break away from MySpace and try this out instead. This will be a MUCH easier way to keep you all posted on the happening of our family rather then my newsletter that I send via email. I think I'll enjoy this a bit more too. Well, I know the last time I wrote a newsletter was when Kashton was born, is what has happened since then.

Kashton was born April 26, 2007!!! We learned very quickly that something just didn't seem quite right with him. Yes, he was a perfectly healthy little boy...BUT...the crying, crying, crying,crying....and the CONSTANT spitup that left me changing my clothes and his clothes a few times a day. Not to mention all the showers that were taken if the spit-up ended up all in my hair (ugh, long hair). So, what could possibly be the problem? Yup, you guessed it!! We were blessed with the colicky baby from ....well, you know where. I'm pretty sure I cried more than he did, the entire time thinking: "What did I do to deserve this?"

Because I stopped working to become a stay-at-home mom, that just meant that Cameron (bless him) had to work harder. That also meant that I was in this pretty much alone considering that Cameron leaves the house at 8:00 AM and doesn't come home until 11:00PM. The only comfort I really had was thinking Heavenly Father probably really trusted me with this little guy.

Mom was able to come out here and help for a week and that was the biggest blessing of my life. Cameron's younger brother Cory came to live with us the day I came home from the hospital. It was a bit of a challenge with a new baby, being a first time mom, being 2,000 miles away from family and home, and having a semi-permanent house guest who will be staying with us until January.

I needed a bit of a break. So I went back to Utah when Kashton was six weeks old. I was SO happy to be there and to have the opportunity for my family to all meet him. It's been so difficult living away knowing that he's growing up not knowing any of his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. While I was in Utah, it was the Larsen Family Reunion. We went down to Panguitch, Utah ( close to Bryce Canyon) and had so much fun camping and hiking. Yes, I took my six week old hiking and I would do it again, knowing that we're in the good hands of my family. We went on some pretty difficult hikes that involved passing kids up and down cliffs and climbing up and down ropes. I loved to watch the teamwork of my family. None of us would've EVER made it through these hikes without each other. It was SO much fun. You can click on these pictures to get a close up of them. I love this picture of the "system." It shows what it took to get Kashton from me, to brother-in-law Jeff, to brother Jess (wedged in the "slot"), and up to the top to cousin Brandon. was FUN!!
It was such a rejuvinating vacation for me. It was also nice to have a break from the colic. Kashton was constantly passed and bounced from one sister, to another, to sister-in-laws, to mom, to aunts....and it was nice to just sit and relax. :) And I know I keep saying this over and over...but ya'll (yes, I've been living in Missouri for TOO long) take advantage of where you live. It was SO nice to actually be able to walk through the grass barefoot. I think I did it everyday while I was there.

Kashton was blessed the 1st of June. It was sad to not have my family there. I probably cried a bit more than I should have. But none-the-less it was nice that Cam's parents were able to come out. I'm glad his dad Ron was there in the circle with Kashton.

We had our first and only (so far) family photo on the day of his blessing. We felt so blessed that our non-member friends came to share the special day with us. As much as I don't like living here, we really do have such amazing and caring friends who would do anything for us.

As difficult as this summer has been, there really has been some incredibly rewarding times. Of course, whenever there was a break with the colic and I could get Kashton to be happy...the camera came out. Here are some fun memories of his first few months.

Going swimming in Table Rock Lake with Cameron when he was two months old. That's the Showboat where Cameron (and I use to) works. I didn't get the camera out quick enough for his first "dunk" in the water. He didn't like it too much. :)

This was Kashton's theatrical debut on the Showboat. We went and saw Cameron's show and our good friend Bob brought Kashton out on stage with him. Yup, that's Kashton crying in the microphone and the WHOLE audience going "AAWWW!" And I'm thinking "Oh great, now I have to calm him down." Sure enough, I spent the entire show bouncing him at the back of the theater. Luckily, Kashton has a pretty quiet cry.

Early morning feedings and Sunday afternoon naps together.

He can't fall asleep without his monkey right next to his face.

Cameron's younger sister Carlie and her family (husband Jared and son Talen) moved to Virginia over the summer. En route, they took a detour down to our neck of the woods. It was so fun to spend time with them...something we've never really had a chance to do. We took them to Silver Dollar City and rode some goofy rides, took them to see Cameron's show and Kashton made a liar out of me. He was a complete angel the entire time. Maybe he just likes being with family. As you can see from the picture below, he was a little charmer. Why can't he always be like this?? Thanks Carlie for the cute pictures. And by the way, how come we never took a picture of the two cousins, Talen and Kashton together? Sigh!!!! Next time!!!

I think our pediatrician got tired of me breaking down into tears everytime I walked into her office. She just kept giving me the same answer for EVERYTHING. "You just have a very colicky child and he will soon grow out of it. Then you'll never remember that he was ever colicky." Seriously!!! HOW CAN I POSSIBLY FORGET???? Well, he's 4 1/2 months old now and THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL...finally. Within the past week and a half he has become a different baby. I'm starting to think that maybe motherhood isn't so bad after all.
Because of the colic, the pediatrician had us start him on solids...but only specific ones. We started him on oatmeal cereal and prunes. YES...prunes!!!! To my family (all the rest of you, this is probably "too much information" so you may skip over this part): you have always mentioned how you only had to change a "dirty" diaper on me only once a week. Mom, you've mentioned how concerned you were for me and my lack of BM's ("bowel movements" for those of you who don't speak "Oprah"). Well, I guess I'm getting a taste of my own medicine. I only change a dirty diaper about once in five days. So, we have a diet of prunes and oatmeal...and so far it's not working very good. He may look like his daddy on the outside...but he's mommy on the inside. :) I have some cute pictures anyway.


He still hasn't grasped the concept of the JohnnyJumpUp. He just likes to chew on the bar and then cry after about three minutes.

Two cute boys about to take a bath.

This was so cute. I could hear him "talking" (or "singing"...which he does VERY loudly, especially during Sacrament meeting) in his room after a nap. When I walked in there, he had discovered his feet and was just having a little conversation with them. It was precious.

Bathtime is my FAVORITE time of day. It calms him and he's VERY happy, laughing at everything and suddenly I become the funniest person in the world. It does wonders for my self-esteem. :) My child thinks I'm pretty cool!!!

Well, as I was saying earlier. Kashton has become a new baby. It took him to be almost 5 months old, but he's just now starting to grow out of the colic. He's a very finiky (spelling?) baby that CONSTANTLY wants to be entertained. He will fuss all day long without someone or something to entertain him...only for him to get bored after 5 min. I'm on my toes with him all day. He has started to laugh quite a bit and he sits up pretty good for only a second (and then he face plants and smiles at the trip to the floor he just took). As of yesterday I got so frustrated with constantly trying to entertain him, I broke down and bought him a walker. Hopefully this will do the trick (for at least 10 minutes). I don't see how you people that have more than one child do it. All of my time and energy go to him...I can't see how I could have more than one child with Kashton being the way that he is. Maybe that's why he's my first. :) You're probably wondering how I've written such a long blog. Well, it's taken me two days and working as fast as I can during naps. Currently, he's bouncing on my knee trying to grab at the keyboard while I type with one finger. :)

This is a picture of him in his new walker with Hershey in the background laying in the sun...she's missing Grandpa Duane. :) And I LOVE this picture. His favorite song is "If You're Happy and You Know It," he's singing it with me.

Well, we're all doing good. Kashton's happier, he's been sleeping through the night for the past week, we're all happier. I just love this little boy......and I miss all of you!!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Blogger

Well, I'm very new at this "blogging" thing. I've spent about two and a half hours trying to figure out how to use this thing and I'm VERY SLOWLY understanding. However, I have a very unhappy little boy right now. As most of you mommys out there can relate. I'm currently bouncing him on my hip while typing with one hand. I'll try to get this site up and running within the next few days. Right now it's important to go spend some quality time with Kashton. be continued!!!!