Monday, August 12, 2013

John Paul is 5, y'all!

Our eldest has reached 5 years old. I breathe a sigh of relief today in the midst of the joy. I have heard quite recently that the first 5 years of parenting are the most difficult. God has brought us through it... and given us 6 children in the last five years. Praise Him for His Goodness to us! So who is John Paul?

The first moments after his birth were overwhelming joy and exhaustion. He needed that first heel stick, and David slapped on a rubber glove and put his pinky in John Paul's little mouth to help him soothe himself while getting the stick.

I had labored (we had labored) for 25 hours, and we waited to find out what he was. So David took too long to tell me that I yelled, "WHAT IS IT?!?" He later informed me that there was "so much going on down there" that he really couldn't tell for a bit.

After he was wrapped up and in David's arms (and I was covered up as well), a crowd of our family and friends came into the room and David said, "I would like you to meet somebody. This is John Paul." Not a dry eye in the room, y'all.

 The first 6 months were no piece of cake. We were basically alone in Plaquemine, LA, David taught religion and coached high school girls' basket ball, and I stayed home. But somehow, he didn't seem to notice, and he really was a happy baby. I honestly cannot tell you if he was a textbook baby, early, late bloomer, or if he was a super easy baby. I only remember that he didn't have colic, he slept through the night 1 time until he was weaned at 14 months (after receiving his 8 weeks shots), and he thought Daddy was the greatest. I remember we rented blockbuster movies (before switching to netflix to save some money) almost every night for the first 4 months or so because the nursing/rocking/bedding process seemed to take so long, and we distracted ourselves from it's difficulty by watching a movie while it was going on. I was so focused on making him a convenient baby (sleeping all night, napping for hours, etc) that I wished away those precious few months, something I will always regret. But God has gifted me with Micah, who looks so stinkin' similar to John Paul that I feel like He's given me a chance to enjoy these first few months... like a do-over somehow.

Our first summer as parents we felt called to return to camp- where we first met 6 years prior- and David ran the girls' paddling program, while John Paul and I did the camp thing in North Carolina. A mobile, but not-walking baby boy... how did I do that? He was so overstimulated that he woke up at least 3 times a night. Lots of singing and shouting and lots and lots of girls wanting to hold him all day. That would overstimulate anyone. He was a champ, and he stole many hearts.

 We returned to LA the week that John Paul turned a year old... and were preparing to move to Lake Charles bc David had become the new High School youth minister for OLQH!

 We had a precious little man and were expecting our second baby. That first month we were in town, we met and fell in love with one of John Paul's favorite people...

I'm not for arranged marriage per say, but Giana Lewis is my pick. I can already see this picture at the sign in table of their wedding reception. Don't worry, he's not called to priesthood... that's Jacob.

We then welcomed our little girl...

We call this one, "I kissed Therese"

Then came his second birthday...

He has always been a loving, observant, and predictable little boy. He is dead set on justice for all, and he helps remind me of what I need to do next (bc he needs to know what comes next). David describes him as the runner on the bottom of the screen on Fox News. I never cease to have a play-by-play on everything that goes on... he keeps us strait!

He turned three, and a few months later, we welcomed Jacob Joseph...

      (in case you're wondering, that really is Jacob in John Paul's arms. If you can believe it all four children came out with dark complected skin and dark hair. They all lost all their hair within in the first month, and they all "lightened" up by 2 months.)

We celebrated his fourth birthday during his first trip to Colorado (thanks Granny and Grandpa). We spent time with our Colorado family!

John Paul's fourth year has been one of joy and challenge, as he has really grown into his big wonderful intelligent personality. We attempted some homeschooling for pre-K, and he dropped his nap, but would (and still) rests quietly while everyone (including mama) rests in the house. This kid is awesome, y'all!
John Paul and Liam at T's 3rd birthday party

We welcomed Micah in May, and John Paul has blown us away at his thoughtfulness ("Mom, thank you for nursing Micah") , his joy in his siblings ("Mom, can I pull up a chair and watch Micah while he sleeps/ while you nurse him?"), his desire to take care of them ("Mom, I'll rock him to sleep" "Jacob's awake, can I go see him?") and his intelligence (We're starting Kindergarten at home, and he is reading some and can recognize numbers through 100). Fine motor is... coming along. He's a boy, ya know?

I would be remiss if I didn't give a plug for his namesake who will be made a saint this year...
John Paul II, pray for us!
I'll conclude with a "thanks" for being willing to let me brag about my baby... and for putting up with lots of "just-birthed-a-baby" photos of me. 
And a prayer...

Heavenly Father, Thank you for the gift of our son John Paul. Thank you for all the ways that you have blessed us and challenged us. We never knew it was possible to  love in this way, and we praise you for counting us worthy to be his earthly parents and co-creators of his life with you. We pray that he knows he is loved and cherished just as he is and not as we wish him to be. We pray for his vocation, that he may be connected to you and know what you desire for his life. We pray that we will always pray for guidance before we decide ourselves and that we always remember that he is your child. Bless him abundantly today and every day until he is with you in Heaven. Amen

1 comment:

Maria said...

Oh what a great post. I can't get over how you take the time and energy and creativity to paint such beautiful pictures of your precious children. Thanks for including my munchkin. They certainly are blessed in their early little friendship. <3