Tuesday, August 27, 2013

back to school

We started school Monday. Sort of.
I thought I'd be waiting a bit longer after the baby was born to get started but it turns out we are a much happier family when we have a little structure and routine to our days. It was time.
I decided to ease into it slowly keeping the expectations low to avoid frustration. I didn't really care what we did as long as we were working on having a "school day" mindset.
first day treats
Instead of waking up and turning on cartoons, the kids found encouraging first day of school notes and treats at the table. A friendly reminder that this day would be different but good.
I made cinnamon rolls and had an extra cup of coffee while we read from Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing. It was peaceful. We haven't had such a peaceful morning together in a long time.
cinnamon rolls
the 4th grader at work
Tristan worked at some math lessons on his own while the girls sat down to reading lessons with me.
There was no mad rush to get out the door. No lost shoes to find. No scramble to remember lunches and folders and backpacks (We saved that madness for today: the first day of Classical Conversations. I honestly think a whole day of homeschooling my kids is easier than ten minutes of getting them into a car.)
Also no one brushed their hair.
the 1st grader reading
and this one. do that thing.
We probably should have brushed some hair. (And I'm pretty sure Kate's shirt was on backwards but at least we made it out of pajamas that day.)
Thankfully the littlest student in the class spent the day looking pretty much like this...
the chill baby
When he did get fussy it was more like this...
baby straight jacket
And so our school year began. We did something school-like anyway. I may not have it all together but we're doing something. And one day at a time we will keep doing some things until suddenly, as in years before, we will find ourselves at the end of another calendar wondering where the days went but having miraculously accomplished all we set out to do. Or so we hope.

Monday, August 19, 2013

our first days with donovan

August 5th was a very normal day. Normal for nine months pregnant in the summertime anyway. The kids watched too much TV and probably had something like Popsicles for lunch. They had friends come over to play in the afternoon and spent the time happily slip 'n sliding in the backyard while I made my favorite bolognese sauce for dinner. As we were sitting down at the table to eat around 6 o'clock that evening, I started making some faces and holding my belly in a way that made Shawn start watching the clock.
"It's just the way he's pushing on my hips," I said.
"It's just that it's happening every few minutes," he said.
By 9 o'clock I couldn't ignore it anymore and started to believe the contractions might not be planning to stop. We decided it would be easier to go ahead and call our friends for help overnight with the kids rather than wait and possibly drag them out of sleep at 2 a.m. We crept into the kids rooms to let them know what was happening -Tristan was excited, Kenna cried, Kate snored. Then I misplaced my phone and we spent a good 10 or 15 minutes searching for it, me pausing now and then to white knuckle door frames and furniture, before we could go. I was feeling like I might regret the plate of bolognese.
We checked into the hospital where a couple of student nurses attacked my arms with needles and then brought my husband fresh coffee. That seemed unfair. Things progressed quickly and smoothly after that and sweet, teeny Donovan was born at 2:06 a.m. A healthy 7 pound 7 ounce bundle of Campbell baby. Line him up with his brother and sisters and there's no doubt he's one of ours.
The kids were so excited to finally meet their brother. The girls think they have a live baby doll now and Tristan is super excited about no longer being the only boy. Today he actually started fretting over having to leave his little brother when he goes off to college but we assured him he has a lot of years  at home with Donovan before that happens. (Because he does right?! Right?!)
My mom flew in from Kansas City on Donovan's birthday, perfect timing even though we had intended for her to be here before he was born. (We are so very thankful for the dear friends that took care of our kids overnight and all that day before she arrived. It is no small thing to know you have friends you can call on in the middle of the night -a true blessing.) YiaYia was able to come meet Donovan in the hospital where Shawn was still in charge of the camera. Might have to try again for that shot?
After a few more hours of sitting in the hospital staring at our baby boy and kind of enjoying the quiet of parenting only one child for a little while, we were able to go home. To the madness. Happy family of six madness.
The kids made a birthday treat inspired by the Cake Boss episodes they've been watching on Netflix. It was a fantastic mess.
Donovan has been a sweet baby. He eats and sleeps and only fusses when I do something really mean to him like change his diaper or eat chocolate. Shawn had ten days of leave that flew by in a sleepy blur of naps (for me), movies with the kids, outings to the park and the bookstore (so that the house would be quiet for my naps), and lots of good meals prepared by YiaYia (while I napped.) Yes, we're a little bit tired.
But oh so very happy. This little boy is an incredible gift. I'm still in awe that he is here, that he is ours, and I am trying to savor every minute of this time and that tiny face.
Today Shawn and I celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary by taking our thirteen day old son out for dinner. Thirteen years ago we had no idea what was in store but here we are, seven moves, three deployments, four kids, approximately 14,235 cups of coffee, a few tears, and innumerable moments of joy later...still hanging on. Thank you, Lord.
Let the morning bring us word of your unfailing love, for we have put our trust in you. Show us the way we should go, for to you we entrust our lives. Rescue us from our enemies, Lord, for we hide ourselves in you. Teach is to do your will, for you are our God; may your good Spirit lead us on level ground. ~Psalm 143:8-10

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Donovan Zachary
our son
Donovan Zachary Campbell
arrived August 6, 2013 at 2:05am
7lb.7oz. of Perfect Little Boy.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

pretty hydrangeas

Would you believe all these blooms were cut from the same plant? Hydrangeas are amazing.
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