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Christmas Pictures December 19, 2008

Filed under: Beautiful People,Cassidy,Day to Day,Pictures — familydunn @ 7:53 pm
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A few weeks ago my friend Jon Ed came over to my Mama’s house to take pictures of the babes.  Cass was in a foul mood and was in serious need of a nap.  He still managed to get several good pictures of her, and there were many wonderful pictures of Caleb as well.  Although, half way through the photo shoot I heard Sam (my sister-in-law and Caleb’s mother) say, “Why don’t we just tell him to ‘smile pretty’?  I don’t think we need to tell him to ‘smile big” anymore.”  So just let your imagination run wild with what “smile big” must mean to a two year old.  Caleb did.

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That was the best picture of the two of them together.  That’s my Daddy dressed up like Santa, so I’m sure that picture will be a precious keepsake for the two of them as they get older.  Although Caleb may have figured something was up because he called Santa “Papa” a few times.  Sam pointed out that it didn’t help that my mother kept yelling “Bill!” when she’s need to get Santa’s attention. 

Good times in the Hogue house.  Also known as “Hogue Manner:  Where Daycare meets Nursing Home and We All Wear Diapers.” 

And I hope I don’t spoil anything but I got my Mom a big sign to hang over her front door with that engraved on it.  The print is big so that the elderly may be able to read it from the street and avoid any confusion. 

This is my favorite photo from the bunch.

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ISN’T THAT PRECIOUS? 

That’s the same face that made me fall for her father!

Jon Ed was great with the kids, and bonus, he travels.  So if you need a great photographer that won’t cost you and arm and a leg and second mortgage then call this guy.  Well worth it!

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Does This Kiwi Make My Butt Look Big? December 16, 2008

Filed under: Cassidy,Day to Day — familydunn @ 1:44 am

I am a big believer in trying new foods.  It promotes healthy eating.  For example, I got Scott to like strawberry soda.  And now when he drinks it he gets a healthy dose of fruit flavoring. 

Cass has never had kiwi fruit so I bought her a few when I was at the grocery store. 

I usually let Cass play with our fruit basket while I’m in the kitchen cooking, preparing a meal, or eating m&ms.  And please believe when I say I spend equal times doing all of those things. 

When I looked down I noticed that there were two kiwi squished on my kitchen floor. 

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Then I saw this.

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I wonder what happened…

 

You Make Bathtime So Much Fun November 20, 2008

Filed under: Cassidy,Day to Day,Pictures — familydunn @ 2:58 am
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Cass still has to take baths in the kitchen sink because we are still using our bathtub as storage.  I know.  I know.

I know.  I know.  I know.

A few months ago when I saw that she was going to really enjoy bath time I bought her some bath toys.  We started giving her just two or three to play with while we washed her down, but on a whim one night, the same night I apparently lost my mind, I threw her whole collection of toys in the sink during her bath.  There were 10 floating rubber toys circling her like a merry-go-round and – I don’t know how to say this serious enough – she went spastic.  It truly was the happiest moment of her life.  She was watching for the next toy to circle round and she’d pass the toy in her right hand to her left, hold that toy in her mouth, and pick up the next toy with her now empty right hand, throw the toy in her left hand down and pass the right one along.  This started happening at a pretty quick pace and she continued in her cycle for a couple minutes then looked at me with rabid bloodshot eyes and hung her head and sobbed.  SOBBED.

It was hilarious! 

So now we’re back to just 2 or 3 toys. 

She doesn’t know the world of water the tub would offer, and for now that’s ok because you should see the kitchen when she’s done with her bath.  She puts no small amount of effort into throwing the water around. 

Move over, Moses.  There’s a new kid in town.

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Like It You Will. November 18, 2008

Filed under: Cassidy,Pictures — familydunn @ 3:23 am
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The force is with her.

 

Seven Months October 7, 2008

Filed under: Cassidy,Pictures — familydunn @ 2:15 am

Baby Cass,

I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW OLD YOU ARE! 

You have teeth.

    

You can crawl.  I can’t get a good picture of it because the minute you see the camera you pose.  You’re such a HAM!  You’re such a CHEESE!  You’re such a HAM AND CHEESE!  You’re just trying to make people think you’re happy all the time.  Yeah, right.  I was glad you started crawling, cause now instead of carrying you around while you cry I let you crawl around by yourself and cry.  I think it’s working out for both of us.

    

You eat baby crackers.

Every time we take you out to eat you laugh.

    

And oh sweet buddha you are so ticklish!

You turned seven months three days ago.  Why didn’t I have this up three days ago?  Well, you can ask me questions like that when you can talk and think of them yourself.  Until then you’ll just have to accept what I do without question.  And just so you know, I would love it if when you can talk you no longer accept what I do without question!  We do not intend to raise children who nominally believe and accept what they’ve been taught.  I mean, what if we’re wrong?  There’s little, maybe no, truth in just accepting things because someone says so.  And we want truth, little one.  Truth, with a capital “T”.

    

Gamma took you me and Daddy to the zoo over the weekend along with Uncle Blake, Aunt Sammie and Caleb.  It was a good time.  I tried to show you a gorilla, but you just popped your pasi in your mouth and looked around unamused, almost like you had better things to think about, like boogers and poop and when Caleb would share the Kibbles and Bits he’s always munching on.  But you loved the fish!  Daddy bought some fish food and when he threw it in the pond all the coy mangled up on the surface of the water fighting for the pellets of dried ground protein.  It made a beautiful picture, and you couldn’t quit looking.  I think you take after your Daddy and his love for the abstract.  He spent some time taking pics of images that caught his abstract eye.  Isn’t he sweet?  Me and you, Cass, are lucky to have that guy. 

    

Cass, I want you to know that we love you.  You have changed our lives.  Made us think.  Made us think differently than we did before.  Our nation is about to undergo a huge change, and Dad and I are very seriously considering rallying around some ideas and policies that we were taught as “wrong”.  I don’t put “wrong” in quotations so that you can one day tell me that wrong is a relative term, because it’s certainly not.  There is real evil and real goodness in this world, and it seems now that we have to made decisions based on what would have the best outcome for the common good and if we err, hopefully, we err on the side of mercy and compassion toward those less fortunate than us. 

I also want you to know that I’m not always so merciful or compassionate.  Full of passion, no doubt, but sometimes passionate for myself and my own way.  I can be very selfish, Cass, but I don’t want to be that way.  Thankfully, it doesn’t look like God is willing to give up on me, even though some of his people seem to be.  I will never give up on you Cass, and neither will Jesus.  He is the Jesus that the Bible says he is.  Not the mean, rule bearer, God of “NO”, that he is sometimes portrayed as being.  I hope you will come to love him and love people because of him.  I hope you understand that loving someone means lovingthem in spite of your differences, not just toleratingthem.  I want you to know that loving a person means being honest with them.  Perfect love drives out fear.  We may never reach a perfect love, but we can strive for it.  We can strive to be honest, genuine, without a hint of deceit.  We can do our best to understand each other without judgement, and although it’s hard, we can learn to have grace in the face of those who judge us. 

You’ll learn as you grow that your Daddy and I are not interested in pretending to have it all together.  We are a mess, and a mess is how we portray ourselves.  Because that’s truth.  Jesus is helping us to be less of a mess.  And that’s Truth.  You, cause you live in the same house and sleep in the next room, will get to see first hand some of the messiness of our lives, but you can rest assured that we love each other through every bit of the hardships and trial and judgements we face.  If anything, we love each other more because of them.  We love you more, too.   

20 years from now we may share this conversation over a few beers.  Speak as adults.  Sojourners.  We have lots of hopes for you Cass, but none more than for you to be a person who is willing to love God and love your neighbor, whoever they may be and whatever they may do, and that’s a process.  We are still learning.

    

I believe that the Bible is true even to the point that what is not mentioned is not mentioned on purpose.  I believe the things that are not clean cut, things that are not mentioned, are that way for a reason.  I feel like I’ve been forced into a corner with my beliefs and forced to make decisions on things that God has not set clear boundaries on.  I now think that the things we don’t know were not meant to be known by us.  I think we are meant to travel through life without knowing everything.  We have been given everything we need, and what we don’t need is up for interpretation.  Our lives are meant to be lived in participation and anticipation to know more. 

    

For us, this means living a life that some don’t agree with, and unfortunately some of these people want to force their views on us.  They tried to shame us and scare us, Cass, but we won’t give in.  We’re going with God, and we’re so so so glad He’s willing to have us follow.  We can’t wait to see what He’s got planned!

I love you, Booty.

Love, Mama

 

Cry Me a River October 2, 2008

Filed under: Cassidy,Pictures — familydunn @ 12:11 pm

    

    

    

    

 

How to Self Induce: Threaten Homemade C-Section September 25, 2008

Filed under: Cassidy,Mommyhood,Pictures — familydunn @ 7:30 pm

Sweet Cass,

It was seven months ago today that I was due to have you.  It was seven months ago today that I WAS NOT DILATED AT ALL, YOU HAD NOT DROPPED AT ALL, AND I WAS MAKING DEATH THREATS TO DOCTORS IF THEY DID NOT HAVE YOU REMOVED IMMEDIATELY!  It was such a sweet and plesant time in my life.

 

It’s hard to believe now that I had to wait 10 days before anyone would actually plead my case and take you from me.  I was so ready to meet you.  More importantly, I wanted to be able to roll over in bed without your father having to hoist me over like a hump back whale that’d been caught in the sand a little to close to shore.  Even more importantly, I wanted to be able to laugh or cough or sneeze or just breathe without peeing on myself.  Or fart.  It really was the only time my gas has rivaled your father’s.  And listen to me very closely – I don’t ever EVER want that to happen again!  It really was such a precious time. 

 

Even though I gained almost 90 pounds I didn’t get stretch marks until I was 36 weeks along.  You were so gentle and sweet to me up until that point.  And then, well, I guess you wanted out just as much as I wanted you out because you put stretch marks on me the likes of which I’ve never seen.  They puffed up like blisters and eventually split open and bled though my shirts.  Everyone says that pregnant women glow, and truly, I was a sigh to behold.  Easy on the eyes, I was.

Once I walked into Barnes and Noble and the old lady who cleans the shelves ran up to the front and said I KNEW IT HAD TO BE YOU!  I COULD SEE YOUR SILHOUETTE FROM THE BACK OF THE STORE AND I THOUGHT THAT MUST BE KRISTEN.  She then asked me asked me how I got there because she knew it would be impossible for me to drive myself at that point, seeing as she didn’t think I could fit behind the wheel of my car.  And that Cass, made me mad.  You’re Daddy had to shut her up before your Mommy was arrested for homicide.  It only made me mad because it was true.  My belly was much larger than my arm span.  Truth be told, you were the one driving in those last months.

Now you are crawling around the living room, spitting at inanimate objects, panting in excitement over the lint you find on the floor.  I’m looking at you remembering these things, and you know what, you were so totally and completely worth every bit of it. 

Dad and I sometimes lay in bed at night and check out my stretch marks to see if they’ve faded at all.  It looks like some redneck got in his monster truck and peeled out on my belly.  So, yeah, they’ve faded quite a bit.

However badly we both must have wanted change at that point we just couldn’t seem to make it happen.  Maybe you did it to spite me, but I don’t think so.  I think we just couldn’t get it together.  Couldn’t make things work.  Cass, I want you to know that anywhere I’ve gotten in life it’s because I’ve failed my way there.  The only reason I have hope is because of Jesus.  He loves me so much.  I know there are people who are going to tell you that I don’t, and that if you act like me then you don’t either, but that’s just not true.  I want so badly for you to know him and how amazingly lovely his love is.  I hope I can show you that while we go through life together. 

That’s what we’re doing, baby.  We’re going through life together.  I’ve thought many times that I don’t know why, and so much more seriously I DON’T THINK IT’S FAIR, that you are mine.  Shouldn’t you belong to someone more capable?  Someone better than me?  I want to do right by you, but I know myself and I know I won’t.  I’m going to mess up with you.  I’m going to fail you at some point.  Just thinking about it makes my throat swell and I find it hard to breathe. 

 

Looking back at pregnancy, remember how utterly miserable I was, it gives me some remnants of something that resembles excitement filled endurance.  We made it through that.  It took us 10 days longer than expected, a 24 hour labor, and an emergency surgery, but we made it.  Me and you, Kid.  That gives me hope.  We will make it again. 

Whatever comes our way, and I’m sure there will be plenty, we’ll make it.  Even if it takes longer than expected.  Even if there is pain involved.  Even if things don’t go as planned.  Even if you make me pee on myself.  Even if you give me gas.  We’ll make it.  Because you’re so totally and completely worth it.

I love you Pumpkin Face.

Love, Mama