Wednesday, August 27, 2014

4 Months

Well, we are comfortably settling into our new routine.  We are certainly busier than we were this time last year, but I'm definitely finding that managing two kiddies isn't as bad as I expected.  Don't get me wrong, they test me...sometimes daily, but it isn't the sheer chaos that I had mentally prepared myself for.  I actually feel so thankful that I get to spend my days with these two sweet little ones.  But they sure keep me on the go!

Elena is LOVING the new routine, though she is exhausted when bedtime rolls around.  She is doing so well in school three mornings a week, which gives Cal and me some quality time together. The remaining two days a week we are at the Jackson Center.  So no more "free days" to fill in with something "fun", but having busier days generally is better for all of us.

I just can't believe how quickly my babies are growing.  Elena has totally turned into a little girl over night.  She is such a sweet, little social butterfly.  I have no doubt if she could talk, that she would be getting notes from school saying she got in trouble for talking.  This isn't surprising, knowing she comes from a LONG line of Buchanan family "talkers".  :)

Cal turned four months old yesterday.  We are officially in uncharted territory.  Elena spent her four month birthday in a coma, on a ventilator in the Riley Hospital PICU.  I have been struggling a bit lately with those memories and the realization of just how little she was.  I'm not kidding when I say every.single.thing. Calvin does seriously amazes Chad and me.  Not because every parent thinks their child is the best at everything, but because we know how much effort it takes Elena to be able to do the very same thing.  Eye contact?  Amazing.  Grabbing things?  Unreal.  Rolling over?  Unimaginable.  Grabbing his feet?  Miraculous.  Every little thing from taking a bottle, to sucking his thumb, to recognizing me across the room blows my mind.  I take a bit of pride in the fact that Chad and I are able to appreciate these little things and know that watching a child develop typically is nothing short of divine.

For those reasons, Cal brings us so much joy and thankfulness, even to Elena.  It's obvious she loves her brother and his wet sloppy kisses.  She doesn't even mind him pulling her hair!  Cal still loves his "scowl".  He is full of smiles but still loves furrowing those little brows!  He has laughed at us a few times but he reallllllly makes you work hard.  His latest accomplishments include grabbing his feet, mastering the art of tummy time, rolling from his back to tummy, grabbing everything and putting it in his mouth.  He's a good sleeper and a good eater and really only grouchy when he is lacking one of those two.  He took his first swim the other day and seemed to like it.

The Hinton family continues to grow and change for the better.  As I've said many times, the future can seem so scary and so uncertain.  But God continues to shower us with His blessings and lift us up when we need lifting.  Life sure isn't easy but challenges make us stronger, give us better perspective and help make us more compassionate and understanding people.

Happy 4 Months little bring us such joy!

Thursday, August 21, 2014


As a finish to our summer, we jetted off to Florida a couple weeks ago with Chad's family to surprise his Grandparents with a family vacation.  We had a great house on Anna Maria Island and enjoyed a few days with family!

Both kids loved the beach, and I have to admit it wasn't too bad for Mom & Dad either! :)

Beach babes

 Beach Bum

The whole Marquand Crew!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


My baby went to school this week.  And to be honest, it was wayyyy harder on me than it was on her.  She did so well!  New people and new situations can be very scary for Elena, but there were no tears this week...such a BLESSING!

Elena even rode the bus yesterday morning.  She was a little nervous with all the new sounds getting onto the bus, but the driver said she did great!  It felt awfully grown up for me seriously, how did I become old enough to have a kid getting on the bus?! :)

We are so, so happy with her school and her teacher.  It's been such a low stress transition for us and that is completely attributed to the wonderful people who have helped Elena graduate to preschool.  I've felt so at ease the last two days while she's been at school.  That's really tough for me, knowing that I've been present and participatory in every therapy and doctor appointment to this point.  As any parent, I have had so many worries about how she will do at school.  Will she be getting all the services she needs?  What will she be able to learn?  How will she grow?  How will the other kids treat her?  There's so much out of my control.  The morning of her first day, I whispered a hundred prayers that she wouldn't be scared, that she would be confident and happy.  I prayed that she would love school and it would help her reach her potential.  I want Elena to continue to make a difference and be a little light wherever she goes.

Yesterday her school note blessed my heart.  Her teacher said that Elena's classmates love to play next to her and that one little boy held her hand all morning.  It's hard to relinquish some of the control with our children, especially when their needs are as great as Elena's.  But, I know she's going to thrive at school and continue to let her sweet personality shine through.  School will give Elena her opportunity to grow and shine!

First day of School!

Waiting for the bus!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Five Years

Chad and I are celebrating our five year anniversary tomorrow.  FIVE YEARS has literally gone by in the blink of an eye.

We had such a fun wedding.  We were completely surrounded by everyone we loved, wide-eyed and ready to begin our life together.  It's funny looking back to how big of a deal that day is.  I mean it IS a big deal, making a commitment in front of everyone, but it's just a blip in time.  What really matters is everything that happens afterward.

Life happens after that happy day.  Bad things happen.  Good things happen.  Life has thrown so much at us in just five short years, and I never could have made it without him. I have to say that marrying Chad was the best decision I've ever made.  Being married to him is better than I ever could have imagined.  Our life isn't perfect by any means, but we have so much to be thankful for.
I'm one lucky little lady.

Happy Anniversary Chad.  I'm so thankful to spend another year with you, my love, my best friend, my partner.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


This past week we loaded our car to the brim and headed 7 hours north to Lake Charlevoix, Michigan.  Chad's best friend's family has a place up there and we were so excited to spend a few days with them.  Their house is on a beautiful white sand beach with crystal clear's amazing.  Not to mention northern Michigan in summer is pretty much heaven on Earth.

Elena LOVED the water.  It proved she is a total water baby.  The water is pretty cold but that didn't stop her.  She had a great time playing in the sand and water.  No swimsuits needed :)

Cal had a great time too! He hated the boat ride, mostly because the life vest swallowed him up. But he loved laying on the deck and looking up at the trees.

We had a perfect little getaway and look forward to many more summers together!