Unexpectedly Expecting

The Adventures of One Woman's Journey Into Motherhood

Pictures for a Merry Christmas!

Since I know I won’t be able to post pictures and a blog before the new year, I decided to give you an early Christmas present and post pictures only.  May you have a very blessed Christmas and New Year!!  I truly can not wait to see what the Lord has in store for us in 2014!!  Blessings!!

Checking out a fish one night at the city lake.

Checking out a fish one night at the city lake.

Enjoying the sunset while Daddy fishes.

Enjoying the sunset while Daddy fishes.

Noah's best pirate impression.  This is what I get when I say, "Smile!"

Noah’s best pirate impression. This is what I get when I say, “Smile!”

My beautiful baby boy!

My beautiful baby boy!

I almost wish I hadn't taught him to smile for the camera because now all I get are fake smiles.  :P

I almost wish I hadn’t taught him to smile for the camera because now all I get are fake smiles.😛

So excited to be carrying Daddy's fishing pole!

So excited to be carrying Daddy’s fishing pole!

Where's my little boy??  He just looks so big in this picture!

Where’s my little boy?? He just looks so big in this picture!

LOVE... need I say more?

LOVE… need I say more?

Just laying around in the leaves.

Just laying around in the leaves.

Cheering Daddy on as he races go carts at the Factory!

Cheering Daddy on as he races go carts at the Factory!

Such a cutie!!

Such a cutie!!

Very first taste of cotton candy.  Love it!

Very first taste of cotton candy. Love it!Love the lighting, don't love the look.  Not sure what I did right with the lighting on this pic but I really like it.  :)Love the lighting, don’t love the look. Not sure what I did right with the lighting on this pic but I really like it.🙂

Eating one of two massive pork chops in Franklin, NC.

Eating one of two massive pork chops in Franklin.

A little Mommy silliness with Aunt Hetty in Helen.

A little Mommy silliness with Aunt Hetty in Helen.

Noah and his buddy Hugh.

Noah and his buddy Hugh.

Our good friend Holle stopped by on her way to Atlanta.  We had to wrap Noah up so he would take a picture with her.  ;)

Our good friend Holle stopped by on her way to Atlanta. We had to wrap Noah up so he would take a picture with her.😉

Noah has decided that he loves to cross his legs when he lays down.

Noah has decided that he loves to cross his legs when he lays down.

My little drummer boy!

My little drummer boy!

Sitting at the table and eating like a big boy!

Sitting at the table and eating like a big boy!

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Talk, Run, Sit, Sleep, Eat, repeat

Well, as I sit here with two quiet little boys (I’m babysitting today), I figured I might have enough time to write my blog… since it’s only been two months since my last blog.😛 Here goes nothing!🙂

Thinking over the past two months, I really feel like time has flown by. In the past two months, we’ve been to my mother’s house twice, to the ER twice, said goodbye to dear friends and endeavored to make new ones, enjoyed the fall weather but not the time change, and a lot of other things that I’m sure will come to mind as I keep writing.

First, we went to my mother’s house to help clean out some of my stuff and start getting the house ready to sell. While Joel was pruning the pyracantha on the chimney, he disturbed a wasp/hornet nest and was stung. By the time I got back to the house from an errand, he was having trouble breathing. I gave him two Benadryl tablets, woke Noah up from a much-needed nap, and headed back in to town. Joel wanted to go to an urgent care so we went to the one at the hospital. They had just closed but Joel’s breathing had calmed down. So we weren’t sure what to do next. We drove 3 miles to the other urgent care where Joel went in by himself while I got Noah out of the car. As soon as I walked in the door, Joel crumpled to the floor and started to pass out. The nurses came around and started asking all kinds of questions. Then they proceeded to tell us that they had called an ambulance.

My heart sank. I couldn’t believe this was happening again!

For those who don’t know, Joel had a stroke in 2009. We were at the mall when he had his first one. I took him the urgent care where they called 911 as soon as we walked through the door.

I was having major flashbacks.

Except this time, I had Noah.

I really don’t remember much of those few minutes spent at the Urgent Care. The ladies were so nice and very helpful. I was a mess. I kept saying that I could take him to the hospital. We couldn’t afford another EMS bill. I was crying like I hadn’t cried in a long, long time. It just all came back to me.

And I still had Noah.

The nurses at Urgent Care gave Joel an Epi-Pen shot. Epinephrine… we carry two in Noah’s diaper bag and I never really thought about them before. I will do all I can for Noah before I ever, EVER give him an Epi-Pen!

I was wise enough not to be right next to Joel was he was lying on the floor. I’m not sure Noah could see him but he knew something was just not right about the situation. (I mean, I was a blubbery mess and he knew his daddy was on the floor.) Thankfully, he was a big boy through all of this and didn’t really break down until he saw his daddy getting on the ambulance.

A sweet nurse came over to me to help me calm down and told me that the hospital has a form to fill out for financial assistance. She said that we would have to ask for it but we could leave the hospital paying a minimal amount and the EMS would match it.

The ambulance came and got Joel and I took Noah to meet Joel at the ER. As I’m strapping Noah in, he breaks down and cries out for his daddy. I was heartbroken! So I stopped strapping him in and we just prayed for Joel right there. Noah finally calmed down and we got to the ER.

It seemed like they took forever getting Joel to the ER but I was finally told to come back to his room. Turns out that once an Epi-Pen is given, a person has to be observed for several hours to monitor the reaction to the epinephrine. While we’re there, Joel passed out completely. I took Noah out of the room so he didn’t see Joel and tried calling a nurse. Finally a doctor came and said that this was normal and to expect sweats and then chills as his body went through the reaction to the epinephrine. Thankfully my mom had brought some snacks and drinks for Noah so he was just fine hanging out in the ER room. I eventually left the ER with the promise from some dear friends of ours who promised to come to the hospital from Gainesville to do whatever we needed.

They got to the hospital right as Joel was being discharged. I was so thankful for them because Noah was down for the night and I couldn’t leave him. They even bought us dinner and brought Joel to the house. These friends have no idea how thankful I am for them and their love! They turned right around and drove right back home.

So that was ER trip number one. A month later, we found ourselves at the ER again for Noah.

Saturday mornings are fun in the Spencer house. Joel will typically fix pancakes with Noah, letting Noah help stir and fix the pancakes that he loves to eat. Unfortunately, we had bought a package of pancake mix that had buttermilk in it. We are normally very careful to check ingredients carefully before purchasing, but assumed we had already checked these ingredients since we had made pancakes with this same brand before. So Noah was allowed to dip his fingers in the batter and had even eaten almost a whole pancake before we realized the mistake.

As soon as we realized what had happened, we gave him a dose of Benadryl. Then we noticed he was starting to have trouble breathing. We gave him a little more Benadryl and sat in his room for a little. He threw up and seemed to feel a little better after that. So we decided to all lie down in our bed with him to let him rest for a while.

After about an hour or so, Noah woke up and was acting a little more normal. He threw up again so we sat down on the floor to play with him.

That’s when I noticed he wasn’t acting right. Something was really wrong.

I saw Noah look up at Joel and roll his eyes back. Then I told Noah to look at me and he did the same thing. That’s when I noticed that his lips were turning blue.

Joel and I both jumped up and shot to the car. Noah rode in the front with me so I could keep him breathing. He never lost consciousness but was pretty close several times.

Once we got to the hospital, they hooked him up to check his oxygen saturation, which turned out to be fine. We never realized how red he had turned until we got there and were under those bright lights. We ended up staying there for about four hours before we went home. Noah ended up throwing up two more times at the hospital and then once more at home that night after all was said and done. At the hospital, they just checked him over several times and ended up not giving him any medication. We were thrilled!

The doctor and nurses were very encouraging and helpful all the way around. One of the nurses asked if he had been sick recently and I mentioned that he had had a fever earlier in the week for about a day. I feel like since he had already had a “hit” on his immune system that his body just couldn’t handle the milk at all and really took a dive.

Obviously we are much more careful even than we were before. We have had to give him Benadryl again twice since then from what we think are cat allergies. The cat stays outside but sometimes his hair gets in other places. So we have to really be careful about that right now. (Update: Bo has officially left the premises. Not more than a week after getting him neutered he found a home somewhere else. Only thing that concerns me is that they micro-chipped him and now he has my name and number embedded in his body. Doesn’t make me too happy.)

I’m still firm in believing that my God is healing Noah’s little body. I’m just not okay with Noah having trouble breathing at times. He’s so little that he doesn’t understand how to respond to an itchy throat or to even tell us when he feels like he’s having an issue. I know that the Lord has all three of us on this planet for a reason and that purpose hasn’t been fulfilled yet.

And now on to other news…

A few weeks ago we said goodbye to our dear friends who moved to North Carolina. We knew the move was coming but it still felt like it was too much to handle once all was said and done. I also know that they are following the Lord’s guidance and doing what I feel like we should be doing as well. I’m just sure we’re there yet.

Noah is a steady stream of words now. I can’t even begin to describe how many words he can say now that he’s talking. Sometimes I still have trouble translating but for the most part I can figure out what he’s saying if I pay close attention.🙂

Oh and last week he decided to start potty training himself. Except for yesterday, he’s been eagerly going potty now for almost a week. Of course, we always have toys or books to encourage him along the process. But he’ll get there soon enough. I just know it!!

He’s also keeping me incredibly busy! Except when he’s napping, there’s no slowing this little man down. So with his new found energy, I’m trying to coordinate a bi-weekly playgroup as well as weekly trips to the library. I think he’s enjoying it although he’d be content to sit and watch choo choo trains all day.

Speaking of, we were recently given a large set of wooden trains and tracks for Noah’s enjoyment. He can’t seem to get enough of them! Now, if I can start to incorporate his Lego blocks with the train tracks… we’ll be in business!!

Well, that’s all I can think of for now. I have so many pictures to post that I might have to do it in a separate post. Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Happy Birthday to Noah D.

It’s hard to believe that my little man turned two years old last month. As I look back on the last two years and beyond, I’m so thankful for all that the Lord has done in my life. Joel sat recently reflecting on how the Lord has saved him in many instances from harm. That has caused me to be mindful of all that the Lord has done for me as well. As I reflect on the miracle of Noah alone, I see the mighty hand of Abba Daddy so strong in my life. Thank You, Lord… just doesn’t seem to say enough.

To say that it’s difficult for me to reflect on my birth experience is an understatement. However, I know that as I continue to share all that God has done on my behalf, and remember His graces, I find the reflection gets a little easier each time.

I can barely recall the events of the preceding night and morning of Noah’s birth. The effects of the magnesium had taken its toll on my body and had rendered me pretty incoherent. However, I do remember clearly being asked to make a decision regarding an emergency c-section or not. And I remember clearly being rolled into surgery for his birth. How thankful I am for the doctors and nurses who took such good care of us during that time. I am truly thankful for all that the Lord did through the staff at the hospital.

I can still remember how excited Joel was to show Noah to me… and how emotionless I was because of the surgery and recovery. I guess the Lord knew I would not be able to share my emotions for some time after Noah’s birth. Joel seemed to have enough emotions and tears for both of us.🙂

Two years have come and gone, like a tornado. An actual tornado never seems to last very long, however, the effects can last for a lifetime. That’s how I feel about Noah coming into our lives. (No, I don’t think he’s a tornado who’s destroyed our lives. Bear with me and I’ll try to join the two.)

Three years ago, Joel and I were in wedded bliss… blissfully unaware of the future. We had no thoughts or plans for the unexpected “storm” that was brewing for us. After nine months, we soon realized that a “tornado” had begun to wreak havoc on our lives. This “tornado” came in the form of a little boy named Noah. The day he was born changed our lives forever.

This little “tornado” has torn down every preconceived thought I had of myself, my life, my worth, my future. He has changed the overall layout of my life. Where there were once strong towers, now lay ruins. (I know this is not sounding good, but trust me, it is.) Where I once had pride in myself, I now had doubts and fears and anxiety like I had never known before. Where I once felt sure of my footing in life, I now had to walk in faith.

The last two years, the “tornado”, affectionately known as Noah, has uprooted my entire belief system and structure regarding myself and the world around me. And I’m so much better for it.

Had this “storm” blown through my life with quickness and less lasting results, I never would have had to rebuild areas that were in desperate need of repair. Thankfully, the “tornado” has not brought complete devastation but localized destruction… and over a period of time.

So many of the thoughts I had about my future life have been swept away by the existence of Noah. And for that, I’m sincerely thankful. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to go in to work every day and deal with the mundane or routine or otherwise unpleasantness that was work. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to deal with everyone else’s misery at my expense. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to stress over what my boss thinks of me every second of the day. Those days are long gone and not missed. Don’t get me wrong… I was very thankful for my job. I was thankful for the outlet of adult interaction on a daily basis. But it was literally sucking the life out of me. Thankfully the Lord had other plans for my life.

Do I struggle with the day-to-day routine of life with a toddler? Absolutely. Do I stress over what people think of me as a mom, wife, woman? You better believe it! Do I have to deal with Noah’s ever-changing moods that come in a whirlwind of emotions sometimes? Um, yes. Do I lose sight of my Creator and His hand in my life and forget the many blessings He has given me? Sadly, more often than not do I forget to praise Him.

Often times I am left at the end of the day wondering what in the world I have gotten accomplished that day except to shower. And even showering is a struggle on some days. How do I spend my hours? I have no idea, but I’m trying to figure it out. Every time I feel like I get a foothold on a rock (time well spent, embracing my relationship with the Lord, etc.), I’ll get my grip and start to move up when the foothold gives way and I’m holding on for dear life with just one hand grip. It’s my own fault, I know it. God doesn’t move away. He doesn’t change. We do. I do. And I’m so fickle! One day I can’t praise Him enough, can’t pray enough, can’t spend enough time with Him. And then two weeks go by and I’ve done nothing more than whisper a few words to Him when I’m washing dishes… for the fifth time that day. How does God fit into a day-to-day routine that’s not really a routine but a “flying by the seat of my pants” exercise called my life?

I’m not complaining, I’m sincerely asking. I’m truly not complaining, even though it’s impossible to reach out from this place at my desk and tell you how sincere I am. The old me, the one who worked at least 40 hours a week, never made dinner, rarely cleaned the house, and thought only of myself, doesn’t fit in with the new me… the 40-year-old mom of a very active, loving, engaging toddler. The wife who longs to fix home-cooked meals each night but has gotten discouraged by the amount of work required to make that meal while loving and engaging that active toddler. The woman who desires to clean and straighten her home to its perfectly pristine “nesting” state so that we all feel happy and content within its walls. All words I have spoken before. All thoughts I have put in writing on previous occasions.

As you may have guessed by now, this blog has become somewhat of an outlet for my feelings, thoughts, struggles, and hopes. In the blogosphere world, it seems like there is a nebulous “you” out there who cares about these things. With so little interaction on my blog, it’s easy to forget that people actually read these words. And it’s easy to put hand to keyboard and type out my thoughts. I find that by typing them out I am actually releasing them as if I am speaking them to a dear friend and not to the nebulous “you” that is reading right now. So thanks for being nebulous. I now understand the reason for the lack of interaction. And that’s ok.🙂

Anyway, on to bigger and better topics… Noah D. We were thankful to get some time down at my grandmother’s house recently. As always, we take a day to go over and see Joel’s sister’s family since they’re a little over an hour away from my grandmother. To say that the entire trip was a success, well, it was. Noah didn’t sleep more than 30 minutes in the car on the way down or back… during the whole seven hour trip… in a carseat… seven hours. And then he didn’t nap at all the day after we got down there. At all. No nap. Did I mention seven hours in the car? I think Joel and I were more stressed over Noah not napping than Noah’s not napping stressed him. (Does that make sense?)

After the no-napping incident, we had a wonderful time down in the sunshine state. Loved having Noah at the ocean and just watching him experience all the wonders of being there. Truly loved where our condo was situated and actually got to stay an extra night due to the generosity of the owner. We will most certainly go back to this one as it suits us almost perfectly. (We did move the mattress into the den for Noah to have the bedroom. Sleeping that long, even on a nice mattress, on the floor did a little stress to our backs. But it was our choice.)

On our way home, we decided to get Noah a snack at Chick-Fil-A around south Atlanta. Thinking we had given him fried chicken nuggets before, we decided to do it again. Just north of Gainesville, we decided to stop at Bibi’s house to pick up my produce from the market that she had been gracious enough to pick up for us. While I was inside getting the food, Noah was apparently beginning to vomit. I walked outside to Joel honking the horn to get my attention. Noah lost all of his food in his carseat and all over his clothes. Thankfully we were in Bibi’s driveway so we all went inside to get Noah into the bath and cleaned up immediately.

We had no signs that Noah was having a reaction. Normally, he will get red splotches on his face when he comes in contact with dairy. We know it was the nuggets since Bibi’s sister works at CFA and confirmed that the nuggets are given a milk bath before the breading. Noah had some hives after throwing up but was otherwise fine. We were all exhausted and decided to head home after an unexpected 30 minute stop.

Going our usual way home, we got to the major intersection at the highway and found that it was shut down due to a severe accident. We had just come through this intersection to get to Bibi and Tim’s house, and there was no accident there. And by the time we got there, the wreckers were already there. Here’s where God’s goodness shines so greatly, its brilliance is hard to view. Based on what we saw, we determined that the wreck had to have happened about the time we would have been at that intersection heading home… had Noah not had an allergic reaction. Seriously, y’all… someone died and someone was Lifeflighted to a hospital from this accident. If Noah did not have dairy allergies, we very easily could have been involved in the accident. And since it appeared that at least two of the cars ended up right next to where we would have been at the light, God spared us from experiencing that trauma. Noah’s allergies could have spared one, if not all, of our lives. And God knew that from before time began.

If for no other reason than that, God is due all the praise for the “trouble” of Noah’s allergies in our lives. I still can’t believe the enormity of it all. Needless to say, we all got home and went to bed rather quickly after that trip.

The week of Noah’s birthday party brought a fever to little man. Not very surprising since we had been to The Factory in Franklin the week before where his little hands were on everything there. And, we found him licking (yes, I said licking) the plastic container we have sitting on the back deck. I guess he thought he would drink water like Bo from the top of the container. Either way, he had a fever for about three days which was long enough for us. We decided to act a little differently this time and instead of giving him medicine for the fever, kept it to a nominal level and gave him lots of rest and liquids to let it run its course. So thankful for the Lord’s healing since we were really stretched to try this new way of approach.

We had Noah’s birthday party with just a handful of Noah’s friends on hand to celebrate. We had a blast and truly enjoyed each other’s company as the kiddos played with all of his toys, new and old. My friend made a vegan cake for us that was DELICIOUS! Noah loved eating it, especially the fondant letters. So thankful that we had just the right number of adults and kids here to not make our home feel stuffed to the gills.

Of course, Noah had a recent trip to his doctor for his two-year check-up. He hated being weighed and especially having his height measured. The doctor thinks he’s short but I just don’t think he was standing up when they measured him. She is such a gracious doctor and I’m so thankful for her guidance. She doesn’t scold and often commends us for how we handle Noah. Really love her and appreciate her advice, when requested.🙂

And in case you didn’t know, Joel turned 40 two days after Noah’s birthday. I surprised Joel with a date night to Greenville to an old favorite of ours, Saskatoon. Of course, it’s a wild game restaurant so no vegan fare was even thought of for the evening. Unfortunately, to my dismay, they didn’t even have a salad option. So I opted for the salmon, which I must say was delicious but I paid the price the next day.🙂 Another cake made its arrival while we were out for the night to surprise Joel that was just too cute and super yummy. Noah didn’t even know it was in the house since it was nowhere near vegan.

Well, since Noah’s standing beside me holding a book for me to read, and I’ve got more written here than I ever thought possible, I’m going to wrap this up. Looking forward to spending time with some friends who will soon be departing to venture into a new way of life, bringing with it many tears and sadness.😦 Will also be heading to Asheville soon for the Big Love Fest which had to be postponed from earlier in the year. Super excited about that trip!!

Enjoy, once again, the rather abundant pictures.

A happy and rested family ready to head home.

A happy and rested family ready to head home.

Footprints in the sand.

Footprints in the sand.

Although it doesn't look like it here, Noah thoroughly enjoyed his time with his great grandmommy.

Although it doesn’t look like it here, Noah thoroughly enjoyed his time with his great grandmommy.

Being silly at Chipotle.  :)

Being silly at Chipotle.🙂

Noah having fun walking along the beach.

Noah having fun walking along the beach.

And he's asleep!  After two whole days of little to no napping, Noah finally passed out in the car.  Woohoo!!

And he’s asleep! After two whole days of little to no napping, Noah finally passed out in the car. Woohoo!!

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Enjoying the time spent together to its fullest extent.

Enjoying the time spent together to its fullest extent.

Having fun with Jocelyn before dinner.

Having fun with Jocelyn before dinner.

The kiddos playing on the couch together.

The kiddos playing on the couch together.

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Having fun on the trike that Aunt Rachel and family so graciously gave to Noah D.  He loves his trike!!

Having fun on the trike that Aunt Rachel and family so graciously gave to Noah D. He loves his trike!!

Can anything be more perfect than to be on the beach in your pjs in the morning?  Loved where our condo was for this opportunity!!

Can anything be more perfect than to be on the beach in your pjs in the morning? Loved where our condo was for this opportunity!!

There's nothing better than walking along the beach with Daddy.

There’s nothing better than walking along the beach with Daddy.

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Such a sweetie who loved being at the beach!!

Such a sweetie who loved being at the beach!!

Vroom vroom!  Noah loved sitting in the vehicles until they started moving.  Then he was outta there!

Vroom vroom! Noah loved sitting in the vehicles until they started moving. Then he was outta there!

Having fun in the ball pit at the Factory.

Having fun in the ball pit at the Factory.

I think Daddy's having more fun driving that car than Noah D.  But I'm not sure.  :)

I think Daddy’s having more fun driving that car than Noah D. But I’m not sure.🙂

Can't believe that it's been a year since we took our last picture on the merry-go-round.

Can’t believe that it’s been a year since we took our last picture on the merry-go-round.

Noah loved looking for the moon on the way home from the Factory.  What a cutie!

Noah loved looking for the moon on the way home from the Factory. What a cutie!

Trying on one of the stuffed animal hats that I made for his birthday party.

Trying on one of the stuffed animal hats that I made for his birthday party.

Getting the house cleaned up for our special birthday party guests!

Getting the house cleaned up for our special birthday party guests!

All dressed up for the party.

All dressed up for the party.

Because the cake was vegan, Noah was able to lick the beaters for the first time!!  Loved it!!

Because the cake was vegan, Noah was able to lick the beaters for the first time!! Loved it!!

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Noah didn't know what to think when we sang happy birthday to him.

Noah didn’t know what to think when we sang happy birthday to him.

Story time at Noah's party.

Story time at Noah’s party.

Noah loved eating his cake and ice cream!!

Noah loved eating his cake and ice cream!!

The men enjoying the music with the kiddos enjoying the grass behind them.

The men enjoying the music with the kiddos enjoying the grass behind them.

Playing with Aunt Sarah.

Playing with Aunt Sarah.

Ha ha!!  I got you!!  (And no, he didn't push her down.  She was trying to roll down the hill.)

Ha ha!! I got you!! (And no, he didn’t push her down. She was trying to roll down the hill.)

The birthday celebration never ends for us!!

The birthday celebration never ends for us!!

Loved the waterpark immensely!!

Loved the waterpark immensely!!

Only my Noah D. would enjoy this!  ;)

Only my Noah D. would enjoy this!😉

Beautiful boy!

Beautiful boy!

At the waterpark with our monthly play group.

At the waterpark with our monthly play group.

All tuckered out after spending the day at the waterpark.

All tuckered out after spending the day at the waterpark.

Joel's birthday cake.  Yummm!

Joel’s birthday cake. Yummm!

Have I mentioned that I enjoy playing with Noah's lego blocks almost more than he does?  :)

Have I mentioned that I enjoy playing with Noah’s lego blocks almost more than he does?🙂

Sheer joy and happiness!!

Sheer joy and happiness!!

Just enjoying the evening in the park.  Such a sweetie!!

Just enjoying the evening in the park. Such a sweetie!!

Working the monkey bars already.  I used to love them so I'm sure he will as well!

Working the monkey bars already. I used to love them so I’m sure he will as well!

Armed with a handful of grass clippings for Mommy!

Armed with a handful of grass clippings for Mommy!

Several pictures of him from this evening are full of wonder and joy.  Love this little guy!!

Several pictures of him from this evening are full of wonder and joy. Love this little guy!!

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