Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vietnam, Here We Come!

Tomorrow we leave with our sweet friends to Vietnam for our Chinese New Year holiday. Kurt's parents will be joining us as well.  And apparently, I need to start packing... like yesterday. Cross your fingers for a relatively smooth flight with 2 six month old babies! ;)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Our Chinese Abode

Here is our little abode in China. We are fortunate enough to have an "ayi" who takes care of Sawyer while I'm working and also does housekeeping...otherwise our apartment would not be quite as clean ;) 

Most apartments in China come "furnished" which means that most of our furniture came with the apartment. So, we have to work with what we have. You may notice that every room is a shade of grey/blue.. apparently I am drawn to beachy colors :) We just moved in this past summer so it is still a work in progress! 

Living room
We spend most of our time here, and you can see Oliver sitting in my spot on the couch! There is a balcony outside which is where our washer and dryer are located. 

I love our bamboo tree in our living room. I want to figure out some sort of storage to hide all of those ugly cords underneath the TV.

A close up of our photo wall above the couch.

Got this wooden design in Cambodia

View of our entrance, kitchen, and dining area

Dining area
I really want to get an art piece from one our future travels to put above the empty wall above the table.

Our secret shoe storage

It is very long and narrow, but I love the amount of counter space we have, esp. for China.

Master bedroom (that we are currently sharing with Sawyer at the moment)
Not pictured: our master closet & bathroom (behind the door)

Sawyer's room
My favorite corner where we rock him and read him bedtime stories :)

His changing pad will also go on here when he "moves in" to his bedroom

His book shelves (I want to add a couple of more to this soon, we are quickly running out of space).

 Bathroom #1

Guest room 
Friends & family, you're welcomed to stay with us any time! :) 

Built in storage where I try to make all our "junk" look presentable ;)

Guest bed
Still in search of artwork for over the bed and possibly to change out the duvet cover.
Also, weird design... part of the wall is glass and so is the door. At least it lets more light in the room.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of Casa de Callahan :)

Cherishing The Hard Moments

The weeks following our return home to China had been a bit rough on all of us. I think it was a combination of things... jet lag from traveling back from the States, Sawyer battling a cold, Kurt away two weekends in a row for coaching, and teething.

Getting him to sleep was a challenge. He would arch his back and scream. It broke my heart in pieces because whatever I tried to calm him just didn't work. "If only he could just tell me what is wrong... I could make it better," I kept thinking.

I read WAY too many articles and online forums about what I should do to get him to sleep on his own. I felt desperate and helpless... and like a failing mom.

For two nights I tried to let him cry himself to sleep. I pulled up a chair next to his crib and ate my dinner in the dark. His cries broke my heart. I picked him up anytime he began to get too worked up, calmed him, and put him back down... and it started all over again. On the third night, I decided to just listen to my momma instinct.

I rocked and/or nursed Sawyer to sleep every time he woke up, and you know what? My heart didn't hurt anymore. He drifted back to sleep (for a couple of hours at least). I didn't mind the interrupted sleep. In fact, I've been thinking about how much I will miss our special moments in the middle of the night. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my sleep, but I realized that Sawyer is not going to be a baby forever. Before I know it, he probably won't want me to rock him to sleep anymore.

I'm learning that there aren't' always going to be "right" answers in this parenting "adventure." There is so much advice out there: articles, forums, blogs, books, friends, and family. People usually have the best intentions. They give you their opinions because they want to HELP you. It can quickly become overwhelming, especially to a first time mom.

After struggling with what's "right" to do over the last couple of weeks, I learned that Kurt and I need to do what we feel works best for us, and most importantly, Sawyer.

And the hard moments are just that, moments...they won't last forever.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sawyer 5 Months

Seriously? How can you be 5 months already?
 5 months is just a few weeks short of 6 months 
...and 6 months means that you're half way to being a one year old... eek!

 You turned 5 months the day after we returned from our trip to the U.S. 
and it was also one day before your daddy's 26th birthday. 

The last week has been a bit rough for you dealing with jet-lag and getting you back on your little schedule here in China. 
But despite that, 
you have been SO smiley and such a little goofball lately. 

You love to cuddle your momma in bed and make sweet noises when you're drifting off to sleep.  
One night on vacation, I woke up to you grabbing my cheeks with both of your hands while making cooing noises...
how could I not giggle at that?

 Your daddy is having a blast playing with you. He is excited over the fact that he can now throw you in the air and you squeal in delight. He does it over and over again. 

You've also taken notice to your two puppies. Your chubby hands grab fistfuls of dog fur.
Your brothers are troopers and just lay there. Your blue eyes stare in amazement when they run around and play. 
Sometimes, you even give them a wide, toothless smile.
I just know that you three are going to be best buds 
and will cause mischief around here, 
and that's how it should be.
Thinking about it makes my heart happy.

I love you little man, more then you will ever know. 
your momma 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Our Holiday in a Nutshell

Whew. I can breathe a sigh of relief after our whirlwind journey to America. We flew out of Hong Kong December 18th to head to Wisconsin. We haven't been back to the good ol' USA in over a year and a half and it felt strange at first to be "home," but it's funny how quickly it feels like we never even left. I was nervous terrified about flying on a 15+ hour journey with four and a half month old baby, but Sawyer surprised us and slept almost the entire flight! Kurt and I were even able to get some much needed shut eye. 

We spent our precious time with family and friends and Sawyer was adored and loved by everyone. It was so sweet to see everyone interact with our little guy and I realized how incredibly lucky we are to have such sweet and caring loved ones in our lives! Kurt and I also had a mini-getaway for a night to a bed and breakfast (first night away from Sawyer). We went to a pub for dinner while watching the Packer game and were in bed by 10 (we're party animals, I know). I also made a couple several trips to Target, seriously... China is missing out! 

Before I could blink, we were headed to Whistler for my dad's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding in the mountains and my dad and his wife, Michelle, skied down the mountain afterward... too cute! 

We have been back to China now for two days and we are dealing with a very jet-lagged baby. Our first night, Sawyer was up wide awake from 12am to 4am, at one point, we admitted defeat and Kurt set up Sawyer's new Jumperoo that we brought back from the states and put him in it at 3am until he was tired out. He's still recovering from the long journey, and so are we. Hopefully we will all be back in the swing of things before too long. 

My sisters, mom, and I on Christmas

Cute B&B we stayed at (it's our thing)

In line to get on the gondola for the wedding

Our little family at Whistler 

The happy bride and groom

Sawyer looking dapper at the reception 

Airplane ride back to China 

Our jet lagged baby at 3am