It's hard to believe that he's already 12 years old. I remember sitting up late nights waiting for him to be born. Mitch and I would play games of sequence. Micah and Eden were just babies themselves (Micah was 3.5 and just barely potty trained, Eden was 21 months). I won sequence more than Mitch did, mostly because I was lucky enough to always be holding Jacks. :) Maybe Mitch stacked the deck to help me feel better.
Caleb's labor/delivery was the fastest and easiest of all my children. We had a bunch of teens over on Saturday night to play games at our house. I wasn't feeling well, so I went upstairs to take a nap. I woke up a couple hours later in full-on labor. We scrambled to get everyone home, I packed Micah and Eden's bags for grandma's and papa's house in between contractions, and we worked out details of how to get them there. Holly came to our rescue and took our van with Micah and Eden to Papa's house, while we took her car to the hospital. I arrived at the hospital around 10 pm and was already 8 cm dilated. I asked for an epidural before they even got me to a room! Fortunately for me, the anesthesiologist was on the floor already and came in and did it immediately. It was the best epidural I have ever had (and I've had 4 since then). It went in the easiest I believe because he allowed me to lay on the table instead of sitting up. After the epi was placed, they sat me up, and it wasn't too long before I was ready to push. It was really close to midnight, and I asked if I could breathe through a couple contractions so he would be born on the 14th. So out he came at 12:05am on January 14!
Caleb was a compliant little man right from the start. He was a pretty easy baby. I was enrolled in St. Cloud State University, but for the semester (since I didn't know when he would be born) I was only signed up for one evening class and one correspondence course. We came home from the hospital on Monday and my first class was Wednesday night.
It seems like I blinked a couple times and here we are 12 years later. I almost have another teenager in my house! Caleb is counting down the days, hours, minutes until he turns 13 and will be allowed to have facebook.
Caleb has a pretty good attitude and is easy-going about lots of things. I can depend on him to follow through with what I ask him to do (as long as I only ask him to do one thing at a time). He is dependable and (usually) gets his schoolwork done on time, and accurately. Caleb excels in Math. He also loves to read. He has a vivid imagination (always has) and would like to be a scientist or an inventor. I struggle to know how to help him...sometimes I wish I were Nate Saint's mom (she let her husband and sons build a roller coaster off the top of their house!). Caleb is my supper helper. He helps me by getting things I need from the garage freezer or crawl space pantry. He sets the table, and washes the dishes afterward.
Caleb usually doesn't like a sudden change of plans or routine, and he has ALWAYS been like this. He likes to keep things predictable (so he can go on dreaming, perhaps?). But he does ok if I talk to him reasonably. Every once in a while something in his brain flips a switch and he grinds in his heels. He can be defiant. When he was little I always told people he is my defiant-compliant child. Mostly he's compliant. So easy. But every now and then he reminds me he is an independent thinker just like the rest of them with his streak of defiance. :)
I will be perfectly honest, even after 12 years it still surprises and hurts me when that defiant streak shows up. What a great reminder that we ALL need the grace and forgiveness obtained through Jesus Christ's perfect work on the cross.
One way that Caleb likes to show his unique individuality is in his hair style and clothes. He loves to keep his hair long. On Sunday mornings I will straighten and curl the ends for him so they flip out (kind of like in the pictures). He loves black t-shirts and jeans. On Sundays he likes to wear polo shirts and a hoodie...his way of looking dressed up but still comfortable. His favorite is a white polo shirt and a black zip-up hoodie. ;)
(This pic is TERRIBLE...but I had my camera set on manual and didn't know it...oops...I think we will schedule a retake, haha)
Caleb's favorite color is green, though, not black. He has an iPod and loves it. One day I took it away from him because he was distracted and not doing school. I slipped it into my back pocket. Then I did something I NEVER do...I let it slip out into the toilet. I felt horrible. We dried it in a bag of rice, and after a few days the ipod worked but the wifi never would work. We disassembled the thing trying to see if anything was corroding inside, etc, but there was no explanation for why it wasn't working. So he and I switched iPods. I think it was only fair.
On Monday night Caleb chose to have General Tso's Chicken for supper for his favorite meal. We have planned a combined birthday celebration for this coming Sunday with his cousins whose birthdays are also this week, so on Monday instead of having cake, we had brownies and ice cream. YUM!
Happy Birthday, Caleb! It is a blessing to have you in our family!