Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Riding Proud


This guy loves to throw out a million excuses for things he doesn't want to do.  Secretly though, he really wants to do them.  He is afraid of a lot still, working on getting that confidence down, his way of being afraid is to complain about it.  It gets old but it is getting better.     

We ran through those million excuses in the last couple weeks about taking off the training wheels.  The neighbor kids both have been riding with theirs off and we thought it would be a great time for Henry to learn too.  Grandma came and bought him a helmet with the promise that he would give it a really good try.  He started out in the grass (for padding purposes of course) complaining while I gripped the back of his seat.  I sneakily let him go while he was mid complaint and off he went.  About 15 feet before he realized that I let him go, he said "why'd you let go?"  I said "Who cares! You did it!"  And then it was easy breezy from there on out.  He even told his sister, "It just takes a little patience and practice Julia!"  Ha.  This week he has been getting on that bike first thing in the morning and after he gets home.  He loves it.

Sure, he is 7 years old and maybe should have been riding without training wheels 2 years ago.  Whether he learned at 5 or 7, I don't think there is anything he's done that I have been more proud of.  My heart just swelled with happiness.  I saw something that just lit up in his eyes, that confidence that he learned something and could do it!  Way to go Henry. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday Grahambo!!

Happy Birthday to my little Graham.  One year ago I was sitting in a hospital bed admiring the tiny little bundle all swaddled up tight in my arms.  Giving birth gives you a rockstar attitude and I was floating high.  Even getting home from the hospital, life was good, not nearly as crazy as I thought it would be.  The big kids did their thing and all was well.  Fast forward to July and that swaddled sweet baby turned screamy baby.  

Mom's rockstar attitude started to dissipate. 

And screamy baby kept that screaming up for what seemed like forever and ever.  Screamy baby got swaddled up and put back to bed, jostled around in a crazy space pod baby swing, wrapped in a fuzzy snowsuit thing for bed, and whatever else seemed to soothe the crying for even a moment.  Screamy baby went through 4 babysitters and eventually won out with Mom staying home to be the constant caregiver. 

The screaming has stopped and through all this crap that we went through to get to age 1, there are so many things I have learned about myself and Graham.  Number one, he loves his mama.  The way that he nuzzles his shy guy head into my shoulder can't be beat.  He doesn't like to cuddle but those shoulder nuzzles are so cozy.  Sometimes a mothers love is all that a kid needs.  He loves his constants.  Henry, Julia, Erin and Me.  He loves his blanket and being prepped for bed with a bath and zipped up in his sleepsack.  He has taught me how to be routine again and that it is very important for a child to be in a secure, safe and loving environment.  

Things Graham loves: (well besides me)
Graham Crackers (imagine that)
Squeezy pouch baby foods
Henry
Being Outside
Red Car rides

Things he says:
Mamamamama
Dadadada
Buh (bird)
Duh (Dog)
Graham Cracker (sounds like gack-acka)

Little Graham, you may have not shown many other people love over the last year but you have shown me and your Dad an enormous amount of love and we are so happy to have you as our third little love child.  You will grow into a very sensitive and caring soul no doubt.  You will be shy and we will embrace it.  You will be more tenderhearted and probably have your feelings hurt but we will be more sensitive to you.  You will be loved and cared for more than you will ever understand.  Being a parent to you has just been the best.  Love you little B.  Happy Birthday.
 














Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy #5 Julia Macrae


  
Little Girl, just stop growing!  I wish I could have froze you at 3 or 4 and even 5 I am still saying it.  I just want you to stay forever a little girl.  You have been such a blessing to me this year in keeping me company at home while Henry is at school and Graham has been crying or crabby.  You listen to me (mostly) and are always so good about going and playing by yourself if I am busy with something.  I am going to miss you so much when you head off to Kindergarten in the fall!!!  

Things you like:
Mommy
Going to Cindy's
Swinging
Riding your bike
Frozen
Playing with the neighbors
Wild Kratts
SWIMMING LESSONS
Getting your nails polished
 Eating Cheesy's with salsa and sour cream
Henry





This year you decided it was time for your first big birthday party with friends, invitations, a theme and all that fun stuff.  You picked a nail polish/princess party.  I made you a fun rainbow cake, you even helped bake it.  Such a fun day for a fun girl who is such a little sweetheart.  Love you baby girl. 












My Dad Your Dad

An open letter to my friend Michelle: 

Two best friends of 20 years.

Our Dads both got cancer within 2 years of each other.  

My Dad was first.  He was always one of your favorites and you could tell it in the easy way you could talk to him.  He spent time taking us to swimming pools, friends houses, rattling down the streets of Grand Island in his little white pickup truck with one of us sandwiched in the middle.  My Dad made you laugh and you made him laugh.  You were his favorite too, always referring to you as Mooshie.  The day my dad got diagnosed with cancer, you were one of my first calls.  It took the breath out of you, I could tell instantly what my Dad meant to you. 

Your dad was next.  Diagnosed with cancer just two years into my Dads diagnosis. Your Dad was my favorite too.  I remember him towing us behind the boat at the lake, sporting his blue blockers and smoking those ever so smooth Marlboro menthols.  He always was happy to see me, saying "Kaity-lynnnn!" when I walked down into the basement.  When I got your call I cried with you, told you that treatment works and we both agreed that our Dads got the short end of the stick.  

Both of our dads endured close to four years of chemo and treatment.  It lurked and reared its ugly head again in the end.  Both of our Dads never returned home after that ambulance ride.  Both of our Dads breathed their last breaths at St. Francis.  We have both walked the same halls, ate the same hospital food, stroked our dying dads smooth silky hands, cried the same tears and both rallied them onto the next stage.  

I hurt for you and you hurt for me, just like best friends should do I suppose.  Just now you are experiencing the real feelings that I felt almost 3 years ago.  It is painful and rejoiceful.  Our Dads both were a gift unlike any other gift in this life.  We were both taught how to love, how to have fun and celebrate the good, how to be responsible, and how to really embrace life.

We will meet up with them again and hopefully none too soon.  We have a friendship to maintain, Moms to take care of and life to celebrate.  We have both been good daughters and caregivers.  They will be walking the clouds of heaven protecting us and caring for us just like they were here.  

I love you friend, your tears are my tears too. 

   

Happy 7th Henry!


My guy.  How on earth has 7 years already passed by?  Now I know what all those old ladies mean when they say it goes by fast.  It has been so fun to watch you grow and change even though there are so many things that stay the same with you.  The mannerisms and personality remain but your confidence has grown by leaps and bounds.  You are so much like your Dad in your quiet ways.  I am so proud of the boy you are. 

Things you love:

Playing with Bruin
Playing soccer 
Graham
When I let you have "picking choice" for dinner
Pizza
Coloring Pages
School
Wild Kratts
   Lego Police City   


This year was the year of the birthday party.  Gifts from friends, a killer whale cake, boys running around being loud and obnoxious. Your invitation said "Party Like a 7 Year Old" and that is exactly what it was. Pure craziness. 






Monday, May 12, 2014

On Being Mom


If you would have asked me when I was 18 how many kids I would have, I probably would have told you none.  I grew up pretty much non interested in babies or kids.  I was scared to hold a baby and never changed one diaper until Henry was born.  I even remember babysitting (and hating it) for a newborn baby when I was 13 or so.  He still had his umbilical stump on.    What the heck?  I have come a long way in these last 12 years of life.  Crazy what a little bit of love for your spouse does. 

The day that I became a mother to Henry, Julia and Graham was filled with such an overwhelming sense of pride and happiness.  From the labor pains to the awe and wonderment that you get when you look at their tiny wrinkly fingers and bird feet.  Watching your husband get that look on his face that swells with pride when he looks at his brand new baby.  Those were great moments I will always cherish. 

Sure, every phase has its moments of pure sweetness and joy but what they don't tell you is that there are more moments of total frustration and craziness.  EVERY day.  From Graham being needy baby to Julia being thrown into a major crying spell about something so trivial to Henry being all dramatic about eating bites of food damn near every night.  If it isn't one thing, its probably another. 

If I look at all this craziness and sweetness, at the end of the day, all I want is for my kids to think of me as a good mom with a fierce love for them.  Sure, there are days that I think that Henry just has to hate me for yelling at him about this and that.  If I just cancel it all out and stop and listen, really listen, I know they love me in the ways that they ask me to pray with them at night, when they wake up from a bad dream or when they want to snuggle up under my quilt.   I know I am loved and I love being their mama, craziness and all.  


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Batty

A million directions is where I feel like I am at right now.  If I could draw a map of my brain and where and what I have to do with myself, kids, house, business, work...everything would be so incredibly scattered and you'd get lost after the first move on the map.  Needless to say, blogging has been on my very last of the to do lists.

Spring started off chilly to say the least, Dad's birthday could have ushered in a little bit nicer of weather.  Come on Dad!  We did manage to release some balloons for him again for his birthday this year and I just think it is the most special of times.  Graham is now in on it and makes me a little bit sad that he will have not known his Papa Larry.   I always try to make a very big point of keeping his memory alive and talking about him with the kids.  I sing a lot of songs that Dad sang to us as kids and we always talk about him during most severe weather events or beautiful sunsets. 


 
The kids have been in full swing of sports stuff and enjoying playing outside again.  Henry and Julia are both in soccer and having a good time.  Julia is a bit of a pussy cat when it comes to her soccer play.  She barely will kick the ball if it is in front of her.  I hated soccer so I am okay if she hates soccer too.  She did tell me that she wants to keep playing though.  Sigh.  

Henry is much improved this year, I think playing on the playground has helped him be a bit more aggressive and excited about winning or whatever.  I am just glad he likes it.  We had to persuade him to play baseball for this summer.  He thought t-ball was really boring, so hopefully with the coach pitching now he will not think it is so boring. 


We had a great Easter here at home.  I overcommitted for Easter telling both sets of grandparents that we would be coming (oops) so we stayed home this year and had our Easter dinner in the garage with Damon and Anna and the girls and Mom.  It was nice staying home and just being home. 


Also on Easter weekend, we found out that we have bats in our house.  We haven't actually seen any on the inside but I have found some droppings and hear creaking in the attic ceiling.  The Critter Ridder came over and shot us a price estimate for $1000 to get these stupid things out of our attic.  He has yet to show up (4 weeks ago).  Erin has been quite the spouse in climbing up the ladder and trying to rid them ourselves.  We have yet to be successful.  Just the other day I was outside mid day and saw a stupid one crawling out of Erin's tape and screen contraption.  The neighbor guy was home and graciously climbed up to get the fella and met him with end of the shovel.  That is one way to get them I guess.  I am just so creeped out and Erin is so sick of me talking about it, stress on the marriage doesn't happen much around here but these stupid bats are really going to do us in.  Pray that we can make it to 10 years in October!

Graham...Oh the fella.  He officially did the last babysitter in.  He went through 4 of them just like that.  I am staying at home with him until he turns one in June and he can go to Cindy's with Henry and Julia.  Honestly though, I feel like he has turned a major corner in the last couple weeks.  He isn't freaking out if I put him down and has become more independent playing with the toilet paper and getting into trouble in places he shouldn't.  He has also logged 2 nights that he has slept all through the night.  Whoa.  That a boy.  He is getting really close to walking, I know that once that starts he will be a much happier boy.  Grahmbo. 


We took on the Mayors Run again this year.  Henry's third time and Julia's first.  It is always such a good time.  Henry and Erin smoked it and Julia and I got it done though it wasn't always pretty.  In true Julia fashion, she biffed it a couple times but did a good job picking herself back up and running.  She only walked a couple of times and I am really proud of her.  A mile is a long way for a little long legged kid.  It was a beauty of a morning and Graham and Grandma Peggy cheered us all on.
 
Erin, Damon and Anna all ran the 1/2 Marathon the next morning.  We love being spectators but this mama is ready to strap those running shoes back on!  In November it is my turn.






 
 
Until next time!  We have a busy May coming up.  I am starting to sell my goods at the Farmers Market, 2 birthday parties to plan for, another in June, end of school, adjusting to daycare and hopefully be rid of those freaking bats before they start having babies in my ceiling which happens usually in June. Hmppph.  Happy May 7th.