Monday, September 30, 2013

It's the little things.... always the little things....

.....That make my job worth while. 
The other day it was super quiet and I was thinking about the worst possible scenario I would find upon discovering my kids. 
Instead I found them snuggled on Braxton's bed. 
Quincy was quietly reading Braxton the whole story of 'Big Max'.

It was in that mom-moment I found myself breathing a surprised sigh of relief and feeling reassured that all this day in day out work I'm putting forth will amount to something great. 

I mean, look at those sweet and innocent expressions on their faces...
Then there's THIS kid, who was dubbed the "happy baby", but who has now entered the curious stage of pre-toddlerhood. Zayden has developed a little bit of temper (screaming at his brother's when they take a toy he wants), having meltdowns on the kitchen floor (when I refuse to fill his sippy cup with juice and instead put water into it) and running away when we call him. However, he is still so darn cute and happy that it almost makes up for his naughty curiousness... almost. :) 
Sometimes it's the little things that make life worth living. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Becoming a mother makes you paranoid.

Two weeks ago Quincy rode the bus to school for the first time....

Prior to him riding the bus we had walked to school and I showed him where the buses stopped and instructed him that he was to follow the other kids to the cafeteria where his teacher would come and get him.

He was super excited.

I wrangled all three boys out the door at 8:05 in the morning and we walked a short half block across the street to his bus stop on the corner. We waited and a few more minutes before a grandmother came out with her granddaughter. They were waiting a ways back from the corner we were standing on, next to a telephone poll. After a minute or so she walked a couple of steps towards us and asked, "Are you guys waiting for the Hogan Cedars Bus?" "Yes," I replied. "It meets over here in the morning and drops at the corner in the afternoon."

Oh. Good to know. I felt  like I was navigating through the whole riding the bus thing without really knowing exactly where we were supposed to be since the papers I'd received in the mail simply said at the corner of 7th.

So there I was, relying on a complete stranger to teach me the ins and outs of our bus stop.

Two other kids showed up.

5 minutes after standing by our stop I watched as 2 buses drove past. The stranger reassured us those were not our bus, but that they went to the same school. The reason for separate buses was that they don't want kids to have to cross the street. It made sense, but seemed unnecessary that there would be so many buses driving through the same neighborhoods.

Whatever. I guess there isn't a shortage of drivers and buses here??

Finally about 10 minutes later "our" bus showed up. The other two kids got on and I reluctantly walked Quincy to the bus steps. The number on the side was NOT the one on his route information, but the stranger lady assured me it was the right driver, just wrong bus. As I held Q's hand I kissed him and hesitantly said, "Is this the bus to Hogan Cedars? My son's a kindergartner."

The bus driver smiled at me and said, "Yep. My name is Wendy" and turning to Q asked, "What's your name?" After he responded she asked if he could sit next to Aiden (apparently another kindergartner) on the front seat of the bus. Then the doors closed and I waved at him and swallowed a little lump in my throat.

After walking back to the house with the little boys I had to reassure myself several times that he would be okay. I had to convince myself that he'd be alright and get to school just fine, even if it was the wrong bus number. After all, it was the first day of buses, and surely they just made a mistake with the number. I text Tyler about the situation and he responded with, "What?!? He's probably down in Portland somewhere!" I text back to tell him "not funny". But still I couldn't shake that uneasiness of not knowing EXACTLY where my little Q was.

Turns out everything was just fine. He made it school. Got to his class and had a fabulous day.

I'm sure it's only the first of many goodbyes and growing up stages. I can't bare to think about sending him to college and off on a mission, and even giving him away to a wife. It all sounds terribly scary, and yet joyous at the same time. I hope and pray that he'll (and that I will be as well) be ready for each new phase of his growing up life experiences.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

No Pause button over here... the show must go on

 Since the day Quincy was born, no even before that... in the womb Quincy had a strong personality. Most babies are cooperative and lay in a comfortable vertical, up and down, position allowing both baby and mother to coexist happily together. Not my Q. He was determined to make horizontal his position of choice. 

"Oh he could very well turn around by the time you deliver," said my doctor. Quincy probably heard that and laughed and said to her right then and there, "Fat chance Doc!" And so he continued in his most determined little nature to make both of us miserable in that transverse breech position. I kept thinking if only you would just turn around things would be so much easier for both us us! Needless to say no matter how hard I tired, he had opinions of his own. 

Then he came out (and I was overjoyed at having regained freedom from that stubborn little boy who was consuming most of the space in my body.) And his stubborn nature continued to manifest. 

"Breast is best". Oh you've all heard it before. Those wonderful nurses and doctors feeding you this slogan from the time you conceive. Sure I had plans to nurse my baby, but he had his *own* way of learning things. Through days and weeks and months I continued to battle with my little Quincy. Hadn't he heard that phrase, Mother Knows Best, before? Together.... butting heads the whole way... we figured out the whole nursing thing. But he didn't make it easy on me. Like I said he had his own agenda. 

With time, Quincy and I learned how to communicate. He was an early talker. Speaking actual clear words at 16 months and using full sentences by 18 months. By the time he was 2, we all knew when he had an opinion and when he didn't agree with what was going on, we heard about that too. Let me stop here to note that I love my little Quincy dearly, he has so many good qualities in him. He's a great brother, and he's helpful, he is bright, and loving.... but he's stubborn. That strong will of his and mine sure do collide a lot and there were many days and weeks... that I couldn't help, but dream of the day when he would go to school and perhaps listen to his teachers more than he listened to me. 

As time passed and we neared that heavenly date (the First day of school) I found that I started feeling anxious. I wasn't necessarily worried that he'd fail kindergarten, let's face it he's reading at an advanced level and doing math quite well. I wasn't worried that he wouldn't make any friends, seeing as how any place we go to he's good at playing with new kids. I wasn't afraid he wouldn't fit in. I wasn't longing for him to stay home with me, but it dawned on me that this part of life... this phase in our family's life was about to change. I'd have a kid in school, granted he only goes half days here, but still. Suddenly it was like a light bulb clicked on in my head and I realized... I'm SO unprepared for this phase of life. I've spent so many years at home with my kids in a controlled environment and knowing what and who they're being exposed to and suddenly I felt way out of my element. 

Before I continue, this 'oh crap I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-moment' I want to say it didn't make me want to coddle him and keep him out of the world, it should have made me want to "press the pause button" as so many of my friends have been saying about their children growing up, but it didn't. 
Pause button? I thought.
Rewind? I thought.
 Heck no! 

I'm excited for this stuff. Quincy is too. Sure it's new. Yeah there are some scary unknown factors, but it's change and learning and growth... that is life's purpose, right? Each phase brings new challenges and wonderful moments of joy. I am truly excited to see what Quincy will accomplish through these next Elementary School years. Sometimes I have to ask myself, if there something wrong with me? Shouldn't I want it to go back to those "easy days" of him being a baby. But then perhaps that's why he was such a stubborn child then, to help me be able to 'let go' easier now.

 I'm ready for it. 
Do I know exactly what 'it' is? 
 Not a clue for what's in store, but that's the beauty of growing up, 
I'm learning to embrace the change. 

This was before we we went to his open house last Thursday. 
Finding his table and name. His teacher had a scavenger hunt for the kids and their parent's to find his cubby, his school box, and some other things around the classroom. 

His first Day of school. 
I should preface by saying the night before he was so excited to start school he came out of his room 10 minutes after going to bed to remind me: 'Not to forget to wake him up because I don't have an alarm clock.' I thought it was cute.The next morning he ended up waking 10 minutes earlier than I planned to get him up because he was so excited. Tyler drove him and I to his school and dropped us off. The little boys stayed with our neighbor. 
His backpack form Great Grandma Rena. 
His teacher Mrs. Cohen. She's so short I feel tall! 
I managed to keep my emotions in check while dropping him off. When he got his school supplies in the appropriate boxes and his back pack in his cubby he was ready for me to leave. 
I said, "Goodbye. I love you"..... and he was already looking over at the other kids.... 
It didn't phase him one bit.
 I gave myself I little pep talk on the way out, telling myself that's the way I wanted to be able to leave him: Ready and excited for new adventures. 

Then I read this poem enclosed in the folder I was supposed to take home with paper work to fill out:

"The First Day of School"
I gave you and little wink and a smile
As you entered my room today
I know how hard it is to leave
And simply walk away.

You've been together for several years. 
You've been a loving guide.
But now the time has finally come, 
To leave your child by my side.

Just know that as you drive away
And tears may start to flow,
I'll love your child as I would my own
And help your little one to grow.

So place a favorite picture here,
And cherish it in your own way.
And know your child will be safe and loved
As we work and learn each day.

And dang it.
I was just fine until I read that poem and of course reading that caused a few tears to escape.
 But again I reassured myself that all this "new" stuff is GOOD stuff. 
I came back an hour earlier than school got out. The parents met and talked with his teacher. Then we got back together with our kids. He looked happy and showed me his book box (which is what he'll put his school library books in when he takes them home.) 
He had a great first day. Of course there were only 6 kids there for his screening day. Monday he goes in for his gradual entry day with half of his class. Tuesday everyone goes in. 
There are 27 kids in his class.... I hope he find his niche and fits in nicely, but I'm not too worried. 
I officially have a kindergartner. 
It's crazy. 
But I couldn't be more happy with the one I've got. 
He's a great kid and I know he'll succeed. 
Happy First Day of School Quincy! 

Happy Birthday Tyler

My handsome husband is now the ripe age of 32. 
He is officially **INTO** his thirties. 
It's not a bad thing. 
Sure I tease him about being an "old man" and all every once in a while, but really Tyler has softened in all the right areas with his mature age number. 

He is such a wonderful dad. Having three boys in our house is the ideal ratio of boys to girls in our home, according to Tyler... but don't let that fool you. Yes, he can most definitely wrestle with the best of them. Run circles with the kids til they all pass out. He can shoot, throw, and hit balls of all shapes and sizes. He likes to watch sports with the boys and eat lots of red meat, BUT he knows how to make a wife feel special. 

He knows how to take her shopping every once in a while.He knows how to hold her hand in the car while the kids are fighting and she wants to turn around and go home. He knows how to say kind things to her when she feels a little discouraged about all the uncertainties of parenthood. He knows how to bring home an unexpected treat every now and then. And he sure knows when to give a much needed hug or embrace to prevent a fountain of tears. 

Yes. I have to conclude that age rests very well on my Tyler and I'm we're both thankful that it hasn't taken all his hair away.... yet. :) I asked Tyler what he wanted for his birthday breakfast and after informing him what ingredients we actually had he chose homemade sweet little biscuits. I make them from scratch and they were flaky, and crispy, and soft in the most perfect ratio. It was an added bonus to eat them fresh out of the oven with the homemade blueberry jam that I made from all our berry picking escapades these past few months of summer. 

(Feeling like Susie homemaker over here... )

Oh. And did I mention I got all the kids to be quiet enough to let him sleep til 9:00?? 
That's why he looks all sleepy in this breakfast picture. 

(I dream of a scenario when my sleep schedule allows me to sleep in that late.)
Yum yum.... perfect biscuits from my mom's homemade recipe. 
Unfortunately we still had church seeing as how it was Sunday, BUT I managed to get all the kids ready and let him watch football ALL morning and afternoon long. Oh and I think all night long too. Let's just say it was a lot of football. However, it was HIS birthday, not MINE. :)

Don't my boys all look so cute? 
Q even took a picture of us, as we never have one with both of us in it. 
Tyler's dinner request was Kings Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders. I threw in green beans cuz we needed a balanced meal, although when they're fresh from the garden and sauteed with garlic, onions, salt, and pepper... Tyler was okay with that. 
For our anniversary I had planned to make a seven layer smores cake that I found on Pinterest. Never got around to it and we decided to improvise and make a 6 layer birthday cake with a hershey's chocolate chip cookie layers, a fudgy brownie layer, cream cheese frosting layer, and mini M&M's. I'll admit it was exhausting making all this food from scratch all day especially since it all had to be done BEFORE church since the cake had to cool before layering. Did I mention how much I dislike 2-5:00 church? (Only 3 more months.... ) 

Like a true BSU fan sporting the blue and orange.... 
Happy Birthday Tyler! 
We are so lucky to have you as part of our family and it was an honor celebrating YOU. 

Oh and for part of his "present" he gets to play golf ALL day Saturday. How fun... for him. :)