My sweet Graham, Tonight was the night. We lay in your bed together, snuggling. All of a sudden, your little voice was heavy with fear. You asked whether our house would burn down. Or what we would do if grandma died. I kept trying to assure you everything would be OK, that we have a Heavenly Father that takes care of us. That even though we lose people we love here on Earth, if they have Jesus in their heart, we see them in Heaven again. You paused. I knew you were thinking. Then I asked if you wanted to ask Him into your heart, and you said "Yes." So, we prayed together, and your little voice was so heartfelt. And I knew the angels were rejoicing. And then you slept. Your worries had slipped away. I love you baby boy. I rejoice with the angels tonight.
As I write this, you are nine and a few months. Lately, you have been going through some changes. It's almost as if you are on the verge of those tumultuous pre-adolescent years (can it possibly be knocking on our door already?). There's been some challenges with you lately, and it has driven me to the place I hope to always go whenever I have questions about my parenting (or anything!): to my knees. You have to remember, you are still my first baby. I have never done this before, I've never had a nine year old boy. I know I have already made my share of mistakes, and I hope I have already done many things well. But, I need the help only God can give me...I especially need His wisdom as I do this for the very first time.
During this season of our life together, I hope I can point you to The Way, and keep you on the path of Truth. I pray I am never a stumbling block to your salvation. I pray, as I have from the time you were a baby, that I will be the right kind of mama for you according to your personality and what you need.
I love you so much. I love you so much I think my heart has broken a million times from it. I still have this picture of you I carry around in my mind from when you got your tonsils out when you were two. I am in the hospital with you, it is the middle of the night, and you won't settle unless I am holding you and rocking you and singing lullabies. We must have rocked a hundred miles that night, and I sang until I couldn't sing another note. In fact, I got sick that night, and in between bouts of vomiting in the bathroom, I would rock and hold you some more. You were my baby, and you needed me.
You still need me, and you are still my baby. You always will be.
Lately, I have been thinking about how Graham, at age five, still reaches for my hand in the parking lot. You don't anymore. I wonder when the last time was? When was the last time your then-pudgy hand held mine to be sure you were safe in the world? I am glad I didn't know it was the last time.
I want you to keep holding onto me. In this scary world, we'll have many storms. So many times when we won't know what to do. But, you hang onto me, and I'll look to our Heavenly Father to lead us on the Way. And I'll never, ever let go.
I love you so,
I am so proud of you. As I write this, you are just a couple of months past your fifth birthday. I can see you growing and changing every day now. You are such a sweet boy. I love watching your sweetness come out as you go throughout your day to day activities. You share your prize candy with your big brother. You protect your little brother from something he could choke on. You give me a big hug when I walk through the door after only being gone for a couple of hours. You are my sweet boy. You are so smart too. I am amazed at all the things you pick up from listening to me do school with your big brother. I also love how you are who you are. Whatever emotion you are feeling at the time is right at the surface. Whether you are angry or frustrated, there's usually a good reason. My heart bursts with pride for you a thousand times a day my sweet boy. I am so glad God gave you to me. I love you so,
OK, I have finished a few of my home projects (in between all sorts of kid's summer activities, trips to the farm, a vacation with friends, Graham's major injury and ensuing hospitalization, my own health issues, and a major marketing campaign for my business...whew!).
I have just finished my master bedroom re-do, and will be posting photos soon.
When I checked back to my previous blog post about everything I wanted to get done, I felt pretty good--most of what I wanted to do has been accomplished, or else I have changed my mind about what I wanted to do. Here's what I have left to do on my house before the start of the school year:
*Paint downstairs bathroom Wyeth blue, get a new lamp or a few new accessories.
*Get two new shelves for LEGO display in Isaac's room. Move bookshelf above couch or above new shelving in Homeschool room. Maybe move large black photos somewhere else?
*Put up IKEA shelf and re-organize school supplies.
*re-paint top of Homeschool table and look into getting glass to cover it?
*Paint my desk white??
*Relocate dog kennel to laundry room?
The day was June 5th. It wasn't an ordinary day. It was your birthday! It was finally here! After all those weeks of asking, "How much longer til my birthday mama?" It was finally here! I spent the day preparing for a family get together we were having that night. The plan was to have pizza and cake, and open presents. Grandma Arlet came, as well as Aunty Mel and Uncle Doug, Autumn and Jordan, and our friend Ashley brought her kids Hunter (your best buddy!), Harper and Hailey. The party was a success! You loved your presents and got lots of fun things. We had cake and ice cream, and then you and Hunter rushed outside to ride your bikes. A few minutes later, the garage door opened and in you came, crying that cry that no mama likes to hear. I knew something was wrong in an instant. I looked at your arm, and it was hanging limply at your side and you couldn't move it. My first thought was that it had been dislocated, since this had happened twice before and looked a lot like how your arm was hanging. But then I realized that had you just fallen off your bike, this would not have caused a dislocation. It was probably broken. Grandma and I rushed into the van with you. We had Grayson in tow because mama was still nursing him and I didn't have any extra milk stored for him. You were in tremendous pain on the way to the emergency room. Everytime I looked at you in the rearview mirror, my stomach turned. You were just in so much pain, and it was etched all over your face. When we got you into the triage room of the emergency room, you started to go into shock. You were as white as a ghost, and you started to shake. Thankfully, the nurses got you back into a room quickly. A few minutes later we had X-rays taken, which eventually confirmed that your elbow was in fact broken. The emergency room doctor told us that the orthepaedic surgeon on call was sick and would be unable to come until the morning and they would be admitting you to the hospital for the night. We got into our hospital room where the wonderful nursing staff had a pile of gifts with a card reading, "Happy Birthday" on your table. The dry-erase board on the wall also had a big, "Happy Birthday" written on it. This was not the way we had pictured your birthday night ending, but it was a thoughtful gesture. The nurses needed to start an IV for you, so they took us down to a room whose primary purpose is distraction. There are games and bubbles and all sorts of things to distract little ones from scary and painful procedures. There was also laughing gas, and this proved to be the best distraction of all. You sat between my legs on the hospital bed with a mask blowing laughing gas while a nurse let you play "Angry Birds" on an ipad. You didn't even notice when the nurse inserted your iv. On the way back to your room, daddy carried you and you said, "Dad, I liked that stuff!" (meaning the laughing gas!) We got you settled and asleep, and I ran home to check on the baby who had went home with grandma (daddy had come to take her place) and to get some clothes for us. Grandma told me then that it had just dawned on her that this was your golden birthday! My poor Graham! What a golden birthday this was for you! Daddy and I slept in your room with you on a recliner and a cot. The next morning, the surgeon stopped in and said he had a busy day planned, and that he wasn't sure when he would be able to place pins in your elbow, but that it would be that day sometime. We waited. And waited. And waited. You hadn't eaten anything most of the day to prepare for your surgery, and by 7pm that night, you were famished. You begged me for food, and I started to cry. The last two days had taken their toll, and I couldn't stand to see my baby hungry. And to top it off, your blood pressure was going up. The stress and strain was wearing on you, too. FINALLY, at 10:30PM, they wheeled us into the surgery room. They let me accompany you. I was covered from head to toe in a surgical gown and we walked into the ice cold, brightly lit surgery room. We sat you on the table and I stood in front of you holding you as best as I could. I knew you were a little scared. I was too. I whispered soothing words in your ear and told you everything would be fine. Pretty soon, it was time for the anesthetic. They placed the mask over your mouth and you were out in an instant. They laid you down on the table and I walked out. At this point, I began to get very light-headed and felt like I was going to pass out. It was all too much for me to watch my baby have to endure. I wished it could be me having to go through all of this instead of you. We waited in the family room until a nurse finally came and got me around 1:00 in the morning. They brought me back to the recovery room. A nurse explained to me that normally they don't have family members come to the recovery room, but that you had been very distraught when you first woke up, and they thought having me there would help. I went to you immediately and tried to love you as best as I could. You were very upset, and tried to thrash around on the table. Finally, the nurse gave you a second dose of a pretty strong pain killer and you calmed down. I later found out that they had to more closely monitor your heart and breathing because you were given a stronger dose of medicine than children your age normally get. We finally got to your room, and you just wanted to sleep. We did too. At about 3 in the morning, the nurse woke you up to administer more pain meds and to check your vital signs. You have never responded well when someone wakes you up in the middle of a sleep, and you certainly didn't this time either. You became very defiant, and refused to take your medicine. The nurse finally excused herself and allowed me to deal with you. I got you to take your medicine somehow, and then we all went back to sleep. The next day, they discharged us with plans to return to our surgeon's office in two weeks to have a permanent cast put on. This was certainly not the birthday we had planned for you. You were so strong. I was amazed at how easy-going and brave you were through the whole thing. You hardly complained at all, and you took it all in stride. I'm not sure why this happened to you. I wish it hadn't. But we do know God walked this path with us, and He prepares the way before us.
#1: Fleece vest his grandma made him this Spring. Here's the back story: Isaac and his buddy Jayce were pretending to have a street band. They wanted matching shirts made by grandma. Grandma couldn't just make shirts for Isaac and Jayce, so she made one for Graham and his buddy. It has been a permanent fixture on his body since she gave it to him. It has blue and purple snowflakes on it. Thanks, grandma.
#2: Daddy bought him some gardening gloves. Here's the back story: All Spring, Graham kept digging in the glove drawer searching for some gloves he could wear when he did work in the yard. Tired of the endless glove mess, daddy relented and bought Graham a pair of gardening gloves. They have also been a permanent fixture on his body since he got them.
#3: The ginormous cross necklace he refuses to take off. Also a gift from grandma. Thanks again, grandma.
#4: The Crocs, which are a must-have for every preschooler for summer. Easy to get off. Easy to put on. We wear them to the park, to the store, to church, pretty much everywhere.
#5: The Orange mustache from Orange Crush pop, also a gift from grandma (Hmmmmmm, am I seeing a pattern here?)
So, if you see us out and about and Graham is sporting this look, you will now know Graham is just being Graham. And I love every inch of him.
Summer is looming just around the corner, I can smell it! I am SO excited to have a break from homeschooling to work on some home projects that have gotten pushed to the backburner. Here is a list of things I would love to tackle, hopefully there is time to do them all!
*Re-paint master bedroom. Find different side tables/dressers at thrift or garage sales and paint black. Get new lamps. Move three huge photos from downstairs to above the bed. Possibly put decorative shelves on blank wall. Paint chandelier and replace ceiling fan. Wash curtains, completely clean entire room. Possibly move black and white photos from the downstairs bathroom into master bedroom. Here's some inspiration pics via Pinterest: I love these side tables. They are simple and clean. I seriously need some side tables with drawers for books I am reading, etc. I love this shelf above the bed and all the accessories. I adore mercury glass lamps and burlap lampshades, but they are so expensive. Wondering if I can replicate somehow?
*Paint upstairs bathroom a bluish/grayish/turquise-ish color. Move black and white toile shower curtain up from the basement.
*Move Brown and monogram shower curtain downstairs. Incorporate chocolate brown and white color scheme with new towels, etc.
*Overhaul basement school room. Get carpets cleaned. Paint hutch black, possibly chalkboard paint the top doors. Paint desk black and get beveled glass to put over the top. Paint table and chairs black, possibly finish the top of the table in chalkboard paint. Possibly paint dresser in laundry room black and replace bottom drawers with baskets. Move out couch. Bring back denim chair if there is room (probably won't be). Think about re-locating fireplace. Put up shelving from IKEA. Re-organize all supplies. Here's some inspiration pics via Pinterest! I want to chalkboard paint our school table like this! Shelving inspiration: More shelving inspiration... I have a crappy old dresser I want to do this with. I am thinking of using it in our school room somewhere, or I could move it upstairs and move one of my tables into our master bedroom as a side table.
I love these pictures of my mom and Grayson. I am so thankful to God for my mom and dad. They are a constant source of love and support for me. I love watching them love my boys. I don't know what I'd do without them...
My sweet little monkey man is seven weeks old already! In his first month and a half, he has mastered these skills: *smiling, smiling, smiling! *cooing *batting at objects *tracking moving objects with his eyes Grayson's sleep has been going great! He seems to be a pretty easy-going little guy. The first three weeks or so were a little rough, with some evening/nighttime colic from about 8 or 9pm until around 1am. We took him to the chiropractor, and after that, the fussiness stopped. He now goes to bed around 9 or 10. We put him in his crib asleep. He will usually wake once 20 minutes later and after I rock him back to sleep for a few minutes, he goes down for his first long stretch of the night, usually until 3 or 4am. Then, he usually has an early morning feeding at around 6 or so and then will usually sleep until around 9am. What a good boy! I plan on moving his bedtime up earlier as he gets older, but for now, this is working fine. I love this book I used it with Graham and it worked beautifully. I love how it combines some of my favorite ideas from an attachment-parenting perspective with getting your baby on his OWN, baby-directed sleep schedule. It really helps me to tune into my babies and read their cues for sleep a lot better. Love, love love. I am really enjoying my sweet Grayson. I think there is something about a third (and last) baby. With Isaac, everything was so new and I was pretty much a nervous wreck the entire first year or so. With Graham, I was less nervous, but still wasn't sure if things would go similar to how they did with Isaac, or if he would be a completely different baby. With Grayson, I am much more confident in what to expect from a new baby, but also enjoy those things that make Grayson unique. I love him with all my heart and soul. At his two week check-up, our wonderful pediatrician Dr. Ron Miller detected a non-innocent heart murmur in our Grayson. What he predicted turned out to be accurate with the completion of an echocardiogram. Grayson has a tiny hole in his heart which will most likely close before his first birthday. He also have an issue with one of his valves, but this will also self-correct before he turns one. We will probably need to repeat the echocardiogram at some point in the near future. We are thankful for modern medicine and incredibly gifted physicians! Mostly, this first month and a half has been one of me getting to know my new baby, recovering physically from pregnancy and a C-section, and watching my family fall in love with my sweet baby boy.
"Sons are the anchors of a mother's life." -Sophocles
Isaac is 10 and is a fourth grader this year. He is the laughter of my days. He is dramatic, hilarious, smart, creative and has a great sense of humor. He loves LEGOS, Minecraft, Making stuff out of polymer clay, Taekwondo and music.
Graham is six years old. He is a kindergartner this year. He is the excitement and color of my days. He is obliviously hilarious, independent, snuggly, sweet and totally boy. He loves LEGOS, minecraft, eating, playing basketball and doing projects with mom and dad.
Grayson is 18 months old. He is the pure love of my days. He likes to do whatever his brothers are doing, he loves to snuggle with mama and get into stuff around the house. He loves his papa.