Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pop Quiz!

I worry that years from now, when the boys ask to go through our family photos, I won't be able to tell all the baby pictures apart. Can you?? Take this "Who's Who?" quiz and see if you can identify Baby Hank, Baby Max, Baby Ben, and Baby Joey. Don't cheat--no peaking at the answers below!










     Baby Hank = #4 & #7
     Baby Max = #1 & #6
     Baby Ben = #2 & #8
     Baby Joey = #3 & #5

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sunday Best

After six weeks of sequestering Joey at home to avoid germ exposure, I was super excited to be able to return to church together. Dang! I can't stand how handsome these boys of mine are all dressed up for church!

I had to include this sad you just have to laugh!

No Deal

After a particularly looong day, I texted Aaron and told him that he should feel lucky that he GETS to go to work....sitting in a quiet office sounds like paradice compared to referee-ing endless fights (we don't say "poopy butt"), yelling at the kids to eat their lunches ("fruit snacks don't count as real fruit"), and cleaning up never-ending messes ("squirt guns are for playing outside"). And then this little boy will flash me his sweet baby smile, and I think to myself, "I am the luckiest person alive."

Loving on the Baby

I love when I happen upon my boys in a moment of rare brotherly love and affection...makes me feel like, just maybe, I might be doing something right.


I feel like I'm balancing the fine line between being the cool mom that lets her kids dress themselves, and just plain being the white trash mom whose kids run around looking unkempt and dissheveled.

At the very least, I thought this picture of Max, who insisted on wearing his rain boots and swim googles on our morning trip to Costco, might be good ammo to use down the road in case he ever becomes embarassed to be seen in public by his dear Mommy.

Hank's Diarama

A few weeks ago Hank came home with a homework assignment: research an animal of his choice, prepare a brief report to present to the class, and create a diarama. Hank and Nana Grover worked hard together, learning about African elephants, memorizing a few key facts, and gathering all of the materials for his diarama (you have to imagine it when the vegetation was fresh). For being his very first little project, I thought it turned out great!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Second Annual "Look How Far We've Come Day!"

I choose to think of this date, the anniversary of the day that changed my whole entire self forever, as "Look How Far We've Come Day!" In actuality, it was a very ordinary day. A day like every other. But between the routine, the everyday chores, the daily grind....were miracles. You might miss them if you weren't looking closely. But these seemingly everyday happenings, these regular me...are a series of beautiful, little miracles.


You amaze and delight me every single day. You fill my heart with a degree of joy that many people will never know. Because of you, I believe in miracles. Always remember, you have an infinite potential--all things are possible! Happy "Look How Far You've Come Day!"

I love you,

Beautiful Heartbreak

Hillary Weeks' "Beautiful Heartbreak" captures perfectly the mix of emotion that I feel while reflecting on the anniversary date of Ben's illness two years ago:

I had it all mapped out in front of me,
Knew just where I wanted to go;
But life decided to change my plans,
And I found a mountain in the middle of my road.

I knew there was no way over it,
So I searched for a way around;
Brokenhearted a started climbin',
And at the top I found...

Every fear, every doubt,
All the pain I went through;
Was the price that I paid to see this view;
And now that I'm here I would never trade...

The grace that I feel,
And the faith that I find;
Through the bittersweet tears,
And the sleepless nights;

I used to pray He'd take it all away,
But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak.

I never dreamed my heart would make it,
I thought about turning around;
But heaven has shown me miracles,
I never would have seen from the ground.

Now I take the rain with the sunshine,
Cause there's one thing that I know;
He picks up the peices,
Along each broken road.

Every fear, every doubt,
All the pain I went through;
Was the price that I paid to see this view;
And now that I'm here I would never trade...

The grace that I feel,
And the faith that I find,
Through the bittersweet tears
And the sleepless nights.

I used to pray He would take it all away,
But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak.

Therapuetically soaking in a bubble bath on Sunday night, the eve of the anniversary date that changed the life of my son and my family, reviewing the events of that horrific day two years ago, the pain of those events felt as fresh as ever....

.........I could hear the pathetic, weak little moan that he made as he slept, fevered and fitful on my chest the morning he became sick...I relived the tormenting guilt of the decision ignorantly made to take him to the peditrician rather than run him directly to the hospital--the children's hospital...I felt the fear and panic rise in my heart remembering his struggle to breathe, witnessing his first seizure, and the helplessness of it being able to offer no comfort...laying with him in his hospital crib, holding his hands and singing him primary songs, sobbing, praying to dear God to save my child...the horror of watching his very life slip away, turning dark dray, in the back of an ambulance...the confusion of doctors rushing to revive him........

.........and then, in my moment of deepest pain and despair, I remembered the hand that reached down, and pulled me up....that gave me strength... How I prayed for Him to take it all away! How hard I tried to find another way! I battled within, afraid to submit my will to the Lord....what perfect and complete peace I found when I was able to gather my faith, humble myself before the Lord, and lay my burden at his feet......

......His plan was beautiful! Not painless, not easy. But....beautiful. Climbing my mountain (and I'm not to the top yet), has been tiring, draining, painful at times. I've tried to turn back; He has given me strength to keep climbing. The view is extraordinary. Unable to attain this perspective from any other vantage point. Worth every step of the climb.

On a day that conjures up so many painful memories, I celebrate the beautiful journey that we've made and the breaktaking view from the mountain we've climbed.

the payoff

I've been waiting patiently for Joey's smile to make its first appearance...he hasn't quite mastered it on command yet, so when he is able to make eye contact and he flashes that sweet little's just...priceless.


I'm not sure who was more traumatized: Ben who suffered through, terrified of the horse and the strangers surrounding him, during his first hippotherapy session, or Max who was dropped off at a new friend's house and was found lying in the fetal position, screaming, "I want my mommy!", covered in buckets of tears and snot, when I returned to pick him up just an hour later. Whew! Can't wait for next week (note heavy sarcasm)!

Despite Ben's guarded reaction, studies of hippotherapy have revealed countless benefits including increased coordination and balance and improvement in overall tone, speech, and confidence. We've done hard things--we can do this!

Add Hippotherapy to the list of weekly therapies:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Vision Therapy (at home, in office, and weekly playgroup)
  • Orientation and Mobility
  • Feeding Therapy
  • Developmental Therapy

It Was a Zoo!

On Saturday, we left one zoo (eleven crazy cousins running amuk in one busy house) and visited another, the Hogle Zoo.

Just a few of the cousins visiting us last week: Bailey, Hailey, Macie, Dallin, Benson, and Sydney.

Don't worry, Max wasn't climbing into the bear cage or anything, just climbing up on the fence to wave to the passing kiddie train.

Baby boo-boo

Even though Ben has me wrapped around his little finger (see previous post), I was not pleased with him when he bopped baby Joey (who was snoozing soundly in his carseat) on the head with his train tracks, giving Joey his first (of many, I'm sure) little owie.


I think part of the reason that Ben has become such a trouble-maker is that Ben interprets my attempt at discipline as a hilarious game. Who am I kidding? I guess Ben can see right through my charade of feigning disdain when he is being mischeivous, because whenever I give him a stern look, lower my voice, and say, "Ben-ny! Better not!" he just starts rolling with a fit of giggles. He's right though--I am completely amused by his little acts of mischeif--and he knows it!