Tuesday, August 21, 2012

At Last

At the end of the year I publish my blog into a hard cover book so I usually avoid posting videos. However, in this case, a photo just wouldn't suffice.

  • 28 - Ben's age in months
  • 12 - steps Ben took this afternoon
  • 750 - approximate hours Ben has spent in therapy to accomplish this goal
  • 3 - prayers said by our family together each and every day for Ben to have the strength, balance, and confidence to walk.
  • 2 - words: Halle. Lujah.

First Day of School

7:01 am - Hank comes bouncing downstairs, fully dressed, ready for school.

9:10 am - I give Hank a great big hug and wish him luck on his very first day of first grade. He won't let me walk him to his class; he wants to be dropped off at the front of the school. What a big kid!

9:12 am - Dance Party! Max and I get our groove on to celebrate our awesome Mom and Max day!

9:15 am - I get started on household chores....gather laundry, clean up breakfast, start dishes, etc.

9:20 am - Max is bored. Max goes to play at a neighbor's house.

9:22 am - Two boys down--now its really time to celebrate! Dance Party again!

9:25 am - Ahah! So this is what is feels like to be productive.

10:30 am - Hmmm...I've already bugged Aaron twice at work. I've already called my mom. Its feeling kind of quiet.

Noon - I send for Max to come home to eat lunch together. Wonder how Hank is doing at school...

1:00 pm - Both babies in bed! Max having quiet time. What to do, what to do... Free time! I work on my talk for church on Sunday!

2:00 pm - Is it time to pick up Hank yet?

3:30 pm - Interrogate Hank about each and every detail of his day (he LOVED it!)--over milk and cookies, of course.

3:45 pm - Max and Hank play together like long lost friends.

4:00 pm - Max takes Hank's prized keychain. Hank stabs Max with a pencil (come on, really?!). Boys are both sent to time out. Boys proceed with wailing and gnashing their teeth.

ahhh. All is right in the world again.

Kicking Butt

Hank: "How was work, Dad?"
Aaron: "I kicked butt."
Max: "Who's butt did you kick?"

The next day...
Max: "Did you kick a butt today, Dad?"
Dad: "I kicked a big butt!"

This guy is kicking a really big butt and I couldn't be more proud!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Life in a Nutshell

Disclaimer #1: The topic of this post is about poop (ha! funny that a poop story is metaphoric for my life)

Disclaimer #2: At the outset, I intended this post to be light and humorous. As I began to write it, my deeper feelings became exposed and it took on more of a journal entry quality as I confessed a few of my mommy insecurites. Not my typical post, but a snapshot of our life nonetheless.

While it's still fresh in my memory, I want to record a seemingly insignificant event that occurred this afternoon that, for good or bad, accurately captures my life in a nutshell. With great intentions of being a superstar mom, I decided to take the boys to the splash pad after naptime. Knowing that Joey and Ben's attention spans don't last long at the park, I let Hank and Max get a head start and start splashing while I watched them from the car, simultaneously nursing Joey and feeding Ben his bottle. Just a few minutes later, Hank and Max come running back to the car, telling me that they both need to go potty. I'm usually pretty cautious about letting them use public restrooms (stranger danger), but in this case, I told them to stay together and come check in with me afterwards, while I kept my eye on them from the car. A few minutes pass. Suddenly Hank comes bolting out of the bathroom, runs back to me at the car, and tells me that Max has pooped in his swim shorts (Max's explanation for this is still unclear, but apparently the bathroom was slippery, he fell off the potty...??). Immediately, I mentally ran through my options: carry Joey and Ben to the bathroom? No. I didn't pack my stroller and the bathroom was on the other side of the splash pad. Leave Joey and Ben in the car while I run to the bathroom? No. As much as I was worried about Max being alone in the restroom, I couldn't leave the babies alone in the car, either. Yell at Max to abort and go home? No. Without being able to access the situation, it didn't seem appropriate to alert the rest of the park-goers to this predicament. Suffice it to say, I was in a pickle and the best solution I could come up with was to instruct Hank to quickly return to the bathroom and either help Max clean up or else bring Max back out. Hank didn't hesitate and ran back to the bathroom. I quickly finished nursing Joey and situated him in the front-pack and then carried Ben in a semi-bear hug to the playground. It was a relief when Hank and Max both came frolicking out of the bathroom, happy as ever. When Hank came to check in with me, I learned that Hank had helped Max take off his poopy swim shorts and then washed them in the sink. Problem solved! At first I laughed, picturing those two rascals, one nakey, and the other rinsing out soiled shorts. And then I couldn't help but cry for how perfectly and pathetically the incident sums up my life, our life, these days. Poor Hank, at six, taking on such heavy household responsibility. Cleaning up his brothers' poopy shorts was just one of the many times today I called on him to pitch in and bail me out--from babysitting Joey in the morning while I take a shower, to putting on Ben's shoes and socks, to fetching me diapers and bottles, to being on "binky duty," Hank is my go-to helper--often carrying much more of a load than is fair to ask of a six year old. Poor Max, at three, still very much needs his mommy, but often has to settle for a stand-in brother, wait his turn, or, do without. It breaks my heart a little that Max has become so very accepting and patient with taking a backseat. With his characteristic smile and upbeat attitude, Max will always tell me, "Ok, Mommy. Next time (an indefinate point in the future) you can push me on the swing." Ugh. Knife twisting in heart. Poor Ben, at two, settling for hanging out with me and making do with whatever junk I have on hand to serve as entertainment because I can't carry him everywhere to help him keep up with his brothers. He will make his own games of climbing in and out of his stroller or rocking in the baby carseat because I can't always carry him across the bark chips, up the stairs to the platform, and ride down the slide with him. Poor Joey, at four-months, just as sweet as he can be...what would I do without the front-pack, bumboo, bouncer, and excersaucer because I simply can't give him the undivided attention that I truly want to give him. Ahhhhh! One comical little incident reveals so much about the difficult dynamics in our family right now. If I think about it, I feel riddled with guilt about how little there is of me to go around and the impact it has on each of the boys. All I can do is pray for the Lord to forgive me for my shortcomings, bless me with strength to increase my capacity, and through His grace somehow make up the difference. I love each of my boys and hope that, if nothing else, they will come to appreciate how hard I've tried to do my very best.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Benny Be Big"

A sight I wasn't sure I would ever see: my little Benny boy standing independently!

When I tell Benny to "be big," he will get into a bear walk position, walking his hands back until he is nearly touching his toes, and then pushing off the floor, stand upright. He hovers in a little defensive stance for a moment or two, falls back to the floor, and then repeats it all over again--laughing and hamming it up for attention.
As much as I celebrate this milestone, I cannot wait for the day (hopefully very soon!) that Benny decides to take off and start walking. My heart just bursts with pride for this little boy!


Yesterday Ben's early intervention group hosted a fishing event at a local lake. We placed a friendly wager on who could catch the biggest fish and the winner was Max with this whopper of a catch:

Nakey Keiki

I do love me a nakey little baby. All that soft baby skin, those chubby baby rolls, and the sweet baby grins. Don't you want to just blow a big, juicy raspberry on that tubby little tummy?

All Business

When I put Joey in the exersaucer for the first time last week he was all business. I tried to get him to crack a smile, but he put on his serious face and concentrated really hard on making those toys spin, flip, and rattle.

A cute moment happened when big brother Ben crawled over and seemed to coach Joey a little, showing him how to work the exersaucer.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


"Hi. My name is Joey. I am 4 months old (tomorrow). Want to know a secret? I have my mommy wrapped around my little pinky. All I have to do is flash her my killer baby smile (see below) and it makes her heart melt. Can you blame her?"

He's On a Roll!

Joey is a rockstar! Well, he rocks and rolls anyways! Woohoo!

I don't put Joey on his tummy very often--I just can't bear the little sad face he makes when I force him to do tummy time--so I was impressed when he rolled right over from tummy to back this morning. Gee, I wonder how long he's been hiding that trick up his sleeve before I thought to let him test out his skills.

#31 Alpine Slide

Gas from our house to Park City: $10ish
4 Chairlift tickets to ride the Alpine Slide and Alpine Coaster: $70 (yeeouch!)
Memories made while sliding down the mountainside with my boys: Priceless