Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Birth of a Mommy...

Dear X-man,

I am having a hard time grasping that I have already been a mother for 3 years.  Or should I say, that I have  only been a mom for 3 years.  It's quite the conundrum.  It has all gone by in such a flash, but at the same time, it is hard to remember life before you!  Let's see...this day, 3 years ago was a monumental one for your daddy and me.  It was a day of anxiety, excruciating pain and the most blissful high I have ever known...all in the span of 10ish hours!  The moment you slipped into this world, there was so much commotion--nurses gasping over your lengthy eyelashes, monitors beeping, your daddy cheering to me over the feat that had just been conquered--it all faded when you took your first little breath and those first sweet, squeaky newborn cries escaped from your little body.  Your dad snipped your umbilical cord (like a pro), grinning from ear to ear with pride and they plopped your gray little self onto my chest and I watched your skin turn pink with each little breath you took as I examined each little finger and toe and double checked to make sure that the sonograms were not wrong and that you were, indeed, a little boy! :)  During my pregnancy with you I spent far too much time watching these baby shows all over television because I had this unstoppable desire to soak every tidbit of information in about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.  During one of these episodes, I remember a midwife saying something along the lines of, "in that first moment when baby opens his eyes and looks into the face of his mother as she gazes back--it's in that tiny moment that, just briefly, you see the face of God."  She must be right, because there's just no other way to describe the sheer magnitude of that moment.

So...that is how I became a mom!  It was impossible at that time to even imagine what the next 3 years (and beyond) would bring and just the mention of the future and trying to envision a "3 year old" seemed so far off!  Yet, it has flown by!  You are quite the little man and such a first child!  You love a task and are eager  to help in any way that you should be allowed, especially if it involves Dad's tools.  You have developed quite the tidy nature and truly hate to be dirty (unless, of course, getting dirty was the mission) and must always have a napkin when you are eating and are extremely bothered by messes.  Perhaps that is why, as a 1 year old, your favorite toys were a broom and child-sized vacuum cleaner.  You are a little bundle of "go" and have kept me busy from the time you started crawling at 6 months to this very day.  You have a laugh that is extremely contagious and even strangers find it difficult to stifle a smile in passing when you are having a giggle fit.  You have become so caring and empathetic in your "old" age.  If I happen to stub my toe as I tidy up the living room, you immediately ask if I am OK and are quick to hand out hugs and kisses to alleviate any lingering pain.  Though, you weren't sure about him in the beginning, you adore your little brother and are pretty great at sharing toys, dogs, parents and living space with him.  Your love for him becomes especially evident if you feel like his safety is threatened in any way.  At the mere suggestion that I take him tubing behind Papa's boat, you backed him into a corner and attempted to hold all adults at bay with an outstretched hand and pleadings of "NO!"  When that failed and he and I were in the tube behind the boat, you reminded Papa the entire time to "go really really slow."

You are, of course, 3 years old now, and even this preceding year has taught us that as sweet as you can be, there is a true opposite to this sweetness that you have very real possession of.  You are a tough kid, and most often seem unfazed by most bumps, falls and scrapes, but when the pain is real, you make sure that we are aware of it with a scream that any horror film starlet would be jealous of.  All in all, though, you are the first of my two greatest masterpieces and the source of more pride than any well-paying career or accomplishment could provide.  Thank you for teaching me this...before you, I always thought I wanted to juggle a career and motherhood.  It was your tiny, amazing existence that helped me discover that shaping and molding a little human being was what I wanted to do all day, every day, and there wasn't a job out there that could keep my focus from you.  I am forever thankful that we have been given the means to allow me to be with you and your little brother day in and day out for almost all of the last 3 years.

So...that brings us to this day--October 27th, 2010.  Three years old!  We celebrated with our closest family last weekend.  You got everything you ever wished for...lots of spaceships!  You have slept with the spaceship that Nana gave you every night since.  Last night you went to bed and we talked about how tomorrow you would be 3 years old and all of the fun stuff we were going to do.  You woke up a couple of hours later rather sickly.  What timing! :(  So, you slept with me on the couches in the living room pushed up next to each other to give us ample room (since you always seem to end up horizontal in your sleep).  In the middle of the night you woke up feeling so cruddy and I helped to lull you back to sleep and took an extra 30 minutes to just watch you slumber like your Dad and I used to do when you were a newborn and every gas-induced grimace was so adorable.  I haven't been able to do that in such a long time...there may have even been a tear or two from me.  Though it was a restless night, it was so fitting to be able to sleep with my arms around my little boy on the eve of his birth.  Despite your sick little self, we have had a great day.  You got your big boy bike from your Dad and me this morning and you already have it mastered after some major practicing in the basement.  We had a short trip to the zoo and then I told you we could have whatever your little heart desired for chose peanut butter and jelly, of course!  Now you have a fever and are having a hard time making a nap happen, so you have spent the last hour bouncing back and forth from the couch to my lap in front of the computer for a quick snuggle with your hot little body.  I love you more than I could ever put into words, little man!  Thank you for the last 3 years and I cannot wait to see what the next year brings...sssslllloooowwwwlllyyy! :)  Happy Birthday!

Love you...


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Two Things...

My Birthday meal...a giant
stack of Mmmmm, courtesy
of Grill-Master J!
1).  We are celebrating my birthday (the big double 3) a few days early today since it is the weekend and we can all be together.  J has the lovely ability of insisting that a birthDAY turns into a birthWEEK.  Not that that is a bad thing, but I kinda feel a little silly with all the fuss.  Birthdays have kinda transformed into a HUGE deal for my little men, but just kind of another day for me...and I am OK with that.  It is nice to be pampered, though! :)  We got up this morning and went out for a big buffet breakfast, shopped for X-man's birthday (it's exactly a week after mine) and then had a relaxing end to our weekend.  I requested loaded burgers for dinner and my man certainly delivered!  It was a meal of awesome yumminess!  Afterward, I was serenaded by my boys with the birthday song (or "dirtday" as X-man calls it) and him singing it to me absolutely melted me from the inside out!  LOVE it! :)

My favorite three beings...responsible for some heavy
birthday spoiling this weekend! :)

2.)  Just a funny tidbit.  Last night J and I had FINALLY gotten the boys to bed (if you have read any of my blog, you know that sleeping is not a strong suit for my kids).  We settled in for a movie, some popcorn and a couple of adult beverages.  Upon removing the popcorn from the microwave, a teensy bit of smoke escaped from the bag and our fantastic, oh-so-sensitive smoke alarm started screaming!  J and I frantically scrambled over each other to try to wave the fumes away to cut the noise off, but in no time all 3 dogs were barking up a storm and freaking out in harmony to their new alarm-friend.  We looked at each other completely defeated and began to debate which of us was going to tag which boy to try to get them back to sleep after they were so rudely shaken from their slumber.  The alarm fell silent and we both sat there...waiting...waiting...waiting.  What?  The silence ensued.  You mean to tell me that my sweet little boys that wake when the toilet across the house flushes 3 hours into their nightly sleep, continue to snooze peacefully through a blaring smoke alarm and 3 barking beasts a mere 20 minutes into dreamland???  I am baffled...happy that the smoke alarms work, I guess, not that they would do any good without me to scoop their little bodies out of their cozy, flaming beds! :)  Someone please explain to me why it has to be so complex...

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm trying...really, I am!

I have so much to say, but the boys refuse to let me sit on the computer when they are awake and it seems that sleep is no longer in their plans.  I think this was the last time they was Sunday after leaving them with Gigi and Papa for 3 days and letting them run the boys ragged (or was it the other way around).  Just for the record--it is now Friday.

I am tired and Gokey thinks that at the ripe ol' age of 17 months, he is old enough to ditch the nap.  He is screaming at me right now as I type.  And neither of them are sleeping at night...oh the woes...good thing they're cute! :)

Trouble with a big, fat capital "T"
X-man with his new friend, Mr. Fuzzy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tales from a Road Trip...

I don't even know where to start!  My blog has sat idly by the last couple of weeks because I squeezed a little road trip with my mom (Gigi) and the boys into last week.  I had intentions of updating this thing as we had our fun, but it turned out that I was occupied from sun-up to sundown (and much beyond) with two little boys who wore themselves out daily and felt pretty far from home when bedtime rolled around each night.  Our travels took us to Colorful Colorado where a little piece of my heart resides.  The main objective was to visit my Grandparents who live in itty bitty Bailey, but after living in Denver for over 2 years (and being away for more than 4) we had a lot of catching up to do there as well!  J and I have discussed making the trip on many occasions, but our uncertainty at how the boys would handle 9+ hours in the car and working around his work schedule (whether it be layoffs or overtime) had hindered the process.  I finally suggested that the boys and I go it alone, since I was starting to feel a severe Colorado tug and my momma graciously offered to join us so she could help with the munchkins.  So, our road-trip ensued...and it was the first of such trips for the boys who had never been car and seatbelt-bound for more than 2 or 3 hours up to this point.  My first discovery was that the days of one tiny bag for myself for such a trip were long gone.  We literally stacked the Buick Enclave belonging to beloved Papa (whom we left behind...thank you, Papa) to the brim with necessities of appeared we were packing for a month's worth of heavy adventures or planning on taking up residence at our planned destination!  Along the way, I also learned a lot about the two little beings that I spend so much time with on a daily basis.

Lunch on the road--McD's Playplace
I made him wear his flip flops over
his socks to the bathroom :)

Day one...Monday.  We left our house at 8:30 a.m. armed with healthy, low sugar snacks (for obvious reasons), lots of water, diapers, a bin full of toys and a bag full of treasures to surprise wiggly boys with when impatience set in...we knew it would!  The trip went much better than I expected!  X-man was phenomenal and exceptionally patient from the time we left to the time we pulled into GG'ma's and GG'pa's driveway.  He giggled his way through much of the trip, took a nap or two here and there and played his little heart out when we stopped to allow such activities.  Gokey did very well also, especially considering his difficult age.  Seventeen months is an age of very little patience and gigantic communication hurdles, and though there was a little fussing, there was more sleep than anything else and it worked for everybody.  The trip took about 2 hours longer than it would have in my single days, but that allowed for some great playtime and running along the way.  Eleven hours of happiness beats nine hours of restless crabbiness any day!

C'mon GG'pa!
After the surprise of having two relatively fabulous travelers I was extremely pleased with how quickly they settled in with GG'ma and GG'pa.  We only get to see them once or twice a year which is equivalent to decades when you are dealing with a one and two year old, so I was worried that they would be standoffish with them and clingy with me.  Instead, by the end of dinner, Gokey was tugging GG'pa's hand to accompany him into the kitchen to raid the utensil drawer and X-man eagerly crawled into GG'ma's lap after dinner so she could recite my favorite childhood story to him in fantastic GG'ma fashion! :)

Nighttime brought the monsters out, however.  Gokey is known to be a crappy sleeper at home...what did I expect after inflated naps in the car, GG'ma's sugary chocolate cake for dessert, the excitement of a new place, the strangeness of a new place and absence of Daddy?  I guess I was hoping for exhaustion.  It was a rough couple of hours trying to get them both down and Gigi was finally able to convince X-man to sleep in her room and with his absence came a little cooperation from Gokey, and finally...sleep...only to be interrupted a short hour and a half later by the altitude's nasty effects on my little X-man who, I believe, suffered from a good ol' fashioned headache.  After some tears and ibuprofen, it all worked out, though and we slept...until 4:45 a.m.  Ugh.  Darn frickin' reliable internal clocks on these boys...just not adjusted for the time change.  We survived, though and that was the start of our mountainous adventures!!!!

There is nothing like the peace of a still, crisp mountain appreciation I couldn't quite instill in my two little beasts.  They reveled in the boyness of the mountains, though.  There almost weren't enough sticks on the hillside to be broken ("just like Papa says"), rocks to be moved and pinecones to be gathered.  It was magical all over again, as it was when I was a kid.  We went to our favorite childhood picnic spot on Guanella Pass, let them wade in an ice cold stream and drove to the summit and breathed in the cool, clean mountain air, marveling at how blue the sky is when you are up that high.  And there was DIRT...a true sign of a marvelous time! :)
Love this...he was talking GG'ma's ear off!

After two too short days in our mountainous bliss we drove down into Denver and took up residence in a hotel room and visited extended family, and long lost friends from my time living there.  We had mounds of fun, lots of laughs and very little sleep, but memories were made for me and for the boys, so the trip was an immense success.  My discoveries?  They are as follows:

  • For those who wonder how to relive childhood...have a kid!  Things that I have done over and over again, places I have been to, beauty I have begun to take for granted...all was renewed in the presence of my little men.  
  • X-man continues to grow's not that I didn't realize that this would happen, but it is just the pace at which it has occurred!  I am amazed at how patient he has become (sometimes), how adaptable he is and how in tune to his little brother he is.  I keep replaying moments during Gokey's giant struggles with sleep on 2 separate occasions when X-man stated so simply, "Gokey needs Daddy."  He was right...I think we all needed him.  We love you, Daddy!  And there was one moment on both the trip to and from Colorado that Gokey had a bit of a meltdown about being trapped in his seat.  X-man gladly yielded all of his treasures to his little brother in an attempt to make him happy, if only for a fleeting moment.  His maturity and sweetness left me in a bit of awe both times.  I love how he loves...
  • Gokey is exceedingly stubborn...I am sure that is a trait credited to his daddy's side (I can hear J saying, "he gets that from his momma," as I type this).  This piece of information almost comes as a surprise to me.  I guess it kind of sneaked up on me.  He was such a chill, laid-back baby and seemed to just go with the flow.  Maybe it's just that lovely toddler phase he is in right now, but after my nightly struggles with him while away (and having my mom as a witness to this stubbornness) I now know that  he will be a that I look forward to molding! :) 

He's a natural rock-climber!

Dirt...evidence of a good time!
Didn't seem to bother them!

Breaking sticks and sword fighting with Gigi

GG'ma educating the boys on pinecones...

Svetlana (Gigi's cousin's wife) helping Gokey

Steve (another of Gigi's cousins) snagging Gokey on the way down

Uncle Bob and Aunt Karol

Gokey & X-man making a birthday cake out of woodchips with
Logan and Ilyn belonging to some of my long lost Denver friends!

Gigi teaching the boys how to roll down a hill

Unfortunately Gokey found the muck at the bottom of the hill

One of my BFF's, Becky with her momma, Barb

Gokey was a fan of Grandma Barb :)

This was waiting for us at home when we arrived...I think he missed us! :)