Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for forgiveness...

...because I have failed at this daily thankfulness exercise!  And since I need to make up for the 4 days I missed, here goes!

I am oh-so-thankful for a very tolerant Stella-dog...she's such a good beast! :)

I am thankful for failed self-portraits...just means I have healthy, ornery, WIGGLY, uncooperative little boys!

I am thankful for GIANT accomplishments for my little Gokey as he made it to the top of McDonald's Playplace this week...and almost didn't come down.  The second picture is taken, yes, at the very top where I had to crawl to retrieve him after his big brother tried to pull him down by his shirt, nearly leaving him naked!

I am thankful for chilly, fall morning strolls outside which give us a good excuse to put on our knitty's and sweatshirts and then come in and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate (or coffee, as X-man likes to call it).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful for Persistence!

Today I am thankful that my lovely husband has the persistence of the sun that rises and sets EVERY day! :) Nine years ago today I woke up alone and happy.  Things were going well...I was nearing the end of college and content.  I had this nagging, lovely friend, J, however, who pestered me everyday at work to "just give him a chance."  I was really great at saying, "no!"  A protection mechanism, really.  I had convinced myself it just wouldn't work out...we were polar opposites, and though I loved our conversations and our friendship, I didn't want to break his heart...or mine.

In the several weeks leading up to this day we had been out to lunches and dinner, had long conversations and then I was offered a new job and I turned in my notice at the place of employment where J and I had met and had our daily contact for over a year.  My last day was on a Sunday and he was convinced we would never see each other again...that I would brush him off and disappear forever.  I tried to convince him otherwise, but he was emotion that I usually excelled at in our friendly relationship.  He made me promise that we could get together to watch "The Usual Suspects," one of J's favorite movies that he discovered I had never seen in a previous conversation.  I agreed and we set it up for Monday evening, November 19th 2001 at my place.  He was chipping away at my guard.

There was something different about that night...he showed up at my place and instead of our usual comfortable bantering, we were quiet and almost awkward.  We sat down on the futon to start the movie and I noticed the rising flutter of butterflies in my stomach.  He started out with his arm stretched out on the back of the couch behind me, but midway through the movie, my butterflies alerted me to his hand lightly resting on my shoulder.  Was I in high school?  I certainly felt like it.  The movie ended, and we casually chatted about it...and then it happened.  One perfect kiss...and then maybe a few more, but it was the first one that pushed me over the edge.  The one that said, "FINE...I give up...I'm yours!"  :)  The rest is history!  As my mom once said about my quick turn-about, "most people fall into tumbled!"

So...thank you, J, for never giving up!  I can't imagine how boring the last 9 years would have been had you not persisted...

And they lived happily ever after...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Week of Thankfulness...

In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and since it seems my time to blog has been so limited recently, I am going to try my absolute hardest to post daily for the next week my thanksgivings.  It's the little things...I think it is a given that I am thankful for my family, home and the love that surrounds me.

Today I am so thankful that my boys have each other.  That they have someone to pick on, laugh with, hug, wrestle and lean on.  They are giggly sounding boards for each other and I love that their energy is contagious to each other and those around them. :)  Thank you, God...and J, for those little brother buddies!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Where did a year and a half go?

Gokey is 18 months old today.  Milestones like this bring so much nostalgia and memories come flooding back.  It is so hard to fathom all that happens from conception to birth and then from birth through the next few years.  Every day brings such change and development and it is stunning!  I revel in all my boys have accomplished in their short little lives and am sure that it is because they are so bright and strong and advanced (don't remind me that every kid goes through these same milestones)! :)  At the same time, each reminds me that time is flying by and before long I will be sending my babies off to college.  I know that's slightly irrational.  Afterall, the whole purpose of parenthood is to grow and shape these little beings into productive, respectful and loving little citizens, but, darn it...I want to snuggle with them forever! :)  I guess it is a very good thing that God has worked in that innate desire for every little toddler to push the limits and grow their own independence along the way.  If I had too much influence they would grow to be 35 years old, obese, bald (sorry, boys...this one is inevitable with your genetics) and living in my basement eating Cheetos and playing the latest version of World of Warcraft from sundown to sunup, then slumber the day away.  Good thing their own free will will hopefully prevent most of that (but, if it doesn't, my dear boys, I will always love you both no matter what).

Yesterday in the span of 10 minutes X-man made it clear to me how strong the urge for independence has gotten.  I had tied left over birthday balloons to a couple of their matchbox airplanes in the attempt to keep them from hovering to the highest point in our vaulted ceiling for me to retrieve for the 38th time yesterday.  After playing with them like that for a while, X-man requested that the balloon be removed because it is much more fun to watch mom balancing on her tiptoes on top of a chair every 30 seconds to once again return said balloon to its rightful owner.  I begrudgingly fulfilled the request, being the glutton for punishment that I am, and because those forever long eyelashes are so absolutely persuasive.  I quickly retrieved a pair of scissors from a bathroom drawer and snipped the string, setting his beloved airplane and bobbing balloon free.  He was elated.  As I was rushing about the house trying to get things tidied and the boys' shoes in their rightful places (on their feet) so we could make it to story time, I was only half-heartedly responding to Gokey's pleas to have his balloon removed from his airplane and X-man's requests for a drink of water.  Gokey was finally sitting on my lap, wrestling with me while I attempted to get his socks and shoes on and X-man proudly emerged from our bedroom with Gokey's freed balloon.  "Here, Gokey," he touted as he handed over the prize and gently patted him on the head.  It took me a minute to realize what X-man had been up to.  I rushed to the bathroom where I found the airplane that the balloon had previously been tied to, discarded in the middle of the floor.  I asked X-man if he cut the string with the scissors.  "Mmmm-hmmm," he nodded proudly, hands behind his back and chest puffed out.  I asked him if he put the scissors back where they belonged.  Again, "mmmm-hmmm," nodding with his proud little smirk.  Wow!  I couldn't really get mad at him...he had fixed Gokey's problem...a problem that I had ignored for the last 15 minutes.  It was truly sweet.  I made a mental note to move the scissors to a safer place so that next time the snipping of the shower curtain or chunk of luscious baby hair or little toddler finger would be prevented.  By the time I returned to the living room, I heard thumping around in the kitchen.  As I came around the corner, I witnessed X-man trying to keep his teetering cup steady on the edge of the towering kitchen counter as he lifted the very heavy, full pitcher of water with a grimace to attempt his first pour of water all on his own!  I quickly intervened, but not wanting to dash his little moment of independence, suggested we move his cup to the floor where it would be easier for him to reach.  I barely assisted, only because of the weight of the pitcher and once again his little chest puffed up as the water rose in his cup.  

It was a very grown-up span of minutes.  After listening to his and his brother's pleas for my assistance and being ignored, he went into solution mode and, without complaint, fixed the problems he saw around him.  *Sniff sniff*  Every stage my boys have gone through I think I have said, "this is my favorite age," and then they exceed my expectations with the next milestone that comes along!  The mundaneness of everyday chores...ones that I obviously ignore...are suddenly new and full of new opportunities to grow and soar!  I have the best job in the world!

My boys: then & now

Oh...and Happy Half Birthday to my littlest man! :) *smooch*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Busy busy...Boo!

My birthday, every year, seems to be the start of the "holiday season" for me.  A week after my birthday is X-man's birthday, 4 days later is Halloween, 3ish weeks later, Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  I love that it gets the season moving because I love Christmas and everything that goes with it, but the problem is...I am already exhausted!  Boy are we having fun, though! :)

Halloween was a fantastic success.  Probably one of my top 5 favorite evenings with my little family!  Last year was a big bummer because X-man ended up being off-kilter with his naps and slept too late in the day and then we could hardly drag him out of bed to get dressed up and he cried through all 3 houses we went trick-or-treating at.  Gokey did great, but he was only 6 months old and didn't know what in the heck was going on.  This year, both of them managed to pick out their own costumes, which came as a surprise to me.  As soon as the Halloween garb was on display in stores (sometime around July...Haha), X-man just knew he had to be Iron Man.  This kind of baffled me because I am not sure he even knows Iron Man, but was cute that he was so excited.  I put off buying the costume, however, because I knew he would grow and I didn't want him to be out of the costume by the time he would be donning it.  EVERY time he came across that costume in the next 6 weeks, though, I had to battle to leave the store without it.  Gokey went shopping with me on a weekend alone one day and I ended up finding some costumes, so I started pulling some out and asking him if he was more to have conversation, as he was my only company.  I really didn't think he would answer.  However, upon pulling out a dragon costume first he adamantly refused with a, "NO."  He really liked the monkey holding the banana, so I held onto that one as I pulled out a dog, giraffe and bee, all of which he thought were rather boring as he decided to play with a broken hanger under one of the racks.  It was then that I found the shark...I almost put it back because I figured he wouldn't even know what a shark was, but suddenly heard him panting beneath me and peered down to find him reaching up in excitement.  I had him try the top on in the store and took him to a mirror where he giggled and admired his new look.  A week or two later, I finally took X-man to get his costume and as we stood in the aisle and I debated on sizes, the little man suddenly began pleading that we take the package he grasped in his grubby little hand home.  I seized it from him and found that he had dropped Iron Man like a bad habit and now wanted to join the likes of Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook.  It was official...we had ourselves a Shark and a Pirate!

Pickled Frogs...mmmmm :)
Fast forward to the big night and we had two riled little boys!  Nana came over for the festivities as the Devilish gal we all know she is and brought with her, "pickled frogs" and rice-crispie snakes.  As soon as dinner was over, X-man was bouncing off of the walls and I finally gave him the go-ahead to get arrrrghed up!  He had a very hard time sitting still for the process and we did struggle with hook etiquette as it was the perfect size to fit around Gokey's neck and yank him across the room, but he was finally transformed into our polite little pirate.  Gokey was a little easier as I'm not sure he really understood what he was in for, but as I pulled the little shark head over the top of his little head, he suddenly protested and ripped it off.  I pulled it back on and explained to him he had to be a shark and took him into the bathroom to see himself in all of his toothy glory.  He must have liked what he saw because he never touched it for the rest of the night.  Lastly came Dad's costume.  Earlier in the day, J had pondered about dressing up a little to get the boys excited.  I jokingly said, "we have a pirate and a should be the plank."  He quickly agreed.  So, we tied him up with a cedar plank on his back and we had one super-cool trio!

Our fierce little duo...
We had some very quick pictures on the front porch and then off we went.  I was so surprised at Gokey's enthusiasm and X-man could hardly contain himself.  We got to our first house and big brother performed flawlessly, saying, "trick or treat," as directed and, "thank you," after the goods had been gathered.  It was Gokey that threw me for a loop...upon hearing his brother's recitations, he chimed in, "tick er teet," patiently waited for his loot and immediately followed up with an adorable, "tankoo," which drew lots of ooohs and aaahhhs from door-answerers.  We only visited 5 or 6 houses, but every step was a blast and it was a bit of a magical evening.  Despite the few houses we raided, they came home with quite the booty.  They each blissfully slurped down a sucker (the one piece of candy they each chose from their loot) and then had a much needed bath.  We found there was no amount of scrubbing that would remove X-man's expertly applied mustache, so he went to bed clean, but a little manlier than he had awakened that day.

One tired little shark...

It never ceases to amaze me how much joy they bring to my life...our lives...I think Daddy and Nana would agree!