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Two Years

26 May

Dear R3

Today you are two years old.  

How is that possible?  

So much has happened in your short little life and you’re barely aware of any of it.  

Your life consists of a mom and a dad, two big brothers, two grandparents who love you, and some close friends.  Then there are relatives farther away who love you, but they’re not part of the every day.  You’ll remember who they are soon.  

Friends and play dates and toys and little adventures around the neighbourhood with mom; driving places with dad; going to gramma’s house.  Your world is getting bigger just as you’re getting bigger.  

It’s lovely to watch your eyes light up as you learn something new.  It’s lovely to watch your personality emerge more and more!

It’s been very fun watching you grow bigger over the past year too!


It seemed like, for most of the year, your vocal abilities were stalked on simple words like mama and no.  Over the last couple months it’s like your vocabulary exploded. I’ve been trying to write down your words as I hear them but it’s getting more difficult because there are so many!

No

Ow

Ewwwww

Mommy

Daddy

Rain

Todd

Cookie 

Baby

Mine

Moo

Woof woof

Meow

Napa (belly button)

Guck-guck -truck

Gucky- duck

Moy – more

Peas – please

Day-doo – thank you

Puppy dough – puppy dog

Noise

Where are you?

You ok?

Boys!

Up

Out

Guys!

Apple juice

Help!

Peety- pretty

House 

Ghost

Go!

Enny- empty 

Goobies 

We’re getting very close to that wonderful stage of childhood development where you can get your kid to repeat funny and naughty words and it’s totally ok because he won’t remember!


You love your brothers so much and are very concerned with where they are at all times.  You know they go somewhere most days and you love going to wait at the bus stop for them after school.  You ask them if they’re ok all the time and where they are.  You laugh at them constantly and your favourite thing to do is be chased by your big brothers.  You have a particularly special bond with your biggest brother because he is far more patient with you!



As you’ve gotten closer to age two, you’ve began showing a bit of frustration and a temper.  If you do t get to grab something you want or run somewhere you want, there are tears; some theatrics.  At this age, however, you’re still pretty easy to distract so the tantrums have been short lived.  I know that’ll change in the next year…


You do like to run, but you also like sitting still.  You love observing your surroundings before deciding to go and make a run for it!



You do like to climb and have even attempted to climb out the windows on the second floor!


February 15th, it was a case of strep throat for you!  Interesting because your oldest brother had strep throat at the same age.


You’re a pretty good eater thankfully.  You don’t seem to have a favourite food that I’ve noticed.  You eat most regular foods fine (nothing too fancy), though you do have a certain fondness for treats and candy.  I think I can thank your big brothers for that…





For the most part, you’re mostly in a good mood.  You’ve always been so smiley and relatively easy going.  It seems, as the third child, you’re just excited to be included in whatever anyone else is doing!



If you would just sleep better at night, life would be perfect!  Hah!  Just kidding!  But life would certainly be easier to deal with if I got more sleep!

But of course I still love you!  My wonderfully mellow man!



Happy Birthday to a wonderful two year old!

Mother’s Day

21 May

Mother’s Day was last Sunday.  I spent an enjoyable day with my kids (and my mom) and felt all the appropriate feelings of love and thankfulness that go along with mothering an adorable group of children.

This Sunday I’m cuddled up in bed watching bad tv, drinking tea, and there are no kids in sight.

Oh, except on my phone of course.  Because what mother spends time away from her kids and doesn’t end up going through the hundreds of adorable pictures she’s taken over the last few weeks?

Yeah, that’s me.

So let’s go on a Mother’s Day Adventure!






This year’s Mother’s Day honestly felt (and feels) so different from last year.

Last year I was scared and stressed and on the verge of tears at all times.  

In May I was hoping my marriage could be saved as it hadn’t ended yet and I was trying to stay postive.  I fluctuated between confidence at one moment and paralyzing heartbreak the next.

This year?  

Well it’s been eleven months of knowing that the marriage is over.  

Last year if asked who the most important person in my life was, I would have answered truthfully that it was my husband.  I always said that my kids came second to my relationship with my husband; that relationship had to come first in order to keep a strong foundation for the kids.  It’s amazing how things change in such a short time.  

I’m certainly not scared or stressed anymore.  The worst that could happen (in this kind of situation) has already happened.  I survived.  

Now it’s these guys; they are the most important.  Look at how lucky I am:


Not everybody wants to be a mother; not everybody can be.  Somehow I ended up being a mother three times over.  

It’s so challenging.  I feel overwhelmed and exhausted constantly.  To be completely and bluntly honest, if I could have looked into my future and seen a divorce after three children, I would not have had three children.  

That’s a thought that causes a lot of guilt.  I’m not a bad person for thinking it though.  I don’t even think it’s bad to put it out there in Internet-Land.  I’ll gladly tell my kids that when they’re old enough to understand how hard it is to be a parent.

But here we are, me and the three.  

I love them madly and they love me.

Little kids get bigger and little problems turn into big problems.  We’ll meet them head on and keep going.

Emotional 

13 Apr

It’s impossible to deny that this past year has been an emotional roller coaster, both for myself and for the children.

My emotions have been up and down (which I’ll probably be writing about very soon) but aside from a few intense meltdowns last spring, I’ve been pretty good at staying calm and channelling my anger and hurt into positive and healing activities.

It’s harder to do that when you’re a kid though.  

R1, as the oldest, is quite logical and routine/rule oriented.  He told me once that he is fine with how life is going right now.  He thinks I’m the best mom in the world and there’s only one thing bad about me: I’m bad because I didn’t want to be married anymore.  

I told him very calmly and truthfully that I did not want my marriage to end.  He said he thought it was my choice and I told him it was not my choice.  I’m not going to lie.  

He accepted that answer because it’s the truth and R1, while in possession of a great imagination, is not prone to magical thinking in the face of life transitions.  A lot of kids engage in magical thinking, for example, if I do this, then mommy and daddy will get back together.

R2, as the middle child, is extremely emotional and feels everything so deeply.  

Several times a week he says to me, “It’s stupid that you aren’t married anymore!” or variations on that theme.  He cries about it pretty frequently and continually asks me when Daddy and I will get married again because he wants us to have another baby.  

Talking to him about this stuff calls for a different approach than it does with R1.  R1 requires basic facts; R2 requires platitudes of undying love and professions that we will all be a family forever.  He begs me to let him live with him forever and ever. Of course I say yes.

R3 is just R3.  He is sad when his daddy leaves the house, but overall he’s pretty happy just to be with his family: a whole bunch of people who love him madly.

Three little boys and three little spirits that need building up and reinforcing.

Yesterday, when the big boys got off the school bus, R2 was crying.  I thought R1 had said something rude to him (as frequently happens) but that wasn’t the case.  

When they got inside the house, R2 painstakingly described to me the horrible scene that had just unfolded on the school bus.  A little boy told R1 that he was stupid and R2 was completely shocked and horrified that someone could possible be so mean to his big brother.  

He said, “So-and-so said R1 was stupid and that made me so angry…BECAUSE I JUST LOVE MY BROTHER SO MUCH!” Followed by a torrent of fresh tears.

R1 and I both told him that it’s important to remember that we are a wonderful family and we are all special and amazing.  Insults from other people are very upsetting but they have no effect on how amazing we are or on our love for one another.”

The tears on his cheeks.  

His sad watery eyes.  

His red little cheeks.  

Such strong emotions about the big issues – like mom and dad’s divorce – and littler issues – like that boy called R1 stupid. 

Do all issues, regardless of size, seem equally huge to R2?  Or does the one big issue (the divorce) make all the littler issues seem even bigger?

He can’t articulate much beyond the fact that he’s sad.  What else can we do beyond continually reiterate our love.  We are a family and we’ll get through the big issues, as well as the little.  

With tears yes, but we will get through.




Disgusting Milestones, take two

31 Mar

Several years ago, I wrote about gross things that will happen to you after you have kids.

No matter how careful you are, or how vigilant you are, you will still get pooped on, peed on, and barfed on.  You will encounter the most disgusting things imaginable and…you won’t care.  

Yes it’s disgusting, but it all comes with the territory.  Pregnancy and childbirth are actually great ways to kick-start the disgusting journey of parenthood.  

If your child is coming to you via adoption or surrogacy, you should do something super gross to prepare yourself for the nastiness of the years ahead.  Like….mud wrestle an octopus or let a hippopotamus spray poop on you.

Let me recap the milestones I wrote about before: 

The first time your baby pukes/spits up all over you

*

 The first time your baby poops all over you

 *

The first time your baby pees all over you

 *

The first time your baby pees into your mouth

 *

The first time you (accidentally) injure your baby

 *

The first foods splattered all over the walls, floor, and everything else

 *

The first time you trip over a full potty

 *

The first time you stay up all night with a sick kid

 *

The first booger you get handed

 *

The first time your kid wipes his slimy face all over your shirt

 *

The first time you unknowingly leave the house with spit-up running down the back of your shirt

 *

The first time you leave the house with someone else’s poop smeared on your pants

 *

The first time you lick your thumb and wipe your kid’s face in an attempt to remove sticky grime.

 *

The first time your child laughs at you as you step out of the shower

 *

The first time you scoop poop out of the bathtub with your bare hands.

 *

The first time you take a peak down your child’s pants to see if he needs a diaper change and you come away with a handful of shit.

All those things have happened to me.  And I’ve been ok with everything.  Yes, grossed out and annoyed, but mostly ok.  

But one thing actually never happened to me, the grossest of them all!

My first two kids never, not once, took off a full poop diaper.  I anticipated it.  I heard horror stories.  I waited and it never happened.  Praise the lord!

But then today.  Ohhhhhh today.

I put my littlest R into his playpen while I had a shower, as I’ve done hundreds of times.

Who could have forseen the horror that awaited me?  After all, he’d already had two full diapers in the early morning!

When I got out of the shower, I got dressed and brushed my hair then wandered into R3’s room to see how he was doing.  

Alas, he was naked.  

My first thought was, ‘Oh how cute, look at his little butt!  Darn kid knows how to take his pants off now!’

Buuuuut then I saw the tell-tale brown smears on the playpen. Aaaand all over his body.  

And the smell!

You’d better believe he went right into the bath!  He wa in the tub before he knew what was happening!

Was it too much to ask to make it through all three kids without the shitty diaper explorations?

Yes, apparently it was!

Kids are disgusting!

Six

23 Feb

My middle son is now six years old.  

Yesterday morning I woke him up by singing happy birthday.  Then I said to him, “Do you know what I was doing six years ago at this time?  Arriving at the hospital, getting ready to push you into the world!”  He smiled a shy smile and hugged me and said he loved me.

He’s such a sensitive child, so full of love.

Later in the evening, shortly before bed, I was showing him old videos from when he was a baby.  I looked over and tears were pouring from his eyes and he said, “I just love our family so much!”

He’s been having a rather difficult time at school these days.  Lots of talking back to his teachers and refusing to participate in activities.  

Last year he loved school so much and he loved pretty much everything about the school routine.  I know some kids don’t thrive in a regimented routine oriented day, but he was loving it!

I worry because I don’t want attending school to be torture for him.  The stark contrast between this year and last year leads me to believe that he’s not adjusting to all the big life changes of the past year quite as well as I originally thought.

At first I thought he was crying sad tears in response to the old videos, but he assured me they were happy tears.  I told him I cry happy tears too sometimes and that both happy and sad tears are ok in this family.

As my little guy gets bigger, I can see that the outside influences of peers and media are having an effect. We all want our babies to stay in bubbles to an extent.  Generally speaking, the bubbles of family life keep our kids innocent. It’s difficult sending them out in the world because that is where other influences are.  

With my little R2, I worry that the other influences will have an effect on who he is.  He can be whiny, he can be stubborn, and he can throw some pretty huge fits.  He tells outlandish stories that we know aren’t true, and he doesn’t like doing things if it isn’t his own idea.  

But he’s so imaginative and creative and he loves fiercely and deeply.  He’s interested in a huge variety of topics and, so far, he’s very confident in expressing his own personal style.  I feel like his love for people and the world could be a good lesson to many of the people in charge these days.

I’ve gathered up my favourite pictures from R2 at age 5 (until his sixth birthday yesterday) and I feel like a lot of these pictures perfectly showcase this wonderful child and his strong personality.

R2 hates going to bed, most food, when his brothers bug him, and going to school.  But he loves almost everything else.

Honourable mentions to:

Barbies, My Little Pony, Minecraft, candy, animals, people, his family,  going to Gramma’s house, going to the record store, going shopping, stickers, sparkly things, cars and trucks, and babies.


Look at that brand new six year old!

R2 Says

6 Feb

R2 is still saying funny and weird things!

***

“I had to pee but it turns out my penis was just cold.”

*

“Ok. I’ll sing. ‘I want to be the very best…’ sigh Never mind. I can’t remember any songs this family likes. Except for R1. I know he likes the diarrhea song.”

*

walks by wearing only underpants “Ok, I’m going to work now mom.” Where do you work??? “At the nail salon obviously!”

*

“Some people have a driver’s license. I have a baby catching license.”

*

“Mom, do you want me to tell you about a fancy bird? This bird is so beautiful, if you look at it, you’ll faint. The bird’s name is Huffle-Sparkle and tomorrow we’ll go through a mystical portal to find him!”

Love is all around

25 Jan

What an interesting day.

The President of the United States is continuing with his plans to build the wall.  

He’s signing away human rights with incredible speed.  

The Dakota pipeline is supposed to start construction again.  

He’s defunding women’s health.  

What else has he already done?  What else is he going to do?  I can’t even imagine.  It’s scary.

*

The world lost an icon today.  

Dear Laura Petrie; dear Mary Richards.  

My dear beloved Mary Tyler Moore.


A talented actor, active in charitable causes, animal rights, and diabetes awareness.

A dancer, a model, a mother, (then a grieving mother), a wife, an author, a producer, an award winner, an enterprise owner, a recovering alcoholic, a pioneer for women in television.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  I watched it obsessively as a child.  I have most of the seven seasons memorized.

Dear Mary, with your nervous laughter and your stuttering protestations.  

Dear Mary, with your strong convictions and your unapologetic living.

The real Mary may not have embraced the title of feminist, but it’s so clear that her personas on tv were in favour of strong women and breaking glass ceilings.

Yes Mary, it was your apartment, not Rhoda’s:


The secondary characters were amazing, but it was your show.  You stole the show.  I laughed hysterically and was moved to tears.


*


Well it’s you girl, and you should know it 

With each glance and every little movement you show it 

Love is all around, no need to waste it 
You can never tell, why don’t you take it 

Thank you, Mary.  It’s time to let someone else do some living…

You’ve done more than enough and it’s time to rest.

Love is all around.  

Even in these tumultuous and disturbing polotical times, there will be people who radiate love.  We must find them and hold them up as examples.  

We cannot let hate win.