Category Archives: The Boy

Labor Day

In honor of “labor” day….

How long were your labors?
Kid #1: 16 hours
Kid #2: 5 hours
Kid #3: 9 hours

How did you know you were in labor?
Kid #1: I was out to dinner with my hubby when I felt the first contractions. We started to time them and when our waitress popped by the table she exclaimed, “Are you in labor??!!” and then promptly left to get our check and didn’t return for a really, really long time. Um, hello?!
Kid #2: I was induced 1 week after his due date.
Kid #3: I was induced 1 day after her due date.

Where did you deliver?
In the same hospital for all three kiddos. Loved, loved, loved the staff!

Drugs?
Kid #1: Epidural! Easy peasy.
Kid #2: Epidural – but only one side went numb.
Kid #3: Epidural – mostly worked great until the end when the pain got ahead of the drugs.

C-Section?
Nope. I was so terrified – and relieved that I never did.

Who delivered?
Same doctor for all three 🙂
Kid #1: My doctor was scheduled to go on vacation. I had my baby on her last day at work! I had my hubby and my mom coaching me.
Kid #2: Same doctor. This time I had my hubby, my mom, and my sister by my side.
Kid #3: Same doctor. Switched it up… had my hubby and my BFF.

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He’s a Teenager!

Dear Boy,

You are officially a teenager.  Actually, you have been one for a little over a week now… I’m late in posting.

I swear that if you sit still I can literally watch you grow.  You love that you’re taller than me – than your older sister – than your oldest cousin… Just waiting to outgrow Daddy now.  And it’s close… maybe 3/4 of an inch?  You’re still all arms and legs but those arms have some muscle definition.  And don’t get me started on that caterpillar on your upper lip.  When did I saw it was okay to start growing facial hair?!

You also have a man voice.  I love to tease you by quoting whatever you just said and then adding, “…he said in his man voice.”  It’s such a weird thing to hear this deep voice coming out of your mouth.

You aren’t so quick to jump out of bed any more.  You still wake up pretty early but now you snuggle down into your blankets and moan and grumble before finally getting out of bed.  And once you’re up you start eating.  and eating.  and eating.  I’m pretty sure you don’t stop until you fall back into bed at night.  I fear this is just the beginning…

You played three sports this year; flag football, soccer, and basketball.  It was fun to watch you play in all three but I have to say that basketball was my favorite.  You just came alive.  You were aggressive, you thought out your moves, you rebounded…. and you hesitated.  You would get the ball with a clear, open shot but, instead, you would pass it; not sure of yourself.  Since Daddy and I were your coaches this year we really harped on you to take those shots.  Bam!  Three pointer!  You said that next year you want to be “the Cedric” of sports.  Cedric is naturally good at any sport and is the team leader.  I’m excited that you’ve challenged yourself to fill his role.

Still no interest in girls – although they are all making goo-goo eyes at you.  I’m glad you haven’t shown any serious interest yet.  Too much drama.  That’s fine… take your time.

You continue to be well mannered and polite.  At least to everyone that isn’t your sibling.  You love to taunt and tease your sisters.  One of these days they are going to figure out how to gang up on you and then you’ll be in trouble.

I’m proud of who you are and I can’t wait to see how you grow and change in this first year of teens.
I love you!
Mommy


Enjoy

I am really enjoying my kids right now.  Sure they drive me nuts with their sibling bickering and some days I’m ready to sell them off to the first bidder… but really… I love them!
The kids are old enough now that they can be trusted at home by themselves.  Which gives the hubby and I more time to reconnect.  But it’s more than just that.  They are old enough now to have deeper conversations, their own opinions, sarcastic remarks.  Each one has their own distinct humor and they never fail to crack me up.
Chickie is in high school.  High. School.  She’s getting ready for her first set of finals.  And then next semester she starts her first college class.  I am amazed at her motivation.  She’s a smart cookie – I tell her that all the time.  She loves school and loves to learn.  This semester she had to memorize a Robert Frost poem and has been working on learning how to read poetry aloud – with a microphone *gasp*.  She is so proud of herself – I am too.  Almost every day she comes home excited to tell me something new that she learned.  She especially loves it when she gets to go out to the stables to see the horses.  The white mare is her favorite.  We have been encouraging her to get involved in extra curricular activities.  She finally picked an after school club – archery!  Surprised me but I’m glad that she is trying something new.  It’s fun to listen to her talk about her friends and the crazy things they do at lunch.  I am sure she will look back on her high school years with fond memories.
The Boy is in seventh grade.  He’s a tall bean pole – all arms and legs – but starting to show some muscle definition.  He’s playing flag football and getting ready to start soccer season.  I like watching him connect with his teammates.  He’s been more of a one-friend kind of guy and so to see him with a group – it’s fun.  He isn’t the star on his team but he’s the reliable one.  He’s at every practice and makes sure to practice at home too.  He’s usually the team captain at the games – the one the coach pulls over to give the plays to.  I’m excited to see how he does in soccer this year.  He did okay last year but didn’t really have the confidence he needed to follow through.  I think this year will be better.  He’s still really into survival shows like Man vs Wild.  He’s watched every survival show on Netflix.  He loves, loves, loves to camp.  I would really like to find a summer camp for him where he can learn survival skills.  I’m also hoping to send him on his first hunting trip in February.  He won’t have a license to hunt but it will be good for him to tag along and learn the necessary skills.  He’s been doing so much better since his surgery.  His spelling has improved tremendously.  In fact, he’s won a few in-class spelling bees.  He still struggles with reading – especially when he reads out loud.  I don’t know how much of that is a result from his tumor or how much is hereditary.  It’s fun watching him grow into a teenager.  He would be embarrassed to know that I think he’s cute in his skinny jeans and snapback hat.  He knows he wants his hair just so, his jeans to fit a certain way, a particular pair of shoes.
Beans is in the fourth grade.  It’s her second year with this teacher and we just love her.  She is the perfect teacher for Beans right now.  She is so encouraging and constantly brings out her strengths.  She works hard on school projects and does a really good job with time management.  She studies for the spelling bee and for class speeches.  She is also a class leader.  She makes new students feel welcome and maintains close friendships.  Now that I am working at her school I get to see her in action.  As her mom I know that she has two best friends but in class she spends time with other students too.  She’s been starting to have stomach problems like her sister.  It’s been difficult to figure out her triggers though.  We have learned that sugar too early in the morning is a big no-no; things like cereal and syrup.  There are other triggers we haven’t figured out yet though.  It’s very much a trial and error process.  Beans has the greatest sense of humor and is very quick witted.  She comes up with the best one-liners.  She is still not a morning person and now that it’s winter and the mornings are dark… well, it’s a struggle to get her going.  The other morning she finally rolled out of bed 9 minutes before we had to leave.  We piled into the car and headed out.  When I commented on the pretty sunrise she hissed like a cat.  I laughed so hard!
I love my kids so much and I love watching them grow into the people they are becoming. No, every day is not rainbows and glitter – in fact, some days are grey clouds and thunder – loud thunder!  But I love them just as much on those days.
I am so blessed.


Almost one year

One more month and we’ll be at the one year mark.  The Boy had surgery on May 31st to remove a tumor from his left temporal lobe.  While the tumor was diagnosed as an oligodendroglioma the PET scan reported ZERO growth activity.  Which meant that he would not need to do any chemo or radiation.  Just waiting and watching.

He’s had regular 3 month check ups and each of those MRI’s have reported ZERO re-growth.  As we draw close to the next MRI I find my anxiety growing and after each appointment I heave a big sigh of relief.  I thank God over and over for His healing work in my son.

As we draw close to the one year mark I find myself reflecting back on his surgery day.  I am so grateful that my family dropped everything and surrounded us in the waiting room.  They patiently waited for their turn to see him in recovery and then they quietly slipped out.  They came to visit every day and brought gifts and food and hugs.  They prayed and rallied and celebrated.

The only physical sign of what he’s been through is a U shaped scar that curves around his ear.  A year later and it’s still tender.  The scar on his head and the scar on my heart.  But that is a small, small price to pay to have my son back.  Gone are his weekly/bi-monthly migraines, gone are the temper rages, gone is the impatience, gone is the intolerance, gone are the seizures.  Everyone that knows him sees how tender he is, how loving, full of snuggles and laughs.

I pray that I get to keep him; that the tumor stays away and doesn’t rob us of this boy.  I truly believe that each day with him – and my girls – is a precious gift.


Things I Want to Remember

The two of us praying over the Boy.  Before we left for the hospital my hubby and I sat on the Boy’s bed and prayed over him.

My family surrounded me.  It felt good to have every single member of my family sitting in the waiting room with me.  Everyone was doing their own thing.  My brother was working, my parents were feeding everyone, my niece was studying, my sister was playing a game with me, my girls were crafting.  But everyone was there.  And it felt good.

Seeing his swollen face.  He had an oxygen mask, some sort of breathing tube, three IV’s, a catheter, and blood circulators on his legs.  I expected him to look so small but instead he looked bigger than life.

Pulling the breathing tube.  Watching him struggle to wake up was nerve wracking.  He came around enough to pull out his breathing tube.  It wasn’t a full tube just a few inches long – enough to clear his airway.

Holding hands.  I held one of his hands and my niece held the other.  The Boy still had his eyes closed but we knew he was conscious.  My niece told him that three squeezes meant “I love you” and he responded by squeezing her hand three times!  He could understand language.

A brief moment.  I stayed by his side while the rest of the family rotated in to see him.  In a brief moment that we were alone he whispered to me “I love you”.  That is when I knew he was going to be okay.

Talking.  The doctor came in to check on him and he was able to answer all of the doctor’s questions.  He had a rather scratchy voice but he did it.

Beans.  The Boy would sit up in bed and grab his bucket.  Beans would stand by his side and rub his back.  She would tell him “That’s it.  Good job.  You’re doing good.”  Never once did she gross out or ignore him.  Instead she was by his side comforting and encouraging him.

Playing air hockey.  Never once did I imagine the Boy would be playing air hockey the day after brain surgery.  But there he was… challenging me with not one, but two pucks!

Bringing him home.  It still amazes me that 48 hours after surgery they let him go home.  I sat in the back seat with him.  Watched him and waited to see if he would be sick.  Sweet smiles the whole way.


What’s that on your shirt? A little catch-up?

So often I have thought about stopping by to blog and then I would think about how far behind I am.  I would be defeated before I even started.  I’m only going to do a little recap and then jump in to where I am now.

Fasten your seat belts… In February my son was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor on the left side of his head.  Shortly after the diagnosis he started having simple partial seizures.  Steps were put into place to start the process of getting to surgery.  We are now on the pre-eve – eve of the day of surgery.  There.  You’re all caught up.

Here it is, Tuesday night.  Surgery is Thursday morning.  What a crazy ride this has been.  It’s been so hard for me to put words to what I was thinking and feeling and living.  My family has been amazing.  My own immediate family – my girls.  Oh, my girls.  Especially Chickie.  She has sacrificed and tolerated and cried and laughed and turned the other cheek…. I am so proud of her and so thankful for her.  My extended family – my parents, siblings, and nieces.  They check in on us, give us alone time, give us family time, surround us with support.  I could not do this without them right here.  Friends of family have written letters, comments, postcards, notes, sent checks, sent care packages, brought meals.  The Boy reads every card and every note.  And Every. Single. Time. he is blown away by the support of strangers and loved ones alike.  It is such a blessing to be able to show him what the family of God can do.  It’s not just a Sunday school lesson to him.  He’s living it and seeing the body at work.  Thank you.

Here it is, Tuesday night.  It’s so hard to put into words how I am feeling.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has this in His hands.  I try hard to pray for us to drawn closer to Him in whatever way that means.  A few years ago I had a very vivid dream in which my son had been murdered and I was facing the woman responsible for his death.  In my dream I knew that God wanted me to tell her that He loved her.  I wanted to tell her but just then they dug up his body and I woke myself from the dream screaming.  I was so shaken and so upset.  I had to go check on my son and then I sat on the couch with my Bible.  I was immediately drawn to the story of Abraham and Isaac and I felt God asking me if I would sacrifice my son for Him.

Here I sit… only a couple of days away from my son’s brain surgery.  I have been haunted by that dream and by the prayers that followed.  Surely not… But what if?  I try really hard not to think about what if… good or bad.  I am trying to trust that God is going to provide.


In Love

I am so in love with my kids.  Do you remember the first moment that you laid eyes on your baby and your heart swelled?  There were no words to describe the love.   I have always loved my children but it’s so easy to get caught up in living the day-to-day life that you miss out on really seeing your child – really loving them.  Does that make sense? 

I know that I have been extremely busy since moving back – especially with a full-time job outside the home plus my full-time job at home.  It’s been awhile since I’ve stopped to study each of my children and to just rejoice in who they are, what they’ve accomplished, where they are going in life.  I’m trying, each day, to take some time to think about each one of them – to really focus in on them.   And I find myself falling deeper in love with them. 

It’s not that they are being “good” or that they’ve done something sweet.  It’s who they are.   I am in awe of what God is doing in their lives.  I fall so short as a mother that is only by God’s grace that I can parent.  I see His love and grace stamped all over each of my children.  I am so blessed to be in their lives and to have them in mine.  I am so in love.