Thursday, May 29, 2008

SO proud...

Yes, I'll admit that I was that 8 year-old-girl who was obsessed with horses. I took riding lessons, fantasized about owning my own palomino, and read every horse book I could find. And when I finally got my own horse 6 years later, I was a very happy girl. I rode often for a couple of years until my horse died, I got a drivers license and work/drama/guys got in the way. I still love to ride, but don't get to go very often.

I've been eagerly awaiting the time that Max would be ready to ride. And I really expected that he'd get all excited about it, and then back out at the last minute. But last weekend we went up to spend the weekend at my parents' cabin, and we decided to give it a shot. We had talked about the horses all week, and I asked him if he wanted to try and ride one and he would shout "Yes I do!" Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it.

Sunday morning Max woke up in a great mood, and all he wanted to do was ride the four-wheeler and the horse. He, Dan, and Papa (my dad) went out and rode the four wheeler for about 30 minutes, and we planned on taking him inside to warm up before we thought about riding. But Max had other ideas. He was more than ready to go right then. Again, I was sure that once we got Buck all saddled up, he would change his mind.

You know what? He didn't. Papa saddled Buck, I hopped on, and he came right on up into the saddle with me. Not a moment of hesitation or fear. He did great! Papa lead us around the field, down the hill, around the pond, and back up the hill. Max took it all very seriously, and was not at all interested in getting down. Once he was sitting pretty well, I got off, and he sat way up there on that big horse all by himself. At that point, I was far more afraid than he was. He was having a great time. And eventually we had to work hard to convince him to get off.

It was so wonderful - he had a great time, I had a blast, and you could see Papa planning future horse trips with his grandson. I was just so proud of Max.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Six months....

Seriously, I can hardly believe it. When Max turned 6 months old, he seemed so big. I was amazed at all he could do, and it felt like he had been a part of our lives forever. But now that Luke is six months old, it feels so different. He's still so little - just a baby! And he just joined our family - still very much the "new guy".

But it's true - Luke is six months old. To celebrate he got to sample a fine dining meal of rice cereal and have the paparazzi capture every bite (my video camera, Dan with the DSLR, and Max with his camera). And he was really not all that impressed. Can't say I blame him!

At six months, he is becoming a lot funnier. He gnaws on anything that gets near his mouth with a fierce determination that often leaves him looking like an old man trying to eat corn-on-the-cob with dentures. He loves to hear the sound of his voice and squeals constantly - and when he's feeling punchy, he'll devise a lovely routine of squeal-grin-gasp-squeal. Blowing raspberries and spreading his copious drool far and wide is another recent favorite. And if I'm being honest, any of the three of these gets me laughing like no Will Farrell movie ever could.

He is also one of the easiest babies on the planet. He is often content to just hang out in his bouncy seat or on a blanket for extended periods of time. Just tossing him a smile placates him in a way that I wish worked for everyone. Fussing is highly unusual, and is remedied by one of three things - a diaper change, feeding, or Max. He falls asleep by himself most of the time, and wakes up smiling. And there have been a good handful of times that he has slept through the night.

I know that just a few minutes ago I said that he feels like he just got here, and that's true. But at the same time, it feels like he has always been a part of our lives. And while I doubted I could ever love anyone as much as I love Max, now I totally understand that it is not only possible, it happens without you even knowing it. This boy has my heart, that's for sure. And I can't wait to see what the next six months will bring.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Feeling much better, thanks...

Well, I was, until driving home tonight. And then out of nowhere, there it was. A sharp pain. Piercing right through my heart. I almost went off the road. Here's what happened:

My two and a half year old son piped up from the back seat with, "Mommy, I'm stupid."

No - that couldn't be what he just said. Right?! So I asked him to repeat what he said - and sure enough, that's exactly what was said. And my heart broke in a million pieces.

Yes, I am working on getting to the bottom of where that came from, but right now, that's almost beside the point. Because I have just heard my son say words I hoped he would never say, never feel. While I quickly rushed to reassure him that he is NOT stupid, I could just see in his face in my rear view mirror the look of worry in his eyes. I had to promise him that I wouldn't lie to him, and anyone that said he was stupid was just wrong. (And I had to slip in that we don't say "stupid" in our home.)

I know I'm more sensitive to language than many people. I spend every day carefully selecting the things that I choose to say or not say to the tenderhearted 11-15 year olds in my classroom. And I'm sure that I make mistakes. But I work very hard to err on the side of not being harsh enough, because I know how words can stick in the brain like a cd skipping, heard long past the intent of the speaker. I hear daily examples of how much what someone says can damage a soul or break a spirit. And while it is unrealistic, I never want my boys to have that experience.

But today was a great example - I'm not always going to be able to control what someone says to Max or Luke. Or how they understand what someone says to them. Or whether or not their hearts hurt from words that someone uses.

And that breaks my heart.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Weekends are wonderful. The time to not have to rush out the door in the morning, hang out with the boys and Dan, and catch a breath. We were looking forward to a great weekend - sunshine, farmer's market, dinner at a friend's house, and the Obama rally downtown. Should have been great.

Until I woke up Saturday morning feeling like I had a major flu bug. Achy, tired, headache, chills fever - the whole shebang. After a few ibuprofen, I took the boys to the farmer's market, figuring that things would get better. They didn't. By the time I got home, there was a telltale red welt on my chest. No flu - "just" mastitis.

In my 2.5 years of breastfeeding, this was the first time this has happened. Thank goodness - it's really miserable! Compounded by our unusually high heat, I've been pretty out of commission. (I did go to the friend's house anyway, and that was the bright spot of it all!) I'm even home again tomorrow. Really, it sucks.

I started on antibiotics today - hopefully tomorrow I can post a glowing report of incredible healing. Thanks for letting me vent!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My big ballerina...

I don't get to post pics of my big boy very often lately - he has developed an intense dislike of the camera, or anything that requires him to hold still for more than about .5 seconds. So when he wanted to "pose" this afternoon, I had to take advantage. So here his is:

Notice that holding still isn't a part of his posing. He wanted pictures of his "ballerina" outfit while he was dancing. It was such a wonderful example of his incredible exploding imagination. Every day is something new - acting out a story, building houses, castles, and cities, or anthropomorphizing all of his toys. Last night it was that he needed to play with his Little People for just a few minutes because they were "worried they haven't seen me in a little while". Or the fact that he regularly decides that the members of his family are all a particular animal family - and we've been "super chimpanzees" for almost a week now. Where it comes from, I don't know.

So, tonight ballerina, tomorrow we'll see.... but I'm sure it will be fun!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day....

Yeah, I know that Mother's Day is supposed to be all relaxing and stuff, but I'd take the Mother's Day I had over sleeping in and peace and quiet. We were so fortunate to have my mom, Dan's mom, and his grandma over to our house for brunch. I fixed a few casseroles (a good splurge day off the diet), and we all just enjoyed hanging out together. Dan's sister had also come to town as a surprise, and it is always wonderful to hang out with her. The house was full of people that I love, and Max and Luke couldn't have been happier. So, no quiet, but lots of laughter and joy.

One of the best things was seeing Grandma Joyce meet Luke, and watching Max fall in love with her all over again. Since she lives so far away, we don't get to see her as much as we would like. But, she is such a wonderfully strong woman that I want our boys to know. Fortunately we will be able to spend a week with her this summer - and Max is already talking about it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My boys...

I always wanted to be a mom. Even more than that, I wanted to be a mom of boys. And I figured that was a tall order (on one side of my family there are 8 girl cousins in a row - boy number 1 is finally due in June). So when Max made himself well known, we were thrilled. (Ok, Dan really didn't care, but I was thrilled.) And when Luke made it clear that I was going to have son number two, I couldn't have been happier.

I get a lot of comments from friends and family asking if I wish we had a girl. And every RARE once in a while, I wonder what that would be like. But I love my boys. I love the rough and tumble nature of Max, and the volume and adventures yet to come. I am ready to purchase my frequent flier card to our local emergency room and buy stock in band-aids. I find myself already making statements like, "Honey, penises need to stay in our pants" and reminding our firstborn that we don't put food up our nose. I expect that my life will be full of all things wheeled, a fascination with the gross, and knowledge of explosives. And I can't wait.

But every once in a while, like this recent afternoon, my life is also filled with this:

And this:

Boys aren't always loud and crazy and rough. And being the queen of this castle is the perfect gig for me.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Home sick today...

For the first time in over two years, I am home sick today. Nothing major, and sure, I could have toughed it out. But I wimped out - really just needed some time. It has also been my first day alone in my home since before Max was born (2 years and 9 months, not that I"m counting).

Really, it has been just what I needed. I did laundry, dishes, cleaned the guest room, watched some daytime tv, and currently have Juno on. I also finally finished sewing Max a little cape I've been wanting to make forever. I can't wait to show it to him - he's getting so imaginative lately, and I can't wait to see what games it inspires! I'm sure there will be pictures to post....

I swore I'd take a nap, but for maybe the first time in my life I don't want to waste time alone by sleeping. And maybe today has just given me enough time to feel like I'm not drowning. Heck - I'd be sick more often if it meant I didn't have to be sick....

P. S. I have to confess feeling guilty that I am able to take a sick day - for all of my wonderful friends who are stay-at-home-moms, I fully appreciate that you don't have this option. And that stinks!