Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I wanted to grab him and run.

I wanted to grab him and run. 


Preschool was playing. Aaron could play. Play along side those peers like it was nobody's business.


Kindergarten though, it has expectations


I thought I was ready. But this morning as I took Aaron to his first morning of kindergarten it was so much harder than I excepted. 










Everyone was great. His teacher, his aid, fabulous, willing to accommodate and understand. 
His preschool teacher came and gave him a hug, the secretary welcomed him back with their little routine of say "hi" them you can look at the cool clocks on my desk. Everyone full of warmth and acceptance. Wonderful. 


But...


...he is still different. 


Every year the gap between the capacity and capabilities of Aaron and his peers widens, 
& today it felt vast and deep. And my emotions went swirling down into the darkness.


All summer we've been working so hard and focusing on all his growth and gains 
(being positive, because what other option do you have?) 
And today was a just a bit of a reality check. 




I mean, things went good. 
Considering it was a whole new classroom, whole new routine. He was an absolute champion. Really.


Yet a lump forms in my throat as I once again consider how difficult every aspect of normal social life is for him. Things that delighted the other five year olds, normal exciting things...walking to the bulletin borad to see their name, listening to a story, doing a craft...were things Aaron could only do assisted. And the kids are starting to notice.


Not in a mean way at all,  just taking notice, "Oh he's different." 
Inclusion. Acceptance. Good concepts, but in the end the five year old wants to play with other kids who want to play like them.


At one point the four boys (it's a staggered entry, so only a third of the class at a time) stood. 
The one little boy pointed to the other boys and said, "Those two boys are my friends."


"Those two boys" is what he said. All I heard was, "Not Aaron."


My friend after I'd given her a recap, said,"It's hard" (oh how I love her--love how she so often says those two little words to me and fills me with all the validation, compassion and hope I need)


She reminded me all parents feel that to a degree. Placing their precious children, who, every instinct in their whole being is telling them to protect,  in a place were everyone doesn't have to love them, and where not everyone will even like them. 
Then she said how much it made her respect and be in awe of Heavenly Father's abilities to parent, to show up at the door of mortality, and let us face our fears and challenges. Trusting us. Knowing that necessary steps in growth and progression take choices and distance. 


But He always knows what we need.


Ben gave all three boys and me priesthood blessings to start the school year.
It didn't look like this------------>
Well, maybe in my mind it did. We had the kitchen stool and everything. Nope, it was pretty much a gong show.
Levi squrimed on my lap, pushing Ben's hands away from his head.
Aaron was equally unimpressed with his head being touched, and added loud groans of protest to the pushing of the hands.
McKye was the best though. Somehow, after long negotiations, McKye would only concede to pause his movie and sit on the stool if we let him hold his balloon, which half-way through the blessing became a weapon to repeatedly hit his father with. Yes, whapping his dad with a balloon DURING the blessing. Oh so reverent and spiritual. After each blessing Ben would just look at me with this face like "Why are we doing this?"And we'd smile at each other, knowing the answer.

And this is why. Because the Lord knew there were some things I was going to need to know.

How's this for a tender mercy:

Until today I have never worried much about the kids. I've prayed long and hard that the right teachers and professionals would be brought into our lives, and that prayer has been answered time and time again with an array of stupendous adults who have come to love Aaron and be just what he needed at different stages of our journey. But even when people asked about how kids respond to Aaron I usually (and honestly) would reply, " Oh kids are surprisingly accepting." And they are. Especially young kids. 

Aaron is reaching an age were social aspects are coming into play, where the should's and should nots are being drilled into their little brains (ie Aaron should NOT take his pants off at church). A time where "friends" are becoming more than a label your parents use for children your height, but something important and sought after. A time when they're developing a sense of justice and fairness (it's not fair Aaron gets a toy during circle time).

Well the Lord apparently knew that I was all the sudden going to have all these realities brought to my attention today and that I would freak out a little. 

And when that happened He had already prepared my comfort a head of time. 

In the words of the blessing:

I bless you, Aaron, as you start a new class with new classmates, that you will be able to win over their love.

As soon as I read it, my mind was flooded with the images of faces of people who already love Aaron. People he's touched (quite literally, with hugs, and squeezes, and running his fingers through their hair). People who had become vested in his growth. Who truly wanted him to succeed  out of genuine concern and fondness for my unique little boy. Then I thought of his smile, his eyes, his laugh, so inexplicably endearing.  And I thought those little kindergarteners don't have a chance. 

He will be loved.

He will be able to win over their love. 

So maybe he isn't able to sit very long, or cut very straight, but he will be able to touch people, his whole life he will have that gift. Be that gift.  And it may not show up on report cards, but it will be real. 

And so I decided to fight the instinct to grab him and run,
instead I decided to  let him go and grow.

My little conquerer 



Hmmm, still adjusting from the summer schedule (or lack thereof)

So handsome

How do you not love that smile?


If the smile doesn't get you the laugh will!

Fingers crossed
(we've been signing letters, and he likes something about the feeling of the "r")

My little guy going off into the big world!

Some security in the sameness of the sand table

Lining up some play dates


I am, as always, so very proud of, and oh so very humbled by my amazing son.























Sunday, August 28, 2011

Due credit

A while back I referenced a Christian song in a post, specifically the lyric  
What if a thousand sleepless nights 
Are what it takes to know You’re near 

I was re-reading and realized I didn't say what song or who sang it (probably because at that point I didn't know, it was just a line I heard on the radio that resonated with me enough to remember it at 4 am...my fav blogging hour:)

It is definatley a favorite. 
So, here's me giving it up to Laura Story and her song "Blessings"... it sure was a blessing to me!





We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching(s) of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise


Friday, August 26, 2011

Last rays of summer



The house was a mess (how many posts could start like that?)
And I just didn't feel like cleaning. (imagine that)


Summer is waning. And so is our families energy. 


But we know come January will we wish we'd spent an evening cleaning the house or outside playing while we can? Canadians have so much pressure during summer, two short months to cram in all our summertime dreams.


Tonight's outing (ie avoidance of cleaning) turned out really fun.


As I was chucking our two year old in the stroller (the one who had whined non-stop all day...pleeeeeeease tell me it's a phase!) Benny said, "Can I take my plane?" I gave him my best "I'm not your mother" face, and said "Sure."


What a great idea. 


Ben has a love for anything remote control. 
Love. Fascination. Obsession. 


A few facts about RC toys: 
1) they break
2)there is always a more expensive one to buy
3)they also break too
4) but they're always fun while they last




The first purchase Benny and I argued  disagreed about was  a remote control plane he bought with a friend. Busted the first time they flew it. They fixed it. Broke it again. By the end of it's life, it had been converted into remote control boat! Pretty sure those boys had more fun "fixing" that thing then they did flying/floating it.


There's been various helicopters and cars since, which he's really good about limited to birthdays or Christmas time. 


A few months ago Fed-ex dropped off a box. I opened it and called Ben. 


"Um, so dear...your uh plane came today..."


I think I could hear the fear in the silence. "Oh yaaaa...I uh...forgot to tell you about that?"
I laughed, and he realized I was just teasing him. Poor guys works hard. 


Now he tries to convince me there for McKye...

...we all know that 's not quite true. 

Oh but they were cute together out there, oh so excited. 




Ah, another generation of boys loving their toys. 
Sorry to the future Mrs. McKye, I tried. 



My new toy??? 
Lately, I'm liking just taking picture on my phone. 
Love the quality of my real camera, but I just can't lug it to every park...
so now instagram 
just helps me celebrate the low quality and make the graininess reto and cool.
My kids get a little sick of me so her my "self-portraits"




Love that this one shows my puzzle piece necklace...mother's days present from Benny. 
Remote control...pretty necklace, guess we all have our things that make us happy.


Still my baby, at least a little longer

Isaiah asks Can a woman forget her sucking child?
He says they might. I say...


Well let's just say that metaphor took on a whole new reality these last few days.


It all started with me, as always trying to be a good mom. 
I took the kids swimming. After a crazy just nothing ain't gonna go right morning, I threw them in the van and headed off to the pool. 


Which was really fun. Even though it was windy. (you seasoned, smarter mothers can already see where this is headed). The next day my happy "little" Levi was lethargic, then feverish, then miserable!


We'd gone out to Mountain View for Ben's mom's birthday. His Aunt was up from Utah and I kept  hearing myself explain, "This isn't Levi, he's usually so happy and flirty. " 
He just wanted to be held, by me...including all through the night. He also had no interest in nursing.  At 6 am when the Tylenol  ran out, me and my blessed mother-in-law took a sunrise drive into town to restock. 


My other two boys were expected at Grandma and Grandpa Bowen's for a sleepover, so we dropped them off and headed back into town for a doctor visit, where the ear infection was confirmed and antibiotics were granted.  


We were off with our drugged baby, to a night away--Ben had invited me to accompany him on his last out of town business trip, to celebrate the fact that we had made it through another summer. (Yay for us).


Except by the time we arrived in "beautiful" British Columbia (I use quotations not in sarcasm, cuz hello it IS beautiful but because I'm literally quoting their license plates)
Levi hadn't nursed in over 24 hours!!!
You nursing mammas don't even need me to say it...I WAS DYING!


This is a kid who nurses, like at least have a dozen times a day. I mean, he doesn't maintain his sheer girth by being an occasional sucker...he takes his feedings seriously. 


So here I am basically milking myself (yup I said it, cuz at some point we've all done it) in the hotel bathroom, thinking about the year I actually milked goats in exchange for piano lessons (an experience obviously not gone to waste:) Desperately trying to elevate some of the "pressure" before going out to dinner. 


The worst part was I thought Levi was done. I thought we were gonna hafta go cold turkey. And I admit it made me sad. 


Okay, a few of you know that me and nursing haven't always gotten along. In fact my experience with Aaron was nothing short of an absolute and horrendous nightmare. 
Ben's always been kinda pro-bottle (more in a it's-okay-if-you-wanna-stop way, to balance my must-do-everything-I can-for-my-children-even-if-my-nipples-are-bleeding approach), so he was like, "Oh well guess you're weaning him."


"But I'm not ready" I said. 


He looked at me confused, " You mean...emotionally???"


Yup, that's what I meant. 


Then I read this post and felt validated.  I realized that unlike my last two nursing experiences it may be a little bit before the next Bretzke baby. I don't think we'll wait too long, just maybe a tad more than the two years between each of our sons (two years almost to the fay with McKye and Levi). I just wasn't ready to give up his baby-ness yet. 


Because nursing in the past had been such an painful, hard and almost unbearable experiences, I thought people who prolonged nursing where crazy (if not masochistic).


I take it all back. 
I get it.


And when Levi finally decided that his sore little throat was healed enough to latch on (after 29 hours!) not only was it a physically relief, but an emotional one as well.


He was going to stay my baby a little longer. 


Even though he's climbing everything in sight: stairs, playground equipment, me!
















Even though he grabbed the baby food jar right outta my hands and started trying to chug it down!


Even though every time I turn around he's learning new things like playing catch or clapping his hands, getting more lovable right before my eyes. Turning into a real little person. 



But still my baby.








So my fear of an unexpected weaning turned out unsubstantiated. We're back on schedule. 


Made me think of this quote by Anne Morrow Lindbergh:
"Purposeful giving is not as apt to deplete one's resources; it belongs to that natural order of giving that seems to renew itself even in the act of depletion. The more one gives, the more one has to give--like milk in the breast."

Made me think of Isaiah, testifying that the Lord remembers us even more constant then a mother and her sucking child.  Believe me I didn't forget about Levi for a second of those long 29 hours!


Heavenly Father has so much to give. Engorged with blessings and we just wont latch on. 
He has so much to give, and as we receive there will be more. As we give there will be more, at least of all good things: light, truth, love. They all increase as we share them.




At any rate it, we made it. 


Through the summer. 


Through the sick baby.


To beautiful BC and back.


Thanks Benny for another good summer. It'll be nice to have you around more:)




Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not my most spiritual Sunday post

An awesome friend of mine thanked me tonight for "keeping it real" on here.


So here it is...
This was me tonight. Drowning my "sorrows" in a jar of nutella. Don't worry nothing big. Nothing a little hazelnut-heaven on  spatula can't cure.

It was pretty cute this morning, when McKye , who we'd previously decided would be staying home from church (due to the volume of poopage in his diapers, and the VOLUME at which said poopage was being delivered there...nice right, diarrhea and chocolate, killer combo, ubber classy of me)
was soooo sad. 

As soon as he saw Aaron in his sunday cloths, he ran to the closet and got his sunday shoes and put them (with his pajamas) on calling out to everyone "Chur-ech, chuuuur-eh." And when he realized he wasn't going to church, he was so upset. 

The pew was eerily quiet with out him. 
Sacrament rather boring without the running commentary of:

"Prayer!" 
"Bread!!! (whisper McKye)
"Bread!"
"Prayers...Aaron Prayers!" 
"Water!!!" (whisper McKye!!!!)
"Water!"
"More!" (No, all done)

"Alllllll done! Nuersery now? (not yet)
(2 seconds)
"Nursery NOOW???!?!!"
(few more seconds)
"Nursery NOW!"

Must be doing something right (well at least his amazing nursery teachers are!) 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

No denying my "domestication" after this post...


Me and Saturdays have been getting along a little better lately. 



I think it's cuz I make my brother (who lives in our basement) clean the bathrooms. 

There is something so extremely motivating about having others working along with you, and nothing quite as UNmotivating as working all by yourself. 
 
I dream of the day my handsome hubby can call out "time to tidy" and all my little slaves...I mean children can all "pitch in". While we're starting a few age-appropriate chores, to help train my munchkins and hopefully make their dear mother's dream a reality one day. For right now in a household of a preschooler, a toddler and a baby, "contributing" is mostly in the form of fingerprints, spit up and the ever popular poop.

Some days being the main picker-upper can get me feeling like a prime example of Einstein's defination of insanity: doing something over and over again expecting different results. Cleaning and cleaning expecting, oh, I don't know, say a clean house? Silly me. 

I may have made a big triumph today. 


For months I have been lamenting the state of my carpets. HATE carpet. Our last house was all hard wood, and while it was lots of work, at least when it was clean it was clean. 

It was getting bad. 

My friend, equally disgusted by her carpets as of late, finally rented a cleaner (that's me chatting on my awesome pink phone with her) I had thought about hiring it out, renting a machine, but I could just tell in a few months I'd be right back where I started, trying to convince myself it was worth spending the money to do (I'm pretty cheap).



Well today I content communicated that I needed Ben to go buy me a carpet cleaner, without telling me how much it was (Once again: cheap). 

Such a good decision. 

So while Benny sat with our sickie McKye (pretty sure the three foot pukage puddle in his room helped contribute to my consumer decisivness), 
I gleefully sucked up the residues of summer (ie many a popsicle, and plenty of dirt) out of our rugs, and simultaneously the resentment from my soul! 

It was glorious. 






Happiness thy name is clean carpets.
Don't worry I didn't do it in heels...don't do anything in heels.





As I write this, I'm waiting for my kids to tire-out (if it doesn't make sense I blame the Doodle-boops!) so I can do the toy room while their in bed!!! 




Ah, Jaci how we'll miss you!

This girl right here:

Love her!

She came for a"few days" almost two weeks ago, cuz we just couldn't let her go. 
My husband is the oldest of 8 kids. And Jaci is the youngest. There's 17 years between them.
Which means, because Ben and I started dating when we were 17, Jaci has never known her brother without me and I've known her since right after she was born!

In a few weeks she'll turn 13!
(She showed me the boy she likes on facebook and it made me feel old)


We've swam and jumped on the tramp and cleaned and all of it was vetter cuz Aunty Jaci was with us.  Asked her what she wanted for her "last supper" and she said McDonald's, not gonna argue with gool ol "Bries! and chUP!" (Fries and ketchup, for those of you who don't speak "Mckye")


The play place sign said up to 12 could play. She grinned and chased my kids to the top.


Down to the river valley. Bear foot we romped. And the whole time I couldn't get the image of Jaci as a toddler out of my head.  Because it was yesterday. Wasn't it?


Apparently not. 


And soon my kids will be chasing and delighting HER kids. The circle of life...well at the very least the circle of babysitting.


I was so glad she came. 
Thanks Jaci, we love you!



More shots from our quiet summer evening. (Trying to savour the last bits of summer, before it's back to bundling up all the time.)













Thursday, August 18, 2011

Delay much? "Drafted"

I keep half way writing posts and then not finishing them.
And the little orange "drafted"s are starting to pile up!

Ben was actually home last week. So instead of happily blogging at all hours of the night, I laid there writing things in my head, trying to be quiet while he slept.

Now I'm behind.

So I didn't blog about my awful day, where even Aaron's home therapists said, "Your off your game today!" Instead I bawled to my phone girls. You know that story of Moses' arms being held up...that's how I picture me and my two everyday phone friends, me: arms in the air holding my two cordless phones (always just about dead) and them holding me up. With out them, yup, I'd just...well, fall over.
They definitively held me up yesterday.

Then I also haven't blogged about my killer awesome day today. Tender mercies, fresh perspectives, and just some good ol' tickles and laughs with my kids just making all the difference.

Haven't posted my new found connection with learning to make choices and self-esteem...
Or my contemplations on end of summer funks...
Or my latest enamored-ness with Levi and his emerging personality ...
Or how I almost drowned Aaron with a mouthful of pop at MacDonald's...
Or how much I love my little sister-in-law who's been staying with us...
Or how Benny's always responses to my I love you's with "Me too, beaucoup, beaucoup" and only recently did I explain that  I always think "Buckets and buckets" even though I know that's Or not the translation.


Aw life, with your fullness. (Oh yeah, the post on stress and being busy, obviously written on a day I was too busy to really write it)


So there they all sit "drafted".
I blame blogger they make procrastination way too easy.
Drat you auto save.



Oh well I'll post this. And go to bed. Temple tomorrow and lunch with Ben's mom and sisters, where we'll undoubtedly enjoy good thought provoking conversation.

More thoughts provoked.
More half-way written posts about such provoked thoughts.
Sigh. It's vicious cycle.


Good-night.






Wow that hit me hard...

Mommies READ THIS!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

I didn't post this? (Shower for Kamber Rose)

My littlest sister had a baby. 
And she asked her big sister to through a shower. 
This is the result:
I love her middle name (same as her mommy Melanie Rose) and I decided (poor girlie deprived mother of boys that I am) that we were having a rose themed shower.




Our cousin also had a baby boy, Lucus, so it was a double shower for the family coming down from Calgary.
Hers & his



Sleeping Lucus

Levi working the crowd








The mamma







Levi is suppose to wait til his first birthday to get a cupcake...he grabbed one at Aaron's birthday and nabbed another one at eth shower, little stinker.




My mommy and Aunties

Two mammas







My new fav of Evanny

My crafty sister!







OH Krista, how I love you!





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