Six.

I’m trying really hard not to tear up as I write this, but somehow, I don’t think it will work.

Butter is six today. He now needs two hands to show people hold old he is. In a month, he starts first grade. It’s the first birthday since his birth day that he’s woken up away from home.

Oh, Butter. How you’ve grown since last year. Not only in stature [I'm convinced you'll be taller than me before you hit double digits], but in knowledge, in courage, in discipline, & in faith. You still love to read. You played soccer & tee ball again this year, & started your most favorite activity to date – karate. You lost five teeth over the course of Kindergarten.  You were so proud the day you lost a tooth in school & got to come home with a special necklace housing that lost tooth.

You love, love, love Ben 10 [much to Mommy's chagrin] & the Power Rangers. You love to play Wild Kratts with your brother. He still looks at you like you hung the moon, by the way. I think you think LEGOs are just about the best things ever, even though Mommy typically ends up building your sets with a little assistance, not the other way around. You’ve spent the last year pushing buttons, but that’s okay. You’re a kid & that’s what kids do. Maybe just go easy on Mommy & Pop on the number of buttons you push in a single day? We’d appreciate it.

You’ve learned the art of sleeping in this year. I think your love of sleep rivals mine & there are definitely days when I’m envious of how much sleep you get vs how much sleep I get. I think it’s pretty darn adorable that you complain that your brother won’t let you sleep in because he’s been doing that to us for the past three & a half years, dude.

We can’t wait to see what Year Six brings you. Keep on keepin’ on, Butter. You’re a rock star in the eyes of your parents & we love you more than you could ever imagine.

Waiting for the 4th of July parade to start.

Making silly faces at VBS.

“Being a Mom is Tough”

Oh, how I wish I’d heeded those words when M & I decided to start our family.

You all know I haven’t been the best about blogging lately, but I’m hoping this online Bible Study – and this blog hop – will get me back into the swing of things. This study is called Am I Messing Up My Kids? & legitimately couldn’t have come at a better time, because I am constantly asking that question. I am so glad I saw a photo taken by Rebecca on my instagram feed that had me signing up for the study & rushing out to our local Family Christian Store to buy the book.

This week, I’m supposed to tell you my mama story. It seems kind of redundant to me because this blog has been about very few things other than my mama story, but maybe it would be good to get it out all at once.

When M & I got married, we knew we wanted kids. I always told him I’d envisioned myself much like Jill on Home Improvement – I’d have three boys. The first time I got pregnant, I messed up the reveal to my husband in many ways. He wasn’t the first person I told & sometimes he still teases me about that. I had a miscarriage with that baby at 7 weeks & a lot of times, it still really hurts. But then I remember we wouldn’t have Butter without having had that loss & I’m a little more okay with it.

The second time I got pregnant, I just knew. I went to M in the kitchen & told him three things. I said, “I’m pregnant, it’s a boy, and he will be born on August 8.” I was only wrong about one of those things. And if you’re asking yourself why I said he’d be born on August 8? Because I miscarried 8/8/07 & just knew that this little boy would arrive on 8/8/08. He arrived on 7/24/08 & the moment I saw him, I was even more in love with him than I could have imagined. He got his nickname because mama was exhausted one night & trying to calm him down. It was a stream of, “It’s okay, bud, buddy, budder.” And for some reason, that budder transformed into Butter & he’s been that ever since.

Butter gave us a scare the first few weeks. I was struggling with nursing him & he was throwing up pretty much every time he ate. We took him in for a well baby check & the pediatrician said she thought she heard a heart murmur & she diagnosed him with reflux all at the same time. We got orders to take him to the children’s hospital for an x-ray the next day. After radiology read it, the on call doc called me & said, “Don’t get comfortable where you are. You need to go back to the ER.” My heart dropped to my stomach. There was a haze on the x-ray [which I now think was the result of trying to do a film on a wiggly infant] that they weren’t quite sure about. He was admitted & eventually diagnosed with failure to thrive because he hadn’t gained much [if any?] weight since he’d been born. I kept trying to explain to the nurses & doctors that he’d just been diagnosed with – and given medication for – reflux the previous day, but no one wanted to listen to me. It was pretty awful, to say the least.

For the record? He’s fine now & will turn six a week from tomorrow.

Bear presented his own set of challenges. Just as I knew when I was pregnant with Butter, I knew with Bear. Somewhere exists a photo I took of Butter the day I told M I thought I was a pregnant again, but no matter how much searching I do, I can’t find it. Oh well. Bear came into our lives on 11/17/10, just four days after his Pop turned 39. He wasn’t due to be born for another 12 days, but he’s been letting us know who’s boss since the very beginning. I’d had a TIA when I was six months pregnant [the first indication of my Moyamoya diagnosis], so I fretted about how he would handle the stress my body had gone through. He was loud & proud the day he was born. Then he gave us the scare of our lives. He spent 20 long, pretty torturous days in the NICU due to PPHN. Though I didn’t know it at the time, we came pretty close to losing him in those early days. [I am eternally grateful to my amazing husband for keeping that information from me.] He got his nickname when he came off the ventilator. Pop said he sounded like an angry bear.

He’s fine now, too, and pushing my buttons every day of his threenager year. For a kid who’s been doing so well with potty training, he’s had a fair number of accidents in the past few days. Last night, as I cleaned up one of his messes, I sobbed. Whether it was the day I had yesterday [Oh, what a day it was. I may write about that soon.] or just frustration over something that had been going so well that suddenly isn’t again, I’m not sure. I just know that last night, I was at my wit’s end & just didn’t know how I was going to go on.

And then I remembered that I’m not in this alone. Every day, there are mamas who are dealing with far worse than I am. There are mamas out there who get this season of life better than I could ever hope to. And better than that? No matter how alone I feel, I know I’m not. My Heavenly Father is with me, seeing those tears & that frustration & that brokeness & begging me to lay it on Him. Last night, for the first time in a long time, I admitted I can’t do it all on my own [which is something I struggle with on a daily basis]. It’s liberating to realize there is someone bigger than me who wants to take my burdens.

I’m really looking forward to what I learn over the course of the next six weeks or so.

If you click the button below, you can read some of the other stories. I look forward to getting to these other mamas out there who get it.

 

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Quiet

There are days when all I long for, all I want in this world, is just a little quiet, please.

Five minutes.

Even five seconds.

And it’s not often that it’s totally quiet around here. The boys are playing, M is talking to me about the truck or other miscellaneous things, a movie is on in the background. Mostly, it’s the boys playing & using the imaginations M feared they wouldn’t have because of the technology pushed on children at such a young age. Still, there are moments when my Mama heart just wants some peace & quiet.

But when I get that quiet? I miss the chaos, I miss the noise associated with having a house full of boys. I know I’m the quietest one in the house, and luckily, my husband understands my need for some solitude from time to time. I’m blessed with a man who gives me time to myself, who lets me sleep in when he knows I’ve had a rough day, who sometimes sends me out for a few hours to enjoy a different kind of chaos & noise. He sends me for pedicures, tells me to go & do what I want to do for an hour or so, & takes the boys when I’ve just had enough.

I’m a lucky girl. I hope I never forget that.