6.19.2018

Wyatt's Seventh Birthday Party






















Wyatt had a fantastic birthday party yesterday!  A lot of his friends were able to come, as well as his two cousins (thanks for making the drive Tuckers!!!) and they had a great time!  They played in the backyard, spent some time playing legos, and colored some Monsters University coloring sheets.  

Josh made pizza for the whole crew- which they enjoyed while watching Monsters University.  Then he opened presents and we got ready to sing and blow out the candles.  Well, our windy weather had other plans.  Luckily Wyatt is an easy going kid, and he said, "That's alright mom! I can just make a wish!" So he did, no candles necessary. (He looked like he was praying- it was beyond precious!)

The kids loved the cake and ice cream and as a party favor, Wyatt chose Reese's Peanut butter cups.  This kid knows exactly what he likes & wants, and cracks me up.  I love how decisive he is.  (For instance, he had a birthday dinner at my mom's in Vancouver on his actual birthday and instead of cake he requested pumpkin pie. He's just such a character!  What seven year old loves pumpkin pie?!?)

He is a very grateful kid, loves (!) toys and was so excited for each and every present he received.  This morning he woke up so pumped to play with everything.  It was fun to see him with his friends, and also to notice how different his energy level is.  His brothers are "Go! Go! Go!" from the second they wake up.  Wyatt is far more mellow, and it was fun to see which of his friends are like him, and which are like his brothers. 

This birthday was really fun to plan for our boy- I am so grateful for him.  He's a beautiful addition to our family and I am so thankful that he's here with us after all we've been through this year. 

I love you Wyatt Nathanial.
You're the best & I'm the luckiest.

***

6.18.2018

A letter to my girl

My dearest daughter,
Sweet girl, since you came into this world, it's like my vision cleared and now I see things in ways I never dreamed.  Unfortunately, a lot of what I see now, I don't like.  I see misogyny, I see disrespect, I see expectations.  I see sexism, I see boxes, I see judgment.

I want you to see past all that. I want you to see that you can do anything you want to do.  I want you to see a way to change the things you don't like.  I want you to see that you are worthy, no matter what the media tells you.  That your body, its size, and your choices are no one else's business.

But I am beginning to see that in order for you to see things that way, I have to see things that way first.  I have to raise you the way I want you to be. After thirty plus years accepting things as they are and hating certain parts of myself, it is a big challenge.

But it is one that I will rise to, because you are worth it, and because I am worth it.

Thank you, darling angel, for coming into my life, for reminding me of my inherent worth and for challenging me to believe things can be better. For you. And for me.

Love,
Mama


6.17.2018

Happy Father's Day to Four Amazing Guys!





My kids have been blessed with the most amazing father.  He, from day one, has been completely involved in every aspect of their care.  Changing diapers, feeding them, caring for them... You name it, he's done it.  He spent the entire last week (technically nine days, but who's counting?) caring for all three boys in Vancouver while I enjoyed some time to myself with just Carly to care for.  He's juggled Logan having three seizures with all three boys passing a cold from one to the next to the next, with the cold finally landing with Wyatt, who had to start nebulizer treatments and all kinds of extra inhalers and stuff to try and stay one step ahead of the illness to keep from needing steroids.  Josh handled it like a pro and brought them all home, safe & sound, happy as could be, to me, excited to tell me stories of the jumps they did on their scooters, the time they spent with their grandma's and about how dad had to wake them up at the crack of dawn to make the trek home. 
Their dad is the best gift I could ever give them, and they scored big time!

But the blessings don't stop there.  
They have also been blessed with three amazing Papa's.  
My dad, Papa Barry, who loves them so much and enjoys adventuring with them out of doors. 

Josh's dad, Papa Carl, who loves them so much and knows the answers to all their questions- especially if it's mechanical or mathematical.

And their great Grandpa, Papa Jerry, who loves them so much and likes to share stories of his childhood shenanigans, makes them laugh and teaches them never to take themselves too seriously.

My kids hit the jackpot when it comes to male role models, 
and I am so grateful, especially since I'm raising three boys!!!

***

6.16.2018

On Having Bigger Twins, Finally!

I feel I should start this post by saying that at this point in life 90% of the time the twins are just, in our house, "Logan" and "Jack".  Two nine (just turned ten) year olds who floss constantly (not dentally), have a love of all wheels and a distaste for most chores. ;)

But 10% of the time, I become sharply aware of the fact that they are indeed identical twins with a special relationship that requires some special treatment & occasional awe.

I was at the grocery store yesterday and saw a mama with baby twins and I shouted at her across the parking lot that seeing her babes was making me nostalgic as mine had just turned ten.  She laughed and we exchanged "twin mom" info- boys? girls? (We both had boys) Identical? Fraternal? (We both had identical) I laughingly assured her it gets easier the way moms did for me when my twins were infants.  I had not for one second believed them, but it turns out it's actually true.

When they are babies, you don't sleep, their needs are constant and once they start moving- forget it! You're screwed! Basically until they are three, parenting twins is ridiculous.  Unless they're in bed or strapped in the stroller, you're outnumbered and exhausted.

But then they turn seven.  And this magic thing happens.  They start helping.  They start unloading the dishwasher, and doing the catbox.  They start vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom.  They start putting away laundry and setting the table.  It's like this sudden switch and they can do so much for themselves, and so much for you!

Now I get to sit back and enjoy them and their relationship.  We can talk about their twinship and how they wouldn't trade it for anything.  (They both agree that being a singleton would be lonely and boring.  They have zero desire to exist without each other.  This makes my mama heart swell to twice its size.)  

I am so grateful God blessed me with twins.
And I am equally grateful to be out of the first stages with them.
They were cute,
but man alive was I tired!

***

6.15.2018

Around Here: Week 24 {2018}











{The "amazing" (weed covered) side yard}

{hide & seek fingers}
Enjoying... an entire week to myself without the boys.  Josh took them with him to Vancouver to spend time with cousins and grandma's while he helps his parents prep their house to be put on the market.  They bought land here a year ago and hope to be moving here in the next month or two (eee! I'm so excited to have grandparents in town!) so Josh is helping them cross some things off their to-do list.  It's been the most amazing break, with insane amounts of down time to read and blog and rest, and my soul feels so peaceful right now, I can hardly believe it.

Seeing... all of life through Carly's eyes.  I didn't realize how much having four kids makes me rush ev.er.y.thing.  This week I have slowed down so much, and it's been so fun.  We've been "watering canning" together each night (watering the flower beds the sprinklers don't reach) and Carly loves it so much.  She delights in every bug she sees, every flower, every rock.  She just emanates joy, and it's completely contagious.  I hope to carry this slowed contentment forward, even after the boys return with Josh because it's so delicious.  Monday as I headed into the daunting side yard where there was a TON of weeding to do I was thinking a lot of swear words in my head as I heard Carly's adorable voice pronounce boisterously, "This is AMAZING!" She just sees the world so differently than me sometimes, and I'm so thankful for her tiny, rosy colored perspective.

Reading... and finishing Seizures and Epilepsy in Childhood: A Guide For Parents as well as Siblings Without Rivalry.  After finishing Seizures, I felt like I deserved a trophy.  It was a tough read, just emotionally because it had some things that were really hard to read and sometimes hard to understand.  But I walked away better understanding epilepsy and with some really good questions for Logan's follow up appointment at the end of the month.
Siblings Without Rivalry was the easiest read- I read a chapter each day this week, and loved it.  I feel completely confident that I will be able to make some headway with the boys' fighting when they get back and am actually hopeful that they may not kill each other before high school. Hah!  Highly recommend the book if your kids fighting is driving you batty!  (I have two that are like oil & water and they were making me dread summer like the plague!)
I am about halfway through Four Seasons in Rome which a friend of mine loaned me (before she even read it- best friend ever!) and am just starting I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos.  I was ecstatic this week when I found Molokai at Goodwill.  It's been on my Pinterest "To Read" list for years and then like magic, there it was, for $.99, on the shelf.  I can't wait to read it!  It's about a leprosy colony in Hawaii and sounds fascinating!  It makes me so happy that I am reading again.

Spending... time every afternoon sitting in the sun reading.  This time is priceless to me, and Carly is starting to get into the rhythm of our afternoon outside time.  She gets a snack and brings out a ton of toys, and I read while she plays this and that.  She usually also brings books and hearing her read them out loud to herself just slays me- is there anything cuter than a two year old reciting Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to herself? I think not!

Amazed... at what an awesome dad Josh is. I mean, I always knew it, but this week he is really proving it as Logan has had three seizures while in Vancouver.  The seizures he's having are the smaller ones, but he's having them at bedtime and he keeps getting out of bed while he's having them, then crashing into the wall and feeling crummy afterward, and Josh is just dealing with it so well, and making sure to report all the details to me (because I am keeping detailed notes for the doctor so we can keep her well informed of his status).  He stays so calm and keeps Logan feeling safe and calm as well, which does wonders for my mama heart.

Thankful... that Josh is also dealing well with Wyatt's asthma which is cropping up after he caught the cold the twins each had.  Thankfully we knew it was coming and started him on his preventative puffer (Flovent) 2x twice a day before his numbers got bad and so far he has been doing alright.  It just gives me such peace of mind to know that Josh is such a capable parent and that he's got this.  It lifts some of the weight on my shoulders to know that I don't carry the burden of our two sick children alone.

Meanwhile, I'm dealing... with a leaky washer & toddler tantrums.  I'm honestly not sure which is worse!  The washing machine guy can't come until Monday to look at it and the boys (and Josh) get back Saturday.  I'm just praying the towels load doesn't start to stink between now and then and that whatever is wrong is a quick fix!!!  As for Carly, teething her two year molars seems to be stealing all her kindness and it's killing me softly!  Any time I tell her no, she looks at me like, "Are you serious right now?" Then slowly lays down on the floor and begins yelling and kicking her feet.  VERY melodramatic.  Sigh. Oh sister! You're working it real good.

Walking... everyday and loving how alive it makes me feel.  I am super excited to keep up this new habit through the summer.  My friend Ashley had asked on her blog "What makes me feel alive?" and it made me ask myself the same question.  This was a few weeks ago, and I couldn't think of a single answer.  It bothered me I couldn't think of anything.  I have since thought of three things.  One is going for walks.  Another is being in nature.  And the last one is laughing with my friends & family.  I'm happy to be doing two of those things everyday.

Saying... goodbye to a friend who introduced me to my other friends (and my local book club!) and feeling so sad that she's moving away.  I know that it's what she wants and is going to be so good for her family, but I'm selfishly sad!

Treating... Carly to her first ever fudgsicle, which she adorably calls a "fudgefickle" & a spoonful of whip cream, which she ravaged.  She has since asked for a "fudgefickle" just about every hour, on the hour, and is extremely disappointed when the answer is no. (See "tantrums" above.)

Looking forward... to hugging my guys when they get home and celebrating Wyatt's seventh birthday. 

I can't believe this sweet, snuggly baby turns seven today!!!



***

6.14.2018

On Wyatt Turning Seven

Tomorrow Wyatt turns seven.  And after the last six months we've had with that kid battling status asthmaticus (asthma that doesn't respond to treatment) in the PICU in Spokane, multiple ER visits and round after round of steroids, I am just so grateful to be celebrating another birthday with him here on earth with us. 

Before we look at the last year, though, I want to take a walk down memory lane...


























Oh this boy.  He has always been a light in my life.
He gave me purpose when Josh was gone in Alaska setting up our life there, and he kept me going after my two miscarriages.  He brings me so much joy, and I am so thankful that God knew we needed him in our family.

***

This year was a year of remarkable growth for Wyatt.  He became a better swimmer, an amazing reader, and a remarkable gardener.  He is a sweet friend, an incredible big brother, and the bravest kid I know.  Throughout all his battles with his Reactive Airway Disease and his asthma (being hospitalized, taking disgusting medicines and doing more nebulizer treatments than you can count!) he has been the most amazing patient.
He is a loving cousin, the best helper, and an enthusiastic baseball player, willing to play any position with the best attitude on the team.  This year he had his hearing checked and may end up getting tubes after suffering three months of ear infections and back to back antibiotics (a follow up appointment in July will determine his fate) and throughout those appointments as well, he was a champ.
His favorite buddy is his bear, who remains nameless, and he has recently begun sleepwalking, which is highly disturbing to his mother, who was also a sleepwalker. (I guess it's some kind of universal payback. Ha!)  
He is always willing to pay me a compliment about how I'm the best mom in the world.  He adores going anywhere with Josh, and loves all of his extended family so very much- aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.  He's just an all around great kid, whom we all adore.



























Wyatt, you're the coolest seven year old I know. 
And I'm so glad you're ours.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

***