Wednesday, May 30, 2012

buzz off and an award

Today Claire, Samuel, and I sat through what turned out to be the longest awards assembly in the history of mankind.  No, really.  And to be honest, Claire wasn't really feeling it.  About fifteen minutes into it (and we were just getting warmed up at that point), Claire was done.  D. O. N. E.  From that point, I took her to the bathroom three times, once more to get some tissue to wipe up the lovelies that she blew out of her nose, and chased her around more than once.  Add trying to get her to sit down so the people behind us could see, chasing off the nice lady and her son next to us because Claire thought they stole her chair (which they kind of did during one of our trips to the bathroom trips, but really?), then having to tell her to please stop sticking her hands down her you-know-where whilst she announced loudly, "But Mom!  I have a really, really bad itch on my bottom!" 

Not that I was annoyed or anything. 

Anyway, on our third trip to the bathroom Claire was telling me how she could go by herself.  Of course, I wasn't buying it.  After all, I didn't know if she'd come back.  She's got her own mind, that girl.  So while I tried to hurry her into the stall (because after waiting for an hour an half, I wasn't going to miss Kate's award, by golly!), she was dragging her feet and giving me the whole, "I'm way too old for this" speech.  Finally, I told her in no uncertain terms to get in the dang stall and do her business.  Or else.  (Although I had no idea what that would be- I had already threatened to take her out to the car and let her sit in her seat, but that backfired when she said, "Okay, I want to go to the car now".)  She finally got started while I waited outside the stall door impatiently.  That's when I heard her say, "Mom, I really wish you would just buzz off." 

Oh, and Kate finally got her award.  Student Council for next year and Cougar Scholar.  (Way to go, Kate!)

a whole bunch of pictures- but gosh, he's cute.

Mr. Samuel at eight months (and now he's already nine!). . .what can I say except fun, fun, fun!  Sam is such a sweet, happy little guy who loves everyone.  Everyone!  He loves to give open-mouthed kisses and loves.  He is famous for his grins, and hands them out to everyone he meets.  Now that he's here, I don't know what we ever did without him. 

He started crawling (but not really, more like a worm scoot) at about eight months.  Now, at nine months old, he is pulling himself up to everything and can't wait to get going with the whole walking gig.  He is eating pretty much everything and loves his bath time.  The girls love playing with him, especially laying him on his stomach on either the couch and bed while they play peek a boo over the side.  It makes him laugh so hard he can hardly get a breath in.  Speaking of getting the giggles, this little guy is about the most ticklish baby I've ever seen.  He gets giggling every time I put lotion on him, pull on or off his socks, or pull a shirt over his head.  We think it's pretty cute.

In fact, we think everything about our little man is pretty cute!  Just yesterday, Ryenne said. "He's soooo cute!  (Insert squeal)  He's so cute I can hardly stand it!  He's so perfect!  I can't even put it into words how he makes me feel inside!"  One thing's for sure, he's got his sisters wrapped around his little finger for the time being! 

Little buddy, we are so glad you joined our little family!

(photography by Nicole Nelson)

Friday, May 11, 2012

to all the mothers in my life

Eight months ago, I couldn't walk. 

Eight months ago, I could barely even stand.  Not without a lot of help, anyway.  Eight months ago, the goal was to get me from my bed to the bathroom door on my own two feet.  I remember that when I finally did- after eight or nine days in the hospital, everyone cheered.  Except me.  They helped me back in bed and I cried.  I cried because I knew I didn't make it to the bathroom.  They practically carried me there while my feet shuffled along the floor.

Weeks later, at home,  I'd go outside on my back patio and hold onto Courtney's arm while we walked.  One lap.  Two on a good day.  One night I was feeling fancy and suggested to Courtney that I might try three whole laps.  He thought I should start with one and see how I felt.  He was right, two was all I had.

But I kept going.  When I was alone, which wasn't very often, I would slowly make my way down the steps and practice.  Before long, I was doing three laps!  Finally, I graduated to walking around the garden, and next, on to the driveway.  Once again, I started with just one lap.  Then two.  Finally three. 

It was exciting, and everyone cheered me on.  Still, I wondered.  Would I ever be me again?  I would round the driveway on my little strolls and look toward the church down the road.  I've walked and ran that direction hundreds of times.  Deep down, I was terrified I'd never have that freedom again.  That road was my therapy, the place where, alone or with a friend, I solved the world's problems.  Amidst all my fears, losing my legs and the freedom they bring me scared me the most.  The other biggie?  Would I ever be the type of mom again that my children were used to?

Slowly, but surely I got stronger.  After a few months, I was going to the grocery store.  Driving again.  Christmas shopping.  I was thrilled, and hoped I was on the mend.  Then I ended up in the hospital again for Christmas break.  I won't ever forget how I felt riding in the ambulance on my way to the hospital.  I remember the paramedics asking me a string of questions while I looked out the window and wondered if it was going to be like this for the rest of my life. 

It isn't.  This week, I walked three miles.  I mowed the lawn.  I sprayed weeds.  We set my bike up on the trainer, and I rode it for twenty minutes.  It was really hard, but I did it.  I've spent full days caring for my family, cooking and cleaning my own house without having to take a nap or have someone else watch my kids because I didn't have it in me. 

I can't tell you how good that feels. 

I know I sound like I'm bragging.  And I probably am, for I feel like I've come so far.  But really, as Mother's Day approaches, I've been thinking about all of the good women in my life.  So many, many good women who make me want to be better.   You have visited me at the hospital, cleaned my house, mothered my children, fed my family, fulfilled my church callings, chauffeured me to various doctor appointments and therapy visits, filled our pantry full of home canned goods, and lifted my spirits with visits, flowers, texts, and phone calls.  Literally and figuratively, I have leaned on you as I have walked this unexpected road. Today I thanked my Father in Heaven for all of you incredible, kind women in my life, and it occurred to me.  I haven't come so far.  We've come so far. 

Part of me wants to jump up and down and the other part of me feels like crying.  I cry tears of joy and gratitude because I know I didn't make it here.  We made it.  Courtney and I, our girls, Samuel, and all of these amazing people in my life.  Slowly, but surely, I've gone from helpless to helping once again. 

I've never written any thank you notes.  To be honest. it completely overwhelms me, but I wanted you all to know that I know the truth.   In the past eight months, I haven't gotten anywhere on my own. 

You practically carried me there while my feet shuffled along the floor. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

a day with my girl

It's official.  My little girl is twelve.  TWELVE!

That's a big deal, you know.  Twelve means no more primary. Twelve means my "little" girl is off to young women's (or as her dad calls it, "Young Females") on Sunday, activities every weeknight, and going away to camp.  It means one year closer to being a real, live teenager.  Being twelve (in our house) means mascara and lip gloss and piercing your ears (if she wanted, which in this girl's case- she doesn't).  Twelve means we wear almost the same shoe size. 

I remember the day Ryenne left nursery and went into big kid primary as a cute little sunbeam.  I was lamenting to my friend all those first mom feelings, such as "I can't believe she's big enough to go into real primary!"  At the time it seemed like a monumental change, watching my little baby girl sitting up straight amongst all those BIG kids.  When I told all of this to my friend, whose children are mostly grown now, she laughed at me and said, "It's really not that big of a deal".  I vividly remember  telling myself she was probably right, and I was just being silly.  After all, it wasn't like my little girl was graduating from high school- she was only a little sunbeam.

Well.  The week Ryenne graduated Primary and moved into Young Women's, I marched up to my friend and announced, "You lied!" 

I can see it now.  It WAS a big deal.  Because do you know what happened next?  Before I knew it, she was sitting on the back row of junior primary, not the front.  In a blink, she was baptized.  Next, she appeared in the senior primary, with all of those really, really big kids.  Right before my eyes, she got bigger, and bigger, and now, here we were watching her leave primary (and childhood, really) behind.  All because she left the nursery as a wee little three year old. 

I was right to panic.  That day was a really big deal, after all.

For Ryenne's big day (and because she is growing a mile an minute and had nary a thing to wear), we decided that the two of us would have a girl's day out to go shopping.  She got to sluff school, even! 

We had a perfect day.  It was glorious having her all to myself.  We talked the whole way to Salt Lake and back, had fun splashing our fingers in the fountains, and admiring the beautiful landscaping.  We laughed when after only an hour, we were both pooped, and decided that the only choice we had was to get regular doses of chocolate (it was quite necessary, you see).  Seems she inherited my shopping genes!  And it wasn't long into our day before she kindly let on, "we don't really have the same style, do we mom?".  At that moment, I realized I had arrived.  I was officially that mom who (not realizing how ancient I am) holds up a piece of clothing, only to have her daughter crinkle up her nose and shudder.  Just yesterday, it was me dying at what my mom thought I should wear.  Wasn't it? 

I love you Ryenne.  Even if you are growing up on me.   I love your fun personality.  I love how confident you have become this year. I love your friends.  I love that boys are still "just boys" to you.  I am oh so proud of how you've been so responsible this year, and have taken so much on while I've been sick.  Sure, we have our share of drama, but that's part of the experience, I hear.  You get yourself up every morning, and much of the time head into your baby brother's room to gather him up and give him a bottle, too.  You get yourself ready and have been so good at not making me feel guilty that I'm not the early morning, make-everyone-breakfast mom that I used to be.  Just this morning, you came into my room before you left, asked me how I was feeling, and tucked the blanket under my chin in hopes I could sleep just a little bit longer.  You are a good, good girl.  In so many ways, you have really blossomed this year and I am so very thankful for the person you are becoming.  Even if that means you are growing up

Lucky me to have a daughter like you.  You are growing up in the most marvelous way.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

more funnyfrom claire

Lately Claire has been into big words.  They make me laugh.  Out loud.

The other day during Stake Conference (during which she was an absolute nightmare, I might add), she did something to inflict pain unto one of her sisters (hit, kick . . .I lose track sometimes).  When I discussed the necessity of a timeout once we returned home, she became immediately remorseful.  "But Mom!  I'm terribly sorry!  I'm terribly sorry!"

I tried hard not to laugh, but I might have failed.

When I asked her today if she was ready for lunch?  "Absolutely".  By the way, the hot menu item for lunch this week just so happens to be "a gorilla cheese sandwich" (grilled cheese, that is).

Also, so I don't forget: 

Lately, Claire's loving watching "Swan-de-leg" on dvd.  (Swan Lake).  And the other day when she was wearing her "sparkly shoes", she excitedly announced, "Dad, now I look just like Darcie!"  When he asked "Darcie?"  She replied, "Yeah!  You know!  Darcie from The Lizard of Oz!" 

Oh. . . .Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz.  Duh.

We love our Claire.  Feisty, funny, makes-us-happy-everyday.  That's our girl.

a good day

Claire and I were just getting ready to go on a walk when she decided that we needed a few Rainbow Brite stickers to complete our outfits.  As she was making me pretty with rainbows and unicorns, she told me the best thing I've heard all week.\

"Mom, I just thought you needed to know, we are going to look fabulous."

Now really, how can I ask for more than that?