Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Kid-Ism's

Ironically, when I looked at last November I noticed I had missed October's Kidisms, as I did this year. Must be due to the last day being Halloween? Anyway, here are some of the last couple months kid-isms! NOLAN
  • Nolan loves his girl country stars. Recently he pointed at the TV and said, "Hey its Carrie UnderWEAR!"
  • Nolan wants to know how many days until just about anything. "How many days until the weekend? How many days until Thanksgiving? How many days till Christmas?" and so on. His most recent was, "How many days until I can be a daddy? Lots, right? Like, 109!"
  • The following was the best I could do to record a very sweet and innnocent conversation with Nolan about God: "God lives TWO WHERE. In our hearts and in the sky. When we die that's okay because he just takes our hand and pulls us up. He doesn't need a rocket ship. Will some kids in Heaven be a baby? (I answered, "Yes, I think some will be.") But then the babies wouldn't be able to chase me around. I need to tell Daddy to believe in Jesus so we can play together in Heaven."
  • Nolan asked, "Mommy, how come people have blood in them?" (my response of course was the scientific, "You need to ask Daddy.")
  • Nolan said he prayed that God would give him 8 babies. Then he said, "Then we'll have 11! Me, my brothers and 8 more! That's alot of car seats, Mommy!" I'm glad he's learning math!!

Joseph & Daniel: (I know its not fair to group them, but there are so many that are the same)!

  • The boys love to do the animal sounds. There favorites and best are monkey "ooh ooh, ah ah" and bear, where they raise their arms over their heads and say "Roar!"
  • There is a little space, just big enough for a toddler, between the wall and each crib. They will run to their crib and hide back there until we say, "Where is Joseph/Daniel?" Then they pop out and and say "raaa" and laugh hysterically.
  • They are in gymnastics and learning tons. Like how to climb our furniture. They can both climb Nolan's train table and both can climb their furniture storage bins in the living room. J has figured out the coffee table. If D is struggling to get on some kind of furniture, J will go behind him and push his toosh to help him up. Awesome.
  • When Joseph gets really mad, he throws whatever he can find and chucks it.
  • When D gets mad he runs to a wall or door and slams both fists into it.
  • The saying "Monkey see, monkey do" has taken on a whole new meaning. Especially at mealtime, when they sit across from one another. One smears applesauce in hair, so does the other one. One throws a fork, so does the other one, and so on. Then there's anything Nolan does...oh my!
  • We call Joseph Shoeless Joe Jackson because he consistently takes off one shoe and sock.
  • They will sit through an entire episode of Baby Einsteen. I'm so thankful!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Brian and I decided to host Thanksgiving this year and we're so glad we did. Of course, our awesome friends did a huge portion of the cooking and it was definitely a pot luck style Thanksgiving feast. Brian fried a big ol' turkey and we all ate and ate and ate. The kids ran wild and had a blast. I'm always reminded this time of year of how much we truly have to be grateful for. Two years ago it was the fall season that we found out I was pregnant, and soon found out it was with twins. It is the time of year we celebrate Nolan's birthday. Brian and I celebrate meeting each other. We spend each Thanksgiving morning reminiscing of past turkey days with family and military family and miss lots of folks, but feel honored to have so many people to love. We hope your day was as full and happy as ours!

This was the only time I remembered to give the camera over to Brian, but I HAD to have a pic of my Thanksgiving apron that Aunt Jeanne sent me! Thank you!! This is Mairead, Jess & I:
This was a pic of a pudgy little hand I love from Thanksgiving 07 (at Cheyna and Andrews).
This is pudgy hand's little brother this year. Almost the same age...
Turkey Man:

Sally, this pic is for you!

Mairead and Tim. They also have twins, little girls who are 3 and so adorable!!!

Jim, Cheryl and daughter Grace.

Our main floor is basically one big room (dining, living room, and what we've made playroom. Also office, as you can see the desk back there). The table with the maroon tablecloth was the kids table. J&D ate with us, of course, but maybe next year they'll graduate to actual kid table....
The kids chowing down, with promises of dessert if they finished dinner. Then later, Trenton (bottom right) asked me when we were having dessert. I told him it was gone because his dad had eaten it all. It took his dad and I about five full minutes to realize poor Trenton was bawling his eyes out, thinking the dessert was all gone!! I felt SO SO bad!
Dessert. Plainly, NOT ALL GONE! :) The first is a sugar cookie Brian made, that looks like a pumpkin pie. Big hit for the little ones!
One tradition we started a couple years ago was making Nolan wait until Thanksgiving to watch Polar Express. Then after Christmas, it gets put away. He was so so excited and most of his friends were, too. Although he was the only that sat through the entire movie, totally mesmerized as if it were his first time seeing it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Preschool Celebration

The day before Thanksgiving Nolan's school had a little party for the families. Brian had taken leave, so the 5 of us went and enjoyed playing, doing crafts and nibbling on yummies. Joseph and Daniel were SO excited to be a part of it!! Brian & Nolan completing the turkey floor puzzle. (notice Brian drinking DD coffee? Dunkin Donuts has the BOX OF JOE coffee. Its pretty awesome!) Jess and Trenton: Nolan and his teacher. Yes, there are cookie remnants on his face.
I love this one of D!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One of a Kind

Brian and I were rolling with laughter when Joseph insisted we put his monkey hat on inside, after his nap, and slipped into Nolan's slippers. We were calling him cousin Eddie, from National Lampoons Christmas story. We love Joseph to pieces. And he's truly one of a kind!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Park

The new park in our neighborhood was completed about a month ago. Unfortunately its been a bit on the chilly side since its completion, but we bundled up one Saturday to enjoy it before its way too cold!
When we first got there we realized how cold it was.
So I ran back to the house for gloves.
Oops, someone accidentally stepped on Danny's hand. Daddy made it all better.
They were getting tired!
Pictures can definitely lie. Nolan looks happy as a clam here to be enjoying tomato soup and grilled cheese...a yummy treat after a cold adventure. But he complained the whole time that he wasn't eating a fluffernutter sandwhich.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Daniel's Next Surgery

Brian and I knew the day was inevitable, but we were still rather shocked, when after Daniel's last cath procedure in July, his cardiologist said it had "bought us about 6 months." We were thinking more like one or two years. We were given the time frame option of October through January. We chose January for a couple reasons. One, and most importantly, the goal is to have him as big as possible before they operate. We're still working very hard (D's working the hardest) to gain weight. Secondly, we wanted to have a "normalish" Christmas and holiday season to enjoy and not be "recovering" from surgery. I guess what I didn't expect was the deja vu sense of dread. I had a feeling choosing an actual date would make it all a reality, but for some naive reason, I wasn't prepared for the emotional toll it would immediately take on me. I broke down in tears the second I got off the phone with the scheduler. Familiar emotions of dread, fear, anger, frustration and the ring leader of these emotions...helplessness...crept into my heart.

I know that we are in one of the best places to have a baby with a heart condition. Boston is phenomenal, and I have no doubt in my mind God put us here for a reason. Its funny how sure we were to be stationed at another base, but when Brian announced "Boston" I just smiled, happy and at peace, reminded of how God has a hand in it all. Every little thing. Every little person. Every little heart. In the last few weeks I have come to realize its been quite a while since I've blogged my emotions about Daniels status. Part of it is human nature. I can tuck the fears and what-ifs far down. Then a scheduled surgery reminds me that our "norm" is still very new to me, a way of life I am still often not accustomed to living. This blog is for and about our whole family. Its also, if I am going to be honest, for my children, to someday read and hopefully have a glimpse at every day life and how parenting and family life is a roller coaster. Fun, wonderful, unpredictable, hard, awesome, hilarious. So I don't want to make it all about Daniel. But I am making a promise to myself now, today, and to all of you, that I will be as honest as I can about my own personal emotions of this journey. During D's first surgery I kept so very much to myself, fearing that what I was feeling was not only not normal, but cruel. Resentment, anger, questioning...these felt like ungrateful and cruel emotions for a mother to have. But someday, God willing, all of my boys will grow up. And they will have feelings of their own. Daniel, I imagine, will one day wonder, "Why me?" And that's okay. We're allowed to feel what we feel. I have come to learn that its what we do from there, how we handle it and live it and accept it that makes our path and allows God to grow us. And I'm learning, from other wonderful people and mothers especially, that what I felt then was perfectly normal. If I had only known that then. I was so ashamed. So, there will be some posts in the coming months that are more emotional and thought provoked than normal. Its my journal in so many ways, but I will continue to post the fun and light day to day things (aka my beautiful boys).

In the meantime, we could use an army of prayer warriors for Daniel. The most immediate prayer is that he continues to eat well (yes, he is eating well), gain weight, and stay as healthy as absolute possible, in order to prepare him well for his open heart surgery, which is in the books for January 11th. Thank you, we love you all so much! Here we go again!!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nolan's Party

We really struggled with what to do for Nolan's party this year. We were fairly certain it would be cold (mid-November....northeast) and were afraid it would be too crammed in our house if we couldn't use the backyard. We opted for the base Community Center and it was a lot of fun. And the day was GORGEOUS afterall, so we took our games outdoors, which was an added bonus!
Stomp the Balloon game:
I love this picture of Callie at the pinata. It was the longest game of Pinata ever.
Kristy helping Nolan with a pinata treat. He has a bit of a crush on her, I believe. A few of our younger guests munching on cheese and goldfish:
Nolan's transformer cake. Gift bags. They were filled with Caramel Apple Kits. You know, so the parents got to make the mess instead of me! This is the closest I could get him to holding stsill for a picture. I made his shirt. Okay, I bought the already sticky back felt, cut out a 5 and stuck it on his shirt, then added some yarn!
I still can't believe he's FIVE. But the party was fun and we're especially grateful to all the friends that were able to help him celebrate and very much spoiled him!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Birthday Boy

Dear Nolan,

Every year I start your letter with something like, "how did another year go by so fast?" This year is no different and my heart lurches at the fact that my sweet bundle of baby is no longer really a baby, at least by societies standards. You are a boy. You are five today. FIVE. Five years old. Your baby cheeks are long gone and you talk more and more like a boy, than a baby. You definitely think like a big boy.

As with any big change, I worried about how you would do moving to Boston and saying good-bye to the only house you've ever known and many friends. And in typical Nolan-style, you embraced the change with excitement and joy and grace. You told me you would have 100's of friends in Boston and when we arrived you wasted no time getting out on your bike and making those friends. In fact your outgoing personality and eagerness to make new friends made it much easier for me to make friends, too. We watched you with your training wheels keep up with older kids in the neighborhood and finally, probably after waiting too long, we took your training wheels off. I couldn't stand to stay outside and watch your Daddy teach you to ride two wheels. You seemed too confident and I was sure you would fall and get hurt. I preferred to be indoors, waiting with bandages and juice and love. But you never came inside. After an hour, I ventured back out only to see you riding on two wheels up and down the street, with a huge grin on your face, still so confident and so proud. But not quite as proud as your daddy and I.

In the past year you have picked more flowers for me than I can count. Your eyes light up when you see one, you run to it, pick it and after you give it to me, insist we put it in water. Often you forgot to pick the stem, so there would be flowers floating in water on our windowsill to make me smile everyday. Your heart is so big and kind and you are always thinking of ways to make Daddy, myself and your brothers smile, laugh or just comfortable. At night when I read stories to your brothers, propped against their changing table so they can both sit in my lap, you come padding in the room with a pillow. "Sit up" you say to me (or Daddy). Then you put the pillow behind our backs. And speaking of your brothers, well, I could write four pages about your relationship with them and how amazing you are to and with them. You are boys and your brothers, so there of course is daily bickering. But there is mostly laughter and jokes and sounds of you teaching your brothers about cars, trains, knocking over towers. You are so gentle with them, especially Daniel. You often think you need to be Robin Hood. If you catch Joseph take a toy from Daniel, you'll almost knock J down to give it back to Daniel. If a friend on the playground or neighborhood looks at Daniel too roughly, you'll put your arms around his shoulder, look at that friend and say, "You need to be gentle, Daniel has a special heart." I have seen it a number of times and it humbles me to the core each time. You are very proud to be a brother and very proud of your brothers. My favorite time of each day is watching the three of you, usually at the table, laugh hysterically because you're all being mischievous. You just look at each other, laugh, look some more, laugh. Even when your being naughty, I can't help but join the laughter.

Next year you will start a new adventure. Kindergarten. My sweet boy, I can't begin to imagine 5 whole days without your jokes, pranks, laughter, love, snuggles, questions, hugs, your smile, your one of a kind spark. You light up my day. So this day, this 5th birthday of your life, I thank God that I have you home to spoil with sweets and stories and play and love. When you look back at this letter, I hope you'll understand how much I love you. How everytime you come into our room at 4 am to "cuddle" with me, bringing blankie and Mousey for you, Wolfie for me, I am so so happy.That having your sweet little body draped between daddy and I, asking me to scratch your back and sing the "pancake" song is the reason I wanted to be a mommy. The tiny moments. The fleeting moments. Listening to you tell the "interrupting cheese" joke to every kid, adult and stranger you meet and how you roar with laughter and then feel the need to explain the joke. I think that's the thing, Nolan...you are no longer a baby, you are a boy...but you are still, thankfully, so blissfully innocent. I will love you always and no matter what, but I have adored age 4, I have loved this last year with you, as I have loved every year. My heart is full of love and memories and gratitude, as we say farewell to another year. I embrace the year to come, Nolan, my sweet and I can't wait to see what you have in store for me, your daddy, your brothers and this world. Happy Happy 5th Birthday Nolan. I love you all the way to the moon and back.

Love, Mommy Photobucket

Monday, November 15, 2010

Boston Autumn

Ten years ago Brian and I moved away from St. Louis and started out on this crazy military-life adventure. It has been that long since we've lived in a state with 4 seasons. None of them had a true autumn. Don't get me wrong, all the places we have lived have had wonderful things. But none of them had autumn. My FAVORITE season. So this fall has been extra exciting. Its breathtakingingly beautiful here. One afternoon I grabbed the boys and my camera and we went out to explore. Well, they explored and I took mountains of pictures.

This is Walden Pond. So stunning, so amazing...and unfortunately, so very dangerous for strollers and toddlers. I let the twins out at Walden Pond for a bit, but knew one of them would fall off the cliff, so we left shortly after this. The rest of the pics are at Minute Man Park. The sun was hiding, but the boys had such a good time. They loved finding leaves: Joseph decided he wanted to give Nolan a kiss. Running: Nolan jumped in the way while I was snapping shots of J&D, but it turned out really cute!
My boys and fall. Two of my favorite things!!!