Monday, June 24, 2013

Camping Party

When Nolan turned four, his brothers were six months old. And we had a camping party. Driven by guilt at how much time went into the twins, I poured my heart into Nolan's 4th birthday party, which was a camping theme. He's been telling the twins about this party for awhile and when the subject of their birthday came up, they both kept asking us for a "tent" party. It's so rare that these two agree, we obliged. Brian really did the brunt of planning and toting all the stuff to the park. Every single year the twins birthday party (or celebration) has landed on a rainy day. So I was pretty nervous when we booked the park for their party. But the spell was broken and we had a gorgeous day!!

This is one of Brian's hand-made signs:

Joseph and Daniel in front of one of the tents. The shirts I made for them were a little big:
 Catching some fish in the "pond."

 Nothing like letting a bunch of kids loose by an open fire. Kidding, we monitored it closely for s'more making. I'll be lucky if we have friends after this, however, because all the kids ate multiple s'mores...followed by cake!
 Dirt Cake in a truck.
 We sang to Joseph:
Then we sang to Daniel:
Joseph loved the dirt cake:
Danny took one bite and said, "I not like this." It makes sense since he isn't a fan of oreo's.
A family pic. I made us all matching shirts, but mine was in pink. Yes, I'm a dork that way, but the boys are young enough to still let me do it and Brian tolerates it because he's the best!!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

4th Birthday

It's hard for me to fathom that my sweet miracles are four years old today. When I look back at my blog and re-read posts shortly before they were born and shortly after, and the trials of having a child with a heart defect...well, its difficult to read. I want to reach through the computer and hug that woman. I want to whisper, "It's going to be okay. Really. This too shall pass. You WILL be the family you've always dreamt of; and more. You will bring your boys home." But if I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn't be the mother I am today.
I am humbled beyond words to call you boys my sons. Thank you for choosing me as your mommy.

Dear Joseph,
I can still remember your tiny pink cheeks and the way you felt when they placed me in your arms. I didn't realize how much I had missed you in my life until I held you. You had this head of tuft like hair and I would lay awake in the hospital bed, running my hands through your hair, then your cheek, then those plump lips; I would then have to kiss you and wonder how God made anything, anyone so perfect. You have grown into quite the little boy. You refuse to conform to anyone or anything and every single decision, big or small, has to be weighed with great deliberation. God bless the individual who tries to rush you. You are very wise, Joseph, and I find it fascinating that such a wise soul could be as sensitive as you are. It takes you longer than your brothers and and most kids to adjust to new settings; this alarmed me at first, but I love that part of your personality now. I love that you observe your surroundings before you jump in. When you decide to be someone's friend, you are loyal. You love fiercely and I think that as you grow, you will be picky with your friend choices and your girlfriends; but I think if they are patient and kind, they will find within you a treasure so great, they'll take great care to never let you go. Watching you and Daniel is the most amusing thing I've ever encountered. You love each other dearly, and have so much fun, but you know how to push that boy's buttons like no one else; and you do it often. I love that you boys have each other.
I want to stop time and have you stay four a few more years. So that pudgy little hand still has to hold mine in the parking lot; so you still wake me in the night to go potty and let me carry you to bed and cover you up; so I can listen to you say to me, "Mommy, you is pretty everday" forever; so I can wake you in the morning and smell that baby breath and feel you curl into my lap on your rocking chair as you wake up for the day. But as far as I know, no parent has been able to stop time yet. So I'll take your pudgy hand and hold in my heart this special day of yours and together we'll go into this next year with hope, excitement, joy and laughter. I love you, JoJo. All the way to the moon and back.

Dear Daniel,
I can remember that day that your Daddy wheeled me over to your hospital room and picked you up and placed you in my arms. It was the scariest and most beautiful moment of my life. You were the tiniest little baby I had ever seen, much less held. There were so many wires and I wish I could tell you that it didn't make me angry and scared. I was both of those things; but I was also amazed at how you grabbed my finger; how your turned your head toward my voice when I sang to you, as if saying, "I've been waiting for you." From the moment the doctors told me you had a heart condition, and many weeks before I got to hold you, I knew in  my heart with complete certainty that you were a fighter. You have proven to me that over and over, more than most children have to at such a young age, that you are a fighter; but beyond being a fighter, you are someone who brings smiles and laughter to friends and strangers alike. You love to dance and you love to tell jokes and you love to cuddle. You know when I'm at my wits end what I need most and you are always there, lips puckered, ready to help your momma out. It's still so hard for me to keep together when you find out we are going to the doctors and you start weeping; I can't stand that you know a hospital gown is more than just a silly nightgown with clowns on it. It means more to you and it terrifies you and I can't stand that. And the brace. Oh, the brace. In heaven there are no braces that constrict little bodies and force a barrier between a boy and his mother as they cuddle, singing good night songs. But I try not to hate the brace, because it helps you and its part of you; and you don't really care for it, but you totally rock it. You jump on the school bus and flash your brace to show off that it has cars on it; you find a way to dance with it on and we refuse to allow the hard plastic keep us from snuggling and hugging and loving. The truth of the matter, Daniel, is that everyone has their own cross to bear. I know this and God willing you will grow to have the compassion to see that every soul has a story and every story has struggle. It's how we handle that struggle, whether we sink or rise above our limitations. And sweet boy, I see you rising up, above the labels, the medical terms, the what-if's...I see a young, sweet boy, who was given a body that needs a little extra stitching and love, but whose heart is as fierce and big as a lion's. That's why we named you Daniel. Happy fourth birthday sweet boy. You are my sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are grey. Love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mommy