May 23, 2010

"Auntie" Jenna

Before Nathan was born Jenna mentioned that she wanted to be an Auntie... and she fits the title well. You never know why life is changing, but it's nice to find the silver lining. Jenna is recently single, and we are loving all the extra time that we get to spend with her.

Natalie loves to have an extra lap around. She kept running and getting more books to read.

Another night Jenna painted the kids toe nails. Natalie is obsessed with getting her toes painted, love it!

Nathan even got to join in on the fun. I want to be relaxed, I thought I was... but it was very strange to see his toes red. We decided that next time we'll paint his black or silver. When he was with the doctor he proudly showed his toes and then said "my sister has PINK".

May 12, 2010

The little things...

As I'm getting ready to make a bunch of posts from April and May it has occurred to me, it's always the little things, the stolen moments, the daily life that doesn't always scream out at the moment, the time with friends/family that matter the most. Life is definitely made up of moments, and our life is so blessed. I am so blessed, as a daughter, woman, friend, wife, mommy.

I had no idea what it would be like to be a mom. I remember talking with Abby one day, I'm fairly sure I was VERY pregnant, I was at the movie store. There was a child there, and the voice of the child was making my skin crawl. I know that sounds terrible, just think of how bad I felt!!! I was soon to meet my baby, to raise a child and all I wanted to do was scream or run out of the store. Instead I called Abby, confessed my concerns... and heard the most comforting words. I can't remember them exactly, but I know she showed empathy and gave me encouragement. I know now, that yes, there might be those days when your own child makes you want to go back to bed... but it's NOTHING in comparison to how much love they bring into your life.

Yesterday as we were getting out of the car Nathan got out first and came over to open up my door. I was gathering the bags full of random stuff up (every once in a while I try to pretend that I can have a clean car), he said "here Mommy, I'll open your door". It brought me into the moment, I said "oh my, Nathan you are such a gentlemen!" I'm so glad I was present enough to give him a complement. He just BEAMED. So proud that he had hit the mark. He quickly asked me to give him my bag so he could carry it, then walked me into the house and reiterated that he was indeed a gentlemen. And tonight, as I was cuddling with him at bedtime, I said "goodnight my sweet boy", he responded "goodnight my sweet mom". There are times when it's nice to hear your own words repeated. If I haven't mentioned it a million times, he melts my heart. And all of this while he has been so sick.

Speaking of sick, all three of us have been sick for over a week. Normally I would not see this as a blessing. Although it was very tough to be sick at the same time as the kids, (I could be overheard once or twice saying "listen kids, I've worked really hard to take care of you and be nice while you're sick... now I'm sick and you need to be nice to me too!") having a week of nothing was quite wonderful. We didn't even leave the house for a day or two. Then I left the house without the kids... and my car broke down. A blessing in itself (that I didn't have the kids with me, and that I have fabulous insurance).

We've spent a lot of time reading, watching movies, playing outside. The timing has been perfect. Natalie decided to potty train. I wish I could remember exactly how it started. I know there were many days where she sat on her potty for HOURS. She would grab her tush and say "poo poo potty!", then she would sit, and sit, and sit. Give it enough time and you are bound to find success (let's hope she can remember this in the future). You probably think I'm exagerating, but I'm not. Ask my cousin Jenna, each time she came over Natalie was on the potty. She would sit on it and scoot it around the house... I can't believe these details are now memories! How quickly things progress, it's only been a 5-6 days! Immediately she stopped using her diaper, even at night. I finally accepted that this was for real, and the diapers are gone, she hasn't even had one accident in the whole experience. I'm still a bit in shock, wasn't I supposed to plant the idea, read the books, get her excited??? Was she really ready to grow up before I knew it???? No, this will not be the last time I get blind sided.

(when you've got to go....)

I love so many things about this stage, the total belief in oneself being one of the best. Although it can be difficult "self" is one of my favorite words. When Natalie says that it expresses so much. Her belief in herself, her desire to do the things we do, her need to learn. It takes patients to step back, to respect her when she says "self" and then charges forward. I'm so blessed that we are rarely in a hurry, that I have the time to let her try. On the other side is the heart breaking moments when I hear "can't do it"... oh, no no no, yes you can. I guess in either situation I get to be a parent, a mother who can support her.

No one could have expressed to me the joys of motherhood... and I know there is so much more ahead of me. But I'm not in a hurry... could someone please make time go a little slower? There are days when Nathan says that he doesn't want to get bigger, that he wants to stay this size. I want to say "okay", but a morbid thought crosses my mind and I can't even play along. I just want to live each of these moments and miss them like crazy when they're gone.

My heart is so full of love, we contemplate having another child but I am so afraid that I won't be enough. That I won't be able to re-establish the balance that we have in our life. That sounds funny to read, as we are so far out of balance right now. I know I felt the same way as we were getting pregnant with Natalie. I know in the end it will all be as it should, I just have no idea how we will decide. Nothing is better than the life I live, and I know more children will only add to that. If our family is already complete then I am blessed and fulfilled.

One of those moments

This is just one of those moments I was so glad to capture. The kids actually obliged me when I said "wait a minute" and ran for the camera... then they hammed it up. Trever was at work, I really meant to send this picture to him. Who couldn't miss those kiddos?

PS. This picture shows the end of the rash that Nathan had on his cheeks due to a viral infection (we got blood taken today to see if we could determine if it was Mono).
This is typical Natalie... she's in PJ's (it's probably late afternoon but she rarely wants out of them) and she's sittin' on the potty. Love that girl. She has done SO AWESOME with the potty training. Only a few accidents and she even sleeps without a diaper. Although she is definitely trying to work the system, as she gets into bed she says "potty! potty!". I'm on to her, I just tell her she can go in the morning when she wakes up. Chalk up a win for me (have to take credit for those since she is often a step ahead of me).

May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

I told Trever that I had finally figured out the perfect Mother's Day. For right now it would be waking up to a clean house, having the house magically stay clean most of the day (some clutter would be fine, but then it would be cleaned up without my labor or prompting), all meals would be decided and made by someone else (or I could make the decisions and *help* with prep the day before, and really I love to cook, so maybe he could just clean up and watch the kids). The kids could spend part of the morning going for a walk with my parents as is the tradition. I could use that time to sleep, read, take a bath. Then we would go for some type of family walk that afternoon. Right now I'm adding that it would probably be nice to cuddle and watch a movie with Trev at the end of the day ... when of course the dishes were already done.

Trever's response? So, you're saying we need a house cleaner, baby sitter and take out?? I love that man. This obviously wasn't the year to get my wish list, especially since Trever wasn't even home until late morning and my parents were out of town most of the day. But I am married to the most amazing man and I know that he will make every effort to always make Mother's Day very special. He is so nurturing of me as a woman and supportive of me as a mom.

In the end it really doesn't matter to me how we spend the day and how messy the house stays. I feel honored as a mother every day... with love from Nathan, Natalie and Trever. It's so common to hear Nathan say "Do you know I love you and like you?" or "I love you and like you all of the time", and that does not diminish how special I feel when I hear those words.

This is what happens when a Daddy is on the playground with the kids. Really??? I have a hard time imagining the mom that helps her son climb onto the top of the roof of the play structure. I'm so glad that Trever is around to give his influence.

I know this picture went into a different post.. but I felt it deserved another glance. I love that girl. She is so full of love and giggles. I read recently that a second child (and any thereafter) fills the space that is left open. Nathan is more serious... Natalie is definitely more playful. She LOVES to cuddle, is chatty when Nathan isn't around, wants to be a dare devil, and generally fills our hearts with her energy and emotion.

Although Natalie will play with dolls, and we thought for a short time that she really liked them, she is definitely a car, truck and train girl. Using her whole hand to push away her hair is something I will miss seeing when she grows up.

My buddy, my "partner". Trever asks him to help take care of Mommy and Natalie when he is away. Nathan takes this job very seriously, Nathan really takes all guidelines seriously. He is so proud of himself when he is able to do something to take care of us, and I just want to explode with my joy and pride. I hope we are raising a man, one who knows how to show respect and compassion, who can stand up for what is right, who honors God, one who believes it is "manly" to give love and joy.

I love where we live.

I suddenly understand why Trever thinks a jean jacket is so cute. She is growing into a little girl so quickly!!

We ended the day with dinner at my parents house. The house was fairly clean, and I didn't think much about the meals. Even in our crazy stage of life, Trever still meets my needs. Have I mentioned how much I love that man???