Sunday, February 26, 2012

To Zach on his 4th birthday...

Here is a picture of my baby taken today on his new bike, with his new helmet. Its a little blurry, but most of his pictures are. That is how he rolls...literally...always in motion, on to the next adventure.
Every year on the boys birthdays I write them a letter reflecting on the past year. Its a tradition I started with Zach, and one I hope they appreciate someday. I want them to know my thoughts on their years, little details I might forget later in the haze of life. I thought I'd share it with you, but unfortunately I can't seem to get my Windows to copy paste into blogger. So here is an excerpt:

There is no one in the world quite like you Zach, and everyday I am blessed to be the one that you call Mom. You bring light wherever you go, and you charm and befriend everyone. I know that you have a compassionate heart, one of the sweetest I have ever known. You are always there to offer a snuggle to Mom or Dad, or a "huggie" to Mattie. You love to be loved and you say it often to those that adore you, show it always, and share it completely. Even though you are just turning four, I rarely if ever see you act unkindly towards others, and when you do hurt someone's feelings or by accident, you are always quick to apologize. When I see the kindness within you, I know God's light in this world.

I adore you. It is not a secret that you are a Momma's boy in all the best ways. You and I share stories often, in fact you always tell me what is happening in your life, and I hope you always will. You love to ask questions about how things work, why things are the way they are, in short you love knowledge. You are always seeking answers and are never afraid to ask questions, a quality I hope you hold on to throughout your lifetime. For example, one day you asked me where blood is in our body, and what we need it for. I actually found myself explaining the circulatory system to a three year old. You like to know about things you can see and grasp, but also dare to question abount the unseen and more complex issues as well. That makes me think I have a budding scientist on my hands. Sometimes you say you want to be a doctor, sometimes you say you want to be like daddy and build things(even though he doesn't build), sometimes you say you want to be a daddy when you grow up(in fact you've asked me to take care of your blue blankie till your big, and then give it back for your babies). You say all sorts of wonderful and captivating things, and you are always ready with a joke(Your current favorite is out of a book: What does a Triceratops sit on? Its triceraBOTTOM! - and you laugh that infectious laugh of yours), or crazy names or stories to try to make others laugh. You just love bringing joy, and you have a knack for it my dear.

-end of excerpt

Seriously readers, I think its obvious this I love this marvelous boy and I am so looking forward to sharing another year of his journeys(And of course Mattie's) with you all.

Happy 4th birthday to my blonde haired baby boy! I love you always and forever Z!

Friday, February 10, 2012


So bears hibernate all winter. I have been hibernating for 5 weeks. Seriously, I didn't mean to go into blog shutdown, it just sort of happened.

First there was a week in January where Wayne was away on business in Aruba...ahem...yes that meant I was home alone with the boys in the tundra while hubby was working (on his tan) and spending quality time with his clients(getting drunk at the swim up bar). After that, there was some much needed family time, and some exhausting days at work, which lead to early nights huddled on the couch. Then there was the fact that there really wasn't much I had to report on. I had cancelled Matt's andnoidectomy since his tube opened up, and the boys were doing the same old same old. I think there were a few weeks when I didn't pull out the camera even. I had unwittingly gone into cyber-hibernation.

I've spent the last month coming online maybe once or twice a week looking at some of my favorite blogs, but slacking on commenting, and just letting the posting pressure go. It has given me some much needed down time, but I realized I am just not ready to let blogging go altogether. I really love the outlet it provides and the fact that I can look back on our days and know just what I was thinking.

There were a few things I wanted to touch on, like our trip to the Lake House in January, and seeing Zach learning to skate(hysterical), planning Zach's 4th birthday, and some new recipes I've tried and enjoyed lately. So hopefully, my six blog followers, you will come back and share the journey(I suppose I should really start building my blog following) I guess I should start planning a what could I possibly start with? Hum....maybe just maybe, I'll think of something soon!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Still talking about Christmas...

When we last left off discussing Christmas day. The boys had come home for a nap. Actually if I am honest Mom feel asleep too. When we got up we headed over to Grandma Alice's to hand with the crew. It is always so nice to see my nephews and in-laws, and the boys really love to play together. It seems Zach always needs to sit next to Jason at dinner, because I swear I have pictures of this same scene for the last three Christmases:

Matt was so excited about the presents that he may or may not have tried to unwrap them all, even other people's, but he was equally excited to look up to his big cousins Jay and Grant.
The boys spent most of the time playing with each other. Of course their was some wrestling, and a whole lot of laughing:And after everyone has stuffed themselves full, Matt went into the kitchen and asked Grandma if he could open presents. The boys were spoiled once again. Once they hadn't received from Santa or earlier in the day, they received from Grandma Alice, and their aunts,uncles and cousins. At this point we now officially own all the toys in ToysRUs. They had a great time opening their gifts:And discussing what they were going to play with first:

Zach ripped into the Scooby Doo toys Aunt Lisa spoiled the boys with and hasn't stopped playing with them since:Seriously, my sons are so lucky to have the grandparents they do, and the Aunts and Uncles they do, and their awesome cousins. It was a wonderful early evening, and we were all sad to leave, but we had one more stop that we had to make that day.

We headed to my parent's annual X-Mas party. This event has been going on Christmas day since 1989. It is always a huge event with both sides of my extended family coming together to celebrate. The kids love it because their are over 20 of them, and the parents love it because we all remember the Christmas' we spent as those kids running together.

Wayne was happy to get the party started right with a little Grey Goose punch:

Zach was thrilled to get back to wrestling with his cousins:I was really excited to try some of my sister's gorgeously decorated Christmas cookies she made:

The boys however were more interested in playing with the kids:

Matt did take a break to entertain some guests with his piano playing skills:

And we did try to take a family picture:

The evening ended with a near disaster as one guest accidentally broke the nearly 12 foot Christmas tree. But with some quick thinking and some rope the party went on, and from what I heard well into the morning.

We on the other hand we're tucked in bed by 11 p.m. that night. It had been a long, fun, and memorable Christmas!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Its 2012...Well then I better recap X-mas 2011!

Of course I am a week overdue on my Christmas posts. It is typical me, but since this week is destined to be super crazy around here, with the return to work and school, I better post now about Christmas or it will be the end of January before anyone sees the pics. Since I took over 200 pictures in a day, I may have to simplify some of the day's events.

At around 7 am I heard the squeak of my bedroom door opening, and saw Zach coming towards us. I was totally expecting that he wanted to see what Santa brought, but he climbed up into bed with us and asked us to turn on the tv. This little routine, is a weekend treat. It keeps Z content and Mom and Dad get to snooze a bit longer. Both Wayne and I were super excited to see Z's and Matt's reaction, so we asked him what was special about today. He looked at us, and then the lightbulb went off in his head..."Santa came? " We told him we didn't know, so Dad went down to check(ok he really went to get the camcorder ready, turn on the tree, and get the Christmas music on), and Zach and I rushed in and woke Matt up. Zach couldn't get to the stairs fast enough...."He came!" Zach squealed. Matt was still in a semi-coma, but the moment his feet touched the ground he was off and disassembling his stocking...actually it was Z's stocking, but who cares. Here are some pictures of the boys that morning, Mom watching Zach with anticipation open his Hulk toy, the one gift he kept asking for, and Dad doing what Dad's do best on Christmas morning, put together all the new toys:

I know it seems like they are getting along fabulously in these pictures, but there were some wrestling matches over boxes, and fits of who was touching whose gift. All in all, though, once the toys were out, it didn't matter who got what, they both got to play with it all.

And since he kind of got left behind for all of the other festivities. Here are some pics of Lennie enjoying his new toys on Christmas morning, and playing with his boys:

Then we were off to my parents house for our annual Christmas morning brunch. Here the boys were snuggled by Papa:

Entertained by Mario Kart:

Had some pretty cute ladies around them:

Spent quality time with their aunts and uncles:

Ate some great food:

Were super spoiled by Grandma:

And were able to play with some of their favorite people:

And that was all before noon. Then it was home for a nap and off to the next round of parties. But that will have to wait till tomorrow, because nap time is over, and these Christmas gifts need to be played with!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve Pj's!

I love Christmas Eve. It must be the traditions. There is something so comforting about traditions and carrying them on. Every Christmas Eve since I can remember my Mom and Dad always gave my siblings and I a new set of PJ's, and a special toy/stuffed animal. My special gift was almost always a stuffed animal, in fact I still have a few of my favorite that were given to me on Christmas Eve, tucked away in one of the boys toy bins. So when I had children I knew I wanted to carry on the tradition. A tradition I still enjoy because my Mom always spoils me with a new pair of PJ's even now that I am "all grown up". For some reason this one gift reminds me that no matter how big I am, or how many years have gone by, I still am their little girl, which is comforting on so many levels.

This Christmas Eve, my parents came over to our house, as they have since Zach was born, we enjoyed some Chinese food, and watching the boys excitement, and then my Mom gave me my Pj's
She of course couldn't come without a little something for the boys too:

Another unspoken tradition is that if you love your Christmas jammies, you put them on immediately. Seriously there is footage of me as a kid literally undressing the moment I received them...sort of embarassing, but serious shows my excitement over the Pjs! Unfortunately, my boys were not as thrilled about their Christmas Pj's. They were more interested in the new Geo Trax that Grandma and Papa brought. At first I thought I was the only one who was psyched about the new Scooby Pj's I'd gotten Z, and the footed reindeer Pj's Matt was going to rock that evening. (You'll note in the rest of the pictures, I am wearing my Pj's...traditions are traditions after all, even if I was the only one into it!):

Since neither of the boys seemed interested in their Ugly Dolls...I posed for a pic with Dave and Ket:

Then slowly...the boys warmed up to the idea of getting their jammies on. Zach reluctantly posed for this jammie picture, while Matt refused:

He was too busy trying to get Papa to play trains with him...or give him his coffee!:

Eventually Matt was willing to do a little posing in his jammies:

They both were so thrilled to put out the cookies and carrots and milk and water for Santa and the reindeers. Just look at them in their jammies, waiting for the magic of Christmas to arrive! I dare say it might be better to watch that gleam in your child's eyes more than it was to have it in yours!

And while these two slept, Santa did in fact arrive. What a beautiful sight this is to see it all come together.

(Thanks Mom for taking the pictures, I'm sorry you fell victim to the Mom curse of never being in a photo that night!) Stay tuned for more Christmas fun!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twas the night before, the night before X-mas

And all through the house, preparations were underway, and the stockings were out.

I am so excited for Christmas morning this year. Watching the boys react to Santa's visit is pretty much priceless. Now that most of the gifts have been wrapped and only minor matters need to be attended to, I am feeling much more calm about the coming days. I am so sad though that Wayne's Grandma fell yesterday and fractured her hip, needing surgery today. We go there every Christmas Eve, and this year she will most likely be spending her holiday in the hospital. Say a prayer for her. Also, my nephew Grant had his tonsils out a few days ago, and is feeling under the weather today, so hopefully with a little luck he will be on the mend by Christmas.

Matt got a bill of clean health yesterday at the Dr's so aside from a cold that I have, everyone in our home is feeling well. I just keep praying that the boys stay healthy so they can enjoy every moment of the next few days. Tomorrow we will get the chance to see some family, and then on Christmas day the non-stop fun begins. It really all goes so fast that if you blink you might miss it. Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, I hope that you are surrounded by the people you love, embrassing the beauty of this season, a miraculous morning, and a silent night!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Words you never want to hear...

I know I went missing again. There were two really good reasons for that. First I had a ton of grading to get done for the quarter, which I had been procrastinating on. Second there was a lot of illness in my household. First Zach had a bit of the flu, then Matt, than Wayne and then I did. I also had my yearly observation with my administrator the day after I had the flu. All that planning and prep couldn't go to waste so I headed to class, even though I was still not feeling 100% that day. Then came the biggest blow. After almost a month of no ear infections, Matt started grabbing his ear and saying, "It hurts me". I knew what that meant, and as luck would have it, we had a routine checkup with his pediatric ENT that day.

Off we went, just my little tough guy Mattie and me. I hate to think that pain is something he's gotten used to in some way, but the truth is, this boy has had over 13 ear infections since Feb 11, and he has had tubes since June...still 6 ear infections since then. The tubes have been a blessing in so many ways, even though they didn't help to lower his risk of ear infections, they did help him to hear in a normal range, which means he's verbally all caught up. I love his little voice and hearing him tell me, 'Sit down Momma" when he wants to snuggle on the couch. His "special ears" as I call them have changed him. He went from being the most easy going one year old, to a pretty needy toddler. He is used to getting his way, and since he's been ill, I've given it to him. Don't get me wrong he's a sweetheart too, but when he wants something, he can be relentless. Every time he starts to get into a normal routine, he's grabbing his ears, and I know we are headed for trouble.

So we went. And we did some tests. And it turns out that Matt had a plugged ear tube, and that an infection was trapped behind it. My smart little man, knows already that pain in the ear, means nothing good for him. The Dr. gave me some antibiotics, some special acidic ear drops to "try to open the tube" and told me it was time to think about our options. So here they are:

1. Hope that the drops open the tube, and they don't need to go in to replace the tubes


2. Obviously there is something going on in this situation because he is still getting chronic ear infections, so it may be time to take his adenoids as well


3. He will need yet another surgical procedure done which will require anesthesia, and should be done ASAP, as we do not want to risk permanent damage to his hearing.


4. We just had him go through an ordeal of getting blood work done, a shot to try to boost his antibodies, and now that seems useless


5. His Dr's office seems to think we should consider removing his tonsils too


6. Taking out a child's tonsils is a more extensive recovery time, and do I really want to put a 2 year old through this procedure when he has never had a problem with his tonsils?


No....I don't want my baby to have to go through this, through any of these procedures. I don't want to think about him being scared, or hurt, or feeling pain. I don't want him to have "special ears", except, I didn't get to pick and I know I should be thankful that this is heath burden in our family instead of something more "serious"


He's MY baby

and I think its unfair that he will have two surgeries, even if minor, in less than 7 months. I also think its unfair that there is no guarantee that this will solve anything if we go through with it.

So truth. I am frustrated. I am scared. I am trying to be the most educated advocate I can be for my son, who although he is "young and resilient" and "probably won't remember" is my one and only Matthew. I get freaked thinking about the what ifs. I want to do what is right by him always, and I can't ask him weigh in, I am the Mom, I am supposed to know what to do. And I do....its just I don't want to do it.

This week. I want to focus on the magic of childhood, on the smile on his face when he sees his presents, on the light in his eyes as he laughs, on the fact that every part of him is special, not just his ears, and I will try to look to the New Year hopeful instead of defeated, and find faith that someone little, but fierce, will not allow any ear pain to take away his spirit of joy. I mean seriously...this boy loves to be hopefully his ears get that memo!