Thursday, December 03, 2015

I'm Back?

OK, a couple years's amazing to think that I had time to write blog posts when I was working, but now that I'm home, I haven't been able to find time in the last 2 1/2 years to write anything :(  That's going to change right now!  Our family is going through so much right now and I want it captured.  I want to be able to pull these pages out when my kids have their own kids and show them the struggles that we went through and how we dealt with them (or at least prove that we went through them and have come out on the other side).  Life is flying by so quickly right now that this is probably the only way that I'm going to remember here I go...again!

The kids have obviously gotten older...Kylie is 12 and in 7th grade, Josh is 10 and in 5th grade (last year of elementary school :( ), Ryan is 7 and in 2nd grade and Colton is just about to turn 5.  Kylie is still a competitive gymnast (level 7), but is currently injured with a stress fracture in the growth plate in her wrist :( so we are working through her trying to stay in shape while it heals all while she is stressing about not having her skills for competition season in January.  Josh will play his third year of travel baseball next season (practices start in January), which absolutely consumes our lives.  He played baseball from April last year all the way through August 9th - it was a ton of baseball.  Ryan will join him this year as he made the 8U travel baseball team - two Thunder players!  Colton has just started sports this year with flag football this past fall and ninja classes at Kylie's gym.  Wow, just writing all of that has exhausted me!  But it's our life and for the most part, it's very enjoyable ;)

The only way that this has all been possible is that I stopped working outside the home 2 1/2 years ago.  God had put it on my heart for a while before then that I should be home with the kids, but I didn't listen :(  We all know what happens when we don't listen, and 2 1/2 years ago He made is perfectly clear that I was to be home, and of course, He was so right.  The amount of time needed to run the house, raise a child that is still home full-time and get these kids to all the practices, but most importantly, games and meets, was more than I could have handled if I was still working.  And I thank God everyday that I am able to be home...I feel so blessed to be able to stay home and enjoy my last little guy (who goes to Kindergarten next year...yikes!) and still be in such a wonderful community.  I get the best of both worlds now...home with the kids but I do the accounting for John's business, so I get to go to work one day a week for a few hours.

I also wouldn't be able to accomplish all of this if my parents didn't live next door.  I have no idea what I would do without my mom!  She watches Colton so much for me (which allows me to help out at school and go to work and take the kids to their doctor appointments without having to worry about having to entertain a 4 year-old among other things).  When my dad is up on the weekends he takes Colton with him to the school and has lunch with Ryan every Friday.  The kids are always running back and forth between our houses and I LOVE IT! 

I think this is a good start ;)  Hopefully this can become my morning ritual...quiet time with my coffee and memories :)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday Colton!

Colton!  You turned 4 years old today!  You have been looking forward to this day for a very long time, and it's been fun because I don't remember the other kids being so excited about their birthdays this young.

All you wanted to do for your birthday was go to Chuck E. Cheese's.  You have told me that for weeks.  So I booked you a party and we had both sets of grandparents, Aunt Cindy, Aunt Mimi, Uncle Jim and Mya and Mason there.  You played games for over an hour, ate pizza, blew out your candles and ate cake, and then went in the ticket blaster (which you had been looking forward to for weeks!).  You knew exactly what you would get with this party because you had seen the commercial so many times :)  The theme of your party was superheroes, and all you wanted on your cake was Batman and Superman.  Unfortunately the lady who was supposed to do your cake thought I needed it the next weekend, so I ran to Kroger after church and they whipped me up and awesome Batman cake for you!  It all worked out :)

You have grown up so much this past year!  For a while, I was really struggling with you and your crying and your fits and your stubbornness.  I had every intention of making a doctor's appointment for you because I was sure there were some psychological issues that we needed to figure out.  But then, you grew up :)  I don't know exactly when or how it happened, but I know I hit a point where I looked at life and thought that it was actually getting easier.  I used to dread taking you places...I never did it because you were so horrible!  But now, I love the trips we take during the day!  We go to Wal-Mart and you play on the firetruck when I check out and we get Auntie Ann's pretzel-dogs for lunch, we go to Giant Eagle and you ride in the car (you used to go to the play area but they shut that down :( ).  I can even take you to work with me when I go into Daddy's office!  Now that is an accomplishment!  I love the time that you and I get alone everyday!  Which was why I was so glad that you told me you don't want to go to preschool ;)

I'm pretty sure you are left handed.  You throw with your left hand and you bat left handed. Sometimes you still write/color with your right hand, but you usually switch over.  You are slowly fading yourself out of a booster seat at the will sit in it for dinner, and sometimes breakfast, but a lot of times you will nicely ask if you can sit in the big boy chair and you do a great job!  You know your numbers and you are constantly working on what sounds the letters make.  You know how to spell your name :)  First and last :)

You love to play with Legos, cars, planes, and iPads :)  You and Ryan are such buddies (and yet bicker so often!) and will play cars and planes together.  Ryan will build you things with Legos and you will play with them.  You never stop moving.  You have more energy than I know what to do with ;)  which is probably why you are skin and bones and yet probably eat the most of any of the kids. Outside you love to swing, jump on the trampoline, play baseball and football, and mow :) When we go to baseball games, you have your backpack full of cars and planes, and we usually try to pack your mower as well.

You talk like an adult at times and it's hilarious!  Today your dad was making a comment that he shouldn't have done something and you reported right back to him that he had made a bad decision :) You love to retort back, rolling your eyes, with "of course..." (i.e. "of course I'm not going to eat.").

Mr. Colton I love you with all of my heart!  You crack me up and yet also make me want to pull my hair out.  I've often tried to imagine where you will go in life and I just can't see it yet.  You will either be CEO of a company or the goofiest person anyone knows :)  I will tell you one thing - you have the stubbornness (err, OK, the determination) to do WHATEVER YOU WANT! Seriously, you don't take "no" from anyone, and while it's killing me right now, I know that it will do great things for you down the road.

Thank you for surprising us 4 years ago...I can't imagine my life without my little 1/11/11 guy!



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday Colton!

Hey sweet boy!  I can't believe that you are three years old today!  Wow, my baby (literally) is three...what on earth am I going to do not having any actual babies anymore?  You turning three is definitely hitting me a lot harder than the other kids...and I know it's because you're my last baby :(

You are a spitfire of a child, that's for sure!  You are strong-willed to say the very least!  I have never been a fan of James Dobson, but having you made me actually purchase The Strong Willed Child book he wrote...and it fit you to a T!  But as much as you have gumption and fight and will, you have the same amount in love and adorableness and humor.  You have such a personality!  You make me laugh as much as you make me want to pull my hair out :)

You are obsessed with technology.  You have been able to get on my iPad and phone, through the password and to your games for at least the last six months, if not longer.  You come in my room every morning and run right up to me and say "can I play your phone?" as you are unplugging it from the charger.  Your favorite games right now are Temple Run, Subway Surfer and Sonic.  You also LOVE to watch videos on YouTube.  

You make me laugh with the phrases that you are copying from your brothers and sister.  Some of my favorites are: "holy macaroly," "you be kidding me," "how's your deal?" and just tonight while opening your present from Grandma and Pappaw you said "oh I love this, it's what I always wanted, thank you Santa."  We like to tell each other secrets which usually involve a dialog containing the following secrets:  "I love you the mostest," "nugget biscuit nugget in a biscuit," "put the gravy on it now."

You know your numbers and know some of your letters - you have always amazed us at how smart you seem to be.  With Ryan in Kindergarten two or three days a week, there are lots of "mommy/Colton" days.  We love to play together and run of your favorites is to go to Yutzy's and play on the playground...but only if you're good in the store and ride in the cart!

You potty-trained so easily and night-trained yourself!  We had your paci taken away, but made the mistake of trying to do that, potty train you and move you to a big bed all at once and for a week straight Daddy and I got no sleep and you kept everyone in the house up with your screaming.  Each day you were so hoarse from all you screaming and crying in the night.  So we gave you paci back and we are all sleeping again.  You associate sleep with that thing and have gone back to all your self-soothing techniques that you had taught yourself as a baby.

You are our tallest kid by far!  I can't wait to see how big you get!  So many people couldn't believe that you were only two because of how big you were.  You still have pretty blonde hair and gorgeous big brown eyes.  You are starting to watch tv shows now (your favorites are Team Umizoomi, bubble Guppies, Paw Patrol and Doc McStuffins) and after a disastrous attempt at your first movie in a theater (we went to see Planes in August and you just played with the reclining seats the whole time), we went to see Frozen the other day and you sat and watched the whole movie!

You love to go over to Pappaws and you love helping him in the garden when it's warm outside.  You also love to do anything that the big kids are doing, but you still are good at playing by yourself (which involves playing cars or trains about 98% of the time).  You are also obsessed with bands and love walking around the house playing drums or the cymbals or your trumpet.

Oh my sweet little boy...I love you so very much (actually, I love you the mostest!).  I can't imagine my life without keep me on my toes at all times and I can't wait to see where your strong will takes you in life.  Thank you for being my special little boy!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Ryan!

Dear Ry-Ry,
Wow, 5 already???  I can't believe that you are so big, and yet, at times (ok, most times), I can't believe you're only this old.  I very often forget that you have only been four, and that you're now only act so much older and when you actually act like your age, I have to catch myself from correcting you.

You are such a sweet little boy...I am told that by everyone that watches you :)  Your blonde hair and big blue eyes just capture anyone that you talk to.

This past year I have watched you grow up so want to do everything that Josh does.  The main thing I have watched you grow in is baseball.  At age four I was able to go out and play catch with you using a hard baseball (not even a t-ball!) - you love baseball, but because your birthday is so late, you can't play t-ball until next summer :(  But that didn't stop you from playing outside with Pappaw or me or Josh all summer long.  We were able to find an indoor t-ball league for you to play for in November :)

When I tuck you in at night it's always a production.  First you have to get a drink, and then I have to re-put all the covers back on you, and then as I'm leaving I hear "oh Mommy, tell Daddy to come up" and then "oh and Mommy, will you come to my football game tomorrow?" and then "oh Mommy, do you know who is playing at my football game tomorrow?" until I finally have to cut you off!  But I love it :)

We knew we were starting you in Kindergarten this year, and you're the only one that I have ever been worried about when making that were so young!  You were four years-old for five weeks of school!  But since day one I have never regretted our decision.  You are making friends, and you are sounding words out and writing like a champ!  I am so proud of you!  You love having me come to lunch with you and I'm so glad that I can do that since I wasn't able to with Josh and Kylie when they were in Kindergarten.

For fun you like to play baseball and football and hockey, swing on the swing set, jump on the trampoline, ride your bikes, play cars and play legos.  Everyday you like to dress like a certain team from head to toe - so often you will come down in either your Bobcats jersey, Bobcats shorts and Bobcats socks, or your Bears shirt, Bears shorts and Bears socks.  You are following in Josh's footsteps (early unfortunately) by not liking to wear anything except t-shirts and athletic shorts (you especially hate shirts with buttons and khaki shorts!). You have already asked (and I said "no" very quickly) if you could wear shorts all year like Joshie (I told you that you had to be in second grade like he was).

Your friends right now are Zora, Jordan, Zach, Marcus and Cole.  You insist that you are marrying Zora, even though she told you that she had other people that wanted to marry her so she would think about it :)  But the two of you really are the best of friends - she waits for you to walk to school and the two of you always play together at recess.  It's been a hard year for her as you have started to really get into boy things and she wants to do girl things, but I have seen a lot of compromising and you two have learned so much from each other!

Oh Ry-Ry, I could go on and on - you are such a special little boy!  I love you with all of my heart and I hope you continue to be the sweet little boy that you are!

Happy Birthday little man!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

No More Diapers!!!

A couple of Fridays ago, I got up with the kids, had a leisurely breakfast with all of them, and then promptly went outside for the rest of the day armed with a little potty and a whole bunch of extra underwear.  Oh yeah, and a 2 year-old :)  I decided it was time to potty train Colton.  Most of the reason was because he had gotten in the habit of randomly looking at me and telling me he was peeing (in his diaper).  I was hoping he was ready, but after our 9 month long debacle with Ryan, I was not holding my breath.

I start out just like I have with every other kid, diaper off, big boy underwear on and I let him go.  He plays for a little bit and then gets on the trampoline.  I hear something like (from him) "there's pee-pee on the trampoline."  I ask him if he peed on the trampoline and he says "yes" with a snarky smile.  I believe that was the only full-blown accident he had.  The rest of the day I hounded him and hounded him to pee on the potty (total rednecks outside with our little potty in the side yard and a little boy running around in underwear) and he did a great job.  I was worried because he didn't pee very often, but now, weeks into this, I realize the kid really doesn't go very often.  

The rest of the weekend went just like that...I couldn't believe how easy the whole process was, especially after everything we had gone through with Ryan just a few short years ago!  But he was amazing!  The only issue that we had to overcome was pooping.  Just like the other kids, he had some fear of pooping on the potty.  We tried everything.  I remember on Josh's birthday John sitting in the bathroom with Colton for an hour, Colton screaming and crying, and nothing coming of it.  I took a whole plate of oreos, chocolate coverd pretzels and other goodies in to him while on the potty just so he knew as soon as he went, he could have it all, but nothing.  We had a great story about how his poopies want to go down the drain to play baseball with the other poopies (which he loved and we still use to this day) but nothing.  The problem was that he wasn't going in his diaper either, so after a few days he was backed up and in pain.  He went through a bottle of prune juice and a bottle of apple juice and nothing.  Finally I gave in and gave him Miralax and that did the trick!  

A few weeks later and he's still apprehensive about pooping, but at least we are not having any accidents with it.  He stills wears a diaper to bed at night, but he's in underwear for naps.  Even with all this time, I'm still waiting for something to go wrong.  I just can't believe that I was lucky enough to have 3 out of my 4 kids be super easy potty-trainers, especially with how similar Colton is with Ryan in everything, I was sure it was going to be another 8 month battle.  But he's doing great...amazing!  Just another sign that my baby is not a baby anymore.  And I can't believe that after 10 years of having to buy diapers, we are finally done!!!

Now if we could just get rid of his stinkin' pacifier...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy 8th Birthday Joshie!

Dear Joshie,
Seriously???  8 years-old already?  Where on earth did this past year go?  I cannot believe that you are are still 5 in my mind...

This past year has been awesome for you, no surprise there.  You had a wonderful year in 2nd grade - great teacher, good friends and I think you may have even learned something too :)  And you still don't care if the teacher and the kids call you "Joshie" (which most of them do).  Anytime I had the chance, you still wanted me to walk you to school, walk you into your classroom, have lunch with you and pick you up from school.

You played flag football both fall (where you were named MVP for your team) and spring (where you finally won the championship!), basketball and baseball.  Just yesterday you had assessments for tackle football.  TACKLE!!!  You can't be big enough for all of this yet, can you?  You have had an awesome baseball of the best on the team even though you are one of the littlest (if not the littlest).  And I absolutely love the feeling I get when I watch how surprised people are with how good you are when they weren't expecting it based on your size.  Everyone at baseball knows that if the ball comes anywhere near you, there's no worry, you will get it.  And you and Troy as pitcher-first base combo is unbeatable!!

So far this summer has had you swimming like crazy with all of your friends at the pool, playing baseball (both with us and with Pappaw) and playing on your iPod.

You are still my easy-going kid (for the most part).  You make us laugh every single morning with your "songs" and your overall personality.  You get so many laughs from all of us that Ryan and Colton continuously copy everything that you do.  You still like to give me hugs and so far nothing I do embarrasses you.

The biggest thing for you this year was that you recently got glasses!  I felt so bad because you said that you couldn't see the time on the cable box from the couch and that you couldn't read the scores on the TV without being right up next to it, but you thought that was normal and never said anything to us :( So I took you in and sure enough you needed glasses.  You look so cute in your glasses!  The minute you put them on you said two things:  1.) "I can see!" and 2.) "Everything is in HD!!"  :)

Some funny things from you this year:
1.) "nugget biscuit nugget in a biscuit...."
2.) "farty-farty squawk-squawk"
3.) "butt chicken butt"
4.) "bump up tomatoes, I like the ocean, bring back your love to me"
5.) The butt many ways, all super funny.  The best is "golf butt smack"
6.) He went the whole school year without ever wearing pants.  That was his goal this year - good to know I have a kid that accomplishes his goals :)

Having you as my little boy is the most awesome thing in the world!  You are such a sweetie and I love waking up to you each morning! Thank you for being an awesome 8 year-old!!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Double-Digits!!

Dear Ky-bear,

Wow, a decade old today.  Where have the past 10 years gone?  When I think about how long 10 years is, and yet how fast it has flown by…it just doesn’t work.  Regardless, I couldn’t be more proud of what you have become over the last 10 years…

You are finishing up the fourth grade.  I got a call the other day from the gifted teacher that you will definitely be in SOAR next year for reading and math.  Thank goodness!  We can go back to hours and hours of tears each night over math homework.  To any normal person that would sound horrible, but we all know that’s what you need (and want).  I won’t hear “I’m so bored in math…I already know how to do all this stuff” again!  You are getting ready to head into the fifth grade, which means you will rule the school!  I swear you just started Kindergarten!  And next year you will have two brothers in school with you because Ryan will be starting Kindergarten.  You had a pretty big project due a few weeks ago, and because of how responsible and self-disciplined you are, I had no idea where it stood or really how important it was until I went to the Investigation Fair.  And of course, your report and display were amazing!  You wanted your teacher and class to call you “Kylene” this year, and it really threw me!  Every time your teacher would say “Kylene,” it sounded so weird!  I think you’re going back to “Kylie” next year :)

You finished up level 5 in gymnastics this year.  You’ve been at Gym X-treme almost one full year now and I can’t believe how much you have improved!  You have gone to practice for 12 hours each week all school year, and you’ll go for 18 hours per week in the summer.  You got better at each meet and ended the season scoring your highest all-around at State’s.  Next year you will be level 5, which is like the old level 6, but they are changing the system so your actual level will stay the same, but the skills will be harder.  You have been working your new skills and have perfected your back walkover on the high beam and have been working your back handspring on the high beam!!  You also have your back handspring back tuck.

You have been a really good big sister to your brothers.  You and Josh get along really well and are into as much of the same things as I could expect from a boy and a girl.  And you help me out so much with Ryan and Colton!  In the mornings, you will get Colton out of his crib and turn the television on for him.  You are such a sweet girl!

You are such a wonderful daughter.  You really mean the world to me and I can’t imagine what my life would be like if you were not my daughter.  Thank you so much for putting a smile on my face each and every day!

I love you princess!!