Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 A look back

Evan turned three, and Ryan turned two.

I got the flu on SuperBowl Sunday.

Chris and I spent Valentines day weekend in Hilton Head were the weather luckily that weekend was in the 70's both days and we got a small taste of spring time at the beach..

Daylight savings came early and the kids began to stay up later and later....

The boys did their first Easter egg hunt at church and gave the Easter Bunny a hug (or at least Evan did Ryan was still a little scared).

Chris traveled to Las Vegas for 5 days for work and Mommy officially spent the longest time to date without his help, making me realize how I can't do any of this without him (or my other boyfriend called Mr. Bud Light.)

My best friend from college and his wife came to visit and got to meet Evan and Ryan for the first time.

Chris and I began to talk about maybe trying for one more baby.

I started our family blog and the Steele Creek Moms club blog and I write now more than I used to realizing how much I love to write and how much I miss it.

I became a permanent member on the choir at church, and fell in love with songs about God that I never thought I would listen too.

Chris and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary

We had a yard sale and made $300.

Chris went to 3 NASCAR races, I went to one which was plenty for me.

I threw a baby shower for my twin sister who was soon to be a first time Mom

I watched Evan "graduate" from his very first year of preschool.

We took an amazing vacation in Cocoa Beach Florida and saw a rocket launch from Cape Caniveral.

Evan officially became potty trained.

My first friend when I moved here died of a rare lung cancer. She was only 34.

Two of my Mommy friends from kindermusick class moved away.

Chris turned 37 and I turned 36.

My sister gave birth to Jackson Hayes Saine and blessed our family with a new adorable little miracle.

I submitted two articles to the folks who publish the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.... Still anxiously awaiting if one of them is chosen.....

Bruno had to have knee surgery, twice and gave us new meaning to taking care of our pets.

I visited my cousin Lori in Nags Head, NC for my once a year "Mommy free" getaway.

The boys had their first ever swimming lessons.

My great Aunt Alice passed away.

I became Secretary of the Mom's Club.

My Nana turned 91.

Ryan began his first year of preschool while Evan went back for his second.

Mommy was alone for three days a week for the first time since having kids.

I began to baby sit for Jackson once a week, getting a real handle on what life could be like with three kids.

Chris and I ceased our discussions for a third child.

We took a late summer vacation in Florida to see Chris parents and visit our favorite place called Capt Hirams Resort in Sebastian Florida.

We witnessed a victim who had been bitten by a string ray. She would eventually be okay.

The boys really got into Halloween this year and went trick or treating for the first time with Chris.

For the first time in my life I didn't vote Republican.

I had kidney stones.

I actually slowed down for the holidays and enjoyed being with the boys as they began to really understand about Christmas.

We actaully were awake this year to see the ball drop in Times Square.

2009 looms in front of me with excitement,hope and change. I knew last year how lucky I was. This year I hope I spend more time not taking this life for granted. I want to try and be a better person, a better Mom a better wife and a better Christian. I know it won't be easy but hey- it's a new year. A great place to start.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ryan - Christmas Show

Here is the cute boy in red. He did great durning his segment of the show. He had a smile on his face the whole time. It was great. Merry Christmas!!!

Evan sings - Christmas show at preschool.

Mommy ran out of memory in her video camera (and is also not the greatest film maker) but here is a quick snippet of Evan in today's Christmas show. Ryan had not yet come up yet so unfortunately I missed getting him on tape.... But he was great too. See the pics above, but he shook jingle bells and then proceeded to lift his shirt up to show off his bellybutton to the whole crowd. Mommy was so proud!! Enjoy the video of Evan. He is in green behind the two cute little girls.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lake Wylie Christmas Boat Parade

Every year a bunch of boats on the lake deck out in Christmas lights and decorations for the annual Boat Parade. This is the second time we have gone (last time I went I was pregnant with Ryan and Evan was still a baby). So the kids really got a kick out of it this year. We invited our special friends Meredith and Bob and their boys along as well. It was so much fun. Ho Ho Ho....

Evan and Nana

A very sweet picture of Evan with my Nana and Dad. This was taken a few weeks ago on his big boy adventure with Grand mommy and Granddaddy to see Nana the week before Thanksgiving. I love how happy she looks in this photo.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

O Christms Tree......

So far a record 118 times today alone that I have said "Don't touch the tree." Or an in attempt to be brilliant, use a more subtle suggestions saying something like "Once the ornament is on the tree, we are not to touch it." I forget how all toddlers and preschoolers have not only selective hearing but also a very impressive "reverse psychology" theory. So when Mommy says don't touch, that of course means touch, yank, pull, grab and (on one occasion) almost knock over said tree if it wasn't for my superhero capability to hurdle the coffee table, grab a branch and hold on for dear life while yelling at the top of my lungs "DIDN'T I SAY DON'T FREAKING TOUCH!!!!" to the boys who at this point have the nerve to be laughing at me.
Needless to say the tree did not fall (nor was it going to but I swear it looked like it could).

So Christmas tree 2008 has officially begun in the Ickert household. It started the usual way with a family outing to the Penland Christmas Tree farm in York County, SC. This place is fantastic. It screams good ole fashion family Christmas as soon as you pull up into the gravel parking lot and lay your eyes on an endless field of Christmas trees. They have a fire pit where kids can roast marshmallows, they serve hot chocolate and free candy canes. Everyone who works there is one big family and I have nerve once not seen them without smiles on their faces. It's a great experience and since the kids are getting older it has turned into a very special tradition. This past weekend we took my folks out there so they could experience the joy as well. We picked out usual Leland Cypress ( they work the best with our tall ceilings), strapped it to the car (okay Chris did that part) and brought it home for the family holiday tradition number 2.

Tradition number 2 has fondly been named by me as "Curse Fest 2008." "Curse fest 2008" applies to my husband from the moment we pull into the driveway with the tree a top our car to the moment the last light is strung. This is a spacial time of year for him since I firmly believe that dropping the "F" bomb 500 times in one hour is good for the soul and can help reduce holiday stress. My job of course is to keep the children far far away from him and be the "Spotter" if and only if he asks for my help (this very important lesson was learned at curse fest 2003 where when asked if I could help he, proceeded to give me his resume on how he used to be an aircraft mechanic and if he could do that he could get the "F-ing" tree in the "F-ing" stand and if I wanted to "F-ing help I was to bring him an F-ing beer). Ahhh....good times

Needless to say Curse fest 2008 was relatively mild and minus one exception where we debated one which side was more crooked (yet another lesson learned... never and I mean never bring up the word "crooked" unless he does first.) The tree was ready for decorating. I couldn't wait to start with the boys this year since they are at the age where they really seem to get Christmas more this year. Why yesterday when I asked Evan what he thought Christmas was all about he replied "Giving." Bursting with pride and adoration I went to go hug him when he then clocked his brother in the face with a toy and boom, life returned to normal.

So there you go, are family Christmas is off and running. The tree is now fully decorated and (I think) the boys know not to mess with it. I find myself durning this busy time of year to really try and slow down and just enjoy everything. Last year I was so over committed with way too much it has been one of my vows since the fall arrived that this year I was going to just slow down and enjoy the holidays. So far so good, even on the stressful days and moments it's been a great start for December. Hope everyone else is having a great season as well. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Evan and Ryan perform at a Thanksgiving feast durning preschool. It was adorable. Gobble Gobble.

Like Father, Like son

The boys in red on a Sunday afternoon watching football.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So Not Normal.

On any given day normal sucks. Normal means a whole lot of busyness, chaos, non-stop movement (unless the kids are napping or on the rare occasion sitting still being quiet), and generally a stream of house duty responsibilities, dog duty, kid duty and oh yeah the husband to attend too. Phew.. I am tired after typing that. In a nutshell my normal as a Mom is busy. It's from wake up time to sun down time and even there after and sometimes before the sun comes up. It's okay though, I have adjusted into a mode of not knowing what to expect each day. For the most part the kids sleep great and my mornings can usually get started with a cup of coffee and a few minutes of personal time with Matt Lauer and Al Roker. I can't complain there. But once the boys are up it's game on. Even on school days, it's game on baby. I am just as tired at the end of the day and sometimes even more on the school days because for some reason the school days add extra stress alone just by trying to get out the door on time and not get side tracked by Ryan not wanting to wear his coat and Evan (the oh so defiant almost 4 year old) yelling at me that he doesn't like me anymore (insert knife through the heart here).

So that's my normal. . It's been my life since they were born.... My normal, my babies and guess what I love it. I know this now today after a very Non-normal day that has me even wondering why I tend to complain about normal to begin with.

My non-normal day begins with waking up at 7:00 (okay that is somewhat normal). But just as I attempt to drift off to sleep and just let the kids wake me up when they start making noise it hits me. Today is the day... Today is the day for Evan's big boy trip with Grandmommy and Granddaddy to go see Nana. It's means Evan goes all by himself in the car with my parents to see my Nana and spend the night in a hotel room. This is a first for him as we have never stayed in a hotel room with him before. I know he will be fine and that my Mom and Dad won't take their eyes off of him but still... I worry. I worry about him being 3 hours from me and worry about something happening. I worry about Ryan who will be separated form his brother all day and and I worry about everything in between the typical neurotic "Mommy worry" and just plain worry worry that after a few minutes of lying in bed trying to figure out which worry I am at, I get up and begin the rumblings of the day trying to keep things normal (probably for my sake more than the kids). My parents are due to arrive and pick up Evan in just a little less than two hours. So I have time to take my shower, hit the coffee button and get the kids up and breakfast started. A when it was time to wake the kids up normal stayed it's course by Evan fussing that he didn't get to open his door (I dared to open it for him and say good morning thinking he was over his obsession with opening and closing his door but was clearly wrong), and Ryan saying he wanted Cinnamon pancakes as he happy go lucky skipped down the hall way with his blankie in toe and his bed head hair flapping in the breeze. Normal normal. Next comes breakfast and a change of clothes, lot's of coffee for Mommy, and a last minute check of Evan's over night bag. I throw in extra outfit, extra pair of underwear and some extra toys as my husband of so casually reminds me he is going to be gone only for one night. I shoot him my famous "Listen here part timer, you don't know anything" look and add one more pair of underwear just in case.

At this point The boys are playing, and my heart starts pounding at the impending doom of my folks avrial to whisk away my baby, my first beloved Evan.

Holy Crap!!

Needless to say the arrival, transfer, last minute hugs and nose pressed up against the window frame as they drove away and I burst into hysterical sobs, went very, very well. Mr. Part timer sings and dances behind me now elated at the fact we are down to one kid. And there is some truth there. Ryan pretty much has been in Evan's shadow since he was born. This will be good, this will a great weekend to love on Ryan and spoil him rotten. Plus it was a big transititon weekend for him too. He was going to be moving out of his crib into his big boy bed. Somewhere along the way it dons on me that a lot of big boy stuff is going on in one weekend. But once again it's that famous roll with the chaos sort of life that I have grown so used to.

So my babies turned into very big boys in one weekend. One, the world traveler (okay only to Virginia traveler), and the other no longer sleeping in his crib, his last connection to babyhood and I find myself sort of a sad happy. I am happy they are growing up and can do things like travel with my parents. I am happy that the crib has come down as Ryan is finally getting to grow up like he has seen his brother do. So much is changing in such short time frame but when all is said and done and I look at my life and what's my normal. I wouldn't change a thing. Even on the days where the boys are fighting and I am at my wits end over everything... I wouldn't change a thing. My normal is my crazy. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mommy is Sick.

No joke, the morning started off with a cock roach falling on my head. I am not kidding and I know that is something most of you are probably squirmy about but it's true. It seems like this time of year brings them in the house and I have seen one or two back in our bathroom. Usually I get the bug spray to (somewhat calmly) handle them or I just yell for my husband to come and remove the bug. He does so usually with out any problem. Thank goodness. Yet one can never be prepared for one to fall on your head while using the potty on an early Saturday morning. He bounced off my head and landed on the floor then looked up at me as if to say "thanks, you just cushioned my fall." I didn't have time to answer since I was to busy doing the blood curling scream, run out of the bathroom with pants still around my ankles maneuver that I am sure my husband found quite enjoyable at 7:00 a.m.Needless to say I thought the was going to be the worst thing to happen to me that day. I was wrong.....

The pain started about an hour later. I had just finished giving the kids breakfast and was going through the motions of lining up my morning. I knew I had to take the boys to a birthday party and still needed to shower. I was doing the dishes when I felt some bad cramps sneak up on me. I wasn't too surprised since my time of the month was a few days away and maybe it was just coming early. But as the day progressed so did the pain. I dismissed it for awhile thinking again bad menstrual cramps and maybe a touch of food poisoning. I had had food poisoning a few years ago and this sort of felt like the same thing. But that inner voice in my head said this was different... but as we all sometimes do, I ignored that inner voice. Some how mustering up enough strength, I took a shower, popped 3 Tylenol and took the boys to the party. After about 10 minutes I knew this was a bad idea. The pain got worse and despite all common sense telling me I was in trouble I still dismissed it as bad cramps, I apologized to the Mom of the birthday boy and also to Evan and Ryan as I drove them home early from the party, promising them I would make it up to them later.

At this point all I can say is thank God it was a Saturday, because Chris was home and he was able to manage the boys for me once we got home. The pain had crossed over to something I hadn't even experienced in labor. I was throwing up at this point and I was in tears crying begging for it to go away. After a quick phone call to my Mom to come stay with the boys (and a quick prayer thanking God we have family in town) Chris took me to the nearest Emergency room. I remember on the drive there I was trying so hard to focus on anything other than the pain. I stared a lot a the trees as we passed by them, really noticing that fall is here and how much the leaves have changed. Looking back now I can honestly say that focusing on things like the leaves. Helped make that drive a lot better.

By the time we got to the hospital I was in so much pain I couldn't sit still. I tired....but it was impossible. I finally found a very faint version of the fetal position, curled up in the wheel chair in the waiting room was the best case scenario. I vaguely remember people looking at me but I didn't care. I remember Chris holding my hand and me wishing that a nurse would come get me sooner than later. At this point I knew something was wrong. Appendicitis or maybe a cyst of some kind. It's funny all the things that run through your mind..... I was scared at this point really, really scared.

After I was taking back into a room it didn't take long for the nurses to know something was wrong. I haven't been in the hospital since I had my boys and not a whole lot has changed. The gowns are the same, the rooms are the same, the size of the T.V. are the same (not that my husband noticed or if he did he was sweet enough not to say anything.) I will say that they were on me quick and after a few questions had me hooked up to an I.V. with medicine for my nauseous and pain medicine. I remember the rush I got as soon as the pain medicine entered my veins and I was so thankful. Thankful to get that relief, thankful to finally take a breath and not feel like I was being poked in the stomach with hot iron stake. I was able to finally drift off to sleep.

7 hours later and many tests which ruled out an ovarian cyst, appendicitis, and other gastrointestinal stuff a simple CT scan showed I had kidney stones. I was sent home with instructions on how to pee through a strainer cup (oh joy), perscripion for more pain medicine as well as Flo max which supposedly has the same shirking capabilities on kidney stones as it does on men's prostrate. Funny how the medical world can work sometimes. When asked when the stones would pass the doctor looked at me like a Mom would look at her child when asked where do babies come from. Her expression at first was guarded almost unsure. Then she gave me the classic "Everyone is different." She told me to stay on top pf my pain meds and if the vomiting returned and the pain got worse than to come back to the ER. Best case scenario the stones would pass in a few days. If they didn't and I was still feeling really sick, surgery may be an option. We were dismissed with all of our items and sent home to play the waiting game of stones or no stones. Still not out of the woods but not in half as much pain as I was earlier we headed home with a stop along the way at a 24 hour pharmacy to pick up my medicine. Somewhere along the way we figured out we were slightly hungry and hit the Wendy's drive through way for a much needed chocolate frosty (a.k.a comfort food). It was almost midnight and we were kid free so why not? So our day ended with Chris and I sipping on chocolate frosty's and heading home to bed. If it wasn't for my medical bracelet still intact and my head swimming from pain medicine it would have felt like old times.

All of that behind me now I am happy to say the stone did pass early yesterday. The first day home form the hospital was okay, the evening's were the worst. Almost as if my body decided to inch that stone along while I was lying still preventing me to sleep. It just didn't seem fair... But alas, it has passed and it's in it's little cup ready to be taken to the urologist in a few days for my follow up. I showed it to the boys as they looked in awe at the stone that was in Mommy's tummy. Through all of this they have been so sweet, knowing something was wrong with Mommy they were in Chris's hands as well as my parents. Once again I am realizing how grateful I am to have a partner in Chris who can take over parenting duties at the drop of a hat and my own parents who at word found out I was having to go to the hospital made it over here to the house in a record breaking 12 minutes and 15 seconds. Not to mention all of my friends and neighbor's who have called to check on me and send us meals for dinner. It truly has been an experience to say the least. I am feeling better each day. Still a little sore yet hopeful that I will never have to go through this again. I remember hearing that passing a kidney stone is worse than labor pains. I am hear to say that they both suck. They are both different in their own "special" way if you can call it that. At least at the end of child birth you have a precious little baby. At the end of this all you have is a small little pebble about the size of a poppy seed. Nothing too special there. But I did learn something. I learned never to ignore your instinct. When something feels wrong in your gut (no pun intended) it probably is and there is no such thing as overreacting when it comes to your health. Always always take care of yourself and your body. It's just too precious to do other wise. Unless you are a cockroach than by all means, if you cross my path again you are dead meat!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Scary Little Monsters


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Loving The Grocery Store

Okay... so I am getting ready to oust myself as a pretty big dork but here goes.... I went to the grocery store BY MYSELF yesterday and LOVED IT!!! Seriously I was like a little kid in a candy store, and speaking of little kids....Mine were in preschool (hence being by myself) and I got to go to the grocery store BY MYSELF!!!

Now before going to the store was no big deal. Especially pre-kids. If anything it was a chore that could be pretty old and it seemed like I had no organization or patterns to my shopping. It was just a breeze in breeze out grab what I needed and go home. But then I had the boys. And everything changed about my experience of going to the store. It wasn't so bad at first.... Especially when they were infants. In fact I used to love going to the store with Evan while he was sound asleep in his infant carrier propped up so carefully in the grocery cart so I could look down at him in awe as people would pass by me and smile and coo and the little sweet baby. It was a good way for me to get out of the house and walk around even if I was still half asleep and was only there to buy nursing pads and a frozen pizza.

But as the years have gone by and that sleeping little baby has turned into quite the non sleeping almost 4 year old and his partner in crime, the defiantly non sleeping almost 3 year old. Together the have formed a special alliance called "Operation Grocery Store Hell" and for months have made my shopping experience a living nightmare. Not that it is all their fault I mean I can understand how they can get bored easily and sure I can grocery shop on the weekends with my husband... Although even that lately has proved challenging since every time I pull out my coupons and grocery list on a Saturday morning my husband takes off like a lighting bolt babbling something about yard work and he disappears outside not to be seen again until dusk.

So, it's up to me, the Mom and keeper of said kitchen and all other necessities to gather up the children and head to the store when the need arises. It usually begins with the psycho theme playing my head as we pull up to the Super Target. The children who know this place well are already whining about wanting a cookie and a toy even before I have pulled them out of their car seats. Getting them in to the store and settled in the cart is also another Olympian sport filled with lots of yelling, wrestling and sometimes downright blackmail. I have learned that before I do anything the free cookie station must be visited first. This will ensure at least 3 minutes of quite as I race down the aisle grabbing as much as I can before the children have finished chewing. It leaves little time for price comparing and basic intelligent shopping but I don't care. I am on a mission and this must be accomplished quickly. Of course usually by aisle 4 the cookies are gone and the toddlers are now engaged in a pushing game which starts off fun for them only to end a few minutes later with one of them crying and the other standing up in the cart wanting to knock over the tomato display. Then comes the river of juice boxes, and more snacks such as cookies crackers or anything vaguely resembling a gummy bear. I leave a trail of crumbs and juice spots so that if I somehow disappear into grocery store abyss anyone can find me. I say things like "Sit down or you are going to get a spanking." and "No, we may not get Captain crunch cereal". All spoken with a relatively serious tone yet not too serious for fear of other people hearing me and thinking I am the worst Mother ever. I play games...I let them pick out some of their lunch items (never a good idea because all these children want is french fires and ice cream.) I beg them to behave when the full on boredom sets in and I try not to be that person that I used to stare at in the grocery store ten years ago that I swore I would never turn into...

And all of that is usually within the first five minutes. Needless to say when the shopping is done and I have checkout I end up carting two sniffling sobbing children out in to the parking lot along with a $300 dollar grocery bill thanks to my drive by grab anything method. My sanity and patience is still back in the produce aisle and I am actually muttering out loud to nobody that I am never doing this again even if it means my family will starve.

So, it was with joyous delight yesterday that I got to enter the infamous Super Target right after I dropped both kids off at school for my solo shopping trip that I actually was so excited about the night before that when shared with my husband he actually patted me on the head and said I needed to get out more.

My cart empty, and my list handy I start shopping....Alone. Happy, uninterrupted and non-stressed. Although my cart did try and steer itself to the free cookie station out of habit I stayed the course. I actually looked at prices, looked at the weekly specials. Contemplated different menu's in my head for the week to cook for that guy I see roaming the house in the evenings and sadly gets overlooked quite a lot. I lallygagged down each aisle stared at all the new stuff out these days (since when did they start putting Vinegar in Windex). I soaked up every ounce of pure grocery-ness and every now and then I would spy another Mom there also solo. We recognize each other not only because we have seen each other there before with our screaming kids but because also we are all doing the same happy slow stroll up and down each aisle sniffing the Febrezze fabric softener. We do a polite nod at one another but we do not speak. We do not even stop. We are too much in our zone too much in grocery store heaven to stop and talk. There is so much to see, so much to do and so much alone time to absorb. That is until I run into the Mom who is there with her kids and has the same look on her face as Hannibal Lector. Once again I recognize the signs and give her a polite smile and pass by her wanting to tell her that one day she will be in my shoes... She will get to experience the bliss of shopping alone She will get to be me one day....
And then it hits me. As much as I am enjoying my moment I miss Evan and Ryan. I miss it being a threesome. My crew, my little helpers. Even when they are driving me crazy. I am with them and really that is all that matters. I am so lucky to be with them every day.
So with that in mind and my list complete. I head over to the toy aisle...After all, my cart is already heading in that direction. I am just following behind.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Sandbar

Chris and I at one of our favorite spots. Capt Hiram's Resort in Sebastian, Florida. An outside venue called The Sandbar that stretches along the inter coastal waterway. We go once a year in September when we go down to see Chris's folks. We stay there for two nights at the resort and basically get to know each other again. I love the one picture of Chris because he looks so relaxed and at peace. I think he and I both are at peace when we are near the water.

We had a wonderful time. The marina pictures are taken from our seat at the Sandbar. The Sunset photo was taken from our balcony. It was beautiful.

My Tree Monkeys!!

I took these while we were in Florida last week visting Chris's folks. They love to be in the trees. They love to climb just about anything actually. Sigh... Boys will be boys!

How are they Mine?

I am sometimes hit with this question... How can they be mine? These beautiful, active, funny, adorable little creatures....How is this possible? I mean I aways knew one day I would be a Mom but sometimes when I look at Evan and Ryan I am hit with such an amazing feeling of luck. They were meant for me....I was meant for them and yet I still sometimes wonder how? I hits me in small waves... Last night when I was checking on them before I went to bed. They were sound asleep each in their own little ways. Evan curled up in a ball, all his "bankies" rolled up in a ball tucked underneath him. His heavy breathing and a slight little whimper as I lean down and kiss his check, almost inhale him and the faint scent of his bath form hours earlier. He is growing up on me so fast. He will be 4 in January. And yet I still inhale him every night like I did when he was a baby. His soft check his sweet little nose.... All trouble he had given me earlier in the day completely forgotten as I close his door and whisper "nigh night."

On to Ryan's room. The night light illuminates his perfect white blonde hair shaggy over his closed eyes. Still in a crib, I lean over and realize that soon he will be in a big boy bed like his brother and how this is possible his last link to babyhood. He will be 3 in February, defiantly no longer a baby but oh in so many ways he is. Especially when he is a sleep. He still loves to sleep on his back, his arms outstretched over his head. His cheeks puffed out in deep slumper and I really see how more and more he is looking like his Daddy. I rub his tummy, lay a light blanket over him and tell him I love him. I walk out of the room and stand in the hall way between their doors. Again wondering.... "How are they mine?"

They just are. And luckily for me, they always will be... and tonight I am writing this all down so I will never forget this time in my life and theirs.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

School Boy Ryan

Ryan's First Day of School. When did he grow up???

Back To School

So off they went.... Both of them to school and I am Totally okay with this.... Really....

Okay well not really but I am putting up a good front. I knew this day was coming. I actually prayed for it to get here fast a few weeks ago when I hit the summer wall of bored cranky children. And now that it is here I have mixed emotions. I am happy for them, especially Ryan since this is his first year. I know in my heart he is ready for this next step. But I still look at him as my baby. The preemie who came 7 weeks early and still needs Mommy 100%. he has grown up so much and I am so proud of him. Evan is going for the second year and for him I think it's like riding a bike. He remembers school, he remembers his teachers and he remembers that Mommy always comes back to pick him up. He even told Ryan this morning as we were driving to school. "Mommy comes back" Ryan," and he is right. Mommy always comes back.

So we get there and despite my best intentions a lump formed pretty quickly in my throat. But I stayed busy with snapping a ton of pictures and talked up how fun going to school was going to be. We went to Evan's room first. He knew where to drop off his bag and lunch box. He gave me a kiss and went right on in. "I love you Evan see you later" I said as I waved. He was fine and didn't even look back. I was glad for this, glad that he didn't feel the need to cry or get upset. I was really happy for him (and really really fighting the lump in my throat at this point...)

So on to Ryan's class. In typical Ryan fashion he cruised right on in and went straight to a play area where some cute little girl was hanging out. I took a few more pictures and felt that since he was doing fine and not crying it was time to make an exit. Would he even notice, and as I thought that he looked up at me. I smiled at him and said I would see him later. Together we handed his teacher his school bag and she helped him hang it on the shelf. Then he went back to playing. I snuck out and this time I was the one who didn't look back. I walked out back to my car and never cried, never got upset, never felt more proud of two little boys as I did just then.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Popcorn and Lollipops

On Tuesday remnants of tropical storm Fay reached the Charlotte area but it felt like a full on tropical storm was here. Crazy amounts of rain, occasional thunder and tornado warnings were on the TV. I think the weather dudes were more excited about it than the average joe. Certainly more excited than me since as a stay at home Mom, rainy day spells trouble.

I started the day with good intentions, despite the rain I wanted to get the kids out of the house and head to the mall for some back to school shopping. But after showering and another glance at the TV radar I decided it was best to stay put. Not that I can't handle driving in rain, but the thought of dragging the kids out with all their rain gear, umbrellas, not to mention all the other bored SAHM who probably have the same desperate need to escape, seems to overwhelming. So we ventured out just up the street to Blockbuster instead. Ran in long enough to grab a movie and then headed back home for lunch. The lady at Blockbuster gave the boys free lollipops and when asked what they wanted for lunch when we got home they responded in unison "Popcorn." Well, okay we can do that. A lollipop appetizer followed by popcorn and a movie for lunch. Sounded good to me. And it was. It was good because I was reminded that on some days you just need to go with the flow. No schedule, no plans, no sunshine, no problem. We had movie day pretty much all day. We had play time with some toys I think the boys forgot they had. We took time to watch the rain as it fell in bucket loads and I got the pleasure of hearing Evan saying that the grass was thirsty so God was giving it a drink. Wow.... it really was a fun day. Even though it was dark and yucky out, it was sunny and cheery inside. A rare gift a week before they go off to school. Rainy days are usually ones I want to forget. But not that day, and thanks to popcorn, lollipops and a storm named Fay, I don't think I ever will.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The child formerly known as Evan

I wish I knew that on some nights when you put your precious little 3 and half year old down for bed that the following morning when you wake them up they have turned into the devil. Or even worse, a teenager. Of course Evan is still only three and a half but the teenager/devil in him has reared it’s ugly head without any warning. Defiance…..yelling….not listening….and my personal favorite, the shoulder shrug eye roll combo when asked if he needed a spanking for his "attitude." Oh my goodness who is this boy??? Where did my sweet, genuine three year old go? What happened durning the night that advanced him light years ahead into a person who knows that repeating everything I say with a certain "tone" can cause a mother to lose it.
"Evan, you are being naughty and we are done playing outside!"
No Mommy you are being naughty and we are done playing outside."
"Do you want a spanking?"
"Do you want a spanking?"
Needless to say he got the spanking.
Yet his defiance and general anger went on through the day… Such as every other milestone that I have endured with raising two boys. I guess am not too worried since I was sorting of waiting for Evan to turn in to little green goblin thing form Ghostbusters. I just wasn’t expecting it until a few years from now.

I think back to one of my mom friends who told me the "Threes" were the terrible ones, not the twos. I heard her words at the time, but as most Moms do when a growth stage is mentioned I thought to myself "Not Evan" he is different after all he is my son. He is completely invisible to such typical behavior…He is perfect. Well, not perfect but darn close. Up until now the threes have been fairly easy going (even the potty training hasn't been as dreadful as I thought it would be). Evan is a sweet, caring fun loving little boy. He loves Thomas the train his science books, the show "Go Diego Go" and even has his very own special Diego imaginary friend. We have talks about being a big boy and how proud I am of him for learning to count to ten and sing his ABC’s. For all practical purposes Evan is a normal 3 1/2 year old little boy.... And I suppose that means he is after all not perfect. And as I type this I realize that neither am I. We both are still feeling our way through our roles in each other lives. He is getting older he is trying new things even if it means pushing me more than he ever has. I still can't wait to get him up in the morning. I can't wait to see what he has in store for me as he continues to grow up on me. I know the bad days are going to happen, I know the good days are going to happen too. I know that no matter how green goblinish he turns, I will love him just the same.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Family Time!!

This past weekend my twin sister and I celebrated our 36th birthday (gulp...) Where are our 30's going we asked ourselves as we, for the first time ever, got to sit across from each other at my parents dining room table as Mommies. It was probably the best present I could receive. I love seeing her a Mom. She has a constant smile on her face even when she is over tired. I have never once seen her lose her cool or patience with Jackson (I however was ready to put Evan up on ebay by week three......Okay just kidding). She has nick named Jackson "monkey" and every time I see him now I call him "monkey doodle" and can't stop kissing his sweet little head. I know all babies are cute and sweet and smell good but this is my nephew. I am an aunt for the first time and gosh darn it he is near close to perfect in my opinion.
So this has been a wonderful birthday weekend. Thank you Mom and Dad for a great birthday lunch, thank you to Kath and Jason for making me an aunt. Thank you Chris Evan and Ryan for all my wonderful presents. I am truly blessed more than I ever thought was possible!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Swim Lessons!

The boys finished a week of swim lessons last week. They learned how to kick, doggie paddle and blow bubbles. They learned how to keep their mouths closed if they go under and they learned how to use a kick board. Now, here is what Mommy learned:
  • After a week of lessons they still do not know how to swim (like everything else, practice and practice and more practice)

  • Ryan, if given the opportunity, could spend all day jumping from the side of the pool into the water completely carefree if anyone would be there to catch him or not. I still find myself checking my pulse for heart failure and him for gills and a fin.

  • Evan, ever the cautious one, took the exact opposite approach and permanently glued himself to the pool steps unless Erin the swim instructor or Mommy was exactly 1/2 inch from his grasp (he even had a ruler).

  • Pools are cold at 10:00 in the morning, even in July.

  • Thank God for kick boards.

  • Thank God swim lessons with a 2 year old and 3 year old are only 30 minutes.

  • Thank God they are over.

But when all is said and done the lessons were great. I think they learned a few tricks but like I mentioned before it's going to take practice, repetition and consistency. Just like everything else with these kids once is not enough. But I know eventually they will get it and until then when it comes to water safety I will probably be my usual neurotic self constantly watching, and holding on to them forever wanting to keep them safe. Even if they don't know it as they continue to grow up on me a little bit more each day!!

Mommy goes on Vacation

A few weeks ago I was able to go spend a "Mommy Free" beach getaway down to the Outer Banks to see my cousin Lori. I had such a wonderful time breaking out of my routine and kicking back in the sand and surf. And just like all stay at home Mom's who eat sleep and breathe mommy hood I only checked on the kids and their dad about 17 times a day. Pretty good huh? I think so too.
It was great to be a way for a few days, but I learned that though I was technically off duty I can never turn off my Mommy switch. I realized this every time I saw little toddler boys playing on the beach. I would gaze at them, missing Evan and Ryan more than I thought would. Later at night, out having fun at a local beach pub, I would see families come in all freshly sun kissed from a day at the beach and I would miss my family even more. But that is okay. Because I know now more than ever how lucky I am. I am lucky to have the opportunity to take a break and spend time with my cousin who I love dearly. I was lucky to be able to unplug for a few days, sleep in a little and enjoy a nice cold beer at lunch time. I was lucky enough to put my feet in the sand and inhale the ocean as it's one of my favorite places to be. And most important I am so lucky to have Evan Ryan and Chris waiting for me at the airport full of smiles and full of love as Mommy came home.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th!!!

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Holiday weekend. Happy Birthday America.

God bless!!!

Hi Cousin!!

Hi Jackson,

It's Evan and Ryan...Your older cousins. Boy can we not wait to get our hands on you little man. Guess what we will show you!! All kinds of cool stuff. We have learned that our owners ( Mom and Dad) are pretty much push overs....well at least Mom is Dad can be somewhat irritating with his whole "you are going to get a spanking" routine but we are learning how to try and avoid those as much as possible. Don't worry we will show that and much more. Probably our favorite trick is called "let's have a poop party in our crib". Man, that was so much fun. Mom and Dad had the craziest faces that day. Really sometimes they are so dramatic. But again you will learn how to finagle your way out of just about anything, especially before your teeth come in because for some reasons these grown up's can't seem to resist a toothless grin. Boy were we pissed when our teeth came in but you move on and discover other cute attributes that you can use to your advantage (the naked hiney seems to work the best). Oh and here are a few more things we will show you as you get older and come in to your own:

*Teething - why screaming for 8 hours straight is totally cool.

* The art of Explosive diapers 101. Supplies provided.

*Spitting up - How to do it only when your owner has just changed their shirt or better yet, on or near their mouths. Hehehe....Ahhh...good times...good times....

*Learning to walk - How to fake out your owners with a "pretend fall" and watch them hurdle a sofa with their arms outreached in one big blur of panic as they try and catch you. It's Awesome!!!

*Learning the word "No" and saying it 500 times a day in squeaky voices.

*Endless Disney movies. How to find them on TV at any time... any day.....any where!!

And so much more to show you but that should do it for now. Now in our owners defense we will say that their is always plenty of hugs, kisses, snuggles, boo boo repairing, book readings, wardrobe changing and sometimes some unfortunate off key singing of Twinkle Twinkle little star. But it's the thought that counts.

Welcome to the world our dear friend and cousin. As you can tell, we can't wait to get our hands on you

Much Love,

Evan and Ryan

Monday, June 30, 2008

He is Here. Welcome Jackson!!!

Ten fingers and ten toes.... big brown eyes and beautiful dark hair. My sister and her husband Jason welcomed their first child into the world today. A son, Jackson Hayes Saine. And as his aunt I am more than biased.... I am over the moon. I am filled with such a wonderful feeling of grateful blessings that everyone is healthy and happy. My sister had a bit of a tough delivery that ended up in a C-section. She is tired and of course sore, but already I can see the look of love on her face. Before she went to sleep after a second does of pain killers she muttered to me about how if anyone messes with Jackson when he is older she "just won't stand for it." And my heart fills with love, because she get's it now.... She is where I have been for the last three and a half years. My twin sister and I are Mommies and it doesn't get much better than this. I am so utterly happy for them and already so in love with an 8 lb 23 inch little man who has no idea yet how loved he is going to be.
Welcome beautiful baby Jackson Hayes Saine. We love you so much!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Ryan Then and Now but still the Same.

My early bird. 7 weeks exactly. Came into this world before he was really ready and on days I still think he is mad about that. He has this spitfire little way about him that Evan never had. But just when I find myself starting to compare the personality traits in my boys I stop and remember that as their mother that's really not my job. Well most of the time it's not my job. Instead I feel that a big part of my job is nurturing their differences and teaching them to be okay in their own skin and encouraging them to just be themselves. Evan is a lot like me. He has this sensitive side to him that I can relate to. I worry about his heart getting broken when he is a teenager and some girl crushes him (more about an idea brewing in my head on how to keep the boys from dating and driving until they are 25 in a later post).
But My Ryan, he is all together different. He always has been and probably always will be, and yet the thing is I am in awe of him. From the moment he came into this world early he has been a fighter. He fights for what he wants, he is strong he is a leader he is funny and sweet and somewhat of a bully at times but that's just who he is. We are into the two's right now with Ryan and there is no hiding the fact that he is a hard two year old. His stubborn streak is really starting to shine and has been really giving me a run for my money. But so did Evan, and so do all two year olds and I find myself still wanting to treat Ryan with kid gloves. He was early.....5 pounds when he was born via emergency C section on a rainy Saturday night. I only saw him for a few seconds before they whisked him away to the NICU and I could hear his breathing, labored almost rattling like a bird. Lungs they said, his lungs needed to be checked out first of all. His lungs, his ability to take in air and breathe. But his lungs were good. Only 24 hours on oxygen and much to the NICU nurses surprise he was okay breathing on his own after that. My Ryan, my fighter. I still remember the fist time I saw him laying in the NICU so small all ready hooked up to tubes and wires. He was sleeping of course but I overheard one of the NICU nurses comment on for being so early he was a feisty little dude. Yup, that's him, My Ryan. My heart, my insides, my hell on earth on some days but in a nutshell my everything. In awe of him is an understatement. I you could fall in love with your own child more and more every day that might sum it up. He's hard to like sometimes....But so easy to fall in love with again and again again and again. My sweet baby......I love you so.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Special Weekend.

For my sisters baby shower, we had family come into town. My Aunt Toby and cousin Lori came and my 90 year old Nana also made the trip. Since we don't get to see them very often it was wonderful having them here!! The boys had a great time with the family and Nana especially loved watching my Dad (her son) play with his grand kids.