Wednesday, September 2, 2009

MOVING DAY!!!!!!!!

Well, I felt it was time for the ole Ickert Crew to get a face lift. So I am happy and excited to let you all know that our family has a new blog site called "Momsie"
Please check out all our crazy and fun moments at

Don't forget to update us on your blog list and feel free to join as a follower as well. I love followers. :-)

Take care,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Boys of Summer

I blinked and summer was over...

The lack of postings on this blog probably has already indicted to some of you on how busy the summer has been... However pure laziness and a way too slow computer sometimes also contributed.. Yet here it is a week away from school starting and I didn't want summer to slip away too fast without posting updates and photos of just how wonderful it has been.

So here goes... This summer had been a pivotal one for me. Mainly due to the boys to the unthinkable....GROWING UP!! They are older and more independent now. Instead of having to break up fights I got to listen to them play togeteher..nicely...most of the time. I listened as they became "batman" or "superman" as they looked for "Bolt" the dog form the movie with the same name. They played pirates and did the "Arrgguuhhh" from Peter Pan and talked about going to Neverland. They discovered legos were no longer fun things to throw around but were actually little puzzles that can make cars, little cities even robots.

They lost interest in their sand and water table and became more interested in riding their bikes, big wheels or scooters. Sports have peeked their interest more as well. They got a new basketball hoop and have officially been signed up for soccer (which of course officially makes me a "Soccer Mom, oh the horror...I mean joy...)

Diapers became obsolete in our house and thus began "pee pee" competitions, "pee pee" songs and pee pee behind the bush out in the front yard for all the world to see (once again to my horror...I mean my joy because come on, that is kind of funny).

Later nights...later schedules, no more naps, no more sippy cups and Diego shaped silverware. No more "Mommy I need I need" but more of "Mommy let me show you... Mommy come see what I made..." (sometimes this was pleasant other times not so much).

More learning more questions more discovering. Night lights are still a necessity so are "time outs" and the occasional spanking.

Ryan's 3 year old babble turned into talking more and more and he is actually making sense. Evan is still talking always talking...never stops talking even talks about talking too much and talks to other people, things and objects. It's quite entertaining..most of the time.

We were able to go to the beach twice this year. Once kid free (thanks Lori and Dave) and once to Hilton Head as a family (thanks Mom and Dad). Both trips were fantastic. I even got to escape to the beach for a Mommy free weekend. Need to do that at least twice a year, maybe three times....

And the swimming...Oh the swimming this year has been my favorite. What was once a chore, a constant panic attack for me never wanting to let them out of my sight or firm grip. A page was turned and they both took to the water this year like fishes. I gave them my own swimming lessons and bonded with them more than I ever thought possible. I learned that even though they are older and keep growing, Mommy is the one they trust the most. Mommy is the one the depend on and still need. Selfishly I don't ever want that to end but know one day it will.

But the summer of 2009 has been glorious... A truly glorious time as I watch them grow and become more and more "Evan" and "Ryan" So different so incredible and so blissfully mine.

I think that covers just about everything but just incase here is a slide show of much of my favorite moments of the summer. Hope everyone had the same and enjoyable time with their family as I did mine.
Now let fall begin.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

A New System - Becuase if they don't listen I might go insane!

So we are trying something new. The set up is nothing fancy but it goes something like this:
Evan and Ryan - if you are good, you are in the green!! If you are bad you are in the red!! If you are in between you are in the yellow and that is considered your warning.

Results as of 4:00 this afternoon: Evan -Yellow!! Ryan - Negative Pink (a.k.a so far off the chart I am not even sure where he is).

This idea came compliments of my husband. Ever the "think outside of the box" kind of Dad he came up with this system after having to console me the other night after a day full of the boys just absolutely refusing to listen to me. Poor guy, I am grateful that he held me and let me babble incoherently for about 10 minutes on how I tried every trick, every discipline manner I have learned over the years only to be met with complete and utter disobedience. Maybe it's the summer boredom setting in. Maybe I was just having an off day... Or maybe while the boys were asleep aliens took over each child and converted them to little horror shows yet all the while still looking completely the same... Maybe it's just life! Either way, a day of yelling exhausted me and moved me to tears beyond my control. This is nothing too terribly new but with school still a long way aways something needs to give. I think Chris does a better job at coming up with these things than I do. mainly because he isn't around them as much as I am and still has most brain cells intact, but also because he is just much better at problem solving.
Mommy in a puddle of hysterics on the floor when he comes home.
Solution: Stop light Chart, and firm description to the boys that if they are in the red when he gets' home they get a pants down spaking from daddy and his paddle of choice.

So it's been in effect for two days and damn it all if it isn't working. While just a few minutes ago while Evan attempted to go air born pretending to be superman, I yelled at him to not only get down but that if he didn't listen he was going to go into the "Red" and would have to deal with Daddy when he got home. Quickly his expression changed and he got down. I feel a new power come over me. Maybe just maybe I am taking control back... And I can't take any credit for this simple yet brilliant idea. Dang...But oh how I love the feeling. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Best Friend's Baby

Many of you know that one of my closest Friends from college is a...(gasp) guy. I got to know Steve my freshman year when he was my RA. I knew there was something special about him the night he came and picked me up from a frat party I had no business being at and didn't seem to flinch when I threw up all over his shoes. Yup, I knew this guy was going to be a keeper. And he is. Steve and I had a very special friendship not only in college but probably more so after college. He moved out west but we stayed in touch over the years. he moved back east and he helped me get my act together throughout my 20's with late night phone calls and occasional visits back to our old stomping grounds in Virginia Beach. I can honestly say I have laughed more with Steve than anyone else in my life. He is a rare find, and one I am so glad I did all those years ago. We each took part in each other's weddings, him making the long trip down to Mexico to see Chris and I get married on the beach, and me, the one and only female groomsmen standing beside him as I watched him marry Leah, the love of his life.
It is with Leah that he is now a first time father. He is journaling his experience on his blog and I really want to share it with as many people as I can. You see, Steve is a born writer. He is tremendous at it and since we all read blogs about our lives as Mommies, I thought it would be refreshing to read one about a daddy. A very funny and sincere Daddy who is right in the throws of first time fatherhood. It's refreshing to see that men and not just women go through the emotional roller coaster of parenthood. Now, I have to warn you, Steve says it like it is. His sense of humor can be a times "dark" but in a weird way it's why I love him. Why be boring right? Just be. Here is his link and I will also have it posted on my blog roll.

Steve and his bride Leah on their wedding day:

Steve with me on my wedding day.

Steve and Leah with the boys last year.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A letter to the Manufactor

Dear "you people" who design packaging of children's toys:

This is the first time I have ever written a letter like this. I will do my best to get straight to the point so here goes.

I am writing to you today after my latest incident of attempting to take a toy out of it's box, plastic wrapping and/or bullet proof plastic containers.
First off, you may not realize this so let me do a little of explaining. Small children have zero patience!! Let me type that word again
I would assume you people would take this into consideration when designing these boxes and wrapping for kids toys. Now, let me back up and say this. I do understand that all packing needs to be designed securely to prevent sticky fingers and shopping lifting. Especially with kids toys. I am still reeling from the $100 silver salt and pepper shakers that Evan swiped off a display table in Macy's one day only for me to realize it half way down the parking lot...
SIDE TRACKED - sorry back to the point of my letter.
Let me start with the basic concept of packaging. Is it all that necessary to use bright colors, vivid pictures and basically anything and everything that a 3 year old can pick out from 200 feet away? Are you aware of the fact that children, especially pre-schoolers thinks everything belongs to them and have ZERO (there is that word again Z.E.R.O) fear of showing their ass in public, especially in large retail super center stores where most likely friends family even worship Pastors are almost always lurking and waiting for my reaction to said ass showing.
But let me get to the real meat and potatoes of my letter... what on earth is up with the plastic ties that bind all toys to their packaging. I mean, is it necessary to use 127 of them, the toy is 3 inches long?? And is is some kind of cruel joke to actually screw in a toy to it's packaging? Do you think it's funny that when Mommy pleads and begs with her child that he can open it when we get home, only to realize that it will take the entire crew of Home Depot to help me get the stupid toy out of the box and we Mommies (or at least myself anyways) have no idea where screw drivers are kept in the house?? I mean seriously WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE???
But before I get too carried away let me digress a tad (I AM PERFECTLY CALM!!).
Surely systems are in place for a reason and I will try and understand your reason and logic behind security proofing a toy to it's box that you need the jaws of life to undo. But please hear me as I think I speak for most Mothers everywhere. Knock this crap off. Or if anything please oh please do away with the hideous plastic ties. They just plain suck and serve ZERO purpose on this earth (Websters definition of Zero - having no magnitude or quantity : not any c (1): having no phonetic manifestation) Just in case you all needed help with that word.
Thank you in advance for taking time to read my letter. I am sure most of you are relatively nice and decent people. I am just convinced not a single one of you owns a child under the age of 5.

Here are some photos of why this letter has wound up in your hands today:

Before (the storm)

Ryan showing his ass while Mommy fights with getting toy out (isn't he cute?)

It didn't have to be this way:

The most eveil things on earth next to double fudge brownies:

Finally, they are happy:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Preschool over , let the Crazy begin.

Evan and Ryan on their first day of school.

Well another year (okay 9 months) has come and gone and summer has officially begun. I recognize my current state of neurosis from last year when Evan preschool ended and I was stuck with the reality of having both boys to entertain every day for 12 hours (at least) with a minimum effect on the wallet and my sanity. But as we mother's always do we put on our game faces and dive into the summer with fierce determination that this yes THIS will be the summer of simple laid back proportion's. That is my hope anyways for this year. Currently I have the boys signed up for only one camp and that is it. I am sure as we get settled deeper into the summer weeks swim lessons will follow as well as more playgroups, pool dates with Mommy friends who belong to pools (love them) and lot's and lot's of backyard entertainment. I just hope they don't grow bored with the plastic pool I purchased for them last week. IF anything it looks lovely currently leaned up against the side of our house. Will it ever stop raining???
But, not to get side tracked... I did want to dedicate this post to looking back on preschool. For Evan this was year number 2. Like last year, he settled right in and seemed ready for the start of the year. He had new teachers this year, Ms. Trisha and Ms. Karen who were truly wonderful. This year in school he became more independent more willing to try new things (yes even vegetables) and can now write his name (sort of) It was a year for his first "report card" and my first parent teacher conference. I was told by his teachers that Evan is a very proud little boy and likes to do things his own way. This stubborn streak he clearly get's from his father (although I am sure he would argue with me on this). Evan took his little jobs in school very seriously and would get his feelings hurt pretty quick if something bad would happen. Over the whole year he only had a few bumps with having to sit in the "thinking chair" mainly for not sharing. If I sound like I am bragging I am (he is my child and it's my duty). As for me I watched Evan grow from a shy tender spirited little boy to a humble and of so smart and curious 4 year old. I think he enjoyed science the best and still sings the "Sticky sticky bubble gum" song every day. I know school has been so good for him as he is a true problem solver and likes and maybe even needs to be challenged mentally. I can already catch glimpses of him doing his homework probably not needing much help from me (if he does he is in trouble since I can barely add 2+2). I am so proud of him. My baby. All grown up. Sort of he is just 4 but still. You all know what I mean.
And then there was Ryan. I type this with a smile on my face because it pretty much sums up his year as well. He was so excited and anxious to go to school with Evan this year. He only cried a few times when it was time to leave him with his teachers, Ms. Ann and Ms. LaDonna who were also just as wonderful. The first few weeks the only tricky part was he refused and I mean REFUSED to have his diaper changed. It was a puzzle to us all since he never gave me any trouble at home nor had I seen him refuse having his diaper changed. It was a mystery for about two weeks and I had visions of having to go into school every time Ryan needed his diaper changed, when the mystery resolved itself. Turns out the teachers would put on latex gloves when changing diapers that Ryan immediately associated latex gloves with being at the doctors office and getting a shot (He had a round of ear infections last summer and shots were probably still fresh in his mind). When he finally said or rather sobbed to his teachers and the words "no globes" tumbled out did she realize the issue. So, for Ryan's tushy no gloves. Problem solved. Thank goodness for understanding preschool teachers...
Ryan who has always been in his own silly little world seemed to also benefit this year, especially being around other kids his own age and not in the shadow of his brother. I would watch him sometimes after dropping him off and he would always go right to the circles of friends sit down and just join in. I see a born leader in Ryan (once again exercising my bragging rights). He marches to his own tune but is sweet and so freaking adorable that kids seemed drawn to him. This of course not always the case as Ryan too has his issues of not wanting to share, a couple pushing issues and my personal favorite Spitting. I had to work with him a few times on listening to his teachers and using "kind and gentle" hands. When I dropped him off in September he was still in diapers still had baby chunk and still napped every day. Now he is fully potty trained, has lost most if not all of his baby fat (waaaahhhhhhh....) and doesn't nap every day like he used to. He is a boy now, a growing boy and I am so proud of him.
As for me here is what I will miss and of course not miss:
I won't miss the craziness of trying to get out of the house on time despite my best efforts to have everything packed the night before.
I won't miss scouring the house for their shoes as I can never ever find them on those oh so famous late days.
I won't miss making and packing lunches as it gets hard to get creative with variety for two little boys who only want to eat chocolate pudding.
I won't miss always over looking the notices sent home in their folders as to what's happening this week. Many oh times I had to scramble to come up with show and tells, projects and operation shoe box so my child won't be left out and therefore permanently scared for life. Next year I will have to do better at actually reading what gets sent home and not just stacking on my calendar.
What I will miss...
Seeing the other Mom's in carpool line and making new friends.
The happy smiling faces of the boys when they see I have come to pick them up.
Getting good reports on either child and beaming with pride as I take them home convinced I am the best Mom in the world (this fake feeling of perfection only lasts about 3 minutes but I enjoy all the same).
And probably what I will miss most of all is that fro 3 days a week I had 4 hours all to myself. I wish I had some fantastic end of year accomplishment that I could show off proving I was indeed productive in my free time. The book that I starting writing years ago that I was convinced I would finish still lies unfinished and barely tweaked. The house isn't much cleaner (although I did create a "craft" cabinet one day and now all crayons, markers, coloring books and paint utensil have the same address). Yeah me!!
Nope, when all is said and done I think I spent the first half of the year with my free time wandering around Target. And the second half of the year wandering around the other side of Target. And now summer is here and my free time is gone. As I finish this post (finally I know) I realize that everything is going to be okay. That for the last 4 and 1/2 years I have had the complete honor and joy of being Ryan and Evan's Mommy. As they grow up and school hours turn into 6 hours a day 5 days a week I will savor this age, savor that I still get to be with them. Crazy as they make me sometimes....and I mean CRAZY crazy...when all is said and done I am alright with that!

Evan and Ryan on the last day of school.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Yes, they DO get a long.

When no one is looking, and the stars line up... Evan and Ryan really do seems to love each other as brothers. As a mother this warms my heart more than they will ever know. I had to post some pictures (most of them from after the played in their new pool and were wrapped up in towels) it's moments like this I am so grateful they have each other.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This little boy named Ryan.

When my first born Evan was a baby, I had a really hard time nursing him. My milk was slow to come in and he was a hefty 8 pounder who seemed to constantly want to eat. However as a new Mom I was determined to figure this out. I made several trips to the lactation consultant, spent hours with Evan trying to get him to latch on, applied lanolin on the few moment my boobs were on a break and did my best to eat healthy and keep pumping to help get my milk to come in faster. After the first few days at home with him and a diagnosis from the lactation nurse that Evan had a "Barracuda" latch technique and that I would just have to suck it up, I remember vividly standing in the shower hugging my sore and raw tender breasts and crying because I knew that a feeding wasn't far off and it was the absolute last thing I wanted to do.
Not wanting to nurisng Evan was an emotion I was not prepared for. I dread when it was his time to eat, I started favoring the bottle and on the time when I did get Evan latched on it hurt so much that I can't honestly say that I spent more time staring up at the ceiling counting to ten to help take my mind of the pain, then I did staring at him cradled in my arms. Where was all this in the "what to expect when you are expecting book" There sould have been a chapter on why I just wanted to run like hell when Evan began his hunger cry. I was a new Mom for only a few weeks and already I was a failure.
Of course eventually I realized that wasn't the case. I firmly believe God saw a moment to intervene and stepped in with giving Evan a milk allergy. I was no longer able to give him my breast milk and he was put on a Hypoallergenic formula fed through a bottle and in a nut shell problem solved. I sat back and relaxed a little and firmly believed that I would nerv have another moment of feeling like I was a failure as a parent again.
That is until Ryan, my second born turned 3. The past few weeks have been a challenge with him. He has more energy now at 3 than he did at 2 if that is possible. He is constantly trying to keep up with Evan which means lot's of frustration and lot's of temper tantrums. In typical 3 year old fashion he doesn't like to share, he thinks everything is his and he has learned anew trick which involves taunting his brother and instigating trouble where ever he turns. Now before I go on any further, let me clarify. I love this little boy. I love every ounce of him, I would lay down my life for this kid. But there are days where I find myself not looking forward to spending time with him. Just to even type that makes me feel like a big failure than I did not being bale to nurse Evan. This dawned on me yesterday while I assumed the position of standing in the middle of the kitchen massaging my temples while counting to 10 so I could figure out the best way to handle how to handle Ryan who is in front of me on the floor throwing one of his famous tantrums. I know this is a aprt of the deal. Toodlerhood/ early preschool years are full of changes for these little guys and when you have an older brother who seems a second faster than you are and is able to communicate better than I can see why it would lead to lot's of frustration and anger. I just don't know how to handle it anymore. I am your classic case of woman on the egd of a nervous break down if I hear Ryan scream yell of whine any more. Where did my sunny and bubbly little boy go?? I see glimpses of him from time to time. Especially when he is sleepy and he wants to cuddle in my lap. yup, that is him. But how do I hep him get through this phase. How can I be patient enough for him and learn more tolerance because quite frankly I am running out. The familiar feelings of failing one of my boys creeps and and surrounds me. It probably something I need to squash and just get over myself but my challenge with Ryan lately is leaving me tired, frustrated and I will just be honest - depressed. Once again where is this in the "What to expect - The Toddler years."
So I do the best I can.. On some days I have more tolerance than others and I do my best to explain to Ryan why he can't have a certain toy or a certain food (usually cookies). I do my best to react fairly to every situation and try and encourage Ryan to feel good about himself even when he is in the throws of acting out. I praise his energy and love his enthusiasm on everything even when I am bone tired and using safety pins to keep my eye lids open. I hug him probably more now than I did ever before because I want him to know that no matter how mad I get with him or how frustrated he can make me, I love him unconditionally and always will. I hope deep down he knows that. And I hope for myself, even deeper down that I will realize that I am not a failure. I am just a Mom, hanging on with both hands through this storm of parenthood, glimpsing at moments that really do remind me, this is the ride of my life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Our Spring Break in Florida. April 2009

For Spring break this year, we ventured to Sebastian Florida for a week with Chris's folks. The trip served two purposes. One, Chris had business in Orlando and since his folks live about an hour from their we decided to turn it into a family adventure to let the kids see "Geema" and "Papa" I was too happy about this since it meant I would have help with the kids while Chris was at his conference, and maybe, just maybe I might be able to sneak away by myself to the beach kid free.

The week was wonderful. A solitude beach day did not happen but I was able to join Chris for two days at his resort in Orlando. So sitting pool side with my book and a cold beer was not quite the beach, but darn close enough.

Poolside Bliss, my view for a day of peace...

The kids loved seeing their Papa and Geema. I really think a change of scenery for them as well as a change in routine was desperately needed. As a parent I am so focused on making sure their schedules and routine's are solidly in place, but as they get older I am realizing that shaking things up a bit works too. And in fact it's quite fun. The boys got to go fishing with Papa, helped him around the yard with watering plants and feeding the birds (including a sandhill crane).

The famous sandhill crane

They also got to participate in a Hermit crab race (I thought I had heard everything until that was announced at a local restaurant). So yes, after we ate we walked over to the "race table" and the boys picked out two crabs each for racing. It was hilarious, silly, unexpected, something we would have never done in Charlotte so it was downright perfect.

Hermit Crab race...Too funny!

We were also able to spend some time at our favorite hang out spot in Sebastian. A place called Capt Hirams Resosrt. It's a hotel, marina, sandbar restaurant and giant tiki bar all wrapped into one. It's true heaven. They make awesome cheeseburgers and conch fritters, have ice cold beer and usually some one strumming a guitar amongst the swaying of the palm trees. When I die, I want to be buried there. Hehehe... It's just a great place to be.

Chris relaxing at Hirams.

Our journey of course was not with out hi-cups. Our first error in decision making occurred the night before we left when too tired to pack (we will just knock it out in the morning was our naive attitude) we also weren't intelligent enough to realize that the entire eastern seaboard was also on spring break. This did dawn on us around Columbia, SC where the stop and go traffic became more and more frequent, along with the RV's, packed down SUV's and min vans just to name a few. Then right around Brunswick Georgia, it happened. The dead stop traffic jam on I-95. No cars were moving. We sat their for a good 10 minutes before realizing we weren't going anywhere. We were indeed screwed.

The funny thing about being dead stopped on I-95 with a hundred strangers is that they really aren't strangers at all. After engines were turned off and people got outform their cars, friendship emerged. Chris quickly made friends with another "Traveling Dad" who had the same "God help me" look on his face, that Chris shared. Come to find out he was traveling with his family of 3 kids, his wife and his mother in law from South Carolina to Orlando for a week at Disney. It takes a lot for Chris to give a male stranger a big support bear hug, and a "I love you man" chant but this was one of those moments. A bro-roamncce on I-95 formed right in front of my eyes. It was quite sweet.
The car behind us, one of those smart cars a Toyota Prius (or something along those lines) where an older couple who's sunny outlook of their journey also to Orlando was still written all over their faces. "we aren't stopping until we see Mickey Mouse" was their statement. They were kid free, and their car looked way to clean so I only smiled at them from afar. I have since lost my ability on how to relate to anyone who doesn't at least have two week old french fries on their floor board.
The SUV in front of me was the same family where Chris and befriended the Dad. The mom was hanging out of the passenger window waving me over. The boys were oddly obliviously to the traffic stop, and were happy coloring. I wandered up one car to say hello to this lady. As I reached her two medium sized heads popped out of the back window and began grilling me on where we were going, why was I wearing long sleeves and do I know who Batman is? I pegged the boys at about 7 or 8, older than mime but just as talkative. While the boys grilled me and I made small talk with the Mom I noticed the Mother in Law in the back of the SUV doing needlepoint and keeping an eye on a sleeping baby in the car seat in front of her. This indeed look like a full yet fun crew.
Lastly I realized that despite their reputation of being nice guys, truck drivers are indeed buttholes. Okay, maybe not all truck drivers, but the one we encountered certainly was. I guess I can't blame him, everyone knows he has a scanner and CB radio and probably has information on how long we are going to be stopped and what the cause of the back up is. I saw several people go up to his window and walk away shaking their heads. Through the window I could see his annoyed face and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. He looked tired and cranky and word began to spread not to bother him. Come to find out from 3 cars up (yes gossip can travel just as fast on I-95 as it can in a local high school) that there was an accident at mile marker 17 and the reason for the backup was because everyone was getting out of their cars and therefore causing the police to hold up traffic until the accident had been cleaned up. I than heard the truck driver honking it's horn and yelling out the window for everyone to get back in their cars. I guess he blamed us bored folks for wandering about for the long hold up. I would like to argue that it was the sea of stopped vehicles in front of us that was causing the back up but he was bigger than me so I did not bother.
After about a 45 minute stop traffic did indeed resume. When we passed mile marker 17about 5 minutes later no sign of an accident was there. Hmmm... It was a great mystery. But quite the experience all the same.
The rest of the trip down was long, tiring and well, long... What normally takes not quite 9 hours took us 11. Spring break traffic, construction and countless other stop start stop start traffic jams made for quite the long journey.

But made it we did, and the week was great. We got home in time for Easter Sunday and it was a great way to end a week of Florida sunshine, traffic friendships and most importantly routine shake ups which when all is said and done was my favorite part. Well okay the cold beer at the sandbar was my favorite part. But the smiling happy boys was a close second.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jackson is growing up

Hot stuff.

Ryan does one of his many tricks.


Yup, he is part of THIS family for sure.

My nephew is nine months now. Hard to believe. I have been sitting for him one day a week and it's been wonderful because Evan and Ryan have gotten used to him and understand that he is their cousin. Jackson thankfully has put it with them groping at him, trying to talk to him and in Ryan's case trying to constantly hug him. I would say that out of my two boys, Ryan has taken to Jackson the most. He loves to see him and be around him. he shows off for him, helps me feed him and is always trying to kiss and hug him. It's pretty darn sweet. The funny thing is Ryan just seems to have a knack with him, and other baies in general. He has a little soft spot for them. Makes me think that one day maybe he will work with or help kids. Remains to be seen.
Evan loves his cousin too, but is defiantly the "Older" kid. he has other things to do and stays buys doing his typical Evan projects. I am so glad they all get to be close and can grow up together. We are all so very lucky.

Three crosses

On April 4th the neighborhood I live in suffered a pretty tragic incident. I was not there at the time. We were on our way to Florida when my friend and neighbor called to tell me about a horrible car accident that took the lives of a Mom, her 3 year old daughter and a teenage boy.
I ma not sure why I am writing about this. I did not know any of the victims. I did see Cindy (the Mom) jogging from time to time but never got to meet her or her daughter. She was just one of those people in our neighborhood that I figured I would meet at some point in time especially since she had a small child. I do very vividly remember seeing her for the first time power walking when she was very pregnant. I was behind her but remember her because she had extremely long long brown hair which i admired as it swung back and fourth and she was out and athletic at that stage of pregnancy which just somehow made me think she was pretty cool.
In her death I am learning she was a former teacher, a very proud and devoted Mom and a choir director at a near by church. I didn't want to get to know her this way, but I have and I like to think that she and her daughter are together in heaven basking in his glory despite their abrupt and early ending.
The teenage boy lived for about a day and died at the hospital. He lived in South Carolina, not far form me and from his photos and tributes on facebook he looked like a great kid. good looking popular, young... It just doesn't make much sense. But then again many things in life never do.
I have lived in Riverpointe for over 3 years now and I can not think of one time when I have been pulling out of our entrance to cross 4 lanes of traffic at 55mph when I realized that we so desperately need a stop light there. The sad thing is many of us who also live her all knew this was coming. We just didn't know when... Sadly it has taken 3 deaths to finally take getting a stop light there seriously.
I am not going to way in on the politics of city and county budget, traffic laws and why a light has been on hold. I am not going to berate the driver of the car that caused the accident from a very poor decision to drag race. Although he did survive the accident his life has ultimately changed for ever. he has to live with 3 lives gone on his conscious. I don't think I would wish that on anyone.
I decided to write about this because for the last two weeks when I pull out of our neighborhood with extra caution I cross over a circle drawn on the pavement by the police which was the point of impact. Every day I drive over this for one reason or another and I find myself shaking my head at how quickly life can change. There is a man out there who lost his wife and only child. There is a family out there who has lost their teenage son and brother. So many people effected. Our community is just heartbroken. I write this because I want to focus on hope. I want to think that hope will get everyone who has been hurt by this to a better place of healing and closure. Even the ones like myself who is hurting over people I never knew.
The crosses are gone now. The drawings in the road are still there along with some skid marks and torn up grass in the median. I know that every time I pull in or out of my neighborhood I will think of what happened and try very hard not to play the "what if" game. What if it were me...what if it was my best friend, my sister, anyone... Because the truth is it was somebody and it didn't need to be.
So I cling to hope that lessons have been learned, drivers will be smarter and maybe one day a traffic light installed. In the mean time, when I cross over the drawing in the middle of the road I will send up a prayer to three people in heaven who have touched so many.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ryan's Birthday


There is a song by Neil Diamond called "Beautiful Noise" that makes me think of you. My pure bundle of beautiful noise and joy is the only way I know how to sum up such the incredible little boy you are.
You came to us as a surprise. After an experience with your brother where fertility treatments were involved and a sicken feeling in my gut that I would never be able to get pregnant without fertility help, you surprised me. With you, my Mommy instinct came early. On a whim and somewhat pure denial I found myself staring at the pregnancy test where within seconds you showed me you were here. Shock, utter shock and disbelief followed by the most amazing feeling of joy. Holy Cow I was going to be a Mommy again. I don't think you will ever know how happy you made me from that single moment staring at the pregnancy test. Your brother was barely 6 months old and we had just been though the highs and lows of 9 months, a birth and months of sleeping deprivation and adjusting to life with a baby. Then suddenly there you were and I kept the pregnancy test on the bedside table next to me for weeks so that I would wake up and see that you were there and I wasn't dreaming. Before too much longer you began to remind me you were here with the familiar feeling of fatigue and nausea. I began showing earlier and found myself turning into a pro at the doctor's appointments. Dr. Ward and his staff all knew me well by now and the first trimester I found myself riding a high of pure happiness and surprise.
We decided to find out if you were a boy or a girl, and upon hearing you were a boy my first thoughts traveled to Evan. I was so excited for him that he was going to have a brother to play with. It didn't take long for the idea that I was going to have Two boys to sink in either. We began referring to you both as "the boys" and it just felt right. Mommy's boys... And to this day I still say that.
You came into the world rather suddenly. A car accident sent Mommy into an early Labor and you arrived shortly after midnight 7 weeks early but a plump and feisty 5 pounder. I was so proud of you for being such a fighter such an incredible drive to breath on your own with only minimal help. Your stay in the NICU was tough. Mommy wanted to spend every second with you but your brother needed me too. When I would come visit we sat and rocked and I sang to you and tried not to cry. When the time came for us to bring you home I found myself determined to make you feel safe and loved. Your first year was hard... Mommy had to learn a new baby all over again. And I learned quick that you were very different than Evan. You were so little yet so strong. You were a cryer and didn't sleep well at first. You loved to be cuddled but sometimes even that didn't make you happy. I probably hovered over you too much. Having you come into the world the way you did... Mommy just didn't know how to stop hovering and eventually realized that I had no choice. Sometimes I would pick you up and hold you and relish in the miracle of you. And before too much longer you began to show signs of you. A smile that lit up your whole face, a constant amazed look on your face when you would watch Evan play. An early eagerness to sit up crawl and walk. You never let the fact that you were a bit smaller and a bit uncoordinated get you down. You have been and always will be my little fighter.
You are three now and the changes in you are amazing. You are talking more and more every day. You love anything and everything to do with a football, baseball, any ball really. You could spend hours in the backyard kicking a ball around. You are quiet at times but when you get excited and happy you let out the biggest belly laugh that makes my cheeks hurt because I am smiling so much. You refuse to try new foods and could eat Penne pasta with "Pizza" sauce for every meal. You have stared preschool now and I am so proud at you for being so brave and so good for your first year. You do have a temper and Mommy has to take cover if you don't get your way... Yet you love to give kisses when you realize someone is hurt and you love to hug kids smaller than you especially babies. You seem to have such a sweet and natural way with making babies happy.
My favorite moment with you Ryan is after you have gone to bed. Like your Daddy you are a night owl and you tend to stay up. When I go to check on you you give me the biggest smile and tell me you want to give Evan a good night kiss. So I pick you up and carry you into Evan's room who by now is long asleep. You lean down and give him a kiss and then you do you silly face with your fingers in your mouth sticking your tongue out. It is at that moment I relish in your silly heart. Your amazing sweet and silly heart and when I put you back in bed I laugh with you and tell you how much joy you are in my life.
You started off in this world as a surprise and on your 3rd birthday I have to tell you that you surprise me more and more every day with the way you are growing up and the little boy you are turning out to be. In fact right now you are playing with Evan but every so often you look at me and say "Hey's dinner time." and I smile at the sound of my beautiful little noise.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Evan's Birthday


You came to Mommy and Daddy on a Monday night. The first sight of you my eyes were filled with an image of chubby flesh and a red face as you cried your way into the world. "It's a boy" the doctors said but I knew. I somehow knew all along you were a boy. I am not sure how or why. I think even at early pregnancy the Mommy instinct had begun, and thus I just knew.

I didn't think I would ever be a Mommy. I didn't think I could get pregnant. No rhyme no reason just a few bumbs along the way. But with the doctors help and the Lord's prayer you arrived into my life and changed me forever. I knew I loved you upon sight. But I didn't really fall in love with you until I looked in your eyes and saw your spirit My Evan. So beautiful so sweet so perfectly mine. You gave us a scare at 4 days old. You had a seizure and stayed in the hospital for 5 days. We were unable to bring you home with us when we left the hospital and I get my first taste of feeling completely vulnerable and utterly terrified that I would not be able to protect you. I would sleep with the receiving blanket that you were wrapped in and prayed for you. You were thankfully okay and we brought you home to begin our journey as a family.

We were beginners you see. Eager and excited but completely untrained Your Daddy and I were flying only on pure instinct and pure gut. You showed us that patience is everything and sleep would eventually come back. You showed us that holding you wrapped warm in a blanket was your favorite place to be you had no idea how many times Mommy and Daddy just stared at you in amazement. Your first hiccup after the seizure was a dairy allergy. We had to switch you to a special formula which somehow you seemed to scarf down at every meal despite how bad it smelled to Mommy and Daddy. You began to amaze us a bit more every day as you started to stay awake longer and found your way around your world with long eye gazes and my favorite, your first smile. For the longest time Daddy was the only one who could make you laugh. Mommy was so jealous.... But she got over it. Especially when you were upset and Mommy's arms was the only place you wanted to be. As you grew your personality came out in such neat ways. You seemed to like order and everything had a special place. You were fascinated with Tupperware and loved to stack things in a simple line. I began to see bits and pieces of Daddy in you as you brainstormed and problem solved where every little piece of your play toys belonged.

Your first word was "dog" and your favorite toys were cars. You loved stealing my cell phone, and sometimes calling people without your knowledge (or mine). When you were 6 months old Mommy and Daddy learned you were going to be a big brother. We wrote the news on your tummy with a sharpie pen and handed you to your grandparents for them to discover this when they changed your diaper. It was a great way for you to tell them. You didn't seem to like change, especially with food. You preferred your bottle over Jarred baby food. and I didn't think I would ever get you to learn to eat off a spoon. You first solid food was cheerios and Mommy discovered the pure bliss of being able to plop you down in your high chair with cheerios while she made dinner (or watch a Friends episode on T.V.).

You have had so many wonderful first since then. Your first Christmas, your first Birthday. A car accident where you were very scared but thank god you were okay. We moved into a new house and brought home your new baby brother when you were just a year old. You were so sweet Evan. If you were jealous you only showed me in small doses. You really handled that so well. After Ryan got bigger and got into your toys, that was a different story. You didn't like sharing at first and Mommy had to come to terms with the concept of "tough love" You began getting time outs and every now and then a spanking. But as Ryan grew and you grew you began to tolerate him more and eventually looked at him as a friend. Meanwhile more and more of your spirit would come out in so many wonderful ways. You have such a tender little heart. You are kind and quietly observant of everything going on a round you. You still like for things to have a special order and God forbid Mommy comes into your room and messes with things. I love that you stick up for yourself yet you still love to crawl in my lap and snuggle for a long time.

You have change so much in the past year. You talk all the time now and right now you seem to love anything about science. Outer Space, nature....even bugs. You have such a great big heart and you seem to get your feelings hurt pretty easily. At the end of the day after Daddy has put you to bed you always call for me after about 10 minutes so you can show me the stars from your window. You say you want to fly to the moon when you grow up and I kiss you on the head and tell you you can be anything you want to be.

That's my wish for you Evan. For you to be anything you want to be. I want you to follow your heart and follow you dreams and find what makes you happy and live your life to the fullest. I say to you every now and then that you will always be my baby and that will never change. You are four now and I know you are growing up more and more on my every day. But you and I have a special bond Evan. You made me a Mommy. And on your birthday I am reminded more and more of what a wonderful gift that truly is. Happy birthday baby boy. I love you more than you will ever know.