Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm a little crazy today.

Okay, lately I've been a little crazy most days.  But my sweet baby Lincoln, who usually sleeps all night, robbed me of an hour and a half of sleep in the wee hours of this morning.  So that's where it started.

Then I slept too long, which drives me crazy because my morning to-do list gets short-changed.

So now I'm sitting with Bree, doing schoolwork.  And she's having a day.  Nothing is right.  All she has to do is draw pictures of things that start with the letter A.  It's not an art contest.  It's an exercise on what the letter A sounds like.  The apple went fine.  But when she decides to draw an alligator, everything is an insurmountable challenge.  "But Mom, I don't know how to draw the scales!"  "But Mom, look at this toe!  There's no room for me to color it in!"  After my attempt to simultaneously feed Lincoln and teach Bree doesn't work, I put Lincoln in his crib, and send Mason out of the room because I can't take him literally hanging on my chair anymore.  Then I come back in to sit by Bree, and I say, "Okay, let's take some deep breaths to relax.  Close your eyes, and breath in...and out.  In... and out."  I open my eyes because Bree is whimpering and throwing a mini tantrum.  "What, Bree?  What is wrong?" 

"Mom, it's just," (eyes wide open and threatening tears) "my throat is dry!"

I laugh, because I really want to cry.  And then Bree kicks me because she thinks I'm laughing at her.

And now she's in the corner.

But when she comes out, she'll do better.  She's pretty good at turning herself around after a little disciplinary check.  And she really is a great student.  99% of the time.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Papa's Arms

One of my boys tends to get a little bit jealous of the other.
But, thankfully, there's room enough in Papa's arms for both of them.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lincoln's Heroes

It was a big day.  The Walk for Down Syndrome.  As it approached, I kept busy with preparations, gathering donations, planning our overnight stay with Adam and Heather, helping my mom design t-shirts.

So when the actual morning came, and we were pulling up to the Tempe Diablo Stadium, my emotions got the better of me.  I hadn't really been able to prepare for that.  I can't pinpoint what it was exactly that brought the tears on, but as we walked through the parking lot, I had so many things running through my mind.

"This is one of those moments."  One of my baby's "firsts" that doesn't have a convenient pre-made page in a baby book. 

Here it is, an induction party for another club that I hadn't planned on joining.

I'm now officially one of those moms.  A special-needs mom.

And no, none of these feelings were new.  They became a part of my life on April 15th.  But most of the time, they stay quietly in the background.  Life is consumed by the day-to-day, which is mostly unchanged, busy, and wonderful.  It just caught me off guard at this moment.

But it passed quickly.  The good stuff called.

The kids all looked adorable in the matching shirts my mom made.  Our friends were able to join us too, and Bree and Mason were thrilled to see their pals who recently moved to Mesa.

And the huge blow-up toys provided nonstop fun.

The kids tried their hand at some carnival games.

And won some fabulous prizes.

Then it was time for the "big walk"--and let me tell you, these guys know how to do it right.

Everybody lined up under the balloon arch to start walking.  Lincoln cracked his eyes open for a little while.  He sensed something momentous was about to happen.

And someone yelled "Ready, set, walk!" into the microphone.  And we started our leisurely stroll around the baseball field.

It was so leisurely, that volunteers handed out free Blue Bell ice cream as we passed by.

And things got a little sticky.

 But we made it through.

Look at that group of heroes.

Lincoln is one lucky kid.
The ginger Superman agrees.

Bree wheedled her way into the hearts of all the superheroes.

And Mason rode in the cute mini-UPS truck to round out the day.

One walk down, many more to go.  Bring it on.

Bree's Big Adventure

Over a month ago, Bree went with my mom on a trip to Washington state, to see where I grew up, and keep my dad company when he wasn't working in his office in Seattle.  They had non-stop fun, and I am insanely jealous.  I interviewed Bree while we looked at the pictures from her trip.  I think it's hilarious what stands out as memorable to a five-year-old!

Tell me about your trip to Washington, Bree.
I gotted to sleep in Grandma's room!  And when Grandma was sleeping, I tickled her feet. *Giggle*  It made her laugh!

Tell me about this picture.
That's Uncle Bob's farm.

That was his thing for me to play on so I don't get bored...that rocking horse thing.

And after that, Rocket (the horse) runned a little bit.  He made me laugh!  I went "hyuh-yuh-yuh-yuh" when I went up and down!

What else did you do at Uncle Bob's farm?
We roasted hot dogs, but no marshmallows.  And there was yummy, yummy juice!

What about this picture?
Um, that was in a forest.  It's really pretty and green in the forest.
What did you do there?
We were looking around.  It was very pretty.  And those things that sting...they were around!  What are those called?
Stinging nettles.
Sting metals were around.

And when we went to Grandma's old, old, old, old house, where you used to live, and Uncle Adam?  Someone, um, pushed the door open, and they went to the side and they took something out of Grandma's old, old, old, old, old house!  And there was a dead rat in it...Gross.

And what about here?
I was feeding the seagulls.
I fed them with crust.  They liked it a lot.
Were they nice?
Actually, they weren't very nice.  One time they caught my finger on the piece of bread.  Ouchie.   The sharp beak.  Ouchie.  Did you get bit by a seagull once?
I don't think so...

That's me riding on the train to Papa's working place.
It was really fast!

That's Grandma taking a picture where Papa's office is close by, I think.
 There was a really big view up there.  Beautiful!
 That's where Papa works.  That's his office.

Tell me about the ferry.
It was fun.
And I met my old, old Grandma I saw when I was only a baby.  Papa's mother.  She is my great-grandmother.  But her husband kinda passed off.
Passed on?
Mmm hmm.
Do you know what that means?
Um, gone to heaven.
That's right.  So you took a ferry to see Great-Grandma?  What was the ferry like?
It was really windy.  And I petted a few dogs there.

Tell me about Enchanted Village.

Mom, there was a little roller coaster, and it went super-duper fast, and I screamed! ...I rided the merry-go-round...There was this little water park that I played in, and there was water slides, and they made a big "Kaboosh!"; a big splash.  That was the funnest part of the Enchanted Village.  I didn't ride the bump cars, because I was too little.  You get to bump right into each other!

Hey, um, Mom?  There used to be a little wading pool by the library, but it was too dangerous for little kids, because some might not know how to swim.  They ruined the wading pool and then they putted a little water park in there.
That's the water park.  Yep, that's me!  I played, and there was those little frogs that shooted water.  Turtles too...That's me on the teeter-totter.  Those boys thought I was little, but my Grandma said, "You can go fast."

There was this sand place...Sand box.  With tons of sand.
Grandma said there were big boys there that were trying to kick over your sand castle.  Do you remember that?
What happened?
We made islands, and the boys were taking the sand out of the sand box.
What did you do?
We didn't say "Get outta here, boys."
What did you say?
We said, um, "We're building this castle, but why are you taking the sand out of the sand box?  Even though there's water in it, it doesn't mean you can take the sand out of it.
Then what happened?
They joined us!  And they helped us build the sandcastles and lands...So we used our words.  I made some new friends there too!

That's an aquarium.  Sharks, and fishies.

Those seahorses are cute.  I never seen a seahorse before.  And I feeled some starfish and some crabs and stuff.
And what was that like?
It was kind of fuzzy.  And kind of weird, because I never felt any sea-creatures before.

That's me riding a camel for the very first time!  It was fun!  Kind of like riding a horse, but not as fast.

That is a zoo.
And that's a red fox.  And those are two lover-monkeys.

That's me at the zoo, leaving.  And that's cotton candy...I love cotton candy!  Grandma doesn't like cotton candy.  The green cotton candy is lime.  I never had lime cotton candy before.

That's Marie.
That's the leash that came with Whitey.  Whitey is my...she's my doggie.  She's my special, special doggie that has a bow on it.

That's Poochie, my little doggie that Grammy bought me, so I don't be bored.

That's how big Papa's catfish was.  It was pretty huge.  It can swallow Papa's hand!

That's Bunbun's birthday, remember?  Cute name, huh?
How old is Bunbun?
Um, she's two.  In a few more weeks, she's gonna be three.

Pictures: July 27th - August 9th

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where did August go?

Life has been whizzing by at an unforgivable rate.  When August turned to September without me noticing, I could not remember what I had been doing for the past month.  Good thing I took a few pictures.  It's sad that when I look at these photos, I think, "Oh yeah, I vaguely remember that..."


August 8th: I try to capture Lincoln's smile.  
Must work on baby-photography skills.

But Mason proves to be a more cooperative subject.

August 15th: Bree arranges her stuffed animals on her bed and then makes me cover my eyes as she leads me into her room for the big reveal.

August 17th: Bree reads a book to Lincoln.  My heart melts.

August 18th: I help Mackenzie throw a baby shower for our friend Sarah.  It rocked.

August 31st: Our town watches our hills burn.  And burn and burn.  (This is the view out our kitchen window)  My allergies hated me.

And then my good friend and business partner, Amy, moved away, which, in addition to making me a little depressed, left me with a booth at the Farmers' Market to handle.  And I took on the Market newsletter  too.

What was I thinking?

In the end, August is just a memory now.  Memories that I barely got around to documenting.  And most of the details will be lost in the corners of my crazy stressed-out brain.  But when I look at these photos, even if I can't exactly recall the when and what, I'll remember the feelings.  Feelings of being a mom, capturing my kids' childhoods, loving my family, trying to be a good friend... living this life of mine.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

We did so much more this weekend than play Twister.  We stayed at Adam and Heather's place, along with my parents, to enjoy a rare holiday weekend when Chad actually had time off.

Heather, my mom, and I had an awesome day filled with shopping...and no children!  We ate a leisurely breakfast at Mimis.  We browsed the aisles of Hobby Lobby, Joanns, Kirkland Home...all the places Chad hates the most.  We went to the movie theater and saw The Help.  And we returned to Adam's place tired and happy.  And with full shopping bags.  Sunday we went to church with Adam and Heather.  We played lots of games.  We ate good food.  We enjoyed being a family.

But Twister was the only thing I took pictures of.
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