25 August 2015

our weekend routine

Now that Jack has started Kindergarten we are trying to find our new rhythm. One that can exist well with the busy weekends that go along with your daddy being a pastor. One that still allows for moments like these...




Granted, work-weekends are all this kiddo has ever known. And until this month we have enjoyed his Friday day off as our family day and tried to do something fun. Or run errands. Or stay in our jammies until 2pm, take your pick. 

But now that our pace is quickening and our schedules are filling (and will be for the rest of his time in our home) I find myself mourning the loss of carefree Fridays where there wasn't a places to be. But it's inevitable, that pace of life. And our boy has always thrived in a fast pace (he inherited that gift.) and this week has loved every school and all that it includes.

He has loved play time, recess time and snack time. He loves learning, meeting the other kiddos and making friends. I love watching him grow.

He did get his first bee sting yesterday. The First Bee Sting is a monumental moment for me. It's a big deal. And somehow in 5 years of life he has not once gotten stung, but he did yesterday. In effort to fight off the bee, he said. He was on the monkey bars and swung his legs in effort to hit it and, well, you can imagine what happened next.

When I heard that story I had such an array of feelings. I felt proud of him for handling his first war wound solo (he did tell me he cried. He doesn't cry a ton when he gets hurt, so it must have hurt badly.) and no one was there to help him so he had to go and find someone. I felt my stomach drop as I wished I had been there to see and comfort him while we put a bandaid on it. It was my first Mom Moment of the school year (probably not the last) being apart from my brave boy. I blubbered to John about it last night, thinking about him all alone on the playground, most likely in a pool of shameless cries as he has always been more afraid of getting a bee sting than the actual sting.  But more than that, I felt myself entering into this new season of life with my boy where he experiences so many, many things apart from me and that is how it's meant to be. He wasn't meant to be within eyeshot, earshot, (yell shot. just being honest.) forever. He's meant to cross those monkey bars, get a bee sting and cry and feel better on his own. He's ready. So begins the journey of him needing me less and less and as bittersweet as that is, it's time. It's meant to happen. 

It may just take me a few weeks (maybe years) to get used to, okay? 



And for the most part, Zoey enjoys being home. She misses her pal and playmate, but has loved starting to do little school things and has returned to her afternoon nap (thank You Lord!)

So we're finding it. Our groove, our rhythm, our ever-changing pace in life. This old mama has a harder time adjusting to the change, but I'm trying to embrace it.

21 August 2015

the time with the mud

between 6 and 7pm the sun starts to descend and the air cools. it's one of our favorite times of the day.
the kids escape to the backyard and explore every inch of land that our fence holds. 

this particular day it was quiet. too quiet. but we were tired and if i remember correctly i was taking a 7pm snooze on the couch and the screen door was open to hear any chaos that may be happening. john was catching up on the news. we heard laughter but we weren't quite expecting this. and not jack, but zoey. somehow the binky joined the fun and somehow she had in caked in her hair. she wouldn't come out at first when i called her name. she was hiding from me. when she saw me i couldn't help but laugh. snap a picture and laugh. oh, kids.



but let's be real. we're in a drought! so of course the kids were told they couldn't play with whatever any more. 

19 August 2015

day 1


Today our boy started Kindergarten.




Last night we had a little family feast (nothing special, just burgers and watermelon.) We shared our hopes for this year (very briefly cause there was chocolate cake to be had, people.) and at each turn Zoey was quick to say, "I in Kindergarten too!" or "What about me?"



He said he can't wait to wear his backpack and play on the playground at recess (though he has been informed he can't go on the monkey bars until he's in first grade. who knew?) Our little bird is having a hard time adjusting and just can't understand why/how Jack can go somewhere without her. They have become dear friends and each other's favorite playmate since we've moved. They create the best stories and are always onto the next adventure. I am excited to see how Zoey grows this year and the different areas she changes as she's able to have her own opinions without the strong influence of an older sibling. ha.

After an early start to the day (Jack has to be at school at 8:15 and its about a 20 minute drive.) Zoey has taken a nap (been a very long time since that) and Jack has had a quiet afternoon. They only went until 11am the first day, but tomorrow it's a full day of school and learning.

The imminent routine of school life has been taunting me all summer long as we sleep in every morning, stay up waaay too late and our days are full of a fun, easy going (and mostly free) pace. I know routine is good and that kids thrive on it and even I prefer it, but establishing the routine is the real burden and getting there takes a lot of sacrifice and choices. Right choices. But we'll establish it and I will embrace it, what else is there to do? ;)



And I am certain Zoeybird will learn to love life in her own skin. Meeting her new friends and going on little adventures all her own. But if she's anything like her mama, she'll always prefer the company of a good friend over that of flying solo. Maybe not, who knows.


But here goes, 2015. The beginning of something new. Let's not talk about the continued summer heat or that I still firmly believe school should not start until after labor day. We'll just roll with it.


15 August 2015

birdie


I write a whole lot about our Jackboy. He's always bursting into new seasons of life and I follow him, sometimes willingly and sometimes dragging my feet. Each stage is a new learning curve for the whole family. We've never had a 5-almost-6-year old. We're newbies every single day. (bless those first borns. bless you.) We try all our new parenting tactics out on his precious heart and sometimes it's a win and sometimes it's an unfortunate (and apologetic) fail on our parts. With Zoey, we adapt, but it's not the first time. When it's a hard day I say to John, "don't you remember when Jack went through this?" or "she's responding so different than Jack." And we laugh and reminisce and say a thankful prayer that we're not newbies with our dear second born.



Thus, the reason why I started writing in the first place (other than to document and reflect on this journey called motherhood) was to help balance the feelings of what-on-EARTH-is-happening with the these-moments-pass-so-quickly. 

And yet, I want our little Birdie girl to look back and see her milestones reflected on as well.

like the moments when she smiles at me and says, "I brave, Mommy."
or when she sees a new dress I got her and claps her hand over her mouth. "oh, my goodness! it's beautiful!!" she squeals in the highest pitch voice you ever did hear.

I also love hearing her little vocabulary grow and develop. We still have a few milestones to reach on that and we will keep working hard, but every day I hear a new word I didn't hear before and thanks to her and her brother's imaginative play, their dialogue has gone from a few words to puppy playmates. (they're currently pretending they are adventure puppies in the next room.) He's so good for her and she for him. They tend to each other's little friendship soul and encourage one to be a bit more rough and the other to be a little more gentle.



Zoey is fiercely loyal to her big brother and can often be found defending him on the playground, "don't you say that to my BRUVER! you a monster!" And a smack may or may not follow.

Or recently, when we tried out a new babysitter (it did not go well.) and she informed us when we got home that she is concerned about our little girl because she tried to choke this babysitter. In defending her brother who was getting in trouble. I'm not saying it was right, but I am saying that to be scared of this petite 3 year old is funny all in itself.

She's spunky and sassy and sweet and sensitive. She's nurturing and cuddly and loves to sing and dance.

I think the hardest thing to watch during this move was the way she's grown to dislike babies. She's not as forward as Jackboy is and tends to keep to herself for a little bit. Her feelings have been hurt so many times in meeting new friends and one can only be called a "baby" so many times. She toughs it out and keeps going back into the ring, but I see her reject little babies who she used to welcome with open arms. Maybe its part of her age and development, but she doesn't want to be a baby and doesn't want to play with babies. Maybe it's just a phase.

They may or may not have come up with a game at Chick Fi Lay called Team Rocket. Which they decided meant to push babies.

I can't make this stuff up.


I love watching her grow and become more of a little girl every day as the toddler phase slowly leaves us. Though I am glad I can still carry her when she's sleeping or cuddle her when she's sad.

The other day she watched Dumbo for the first time. When Baby Mine came on she yelled my name over and over. "Mom! it's your song!" I don't sing it to her every night, but when she was a little baby I used to sing it to her all the time. I rushed in so we could watch it together. (and then proceeded to have a good cry for that moment and other goodbyes to birth mom's that breaks my heart.) She hasn't asked to watch that movie again and I don't blame her. Why is it so sad?


songs that remind me of you, little Bird.

14 August 2015

adjusting


I love a lot of things about this new place.

I love the consistent breeze that flows throughout our house the minute that sun is lower.
I love how the trees are green and they pretend they get rain to their roots, but we're on to the drought (and the ridiculous water bills to keep grass green.)
I love the fig tree in our yard and the orange tree on the side of the house. I love knowing we can be whisked away to the beach or to the city for cooler weather.

There have been, however, a few learning curves for this banana shaped place. Besides being a little too keen on itself and a little ahead of it's time, it also requires reusable bags wherever you go. Even Marshalls. I still, to this day, have a hard time remembering my bags when I go into Target. and I don't like wasting money, even if it is .10 a bag. That's been an adjustment.

Another awakening was today at the DMV to register our vehicle. There is a charge for every day you don't register your car here in Cali. Even if you had prior registration that was not expired. My goodness. After a doozy of a ticket the innocent bystander asked if I would like help with anything else to which I couldn't help but reply "Nope! You guys took all my money, there's nothing left!" ha. She chuckled. Then she asked for our previous state title for our vehicle so she could destroy it and issue us a california title. I knew my conspiracy theory husband would not like that idea so I told her that was not going to happen. Then she asked for our old license plates so she could destroy those. I told her thank you very much that will not be happening either. I'm still not sure why I put up such a fight about those. I mean, I do. I'm sentimental and so is my boy. I imagine he'll want those hung in his bedroom later this year.

Oh, Cali. You are luring with your beautiful coastline, dangerous earthquakes, repetitive weather and billowing trees that waves at us all day long. I like you, I do, but maybe it's the rebel in me. Or the old small town girl. I just can't trust you yet. This summer has been hot and I am sure you will try to woo me with your winter 70 degree days. I'll do a reevaluation then, don't worry. But for now, go easy on us, okay? Particularly in the potential 100 degree weather thats supposed to come tomorrow.


02 August 2015

kindergarten

Can it be? Are you really about to start Kindergarten?
Where has the time gone, my boy?

As I reflected on the upcoming life-change and monumental moment for my boy I couldn't help but wonder (and doubt, as I do. just being honest.) Have I taught him enough? not in the typical letters and numbers sort of way. The kid is an information vacuum and loves to learn. he's the same kid who asks questions like, "why does the moon change sizes? how do planes work? what were some of your mess ups as a kid?" 

but i wonder (or perhaps worry) have we practiced honesty enough? treating others the way you like to be treated? sweet Jack, we've practiced for the last five years how to use gentle hands, how to use words when we're upset, how to problem solve, find root emotions, sing songs to ward off bad moods and find comfort in blue blankets and bee bees (his beloved pacifier. RIP.) We've learned the joy of dance parties and bath time, Thomas the train, playmates, oreo eating, long walks and car-running in the house and/or backyard. we've practiced so much, my boy, and yet i can't help but wonder, are you ready? have we laughed enough? have we played pretend, read enough books together, taken enough naps together, made up stories, built forts, put together puzzles, created paint masterpieces and jumped through creeks enough?



have you tasted enough adventure? i'm sorry for how many times i've asked you to slow down or be careful, you know i just love you and want you to be safe, right? 
did we read up enough on how thunderstorms start and what an earthquake is? 
did i listen to your dreams?
did i draw your heart out enough? your tender, spirited little heart that has lots of feelings that you're learning to express well. 
i sure hope we did. i do love those moments with you.

you're getting faster, kiddo. your legs are strong and swift and your feet hit the ground at just the right beat. i watch you dart across yards, across monkey bars, down and up slides. i see you there, with never ending energy that only ends when your head hits that pillow. but oh, my boy, you will stay awake as long as i will sing and your questions just keep flowing. i see you dozing, your eyes getting heavy, but you come alive in those late night chats and every secret of the day unfolds and suddenly you have undivided attention (as your baby sister is long gone as soon as the lights are out. it is 10pm after all.) 
you ask, "are you old? i wish i could stay young forever."
and 
"i had a scary dream, do you want to hear it?"
or
"i wish mater was here."



and suddenly, those chats will have to be cut short as school starts and our wakeup call will be much earlier than the 9am you typically roll of out bed. 

i wonder, do you feel ready? do you know how life will change for the next several years? school starting marks such a beautiful beginning of independent life and i am so excited for your journey and to watch you grow and change.
time with you is precious, my son. and time is catching up to us and here we are. five years in and i love you more each day. being your mama is an adventure and never lacking excitement and laughter. you're funny and kind and know a good friend when you see one.
i see you, goose. 
i see you choosing good friends on the playground,
sharing that toy with Zoey,
creating incredible pretend play with your friends.
learning how to read and feeling deeply about the characters in the book or in a good movie,
singing your prayers to Jesus at night about how much you love Him and how big He is.
i see you, pal, using the coping skill of laughter to help someone feel better when they're sad. choosing to see the bright sad in tough situations and being protective and encouraging when things are tough. even when you're the one who is disappointed.





i can't wait to see you travel through this next adventure. to learn how to read and write, to learn about science and math and how to master those monkey bars. you will love it.

love you, goose. my wingman and the one who taught me how to be a mama. 
mama


some of my favorite songs that remind me of you: 

beautiful boy

blackbird

father and son

blue eyed son


31 July 2015

big 3-3

birthdays continue on, even in new places.  even apart.
there's a very special little one whose birthday is on the 7th of july. we celebrated it from thousands of miles away, but we prayed for her, thought about her and wished we were close to her. she turned one and i can hardly believe we've been in this adoption journey for a year already! our love for her has grown so greatly in our hearts and we can't wait when we can celebrate with her. we think of her every day and pray (and beg) that next year we will have her in our arms to celebrate. Here's a vague, but real picture of her celebrating her 1st birthday far, far away, over ocean and land at 10pm at night. hopefully, one day soon, we won't have to be so vague and we can shout it from the rooftops (and Facebook posts ;) 
next year, little one.



and on the 11th we celebrated this guy and the 33 years he's been on earth.



here's jack quoting spanky when he says "i'm not hearing this. i'm not hearing this,"


i wish i could express how much he really means to me and how as each year passes i grow to love him more and more. we've found a rhythm together and he's encouraged me to be the best version of myself. he stretches me, believes in me and challenges me to try new things and take good risks. he's loyal, respectful and a man of integrity. i love living life with him. it's never boring and definitely never lacking tasks (which sometimes goes against my chill-and-relax personality) but we've learned to meet in the middle and that a balanced life needs both. i will say, those laugh lines that curve around the sides of his eyes are from a lot of laughing and smiling. he lives life full and well. 


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