I remember the first birthday we celebrated together was your 24th! We went shopping together because you did not own a suit and I told you that you needed to start wearing one to church on Sundays.
We had only been dating 1 month and 1 day, but you went along with my preference.
Most of the birthday’s between then and now have been really stressful. Birthdays are just different when your (frequently pregnant) wife/children’s needs come before your wants.
Today, you woke up early with the kids because you agreed to let me shoot an early morning photography session.
Two hours of taking care of the children’s needs while mom was away, was followed by preparing yourself for your senior engineering group project (capstone). You could have met up with your group on Sunday, but your wife said that Sunday was not a good day to spend hours away from home and it was right in the middle of church. Again, you went along with my preference.
I’m so proud of all you have accomplished in the years since that first birthday we celebrated together.
Thank you for being such a great dad.
Thank you for agreeing to make your own birthday dinner – because I’m tired from all that I do.
Monday was meet the teacher, which Danny and I took him to. Wednesday I took all three of the kiddos up to the elementary for Wiley to be evaluated. Part of the reason teachers do that is to get that one-on-one time between new pupil and new teacher, building the relationship. It also gives the teacher a baseline for where he is right now in his education. Come parent/teacher night, she’ll be able to show mom and dad some quantitative evidence of his growing knowledge!
Wiley is so intellectually curious, I’m thrilled to have Mrs. S help supplement his education, while I parent the two littles. Wiley is also very social, so now I wont be responsible for entertaining him everyday. Already my sanity is improving.
Back in the spring when I told him about starting school in August, Wiley told me he didn’t want to go to school. I told him he would love it!! All summer we talked about school and I let him pick out his own clothes, backpack, lunchbox – all in effort to get this guy excited about school. Learning is fun, school is fun!!
Last night, I checked and double checked that Wiley’s backpack met the teacher’s checklist (towel for nap time, spare clothes for potty accidents)…
Kindergarten today – it was an early start 5:50 for mom, 6am for baby girl who heard mommy and Tyler soon followed. Wiley finally surfaced around 6:30.
Lunch was made, mommy got Wiley to eat something for breakfast while he stared blankly from his perch on the couch.
Wiley – “I’m not going to school if you don’t let me watch the show I want.”
Mom – “I’m sorry buddy, no TV before school, but would you like some chocolate milk to drink?”
Wiley – enthusiastic nodding
I had all four of us (mom, three kids under five years) dressed and in the car by 7:18am.
The car drop-off line was a tad hectic, but I knew it was just first day of school issues.
Kindergarten parents have the luxury (on day 1) of parking right in front of the office and walking their kids into their classroom. With overcast skies and cooler temperatures, I felt very comfortable leaving my two littles in their carseats for the 8 minute round trip walk to Wiley’s class.
With less gusto in his walk than yesterday, Wiley held my hand into Mrs. S’s room. I helped him put his lunchbox and backpack where they belong and walked him to his new desk!!
He wasn’t crying, he stood nervously next to his desk and I hugged him really tight, told him, “I love you so much, you’re going to have the best day!” Mrs. S came over and took over. I said ‘bye’ and headed toward the door, I turned around one last time and saw two little boys sitting at the first table inside the door, one spoke to the other, “do you want to be my friend?” I smiled, one last glance at Wiley taking a seat at his table. I knew this was going to be a great day for my little guy. I hurried to the nearest exit and sprinted down the sidewalk to my parked van.
The two babies were still listening to music on my phone (DJ Adri on duty). I sat in the drivers seat and my heart felt swollen, I resisted the urge to cry, a smile cropped up – ear to ear – on my face and I knew everything was going to be great for me too.
I took the babies to the Post Office (closed till 9am), so I drove over to the Library (closed till 9am) – what the?! We went to a grocery store to kill time before the opening of the library.
Meeting up with friends (Adrian now being the same age that Wiley used to be when he and I met up with our friends Tina and Haylee for library play!!)!
Followed by lots of outside playtime. Before I knew it – it was time to load the van again to go get our Wiley-man!
The carline for pick up ran much more smoothly than drop-off.
I was so excited to see how his day went – Mrs. S walked him to the curb where I waited and I squealed, “Wiley, how was your day?!”
Wiley burst into tears, “I wanted to take the bus home!!” hahahahaha
His largest complaint is the time to eat lunch is too short…on a side note, Wiley was telling jokes at lunch. (While eating his grapes, “ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!!” Dan and I asked if anyone laughed, “no.”) hahaha.
He didn’t want to talk much about his day, but I knew he just needed to chill awhile. By the time daddy got home from work and started asking Wiley about his school day, Wiley was really excited to share all about class, “and you know what my teacher said? She said to come back tomorrow!!”
So, with mom and dad’s excitement, Wiley feels excitement too.
The first day of school was followed by a date night – to the waste water treatment plant – because nothing says true love quite like taking a tour of the place where your poopy-water gets cleaned. I do however now know how that happens. I am grateful for engineers!!
If anyone is curious about fun facts, please send me or Danny a Direct Message.
Today at church I briefly stood before my congregation and bore my testimony of God’s love, how sometimes in His love (and infinite wisdom) He asks us to do hard things…because He knows that it will make us strong.
Motherhood has been a struggle for me lately. Particularly with my first born. He is determined to help me be strong. Really strong.
After my testimony, I returned to my seat. Wiley was so happy to see me and said, very enthusiastically, “Mom, you did a great job!” followed by a sweet little boy kiss.
Floating – his kiss and exclamation had me floating the rest of the day! (much like the hot air balloon we saw fly over our home.)
God sent me a strong willed, funny, intelligent, happy, passionate, particular and loving boy we call, ‘Wiley.’
Wiley turned 4 years old last week.
Lord knows time is flying and somedays it doesn’t fly fast enough to bedtime…
I am well and healthy today, but the entire month of April I was sick. So, as Wiley’s birthday neared, I knew he wouldn’t care if he had a party, but I wanted his day to feel really special. I wanted him to know I thought he was special.
He started his day with cartoons. I had blown up several orange balloons to litter the floor and got him four floating balloons and two dinosaur puzzles.
[go Dollar General!!!]
I had to coax him away from the TV for a morning outing – just with mom.
I took him to the grocery store and let him pick out anything he wanted! Cause, I’m money bags like that.
The birthday boy wanted fresh strawberries, raspberries, whipped cream and donuts.
He also wanted a “grown-up sippy cup” (those plastic drinking glasses with straws/screw on lids) colored orange. The boy likes orange.
I’m pretty sure most of his t-shirts are orange.
Kind of fits his personality.
After our breakfast outing, he wanted to put his dinosaur puzzles together with me. He and his little brother had hours of fun playing with the balloons. I read some books…and I let him play on the iPad, because that was just what he wanted!
Daddy took Wiley and Tyler to the “big slide park” for about two hours later in the day.
(I love, LOVE, when Dan takes them to the park – no bedtime troubles – and quiet time for mom.)
The grand finale to the birthday boy’s day was after the two babies went to bed.
Daddy made a fire in the fire ring and they roasted marshmallows!
It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten marshmallows, they aren’t my favorite.
We didn’t have cake, I pointed them out in the store, but he wanted donuts for breakfast and marshmallows for dessert; who am I to argue with the birthday King?!
Wiley stayed up late. I wish I could say it was way past his usual bedtime, but he typically refuses sleep until around 10pm every night, so it was business as usual.
Wiley finally passed out on the bed next to mommy and his sleeping baby sister.
The last thing I remember was, I had a baby…the other baby in August of 2014. Then, I was having a baby.
About the time I got serious about getting back in shape in Jan/Feb of 2015, I joined a beach body fitness group…my entire family had whooping cough (yes we’d been vaccinated, thanks).
Sick as a person with whooping cough, who is taking care of two small people with whooping cough, can be – I still started my fitness challenge the day the rest of the group did.
A month into my fitness challenge, I was growing another human again.
I was eating well, just got off antibiotics, and exercising regularly – so I couldn’t figure out why I was so tired.
Well, truth be told, I knew (deep down) that I was pregnant, but hadn’t excepted or tested the fact yet.
Here I am less than a year later with another baby laying next to me. My brain is not… what it is capable of being. I can’t remember some people’s names, I can’t recall words I used to know (I think I still know them, somewhere in there…) and every day feels like yesterday.
We’ve had a wedding, births, deaths (in my extended family), holidays in all those yesterdays. Where has today gone? Just another yesterday now.
My husband has been just as tired and overworked as I am. This winter vacation has been such a blessed and lazy affair.
We have had a very short visit to see my family this break and a weekend visit with Danny’s parents.
I was mind boggling tired with each visit and forgot to get pictures of my kids with their grandparents!! I was so grateful for the time we had together.
I’m enjoying this “honeymoon” of sorts with a(nother) new baby! The long days just cuddling are slowly fading and I’m slowly pulling myself together.
It’s good to exercise my mind again – with the whole blogging thing – and having just looked at a calendar, I can see that today is Monday…January 2016!
Wishing you all the best while facing your trials and reaping your blessings of another year.
Danny has asked me for a few weeks why I haven’t written? Well, “if you don’t have anything nice to say…”
You can go back and read my early blog posts about motherhood, they all have nothing but happiness and gratitude within.
I am going to tell you that the last few weeks have not been fun – they have been very hard for me.
My escape was always thinking about what life was like before the children came along (pooping and vomiting on everything).
College – oh I loved college – my worries were whether or not I studied enough for an exam or whether my team would win the football game – heavy stuff guys.
Traveling was much easier – there was one bag – not five – and I didn’t have to haul any extra seats or strollers around or strap any tiny humans to my chest. Hopefully not any crying (pooping or vomiting) tiny humans to my chest.
Time spent with family for reunions and weddings were much more simple. I didn’t have to worry if my child was in danger or eating to much junk food (potentially going to stay up all night with a sugar high).
I could sit and enjoy a quite afternoon with my grandparents.
It’s been months, MONTHS! since I’ve been to the Temple. Something I used to do once or twice a week – now almost never happens. I really look forward to having more time there again.
My husband is aware of my princess complex – that thing where I like people to do everything for me? Okay, but really, I loved having someone around who could do my hair for me…does my hair ever get done now? nope. Unless you count a bun or a pony tail.
I rarely leave the house (because it takes lots of bags and effort) with two small children – throw in I’m pregnant too – and you have, “I would rather lay here and read…”
So the long outdoor adventures have been replaced by long days in my house wearing pajamas.
Do I make time for silliness these days? yes, I do, but again it all occurs right here at home, in my pajamas.
There was a time I was the person in our extended family that was called upon to house sit and watch kids.
The only kids I was responsible for were the kind I could hug and kiss…then leave after a nice visit, to return home to the quiet serenity of my clean living space.
In pictures, it looks like my life was a constant party or adventure and in a way, it was.
But after a lot of time thinking about what my life used to be like, I remembered the emptiness it still held.
I don’t feel that emptiness anymore – I feel tired, overwhelmed, busy, but not empty – I am free of the longing to fill my emptiness.
My husband and children complete me in a way that brings me the greatest ups and downs that life can bring.
My sweet moments are so much sweeter, because of the hard things I endure. I sacrifice so much for these kids and the return is so much greater than a short trip or long hike in the mountains.
Kids grow up and my quiet time will return, so I’m still learning to embrace the chaos for now. Because life moves so fast and I don’t want to miss the happiness of the present.
Several years ago, while living in Utah, I was ordering a sandwich at Subway, along with my older sister Kelsey. I recall using the name of the female employee (well, the name shown on her employee name tag) while giving my order and after I thanked her for my sandwich, I bid her ‘goodnight.’
On the way to my sister’s car I said, “I like to use people’s names, because it makes them feel special.”
I will never forget what my sister told me…
Kelsey said, “she is special Kate, you were just reminding her she was.”
Dang, I should have known better! Of course she is special!
Something Pablo Picasso quoted his mother saying to him made me think about the sons I’m raising,
“When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”
It struck me that, although my mother didn’t say the same thing to me, it was how my mother raised me that lead me to feel special.
Sure, when I was a little girl I wanted to be Miss America – she got a crown, a dozen roses and a strut down the runway with falling confetti.
What child didn’t want to go to the Olympics and represent their country for a chance to win a medal? Well, I wanted to do that too…but,
I didn’t need those things in my life to feel special.
I was raised by a mother and a father who loved me – they gave me their time, they listened to me, they counseled me (even when I didn’t want to receive it), and when I came home late, my father was always waiting.
It’s my hope, that my children will grow to know they are special – with an Olympic medal around their neck or not.
He didn’t sit in time out for stealing gum from my purse and eating half the pack.
He didn’t sit in time out for accidentally knocking over a cup of water next to the library books.
He didn’t sit in time out for taking my phone out of my purse and getting on Youtube without my knowing.
He didn’t get time out for tearing up my fancy bar of soap during bath time.
Hey, sometimes things happen…
He screamed in my ears, tried multiple times to hit me, bit me, threw things, hit his new little brother…
I can’t keep him out of the fridge while I nurse his baby brother…
He sat in his Time Out chair more times than I can remember.
Although he did get his ear flicked a number of times, I resisted the urge to spank “the tar” (as we say in the south) out of him.
Somehow I managed to do the dishes, get the oil changed in the truck, get some laundry washed and a little organizing done – all while battling the two year old.
It was after he went to bed (early) that I did a second round of dishes, tired and trying not to cry, I resisted the urge to feel like a failure.
After all, the two year old still said, “I love you” today and gave me hugs and stroked my face while I sang him songs before bed.
It was doing something mundane, like dishes, that allowed me to reflect on several talks given at the General Women’s Meeting this past Saturday evening.
The work of mothers, child caregivers, is not for the faint of heart. It is work and it is the best work we can do as a society – raise up the next generation. Those children will learn life’s coping skills from us!
My children will know they are loved, regardless of the choices they make.
My children will know what is right and wrong, because I taught them myself and tried to show them in my actions.
They will learn weaknesses too, because I am weak, but they will also learn to be forgiving; because we are all weak and in need of forgiveness.
Don’t give up the fight, because we are doing a great work!
photos were taken by my friend Jewly Ann, who takes newborn and maternity photos!
My husband and I had a visit with our doctor Monday morning to follow up our ER visit from Saturday. During the days that accompanied my miscarriage, I had so much love and so many prayers on behalf of my family, that I couldn’t feel too sad. On the same day I miscarried, I heard a first time pregnancy for another women had been miscarried too. I heard a former LDS Institute teacher of mine was in the hospital with the chance of a leg amputation from the thigh down. I heard a family friend lost her son-in-law in un-timely death. My sweet sister Klara, pregnant with her fifth child, was one week over due. I had so many prayers said on my behalf last weekend, but I was busy praying for other families….which is the best thing I could have done.
We left Missouri last Tuesday, made stops to see family in Oklahoma on our way to Texas. My sweet sister was desperately trying to encourage labor with no success. We arrived in Spring, TX around 5:30pm June 26 and she began to have productive contractions sometime after 6pm.
If I had known she was waiting for us to arrive, we would have come sooner.
Start to finish, she labored and delivered within six hours. It was beautiful. Dialated to 7cm and between each contraction Klara was laughing and talking like she was having a good time. I only had one baby and there was no laughing until the pain meds got injected through the IV and I definitely did not feel like I was having a good time.
She eventually pregressed to transition with more focus and less laughing after midnight. Just after 1am, my newest nephew came into the world. The amniotic sac had not broken and the baby’s head came out still encased inside the protective sac looking like an astronaut emerging wearing his helmet.
My sister is one of the strongest women I know – she is such a good mother – her children are brillant and cheerful. Klara at twenty-seven years of age and her husband at thirty-one are the parents of five beautiful children.
Most people might think they are crazy people for having SO MANY children and at SUCH A YOUNG AGE, to those people I say to you, “pisssh”. What purpose do we have as human beings without family? Family is central to the Creator’s Plan of Happiness.These children will make this world a better place, because their parents are teaching them good principles and good habits. What better way to show the world that God is optomistic, then by sending more babies into it…to shape it’s future?
I’m grateful to hold new babies, with their new smell and curious eyes. May we all live a little bit better, so the children may look to us and learn to be good.