Sunday, November 6, 2011

If you would've told me...

Okay, so I'm not as good at keeping up with this as I was.  It just seems that now that I actually have time to do things, there are hundreds of other things that I want to do. 

I stopped and thought today about where my kids are in life.  I started this blog back in about 2007 or 2008.  Back then my life revolved around bottles, diapers, and praying for sleep.  I rarely sat down, the house was a disaster, and I felt like a chicken with my head cut off most times.

I'm sitting in my kitchen right now typing this as the kids play outside.  I saw the neighbor boys go by to play football behind another neighbors house, so they followed.  My boys are playing outside.  By themselves.  And I'm okay with that.  If you would've told me a few years ago this time would come, I would call you crazy.

They also go to bed by themselves at night, gladly closing their eyes after we read a book or two.  Sometimes they even tell me now that they are too tired for books, and just want to go to sleep. 

Last week I started the bath, and had them both come in, one at a time, to take a bath.  They bathed themselves entirely.  They washed their own hair, washed their bodies, and then dried themselves off.  They them, smiling, took their pajamas to the living room and got dressed themselves.  Four years ago if you would've told me that, I wouldn't have believed you.

Its so neat to see them growing up, and how they change so fast.  I also find it amazing how different my two boys are.  I'm not sure they could be much different, but that's how they had to be in order to be brothers and best friends.  One has to be in charge, and the other will gladly follow.

I wake up in the middle of the night now because I do - not because someone is crying.  They tell me when they are hungry and even what they want to eat.  They go to the bathroom by themselves, and (almost) wipe their own butt.  That's kind of a big deal around here.

Every weekend with them is so fun to see what the activity will be.  Today they have jumped between the XBox, the Wii, playing outside, and watching TV.  Never spending too much time at one thing.  Tyler will randomly ask me to make him some math problems, and Connor will want to read me a book.  It's absolutely amazing that my boys can read to me me now.

Years ago when I cried for my sanity and wondered if I would ever sleep again, I wouldn't have believed you if you told me these days would come.  I spent so much time living in that moment, that I couldn't even see something different in the future.  But, I guess that's what I'm doing now.  I don't want these boys to grow up or to change.  I am loving just the way they are. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A sick day

Tyler is on his second day of staying home this week for a fever, and he's definitely on the mend now.  After having his fever getting up to 104 last night at 11:30 where he was delirious and crying and wasn't sure what to do, he's back down to 100.5 today, which for him is like nothing.  I feel so bad for him.  I remember those high fevers as a kid where all I wanted to do was cry. 

Sick days are so much different now for us than they used to be.  I remember as young kids, sick days meant fussiness and odd naptimes and refusing to eat or drink anything and just a very frustrating and exhausting day. 

Fast forward to today... Tyler slept until 8:30 and woke up generally happy.  Frustrated that he was missing school again, but once I told him we could go to the store later and maybe get him something for being so good, he was okay with it.  Then he sat in the chair and watched cartoons for over an hour.  After he was bored with that, he moved on to playing Wii video games. 

Its the times like these that I realize how much the kids are growing up.  Tyler doesn't need me to ask him if he needs to go to the bathroom, and tells me when he's hungry.  He can start his own video game, and read the instructions on the screen.  I have finished 4 loads of laundry, ran the dishwasher, and made some food for the rest of the week.  I'm even cheering him on in his Wii Nerf game.  So very different than it used to be. 

I often find myself reflecting on how old the boys are getting, and how much they are changing.  It helps me to cherish the moment if I remember how much the moments are evolving.  So much more independence, conversation, laughs and smiles.  Mostly, more personality in everything.

I've probably said it a million times, but it really hit me today how much these Stanfield boys are growing up.  Too fast at times, but I'm going to soak in every moment, even on this sick day. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wow, it's been a long time...

I had someone at work tell me that they missed my blogs.  Well, I do too.  Thank you, you know who you are, for inspiring me to start these up again.  The summer has been busy so I haven't been so good about keeping up with whats going on.  That will change.  As I look back through the posts I have written in the past, I realize I'm keeping a journal, for possibly my boys to read when they are older.  I hope they enjoy it as much as I do.

So much has been going on between my new job, Kyle's new marketing adventure, and keeping up with everything else around the house.  It feels awesome tonight though...we got our carpets cleaned today.  It looks and smells clean in here.  That makes me happy. 

So about the boys...they are just getting big.  It is so much fun to hang out with them, and since they can talk to me and tell me what they want to do, want to eat, and everything else, it never makes for a dull moment.  I was thinking about it the other night, and Tyler is to the age where I definitely have memories still.  For me, I remember snapshots of Kindergarten, and then more and more as it goes on.  That big guy started 1st grade last week.  Yes, 1st grade.  I told him in 1st grade I learned how to read and do math.  They taught him that in Kindergarten.  It's amazing how advanced kids are today.  We have a friend that has a senior in high school.  She is taking Advanced Placements classes for everything to earn college credit while in High School.  Amazing.

And Connor, his personality that is developing is amazing.  They are both such different kids, and after taking personality training classes at work, they could  not be more opposite.  Connor is sitting here next to me while I type this, as close to me as he can.  Tyler is pushing every limit he can (which is typical), because he wants to know exactly how much he can get away with before you completely lose it.  Connor just wants to make you smile. 

I find myself studying my boys more, interested in everything they are doing.  I find it hilarious that they both like to watch old Tom & Jerry cartoons, and Tyler likes to watch Disney Channel TV shows that are made for pre-teens.  "Good Luck Charlie" is his favorite.  Tyler also likes Lego projects with instructions to build things.  Connor would rather color and picture, and follow his own instructions. 

I promise not to be a stranger here.  Their lives are just getting interesting...

Tyler took this picture when we were on vacation this summer.  He took about 10 pictures of his Stitch doll.  It was cute, until we accidently left it there.  They mailed it to us, and that was the happiest reunion, ever!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Catching up

So I haven't been able to post here as often as I had wanted after school was finished, so I'm going to do a little catching up tonight. 

My favorite story from recent is of Connor.  We've had thunderstorm after thunderstorm after thunderstorm come through our area.  Even as I look out the window right now I can see the gray clouds getting bigger in the west, which means we're usually in for another one.  I think we have had a thunderstorm nearly every other night for weeks.  It's been crazy.

One night I put the kids to bed, and Connor was having one of his nights where he just didn't quite want to go to sleep.  He has those frequently just because he doesn't quite need as much sleep as Tyler.  That's okay.  He usually just sits in there and sings to himself.  It's darling.

One night during a horrible thunderstorm, I thought for sure the storm was keeping him up so I walked in there and asked if he wanted me to lay with him (which I LOVE by the way, so I will gladly give in!), and he said "sure".

I got in bed with him and just pulled the covers over me.  Connor then reached over and put his arms around me and said "It's okay Mom, I got 'cha."  I'm pretty sure he thought he was comforting ME during the storm.  In true Connor fashion, he stepped up to it and came in to provide comfort.  He then proceeded to lay there and trace his finger over my face, which just makes me melt.  I swear he was (sometimes) put on this earth to comfort me, calm me down, and just de-stress me. 


And then there's my new child, Tyler.  On his medication he has done nearly a 180.  I say "nearly" because I think we still have some tweaking to do (based on my observations, and his current teacher's), but he is just, different.  I can't really explain it to people except to say that when I look in his eyes, there is something different there.  I think that "different" is him.  He's always been there, but just so distracted.  By getting him to focus it's just amazing to see how he looks so deep within your eyes, with an intensity that just pierces your soul.  I love it.  Our conversations have just been amazing, even though it's usually about ghosts or Big Foot, which seem to be on the top of his mind right now.

Big Foot and ghosts.... it kind of cracks me up.  This kid has the same quest for the supernatural that his mom does.  We're having fun with it, and he LOVES it!  There's a new show on Animal Planet called "Finding Bigfoot" where these people are actually out hunting for him in North Carolina.  He watches it just like I used to watch the X-Files.  Too funny.

We're all thoroughly enjoying me being done with school.  Especially me.  I didn't realize just how much I was missing......

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


This weekend was a family weekend.  By family I don't only mean the 4 people that live in this house, but our extended family.  Our in-laws, our friends, and the kids that we've watched grow up over the last 8 years we've lived in this house. 

Little Dylan graduated from High School.  And by little, I don't really mean little at all.  He's taller than me and has two jobs right now.  One of them is at the daycare center where we take our kids, and he's fantastic at it.  The kids just love him, and so do the parents.  He's always smiling, and will always give you a short "brief" on what the kids did that day.  He tells me about good days, bad days, and everything in between.

It was so nice being with friends and family that know me so well.  We can just talk and laugh and laugh some more.  The graduation party on Sunday ended up lasting over 12 hours because no one really wanted to go home.  It was fun, and there was enough food and drinks for an army, and the army that we had, ate and drank it all.  The Ney's have never ran out of food and drink at their house, ever.

I ended up taking over 350 pictures that day at the party, since Vicki put me in charge of being "Wang" (the term all of my friends know me as, affectionately given to me in honor of the movie 'Caddyshack'.)  Here are some of my favorites from the day that capture the moments, the fun, and just the reason that we have friends and family so close.

Two Peas.  One Pod.  =)

Dylan (right) and his friend, Tanner.  Connor thinks Tanner is one of the coolest guys, ever.

A nasty rainstorm went through Sunday morning and created puddles everywhere.  Never fear though, the kids know just what to do with them!  (Chase is here having fun!)

Guess who else found the puddle?  Connor had two showers that night to remove grass and mud from him, and went through at least 4 outfits.  He had a blast. 

Tyler's best adult friend, Bret.  Bret has a jet ski and Tyler thinks he is the coolest guy, ever.

Connor was about floored when he noticed there were other teachers from Frog Hollow (his daycare) at the party (since they are friends with Dylan).  He was so shy to talk to them, and it was so cute.  You could tell he was trying to put it all together in his head, like his worlds were colliding.  He finally warmed up enough to them, and hung around Alex, Nick and Kinsey for the rest of the evening.

Me and my sister-in-law, Kim.  I cannot tell you how much fun we had that night, but my stomach is still sore from laughing.

This is one of my favorites of me and Kyle from the night.  Maybe because he has cash in his hand...I'm not sure. 

The girls getting crazy.  Brenda, Sam and I having a laugh. 

I will do everyone else a favor and not post the remaining pictures, because as you can see from the counter, fun was had by all! 

Families are there for you all the time.  In good, in bad, and in fun.  I'm really glad this day could be one of the fun ones.  It makes life just that much more fun when you know you have lots of people that you can count on, and that are counting on you.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The e-mail that made my day

Last week was a crazy week.  It was work times two, packing boxes to move to my new job, and lots of stuff at home.  I was distracted, at best.

Friday afternoon I was walking back to my office and was checking my Blackberry to get caught up on e-mail.  I was thrilled when I received the following message from his kindergarten teacher:

"Just wanted you to know that Tyler has been doing much better this week. He wrote a story today that had a detailed picture with it, used spaces, great handwriting, and he used several sentences to tell the story. He was very proud of his work!!! Have a great weekend."

It was one of the best times of my life.  We're getting there.  He is a totally different kid, and I wish I could explain it so it would make sense to others, but you know what, it just means the world to me.

Sometimes, with all of the distractions in life and everything else frustrating or worrysome, there are small miracles that happen all the time.  Right in front of me. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


It is again this time of the year.  I'm not quite sure if it's my favorite, because I have a lot of favorites in the year.  One that does stick in my mind though is the fresh green grass (when it's so new and soft) and when the sun stays out longer in the evening.  I guess that would be now.

It was such a yucky weekend, so to see the sun finally poke it's head out on Sunday afternoon was wonderful.  We were able to sit outside some, enjoy some beverages with friends, and grill some food.  This picture just says "relaxing" to me.  

We are also fans of sharing things around our house.  One of the things we like to share is pinkeye.  Tyler was home last Tuesday with it, and Connor woke up with a nasty case of it on Sunday.  This is nothing compared to what his eye looked like in the morning.  Poor guy, and he HATES the eye drops we have to give him.  He will fight with every ounce of his strength to just not have those drops put in his eyes.  By the way, I think he is stronger than I am.  (Sorry for the gross picture, but you really get the point).

As he got up this morning, I didn't think I should send him to daycare looking how he did.  Although he had been on the drops for 24 hours (their rule) his eye was still pretty blood shot so he stayed home with me.  I had a day of vacation planned anyway, so it wasn't too bad.  I got some things done, and had a buddy with me who I spoiled all day long. 

Connor knows I'm a total pushover for him when we're alone, so as I stopped at Casey's to get gas, he asked for a donut.  I didn't mind at all, and let him pick out whatever he wanted.  He picked out powdered donuts and we ate them on the deck.  He shared one with me, because he said I was his friend. 

With school being done, I'm really enjoying getting back to life.  I have about 15 pounds to lose that I gained over the 20 months of the program, and a new job to begin pretty soon too that I think will have me really challenged for a while. 

Most of all, I'm enjoying getting back to my family.  I've missed truly enjoying them. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Finally Back

This is so nice... you have no idea.  I'm sitting on my couch in the evening, just messing around on the computer.  I actually did some work earlier, but am finally able to catch up on my heart and soul (my blog).  This is the place where I dump "it" (my heart and soul), so that is what it might as well be called.

There are so many things to catch us up on.  Too many to count.  So many things I'm worried about, stressed about, proud about, and everything in between, it's just confusing.  I don't even have enough to talk about all of them, so I'll talk about what's most important to me.  My kids...

I've talked many times about Tyler.  Finally, this spring in his school conference with his Kindergarten teacher, I just blurted it out... "Do you think Tyler could have......... issues?"... and then cringed for my answer. 

His teacher is awesome.  She just paused, and thought about her answer and said, "Yes, I think Tyler is definitely a child that could benefit from some testing to see how we could better work with him". 

That moment was life-changing.  I was relieved, and worried, all at the same time.  I knew Tyler was a different child from the moment he was born, and to finally hear someone in the "professional world" acknowledge that for me was incredible. 

I immediately made an appointment for Tyler at the recommendation of his teacher with a psychologist in town.  She's incredible, and Tyler really likes her a lot.  He will only refer to her as "Tricia", and I think she makes him feel really comfortable.  We visited her 4 times, once for Kyle & I to talk to her about what we've seen, and two times to have him tested, and then for our follow up appointment  We didn't get to see the tests, but only heard from Tyler that "they were hard". 

I went to the follow up appointment last week to discuss his test resuts, and Kyle was not able to go due to a work committment he could not get out of.  She talked to me for nearly a half an hour about the results of his tests, that showed he has attention and control issues that are worse that 90% of the kids his age.  It was like looking at an Iowa Test of Basic Skills (something I took as a child that they still administer to kids in school) in reverse.  All of his scores were worse than over 90% of "normal" kids.  She said he really struggled, a lot.  He struggled so much that she ended the last test early because he finally looked at her and said "I have no idea what you just said", when asked to repeat a simple sentence she read. 

I knew this.  None of this surprised me, really.  Or his teacher, or Kyle, or his grandparents, or our friends, or anyone on this earth.  Anyone that had met Tyler knew he was special.

It wasn't until after this that I got the shock.

I had people at work compare it to Down's Syndrome, and told me to not even tell the school because he would be labeled, and put in special classes.  I had people tell me "But it's not like the end of the world, is it?", when they heard.  I had people that told me about the special government programs that he would qualify for...

What what what?  Really?  Honest to God, he qualifies now as a child with a disability.  Seriously.  That about floored me.  I had always heard about ADHD, and what you had to do about it, and the medication might make him not hungry, etc., but I had NEVER heard that he would have to be put on a special government program to ensure he gets the right education, and that we would be in a meeting next week with his teacher, the guidance counselor, his principle and his teacher, all at the same time, to discuss how Tyler can have the "right" education.


No one wants anything else for their children than for them to be "normal".  And don't get me wrong, this is nothing as far as health issues go, but over the last week, I have learned that our life will be different with him for the next 12 years, and we will have to pick the right teacher, and ask that he sit in front of class, and he will be on medication, and we have to read special government websites and ensure there is a "plan" documented with the school so he gets the right education.  Nothing you would ever expect to have to do with your otherwise totally normal child.

Okay, so maybe I'm making this out to be more than it is, and I've probably talked to more people about it than I should, but I was really confused at first, and now I'm just trying to figure this out. 

So, here we start on this journey, and it worries me.  I worry about that poor guy, because I've seen him struggle, and seen his pain, and seen his HUGE tears.  He really wants what is right, but just can't connect the dots to get there, so that's what we're going to help him to try do.  Pray for us through this journey, because I don't think it will be too hard for him, but it will be extremely hard for me.  He's my boy.  My oldest boy.  The baby I knew first, and I know him like he's a part of my soul.  I've cried more in the last week than I have about much lately, because I want nothing less for Tyler than to be able to achieve the wishes and dreams that everyone has.  And we'll get him there...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stay Tuned.....

I haven't disappeared, yet....  Just trying to get through the next 5 weeks until Graduation.  I have papers, and work, and kids, and housework, and laundry, and everything else that makes me insane.

Stay soon as school is over, I promise to post regularly.  =)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Things I will do when I graduate

Although the last year and a half has gone fast, I simply cannot wait to be done with school.  Our last day of class is on May 6th, and on May 13th I will once again, walk across a stage and receive a diploma.  I am so excited and proud of that, but as I was sitting here tonight, procrastinating a final that I have to do, I just got to thinking.

Here are some things I want on my "Bucket List" for this summer, after I graduate.  Just to have the weight of school off my shoulders will be total freedom, so I want to make sure I remember, and savor every minute of it.

So.... This summer, I will:
  1. Not procrastinate any more papers/assignments/finals, etc.  =)
  2. Not rush the kids to bed because I have stupid paper/assignment/final to do.
  3. I will look in the mirror every morning, and remember that I did it, and how much I was looking forward to being "done".
  4. I will exercise regularly - meaning more than 4 times per week.  When we started the program they warned us that we will gain about 10 pounds.  They were right.
  5. We will take a family vacation that is farther than the nearby lake.
  6. I will lay in the grass in June, when it is the softest, and look at the sky and just.....think.
  7. I will clean out my bedroom corner that has been collecting junk for years. 
  8. I will have breakfast with my parents at least once a month, and visit them at their house at least once a month too.  (We LOVE to meet for breakfast at the Machine Shed in Davenport.  It's nearly a halfway point for us, and their food is so awesome, I literally won't eat the rest of the day after having breakfast there.)
  9. I will go visit my sister and spend a couple days with her, just her and I.  We need to reconnect and just hang out, and rediscover who WE are.
  10. I will smile more.
Hold me to these.  I'm going to enjoy my family this summer like never before.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


First, I must suggest you listen to the link below:

If you don't have time, that's okay.  I think you'll get the point.

That song is the old eToys commercials theme song.  I have loved that song for years, especially after having my boys.  It's so cute, so innocent, and just so...perfect. 

Today, Tyler stayed home sick.  That poor kid had a fever of 104.1 when I left for study group on Monday night.  I felt so bad for him.  He had reached the point where he was sitting in the chair, and looked at me, and just started crying.  I don't think he knew what else to do, he felt so horrible.  I gave him some Children's Motrin, and Daddy sat in the chair to hold him.  He was almost too hot to hold.

I stayed home with him today.  He was so sick that his poor little body slept and slept and slept.  He woke up at 4am to go to the bathroom, and still had a fever.  I gave him more Motrin, and he went back to sleep.  I had to wake him up at 11:45 this morning.  Yes, that would be lunchtime, folks.  My child, that rarely sleeps beyond 7am, EVER.  I finally thought it probably wasn't smart to sleep much longer.  He had to be dehydrated, and if his fever broke (which I knew it did - I was checking on him every half hour) that he would likely be hungry.  He really hadn't eaten since Sunday. 

He was perfect.  He sat up in bed - almost startled that I woke him up.  He then climbed down out of bed and immediately asked where Connor was.  I had to explain to him that it was lunchtime, and Connor was at school.  It was then that I got to hear his squeaky voice.  Although his fever was gone, so was his voice.

Tonight he was tired at bedtime, so it wasn't hard to get him into bed.  He climbed into bed, we read a few books, and then I left their room.

About 20 minutes later, I was sitting at the kitchen table, and Tyler walked out.  He told me he wasn't tired, to which I wasn't surprised.  After sleeping till noon (I'm not sure I remember the last time I slept that late, if I did ever.), I'm sure he wasn't tired.  I wouldn't be either.

I asked him if he wanted to sit in the rocking chair.  That is our routine, when he was a toddler.  Tyler never liked the rocking chair, voluntarily, when he was a baby, but once he reached about two years old, he finally would sit in my lap.  We would read books, relax, and usually both end up falling asleep.  That was awesome.

We sat in the rocking chair in the living room.  This is the same rocking chair that we had in Tyler's room as a baby that we nursed/rocked/soothed in when he was a baby.  There are a lot of memories in that chair.  A lot.  We sat in the chair tonight and I had my Pandora going on my computer in the kitchen.  I had been working when Tyler walked in, and had a perfect channel on to listen to.

As we sat in the chair, I grabbed the Toy Story fleece blanket from the basket, and wrapped up Tyler, and sat down with him.  As we started rocking, a song from the kithcen, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" started playing.  It was awesome.

We just rocked, and rocked, and he cuddled up to me.  He's so big now.  That boy that was a little over 7 pounds at birth, is up to my chest now, at 6 years old.  By junior high, he'll be taller than me.  I'm going to enjoy every cuddling moment I can with him.  I just relaxed and listened to the music, and rocked, and rocked.  It was hard to even think of stopping.  I remembered the days that I would just fall asleep (work was a bit less hectic those days), and it was beautiful.

Tonight I remembered what is really important.  I worry a lot about what I'm doing, and even more about what I'm not doing.  I'm not doing enough work, enough tasks, enough anything, but what is really important right now?  I found it tonight.   It was right there in my arms.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Some odd things that happened today (besides generally the whole day, that I really won't bore you with because it would probably contain a whole bunch of whining...)

I pick the kids up from daycare, and go through my normal routine... 

a)  Sign them out
b)  Head to Connor's room
c)  Look for Connor
d)  Have Connor run over to me yelling "MOMMY!" with his arms wide open.  (I love that part!)
e)  Grab stuff out of Connor's cubby

Okay, stop right there.  I still laugh out loud about it.  There was a paper in his cubby that said (and I quote):

"Dear Parents,
   Our records show that your child   EDDIE   was enrolled in gymnastics lessons...."

Okay.  Yea, yea, I forgot to pay Connor's Gymnastics Express tuition for the quarter.  [They have an awesome bus that comes to the daycare center that has been retrofitted to be, basically, a gymnastics gym.  Before you knock it, you should see it.  I didn't believe it either, but it's amazing.  The guy that runs it was in the Iowa Gymnastics program years ago, and just loves little kids.  He also plays Santa Clause during their winter program (for a little added trivia).]

So, how did a paper for Eddie end up in Connor's cubby?  I have no idea...  And who is Eddie?  And did he not pay his tuition either?  Or has there been a big mix-up and Al from the Gymnastics Express has been calling Connor "Eddie" for the last year?  I don't know why it made me laugh so much, but just the different combinations of how that could've happened, I find amusing.

Now I just have to plan to have Tyler picked up directly from school on Friday so he doesn't go back to daycare for his before and after school program.  Why?...

There is a sign on the door announcing their Valentine Party they are having Friday afternoon.  To participate just bring enough valentines to share with 59 STUDENTS?!?!?!?!?!?!?  WHAT?????  I did a triple-take.  59??????  I already bought two boxes of Valentine's for the kids actual school classes, and now they are having a party with the ENTIRE Before and After School program?

No.  Mommy don't play dat.  Sorry, Tyler.  I can do 20 for your class, but 59 is crazy.  Usually everyone includes candy in their Valentine as well, so that would mean about 59 pieces of candy/candy bars/sugar would be coming home and we would then fight about that all weekend.  Nope.  Not gonna do it.  That's insane.

And... since Kyle and I communicate more via text and e-mail anymore, I sent Kyle this e-mail tonight:


Can you pick Tyler up directly from School on Friday? I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want him to go back to Frog Hollow for their Valentine party, because I'm lazy. LAZY ENOUGH that I don't want do 59 more Valentine's. Are they kidding? 59. No way. He doesn't need to do 59 Valentine's, and certainly doesn't need the candy from 59 of them either.

Let me know if that would work. Otherwise, I need to go buy 4 more boxes of Valentine's at the store.

Crazy at home,


So it's been an odd day all around.  Every time stuff like that happens I look at it and go "okay, if that is the worst or craziest thing that has happened to me all day, we're in pretty good shape!"  And at least with the antics that happen with the kids, I can always laugh.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just smile

I have a few friends that are going through some tough times with their kids right now.  It's anywhere from the always being sick phase, to the "do we give up the bottle/pacifier?" phase, to the "what on earth have I done phase?".  I just smile when I hear of their frustrations, because I vividly remember them, and even still feel some of them (especially the "what have we done???").  It really makes me think back and remember...

I remember wondering if Tyler would EVER sleep through the night.  At 8 months, that boy had not given me more than 2 full nights of sleep his whole life (and those were by accident, he was very sick), and I was tired, and exhausted, and frustrated, and just done.  And it finally happened.

I remember the time when Tyler was 10 months old and he was so sick and Kyle called me at work and asked if he should call 911.  I didn't feel like I should be missing so much work, but that call changed it all for me.  I went home, and was lucky enough at that time to have a boss that called me before she went home that night and said these exact words (which I will never forget), "Jenny, take care of your family.  They are your priority right now.  We'll be fine.  Help Tyler get better, and we'll see you when he's healthy.  And please let us know if you need anything"  I literally burst into tears, right while I was on the phone with her. 

I used to hate it when people would tell me "You'll miss it when it's gone." because at that point, there was NOTHING I was going to miss about that time.  I was stressed out, maxed out, and just spent.

Then I look back to that time, and although I know my mind has blocked some of the "bad parts" out, I'm still doing that today.  Our days aren't perfect, and I have a mouthy 6 year old that has a favorite phrase of "that sucks" (which I hate), and a 3 year old that gets mad and likes to hit me.  They both have seen time out more this weekend than I would have preferred.

Just to remind me of how good I have it, I like to look back through pictures.  They make me smile, and just love those crazy little boys more than ever...

 Tyler with Daddy.  I think he was about 4-5 months old here.  He wasn't sleeping at all, and I was insanely jealous that my husband was getting a full night sleep, since I was still nursing.  He was literally sick every week, and was probably sick in this picture too.  It was ridiculous.

 Fast forward a little bit - Tyler had removed the register vent, and climbed into it.  Seriously.  I could not keep up with that kid to save my life.

 Then we added another one.  Connor was 6 days old in this picture.  I love this picture more than any picture we have.
 This was Connor in the hospital while having his pictures taken.  They actually captured him giving us a "salute".  So very cute.  He was so little, and was just the cuddliest baby ever.  Even the nurses said he was special.  They did not say that with Tyler.  I have since figured out why.  (No offense, Tyler.  When you are 30 years old I will explain to you what I mean.)

 And then the cuddly baby started to eat food.  He was 11 months old in this picture, and his favorite was lasagna, can you tell?  It drove me crazy that he got so messy.  We went from the high chair to the bath tub.  What a good time that was though.

And my goodness, that kid was addicted to his pacifiers.  If he didn't have one, he had two.  And usually one was in his hand and one in his mouth.  I was so worried that it would be so hard to get rid of them, but didn't actually appreciate the sane-ness they were giving me at the time.  And people told me "don't use them if you don't have to", and "you'll be sorry".  To this day, I love pacifiers, and think they are God's gift to Moms.

 Sometimes I think I don't give Tyler enough credit for teaching Connor things.  This is Tyler teaching his little brother how it's done in the pool.  Connor was a little skeptical, at first, and then jumped right in.  Tyler can be the most awesome big brother at time, and sometimes, the most absolute worst. 

And then, before I knew it, Tyler graduated from Preschool.  Graduated?  From Preschool?  Wait, where did the first 5 years go?  How could they be gone?  Where was I?  How come I don't remember everything?

I use to think to myself "Why is this so difficult?", and "this is crazy - why on EARTH do people have children???".  Those days were the worst.  And then I realized why.  I try to listen more carefully now to these little boys, and just hear what they are saying.  I love their cute voices (Tyler sounds like a little boy, and Connor like a little man), and I even enjoy when they want to snuggle in bed with us in the morning. 

Looking back now, I wish I could've made time slow down a little.  It moved so fast, and though some of the times I wouldn't want to live again for anything, it was the whole package.  It was getting up 15 times at night, but then having them give you a hug in the morning.  It was getting puked on, and then realizing one day that they know your real first name.  I'll never forget the day that Tyler called me "Jenny".  It was almost as if I was finally a person, to him, and to me.  I know that sounds strange, and I can't explain it, but that day brought tears to my eyes. 

It's so easy in retrospect to say what I would have done different (because there are too many things), because as I type this, my 2 young boys are in the living watching Rambo.  Yes, Rambo.  And one is pointing a Nerf gun at me now.  Gotta go.

Where has the time gone?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Our bed in the morning

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been rarely a morning when I get out of my bed in the morning, and the only other person there is Kyle.  9 times out of 10 there is another body there, not for long, but none-the-less, there. 

The boys started sharing a room over Christmas.  This was the best idea we had ever had - because it took the room the was once Connor's (that he didn't use for anything except to sleep and it nicely stored toys along the walls), and it turned it into a functional office/game room.  It.  is.  awesome!!!   When you live in a three bedroom ranch with no basement, in the middle of the frozen tundra of Iowa (it's been so cold), it's so nice to just have someplace else to go.  Kyle made himself an "office" (since he works from home frequently), and we set up a TV in there for the Wii.  The boys love it, I love it, and I smile just thinking about it.

What that did though, is put our boys in one room.  That has been working out great, except when they wake up at 4:30 or 5am.  I would've usually just put them back in their bed, but am careful not to do that now, because I don't want to wake the other one up (they've been known to do that), and I guess, I kind-of like it.

This morning it was Tyler.  He came in at about 5:30, and we know him too well.  That kid only wakes up when he's hungry.  He's so predictable.  Since we had people over to watch football yesterday, he was distracted and didn't eat as much as he normally would.  He did lay down, but tossed and turned and flipped and banged his hands on the headboard.  Finally at about 6am I got up with him and we went out to the kitchen.  I asked him what he wanted to eat... his response?  "Anything..."  Poor guy.  He ate party potatoes, some oatmeal, some macaroni and cheese and some chicken.  Wow.

2 days ago it was Connor in our bed.  That kid can snore like nobody's business.  Holy Lord.  I had him on one side of me and Kyle on the other.  Connor was snoring so loud, I gave up and decided to try to sneak out of bed.  No luck.  I accidently woke him up while attempting my stealthy moves, and then had a very crabby Connor for the rest of the morning.  I should've just laid there, but my lord he's loud.

I can say one thing, and that is I certainly don't mind being woken up that way.  Someone standing inches from my face, breathing on me, but usually just wanting me to help them.   I gladly pull them up in bed, and try to suck every ounce of "kidness" out of them, because they are growing up so fast.  Tyler is nearly 70 pounds and Connor is pretty much out of toddler clothes now.  Pretty soon we'll be shopping the mens department and buying shoes online because their foot are too big to buy shoes in stores.

Until then.... I'm going to look forward to cuddling with my boys.  Even if it means the morning comes much earlier than ever expected...