Mid-Summer Sentiments

What a long, strange summer. On a personal level, we are chugging along, but I find myself losing patience with the kids with no real structured schedule or weekly plans. The past few weeks have been hot and boring, with naps being hit or miss, and only a handful of hours a week that it’s logistically possible to hang out at the pool. I’m looking forward to August and September, with new schools for both Grayson and Charlotte and a new job for Ryan.

I’ve been obsessed with the news and politics lately, more so than ever before. I’m reading a ton, listening to podcasts on the election, and have been watching the RNC every night this week, which is more TV than I’ve watched in months. I’m torn between staying quiet and participating in the online conversations about this election. On one hand, no one ever changed anyone’s mind by posting a political article on Facebook, but I admire so many (both people I know personally and those I don’t) I see taking bold stands against injustice and the bigotry that is happening all around us. I am saddened and horrified that most would assume that calling myself a Christian means that I’m also a Republican, and that I will be voting for a candidate that makes fun of disabled people, berates women, and stereotypes and wants to ban whole groups of people from this country. Nope, not going to happen.

We are still struggling with potty training Charlotte. I am so worn out and frustrated and when I think about having to do this with another child in a few years it makes me want to cry. I know she’ll eventually get it and we will move on with life, but in the meantime this whole thing is making me so discouraged. It’s revealing parts of me and my expectations for her that I’m really not proud of, and I have been challenged to give more patience and grace than feels comfortable.

Nolan is a sweet, chunky ball of baby, and it makes my heart beat a little faster when I think that we are less than two months from his first birthday. My last baby. To be honest though, I’m kind of over the baby stage. I’m tired, and I’m tired of fishing crayons out of his mouth. He sure is cute though, and I’m excited to have a rough-and-tumble little boy (as opposed to the rough-and-tumble baby boy he already is).

Then there’s Grayson. My pure-hearted, loving little guy. Many times I hold him and am just in awe of how lucky I am to be able to live in the same house and share my life with that boy. He started PT back up today with a new therapist that will come to our house, and he did great! Our nursing situation still hasn’t resolved- currently we have one nurse who comes 1-2 nights a week. We are trying to find someone who wants 5 nights a week and/or possible a nurse to go to school with Grayson. I wish I had more of a concrete idea of how school is going to work for him; right now we aren’t even positive what school he’s going to attend.

I’m realizing that every season comes with it’s positives as well as it’s challenges. I’m so thankful I’ve had this summer to drastically slow down the pace of my life (I hardly drive anywhere these days!) but I also long for the predictability of weekly events and a fuller calendar. I hope all of you are having a great summer…

Grayson for President!

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Letters to Charlotte: Three and a Half

Dear Charlotte,
Today, my beautiful little girl, you are three and a half. Yesterday, I let you pick out a dress, we washed and blow-dried your hair and went outside and took these pictures. Most of the time, it’s so hard to imagine what you will look like in 2, 5 or 10 years, but I see glimpses of your future self in these pictures. You are sweet, independent and fierce, and I hope you stay that way throughout your life.

Let’s talk about your sweetness. One of my favorite times of day is when we read books and I sing a few songs to you before bed. You always ask a million questions about whatever story we are reading and request “How I Love You” (“You Are My Sunshine”) and “Grace” (“Amazing Grace”). Then you ask for extra hugs and kisses and say “I love you Mommy- goodnight!” as I close your door.

You love your brothers. Although you have really struggled this year with your relationship with Grayson, you are coming around. You often ask where he is and request that I bring him upstairs to the playroom with you and Nolan. And Nolan. You are so, so sweet to him. You love being the first one in his room in the morning when he wakes up and ask several times a day to “hold my baby”. You two wrestle and giggle constantly, and already have the sweetest bond.

You sure are sweet, but are also maddeningly independent. It seems these days that with anything (anything!) I suggest, you have a better idea. You want to do most things by yourself, which is sometimes frustrating for me, but I know it’s part of your normal development. One thing you don’t do independently very well is play by yourself. You are a social butterfly and want Mommy to “play with me” all day long. You ask me every day who is coming over to play or where we are going. You want to know everyone’s names, whether that be the kids in the neighborhood pool or the people on billboards on the freeway.

Girlfriend, you are fierce. We are still working on channeling your strong will and balancing it with kindness, sharing, and taking turns. I know you will get there, and I really do love that you have your own ideas and opinions and aren’t afraid to stand up for yourself and speak your mind.

Charlotte, at 3 1/2 you:

  • Weigh 32 pounds
  • Wear size 3T and 4T clothes, and size 8 shoes
  • Love coloring, playing with My Little Pony, and anything that involves pretend
  • Still refer to yourself as Shirley Temple
  • Love to watch Doc McStuffins, Sophia the First, Puffin Rock and Daniel Tiger
  • Are still struggling with potty training. I’m not writing this to shame or embarrass you, but just as a record of where we are right now 
  • Refer to anything that happened in the past as happening “yesterday”
  • Are starting to notice and care about your appearance. You love to be in the bathroom while I’m putting on my makeup and put on a bit of powder and blush.
  • Are still attached to Milton, and I’m starting to call him The Velveteen Milton because he is obviously well-loved, and has needed his first “surgery” to repair his worn nose.
  • Have started having some fears lately, especially having to do with the dark and things in your bedroom.
  • Love to snack and constantly asking for “something crunchy”.

Charlotte, there are times where you stretch and frustrate me to my absolute limit. I close your door at night and deeply exhale from emotional and physical exhaustion. But by the morning, I am always (well, after 6 am) to see your sweet little bed-head self appear at the top of the stairs. You are always in a good mood in the morning just make me smile. I love you more than I could ever describe and am in awe of what an intense, amazing, gorgeous little girl you are becoming.

Happy Half Birthday, Boo.

Love,
Mommy

Letters to Nolan: 10 Months

Dear Nolan,
This letter is a few days late; you actually turned 10 months old on Friday, but I was in Michigan for your great-grandfather’s funeral, while you and your sibs hung out with Daddy at home. You never got to meet your Papap, but he would have been delighted by you. Nolan, we are all delighted by you. These days you are, well, delightful. 
You are a crawling maniac right now, and love to climb stairs, wrestle with Charlotte, and pull up on anything you can. You are cruising just a little bit right now, and I’m sure in days you’ll be doing it all the time. 
You love to watch people. You study anyone who is in your line of sight and nothing gets past you. 
It’s fun to watch you with your Daddy- he’s been getting up with you early in the mornings and from the bedroom, I can hear you both laughing and playing. It’s very sweet. I think your favorite person is still your sister though- no one can make you laugh like she can. 

 Nolan, at 10 months you:

– Weigh 19 pounds, 1 ounce
-Wear size 9 and 12 month clothes and size 3 diapers 
– Still aren’t sleeping through the night but go back to sleep when you get a bottle. Won’t sleep past 5:30 am though. 
– Nap well in the mornings but terribly in the afternoons 
– Love food: eggs, avocado, chicken, sweet potato, strawberries, blueberries, and apples. 
– Still drink 6 ounce bottles throughout the day (and night)
-Look just like Grayson did at your age. I can’t stop looking at pictures of him and comparing you sweet brothers. 
– Have zero teeth (Charlotte got her first tooth at 10 months, so maybe one is coming?)

Nolan, you just make me smile. I love watching your personality develop and you learning new skills. I love you so, so much!

Love, 
Mommy