May 31, 2011

Dear Bennett, Month 20

Dear Ben,

You're going to be a big brother.

Long before Dad and I told anyone else our big news, I had conversations with you about it. You're the best secret keeper I know . . . for now, at least. I asked if you wanted to be a big brother and you responded with your usual "Uh-huh!" You didn't really know what I was asking, but I hope your enthusiasm continues through December.

May 2011

About 10 minutes after I found out I was pregnant, my thoughts wandered to you. How will you react? How will you feel being the middle child? Your brother had all of my attention for almost 2 1/2 years, and now, right before he'll head to school and you would have had my undivided attention, we'll have a new little one. Will you understand why so much of my time will be diverted from you? Will you be jealous? Will you care? Will you resent a new little person in our family?

May 2011

One thing I do know for sure is that you're going to be a great big brother. I really did think that you might be the youngest child in our family, but I'm so glad you'll have a chance to care for a younger sibling. Your little brother or sister is going to be so lucky to have you. I can't wait to see you in this new role.

May 2011

No matter how many brothers you have, or how old you are or where you fall in birth order . . . I want you to know that you are so special to me. You're the only Ben I have and I can't imagine my life without you. You're smart, funny, compassionate and inquisitive. You bring so much joy and I love you more than words can say.


May 29, 2011

As overheard at bedtime . . .

Jack: So, how did Jesus get up to heaven without gravity pulling him back?

Me: Hmmm . . . well, God can pretty much do anything.

Jack: So, is Jesus a superhero?

Me: Yeah, I guess you could say that?

Jack: Then where's his cape?

May 18, 2011

Last days

Today was the last day of Jack's first year at preschool.

It kind of snuck up on us. I forgot to get a picture of Jack and his teacher. We forget to get Jack's teacher a little "parting gift." We were unable to attend the all-school picnic on Monday. It was a little anticlimactic.

When his teacher brought him out to the car this morning, I could tell that he was trying to hold it together. He got in the car and he wouldn't say goodbye to his teacher, so I asked him what was wrong. He whispered, "I'm really going to miss Jack Slisher." I assured him that he'd see Jack S. almost every Sunday and probably at other times. Then his voice cracked as he said, "I'm going to miss everyone."

I can't even begin to tell you how much like me he was in that moment. I don't think there has been a time in my four years of parenting and I could empathize as well as I could in that moment. I cried at the end of every school year. I didn't handle change well, and I knew that even though I was going back to the exact same school in the fall, everything would be different. I liked things to stay the same. It's only been since college that I've grown to love change.

We pulled into a parking spot to let him buckle up into his car seat. He had his head buried in his hands, so we just sat there quietly for a few minutes. I cried a few sympathy tears and I could see a few rolling down his cheeks, too. Eventually, he sat up and buckled in. On the way home we talked about what he'd do this summer and the sadness was replaced with excitement.

With all of the mud stomping, wrestling, puddle splashing, rough housing, and toy car crashing that comes with having little boys, it was nice to get a glimpse of Jack's tenderheartedness. And it was good to know that he's a little bit like his mom.

May 14, 2011

Dear Jack, Month 47

Dear Jack,

This month, you threw a temper tantrum to rival all temper tantrums. I'm sure there are kids who have thrown worse fits, but I've never seen them.

We were having a great day up to that point. I had something to return at Menards, and when we walked in, there were 7 people ahead of us in the return line. I immediately started sweating and searched my purse for snacks and things to keep you and Ben entertained. Fortunately, I found a crumpled bag of teddy grahams and you were both really easy going about the wait.

I was so thrilled with how well you behaved at Menards, that I promised a trip to McDonalds. You both ate well and we laughed and had a good time at lunch. I couldn't believe how well you both were behaving and thought I'd even have a chance to make it to another store after lunch.

On our way out of the restaurant, you asked where your Happy Meal toy was. At this point, I should have just handed you Ben's. It was exactly the same. But instead, I said, "Oh, shoot. I think I threw it away. But here's Ben's . . . you can have this one."

I had said too much.

You totally lost it. We were just outside the front door and you started screaming and running laps on the front lawn. It was the oddest behavior I've ever seen from you. I put Ben down and tried to grab you to calm you down, but you took off running toward the parking lot. At this point, I was panicked. I picked up Ben and chased you almost half way around the building before I caught you.

At that point, I realized that Ben was missing a shoe and that it was back inside the restaurant, so I had to carry Ben and your hysterical little body back in with me. On our way back out the second time, you dropped to the ground in the entry way and kicked both of your shoes off. You went limp and I had to drag you out.

I've never seen you behave like that . . . especially over something like a McDonalds toy. I still don't know why that set you off, but I'm glad it's over. I wasn't embarrassed. I was just frustrated and bewildered.

May 2011

I tell you all of this, because I wonder if that day will be burned in your memory like it will be mine. I wonder if you'll remember how you acted, or if you'll just remember how frustrated and angry I was. I wonder if you'll remember trying to talk on the way home and me telling you that there would be no talking until we got home home. I wonder if you'll remember me sending you straight to your room for mandatory nap time, even though you hadn't taken a nap in months.

After you woke up from your nap that day, you curled up with me on the couch and apologized. We sat there cuddling and talking for quite a while. I think you felt bad, but I also think you were worried that I was still angry with you. I apologized for yelling and assured you that there was nothing you could do that would ever make me stop loving you.

When you're old enough to read this . . . if you happen to remember that day . . . I hope you'll remember that hour on the couch. Because even though the tantrum was one of my worst experiences in parenting thus far, that hour on the couch was one of the sweetest.


Is this for real?

This pregnancy is remarkably different from the first two. I don't really feel any different than I did before. I had two days of nausea. I'm tired ALL. THE. TIME. My emotions are running wild. Same old thing.

The difference, though, is that I keep forgetting that I'm pregnant. There are times that I make it to lunch without even thinking about it. And that's usually only because I'm ready for some caffeine. I spend so little time thinking about it because my mind is whirling with so many other things and I'm stressed about all of them. I had three really big projects culminate this month, and a bunch of little ones thrown in there for fun, too. I think once those are finished, it might start to become a little more real. And once the checks come in for those projects, my stress will be significantly lessened!

My first doctor's appointment is on Monday . . . right during Jack's school picnic. I considered canceling, but given that I have no idea when I'm due, I probably shouldn't put it off any longer. I feel like I just made the appointment and I can't believe it's already here.

May 11, 2011

Bubbles, knees and elbows

I'm so sad that you can't really hear Ben in this video, because I'm sure you've never heard anyone say "elbow" as cute as he does. At least you can see him in all of his adorableness.

Untitled from Sara on Vimeo.

May 10, 2011

In fifteen minutes or less . . .

1. I'm busy. So incredibly busy. Words can't even describe, so I'll spare you. I'm sitting here wondering if I should even be writing this because I could get SO MUCH done in these 15 minutes. But I'll continue . . .

2. My favorite thing that Ben does right now (there are actually lots of them) is when we're finished with a book he immediately starts saying "Un mo! Un mo!" for "One more!" I can hardly resist.

3. Jack threw the tantrum of all tantrums on Saturday. Over a Happy Meal toy. It deserves an entire post of it's own, but let me tell you . . . if there were awards for this kind of thing, he would have received a medal. Or maybe a trophy.

4. Speaking of Happy Meal toys, Arby's has different fire fighter tools in their kids meals now. On Sunday, Jack got a blow up axe and Ben got safety goggles. I love it . . . so much better than Batman figurines or cardboard games with thousands of little punch out pieces.

5. I'm obsessed with Panera breakfast sandwiches. I don't know why I had such low expectations, but I love them. My favorite is their power breakfast sandwich. With sausage or bacon instead of ham, of course. Because ham? Really?

6. We bought a hammock and a stand about 6 years ago and last summer, the hammock sort of disintegrated. So far this spring, I've purchased and returned three hammocks, all of which were too big for our stand. Apparently, we have an odd-sized stand and we're having trouble finding a hammock anywhere (online or otherwise) to fit it. It's such a bummer because I love laying out in it while the boys play in the sand box.

7. We'd planned to have Jack's birthday party on Memorial Day like we have every year. But it's 3 weeks away and I still haven't finished the invitations (see #1). I'm STRESSED. I'm so busy with other people's parties and invitations, that sometimes our own family's projects get pushed to the last minute. We'd planned on inviting some of his friends this year and I'm so worried that no one will be able to come! Debbie laughed at me back in January when I was wanting to start planning, but now I'm wishing I had been more intentional about that.

8. I'm headed to Greenville next week. Let me say that again . . .I'M HEADED TO GREENVILLE NEXT WEEK! We'll be in STL for a birthday party on Saturday, too. I'm so excited, but a little stressed about it. It's just me and the boys traveling down there alone. After last weekend's tantrum, I'm fearful of taking them both out anywhere alone again. Kyle has a baseball tournament on that Saturday. I'm also trying to convince him that he'll have enough time to lay our new flooring at our house while we're gone. Fingers crossed.

8. The boys received a butterfly house for Easter and we our catterpillars came in the mail last week. As of this morning, all but one had spun a cocoon. It's AWESOME. I think Kyle and I are enjoying it more than as much as the boys are! As soon as the last little guy gets his cocoon done, we'll just wait for them to . . . hatch? Is that the right word? I don't know. My fear is that they'll come out when we're in Greenville next week and I'll the boys will miss it. I wonder how Sarah would feel about us bringing a butterfly habitat down with us . . .