Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Day of Pre-School

oh goodness...can you tell he is all kinds of excited? i love this picture! 

bodie started up at pre-school last week (at Bryson's old pre-school). He is going for 2 mornings a week, in hopes that i will have a couple of mornings to tie up work stuff, so that i don't have to do 3 full days in the office. its also not entirely selfish - bodie loves the school so much and every time we would pick bryson up there would be major tears and fits because he wanted to stay too. 

the mornings where both bigger boys are in school and bobby is napping is starting to get my mind wrapping around what to do when the boys are in school. i told bryan yesterday that in 5 years when bobby starts i wanted to start doing a job that i actually want to do. so i guess i gave him my 5 year notice of intent to quit :) its exciting to think about using my brain again. i feel like any time i sit down with other adults and have an actual discussion there are cobwebs in my brain space...we need to clear those out and fire up them synapses carlee! now i just need to figure out exactly what that thing is that i would want to do...i guess i have 5 years to figure it out, but its still fun to start thinking what i want to be when i grow up!

Monday, September 19, 2011

3 Years

sorry for the blur, but i love this picture of her!

carving pumpkins at our house a week before bryson was born...love the pumpkin on the pumpkin bump!
i still miss my friend...like a lot. today marks 3 years since she passed and the pain i feel is still raw. as raw as it was when i wrote this too. i remember at her funeral the priest likened grieving to carrying around a treasure box full of their presence and memories and right now the treasure box is very cumbersome and hard to carry around, but over time it will become a little easier and then easier - but you will always carry their treasure box with you. i relate to that. my treasure box filled with devon has become a lot more portable, but no less present.

i think of her still EVERY time i see Big Lots (and thats a lot where i live) and every time i go to Trader Joe's - Devon was not so very gifted in the kitchen and everything she cooked was from Trader Joe's - like their pizza bread was her fave and she always heated up some frozen appetizer like every time you came over. she knew like a hundred recipes you could do with only 4 T.J. ingredients...it was amazing.

i also think of her whenever i go to a girls night and just think of how she would not miss this! she lived for parties...especially ones with a theme. she liked themes. i think of her when i see my keys and that keychain she made me of bryson when he was 3 months old is still on there...5 1/2 years later! little thoughts from that treasure box float around my brain and as much as they make me sad and realize the little hole she left in my heart, they also comfort me because if i can't have her around, then i must have her memories with me always.

i miss you friend. you left us all way too soon, but hope you are having a big ole themed party up there in heaven right now - i am giggling now because i am picturing you boss all the angels around and tell them where to put the chairs...hahaha...you tell em girl!

Bryson's First Soccer Game

bryson loooooves soccer. he loves most sports, but currently soccer is, like, the best. he got home from his first practice and had like super energy - it was nuts. i thought he had mixed up red bull with his gatorade or something...

he told me "mom, my coach said its okay to swipe the ball from someone. normally you shouldn't swipe things, like in dora - swiper dont swipe me - but its okay in soccer. so thats what i did mom. i swiped the ball mom. if someone had the ball i would just swipe it"

i hope he swiped it from someone on the opposite team.

he is on the team with his best friend (see him and asher in the last picture) and i think that is pretty neat. they also look pretty cute in their little uniforms. they also run a lot. for an hour they run. in the sun. so bryson was a little ruined afterward. so the lesson for me is to have rest time after the games. enforced rest time. indeed. and the sugary snacks can be a reward for AFTER rest time. because i believe that also added to the drama. 

i feel like i am navigating in this sports world like a little alien. its all very new to me. it seems like most parents care very deeply and loudly about the games...and they just don't have that effect on me quite yet. i mean, i cheer for him and all, but the yelling and up off the seat going nuts isn't quite where i am at...maybe in a year or two after my feet get wet? i just dont know any rules to any sports either - i am finding out. i never played anything except for in P.E. and when i got to High School i just danced from then on and did nothing else. i am lucky bryan knows his way around and thinks to correct them on how to hold the bat, how to kick the ball, etc. and i believe it will come eventually...so i am not too hard on myself. and of course, i always have a little hope that one of them will want to dance...although its not looking that way so far...but still...hope...it costs nothing to do that! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


i love everything about this picture. the end.
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our new rhythm...or rather the process...

i am really trying to find our new rhythm and its really kicking my butt. and by my butt i mean my emotional/mental butt. anyway. this kindergarten thing is starting so early for me and my lazy morning attitude. i am NOT a morning person...again...let me repeat that NOT a morning person. in fact, if i was not a mother i would sleep until 11:00 probably. every morning. but...the thing is...is that i am a mom...to boys who do love the morning...so much so that they wake at 6! so that has been my normal wake up time for almost 6 years now. and i still cant manage to get to bed before midnight...i dont know why i do these things to myself.

with us needing to be out 2 hours earlier than normal, it has meant my running time has disappeared. i need to find a time that works for us, because i really miss it...i never thought i would say that, but its true. running is like a mental exfoliant for me. both bodie and bobby are in a process of changing their rhythms too. bobby, who used to take these awesome naps - one in the morning and one after lunch - is now refusing to nap in the afternoon and bodie too is not having naps anymore. but the problem is that they both need naps. so now i pick up bryson at school and he needs to like run a marathon or something he has so much energy and the other boys are needing to rest and i dont know what to do with any of them.

i know that i will find it. i think that God has been trying to speak to me lately about my time and my control issues over it. i think a bit of letting go and some quiet time meditating is what my soul needs more than a workout or sewing a million things.

this last week i have been looking at my life and made some hard decisions in how to simplify. i am feeling really good about the direction i am taking and need to remember not to get too caught up in needing an end result. sometimes i need to just be in the process a little. and daresay i need to enjoy the process a little more as well? could that just maybe mean a sign of maturity? dont laugh mom...i can hear you laughing right now...

anyways...i guess all this over-analyzing is me trying to slow down, me trying to give myself some grace and encouragement that the process is where i need to be right now. a focus on my spirit. because lately i have not had the happiest heart with my kids. especially bryson. that boy has my buttons on speed dial. he gets home and is all beep bop beep beep boop. and then i am growling. seriously i growl sometimes at him because i dont want to yell. but growling may be worse.

so - MOPs is starting up next week and i am looking forward to sitting with other mamas and confessing that i growl sometimes and looking forward to them telling me its okay and feeling a little more sane in this crazy job. yay for commiseration!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

bryson - an udpate

i wanted to give a little update on bryson and his tics. back in january of this year we learned that bryson has chronic tic disorder...and the doctor warned us that if he started developing OCD tendencies it could develop into Tourette's, but she didn't see that with Bryson. only the tics and behaviors peak around 9/10 years old...so i am not completely counting it out, but trying to remain hopeful.

luckily bryson stopped his head tic and scrunching up the face tic before kindergarten started. right now he does these spins...with his whole body. sometimes obsessively (in the car before he gets in his car seat, in his bed before he lays down, by the couch before he sits, if he is walking a long way...etc) it doesnt bother us at all, but i feared that it may become a distraction to the teacher and the other children if he stands up and does it during class (which he does all the time at home)

i tried to explain all of this to Bryson as best i could. we had this funny conversation about how some people say things that aren't nice. we asked him what he would say if someone made fun of his rat tail - he said, "I'd say So! its just a rat tail. i like it!"  - best. answer. ever. love that kid! so i tried explaining that his spinning might interrupt class. i think he got it. i dont really know what he thinks about it at this point or how much it affects him. his friends never say anything and i think bryan and i are the most sensitive to it all.

i know that bryan and i had an amazing talk about it the other night and i believe we are on the same page as far as bryson goes - we both want to give him skills to control them if he can (breathing techniques, behavior therapy, etc) and also let him know that he is fully accepted and loved. i know he is still young, but i also know how kids can be on the playground.

so far he is doing great in kindergarten. yesterday he told me his favorite part is the science lab and his least favorite part was all the sitting, "it makes me feel like i am in time out, mom" - ohhh..sad day! i told him that is how his daddy felt too, which made him feel better...

in other news, i am developing a kid-sized hamster wheel for bryson to enter every morning before kindergarten. so far everyone i have talked to is behind my new invention as long as it is made of rubber or something...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bobby at 12 Months

bobby...wow...one. and boy are you ever a ONE year old! you just decided to start walking a couple of weeks ago and now you are pretty much a pro! you run. its sad to mama. in fact mama is quite upset that you do not seem to understand that your role as youngest child is to be the baby and also a mama's boy. nope. not in your cards. you are all about exploring EVERYTHING and do not want to be held or kept from that by no means! you are such a happy child. you bring so much joy to everyone who has the pleasure of seeing you. even perfect strangers cant help but be charmed by you. it definitely makes up for the fact that you do not want any part of baby-hood.

you are by far my easiest child when it comes to sleeping. you take 2 amazing 1 1/2 hour naps and prefer to go to bed at 6:00. i love it. please dont change that ever k? you like to do everything yourself, including eating. you are not a fan of someone trying to shove a spoon in your mouth. its just not okay in your mind. you like all types of food and will generally eat everything we put in front of you, which is also very unlike my other children. please dont change that ever too k? 

right now your favorite toy is remote controls and dvds and combs. but more than that you like playing in the dirt with your brothers and riding your new little push car (thank you grauntie stephanie and gruncle darrol!) or chasing the cat or jumping into pillows. you are the hardest baby in the world to change still...it goes all against that whole wanting to be out exploring everything bit...

i love you so much bobby b! we are so blessed to be your parents and as much as it saddens me that this house will not have another baby in it again, it makes me so thrilled watching you grow up - you are so fun and i can't wait to see your little personality blossom!


i have been a bit of a cliche mess this last week with kindergarten starting for bryson. i have so many conflicting emotions and thoughts on this subject and just needed to jot them all down...a part of my process...if you will...

its not surprising to you, if you know me, that i dont believe in public schooling. its all very political and boring and i dont want to write an essay about that, but the idea of public schooling as an idea - i am opposed to and i think what is happening now in California schools is such a result of that. so here i am about to put my own child in a public school and i feel super hypocritical about it in many ways. my husband and i talked about our alternative options and the two main ones being private school and homeschooling. one we can't afford with money and the second with time.

also - with homeschooling - i love it...bryan was homeschooled for a period and we have an amazing support system with our church and i know a grip of moms who do it and do it amazingly and were i the type of mom who could juggle teaching and working and somehow getting two kids three and five years younger than my kindergartener out of the way...i would totally do it. i still haven't ruled out the idea and it is definitely something i think we will revisit at some point, but for now it would be too much.

so anyway...here we are. and the saving grace in all of this is that bryson's school is just about the best thing you could ask for in a public elementary school. i have been blown away by the office staff, teachers and principal (who goes to our church as well).

one of the reasons this is hard for me is that the weeks leading up to kindergarten were so wonderful. we had hit our stride as a family and bryson has been doing really well and was calming down and just super fun and amazing. the other boys have been really easy too and it was just these couple weeks of an amazing end to a summer. so part of me sending him off was feeling like its all the end. its the end of the summer, but also the end of playdates and our own schedule. for the past 6 years i have taken my boys and had to answer to no one (last year bryson was in pre-school, but only 3 days a week) - and now - if i drop him off late to school he gets a tardy slip...totally forgot about those!

so it all kinda hit me dropping him off - sending him off to class - that this is the rest of his childhood. here. at this school (if we choose not to homeschool) and it was all very hard hitting. i have realized too that our normal routine of leaving the house after breakfast and running around like crazy to get bryson's energy out is disrupted, so that means he is out of control in the afternoon. i need to buy a treadmill for him or figure something out where he can get out his energy in a positive way....because right now - its not so positive.

so i guess my thoughts are a lot more jumbled than i realized...i have this guilt about putting him in a system i dont believe in whole-heartedly...i have this guilt that he is sitting down for 3 hours instead of doing what a little boy should do in my mind and run like mad and learn as he goes....i have this sadness that my little playmate is gone...i have this conviction that now his character will be put to test and all the "work" bryan and i have done to strengthen that character will also be put to test...and above all i have this hope that he will thrive in this environment because bryson tends to surprise me pleasantly in situations where i question his resolve.

and through it all i realize that these feelings are indeed not one of a kind...that moms all over the world have gone through and felt a lot of these same feelings and i look over as i am dropping him off and see a mom trying to hold back tears and it comforts me a bit. i see another mom's look of horror when they tell us that they don't check on who is picking our kid up from school. i see a child's nervous smile as mom is taking his picture on the first day and i realize how very normal it all is...whatever that means.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer Recap via Phone Pics

Camping in Doheny withy my bro and his fam

lots and lots of this

bobby goes in the backpack...and our hair matches

and he loves the slide

and he walks now

lots of "treasure hunting" aka: geo-caching

a date with my oldest...so fun!

lots of this too...

my dance competition

jam on it

bodie and bryson truckin at the fair