Saturday, September 20, 2014

His first *official* love note.

Do Not Worry
33"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I've jokingly said - J how old do you have to be to kiss a girl?

Like the champ he is - 30.

That's right Rockstar! 

And then, he goes off to school.  1st grade.  Going through his folder like it's any old ordinary night.  Only it's not.  It's a night of firsts.

J got a love note.

"I love you.  Jake M.  Kiss Kiss"

from a girl named Jenna.  He doesn't like her though. 

Relief! - Joy!

I like Samantha (or Summer or whatever her name was).

SCREECH!

And do I really have to be 30 before I kiss a girl, or can I just be 10?

I won't lie, I'm working on the Bible verse I opened with today in regards to this one.  It's a struggle for me in wanting to keep him as innocent as possible for as long as possible.  And yet, knowing how I felt when I learned a classmate had died in a horrific accident when I was a child.  I still remember thinking - had she ever been kissed?  I wanted so much to grow up.  I think I spent most of my childhood wishing I was old enough to be on my own.  I was going to be a success.  I don't want that wishing for J.  Because let's face it - children have it easy for the most part.  Life at his age should be worry free.  

I didn't have these words at my finger tips when we were talking... Instead I used his crutch of sucking his thumb at night (I know, I know - we have to break it) as my line of defense. 

How about this - we stick with 30, but we can possibly discuss at 18. 

What about 10?

Hmm...  I can tell you this... Until you stop sucking your thumb, there is nothing to discuss.  And no matter what... I hope we can always snuggle and talk in the dark like this.

Then we possibly laughed at a few ideas to help him with stopping the thumb sucking.  I told him, I honestly believe when he is ready he will kick it on his own.  Right now, he is just unsure of how he will ever sleep again without it.  Maybe this is a worry he will find, he turns over to God. 

#workingongrowingfaithinthefamily

Friday, September 19, 2014

Love the child you are given:

I'm reading Anna Whiston-Donaldson's "Rare Bird" book.  It speaks of losing a child, Faith, healing, Redemption, parenting.  It's her memoir.  And she amazes me.  Has since I read the lines:  "I'm your worst nightmare...or at least I know I’m living it right now."

I'm having to read it in chunks.  Remind myself this is not one of my no brainer easy reads.  This book is feeding my calling towards God, finding my way to a church that fits with our family.  One J can grow to love God, if I'm lucky somewhere close to how Anna's Jack did.  I won't lie, there is fear there.  Fear that if my wish comes true, God may have plans for J that I'm not sure I would survive.  Having faith - trusting in God. 

7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Today I was reading during my lunch, and I was struck by words I've heard before, or seen in general context - maybe even from Anna's blog. 

"To loving well the child you are given, not the child you thought you would have."

It never struck me as it did today.  I don't know if it is the soul searching I'm feeling or the trusting in God I feel so compelled to do lately, but wow.

Love the child you are given.

Such powerful words when you really think about it.  Putting into words what I've been learning over the past 6 years.  (That first 1/2 of year was so easy)

I'm not sure what expectations I had for J before he was born.  I so desperately wanted to be pregnant.  Then I wanted to keep the pregnancy, loving that child I didn't even know yet.  Then I just wanted to survive my c-section.  I will never forget praying to God, while on the table waiting for Matt to join me so they could start, "Please just get me and the baby through this procedure and I will never ask for another child."

He did. 

J was such an easy baby.  In fact, I would have touted he was just about perfect.  I mean, how many mom's of boys can count on 1 hand the number of times they were nailed. (Any boy mom knows what I mean)  He played while I worked from home.  He napped like a champ.  He was awesome.

Then somewhere around 18 months - he developed his own personality.  Terrible 2's.  Horrible 3's.  And at times, we had WT-Farfignughen 4s.  5's seemed to be better, but 6s... Wow - there have been some doozies. 

Learning to parent him through these stages has been probably one of the most challenging things for me.  Finding the balance between reassuring him I loved him, even in moments of wanting to give up.  He doesn't like to be told "no".  And if that goodness knows what - summertime music truck doesn't stop soon - I just may shoot out its tires...  I know saying "no" will result in a fight.  Tears.  Frustration.  Yelling.  Possibly daddy (either in person, or my picking up the phone) stepping in to back me up. 

I still say "no".  Love & Logic had a post one day that said "I love you enough to say no".  Every time I say no, which is not every time, but probably more often than I say yes - I remind myself this is okay.  Part of my loving the child I'm given, is loving him through these moments.  Loving him through his need to be destructive, and talking him down off the edge.  There are times I'm great at it.  Other's well... Let's just say I've also patched a hole or two in my wall.  J has had the opportunity to help with said patchwork, so he realizes the real consequence.  I may have possibly left the hole for a while, as well, to serve as a reminder to him the damage his anger can cause. 

In this process, I'm trusting in God that I'm loving this wonderful child I'm given.  The one who feels so sorry, and is learning to stop before he starts - or at least reign it in.  The one who can look on the bright side and change the topic to share a funny story with me - even if he is still smarting and muttering - "I hate you.  You are the meanest mom ever!"  I'm trusting he is learning lessons that will serve him in the world. 

I love him.  I'm not a perfect mom.  Thanks be to God, I have him, and can love him with all my heart.  I hope I always remember to love him for him - not for who I want him to be.  He is my little Bud, but he's not necessarily a mini-me. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

One foot in front of the other...

When I last posted here, I had every good intention of getting back into blogging.  Back into the swing of the things in my life that were not tied with my survival.

I've failed.

Horribly.

I wish, for J, I could explain why, but some things are better left unexplained.  Explanations do not excuse my lack of recording his big moments.  Not blogging on his first graduation or all the moments I've shared on FB, but not here.  And I'm certain there are moments he won't forget, that I'm sure we all wish were forgotten.  He has grown up so much in the past year.  He is so much more knowing and serious.  Watching him spiral out of control in one of my better moments, knowing the only way to fix this is to give into it - and yet - holding strong that these tears will pass & he will be okay, remind me how young he still is.  I love that he still wants Mommy snuggles at night.  I love that he can rock it out at a Garth concert between his dad & me.  I love that he can roll the next day with all the maturity of a teenager.  Yes, I may have sheltered the day with discouraging TV, a known trigger for his meltdowns.  By celebrating a morning of housework with a lunch a Chilli's, his favorite place to eat.  Enjoying the early fall weather with play time in the neighborhood.

But at the end of the day, it's really - he's just a great kid.  A kid that is still learning.  One that is in the daily process of learning the consequences of his choices.  Some he will like, some he will hate, and sometimes he will hate me.  I'm learning to be okay with that.  To realize there are moments I don't necessarily love being a mom, and that it is okay for me to feel that way.  Sometimes I fail at hiding it.  I hope I'm teaching J to be humble when I apologize to him later for losing my mind & yelling at him.  I hope he hears me when I say, "It's okay for me to get frustrated with you - I'm human.  It's not okay for me lose my cool in front of you.  I'm sorry.  I will try harder next time."

Lately I've felt pulled towards God.  Felt pulled to trust in Him.  He will lead the way, and quiet my soul.  Moments of saying good-bye to our our beloved dog at age 13 when she started having seizures, and J looking at us so innocently and telling us it would be okay.  In Heaven, Payton will get to run and play with Hannah again.  Both would be healthy and happy, eating steak for dinner every day.  They'd be waiting for us.

Mr. M & I looked at each other - where did you learn this Bud?

From Mom.

Wow.  Maybe I'm doing a better job than I've thought recently.

And I definitely need to get this boy into a church class because he absorbs the Word like a sponge.  For that I am blessed.

So here I am, stepping back on the saddle.  Or keyboard.  I'm not committing to grabbing every moment or even the big moments.  I will not promise to come back & play catchup on the stuff I missed.

I'm just going to commit to the time I fell pulled.  I'm going to write, like I did today, what is in my heart yearning to be shared.  J this is for you.  I love you & your dad so much.

Today, I realize how blessed & I am.  Today I thank the Lord.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

He won a sword. An actual sword.

Last summer, we started J in a mixed martial arts class.  We did it for discipline.  We did it for exercise.  We did it for strength training.

What we didn't know at the time was J would take to it much like a duck to water (so to speak).  He loves it.  And he's good at it.  So when he was invited to train at a Combat Athlete level, and J wanted to do it... So of course, Mr. M & I agreed.  He has worked so hard, between going to school full days, plus before & after school most days - then training for an hour 3 nights a week.  On top of that, he likes to work out at home. 
Our always lean boy, as become very strong. 

All that hard work paid off in full on May 3rd.

J was invited by his coach to compete at the North American Grappling Association NAGA competition on May 3rd.

At his coach's recommendation, we signed him up for both informal no-GI and formal GI competitions.
 





And a medal.

And a patch.

Needless to say, he's pretty proud.

The whole Extreme Martial Arts team did awesome. 



I am honored to have been there to support him & his fellow teammates that day.

Mommy love!!!!

ps - you can find J on page 3 pic 19 & page 7 pic 23 for the formal Championship pictures. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

where to start?

Bud... I am sooooo sorry... This past year I have sucked (truly sucked) at keeping this up to date.  I'd like to excuse it as this reason or that, but at the end of the day, the truth is - I've completely stopped posting here.  I'm shocked when I looked at the stats, that someone still stops by here...

For you though, my precious son, I need to get back to documenting...

So I guess I will start where I left off in August.

Kindergarten.  Oh boy have you loved this school year.  You have grown so much.  I love my little reader, and I love how much you love school.  Math comes naturally to you, but spelling takes some work.  You get mad at me when I give you memorization tips that you are not learning the words, but I'll be darned if you tell me how you aced your test because you recalled my little memorization learning tip.

You have gotten into science, really learning about recycling and how important it is to the Earth.  Your Spanish teacher asks me where you learned to speak like a Native.  Of course, I have to defer all props back to her, as I cannot speak a lick of foreign language.  You were even given the lead in a lunchtime performance for your class demonstrating your Spanish speaking skills.  I'm so looking forward to the video at the end of the year, so I can see it. 

This has been a cool year with you.  In some ways you've grown past the innocence and moved into a mature little fixer.  In other ways, you are just a sweet-hearted little boy who likes to snuggle both his parents knowing he is safe & loved in that cocoon. 

Sports this year... Oye - that I will save for another catch-up post.  Along with Halloween, tooth fairy visits, and the like...

Love you Bud!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Perfect Moments Coupled Together...

Making everyday Moments happy Memories is what life is about.


Or at least it is what I want for Monkey.

This weekend, that is EXACTLY what we did. From kicking off the weekend grocery shopping while he inhaled McDonald's. Poor kiddo was starving! To soccer followed by fun kick off the season activities. To working on the pool (it’s still cloudy, but thankfully no longer green). To bike riding around the lake in our neighborhood. To laundry being juggled between all this fun.

Ending the day with a 2.5 hour drive into the City for dinner with friends. The plan was for a play date followed by dinner, but after the crazy drive all this Mommy wanted to do was eat. While the elongated dinner was perfect for the kiddos and parents to catch up, it was also very tiring after such a long drive. By the time we left for home, it was way later than I had planned, and I was pretty crabby. J thankfully was happy for the more often than not these days, rare opportunity to watch a movie while I drove. Within minutes of our arriving at home, he was in bed asleep.
Sunday we started off early, heading to the beach in New Buffalo, Michigan. All I can say is WOW! What a great day! Our neighbor invited several of the families in the neighborhood to spend the day on the beach with *the more, the merrier* belief. J, who has always idolized her oldest son, was over the moon spending the day with him. Since he has the capacity to see J as a kid brother (he actually likes), he was pretty awesome about letting J pal around with him.

It was also great for J & I, as we could go off & explore things, without having to be worried about our stuff coming up missing, since someone in our party was always around our groups’ stuff. We walked the rocks, until even Mr. Brave decided maybe that wasn’t such a great idea. Since Mommy had already gotten there, she was more than excited to turn back.

However, I am looking forward to maybe going back, if not this fall – next spring to do it with sneakers. I think I would have had more confidence about the rocks had I had on better shoes. As it was, I started carrying my flip flops, in fear of them falling off my feet, or causing me to slip on the rocks.

Mother Nature deciding to wait until school started to FINALLY give us some warm weather, is a pretty rotten joke, but at least we’ve been able to make the most of it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Jacob's Mistake

It's the second day of school & this was the title of an email I received from J's teacher.

His brand new teacher.

2nd day of school.

And of course, it takes the typical 2 centuries for Yahoo! to load an email here, as our reception is just so overwhelmingly not awesome.

In that time I may have questioned, Show & Tell mishap, making girls cry on the playground declaring future marriage plans (yes, this happened last year) to another little girl, a (gasp) potty accident/incident.

Oh man...It's only the 2nd day... This is not a good sign for the year.

FINALLY!  Message loaded.

"I'm sorry, I failed to order Jacob his Subway sandwich for today's lunch.  Instead of Subway, he enjoyed cereal and goldfish crackers.  I apologize for my mistake, and will be sure to place his order next time."

Oh... That's it.  My child, who would live on junk food - if permitted, got a junkier lunch than planned.  Awesome.  Relief.  Joy even.

It's the 2nd day, and we are not on the bad list for anything yet.

Even might have bought some leeway of sorts.

Life is good.

And J will be getting treated tonight for being a trooper at lunch!

We can just ignore the fact he was going to get treated anyway, as I planned to grocery shop tonight and still be home before 7, so yeah - he can think we have to go shopping to get his treat.

Sometimes *mistakes* are just hidden blessings.