>> Sunday, May 29, 2011

The only thing that little boys might like better than mud is puddles. Well, it is a pretty close tie. And the only thing that redeems rainy weather (again, for little boys- I personally love the rain!) is going out afterwards and stomping in the biggest, splashy-est puddle you can find!

And with lots of rain and puddles comes lots of worms. Lucas used his best 5yr old powers of persuasion to convince me that this particular worm needed to come home with us and be our pet. "He is small, quiet, and only eats dirt. He won't bother you one bit." We compromised and brought him into our backyard to live near one of our trees. And as Lucas dug him a hole and gently placed in the worm in the dirt, he wished the worm "happy times, little guy!"

And when you put put mud and puddles and worms all together in one spot... well, you get two very happy boys and one very smiley mama. When we got home and peeled off all the muddy clothes (in the garage), Caden says "tanks for de ab-venture, mommy." Makes any amount of muddy clothes worth it.

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Little Mud Monsters

>> Saturday, May 28, 2011

We have been waiting SO LONG for some nice spring days. We have had a couple thrown in here and there surrounded by too many cold and rainy ones. So when a nice day come along, you gotta run with it. We took Lucas and Caden to the park yesterday and they found an awesome mud hole. I don't even fight it anymore. I don't even want to. It makes me smile deep into my soul to see them throwing rocks and sticks and grass into a mud pit then stir it with a stick proudly announcing that they have created the "most delicious sea monster soup ever!"

They are, after all, just little boys. And little boys love mud. It is one of the laws of nature.

Today, of course, is rainy and chilly again. But here's hoping that we have more beautiful days of mud-play coming soon.

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Mighty to Save

>> Thursday, May 26, 2011

It has been pointed out to me that this blog is a little heavy on posts about Lucas lately and not as many about Caden. This is certainly not intentional or ANY indication of my affection for one over the other. Just happened that way, I guess. But in response to his fans, here is an adorable video of my sweet youngest. He loves to sing, this song in particular. And the Robin costume and sunglasses and mid-song-stubbornry just say it all about this little man.

This is the same sweet little guy that wanted to cuddle with mama last night and then today nailed me in the head with a Batman toy because he was frustrated I wouldn't buy him a StarWars toy he saw another kid playing with. Yeah... that's my 2yr old. (Almost 3 now, I guess.) Super lovey and sweet when he chooses. Super stubborn and defiant also when he chooses. He can bring out the frustration in me way faster than his brother ever did. But I simply adore him and how he loves to rub my thumbnail to soothe himself. Oh, sweet little Caden...

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Preschool... Check!!

>> Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lucas officially finished preschool today. He stood up on the stage with two of his favorite little friends, reciting their poems and singing their songs, and just like that my little baby left preschool behind with bigger things on the horizon. Bigger things like kindergarten and all that, but not necessarily better things. Loretto has been an amazing place for Lucas. His teachers are nurturing and instructive and put their whole hearts into being with the kids. We all feel so fortunate for them and can't wait for Caden to start next fall (if he'll potty train).

I cried through most of the program. Happy tears through a smile as big as the room. I was just so stinkin' proud of him and just kept picturing that moment when they first handed him to me in the hospital recovery room. He was this chubby, rosy faced little person who was going to change me forever in ways I could never fathom.
And now he is this smart (and a little sassy, too much sometimes) and tender little boy who is getting ready to take on the world. I asked him this morning as we were leaving for the program if he was ready to graduate preschool. He turned to me and said, "Mom, I was born ready!" And I pretty much think he's right.
I couldn't stop hugging him today, just wanting to cement in my soul the feeling of holding him while he can still fit in my lap. And I have to say that I also hugged Caden a bit tighter today. It won't be too long until I am living this day with him too.

Even as I type this, Caden is asleep next to me on the couch (at 11pm). He came down crying while I was finishing my nightly ritual of watching RealHousewives while blogging or playing on FB. I didn't have the heart to take him back to bed when all he wanted was to cuddle with his mama. And now his precious face is smushed against my arm and he is contentedly back to sleep. I hope neither of them get too old- EVER- to stop needing the comfort of being close to mama. I know I will never -EVER- stop needing the comfort of holding them close.

Happy last-day-of-preschool, my sweet Lucas! You are as vital to me as my heartbeat. I am so proud of the little boy you are and who you are becoming. You are gentle and kind-hearted and feel things so deeply. Your capacity for love and knowledge knows no bounds. My precious little preschooler... moving onto life's next task. Preschool? Check! Bring on the world!

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Half Way to...

>> Monday, May 23, 2011

Today was Lucas' last real day of preschool. Boy, has that snuck up on me. My little baby is half-way to leaving me already. Well, closer anyway. Seems like just yesterday I was stressing about which preschool to choose and now I am working my a** off to make the first tuition payment for private school kindergarten.

Actually, I have been working my a** off at a lot of things lately and yet I don't feel like I am getting very much ahead. I am having one of those days weeks months where it seems that no matter what I am trying to do, I can only get half way. Half way to what, I am not totally sure. But I just know that, if you put all my many task/hobbies/endeavors/jobs/roles on a line measuring success, they would all lie much closer to rookie than to expert.

Tonight, I was in the midst of a million different things, as usual. Caden came toddling down the stairs with such a sweet smile on his face, just wanting to cuddle a little. And of course I obliged. Cuddling that sweet little man close is what keeps me going. These two boys and their daddy are all that really matters to me. And yet, I let so many other things occupy my time and energy and thoughts. And then there is this Lupus thing... and that is a whole other story. Or more accurately, the wrench in the story.

Right now, I just need to go to bed. Along with being half-way to good at something and halfway to having my sh*t together, I am half-way asleep already and need to just give in. On the bright side, I held a sweet newborn baby girl today and she felt so perfect. :)

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Our Prayers Are With You

>> Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I have a good friend whose father just passed away and another friend about to start treatment for breast cancer. My heart is a bit heavy for them both, feeling the weight of their sadness and wanting so much to help. This is a post for my friend Brandie who starts her cancer treatment this week. I posted this on my other blog DupageMamas today. But I thought I would also post it here to drive as much traffic her way as possible. Thanks y'all!

This motherhood journey is filled with the full gamut of emotions. We can feel 100% joyful and then frustrated then sad then grateful all in the span of just a few hours or even minutes. But at least we all understand each other and walk this together. I know that when my day or week is not as I would hope it to be or when I have something to rejoice in, I have my mommy friends to walk beside me no matter what the emotion of the minute is. And I hope they know I am that for them too.

In this moment, one of our fellow mamas is walking through something few of us could ever imagine or fathom. Just a couple weeks ago, our friend and contributor Brandie was diagnosed with breast cancer. So much has been happening all at once with multiple tests and doctor visits crashing in on her life as a homeschooling mama of three very active kids. Brandie is one of those special people who you feel like you have known forever the second you have the pleasure of sitting at a table with her for lunch for the first time. She is genuine and hilarious and one amazing knitter.

Yesterday was Brandie's 32nd birthday- HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRANDIE!!! And tomorrow, she is scheduled for her first surgery to kick this cancer in the a**! There are so many things I wish I could do for her. She is a part of my community, a fellow mom going through a challenging time. And if the table was turned, I know she would show up at my door with her knitting needles and a gluten-free meal. I want to walk with her as much as I can through this really rough time. But there are a couple things we really can do. We are, after all, fellow mamas who know at the very least what it is like to need someone to step in and walk with us through whatever challenge we may be facing.

Today, please take a minute to hop over to Brandie's blog and leave her a message of love and encouragement. Let's smother her with our prayers and healing thoughts as she takes an important step on this journey to beating cancer. It will just take a second of your time and I know it would brighten her day. A mutual friend and fellow blogger, Tracey, came up with this idea for all of us to post about Brandie and send people over to encourage her and lift her up as she prepares for surgery tomorrow. Could you take a second to help us do this for Brandie? (don't forget to mention that you came thru DupageMamas)

Also, if you are the type that likes to tangibly support someone or has the gift of hospitality, consider signing up ti bring her family a meal in the coming weeks as she is recovering from surgery. You may have never met her but still want to bless a fellow mama in this way. I know this too would mean a lot to Brandie and her husband and their three kids. Click this link to sign up for a day to bring them a dinner and give them a tangible expression of our love and concern for her.

Most of all, I know that Brandie appreciates every single thought and prayer sent up for her. Please keep her and her family in your mind as they go through the next few days and weeks. Let's support her however we can. That's what moms do. We walk along side each other to make the journey easier and more fulfilling for us all.

And Brandie- please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. You can beat this stupid cancer!! God is holding you up and carrying you through. And we, your mama community, will do the same the best we can. We believe in you and think you are amazingly strong! Kick this cancer's a**, Brandie!! We know you can!

Once again y'all, flood Brandie with your internet lovin' today through her blog or on twitter if that is more your scene!

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>> Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wow... I haven't posted at all yet in May. There are so many days when I say "maybe I should blog about this" and yet the day ends and all I want to do is lay on the couch and fall asleep. And truthfully, there are so many things going on that I feel like I either have to tell y'all everything or I'm not being really me. I am kind of an "all-or-nothing" kind of gal (if you haven't learned that about me yet) and I need to learn to live a little more in the grey sometimes.

Anyway, I have a "mommy-pride" bursting moment to share to at least get me back in the groove. Lucas started playing pee-wee soccer last fall. Admittedly, it started a little rough. His focus was anywhere but on the field or the ball. It didn't seem to come very naturally to him, but it was his first go at organized team sports and he seem to have a great time. So, when his friends from school were organizing a team for spring soccer, we asked him and he said he wanted to play. And this year, he is doing so much better. :) He is keeping up with the ball better and getting more kicks. Seeing his little face when he gets a kick makes me giggle. He is so excited. And then last week, he got his first goal!!! And today he got another!! Hooray!!!!
I have to admit that I get really frustrated when he is out on the field and not paying attention. He still has many moments when he is distracted by something on the sidelines or he runs right past the ball because his mind is focused on something else (probably superhero related). I try to keep my frustration to myself (try being the key word). He is only 5 after all and has made serious improvements from the fall until now. And I am super-conscious to make my words to him be nothing but encouragement and redirection. But I do need to learn to relax my expectations a bit because sometimes I let the frustration overwhelm me. Again. (Yikes. Seems like an unfortunate trend with me.)
So let me rejoice in his growth!! LUCAS GOT TWO GOALS!!!! YIPPEE!!!!
Driving home from the game today, he said "Now, my favorite times of the week are when I am with Mommy and when I have a soccer game." *melt* What a precious kid!

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