Sunday, October 26, 2014

Big stuff

Maddox went on his very first field trip of his life to the Black Creek Pumpkin Patch.
He has the sweetest class and I may have already said it, but I couldn't be more happy with his first year of school, so far.
He truly loves it!

A man, who was a coach of my brother's but retired before I was in high school, sang songs and they took turns rotating through each of the activities.
My sister came over during her lunch break and had lunch with us too.
I was able to take him home after we ate, so we had ice-cream and enjoyed our half-day together before I went on call.

They were so wore out that night, that they crashed on me after their bath.

Two days later, we were back at the same patch (3rd time, this season) for another birthday party.
We left there and went to the park to play, and a quick stop by Lance's dad's.

That evening, we went to the boys' first fall fest at the school.
Randi said that Gunner was begging to be Robin also, after Maddox told him that was who he was going to be.... so I just loved that they matched!
Of course Maddox was only Robin because Beckham asked him to be-- but B told me that Batman is "ashually da boss of Wobin"... so I have to wonder how much that played into his choice of costume?!

We didn't win at Bingo, or the silent auction, but the boys played a lot of games, saw their friends, and even rode a haunted hay ride!

The next morning, they woke up wanting to get back into costume-- which we did.

Monday was exciting!
Maddox earned his first "Polite Panther" award, and was very excited.
We were so so proud of him too!

Mrs T told us that she appreciated his manners and loves how sweet he is to the other kids-- specifically the kiddos who might be having a harder time.
I told Maddox that I would take a compliment about his character any day over a home run or an awesome grade-- so we made a big deal out of it.

I left the Rise and Shine thing, ran B to mom, had lunch with my husband and made my way to FTW for my annual doctor's appointment.
I'm probably in the 1% population, who actually doesn't mind that visit.
I only don't mind it however, because I love love love my OBGYN and it is the once a year 10 minute chat I get to have with her.
Unfortunately, she slid in the room to tell me that her husband was just in a car wreck and she had to get to the ER.
Obviously I wanted him to be okay--
but I also feel like we should have a drink-- talk about our families-- and maybe have dinner-- before we get "that personal", so I was a little frazzled with my guest appearance doctor sliding in and ducking low.
I survived.

That night, I opened up Maddox's library book and started to read it to him.
He said, "momma-- do you think I could try it?"
Honestly, until that very minute-- I didn't realize he could read more than "pop, hop, bat, ran, bin, etc."  But he turned each page after the next, and read the book.  The entire book.
Like read it- read it.
"Julie has a twin sister,  Her sister has brown eyes and black hair.  She likes to run and play..."
I was shocked and proud!
And if I am completely honest, it made me feel guilty for not working with him the last couple of years more-- seeing now that he was that close.
To take it a step further, I just ordered him a bunch of used books online after realizing our book collection was rather pitiful-- and I couldn't necessarily write the same 3 books in the blank each week on out homework, without looking like a non-caring mom!

But I have convinced myself now, that it was such an easy transition for him because I didn't push it on him, and let his teacher open it up to him in a correct sequence and pattern where it doesn't feel like work-- but actually fun for him.
Like all other milestones, they rarely leap until they're ready.
I am also assuming she has more patience than me.  She is a kindergarten teacher.

He traded his book Tuesday and did just as well with his new circus book. This is so fun for me to see him explode, every little thing is so big!

Maddox has been working more with B on his letters too, and he seems to respond better to him than me.
They are just so different is so many ways-- but Beckham adores Maddox so I am using that to my advantage when I can!

Tuesday we had his parent-teacher conference and were very pleased with it.
Mrs T made us feel great about Maddox and said that she is going to offer him more work and keep pushing him to his full potential, which we appreciate!

Wednesday I felt the need to have a "you never keep secrets from mommy" talk.
Initially, because we saw a convicted sexual offender at dinner which then threw Lance and I into a conversation about a man convicted in a town not too far who was a baseball coach, youth leader and fireman.
Occasionally I have this overwhelming need to tuck them in a bubble and never let them see the world-- or chop the arms off of anyone who might hurt my kids one day, in the first 2 second evaluation I make in my head of a complete stranger.
I followed that experience up with a FB post I read from a mother who lost her gay son to drugs.  She blamed herself for spending those years making him hate himself-- by basically telling him God or gay-- and encouraged other mothers to stop saying, "I love you but hate your sin".

So, like the psychopath that I can be-- I called Maddox in and set him down.
In hindsight, I really need to let Lance handle this stuff because I suck at it.
But when I am in a spiral of thinking that someone might hurt my baby or he might hold a secret one day the size of the world-- I skip right to the punch line, envisioning myself having the conversation with my dad-- murder for hire type deal of some creep in thick glasses... or being a guest speaker at a LGBT conference, spilling everything I did wrong.
I don't ease into the shallow end.

Anywho, I called Maddox in-- sat him down-- and said, "you know that we never keep secrets from each other, right?"
He answers, "yeah!"  All innocent, like the 6 year old that he is.
But I go on.
"Like, if someone ever does something that makes you feel uncomfortable but you think I might be mad, or sad, or embarrassed, or angry-- you can tell me.  Always.  Daddy too."
"And If someone tells you that you can't tell me... that it is even more the reason to tell me... no matter how much they might convince you that you shouldn't."
I might have even thrown in a, "and if anyone ever tries to touch your private parts-- you tell them that your daddy will cut their neck off and you tell me immediately."
Again, I'm Holly.

Anyway... that little 6 year old who started with a smile-- all innocent and pure-- started crumbling.
His lip was turning down, and tears were spewing and my heart was racing about 220 bpm.
I was trying to stay calm on the outside, although I was already loading the Glock in my head, as I calmly asked, "why are you upset, Buddy?"
He cried harder, "I can't."
"no you can Maddox, tell me."
He buried his head.
I kept negotiating with him to tell me-- but the more I pushed, the harder he cried.
I had just spent 5 minutes promising him that I would not be mad or upset or crazy-- but everything in me wanted to threaten a spanking if he didn't spill the beans right then.

Finally he said, "____ (I won't throw her under the bus) kissed me." More crying.
"I don't want you to be mad momma."  "I don't want to be teased."
"She kissed me on my hand..."
"On your hand?!"
"and on my head ...on the playground.  Only 2 people saw, and I really hope they don't tell." ...more crying.

I hugged him and told him that I was proud of him for telling me and I was sorry he was embarrassed, etc, etc...
but I really wanted to shake him and tell him that being kissed by a 5 year old on the hand was not on my list of things that I was willing to kill for and make him take my pulse so that he could see just how close I was to calling the Care Team at Cooks for an admission!
But it is big stuff to him.  So we talked and both felt better.

I told Lance about it all that night and he just shook his head.
He was like, "I don't know if I'm more worried that you thought your 6 year old might be coming out of the closet-- or that the same kid who is never not with us, has a secret like that to tell?"
I said, "good point.  From now on I'll just call you and you can talk me off the edge!"

In other (more normal) news, my mom and I have started walking/ running at the track while Maddox is at school.
Beckham sits on the side, most of the time, playing with his toys-- but occasionally jumps on the track for a 400 meter sprint!
My friend Jennifer has a way of motivating me to be stronger/ healthier without ever saying a word.
Plus I am 10lbs heavier than I was after I had Beckham, so now is as good of a time as any.
I have set myself a goal to run a 5K with her, and that is what I am working for -- baby steps.
Right now I can't run more than a lap at a time without stopping to walk, so I am not very close.

We also did some shopping last week, jumping at Chickfila, and mom and I made a stage out of sheets on a Friday night-- because we are awesome like that!

The biggest news on Friday came from Maddox, who got to move to Rock Star for the first time.
Lance had made him a deal at the very first of school that if he ever got there, he could have Lance's old phone.
He is so proud of his non-working iPhone 4, and if you want to watch him play a game of Solitaire (the only game downloaded on it), then he'll be glad to show you!

Saturday night, I dressed up for the first time in probably 6-7 years for a Susan G Komen charity party.
Two of my best gal-pals are walking in the 3-day and one of their team members hosted an awesome party to raise money!
I only wish I had taken pictures of other costumes at the party, because they were all so good!

Today, we went to the airshow.
I mostly napped.
Or tried to nap.
While the boys crawled all over me and airplanes zoomed over my head.

But the weather was good and I didn't have to touch a load of laundry, so I call it a win.
Dinner at Babes afterward nailed it home.

The weekends come and go so fast these days, tomorrow is already Monday again.
But it is Red Ribbon Week, and Halloween...
more big stuff in store!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So far in Kindergarten, I have learned...

  • Worrying about our schedule was unnecessary.  As I promised to every single person who felt the need to tell me that my unorthodox schedule for my kids would wreck us in kindergarten, it only took 2 days.  Maddox plays so hard that he is dragging by 7:00.  Dinner, baths, books, teeth brushing, a recorded episode of The Voice, and he is more than ready to lie down at 8:00.  The only down-side:  I still work my old schedule-- but have to be up for his new one.  This night owl who rarely went to bed before 12:30 is counting down those 2 last hours of call every night.  And those babies who slept past 9:00 every morning are up and at it by 7:00 now... even on the weekends.
  • Everything is exciting!  And I mean everything.  The first trip to the library is equivalent to seeing the Mona Lisa.  Earning a panther paw for a drawing that he is extremely unlikely to win is like hitting the Powerball.  The letter of the week, a new kid in class, being the line leader or one to do the weather, getting chosen in PE to demonstrate the new game (even if it is because"Wyatt" --whom I have never heard of before this conversation-- was absent that day) and now having two options to choose for lunch (even though he brings his lunch 90% of his life) are all super- crazy- amazingly- awesome and exciting!  As soon as he gets in the car each day, he can not stop talking about his day-- and then we call Lance to tell it all over again-- and when he runs out of things to tell us, he goes back to the same question, "do you want me to list the people in my class?".
  • Girls are already a problem.  Of course I mean that funny--  But I had no idea that the boy who would turn so red and cover his eyes if he saw something on tv that might lead to a kiss, only 2 months ago... would sit in my back seat and have a full conversation about who likes who, and who tried to kiss who, and who thinks who is hot, with his little pal Brittan.   I pretended that I couldn't hear them, of course-- and had a moment of self-actualization when I recalled sitting in a backseat, assuming my mom couldn't hear-- spilling info myself.  
  • Handwriting doesn't come easy to everyone.  Sometimes it blows my mind that this kid that I thought could skip to Junior High if he wanted to, struggles so much with his writing and coloring.  He tries though, and is slowly getting better.
  • A little about everyone in his class, their family, which table they sit at, who they sit by and where they sat before Mrs T moved them.  We also know all of Mrs T's facial expressions as sometimes when Maddox tells us a story, and we ask, "then what did Mrs T say?" Maddox just answers with an expression!
  • Heart ache doesn't have an age limit.  It is no longer a secret that my brother took a job offer and is moving.  It is also not a secret that one of the main reasons we moved here was so that Maddox and Gunner could grow up side-by-side.  With that said, I am completely excited for them and proud of them for taking a leap out of their comfort zone to better their family.  Once my niece and nephew had been told, we started easing the news onto Maddox.  Gunner and Maddox play together every single day and are each others' best friend.  Just ask them.  Every time we would talk about it, Maddox would sound mostly non-bothered and occasionally excited.  I finally asked him point blank, "how do you feel about Gunner moving?"  He said, "Good.  If Gunner is happy then I am happy."  He skipped out of the room with his Lego's and then cautiously walked back in, "they're just moving houses right?  We will still go to school together..."  I am pretty sure I heard his baby heart break, when he realized that they weren't.  He cried and cried and thrashed his body around like a broken hearted teenage girl.  I cried, and my brother said that Gunner had a similar reaction to leaving Maddox.  Apparently Gunner asked him what he thought about it the next day and Maddox said, "I just had to cry my eyes out."  They hugged, and went back to playing.
  • He's still tiny.  Just two months ago, I saw this kid as big.  I treated him big, I expected from him as if he was bigger, and I can even admit that he annoyed me through some of his days because I had no more to offer him-- I felt.  Flash forward, I see this baby.  Maybe it is because I miss him when he is gone, maybe it is because it is because they are the tiny ones on campus.  Maybe it is that excitement that I first mentioned-- that glow that he gives the tiniest things, or the way he grabs Mrs. T's hand to cross the road without worry of that being a "baby thing", or the kiss he gives me and then B every morning without caring that others will see.  I keep making him promise to always be my baby but he says that just isn't right for teenagers, so my days are getting shorter.
  • I'm doing an okay job, even when I am certain that I am not.  There are days that our morning sucks or he and B can't get out the door.  Just this week, I was having to get on to him as we were getting out for school for the 5th time that morning.  Normally I say, "make it the best day yet." but that particular morning I said, "you better turn this day around Maddox.  If you keep this up, you're going to have an awful day."  I regretted saying that all day but hoped he didn't take it to heart.  That afternoon when I picked him up, he said, "I had the best day ever!  I kept thinking about what you said and I chose to turn it around.  I guess they noticed because I finally earned a panther paw!"  
  • Beckham is funny.  I only blame kindergarten for learning this little fact, because Beckham has never had problem being in Maddox's shadow.  B likes the shadow, because he truly runs the ship from there, but just uses Maddox to do it.  Without Maddox here during the day, I feel like I am getting to know Beckham better than I ever have.  He is still quiet, stubborn, easily entertained by solo-play, loves anything mechanical but is seriously funny.  I will never ever regret my decision to wait on MDO.  My favorite thing Beckham says right now is, "don't mind if I do", when asked if he wants anything!
  • the school year flies by.  I know that's silly to say, only one 6-weeks in.  But with birthday parties, and zoo dates, and work, and TCU games and the upcoming holidays-- we have yet to have a weekend at home.  We are already in October, then Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  So technically, in just a few short weeks, this first semester is over.  And I can't have a first grader. 
  • the days are getting shorter.  I have a list of things that are never done.
  • that everything will be okay.  And when it feels like it won't-- I am thankful for genuine friendships that take no work, full of honest advice and support, from gals who have been through it all before.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's fall y'all

We have had a few mornings that have felt like fall with temperatures in the 50s...
And a few days that have felt like scorching-summer, and near 100.
We live in Texas,
And that's typical.

Having a kindergartner, that just means remembering you sent him in a jacket-- and chasing it down before you leave for the day before it is lost forever in the pit of unknown...
also typical.

Beckham and I took Maddox lunch.
Partially because we are sweet--
but mainly because we were running late, the bread felt stale, and I ordered these macarons from a girl in Boyd-- so I was going to be out anyway.

Thursday was the Finale of Big Brother.
Maddox is a mega-fan.  He even tried forming an "alliance" in his class.  My guess is that the kids who agreed, had no idea what they were agreeing to.
Maddox talked strategy the entire way to school-- I planned a fun dinner to eat around the tv-- and then we found out that it didn't come on until late-- wouldn't end until 10:00, and had to send Maddox to bed devastated-- not knowing who won.

We have been working harder on our letters since Beckham isn't in "shool" anymore but that child just isn't that coachable.
 He is very confident though... some might say stubborn.  And in his defense-- I am not very patient and do not make a very good teacher for him.

Some of the letters he knows, some he doesn't, and others he thinks he knows-- and there is nothing that I can say to convince him otherwise.

Every.  Single.  Time.  He calls an 'A' a two, and an 'H' a magic hat.
I thought it was my handwriting, and was turning my head sideways to figure out where that was coming from until on this day we were doing a puzzle and picked up the H and confidently slid it into it's correct spot saying, "magic hat"-- and I saw this.

He wins.

This round...

Now onto the A.

Friday is pep rally day at school.
They also take the kids to the track on Friday's and if they run 6 laps, they get a Popsicle-- and on specific Fridays (I think once a month), they encourage family members to come walk too and help them earn charms.

Beckham had mechanic stuff to do all morning and then we joined him at the track.

I packed the jogging stroller but didn't realize the wheels were flat until we got there-- so I grabbed toys and offered him a shaded spot to play, all the while expecting him to complain.
Instead, that boy ran all 6 laps with his brother.
I, on the other hand, walked mine... But Maddox earned his apple charm.

I had 4 missed calls from Lance when I got out of the pep rally.  I called expecting an emergency, instead he was asking me if I wanted to go to the "Battle of the Big Sandy".
Important stuff apparently.
We met our friends for dinner and then took the kids to watch the game.
We switched sides throughout the game because it was so crowded, loaded the babies up on more sugar than anyone needs, but they had fun.

Saturday was spent around some of my favorites.
I worked that morning and Candace brought her tiny in for an appointment.  I got to meet Amanda for lunch afterward and one of my best friends from high school, Katie, had her baby shower that afternoon, so I hung around town for that too.

Sunday was Katie's 6th birthday party.
Lance played golf that morning and then joined us at Chuckecheese to celebrate.

That night, I fell asleep holding the boys.
All of the sudden, I felt this sharp pain in that tender part of my arm.
I yelped out and B was wide awake, unbothered by my response, just staring at me.
I said, "something just bit me!"
B responded blankly, "I tink it was a nake."
It wasn't a snake.  It was a super-ornery 3 year old who pinched me for no good reason at all.

I adore that little turd.

Monday was back to school as usual-- with a wild week ahead of us.
I feel so blessed for Maddox to be in the class that he is with such sweet kids.
He loves school and can not wait to go each day.

Tuesday was a mess.
Our neighbors have 2 big dogs that chase our cars.
They mean no harm, but make you a basket case trying to avoid them when coming or going-- and when you're running late (like we are almost every morning) the case-of-baskets multiply.
This particular morning I had to bob and weave through the barking, and as I turned the corner, I saw the owner come out and no longer saw the dogs, so I took off.
bump, bump.
I hit him.
I jumped out of my car yelling, "I hit him, I hit him-- I am so sorry!!!" while running towards the woman...
The dog was alive and also running towards her but his back did not look right to me.
She was yelling to me that it was okay, that she knew I didn't mean to, and to go on--
But I was crying,
Maddox was sobbing,
B was unsure what the hell just happened,
And it was testing day for Maddox at school.
Double bonus.

We made it another mile down the road to road construction and no chance for getting out any time soon.  It was then that I realized that I forgot the snacks (That I had to supply for the entire class, therefore couldn't avoid) at home.

I had 2 choices--
go back.
Pass the potentially dead dog and his owner, laid out on the road in dramatic tears...
Or drop off the boy and head to Bridgeport for snacks-- make a trip back to Paradise-- and then home.
I chose the more expensive and time consuming one.

As of Thursday, the dog was still alive and had urinated...
I haven't heard today.

I also finally received my new phone in the mail that day.
Goose destroyed my other one and I have been using a broke one for a few weeks.

Do we see a pattern of stress in my life?
This is why I am not an animal person. 

Tuesday evening, the boys played golf in the driveway.
I am wanting to get Maddox into lessons somewhere, because he seems to have a fairly good swing-- but for now they just play around.

Wednesday was picture day for my big honey.
I swear I could just spread him on a cracker and eat him up.
The tiny one insisted on dressing as Batman.
...a stage that I will never get tired of.

I worked in the office on Wednesday-- which is about as rare as a UFO sighting-- and though I was only doing phones, that change in schedule wore me out!

I rushed home to get the kids-- and Lance drove around Alliance looking for a pirate book to match our outfit (reverse order, I know) for character day the next day at school.
He finally found a Jake and the Neverland Pirate book and a Disney infinity book that happened to have two tiny parts about Captain Jack Sparrow, and we went with the second.

I fell asleep by 9:00, reading to the boys.

Thursday was book character day at school for Maddox.
And still Batman Day, for Beckham.

I was so happy we went with the Disney Infinity book because everyone was saying, "Jack Sparrow!" to Maddox as we got out of the car-- and telling him how awesome he looked.
Even the kids knew exactly who he was suppose to be, and to be honest, I had never heard that name until the night before!
How embarrassing had it been if he would have had to say, "no... I'm Jake."

His life as a pirate was short lived though as I got a call from Lance around 10:00, saying that he had just missed a call from the school nurse.  As he was talking, a voicemail popped up on my phone from them also, and my mom started beeping in all at once.

Maddox was playing at the playground and ran right into a pole, she said.
I am triaging the nurse's assessment by shear habit-- No vomiting, no loss of consciousness, eyes are equal and reactive, normal vision, pain is under control, he's got an icepack... and then she says, "I think he would just feel more comfortable at home."
This is just kindergarten Holly, Beckham and I headed his way.

He was so sappy when I got there.
Tears, upon tears, upon tears.
Mostly because he was missing the rest of the day dressed up as a pirate-- but also because he was going to miss his friends... and Mrs T... and really wanted to be a pirate....

He then stopped square in his tracks to tell me he left something in the nurses office.

I am still trying to coddle him and reassure him at this point, so I offered to go get it.
He was stumbling through his words when I would ask what he was missing, never giving me an answer, or making any sense at all; so I agreed to let him go back himself.

He came out with a little yellow wild flower that a girl named Braylea had given him--- and he nursed that thing all day in a cup of water, hoping to bring life back into it.

Back home I attempted to get a clear story of what happened...
He also couldn't stick with a solid story--
He was running to give Gunner a hug... He was running to the swings... Gunner was at the swings... He was looking behind him and running...
He wasn't chasing anyone-- and no one was chasing him-- he claimed,
but I have known this child for 6 years and he wasn't being completely honest.

There is a fine line when it comes to nursing that all moms who are nurses will agree with.
Your momma brain and your nursing brain sometimes compete-- and though I didn't give a dang how it happened... I needed to know that he knew how it happened, for peace of mind.

Finally a mom of another little girl told me that some girls were chasing him, and he was looking back at Braylea when he slammed into the pole.
I guess he was too embarrassed to admit that.

And that's what love will do to you son--
make you not see straight, lie to your mother, and end up bruised with a massive headache.  ;)

Trust me on this one.

The rest of the day felt like the old days...
as in a few weeks ago- days, before we knew this world of school.
And before Beckham asked me 60 times a day if it was time to pick Maddox up for him.
Every day, as if Maddox is his.

The boys played outside while anticipating Lance's arrival home from work.
And call was so good to me last night.

Today Maddox is back at school, sporting a shiner to his eye-- that doesn't open all the way.
Tonight we have a birthday party for his little buddy Syler, and a busy weekend ahead of us.

My mom warned me that time would fly once my kids started school--
but I had no idea it would be this fast!

It's already fall y'all!