Sunday, August 28, 2011

Broken Wing

Last year, my second son, Superboy, discovered football. More importantly, he discovered that football is his passion and that it allowed him to grow more into who he is. I love my boy as a footballer, he is just so much happier and content. Even when they were losing, he was just jazzed to be a part of it all.
Yesterday was probably the hardest day in his football career. All was excitement as they got on the bus for their trip to the first game of the season. Dad is coaching this year, so he was there too. Their team then won a decisive victory against their rivals. 5 touchdowns! The first one of the game, with a huge run, was scored by Superboy's backup.
Remember, Superboy broke his arm 2 weeks ago in practice. He couldn't play. He couldn't help his team to victory. He couldn't have his taste of that delicious pie.
Now don't get me wrong. That kid has been at every practice, helping his team with his great understanding and eye for the game. He sat on the sidelines, being eyes for his coaches during this game. Being his teams biggest cheerleader. Encouraging his teammates, patting their backs after a tough play and screaming at the top of his lungs at the great ones. No one was happier to see their team win than my boy.
But he truly felt the sting of not being part of it all. Not running that touchdown in himself. Who wouldn't want to be that guy?
He had a pretty rough rest of his day. I saw the tears welling in his eyes more than once. My heart broke for him, I ached to trade him my good arm for his broken wing. I am worried about him, about depression setting in. I just pray that he turns to God to sustain him and that God heals him quickly so that he can get back to his love. I love my footballer, but I am so very proud of my boy who can't play. That team couldn't ask for a better support than him. He has really shown the kind of man that he is. And I couldn't be more proud.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What a Week!

Well, first off, The Boy is home safe from his mission's trip. More on that tomorrow.

My original plan for the past week was to have previously got everyone ready to move out for a couple weeks, to have organized and decluttered the house and garage and to have packed up my kitchen. Then the littles and I would leave for Grande Prairie after dropping The Boy off at the airport.
The actuality was that I didn't get anything on my list done except packing The Boy up and a lot of laundry done. When I got home from my 4 am drop-off at the airport and dropped dead asleep in my bed for a bit. I tried to pretend to stay asleep as the kids crawled on my head and asked me repeatedly when we could go to GP.
Then we got up, did some laundry, I packed and loaded the van, buckled the kids and I fed them. I think it was about 2pm by the time we finally left town.
The kids travelled really well, after only 2 stops and under 6 hours, we were in GP and at Nana's house, visiting with my sister and niece. The best friends/cousins were so happy to be together finally! The next day we packed up again and were on the road first thing in the morning to go to our hometown in Northern BC for my Dad's 60th birthday party. Only a 2.5 hour drive each way...
We had a fantastic time there, visiting with my 3 sisters, our extended family, meeting new cousins, eating and remembering. I just wished we had planned on staying there longer, like maybe overnight. There was so much that I wanted to show my kids, the places we used to hang out when we were young and I felt like I barely got to see my Dad at all. Next time we will have to do that.
Tuesday we spent at my Mom's, mostly just us, but my sister did come by and spend the evening with us and my Mom. That evening I got a phone call that I thought was a joke.
My husband was on the phone, it was after football practice and I expected to hear from him then. I could hear Superboy in the background and he was making a fair amout of noise, I assumed he and his Dad were fooling around. Then Brent tells me that Superboy broke his arm. "Whatever", I said, "Don't joke around like that!" Superboy's strange sounds are louder now. I realize he is moaning and hear some choked back sobs. So I waver. Normally, my Superboy doesn't have much reaction to pain, he had a very high tolerance for it. I was sure that he was putting on a show to reinforce his Dad's tale. But maybe, just maybe he really was in a lot of pain.
So then I was trying not to cry, my Mom caught my eye, so I quickly reassured her that Superboy broke his arm and not that something bad has happened to my older son in Mexico.
My husband reassured me, he was taking Superboy to the hospital, they will take good care of him. And they did. His arm was visibly broken. They got him in right away, did x-rays, set his arm, casted and x-rayed again. He was on his way home again within 2 hours. I was so sad to not be there holding his hand. Especially when they drugged him and set his arm. My husband insisted on explaining to me how the nurses held his shoulder and the doctor hung off the bed on the end of Superboy's arm.
To be honest, I am glad that I wasn't there for that. It is so awful that they give the kids an amnesia drug so they don't remember the pain that was so intense it woke my boy from his sedation. I hated hearing about the drugs' effects on my boy too. He was confused and my heart hurt for him.
So, when I went to GP, I was supposed to be there for a week or two and work was supposed to be done on my kitchen. I had cut my time away to one week, because it was evident, because of my husband's job, that the kitchen was not getting demo-ed. After the broken arm, I felt that I should be home with my hurt boy, but my husband and I decided that he would take the next day off and I would stay and rest in GP for a day before driving again. The kids and I were all sick of being on the highway!
Thursday came and we were back home, after almost 18 hours of driving in 5 days, the littles bugging their big brother and happy to be home. And though I love being with my family, I was glad to be home too, much easier to take care of 2 toddlers when you are in your own space. Especially now that they are all sick. And so am I. But it is okay, we are all home and safe. Together.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ready to Launch

August 14, 2011
I know you can't tell by looking at me (wishful thinking...), but I have 2 teenaged sons. My eldest, affectionately blog-named, The Boy), is almost 17 and he is about to leave the nest. Well only for 2 weeks, but it feels like he will be gone forever! The Boy is on his way to Mexico with a group from our church to do a short-term mission. I couldn't be more proud of him, he has a servant's heart and missions is a perfect extension of that.
They will be in the far South of the Baja peninsula at a mission that houses an orphanage and has a macadamia nut orchard. They will be working with the kids, doing manual labour, clearing brush in the orchards and working in the migrant camps with both kids and adults. Real hands on, life-changing stuff. I can't wait for him to get home and tell me all about it!
After being up until after 11, doing last minute packing, we were up by 3:30 am to take him to the airport. I had a hard time not sobbing the whole way. I took him in, he joined his group and got checked in. He gave me a few hugs and I tried to choke back my tears. I was the only mom hanging around, so I soon made my exit, even though everything in me screamed that I should keep him in my sight as long as humanly possible.
I knew he was feeling my mixed emotions, he is empathetic to the extreme. When we asked him how he was feeling on the way to the airport, he said he was worried about how his little brothers and sisters would handle him being gone. We reassured him, and that is part of why I wanted to get out of there. He was excited and I didn't want to taint that.
When I got back out to the car, I told my husband that it was just like his first day of kindergarten. He ran off excitedly, ready for the new adventure, while I stood back, watching him in awe and balling. And I think that is how it is supposed to be. We raise them so that we can launch them off into the world. We are left behind, but hopefully ready to begin our next adventure too.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sleep. Again.

So last night, on the Twitter, I realized that we Moms talk about sleep a lot. (There is an awesome thread on there devoted to sleep-deprived moms, called #zombiemoms.)  Once you become a Mom, your sleep changes forever. I have a child or two that sleep like the dead. Heavy, heavy sleepers, don't wake up for anything. I used to sleep like that, when I could get to sleep that is. But not for the past 17 years.

Now I wake at every change in breathing. I can hear their wee snores from my room, and can tell when one of them has awoken in the night, just by the absence of their heavy, sleepy breathing. I have missed more sleep than I can even begin to count, between baby feedings and middle-of-the-night sickies and night terrors... My sleep debt can not be made up. The last 3 years, I have slept through the night maybe 2 weeks worth of nights.

I am not exaggerating. Baby Zed, who is now almost 3, has not been much of a sleeper and comes into my bed most nights. Usually, especially since Baby Sunshine's birth, one of us moves him back to his own bed, but sometimes we are just too tired to bother. The biggest problem with that is I can't sleep with him in my bed. He breathes too loud. He lays on my head. He wiggles. He thrashes and sleep talks. sigh.

I really don't understand what happened with him. His older 4 siblings all slept like a dream. Through the night by a few months, most of them for 12 hours stretches. Of course there were blips. The non-nappers. The 'I am 5 months old and I am going to start waking at night again just to torture Mom' times. The teething for weeks blips. But overall, they were all amazing sleepers. I will admit to being a bit judgemental of parents who's kids wouldn't go to bed or stay in bed. "Just put them to bed!" I would think to myself. "Why on earth would you lay down with them when they don't want to sleep, this sleep thing just requires a bit of discipline!" "It ain't gonna kill the kid to cry for 5 minutes..." (which is all I could ever handle!)
Then I had Baby Zed. He did not sleep independently. He did not self-soothe. He did not stay in his bed for more than 6 hours. "What on earth was I doing wrong??? What did I forget???"  and then, "Why am I being punished???" Well, we know why, don't we? It was my self-righteous scoffing at all those other sleepless parents!
Whatever the reason, Zed has not been a sleeper. We have tried everything. We finally did establish a bed time routine that has helped get him to stay in bed in under an hour, without us laying down with him. At least most nights. But in reality, he is still a crappy sleeper and does not nap. And when he does nap, he wakes up grumpy and often screaming inconsolably for an hour. (I think it is low blood sugar, but not sure)

Then Baby Sunshine was added to this mix. His sleep looked promising, he was going 6 hours at a time almost right away. Then 8! Unfortunately, never more than 10. But I will take 10. The only problem with Baby Sunshine's sleep is that he has been in our room for the last 9+ months. Where I can hear every sound. Where I stir at every breath. Don't get me wrong, I love co-sleeping with my newborns. It is the perfect solution when your new little bundle wakes every 2 hours to feed. But once they go 4-6 hours, and especially when they start wiggling and rolling, I much prefer them in their own bed. And it is much easier for them and you to sleep through the night when they are not in your room. Every time baby stirs, I hear him and wake up. If he whimpers a bit, I find it much easier to get him and take him to bed and nurse him, than to lie awake wondering if he is going to go back to sleep or scream. So I did. And therefore, we were both night waking again.

Last weekend, we finally put him in with Girly and it has been awesome. Sunshine has slept every night, he is even napping better. I have yet to sleep through the night, but I am working on it. Maybe we will even get Zed to sleep. Now that would be awesome!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sunshine Speaks!

I keep noticing that Baby Sunshine seems to copy words that I say, in his wee baby voice. The names of his brothers and sister. His name, when he was chatting with Daddy on the phone one night. Various other things that sound suspiciously like words. But at nine months, I was sure that I was just putting words in his mouth.

But just now, The Boy and I were sitting here and big brother said, " I love you," to baby brother. And Baby Sunshine said it right back. The Boy and I just stared at each other in disbelief. Woah. He speaks.

Sleep is the new coffee!

So we spent the weekend covered in paint and got Girly's room almost finished. Brent put all the trim up and we got a few coats of white up, we just need to fix the colour transition corners and put up all the art I have so far. Brent had built some shelves and a window seat to go along the front wall in there, but the room is just not big enough for the built-ins and two kids' beds.
When we were finished, Brent built the crib for baby Sunshine and he has now spent 3 nights in there. 3 WHOLE nights! I can't remember the last time he slept through the night, 3 nights in a row. It is heaven. I love having my room back! In fact, he is having a nap in there right now. He rarely has a morning nap! Of course, he usually just goes right back to sleep after his morning nurse, and sleeps until 9. Today, he got up and had breakfast with the other 3 littles, and now he is napping. I like this way better!
Like the stellar parent I am, I am upstairs while the littles are all in the family room watching TV and the teens are still in bed. I don't feel like rocking the boat quite yet. So I will hide out with my laptop and a cup of tea, and blog or scrapbook, until I hear Zed getting into something or the baby wakes up. Then I will make everyone get dressed and go outside.
I don't know if that is really the best thing, but I am feeling the need for a wee break and a bit of time to myself.
and I spoke too soon. Here comes Zed...

oh well, I had 5 whole minutes to myself, now I get to cuddle with my cutie. Hope you have a great one!