Wow! My Christian is 8 today!

I still remember that long night of laboring before the roomful of doctors decided to take you by emergency c-section. Ah, my boy, what a fighter you were and still are!

I love you, my buddy. I love your determination and creativity, your giggles and smile, your charisma and perspective on life. I love everything that you have taught me. Thank you for your patience with me on this journey of life.

I love you!!  ~Mama

On Christian's birthday - 8 years ago

Christian doesn’t actually want to have a birthday this year, so if you happen to cross his path today feel free to say, “Christian, have a day!” 🙂 That’s all that he’s been able to handle so far…

Olivia at 6 months

It’s hard to believe that my baby is SIX today!!! (Please don’t tell her that I called her my “baby”. She doesn’t care for that term of endearment.)

I remember so clearly that day she was born. What a beautiful day! I remember being so happy to hold her right away. I remember not being able to sleep in the hospital and just our alone time at night and the lights of the city as she snuggled in my bed.

So much has happened in those six years since those sleepless nights. Some things have changed and my Liv has grown so much in so many ways. Yet some things have stayed the same — that determination, sense of fairness, smile & giggle that were there from the start I still see in my growing girl today. What a blessing it has been to be her mother for the last six years. I look forward to the many years that lay ahead.

Liv's first lost tooth

Happy Birthday, my sweet Olivia! Mama, Dad, Christian (and Pixar) love you SO MUCH!

How did that happen?  Did seven years really just fly by???

My baby big boy is now the big seven.  Wow.  What a journey it has been!

Always keeping me on my toes.  Never fearful of technology. 😉  Too cute for words…

Christian, I love you today, tomorrow, and always.  I will be there to help or to step back.  You have taught me so much about life and priorities, about learning and love.  Thank you, my sweet boy.

Somehow five years have flown by…

You have grown…

Always smiling.  (Well, almost always. 😉 )  Always on the go.  Trying to keep up with your big brother.  Sometimes taking the lead.  Always in style…

You can’t wait to get older.  I’m ready for you to take your time…

Our princess…

May you always remain the sweet girl that you are.

Happy Birthday, Olivia.  You are a blessing from God!  We are so happy to have you in our life! 😀

Sigh.  Where to start?!?  It’s been awhile since I sat down to write and ponder what’s been going on in our lives, so, I guess, this post will be a bit of a hodgepodge as these last couple of weeks have just rushed on by…

Well, last week was Christian’s spring break.  It was a struggle.  From a former-teacher’s standpoint, I understand the NEED for a spring break.  From Christian’s standpoint, I wish there was NEVER a break from school.  Our routine get SO messed up that it’s hard to get anything done.  It’s hard for Christian to stay dressed.  It’s hard to keep the peace between siblings.  It’s hard to keep my patience and sanity.  It’s hard to find something to do that pleases both kids.  It’s hard to keep up with the toileting issues that always rear their ugly heads anytime a major routine change happens, such as a LONG break from school.  Sigh.  We did manage to move a few of Christian’s therapy shifts earlier to help eat up some of the length of his days.  The kids and I went to visit my parents 45-minutes away and made animals at Build-A-Bear Workshop for their early birthday gifts from Grandma and Grandpa.  Christian was a little overwhelmed with all of the choices at the store, so I started making executive decisions for him, which turned out fine in the end.  (Especially when we got home and I realized that he wasn’t playing with his animal because I had put jammies on it.  Come on, Mama, animals don’t wear jammies!  I took them off the dog and then Christian LOVED his puppy!! 🙂 )  Liv got really shy there.  She refused to interact with the ladies in the store, but she knew what she wanted and found a Hello Kitty and dressed it in Hello Kitty jammies.  Yeah, she LOVED it!  🙂  Liv then stayed at Grandma & Grandpa’s overnight.  Her first night EVER away from us.  She did great!  She did so well in fact that she didn’t want to come home the next day.  😉  Who can blame her???  She had TWO WHOLE people’s undivided attention!  She certainly doesn’t get that around here.  Liv is looking forward to the next time that she gets to do that!  🙂  Oh, and the weather last week was BEAUTIFUL!  I couldn’t have ordered better weather.  It was warm.  It was sunny.  We were able to spend time outside.  🙂  (I just had to keep an eye on my little nudist.  He’d run out there with his clothes on and a minute later he’d be running laps in the yard TOTALLY in the buff, losing his clothes somewhere under the slide all while the neighbors were outside eating their supper.  Sigh.)  Christian started refusing to use his words towards the end of the week making it extremely hard to communicate effectively.  One of Brian’s grandmas broke her leg and ended up needing surgery.  (It went OK.  She is still recovering at the hospital.)  We had an Easter egg hunt with the kids in our living room on Saturday (since we were going to be gone most of the day on Sunday).  They had a blast.  Then we celebrated Liv’s Golden Easter Birthday here on Saturday, too.  She was excited!  🙂  Gifts, pizza, some soda, cake, playing with Neighbor Girl…Liv was a happy girl.  On Sunday, we rushed out the door after Brian was done milking to get to church.  We got there a few minutes late and didn’t get to sit in our usual spot.  Sigh.  Christian did OK, but struggled after 20 minutes.  And as pretty as Easter lilies are, they make me nauseated and headachy as I am very allergic to them.  We ended up leaving the service as communion started as wrestling Christian was getting harder and he was starting to “wet-noodle.”  We wanted to get out before he started his angry screams with hitting.  So, back on the road to my parents for the day.  I brought C’s jammies as I figured was better to have him wearing the jammies than streaking around all day in his underwear (or less).  I was happy that I thought of that before we left the house.  Liv enjoyed playing with her cousins, and celebrating Easter, and being the “Birthday Princess Flower Girl” for the day.  I enjoyed seeing my family and chatting a bit.  And it was nice to have some extra help in the backyard when everyone went out.  I stood on one end of the yard while the other end was guarded by other family members.  Thank you!  We only lost C once when he stealthily snuck through the house without making a sound.  Thankfully I found him hiding in the back of one of the cars in the garage inside of running down the street!  😉  After awhile, C wanted to snuggle with me in the dark, quiet basement, so I obliged.  We fell asleep just before supper, so when Brian woke me we decided to just let Christian sleep since he was tired enough to be napping and couldn’t eat anything that the rest of us were having for supper anyway.  Well, perhaps that was a mistake on my part.  I woke him a 1/2-hour later and then couldn’t get him to settle down once we got back home.  One day I’ll learn my lesson.  😉  I was a little nervous on Monday morning about getting back INTO our routine.  C wrestled me a bit getting into his clothes, but as soon as we pulled into the parking lot at school, he giggled.  He smiled.  He did his happy dance and then ran and galloped while “happy singing” all the way up to the school doors!  Amazing!  He was SO happy to be back!  🙂  (And I couldn’t have been happier for him, either.)  Therapy went well on Monday afternoon.  All back to routine!  🙂  Liv spent most of the day playing-up her Diva attitude while I attempted to pick-up the house and run errands.  Then she and Neighbor Girl played a LOT, which is wonderful, but they were also fighting and Neighbor Girl asks a LOT of questions.  More than Olivia does.  I didn’t know that was humanly possible.  And C went back to having accidents in the basement after his therapist left.  I was a bit frazzled.  (OK, that’s an understatment.)  I was ready to have everyone turn in for the night, so I could have some quiet solitude.  I basked in it before bed.  It was lovely. 🙂  Unfortunately, 1:30 rolled around with a wetting accident in one room, so I immediately started laundry.  2:30 started vomiting in the other, which continued for the next few hours.  5:30 came with a cry about the couch being peed on and then the vomiting started again.  Then I started not to feel so well.  Some of that just stemmed from major sleep-deprivation and having dealt with the middle of the night pukes.  I happily accepted Brian’s offer of taking Olivia to the store with him while he was home over his break.  Yes, I would rest with Christian.  And we did.  For 15 minutes.  Then I heard THAT sound.  Then I was covered in THAT stuff.  Eww…that didn’t help me feel any better.  😦  Poor C.  As I was getting myself out of my icky clothes, my phone rings.  C’s senior therapists.  Yes, we will cancel therapy today.  Thankfully, she was nice enough to come and stay with C for a couple of hours while ran to the store to buy additional carpet cleaning supplies.  I had used a week’s worth in 12 hours!  Oh, and she brought me Starbucks! 🙂  Thank you, AZ!  That really made my day!  🙂  Liv and Brian headed out to a Brewer game with some of his family after milking, which was fine with me.  I really just wanted to rest.  (And so did C.)  And that’s what we did.  I kept Christian home yesterday, too.  He just wasn’t himself yet.  I’m glad I made that decision even though that meant that I had to miss meeting up with a friend.  😦  (SM, I hope we can make it work out sometime soon!)  Liv was bored, but such is life some days, right?!?  But, today…Today Christian was back to his normal Christian-self.  He fought me getting dressed, (I mean, REALLY fought me!) but we finally managed to get out the door, and into the car, and then the kids fought ALL the way to school, BUT as soon as we pulled into the parking lot Christian was happy! 🙂  SO HAPPY!  🙂  And I was glad, as I wasn’t sure how it would go, but he dragged me up to the school building.  Happy screaming.  Happy running.  Happy jumping.  Sigh [of relief!]  I’m so excited that he was happy to be back!  🙂  And now, I should get back to my Liv, who has been hanging on my arm for the last 20-minutes…  😉

Christian LOVES his "Kipper" from Build-A-Bear now that the jammies are off! 🙂

Liv with her "Hello Kitty." Yep, that's what she named it! 😉

In honor of Olivia’s birthday tomorrow…

This pic is 3 weeks before Liv's actual due date, and about a week before she was taken by c-section.

March 2006 was a crazy month.  I waddled with Christian (because of my lovely “kankles”) from therapist to doctor to therapist, repeat.  As I had been with Christian, I was pregnant to the point where people would stop me at Target and ask me when my twins were due.  Sigh.  Just one baby.  Just one BIG baby.  (And LOTS of water weight.  Like 20 lbs of it!)  🙂 

April 4th, all good and scheduled (because of all of the complications with C’s delivery), Liv was born via c-section.  (Which actually made it easier on Christian as Grandma was able to be there for him all the way from Wisconsin.  Both kids were born in Florida.) 

Picture mid c-section. This one was MUCH more relaxed.

"Put me back in!"

I didn’t sleep a wink while in the hospital.  (Even though I really, really wanted to!!!)  So, I was ready to leave as soon as possible.  🙂 

Me & Liv the day we were released.

It’s hard to believe that FOUR whole years have just flown by!  It’s hard to believe that she was ever that tiny!  I fear that the next four years will fly by even faster!  (Is that humanly possible?!?)  She has grown into her role in our family.  She is no longer that baby who wouldn’t and couldn’t stop crying.  (Reflux.  Yuck!)  She is now our diva, princess, fashionista extraordinaire!  (Who loves to help Daddy outside with yard work.)  🙂  She is full of life and humor.  She is full of patient understanding, especially for her brother.  She is an advocate.  She is not afraid to speak her mind and tell it how it is.  She is boisterous and extremely shy all rolled up in the same package.  She is Olivia.  And we love her. 

Happy Golden 4th Easter Birthday, Olivia!  🙂

Brian’s birthday was last week.  Christian made Brian this card with the help of one of the therapists, LW…

Happy Birthday Dad

I Love You Christian I Love You Christian

Christian

The VERY BEST part of this card is that Christian READ it to Brian ALL BY HIMSELF.  Brian and I were near tears by the end.  🙂