We carved pumpkins tonight. Once again, it is so nice when kids get older and are able to do some things by themselves. After I cut the top off Colin’s pumpkin off, he cleaned it out, traced his design on it, and did most of the carving, with just a little help from Chad. I love that he loves to try things by himself and show so much confidence when he does. Chad and I did all the work for the other three, with Gabe choosing his design and Oliver showing me (in the picture above) what to draw for his pumpkin face. Carina’s input was saying, “Mickey. Mickey. Mickey” over and over again. She is a little obsessed right now, so she was pretty darn happy with her pumpkin. It was a great night.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
We spent the morning as a family at Epcot. Oliver was dragging, not wanting to walk at all, and we couldn’t blame him. He was sick yesterday morning (after a less-than-stellar day at Magic Kingdom on Monday). He is our kid who will throw up in the morning and be eating and running around by dinnertime, with no one else in the family getting sick at all. Yesterday, sure enough, he was eating again by 11 am with no further incidents and we were just thankful it happened on our day off.
While I rode Soarin’ today at Epcot with Gabe and Colin, Chad got the other two a snack. Ollie said his stomach hurt and then laid down on the ground and almost went to sleep. As soon as we got off the ride, we decided that Ollie, Carina and I would go back home for the rest of the day so Ollie could take a nap and regain his energy. Chad would drive us back so they would have the van. Right as drove down the street that leads to our condo, Oliver threw up all over the seat of our (month-old) van. I scrambled back there and handed him the pool bag in desperation, and Chad got to spend the next hour taking care of the van.
I have to tell you that I am disappointed. Disappointed that our vacation has been invaded by sickness. Disappointed that my little boy hasn’t had the time of his life. Disappointed that I haven’t had the time of my life. Disappointed that we came here in October to avoid the crowds and they are HERE. Disappointed that Chad is at Epcot with the boys without me.
It is silly though, right? How can I be let down? To be able to spend a week with my family in a nice, spacious condo with a bed for everyone. To spend four days at the Magic Kingdom without pinching our pennies. I can’t really be disappointed in the easy life I lead, and the hours of fun we have still had.
When I sat and thought about that this afternoon, I realized that what I am most disappointed in is this: that despite six months of planning on my part – researching tickets and condos, planning healthy meals, knowing when to ride what, coordinating matching colors each day (for crying out loud) – despite all my good intentions of trying to match this trip as smooth and AWESOME as possible, something happened that was completely out of my control to make it less than awesome.
I hate that. Don’t you? It makes me a little sick to my stomach because it brings to mind my helplessness. It makes me think about the fact that even when I do everything “right,” bad stuff still happens…stuff way more serious that a couple days of barfing. My heart starts to beat hard and loud in my chest with those thoughts.
Identifying that fear helped me a feel so much better though. Because fear can be replaced by faith every time. And even though I hate to think that my kid had to be sick to bring me back to that faith, it did. For the first time this week, I took the time to sit down in the quiet, after Oliver and Carina went to sleep, to read my scriptures and pray. When I did, my blessings lined up right before my eyes, dwarfing my disappointments.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
As soon as Gabe finished his Harry Potter party last year, he decided he wanted to do a Club Penguin party for his seventh birthday, and he sure enough, that is still what he wanted when it came around. I used the theme pretty lightly, but enough that he was happy. If you don’t have any idea what Club Penguin is, it is a website run by Disney. Kids create a penguin identity and play games to earn points to buy stuff like cool clothes,pets, décor for their igloo, and stuff like that. They are only allowed to play the computer on the weekends during the school year, so they aren’t quite as obsessed with it right now as they have been the past, but they love it.
I made Gabe an igloo ice cream cake. We played “Java Jump” and earned some medals. The kids played together and we had pizza.
His actual birthday was the next day, and he got the dinner of his choice (shrimp tacos), leftover cake, and some more gifts. Here he is, opening up his card from Grandma and Grandpa Coleman and finding a check inside. He was pretty excited.
The main gift that he received from us was a watch – a “real” watch…no cartoon characters, no digital numbers, black straps…and he is pretty in love with it. He didn’t know how to tell time when he received it, and after a 20 second explanation became a pro. He is now our official time keeper. He had a great birthday weekend and was so happy the whole time.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
You may remember the 5k we ran (a part of) in May as a family. I was really surprised to find out that my Gabe is a runner. He doesn’t have the longest legs and I was tickled to see the level of endurance he showed.
When we decided that we were going to take this fall off from soccer (for the first time in five years), I was worried about Gabe still getting some exercise. Colin will go outside and ride his bike every chance he gets, but Gabe prefers to sit with a pad of paper and a pen. Like me, he gets a lot more melancholy when he isn’t getting outside and breaking a sweat on a regular basis. The beginning of the school year was a little rough, with lots of meltdowns after long school days. I had a hard time conceiving how I could possibly get him to get up and moving when he had no desire to.after a long day of duties.
I kept a prayer about it in my mind. Please let me know how to help this boy be happy and healthy.
And one day the prayer was answered back in my mind very very clearly. Gabe is a runner.
Not long after, I was looking for a 5K for Chad and I saw one really close by, at the YMCA that we used to be members of. It had a mile long fun run right after, and it was the day before Gabe’s birthday. So I told him about it. He was immediately on board, but with one condition: he was running it alone. No Colin. No Dad. No Mom.
We have been running with him the last month or so. Around the block. To the pond. Up and down our walking trails. I still saw his endurance, but worry settled in my stomach. I just couldn’t picture my shy almost-seven-year-old running a mile race by himself. Knowing where to go, sticking with it even when was tired, not getting overwhelmed and feeling alone on the long trail.
I kept a prayer in my heart now. Please let him be okay, running by himself. Please give him calmness and confidence.
Just this morning, I put on my running clothes and Chad and Gabe got ready for their races, just in case Gabe changed his mind and wanted me by his side. I told him that I was going to run alongside him every once in awhile to take pictures (leaving out the whole and to make sure you are okay bit).
But my prayers were answered, just as surely this time. As soon as the horn went off, and he rushed off at a pace that I knew he couldn’t possibly maintain, I realized there was no way I could keep up the photography ruse…down the streets and across the fields. And just as I realized that, I saw the answer to my prayers. One lone adult was running ( I think a mom of a preteen girl who was also in the fun run) and she ran beside my little boy, with a friendly face, and unobtrusively kept pace with him. They were soon out of sight and my jitters eased up a little, knowing that she was there.
About ten minutes later, he came back around the bend. Still running. Still with the stranger beside him, slowing her pace a little so he could finish on his own. His steps were much shorter and lower, and I could tell he was tired, but he was still running. My month of worrying eased into an explosion of grateful emotion. Gratitude for answered prayers and beautiful children who know what they are capable of.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Friday, October 5, 2012
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
After setting Ollie up with a snack yesterday, I went upstairs to shower, taking Carina with me. At some point she must have wandered downstairs, and as I was finishing up, I heard Ollie yelling,
“Mom!!! Carina is on the counter!”
“Okay, Ollie. I am coming.” (continuing to get dressed)
“MOM!!!! Carina is on the counter!!!! Come get her!!!”
“Ollie, I am coming. Calm down.” (putting deodorant on)
At which point I walk downstairs to find this:
What is wrong with my children?!!!!!