Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What an amazing kid!

A few months ago, Matt received the application to enter the 'Reflections' contest. Matt is a really amazing writer. Seriously, I don't think I wrote as well as he does when I was in high school! (insert sarcastic commentary on my high school education here)...... He has been working on a trilogy of books since last year. So, in the year he's had malignant brain cancer and short term memory loss, he has also written 3 long books (about 40 pages each) that are really engaging and fun to read. So, anyway, back to Reflections. Matt wanted to enter book 1 of his trilogy, "The quest for peace". We got all set to submit it and realized that for literature there is a word limit. Darn. Matt was upset, so I encouraged him to write something else. He came up with this poem (the theme for the year, was "WOW!").

Baby Jake

This marvel, my brother, he's better than any other.
He's cute, loveable, and extremely huggable.
I love him, as he loves me,
It's because we're family, you see.
Jake's cute and gentle, so I write about him with my pencil.
My littlest brother, one of my best friends, the love that we share just has no end!

I still remember the day Jake was born.
It was during the evening, not early morn.
When I first saw this small child, I thought,
"He's my brother, so tiny, meek, and mild."
But as I watch, Jake is growing each day.
In fact, he has even started crawling away!

Jake's growing and watching, so each and every day, you can bet that I'm trying to choose the right way!

Jake is a wonderful gift, no doubt.
Sometimes I wonder how I could ever be without this baby,
which Heavenly Father has given to me to take care of,
and hope he grows up to be like me!
This tiny boy grows so fast each day that I - I just don't know what to say

A few weeks after Matt submitted his poem, he told me they had an assembly for Reflections. He said he had been asked to read his poem, but that he hadn't won anything. Oh well. However, a week or so ago, I received the school newsletter that said Matt had been one of the first prize winners in literature for his school. The next day, I received a letter inviting him to a district wide awards ceremony that also mentioned he had not only won at the school level, but also the city level! Then, just on Sunday, we received a telephone call that said his poem had also won at the regional level and was going on to be judged at the State level! I am so proud of him!

I was really worried when I found out Matt had won at the school level, but hadn't realized he had been chosen as a winner. We're always worried about Matt's memory, if he is missing things at school, etc..... and for him to 'miss' something like this is pretty significant! Once I spoke with the Reflections coordinators, though, I felt a lot better. They said that at the school level, they don't use 'winner' language. Every child gets recognized. She said that she didn't think it was strange for him to not realize he had won. That made me feel so so so much better! Now I can just help him enjoy his success!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I think boys and girls might be different.......

This photo was taken with my phone by William. He sits next to Jake in the car and faces him, as Jake is still rear facing in his carseat. I thought it was a great photo!

Since we've found out that our baby is a GIRL, I have been thinking a lot about what will be different about raising her. It's sort of a strange thought, as so much of my identity is wrapped up in being the mom to all these little boys. I know what to expect at various stages, what to ignore, what to correct, what to laugh at, and what to cry over. Of course my boys all have unique personalities, strengths and weaknesses, but there are some constants that I feel I can depend on.
One example: about the age of 5, we have worried with each of our boys that they need to get their hearing checked! Matt went from a very responsive 4 year old, to a 5 year old who seemed to not hear us a lot of the time! In retrospect, I think he was just discovering the world around him and was very able to tune out the rest of us! Will was the same way - and we actually did take him to get tested. Of course the test turned out perfectly. When my mom spent those days with my boys while we were in the hospital with Matt, she was very concerned and wondered if we have ever thought about getting Drew's hearing tested. We just laughed. Hopefully, he doesn't really have a hearing problem!

Another example, here is Jake with a little farmer doll my mom and dad got him for Christmas. He really loves the doll, but there is absolutely nothing nurturing about the way he plays with it!
Here he is holding the doll and reaching for something.

And here he is whacking the heck out of the doll with the stick to his stacking toy.

I'm worried about being patient and nurturing to a little girl. My parenting style is pretty militant, ("Boys, shoes, NOW!") which my boys respond very well to. They know we love them, we laugh and play a lot, but there isn't a lot of 'touchy-feely' that goes on. It's easier to get boys to open up over a video game, not a heart to heart sitting on their beds! There's lots of wrestling, lots of physical activity, lots of noise. I hope I haven't de-sensitized myself too much from girl stuff! I hope I can be sweet and loving to a little girl to help her feel secure.

On the upside, I think I've gotten over my weird feelings about shopping in the girl section! Yesterday I went to SLC for a doctor's appointment for Matt. We took Carolyn, and shopped a little bit.

I absolutely couldn't pass up this darling, fur trimmed coat ($12 - Nordstrom Rack), and fabulous shiny red Stride Rite Mary Janes ($8 - Ross dress for less). They should both fit her when she's about 18 months old, so Christmas 2010! Do you know how long I have wanted to buy shiny Mary Jane Shoes? (Oh, that and ruffle bum tights - I'm still working on that one!)

Friday, January 09, 2009

We had our big ultrasound today.....

And, shock of our life (well, 2nd shock after finding out there was another little bean in there at all)......

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!

You read that correctly, it is not a sixth boy for our family. I think the boys were a little taken back. Will keeps referring to the baby as 'him' and saying things like, "mom, if this baby is a boy, let's name him......." Perhaps the finality of the gender hasn't quite sunk in for him. :-)

We decided to let the boys come with us for the ultrasound. We've never brought our children before, but they were interested in coming, and I thought the older 4 would enjoy seeing our baby. They really thought it was neat - especially when the tech put the machine on 3D. The boys said she looked like an alien - LOL! After she had done all the measurements and checked and double checked the gender (without telling us, but Warren and I have seen enough boy ultrasounds to be pretty sure this baby was missing some, um, parts) the tech asked the boys, "so what are you boys going to do with a baby sister?" The boys were shocked - it was so cute!

I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed. I went into a store this afternoon and was browsing the baby girl stuff. I couldn't even begin to decide what to buy - so I left empty-handed! I felt like an imposter in this section of store I've ignored for 11 years now. I'm sure I'll get over that feeling pretty quickly. I'm also feeling oddly naive. I've sort of felt like I was getting good at this parenting thing (some days......) and with boys I have a general idea of what to expect and what to do. I am so nervous about how a girl will be different! Don't get me wrong, I'm excited, but anxious!