Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On the morning of April 1st, 5 years ago today, my dad died in a plane crash.
That dreadful day, and many of the days that followed, were the worst of my life. Seeing the smoldering wreckage of what used to be your dad's beloved plane plastered all over the news isn't something I would wish on my enemies.
In short, it changed me forever. I can never go back to the person I once was.
And I'll tell you something else: time doesn't heal these wounds.
The moments of profound grief; those instances that hit you so hard you feel like you've been punched in the gut? They still happen.
Maybe not as often, but they are every bit as painful now as they were 5 years ago.

Ordinarily, here is where I would write something pithy or sarcastic, just to keep this from getting to damn depressing.
It's just not in me today.
Today, I'm throwing a pity party for myself and mourning all that I've lost.
Not just a great dad and truly wonderful man, but the grandpa that my boys and nephews never got to know.
The father-daughter dance at my wedding that I never got to have.
The countless emails he would have sent me, (when he should have been working,) that I'll never get to read.
The sound of his laugh.

I'll never get over this.
I'll always be haunted by this day.
There will always be a dad-shaped hole in my heart.

And that really fucking sucks.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Remember when I said I wasn't going to post anymore? Lie.

Mostly because sometimes I just need more than 140 characters to get my point across, ya know?
So. Homeschooling. We've been at it for a month now and lots of people have been asking how it's going.
In a word?
It's HARD.
There are days when I have to leave the room to catch my breath and my sanity and I think...why am I doing this again? Wouldn't it be easier to let some poor teacher deal with teaching him his numbers? Well...yes, it would. Easier for me. But this isn't about me (I find myself repeating that a lot these days.) I want to do this (and am doing it) because I believe it is the best choice for my kids.
And every time Cash says something in a full sentence instead of garbled nonsense, I know - this IS right. Hard. Super hard. But right.
We have yet to have a day where he didn't dissolve into tears at some point. It will happen eventually, I'm sure of it. And there are a lot of days where it's a struggle to get him to even go into the school room, let alone actually participate. But there have been a few days that he has taken me into the school room on his own, before our scheduled time for the day, and he's been excited to work on things. And he's had a couple of light bulb moments that were incredible.
Right now we are just doing basics - my goal is to spend 10 minutes on math (he knows how to count to 20 but he doesn't recognize numbers AT ALL. Math is the reason he cries every day, bless his heart,) reading (phonics) and writing (we tried doing a letter each day but he just isn't coordinated enough for that. So during writing time he draws, just to help him get comfortable with holding a pencil correctly. It's his favorite part of the day) with the rest of our time devoted to art (he mastered scissors our second week and we're all about cutting and pasting right now) music, reading out loud and games.
Some days we do everything on my list.
Some days we struggle through our 3 subjects and quit for the day. I'm trying to keep my expectations reasonable and my impatience in check. It's a challenge.
In fact, most of what is hard about homeschooling (for me, at least) is staying patient and not losing my temper.
No big surprise where Cash gets his hotheadedness from. Or his stubbornness.
Which, MAN ALIVE is he stubborn. To the point where sometimes I'm just in awe at the level of commitment it takes to be that bullheaded. And the rest of the time I sort of want to wring his neck. (Hey mom - sorry I'm so stubborn. Like, really REALLY sorry.)
It's quite a blow to the ego to see some of your worst qualities reflected back at you in your child, who stubbornly refuses to tell you the answers when you know he knows them because you caught him MOUTHING THE ANSWERS TO HIMSELF when he thought you weren't looking. I think I may have popped a blood vessel that day.
It's not all bad, I swear. He has a gymnastics class once a week that he LOVES (if you follow me on Instagram, you know that the first few classes were rough. ROUGH. He doesn't like to listen and follow along - shocking, right?) Every week gets better - in fact, today was probably the best day he's had.
It was the best day for me too, for 2 reasons: I overheard one of the teachers saying, "Look at Cash! He's doing a headstand while everyone else lobster crawls. He's so funny. I like him." Oh that cheered my momma heart.
Then I had a conversation with one of the other moms about Cash, lamenting that he really struggles with following along with a group and generally just likes to do his own thing. And she said, "Well, this world needs people that don't follow the crowd." I could have hugged her.
And believe me when I say, Cash is that person.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The First Birthday.

Today he is one.
He is funny and sweet, loves to snuggle, has a wicked temper (but who in this family doesn't?) and is a bit of a daredevil.
Once upon a time we worried about how adding another baby to our family would affect our dynamic.
Now we look back at that worry and laugh.
He is everything our family was missing.
And we cherish him every day.
Happy birthday little dude - we love you.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

On losing passions.

So I've been doing this whole blogging thing for a long time.
Almost 8 years, to be exact. (And yes, I've archived the reeeally old stuff because it was embarrassing. Also, SO MANY ferret photos. Yikes.)
And its been fun.
I love to write and I love to take pictures and so...win win, right?
But somewhere along the way, I've stopped loving it.
It feels more like a chore - and a chore I make excuses to avoid as often as possible.
I was feeling guilty about that until I realized...that's dumb.
So I don't blog as often as I used to - so what?
Other things are taking up my time and my focus and that's ok.
I'll still blog, of course.
I like having a place to write down all of the milestones and funny little things my kids do.
And a place to whine and complain, if need be.
And maybe it will become a passion of mine again.
But its ok if it doesn't.
Really. (Ok, that's just me trying to convince myself.)
All that to say, if you come here to read about our life and look at how cute our kids are...thanks. I appreciate you.
But I've got some instagram-ing to do. ;)

(Follow me @littlebitrandom to keep up with our life - instagram is where it's at for me right now.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

That question.

People ask us all the time if Cash and Everett are like each other personality-wise.
And I usually say yes because...well, it's easier. And in some ways, they are a lot alike (I mean, they are related so...duh.)
They both love to cuddle, they are goofy and weird (well, as weird as you can be at 11 months in Everett's case) and they were both pretty easy babies.
Everett is very friendly, even to strangers when Cash has never been that way. Even as a little baby, Cash would scowl at people. (I can't imagine where he gets that from...AHEM.)
Everett insists on doing things himself and will keep trying at something even when it frustrates him to tears. Cash has always been perfectly happy letting other people do things for him.
Everett is already more consistent at expressing what he wants whereas Cash still struggles with finding the words or signs to fit his needs.
Speaking of signs, Everett has already mastered the sign for "all done." It's pretty adorable. To be fair, we were never as consistent with signing when Cash was a baby, so it's not really a fair comparison. Cash was about one when he mastered "please." [[Sidenote: We also get asked all the time if we sign because our kids have hearing problems - the answer is no. We did have Cash's hearing tested at one point because he was so behind on talking, but he hears just fine. We sign because it's fun and it's a great way for young kids to communicate when they haven't mastered words yet. Cash still signs on occasion but mostly just when we are signing for Everett.]]
Cash didn't start having true tantrums until he was about 2 and a half. Everett already has them. They are kind of hilarious because he is so small but still...they don't bode well for the future. I'm terrified for when he turns 3, which was the worst year for Cash.

I love that they are so very different.
In a lot of ways (A LOT) Cash is like me. He lives very much inside his head and only speaks when he feels like it. He's stubborn and has a quick temper but possesses a wild and vivid imagination. He can watch a certain movie or listen to a certain song over and over and over again without ever tiring of it. He can memorize things lightning fast - the other day he was singing along to a song that I swear I've only heard maybe once or twice.
Granted, Everett is still very small and his personality is just starting to peak through, but we can already tell he is a lot like Nate. He's shy at first but doesn't take long to warm up to people he's never met. He is always flirting with other ladies in the check out aisle at the grocery store. Shamelessly, I might add. He will try a task over and over until he feels like he's mastered it. There are afternoons that I spend a good hour walking up and down our porch steps with him, a look of serious concentration on his face. It also doesn't hurt that he's a tiny clone of Nate physically. For real.

[[These pictures are from April. The viewing screen on our camera awhile back and I've been terrible about taking pictures on our "real" camera.]]

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This week.

-- Cash has started playing this game where he pretends to be the mailman and delivers bundles of sticks to our mailbox. It's the cutest.

-- Everett is WALKING. He has to be in the mood for it though. Finicky little dude.

-- Our garden is thriving (especially a certain zucchini plant bent on dominating the world) but my flower garden is a hopeless mess of weeds.

-- We are gearing up for a busy summer of fruit harvests, cousin sitting, painting and generally losing our minds. Can't wait.

And life according to Instagram.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The faulty gallbladder.

So, this past week has been interesting.
After a few days of excruciating stomach pain, I went into the ER (with kids in tow.)
To make a long story short, they discovered my gallbladder was full of stones and slightly infected.
I had surgery to remove it the following evening, going over 48 hours without food (honestly, that was the worst part.)
While in surgery, they discovered some more stones in my common bile duct near my liver, so the following morning I had an endoscopy to remove those.
It was a long few days.
But I'm home. Tired (verrrry tired) and a bit sore, but home.
Nate has been an awesome house husband and the kids have handled it all pretty well, especially Cash.
My mom and bestie Amanda have been incredible too. I don't know what I would do without them.
And that's the story of my faulty gallbladder.