Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Who's placing bets on when this kid breaks his first bone?

Colin doesn't talk yet. He doesn't even try.

He's more of an Incredible Hulk kind of child in that he's all good  and fine until something is not fine and then suddenly he is SUPER RAGING ANGRY AND HE IS GOING TO SMASH THINGS. Words are beneath him because he is too busy trying to break things. And by "things" I mean "body parts."

Tonight I tired to tire the kids out before bedtime by playing outside. We were only in the backyard for 45 minutes, yet Colin managed to:

1. Run to the farthest corner of our yard and sit in a giant puddle as soon as I set him down.
2. Find a big stick. Run with it in his mouth.
3. Crawl inside a prickly pine tree.
4. Throw a rock into the air such that it comes falling down on his head.
5. Climb into and fall out of a swing. On his head.
6. Climb up the ladder onto the swingset platform.
7. Slide down the giant-for-a-baby sized slide by himself.
8. Slide down the giant-for-a-baby sized slide by himself. Backwards.
9. Get kicked in the head by Oliver's swinging feet.

And the thing is, you'd think he would be upset by these things. But, no. Not my kid. He lives for the danger.

Farthest section of our yard which features a natural marshland.

Colin's swinging face.

No fear at all at the edge of the jungle gym.

No fear of the large slide.

Contemplating what he can do while I can't reach him.

Climbing the ladder because he saw big brother doing it.

Friday, June 21, 2013


Pretty soon our house will be overrun with dogs. My sister is shipping her dog, Sunshine, to us from overseas so that the dog will be here waiting for them upon their arrival next month. My other sister is heading out of town so we get her dog, Sunday, for a while too. And, of course, we always have Mya here. That makes three dogs.

Three dogs in one house? Crazy!

Oh, wait. Did I say three dogs? I meant four.

Why yes, that is Colin drinking out of the dog's water dish.

Why did we even bother having another baby when getting another dog would have been so much cheaper?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Embarrassing self photo from 8 years ago.
Today is Jared's and my second wedding anniversary. We've been married for two years, even though it simultaneously feels like a lot longer and a lot shorter.

I get a lot of compliments on being a good mom, but do you know what means more to me? Being complimented on being a good wife. Being a good wife is so much harder for me than being a good mom.

So much of being a mom is doing things that you have to do, so you just suck them up and do them. You need to feed your kids and change them and look out for them. You are legally obligated to provide adequate care for them and by some law of nature you are forced into loving them, no matter what they do. You need to teach them how to survive on their own, because if you don't, they are helpless without you.

In the relationships I have with my kids, I am a dictator. They need to do what I say when I say it or they will be punished. In an argument, no matter if I am right or I am wrong, I can always pull out the trump card and say, "because I told you so!" and the case is closed. With them, I always win. I'm the parent. They're the kids. Game over.

But obviously, with Jared, it's different. I can't be the dictator anymore, and running a democracy is so much harder.

Jared is my equal. Being equals means that 50% of the time, I am not getting my way. 50% of the time, I might actually be wrong. Not only might I be wrong but I  might have to admit that I am wrong and change my actions to reflect that fact.

And for me? That's really hard.

Typing this feels embarrassing, though I don't 100% know why. There isn't any shame in working hard for things. I firmly believe that hard work is important for any relationship to thrive. The things people are proudest of are the things people spend their whole lives working on. So, why does it feel like I am admitting a weakness in saying that being a wife is hard work?

I don't know. I can't answer that.

But what I can say is that I am really proud of where all of our hard work was taken us and I'm even more excited to see where else we will go. The harder we work, the easier it gets.

Our life together is so much better than it would ever be apart.

Happy Anniversary, Jared. I love you.

Biker gang.

My mom found a little kids' bike at  a garage sale for Oliver. The last (and first) time he rode his bike, it was an agonizing half-hour of push starting and guidance and emergency steering wheel takeovers just to get to the mailbox. I expected a similar story for tonight's bike ride, but muscle memory must have kicked in because suddenly he was able to pedal and steer on his own.

Colin, ready to roll in his set of wheels.
Oliver, road ready.
 He biked way past the mailbox, farther than I thought we could ever hope to go on his second ever bike ride. He was even able to pedal up small hills, and he got the bike started all by himself. It was a complete night-and-day difference from his first bike ride to his second bike ride.

Colin, enjoying the neighbor's barking dog.
Oliver, shouting to us to stop taking pictures and keep going.
Just as I was starting to imagine the family bike rides we could go on, Oliver got going downhill too fast and he panicked. He forgot to put the brakes on, and when he turned around to yell for help, his front tire went off of the path and dumped him onto the asphalt. He scraped up his knee pretty horrifically, by a three-year-old's perspective.

Warning: Gore. Mature audiences only.
As soon as I saw blood, I pictured myself carrying Oliver back while somehow dragging his bike and pushing Colin in the stroller. To stop the tears, I told Oliver that we would go home and get him a band-aid, but do you know what he said to me?

"No, Mom! We can't go back! We have to keep going! I need to practice."

And just like that, he climbed back on his bike with his bleeding knee and pedaled farther down the path, sniffling up the last of his tears.

Pictured: Sheer determination to push through a terrible, possible career-ending injury.
When I told him we had to start heading back towards the house, he complained. He wanted to keep going farther down the new path to find a "secret hidden place" but it was past bedtime and I was worried he'd poop out on the way back.

Colin, oblivious to Oliver's severe injuries and uncaring about whether or not we turn back.
Oliver easily made it home without another complaint about his knee. In fact, at times he was pedaling so fast that I had to run to keep up. By the time we were pulling into our driveway, he was exclaiming that he was the best bike riding big kid he ever met, if he did say so himself.

But do you know what happened as soon as we got home? His knee injury suddenly flared up. He had to have juice to make it feel better and he had to watch a TV show and he couldn't even brush his own teeth OW MOM OW OW OW IT HURTS SO BAD I CAN'T GO TO BED IT WILL HURT TOO MUCH AND I WON'T BE ABLE TO SLEEP.

Amazing how that happened, no?

When he told me that his knee would never ever ever get better, I said that we should get rid of his bike and never go bike riding again.

"But you said your knee wasn't going to get better, never ever ever."
"Never ever ever until tomorrow. We could still ride bikes again tomorrow. Okay?"

Okay, Oliver. We'll ride bikes again tomorrow.