Friday, January 29, 2010
Obviously, Brailey Shaye is a dream come true for me, and I couldn't have dreamed a more perfect daughter - she is beyond anything I could ever imagine. One of the worst things I've had to do as a mother was put her in daycare when she was three months old, after my maternity leave ended. I cried every single day I left her. And she was a very sober baby, in many ways. Because of my working hours, she was one of the first babies dropped off and the last to be picked up. She was in daycare from three months old until she was 20 months, which is when Britt came into our world. It took over a year for her to trust that she wasn't going to daycare - every time we would drive by the center she had been in, she would become serious and quiet, the saddest thing you've ever seen in your life. Even at that young age, she recognized her surroundings. She understood the pattern of driving from home to daycare. Devastating to my heart!
Thus, I didn't really want to share her when it came time for school. But it turns out she loved preschool and made friends that continued on into her Kindergarten class, so that was a wonderful confidence builder for her. Britt was thrilled to be in preschool, as well, and while I never would have put him in, his personality demanded it. He is Mr. Social and thrives on interaction with his peers. He would have been devastated not to go after having seen Brailey enjoy it.
So now, I cherish the days off from school like manna from heaven. I don't understand mothers who can't wait for school to start and who roll their eyes at time spent at home with their children - why did they even have them? Quite frankly, I think this is one of the major problems of our society - we are living amongst people who felt like nobody wanted them because they grew up in daycare. And I know I'm lucky that I don't have to make that choice. I am grateful to my toes that I get to be home with my babies. I am so lucky to have a part-time job that allows me to work from home, and I'm drinking in every second of this time with them. So yes, I am selfish when it comes to Brailey Shaye and Britt, and it is hard for me to share my little honey-B's. I think it always will be. And that's why I only do it if I have to.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
And this is really how we are supposed to live our lives, right? Any expert will tell you the secret to happiness is to appreciate the Here and Now. And that is one thing I know I do. I have a lot of character defects, possibly more than my fair share, to be frank. The one thing I know about myself to be true above all other things, though, is that I appreciate my babies.
I think maybe it is because I am an older mom. My friend Nicoley, who is due to have her first baby any day, tells me that everyone is older in metropolitan areas when they have their first child. Me, though? I wanted to be a mom forever! I dreamed of having a little girl to call my own since I was a kid myself. I have worked in education all my life, and so I've been around a lot of kids, and I used to feel so annoyed with all the parents who only had eyes for their own children. And wouldn't you know, now that I have my two B's, I'm the same way! I try not to take it to extreme, but now I understand how someone could become so twitterpated with their own flesh and blood.
For me, pregnancy was a dream come true, because I had tried for several years to become pregnant. God always has the best plan, though, and none of my efforts to become pregnant worked out. I was married to someone else, and now I thank God every day that I didn't have a child with that man. In any case, even after Brady (who I believe is my soul mate) came into my life, we didn't get pregnant right away, and I truly believed I was infertile. I had just decided that it would be okay, that I would be fine without ever becoming a mother, that Brady and I could have a great life together no matter what, and then BAM! Pregnant! And I have to say, I loved every single second of being pregnant, both times! We thought Brailey Shaye was a true miracle of God, and were shocked when I became pregnant a second time. And Britt turned out to be just as much of a blessing as Brailey Shaye, and I always say he saved her, because if it weren't for him coming along, she would have been in daycare her entire life. And now, my two B's are the best of friends. So you can see why I appreciate them for the gifts they are. I feel so blessed and lucky to be their mother! They are wonderful in every way, and these really are the best days of our lives. And like my Keith Urban says, these are the days we will remember...
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
"You're skinny, for your age, Mom."
"Yah, you're skinny except for your bottom. It's just kind of big... But not bad!"
"Well, and one other area is a little big, too... You know, your, uh, stomach?"
"You have good skin, for your age."
"Come on, Bells Shaye." That is what she calls her cat. Her doll is Macy Shaye, which is what I was going to name her before we decided on Brailey. The Bells Shaye takes the cake, though...
"Okay, can we discussion this?"
"I'm a toot man!"
"By golly!" This was said after I popped him with a balloon very quickly. I couldn't stop laughing!
I wish I could have back all the wonderful, funny things they've said over the years. Latley I've been trying to write them down as soon as they say them (which my mother told me to do a long time ago, but I never remembered to do until recently - how crazy is that?), because if I don't, I forget them. My mind just can't hold all of them - there are too many! I so love my funny, happy B's...
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Friday afternoon, Britt and I were in the car, driving home from dropping Brailey Shaye off at ice skating practice. On Fridays, her good friend Coral comes to the rink to skate, and Coral's mom, Suzanne, watches the two girls until Brady comes to pick Brailey up. We've only been doing this a few weeks, and it has worked out really well! I don't trust my babies with most people, but Suzanne is wonderful and takes perfect care of Brailey Shaye, and it is great for the two little girls to have fun skating together, since they go to different schools and don't get to see each other that often. Before Suzanne suggested doing this, Britt and I would have to wait around, which was fine with me, but got tiring and "boring!" for Britt. Thus, the reason Britt and I were in the car alone on Friday afternoon. We had stopped off at Target to get some popcorn, because they sell the freshest, tastiest popcorn in town, and I felt like Britt deserved to have something fun, too, right? (Not to mention the Popcorn Combo deal for $1.50, which includes a bag of popcorn and a drink - still working on that fizz addiction!) Anyway, the entire drive from Target to home was spent with Britt telling me all about a G.I. Joe movie. And when I say movie, I mean the entire movie, with every single detail covered. Finally, just as I was reaching my tolerance level for this story, which held no appeal for me whatsoever at all, I remembered something about myself - I used to do this exact same thing to my mother! And if I'm being totally honest, I still do it to her today! And so I thought to myself, "This is my payback for torturing my mother with various monologues about books and movies throughout the years." Yes, my son got that motormouth quality from me... What can we say? We're passionate people, and we like to share our joy!
I experienced history repeating itself again on Saturday night with Brailey Shaye. I'm not one to take baths - I generally prefer a shower. However, I was super cold on Saturday, and so I decided to take a bath. I lit some candles like my friend Nicoley does every time she takes a shower (she said it relaxes her), turned off the lights, and prepared to relax. And here came my little Shaye-Shaye with her cat. "Mom, can I come in here with you? Me and Jingles?" Well, what do you say? So I said yes, of course she could. And she was so thrilled! She sat down on the toilet and started talking to me about all these things in her life, including some stuff that happened between her and her friends at school. And that is when it hit me - the memory of myself as a kid, sitting on the toilet seat just like Brailey Shaye was, talking to my mother while she took a bath. The difference is that my mom would take a bath nearly every night. I don't enjoy baths as much as my mother, but I was still struck with the notion that Brailey Shaye was doing what I used to do, and I realized how exposed and vulnerable my own mother must have felt, stark naked in a tub while I was pouring my heart out. I never thought it was odd when I was a kid to see my mom like this, though, and I don't think Brailey did, either. Sadly, I put so much pressure on Brailey Shaye to be "good," she doesn't often confide in me about things in her life. I worry about this, and I'm working on making myself more approachable to her - my mom said Brailey knew she had my full attention in the bathtub, which probably made her feel safer in telling me the things she did. Which means, apparently, that I need to take more baths! Because my mom and I were always close, and I told her everything, and I really want that for Brailey Shaye and myself.
In any case, isn't it interesting that things from my past would come back to me through my children? Very interesting indeed. And downright wonderful!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Brailey Shaye was practicing her poem she had to memorize and will be reciting in front of her entire class this week. The poster was part of the project and reflects the poem. I didn't realize how loud the dryer was in the background. The stray arm you will see is, of course, Britt. Enjoy! (What do you think of her Spanish, Zora?)
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
My fabulous birthday present made by my two little B's, The Bird Trapper!
Cowboy Britt at the Pasco PBR on New Year's Eve. Isn't he a handsome one? I love how he looks in a cowboy hat. This used to be Brady's hat, and he proudly passed it down to Brittster Man.
Brailey Shaye posing for me at the Pasco PBR in her new hat and boots. She picked them both out herself - my little fashionista!
The handsome PBR judge... Brady Murray, Brady Murray -what's your hurry Brady Murray? LOVE this man!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Brailey Shaye was so excited to be going back, and this is a wonderful thing. Britt said he wasn't, but as soon as we got to the door of his classroom, he was ready to see his buddies. He just knew that his mother needed a little extra TLC - such a sensitive boy, he is... Brailey Shaye, on the other hand, told me this morning that she "just loves her teacher!" and she didn't really want to be on Christmas vacation in the first place. Both music to my ears and a crack in my heart. I picked her up early on the last day of school before the winter break so we could get through the Portland traffic and into Seattle a little sooner, and she was actually mad at me! She has become quite the social butterfly, which makes me happy. She had a hard time adjusting to her new school last year. From Kindergarten in Coburg, she was lucky to get into the Spanish Immersion school in Eugene through the lottery system. She adored her first grade teacher from last year and became quite attached to her (they still have a connection). It was definitely hard for my Shaye-Shaye to be in a new school where she didn't know anyone and everything was Spanish, though, and she fought it in her heart and mind for quite a while. It took her until after Christmas to accept the fact she wasn't going back to Coburg Elementary. And now, she loves her second grade teacher and has more friends than ever - guess who's the one in denial this time? Yup - Big Mama is depressed that her baby girl is growing up so fast and leaving me behind. I waited so long for her to come along, it just doesn't seem fair that she is already "leaving the nest" in ways that I'm not ready for. Which is one of the tests of motherhood - raising your babies to feel confidence in being themselves, which means letting go a little more every day, but still trying to give them a place to land. I once read that holding on to something too tightly is like holding sand in your hand - the tighter you hold it, the faster it falls through your fingers. I'm reminding myself today not to squeeze my B's too tight, because I want to hold onto their childhoods forever...
Monday, January 4, 2010
Brailey Shaye is the sweetest little girl I know, always caring about other people and making things for people. Yesterday she made a card for her "best friend in the world," Jaden. It is a heart shaped card made out of bright pink paper, cut with special scissors that make a design on the paper (like pinking shears), held together with a white pipe cleaner. It says "My Friend Book" on the cover and the then the first page reads "Me and Jaden love ech (each) othar (other)." On the back of this page it says, "We love droeng (drawing) and skateng (skating) together." The next two pages have a picture of ice skates and then the two of them smiling next to each other. It is adorable! I had nothing to do with it, other than to spell out the word "friend" when she asked me how it was spelled. Of course her spelling is off on other words, but that is part of what makes it so adorable to me. Brailey Shaye is so sweet she makes me want to cry, at times. This is only one example of her sweetness... She's done thousands of things like this.
Britt is my comedian child, and has a lot of sweetness in him, too. The other day, he was sitting next to me in our chair in the living room. He was taller than me, because he was on arm of it, and snuggled next to me as close as he could be. Who knows what we were talking about? Probably his GI Joe set up or something that happened in Pirates of the Caribbean... I said to him, "You look just like your dad, right now." This made him so happy! He hugged me and said, "Awwww, thanks Mom! Do I really look like Dad?" And I said, "Yah, the way you're sitting there and looking down at me reminds me of your dad." And he gave me another hug and said, "Awwww, you're so sweet! Thanks for saying that, Mom. I want to look like Dad!" And I said, "Oh, thank you, honey, you're sweet, too, and you do have some of your dad in you." He was so proud! Later, when I repeated this conversation for Brady, Brady was just as proud. He and Britt have gotten closer than ever over the past few months, now that Britt is old enough to "help" his dad and to do fun things with him.
I try to savor these special things my babies do and say, and to keep them in my memory forever. But then they'll do something else that is precious, and my brain can't seem to hold all the memories I want it to, and I end up forgetting. For example, the "bird trap" they made for me on Saturday, for my "birthday present." It is a hideous mess of wires and twine and sunflower seeds hung on the basketball hoop, designed by them to lure the birds in so they will be "shocked" by the wires. If you wonder what is so wonderful about this gift, it is the thought they put into it, because they know I have a terrible fear of birds, and so they are "getting rid" of all of the birds for me. Tell me, can there be a more thoughtful gift? Another precious memory to catalog in my mind.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
I wrote this a couple of months ago. I wasn't going to post it, because it is very, very personal. Most of the time, writing is my th...
Brailey Shaye is the "Star of the Week," this week in her classroom, which she has been dying to be since the beginning of the yea...
Well, we survived another Science Fair! We had an extra busy day and went straight to Britt's swim lesson after school and then after h...
Believe it or not, here we are sitting in the Catholic Church in Molalla, St. James. While we were out "garage saling" the day bef...