It's been an adventurous two months -- two of the best ever! And I realized that if I try to go back in history to cover every event, I will never, never, no never be able to get caught up, will become discouraged, will give up on the blog I have loved and nurtured for almost six years, and this family history -- the most valuable I feel I have submitted so far -- will not go forward. And that would just be sad! So we'll cover what we can, and what we can't, Benson will have to look through in his baby book. That's right, cute boy -- I'm talking about you!
Oh my, how we love this little boy. He's been everything we could have hoped for and more!! He is really a good little guy, sweet tempered and getting to that point where you can tell when he's happy and is starting to give little smiles and it just melts your pea-pickin' heart. He is growing like WILD. We grow nothing but big kids -- that's the kind of crop we produce. Such cute little chub, and he is super tall. He is even developing little relationships with each of his siblings -- with KJ, he watches every move he makes in a serious study. With Olivia, he looks into her eyes with deep trust and adoration -- he knows she's got his back. With Kate the Great, it seems to be a mixture of excitement and wariness... which is well advised. Daddy and I are crazy about him and he fills my heart with joy and the feeling of "good things to come." And also -- only seven and a half weeks later -- the pregnancy and delivery doesn't even seem like it was so bad anymore. Ha ha.... it is truly amazing what the Lord does with our Mother Hearts! It was worth every single second, of course.
The Double B had FIVE WHOLE WEEKS OFF after tiny Benson B was born. The world's best paternity leave, offered to Costco managers. My gosh. It was so awesome. We both loved every single second, and darned if it really didn't create a bond between big Double B and little Double B. Those two are buds. Plus, look at Bens' chin. Squaring off, and see that little dimple forming in the middle? He even has his Dad's chin. Bazinga.
P.S. Sleep deprivation is awesome.
Katelyn is LOVING preschool. It's like a serious, passionate relationship. She LOVES it. And I LOVE that she loves it so much! She is growing with leaps and bounds, too. She surprises me so much every day with the grown-up things she is saying and the more mature way she is acting. So fun to see her blossom. She is a social creature and just needed the opportunity to spread her wings and be independent. I think that will be part of her M.O., though. She is the third child with a bang. I love to see that about her -- I guess because I can relate. She is carving her own path... vibrantly! Today I had to run to the bank after dropping off the kids at school, and she and Wandrew patiently waited in the back seat. She was pretty excited because I was going to the window and that meant she could get a sucker. Wandrew didn't want his, so she ended up with two -- an embarrassment of riches, really. She was concerned he would change his mind, so kept checking to make sure he was okay. "You want a lick, Wandrew?" When he said no, she patted him and goes "Suit yourself! Just let me know if you change your mind!"
Cracked. Me. Up.
Olivia continues to be the sweetest, most tender person on planet Earth. She is going through a very emotional phase right now. The first few weeks of school were hard for her to adjust to, and she found something to weep about every day. At least once, but usually twice! This was getting a little hard for me to be empathetic with until the Spirit spoke clearly to me late one night as I was checking on her that what she really NEEDS from me is to hold her, embrace her, love her, look into her eyes often, reassure her. I was thankful for that little teaching moment, because it has seemed to help her. The other night she came into me after being in bed for awhile, her eyes great big and filled with tears. I asked her what was wrong, and she said something along the lines of "I'm just feeling really discouraged, because I'm afraid that no matter how hard I try, my handwriting just keeps getting worse and worse!" Handwriting is a real struggle. Chin trembling. Tears spilling. It was so.... Olivia. I took both her hands in mine and told her how very proud and impressed I am, because I can't believe how much her handwriting has improved just since the start of second grade! (That's true, too.) I encouraged her to keep trying, and reminded her that improving in anything can be a slow, slow process (something I need to remember, too). Then I told her that by the fifth grade, if she keeps working, she will have such beautiful handwriting that people will say "Who in the world made those beautiful letters!?" She loved that. Sniff, sniff, kiss, kiss, off to bed. Not an unusual conversation in our house.
KJ is growing up. Sigh. Besides basically becoming a giant (Seriously, watch out, Uncle Matt), he is going through all the growing pains of fifth grade. He has to try REALLY HARD not to complain about -- well, pretty everything -- and deals with reoccurring "phobias" as he calls them. That can really be a challenge, but he is working hard on them (most of the time), and we are working hard on patience with the growing process! He can be a huge help to Mom when he wants to be. One thing I am so proud of right now is that he is not giving up on himself in math -- his hardest thing. He keeps plucking and has done his homework every day! I know he can do it. He is also love, love, loving orchestra and is so excited to play the viola. I hope he will keep that enthusiasm, because I would really love to see him take off in something that is uniquely his. He is such a bright spot in my life. My little (big) buddy.
It's been hard for the Double B to get back into the grindstone of 55-60 hour weeks, but he is doing it like the champion he is. I love and appreciate him so much, and his great sacrifices for our family! That can't be easy. Last night we were talking about our fifteenth anniversary -- only two and a half years away -- wild! We want to go on a cruise, and we were talking about which side of the continent we should cruise from. And he actually said "Well, it'll be half way either way -- Florida or California." As in, acknowledging that you know what? We might still be here then. And it wouldn't be the end of the world. I felt so proud of him! Funny as it sounds, it was kind of a big step. I played it on the DL, though, because I'm super smooth like that.
My little dance and musical theater classes started again last week. It's fun to be back. It takes a lot of energy, and I DO NOT KNOW how elementary school teachers do it -- you are an amazing people, all of you -- but it's nice to be able to make a small contribution while using my slightly obscure talent! It's just enough to keep us swimming. I'm so thankful for the Lord for giving me that opportunity. I feel like I'm really improving over my first year already. I'm excited for the finished product and to see how we've improved. My kids love it, too, which is a huge blessing that they get to take the kinds of classes they want to take -- and I can provide them. And they don't sacrifice time with Mom, because I'm right there. Katelyn is even wanting to participate this year. But she doesn't think she needs to be in the class with her own age -- she thinks she's big enough to be in the big class. It's cute, because she honestly is trying. She keeps trying to get her feet into the different positions and saying "I can't quite get it! Can you help me, Mom!" She is also the Musical Theater mascot. The kids are having fun with her and she is right up there trying with them. When we sing the chorus to "The Wells Fargo Wagon" she holds out the last note of each line kind of like a hound dog. The kids love it, and I love it, because she has her arms thrown open wide and such a look of joy on her face. Love, love, love my kids. And I have felt a change occurring in me towards Kansas City. It is really, finally starting to feel like home. I drive out and about and it feels normal. I even am starting to feel a love for it... like a "home" love. That is such a relief. And honestly, a necessary thing. I still don't think we'll be here forever, but I want to LOVE it, either way. And if we ever do get to be closer to home, I want to be filled with fond memories of the place and the people whenever the day might come that we live somewhere else. It really is a great place.
A great place with rapidly changing leaves!
It became fall very quickly, and I am darned determined to enjoy this season and not just quiver in fear of the coming winter. Cold = Bad. But for now, here is autumn. So I'll live in autumn!
It is pretty beautiful!