Tuesday, February 2, 2016

River Is Six

Remember how I recently asked you to travel back to January 1, 2016?  Well, I'm going to take things one step further and ask you to go back to December 31, 2015.  Why?  Because my not so little man turned six and I can't possibly forget to document that momentous occasion.

River at six is a true treasure.  He loves to snuggle.  In fact, I asked him how he knew I loved him and he said, "Because you snuggle with me."  Can we say Physical Touch might be his love language!  He's kind of like a cat.  If I have anything I'm working on, he moves in and takes over my lap.  I might not be a physical touch kind of person, but I'm powerless up against his big brown eyes and long lashes.

He is so enamored with and protective of his baby sister and she's still in my  belly.  He loves to snuggle Jel (her nickname is Jelly Bean and that is his nickname for her nickname).  In public, I have to make sure he's not lifting my shirt up to get to my belly.  He checks the pregnancy app on my phone to let me know how many weeks she is and what size of fruit she is.  He loves to try and feel her kick and he was so concerned we didn't have a dresser for her yet, that he and Ash took $25 each out of their piggy banks and asked me to buy the best dresser for Jel.  When I said they didn't have to spend their money on their sister, River said, "We want to. We want to."  His current worry is that we don't have any church clothes for her, only two pairs of pants, and one pair of shoes that will not work for cold weather...yes, he is taking stock.  I adore his tender, generous heart.

He loves to be silly.  He is happiest making others laugh.  His laughter still sounds like magical sleigh bells to me and is one of my most favorite sounds.  His humor is mostly poop and fart jokes, for example, May The Farts Be With You and while it does get a little old, I dare you not to laugh along with him.  His laughter is contagious and the twinkle in his eyes when he is having fun overrides any sense of propriety I might have.

Star Wars is his current obsession.  Light sabre battles are a daily, if not hourly, occurrence at our house.  He knows character names, color of light sabres, names of planets, etc... better than I do and I have been a fan forever.  His favorite character is Obiwan Kenobi, which goes right along with his responsible, dutiful and loyal personality.

He's doing great in school.  He likes his teachers and gets along with all of his classmates.  His teacher says he is the rare social child that transitions quickly and quietly from friend time, to listening time.  He's a great reader and quicker at addition and subtraction than me.  Our main source of worry academically, is that he hates making mistakes.  He is super sensitive to any corrections, especially from me and gets really frustrated at himself, if he doesn't get it right the first time.  We're trying to curb this, so learning will be joyful and not so competitive.  I don't know where he gets it from...cough...hmm...cough.

He writes the family love notes all the time.  His brother is his best friend and they fight, as siblings always do, but River is the peacemaker.  When he gets mad and says something mean, he'll apologize on his own, without prompting.  He wants us to know he loves us and doesn't like arguments to drag on.  If Ash is mad at me and saying things that aren't very nice, River will come up and whisper I love you and you're a good mom, just to reassure me.  He's pretty obedient with things like bedtime, turning off games and doing things when I ask.  He can still be sassy and I've heard, "Who cares!" "I already know!" and "Whatever!" a few times, but thankfully, it seems to be less frequently lately.

He's learning to play the Glockenspiel in Kindermusik.  He wants to learn how to play the drums. He's taking gymnastics lessons and wants to start swimming lessons again.  He also wants me to teach him a language and get him into soccer, flag football and baseball.  We have more interests than we have time or money, but I love that he is engaged.

He is shy about saying family prayer, but when he does say it, he says, "Thank you for this beautiful planet to live on." (which he did not get from me) and it totally melts my heart.

He has his first loose tooth.  It his bottom, right tooth and he can't stop wiggling it.  He's excited about the tooth fairy, but also mentioned he's worried, because the dentist wants him to stop sucking his thumb before his grown up teeth come in.  I hope he does, but man that boy sure loves his thumb.  It is instant comfort.  I'm going to have to see if we can figure out how to replace the sense of security he gets from it somehow.

He is a sports fan(atic)!  He takes the games to heart and we're working with him on not getting so emotionally attached to the outcomes.  He was over the moon when the Royal's won the World Series and heartbroken when the Dolphins were eliminated and then later, the Chiefs.  Even if his teams aren't playing, he'll pick a side and commit wholeheartedly.  I love the passion, but the tears are pretty extreme if his side loses.  We're still finding the healthy balance.

What can I say, I love, love, love this man cub.  Before I was a mother, I would picture my children and never in a million years could I have imagined, dreamed up, or created anything close to the miracles I have been blessed with.  I can't wait to meet my newest cub in just a month and see how her brothers are with her earth-side.  One thing I know for sure, she is lucky to have River wrapped around her finger.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Happy New Year!  This photo was taken exactly six months ago, on July 1st 2015 and it almost didn't come to be.

We were visiting Glacier National Park with our friends, the Wiests.  Marianne Wiest isn't just our friend, but she is an amazing photographer, as well.  She had clients booked that day at Glacier and mentioned she might have time to do a 15 minute mini session before her bookings.  Of course, I jumped at the chance, but when we arrived, Glacier was having a ridiculous wind storm.  Everyone at the park kept saying they had never seen anything like it.

Nothing and I mean nothing is worse for pictures than wind.  My boys hair was short enough to be spared, but mine was out of control.  It was all over my face, in my lipgloss, sticking straight up like a rooster.  My loose, billowy shirt was being  blown around and filled up with air, giving me the ever so flattering stay puft marshmallow man effect.  The kids weren't in the mood for photos (are they ever) and we had such a limited amount of time.  I almost called it... never-mind, not worth the effort, not going to happen...but photos are pretty much my most favorite thing and you really just need one good one, right?

I'm so thankful for my stubborn streak and Marianne's skills.  I love this photo.  Is there anything better than snuggling your children and holding them tight, no matter what is going on around you? Also, it happens to be the very first photo of our family of five.  Little did we know, I was five weeks pregnant at the time.  We would find out soon after and embark on a three month journey into the black...also known as the world's worst morning sickness.  While I experienced the brunt of it, it was a trial for my whole family.  I was completely out of commission.  Food was barely happening. Activities were not happening.  The kids were bored.  Bear was exhausted from working and having to pull double duty at home.  Meanwhile, I prayed to be put into a medically induced coma and awakened after it was all over.

But.... before all that... there was this moment. The five of us all together for the first time, smiling and holding each other in the middle of a storm, right before we entered a storm of a different kind. And... here we are again... beginning a new year.  Life is probably going to get pretty wild for us and who knows what it holds for you.  I just wanted to wish everyone the best and remind you (and myself) that if you have people to hold on to, you have all you need, come what may.  Here's to 2016 my friends.  Let's do this!  Ever up and onward.