Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Easton will grandma, waiting for the festivities to start. He looks so excited right?
Pile of presents and other random bits of interesting things left from Camden.
Opening presents with Camden's help. Easton loves to tear paper, but we never let him, so I think he was a little shocked that we actually encouraged him to do so.
Finally getting into it and having fun.
One of my students bought Eastie this hat. I loved it so much that I made him wear it for the rest of his presents.
Easton with his favorite gift of the event.
The cake! We call Easton our sunshine because he is such a happy, smiley boy, so we felt it was only appropriate his cake be a sun. Mark and I had a lot of fun making and decorating this cake.
Easton was less than enamored with the whole cake thing.Easton didn't understand what he should do with the whole cake thing, so Daddy stepped in to help.
Easton didn't like the feel of the frosting on his fingers, so he thought throwing it on the dog was a great option.
Cutting the cake into pieces didn't make it any better.
I tried to feed him bites of cake, thinking that would get him interested, but you can see how well that turned out (and I don't know why the flash decided to stop working here).Yeah, that whole eating cake thing didn't turn out so well. Neither of my boys have eaten their cakes on their birthday. I promise it is good cake really! In his defense, he got sick the next morning, so that may have been why we got such great first birthday cake pictures.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The preschool teacher told me
Needless to say, I broke down after I got off the phone. Sure we see bits and pieces of this behavior at home. He is three after all, and the first born in the house. But we know how to deal with him and rarely see him as out of control as was described to me. It broke my heart to hear the problems he is having and the problems he creates for others. In small groups and at home, he is well behaved, helpful, and fun. I’ve talked to my friends who watch my child occasionally and was told they rarely, if ever, see this side of him. Unfortunately, this was the final piece of a puzzle I’ve been trying to figure out for months. We’ve gotten similar reports from both the gym daycare and our church nursery (although not as extreme) and have wondered how
I’m not sure what to think about it all. I feel like the worst parent in the world who is failing their child. I feel like I must not see him clearly or that there is a side to him that only comes out when a parent is not around. After talking to some friends, they gave me some perspective. Most feel it is related to the sensory issues I have mentioned before. Because of that, we’ve set up an appointment for him to be evaluated at our local preschool. A part of me has felt like I have needed to do this for him for a long time, but I have brushed it off because we can deal with his sensory issues at home and in small groups. Seeing how they appear in large groups, however, has made me realize there may be more going on with my son that I want to admit. I’m very hopeful that our evaluation will be able to help my son and help him learn critical social and behavioral skills he needs for school.
It’s a hard thing to accept that my son has some issues that need to be addressed. It’s even harder because I am an educator and know what it is like to have those students in a classroom. It breaks my heart for my little boy, that so many see him as a behavior problem, instead of seeing his sweet heart and spirit. It’s hard to watch him struggle so much as a three year old to deal with these sensory issues. I feel like I don't know how to teach or discipline my own child in a way that works for him and his issues. It’s hard to watch him be so smart, but yet so affected by so many noises, fears, anxieties, and situations out of mine or his control. He’s a beautiful boy with a good heart. He’s got so much to offer. I just wish that side of him could be seen more than the problems.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I haven't talked much about my Camdenator lately, so I decided he needed his own post. This little guy is so much fun! He has developed quite the imagination and loves to tell me stories full of giants, trolls, dragons, pirates, families, and more. It's fun to watch his brain work.
I've discovered what an audio learner Camden is. I've known this for awhile, but it's become even more clear to me since he started preschool. If you repeat something to Camden a few times, he can repeat it back to you, especially if it's in song. He recently learned our phone number this way. The other day while eating dinner, Camden started reciting the "Pledge of Allegiance." To my surprise, he was able to say it word for word correctly. Apparently they say the pledge in preschool once a week and he memorized it. I know if I read books out loud to him, after a few times, he'll be able to repeat it back to me. I love knowing this fact so that I know how to teach my child as he gets older. Put it to song, repeat it out loud, and he'll learn it quickly. He has learned all his alphabet sounds this way and will tell you what sound each letter makes.
I love to listen to Camden talk, especially when he mispronounces a word. I love his "hambabanger," his "tricycple", his "banna". He's convinced that the song "We're not Gonna Take it" really says "We are not Naked" and he'll sing these lyrics loudly.
Camden still loves books. He loves to look at books, to be read books, and to hear stories. We recently got him a subscription our church magazine "The Friend" and he loves to look at "his magazine." He is active as can be! Rarely does he sit still for long. He loves to run, play, and especially jump. He loves trains. He almost always chooses a train as a reward when he earns a big reward. He also still loves animals. It doesn't matter the shape or the size, he loves animals.Camden is very sweet and sensitive. He doesn't understand when others are being mean to him. He tries to teach others to share and be nice. He is especially protective of his younger brother. Of course he can be rough with Easton, but for the most part, he wants to cuddle Easton and wants him included in everything. If I'm not being nice to Easton (or as nice as Cam thinks I should be), he'll tell me. He'll also tell others not to say words like "shut up" or "stupid" because they're "not nice."
Camden is sometimes too sensitive in that he has a lot of fears and anxieties. These have been with him since he was a baby. We're learning how to work with him on these issues, but sometimes it doesn't help. We've had to remove him from a few child care situations because they weren't willing to learn what caused some of his actions (when he is afraid, all bets are off) or how to deal with it. We've learned to steel ourselves for doctor appointments, hair cuts, and many other things. He is very sensitive to noise. We've learned that if there is a lot of noise, his behavior will get worse. The hardest part is not dealing with his behavior when he is in a situation where he is scared, but to deal with the judgment we get from others. Camden teaches me to be tougher, to have thicker armour when it comes to what others think of him and of our parenting, and to put his needs first over the looks from others.
I have to admit, parenting Camden can be challenging. He's stubborn to a fault. He's obstinate and he doesn't always listen well. Dealing with his sensory issues take patience and sometimes I don't have a lot of it. But I am so glad he is mine. Recently I told Camden the story of how he came to our family. Now every night before bed he requests that I tell him "the story of me." I tell him how much we wanted a baby, how much we prayed for a baby, and how sad I was when it didn't happen. I tell him how happy we were when we found out he was coming. Then I tell him of his birth and how overjoyed that made his father and I. Finally I tell him how much I still love him, how I will always love him, and how happy I am that he is my son. And that is true. In spite of the difficulties in parenting sometimes, I am so glad to have Camden in my life. He made me a mom and I am forever grateful for the blessing he is.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
We met with my favorite photographer a few weeks ago to do family pictures. I am thrilled with our pictures and want to show them off! These are the first family pictures we've had since Easton joined our family, so it's about time.
I want to tell you a bit about my photographer because she is awesome! I met Tina Miera in the spring and we've done three photo shoots with her now. Each time I am amazed at her work. With two of our photo shoots, Easton has come down with a cold right before and been miserably sick. She still makes him look good! On this day, Easton had a cold and hadn't napped all day, the wind was blowing like crazy, and Camden was being his obstinate self. Still, we got great shots. She works both in Salt Lake and the Uintah Basin, so if you are looking for a photographer, I highly recommend her!
Cam wouldn't let go of that leaf for anything. I love this background!
She even made me look good. Do you know how long it has been since I looked at a picture of me and liked it? Years I tell you. Years!
Easton loves to be "Easton upside down cake" as we call it. He was so tired and this was one of the few smiles we got out of him.
I love those lashes. I've had people tell me this should be a picture for a baby clothing store because he looks all GQ in it.
Cam loved her tire swing!
I love my two boys together. Camden is a great older brother.
I LOVE the way mark is looking at me in this picture. Love it!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I LOVE the mints at our local Pizza Hut. They are cinnamon and delicious and I covet them. I always grab huge handfuls when I go there. If Mark goes and I don't, I make him pick up these mints for me and then I eat them all. I always tell him how much I love these mints. So Mark decided to purchase me a box to surprise me. He thought it would be a small box.
It's a 30 lb box! What am I going to do with 30 lbs of Cinnamon mints? Anybody want some mints?
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Easton has been a joy since the day he was born. He's always been easy going and likes sleep like his mommy. I remember when he was 5 weeks old. I had put him to bed at 9:30 the night before. At 5 am, I woke in a panic wondering if he was ok since he hadn't fed all night long. I checked on him and he was just fine and woke about an hour later to feed. That became normal for him - sleeping through the night at a super young age. Since I had to go back to work when he was 6 weeks old, that was great for me! He is still my great sleeper. When he is sick or is teething, you can expect a few wakings, but otherwise, he sleeps 11 hours at night. He is a total tummy sleeper too, something he did all on his own. Once he learned to roll, as soon as he hit the bed, he flipped over on his stomach. I love watching him sleep with his little bum up in the air.
Easton practices new skills all the time. Camden would study and wouldn't do anything until he could do it perfectly. As a result, we have some new experiences with a baby who practices and practices. Easton has been crawling for about a month now. He moves fast and if he sees something he wants, he's after it. He has found the dog food more than once. He also pulls to standing on everything. He loves to be in the center of it all.
This is the face I see most of the time. When I come home from work and Easton sees me, he lights up and scrambles as fast as he can to get me. Then he gives me huge, open mouth kisses. When we go to stores, church, or any place public, Easton will stare at somebody until they look at him and then smile big. We get comments all the time on how cute and happy he is. He's a shameless flirt. He'll smile big at any pretty girl, no matter the age. He has all his caretakers wrapped around his finger.
Easton loves to laugh and play. He loves animals and stuffed toys. He loves Little People the most (something Camden never enjoyed). He loves baths, books, and exploring his world. He loves games where he bounces in the air and he loves dancing with the family. Although we try to not let him watch TV, if it's on, he's fascinated by the lights. He especially adores his brother. Nobody can get East laughing like Cam can. Nobody! It doesn't matter what simple thing Camden does, it will get Easton rolling on the floor. He looks up to Camden and follows Cam everywhere. Camden is so patient and gentle with him as well.
Easton is a champion eater. He loves his solid and table food. He especially loves cheese, noodles, fruits, veggies, and Cheerios. My only complaint about the boy is his liquid diet. Every time he has gotten sick or been teething, he drops a liquid feeding. When he was 4 months old, he got his first cold and refused nursing for weeks on end. He never nursed again, even though I tried. Each cold after that, another feeding dropped. Now he takes one bottle in the morning and one at night. He'll only take a few small sips of liquid during the day from a sippy cup (will not touch a bottle during the day). He's healthy and happy, so his doctor tells me not to worry about it so much. Put anything in front of him in solid form and he'll eat it though, so that's a good thing.
Easton is such a joy. We call him Easter Bug, Easter Bunny, Eastie, and bug most of the time. We tried calling him Eastie Beastie, but since he in no way is a beast, it just doesn't fit. I am so grateful this happy, sunshiney boy is in our lives!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Easton hanging out with the ladies (they are all so beautiful!)
The boys trying oh so hard to be cool (or is that me trying to be cool?)
A bunch of the crew. Man, I love these kids!
Monday, June 02, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Pull down the drop down menu until you see my last name (hint - starts with a D). Hit "enter gallery." Then hit submit. There is no password. I don't know how long the proofs will stay up, so check 'em out when you can.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Teaching is more than a job to me. Each year, over one hundred students enter my classroom. Some will delight me, some will annoy me, and some will challenge me. But each year, those children become like family to me. Each year, some students will ask me if I will miss them, while others will ask me if I will be glad they are gone. The truth is, I always miss my students. That last day of school each year is bitter sweet. While I am glad the year is over for many reasons (a big one that I get to be a mom full time for a few months), I am so sad my students are moving on. Students don't realize the way many teachers see their students. When those kids enter my classroom, they become mine. They become my students and I care about them deeply. Not only do I care about their academic success, but I care about them individually. I worry about them through the year. That doesn't stop when they leave my classroom. They take a piece of me with them when they leave.
It's true. My students really take a piece of me with them when they leave. I often find myself wondering how they are doing, what they are doing, how life is treating them. One of my greatest joys is when I run into a former student and they run up and say hi, ask about me, and tell me about their lives. I get sad when a former student acts like they don't know or remember me, because usually, I remember them.
Today I said goodbye to one of my favorite classes of eighth grade. Out of the ten classes I have taught, this group rates up among my top three favorite classes ever. Tonight, my favorite group of students ever graduated from high school. Out of that top three, this group rates #1.
The graduating group came to me 5 years ago. I didn't yet have children, but I had finally found some peace in my infertility. I had the peace that some how, some day, I would have kids. In the meantime, while I waited, I threw myself into teaching. This group of students came in and we immediately bonded. I saw so much beauty, promise, and hope in this class. Part way through the year, I noticed these students didn't see the same beauty in themselves. So I did an activity to help them see their own beauty. And that activity bonded us like no other. From then on, these students were my children and I was their adopted mom.
Our closeness didn't end at the end of that year. Many were student aides for me the next year. Many come to my house or my classroom to visit. It's not unusual, especially in the summer, for a group of them to show up at my door with a pizza, raid my fridge for drinks, and sit around and chat for awhile. They showed up just last week, wanting one last reunion before they graduated. They have played many, many pranks on me over the years. I've tried to get them back, but they always win.
Tonight they graduated. I wanted more than anything to be there with them. I planned and planned on being there. And then Mark had to work tonight. And then Easton got sick. And it rained (ceremony is supposed to be outside). And Camden is a 3 year old who doesn't sit well. And the graduation is during dinner time. With all those things combining, I knew it would be patently unfair to my children to drag them to the graduation with all those factors in play. I am so sad I cannot be there tonight. I have been torn all night, rethinking the decision to stay home, and coming to the conclusion again that it is best for my children to stay home.
I am so sad to see these students leave - both the group from this year and my graduating seniors. Our school does a fun tradition every year when the students leave. The teachers and staff get the noisiest things we can find. This year it was bull horns, whistles, and clapping hands. We get out there with our noise makers and make as much noise as we can while the students load on the buses. Then, before the buses leave, all the bus drivers lay on their horns and don't let go. You have more than 20 buses with horns blaring and an entire junior high staff making tons of noise. It's a huge, raucous, fun time. Then one by one, the buses pull out. Each year this tradition brings me so much joy because it's such a fun send off. But each year I find myself with tears in my eyes as another group of students leave. This year, tears rolled down my face. I am losing two of my favorite classes ever. While I am so excited for them and their futures, I am so sad to see them go.
My hope is the future will be kind to them. May they find joy and peace in the journey of their lives. May they carry the knowledge that this teacher, this one person, will always love and care about them. May they always find a soft place to land.
For my students of this year, carry on your educational journey. Make wise choices. Live life to the fullest.
To my graduating students - Kyle (Matt), Jeff, Megan, Britli, Brittany, Justin, and too many others to name - you carry my heart with you. I love you as much as I do my own kids. Don't forget to invite me to all those mission farewells, weddings, baby showers, and everything else. Life gets harder as an adult, but so much more rewarding. I hope you find more happiness and joy than you can ever imagine.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Now I find myself on the other side. I have been blessed with two beautiful little boys - two boys that, at one point, I was told might never exist without major medical intervention. At one point I believed they would never exist and that I would never be a mother. Yet here they are. They complete me in ways I never thought possible. I often feel like I was born to be their mother; they are the reason I exist. They have brought more meaning, more light, more joy to my life than I ever expected. I would do anything for those two boys. There is not a day that I don't thank my Heavenly Father for these children.
It's a weird dichotomy. I have children, yet still define myself as infertile. Even though I am the mother of two, even though I have created, carried, and birthed two children, I still see myself as infertile. Not a day goes by that I do not think of myself as an infertile woman. But to anybody just meeting me, to anybody who does not know my background, I am a lucky mother of two. Most likely, they see me as a fertile being. They see the blessings I have received. They see the two children at my feet. They haven't seen the trial or the pain.
The more children I have, the more removed I am from the infertile world. Not necessarily by choice, but by the circumstance of being a mother. How is another infertile woman to know that I struggled, that I feel like I was granted two miracles? How is another infertile woman to relate to me when they are still going through the struggle to get a child? I know that 5 years ago I would have scoffed at such woman, who, with two children at their feet, told me they knew of my pain. I knew they could never imagine the pain and hurt I felt because they were blessed. Now I am that person I so dreaded not that many years ago.
I wonder where I fit in now. I still feel part of that infertile world, but yet I am also so far removed by the very nature of having children. Do other infertile people read my posts and then scoff because I do have children? My goal since having children has been to hopefully give hope to somebody else in the same situation, for somebody seeking for a happy ending story. But does that happy ending story hurt more than it helps? I don't know.
I know that I am not done having children. I also know that for each child I try for, fertilty medications will be involved. It's a fact - I rarely, if ever, ovulate on my own. I have PCOS. So by that definition, I am still infertile. Yet I also know what doses of medication will work for me. I know I have been pregnant three times now as a results of those medications, and that two of those pregnancies have resulted in living children. So by that definition, I am a mother.
Every day I think of infertility, in much the same way that a person who has survived cancer thinks about cancer. (No, the two are not equal and I don't mean to offend anybody in that comparison, but just like cancer changes ones live forever, so does infertility in a different way). I often wish that I could wear a shirt that proclaims, "These children are the result of years of trying, heartache, testing, medications, loss, more medications, and more trying" so that people, especially those who may resent me for my children (as I so often resented others), will know what a small bit of what I went through to get these children. I want people to know that I remember the pain so clearly; I remember the heartache, the longing, and the hurt. I want to reach out to those who are struggling and let them know there is life on the other side. I never want to get so far removed from the infertile world that I forget what it is like to struggle.
Monday, April 21, 2008
And of course no post would be complete without the squishy we call Easton. I love those cheeks!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
In this spot I was going to do an Easter post, showing lots of pics of my sons. But Camden, that dear, sweet, almost 3 year old boy, had some fun with the camera card and our laptop, so said laptop is currently at the computer repair shop where they can hopefully extract said camera card from the card slot on the computer (where Camden jammed it in sideways). The fun of toddlers!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I never knew how hard it would be to work full time and take care of two children. I love my life, but is a crazy hectic life. Between wearing the hats of wife, mother, and teacher, I also wear the hat of mentor teacher and department head at my school. Right now there are lots of deadlines looming in all these areas (taxes at home, ordering new textbooks, completing mentoring paper work, setting up school visits, etc), so this will probably be my one and only post for this week. Hopefully by Monday things will calm back down again and I will be back on track! Thanks for hanging in there with me!
Monday, March 10, 2008
And this post wouldn't be complete without one picture of the squishy I call Easton. No story, just a really cute baby!
Next week's topic - share your greatest adventure. Whatever that may be. :) Leave a comment if you participated this week, as well as your link. Oh, and please either leave me some MLM ideas in the comments or email me some. I need more! We can also recycle old ones if you so wish. Thanks!
Monday, March 03, 2008
I first thought of posting "I am a child of God," but decided that was the easy way out. Then I thought of "Taking the road less traveled," but thought maybe that wasn't totally accurate. I really liked Musical Mom's after I read it and wish I had thought of it first. This is what I finally came up with.
Divinely guided through life's thorny paths.
Not much, but I feel it really fits my life. I can't wait to see what others put.
For next week I haven't had much time to think of a topic, so I'll just throw something out - share a recent picture and the story behind it. Have fun and be creative! Be sure to leave your link below if you participated today!