Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Help Mommy not to get mad.

April was a much better, healthier month for the Maes family.

Toward the beginning we watched General Conference (Atticus was so excited- to play bingo!- that he wouldn't finish his breakfast when the first session began.  He was singing a very different tune the next morning, ha ha)

We also celebrated Easter (for real).  We had the cutest Easter Bunny stop by our house.

Atticus was so cute looking for his breakfast, basket and his eggs- "I'm a good looker!"
We made Resurrection rolls and hot cross buns that evening, so hopefully the real message of Easter got across.

Hinckley has made so many fun changes!  He weighed in at 16 lbs 4 oz at the end of March.  He got his first tooth on April 20th (hooray!)

Can't wait until tooth #2 comes in!  He remains our sweet, drooly little boy.  He's rolling over all the time now, his fingers' dexterity is incredible, he's started eating avocado, he scooted backward a couple times (by accident), we love his prayer hands (he's a very holy guy!), squawks and screams.

He also started jumping this month.  He is a jumping addict!  Whether it be in our Johnny Jump-up or the jumper our dear friends have let us borrow, he becomes a little more like Tigger each day.
  

Below is a fun side by side of Atticus and Hinckley at 5 months.  While they definitely look like brothers, their differences are becoming more and more obvious.
Atticus has had his ups and downs this month.

The honeymoon period ended fairly quickly once Hinckley and I came home and I have to say, he has moments where he is nastier than ever.  Here's one such moment: "I don't want to be nice!"  This one is relatively tame, but the screaming and back talking are really out of control.  He really wants to be "mean."  But then, these last two or three days, he prays (unprompted!) for help to be nice...  Advice is welcome.

When he's not screaming, he's actually a pretty cool kid.  Here are some of the (very) positive changes that have taken place.  

He's getting more confident and coordinated.  Here he is playing baseball (follow the link).

He's spending more and more time playing with and comforting Hinckley.
He's starting to really dote on kids that are younger than him (he was hugging his friend Islay at a birthday party- "Mommy, I love Islay!" and talked about his playdate with Jace for at least a week- "Jace and I haded a delicious dinner!")  Previous to this he had mostly ignored younger children.

He loves picking flowers for me and other grown ups that he loves.  Sometimes it drives me crazy, but I love his underlying motive.  

He is eating so much more and a much bigger variety of foods.  Dane and I just stared at each other across the table in silent, jubilant shock as he reached for red pepper a couple weeks ago and told us he loved it.  He even asked to try zucchini several days ago and was saying how much he loved it.  This is all with no prompting, whatsoever, from us.

He also asks at least once a day to "clean."  I do not, however, want to mislead you.  Very little actual cleaning takes place.  He will grab a swiffer, tell me we need some "Bouncy music so we can get to work," (I must have said that our first time...) and request to listen to the Star Wars music (the Imperial Theme- his favorite song of all time).  He also absolutely LOVES the Dinosaur song (watch this video to watch him march along).  After a couple songs he will retire to his Spiderman chair, cozy up with a blanket, and listen to the rest of the songs we have on his kids playlist, remaining silent other than the occasional, "Mom, don't sing!" 
A change I'm less than thrilled about is his hair.  We said goodbye to his adorable curls once again.  While I was SO sad when they shaved it (it was definitely a team effort), it sure helps him stay cool so he can sleep better.

More fun April moments:
Joy School- T is for Tie Dye, Th is for Theater, Sh is for Shark.
After the shark lesson a mysterious package came in the mail for Atticus.  Watch this video to see the shark fin, dinosaur head and shark hat he and Hinckley received. 
Dane saved the day one morning- Atticus had woken up especially early and I was at the end of my rope (again).  Dane got him back to sleep for another hour and a half.  Hooray!
And I just love this birthday hug Atticus gave his sweet little friend Skye.

The biggest highlight of the month, though, was that Mimi and Uncle Danny came again!  Atticus was in heaven.  He and Uncle Danny played lightsabers any spare minute that they could and then we all went to the Pirate Fest at Craig Ranch Park for poor Mimi's birthday.  We had a blast!




Mimi even helped Atticus give his scripture at church.  It was a great visit!

Atticusisms:
  • "You're my best fwiend."
  • "You're not gonna be my best fwiend ever again!"
  • "They're all saying hi to me!  Hi!" (to strangers at Costco)
  • "I'm really awesome, Mom!" (while playing baseball)
  • "I missed you, Daddy." (after Dane helped him through a night terror)
  • "Kill her!" "I'm gonna cut of your blood!" "Mommy, can I slice you open?" and other savory, frightening phrases.
  • "Why did Daddy marry you?" (Because he loves me.  I love him, and he loves me, just the way that we love you!) "Yeah, but I pick my boogers..." (his response was said very sadly, ha ha)
  • Prayers- "Help Mommy not to get mad."  "Help me not to be mean."  
  • "Mommy!  I saided a prayer that you wouldn't get mad."

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Bronchiolitis Begets Big Boys




March was another whirlwind, which I guess is appropriate, considering how windy it was in our neck of the woods.

We had a visit from our beloved friends, the Webbs, celebrated St. Patrick's Day, taught a fun preschool class about the letter X, and started to celebrate Easter.


Hinckley has been drooling, teething like a puppy (he loves to chew on my chin and Dane's beard!), is a champ at the karate chop and digging his nails into skin, can hold a toy, got his first diaper rash, and was 15 lbs, 10 ounces at his 4 month appointment (he cried for only a few seconds before smiling at me after getting his shots, sweet boy!) 
At the beginning of the month he was treated like a celebrity at a babysitter's house.  Lucky boy.
He has been known to make even the coldest looking store clerk grin with his sweet smiles and laughter.  He is seriously the most adorable little lamb.  If you ever need a pick me up, just talk to Hinckley for a few minutes and everything will feel better.

Little did I know that this little heart breaker was about to break our hearts in a very different way.  On Thursday, the 15th, Hinckley woke up with some congestion.  I didn't think much of it since he is often congested.  Later that morning we went to the doctor for his 4 month well child appointment.  On Sunday, he woke up with a cough and Dane left for Washington, D.C. (why is it that everything falls apart when husbands leave?!) by Tuesday his breathing sounded suspicious and on Wednesday I was pretty sure he was wheezing.  Thursday morning I took him to the doctor and, after two nebulizer treatments failed, she sent us to the Pediatric ER at Summerlin Hospital.

It was a long four days (the nights were even longer!) and I was absolutely terrified at first.  I tried to keep it together for the first couple hours when I couldn't get hold of Dane and made arrangements for Atticus.  I'm not sure what the worst moment was, but it was absolutely sickening to watch yet another child have to wear oxygen.  Thank heavens, our friends and family were angels and took care of everything.

Sweet Amanda came to the hospital to bring me some food and comfort while we were still in the ER.  A couple hours later her husband and our other home teacher came and administered a blessing.  The reassurance I felt having those men there was overwhelming.

Dane's dad, who I've decided is my official hero, came down at the drop of a hat.  He left work, packed his bags, and drove down as fast as he could.  He was able to get in that night, gave me a much needed blessing of comfort, and grabbed Atticus in the morning.  He really is a superhero and  helped us in countless ways while he was here.

My dear friend Ginger (who had agreed to watch Atticus for the doctor visit) found herself stuck with our crazy three-year-old overnight!  She didn't bat an eyelash and took care of him like one of her own.  He was so content that when I called him that night he only stayed by the phone long enough to say, "Hi Mommy!" and ran back to keep playing.  I can't begin to express the peace it brought knowing he was not only safe but having the time of his life.
(Reading books and playing with the snake at Ginger's house.  Her kids were so sweet with him!) 

 Another friend grabbed some essentials for Atticus and for me and brought them to us, along with some sweet words of comfort.

I can't even count the number of people who checked on us and offered help.  We've had meals and desserts brought and so many people praying for us.  Thank you all so much!  I can't wait to be on the giving end again.

Dane came home the next day around noon and he and Bob cared for Atticus while Hinckley and I battled his virus at the hospital for the next few days. (Here he is at a ward Easter party)

Thank goodness, we were able to come home on Sunday afternoon, March 25.  Hinckley's breathing improved until, by Wednesday, the pediatrician declared him well from the bronchiolitis.  He still has some congestion to clear up, but we'll take that any day.

On top of the wonderful people who came to us in our moment of need, there have been other blessings from this experience.

One is my deepening understanding and love for what it means to be a mother.  At the hospital, no one called me by my name, calling me "Mom" instead.  I know it's mostly to make it easy and call all of the parents the same thing, but I loved it.  When I was teaching, my favorite thing people would call me was "Coach."  Miss Brough and Mrs. Maes always seemed so cold and distant.  Coach, on the other hand, was affectionate and yet respectful.  "Mom" is even more so.  It helped me feel empowered.  I felt like an equal with them and in charge when it came to making healthcare decisions.

I certainly am not taking my sons and their health for granted now.  I'm trying to soak in all of the sweet moments.  For example, one day, while Dane was gone and I was almost crazy from fear for Hinckley's health, I was able to lay down with them both and hold each of their hands.  It was blissful. 

I alluded to another really great development in this post's title.  Atticus has matured SO much in the last month.  I hated to see him so bored, yet I think that we often don't allow our children the boredom and responsibility they so desperately need to, well, grow up.
I can't count everything, but some of the things I've noticed include the following:

  • Singing and caring for Hinckley way more
  • Yelling and screaming less, being far more reasonable and willing to negotiate
  • Brushing his own hair
  • Washing his own dishes (he's starting to do it all on his own without any request from me!)
  • Eating a much wider variety of food (asking for lettuce, tomatoes and pepper on his taco?!)
  • Deeper questions and prayers ("Why did Jesus have to die?" "I don't want you to die." "I don't want to die." He even asked Heavenly Father to "Help me to cheer up" in his nighttime prayer the day his daddy left on a trip)



We've always loved this kiddo, but MAN we enjoy being around our new and improved toddler!

Here are a few more moments from the month.  

Atticus had a great lesson on the letter Y.  Here are his "Yucky" and "Yummy" faces: 
 And here is his reaction when he found out they would be making a "Yoda" craft:
 Here's my lame attempt to have some "fun" while Hinckley was sick (he wanted a "Polah bear snack"):

  We visited the dentist again.  It was a MUCH better visit (Atticus loved it this time!) but we are still worried about his two front teeth.  They have turned gray from his fall and it's possible that he might have to lose them in the coming months.  But they could just be bruised...  Only time will tell.  That adorable smile might change.  But we can deal with it.




Atticusisms


  • "Stop doing that every day!"  "Stop doing that all the time!"
  • After being told that Easter is all about Jesus- "No!  I don't want Jesus to take/steal all the eggs!"
  • Steps into shower to help clean.  "Ugh!" (Did you get our feet wet?) "No, they're all showery!"
  • "I have two stomach aches at the same time!"
  • ("I have to give Hinckley his breathing treament.") "I get to have a treat?"
  • (After being told the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho and being asked, "Did you like that story?") "No, I just like Batman stories.
  • "He didn't wash his hands!" (when talking about the naughty leprechaun who left green pee in the potty)
  • "Look!  I can fit in the bumbo!  Take a picture."
  • "We're making the baby laugh!" (Bowman and Atticus had been rubbing chalk on poor Hinckley's forehead...)
  • "I love you too." (Shyly said to his friend Aven after she told him 3-4 times, "I love you Atticus!" during preschool)
  • "Did you do that?!" (when he found our guest bathroom's toilet a little gross)
  • "I'm not thinking about Jesus, I'm thinking about superheroes!" (during the sacrament)