Monday, April 15, 2013

Perfect Moments

You know those perfect moments, the ones where troubles melt away and everyone is totally present and you feel more alive in that instant than you did all day? Those are the times I pray I have a good camera on me, that the lighting is just perfect and somehow it's all frozen into a snap shot that says it all. We had one of those moments and wouldn't you believe it, I just happened to run in last minute to grab the 'second wife'. This is what we have frozen in time.

This all took place at an annual ward BBQ in the afterglow of sunset. We'd all been fed well and the older two happily played with friends while Kent and I had the chance to chat a little with friends. Refreshed, we got back together for some last minute fun before heading home.

Initially Elias was in the sling but he giggled so much each time he watched Keila swing close to us. I put our Bubby in the neighboring swing and Kent and Isaac just happened along when all the laughter started.

Isaac trying to catch Keila's toes! I warned him he might get kicked in the head if he didn't watch out. He did but for whatever reason (inhaling too much fresh air or all the sugar from dessert) he just laughed his head off and went right back at it.

LOVE this shot of Elias! See his half moon eyes crinkled in delight! Hooray for perfect moments in an imperfect life!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pint-Size Testimony

Sometimes I forget that my children are just people if only smaller in size. Perhaps it's the size that makes me feel as if their problems are smaller and hence less important. But that is an unfair assessment.

On Friday we were at the preschool and I had the chance to aide in the playroom where Keila was for that day. She was happily sitting on the ground playing with a cricket - Buggy, who was less than a half an inch long, cute as far as crickets go. I was rather surprised since up until this point she's been terrified of any moving furless creature with more than four legs.

She has an Shirley Temple look from the curls that day!

A small crowd of children had gathered around her and one of the boys sitting on the tricycle watched for a moment and proceeded to tell it was gross and squashed the little guy flat. I was talking to one of the teachers when we heard a wail proceeded by , " you squashed my Buggy! You hurt Buggy!"

The boys mother was nearby and he received a sound scolding (from what I gathered, this has happened many times with his younger brother) while I tried to comfort Keila and distract her with other things.

Nothing was working and anyone who came along asking why she was crying she would tell in sobbing tones. There were various responses, anything from "I'm sorry" to " oh, it's just a bug honey". The latter would get a have Kiela heaving and crying, "he's not JUST a bug, he's my Buggy!" It took me a bit but I finally realized this was not something I could simply gloss over. It should have been more obvious to me when she tried to revive the poor thing!

I realized if something I loved died I would be devastated! never mind what the creature was, I would need to mourn in some way. So I took Keila on my lap and I asked her why she was so sad. She told me that he was hurt bad and stammered out the statement that he might even be dead. She was upset that someone could be so unkind to another creature. I tried to ease her grief by telling her that Buggy was with Heavenly Father which seemed to help a little. We then picked some rosemary and placed it in a paper cup and set it by the now two dimensional Buggy and lovingly said goodbye.

All throughout the rest of the day Keila would have moments where she was just fine and other moments where she' d break down in tears again. We tried not to focus on the negative. For instance when she told me for the millionth time of how cruel that boy was, I'd ask her instead to recount a something nice she and Buggy did together. She'd get a soft smile and say, "we played game, silly games together."

By the evenng she could talk of how sad she was without all the drama and tears, but that she missed Buggy but was glad she played with him and knew him. Now I sure some of you are thinking this got blown out of hand, after all how much could a bug really mean to a child. I just wanted a way to help her feel better and didn't think much more of it until two days later.

It was conference weekend Sunday. For those of you who are not LDS, it is a biannual event where the prophet and apostles speak on various subjects using scriptures and their testimony of the divinity of Christ to encourage us in our personal journeys to become more like our Savior. It is one of my favorite times of year because I feel spiritually fed and rejuvenated. The children mostly play but they listen more often than we know. We were eating dinner and talking about the things that we were inspired by when Keila brought up Buggy all on her own and said something to the effect of how hard it is that he's gone but that she knew Heavenly Father loved Buggy and that things dont just end when we die. I was a little floored, it was a testimony if ever I heard one and it was filled with the innocence and faith of a child.

A windy day and Isaac's brillant idea to fly a kite! Keila LOVED it and was the best at keeping that thing afloat.

I've not mentioned Buggy since, although Keila has asked if she could have a pet cricket and if we could make a cage for it to keep it safe from "mean boys with bikes", but it's been on my mind a lot. I marveled how the grief process is so very universal and I feel bad I was near to dismissing her pain simply because it was unimportant to me. It was a lesson I needed to remember. Most of all, I'm grateful that even willful stubborn children/adults can be taught and comforted by the Spirit when we seek earnestly. We all need pint-sized testimonies!

A quick shot of pint-sized Elias conference weekend, with his fruit loop necklace and pjs. One of our most favorites weekends every year!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Happy Birthday my Littlest Man

I can't believe it's been a year since this little man came into our lives. At very rare moments I remember the Down syndrome, such as when a clerk at the grocery store remarks that he is small for his age and asks if he was premature. It took me a second to register why she'd even ask me such a question!

While yes, life is different that it was before but so is it with every new child. It's just most families take their children to soccer game and cheer them on, while we work with PT and cheer him on in his crawling skills. It's not really that different. We're blessed that he is so healthy and strong and profoundly grateful for his presence in our lives.

He loves laundry baskets! Tell me what child doesn't!

Unfortunately we were on vacation on his actual birth day so we waited to celebrate it at home with friends and neighbors.

A shot birthday morning!

Using chocolate I melted and wrote "Happy B-day Elias sweetie pie!" Thus the blueberry and cherry pie topped cupcakes. Being left with way too many other colors I attempted some chocolate cream and lemon meringue pies as well. Not bad for an impromptu celebration!

"Too many people Baba! You are not seriously setting me down to sit with them, are you?!!!"

"Don't spit on my cupcake you hear!"

The little man does not like crowds let alone an audience. He couldn't seem to enjoy his cupcake so we had private cupcake session the following day.

"At long last, peace and quiet to savor this sweet thing!"

Ahhhh, the carnage!

"Is that it?!"

When he smiles his eyes turn into beautiful half moons that sparkle with delight. Nothing captives him like people, new faces and smiles. I love the way he holds my face in his two pudgy hands to gaze with due seriousness into my soul. And in the next moment he squeals with laughter as he begins to pat my cheeks vigorously! Sometimes he stops to plant his wide open mouth on my cheek or chin and will suck for a turn - a Bubby hickie is what I call it!

He loves to play with hair! Any chance he gets he will lift and tug at Keila and in her good nature she lets him only yelping at a particularly painful one. He has come away with a fist full at times! With Isaac, if he sits next to me in church, Elias will lean from my shoulder and rub the spikes just loving the texture.

I LOVE his pouty face! He is simply the best at it and nothing tugs at your heart quite as strong as when he gets all watery eyed and sticks out his sharp little chin in with his pouty lips!

He is loving and very sensitive and oh so stubborn. He hates his glasses and in a split second, if there is nothing to occupy his hands he will rip them off his face. We place it back on right away and he'll growl his displeasure or plead with watery eyes but doesn't throw a tantrum. If a tantrum is to be had it is usually due to extreme fatigue or over stimulus. Most of the time a snuggle, some good hugs and kisses can smooth over his difficulties.

I relish the joy we will experience as he grows and develops. He has already taught us so much of what really matters. Happy birthday my dear son!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2013 Preschool Pictures

Stepping Stones hired a great photographer this year for the school and so I had to order the CD to show off my 'not so little' little ones!

I love that his smile is pretty natural, not the typical squinty eyed look with the chompers looking like they're ready to take a bit out of you!

I have to say I admire Mrs. Crabb with her class of 15 total and 11 of which are boys. Such a pandoras box of energy but she does wonders with them! It'll be kindergarden for them all next year. How quickly time passes.

Keila had a blast 'dolling' up for it that morning.

It's a small class, but Keila loves each of her friends! Mrs. Klunk was a great first teacher!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

The Easter Bunny was wise this year and prepped before spring break. Sunday morning they found a large bowl of eggs with a note to find their hidden presents and have fun hiding and finding eggs after church.

Elias got his own little bunny to chew on while the older two got new pens an pencils with a notebook of paper in their favorite themes of Hello Kitty and Angry Birds. There something about new paper and pens that I've never out grown much less my children!

Happy egg hunting later. The presents were such a hit the The Bunny may consider moving to a more sugar free diet next year!