Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Birthday Bash

I PROMISE I will get around to posting about Ella's gymnastics recital, but apparently my new computer isn't compatible with my video camera, sooooo... I might need someone tech smart to help me figure out what to do! In the meantime, we've had a pretty busy week around here. Two of my very favorite boys in the world had birthdays this week. NINE and SEVEN! How did that happen?

They got to have a friend sleepover, stayed up waaaaaaaay too late, ate a bunch of junk, played outside the entire evening/next day (I hardly even saw them), and got filthy dirty. So pretty much the perfect boys party! I seriously just love having little boys. Hand them a shovel, a sandpile, some boards and nails and they are good for HOURS, maybe even days if you throw a few sandwiches out the window every so often. 

Thank you to everyone who was able to come to their party and celebrate with them (especially the parents of their friends who probably had very tired, grubby children returned home to them)! I think we're finally starting to recover from it all. 

The morning of the birthday party (which was also Charlie's actual birthday as well) we were also excited to find out that one of our goats had her babies! Charlie is thrilled to share his birthday with such little cuties and thinks it's SO cool that one of them didn't know how to nurse so we got to milk the mama and bottle feed her. Uhhhhhh... yeah. Very cool. Until the 1am and 5am feedings!! (Thankfully she's got it figured out now!)

And the next day 2 more babies were born!

We also have been SUPER busy getting our home ready for an appraisal so we can (hopefully) get a construction loan to dig out a basement under our house. We worked way too long into the night way too many nights to get everything just perfect.. for a 10 minute walk through. *sigh. Now we wait and see what they say I guess.

It's been a crazy busy, but fun filled week with hopefully lots of good memories made. Charlie has been practicing his new scooter on the deck every day and I got to watch Nolan completely biff it on the lane this afternoon trying to figure out his new bike with hand brakes only. No broken bones yet, so all in all I consider it a success. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

That's What She Said..

Sometimes I feel like I was jipped a little bit on the 'toddler stage' with Ella.
Since she crawled, walked, talked, everything so late, development was a little different with her. 
There's been a lot of things I missed and have been looking forward to experiencing with Hudson.

"I can't wait until Hudson is in that 'toddler stage'", she said

"It will be so nice when he can get around on his own."

"Ella was never much of an explorer. I hope Hudson is." 

"It's so cute when they start getting into things," she said 

"It will be so much fun to chase him around the house."

"I'm sure he'll be content with all the toys he has to play with."

"Won't it be great when he can get his own snacks??" 

"I'm so excited for when he's bigger and he and Ella play together better. They'll be best friends."

"That toddler stage I missed out on is just so much fun." 

 "I can't wait to do it again."

That's what she said...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The day someone called my daughter 'creepy looking'

"You are having SUCH a good day today Ella!" I exclaimed as I pulled her giggling squirmy body out of her carseat.

We had been to a mini-MOPS meeting, which she hadn't been to in a few months because of random illnesses and previously scheduled doctor appointments. It wasn't the same teachers or layout as normal, but she still loved seeing all her friends and being around other kids and did SO great, something that never ceases to amaze me even after all these months of me leaving her there.

We had been to therapy, which she was SO excited about since we missed last week (random illnesses again.. story of our winter). She went with her therapists all by herself (big girl!), imitated all her sounds in speech (I heard.. like I said I wouldn't know first hand because she was all by herself) and did great with her other therapies as well.

We picked up chicken nuggets and french fries (her favorite) and I tossed food at the kids over my shoulder drove to Open Gymnastics while the kids happily munched in the backseat.

We hadn't been to Open Gymnastics (basically an open gymnastics gym for kids to run crazy in for an hour and a half) for quite awhile. Since the little kids had both slept in that day and we were already in town for therapy I seized the opportunity and took them on a spontaneous trip there. Ella was SO excited and ran around on the mats, jumped on the trampoline and even jumped in the foam block pit, something she never would have considered doing a year ago. At one point she was clear across the gym from me, jumping with kids she didn't know, without a care in the world if I was by her side or not. So much progress!!

I had had a nice chat with the lady in charge, who is familiar with Ella's story, about how she is doing, and also another mom I had just met who had a son born very premature and had been taking him here weekly. She watched Ella and told me over and over how adorable she was (of course we were instant friends after that..) We swapped stories about doctors, our children's specialists, therapies, developmental milestones.. Maybe not a normal conversation for everyone, but for us it was.

We were all having a great time when it happened.

Ella was in the foam block pit and 2 little girls, probably 4 or 5 years old, were standing nearby. One of them looked at Ella and said to the other "That girl is creepy looking."

My heart jumped to my throat and my eyes widened.

"Yeah." The other looked at her and replied.

I swallowed hard and stared in shock not knowing what to say or what to do.

A few long seconds dragged by.

My beautiful girl looked at them and smiled. Then she started crawling toward them in an attempt to make new friends. She loves to do that.

The first girl looked at the other and said in an almost disgusted way, "She's coming closer to us."

That's when the mom, who was standing nearer to them than I, looked over at them and whispered to them for a few minutes. I have no way of knowing what she said but the girls didn't say another word.

I sat there, still staring, still in shock, still not entirely knowing what to do.

So, ignoring the very mature part of myself that wanted to inform those little girls that the two shades of pink they were wearing totally did not match and honestly I didn't think their pixie hair cut did anything flattering for their face shape, I did the only thing I could rightfully think of at that moment. When Ella crawled out of that foam pit I held her tight, kissed her head and told her she was the most beautiful little girl in the world. Then we went home, took naps, and made the chocolatiest, most peanut butteriest cookies I could think of and ate them together. Sometimes I guess that's all you can do.

I KNOW my daughter is beautiful. I know she has a beautiful heart. And a beautiful spirit. I don't need anyone else to validate that for me. She has so many people that think that and love and care for her unconditionally that it shouldn't matter in the least what a 4 year old girl I will probably never see again said in one single moment. But I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt. A lot. I've never thanked God so much before that Ella isn't even close to having the mental capacity to understand what they said.

I wish I could have done things a little differently. I wish I could have walked up to those girls after i heard their comment, smiled warmly at them and introduced Ella to them so they knew she had a name. I would have told them something about her, like that she loves to play with babies, so that they knew she was a little girl just like them. I would have answered any questions they had, like maybe why her eyes don't open all the way, in case that's what they thought made her look 'creepy.' The way it worked out I wasn't standing exactly near them. To avoid just yelling across the pit and into the busy gym full of screaming children I would have had to lean my pregnant belly over the edge of the foam pit, drag Hudson out of there, probably kicking and screaming, walk around the pit, past the mom, probably causing a panic attack in Ella if she thought I was walking away from her.. I really didn't want to cause a scene.

I don't think these girls were horrible, terrible, spoiled rotten bratty little no good kids. (Fine.. maybe I thought that just for a second. Or two..) And I don't think the mom was a snotty callous witch (Fine.. again. Maybe just for a second). I think what happened was just two little kids seeing someone who looked different than them and in their mind that was 'creepy' to them and a mom who was just as frozen in shock as I was.

If this ever happens to you, if your child ever says something like this to another-- first, please don't act like you didn't hear what your child just said while praying to Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and all the angels and saints that the mother of the child didn't just hear what your sweet little Suzy said. Chances are if you heard it, she heard it. I can't say for certain that this particular mom heard what they said.. but I'm pretty sure. I can understand the level of mortification you would be on at that moment, but do not ignore the comment. Even though you might want to just melt into a puddle right then and there (which is ironic considering, even though that mom may very well have been a wonderfully nice lady, in that instant I started to imagine her black hair growing down to her waist, her skin taking on a green tint and I'm pretty sure if I would have thrown a bucket of water on her she really would have melted.. but anyways) it is SO SO important to say something. We have opportunities for teachable moments every day with our kids--this is one you need to take. And by not saying anything, you are still teaching them something whether you intended to or not. I do appreciate that the mom eventually did say something, however the absolute BEST thing she could have done was help her girls form a relationship with mine, exactly what I could/should have done had I been standing a little closer and done so without causing hysteria in both of my children.

I'm so used to the overwhelming love and support our family, friends and community have shown us that I just really haven't had many (any? possibly..) situations like this arise before. It might be the first, but unfortunately it probably won't be the last. *insert heart breaking..* Please help me in educating our children, teaching them how to interact with others different from them. Don't take the easy way out--stand up and do what you know is right, even when it might be incredibly difficult and hard and oh so uncomfortable. Please.. do it for Ella.