Friday, January 29, 2016

On Taking Risks

Last summer, Chris bought Cole a pair of rollerblades.  Not quite my favorite idea, but Cole was SO thrilled, I just couldn't dampen his spirits.
 
Every once in a while, he'll pull them out and stumble around, falling every other step.  It's almost painful to watch - even with all his protective gear of helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, I have visions of rushing him to the hospital with broken bones and sprained ankles.
 
But it's SO SO important for him.  Part of Cole's perfectionist little personality is his aversion to risk-taking.  He doesn't like to try anything unless he can do it right, perfectly, the first time.  Now, as a mama, I'm often pretty happy that he's not a fan of risks.  Wheelies on his bike? No worries.  Climbing the bookcase? Never had to worry about it.  Jumping off the roof?  The thought never crossed his cautious little mind.
 
However, there's a certain amount of risk that's necessary for life, for success in life.  More and more during our schooling, I'm realizing that his hesitancy with risk-taking impacts his ability to be successful.  When answering questions about something he definitely knows, he replies, "I don't know," even if he does, just in case he gets it wrong.  He asks questions about things he knows the answers to.  He is loathe to try any new experience.
 
 
But the roller blades?  It's a risk, physically and mentally.  It's not something you just "know" how to do - it takes practice and skill and persistence.  
 
It's so hard to watch my sweet boy fall down again and again.  But it's ten times more rewarding watching him get back up again, and try again.  To hear him call, "Look Mom! Look at me!".  To watch his tiny increments of skill learned, day by day.  I hope it's helping him learn the lesson of how it's ok to not get everything right the first time, to try and fail and then try again.  To take risks.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Power of Mama


I am consistently amazed at the power of being a mama.  As a new mom, that was one of my biggest surprises - how simply my presence or my touch was enough to help infant Cole stop crying and be calm.

Still, after five and half years of mothering, I am taken aback occasionally at the strong bond between mama and child.  At how much Cole still needs me - even on my grumpy days - and how much he wants to do nothing but spend time with me.  As I woke up this morning and came downstairs at 5:15 to have some alone time, how Cole was upset because he'd rather be down with me doing laundry and emptying the dishwasher than warm and snug, reading in bed.  And how if Chase is sad or upset about something, how simply my hugs or loving touch can immediately soothe him. 

I know it won't always be this way.  Someday soon my hugs and kisses will be brushed off for fear of being embarrassed.  Someday there will be hurts and heartbreak that my presence won't heal.  Someday my boys might want nothing to do with me.  So I'm soaking up my powerful presence in their lives while I can, even though it means I can't pee in privacy or have forty five minutes in the morning to get a load of laundry done in quiet.  It's ok, because this season won't last forever - and I'm building a foundation for our relationships on love, attention, and hugs; and a strong foundation can last a lifetime.






Saturday, November 14, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Chase's Big Boy Bed!

We moved Chase into his toddler bed this weekend! He's been at the top of the height restriction for a few months now, but I was nervous so I kept putting it off. He still seems to small and young to be in a vulnerable bed instead of his safe crib! But, as usual, the transition was a million times smoother than I anticipated... Helped out, of course, by Cole's genuine excitement for his brother and his generous sharing of his special blankies to ease the transition!


Chase slept great and didn't get out/fall out once! I'm sure he will eventually figure out he can get out and explore, but I'll take it for now. Cole was so excited to see Chase the next morning he fairly flew out of his bedroom to run in to see Chase and enthusiastically ask him how he slept! Snuggles were exchanged and I'm pretty sure that was both of their favorite parts of the new bed. Cole also informed me that he had been listening during the night to make sure Chase was ok - such a good big brother!

And both boys' favorite part? Definitely the snuggles!



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Big Bro


Overheard, while Chase was fussing in the car:

"CHASE, I'LL HELP YOU WITH THAT.  DO YOU NEED HELP?  YOU WANT YOUR BOOK? I'M BACK HERE WITH YOU, BABY. CHASE! CHASE-A-RONI! WE'RE GOING TO THE BEACH! THINK OF ALL THE FUN THIGS WE CAN DO AT THE BEACH! THINK ABOUT IF YOU WANT TO SWIM OR PLAY IN THE SAND!"

While I was busy upstairs:

"CHASE, YOU'RE CRYING BECAUSE YOU WANT MAMA RIGHT NOW?  SHE'LL BE BACK IN JUST A MINUTE, SHE JUST HAD TO GO UPSTAIRS.  SHE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.  MAMA ALWAYS COMES BACK.  WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE YOUR HORSEY WHILE YOU'RE WAITING FOR HER?"

Kindness:

"WOULD YOU LIKE TO HOLD MY NINJA TURTLE? I'LL LET YOU HOLD MY SPECIAL FRIEND IF IT WILL HELP YOU FEEL BETTER!"

Helping:

"CHASE, YOU WOULD LIKE TO TURN OFF THE LIGHT? I CAN LIFT YOU UP SO YOU CAN REACH!"

Every morning, I first go to Cole's room to get him, then we go get Chase together.  Last week when Cole and I went in to him, Chase climbed up on the rocking chair and invitingly patted the spot next to him, saying "COLE! COLE!"  Cole climbed up and together the boys rocked.  Every couple of minutes, Cole would look over at Chase and say, "I LOVE YOU CHASE!" and Chase would give Cole a huge smile and a hug and kiss.  So much, SO much love between these two.  In my wildest dreams, I couldn't have imagined how sweet and tender Cole would be with his brother, his patience outlasting mine most of the time.  And watching how Chase idolizes Cole, mimicking him and wanting to spend all his time with him - it's just heartwarming.  I couldn't ask for a better sibling relationship with my boys!





Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Lost Tooth

Earlier last month, Cole lost his first tooth!  It was quite an exciting time - I can't believe that tiny little tooth was the same one I first spotted poking through his baby gums almost five years ago!

(Cole at 6 months old, his first tooth!)
 
 
We made a tooth fairy door and a special tooth pillow:
 
 
 
 
 
 
My big boy! Just one more way he's growing up - SOB!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Cole was in charge of choosing our Halloween costumes this year - he's never seen the Star Wars movies, of course (the Claymation Rudolph still gives him nightmares... I don't think his sensitive little soul would do well with Star Wars!), but he's been enamored with seeing pictures of Darth Vader.  So - that's what we did!

While Cole was a bit disappointed I didn't have time to make costumes for the dogs (he had his heart set on Nala being Chewbacca and Chloe being Luke Skywalker), he was super duper happy with his costume.  I'm pretty sure he put it on every single day from the moment I finished it!
I made his helmet and mask separately so he could take it off for better visibility when we were trick or treating.
 
 
 
 
 

 
And Chase - well, he loved his hat and costume too!  His first time trick-or-treating was a blast - he had the BEST time walking around the neighborhood, holding all his candy in his hot little hands because he refused to put it in a bag! He had the friendliest little "BYE!" every time we left a house - it was just so fun.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Han Solo and Princess Leia completed our family costumes! Such fun family memories.
 
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