Friday, January 29, 2010

Sweet and Sour

It's no surprise that our Gavin is a challenge. You say go left and he goes right just to see what happens. He is a rebel, a trouble maker, and very dramatic. But would it surprise you to know that he also has a softer side? Like when he does something very wrong, like push his little brother out of the way causing an injury, he apologizes for days at random times, showing true remorse. Or when I find him sharing his dessert with Mason saying "One for me, one for you" as he shovels bites of food into his mouth and his eager brothers. He is the one in the house to give our dog Aspen the most attention, sometimes too much, but he loves that pup. He will hug her, pet her, and ask to give her treats all the time. A boy and his dog, those two are quite the pair. Ask him to clean up his toys in the basement, he will fight you tooth and nail, but if you ask him to get you a drink or help you make dinner, he is more than willing to comply. He thrives on one-on-one attention, when he doesn't have to compete with number one and number three. It is in those moments that I think he would be so much happier as an only child, with mom and dad all to himself. He loves all things truck related, and creates his own construction sites and farming fields and he wants to be a rancher when he grows up, complete with horses and elephants, and his little friend Ashley that will have a pink horse because it's her favorite color. He can be very polite, he remembers his manners better than his older brother and he feeds off of the attention he gets when adults recognize him for it. He loves to sing, in the car, in his room, at the store, everywhere he goes, especially Christmas songs which he knows now drive his mother crazy- but he loves to do that too. After hearing two children sing at church a few weeks ago, he came home determined to practice his own song and was off to the basement to find his "instruments" to accompany his voice. He is a definite leader, for better or worse, he will coerce his little friends to do what he wants, which hopefully some day will be an advantage. He loves to tell stories about cowboys and trains, and candy. He loves to have his back (and belly, and arms) "itched" and would sit for hours with a willing scratcher. Gavin is a great eater, he loves fruits and vegetables and usually gobbles them off his plate first, but he will eat most anything you give him. I'm not sure where it goes though because he is thin as a rail! It's hard to find pants that don't look ridiculous on him because he is also tall and even with those adjustable waist pants, he still looks silly. He also has a long torso which makes finding shirts that are long enough a challenge as well. He is our little string bean. This boy loves to read books, the library may in fact be his favorite place. I love having him sit and snuggle with me as I read him stories, but I will find him pouring over those books just studying the pictures for hours on his own. Life with this little one is not always roses and rainbows, there are plenty of thorns and thunderbolts, but it is always an adventure and he has taught me to see the bigger picture which is a blessing. Gavin has taught me more about myself than my other kids and he is making me into a better mother and a better person overall. It's a good thing I like the sweet and sour flavor he brings in our lives.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky

In an effort to remember the sweetness of my baby, here is my Mason at 21 months:

Mason has been dubbed the cheery one in our family. He has a very sunny disposition which makes him so fun to be around. He is friendly to strangers after about a minute of wariness and he loves to say goodbye to the checkers at Target. All the way out of the store you will hear his high pitched "Bye! Bye! Byyyyyyyeeee!" He is a busy body that is constantly into everything. He has mastered skills the other two never did at this age like opening the oven, starting the dishwasher, and pushing a chair or other object over to climb and get what he wants. Last week he climbed out of his crib, but this feat has not been repeated, much to his mother's joy. He is always getting into the cupboards, trying on all of the shoes in our shoe cubbies, and pressing as many buttons as his little chubby fingers can reach on the computer. I thought for sure he would electrocute himself this Christmas because I constantly found him either plugging or unplugging strands of lights we had about the house. It was a relief to put those away this year. And he is a head banger, he is constantly falling and injuring his noggin. The stitches he got several months ago were just the beginning of the wave of bumps, bruises and cuts he has gotten. It is rare that he does not have some form of obvious wound in some stage of the healing process taking center stage on his countenance. The culprit this week was a ledge in the shower that he hit right between the eyes as he slipped trying to reach a toy (similar to the stitches incident now that I think about it). I think it might be his generous gut that throws him off balance. He still has his signature strut that has yet to be imitated perfectly by his brothers. He walks like a man that is confident and sure of himself, which he surely is. He is a stingy kisser, they are not given freely but must be earned according to the Mason scale of deservability. Above all he is kind, he readily shares his toys with this brothers and friends, and if he sees someone upset he will stop everything to go and give a hug. I love that hugs are the solution to everything in his mind, I hope that mentality remains for a long time. He isn't the cuddler he once was, the world it too exciting for such things. I can convince him to lay with me a moment or two when he wakes up, and if I put on a CD of lullabies I played for him almost constantly when he was an infant, he will sit with me in the rocking chair for a bit, but sometimes even that is pushing it. I love all his generous curves, he is short, stout, and solid. I will miss these chunky little legs and his belly that overflows from the waistband of his trousers. I lovingly refer to him as our engorged tick who begs so well at the table for leftover dessert scraps. I love the stage that he is at right now, he tries to communicate in what seems like another language, with glimpses of his English progress coming through. His brothers play with him seamlessly, there are rarely altercations with their littlest brother. He is the baby of the family through and through and it seems like everyone under this roof knows what that status entails. He is coddled more, never to blame, and always gets priority in Mommy's lap. He is our jolly jell-o belly and boy do we love him so!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Never a dull moment- except in January

January gives me depression issues... I hate, hate, hate taking down Christmas and seeing my bare house, no longer with Christmas cheer. I have heard of people who actually love to take it all down and have their clean house back, but I do not fall under that category, not by a long shot. Shortly after Christmas, Cameron asked me what holiday came next. I told him Valentine's Day which was a mere 6 weeks away... Sheesh!

The start of January was frigid and blustery and there was nothing exciting on our calendar, but in the last few days we have had some 50 degree weather which has helped to warm up our spirits a bit. Yesterday we went to Gravelly Park to watch the airplanes and Roosevelt Island. It was warm enough for a picnic! Of course, I don't have any pictures because we brought or new camcorder that also takes pictures and I can't figure out how to upload them yet. There is one video my family had of us kids growing up and it was at this same airplane park, it was nostalgic to be able to record my kids in the same spot.

In cleaning out our camera, I came across a few postable pics, like these two from Cameron's Winter party that he wasn't able to have until January due to our snow storm. I am the room mom so this was a big deal. The kids decorated gingerbread men, made paper snowflakes, crafted snowmen with snow globe bellies, exchanged books and played a fun hot potato game where every time the music ended the kids unwrapped a layer of paper on a gift box until the box was revealed and filled with candy! It was so much fun for the kids and I love being room mom to an amazing teacher.

We always love having Sarah and Luke over . Here the kids are decorating some cookie snowmen. Twice a month we swap kids with our friends the Wadley's so we can each have a date night. It is so nice to not have to get a sitter and the kids love to get together and play!

There was one other thing that happened last week that probably deserves a post all of its own, but Jeremy would hate it if I did that. Jeremy got a new calling in our church and it's a doozy. In our church we do not have paid clergy, every position is filled though volunteer work, basically the leadership in the church chooses someone to fill an empty spot and everyone has a job to do whether is it a bishop, Sunday school teacher, or program printer. Jeremy was asked to be a counselor in the bishopric, meaning he is one of two men who divide the duties of the ward with the bishop and preside over different auxiliaries. This will be and already is a major time commitment, but we believe it will bring with it blessings for our family. We will support him in this very important new role and are very proud of him.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!