Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Monday, July 29, 2013

On this day...

11 years ago, at 8:31 am, a beautiful blue-eyed baby boy was born, weighing just 6 lbs 5.5oz.

It had been a somewhat long labor, starting the previous day, and had some stressful moments. At one point, the baby's heart rate had dropped low, and the obstetrician - whom this mom chose to never see again after her horrible bedside manner!! - suggested if the mom didn't "hurry up and push this baby out, we WILL be doing a c-section." (She also ripped the blanket off of me several times, even though the nurse kept covering me back up since I was very visibly cold in a very cold hospital room - it was July but the a/c was on full-blast! - and she made other rude comments to myself and Jason...) While there is nothing wrong with having a c-section, this young - just barely 21 at the time - first time mom KNEW she could do this! Within the half hour, a little blue baby with the cord wrapped around his neck twice was born. The dr removed and cut the cord immediately and got the baby screaming and pink within seconds.

Today, that tiny, little boy is growing up into a fine young man.

My son Ethan, with all his little quirks and particular ways about him, is such a blessing. I couldn't ask for a better big brother for his 2 younger brothers, Alex and Jackson. Not only is he highly intelligent and advanced in school, breezing through most subjects, but he is funny, sweet and oh so loving. We've gone through some scares with him, first his ventricular septal defect, diagnosed at just 2 days old, then not knowing why he wasn't speaking at 18 months. We've had ups - moving from 1st to second grade early, winning the school and district spelling bee in 5th grade, winning the school bee and coming in 2nd to an 8th grader/previous winner in the district bee in 6th, learning to ride a bike with two wheels and tie his shoes, and maturing so much after his youngest brother was born a year and a half ago - and downs - struggling with frustrations, anxiety, and meltdowns at school due to his Asperger's/Autism diagnosis, lack of social skills and understanding certain social cues and sarcasm and remembering simple day-to-day things. It's definitely been a journey. One that I wouldn't change for the world.

Ethan, we are so blessed to have you as our son (and brother!). Thank you for being you, and I can't wait to see what you become as you grow and eventually reach adulthood.

Happy Eleventh Birthday, to our oldest son. I hope you have an amazing day. We love you to the moon and back!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

7 Quick Takes ;) - July 5, 2013

--- 1 ---
Just the 3 of us!

Yesterday was the 4th of July. Independence Day. We didn't have our 2 older boys with us, so it was just Jason, Jackson and I. After a light lunch, we went to Great Lakes Crossing and walked around for a couple of hours. Jack LOVED the animals at Bass Pro Shops. He was pointing at them and trying to name them. Even the fish were just the most amazing thing to him! We decided to have dinner at Toby Keith's I <3 this bar and grill. It was pretty good. I ended up ordering a half-rack of St. Louis style ribs, baked beans and sweet potato tots.
We didn't go see fireworks last night, but we sure did hear them. Our dog is a scaredy-cat and spent the whole night whimpering and whining. I can't wait till people are done shooting them off... 
Actually since Monday, we've just been kind of not doing a whole lot. Jason has had class most evenings, so Jack and I have been spending time together.

--- 2 ---
Technology growing pains...

While at the mall, we passed the Verizon Wireless store. My Droid X2 has been acting up for the last couple of months. Missing texts, not dialing, dropping calls, the screen freezing up, having to do a hard reset by removing the battery. It has gotten quite irritating. I'd already gone over once to the store nearest to our house, but the customer service rep was less than helpful (kind but unable to offer me a replacement). So when Jason suggested stopping in to this store, I wasn't exactly enthusiastic. However, the very nice lady looked up our information and found that not only do we have insurance, but also the extended warranty, meaning they would replace my phone with something NEWER, of equal or better value! For FREE! And it won't change our plan or "renew" our contract so we won't lose our current unlimited data. I should be getting my brand new Droid RAZR M on either Monday or Tuesday! It looks pretty sweet. Smaller phone, but all screen, so it's actually a bigger screen, lighter, faster, 4G, and I won't lose my apps. I'm pretty thrilled to say the least.

--- 3 ---
From me to you! 

I want to let people know that if you get a message from me on Facebook, I'm not spamming you, nor am I just trying to bug you or sell to you. I'm genuinely reaching out to help others. My thought is this: If I don't reach out to so-and-so and they DO want help reaching their goals, I'll never know, nor will they know I want to help them. If I do reach out, and they don't need or want help, at least they know I care, and if they ever need support, that I'm there. Also maybe they know somebody that wants or needs assistance. So please don't mind my messages. If it's not of interest to you, a quick no thanks would be grand, but if you forget or don't have a minute, I understand. Just know that it's not to bother you or because I think you are in particular need of something. I figure all of us could use some support at sometime or another. :) Thanks for your understanding!!!

--- 4 ---
It's all relative

You don't realize how much you are alike (and different at the same time!) until you spend a lot of time with family members. This past weekend, after dropping the older boys off, I picked my mom up and we drove down to Columbus. We stayed at my sister Heather's house for the weekend, and while it was fun, it did get a little, ahem, tense? sometimes. Really it was over silly stuff, and most of it was myself overreacting. I do want to apologize though, again. Love you!! We threw her a bridal shower, and even though no family from out of town came in (...), we still had a good time and made the most of it. Jackson had a blast running around with all the "little" girls that were there. They ranged from 4-12, I think? Oh my gosh, he was so funny. Back at the house, he'd chase the dogs, yelling "dog" or "gigi" (one of Heather and Matt's pups names). Jack loved that they were almost all smaller than him.

--- 5 --- 
Shoe important!
Looking for boots for the wedding party proved fruitful. We found a pair all of us girls liked, though a different color we originally talked about. We did have to go online to order them (planning to do so this weekend actually) and found a better deal too! I promised I would share a picture if it was alright with the bride-to-be and she obliged :)

Justin Boots Red Torino

On top of finding those, yesterday proved fruitful too. I found a new pair of tennis shoes for exercise, walking and hopefully, eventually, running! They are Asics, very cute, comfortable and not terribly expensive. I guess, after reading the description on the site linked below, they are technically trail-running shoes, but whatever ;)
Asics GEL-Venture 3

I'm still on the lookout for a good pair of tennis shoes for everyday wear to replace my 4 year old Sketchers shape-ups that I love but are worn out... I did find a pair of Sketchers D'Lites that I like, but wanted to price them elsewhere before I got them. These look and feel good, and even though they are actually considered "athletic training shoes", I could wear them everyday, with jeans or whatever.

I'm not much of a shoe or fashion person, but since I'm losing weight now, I need to start slowly replacing my clothes with things that fit. I may need a fashion advisor... anybody want the job? LOL.

--- 6 ---
Finding myself in my hobbies is a chore in itself

I got married pretty young and never really developed a sense of "self", so to speak. I didn't really have any hobbies or at least I didn't really grow them? As I build this blog, and grow as a person, I want to find new things to do. Photographing things has been fun, but I always seem to put it away and never learn more, or I forget my camera and miss out on opportune shots!

I have tried learning to knit, and while I did successfully make a hat, I just don't seem to take the time to work on my projects!

Excuse after excuse, really. I have got to stop that.

--- 7 ---
Kicking the Summer Bucket List starts...

NOW! Well actually tomorrow. Well, technically, it already did a few weeks ago, BUT we only did a few simple, already scheduled things. Now it's time to hit it and hit it HARD! Ethan and Alex will be excited to get moving on it and start doing some of the fun things we have listed. I think first thing we should cross off is making homemade donuts. A couple of weeks ago, we found a BabyCakes donut maker on clearance at Meijer and snagged it. Sunday morning would be a great day to do this :) I will try to remember to snap some pics of the process and the aftermath! I'm thinking using our whole wheat pancake batter recipe, just a bit thicker might work? Any thoughts? I'd like to make them a healthy version. They are basically baked, not fried, and we have tons of King Arthur's white whole wheat flour, and fresh berries we could add. We'll see how they turn out!

Thanks for reading!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!