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Saturday, September 13, 2014

2 week solo

Jeremy had a business trip in the UK for two full weeks. I had been dreading it since July. It was supposed to take place back in July and then it was delayed until September. He left on the Saturday evening before Labor Day and returned home last night. We missed him dearly. I challenged him to a phone picture a day and we did the same over here. I kept up with it on my end. And I'll be checking out his phone soon to hopefully post more interesting pictures than what you are about to see here.
 Day 1 - Airport drop off. Holden had the right look. I had been crying off and on for hours as he packed that afternoon. I was completely dreading the two weeks without him. I'm a wuss. I know this.
 Day 2 - Sunday night we made a paper chain to count down his return. I knew the boys couldn't really comprehend what 14 days without their daddy would feel like,
 Day 3 - Abe had his first try at finger painting.
 Day 4 - While Pax and Abe were at MDO, Holden and I ran some errands. I treated myself to some pocket change of Jeremy's per diem with a new fall candle and a fun cup.
 Day 5 - Just a typical school day. Learning about patterns and creating his own.
Day 6 - Abe rarely sits for television, so I snapped a cute picture of he and Pax cuddling during a cartoon.
 Day 7 - Pax all snuggled in my bed. (The big boys took turns sleeping in daddy's spot while he was gone.) On this particular day we finished reading Peter Pan, which they absolutely loved. I promised them the movie would follow.
 Day 8 - We had a visit from M, Pax's birthmom and her family. They came bearing birthday gifts for Pax and some gifts for Holden and Abe also. :)
 Day 9 - I got my hands on the Peter Pan movie and the three of us watched it together during Abe's Sunday afternoon nap. 
 Day 10 - Monday morning forts. All 3 were tucked away hidden on the bottom bunk. They love making a big mess of the bed covers and doing this.
 Day 11 - I had a very sweet day with this boy. I do think Tuesdays with momma are just what this one needs at this point in his life. He helped me choose a new fall decoration at Hobby Lobby to put in our house.
Day 12 - A sweet friend left these fun gifts on my doorstep one morning. And I sure did devour those chocolates right before lunch!
Day 13 - After we finished our school work we rode bikes and then spent some time at a neighboorhood playground.
Day 14 - And finally last night we were reunited to the man the means so so so much to us. And we are so thankful he is home. This tiny boy stayed in this posistion (head on his shoulder) for quite some time.

Jeremy's 13+ pictures will follow shortly.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mother's Day Out 2014

We have begun another year of Mother's Day Out one day a week. Holden is obviously now too old for the program. So Pax and Abe are attending this year. I honestly never intended to do it this year. I had this grand plan to have one of our favorite sitters come over one day a week for 4 hours. Those 4 hours would be my chance to run errands, get groceries and just get out of the house alone. It all fell through last week. I was disappointed. I'm not going to lie. But the MDO program had someone drop out of the oldest class at the last minute. So Pax and Abe had a spot on the same day. And because I believe all things are happening for a purpose, I know that means that maybe Holden could use some one on one with mommy. So we are going to accept that blessing with open arms. And he will have to endure grocery shopping each week among other things that may not be fun to a 6 year old. :) The day before MDO, Pax realized he would be attending this year without Holden and he got very teary. He said, "But I will miss Holden." I reminded him that he would need to watch out for Abe. That it was his turn to be the big brother away from home. That seemed to make him feel better. It gave him importance and he accepted that well. Though 15 minutes after we dropped the boys off, Holden said from the back seat, "Mommy, I miss Pax." Poor Abe. He is not chopped liver over here. Don't get the wrong impression. But Holden and Pax have a real relationship now, with silly conversations, fighting/arguing and other fun stuff. Abe is still a baby to the big brothers. We did have to pry Abe off of me for him to go into his classroom. And I may have fell apart crying in the hall. I knew it would be a hard drop off for him and in return I suspected it would be a hard one for me as well. Six years into adoption, and I'm still learning more and more. More than I ever wanted to know, but things I need to know. Things I wish I knew and would have believed 6 years ago. And knowing that my baby could be fearful that I might not come back for him almost makes me never want to leave his side. I know that isn't possible. And I know what most people think. I used to think the same. He's been with you for over a year. Hand over your baby. He'll be fine. This is all developmentally normal for him to be upset. But his journey to a forever family was a different one than most of us. So I always have to consider...what is his brain thinking and what is his heart feeling. If I don't even consider it then I don't have any compassion for my kids or their stories. So I'm sure I looked crazy crying in the hallway, but it's just been different this time around. I'm hopeful next week will be a little easier. The director did call me around 11am to tell me Abe was doing wonderfully in his classroom. Reason #27480 that I love this place that my boys go! It's a true blessing. So that was just a long intro to these cute first day pictures. Abe was all smiles at home! But then all tears at the handoff from mommy to his sweet teacher. Pax acted a little nervous about having a new set of teachers. But then marched himself in and made himself right at home.
I attempted a cute littler picture of the boys standing in front of the door, but Abe wanted to run towards me. So I had to snap pictures quickly while he was seated.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

5 year old Pax!

These yearly posts are sometimes difficult, to sum up a person I love so much in just a few paragraphs. But I love to look back at each year, who they were at a certain age and see the similarities and differences to who they are now. Pax is a love bug. His name means peace and it fits him better than we ever could have guessed. He is sweet and considerate to others. He has a great silly side. And it seems like strangers and casual friends more often see his silly and funny side and he saves the sweet stuff for family and a few close friends. We've noticed for a couple of years now that Pax is sensitive and a deep thinker. He's always noticing and taking it all in. And then I'm so thankful he holds nothing back from us. He brings his thoughts and questions about situations to me regularly. Sometimes these thoughts are about his adoption. Sometimes it's about seeking fairness with brothers and our family dynamics. A friend pointed out to me this week that he has confidence that his voice will be heard by me and I was so affirmed to hear this. I'm so thankful for the open communication between us and pray that always sticks!
Pax loves stories, books, poetry, etc. Books have always been a favorite of his and that is still true today. He is getting really good at reading now also. Daily he is sitting down with library books, sounding out words and reading...stopping occasionally to ask me for help on a word. But a favorite pastime for him is me reading to him. And I'm so glad he still enjoys us doing that together. A friend suggested I try some books on CD for my big boys. My goodness, he wants to sit and listen to them everyday. We have quickly gotten our moneys worth from the two that I bought. He sits quietly and listens and cracks up laughing at all the right places. Pax is one of those rare 5 year old boys (it seems) that will sit and work on something for an hour or more. Two good examples are Where's Waldo books and Legos. He literally will open up a Where's Waldo and find every character that needs to be found in one sitting. And we've just learned in the last month that he is a complete whiz at Legos. I have little to zero interest in Legos, but he loves them and he is really good at following the instructions to build something, or being creative and making his own masterpiece. Another favorite for Pax is playing games. He loves it when we have family game night. He received a few games for his birthday. Headbanz which has been a fun one for us. And Beat the Parents, which we have decided to put away for a couple of more years. They just weren't ready for it. I love playing games too! Seriously, this kid is my clone!  He has been so proud lately to tell everyone "Did you know I'm already in Kindergarten?!!" This boy loves school. He loves having a task to accomplish. We've only just begun, but he is doing great in school.
So far Pax has played t-ball, soccer and basketball. He loved them all, but honestly soccer was his best sport. He was actually really good at it. He's got a solid little muscular build. I always look down at his legs and envy his calf muscles. Yep, I'm jealous of my sons leg muscles. At his 5 year appointment this week he weighed 42lbs (60%) and was 43inches tall (52%). Even though he loves organized sports, when we are at home, he tends to prefer being indoors. I really have to encourage jumping on the trampoline, riding bikes and playing outside. I can't blame him much right now because it's so blasted hot. But he'd much rather be looking at books and playing indoors than being more active outside. This is complete opposite of his big brother, so that's sometimes a little challenge.
Pax is a sweet and perfect middle brother. He's so proud of his big brother. Holden made a friend at a park recently and I heard Pax telling the friend, "Did you know this is MY big brother?" Melted my heart. I could hear the pride in his voice. I'm so thankful they have one another. (Despite the recent bickering that's been taking place.) He's also such a good care taker and sweet big brother to Abe. Big bro and little bro are fortunate to have a consistently happy and kind brother to share life with.
He's still a great eater. An easy eater. Sometimes I ask him to choose his fruit or veggie for lunch or breakfast. And occasionally his response is, "Whatever you choose is fine, mommy." Dude, I'm giving you choices... OWN THEM!! He's just easy though. I know, I know. I'm probably making him sound like a dream, which is not possible for any child/person. He's not perfect. He can be emotional and sensitive (which I still consider easy because it's so similar to myself). He has no concept of the words "we are in a hurry". Fast is not a pace that he will go, unless he's on the soccer field. Everyone has their faults and I'd never sit and list my child's, so I'll go ahead and stop there. But he is a complete joy to parent. Pax is a precious and sweet gift to our family. And we are the lucky ones getting to spend our days raising this little boy. He is another miracle to our family!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Another birthday celebration!

Today we celebrated the birthday boy one more time. He chose to have an outing with a friend instead of a party this year. I let him make the choice and his decision sure made it easy on us. Because of his new lego obsession, he chose to go to Legoland with his buddy Ross. Because we were constantly counting the heads of four busy little boys, I didn't snap too many pictures. But we had a fun few hours at Legoland. Today was also the grand opening of the new spray ground there, Pirate Beach. So we ended our time there in the water. Which was perfect for them because it was HOT. Lovely Texas heat. The boys had so much fun. We had a late lunch of cheeseburgers, Pax's request, before driving Ross back home to his family. So thankful that this little friend was able to join in our celebration!
 Abe even got in on some lego action.
 This kid has all sorts of personality. :) Hands down he is the most joyful child I have ever known. I couldn't have chosen a better buddy for my sweet Pax.
Big bro and little bro crashed in the car after lunch. But the friends chatted the whole way home.

Celebrating the big 5!

Pax turned five on Tuesday, August 26th! I love making my boys birthdays all about them and allowing them to own their day and make extra choices. Obviously they enjoy this too. We had already decided that we would take the day off of school, because that is an easy option when you are homeschooling. Early that morning while I was getting myself ready, the big boys ran downstairs and into our room. They know our tradition of beginning the day of opening a gift from the brothers. So Pax began his day by opening two gifts from Holden and Abe that Holden had picked out all by himself. Holden had chosen an EtchaSketch and a Kaleidoscope. I loved these classic gifts. I was shocked he had chosen these things with all of their Ninja Turtle obsessions. And of course, Pax loved his gifts. But what he shared with Jeremy and I that meant the most to him was that first thing that morning, Holden had given him a birthday hug. As soon as the words were coming out of Pax's mouth, Holden was covering his face with his hands as if he was so embarrassed by his own thoughtfulness. Pax is VERY affectionate. Holden is pretty affectionate with Jeremy and I. He sort of has to be, because we are affectionate people. But he is not nearly as touchy feely as Pax. Pax will hug and hold on for minutes at a time if you allow it. Holden can't handle those long bear hugs. So the fact that Holden initiated a hug with Pax, knowing it would make his birthday extra special, it just about brought tears to my eyes...but who am I kidding. It often doesn't take much to get the tears going on me.
Pax had told me weeks before his birthday that he was going to want donuts on his big day. So he had a few different donuts. And just like his mommy, plain glaze is always his favorite.
After breakfast and getting the boys ready for the day, we headed to story time at the library and to pick out some new books. He wanted to do this same exact activity last year as well. :) Some things never change, I guess. He had also told a few days before that on his birthday he wanted to stay home and paint. So after the library and lunch, I put Abe down for a nap and the three of us painted together. 
I even got a little carried away having a little fun myself.
For dinner Pax had requested Chili's. He made this request over a month ago. I keep telling people that Pax has been waiting for this birthday since May 1st (Holden's birthday)! He has literally been asking about his day, making specific requests and counting down ever since the day we celebrated Holden turning 6. So for dinner, we met up with Jeremy, my parents, my sister and nephew for dinner. I brought in cupcakes and the servers sang to him. I could see that the loud commotion and attention on him made him so proud, yet a little shy all at the same time.
 I made lego cupcakes since he is loving legos these days. They were so sloppy and quickly done the night before. But when my sweet Pax saw them he said they were "boooootiful". And he said it just like that.
After dinner with the family, the five of us headed home for present opening.
 Pax opened a few books, some legos, a hot wheels track, a family board game, a Ninja Turtle tee and a pattern game where he gets to use a drill. He loved it all.
It was a wonderful day of celebrating our big five year old! Five sounds so big to me!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pax turns 5!

Today we spent our day celebrating this boy. He steals my heart over and over again. He is a tender-hearted, kind little boy. And I am one lucky girl to be his mommy. A 5 year post and our birthday celebration will make it up here on this of these days.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pax in Kindergarten

We kicked off our school year at home yesterday. See Pax's favorites from last year.