Moms have to grow up too

by Rebecca on September 5, 2014

  Lydia, first day of 1st grade, 2014 8I thought sending my oldest to kindergarten was hard, but it was nothing compared to sending her to 1st grade.

Oh, the worries. How can she be away from me for the whole day? How will she figure out how to eat lunch in the cafeteria? How will she remember to take a snack outside with her to recess? Will she understand all the new big kid rules? Will she find the big kid bathroom?

But the big issue, and most likely the reason this year was so hard for me is: she’s riding the bus. *Sob* How will she understand the rules of the bus? How will she know where to get off the bus? What if a big kid picks on her? What if the bus driver is mean? What if she forgets her bus number?

She was so excited to ride that bus, and we arrived at the bus stop at least 10 minutes early on the first day of school. As the minutes took their sweet time passing on, she became more and more quiet. I chattered away to help her keep her excitement up (and to calm my own nerves), but soon I could see she wasn’t able to pay attention to me anymore. As the bus finally lumbered down the street, I gave her the safety speech one more time, wrapped her in a hug, and asked if she had any questions.

“Um yeah,” came a very little voice. “Um. Did you ever ride the bus to school, Mom?” The fear in her eyes was so heartbreaking.

I assured her I did, and I loved it. Then she was swept up in the line to get on the bus, and I was crying while a sweet mom with older kids told me everything would be ok. “Ok, ok,” I nodded to the mom, wiping my tears before running to the car where Ryan was waiting with the two little kids so we could follow the bus to school.

Inside the car, I talked a mile a minute. “Do you think she’s ok? What if she’s sitting next to someone mean? What if she’s sitting alone? Oh my gosh, you lost the bus!” I shouted to Ryan, panicking as the yellow bus left us behind at a red light.

“It’s going to be ok,” Ryan assured me, but I wasn’t so sure. Minutes later, we arrived at a hugely busy school parking lot just as the bus was opening its doors.

“Let me out here!” I shouted, and Ryan had just enough time to brake in the middle of the street as I jumped out of the car to run to the bus. I wanted my face to be the first thing Lydia saw when she got off the bus.

Through the bus window, I could see Lydia letting every kid pass her seat at the front of the bus. Knowing she tends to get shy, I was worried this was a scary experience for her. Then she finally bounced down the steps, a huge grin on her face. Shining, happy eyes replaced the nervous ones that left me when she boarded the bus in our neighborhood. I gave her a big hug, and we met up with Dad and kiddos to walk to the playground.

We helped her find her line in the first-day chaos. She quickly found old friends, and happily waved to us as her line filed into the school. Walking away, I leaned on Ryan as we left our baby girl with strangers for the WHOLE. DAY.Lydia, first day of 1st grade, 2014

I was fifteen minutes early to pick her up at the bus stop, and couldn’t wait to hear about her day. I expected a big, happy hug, but instead she slowly came down those bus steps with the longest face.

“I don’t feel good,” she said. “I was cold at lunch, and I couldn’t eat. Every bite made me colder. All the other kids said what a nice day it was, but I was so cold all day.”

We hurried home, where she promptly threw up. A thermometer reading showed she had a fever of 101. I tucked her into bed, and saved my questions. It turns out she had some sort of virus, so she had to miss her second day of school.

But by Monday, she was healthy and ready to ride that bus, leaving me behind in the dust with tears in my eyes again.

I was sure that putting her on the bus was the hardest thing I could do — and then she asked me if she could walk home alone from the bus stop. “None of the big kids have their moms pick them up,” she said. “I want to be like the big kids.”

This girl needs independence. She thrives on it, and she has so little. But walking all the way home was more than I was ready to let her do. So I consented to meeting her at the corner instead – and then panicked until she was in my sight.

After a week of corner meets, she asked again if she could walk all the way home.

“Alright,” I finally agreed. It really isn’t that far, and I guess I was beginning to feel as brave as she desperately wanted me to be.

At the end of the day, I watched out the window for her. As soon as her ponytail was in view, I threw open the front door. “Yay, you’re home!” I began, but before I could continue, she interrupted me.

“Mom, can we go back to meeting at the corner? I missed seeing you wave at me.”

“Sure, if that’s what you want,” I calmly said, while inside I was doing a happy dance. She’s growing so fast, I’ll take all the littleness I can get.

Lydia, first day of 1st grade, 2014 2

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3-year-old Emma

by Rebecca on August 29, 2014

Emma, dino pictures, 3 years old         Emma turned 3 a few weeks ago, and we kept with our tradition of taking her picture with her favorite stuffed animal, Dino. The idea is for her to still be taking pictures with Dino when she’s a teenager, but with all the loving Dino gets, I’m not sure the little animal will make it that far. Emma may end up as an 18-year-old posing with one scrap of a dingy pink piece of material.

3-year-old Emma is sweet and happy. She loves to smile and make people laugh. This is the face she makes when she thinks something is awkward. The face accompanies an “Uhhh” followed by a giggle. It always makes us laugh.Emma, dino pictures, 3 years old 5

3-year-old Emma loves her baby brother, and never gets upset with him or the attention he’s getting. She also loves her big sister, but DOES get upset with her quite often.

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3-year-old Emma talks. And talks. And talks. And if her sister isn’t around, she talks some more. That girl has more to say than anyone I’ve ever heard.Emma, dino pictures, 3 years old 15

3-year-old Emma loves hugs, and always begs to be “tickled,” which means, “Stroke my arm gently NOW.” If I pause to scratch my nose, she squirms, whines, and shouts, “TICKLE ME.” On a related note, 3-year-old Emma also has us all wrapped around her finger.

Emma, dino pictures, 3 years old 12

3-year-old Emma can play by herself for a long time. She sets up her toys and has them all talk to each other in elaborate imaginary games. Emma, dino pictures, 3 years old 10

3-year-old Emma loves to do “homework,” which is anything I come up with to help her practice letters and numbers. She’s very good at holding a pencil, circling pictures, drawing faces, and tracing letters.

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3-year-old Emma loves to dance and sing. She loves to run and play outside. She loves to help me cook, and she loves to be read to. She loves the library, the museum, the park, and the splash pad.

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3-year-old Emma’s favorite TV show is “My Little Pony.” She loves Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle. 3-year-old Emma knows every word to every song in the movie “Frozen.” She loves to have her hair done like Anna (two braids) or Elsa (one braid).

Emma, dino pictures, 3 years old 8

3-year-old Emma is very much a 3-year-old as far as tantrums and preferences go. But underneath her 3-year-oldness, I can see a very easygoing, happy-go-lucky girl. I can’t even begin to adequately describe how wonderful and fun this little girl is. She is such a joy in our family.

2-year-old Emma and Dino:

Emma's 2nd birthday -- Dino 10

1-year-old Emma and Dino:

 

 

 

 

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Rex’s blessing day

August 29, 2014

My parents’ 1-year mission as employment specialists to Detroit for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ended just a little bit after baby Rex was born. It was perfect timing because by the time they made their way to Utah on their way home to California, Baby Rex was 6 weeks old, and I was […]

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Emma’s third birthday party

August 21, 2014

Having a baby just one month before your daughter’s third birthday means you have no energy to do anything for said daughter’s third birthday. Thank goodness for a summer birthday that could be held at a park, and thank goodness for friends and family members who are willing to step in when Mama is a […]

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Baby Rex’s birth story: Part 1

August 9, 2014

This is a long birth story. I thought about cutting out major parts (and believe it or not, I actually did cut out quite a bit), but ultimately decided to keep it all for my posterity’s sake. I won’t be mad atcha if you don’t read the whole thing. Part 2 here Part 3 here […]

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Baby Rex’s birth story: Part 2

August 9, 2014

Part 1 here I paced the delivery room. Each time I had a contraction, I signaled to my husband and he would come near to rub my shoulders and neck while reminding me how to relax. That’s what I loved about hypnobirthing: it taught me how to trust my body and work with it, and […]

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Baby Rex’s birth story: Part 3

August 9, 2014

Part 1 here Part 2 here The doctor, who finally came in, tried to get me to relax, to move my legs, to get me in the bed. I couldn’t do any of it. Ryan had to move my legs for me. I was as tense as a corpse – and wished I was one. […]

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Ode to the belly table

May 29, 2014

I’m so tired. I’ve had mono before, and I feel like I’m walking around with double the mono I had. My husband tells me I felt this way with my other pregnancies as well, but I think he’s full of it. Nobody could forget this amount of tired. The other night, my husband was gone […]

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The giraffe looked at me funny

May 2, 2014

The quirks of my children are reward for every hard part of parenting. They’re also the reason for the hard parts of parenting, but they’re oh-so-fun. 2-year-old Emma is decisive and bold. When we pulled up to the dentist the other day, she announced, “Mom, I’m not going to open my mouth.” Thankfully, her big sister […]

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A first soccer game

April 18, 2014

Lydia (6) had her first game of soccer, or as my mother in law suggests — “bunch ball.” If you’ve ever watched eight 6-year-olds attempt to play soccer, “bunch ball” is a most appropriate term for what the children are actually doing – bunching together around the ball and moving up and down the field, oblivious to […]

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