Friday, October 14, 2011

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

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I put him in the swing for the first time 13 Oct 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Little Boys

In a letter to her son, my friend describes what it is like to be the mother of a boy:

"...to be your mom is to see things through new eyes every day.


Before I had a son, there were so many things I didn’t notice. Police cards. Fire trucks. Diggers. Trains. Dump trucks. Dinosaurs. Drums. Guitars.


Construction and emergency vehicles passed by me unnoticed. Musical instruments did not give me cause to stop and listen and then immediately imitate. I didn't visit the zoo every month hoping to see sparky the seal. I wasn't aware that monsters could be part of every conversation whether we're discussing going to the potty or eating lunch.


But not anymore. I have a son. And because of that I see the moon when we're driving home from grandpa and grandma's house at night. I stop to wave at school buses when they drive by. I am now aware that nearly anything can become a drum stick in the hands of a little boy. And the act of hiding from monsters is a regular occurrence in my life these days.


Being a mom to a little boy has made me a better, more well-rounded person. Thank you for that Samuel. I hope I don't ever stop noticing all the things in life that you are passionate about."

Everything my friend has written about little boys is perfectly depicted.

Someday I hope to write like this. For myself and for my kids. I want them to know how greatly I love them. And I want to record every moment of the joy they bring me. Stacy does it often, and she does it perfectly.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Broussard Boys

This happened over a month ago, but I finally convinced Blogger to load the videos. Hope you enjoy :)

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Daddies are just different than Mommies!



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Friday, September 16, 2011

They Grow Up Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Fast!

I'm sure every parent has said this at least 50,000 times, but seriously, time FLIES when you have children!

Brytin is in SECOND grade! Do you understand that like yesterday he was starting Kinder?! And now his teacher is talking about multiplication and chapter books and extra credit! AND when I took him to the Science Museum last week (for like the 50th time), he was actually interested in some of the SCIENCE stuff!



And don't even get me started on Daelen Jon! He is almost six months old! He can sit. He eats pureed foods. He gets FRUSTRATED (Dad's genes, I swear!). AND he weighs over 19 pounds!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Women are AMAZING

I'm trying to make dinner, teen needs help with Geometry, Brytin needs to be directed each step of his homework, the baby needs to be fed and I need to pee. Seriously this year is going to be an amazing test of my endurance.

Thankfully, Grama fed Daelen his Cheerios but he still needs to nurse.
I don't remember a darn thing about Geometry.

Brytin is trying to use the distractions to weasel his way out of doing any additional homework.

Sarahlyn doesn't think she'll like what I'm cooking.

And Chris is at a club meeting.

This is insanity! Seriously. Women are amazing!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Instincts

With my children, I vow to trust my instincts.

People are allowed opinions. People are encouraged to offer help and guidance and advice.

But the truth is, no one knows my kids like I do. And every time I forget that, my kids suffer.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, September 2, 2011

He REALLY Gets Me

"...children give us the opportunity to work shit out we couldn't when we were young."


The blog post above is from Kurt Sutter. He is the writer of my favorite television show, Sons of Anarchy.

The blog post is a beautiful baring of soul. It is an excellent piece of insight for parents. Kurt Sutter is a brave individual for using his writing skill to share his dilemmas with the world.

There are a lot things I do not agree with Kurt Sutter about, but I must admit, he enlightens me. On his blog, with his television show, and through his social networking posts. He is truly a literary genius.

And this particular blog posting of his is a crossover for three of my blogs - parenting, motorcycling and writing. Pure genius.

Please, watch the Season Four premier of Sons of Anarchy September 6 on FX. Let one of the parents in this world who truly desires to be a great parent get paid for the great work he does.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Progress

Yesterday, Brytin runs in the house from the backyard whooping and hollering, "There is something amazing happening!"

Our farm is sprouting! We've got radishes, squash and cantaloupe!



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cradle Cap

The worst baby combover ever (maybe he'll be rich like the Donald)!

Thanks to cradle cap, my son lost most of the beautiful hair on his head. It's okay, though. I firmly believe it will grow back stronger, thicker and more beautiful. I sure hope it will be curly!* Mostly, I just miss doing all the funky hairdo's that annoyed his father.



The cradle cap seems to be clearing up. We tried lotion, baby oil and Aquaphor, but those seemed to irritate Daelen (and also seemed to rush the process to the point where all his hair fell out.)

At his four-month doctor appointment, Dr. Freeman suggested washing his scalp more. He said we could also try petroleum jelly, but the washing would probably provide the most success. So we did, and it worked. Every other day, I put on my swimsuit and get in the tub with my Bubba** and I wash his head (3 times).

I think that, like most things with babies, success with cradle cap is different for everyone. My friend Diane**/ had suggested olive oil. The Mayo Clinic**** warns that leaving oil (mineral***** or olive) on the scalp could make the situation worse. Try everything. Try nothing. Either way, cradle cap is not life-threatening. It will eventually go away.

*Be careful what you wish for!
**Brytin told me recently that I cannot call Dae "Bubba."  He explained, "MY initials are BB. I should be Bubba. You can call him Dubba."
***The world's MOST awesome Kindergarten teacher, a trusted resource for breastfeeding and a wonderful friend!
****Even though WebMD is a more popular website for home diagnosis, I trust The Mayo Clinic (because I'm from Minnesota).
****In case you didn't know (which I didn't) baby oil IS mineral oil.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jumparoo!!

It might be a smidge early, but I broke out the Jumperoo today. Dae can't stand flat-footed, but he sure does love having all the toys accesible.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Farmers


Brytin grew a sunflower!

Toward the end of first grade, Brytin was given a sunflower by his awesome teacher, Mrs. Ventura. We accidentally forgot to water it, so it didn't survive. Brytin was VERY upset about it and demanded we buy him seeds to plant a new sunflower.

Chris and Brytin had spent some time in the backyard last June, but I never knew if he did actually plant the seeds or not. And then he went to Utah and I forgot all about it.

Well, the last day of summer vacation, Brytin, Daelen and I were in the yard planting our farm* and I happened upon this big green bush that just didn't quite look like the other weeds in our backyard.

And then I realized what had happened. Brytin grew a sunflower! (Right smack-dab in the middle of our backyard!)

*I'm hoping to grow food to give to Daelen when he is ready for something besides his Momma's milk. The middle of August seems like a weird time to be planting seeds, but hopefully something (anything) will grow.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Constant

Even though sometimes it feels shitty because Brytin is always excited to see anyone besides me, it feels good to realize that I am the constant in his life. I am here everyday. I know all about what he does and what happens to him on REGULAR days.

Today, as I was standing outside watching him play at recess, he came up and told me, "I feel better having you here."* Praise the Lord I am able to be a stay-at-home parent.

I am in his life continuously AND continually** - throughout ALL circumstances, not just the big ones. He can always count on me because I have shown him that I am a person he can rely on.*

* He's having a difficult time because his two best friends didn't return to Loma :'( He REALLY misses Lex.
** Continuously - without interruption. Continually - habitually
* And that is why "stepmom" has NO negative connotation in his mind. It is my honor to be his stepmom - and his pleasure to call me that.

Big props to my friend ST for the asterisk idea ;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Swordfighting

The boys played together for the first time yesterday.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Mother's Work

In the last hour, I have nursed a baby, changed two diapers, talked about Hot Wheels with a six year old*, made my baby laugh, cleaned up cat urine from my new wood floor, made a pot of coffee, took the dog outside (hoping to preserve the new wood floor), cleaned up the wounds on my son's head, made Brytin breakfast, consoled the husband whose fave coffee mug broke...All of this so I could (cough, cough) pump milk from my rock hard breasts in peace**.

My fatal error - that I was so graciously reminded by my six-year old one minute into my solitude - turn on cartoons.

Sigh. A mother's work truly is never done.

*Do you know how much a six yr old has to say about Hot Wheels?!
**Let's be real, I wanted to play Wordfeud.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, July 29, 2011

He's Home!

My awesome second-grader is FINALLY home! Since he got out of school June 10, he has spent only like four nights at our house! And suddenly, my sweet boy seems all growed up :(


Daelen is UBER happy to have his cool big brother home! He watches Brytin's every move. And I swear today, while watching Brytin play the Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, Daelen moved his arms to mimick his brother. I swear.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

4 weeks vs. 16 weeks


When you were one month old, I barely knew you. But I knew you were unhappy taking these pictures. I also knew the pictures would be fabulous anyway. When you were one month old, I was still trying to recover from giving birth (and wouldn't do so for another 6 weeks). When you were one month old, you hadn't taken a bottle yet. I hadn't captured your smile on camera yet. And you weren't quite the chunky monkey you are today. In fact, you were approximately 2 inches and 6 lbs smaller than you are today (16 wks). When you were one month old, I loved you, but not nearly as much as I do today.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Conception

A year ago this weekend you were conceived. I had no idea, no intention, but God knew. He always knew.

You, Daelen Jon, were always the angel that would be in my belly, in my arms, in my heart.

I am so thankful for you. I am so thankful that I went to Hawaii and it resulted in having you here today smiling, laughing, talking and just soaking up all that life has to offer. I am so thankful, Daelen, that you have joined our family.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Toys


I bought him his first toys. I want to write the whole story, but I'm currently feeding him. Typing with one hand is not easy...just know he loooooooooves his caterpillar and piano :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Last Day :(

I can't believe tomorrow is Brytin's last day of first grade!

I haven't blogged nearly enough.

He still doesn't understand money.

He can't possibly be going into second grade! That's like the real deal school. Kinder and first seem like advanced preschool...second grade is SERIOUS!

He had an amazing teacher this year, Mrs. Ventura. I'm very sad that she is leaving Loma. I had assumed Daelen would have her in first grade :(

I don't really have anything profound to write, I just wish now that I had written so much more about his first grade year!

He lost MANY teeth.

He learned a LOT about Martin Luther King Jr.

He loves loves loves his baby brother.



He read over 100 books.

He passed math tests up to -5s!

Lex and Max are his best friends.

According to him, Lana "likes" him ;)

Dragon Ball Z Kai is his favorite cartoon. He spends hours watching it with Daddy.

And so much more that I didn't write down...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Real

Stop referring to biological parents as "real." Yes, blood is real, but so is making dinner, driving to school, helping with homework and guiding thru the intricacies of friendship. I am NOT a fake parent.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Voice discovery

I never read about it. I never heard about it. I certainly never experienced it. Voice discovery with Daelen has been my favorite experience thus far.

I have taken quite a few videos, but he often clams up when he sees the camera. The best video is still this one of his conversation with Lisa. But he "talks" so much more in just two weeks.

Truly, I do not have the words to describe the joy I feel watching you try to figure out how to make your vocal chords work. Your tongue twists. And whenever you let out a big sound, you get the hiccups.

I love your little voice. I love it that you kick in excitement. I pray you understand my smile and tears and laughter to mean pride and love. Unconditional, unmeasurable love.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Conversations

Starting in your fifth week, you would give me one big smile every morning.

Then in week six, you added mouth movements to the smile and leg kicks (exercises, I call them).

I didn't realize it at the time, but all that was the precursor to the "conversations" that we began having yesterday.

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(Be patient, he's apparently camera shy!)

Later, I was able to record him talking to Lisa (sneaky, Mommy!).

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Whoa! Slow Down!!

I can't believe you are already (almost) 2 months old! It's so exciting to see you change and grow everyday, but yet I get a little sad thinking how everyday you grow a smidge further away from me. I know that is the natural order of things, and like I said, it's exciting, but someday soon you won't sleep on my chest, you won't need me to hold you all day, someday you won't even come to me for food...I'm not sure God's purpose for parenthood but it certainly is an intriguing mix of bursting joy and terrifying heartbreak!

Stepparenting is different for me, and that's probably mostly because I didn't hold him as a helpless infant. He was a year and a half, and in my mind, ready to become a man (he is a Broussard after all). And every day since, I've spent my energy preparing him to become a productive member of society. I want Brytin to become more and more independent. I welcome each new step of growth and maturity with a celebration. I NEVER let him be less mature than he is most capable.

It is possible that once Dae hits 18 months, a similar mentality will kick in for me. But for now, I love love love to tend to his every whim and whimper. And each night as I lay him down to sleep, and kiss his little head, I say a quick prayer that tomorrow might go a little slower.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Choose Health

Costochondritis, carpal tunnel in both wrists, edema, pre-eclampsia, an epidural that didn't cover back pain, a big fat swollen hematoma (6cm thick), mastitis, surgery to drain hematoma and most recently, an infection in the surgery site. Yea...never doing this shit again!!! Daelen is worth it all, don't get me wrong, but I could not make the choice to put my body through even one of those ailments again!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

I wrote this while sitting in Brytin's classroom one day in December (probably correcting spelling tests for his teacher or stapling homework packets or just waiting to have lunch with Brytin).

Words can never completely describe what I've seen as a volunteer in my son's class.

His teacher works her ASS off with these kids. There are 30 kids in this class. Some of them are AMAZING. Always follow directions, work independently, make excellent choices...but not enough. Most of the kids do whatever they FEEL like doing at that moment.

One kid in particular ...he cant go three minutes without interrupting the class...

But then on the other hand, the lessons these kids are given - its really no surprise they are bouncing off the walls to play. Time, temperature, reading, spelling...I dont personally remember specifics of 1st grade, but I doubt I was half as educated as these kids. I think my first spelling test was in third grade, honestly.

Mrs. Hammer was a great teacher, don't get me wrong, but my parents never expected her to be the only person to teach me something!

If you have a child in school, please spend five minutes and write your child's teacher a thank you note. They go through far more in a day than you or I can really comprehend.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Public Enemy Number One

On PostSecret today, there is one where someone says that a mom suffocated her baby so she could go start a new life with a guy she met on the Internet. And she did it in a way that made the cause of death look like SIDS.


To a mother who is of sound mind, SIDS is public enemy number one. It is THE scariest acronym in all the English language - in ANY language, actually.

Sudden, unexplainable death. Are you serious? I just spent 27 hours in labor. I lost innumerable hours of sleep caring for you. I fed you from my breast. I saw your smile. I looked into your eyes and now you are just gone?! And no one will ever be able to tell my why?!

There are no words that could ever describe the grief the mother of a SIDS baby must feel. (And fathers too, of course.)

For someone to choose to take their child's breath from them is atrocious. But to add it to the SIDS numbers is HEINOUS.

While I was pregnant, I went through a brief period of watching A&E's Intervention. I eventually had to stop. On March 19, 2011, ten days before my Daelen Jon was born, I wrote this:

I have seen two shows today with moms who chose addictions over their children. It makes me cry, It makes me just want to hold my baby. I want to hold him and love him and protect him and teach him and love him some more.

And numerous times in the last six weeks, I have done just that - just held him, hugged him, kissed him, loved him.

I never had a ticking biological clock that demanded I have a baby. But now that I have one, you can your bottom dollar I am going to do everything I can to be the mom he deserves.

I can only pray that the Lord looks upon my efforts favorably and chooses to let us both be alive and well for many decades.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stationery card

Lime Ribbon Birth Announcement
Click here to browse Shutterfly birth announcement designs.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Honesty

Brytin: "I didn't get in trouble for play fighting in school today."

Leslie : "Does that mean you didn't do it, or that you didn't get caught?"

Brytin: "Well you caught me once and then I only did it one more time, and I didn't get caught."

Leslie: "Thank you for being honest."

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Want to be the Mom You Deserve

Your body, heart, mind and soul are so perfect - untainted. I want to preserve your perfection innocence and beauty as long as possible.

You deserve a mom who never hurts you. You deserve patience, fun, security and nurturing.

I want to be the mom you deserve. A mom who respects you, cherishes you and guides you towards success in life.

I need to be the mom you deserve because anything less would be an injustice to you, your father and your Maker. You are an unexpected miracle with a smile that shows me a slice of Heaven. You are a precious gift, borrowed to me for a time.

In order for you to become the man you were created to be, I must be the mom you deserve. I won't be perfect, but that's okay because perfection isn't what you need - real is. Through my mistakes, we will learn how to admit our shortcomings, make amends and move forward. Thru my successes we will learn humility, self worth and celebration. We will never have millions, but we will always have family, love, hope, joy, trust and faith. By the grace of God, I WILL be the mom you deserve.

posted from Bloggeroid

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pregnancy Insight

While I was pregnant, I couldn't write much. I did, however, make some notes in my most awesome smartphone. I did this in hopes of posting some of it once the carpal tunnel went away. The numbness in my hands isn't entirely gone, but my hands are usable again :)

Anyway, here is something quick I wrote in February.

Pregnancy. Despite what books and women tell you, there is no normal. Every woman has an opposing opinion, because every woman had a completely different experience.

It's your first lesson in following your instinct and intuition. As a mother, you will be INUNDATED with advice, opinions, and peoples' various experiences. I recommend that you listen, think about what they are saying, read between the lines to hear what they are not saying, and then, accept what fits or works for you.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, April 15, 2011

Breastfeeding

Bfing is such a wonderful experience. Yes, the first couple days (or weeks for some mothers) is difficult. Yes, the first few seconds of the latch on hurts. And yes, I have had to breastfeed in public due to my poor planning.

But truthfully every minor inconvenience is worth it. He looks at me. He makes adorable noises. And often times, the second he smells me, he stops crying. I dont want a momma's boy, but I must admit it feels good to have a son who is addicted to me.

Im assuming that the benefits of breastmilk over formula are negligible. I know there is a big push for BFing now, but babies have been fed formula (including myself) and thrived. But the experience of BFing is second to none. A mother's determination to give her son the best start to life as possible. The son's appreciation for food, skin to skin contact, and undivided attention. And a husband's encouragement and support.

I chose BFing cuz it's free. I'd say being "frugal" has finally paid off.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Incubating

There has been a lot of hub-a-loo in the last five minutes regarding Lady GaGa incubating as she entered the Grammy Awards.

I haven't the slightest idea what her publicity angle is, I'm too old to try to understand the thinking process of a mega pop star.

I can tell you that in the last five minutes, my job as an incubation chamber has become more important to me.

I've been lying in bed for a couple hours because my feet are swollen from yesterday's activities with the Royal Aces.

My carpal tunnel has been acting up the last week or so. My hands and ankles are ginormously swollen. I have a difficult time sleeping more than a few hours at a time. Bending over is very uncomfortable, almost painful.

But despite all of this, my baby needs to incubate in my belly for as long as is necessary. Every additional day that Baby B is safe and secure in my womb, he is stronger to face the challenges of this world.

I'm not quite conveying the breadth and depths of my emotions, but maybe I don't need to.

Lady GaGa enjoys the publicity involved in some ridiculous interpretation of the natural job of a uterus. I enjoy lying here rubbing my belly, feeling my baby moving, and knowing that I am doing everything I can to protect my unborn child.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Some Crazy Sci-Fi Sh#@"

I was reading Lindsey's Baby Blog (Feb 7) and felt relief knowing someone had put into words the craziness that is a moving baby inside a belly...

By week 22 (Nov 19ish), I was feeling Baby B's movements pretty regularly. In the morning, s/he kicks a few times to say "Hello." Throughout the day, there is some movement to help me remember that I will soon have to be "instantly interruptable."

And then in the evening, when I am lying on the couch (FEET UP!), there is more kicking.

Unfortunately, the baby REFUSES to allow anyone to feel it's kicks. Chris felt it once, and then Christmas Day, the baby had the hiccups so he couldn't help but allow Chris to feel his presence. Jan 12, Brytin felt the baby kick ("It feels like a hiccup").

But mostly, the minute someone (besides me) touches my belly, the baby instantly moves to the deep recesses of my abdomen, not to resurface for hours. We had settled for feeling the baby when he is close to my abdomen wall and trying to guess which body part it was...

"This is your big old belly. This is the baby inside your belly."


In the last week, however, the rolling has begun (aka the crazy sci-fi shit). My belly moves. It's WEIRD. Fun, because Chris can see the movement too, but WEIRD. I love it and I wouldn't trade this time of my pregnancy for anything in the whole wide world, but seriously, it is WEIRD.

According to my day-by-day pregnancy journal, in week 33, "the volume of amniotic fluid has reached its maximum. As baby grows, there will be less fluid and more baby and thus you will feel considerable movement from within."

And by "considerable movement" they mean gymnastics :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"What Mothers Do" by Naomi Stadlen

An excerpt from an awesome book I have been reading:

(page 69) "Mothers sometimes feel they will 'spoil' their babies. They fear that their babies will manipulate them into coming 'just for attention,' and that they will grow into children who will expect their mothers to keep putting everything down for trifles. This doesn't seem to happen. If a baby is crying for attention, he seems to need it. If an older child has become manipulative, it is nearly always because he hasn't been able to get what he needs by more straightforward methods. Moreover, one can see how a baby who has been given attention when he cried for it develops into a generous child, who is sensitive to the feelings of other people."