Sunday, November 1, 2015


 What a whirlwind these past couple of weeks have been.A trip to urgent care, some prednisone, and 2 weeks of wheezing but that's finally over. I heard The Dude chasing Aquaman around the house today playing some sort of Lego game in which his Lego toy was going to give Aquamans toy "the asthma" and Aquaman's Lego toy began coughing uncontrollably. It was funny.
 We made it to Legoland, and it was tons of fun. There was a lot of crying, and a few mishaps, but overall, it was absolutely worth the 1 hr and 45 minutes it took to get there.
I abandoned my plan for the park early on when I realized that the rides were really not that important to Aquaman.
He could have spent hours staring at mini land.
 But it was blazing hot, and not a speck of shade, so we did what we could.
 They both brought mini figures to trade....and true to form, Aquaman lost his first one. Thankfully we were able to find the pieces of another one at the bottom of the diaper bag, and he was able to trade once more and the day was salvaged.

 It was a whole day that we all got to spend together, which these days especially with JT working sometimes 70 hours a week...was something we really needed. JT really held it together quite well, though theme parks are definitely not his thing.
 I rode the carousel with Greystoke and The Dude 3 times.
 They loved it.
 This was my favorite thing in the whole park. This guy was sitting outside a shop snoring loudly.
 Aquaman tried to wake him up, but it didn't happen.
 There's my boys. I love these boys.
 This is my most photogenic boy at the current moment, even though he is also kind of terrible.
 The only thing he wanted from Legoland was an umbrella. Not Legos, an umbrella. He loved that thing to shreds within a week.
 Life seems like it's been on overdrive lately, with theme parks and visitors and Halloween.
 A couple of days ago, a group of parents outside of Aquaman's classroom, many of whom used to hang out last year outside the Tk1 classroom...started talking about how crazy The Dude is. They were talking about how they always wonder how I stay so calm.
 One mom said: "wow, I would be totally pouring sweat, but your face stays totally calm while you drag him off." They asked me what my secret was, and wanted to know if it was some sort of pill or some sort of drug that they could perhaps get a little of.
 When I tried to tell them that it was my reliance on God and prayer...they quickly changed the subject. Pills are easier answers to some I guess.
 My kids are crazy, there really isn't anyway around it. And I struggle just like everyone else does when they don't conform. And The Dude has seriously been trying my patience this week. They seem to switch off, though Greystoke mostly manages to stay in my good graces so far....except maybe the night of the full moon when he was up until 2 am...but even then...he's the baby.
 The Dude and his big brown eyes...well I think it's just the 4 year old stage...because he can go from the being the cutest thing ever to just bat-crazy over the weirdest little thing. It's like he is looking for some reason to flip the switch and lose his cool, and if he can't find it, he makes one up.
 But, I don't definitely keeps things exciting.

 My friend C came and visited with her brood, and it was so much fun having everyone together, even if we couldn't actually get a word in edgewise.
I especially enjoyed talking to her 5 year old daughter about things other than poop and trucks.
 The first day they were here they came to our house and were playing there when Aquaman came home...and he never got over it. He made things totally complicated by acting the fool the entire time they were here. He actually screamed at them that they didn't have any manners, seemingly missing the enormous log in his own eye.
 Every time we were not with them over those few days, he talked about he liked them, enjoyed them, was looking forward to playing with them again, but as soon as he saw them again he became inexplicably angry again.

 Just as I was about to look for a counselor or something, they left, and he returned to completely normal.
I have no idea.

 But last week I had a conference with his teacher. I was nervous. I asked how he has been socially as this has always been his struggle in school. The teacher looked at me as if I was crazy. He said "are we talking about the same kid here? I see him as outgoing. He seeks social interaction. He is very appropriate." He also seemed quite surprised when I asked if he has noticed him being mean to other children. No, Aquaman's behavior is above average at school. He got a 100% on his reading and math assessments.

 When I was finished asking my questions, he asked if he could ask me one so he did. He said "I have noticed some unusual behaviors in Aquaman. Some unusual things for his age." My eyes filled with tears. I was sure he was going to tell me that Aquaman had emotional issues for which he should be treated.
 Then he said he thinks he should be tested for the gifted program. He said that Aquaman not only reads and does math above grade level, but "understands" things that are more of an adult level.
 So we're going to have him tested. The thing is, I know he is "gifted". JT used to joke when Aquaman was a baby that he felt uneasily as if Aquaman knew more than he did. One of our favorite shows to watch since we had this family full of boys is Malcolm in the Middle. Aquaman has always been angry and intelligent Malcolm.
 But I guess my point is...all kids are gifted, and that title has always bothered me. Being intelligent on a test doesn't make one child more gifted than another, it just makes them better at taking an intelligence test, I actually don't know if Aquaman's intelligence, which is certainly unique and fascinating and even obvious if you spend more than a few minutes with him, is the kind that will show up on these tests. And it doesn't really matter.
 But I do really love the idea that once again, God has given Aquaman the gift of a teacher who sees him. All of his teachers have so far. They have seen and appreciated his uniqueness instead of wanting to box him in and make him like other kids. There is so much talk about the terribleness of public schools, and I know our day will likely eventually come. But we are so blessed to live where we do and to have had the experience so far that we have had.
Greystoke turns 18 months old tomorrow. There is something about 18 months that grows up suddenly. Everywhere I go, everyone is suddenly remarking that he is no longer a baby. And even though he still pretty much sleeps like a newborn (actually WORSE than he slept as a newborn) and is still pretty thin up top....I have to agree.

 He gets into things with lightning speed but it is completely impossible to be mad at him when he is so incredibly happy about it.
 And mostly these days he is just one of the boys. He tails around behind the big boys hauling a tree branch or coming down the slide. He pulls up a chair and climbs up with his eyes barely peeking over the table.

 18 months can be a trying age, and I shouldn't speak too soon I suppose, but I am glad he is my third born because I can totally appreciate him. He just doesn't have the strong will of the other 2. He will persist as is developmentally appropriate, but then, miraculously...he just gets over it.

 He is often very very serious. But when he smiles he lights up the whole room.

He just hopped right off the step and dangled on this chain...crazy just like the other 2.
 Friday, I got to help out with both older boys' fall parties at school. It was so much fun, and I feel so blessed.

This is Aquaman and his friend, J.S. Aquaman tells me that they argue every day. When I asked him what they argue about he said "you know when you argue about something but you are actually both saying the same thing, just in different ways? That's what we do."
 The Dude got a haircut. His head is so soft, and did I mention his big brown eyes?
 He melts me.
 I better wrap this up.
 The older 2 are at Awana, and I have been placating Greystoke with Barney, but the "I love you" song is on, there is shredded cheese all over the floor, and he is tangling up the blinds currently.
 I'll leave you with Halloween. And 2 mummies.
 JT has been trying to convince them to be mummies for years, and they finally agreed to it.
 We trick or treated in a neighborhood where everyone sets up tables outside and hands out trick or treat on the sidewalk. It was the first time we have actually trick or treated, and it was really fun. Wasn't even too hot, even though the highs have been in the upper 80s lately.
 They were a hit.
 Now Halloween is over and maybe life can go back to normal...except thanksgiving and Christmas are coming. This is such a fun time of year.
 There are so many things to do that the only thing I can think of to do right now is go outside and take a walk.
 Because it's beautiful out.
 My life is anything but quiet, my prayers feel constantly interrupted, I wonder sometimes if I'm doing it all right. I know I'm not, and I'm thankful for the grace that seeps around all the corners.
 I wouldn't trade this for anything.

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