A Year in Review (Happy New Year!)

I am typing this with a sports-related pinkie sprain.  While I have learned some great lessons this year, apparently I still am slow on the realization that my husband is a competitive beast.  Even playing an innocent family game of touch football in the backyard brings out his win-at-all-costs attitude.  I blame him entirely for the injury, but I blame myself for even playing in the first place.

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In 2013 I think the biggest change I have noticed, especially with Full Speed, is the strange phenomena of actually being helpful without being asked.  I am rendered speechless when one or both of my boys volunteers to hold a door, carry a bag, let a dog out, etc. and in turn, make my life a little bit easier.  I didn’t think it was possible.  That’s not to say they are perfect or that it happens all the time, it’s just a tiny, little gleaming light at the end of the tunnel for those parents up to their neck in diapers, bottles and constant demands.  May this help us all set the stage for even more positive changes and growth in the coming New Year.

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Another major positive change was being reunited with our dog.  T.Puzzle continues to respond well healthwise to both dogs we have now, and seems to have completely outgrown his allergy to them.  Honestly, we never outgrew our love for her and we never will.

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Supermodel

Mad Dog and I celebrated our ten-year wedding anniversary.  I can say without doubt, these past ten years have been the best of my life.  It’s not that life somehow got magically easier once we got married, in fact, we’ve faced some pretty major life events.  It has more to do with having someone in your corner that appreciates you for all the right reasons and sticks by you even when you are anything but your best.  My goal for my family is to create a home that is filled with love and acceptance.  With Mad Dog by my side, this goal is automatic.

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Familes, people, circumstances and life are never perfect.  The real lesson is to somehow find the love when all else seems dark.  There are always reasons to be thankful.  Sometimes it takes creativity to glean gratitude from your life.  Just make sure you surround yourself with awesome people and then finding the gratitude will be easier than you think.

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Eye Hope So

T.Puzzle gets ready for his letter read through
Full Speed moves into place for his eye exam

The boys had their six month eye check-up and even though it ended up being fairly routine with a good dose of positive news thrown in, I was kind of a mess.  As a parent if you have ever experienced a traumatic medical appointment for your child, it never really leaves you.  When Full Speed was first diagnosed with vision issues over five years ago, the initial prognosis was bleak.  Years of testing, surgeries and follow-up care have thankfully stabilized his vision and his future.

After all this time and all the hard work to get both boys to a place of good vision, I still can’t let go of that first, horrible assessment for Full Speed.  The logical place of my brain says to focus on how amazing they are doing but sometimes fear takes over.  I hold my breath every time either one of them does a read through of letters as their visual acuity is tested.  My whole body tenses as their ophthalmologist peers into their dilated eyes evaluating their physical structure.

Realistically, I may never fully get over my fear.  Life, parenting and health are too precarious for that.  To counteract life’s uncertainty all I can do is give thanks for every kind of health-related appointment that is routine.

That’s all any of us can do.

A Call of Acknowledgement

All anyone wants in the world is some acknowledgement.

Full Speed wants praise for his good grades and high-flying karate kicks.

Full Speed attacks!

T.Puzzle wants to show off his muscles after drinking his milk and have me say how impressed I am (his four year old guns are massive by the way).

I told you T.Puzzle's pipes were massive

How often do the Moms of the world get acknowledgement?  In my experience it is not an everyday sort of occurrence.

Last week Mad Dog’s team at work took Boss’s day to the next level.  Not only did they show appreciation for Mad Dog, they also sent me flowers.  I appreciated that they understand the impact on our family of having Mad Dog work such a demanding job.  I work hard to raise our boys and run our household and a lot of times Mad Dog isn’t able to lend a hand because of his own work commitments (bazillion late day conference calls, anyone?).

It feels good to be acknowledged.  Actually it feels great.

I dedicate these flowers to all the Moms, wives and partners out there who make a house a home and keep their families going no matter what the circumstance.

Gorgeous!

I will be scheduling a conference call later with all of you so we may discuss this at length.

Two’s the Limit

Full Speed joined me as we picked up T.Puzzle from school.  The morning receptionist was filling in for the afternoon and she commented on how much Full Speed has grown.  We both marvelled at how old both my boys were getting and how soon we would no longer be coming to this preschool.   I told her it will be a hard transition when T.Puzzle (my baby) goes to kindergarten next year.

Then she asked, “Are you one of those Moms that is going to have another baby when the youngest starts school?”

I almost choked at the question and blurted out, “Absolutely not!  Trust me, all you would have to do is spend some time with my boys and you would understand.”  

How do I know this for sure?  I have a close friend who had a chance to meet my boys for the first time.  I know she fell in love with them as they did with her.   Having seen the boys in action she finally gets what my motherhood journey has truly been like. 

I’m not entirely sure but I’m guessing she was even impressed I decided to go for two.

The boys enjoying a bedtime story with my friend. They quickly adopted her as one of their own.

The Write Stuff

Underdeveloped fine motor skills and rowdy behavior are the staples of raising very active boys.  Full Speed has been known to have both of these.  Thankfully with practice and maturity he has shown tremendous improvements in both these areas especially in school.  At home, he tends to get himself in trouble with regularity.  It seems that since he is behaving at school he kind of loses control when he gets home. 

Over the weekend Full Speed misbehaved and lost some privileges for the day.  He expressed his displeasure at Mom and Dad by having a terribly stinky attitude and writing this note while we were at lunch:

Mad Dog and I marvelled at the penmanship and great punctuation.  So what if Full Speed won’t behave?  At least his fine motor skills are fantastic.