Day 43 – Throwback

I think this is always going to be one of my favorite photos.

This was such a fun day. Cadence was about 3, and we’d spent a day out in the yard at the old house raking about a billion leaves. When Stevie busted out the leaf blower, Cadence thought it was too much fun to run away from his as he blew stray leaves into our piles. I grabbed my camera and caught gold.

I bought a large canvas for Stevie for his birthday, and it has been in his office ever since. After his office was rearranged (and the only photo-hanging wall was made into a giant whiteboard), he finally decided to bring the canvas home. For the last week or so, he has been cleaning and rearranging in the basement, and he told me he was going to hang this downstairs, to which I replied that he most certainly was not, and I promptly swiped the canvas and took it to my office.

Time to do a little decorating!

Day 41 – Small victories

What a difference a haircut makes!

After a month or so of asking, begging, pleading, and insisting that Henry please, please, please, please, pretty please let Mommy cut that hair before it becomes a bonafide mullet…

Oh, who am I kidding? H-man and Stevie have both been sporting psuedo-mullets for a few weeks now.

But finally today, I managed to distract Henry enough with the iPad and offer the right kind of bribe (a strawberry Blow-Pop), and lo an behold he finally agreed to let me cut his shaggy hair.

He doesn’t even look like the same kid!

Now, I just gotta get Stevie’s hair taken care of and all will be right with the world again.

Day 40 – Pie Face

It was adorable how excited Henry was to buy Cadence a birthday gift this year. He talked for days about going shopping, and kept insisting that Cadence wanted a Buzz Lightyear rocket. (We warned her ahead of time that she might get something Buzz Lightyear related if we weren’t able to talk him out of it at the store, and she was cool with it. She’s such a good sister!)

Luckily, there were no Buzz Lightyear rockets to be found, and after a few laps around the Target toy aisle, Henry finally settled on getting his sister the game Pie Face! And for the last 6 days, he has been asking nonstop to play “the cream game.”

I don’t know exactly what he thought this game was, but when we finally busted it out to play today and Stevie explained that he might get slapped in the face with whipped cream, Henry suddenly didn’t seem so sure about the whole thing.

And you know hilarity ensued.

Day 34 – Happy 9th Birthday Miss C!

Nine years ago today, this beautiful soul made me a Mom.

It’s been a wild ride (and if you want to read about how the wild ride started, CLICK HERE), but damn it has been worth it to see our sweet baby girl grow into a kind, confident, and capable child. I’m amazed by her daily. She’s witty and sarcastic and she’s got a laugh that’s downright infectious. She’s got a great big heart and is a friend to everyone she meets. And she’s the best big sister I’ve ever seen, staying ever compassionate and patient when Henry is in full toddler meltdown mode.

I find myself wondering daily how I get to be so blessed to be her Momma.

Happy 9th Birthday Cadence LaRue! I can’t wait to see where your story goes from here.

Day 31 – Dinner vibes

When Mom has to work late and we need an easy dinner. Runza for the win!

Oh, and Henry apparently knows a few lines from the movie Superbad.

Day 27 – There’s stubborn, and then there’s Henry

It pains me to admit it, but there are days I feel like I’m pretty close to being bested by my three-year-old. Cadence was always a strong-willed child, but man she has nothing on her brother. Sure we’re in that fun three-year-old stage where he’s starting to assert his independence just like all the other kids his age. The difference with Henry is that he’s got a stubborn streak that runs deep, right down into his bones.

Hate to say, it’s most likely genetic, (so I probably only have myself and my ancestors to blame) but that doesn’t make it any easier handle.

See, with this kid, it’s all about making a point. Some days it doesn’t even matter what I’m telling him to do, unless he can make it seem like it’s his idea, he’ll fight me on it, deny it, protest it. Hell, some days he’ll stage a damn revolt over something as simple as me telling him to go to the bathroom. He could be dancing around the room on the verge of peeing his pants and if I happen to tell him it’s time to go before he has made the decision for himself, he’ll spend the next 20 minutes arguing with me about it. It’s downright exhausting.

Take today for example. After last week’s lukewarm soccer experience sans nap, we’ve been trying to prep Henry for today’s game. He tends to do better when you don’t spring things on him in general, so we’ve been reminding him that he has soccer again this week, and telling him the plan is to make sure he gets a good nap in before the 4:00 pm game so he can have lots of energy to go play with his friends.

We take him upstairs around 1:00 when all signs are pointing to him being tired. But, instead of settling down and going to sleep, H-man spent the next two hours singing, counting to 20, saying his ABC’s, talking to his stuffed animals, and acting out random scenes from Bob’s Burgers and Ghostbusters–anything and everything he could think of to keep himself from actually falling asleep. When we went to get him up and start getting dressed for the game, he was all smiles and jokes (of course he was). We even had some fun kicking the soccer ball around in the living room and again when we got to the gym. But we knew it wasn’t going to last.

Like last week, he only had 20-30 minutes of happy energy in him before things started taking a turn. And by the time we got home and I started cooking dinner, H-man was hellbent on making sure he was in charge and that we all knew how unhappy he was that he lost his iPad privileges because he refused to nap. But the real protest started about the time we sat down at the table to start eating. After five minutes or so of messing around, punctuated by the occasional whiny “I don’t wanna eat that,” we gave Henry a warning–take a bite, or you’re going straight to bed.

Henry sat and stared at us, so Stevie started counting.

“One.”

Henry stared Stevie down and held up one finger.

“Two.”

Henry shot me a glance and held up two fingers.

“Henry, if I get to three, we’re done,” Stevie said, giving an extra moment for Henry to change his mind.

Without even batting an eye, Henry held up three fingers.

And that was it. Stevie took him straight up to bed, while I wrapped up his dinner so we can heat it up for breakfast.

Then, when Stevie came back downstairs, we packed up his toys (well, all but his toy food groups and his talking Anger doll–I figured those two toys might be an interesting conversation starter when we remind him why he punished when he gets up tomorrow).

Someday, when Henry is a teenager or a young adult running around with a pack of friends, I imagine his iron will is going to serve him well. He’s not going to be a pushover. And he’s definitely not going to be one to blindly follow along with the crowd if there is something he disagrees with. That stubbornness is eventually going to be something people really admire in him (I can certainly attest to that), but for now, Stevie and I are just balancing on that thin line between teaching this kid the importance of boundaries without breaking his incredible spirit.

Have we mentioned parenting is exhausting?

Good thing I’m stubborn too.