Monday, July 20, 2009

Reliving My Childhood

Yesterday I was coloring/drawing with the boys when Drew shoved a blank piece of paper at me and instructed me to "write my childhood". Huh?

"What does that mean?", I asked him.

"You know, your childhood. Write it. Here's mine." (shows me a rather large piece of paper filled with his signature rows and row and rows of neatly scrawled letters and numbers, frankly a little reminiscent of "A Beautiful Mind")

"Look! Here's Daddy's - I already wrote it! His goes "A-M-A-N.", Drew announced.

"Uh, ok. Umm. Mommy's not sure what you mean by 'writing my childhood'. Cade? What does that mean? Did you write your childhood?", I asked Cade. To which he responded,

"No. I can't remember mine."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Joshie's First Word!

Joshie's been babbling non-stop in an effort to make his voice be heard among the chaos for months. He and I have long conversations where he knows exactly what he's talking about, but I'm totally in the dark. He also frequently shouts and gestures and issues non-sensical edicts to his brothers.

I've been trying to encourage his verbal skills by providing some coaching and teaching him to "Say Mama!", but the little bugger just grins at me and says, "DADA!" Since he's never actually used this word in connection with Aaron, I've decided it doesn't count as his first word and it's just his super special way of saying, "Mama" to keep me entertained.

But today he decided to start speaking our language!

In case you were wondering, his first word was "bye", and not "shut up, you jackasses", as I predicted it would be.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cade's Family Planning

Fairly certain (completely certain, from Aaron's perspective) that our family is complete, we have been on a baby gear purging rampage this week. We've made everal trips to Goodwill and bid adieu to the high chair, Jumperoo, and a big bag of maternity clothes. The Exersaucer is waiting its turn for dropoff tomorrow, and Cade noticed it in the van this morning.

Mommy, what's the Exersaucer doing in here?

Well, Cade, Joshie is done with it so we're going to take it some place where other children can use it.

Cade: Why don't you just put it back in the closet?

Well, because we're not having any more babies in our family so we don't need it.

Cade: Why?

Me: Well, because Mommy and Daddy feel so lucky and blessed to have our three, beautiful healthy boys. We think our family is just the right size and we don't need any more babies.

Cade (outraged):
MOMMY! How can you even wish that! Every day is a chance for a new baby!

Me (taken aback by his reaction and actually alarmed at the legitimacy of his claims):
Uh, well Cade, um, we're out of room for new babies in our house. We can't just keep having more babies - we don't have anywhere for them to sleep.

Well, Joshie can move onto the air mattress and the new baby can sleep in his crib.

Me (laughing):
Oh, really? And where would the new baby after that sleep?

There won't be any more new babies after that. There's only one more.

Eerily, this conversation reminded me of when Aaron and I were in college and he gave me a trip to the psychic one year for my birthday. I think that was the year after he gave me a WonderBra - he's an awesome gift giver like that.

Anyway, the psychic assured us that we would get married and we would both live long, happy lives, with one point of concern - I would have 2 children and he would have 4. I've spent all these years wondering where the hell those other two kids are that he fathered before he met me. But now that I've got 3 kids, I'm wondering if her vision was a little cloudy...

God help us all.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cade's Mini-Me

As the youngest (and up until now, least vocal) child, Joshie doesn't seem to get as much blog billing as the other boys. But I have a feeling that is seriously about to change.

Physically, Josh has been Cade's mini-me from very early on. Early baby photos are pretty much indistinguishable and it looks like it's gonna stay that way.

Interestingly enough, it's starting to look like they're going to have very similar personalities as well, save for the fact that Josh is a much more mellow kid than Cade ever was. But now that Josh is officially on the move (he started crawling about a month ago)and able to express preferences by crawling away from things or slapping them out of your hand, we're experiencing a little bit of dejavu. For example:

-Josh has no use for baby toys. Zilch. He is not fooled by the authentic-looking Parents toys key chain and he will let you know (loudly, with fists clenched, Cade-style) that he prefers the real ones. Blocks? No, thank you. Shape sorter? Are you kidding me? Please pass the markers (NOT crayons!) and the Hot Wheels.

-He is single minded in his focus. If he is trying to crawl across the yard and into the street than he will do it, by God, and no amount throwing toys in his path or redirecting him is going to distract him from his goal. The only thing that will stop him is when you carry him away (howling, fists clenched) inside.

-He has a strong preference for electronics and moving parts. His latest fascination is bike wheels. We got sick of peeling him off his brother's bikes for fear he would fall during outside play time, so when not in use, we tipped them on their sides. This is OK with him - he is content to spend countless minutes spinning the bike wheel first in one direction, then the other, mesmerized by the motion. If no bike wheels are available, he will settle for a cellphone, a calculator, a cordless phone, a TV remote, or some equally age-inappropriate contraption.

-He has no fear. If we're at the pool, he wants to be "jumping" off the side or splashed, preferably in the face. Crawling across the driveway? C'mon - make sure there's some acorns for him to crawl over and scrape his knees on - where's the challenge in concrete? Sitting on the sofa is for pansies. He prefers to scale it, crawl right off the edge, and dangle by a toe from the coffee table.

Yep, the two are so much alike that we often find ourselves wondering how we ended up with the genetic anomaly that is Drew. I once jokingly suggested to Aaron that it would be fun to keep having kids as a little statistical experiment - just to see all the variations of children we could produce.

Yeah, he didn't think that was funny either.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Proud To Be An American

The star of today's story is Drew. In honor of the 4th of July holiday, a realtor in our neighborhood stuck little plastic American flags at the base of all of our mailboxes. Once the holiday was over, the kids quickly seized ownership of the flag.

This morning we found Drew marching through the living room, waving the flag and singing at the top of his lugs, "I'm an American, I'm an American, through Christ Our Lord!"

I'm not sure who would be more proud - The Pope or The President.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Smell a Rat

Aaron (upon arriving home from work): Hey, guys! How was your day today? How was camp?

Cade: We were late to camp because Mommy didn't drive fast enough to get us there.

Drew: Yeah. And she ran a red light on the way to the dentist. It was an accident, but still...

Aaron: Oh, really? Wow. Well, what did you do at camp? How did it go at the dentist?

The boys' response was to run off, laughing hysterically and refusing to comment.

For the record, they were NOT late to camp.

Isn't It Funny...

how life can change in an instant?

It's been a challenging couple of past years for the Fox family. For the record, I do not recommend back-to-back babies with business school sandwiched in between and a third baby tacked on the end. And I have a giant dent in my living room wall (where I literally "threw the book" at Aaron) to prove it.

But lately, since Joshie arrived safe and sound and Aaron graduated and returned to the land of steady paychecks, things have been rocking along pretty good for us. So good that I often found myself saying a little prayer of thanks and wondering how long "too good" could last.

Last week, we had a wrench thrown into the works. I got a call from my doctor, who has been monitoring a cyst on my ovary since I was pregnant with Josh. It turns out that the cyst did not get the memo that it is supposed to dissolve on it's own and is in fact, getting larger, and has a "hard mass" to it. Which caused my doctor to mention that there is a teeny tiny chance it could be cancerous and has to be surgically removed ASAP.

First of all, I really feel that there should be some mathematical qualification of how "teeny tiny" a chance of cancer has to be before a doctor can just leave the word "cancer" out of an explanation at all. Because it really does not help a person feel better about the surgical procedure (however minor) that they have to undergo ASAP to think that instead of restored health, cancer may be waiting to greet them on the other end of the surgery.

It took both Aaron and me a good 24 hours to get past the shock of the surgery part of the phone call, because it was the first time in the course of a year's worth of monitoring the cyst that the word "surgery" had every been used. I stupidly assumed that it would either dissolve on it's own, as cysts are wont to do, or we would just monitor it from now until the end of time. That'll teach me not to be more proactive in monitoring my own health from now on.

Of course, surgery sucks because it involves anesthesia and a recovery process, and the potential of the entire ovary having to be removed. But ever the Pollyanna, after a day or so of wallowing, I decided to look on the bright side. After all...

-I will get to spend at least half a day or more sleeping on the day of the surgery, which is quite possibly the most sleep I have gotten in 5 years.

-I will be forbidden to lift my children (this part I will miss) or perform menial household tasks (this part I will not miss) for a week following the surgery.

-Even if they have to take one of my ovaries, it will be OK because perhaps it will slow my gush of childbearing to a slow trickle.

-My doctor has caught the (remotely possibly cancerous) cyst very early. Given that I have been pretty much been continuously pregnant for the past five years, I have enough pictures of my uterus and its various inhabitants to stage a traveling art exhibit. The little gremlin in question surfaced somewhere during Joshie's pregnancy, so we've been monitoring it since it appeared.

-Most importantly, the person that has to be poked, prodded, and cut is me and not one of my children. Although Aaron was quick to point out that it would be highly unlikely for one of our children to have an ovarian cyst, but you get the point.

All that to say, I'm nervous as hell about the surgery even if I am trying to focus on the positives. I know it will likely all be fine and even if it isn't, I know it will all work out according to God's plan for me.

I've never been more grateful for the flurry of small children in this house that keep me too busy and too tired to do much thinking.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Finally, Living With All These Boys Pays Off

This morning as I was making breakfast:

MOMMY! There's a GIANT beetle crawling down the hall upstairs!!!

Me: OMG, a ROACH! Sickening!!! Quick - go tell Daddy!

It's OK, Mommy - I give Cade my shoe. He take care of it.

Are you SURE? Go tell Daddy to make sure.

Judging from the extreme sounds of running and shoe (both large and small) thumping that ensued, that "beetle" probably definitely regretted wandering into our house. But I don't care. At least I didn't have to see it, kill it, or dispose of it. Thanks, guys!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time Flies

It's hard to believe that a month has passed since I last posted, and even harder to believe that there is anyone left reading this blog. But I always hear we still have a few loyal fans that are reading, so I try to get back periodically to post updates.

This past school year blazed by in a flurry of activities and I was really looking forward to the peace and quiet of a lazy summer. But alas, that peace and quiet has eluded us so far. I'm starting to realize that such is life with three small boys!

Cade kept us hopping the first month of summer with his activities, including swim team, vacation bible school, and a week of day camp at the new school where he will attend kindergarten next year! He absolutely adores swim team and really made great strides with his swimming over the course of the season, which was only about six weeks long. As a former competitive swimmer, my heart was bursting with pride to see him get so into it - it was definitely my "helicopter mom" moment. Now that he's coming along on his stroke technique, next summer I think we will focus on swimming the entire length of the pool without stopping to see if he is beating the swimmers in the other lanes. Cade also had a blast at his camp at his new school. While he initially complained that I signed him up for reading and writing camp instead of sports camp (yeah, I've become one of THOSE moms), he really got into it and even offered the teacher an unsolicited goodbye hug on the last day. Considering the fact that he "hugs" his own mother by extending an arm so that she may bestow a kiss upon it, he either REALLY enjoyed the camp or was hot for the teacher - I'm not sure which. But at any rate, it looks like he will be happy at his new school, which is a relief.

Drewbie is laying low activity-wise this summer, since he was worn out by soccer in the spring. But he was able to not only attend vacation bible school, but retain information there as well. He now writes "bible" any time he can connect pen (or crayon, as the case may be) to paper and wants to inform anyone who is listening that he knows how to spell and write "bible". He also informed me the other day that when he had a problem, he intended not to go around it, under it, or over it, but THROUGH it - with God's guidance. There was some water involved in the initial explanation of his new life philosophy, which leads me to believe he is channelling his inner Moses, so yay for VBS. When he's not being holier-than-thou, Drew is writing letters and asking to spell every word he can think of. He is so into writing, spelling, and sounding out letters that I predicted he would begin reading by the end of the summer. Last week, he surprised me by sounding out "Cara" and "Texas" - damned if the kid can't read and he hasn't even turned 4 yet. Cade has ability, but little interest, in reading, so I'm hoping a little healthy competition will spur them both into a lifelong love of reading.

Josh, you may be surprised to learn, is far from reading, but finally decided to get up off his butt and start crawling at almost 10 months. He started crawling one week, pulling up the next, and now this week is desperate to tackle stairs. The number one item on his agenda is keeping up with the Big Boys, so the minute they leave the room, he's racing after them. When he hits one of our many baby gates (2 sets of stairs in the house), he yowls longingly until someone takes pity on him and lifts him up to be reunited with his brothers. It's his misfortune that he will always be 3 years behind them, but it looks like that's not gonna stop him from trying to keep up.

A funny note on Josh is that he is Cade's mini-me. The physical resemblance is striking (to the extent that we are glad the baby pictures are date-stamped!), but personalities are emerging as very similar as well. Joshie is a tad bit more of a snuggler than Cade was, but is rapidly getting too busy to put up with much cuddling anymore. The one thing he already shares is Cade's complete disdain for baby toys and fascination with electronics. Like Cade when he was a baby, Josh has little use for traditional toys - preferring instead to pass the hours with cell phones, keychains, TV remotes, and (lately) poker chips.

It's weird how fast the information age changes us. When I started this blog it was an easy and simple way to keep everyone updated with the doings of the kids. Somewhere along the line, even this became too time consuming and now most updates on life with the Foxes are posted via Facebook (I'm trying to make the leap to Twitter - @babybuncher2) so find me there if you want to. I'll keep trekking along on the blog when I have a few minutes to hammer out the novella-length post required by my infrequent updates. 'Till next time....