Alex has taken up photography and managed to get a few head shots of me after having my chest be his primary focus (like father like son eh?).
Gabby--looking striking as always (photo courtesy of Alex)
The budding photographer
Gabby kicked some serious tail at her last soccer game--scoring 2 of the 6 goals on her team, one of which was a "tricky goal" because she shot it through an opponent's legs! Way to go Gabby!
Oliver captured in a rare moment of distress (courtesy of Alex). Generally Oliver believes in keeping it simple: eat, spit up, eat some more, poop, get changed, poop again, go to sleep and repeat.
Feeling inspired by NieNie, I'm making a point to try to enjoy the small moments of motherhood more and let my kids be kids--it's not always easy.
Example 1: my first day without Noah, I ventured to target to purchase a gift for a nephew. Alex apparently was not there to shop for his cousin, but for himself--he spotted a toy jack hammer which he ardently insisted that he needed. I responded (nicely) that he could have it when he went on the toilet for 2 weeks straight. "But I need it!" I did not cave, and neither did Alex. I then got to enjoy exiting Target with a screaming child (not a soft scream, but a blood curdling scream that caused every other shopper to look in my direction as I exited the store). All the while, I'm thinking to myself, "enjoy this moment, enjoy this moment, enjoy this moment . . ." Somehow, we made it out of the store alive, but I must say the enjoyment was lacking. I then got to listen to Alex scream with as much gusto as he had in Target all the way to my mom's house (a 15 minute drive). I fear that Oliver is now deaf after sitting next to Alex on that drive. When we got to my mom's house, I yanked Alex out of the car, held his cheeks together and said sternly (with a little fire in my eyes I'm sure), "don't EVER do that again!" I then assured him that I loved him and gave him a hug (that was hard when all I really wanted to do was paddle his little behind).
Example 2: Bedtime--the dreaded hour in the Lifferth home. I know some parents find this the most endearing time of the whole day. For me and Noah though, this is what hell is--an eternity of putting the kids to bed. It generally starts out just fine but somewhere between Alex playing copycat while Gabby's reading the scriptures and Gabby pushing Alex during the prayer it goes awry. So Sunday night rolls around (day three without Noah) and I'm exhausted and want the kids to just put themselves to bed (and desperately wanting my best friend back from Singapore). When the kids started acting up, I tried with everything I had not to lose it, but I'm afraid I kind of lost it. I got mad at Gabby, who really gets the brunt of the blame since she's the oldest and we expect more out of her. I felt bad and tried to think of ways to do better. I started thinking, "it would be nice if it were February and I could send her flowers at school or heart attack her room or something" and then it occurred to me that I didn't really need to wait for February. So I gathered up some red card stock, cut up hearts and wrote messages on them (see picture above). When Gabby woke up this morning, she didn't mention the hearts until I asked her if she noticed them, to which she responded that she had. I thought maybe she didn't really care about them until after school when she started asking me if I had to take them down, "only if you want me to" Gabby then said "I like them up there." I caught her reading some of the messages to herself tonight too. Oh, and bedtime tonight was actually a good experience (not perfect, but better) and I'm chalking a lot of that up to the fact that I think Gabby believes a little more that I really do love her. So, I'm calling my September heart-attack a success and planning future love assaults for my kids (Alex was a little jealous that he didn't get any hearts in his room).
1st grade update: Gabby is doing worlds better. She no longer cries about going to school and tells me it's a lot better and that she's no longer scared. Thanks for all the prayers and advice!