5 Years Later

Five years ago, I had no idea what it really meant to be a mom. I thought I did. I thought I had it all planned out: graduate from college, get married, have two little girls. End of story.

Slowly but surely the truth began to unfold. All those wonderful things left unsaid by other mothers were brought to the forefront. The joys of pregnancy. The beauty of delivery. The joys and beauty of breastfeeding. Not so much.

Instead, three and a half hours of pushing. A BOY. Painful breastfeeding. Sleep deprivation that dropped me to my knees and rocked me to my core. Crying. Screaming. The baby cried too. The reality of mommyhood was not matching the fantasy I had built up in my head while pregnant.

But how could it. In one fail swoop, life as I knew it came to a screeching halt. And overnight, a new life began. One where my heart suddenly existed outside of my body. One where I could no longer run from challenges, or avoid them all together. One where another being depended on me to be the absolute best I could be, even if I didn’t know who that was. Yet.

I finally had a piece to the puzzle of my life I never knew I needed. There were days I questioned the purpose. Wondered why. It was a joy and love that built slowly. And wavered at times.

When “most” kids were sleeping through the night, mine was not. When “most” kids sat through circle times at the various classes we took, mine was not. When “most” kids were talking, mine was not. When “most” kids were separating from their parents and enjoying preschool, mine was not. However, the hardest by far was hearing that my child was not progressing as he should. Was not making friends as he should. Was not interacting with his peers as he should. Fear. Sadness. My heart broke upon hearing the words uttered by his teacher.

I had never anticipated this. Who does.

Many tests and observations later, a plan was put into action. I was determined to do all I could to help “fix” this even though I hadn’t a clue as to where to begin. Big, scary words and acronyms were thrown at us: speech delay, spectrum, ADD, SPD, pragmatic language delay…

And here I sit, one year later, only days from Ty’s fifth birthday. Looking back at the last five years. At where we started. And where we are NOW.

I am humbled and honored that Ty chose us. His sleepless nights taught ME to endure. Persevere. Nap. His boundless energy taught ME to see the absolute joy in motion. Challenged ME to keep up and keep busy. His speech delay taught ME to see his unique learning style. To learn that each child truly is different and will “do” at his or her own time. His separation anxiety taught ME to let go, trust others, and to foster his independence. His social challenges taught ME to build up his confidence. Allow him to approach situations his way, on his time, when he’s ready.

My love for Ty, now, almost five years later, is greater than I could have ever imagined. There are days when he drives me absolutely crazy, but more than anything this amazing, special little boy has changed my life in ways I could have never imagined. He has taught me about being a better a person. He has taught me about the person I wish to be. And he inspires and motivates me to be that person everyday.

Five years later, mommyhood is not what I had imagined it to be.

There is no way I could have understood until I did.

A Year in Photos: Part 1

It’s hard to believe Jake started the year off NOT walking. I can’t even remember what life was like without him running all over the place; however, in January he took what we be two of his very first steps. He didn’t walk steadily for another couple months…
We hesitantly started the potty training journey:
Tyson turned THREE:
My silly, book loving, snuggy wearing three year old:

We threw a joint birthday party for the boys to celebrate Jake’s first birthday and Ty’s third:

We all had a lot of fun sliding and bouncing. Lots of smiles:
We spent a lot of time playing in our driveway. Ty discovered the stomp rocket:
We treasure hunted our way around the Rez:
Four teeth. He looks like such a baby here…

Tyson discovered hours of fun with a sensory tub:
We took the boys to Vegas:
Tyson turned into a hat-loving big boy:
While Mommy enjoyed her first ever multi-night trip away, Jake became a full fledged walker:
And quickly used those walking skills to get into everything:
Now very mobile, Park visits became a lot more interesting for me and a lot more fun with Ty as Jake could truly play with him, and chase him, and run around with him:

Enjoying some indoor caped fun on a rainy April day:
First roller skates:

A Year in Photos: Part 2

Mother’s Day craftiness for Grandma:
Brothers and books:

Tyson had his first real last day of school. Side by side of his first and last day:

Daddy bought him his first bike:

We spent a lot of time exploring the outdoors enjoying the sunshine:
Airport brotherly love:
Love this kid:
Ty’s first Bart ride:
First library trip:
Family trip to Train Town:

Lots of outdoor sprinkler time:

Trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s House. And the Zoo. Matching shirts so I can always spot my boys. As they often run in opposite directions. Often = ALWAYS.
First BEACH trip. So much fun. Tyson is a fish like his Mama. Jake spent a lot of time eating. In his beach chair. On the beach, in the water, in the shade…eating, eating, eating:
Water, beach loving fun:
With back to school looming in the near future, we picked up the potty training efforts. We spent much of August close to home. The boys spent much of it in their skivvies:

I spent the majority of August in our laundry room. Cursing the potty training gods:
I thoroughly enjoyed putting together a “Day in the Life” blog post (part 1, part 2) after a Mommy Group photo challenge. I plan to turn it into a photo book along with this series of posts.

A Year in Photos: Part 3

Tyson had his first day of school- now attending three mornings a week:
And is a major fan of rain boots:
Jake had his first day of Mommy and Me Preschool:
The boys have class at the same time on Mondays. There is often an overlap of outdoor play time with both classes and they always gravitate towards each other. And this bike:

Halloween was magically amazing this year. Trick or treating was so much fun with both of them. Neitherof them were at all shy. Jake got the “Trick or Treat” down. Along with the candy grab:

Train Conductor Ty:
Ninja Jake:
We carved pumpkins. Ty wasn’t a fan of the pumpkin guts:
With their little imaginations growing more and more each day, we discovered the dinosaur hunting adventures to be found in our front yard:

Rain boots, “noculars“, and rain coat- check:
Brotherly love over Santa Mail:
Turkey day crafts:
My little turkey’s turkey:
Bath smiles:
Jake got a big hair cut. Before:
After. Sniff, sniff. Miss the baby curls:
We made holiday wishes after a muddy but fun hike:
The magic of the season started with a surprise visit from Santa at a holiday party for the kids:

We started a new Christmas tradition as we met “Victor” our Elf on the Shelf:
We made cookies:
We visited with family:
The boys were thoroughly spoiled for Christmas and loved all of their amazing gifts. Jake LOVES this hat. He can never see where he’s going but he LOVES the thing:
Ty “fixing” our table:
Hours after hours were spent playing and enjoying their new toys:
Lots and lots of post Christmas smiles:
Told ya, LOVES the hat. And I love that he loves it:
Rainy day smiles and fun:

A Day in Our Life (Part One)

A fellow Mommy put out the challenge to photograph “A Day in Your Life”…here is our day today. I had every intention of waking up at 5:30 to run; however, Jake was up three times with a cold last night so the early morning run was out of the question. You will notice his never ending snot nozzle throughout the pictures. Our day was also defined by this lovely piece of paper hanging from my door. After 7 am, we would have NO STREET ACCESS. At all. Home bound. All day. My equivalent of a nightmare.
Having slept through my running alarm, I was startled awake by a three and a half year old poking my eye and asking to sleep in my bed at 6:05. Shortly followed by the cries of his brother…I walk into this sight almost daily. Jake + blankey + binky in mouth + one bink just in case:
Jakey takes a few minutes to warm up…
And then he was off to Lego at his table:
Tyson figured he would take his own set of pictures:
Good angle:
Breakfast. Scones and cantaloupe:
Jake’s signal he’s done with his meal = throws EVERY remaining piece ON THE FLOOR. Drives.me.crazy:
And is the reason I have a broom standing in my kitchen at all times:
After every meal, Jake will wait for Ty to walk away from the table. Climb into Ty’s chair. And eat whatever remnants of the meal suit him:
Having no street access for THE DAY. We were out, coffeed, and home by 7 am. However, I didn’t get more than a sip most of the morning. Into the microwave it goes…for the first time. I attempt to scarf down my now cold eggs and warm cantaloupe:
The boys start to hear the sound of the big trucks outside (our street is being repaved)…they are completely captivated:
More play time at the Lego table (the top flips over so it can be a simple table as well. The boys spend a LOT of time sitting at the table playing legos, cars, reading, drawing…). Jake is still carrying around two binks:
He’s recently discovered his Little People toys. I love watching him play with them and listening to the sounds he makes. He was “moo’ing” as he put the farmer into the tractor and placed a cow on the back:
Checking out his brother’s train set up in the window ledge:
Playing trains and keeping an eye on the work trucks outside:
Potty training. Nightmare. Thatisall.
While the boys play, I start the first load of laundry for the day:
And in my effort to multi-task, I put the camera down within reach of little hands. It drops. My nifty fifty breaks. I cry. Rookie mistake. An expensive one:
We get dressed in intervals here. I have to literally chase each boy around the house to get them dressed so I go in stages. Most important part accomplished:
We start our project for the day. I have one boy who LOVES to color with crayons and another who loves to eat/break/throw them. Tyson gets very upset when crayons are broke. Or unwrapped. Shocking, don’t know where he gets that from. So, today, I am going to turn all the broken pieces (added some) into bigger disks. Some by color. Some rainbow. Tyson helped me unwrap crayons. Jake broke them. Worked out perfectly:
Ty then helped me sort them and place the ones he wanted into the rainbow cups:
All ready to go in the oven:
Melted. Cooling. I then put them in the freezer for thirty minutes or so to help separate the paper cup from the new crayon:
Meanwhile, we headed outside where the boys had a front row seat for all the road work going on:
Pom pom. Rain boots. Brother. Check:
Watched trucks. Played trucks:
We have this area in our front yard, Ty calls it the “jungle”. I drew dinosaur footprints and he headed into the jungle on a dinosaur hunt:
No dinosaurs, but he found a LOT of mud:
Jakeyloves to push trucks around the driveway:
Tyson rode his tricycle:
The road workers were so nice to the boys. They honked and waved. Tyson couldn’t get over the REAL LIFE “Lightening McQueen” truck (from the scene were he has to repave the road and drag the big asphalttruck behind him):
Free, live entertainment:
Until the boys realized the fun, pavement trucks came with a smell. We headed to the backyard for some water table fun:
And I knew it wouldn’t be long before my little Nature Boy got his clothes wet and did away with them all together. I chalked it up to “helping the potty training” efforts:
While the boys played outside, I put away a load of laundry:
Jakey decided he had had enough. Came inside. I started to put lunch together. He found his puzzle:
Ty came inside and found his LeapFrogbook reader:
I took our crayon creations out of the freezer and took them out of the cupcake liners. They came out fabulously. SUPER easy project:
Peanut butter sandwich and cheez-its for Ty:
Turkey meatballs, cheez-its, and cantelope for Jake:
Salad for Moi:
Ends up on the floor. Tantrum. I saw it coming as I kept him up in hopes of a double nap from the boys:
And it’s nap time:
More laundry:
Potty training. Nightmare. Sense a theme:

Less than two months til the October Half Marathon, means no skipping runs. Even though the LAST thing I want to do is run…I do. Nap time date with the dreadmill:

Run: check. 3.5 miles. 30 minutes:

A Day in Our Life Continued…

After my run, I shower. Check e-mail. Facebook. And then hear my Baby Jakey:
Who doesn’t wake up on the right side of the crib:
Takes a few minutes and then discovers his brother left out his bin of cars:
We play outside. Chalk. Wait for Ty to wake up:

Once Ty wakes up, Mama is in SERIOUS need of a second coffee. I rarely stay home all day. Can’t do it. The roads are done. We have the free and clear to drive. Off we go:

And Mama is a happy camper:

We stop by the little produce market, SO YUMMY, and pick up the makings for guacamole and more cantaloupe:

The boys are having taquitoes for dinner. I am going to make them some fresh guacamole:

Jacob is VERY excited. Ty is watching Wonder Pets:

We wait for dinner to cool down and color with our new crayon creations (have no idea what to call them):

While outside on our dinosaur-mud hunt, we picked up some leaves to do leaf prints:

Jakey had fun coloring too:

Tyson’s leaf. He is in a MAJOR green phase right now. Everything green…he loves:

Dinner time. Jake tears up the guacamole as I thought he would. He left a little for Daddy:


“Wha…me. I didn’t throw anything.”

I clean up the kitchen. Again. The boys run up to the playroom. Jake Lego’s again. Ty jumps:

Train fun:

And then we hit 6. Witching hour. The whining. Tantrums. Hold me NOW. Begins:

So, we look like this for the majority of the time remaining until bath:

We read. The boys LOVE I Spy books. Awesome time taker-upper-er:

“Jake, do you see the water can?”

One last slide session in the playroom…

Potty time. Jake has to do EVERYTHING his brother does. EVERYTHING:

Bath. I wish I could capture the VOLUME level. It’s LOUD. Very LOUD:

My LEAST favorite time of the day. Pajama time. Chase each boy down. Get them dressed. Not fun or easy:

And tonight, while chasing down Ty and getting him dressed Jake decided to PEE in the corner behind the chair. Awesome:

Get the boys dressed. Kung Fu Panda time. Jakey is super sleepy:

Jake down. One more to go:

Finally, Daddy walks through the door:

While Daddy changes and eats dinner, Ty and I play Candy Land. He cheats. I lose.

Books. Brush teeth. Ty goes down. It’s 9:13 and I am finally sitting down. Kicking my feet up. And picking up my book for the FIRST time all day:

NOT EVEN CLOSE to what I imagined the life of a stay-at-home mom would be. Not even close. And a potty training overall update: TODAY = no accidents from Ty. Just Jake’s little after bath situation. Go figure. So proud of Ty. We are getting there SLOWLY but surely.

A Year in Photos Part 1

**It absolutely blows my mind that I sit here days away from Christmas. This year is a complete and total blurr. I blogged. I photographed. I videotaped. But it is still surreal. I VIVIDLY remember this time last year, and yet here we are again…and things have changed immensely. While I had hoped to keep up with scrapbooking…finding the time has become next to impossible. So I decided to do the next best thing and make a photobook of our year. Here are some bits and pieces of it…enjoy.
It wasn’t until I looked back at blog posts and photos that I realized I started the year out pregnant. In all honesty, it is impossible to remember our family with Jacob at this point and it feels as if he’s always been a part. This was about two weeks before Jake was born. Of course, looking at this picture brings back many memories of pregnancy…many of which I don’t miss:
*Jacob William was born:
*Brothers met for the first time:
*2 weeks old:
*A favorite outing of ours became searching for Lady bugs. We found a park where they were EVERYWHERE…Ty LOVED it. He was so gentle and kind:

*Again…we did this often:

*We discovered the local airport viewing area and it became a weekly family outing:

*Ty discovered his brother’s swing and officially sat in it longer than he ever did as a baby:

*We had a very unusual and very HOT heat wave:
*Big brother kisses:

*Little brother smiles:*Big brother tickles and little brother giggles:

*”I do myself” became a household phrase…sometimes good and VERY cute:

*J-dub loving his exersaucer:

*4 months:

*Big boy haircut:

*Ty learns to say “CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE” for the camera:

*We dabble in cloth diapers…and it wasn’t nearly as awful as I expected:

*Silly, happy boy: