Friday, April 27, 2012

In The Moment

There are so many things that I do, happenings I witness, thoughts I have, and moments where I feel like I'm being shouted at "Remember this.  This is something to cherish.  This won't last long."

In reality, this is something everyone should feel with each of their children, and I have to say, there are definitely times when I focus those thoughts on any one of my other children.  That being said, more often than not, these feelings are about Kimble.

That shouldn't surprise anyone.  Perhaps it makes people think that I love one child above another, which I don't, but when one child's life is threatened on a daily basis, because of how his little body came into this world with extra challenges, it becomes more real in every single one of the moments that you are with him.

Perhaps I am too dramatic for my own good.  I know that although every one of my family members recognizes that Kimble's life expectancy may not be as long as we would hope, I think I am really the only one that lets it infuse every single breath I take, and every single heartbeat of Kimble's that I feel through his scarred chest.  I am absolutely saturated with love for him, and overwhelmed at the thought that my daily interactions with him could be stalled.

I have complete faith in the plan of salvation, and that if Kimble's mortal life ends short, that he will be held in the arms of our Savior, until the time when we can all be together again.  Families are forever.  We will be together forever, even if we are separated for a bit in this earthly life.

Still, knowing that doesn't make the tears stop when I think about Kimble dying.  It doesn't make me stop worrying about his next surgery and the fact that even if everything surgically goes as planned, there may just be another road for us to journey on.  It doesn't stop my fear from taking over in the early morning, when I creak open his bedroom door and see him lying still in his bed.

Maybe I'm too focused on myself and my selfish thoughts of how much I will miss him.  When I look through pictures, I realize that he isn't just my sweet little baby boy who says "momma" with the cutest voice imaginable. 

He is the little brother who likes to race his brothers and sisters down the stairs on their bellies.


He is the one who shouts "yay!" when we take him for a walk around the block in his stroller, and who everyone fights to get a turn to push him.


 He makes sliding down on your belly, head first, through the twisty slide fun again for the kids who are too old during school hours to play on the slides.  He is the teeter to someone else's totter.


He is someone who will play tag with his sister for as long as she will let him, and then when he sees a camera, he instantly stops what he's doing, looks in the camera, and says "Cheeeeese" because he knows that is what cameras are for.


 He is someone who likes to have little friends over to play. He will show them his toys and his cars and he will even share his snack.


Kimble will snuggle with you on your bed, when you watch "DeeDah" (tv) and will even pat the space next to him as invitation to scoot closer.

He is the hungry boy who wants the food on your plate, instead of the food on his own plate, and as soon as you look the other way, he will snatch what he wants as quick as he can.

He is the little boy in the shopping cart at the store, who will wave  and say "Bye!  Bye!  Bye!" to every person who passes our way.

He is the little boy who giggles with pleasure when his daddy play-wrestles with him, and he is the boy who will stare out the window all day long, until he gets his turn to run and play outside.


Every day, he puts a smile on my face. He makes all of us so happy.  I sincerely pray that he gets to be with me, and everyone else that loves him, for as long as possible, but just in case...we are sure enjoying being in the moment.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Planter Boxes


Last weekend The Husband and I took Kolbers to the hardware store, to get stuff to make our backyard planter boxes.  We planned for four boxes, and had fun getting all the lumber and hardware needed for the job.


After we started making them, we realized that maybe we didn't need for them to be quite so deep!   Maybe three boards deep was a bit overreaching, but oh well.  I guess we don't have to fill them all the way with dirt, and instead the plants can be sheltered a bit from the wind.

They are so big, that all five kids could play in them.
 
After we made the four boxes, we realized that our two trays of starter plants wasn't going to be  nearly enough plants to fill the boxes, so we made five more trays of seeds.  This next pictures shows how great the first two trays grew in just a week's time.  We are so excited for our garden!!  The kids watch the plants every day, to see which ones are growing. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cheeeeese!


Today we enjoyed some beautiful spring weather with no wind (almost unheard of in these parts).  It was completely gorgeous, and I didn't have to convince Kimble to join me outside.  It's his favorite thing ever, and he shouts a little "yuh-aaaay" whenever he gets to walk through those magic doors that lead to the outside.


Even though we just hung out in our backyard, he had a great time.  It was fun to watch him play, but every time he saw me point the camera in his direction, he'd stop what he was doing, look at me, and say "Cheeeeese!" with a cute crooked grin and squinty eyes.  Oh boy.  If I hadn't already fallen in love  with this little guy.....

Planting Seeds

Monday night we planted seeds for our garden. The kids have been really anxious about this, and super excited to be part of a summer-long veggie-growing experience.  They were so excited when we brought out each seed packet, explained what it was, and then had them plant it in the soil.  "Jalapenos! Yes! I love jalapenos! I'm going to eat 17 of them!"

Here are the girls, watering their soil after they planted some different varieties of seeds.  We used TP rolls to separate the plants, so that after they sprout, we can take each one and transplant it into our garden beds.  They used popsicle sticks to write the names of each plant as well.


The boys also helped, and loved taking two seeds each for every hole they pushed open with their fingers.  They really liked the difference in seeds. Some were huge (squash) and others were super duper tiny (lettuce).



Each veggie was given six little sections, where two seeds were planted in each section.  We hope they grow!

Saturday Singing

Last Saturday we spent the day together as a family, at the mall.  We woke up bright and early to be there by 8am, so that The Husband could stand in line to audition for the X Factor.  This was a 'singing only' audition, and had to be done acapella.  Heath, along with almost 200 other applicants, had hopes of making it to the end, where the winner was given a paid trip to NC to audition for the producers of the show.

Although we knew it was a long shot, we miraculously didn't have anything else going on that day, so we thought "What the heck. We'll give it a shot.  Who knows what will happen."

Having five kids to entertain all day at the mall....maybe you'd think that would be easy.  However, I didn't take them to the play area (too many germs for Kimble) and we didn't have extra money to spend on every cool and amazing thing they saw displayed in the windows (Keaton was mesmerized by a shiny silver watch), we had to be creative with the long hours.

First, the kids held races to see who could push Kimble in the stroller the fastest.  Since we were in an abandoned wing of the mall in the early hours before the stores opened up, this was easy to do without crowd control, and the mall provided lots of wheelchair-access ramps and inclines to make for a fun obstacle course.

Second, trips to the bathroom or the drinking fountain were fun excursions for everyone. (Should we take the elevator or the escalator this time?)

Third, we examined cool things throughout the mall, and asked lots of questions:  "Does this plant look real or fake to you?"  "How many pennies can you count in the fountain?"

Fourth, we sat on the benches and people-watched (or read books that we had brought).  This seemed the most boring to them.


And finally, we had the itouch to entertain them.  They took turns playing games or watching Toy Story.


If all the above failed, then I had a backpack full of snacks for them to eat, because when kids say they are hungry, most of the time they mean "I'm bored", so the snacks didn't come out until about 1pm.

Back to the audition...here is The Husband, just getting through the line and turning in his application.  After this, he went upstairs to a closed-off room where each of the applicants sang for a few judges.


The top 50 contestants were selected to sing again, only this time they would sing for the public, and more judges, in the mall plaza, where a stage was built, complete with lights, speakers, and cameramen for the local news.  I have to say, this cameraman bugged me throughout the day. Everytime I saw him, he had his little camera or phone out and was taking pictures of himself holding onto his big bad video camera. I don't know why it bugged me so much, but it did.


Anyway, Heath was selected to be in the top 50 singers.  So here he is, waiting in the 'preferred seating section' for his turn on stage. 



When he got on stage, he dedicated his song to his baby boy, Kimble, and sang "I won't give up" by Jason Mraz.  (I took video, instead of pictures at this point, so I don't have a picture to show you.)

After all the finalists sang, the top five were picked to sing again, and then the finalist was chosen. Heath didn't make it past that, but it was a good day anyway, and we all loved supporting him in his  efforts.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"ow"

Poor Mr. Kimble has had a few owies lately.  Last week, at my boot camp class, Kimble went exploring around the park we were at.  He ended up down a little ditch and wouldn't come back up when we called him.  So, I went to go get him, and as I was walking to him, I was encouraging him to come to me.  "Ow" was all he kept saying, and he wouldn't move towards me.  He just stood still.   Normally he comes to me, so I thought this was odd.

When I reached him, I scooped him up in my arms and he said "Ow!  Ow!".  I thought maybe there were some stickers or something that were poking his legs, through his socks.  I looked down, moved my arm, and that's when I felt (and saw) all the cactus needles that were sticking out of his pants.  Half his body was covered in pokies!  It's no wonder he didn't move at all, when I called him.  Moving hurt!  It was then that I looked down and saw cactus plants everywhere.  Ouch!

So I brought him up and stripped him of his clothes and his diaper. Then we could see that he had needles along his bum and thigh, where the diaper didn't cover, and where the needles went through his pants.  A friend found a lolipop for him to have, and I got to work pulling out the needles.  Unfortunately, the spindles were so thin and fragile that many of them broke off at the skin and I couldn't completely pull them out.

By this time, boot camp was over (even though I only participated in half of it) and so I went home with my friend EmilieAn so she could use her hot wax on Kimble, in hope that when we pulled up the strip, it would pull up the remaining needle portions.




I thought Kimble would cry, but he didn't make a peep.  He was just curious at what we were doing.  Although it didn't get all of the needles out (some were just broken off too deep in his skin), it helped a lot.  Even now, a week later, he still has some stubble parts where some needles remain, but he hasn't been bothered by it...just the occasional "ow" escapes his mouth.

Then, last night, Kimble and Keaton were enjoying time outside.  Keaton likes to put on his rollerblades, strap Kimble into his umbrella stroller, and push him around the block.  Normally this works out quite well. Kimble loves to be outside, and Keaton tells me "I love to be a responsible big brother!" and often volunteers to take Kimble around outside.

Well, as he was pushing Kimble, the stroller wheel hit a hole, which caused the stroller to stop short.  Unfortunately, Keaton and Kimble both still had momentum, and they toppled over.  Kimble's head went right to the pavement and got a pretty good hole/gash made.  Kimble also has bruises up and down his right arm.  Keaton wasn't hurt, but he felt pretty bad that it happened, and has made the conclusion that it probably isn't very smart to push Kimble in the stroller while wearing rollerblades.


We are continuously impressed at how Kimble bounces back from injuries. He is one tough kid.  I don't think he even cried for more than a few seconds, after his collision with the pavement. He just needed some quiet time, and The Backyardigans was just the thing to make him feel better again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hunting Eggs


 We had a little church breakfast last weekend to celebrate Easter. Afterwards, the kids participated in an egg hunt.  Kimble was first, with his age 3-and-under group.  He found one egg, discovered there was chocolate inside, and grabbed two more.  Three was all he could hold, so he happily quit hunting more eggs and went inside to eat his chocolate.  He was thrilled.

Kennedy went next, in the 4-6 age group.  She loved finding the eggs hidden under pine needles and between fence posts, and ended up with about a dozen eggs.

Kolby and Keaton were in the last age category.  They ran up and down, back and forth, searching for hidden eggs.  He had a great time.


Keaton didn't find as many eggs, despite  how hard he tried...or maybe he was just wondering why he had a classy walmart grocery bag, instead of an easter basket.


Kimble kept chasing after his brothers, trying to find more eggs.  He loves being outside so much.


 Kamy was part of the group who helped hide the eggs.  I think she liked this transition from being a kid, to being more adult.  As a result, she didn't hunt any eggs, but she helped the little kids find some.


 After all the playing outside, they were allowed to watch The Wilderness Family on tv.  I thought it was funny how they were all squished together on the old loveseat as they were watching the movie.


That was our Easter Saturday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Big Boy


Mr. Kimble got a haircut.  Whenever my babies get a haircut, they immediately look so much older!  He did a really good job sitting still for his Daddy.  He laughed every time a fluff of hair fell onto his belly.  We went through four rolls of smarties before the haircut was finished, then he took a bath and pronounced himself "TA Da!" at the end of it.  He is such a cutie.  Oh, and he loves pizza!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

More Spring Break Fun

After many days of putting my kids to work by Spring Cleaning our house/garage/car, I thought they could use a bit of fun.  So I loaded up the kids and after a few errands on my part, we stopped off at Little Caesar's Pizza, picked up two peperoni specials, and went to a park to play.


After they ate three pieces each, they took off to the playground.  It was a gorgeous summer day, and hardly any wind (incredible!).  Apparently Georgie had dressed for more burly temperatures.  Her sweater, plus hoodie, made her a bit overheated.  Good thing she had a tank top on underneath her sweater, so she could peel off the layers.

After a while at the park, we visited some friends for a while before coming back home in time to welcome The Husband home from work.  "What's for dinner?"  he asked.  Uh...I don't know!  In the end, we decided that night was the perfect time to use a gift certificate we had at a Mexican Restaurant.  We love Mexican food!  So we loaded up the kids again, and with The Husband accompanying us, we ate out (something we rarely do).



Kimble loved the chips and salsa.  It was a bit spicy, but he didn't seem to mind. He got mad at us when we pushed the salsa away.  In fact, the chips and salsa were pretty much the only thing he ate that night, as he refused everything else we put in front of him.  Later, he traded the salsa for ketchup, and kept on eating.


Kolby ordered a corn dog (Yes, at a Mexican restaurant.  Crazy kid.) and Keaton had a bean burrito.  Kamy was too old for a 'kids meal' and got a plate of three fish tacos with all the trimmings.  Her food came out on two plates, and although she shared some with Keaton, she really could have eaten it all herself.  She has been out eating me since she was five years old.  For such a thin young lady, she certainly packs away the food.

After dinner, as we were driving home, The Husband opened the windows.  The speed on the freeway, plus the wind through their hair, turned our kids into dogs who kept trying to hang their heads out the windows.


Who says we don't know how to have a good time! Ha!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Family Walk

We had beautiful weather for spring break. One evening, after dinner, we took an impromtu walk around out neighborhood and we ended up between the high school and the grade school.  With big fields full of hills and trees, the kids had a blast running around, and it was a bonus to be able to let Kimble go wherever he wanted to go, and not worry about him running into traffic!  Keaton had also brought the second Harry Potter book, which he is currently reading and simply cannot put down, even at dinner, because he is so involved in the story.  (I love that!)  He said "Mom, why didn't you tell me that books were so interesting!"  Despite telling him that very thing, multiple times, it was something he had to figure out...and I'm glad he finally has!


Very quickly, we noticed that the big sprinklers were on, covering about half the property that we were playing at.  I really didn't care one way or another if the kids played in them.  Although it was a bit cooler temperature by that time, and a bit windy, I figured if it was something the kids thought was fun, then they would enjoy it even if they got a big chilled.  Besides, we were only a block away from home, if things got too cold.  For a while, they did stay away from the sprinklers, and had fun chasing each other around the hilltops.


Oh, but then Kimble couldn't resist the temptation.  Here  he is, checking me out to see if I'm going to stop him from running to the sprinklers.


Looking back, I don't think he could believe that I hadn't run after him yet.


After he played a bit, where he got sprayed pretty good, Kolby rescued him and brought him back up the hill.


But he still wanted to have fun, so right after this picture was taken, he escaped Kolby's grasp and ran back down the hill, towards the monster sprinklers!


He got a bit more wet, but he enjoyed every minute of it.  We are totally going to keep track of the sprinkler schedule, and on hot summer evenings, we are going to round up all our friends for a sprinkler party, courtesy of the high school sprinklers.


Then the sprinklers turned off. We figured we had only a few seconds to escape from where we were sitting, before the next section's sprinklers came up and drenched us, so we took off.  However, instead of going home, we decided the kids were having such a good time, that we would continue the adventures.  So we made our way to the grade school playground and let the kids loose.  Kimble spent twenty minutes going down the slide; he loved it.  Plus, after the wind picked up, his hair got pretty fluffed up. He was just so happy...and cute!


The Husband and I couldn't help stealing a few kisses...but more likely he was just humoring me!

The kids enjoyed the school park, which has three separate playgrounds, designed for different ages.  This sea saw was in the 'little kid' playground, so after this picture, we moved on to the bigger play area.


Keaton quickly demonstrated how well he can do pullups.


Kimble unsuccessfully tried to duplicate his brother's skills.


Then The Husband showed off a bit by doing his own pullups.


After that, everyone was all muscled out and we walked home, agreeing that we would have to have adventures like this more frequently.