A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Not a Baby Anymore

My baby isn't a baby anymore. He is a full-fledged little boy with strong opinions of his own ("Mommy, sometime I like you, sometime I don't" - true statement from a boy in the backseat of my car when he DID NOT want to go to soccer the other weekend), running faster than I can often catch these days, asking me who I'm talking to on the phone, giving me big squeeze hugs, requesting Mommy to read books each morning during our couch snuggle time, refusing to ever sit on the potty, finally eating some pasta after a two year refusal, and giving a day-full of challenges, giggles, laughter, hugs, and whateverelseyoucanthinkof every single day.

Matthias really is such a fun personality. Oh, he makes me want to pull my hair out several times a day, but he also just brings lots of joy to our home.

But, the realization is sinking in that he won't be our my baby anymore. I'm not really sure how this will all pan out. He loves babies and helping to take care of them ... but that is an entirely different story when a baby is going to arrive in his home, taking up our time. He is still my snuggler, and wants me to lay by him when we read a story before bed or naptime. He wants to have his blanket and pacifier often (the habit will have to go after baby-adjustment), and walks up to me: "Momma, hold-a me" with those not-so-chubby-anymore arms.

Although it is hard to actually wrap my mind around the fact that in only a few short weeks Brooks Baby will be here, every now and the the reality hits me that life is about to change. A lot. In a short time. And I know the affect on him will be huge.

And so I pray: pray that he will adjust, that he will love and not resent his newest sibling. That God will show me how on earth to spend my time wisely, investing in each child separately, and teaching them (us) to live together.

And I am treasuring the little moments that I am getting that I know will inevitably change: putting him to bed. Trying to read more books when we have time. And I admit: I feel a little sadness sometimes - knowing that we face the transition and he just isn't my baby anymore.

My current favorite moment? When I lay next to him in his bed, after reading a book, and usually I close my eyes and sing or pray. And then little hands frame my cheeks, and I can "see" him looking at me. And then, then little fingers touch my eyebrows (of all things!), and he always says, "Mommy? I like your eyebrows". = )

that is my Matthias.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

With mine and Eli's schedules in October, I dreamt of taking the boys to the pumpkin patch, and wondered how on earth it would be coordinated! We have retreats for the youth, the Harvest Party, a weekend fundraiser, counseling a couple and then Eli doing their wedding and on and on. It seems like most days are packed, and the weekends are too. Adding in doctor appointments for myself, trying to get school and my work done everyday, and I fall into bed exhausted!

BUT, yesterday was a bit of a reprieve - and once soccer was over in the morning, we didn't really have big plans the rest of the day. It just happened to be gorgeously sunny and beautiful, and so at 4:15 we decided to just load up and head out to the pumpkin patch.

SO MUCH FUN! It was busy, and I have never actually been there when it was that busy, but since it is outdoors and everyone was just walking around and enjoying themselves, it felt so festive! Felt like fall, I should say. Lots of people and kids walking around, laughing, avoiding mud puddles, and picking out pumpkins while they munched on kettle corn or watched the little ones play on the playgrounds and run through the maze.

The big boys, of course, remember the pumpkin patch and were soooo looking forward to being out there. Matthias didn't really remember it at all, so it was like experiencing everything for the first time over again. Chickens! Cows! Tractors! Pumpkins! He was totally into everything and had a blast. We took the boys' cousin, Mya with us, and she had a great time wandering the pumpkin patch, and playing with the boys.

Although I love to plan ahead, this was the perfect spontaneous trip for us. Just the right amount of time left in our day, perfect weather, and no meltdowns = ) For the Brooks Bushel, that is counted as highly successful!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Roller Blading

When I was younger, my older brother was waaaaayyyyy into roller blading for quite some time. We had a half-pipe ramp built in our driveway, and he and his friends were always ramping, skating, and incurring probably hosts of injuries! One my friends was pretty good, and he even traveled a bit with a small team that did tricks in parking lots and set up little "locations". I think at one point I had a pair of roller blades that I got used at Play It Again Sports = ) Even when your older sibling is a boy, you still want to be "cool" in his eyes, right? I suppose that is why I remember when I was 14 or 15 wearing some pretty baggy black skater pants and thinkin' I looked pretty sweet. Thankfully, a short-lived fashion statement for me!

Last week, a family from church had us over (okay, I wasn't able to go, but Eli and the boys went) for two purposes: One, to have the boys swim with their teens in their indoor pool; and two, so that we could look through items left over from their garage sale to see what if we wanted any of it before it all got donated.

And in that pile of goodies was a pair of roller blades.

Just so happens they fit a certain seven year old boy that lives in my house = )

Jonah is determined to master his roller blades. Which means that he has them on at least once a day, and he is working up and down the sidewalk in front of the house. Which means that I'm looking towards many skinned knees, elbows, and palms! We haven't had a chance to go buy protective gear, so he wears his helmet and I cover my eyes.

Just kidding.

He is pretty wobbly, and he has fallen a lot of times. But, as he is just learning, there isn't any great speed going on, so he usually gets right back up, brushes off the dirt, and goes again.

And then Eli found that he had kept his roller blades, so the other night, he got out there with Jonah and practiced with him. A little blonde boy was SOOOO happy to have Dad out there with him! I am not sure how long the faze will last, but the main thing is that we are outside a lot. And I love it! We have the sidewalks, great neighborhood streets to traverse, and the boys are making friends with kids around. Loving our new home!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Daddy Time

The three Brooks brothers certainly adore their Daddy. Whether it is Matthias "mowing like Daddy mows", or Jonah wanting to go hunting with Eli, or Reuben sneaking around the house with his impish eyes ... trying to sneak up on Daddy without being noticed, they eat up his attention! So grateful for a husband who believes in "doing" with his boys: getting them outside; letting them take chances; teaching them skills (or looking forward to the skills that will be able to be taught!); and being very hands-on.

I have had a few appointments in the last few weeks in which Daddy was put on duty while Mom had to be away from the house for part of the evening. No worries when that happens = ) Because there are always things like this to be done:

Eli does love to hunt. And this year, with a baby coming in early November (read: deer season) and a very busy October beforehand, he decided - completely on his own - to give up hunting for the rest of the year. Bleary-eyed/newborn/first weeks doesn't seem to mix well with four-thirty am wake up calls for deer hunting. And I appreciate it, because I know that it is setting aside something that he truly enjoys, because he knows that there is going to be a lot going on in this house!

But, that doesn't mean that there can't be some practice going on over at the Brooks' house.

The boys love to practice with their bow when Eli is practicing with his, and with a higher fence than in the old house, it is even a better space.

So, Mommy left for her appointment, and the boys were lacing up shoes and putting on camo hats to have "Dude Time" as it is affectionately called, with Dad and a deer target. The fall weather is beckoning us to be outside more and more, and while bike and scooter rides are good outings, this is a great one (especially for when I am gone!).

Jonah was able to take an archery class this summer, and I need to get him going to the archery club a couple times a semester so he can continue to practice there as well. I don't think that Reuben will be far behind.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Can You Hear Me???

Over the last two weeks, Eli and I started to slowly pick up on the fact that Matthias hasn't been hearing us as great. About two and a half weeks ago, he had an ear infection in one ear (which actually might have ruptured), and we had to take him in on a Sunday morning. The doc on call - who I will never take my boys again to - couldn't see because of the wax in his ears. He always has too much wax! So, he dug in to clean it out. Traumatized Matthias, who was screaming bloody murder, and actually made Matthias' ear bleed because he was too rough. The next two hours my little boy's ear was oozing blood. I was not a happy Mama.

Anyway, we did our 10 days of antibiotics, but we started noticing that when he was facing away from us, he wasn't responding quickly when we said something to him. And then there was the "little" hint several days ago when Eli was sitting on the couch, Matthias was across the room. Eli said something him, and Matthias looked up at him and said: "Say it again Daddy, I can't hear you."

Two days ago he came into our room fairly early, and we let him snuggle with us for about 15 minutes before we had to get up. He was laying next to me, but facing away from me. I decided to experiment. Whispered "I love you, Matthias" to him. No response. And he nearly always responds back with "I wuv you too, Mama" to me. I said something else quietly. Nothing. When I raised my voice louder, he finally turned his head to me.

I decided we weren't going to mess around with this, and called the ENT that morning to get an appointment in. He went in yesterday. Failed the hearing test in both ears, although one was much better than the other. BUT, there was SO MUCH WAX in his ears, that the doctor couldn't see past it to see if there was a lot of fluid build up or anything else to be concerned about! Options??? Pin him down while he screamed and flailed (because of past trauma with ear stuff) and try and clean it out; put him under and clean it out; or have us work the next month with softening medicine and a water syringe to clean it out and go back and see if he can see in there. We took option 3 = )

So, all our baths will involve squirting water in the ears to try and get junk to come out, and I'm being more deliberate in my communication with him. I don't want to get to yelling point, and I don't want to give him the easy "out" in obedience because he might have trouble understanding. He can hear, I just need to make sure he is looking at me when I talk to him, and I speak clearly.

And we're praying that it is minor. We haven't noticed this in the past, so hoping it is a lot of wax issues and maybe some fluid that needs to be drained somehow!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Life with Little Boys

Perhaps girls are just the same ... I have nieces, and I know they still take risks! But, it sure seems like I deal with injuries constantly. I am thankful, so thankful, that we haven't ever had to make an ER visit, or had any broken bones - or even broken teeth! = ) I know lots of parents have had those little emergencies to deal with.

But two weeks ago, Matthias fell down the stairs. Okay, he rolled down the stairs. All the way. And our stairs, although carpeted and ending in padding and carpet, they are still pretty steep. He missed the first step - I was RIGHT THERE! - and rolled down down down. Oh, I shrieked, the other boys came running, and as fast I could, I ran down the stairs to grab my boy. He was scared like crazy, but no major bruises, bumps, or anything! Those are the moments you feel like your heart stops beating and you feel like you (at least I feel like) could hold them for hours afterwards. Reassuring them and yourself that they are okay!

And then last week, I was headed into work at 8am. The big boys ran ahead as they always do, into the kids' room at the gym and sat down with the games they had brought. Matthias always walks in with me. Side note: we're having some two year old separation issues right now. But, he was excited to go in that day because he was wearing his little guitar, and was going to show Ms. Becky how he could play. Started to run across the room and tripped. Face planted. Guitar turned side up. His mouth slammed into the side of the guitar. OH MY. SO MUCH BLOOD. He was screaming. Blood was everywhere on the inside and outside of his mouth.

Thankfully, in those moments, nothing seems to gross me out, although I am not typically great with throwup, blood, cuts, etc. You just want your baby okay. I grabbed, Becky got a towel and we tried to calm a ballistic boy down. Tried to figure out if his teeth were okay. Attempted to get him to let us put ice on it. And eventually, he was heaving, not screaming. Just cut on the lips and gums - no apparent damage anywhere.

I actually held him for the next hour during a training session! He couldn't stay in the kids' room because he was just too upset, which I understood. But I had to cancel following sessions and just get him home to relax with Mommy.

His poor lip was super swollen all day. Didn't want to drink or eat. I managed to get him to have a couple popsicles early on, and finally by dinner time, he was just hungry and thirsty enough that we coaxed stuff down him (also while having to take Reuben to the doctor because he was complaining he had an earache - yup, an ear infection!!!). The boys kept looking at him all day, "Mommy, he just looks a little funny because his lip is so big!"

Poor guy, it was big. But he woke up the next day and it went down all day long. = ) He survived, we survived! And you know what? There will be more. And that's okay.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lost in the Shuffle

That's how I feel the last week and half has been! Why? Two words.

Garage sale.

We've never done one before ... and since we have been working on our 30% reduction in what we own, a garage sale seemed only practical. Too many bigger things than we could figure out how to give away and we don't want to just take truckloads to Goodwill. We would rather have people get a cheap price and get what they want. And whatever is left we will try and find someone who wants it, and THEN take the last bits to Goodwill! = )

But, amid sorting through boxes, pricing, still getting school done, still attempting to keep a fairly clean house, still working my hours at the gym ... well, my family stories have fallen behind.

Ah well. The good news is, I can remind myself that I can catch back up and get back started. I hate falling behind. The type-A in me was cringing each night when I went to bed and hadn't written down my boy stories for the day or week. But sometimes something has to give! And computer time was it. This body was falling exhausted into bed each night.

So, we've made it past the first morning, and were pretty pleased with what sold. We still have a couple bigger items that we would love to see sell tomorrow, but guess what? By tomorrow afternoon it will BE OVER! And the garage will be re-claimed (mostly) and I might even get to park in it! Hurrah!!!! Been waiting only a mere 9 years for a garage to park in.

Headed to soccer games, gym class, and finishing up the garage sale tomorrow before a birthday dinner for our aunt. Busy, but good day ahead. And hoping to get some soccer action shots to share = )