Friday, September 15, 2017

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it......

I am sooo proud of Brady.  He is adjusting and transitioning into Simmons Middle School like a pro...I am NOT surprised there!  He also earned a spot on the newspaper staff...I am NOT surprised by that either!

What I am very proud about (a maybe a tad bit surprised by, but not much) is that he did it all on his own!  What do I mean by that?  Transitioning to middle school has DEFINITELY been a transition.  I can be quoted as saying: "I feel like we went from having our hands held (Bluff Park Elementary) to being kicked in the teeth.  It would be nice if they either started letting our hands go toward the end of 5th grade or ease us in by letting our hands go during the first month or so of middle school BEFORE they kick us in the teeth."  What do I mean by that? At Bluff Park teachers communicate with you frequently - at least weekly - with what is going on, what is due, what is coming up, what is expected, etc.  The school as a whole sends out a weekly newsletter with school-wide information AND papers come home - fliers, etc. so you know what happenings there are.  At Simmons Middle, EVERYTHING is electronic, specific to that particular teacher, placed solely in the hands of the student, and there are NO papers!!

So now that the stage is set, I can go into my story about why I am so proud of this guy!  I looked on his 6th grade team's calendar, newsletter, or something online and saw that the newspaper staff was taking applications until Sept. 1st to all students who were interested in applying.  There was a link in which to apply online.  I saw it a couple of times, but each time I was not with Brady and I would think "I need to mention this to Brady; he might be interested".  When I was with Brady, this thought NEVER came to mind.

I thought about it again on Tuesday, 9/5 while I was at my desk at work and thought "oh no!  I think we missed the deadline." I got online and checked, and sure enough, we had missed it.  There was even a list of those who were chosen posted to congratulate them and I scanned, looking for Brady's name, just in case he took the initiative and applied without me knowing.  I did not see it!  I was sad - not even sure that he wanted to apply - because I felt mom guilt that I forgot to say "Hey, Brady.  I saw online that you can apply to be on the newspaper staff.  That sounds like something you would like; do you want to apply?"  For some reason - not sure why - I felt particularly guilty that I forgot to mention this.

A few hours later I am picking Brady up from school per usual.   I ask him about his day as I always do and - in pure Brady fashion - he tells me ALL about it.  As part of his speech he says "Oh, and Mrs. Simms (his homeroom teacher & Language Arts teacher) announced that myself and Knox Redmond were given a position on the newspaper staff.  She said we were the only two on the 6-1 team."  I said: "WHAT?!", with tears filling my eyes, "I did not know you applied.  I have been feeling guilty ALL day because I meant to mention the opportunity to you several times before the deadline and kept forgetting."  "I even saw the list and your name was not on there." In true Brady fashion - concerned about my feelings - "Don't feel guilty Mom, it is not your fault if I don't apply. I just did it myself.  I filled out the application and I had to submit an article so I wrote an article about Donald Trump." Meanwhile I am trying not to cry; I know makes no real sense.  I said: "When did you do this?"  He said: "I think it was the night you had 6th grade parent night so you were not at school.  I got on my chromebook and did it; Dad was home."  (It turns out they had not updated the post about newspaper staff and it was the congratulations for the 2016-2017 staff; in my guilt I had overlooked reading that detail.)

I am PROUD because there was something he wanted to do and he just did it, without any prompting or hand holding.  I am PROUD because he is transitioning well and accepting the "I need to stay current on what is being posted for my team and my school online" position well.  I am PROUD because he cared about my feelings and has the compassion and emotional intelligence to recognize that, if he is in a position where independence is expected, it is not anyone else's mistake/fault/problem if he does not get something done or go after something.

Good job, Brady Mac, good job!!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Playing Catch Up

Yikes!!! I have not journaled in so long that I am just going to quickly play catch up and write down the things that I have made notes on - mental or otherwise - so that I can have these sweet memories captured for posterity sake.

Quite some time ago, my Nephew - Nicholas - and his girlfriend broke up.  Of course these are never easy times and conversations were heard by my boys regarding the end of this relationship.  One day I am in the car with Evan & Maddox and one of them broaches the subject.  In the midst of that conversation it was very evident that they were hurting for Nicholas and did not understand why someone would stop dating him.  Evan makes a comment along the lines of how silly Miss _____ (insert girl's name) is for choosing to stop dating Nicholas.  He further goes on to say how sad he is for Nicholas and how he will be praying for his heart.  I adore Evan's kind, compassionate heart!

Maddox, in recent months, received his first "love note".  Our sweet Caroline Goodwin wrote Maddox a love note on a paper towel during their brothers' karate class.  She presented it to me - so proudly - and it read, among other things, "I love Maddox".  I read it, and asked her "Does this say 'I love Maddox'?" She looked at me with confidence and said "Yes ma'am" and then smiled her sweet smile with just a touch of pink in her cheeks and walked away to go sit where she had been sitting.

This kindergarten year has apparently created a little Ladies' Man out of Maddox.  He gave out his digits (my digits) to a sweet girl in his class.  Her mom - who happens to be a friend of mine - texted me and informed me that Norah came home from school declaring "Maddox gave me his phone number".  She said he gave out the right number.  I guess that is something.  When I asked him about it he said "Yeah, I gave it to her." I then asked him why (curious of his response).  He said "Because she asked me for it".  Oh my, I might have to lock this one up.

Maddox has many little friends at school, from living in the community, from going to preschool in Bluff Park, and from having older brothers.  His closest buddies are Shepard Nations (who he has known his whole life because his mom & I are such good friends) and Cooper Gossett (who he has been friends with since he was 2 years old because we have been in small group with his parents that long).  The three of them have became quite a little crew in kindergarten last year.  Cooper & Shepard ended up in the same class so they got to know each other.  At BPES, the entire grade is on the playground for recess together so Maddox was able to play with them both and they formed a little bond. One day after school, Maddox was talking to me about this group and he refers to them as "The Bros".  I said "The Bros?"  And he said "Yeah, that is what me, Shep, and Coop call ourselves".  Trying not to laugh, I said "Oh Yeah.  That is cool." He responded with "Yeah, and I am the leader of the Bros."  Me: "Oh, really, how did you become the leader?  You are younger than both of them.".  He answered with "Yeah, but I am taller and I can run faster when the girls are chasing us on the playground to kiss us"  OH.MY.WORD!! This kid!

Brittney's wedding was a bit crazy to say the least, with the ice storm and all.  We did end up having a lot of fun, especially when Evan started off the dancing....yes, Evan!!! I have never seen that side of him before then. It was AWESOME!  He started dancing on the dance floor, kinda toward what seemed like the end of the reception, people were starting to leave, all the "have tos" had been done, and it was COLD.  The DJ was playing some kind of fun, dancing song and Evan was out there just doing his thing.  Then others joined him - Britt's Dad, her uncles.  Next thing you know lots of us are out their cutting a rug.  It was a lot of fun and, I know, something Brit really wanted her wedding to have - fun dancing - so I am glad we (Evan) finally got the party started.  Watching him continue to bust moves, smile so big, and have fun was so heart warming for this Momma.  People would form a circle around him on the dance floor as he was dancing, it was GREAT!  Since we have never seen this in Evan before, at one point, Chris asked him: "Hey, Bud.  You having fun dancing out there?"  Evan's response: "Yeah.  When I feel the music I just wanna move my legs"  PRECIOUS!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

First Tooth

Maddox naturally lost his first tooth last week.  Sunday, 1/15/17, Maddox lost his first tooth the old fashioned way.  He had a tooth extracted from the dentist a couple of years ago after falling at the playground at preschool and hitting that tooth but this was the first time he lost a tooth the "normal" way.  He was very excited AND you could tell he felt so proud, so big and grown : )

MLK according to Maddox

My cute little kindergartner came home from school on Tuesday, 1/17/17 (they were off on 1/16/17 for MLK Day) and told me about what he learned at school:

"Mommy, today we learned about Mawthen Luthen King at school.  He changed laws mom.  Did you know that black people used to have to use a different water fountain than white people?  If black people sat at the front of the bus, they got arrested.  Mommy that is tewible (terrible).  Why would people be so mean like that? Mawthen Luthen King changed all that, Mommy." 

It was so touching to hear him talk about learning about MLK and feeling so much compassion for the people of that time period. 

I am so glad he learned about that at school and so glad it left an impression on him.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A new school year with some BIG firsts

My sweet loves 💙💙💙 started another school year today. We had two big firsts baby started kindergarten today, his very first 1st day of school at BPES. My oldest love - Brady Mac - started 5th grade today, his last 1st day of school at BPES as next year he will be on his way to middle school.  WOW!!! In the blink of an eye....I entered into a new book in this mothering journey.  📕.  

There have been so many emotions.  

They were all happy walking into school this morning and - PRAISE the GOOD LORD - they were happy when they climbed into the van this afternoon.  

Evan was such a sweet big brother this morning...climbing down from his bunk bed, half asleep, he said "Don't worry, Maddox" - as he put his arm around Maddox - "I will help you. I will make sure you get to your classroom this morning". And he did just that!

I love how they love each other.  

After school today, I got a sweet email from Mrs. Shipp letting me know how well he did and telling me that he is "a sweet sweet boy".  She included 5 pics of his first day which means so much to this momma's heart.

Monday, August 8, 2016

LOTS of growING

I feel like my boys are growing soooo much and soooo fast lately....not sure how to handle it all.  Some of it has been exciting and fun, some of it is hurting my heart - of course it is inevitable and there is not a thing I can do about it.  I think the pain of their growing comes with the fear of regret. 

- what if I look back and it was not enough?
- what if I fail them in some way and when I see it later and I long to go back for a re-do?
- what do I say to them when they walk away from me as an adult - to college, work, their own place, the military - that will accurately encapsulate my love, my hopes, and my dreams for them?
- what if I regret choices I made, time I did not savor, patience I lost?

URGGGHHH!!! This mommy thing is sooo much harder than anyone could have conveyed to me.  I know how unhealthy it is to live in the past, to dwell on "what ifs" and wallow in regret.  I hope it is just enough to remind me to cherish the times, the moments, however hard they are at times.

Soooo in the past few months my oldest turned double digits - 10!!! Oh my, that is quite a milestone birthday.  We celebrated with a trip to the beach with Uncle Rich and family - to Mark's place at Isle of Palms.  He hit the 4'9" mark, so he is at the "it is okay to move out of a booster seat" more booster for this big boy.

My "baby" finally broke 40lbs.....what a thin little guy he is.  While he is small, he is mighty!! He was on swim team for the first time this summer at Shades Cliff Pool.  He struggled a bit in the beginning and only participated in practice for most of the season then he swam in the very last swim meet and won the HEAT....he was sooooo excited and sooo proud of was AWESOME!!!

We are preparing for three BIG firsts in our house - (1) all three kiddos in the same school at the same time - this is a first and a LAST...I get one year for all my babies to be at the same school (2) Brady's first day of his LAST year at BPES...oh my, this will be a hard one for me and, even harder still (3) my baby is starting kindergarten....first day of big school for Maddox....WOW!

Hard for this Mommy in soooo many ways but proud for me as well.....blessed to call them mine!

So much cuteness, such little time

I have had a lot of "oh, that is too cute" and "that is too precious not to document" moments over the past few months.  Unfortunately, if I do not grab my phone or laptop in that moment, time and my memory get away from me.  I am going to try and capture some of the recent cuteness that I can remember:

* a month or so ago, Maddox was heading to the bathroom.  He told me he had to poop.  A couple of minutes later, he calls from the potty: "I did not need to poop, I just gassed."

* During Dr. Seuss week  at Bluff Park Elementary, Brady and Evan had a day where they were to dress up like what they want to be when they grow up.  Evan decided to dress up like a baseball player.  On the way home from school, I looked in the rear view mirror at Evan in the back of the van with his baseball hat on and thought he looked so handsome.  I said "Evan you look so cute dressed up like a baseball player."  He just shot me a cute smile.  Then I said: "You look like a boy that I would have wanted to talk to when I was in school" (I always have had a thing for baseball players).  He just looked at me and smiled with his big, magnetic dimples.   I said: "do you know what that means, Evan?" (referencing the statement I had just said prior).  He said: "Yeah, I do."  I said: "What does it mean?"  He said: "That you want to marry me."  LOVE the thought process of these little people : )

* My little love bug - Evan - is so thoughtful...I came home from being out somewhere and they were home with Chris.  When I got home, Evan had a "vase" of flowers for me:

I know there are many more sweet moments, conversations, etc. that have happened over the past few months that I am just not remembering but - for now - I am documenting these or I will keep being too busy to get them down in print.  
Love my boys!