“Enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever!”

I remember the day like it was yesterday when we brought home our 5lb baby boy.  I had just entered motherhood for the first time and this little boy was so tiny yet so precious.  For the first few days of his life we had to use a SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) so he could quickly get back to his birth weight and to avoid the ever so sneaky jaundice.  It didn’t take this boy long to jump ahead and gain those adorable little thigh rolls, arm rolls, and chubby cheeks.  The day I packed away his preemie and newborn clothes was the first time I could appreciate the statement of “enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever”!

Just a few months later, my 9 month old bouncing bean was pulling up, signing his first words, and running around in 18 month old clothing.  This was the size he wore until he was 2 years old.  As he started to walk, run and be more active the weight just dispersed and he became a little taller (not much for this shorty) but enough that for his second birthday we told everyone to go ahead and get 2T…what was this?  Toddler clothing?  Did I really have a toddler on my hands?  Well, yes, I had a toddler for a few months prior but why did the clothing size now matter?  I’m not sure, other than it was another one of those moments when I stopped to think “enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever”.

Somewhere between the ages of 3 and 4, my first born discovered the sizes on the tags in his clothes.  This became a major deal breaker for him if he were to wear something that had a different size on it than his age.  For example: my active boy has always been a size or two behind so when he was 4, 3T jeans fit just fine (length and all), but in my son’s eyes…he was no longer 3, those had to go, and he would only wear 4T!!  I took on the role of helping meet this need and did some washing to shrink some of his new 4T favorite pjs and shirts so he could feel the older, wiser 4 year old that only wore 4T!

Fast forward to this year and we are moving from 5T to the boys section…the transition in between has been difficult both for Mom and Son!  He turns 5 in just a few days and although 5T is what he could be wearing, he now knows the T stands for Toddler…another issue for him.  “Mom, I’m no longer a toddler, I shouldn’t be wearing 5T.”  So I oblige and here we are, shopping in the “boys section”…a whole new world of colors and styles.  This for me was another eye opener as it was a glimpse into the future, the boys section, where we will be for the next few years as he grows into a young child and enters elementary school… “enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever”.

Lastly, during a disciplining moment this week I said “You are 5 years old, you should know better than that.”  Once that bout was over with, my sweet little boy says “Mom, why did you say I was 5 years old…I’m not 5 yet, I’m still 4!”  Wow, he was so right…a little lesson brought to me from my 4 year old…DO NOT HURRY THE DAYS AWAY, “enjoy every moment, they don’t stay little forever.”

To my Parker–my sweet little first born, as you turn another year older in just a few days, I want you to know that I am doing my best to enjoy your every moment as I know you are no longer little in your own eyes.  As you enter the boys section, I hope you stay innocent through your eyes, confident in your heart, and strong in your abilities to be who God wants you to be.  I love you~Mommy

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Our REAL life!

98% of the time I love to blog about our fun adventures, milestones the children are reaching, or even just a funny quote or video…but this time it’s about the realness of our last few days.

Last Thursday, Chris was off to Breckenridge, CO for a weekend of snowboarding with his college buddies. I couldn’t have been more supportive of this trip considering I planned it for him as a Christmas present. Well, I got the ball rolling for the guys and of course they set out all the details…a house with a hot tub, and lots of bacon and beer! The kids and I were doing great…had our friends here for a couple days, a trip downtown for lunch at Rainforest Cafe and then Saturday Garrett started running a fever and became fussy and that night, the awfulness began…Ryann woke me up at 130am with a bad tummy ache, and she started vomiting. Fortunately, I have the best 4-year old helper who was running to get me towels, wipes, etc. She could not manage to make it in the trashcan as she was miserable. I had to change her sheets 4 times that night (yes, that means I was doing laundry at 2am and also using her brother’s extra set). Between her getting sick the 3rd and 4th time, Garrett was up for his early morning bottle…I washed and changed my clothes for fear of spreading this to him. He finished just in time for me to put him back down and get back down to Ryann for more vomiting. She finally settles down and falls deep asleep that she’s snoring at 5am…phew a break! Nope, I get upstairs, wash, change again, crawl into my bed and Garrett wakes up at 5:15!

Sunday was full of anxiety for me…every cough, hiccup, or burp made me think someone was going to throw up. It’s not the easiest to keep a 2 year old contained when she’s sick. I am SO thankful Pottery Barn made a slipcover couch…the cushion covers and the entire back portion of the couch is a slipcover that can be thrown in the wash…yep, had to wash a couch cushion, blanket and scrub the carpet. I barely left her side unless I was taking care of Garrett who was still miserable himself…low fever, not eating, and fussiness. I am also SO thankful for TV and the iPad…Parker stayed out of the way of the other kids, helped when I needed it and just laid low! I owe him!

That evening Chris came home to a house of disarray…it sure wasn’t the welcome home I’m sure he was expecting. I’m glad Parker was feeling good because the two of them had some great bonding Sun night and Monday…All while I continued to care for Ryann and Garrett. Garrett cried and screamed all night Monday with little to no sleep for him or I…we got Parker off to school, Chris off to work and Ryann & I took Garrett to the Dr and found out he has an ear infection. We came home and as I was about to give him his first dose…he started vomiting. This time my little 2 year old knew what to do…towels and wipes for Mommy and she even started singing “twinkle, twinkle” to Garrett (even in all the madness, my little kids seem to light up the situation). Once I had him all cleaned up, I got a dose of meds in him and he napped the majority of the day. This day I was SO thankful for Parker’s best friend from school’s Mom…she picked up Parker from school and brought him home…thank goodness b/c Garrett had just vomited when he walked in the door…that would not have been fun to clean up in the van!

Wed evening came and it was bath time…whoa, what is all over Garrett? A newly popping out rash…of course, he was allergic to the medication after only 4 doses. Ryann is also allergic to these meds but it wasn’t until day 6-7 that we started to notice hers which is very common…Garrett’s being a rare case since he was already showing signs. So by 720am this morning I was off to the Dr again with Garrett. This time Daddy stayed home with Ryann until I could get back. Sure enough they confirmed his reaction and now we have to wait it out and hope the ear continues to improve as it did even after just 4 doses.

All in all I think we are doing better and hoping we are over the hump of this sickness phase…I know more will come! But I learned so much during this time…
#1) I am SHE-RA! I can get through anything on my own with these kids, however,
#2) I need my husband! We are a team and although he hasn’t been here for most of the drama, he has helped out with being present for the healthy ones, getting my groceries on his way home from work and going in late to lighten my load for the Dr. visit.
#3) Moms who do this with traveling husbands (Lana, Robyn, Kristen…to name a few)…YOU ROCK! I’ve always wondered how you manage to do it all on your own (sick kids or not), but God has powered each of you with your own ways of making it work and I’m proud of you…I may be able to manage, but I sure hope I’m not given the chance to test myself much more than needed.
#4) Find good in all situations, even the ones when I can barely open my eyes to see. Ex: I head downstairs to play with kids after getting my 4th cup of coffee for the morning and I had prepared a snack for the kids…Parker says “Yeah, this must mean you are in a good mood!” Thanks, buddy…I hadn’t realized it was that obvious! Time to buck up and play!
#5) Find a moment to be still and pray! I prayed that God would pull my children and I through this storm and to remind my heart that this is just a sickness that will be over far too soon compared to those families that deal with much greater discomfort in seeing their child battle a more serious illness.

So, here’s to tomorrow being a better, brighter day for the Stine Family! Until then…here is what we’ve been doing to keep ourselves sane…

Big sister helping! (Before they were sick.)

Big sister helping! (Before they were sick.)

puzzles!

puzzles!

Kids at Rainforest before all the sickness came alive.

Kids at Rainforest before all the sickness came alive.

a "true" moment...a not happy mommy at a 430am wake up call.

a “true” moment…a not happy mommy at a 430am wake up call.

I did not ask them to do this...they love each other so much!

I did not ask them to do this…they love each other so much!

My girl playing "Mommy" with one baby in the front pack!  Love her!!

My girl playing “Mommy” with one baby in the front pack! Love her!!

Drowsy, sick baby!

Drowsy, sick baby!

TV time in Mom and Dad's bed.

TV time in Mom and Dad’s bed.

Falling asleep face down after having just been sitting up playing.

Falling asleep face down after having just been sitting up playing.

Sick girl playing on her leaptop.

Sick girl playing on her leaptop.

Hot Wheels make a great chewy.

Hot Wheels make a great chewy.

Masterpiece in the making.

Masterpiece in the making.

A gorgeous glow over downtown Chicago this morning as I drove to the Dr. office.

A gorgeous glow over downtown Chicago this morning as I drove to the Dr. office.

Toga Baby...all wrapped up before having his rash looked at.  At least he was happy!

Toga Baby…all wrapped up before having his rash looked at. At least he was happy!

The "before"...

The “before”…

The "after"

The “after”

Could they be any cuter?

Could they be any cuter?

All I want for Christmas is…water!

One of my favorite things that we do as a family is right after dinner.  Sometimes all we can handle is the scramble of cleaning up toys, getting all 3 kiddos bathed, and our bedtime routine, but some nights we manage to squeeze in some special time.  This could be simple as reading a book, doing a puzzle, playing a game, a tickle fight or our fun last night which was the question game.  We started this game right after Garrett was born to give Parker and Ryann some focused attention.  Chris and I would each have one kid on our lap, one of us would ask a question that each child could answer and then we’d smooch the child and then have them switch laps.  This little game turned into way more fun than I’d intended as they’d dive over each other on the couch, and jump on us wanting to be asked the question first.

Last night’s questions:
What is your favorite food? What is your favorite animal? @ the zoo?  @ the farm? What is your favorite activity with Mommy?  with Daddy? and then our favorite responses…

What do you want for Christmas from Santa?
Parker: Nonstop talking Ninja Turtle
Ryann: Dora the Explorer (not sure what exactly but anything will do I’m sure)

What do you want for Christmas from Mommy & Daddy?
Parker: Power Rangers Samurizer Morpher
Ryann:  Water

Yep, she said water and then laughed…she knew she was funny!  This girl is hilarious and tries everything in her power to be the center of attention, which she usually succeeds!  Parker then says, “My sister is hilarious…I just love her.”

A few minutes turned into a wonderful memory!!