A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Matthias Matthias

I think Matthias has enough personality for at least three people. He is every inch of his little body full of energy, mischievous thoughts, endless vocabulary, silly faces, attention getting antics, and everything and anything else that could be crammed into that little 36 pound boy. He makes me laugh like crazy ... and two seconds later can literally drive me crazy!

As soon as Abram was born, it did not take long for him to discover that when Mommy sat down to nurse "Baby Abram", he could slip away and get into things. Or bother his brothers. Or throw books across the room. Or fill up endless cups of ice and water in the kitchen. Not that everything he does is naughty, he l.o.v.e.s to climb up and sit beside me with books in his lap and we read together. He begs for snuggles when he wakes up in the morning and after naptime. He wants to help make smoothies, and take things to people when they need them or ask for them. He is quick to volunteer to help me whenever he knows I am headed down to the laundry room. But, he is equally quick to try and sneak into Jonah's top bunk bed, though he knows it is forbidden territory. Or grab a toy from big brothers and make a dash down the hall.

As the parent, it has been a challenge for me to figure out how to effectively discipline him, re-direct him, without him feeling constantly told "no" or in trouble. Truth be told, he really wants to be "in" on things, especially the things his big brothers are doing, and it is no fun to always be the little brother being told to go away or don't touch. My patience is tried and tested hourly with him and I often fail my tests. But, I am working to see past what might appear as naughty, because he often just wants attention.

Thank goodness he has never seemed upset that Abram is here. He love love LOVES Abram and frequently asks to hold him, or will chatter to him if Abram is in his bouncy seat. My cousin once famously tried to get my parents to take his little sister home after they baby sat for my aunt and uncle. He was done having a little sister around! Matthias, not so much. But, I can see how the adjustment to not being the baby and to having Mommy's (and Daddy's) attention spread a bit more affects him.

So, I make the effort to praise good behavior. Give him lots of snuggles when my arms are free. Read books upon books when we have the time. And remember that the child is two. He is figuring out how far he can push Mommy and Daddy, learning boundaries, wanting to be big like Reuben and Jonah, and just being himself! Himself that pulls kitchen chairs all over the place to be a part of stirring pots, the little boy who touches my hair: "Mommy, I lub your hair, it's sooooo boo-tiful!!!", an impish boy that tried to steal Reuben's candy this morning when Reuben wasn't looking, a still chubby-armed child that squeezes my neck and plants big kisses on my cheeks at night.

Each day he and I have our challenges ... but gosh I love that kid!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Growing like a Weed

My little Abram is certainly setting the record for Brooks boys. We were at the doctor yesterday (ANOTHER EAR INFECTION!), and the not-so-little guy is nearly 13 pounds! At 2 1/2 months old! I think the other boys didn't crack 13 pounds until they were nearly four months old = ) In other words, he knows that he needs to be solid in order to handle the craziness that surrounds him everyday. We have totally left behind his 0-3 month sleepers, and are growing into 3-6 month size.

Although he has been sick at least half of his little life, he still shares smiles, coos, and almost giggles with us everyday. And there are three big brothers just waiting to coax all that baby goodness out of him! I wish I could peek ahead two years down the road and see what he is going to look like.

I have certainly learned that my daily expectations have to change and loosen up. But, at the same time, I'm learning grace, and learning that there are more important things than a clean house. Like seeing a triumphant 5 year old reading Cat in the Hat to his mommy. Helping a 7 year old conquer cursive writing (and he loves it!). Sitting and snuggling a 2 year old when he just needs some time in mommy's arms. Getting school done, work done, and basics done when possible are the main accomplishments of our days. And in the moments when that feels frustrating to me, I have to remember that Abram will only be little for a bit of time ... nursing for a short bit of his life. And then? Then he will be running down the halls, reaching towards us with grubby hands that have played hard. And although I might be able to find the time to clean bathrooms a bit easier in two years, I really truly am working to treasure these days.

How many times have I been asked if we will have a fifth??? Can't even count. Eli pipes up quickly "DON'T ASK HER THAT FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS!!!" And I won't say. We don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. But I'm not going to let this time slide past without relishing it, because it will be gone before I know it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Birthday Wish

Birthdays are different as you grow older, of course. It's fun when it comes around, but it isn't the same as when you are waiting w.a.i.t.i.n.g. to get one year older. I joked with the boys that I was so happy to be 29! And Reuben looked me so upset, "But Mommy! You aren't 29!!!!! You are 32!" To him, it is so wonderful to turn a year older!

But, this year, my birthday day is a little different ... I didn't have huge plans, but figured we would get out and about and maybe the boys and I would get a donut together after my hour of work this morning. Enjoy the day was my goal. Still my goal, but the circumstances changed when the seven year old started throwing up around midnight last night. And about seven times again throughout the night. Poor Jonah. I had been so happy that although we have definitely had our share of some sickness, we hadn't had any stomach bugs. I was hoping to go to my parents' house to watch the KU game tonight, but now we will stay confined here to not spread germs.

Until now.

Praying that it doesn't get shared with anyone else, especially a little baby who has already been on antibiotics twice for ear infections! Abram has had a rough first eight weeks of life! An issue with his circumcision started it off, and then two nasty colds with ear infections. Sometimes I have wondered if he will ever be a happy baby! And then we get glimpses on periods of time when he has been better, and I remind myself "this too shall pass" and soon he'll be a giggling, happy baby once we get over all the junk around here.

But, Eli always still manages to make my day special. He somehow snuck balloons into the boys' closet that they presented me with this morning. Everyone made me cards yesterday, and Matthias couldn't keep it a secret, and ran downstairs: "Mommy! I made you a card, and I put stickers on it, and I love you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MOMMY!!!!" The big boys were appalled, but I reassured them I could wait and see their "surprises" tomorrow = ) The dining room table was decorated this morning when I walked out of the bedroom, and even when short nights of sleep catch you by surprise, those little things make a girl feel special.

And so? We've played card games, watched a bit of extra TV, and I decided to not mess with school today. One boy sick, the other boy helping to be my runner to get things when I have been nursing - and if I get some laundry done, we will call it a win! My birthday wish is just that ALL my boys get completely healthy - and fast!