Monday, March 29, 2010


Gavin had an asthma flair up last week. It came on suddenly and he woke up Wednesday morning panting for air. It was the worse we had seen since he initially had pneumonia and we had no time to try and prevent it with his medications.
The asthma specialist couldn't get us in and we finally ended up at a Dr. from the clinic we usually go to. There was a mess up in prescriptions and the ones we needed weren't called in, but we found out too late. It was quite the ordeal. I actually had some of the steroid I knew he needed at home, but I didn't know the correct dose. The on call nurse was NOT helpful. I didn't want to be a know it all, but she was telling me to do something that I knew would not give him the relief he needed. I knew what he needed, but not how much to give him. The on call Dr. at the asthma specialist never called back and I tried 5 times. SO FRUSTRATING! I was sobbing on the car ride home as Gavin coughed his guts out in the back seat. I had tried sooo hard to take care of him and nothing was going right.
We made it through the night, waking up to nebulize him (this is a machine that attaches to a little mask and gives him his medication) twice, having him cough so hard he threw up once and getting a huge bloody nose. We let him watch shows while he gets his treatment. It is interesting to watch Thomas the train at 3 am...and a little creepy. The next day we got into the specialist and got what we needed. I love his Dr. and was so happy to go home with a boatload of prescriptions. Who would have thought I'd ever want to pump my kids full of drugs? To see him take a breathe is worth it!
It took about three days, but he is doing lots better. It was sad to keep him indoors during the nice weather on Saturday and he had to miss his soccer game. (We didn't tell him, because I knew this would bring many tears.) He would stand at the door and ask to go for a walk or out to ride his bike and I would have to say no. It made for a loooong three days.
Brayden now has a cough and is running a fever. At least he is in good spirits, so far and...DAD IS HOME! Shawn has spring break and that is sooo nice (last week during Gavin's episode dad was tied up with work and a wedding he was involved in). He has been so fun with with boys and they are loving the attention and man time! Shawn is too (:
I think about how frustrating it is to have Gavin so sick and to look at this little body fighting to do it's job and I pray for parents who deal with things much worse day in and day out. It makes me consider how fortunate we are for our health. I really do take so much for granted. As Gavin stated after a few days of meds, "I can breathe today, Mom. Isn't that great!"
Yes, yes it is.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Being mom...

This has been a challenging season for the Ryan family. Daddy has been working very hard, Mommy has been very tired, Gavin has been very three and Brayden has been, well, Brayden.
I find I am always feeling a bit behind on the house work and trying valiantly to catch up, on what Shawn refers to as, "the never ending list." It's true. Why any mother, including myself, thinks there is a remote chance of actually being caught up on laundry is beyond me...but never the less, I try. I also try to keep the floor clean and the bathroom in a state, in which I don't stick to the floor, counter or toilet.
In my attempts, I often get short with the kids and utter the sentence, "Please go find something to do," more than I'd like. To be honest, the kids both have a "room time" for 30 minutes or more each morning where they play happily by themselves, Gavin in his room and Bray in a pak n' play, and me getting a few things taken care of. I should be grateful for this, but I still try to manage more once room time is over.
Gavin seems pretty content to play by himself for awhile, unless of course Bray is there. Brayden on the other hand, gets bored easily and then moves into destructive, vindictive mode. He will purposefully find everything he is not supposed to touch and go for it...looking me straight in the eye. From the toilet paper unraveling to the pulling freshly folded laundry out of the drawers...I have labeled him destructor. Then he gets time outs, and what not, however, very little has an effect on this child,which in turn leaves me more aggravated and Bray exasperated.
And so, at the end of a morning like today, I sit down and just feel like a bad mom. Not only is the laundry still not done and the toilet paper unraveled and sitting on top of the bathroom counter (because I'm not throwing the whole roll away), but my heart and my kid's hearts are sad. Brayden just wants attention and Gavin wants a book and I am not even sure what I want anymore. Well, I do know what I want, to be a good mom...but what does that look like?
I am pretty sure a good mom does not let pooped in pants sit on her pee covered bathroom floor, but I am also pretty sure a good mom sits with her kids to play games. I am pretty sure a good mom helps clean the syrup plate her kid dumped onto the table and chair, but I am also pretty sure a good mom let's her kids run outside and get dirty and enjoy it. I am sure a good mom takes the time for herself to get a bit to eat and get herself dressed, so she can start the day fresh. But I am also pretty sure a good mom gets her kids dressed and fed, so they can start the day fresh too.
Where is the balance? Today I am not so sure I know. I do know both sides are important...taking care of kids needs as well as household needs, but I also know that I place such high values on both, it is impossible to meet the standard I set for myself. If I hear another mom made homemade enchilada's and my family got hamburger helper, I feel I am failing at house duties. If I hear a mom took their kids out a play space while mine watched a show so I could finish cleaning the kitchen, I feel like I have neglected my kids.
I know I am not alone in this. I believe a majority of moms beat themselves too frequently, for things that are too insignificant to worry about. But we do it anyway. In the back of our minds we know our kids are no worse off for eating hamburger helper or watching a show now and then. We also know, our floor will be peed on again and our laundry basket will fill up quite quickly. But still there is some unfounded belief that someone out there has fed their kids healthy food their entire lives, never let them watch a show, has all their laundry folded and put away and their floor is meticulously clean.
Where is wonder woman? I have yet to meet her and I don't believe I will. I most certainly will never be her. And that my friends, is why my kids are in their room time, my dishes are still dirty, I have at least three loads of laundry, and I have decided to sit at the computer for a bit. It will never all get done and I am going to resolve to remind myself of this daily.
God continually reminds us in the Bible we're not perfect, but also reminds us to strive to be better and He'll love us either way. This I can embrace. I can not be perfect. Not a reasonable goal. But I can be better. That I can attain. And I will always be thankful that He loves me either way! I am going to remind myself of that daily too!

Monday, March 22, 2010

This weekend

In order to accomidate for the new baby (yes, for those who don't know yet, I am a little over 14 weeks pregnant) I decided the boys room must be painted. (The boys have bunkbeds now...still in the boxes...which are espresso, the crib and changing table are white and well, frankly, it wasn't going to go with the crazy blue that coated their walls.) This meant that we moved the kids and I out for the weekend and Daddy painted, and painted and painted.
We went to stay with Mimi and Papa. The boys were in heaven. Gavin got to play in their gravel pathway with diggers and spent hours moving pebbles from here to there. He wouldn't set the digger down for fear, "Brayden might want to take this and I am working here." He drug it with him and was in his happy place.
Brayden is obsessed with Papa and his guitars. At one point, he got into the music room, grabbed the guitar by the neck and drug it across the house, down the hall and into Papa's room to ask for a song. I am suprised my dad didn't have a heart attack on the spot. Fortunately, I was spared replacing the $1,200 stringed instrument, seeing as Brayden managed to keep it from hitting a wall (Praise the Lord) but I did have to keep a closer eye on the little sneak!
Both the boys got to practice their ABC's on the microphone's, dance to Faraone family favorites and Gavin convinced Papa to sing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" at least 20 times.
Brayden is also obsessed with "Rawphy" aka Ralph, my parents cat. The amusing part of this is that, Brayden is terrified of furry animals. However, he would climb the stairs, run to my parents room and climb up on the bed to peek at Ralph, on his little cat bed. He loved sneaking peeks and seeing how close he could get. The minute Ralph made a move to be petted, Bray would jet away and tell the kitty, "Dop!". Brayden most definitely didn't want to be touched by the cat. (One brave time, with Gavin by him, he did stroke Ralph, but it was short lived.) Up and down the stairs we would go, in search of the cat, checking on his sleep habits.
The boys had such a great time. I will admit to being a tad tired, but I couldn't be more grateful for a family who works so hard to accommodate me and who love my boys so dearly. I really do have great parents. My boys are tiring and they are good sports. I also have a great husband, who didn't get to see his boys, but made sure their room was ready for them to come back to. As Gavin said this morning, "Do I get to keep the paint?"
"Yes, Gavin."
"Oh good, my room looks very pretty."
Good job Dad! And, thanks Mimi and Papa!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nearly two

Brayden is nearly two now and such a ham. He cracks us up daily with his antics and his mischievous smile. He really is starting to look like such a little boy!

Fire Station

Here are some of the pics from the fire station and our boys doing their own fire fighter shots. They loved their new fire hats! So much so, Brayden got grumpy when we tried to take it off for lunch!

Bike riding

Shawn took the boys down to the fire station to get bike helmets. Ever since, the boys cannot get enough of the helmets and going on "bike walks". Brayden mostly wears his helmet and runs, but sometimes he jumps on the back of Gavin's trike. It's really pretty cute!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sunshiney day

The boys have been on the upswing. We are still wiping noses, but no longer killing the environment with the amount of tissue we are going through. It's been nice to see Brayden's giggle and hear less of Gavin's cough.
Today, Gavin and mom got to go on a date. We went to Starbucks to get "cocko" and a breakfast sandwich. He opened the door for me, paid (with my card) and saved me a table. We talked about trains, the sunshine and what to get Brayden for his birthday (and of course what to get Gavin, when his turn arrives). It was a sweet time and I was in love as I held hands back to the car and got my cheek kissed.
When I arrived home, Shawn (who had taken Brayden swimming...he switches off with the boys every other Saturday) had Brayden eating breakfast and announced he wanted to take the boys to the fire station to get bike helmets. The next sentence threw me,
"I thought you could stay home and have time to yourself."
Ahhhhhh....the angels started singing and I believe I faintly heard the Hallelujah Chorus. I can't remember the last time I had the house to myself during the day. Even if it's a short time, it has been so nice. I got a shower in, the laundry started, kitchen and family room clean, bathroom relatively clean and a few other side chores done in about one eighth the time it takes with the kids.
The sun is shining, I have my soundtrack playing, the pink tree out front is blooming and all is well with the world. If only for a moment, I am loving sitting in my home, purely content.
God is good all the time, but on days like today, I am reminded just how incredibly good and overly blessed I am. Here in the sunshiney moment, I shall set up my alter to look back and remember His great goodness, when the whining starts and the rain comes.
Thank you God for the reminders to carry us through...we don't deserve Your unfailing love, but man am I grateful!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The orange plate

Today Gavin threw a monumental fit over the fact that Brayden got the orange plate. Seriously, he cried for about 15 minutes at the table (loud enough to be heard over the blow dryer) and about 15 more in time out (I decided Brayden shouldn't have to watch the fit while he tried to enjoy his waffles). An orange plate? Really?
Upon reflection, I have decided Gavin is my child in many ways. He likes what he likes. I like to eat with a salad fork. I want the small fork. When Shawn accidentally gives me the big one, 9 out of 10 times I ask for a small one. (Yes, my husband's tolerance is exceptional).
Gavin also does not handle decisions well. You give him a choice and he hems and haws for hours. You narrow the choice and all the sudden he wants something outside of the choice. This is so the dilemma when we go out to eat. I think I know what I want, but after I pick it...I am pretty sure I want something else. (Or worse, I tell Shawn to choose and then tell him I don't like his choice...that never goes over real well.)
I think sometimes, seeing your flaws reflected in your children, make you all the more ready to take on the battle. You desperately want to free them of your inadequacies and so you run in head on. I want him to be thankful for what he is given. I want him to be able to make decisions with confidence and not worry about what he missed in not choosing the other. In short, I want better for my child than I have for myself.
My friend asked me..."Why not give him the orange plate?"
My response, "Because when he's my age he'll be eating with a salad fork and that's totally unnecessary."
She didn't get it...but I do.