Back to the Story

Backtracking just a bit.... About spring break of the 2011 school year, when I was in my second trimester, we decided I would finish out the year, then quit teaching to stay home with the boys. Best decision ever, but wow, what a change from teaching high school special education. I love teaching and working with young people. I love that moment when it clicks in their minds and they realize they have accomplished, or discovered, or solved...the moment of success when you see learning in action. As a student athlete in high school, I had the best coaches...some I'm still in touch with, whose lessons are still near and dear. So, naturally, I also enjoyed coaching and attempting to impart some of the wisdom I learned on the court. Helping athletes meet their potential and find joy in the effort...it was thrilling, fun, hard work and occasionally a pain, but I loved it. Although I knew I would miss it, I could not pass up the chance to stay home with my guys. It was, after all, what I had always wanted to do since I was just 12 years old. We had considered it the year before, but with our future with the boys uncertain, we felt it was not the best move until they were permanently ours. With number 3 on the way and adoption finally looking promising, we decided to make the leap. I spent the fall semester of 2011 home with a newborn Elijah, 18 month old Mason and, Timothy who had just turned 3. It was as wonderful as could be, but the challenges of a stay at home mom made themselves known in a mighty way!




Yes, this is a selfie in the Walmart bathroom with a baby on my hip and a newborn in the carrier!



Trying to balance feedings (every hour and a half, and he would NOT take a bottle!), naps, carrying a newborn and an 18 month old who still wanted 'up, up', trips to the grocery store and doctor, meal times, preschool, diapers, playtime, story time, and did I already say feedings (in the van, in waiting rooms, in dressing rooms, in restaurants, again in the van)? And that was all before 11am! My friend, Christy, who I've mentioned before with her girls all similar ages to our boys, told me once, "Schedule and plan everything. Always be 30 minutes ahead of them so they never win!" What hysterical, witty, and genius advice! So I did. I always knew what was coming next, even if it was a story to slow the tempo down just a bit. But, it was work, always worth it, but work none the less. Now the accomplishments and discoveries came, not with math or science, but with stacking a block tower higher than last time, or learning to summersault, or making pee in the potty. Sometimes I'd hear, "You're too structured', or 'you should just go with the flow', or 'you're making this too hard on yourself", all from good meaning people who never raised 3, under 3. So, I'd smile and go on with my plan!

Mason





Potty training was, from the first child, to present time with the 3rd child, my least favorite parental mission. I had always heard 2 years old was the magic age for this rite of passage, so as soon as Timothy turned 2 we began 'training'. It makes my blood pressure rise just to think of those days. At first it was cute and he found it fun, but very quickly into realizing this was something we wanted from him all the time, he asserted his thoughts on the matter and refused. We battled this off and on for over a year! So, when Elijah was born and we had 3 under 3 years old, all in diapers the situation became a little more dire for us, however, Timothy was perfectly fine with it and still in no hurry to use the potty.


Elijah and Timothy


A twice a month trip to Sam's to buy a box of wipes, a box of size 5 pull-ups, a box of size 4 and a box of newborn diapers, and just like that there was not much left for food!  Timothy started in a half day preschool that year, mostly because he was a bit behind in speech development. While he was there, we had high hopes that between his teachers encouraging, and seeing the other kids go, his desire to go in the potty would increase. Nope. He would not be peer pressured into doing something he did not want to do! That was, until spring break of 2012 when he was three and a half. Scott took away the pull-ups and put him in a pair of big boy undies. He told him, either you use the potty or you wear wet pants. You know, that boy never had a day time accident! I guess he had finally decided he was ready and it was just that easy.



Timothy



Mason


This was now my life. I went from a professional career where I washed my hair daily, wore heals, had young minds to mold and IEP's to write, to maybe washing my hair 3 times a week and wearing 'floor playing clothes' always scented with spit up, wondering if I had remembered to brush my teeth, and it was the best it had ever been. Not a thing I would change if I could. I've seen every milestone, doctored every scrape, cuddled during every fever, played patty cake and peek-a-boo, read Blue Hat, Green Hat a thousand times, put one boy after the next in the time out chair and on occasion sat myself there. I have been amazing and I've been unfit. But we love, we laugh, we play and cry...Oh, and have I mentioned yet that baby number 3 was in "the crib"?