Friday, April 30, 2010

At 10, he's had years of changes

So he's officially 10! That's a big deal! I met him when he was 8 1/2 so in some ways he's grown up so much... in other ways he's not much different.
Our son is now in the double digits! Daddy has been there the whole time, the little person that he once held as a baby has now survived a decade of life! Daddy was there when he learned to walk and talk, when he started riding a bike without training wheels, when he started school, his first time playing team sports, and when he got obsessed with electronics (no surprise there with such a techy daddy :D)
For me though, there weren't big firsts like that for me to see him go through. When we married he got a little sister for the first time so I was there too as he learned how to take on the role of big brother and recently as he started learning to interact with his baby sister as well. We took a family trip out of state to visit family last year and both kids had their first expierience with the Ocean and sharing close seating in the car on a long trip. I was there for his first apple picking and such but ask anyone, those aren't considered big milestones.
He's like most boys at his other home: quiet, reserved, much more inclined to play sports or video games than have a chat... yet somehow over the past few months or so thats what him and I have been doing. We talk quite a bit, in spurts, because I want to learn more about him - what he likes and doesn't, his favorites, his dreams if he doesn't become a multi-million-dollar baseball player. I hope he does but realistically he may need something else to do after that to pay the bills.
He's very sensitive, he's been through a lot since he was old enough to remember his parents being together. He takes things to heart and is so eager to please that when he realizes that he has dissapointed you, he lashes out in anger or sadness.
The light at the end of the tunnel? A year ago he seemed to do this almost everytime we got him, sometimes a few times in the same visit... now they happen rarely. Which is part of why it surprised me this weekend.
We took him to celebrate and we had fun, but I got caught up with the girls and didn't give him the attention that he needed or deserved... this was his day! He started to lose it but between us we got him to calm down. At that point I didn't realize why... then it was time to take him back, a long 3 hr trip and both eating kids decided to eat minimal lunch even when we said we wouldn't stop for food. A couple hours later they were hungry and when we took a potty break and decided to get them a snack our daughter wanted to look at toys instead of deciding what she wanted and he broke down when I told her that it wasn't playtime but time to get snacks quickly since they hadn't eaten lunch and the rain was making us late. Part of me wanted to tell him to listen and stick to the rules... part of me wanted to hug him and cry with him. Instead I let my husband do the talking as he's always the calm one and he quickly got the kids to calm down, decide on food and get back to the car so we could get back on our way. It was later that I felt the guilt, and realized my mistakes.
I need to find a way to focus on each child while realizing how it will affect the others. The older 2 were "only" children for so long, and he is still like an only at his other home; that they are not yet ready to always be treated similarly... They may never get there, so I need to keep that in mind more.
I had this idea that more than one kid does a wrong and they can all get the same speech. I'm realizing that as individuals they have a need to separate them and address the wrong as their ages and stages allow. Just being older doesn't mean he can handle my dissapointment as well as his sister who is still at a stage where its a daily occurance. He needs to feel special sometimes, and he needs to be left alone other times, its my job to know what he needs and when.
This is hard for me, but maybe now that I realize it... it could get better!?!?!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reaching a year...

Marriage is a wonderful start... for many families.
For us, marriage was a RE-Start. When we met we each had one child from a previous marriage to bring to our new family and we both wanted more! We both believed that God had designed marriages to work, and knew that we had it in us to keep one going if we both worked at it. Well, work we have!
In less than a week, we will celebrate our First Anniversary! I can't tell you how wonderful it is for all of us. We have gone through so many changes in this first year that I truly believe that we can face anything that comes our way. But that's not what this is about. This is about what that year of changes in our lives and the children... and what changes will be coming... has done to make changes to me.
**Jigsaw Parenting: I believe this is taking the pieces that you have been given and finding how they fit together to make a whole... while allowing for the pieces to constantly change and move and fit in new pieces.

We face our Anniversary, the end of our first year, the start of the next year of life. I wonder sometimes if anyone has it so good? then I wonder sometimes if anyone else is facing the puzzles that we are?
When we met, he had a son and a dog. I had a daughter. We met, married, moved in, bought a bigger car, and got a 2nd dog. We realized that we had outgrown the apt (a 8yo boy and a 2yo girl were sharing a room) so we moved to a bigger apartment so they could have separate bedrooms. The kids turned 9 and 3. We found out a baby was coming. We got a cat. The pregnancy was tough. We got a 2nd cat. We were blessed with the ability to buy a house, so we moved again. We had a healthy baby girl with a daunting delivery. - We have decided to find new homes for the cats. We just celebrated his son turning 10. Our daughter will be 3 months old less than a week after our Anniversary. We are trying to get ready for my daughter turning 4.

Yes, we have his, mine, and our kids... but really, no matter how they came into this world all 3 are ours! WE have 3 kids, and until we have more that's how it is. We don't say "step" or "half", we say dad, mom, brother, sister, family.
We try not to look back or regret, we look forward, take what we have and try to make the best of it. I ask that you come with me for this ride, encourage me if you can, ask what you question, but don't believe that this is all there is to it or that daily life is easy.
I will share what I can, when I can... but this is for me.
Afterall, how many times do you go from having only a 2yo going on 3, to having a 3yo going on 4 with a 10yo and a baby??
It's been fun! It's been work. It's been my life and this past weekend, with the meltdowns, the cuddles, the pictures to remind us, the crying, and the laughs have been what made me decide to start this outlet for myself.