Monday, November 28, 2016

I know

I said "I love you" to Reuben and squeezed his neck. 

He said, " I know. What made you say it now?"

"You were in my way." Was my reply. But the real answer should have been: "As I was standing here waiting for you to finish and move, I couldn't help but notice how tall you've gotten, and that made me think of how much you have grown. You really are an amazing kid. Talented. Kind. Helpful. Smart. Wise. Rational. And that is why I said I love you."

He gave me a hug even though I only said "you were in my way." 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

First day of school 2016/17

Reuben and Simeon woke up and got ready for school without a hitch. Simeon told me, "I'm not excited. I'm not nervous. I'm not happy. I'm not sad. I'm just Simeon." Jasper was in a good mood. I made breakfast burritos, daddy even stayed to eat one with us. 

We took pictures and then we were off. 

We found their teachers on the playground. Talked to a few friends. Hovered by others. Then I hung back to observe.  

I hate sharing my children. They are amazing kids, and I worry that others won't treat them well enough. I also worry that I pass down my social anxieties and awkwardness. 

I had been up since three worried about the prospect of the day and year. The time had come for me to watch them walk inside of the school. I cried a bit as I pushed Jasper in the stroller and talked to a few of my friends and hovered my others--then went in myself to peek through doorways. 

I walked between their classrooms for a half hour. Then left. 

Jasper and I played, he went down for a nap without objection. I worked on some calligraphy. Then it was time to meet my big boys. I woke Jasper up and we walked to the church. Reuben and Simeon ran to us, taller then they were a few hours before. 

Reuben got to meet the nurse and new principal. There were wasps crawling down through the lights in Mr Flynn's room, he told me. One finally stung Reuben on the finger, then hovered around, landed and was attempting to sting again. Reuben tried to kill it with the paper he had on the desk, causing a disruption, Mr Flynn gave him the evil eye then realized what was going on, and finally killed it. Then Reuben got dizzy, and had trouble breathing, and his hand and forearm went tingly. He was sent to the office where the secretaries greeted him as "a Cook boy" and the nurse just happened to be in. The new principal walked in and started talking to the nurse then noticed Reuben, he was nice and concerned about the wasps in the room. I interjected in his retelling, "why didn't you call me?" Reuben's answer, he didn't want to remember his first day of 5th grade as the day he went home early on a short day. He returned to class, where they were doing a reading comprehension assessment, he didn't have to do it, instead wrote about his summer.  

Simeon's day was not nearly as eventful. Mrs Bradford is so nice! And Emmett sits at table 4 with him. They were the quietest table. The recesses were long. There are two Bridger's again, but this time it's not Bridger R. He had to write a sentence, "The five boxing wizards jump quickly." "Isn't that a weird sentence?" He said. "It's a pangram, it has every letter of the alphabet in it." I said. "We didn't get to take it home," he said "Probably because she wants to keep it to show your first day of school handwriting--did you do your best handwriting?"

They cleared the dishwasher with no argument. They practiced the piano. Reuben did some math. They played with Jasper. Then they had screen time. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


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Mother's Day

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Reuben's School does an online math program called Think Through Math (TTM). It is a self paced math practice tool. In March TTM had a March Madness competition. The schools were ranked by how many lessons per students were completed. The school kept progressing through every rank, until it was in the top two. This last battle was two weeks long, one week happened to be spring break.

Reuben dutifully completed lesson after lesson. Not only passing off all of the 4th grade lessons, but the 5th grade pathway as well. He would spend hours doing math problems both at school and at home.

During spring break he spent most of his time working on the computer. Even staying up until midnight on the last day of the competition to pass off as many lessons as possible.

TTM is not without its flaws. The teaching tool is lacking, there is no real way to focus on the concepts that are not passed in the pretest, and often those concepts aren't even addressed in the teaching/review portion. The games are redundant. And, my kid doesn't need to be encouraged to spend more screen time.

What I am pleased with is that Reuben set and reached goals. He focused and worked and sacrificed to excel.

The school had a raffle. Each student how passed off lessons over spring break were entered to win. Reuben won a Kindle Fire. He was over the moon. Then TTM had an awards ceremony for the school, complete with T shirts and metals. Reuben was a MVT (Most Valuable Thinker) passing off 686 lessons in March, with a 98% pass rate (those he didn't pass were in the 5th grade pathway), and he spent 59 Hours on TTM.

Three articles in the newspaper, and a short feel good story on Fox 13.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016



 So it turned out it was a good thing Daddy's car broke down in Provo,  (still no word on what the problem is or how much it will be to fix it.) He couldn't get home for your birthday cake before you fell asleep on your birthday. You got cake the next day the lighting was beautiful!

You are a blessing Jasper. We love you, and we are so glad you are here in our family.




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Happy Birthday Jasper

This year as been a blur.

I kept meaning to write of the heart ache of having my sweet perfect baby locked away in the nursery so he could have bili light treatment, and how frustrated that the nursery nurses fought me when I took him to feed him. How it took us forever to be discharged from the hospital because no body was helping us get what we needed for Jasper, his blood test kept coming back not in the healthy zone. When we finally took him home, we couldn't hold and cuddle him because we were trying to keep him on the bili light table. This was torture for him and us, so we opted for the bili blanket. Our sweet new baby was always plugged in and wrapped tight in blankets--but we could hold him.

I was going to tell you about taking him in to the emergency room to get the final blood test so we could stop worrying about his jaundice. How we sat there waiting for a little poke, and three babies with RSV came in.

I meant to write of the desperation of having a screaming two month old baby who could not be comforted, and just screamed and cried no matter what I did. The voice in my head that said, "You used to know how to do this mothering thing, what happened?"

I intended to write of all the things that I thought might be contributing to the unconsolable crying. Jasper would go two weeks without a bowel movement. No answer from the doctor, just suggestions on how to help him. The nightly belly rubs and leg pumpings, and then the coaxing with suppositories or Vaseline dipped q-tips that would finally get things moving. The spit up. The no making eye contact. The fact that he had teeth coming in at three months old.

The summer was spent in a colic haze. Jasper would cry and the boys would not even blink an eye. Reuben and Simeon were left to their own devices most of the time. The neighborhood kids stopped knocking on the door to see if they could "hang out."

We went to St. George and met Talyn and her kids there. Jasper and Alden are polar opposites in just about every way possible. Jasper is long and thin. Alden is round and short. Jasper is blond, pale, and blue eyed. Alden is dark, dark, and brown eyed. Jasper screams and cries. Alden grunts and smiles.

We went to Minnesota. The cousins wanted to hold him. He cried. His grandma and grandpa wanted to hold him, he cried. His aunts wanted to hold him. He cried.

Then, I wanted to write about the day around 6 months old when I looked at Jasper and realized that I liked him as well as loved him, because the screaming had subsided. I could almost think clearly, and I felt like there were things I could do to comfort Jasper. He still cried, often, and he still was very picky about who could hold him, but at least he could stop crying most of the time.

We went to New Mexico. His cousins wanted to hold him. He cried. His grammie wanted to hold him. He cried. His pappie wanted to hold him. He cried. His aunts wanted to hold him. He cried.

We got into a regular nap schedule and he started sleeping through the night most nights. He started smiling. We rarely left the house and hibernated through the winter.

Now Jasper had his birthday. He is a ham. He fake cries and then gives a hilarious smile--like he knows what torture he put us through. When he gets frustrated slams his head into things. He and Simeon were in the bath this week when Simeon stole a toy from Jasper's hands. Jasper screamed, and reached, when Simeon didn't give it back, Jasper slammed his head into the water. It went in just a bit, and when he pulled his face up he had bubbles all over. Simeon and I couldn't stop laughing, and Jasper, still without his toy was forced to do it again, which led to more laughing.

He has eight front teeth, a molar on the bottom left, and the top right with bulges on the top left and bottom right. He grinds his teeth. He has fluffy long duck hair. He is really a handsome baby, and well liked. He loves to eat. He crawls up the stairs with ease. He fell down a couple stairs once, so now sits at the top of the stairs and screams and cries until someone comes to carry him down. His smiles are big and lovely when they appear. His laugh is magical and rare.

He belongs. We love him. He is growing so fast and really just amazing. Reuben and Simeon love him, and have been huge helps. They are patient with their frazzled parents and sweet with their helpless baby of a brother.

He cuddles now. He holds onto my hair, or shirt, or finger. He loves to grab glasses off of faces. He is determined, and doesn't quickly forget things. He is a great sleeper, and loves his schedule. Carrots make him loopy and then make him throw up.

I can't imagine not having him.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Simeon Quote

During the goodnight prayer: "Please bless that for the rest of our lives none of us have a rough day again."