Spring Recap

I have just spent the better part of my day cleaning up my picture library, editing the pictures I wanted to keep and getting rid of those I don't.   These pictures document the ups and downs, ins and outs of our lives, yet they just sit here... on my computer.  It made me sad.  Life has been so busy I have neglected the things that I enjoy.  Because that's what you do as a mom, right?  
So here goes nothing...
A little catching up.

 This little one had her one year photo shoot... finally!
She is growing up so fast.  She can now be found at any staircase in a 1 mile radius around her.  It's as if the stairs are magnets sucking her in, which wouldn't be so bad if she actually knew how to get down them. 
We are still working on walking.  She has been seen standing for a few seconds on her own, but heaven forbid she ever actually do it when we want her to.  
Miss Evie makes her presence known, while not so much with words but rather ear curdling screams. I wonder where she learned that from... Graham.  She has acquired some words like Momma, Da Da, Aaa for Alex and Da for dog.  Her new favorite thing is reading.  If you even think about putting her in her crib before bed without reading a book, she will let you know.  

Graham the Man is finishing up his first year of preschool.  Between him and his brother I really am surprised they are still alive.  Alex is in quite the attitude phase and Graham does everything Alex does... making him in an attitude phase too.  Ugh, kill me know.  He may... or may not... make it to his third birthday.  
He had a follow up appointment with craniofacial this last week.  It was weird to be back there.  While they were such a huge part of our lives for the first year, it felt unfamiliar to be back.  While everything looked great they were a little concerned about his speech.  I would have never noticed because I understand almost 100% of what he says.  But once they pointed it out I did realize that those that don't know his frequently have to ask him to repeat.  So now we embark on a little speech therapy.  
Graham is a feisty guy these days who never ceases to keep me on my toes.  I often times take a "rest" when he does so I can recharge for the rest of the day.  Thank goodness for nap time!  
He is my little chatter box in the car, telling me everything he knows.  He will talk to anyone that will listen, the next door neighbor, the clerk at the grocery store... the lady driving down the street with her window down.   

Alexander is a whole other story.  I am confident that he is the reason for the 3 white hairs I pulled out of my head yesterday.  Every single request is met with resistance.  The house is always a little on edge when he wakes up until we know what Alex we are going to get.  The happy go lucky Alex or the whiney, I don't want to do anything Alex.  It's a real joy, let me tell you.  Not sure if this is a phase he is going through, the middle child syndrome coming out, or just who he is but no amount of discipline has seemed to help.  It's a challenging phase for us.  I keep hoping that this too shall pass.

On the happier note, he is entering the final weeks of pre-K at OLL.  We feel so lucky to have had another year with Mrs.  Clayton.  My heart hurts just thinking about saying goodbye to her.  I am pretty sure she is the only reason that Alex actually goes to school, while it may be a challenge some days.  
Alex finished up his T-ball season with a fun root beer float party with his team.  In true Alex fashion, getting him to games was not always fun and often met with resistance, however, he had a blast once he was there.  I am looking forward to all the camps we have scheduled for the summer, although he may not be. 



I love when I get to see this smiling face.

He was so proud of his very first trophy.  Priceless!


Last but certainly not least Tyler.  Not quite sure how I have a 9 year old!  
Almost a third grade graduate, Tyler is so ready for summer.  He had his big third grade sleepover, of which I vividly remember doing as a third grader at ASB.  So fun to see him experiencing all the things that I loved so much as a child.  
Tyler is deep into baseball season with the playoff approaching quickly.  It has been a learning experience for Tyler this year as he is very emotionally involved in sports.  He has grown so much as a teammate and a athlete this season.  He is pitching and has found a love for it.  As a mom, while I love watching him "do his thing" I hate to see how hard he is on himself when the game depends on the pitcher.  Go BroncoHawks!
Tyler has been my saving grace with having 4 kids.  He is a tremendous help with his siblings and I couldn't be more thankful.  


That mom

Yep, that's me...  that mom. 
 You know, the one that you see at the Gap with her kids running circle through the rounders.  The one whose child gets lost at the grocery store and who I am constantly telling them not to touch and look only with their eyes.  

That's me because it has to be.  

There are days where I wonder what the he** I am doing taking my kids out.  Why would I subject myself to such mayhem?  The answer is two fold.  One is simply selfish, because it is what I need.  I spend my days driving kids to and from school, soccer practice, baseball games and T ball, is it too much to ask them to do one thing I want/need to do.  Unfortunately, the answer is always yes after the fact.  I leave feeling defeated.  They win, they always do.
Secondly, I feel as though it is my job as a parent to teach them good behavior in public.  I go in with good intentions.  I go in thinking, this one time they are going to be good.  WRONG.  Nope, instead there is Graham, pulling the retractable line divider out and letting it go only to smack another kid in the face (yep, he totally did that), and there is Alex tipping over the entire stroller, baby and all, because he is too busy whining to pay attention to what he is doing.  


Now, not only am I defeated because I haven't gotten to do the things that I wanted to do, but also because apparently I am failing as a parent, completely unable to control my kids for a mere 10 minute jaunt through the store.   Thank goodness for Evie.  She is very good at distracting fellow shopper with her big blue eyes and toothy little grin, so they don't notice the menaces dodging in and out all around us.

This too shall pass, they all say.
I suppose it's true.

Trouble 1 and Trouble 2


Pretty in Pink

Well, we did it.  We celebrated our very last first birthday in the Bugbee house.  Goll, almost makes me cry when I put it that way.  

Anyhow, it was an even to remember, that's for darn sure.  Evie and 50 of her closest friends rang in her first birthday in a bash so pink you would have thought we painted the house with Pepto Bismol.  Oh, and a little gold, since she is a princess you know.

It was so much fun decorating for a little girl's birthday, I may have went a little over board.  

One of my favorite parts was the photo time line.  Really makes me realize how very fast it went.

We were all about pink and hearts!

The birthday girl was a touch overwhelmed to say the least.

But, when it came time for cake she was all about it.

Evie and her God-Momma, and my God Daughter, Abby.

Eloise giving loves.

As planning and anxiety that went in to making this day perfect, I would do it all again.  I can't believe my little girl is ONE!


Where do I go from here?

I am at a weird place in my life.  Everything that I have lived my life for is behind me and it is an odd feeling.  In 2003, after 5 long years of college, I began my dream job as a NICU nurse.  I married my wonderful husband 10 years ago in the wedding of my dreams.  We bought our first house, then our second and eventually our forever house.  Together we remodeled our forever house just to our liking.  As a child I spent countless hours playing with my dolls and day dreaming about having my own babies some day.  Well, almost nine years ago we welcomed our first son and we didn't stop there.  Number 2 and 3 followed and the fourth and final was my little girl.  I couldn't have been more blessed.  In this time we muddled through two deployments, law school, a job change a cleft lip and many many ups and downs.  And now here we are happy, healthy and complete.  
But what's next?  I have always had a goal, something to look forward to.  But what do I look forward to when I have everything I dreamt about since I was a little girl?  The thought of looking forward to my kids growing up doesn't seem right.  I don't want them to grow up.  There is no new house to be had, we have the perfect one.  No career change for me.  I couldn't love my job any more.  Sure, there are the trips we will take as a family and the adventures we will surely embark on.  But nothing will be quite like the journey to motherhood.  It's something special, something that saddens me I will never get to experience again.
Don't get me wrong, I know I will always be a mother, but from Evie on everything will be different.  Everything will be the end rather than the beginning for me.  I have infant paraphernalia cluttering my living room simply because I can't bear to get rid of it.  I have always just packed it up until next time.  Well, this time there is no next time.  I guess it's a mourning process of sorts.  I will leave it there until I feel as though I am ready to part with it.  Ready to admit that this is it.  Ready to come to terms with the fact that there will be no more newborns in this house.  I find myself doing things like burping Evie after a nursing.  Yes, I burp my almost 11 month old.  Not because she needs it, but rather because in my eyes she is a little baby still.  I begrudgingly lowered Evie's crib, by one notch, the other night at 9:30 because she was leaning over and about to fall out.  Of course I wasn't proactive in doing it right when she learned to pull herself up, because that would mean that she is getting older.  That crib would never be on the first setting again.  And moving up sizes in clothes and diapers, don't even get me started.  It is a day full of tears each time.  Oh and the Gap… I seriously might have a breakdown on the day I no longer get to shop in the infant section.  Every step of the journey is a dichotomy for me.  On one hand I am happy that I have three wonderful boys and this beautiful little girl that I get to watch grow on the other hand each new thing that they do and learn puts infancy that much further behind us.  I am a newborn momma, that's what I do.  I am good at it.  But what do I do when there is no more newborn?  Will I ever be able to see a pregnant woman and not long to have that baby in me?

When I had Evie I got that feeling.  The feeling that she truly completed our family.  But, I didn't get that feeling that I would never want to experience that journey again.  I wish I had.
I hope it will come.  I hope that I can experience the growing of my children with wonder and joy instead of always looking back.  Because, while I don't want them to grow up and I will always want to remember what they were, I most certainly do not want to miss anything while looking the other way.

I truly am one lucky Momma!


Good enough.

Wishing I was doing more of this lately.

Becoming a mom of 4 kids has taught me a lot, but nothing more so than, it's just not about me anymore.   People ask me on a daily basis how I do it.  The truth is, I don't know.  I just do.  Most days I feel like I don't do it very well but at the end of the day my kids are fed, bathed, happy and healthy… and that right there is success in my eyes.  I wish I could do more.  I wish I could do it all.  But those moments where my kids look up at me and tell me they love me makes me realize that I don't need to do it all to be good enough in their eyes.



My blessings...

So, I have come to the conclusion that the reason my blog is failing is really quite a good reason.  As I have said many many times before, life with 4 kids is insanely busy.  I am pretty sure that there is not a day that goes by that someone doesn't say to me, "I don't know how do you do it".  Well folks, either do I.  You just do it.  And like I said in my last post, sometimes you don't do it very well.  It's those days that I remind myself that there is always tomorrow.  All of the mayhem leaves little time for Dan and I.  I will admit, neither of us are great at taking initiative either.  Therefore, date nights are pretty nonexistent.  Also, the thought of leaving 4 kids that I can barely handle home with a teenager… it just doesn't seem right.  Let's be honest too… when I think of a perfect night it usually entails going to bed early and sleeping the whole night.  I am pretty sure Dan would agree.  Night time is our time.  Or really, the 3 minutes from when I get into bed to the time I fall asleep, is our time.  Spending time out on the computer telling the internet about my day takes second place to talking, uninterrupted, to my husband.  But, tonight Dan is away, so a blogging I will be! 

Tyler James, almost 9 years old

Tyler is a fierce 49ers fan and I am proud of him for that.  He has chosen the team he wants to support and stuck to it despite many reasons not to.  Friends telling him that they don't want to be his friend anymore (I know, really?  Breaks my heart.), bad Seahawks fans shoving signs in his face, and a city that is relentlessly in love with their team that is finally winning.  He preservers though and I can't think of a trait I would want more for my son.  He stands tall, wears his red in the sea of blue and will cheer those 49ers on to the end, whenever that may be.  
When not cheering on the 9ers he can be found on the soccer field, the slopes (where he has found a new love of snowboarding) and soon enough, on the baseball field.  The boy loves sports.  His book of choice is currently the NFL Records book.  He is also a Cub Scout and working hard with Boppa to design his very first pinewood derby race car.
While I know that Tyler is not perfect, he is becoming just the son I could have only hoped to have.  That's not to say he doesn't give me a run for my money, but he is a loving, compassionate and strong guy.  He knows when he has made a mistake and knows just what he needs to do to make it better.  He loves his brothers and really loves his sister.  I am so proud to be his momma.

Alexander, 4.5 years old

Or Alex, rather.  Because God forbid you call him Alexander, he will correct you.
Oh Alex, where do I start with you?  Alex is, always has been and I am sure always will be my tough one.  While his steadfastness has seemed to have waned in some areas, it is just as strong in others.  
He is a bright, energetic and inquisitive pre-K'er.  He, unlike Tyler, is the first to tell me all about his day, repeat his new prayers and lead us in melody with his wide array of songs learned at school.  I love it.  He has found a new love… Star Wars Legos.  And no, it's not good enough to just have Tyler's old broken down sets, he has to have his own.  Not sure I can blame him on that one though.  Looking through three huge bins of grey and black legos to find the right piece isn't exactly my idea of fun either.  
Much to my surprise, Alex took his first ski lesson last week.  While the conditions weren't favorable, he took it like a champ and even said he would go back next week.  Just maybe this kid is getting a little easier.  Ha, I say that until I try another swim class and we spend the entire session sitting outside of the pool.  He is, however, eager to begin his T-ball career this spring.  
Last but not least, Alex received his first Kindergarten acceptance letter!  Can hardly believe that my second born is going to be in kindergarten already.  
What I love the most about Alex is his out of the blue "I Love You's".  They are absolutely the best.  He knows exactly when I need one.

Graham "Cracker" 2.5 years old

Hmm, Graham.  I think there is one word that pretty much sums it up for him these days.  Parrot.  He will take anything he hears and repeat it, over, and over, and over again.  My favorite right now is, "What dat for mom?"  He uses it for everything.  Usually it is meant in the context of, what is that/this, but sometimes only your guess is as good as mine.  Boppa had eye surgery the week before Thanksgiving and is pretty much on the mend, but there is not a day that goes by that he doesn't ask "Boppa have owie?".  My second favorite Graham-ism has to be "Dare momma's ospital where you take care of sick babies." This is said every time we pass by Seattle Children's, which is a lot.
He is my little side kick these days.  On days that he is not in school he is my constant running commentary.  He holds me accountable and keep me on my toes.  I love you so much little man.  
Graham's cleft issues are minimal at the moment.  He had his second dental appointment and all things look good.  Much to our surprise he is getting a tooth in the area where his gum was cleft.  It is small and a little misshapen, but this bodes well for his GPP having taken.  Sparing him bone grafting in the future would be such a blessing.  We will continue to follow up with the hospital dentist but will not see our cleft team again for another year and a half.

Evelyn Anne, 9 months

My baby, she is growing up.  Evelyn Anne, I cannot tell you how much joy you have brought into our lives.  Your smile is infectious, your giggle irresistible and the way you quietly demand attention is impressive. Even Nana will agree, there is not a single place we could go that people don't comment on you.  Movement is the word in her book.  You put her down and she is off to get into everything that she is not supposed to.  However, while she is fond of her new found traveling skills, she is definitely not opposed to snuggles and just hanging out.  For this I am thankful.  Her latest and greatest trick his her chatter.  When things get chaotic around here, which they often do, she is not willing to get lost in the sea of boys.  She exerts herself and lets everyone know that she is indeed here too!
She is an amazing gift to our family and there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God that she is ours.

Ahh, updates done, and it feels so good!