I came to Utah yesterday (Wednesday) and I will be here until late Saturday night. Taiger has not been feeling well, and I didn't want to leave him. When I was getting ready to leave, he begged to come with me. He begged me not to go. He said he would miss me so much. I knew I would miss him, too. We have been apart before, but this time feels different.
Tonight was "THE BIG EVENT"...the one we have been waiting for! The "PLAY HOCKEY FOR FREE" night at the ice skating rink! Grandpa and Uncle B came to watch. It was fantastic! Being all padded up, using curved hockey skates, and carrying a stick made the skating experience different from in the past, and it took Taiger a few minutes to get used to it. At first, Grandpa and Uncle B weren't sure he was going to make it...but I had faith in him and KNEW he could do it! I just KNEW he could! I have seen how much he LOVES to skate, so even if he spent most of the time falling, I knew it was what he wanted to do, and I had faith he could do it. :) Sure enough, after about 5 mins of practice, he was off and going! Not without a lot of falling and sliding! But he really started to get the hang of it, and BOY! did he love it! The very best part of it was that there were adults and also "experienced" hockey players on the ice to help the kids. When Taiger seemed to be having a hard time, when he fell, etc. one of the helpers would come to the rescue. However, Taiger REFUSED to accept help! It was so funny, and also so cute. He was determined to do it himself, and I LOVED watching his determination to do it on his own.
At one point, Taiger got off the ice for me to fix his skate. As soon as it was laced properly, he was on his feet and ready to go. He yelled in his toughest voice, "I am brave! I am strong!" And then he growled! He hit me on the arm and started pounding his stick on the ground. I growled back at him (what else was I to do?!) and said, "Get out there and hit that puck! Grrrrr!" It was so funny! He was loving all the boyishness of it all. :)
While he was on the ice, Bryndon was out getting a video, and he could hear Taiger shouting to himself, "I am fast! I am powerful!" And then he fell. :) SO funny!
We had so much fun watching! Taiger was a hoot! However, watching all of the other little kids was a riot, too. :) They are all so cute!
So, I have loaded pictures here. Below those, you will find videos (again, probably only interesting to family, namely Grandparents and Aunt Bryttan ;) :) ).
Driving to the rink.
Getting his gear from the coach. Getting his helmet fitted by the coach. Getting suited up. Ready to beat a puck!
Picking his nose. (WHEN WILL THIS PHASE END?!)
Getting used to the stick.
Grandpa and Taiger.
Trying to look tough.
Getting our game faces on. (I just kind of look like an ornrey brat...that is why I don't play contact sports.)
Laying over the bench while Bryndon and Mommy fix his skates.
And now, our feature presentation! (And there are more to come, so stay tuned!)
Another trip to the rink. Uncle Bryndon came with us this time. (I really do promise not to post pictures every. single. time. we go skating! I just had to post these ones because family will want to see that Uncle B really DID go skating. He has not been on the ice in over TEN YEARS!)
Taiger and I went ice skating again today. We had a lot of fun!!
There are some people who are completely candid on their blogs. They just tell it like it is. I like those people. So, this is my attempt at being candid. Today, Taiger had a hard day with his Sensory Integration Disorder. We had fun skating when we first got on the ice. But he ended up spending a great deal of time sitting and laying on the ice, or just standing on the ice. He simply could NOT focus long enough to skate around the rink, or even to get up when he fell. I got out of patience when he "wouldn't" get up (he was getting wet and cold, I wanted him to learn he couldn't stay sitting on the ice because someone could trip over him, and I just wanted him to get up and skate with me.). I got mad. Later, I felt badly. I know he doesn't intentionally disobey. It is just sometimes really hard to remember that. I get so out of patience sometimes, and I hate that about myself. I pray almost every single day that I will be more patient. Today, I totally failed. I just pray he will recover from the hurt of mommy getting mad at him for something he can't help. Oh man, the more I talk about it, the worse I feel...and I SHOULD feel badly! Ugh! I am such a bad mom!
See that rant? That is why I am not usually quite so candid on my blog. Well, it is there now, and I am leaving it.
Anyone out there have kids with Sensory Integration Disorder?
Anyway, we really did have a lot of fun skating. We pretended we were airplanes, and when Taiger's foot got "tired", he sat in the hockey box and watched while I remembered how to do my Walz Jumps. It was fun, and I love spending one-on-one time with Taiger...no phone, no computer, no tv, no Ninten*do 64, no one else. Just us! (But NOT the same "just us" that we had in China. That was pretty lonely. It was "just us" like we get to enjoy each other and still have human contact outside of us.) Taiger is so good at skating and he LOVES it! Here are a few videos for your viewing enjoyment (WARNING: These probably won't be at all interesting for ANYONE other than Grandma and maybe Aunt Bryttan!)
The first video is rather rough. We had JUST gotten out on the ice, and Taiger not only had not yet "remembered" how to stand up after falling, you can also see he is already struggling to pay attention to what he is doing so he can just... STAND UP!
To begin the day of love, I made heart shaped pancakes coloured a festive colour of pink with red food colouring.
Check out this amount of Valentine's day fun all packed in to one little package of love
Taiger LOVED these little hearts of breakfast goodness!
For several days, I had been planning to take Taiger ice skating today. I used to ice skate six days a week. I took lessons, I was a coach, AND I spent every second of free time on the ice just skating. It kind of was my life for several years. The ice rink was one of my favourite places in the world because of the joy and freedom I felt while skating. I often would just stick around the ice rink between open skate times just to BE there, in that place I loved, rather than going home to wait the hours until the next time the rink would be free of practicing hockey teams, or children taking lessons. Over the years I haven't skated, I have really missed it. So, knowing today we were going ice skating, I was so excited! I have been dreaming of today all week. No, literally, I kept having dreams at night about going skating today with Taiger. I was excited about being back on the ice, but I was as much, if not MORE, excited about taking Taiger there. I don't' know...something about combining two things I loved seemed like it would be Heaven on Earth! Not to mention, there is something so precious about "showing" our kids something we love. It is the feeling we get when we take them to Disneyland, or teach them how to play piano. It is so thrilling to share something we love so much with SOMEONE we love so much.
Anyway, going skating with Taiger today was ten BILLION times better than I EVER could have dreamed. It really WAS Heaven on Earth! Only even BETTER! Really!
Taiger was all for it, a hundred percent. As soon as his skates were on, he was walking around the locker area. I was so excited! I had been worried he would have fun, but might not really ENJOY it, you know? As soon as those skates were on, he was in love. He transformed into a new kid! When we got out on the ice, it was a rough start. He couldn't stay up and couldn't keep his feet under him! I coached kids long enough to know where to start and how to help and what NOT to do (hold their hands!!). However, Mommy-Guilt had to rear its ugly head, and for a while, I wondered what I had done. "You are so selfish! You can't make him love something just because YOU love it! He is going to feel sad if he 'can't do it'. This is going to be a horrible two hours for him and he is going to hate it and be so sad you brought him here! You are the worst Mom! What have you done?!" Yep, that was my internal dialogue. However, there was something that stopped that crap-talk right in its tracks. Something that made me NOT believe I was a bad Mom, OR that he was hating it. Taiger. Loved. Skating! When he would fall, he would laugh and get right back up. He thrilled when he stayed on his feet. And after only a few minutes, he was skating like an old pro! He didn't want to get off the ice to get warmed up. He loved skating and he wanted to stay on the ice every second possible. We practiced some techniques for a while, but Taiger was too ambitious with it to stay practicing trivial things while going back and forth on the ice. He wanted to go around the rink! So off we went. Usually, when kids start skating, we spend most of the time on our hineys (how do you even spell that? My spellcheck has no clue what I am trying to say! HA!). It takes several lessons before they can march on the ice. It isn't until a LONG time into lessons (sometimes the second session of lessons even!) that they start gliding. Taiger, on the other hand, started gliding today. March, march, march, march gliiiiiiiide. March, march, march, march, gliiiiiiiide. Around the rink we went. There was a teenage girl there practicing. Taiger watched her. The whole time we were there he was aware of her. What she was doing. How she was skating. When she went backwards, he turned himself around and started skating backwards. Just like that. When I did a "Rocking horse" move, he bent his little knees and went for it. (Rocking Horses aren't learned until at least Basic 2...three levels from beginning! Backwards skating isn't learned until long after that.) I was amazed. He was fearless. He was brave. He was talented. Most important? He loved it.
When it was time to leave, he asked if he got to keep his skates. When I said no, he came close to tears. When we got off the ice to leave, he begged to wait and skate again later. (There were no more public skate times today, darn it!) When we got in the car, he begged to return tomorrow. And the rest of the afternoon, he talked about the new skates he wants.
I had charged my phone last night so I could take pictures and videos of us skating today. However, about three minutes after getting on the ice, it died. I think the cold air killed the battery. So, I only got one picture of the day, right after we got on the ice.
Taiger spent a considerable amount of time today worrying about Cupid and his arrows that make people fall in love. Taiger doesn't like "lovey, dovey" things. That is all "GIRL STUFF". The five months we spent in China were laden with a Chinese friend of ours tormenting Taiger RELENTLESSLY about a friend he has who is a girl, and that she is (even though she is NOT) his girlfriend. Really, this lady did go way overboard, to the point of being inappropriate at times. Anyway, the experience of the relentless teasing is what it is, and now Taiger hates all things romantic. At our house, Cupid leaves little treats on Valentine's Day. (When I was little, we always got a book. What can I say? My parents were perfect. I loved to read, and looked forward each year to my new book. Well, I am less on the ball with things, and Cupid brought some lovely items that looked a lot like the things Target had last week in their dollar section.) So, tonight, Cupid came to Taiger. Now, tradition has it that at night, just before bedtime, there is a knock at the door and by the time someone gets to the door to answer it, the naked little baby has flown away, but has left behind some goodies for children who have been good. Tonight, when there was a rapping at the door, Taiger said, "I am NOT getting it! I KNOW it is Cupid! And I DON'T want to get shot!" So, as Taiger hid to the side of the door, his body flat against the wall so Cupid could not see him, nor get a good aim at him with those arrows, _I_ answered the door. Here is the aftermath of what I found:
So, we made these cool little science project crystals this week. (I will post more about these later.) I had made my crystal craft into a heart and glued a pin on the back. I wore it today. I couldn't decide if I looked eclectic-cute, or more like a homeschool mom. You decide.
Tonight, we listened to a bunch of our favourite "love"-type songs. Each one has a story and represents a different kind of love.
This one is a song that used to play at KFC in China. It states that as everything is falling apart and life is falling in disaster, "I run to you". I would sit in KFC with our world turned upside down, sometimes from inexplicable joy, but sometimes from chaos, heartache, confusion, typhoons, etc. I would hear this song, and even though I knew it was supposed to be a romantic type song, I would look at the little boy playing in the playground and I knew exactally who I run to when things are falling apart. Not that I expect my little boy to "fix it" or to "take care of me"!!!!!! But rather because when I have him at my side, everything is "right". Things may still be hard, but they are good. Taiger is my buddy, the one who is always there with me, the constant at my side, my partner in crime and my giggling companion in the happiest of times. When things are great and fun, we hold hands, and when things are hard we hold hands, too. His little hand is the one I want to hold no matter what is happening. And, like the song says, when things start falling apart, I run to him. I want to hold his hand. To keep HIM safe, and to always have him at my side.
Song: I Run To You by Lady Antebellum
This song is one that really means a lot to Taiger and me. It says, "Home is wherever I'm with you." Taiger and I have travelled some, and been without our own home some, but no matter where in the world we are, when we are together, we are HOME. We have talked about that. And it is something that is very important to Taiger. The other day, I was leaving to go to Utah for a few days and as he hugged me good bye with tears welling up in his eyes, he told me, "It just won't be home without you here." Broke my heart. He started whistling this song. Well, tonight he sat by me and wanted to listen to it with me.Song: Home by Edward Sharp and The Magnetic Zeros
Finally, we listened to this song. We love it because it reminds us of how much God and Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost love us. It is special to us. On Valentine's Day we try and remember not only the love of those around us here on Earth, but of the eternal and incredible love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Song: Holy Holy Holy by Sufjan Stevens
Now, I admit, there is one other song on my Valentine playlist. Shhhhh. Don't tell Taiger! This last one is for me to listen to without him knowing why. I listen to this song because I want to believe there will be some day when I won't be single anymore, and Taiger and me and this other person will spend Valentine's Day together. I know, I know...I totally fall for the corney side of the day, and worse still for the mumbo-jumbo the card companies and chocolate companies have brainwashed us with, trying to make us believe today is some dorky day about boys and girls and romance. Blah. Oh well. I can't help it. I am a girl. So...last song: Colide by Howie Day. I know, I know...please keep the teasing to a minimum. Thank you.
We were at my sister's and her husband's house in Utah for the Super Bowl. It was so fun! My brother and his fiance came over and we all had a grand ol' time. :) Taiger was REALLY in to the Super Bowl this year (YAY!) and kept telling everyone to be quiet so he could hear. :) I thought it was cute (everyone else thought it was annoying, but whatever ;) ). Anyway, Bryttan and Michael made Little Smokies, and Bryttan put chips out in really cute, colorful dishes. There was tons of food, good company AND... TAIGER'S AND MY TEAM WON! So, it was a happy day. :) Taiger found a green crayon and had me draw a "G" on his forhead (no easy task...crayons don't write so well on skin!) and then he drew one on me.
I LOVE the Green Bay Packers!! So, I have a Packer's shirt, but I never wear it and I was SO excited for a chance to wear it to watch the Super Bowl. Well....I ended up staying this week at my sister's house in Utah...away from my Packer's shirt! So, Super Bowl rolled around and...NO SHIRT!! =SIGH= BUT...I had packed my green hoodie, so I felt like a bit of a fan. I did the best I could. AND...it just so happened I had packed Taiger's football shirt, so at least he was dressed for the event. Bryttan used chalk to write a "G" on her wall. Bryndon and April were rooting for the Stealers, so Taiger took the crayon and wrote an "S" on the wall to make sure everyone was represented and noone felt left out. So thoughtful. :)
At some point during the game, Taiger jammed his fingers and made himself a splint out of crayons.Taiger put on a plastic grocery bag like a cape (he is a super hero, after all) and did dishes. He is a super wonderful son, that is for sure. Apparantly for some people, "Super Bowl" means "Nap Time"! I guess you can tell for which team THEY were rooting!
Taiger is going through this horrible "nose picking" stage. Making me CRAZY! Anyway, this is one of my favorite pictures of him from this year. Someday I will remember this discusting, snotty year and laugh. For now, could someone pass the Kle*enex and hand sanitizer? =SIGH.=
Here are Taiger and Bryndon celebrating the Packer's win!! in a manly style...with weapons.
Last night, I went through the drama of washing and detangling Taiger's hair. I conditioneds it, I applied coconut oil, I spent 30 mins blowdrying it, so we could get to churh today looking good and on time. I covered him in coconut oil so he would look his best for church. I stayed up late to work on my paper so I could sacrifice the time today for church without getting behind on the homework. This morning, I woke up early, showered (I know, right?!), blowdried and fixed my hair (and undertanking, let me assure you!). I dug our clothes out of our suitcase (yes, I even planned ahead and washed and packed our Church clothes for the trip, even remembering church shoes!). I ironed and layed out our church clothes. I made sure we both had our breakfast. I got dressed, even remembering my flower pin for my sweater. I was all ready. I waited to get Taiger dressed until closer to time to leave. About half an hour before time to go, I went in to the livingroom and told Taiger it was time to get dressed. "I don't want to go." "Come on, it will be fun!" "It is boring. I can't watch tv or do anything. I just have to sit there and listen, like this" and he sat really still, not blinking. And then I did the unthinkable. "Okay," I replied. I went into the bedroom. I took off my skirt. I put on my pijama pants and a sweatshirt (I was freezing from wearing my skirt and blouse all morning). I was overwhelmed with a guilt I couldn't shake. I went back in to the livingroom and told Taiger I was going to study and to come get me if he needed me. He was already glued to a ninten*do game and only barely nodded his reply.
"World's Worst Mom award for 2011 goes to....BRECLYN EVERETT!!" Does this crown look as good on me this year as it did last?
Did you think we had fallen off the face of the planet? Boy, did we have you going!
Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with everything I want to write that I don't know where to begin so I don't write anything. It is crazy, I know. It is better to write something than nothing, right?
So, here is something:
We are in Utah staying at my sister and brother-in-law's house, visiting them as well as my brother and my soon-to-be sister-in-law, who also live here in Utah (could that sentence be any more confusing?!). Taiger and I have had the best time. I mean, THE BEST! I have not felt so relaxed and happy since...well, it's been a while. My sister has decorated their home SO CUTE, so you feel like you are in some kind of magical fairy-land. They LOVE Taiger and help take care of him, so I don't feel so "single parentish" all the time. The sun is always shining and they have these cute, white shutters on the windows so everything seems sunny and happy. I sleep better at this house than I do at home. Taiger does, too. AND I have gotten a lot of homework done. Can I just say I LOVE IT HERE?!?!?!? You know how Disneyland makes you feel? My sister's house is kind of a little slice of that.
Bryttan, thank you for letting us come visit!
Here are a few pictures from China for your viewing pleasure:
This is one of my favorite pictures from China. This is Taiger taking a nap out on our balcony. It was SO HOT there, and sometimes we got a nice breeze out on the balcony. I just love that my little boy was taking a nap 13 stories high, with this beautiful reality of CHINA spread below him.
This is one of the very few pictures we have of Taiger and I together. This was our first day of school. Our sweet neighbor-lady woke up early and when she heard us leave our house to go to school, she ran out to tell us to have a good first day and to give Taiger a big hug. :) She took this picture for us. I had stayed up so late the night before! We had had a HUGE day the day before trying to get things ready for school and then I stayed up so late that night. The next morning, I woke up about 5:30 and Taiger about 6:30, so we were EXHAUSTED! You can totally tell in the glazed look in our eyes. :)