George Gabs

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George is always saying something that either sends us into a fit of laughter, or I am just in shock at how he little brain is working.

Here are just a few I have made note of.

Every night we spend some time processing the day and praying for help. This night we were praying for Jesus to help George as he struggles to share with his sister.

George-I think I hear Jesus.

Me-Oh yea? What is he saying?

George-I don’t know. Where is he?

Me-He lives in your heart, and mommy’s heart.

George. Yes Jesus isn’t a person, he is a present.

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George was cupping is hand weird, so I asked him what he was holding.

George-There is something wrong with my hand. 

Me-Oh yea? 

George-It’s a little tired. 

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Me-What do you want for lunch, George? 

George-Nothing. I don’t want to eat today. 

Me-Well you have to eat to grow. 

George-Well I only grow on Thursdays. 

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We were watching the Daniel Tiger episode where he was getting shots to prepare the kids for their shots.

George-Sometimes those shots hurt. But I just close my eyes and think of you, Mommy. 

Another heart warming moment was with Tom.

George-You fill my tummy with hearts. 

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We have a lot of fun stories of George procrastinating bed time and reading.

George-Mom, I have a hard time going to sleep because I just have so many books around me. I just love to read them all. 

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Another time…

George-I am going to read you a book. 

Me-Ok great. 

George as he looks at me with puppy eyes-Say the words when I turn the page. 

Me-That’s me reading, not you reading. 

George-No that’s sharing, and sharing is kind. 

Kids are gross. I asked George to blow his nose, and he wouldn’t so I lovingly helped him wipe his nose. He was so distraught that I took a booger.

George-I need to put them back. My nose is their home, and they have friends in there to keep them company. 

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Then sometimes they have wisdom. This statement was one of his late night bed time rambles that was out of the blue.

George-Everybody makes mistakes. It’s ok. Everyone makes them. Astronauts, Ava, everybody. They just happen all the time. You just try again, and then you’ll feel happy. 

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This kid also LOVES Christmas. He is the new Buddy the Elf.

Me-Do you know what is after 4th of July? 

George-What?

Me-Your Birthday

George-Then its CHRISTMAS! I love Christmas!

His birthday is in August…

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George-I love the four seasons: Summer, fall, Christmas, and winter. 

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This last summer our area suffered from some severe floods, which is the first time George has seen anything like that. We talked a lot about how floods happened and the affects of them. In our outings we kept seeing the waters change and get farther inland from the river.

George-Is our house going to be ok?

Us-Yes, we live high on a hill. 

George-Is Ms. Kim’s school (his preschool) going to be ok? 

Us-It should be. 

At this point, George is in tears. 

George-Is McDonald’s going to be ok? 

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And I saved my favorite for last.

George-Mommy, I have a big poop. It’s as big as a blue whale, but it might act like a shark whale. 

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Ahhh kids.

 

We’re Going to Be Okay

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This week we sent our little man off to school for the first time. George started preschool, and it was an emotional event for us all.

You see, George has never been in a school setting. He has been at home with my mom for the last two years and in an in-home care setting his first three years.

While we love him being at home, we knew that he needed to have some practice with the structure before he goes to Kindergarten. (In Missouri, the cutoff for Kindergarten is to be five by August 1st. Since he is late August, he will be 6 when he starts Kindergarten. I could write a whole other post why this is completely fine by us that he will have another year to mature before going to a full day of school.)

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My anxiety has been rearing it’s ugly head all week in the anticipation of letting him go.

  • What if he hates school?
  • What if he doesn’t make friends?
  • Will he remember to use his manners?
  • Will he eat food with strangers?
  • Will he remember to tell the teacher if he needs to go the bathroom?
  • Or will he forget he is in public and try to pee outside on the playground?
  • What if he stands in line like he does at gymnastics?
  • What if, what if, what if?

I felt like I was losing control in so many ways.

We read a lot of books about school. We talked about all the fun things he would do. We pumped up all the benefits and rewards of school.

However, I wasn’t the only one with anxiety. George also didn’t feel ready.

Every time we brought up school, he would start crying and say he didn’t want to leave the house. We would drive by the school, and he would tell me he wasn’t going to go.

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Then we went to meet the teacher. Oh boy. I literally had to drag George into the school and then through the halls to the class. He dug in his heels the whole way.

He started breaking down, but eventually we got him into the room with the toy stations. Then I had an emotional breakdown as I was explaining how he has been at home…in front of his teacher.

We are two peas in a pod for sure.

His teacher is a gem, and we couldn’t be luckier to have her help us transition into this.

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I just am really struggling with this age and transition. He isn’t my baby anymore. And it doesn’t make it easier that he is also having a lot of anxiety about it. I guess we are playing off of each other of not wanting to let go.

But here comes the first day of school.

He skipped proudly to the car with his new backpack.

He found his cubby and chair with ease.

He didn’t have any tears until right before Tom and I left.

However there was a moment as we were standing in line waiting for the bell to signal us into the room that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

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A little girl came with big alligator tears, bubbling to her mom, “I wanna go home. I don’t wanna be here.” This was the scene I thought we were going to have so I had all the sympathy for this mom.

Then my sweet little five year old, in this very crowded hallway, walked towards this new classmate that he has never met . He says confidently to her, “It’s ok. I was a little shy too. We are gonna be ok.”

My heart exploded, and it was all I could do to not start sobbing myself.

My five year old is ready.

Yes, it is going to be scary.

Yes, there is a lot of unknown.

Yes, it is like my heart is breaking every time we drop him off.

Yes, I have lost some control.

But he is becoming his own little person, and a good little person at that.

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It was a nudge that I needed to look at my what ifs in a different way.

  • What if he makes a forever friend?
  • What if he never wants to leave school because he is having so much fun?
  • What if he learns to try new foods because he sees his friends eating?
  • What if he starts washing his hands regularly instead of just making bubbles in the sink?
  • What if he is the one in class to set an example on kindness?
  • What if, what if, what if?

This was a God moment to remind me we are ready, and we are gonna be ok.

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How did you feel on your kid’s first day of school? Does it get easier as they get older?

 

 

George Turns Five

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George,

I can hardly believe that five years ago we were meeting face to face. There is something about you turning five that I am really struggling with as your mom. It is like the start of the end of you being all mine. This being a whole hand has me reeling about the fact that things are changing for us.

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This last year has been a learning experience for us all. Since your last birthday, you have been finding your big kid voice (in volume and in content). With that has come some struggles from all parties, but I am also so proud that you believe in yourself 110%. While it can be super frustrating to argue with you, I know that you are just trying to navigate your little world and make it just a little bigger around you. You also demand attention in a way that I know you will never be forgotten in whatever circle you find yourself in.

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I admire you so much Georgie. You move through your day with such conviction. You know exactly what you want out of each moment, and you will move mountains to seize the day. You already have your own principles that you stick to. When I was your age (and much past), I was such a rule follower and tried to stay hidden in the “norm.” But not you. You, my dear boy, are anything but conventional and live to be different. You are just confident in who you are already at five, and you aren’t afraid to just be George. I love that you are a tad wild, even though it scares the poop out of me most days.

There are pieces of you that are still a little boy, and I will take every snuggle and kiss that I can. You still love for me to carry you down in the morning, and I wonder every day if it is the last day for me to hold you close like that. You are getting so big; big enough that people mistake you for a kindergartner or first grader all the time.

I wish I could bottle up your energy. You are in constant motion or emphatically screaming a monologue for all the world to hear. You feel every emotion at the highest level possible. You can be exhausting, but I wouldn’t change your enthusiasm for anything.

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Your little brain amazes me by all the big things that it does. You are so funny. You have one liners just like your daddy, and I love that you make us laugh every single day. Your imagination has kept you up way past your bedtime as you create carnivals, constructions sites, and live out rescue missions. But you don’t live in fantasy all the time; you also retain facts like I can’t believe. The things you know about science astounds me. You love to learn and create, and I cannot wait for all the adventures you will have this year in school.

I love that you believe that everyone is your cousin, and that we are all family. It’s a little reminder to me that God is speaking through you that we should all love one another like family. You often tell me that you love your friends even if you have only known them for short periods of time. You love so fiercely, and being loved by you is truly a gift.

I know that you were born to do great things. Just the other day, we were having a “conversation” about our listening skills, when you paused and looked straight into my soul and said, “Mommy, I was listening when God made me.” Talk about a reminder. You have given me so much anxiety over the past 5 years, but you have also taught me to let things go more. Lord knows one of my biggest hang ups in life is losing control. So when He gave me you, someone else who also likes to be in control, He was teaching me about being okay with loosening the reigns or the fact that I cannot find the reigns at all. Being your mom has taught me more about prayer than I had ever known before you.

Thank you for being just the best little wild man we could have ever asked for. I thank God every day that I get to be your mommy.  When you were born, a part of me was born too so thank you for helping me become me and listening to God at just the right time.

Love you to Pluto and back,

Mommy

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Elmo Birthday Party

Daphie girl is obsessed with all things Elmo and Sesame Street, so it was obvious that would be our theme for her second birthday.

Since Sesame Street is popular it was pretty easy to plan and buy for this party.

However, we had a minor location change the day before the party that changed how everything came together.

We normally have the kid’s party at Tom’s family’s church, however, there was a tornado that hit the city literally days before. Most of the damage occurred around the church, so many of the roads downtown were blocked off that week for damage control. So in order to not bring more to that area, my in-laws graciously opened their home up since we had just started a new renovation project so our house was not in a state for a party.

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Her dress was a hand-me-down from her cousin Ava who also wore it for her two year old Elmo party. Their grandma made it, so it was a sweet little touch to the party.

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This Elmo walker I got from Amazon. Daphne didn’t know what to think about it.

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These balloons came in a huge package on Amazon. We put some on the mailbox outside and then throughout the house.

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My mom made these letter blocks out of butcher paper, paint, and diaper boxes. We spelled out her name and the number two.

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Our present to her was this gang of stuffed animals. I bought them because she loves stuffies, but also knowing they could be part of the decor for the day. I got them all on Amazon. I realized after they arrived that I did not do the best job getting ones that were the same size. I also was not able to find an Abby or Zoe that wasn’t going to break the bank.

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We also have a million Sesame Street books, so I used a smattering as decorations.

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This big “2” balloon was in the balloon pack. The Elmo was a gift from her cousin. Tom made the street sign, and my mom painted the letters. We used this for her two year photos as well.

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These balloons were perfect.

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The tablecloth also came from Amazon, and we already had the dancing Elmo from Christmas.

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Hy-Vee came in clutch for the cake and cupcakes. I just went in with a picture and they made it happen.

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Daphne had gotten these figurines at Christmas, and they were the perfect cake toppers for our theme.

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I got these little coloring books with the crayons attached from you guessed it, Amazon. They were the perfect favors for any age group.

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Seriously so many Elmo balloons. We also had a station full of these foam shapes since Sesame Street teaches about shapes and such. They were stickers that they could make picture frames out of. We have TONS of these left over because they came in a huge pack off Amazon.

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Those little piggy tails.

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Daphie loves anything crafts, so this arty was perfectly her.

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This backdrop came from Amazon. I promise this isn’t sponsored. I wouldn’t be mad about it if they reached out though because seriously everything I bought came from Amazon.

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It’s impossible these days to get all three cousins looking at the camera and smiling…

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While it wasn’t exactly what I had planned, it was a lovely day for our little lady.

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It’s also unlikely that we will have a decent family photo for the next few years, but I love them to the moon and back.

These people are so fun to plan parties for and celebrate all the goodness that their little lives bring to us.

Year 8

Today Tom and I are celebrating EIGHT years of marriage.Holy Wow!

This is one of our first photos together twelve years ago, and we had no idea what was ahead.

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Eight years later we have experienced the marriage bliss, but things haven’t been all rainbows this year.

This has been a year of transitions.

We have been watching our kids transition.

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George started gymnastics and soccer. This forced transition on all of us. I had to let go of him more, and he had to learn structure with the new found freedom. This was a whole new adventure for us as parents. We also embarked on getting him enrolled in pre-school which is huge for him. I struggled more than I could have imagined with my little man growing up and out, and Tom as usual was a good balance to my anxiety.

Daphne transitioned from a baby to a toddler. We were concerned about her speech this past spring because she just wasn’t talking and only communicated in grunts and minimal sign language. However since birth, Daphie has operated on her own timeline and we are just all along for the ride. We got her assessed by a speech therapist a few months ago, and there were many emotions that went along with that testing. She did not qualify, which now isn’t even a concern because girl can say the whole alphabet (and identify the letters), all her colors, and has started counting, amongst all the other day to day words she now says.

And a man who indulges me in my need to have themes for our kids’ Halloween costumes is a keeper. We are on 4 years strong of famous Georges and 2 years of influential women.

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We watched two of our best friends transition into marriage. We could not have been more blessed to stand beside them on their days. It was also special for us since it was our first alone trips away from both kids.

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We transitioned into the time of our lives (finally) where we start making more permanent holiday traditions. We hosted our first 4th of July shin dig which is something we have been dreaming of since we first got together.

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We are slowly transitioning our house into a homestead. We now have chickens and a garden full of produce. These have made us stronger despite the fact that the garden sometimes makes us angry with each other. Tom keeps trying to make us farmers, and I keep reminding him that we are in fact not farmers. We do have 4 chickens, an orchard with 12 trees and 3 blackberry bushes, a corn “field,” a pumpkin patch, and 6 different vegetable beds. So there’s that…

Last summer, Tom switched jobs. While he is still in law enforcement, his job looks much different than he ever expected. While he lost some of the adrenaline rush and community influence he loved about being a street cop, he gained back his health and valuable time with his family. There is also something to be said about removing yourself from a toxic environment, which was where he was previously. We gained a static routine and he gained bedtimes with the kids. We have officially had more lunches together this year than we have in our entire marriage. It has been hard for Tom to leave the road and the shift work, but he started putting our family first. But even with the added time back with our family, things haven’t been easy for him, and there are many late night talks about where he wants to be and the choices to make. It’s been a hard path to the right end. It might not feel like we are in the right place all the time, but he knows he is right where he needs to be.

With this transition though, it has allowed us more freedom. We have been trying to find our place as a family within our community whether that is with friends or with our church. We aren’t having to add this whole other element of what the shift work did to our family.

Our marriage has transitioned into a comfortable relationship in all the best ways. We have had to put in the work to get here though. I heard this phrase sometime this year, “Marriage is a practice, not an institution. Love has to be renewed every day.” This has rang true this year. You hear a lot that a marriage is a 50/50 partnership, but I would say that we both have to be giving 100%. If one of us loses we both lose. So we each have to be giving our all to this marriage. While we are partners in this life, we both have to go all in and show our whole selves otherwise this won’t work. There may be times that one of us is struggling, however even in the struggle we need to be giving our whole self to be transparent about our feelings and needs even in those down times. There is no way for us to fully support each other without that openness and willingness to let each other see all of us. The good and the sad. So it is not an institution where we just show up when we want to and claim it as it is. It is something we have to get in to every single day and commit to constantly. There are ebbs and flows as with most things, but we commit 100% each day. Because of this comfortable relationship, we have been able to be there for each other because we feel the safety from each other and know that we can fall into each other despite our flaws.

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The days aren’t always easy, but it’s easy committing to you every day.

I love you more than yesterday and thank you for this life we have.

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