Thursday, February 3, 2011

Growing Pains

The last few weeks have been the slower, snowy, stay at home and snuggle in variety. That's not to say, however, that there has not been lots of activity in the Jeffery household. These children never seem to stop growing, changing, and hitting mile stones.

One big development is that Jonah has developed a close friendship, and that makes me so happy. As a very shy boy, he takes a little longer before he really engages with someone, so this lovely friendship has been so good for him. They talk on the phone and both share a deep and abiding love for...Lego Hero Factory. The boy is actually driving me nuts because he is always  "Mom, how can I earn eight bucks? How can I earn money to go buy the new Hero Factory..." But, the two have such a good are always so glad when your kids have good friends.

My Jo has, of late, also been sporting a good bit of ever thickening, darkening peach fuzz just under his nose. He's 12! What is this? He's the oldest boy, but in so many ways, I still think of him as a little kid. As he takes on more jobs and responsibilities around the house, and looking after his younger siblings, I am reminded that he is not a little boy anymore. I am constantly buying him bigger shoes and longer pants, so I don't know why this comes as a surprise. My Jo is sweet and kind, and helpful. He loves his brothers, cousins and friends so much, and I am so proud of how hard he has worked in school all year. Growing up. Soon enough his dad will have to teach him how to shave off his new peach fuzz mustache and how to work our tricky old lawn mower.

My sweet lil Luke is nearly six years old. He started the school year in kindergarten, but he was still just so not ready for it. He was really wanting to play and be little. As we rounded Christmas  and the new year, I see a new little Lukey, one who is now eager to learn and asks me constantly to do school. I know he will do just fine next year when we start again, and for now we'll just do the little things he likes to do, build his skills and get him ready to start in earnest in the fall. I have also noticed his language maturing. He says more words correctly, and his sentences are getting much more sophisticated. He is starting to play big boy games, and loves all of his older brothers' toys. He has two loose teeth! Not to mention that he has flown through the sizes too, and is now in a size six or seven, having started in the fall in a five. Unreal. He's still so handsome and sweet that he just breaks my heart with his thoughtful acts and little kindnesses. "Mom, I got you a drink of water!", bringing me a half full cup of warm water. He has my heart, for sure.

Last night my baby, my Mr. Yummy Pants, my Yeb, slept in the big boy bed with Ben. We were nursing right before he was going to bed, and he climbed out of my lap, cuddled up next to Ben and pulled the covers up. My big boy snuggled right in and slept all night without getting out until this morning. I can't believe it just happened like that. I don't know if we'll keep putting him to bed in the big bed with Ben, but he obviously can stay in the bed and not get up, so we'll see. While I am always excited when one of my kids hits a milestone, everyone of them with this baby has been a little bittersweet. I just want my last little baby to stay a baby a little longer, yet he has been doing all within his power to grow  up right before my eyes. Meanwhile, Ben has been exhibiting some awesome big brother skills, helping his baby brother find shoes, sharing toys, and even rubbing his boo boos for him. Such a good brother, it melts me to see him take care of Yeb - I hope he always takes care of his baby brother, even when his baby brother is 50 years old.

My Kolbe Thomas is about to make his first confession. As a very serious boy who still says he wants to be a priest when he grows up, this is a BIG deal.  He will go from being a little boy to one who is expected to reason, understand and avoid sin. I think he actually does a pretty good job of it already - not perfect, he is just a little boy after all, but he looks at life in such a serious way. Rules are made to be followed, and he has a very hard time with people who choose to break the rules, or do something that appears to be breaking a rule. I know part of this is his age, but part of it is his personality. Everything is so straightforward for him - he is just so, so very like his dad. That makes me happy, and a little nervous for him - his dad is so shy, so is nervous in social situations (my exact opposite!), yet never has a hard time deciding what the right thing is in almost any given situation. He will be the hero, always helping those around him, just like his dad, just because it is the right thing to do. Too bad for all those damsels in distress, and he will even now tell them, "Sorry, you're gonna have to like somebody else, I'm gonna be a priest!".

My Jenna, so very much the middle child, has been in her own little world of late. She does her school work, does her chores, and really never makes any waves. Her nose is always in a book. She is a little too good, so I worry that she has something up her sleeve, or the waves she never makes will suddenly come crashing down. On a positive note, she has turned into quite the little writer, and has almost completed her composition course for the year. She knows what she likes, and excels at it. Luckily for me, she is also doing well in the less fun subjects. Whew! I love this last little girl so much. I am trying very hard to let her grow up, and not make her be my baby girl. I have quit buying her the striped tights and ruffled socks, but I refuse to stop buying hair bows and headbands - and I think she's okay with that.

My Mackenzie Rose, she is so beautiful, perfectionistic, cranky, hilarious, sleepy and irritated. I think that almost every 13almost14 year  girl in America has some or most of these qualities, but Kenzie manages to make them great. When she is being a perfectionist, she will drive you crazy if it is not good enough. The cranky isn't just cranky - it's supercrank. And so on with the rest of them. She does everything in a big way. I love this girl, she makes me laugh, scream, cry and laugh again. Between the two of us we can't figure out pre-algebra to save our souls, we see the equations so differently, but she is growing up to be a beautiful soul, with a huge heart. I am so proud of the young lady who decided she needed to just get on that bus, and soon, she will be making her confirmation. I know she is actually taking the process seriously, which is hard to say for any kid her age - but I think she is taking it as seriously as she knows how. She's my girl, I just love her so much. She's a keeper!

All the little moments, all the big milestones, they all add up. Someday, now, and forever, I want to be able to remember them. So I write them in baby books, or I post them here. I want these children to know how I felt about them at any given time. I want to remember what was happening in our lives. This is my record, these are my memories. I am happy to share them if you have a moment or two. Baby stories (whether your baby is 2 months or 25 years) are my favorite, if you want to share...

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