Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Jeremy loved the no parking sign, in reference to the baby's time running out! :)

You know how those times in your life when you wait for the big moment?? Getting married, graduating college, Christmas Morning when you are 6, they are priceless, right?  For me, it is the anticipation of the event that often is much more exciting than the actual day.  For instance, we recently went on vacation with the kids and I couldn't decide if it was as fun with only a 2 week countdown, is that better than telling them in 6 months we are going and building up to it?  Well, we all know 9 (it is actually 10!) months brings you the most exciting gift of all and is always worth the build up!  I could cut that time in half, truth be told!  But, here we sit on the precipice of adding another family member to our mix.  Just a little over 5 weeks left, well if I can get induced when I would like to!  I know I mentioned I would wait, HA, I won't, just saying it like it is!

Getting back to this idea of waiting, anticipation, wanting, longing, dreaming, well they all have their place, but last night, had it's awesomeness all the same.  It was a Monday, typical in most every way, except the most beautiful, glorious weather.  75 and sunny, no wind, perfection in MN.  The hubby said, "lets bring the kids out to eat."  After a long day with no break doing a million and one things and being on my feet way too long, I was not up for it.  But, he wanted to find a patio and get out just the same, so there is only one thing to do?!  Get a sitter.  So, after a couple calls, my awesome cousin Laura, yes the offspring of my wise Aunt, so of course she is no less wise and cool!  She came over and might as well been wearing a cape and beholden of super powers that only parents can see!  I quickly transformed into my own super hero of sorts from frumpy, exhausted mom to stylish, look how cute am I pregnant woman....ok just play along!  So, off we went to Marx Patio in Stillwater, the perfect night, with my man.

The night was awesome, we ate delicious food, chatted on topics from world news, to raising our babes, to friends and family, we then drove around and looked at neighborhoods that we may want to live and make our next leap to and came home, to peace that only parents can appreciate..a snuggly, bottle drinking baby, a 6 year old begging to stay up longer the minute we walk in and well our princess was out cold.

I didn't mention the best part!  All of these great pics seen above... we were in an alley with amazing light and photo opportunity and since I have little time in front of my new camera the hubby did his best, and yes I was impressed!  An impromptu maternity shoot!

Our photographer and friend asked me to show her my first maternity shoot by an amazing photographer here in the Twin Cities and since I don't have digital copies, I took photos of the photos, but you get the idea.  YES I was NUDE and NO I would not do that again now with my 4th, my body was a lot more forgiving the first time, as was my confidence!  But it's still nice to look back and remember a body that rocked even if it was ages ago! :)

The point of all of this?  Be spontaneous, take a leap, a risk, skip chores and go for lunch with a friend, it's so worth it and some of my best memories in life have been just that, the night you had nothing going on and it was a Monday as usual and you ended up falling in love with your man and enjoying a MN night, all over again!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

when you aren't looking

You know when you wait for something, you stare at the clock, minute by minute it ticks by and time seems to drag.  Why? Because you are focused on it, waiting for it, anticipating it and in the end that makes everything, yes everything seem longer.  Then one day it happens.  Whether that's meeting the man of your dreams, seeing that plus sign on a pregnancy test, getting the job you've always wanted, whatever it may be, it happens usually when you aren't looking....when you aren't white knuckling it and sucking the very air out of the desire, when you are relaxed in a state of mind that calls for something more peaceful, it just flows.  Life has a way of doing that to all of us I think.  It teaches us that in good time, we all will get there, wherever there may be.  I find peace in knowing that, but of course there are times, that I am pushing, wanting more and wishing for different and well gnawing at that clock waiting for it to tick faster.  

So, I find it ridiculously ironic and completely comical that during Nolan's semi-annual review a few weeks back, after going through his goals and what "we" wanted to focus on for the next 6 months, I stated clearly, "I don't want to practice, go near or have anything to do with the steps."  His therapists looked rather shocked and I explained, that with a new baby coming I didn't really need Nolan climbing them anyway, as I knew it would take some time to truly trust him on there and right now I didn't want to deal with it...selfish yes, but honest and smart just the same.  So, we REMOVED the GOAL of climbing stairs from his goals.  (insert giggling here...)

I was feeling rather faint the other morning, and sat for a moment to rest my head, literally less than two minutes, and I was in the living room, Nolan was crawling around playing.  It was disturbingly quiet all of a sudden and so with what seemed like a great amount of exerted effort I looked up to see this....
I ran quickly and stealth like to get my camera and half of me wanted to immediately get behind him and make sure he didn't fall straight back, but wow, the moment it was amazing, I sent a text to Jeremy working downstairs, to run up, right away and see it, for himself.  Our boy.  Our big boy, he didn't need a therapist or a mama, he didn't need to be taught, he needed freedom and time.  Don't we all?
And you know how he got down, when I could no longer hold in my jubilation?  

Perfectly of course, landing on two flat feet and smiling from ear to ear that his mama was there to see it! What's the best thing about raising a child with special needs?  THIS moment, THESE moments, because your valleys are low, yes, but your peaks are oh so sweet.  
Tell me you don't want a boy just like mine? I dare you!  Look at him!  

And just for added incentive, I present to you evidence #2390 that Nolan is TO.DIE.FOR....
baby boy flip flops!

Yes those feet will walk, it may not be for another year, but when they do, the elation and celebration will put the 4th of July to shame.  

Nolan is starting to expand his signing, I must post a video of this, it is seriously so precious and his obsession with water and bath tubs we just had to put to good use on Mothers day and take out the kiddie pool.  Because I have the best hubby he filled it with warm water from the tap so it was like an outdoor bath and just perfect for our little man, Audrey couldn't resist to get in on the fun!

We ventured to the Shoe Zoo in Minneapolis on Monday, let's just say that it literally is a freaking ZOO and the best thing about it was the free balloon! :)

 This is how we all felt after leaving there....

I just had to include this pick of Nolan with Grammy, it is so precious.  It's been a week filled with celebrations for all sorts of things, birthdays, Mother's day and firsts, we are all so blessed. 


Used baby Nolan's and Daddy's hand for this shot, love it, perfect in every way!
Six years ago on May 13, 2006 it was the fishing opener in MN, it was my first pregnancy, our first baby and the first grand baby on my side.  It was exciting to say the least.  I remember it as if it were yesterday and if it weren't for my big boy who now likes fart jokes more than cuddling, I would think it was just last year.  Graham has always since the day he was born, been a dynamic force.  He was a gorgeous baby, I know I know we all say that, but really he had a full head of hair, thick black hair and huge lips, he was stunning.  And well, with good looks didn't come good temperament.  He screamed A LOT.  It was overwhelming for me, I mean come on, I had this all figured out, planned out, how to be the perfect mom and well, having a baby that screamed the majority of the day, that wasn't part of it.  I look back now on those times and wonder how I was so exhausted, I mean one baby, how hard could it have been?

But, truth be told, he WAS that difficult and navigating motherhood on top of a challenging child not a good combo.  I would do a whole lot of things differently, let's just say I wouldn't be patting his butt saying SHHHHHH at 2AM when he is 10 months old and all is right, I would now simply shut the door and turn my fan on high, you learn that later.  The more babies that come, you learn they survive and more importantly with a full nights sleep you are a better mother for taking care of your needs as well as theirs.  But, we all go through it, the phase of that first baby and first time parent, it is such an essential phase and also, so predictable.  You see them coming a mile away, going into Target with a stroller??? Yep, the big one, with a HUGE diaper bag, larger than most carry-on luggages and the dad looks frazzled as the mom is giving him "the look".....it's kind of fun for me to watch now, as they dote every aisle over their baby who is no more than a month old but garnishes more attention than all three of my children...we were all there.  It was my hardest transition as a parent going from zero to one baby.  I am sure Graham's determined, loud personality had a lot to do with that, but your life as you know it is never the same.  Ever.  So, as you add others into your family, for me personally, it is WAY easier and not only that, more enjoyable and I am a better parent.  After all, you can't be so neurotic with three or four kids, you simply don't have the time to make 4 different homemade smoothies and make sure everyone has their favorite color cup, nope those demands are left at the wayside and as we like to say around here, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"

It makes for better parenting and well better kids, your needs must wait sometimes, you learn compromise, sharing, helping, essential life skills at an early age, I love the chaos of a full house of young kids, well until about 430 then it's all rather downhill, I can only take so much!

Either way, thinking back to that time and those days of early motherhood, it fills me full, knowing my life's journey was really just beginning, that the layers of armor and walls of protectiveness were being slowly broken down with every squeak and giggle, they melt you, your babies, melt you into puddles of love day by day.  It's a good thing.  A really good thing.  And my sweet Graham, he has always melted me.  He's also fried my brain, broken my heart and made me question just about every parenting technique known to man....he's an original.  But, in the end, he is the sweetest dang kid ever.  Evidenced by his birthday morning.  Graham has been asking for a Nintendo DS since about November, he asked Santa for one, and I told him I wrote him a letter telling him I didn't want him to have it until he was 8....I know I am a buzz kill, but seriously I feel like our children are so blessed and it is getting into spoiled territory and it makes my stomach turn.  So, I prepared him for MONTHS, there is no 3DS Graham, you are NOT getting one, he would always try to bargain when, maybe when I am 7 mama? No, 8, that is it!  So, day after day, he asked, he didn't ask for ONE thing outside of that for his 6th birthday and well his daddy caved, wanted to buy it, felt like he waited long enough, over 8 months and he doesn't act spoiled "all the time"...LOL....

so, I broke slowly after talking with Jeremy and devised a plan, that I would wrap the tiny little presents I had gotten Graham for the morning of his birthday and he would open those and then in different wrapping paper Jeremy would say, "wait there is something more" and I would act appalled and shocked and the kids would laugh and say how great daddy was, because nothing is better for kids then their mommy being the "bad guy" who gets one pulled over on her for once!  So, that morning Graham woke to his 4 little presents wrapped, and I mean LITTLE, a couple of Pokemon pads of paper, two pirate plastic squirt guns, a $1 pirate map and tiny Pokemon figurine, nothing spectacular, nothing great, that was that...he opened each one squealing with joy.  He was thrilled, said how awesome it all was, ran to hug me and thank me.  And then proceeded to give Audrey one of the notebooks and squirt guns and say, "it's only fair that I share with Audrey..." My heart melted, skipped a beat and I felt good that I had listened to his daddy and caved and bought the 3DS.  So, with that, about an hour later, I cued Jeremy and out he came with another package....Graham's eyes lit up, and I dropped my mouth and said how I couldn't believe Daddy did that without me knowing, and Graham and Audrey laughed and laughed and he hugged Jeremy so tight and just kept saying you are the BEST DADDY....Jeremy of course felt badly that I took the hit, but I didn't.  I like it that way.  I know my boy adores his mama, I don't need gift kudos and I think it was perfect in every way.

We do parties big around here and since I am so hugely preggo it was our first cop out party at Pump it Up, it was a blast and 22 kids had the time of their lives, and as parents we didn't have to really do a dang thing except enjoy it!  

After the party and festivities we had a ton of fun playing with some of our new toys and the night vision goggles and spy kits were a hit!  For not only the 6 year old! :)

Happy 6th Birthday to the boy who made me a mama, you are my first, my big boy.  I love you more than any words could do justice and have learned a plethora of lessons on love, thank you for filling my heart full and always making every day an exciting adventure, we love you G-MAN!

Monday, May 7, 2012

rockin robbins

It's crazy to me how fast time goes when you "grow up" and really by that phrase I simply mean getting old....because after 3 kids and one cooking, I am not sure I feel "grown up" yet!? Is that odd? Maybe...at any rate, when you were a child, time was slow, you counted down days and it took forever, and the older I get the more quickly time passes with a blink, it's another week gone.  I am over 30 weeks preggo and the baby is doing great, but this body of mine, well it's had enough.  No more babies.  For those of you who know me, you are like, "yeah right!" But, seriously I can't physically take the entrapment anymore.  I love to be on the go, getting things done and this whole, lay down, rest more, put your feet up, it's just not me, AT ALL.  So, my pregnancy complications are not limited to, anemia, low blood pressure and gestational diabetes, as my doc put it, "the perfect storm" and that was in reference to why I feel so awful lately.  It's uncomfortable yes, have to pee all the time yes, but this whole I am shaky, feel like I am going to faint thing? Not fun.  So, I am done.  I can't do it again.  I am open to adoption, Jeremy says 4 is DONE and well, we shall see what the future holds, but this body shall not be holding anymore babies....it's served it's purpose and after 4 pregnancies in 6 years and years of breastfeeding, it's tired people!  Just had to put that proclamation in writing for future "urges" that are sure to arrive when this little bundle is here and I have my energy back.  OK enough of the digression....

This weekend was centered around an important cause.  Multiple Sclerosis.  Jeremy's brother, Jon, was diagnosed 6 years ago and since, takes daily medications to prevent future "attacks" and really has been rather fortunate thus far, if you can use that word when discussing a life long disease.  Every year we gather to walk for MS and pay our minimal, humble tribute to those that fight it daily.  They may not be in the throws of it's physical hostile takeover, but constantly, mentally they are reminded.  For all those, we walk.  This year, with my own minor, physical difficulties I stayed behind with Nolan and we waited for the return of the walkers to join for lunch.
Graham was being "Houdini" from the beads and tying his hands behind his back and couldn't escape!

our beautiful niece, Miss Lily

They returned and we had a delicious lunch, we laughed and caught up on lives events.  The kids ran around like crazies and loved being with each other, as four cousins that have a year between them will do!  I couldn't help but look around at the scene of the kitchen.  Brothers discussing what to grill and when.
Jon and Jesse, Jeremy's Bro's, yes that's a lot of J's!
 Smiling faces of love and support as we all donned our Robbins Team T-shirts.  It felt whole.  A coming together of family.  A moment that does in fact fleet by with barely a notice, but in the end we all know why we are there.  There are no long speeches, lectures or discussions.  A few pats on the back, squeezes of the arm and glances of acknowledgement.  Few words are spoken about emotions and feelings in a family of all boys.  Instead good fun teasing, some beers chugged and all is right in the world.
Papa gave Nolan and cookie, you know he loves that!
Yep, he steels my camera and pretends he's a pro! Ok OK so do I!
Grammy at her best, getting lunch ready and keeping busy!  

It's not to say there is a lack of affection in this brood.  There is a deep bond that ties them all.  I've been a part of it for 13 years and my mother-in-law is the matriarch.  There are mothers of boys that will tell you they don't call enough, or their boys ditch them for their wives families too often.  That the love of a son is in some way diminished once he finds a woman of his own and has his own family.  Well, my MIL does things differently.  She supports us.  All of us.  Through everything.  She will cook you a meal with a moment's notice, drop off fresh baked goods just to say hello.  She will hug and hold you when you are melting.  She will take our children for trips, sicknesses, and just call to take them for fun!  She does all of this without one ounce of expectation.  She does this will unconditional love for her boys and all of us. And we know it.  All of her boys know her devotion to them and they feel the same for her.  And for each other.  It's not to say it is always pretty, or they are perfect, but in the end they come together and love.  So, she could have sat back and thought what life would be like with a daughter that could cook with her and clean up her messes, who would like shopping and chit chatting on the phone.  She doesn't get those things with boys.  Instead she embraces them and her daughter-in-laws and cherishes the times we spend together.  She's an inspiration to many a woman and mama's all over and it's so cool that I love her, isn't it?  
I mean how many people can say that about their mother-in-law?  

Jesse with our nephew Colton, could he be cuter?

lazy boys, all tired out

There isn't much greater joy to a mother than the culmination of all the blood, sweat and tears that go into raising a family and having them fully love each other in the end.  I can only dream to accomplish the same with our family and to find a cure for MS for our entire family but also this beautiful girl, Eleanor, Jon's daughter.  Come rain or shine, Rockin Robbins will rock on.