Thursday, November 4, 2010

What Chase Learned about High School Today

We frequently see the high school cross country team running through town after school. Today we saw them running through the neighborhood. Since we have discussed the team before and who they are and what they are doing, today Madison said, "Those are high schooler, right?" They were slowing down and they all looked wiped out- so I made some comment about how they looked tired and hot. Most of the boys were shirtless and sweaty. Apparently, Chase was studying them carefully.

As we drove past Chase declared, "Mom, you know I know all about high schoolers."

I said, "Really, what do you know Chase."

"High schoolers only have pants."

It took me just a few seconds to burst out laughing. I am sure Chase is looking forward to those carefree shirtless high school days. I don't even think he noticed the fully clothed girls.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Don't invite us over....

'Cause we're just trouble.

Last night, at a Halloween Party, I heard a crash, breaking glass, and then silence. The whole party stopped to look at the cutest little one year old stinker who had just knocked over a large vase. Sad part is, when I saw the large vases on the floor earlier I thought "Mason's going to get a hold of those..." Gotta learn to listen to that voice a little better!

"What? I didn't know it would do that, Mom! I don't want to apologize to the Bishop!"

Almost an exact quote. At about 11:58 am this morning, at the Danville LDS Stake Center, a very LOUD alarm stopped everyone in their tracks. We all just froze in the Primary room and then looked to the Bishop, now Stake President, who just happened to be visiting Primary. He left the room, at which time someone else came into the room and announced, "Mr. Beckstead has found the fire alarm handle." I instructed the Primary to listen to the closing prayer and then leave, but once the prayer was done they all still stayed in their seats. It was LOUD! I went and found Chase, who was with his Dad, and had a little conversation.

He never did apologize to the Bishop/Stake President (hard to know what to call him - I guess technically he still has both callings.) Luckily the Bishop/Stake President is a very loving, understanding man, with children of his own. Chase will probably never do it again. (hopefully)

It's just another day in the life around here. I wonder when we will stop bringing havoc, destruction and chaos with us wherever we go? Someday I am sure. But for now, I need a nap.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This little baby threw my phone in the toilet this afternoon, then swirled it around with the toilet brush. Ugh.

This little girl got to go on a field trip to In-N-Out today. We are trying out a new plan with her medication and today was a great day! But you know when one calms down the others start to go crazy. They just take turns.

Don't be deceived by the smile. This one gave the dentist such a hard time this morning. She kept pulling off the nitrous (aka happy air) and would refuse to open her mouth. I love the kids Dentist. She is AWESOME. I, on the other hand, was not awesome and had to leave the room because I was getting so mad at Madi's antics.

And like most days, this little guy was just along for the ride. I'm glad he's so good natured. Most of the time. He spent the afternoon carrying around a "pumpkin lantern" he made out of a paper bag, stuffed with newspaper, painted orange. He has the best preschool teacher. Really, she's awesome. They made apple pie today, but aren't going to eat it until tomorrow. Can't wait to hear how our carnivore enjoys a pie made out of a fruit he refuses to eat.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Picture Post

Tonight I was looking at some of the pictures I had on my computer and I decided to do a random picture post. And, because I am not a very sophisticated blogger, they happened to load from most recent to oldest.

So here is a picture of Chase, taken at Chili's on Friday night. He was the lucky student who got to bring "Sparky Squirrel" home for the weekend. We are glad Sparky is returning to the classroom on Monday. It is stressful to have to keep track of a beloved classroom mascot when I can hardly keep track of my own children.

The girls were pretty excited for the first day of school. Abby is in 2nd and Madison is in 1st. They go to different schools, but they both get to ride the bus. I LOVE the bus!

Over the summer we spent a few weeks in Utah visiting family. Madison got to spend a few days with her Nana and Grandpa Cobb by herself while the rest of us stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Beckstead. During that time she was able to fishing with Grandpa, her cousin Ben and Grandpa's neighbor Rich. Madison and Ben both caught fish, but couldn't understand why the fish died. I think they both thought they were catching their future pets.

Mason turned 1 on July 18th and we had a little party. He wasn't all that excited to eat his GIANT Costco cupcake (which, sadly, they don't have anymore at our Costco.) I had to kind of shove some in his mouth. He was a little interested in mushing the frosting around, but not too interested in eating it. I look at these pictures now, and already he seems so much bigger.

This cute picture was taken just a few weeks before his birthday. We spent an afternoon at the Oakland Temple and snapped this picture in the car on the way home. It was one of the rare hot days we had this summer.

This last picture of Madison was taken at the end of the school year last year. Her class got an AWESOME tour of a local fire station. The dad of one of the children in the afternoon program works at this station (and is a Chief or Captain or some in-charge kind of guy). The kids got to see everything and even got a ride in the fire truck. It was really amazing. I'm glad I got to go with her.
I need to be better about taking pictures. It's so fun to look back and remember!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I should be asleep. I am going to be so mad at myself in the morning for being awake right now. This early morning routine I've got going is getting harder, but I'm sticking with it because there's been a lot less yelling right before the bus comes, and that's a good thing.

My children are all so different. Today they all brought out different things in me. I have a son, who is just 5 years old. He kind of lives in his own little world. He is stubborn, and today his stubbornness and naughtiness gave me such a laughing fit, I embarrassed myself on the phone with the pediatricians office.

Lately, Chase has been refusing to put his pants back on after using the bathroom. Underwear, yes (thank goodness), pants no. Today, I didn't have time to argue. We had to go to Madison's appointment - being late was not an option. It would begin a domino effect of lateness and I hate being late! Too many things to do today - so the pants-less Chase climbed in his booster seat, white t-shirt, white undies, little white legs, white socks and green camo crocs. (Even some colored undies would have made it better- but, no, they were white.) I figured we'd be fine, he didn't have to get out of the car at all. Who cares if he stays in the van pants-less?

I thought it would be a good time to make some phone calls- you know, sitting in the van waiting for Madison (we do that a lot). I called one doctor, texted my husband, played a game of Sudoku, then decided to call the pediatrician to set up appointments for flu shots. As I was listening to the automatic greeting, Chase starts doing his "potty, potty, potty , POTTY...." routine. There isn't much time to spare when he starts jumping up and down. And he was still pants-less. I didn't see much hope in getting his pants on so we could go inside, so I did something I NEVER do- I told him to pee in the bushes in front of the car. He thought that was such a fabulous idea! What a great mommy- he still didn't have to put his pants on. So out he went. I should know better than to let a 5 year old out of the van when waiting for a 50 minute appointment.

After he did his business, there was no way he was getting back in the car. So he began dancing around the parking lot- a little white thing bobbing all around. (it's at a church so there's not much going on in the parking lot) Still on the phone I got out of the car and tried to corral him back in. It was hopeless, and I was was getting nowhere with it. I got back in the car and then spotted him in my rearview mirror. The little stinker was climbing up the back of the van holding on to the rear windshield wiper, and he thought he was doing it on the sly.

Still on the phone, just about to talk to the receptionist, I decided to teach that kid a lesson. Unfortunately I don't use the rear wipers very often so it took me a few seconds to get to the right controls. You should have seen his face as the wipers began to magically move! His face was exactly what I was looking at the moment the receptionist answered at the dr's office. He had such a look of shock. He slid down the windshield and disappeared for a moment. I was laughing so hard I could hardly breathe. Speaking was out of the questions. I kept saying, "I'm sorry... I'm just....Oh, I'm sorry....give me a second...." I'm sure she thought I was crying. She kept saying, "It's ok, it's ok....." Chase's head popped back into view. He was cautiously eyeing the wipers. I finally was able to say "I'm sorry- I'm just laughing so hard... I'm calling about flu shots for the Becksteads..." (they totally know us by name at the doctors- we make quite an impression) I was barely able to keep from busting up again during my phone call, and meanwhile Chase decided that dancing in the parking lot was probably better than taking his chances with those crazy moving wiper things.

Oh goodness- I am still laughing about it. Maybe you had to be there! I'm glad I was.

And just for the record, he never did put his pants back on. He, did however, put basketball shorts on when we had to go out later to deliver treats to the ladies I visit teach. Thank goodness. I've got to remember to only put the colored undies on him from now on. At least they look a little bit more like shorts. LOVE that kid! Wow- I'm still laughing. And now I've got to get some sleep. I have to take 3 littles to the dentist first thing in the morning. WHAT was I THINKING!!!!! Maybe I'll still be laughing about our pants-less afternoon. That would help.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Tonight, I picked up my sleeping baby from his crib just so I could rock his warm little body in my arms. It was an answer to a prayer.

It was a desperately hard night. Tantrums, tears, chaos, pain, frustration and endless noise all coming from one child. I was praying for patience, restraint, mercy and forgiveness all at the same time, and all evening long. I didn't feel very good about my parenting and I was pretty sure the neighbors were wishing I'd shut the windows, or shut my mouth. I really was trying- that's the sad part. Really, truly. We had a home cooked dinner, a run to the park for soccer, treats, showers, scriptures and prayer. Dad is out of town- we were on our own tonight.

After the lights were out, and the noise was quieted, I turned to the computer and did hours of research. There has to be a better way, a better solution. New meds? Alternative Therapy? Private School? No Meds? Diets? I've read it all before, but I read it all again. Praying, pondering and hoping that something would just jump off the screen and scream - "Here is the answer!" ..... Nothing jumped.

Looking at the clock, I hurried into bed, knowing that my new morning routine affords me one less hour of sleep every morning in a grand effort to get one. single. child. ready for school before any one else wakes up.

But I couldn't sleep. In fact my thoughts and prayers became more desperate than earlier. My mind swirled. I hate that feeling. It feels so ungrounded and dangerous. I forced my mind to rest on one thought. Joy. The joy that I feel is eluding me. I want to feel joy. I want to feel joy in my role as a mother. I pled in my prayers- and my mind instantly went back to my days of infertility. Those were painful days. All I wanted was a baby to hold in my arms.

I was given 4.

I almost spoke out loud - "I need to hold my baby." I went to the baby's crib and with gratitude that he's a sound sleeper, I picked him up and then sat with him in the rocking chair. He slept peacefully in my arms, and my whole body calmed down. He's a beautiful boy, and I just looked at him.

I have no answers to my problem, but after I put the baby back in his crib, I went to the beds of my easiest child and my hardest child and gave them both a long hug. My heart was softened towards the one by the warm touch and peace of the other.

Holding my baby was an answer to my prayer. My prayer from long ago and my prayer from tonight. Babies are magic, aren't they?

I am still praying for an answer to our special needs problems. I have a feeling it will be long in coming, but I do have hope. And, at least for now, when my mind starts to swirl, and desperation creeps in, I need to remember the magical little baby, who sleeps so soundly, who is mine, all mine. I need to remember to go in an rock him and let the little bit of heaven that is still in him calm my soul. It won't be long till he's all grown up. And there won't be anymore babies for us, so I will enjoy it while I can!

Monday, September 13, 2010

6 months?

Has it been six months since I posted last? Really? Wow. Well it's probably about time that I get rid of the yucky stitches picture anyway.

Everybody is doing fine. I will have to post pictures later, but for now a quick update.

Mason is walking. It's so cute. He is one determined little boy. He doesn't say any real words yet, but boy, he likes to yell at you in gibberish. He is very stubborn and has no patience, but he is a beautiful baby, with a killer smile and we all love him to pieces. He is almost 14 months old and he had cut 12 teeth in the last 4 months. Ouch! Maybe that's why he's yelling at us all the time!

Chase keeps us all laughing. He just comes up with the funniest things. He is in his last year of preschool and loves it. He is a very happy child. We spent almost three weeks in Utah this summer and he loved being with his grandparents and cousins. We even went to the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point just for him. His passion is Dinosaurs.

Madison started 1st grade this year and we decided to keep her in a Special Education classroom. She is in a 1st/2nd grade combo class with 12 students. 10 of them are 2nd graders so hopefully she will do ok. She still does a ton of speech therapy and occupational therapy and we also added some private reading classes to her schedule. She is pretty tired at the end of each day. She remains our very sensitive child and is easily brought to tears, but she is also our friendliest child. She will talk to anybody and has a genuine interest in other people.

Abby is still a little tornado. She is in constant motion and is constantly making noise. She just turned 8 and was baptized this last weekend. It was a great moment for us, and we are very proud of her. Especially since she spent many years saying she would never get baptized because she didn't want to go under the water. She is in 2nd grade and seems to be doing well. She is playing soccer again, but we think her real talent might be running track. She is so fast and has a lot of endurance.

We enjoyed our time in Utah, especially the week we spent at Aspen Grove Family camp. Our kids loved every minute of it, and while I didn't love the food, it was a great to spend time as a family. We want to go again next year. I will probably bring more snacks though!

It's been a busy few months. We remodeled our kitchen and fixed up our house to sell so we could buy a "dream home." We did actually get a contract on our house, but things unraveled and we didn't end up moving. So we are still here and still plugging along. Life is getting busier and I am getting older. We are doing well though. Now I just have to dig out the camera and post some pictures!

I promise I won't wait another six months to do that though.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Did I Ever Tell You About That One Day....

So, I was going through some pictures when I happened upon a series of photos I took documenting one of the craziest days ever in our family. And, since this blog is for posterity sake I probably should document it while it is still in my memory. And notice, I didn't say fresh in my memory, because it's already fading. So with my post (4) baby brain, which brain should excuse any and all craziness on my part, I will attempt to recreate this miserable, awful, no good, very bad day.

But first a little timeline, just so you can understand the depth of the miserableness.
Saturday, July 18th, 2009- Mason was born.
Monday- Mason and I came home from the hospital.
Tuesday- we had to take Mason to Oakland Children's Hospital for a check with a Cardiologist. (He was born with a small hole in his heart. It's still there, but not a big problem. But a stressful experience nonetheless- wait... is that a real word?)
That brings us to Wednesday.
Oh, Wednesday.....

It all started out fine, until Chase decided to be a good big brother and open a toy for Mason that was all nice and tight in it's packaging. Even with 4 adults standing inches away, rather than asking for help he decided that with his amazing (really, truly amazing) scissor skills he would DO IT HIMSELF. First, we hear Chase scream. Then we hear Gordon yell. Then the girls panic. Then the blood came. I handed the baby to my mother in law, grabbed some towels and immediately got in the car and told Gordon to drive to Urgent Care. After an hour long scream fest wrestling match we emerged with a little finger looking so sad like this.

It had to be wrapped for days like this.
Chase called it his poor finger. We would ask him to do something like shut a door, or clear his plate and he would make a sad face and say, "I can't because of my poo-uh poo-uh fing-uh."

We got home from Urgent Care and I was exhausted. I was sitting on the couch and Madi was in the kitchen. I don't know what possessed the child to do it, but she decided to go ahead and see if the stove just happened to be hot. Well, it was. And I thought she was just being dramatic to get attention. You know, because Chase had gotten a lot of attention so it was just her turn. So I told her to stop crying and that she was ok. When I finally got around to really looking at her finger (yes.. a few days later - I had a newborn!!!) this is what I saw. Can I just say- Mommy guilt galore!

So a few hours after the Madi drama, we had a check up with a home health nurse. Besides all the wounds that had happened earlier in the morning, I was pretty sure everything was fine with the baby and I wasn't too worried about it. The nurse was friendly and kind and very sweet as she explained to me that I was UNDER-FEEDING my baby.

I was ready to cry.

I guess it's true what they say. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!

Just Kidding- Abby is feeding a plump and healthy 1 month old Mason in this picture!

Aye, Aye, Aye .... Stitches, burns and starvation. That's what we are all about here.

I am relieved to say that 7 months later all signs of that day are almost completely gone. Chase and Madison hardly have any scars and I am pretty sure Mason recovered from the earlier diet that he was apparently on.

He's a cute little chubby guy!

So, I won't feel bad if you never want me to watch your kids. I think I would understand. Days like this make it easier to feel good about the fact that Mason is our last baby. What would one more baby do to my brain? It's probably better not to find out!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Family

Since we didn't do a Christmas Card, here's a little update.

Mason is growing so fast- it makes me sad. He's eating solids, sleeping through the night, teething, and he spends a good amount of time laughing hysterically at the antics of his siblings. The girls call him "Mr. Chubby" and they work very hard to keep him entertained. Unless of course they are watching something on TV and then when he gets fussy they can't understand why I can't keep him quiet!

Chase keeps me laughing with the funny things he says. He loves making projects at school and for Valentines day he painted a Cupid. When he got into the car with his lovely sparkly purple and pink Cupid, he exclaimed, "Mom, Cupid is so cool, he flies in the air and shoots arrows!" I think he totally missed the point. But you know, arrows are way cool- no matter who is shooting them. Chase loves dinosaurs, swords and race cars. He is all boy, even when singing along with songs from "Enchanted," and when he proudly tells his teachers he was watching "Tinkerbell" in the car. Ah, older sisters. What can you do?

Madison LOVES to watch movies. She would watch all day long if allowed. She is such a social butterfly, she just likes to be around people. Recently we had a little puppy named Leo living with us for a short time. He was very cute and Madison carried him around like a baby. She slept with him at night and I was a bit worried she wouldn't let go of him all night long! She loved having him here and she can't wait until we get another small dog for her to carry around all day long.

Abby...., well, Abby is all over the place! She is has more energy, more passion, more intensity, more temper, more everything and anything that anyone I have ever met. It's been an intense Abby day today. She is a great artist and has really done some beautiful work at school. She is doing well in soccer and scored two goals for her indoor team on Saturday. She loves to play and she loves to move. She keeps us on our toes!

Gordon is still busy at work and at church. He is serving in the Young Men's as the Secretary. I was recently called to be the Primary President, so Gordon really has Mason duty on Sundays. We are busy, but doing well. Everyone is growing up and changing so fast. Some of it is welcome change and some of it is changing too fast. I look at Mason and it makes me sad that he will be our last baby. I know it's crazy, but it's hard to let go of that stage of your life.

Hope you all are doing well this Sunday night! Now, I'm off to bed!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Change is Good

Kindergarten has been hard for Madison. She has spent most of her time crying and avoiding anything resembling academic work. It has all been a little overwhelming for her, and really beyond her abilities. Finally at the end of November, after reports of her running out of her classroom and her speech therapy room, I was spurred into action. I felt like something significant had to change so I wrote a letter to her IEP team and layed out three options. Special Day Class, 1:1 aide, or private school. I have to say, I feel like we are very lucky with the response we got. The morning after I sent the letter out I heard from the school and listened to their plan to try some more interventions at the school. We also had a date for an IEP meeting where we would make some final decisions. In the meantime I got to visit the Special Day Classes in the district and explore the private school option.

By the time the meeting came, it seemed clear to us that the best option at this time would be the district Special Day Class. It's a little class with 8 other students and a fabulous teaching team. There is one teacher and two full time aides. Before the meeting we let everyone know that is what we were going to advocate for and by the time we met the whole team was in agreement. So, Madison started at her new school in her new class this past Monday. We have had a whole week with only two crying episodes! Amazing, considering she was crying 6-8 times a day in her traditional Kindergarten class. She seems to be happy and loves taking her little bus to school.

We hope that someday, in a couple of years- or maybe sooner, that Madison will be able to transition back into general education classes. But, for now, we feel blessed to have the chance to try this option. Life can be tough when your ability to communicate is so limited. It was hard to see her so unhappy. Private school may be a more appropriate option down the road, but with all the schools being so far away, we almost feel like we would have to move to make that work.

I love the saying "The only constant is change." I can't think of anything more appropriate when raising kids. You get one stage figured out and they have grown out of it. You buy bunch of cute clothes and suddenly they are two inches taller. You make their favorite dinner to find out now they hate it! You make your favorite dish, knowing you won't have to share, and they eat the whole thing! We feel like this class is good for Madison now, but know that things can change and always do. So for now this change is a good one, and we feel blessed. But down the line, we worry about this girl. Her path to adulthood and independence will be a lot more work for her than others and we hope we can give her what she needs to be successful.

So here's to a good change! Yay! Let's hope we keep on seeing a happy girl at school.