Friday, December 21, 2012

Big muscles

Here he is showing off his big muscles.

This guy is so funny! Grandma Cox has a Mexican man named Chumel that helps her with the yard work. He is often outside when I am loading and unloading the kids from the car. Since he only speaks Spanish, whenever we see him we say to the kids, "Say 'hola' Chumel".

A few days ago when I was loading the kids into the car, Chumel was not around. Benson looked at me and said, "Where Hola"?

Apparently Benson thinks Chumel's name is Hola. Haha! Love this little guy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rice Crispy Houses

Do you see this look of pure delight? That's the result of the annual Cox Family Rice Crispy Treat House Extravaganza. You've never seen so much candy, frosting, and hyper children... guaranteed. Well, except for the annual Cox New Years Eve Auction...but that's another story.

Last night all the Cox cousins got together in Grandma's basement and decorated their own crispy house. The tradition started with Gingerbread Houses but they were such a nightmare to keep together that we eventually moved to Rice Crispy Houses and everyone seemed perfectly content with that.

Benson and McKay decorated their own houses with no help at all. Benson's featured a Candy Cane sticking out of the roof and McKay's an M&M garden. They did a great job and had lots of fun. I think we even managed to keep the sugar intake to a minimum and a good time was had by all.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Little Girl

I love, love, love this baby girl. Yet, I haven't said too much about my darling Lily thus far. It's not because I haven't been enjoying her. In fact, it is just the opposite. Mothering Lily has been perhaps the most blessed experience of my life. 

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my boys. With each of their births I knew why I existed--to be their mother. With their births I knew what love was. However, both of their births were surrounded with complications that made it difficult for me to really enjoy the moments. 

With McKay, I was just plain scared to death to be a mother. I didn't know what on EARTH I was doing and I was painfully aware of my ignorance. I didn't know how to breast-feed, how to bath a baby, what to do if he cried or how to manage a house and a newborn. I just really had no idea and it terrified me. Plus, McKay was born with some health problems that required him to stay in the NICU for several days. And he was born with a clubbed foot. So, after a week of life he began to have to wear a giant plaster cast on his leg and foot. At a month old he had surgery, then wore more casts and then metal braces on his legs. He cried a lot, mainly from discomfort, and it broke my heart every day.

Benson's birth was joyful and much less frightening but during the epidural the doctor punctured my spinal column (a wet-tap it's called) and I fell into that lucky 1% of people who get a month-long migraine as a result. It was the most horrible pain I have ever experienced...for a month. So, I don't really remember much of Benson's early life. On top of the spinal headache, Benson and I got thrush and battled it for 3 months They were excruciating, bloody months until we reached the breaking point. I was bleeding and crying at every feeding. It was awful. My toes still curl when I think about it.

So, with both McKay and Benson those early months, while sweet, were very difficult.

Lily's first three months have been magic. I never knew a newborn could be like this. She took to nursing easily and though there was pain in the beginning, we managed well. Lily began sleeping through the night at 2 months and rarely ever cries. She fell naturally into a napping/sleeping schedule and is so cheerful and sweet.

Lily is also a mamma's girl. I didn't know that infants could have such strong preferences but Lily has. It's pretty funny, actually. In our house BJ has always been the "Baby Whisperer". Kids really like him and gravitate to him. Both of our boys definitely preferred him and would calm down for him and fuss for me. Lily, on the other hand, loves her Mamma best. In the beginning she would actually cry whenever BJ would pick her up. It got to be so apparent that it really gave BJ a complex for a while. I just had to laugh to myself. 

Now she loves her daddy and they have a very sweet relationship. She laughs at him a lot which he loves and only he can sing her to sleep. However, when I hold her in my arms, I feel her relax and I know she finds peace in my presence. It is a sweet and sacred trust. 

I don't know how to describe it but there is a depth and a strength to our relationship --as if I've known Lily my entire life. In her presence I feel stronger, happier, and more at peace. I love her so deeply and feel so grateful for her pleasant persona that it makes every day with her a delight. 

Lily put down her harp, hung up her wings, and gently, sweetly entered our family. I know I don't deserve her but I am so grateful for her. She is a balm to me and an angel to us all. I couldn't love anything more.

Sunday, December 2, 2012