Tag Archives: Aidan

Chase’s Story [VIDEO]

Have you ever seen this video of Chase?

If not, I highly recommend it.  And even if so, feel free to watch it again…  We have been so blessed to partner with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation this year and are continually thankful for the platform they give us to share Chase’s story with so many.

-MbM-

[Our deepest gratitude to the incomparable Matthew Lackey for his mad, crazy video skills.  Also, a huge thank you to both Jane Hoppen and Kristen Thies for all they did to put together the finished product and the time spent filming it.]

Of Ending The Year With Our Foreheads On…

The year 2014 has less than a dozen hours left in it.  This year has seen us through many, many things and all along the way we’ve prayed for the strength to choose joy.  To that end -the joy part, or in this case, the hysterical laugh-until-you-cry part- I’ve compiled a series of actual status updates from my personal Facebook page; all of which were posted in 2014.  I chronicle these things (and have done so for some years) because life is too short and childhood is even shorter and there are too many parenting moments when you’re faced with the choice of either laughing or melting into a puddle of tears — so, as much as possible, we choose to laugh.  Many of the scenarios include personal hashtags: from the most common – #lifewithboys, to the most funny [playing off of our secret parenting fear that our children won’t get college scholarships] #notscholarshipmaterial, to a mini-series from our first family vacation for a wedding less than 48 hours before the October MRI#turningupinTulsa.  We’ve asked you to walk many hard things with us, so, for a brief moment, as we close 2014, enjoy our “normal“…

Note: due to the household including the addition of three boys in approximately three years, an abnormally large amount of the quotes have to do with bodily functions or bathrooms.  Consider yourself warned.

1.  “Don’t walk on the couch with a box over your head, Karsten.”  I just said this.

2.  My child just pledged allegiance ending in “...with liberty and crustless for all!”  We might be in trouble. #‎nationalismfail

3.  There wasn’t enough snow for snowmen, so the kids made snow heads. Can’t decide if the yard looks like Easter Island or a horror film.

4.  Someday I will understand the mysteries of the universe and be able to explain why there is a football in the shower.  Today isn’t that day.

5.  “Well I didn’t throw the toy at him…Uh, I dropped it and his head was just in the way!” #lifewithboys

6.  “Look, I don’t care if it IS the Death Star. You need to stop messing around and eat your orange.”

7.  “Uh, Mom? Uh, today…today, I’m going to uh, not spill my water three times at the table.” #‎aidangoals

8.  “Mom, I’m keeping this family picture so that when you die, I’ll remember you because you’re old and you’re probably going to die soon.”

9.  “I just came down from Kookie’s room to tell you I peed really, really big on the floor.”  The official moment you regret telling a child to come here if they want to talk to you.

10.  “Now we are engaged TO a great civil war…”: Aidan’s rendition of Gettysburg in which history lives, but prepositions take a hit.

11.  “Well, uh, Mom, I didn’t throw a Duplo at his head.  I threw the Duplo into the Duplo box and his head was in there because he was messing around.”

12.  “Mom, I didn’t trip him.  I was just standing there with my leg out and he, uh…fell over it.”

13.  “Graham crackers are for eating…not picking your nose!”  I need a raise.

14.  This is what Aidan does on his day off school.  Because when you jump off the toilet lid, you go big or go home… 

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15.  Bob: “Karsten, you need a shirt.“, Karsten: “Can I eat it?”

16.  As Karsten watches the Olympics, he yells “Come on, Bears!”…because that’s what you yell at a TV during a sporting event, right?

17.  Darcy: “Mom, Karsten’s being a disastrophe.” Grammar takes a backseat to conflict resolution.

18.  Early morning questions: “Hey Mooooom?! When I’m 60 or 29, can I pleeease watch ‘The Battle of Helm’s Deep’?” #‎lifewithaidan

19.  Mom Log, 7:09am: Boy enters with teeth marks in forehead and another boy close behind, screaming “It was an ‘askident’!”  This should be good.

20.  “Yes, he shouldn’t have licked your books, but you should never sit in somebody’s face!”  This is how “reading time” goes down.  Real talk.

21.  “I’m sorry, Aidan, but ‘Hey, look! There’s a giant hamburger falling from the sky!’ is not a viable conclusion to your class presentation on the history of Legos.”

22.  Chase and Karsten are arguing about whether “Alligator” starts with “B” or “C“.  This should go well.  And by “this“, I mean the next twenty years.

23.  “If you ever get the kitchen stool and climb onto the counter and drop the watermelon to the ground again…”  Well, that was a first.

24.  “Mom! I learned how to sort all the laundry and now I know from everything into which thing it should be sorted into.”  Next lesson?  Grammar.

25.  “Mom, if you let me have a cell phone when I’m in college, I’ll totally text you, but first, you’ll have to tell me how to spell ‘good’ so that I can tell you that I am good.” #‎lifewithaidan #‎notscholarahipmaterial

26.  “Bapa, you never played hockey, but Grammie can still put you in the penalty box, right?” #‎lifewithaidan

27.  And then the training sesh ended with the lesson: “…and that’s why you never run with an anesthesia mask over your face.”

28.  Me: Do you know who the president was during World War 2?Aidan: Abraham Lincoln?, Darcy: Who is the guy with the horse in the picture in the hallway? (George Washington), Me: I’ll give you a *major* hint…it was a Roosevelt. Which Roosevelt?, Aidan: “Oh, oh!! It was John! John Roosevelt!!”  #‎historyfail #‎notscholarshipmaterial

29.  Somebody found the medical supply cabinet… #‎trouble

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30.  “Well, Mom, *this* is why you had a daughter…because I’m always right.”

31.  “Kookie, you be Dark Vader and I’ll be Fran Cello, okay?”  May the force (and the knowledge of actual Star Wars characters) be with you, my boys.

32.  This morning, Aidan informed me that he could sneeze in Spanish.  So glad we can check that off the list of needed life skills…

33.  That time Aidan walked into a dining room chair and split his eyelid open…again.

34.  That moment you’ve been in hold forever with the US Postal Service and they finally ask you to say a command and all the phone computer picks up in the silence is the sound of the 2 year old standing next to you saying: “I have poop, Mom.”

35.  Darcy is reviewing family members’ names with Chase: “Uncle Dave , Aunt Meg , Captain America…”  Say what??

36.  “But you NEVER said I COULDN’T throw a chair!”  Helloooooo, Monday…

37.  Family pictures at the horse farm…, Grandma: “Aidan, did you tell your mom about your experience in the barn?”, Aidan: “I touched a horse!”, Grandma: “…and what else did you touch?”, Aidan [hanging his head]: “Oh yeah… I toucheded the electric fence too.” #lifewithboys

38.  “Do not drop your dinner plate on the floor for the sole purpose of doing an air guitar with your leg!” — parenting with Bob Ewoldt

39.  “Um…Mom? How old will I be when I’m 25?” -Aidan #‎notscholarshipmaterial

40.  “Hey, Mom? When Auntie Meg has her baby, can I burp ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’ to it? I promise to burp in English!” -Aidan

41.  Let me be clear about something…just because I never specifically said “Hey, don’t take the cap off the milk carton, put your mouth around it, and blow into the opening.” does NOT mean it’s an acceptable breakfast table activity. #‎lifewithboys

42.  That oddly poetic moment when the coffee you’re about to make becomes that much more necessary to your day… 

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43.  “Aidan, tonight is your first night in Sparks, and you should be happy about that, and I know that you’re a lot shorter than most of the other kids, but you should try to have fun, and it’s okay, and you’ll grow up some day.”  Older sister pep talks are the best.

44.  I just walked into a flooded bathroom and two guilty little boys who informed me that it had happened because one was “President Business” and the other was “The Piece of Resistance”.  Everything is awesome.  So awesome.

45.  One of my children really knows the meaning of the phrase “Go big or go home”.  In other, totally unrelated news, anybody have a failsafe recipe for getting black Sharpie permanent marker out of anything and everything…hypothetically speaking??

46.  As we discussed today’s [Columbus Day] historical significance…, Aidan: “Mom what language do they speak in Spain?”, Me: “Spanish. Why?”, Aidan: “No, I’m pretty sure that’s not right. There’s a Spain language.”, Me: “Yes, it’s called Spanish.”, Aidan: “No, it’s a [emphasis] Spain language…” #notscholarshipmaterial

47.  “Mom! Come quick! The boys put toys in the toilet and Chase is telling Kookie to flush them!!”  Thanks for the sucker punch, Thursday. #‎lifewithboys

48.  6:49AM – Chase gets mad at Aunt Carrie for possibly not sharing her wedding cake with him…in two days. Aidan asks when we are going to cross the Mississippi Ocean. #turningupinTulsa

49.  12:20PM – stopped for lunch in a food joint crowded with service people in uniform and while Karsten pointed and called them “Heroes” and we had a patriotic moment, Chase took a swig of the pepper shaker. #‎turningupinTulsa

50.  1:39PM – pulled out the brand new, educationally promising coloring books detailing things like “Explorers of North America”.  Gave myself a pat on the back for thoughtful parenting.  Listened to weeping and gnashing of teeth because Magellan isn’t Spider-Man. #turningupinTulsa

51.  3:47PM – left Mo for “The Sooner State” and discovered pieces of blue crayon all around Karsten’s chair.  I was informed it had been eaten because it was blue.  Having been on the road for 12 hours, I deemed this an acceptable explanation. #‎turningupinTulsa

52.  8:00PM – Aidan starts doing handstands off the hotel wall.  Discussion of appropriate hotel behavior ensues, the finer points of which may include parents lack of knowledge on the nearest ER. #‎turningupinTulsa

53.  6:42AM – After she let us know she woke up early to “relax on vacation”; we had a lengthy discussion with Darcy on “the wedding party” being a group of people rather then an event.  It went something like the famed “Who’s On First?” sketch. #‎turningupinTulsa

54.  9:05PM – Chase vows to grow up and marry Aunt Carrie.  Aidan vows to grow up and marry Darcy.  Time for the first “Why you can’t marry your sister” conversation…also the “Why you can’t marry your already-married aunt” conversation.  Good talk, good talk.

55.  1:18PM – Tried the educational coloring books again.  Got asked if I had a butter churn when I was little.  Education is not my friend this weekend. #‎turningupinTulsa

56.  Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them, and still others chuck the whole battle for a peanut butter sandwich. #‎lifewithboys

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57.  “Mom! I got super frustrated and totally freaked out and flushed my clothes down the toilet! …but then I took them out again and they’re on the bathroom floor. Is that okay?”

58.  [later the same day as the clothes flushing]  In this house, to have one gross, bathroom-related Facebook status per day is pretty standard. To have TWO gross bathroom-related updates in a single day is pretty amazing…even for the Ewoldt boys. Karsten, for filling the sink with water and “painting” the bathroom with the toilet brush… This one’s for you.

59.  Just because I never *explicitly* said “Hey, don’t take graham crackers and crush them with a hammer on the living room table.” doesn’t mean it wasn’t implied.

60.  Bob: “So children, what did you learn in Sunday School today?“, Aidan: “Hey! Do you guys know how to do arm farts?” #lifewithboys

61.  I shook the freshly delivered Amazon box [full of Legos] to give the December boys a birthday present hint today.  Aidan’s guess?  A box of sweaters.

62.  So, apparently, when you hear “Hey Mom! Come quick! Chasey’s all tied up with tape!”, it could literally mean that Chasey is indeed all tied up with tape.  In other news, the 6-year-old just had his taping privileges revoked for life.

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63.  “It’s okay, Mom… I only carry dishes while walking backwards with my eyes open and I’m very careful.”

64.  “Mom, we’re really sorry for breaking your ironing board, but now that it isn’t flat anymore, it’s makes a really good slide. Is that okay?” #lifewithboys

65.  Bob: “…and that’s the story of the gospel and our advent reading for tonight…any questions?”Aidan: “Yes! Why don’t we do piñatas for birthdays??” #‎stayontarget

66.  Grief counseling for small boys in traumatic circumstances: “Son, if you insist on bench-pressing a full bottle of ketchup over your head, things like this are likely to happen…”

67.  Without a doubt, the best bedtime excuse I’ve heard in a long time… “But Mom, I can’t go to sleep without my forehead on.”

Goodnight and goodbye, dear old 2014…

Moment by moment.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.  Psalm 16:6

Abundant In Power

One year ago tonight, I sat on the side of our home church sanctuary, watching Darcy and Aidan finish their Awana year.  In my arms lay a limp and sometimes whimpering Chase.  It was the tenth day since his last chemo cycle and his counts were obviously plummeting; but masked, attached to his IV, too weak to stand and in strong discomfort, he refused to leave until he’d heard Darcy and Aidan’s names read for their awards.

When Darcy’s name was called at long last (as Aidan’s had been called several minutes earlier), he sighed, fussed, and begged to go home – his little body starting to burn with fever.  Within an hour, we’d be one our way to the hospital and late this night a year ago, he’d be admitted for many days to fight infection and the chemo toll.

I’ve been thinking of those year ago moments with him in my arms all day today.  And now, one year later, THIS…

Great is our Lord and abundant in power. Psalm 147:5

Abundant indeed that he who should have no memory can stand and speak, having memorized these words.  I stand in awe

Moment by moment.

 

Taking Note Of The 7th

This year, we spent our December 7th in radiation and blood transfusion appointments, but I’d like to go back to that day for just a second to talk about a special little guy.

Friday, December 7th was Aidan’s 4th birthday.  And -like the joyful child he is- he volunteered to spend the day with us at the radiation center and the hospital.

Big events (like the ones our family has experienced this year) can have a way of either strengthening or weakening, and Bob and I have been so proud to see Aid step up and be strengthened.  Many is the time we’ve seen him unselfishly give a toy to Chase or physically restrain himself when everything in his little boy nature just wants to shove or push.  Just now 4 and only a pound or two heavier than Chase, we often find him carrying his brother’s IV bag on his shoulder so that Chase can move and play with him.

Aidan, my precious concert baby, we are so proud of you!

Happy 4th Birthday!

Adventures On the Toilet Train

To anyone who ever became frustrated with toilet training (or the thought of toilet training) a small boy: take heart…you are not alone.  In fact, to encourage you, I’ve made a list of some of the recent and real sentences that have come from my 3 year old son while in the other side of the bathroom door.

“Mom, I fell in the toilet again!”

“Mom, I didn’t fall in the toilet again!”

“Mom, I decided to put the toilet paper in the sink before I wiped myself.”

“Mom, why does it [body part] look like this?”

“Mom, I didn’t mean to pee all over the floor, really, I didn’t.”

“Mom, I stuck my foot in the toilet!”

“Mom, Karsten’s in here too and he just stuck his hand in the toilet!”

“Mom, yes, you really do have to take off all your clothes before you go potty.”

“Mom, I broke your magazine.”

“Mom, I broke the toilet seat.”

“Look Mom!  I can hold the toilet paper with my toes.”

On a completely unrelated note, I’m thinking of writing a post on bathroom cleaners.

 

The Cancer And The Cough

I’d like to take a moment and interrupt our continuous cancer coverage for a brief word on … pneumonia!

That’s right, there’s pneumonia in the house.  And actually, even though I said this was a non-cancer interlude, it does indeed have implications.  Aidan (who is such a strong little man about not feeling well) was tagged with a double-lung diagnosis at the beginning of the week and we are so thankful and exited to report that even with this infection in the house, immune-compromised Chase has sailed through without any extended hospital stays!

Sometimes, it takes pneumonia to remind me how blessed I am.

Here they are: The Cancer and The Cough – on a wheelchair at a clinic visit last month (would the responsible adult please step forward?)

 

A Very Lincoln Weekend

Mrs. Lincoln speaks about the Battle of Gettysburg

This weekend, we went to Civil War Days.

Actually, I need to back up a little on this story …

This winter, Darcy’s school presentation assignment over 7 weeks was to work on memorizing a famous historical speech (her history major mother did a little happy dance, I assure you).  We settled on The Gettysburg Address and got about 2/3 of the way through.  This piqued a Lincoln interest in her and so we decided after a very Lincoln-focused Winter/Spring that we needed to try out Civil War Days.

I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything like it.  In case you didn’t know this about me already, be warned: I didn’t just major in history – I’m a complete history geek.  As we strolled through the town along the green, I shared the street with the likes of Generals Custer, Sherman, Jackson, and Lee.  I also saw Mr. Jefferson Davis, and of course, our beloved Mr. Lincoln.

It's Mr. Lincoln!

Our time culminated with a view of an afternoon battle between really amazing re-enactors (or re-en-actors? or reen-actors?) posing as Union and Confederate soldiers.  Very real.  In fact, so real that my kids at 6 and 3 only made it past the first few minutes of the full artillery before they were asking if we could please take it all in from a sizeable distance.  Judging by my son’s grimace, I equate “sizeable distance” to some 50 miles give or take.  Luckily, they were both comforted with some kettle corn – leading to a discussion of whether the kettle corn they were eating was actually around during the Civil War (uh, sorry, FDA…) .

Enjoying the porch on the Mitchell Manor

Such a fun afternoon … even the discussion on 150 year old kettle corn.  If you ever get the chance to re-live history this way, jump at it!

A Crafty Moment

I’m not a crafty or artistic person, but there are certain times that an idea comes into my head that I cannot banish until I’ve completely worked it out.

Such was the case this week …

Aidan has a little throw pillow he sleeps with, but it presents a constant problem for me.

1. It’s ugly (originally an old decorative pillow from my bed that ended up being neither decorative nor functional, it adorned the top of the wardrobe ’til Aidan found use for it)

2. It doesn’t have an easily removeable / child-proof slip cover for cleaning.

Up until now, I’ve always covered it with the smallest sham cover I had (which was still 6-8 inches too big all around … and made it even MORE ugly) just so that I had something to cover it, remove, and wash.  This week however, I had a the proverbial “light bulb”!

On my sewing desk, I have a couple badly ripped shirts of Bob’s just waiting to be repurposed.  They’re ripped in the arms (my husband; the Incredible Hulk) so the torso/body of the shirt is completely intact.  Not wanting to send my husband out to work like this … (not that Larry the Cable Guy doesn’t have his own unique style … I just don’t know if it would A) work on Bob, or B) work on Bob’s place of employment) …

…I decided that the shirt would make a great pillow cover.

 

 

I should warn you … I had no pattern, I measured no seams, and I don’t even think I cut in a straight line, so don’t look TOO closely. (actually, you can’t even if you wanted to because of the fuzzy/dark picture … oops … sorry)

*BEFORE*

Technical note: You may need to adjust the circumference of the torso, depending on the width of shirt and the size of your pillow.

*AFTER*

2nd Technical note: I made an executive decision (my favorite part about creating projects) to use the buttons to seal the cover and to leave the shirt in a very “shirt-like” (read: “authentic”) way even as a pillow case so that you can see part of a seam and a pocket:

Result? Aidan loves his old new “Daddy Pillow” and I finally have a good, removable, and washable cover! Added bonus: Aid always has something of his Dad’s very close to him.  Repurposing? Check.  Sentimental Value? Double Check.

The finished product: shown here with Charlie and “Didi” [pronounced “dih-dih”] … the other two items that never leave Aid’s side.

Final notes on the project: After over 24 hours of use, it has become apparent that having a pillow that buttons is also a really great way to teach your 2 year old how to button and un-button things (if they didn’t know already).  Apparently, it’s also an excellent place to store trains.  [True story: I found 3 small wooden trains and 4 pieces of track stuffed into it before his bedtime last night … now that would have made for a comfy sleep.]

Are you a repurposer of fabric?  I have a whole stack of items I’m just itching to find a use for — let me know some of your best / most fun projects!

Lost In Translation

The problem with even the most learned and verbose 2 year old seems to be the epic gap between what you tell them and what they repeat to others.  Clarification: NOT qualifying my son among the most learned … most verbose?  Possibly, but not so much with the smarts at this point.

Example of what I mean: an altercation between my boys this week …

Chase and Aidan had both been standing in the doorway of their room and Chase wanted to leave the room, so he did.  Problem: Chase is unaware of his size or anything he comes into contact with as he moves towards a desired goal.  Therefore, it’s not unusual for him to literally walk into, over, and practically through either of his siblings.  Aidan, perceiving a physical grievance (is accidental body slamming a grievance?) screamed and said “Chasey hit me!”.  Having seen the entire thing, I could vouch for Chase’s having NOT hit him, but rather steam-rolled him.  However, semantics are immaterial in the face of 2 year old indignation.  In other news, “hit” is apparently a term used for all physical contact.  [Must file that one away in the parental memory bank.]

Putting my best parental foot forward, I spoke with Aidan about how his brother hadn’t meant to hurt him…that it had been an accident, but that he could and should go and talk to Chase and tell him that he’d been hurt.  [Pretty sure all he heard was “Aidan, blah, blah, accident, blah, blah”] 

The next thing I heard was Aidan tracking Chase down in the living room for a brotherly confrontation: 

“Chase!”

“Uh!” [this is how Chase responds to Aidan screaming his name across the room – I think it’s a cross between “What do you want?” and “Really? If you wanted to talk to me, you’d come sit on me, so as you’re still across the room, I don’t care yet”]

“Chase, you are an accident!  Did you hear me, Chase?  You are an ACCIDENT!”

“Uh!”

Hmm, I think we missed something …

Friday Five as the Saturday Six

I was thinking about the “Friday Five” yesterday … I really was!  Somehow the day got away from me though. 

This week, it’s a picture kind of Friday Five.  It’s in the air or something.  And because I’m such a blog-crastinator, I give you the “Friday Five: as the Saturday Six edition” …

Bob: this is how you’ll often find my husband.  Deep in news, political, and/or theological thought; even while watching the kids.  The man’s brain is a sponge.   Don’t believe me?  You should check out his blog

Ellie:  because it was a crazy week, and because I was behind the camera and didn’t think about it, and because I’d really love for you to think of me this way and not as the crazed, pony-tail and glasses wearing, covered in throw-up, spit-up or some other kind of body function person … here’s my picture for the week.  This is what I really look like.  Every day.  As a I keep my immaculate house and cook my husband 5-course dinners every night.  [stifling maniacal laughter]  By the way, this is me with my cousin Emily – a gorgeous woman inside and out.  Sorry to wrangle you into this post, Em … I couldn’t find a picture of just me all dolled up. 

Darcy:  On Friday, Darcy’s accomplishment was undoubtedly dressing herself.  Let me just say … she does this by herself with great success in normal wardrobe choices all the time, but yesterday, something happened.  I don’t know what, but it was so completely clothes-tacular that I couldn’t resist documenting it here.  Darcy, I apologize to your 18 year old self in advance.  Here’s the front …

Note:  Yes, those are Christmas socks.  They’re actually adult socks that her grandmother gave to her to use as sock puppets or something and she loves them so much that she wears them year round, hiking them up to her knees with little “this is the place for your ankle” bubbles halfway up the back of her leg. 

And the back …

Truly a proud parenting moment. 

Aidan:  Aid hates the camera.  He loves looking at pictures after they are taken, but he has totally disconnected from the concept that you need to stand in front of the camera if you want to see yourself in a picture.  Which is why over 90% of our pictures look like this …

I *can’t wait* for the Christmas card picture. [please sense the dripping sarcasm]  In other news, Aidan is obsessed with ants.   I could grow a beard walking down the average sidewalk because we have to stop and look at EVERY. SINGLE. ANT.  He especially likes to try poking at them or picking them up.  Although, last night, he informed Bob and I that he was “petting the ant” -wait for it- “with his shoe“.  We laughed even as we heard the sound of future college scholarships getting flushed down the toilet. 

Chase: the big news for Chase is that he had his first hair cut this week!  [you should be both proud of me and relieved that I didn’t subject you to the “my baby’s first hair cut” blog as I’d originally threatened]  As cute as the old-man-hair-over-his-ears-meets-the-mullet look was, it was time … it was time. 

And since it’s the Saturday Six edition this week … here’s a picture of the youngest: clearly just chillin’.  Blissfully unaware of the crazy family he’s about to inhabit …

Have a great picture that defines your week?  Feel free to link to it in the comment section below.

Have a great weekend!