Thursday, September 25, 2008

Aaron the Younger

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I have to say, I have always figured that it would be difficult to be a single parent (or as Dr. Laura would say, A Widowed Mom) ... but I never imagined that I would ever find out from personal experience just how difficult it is. These photos don't show what it is like to be a single parent, but they are fun and are some of our experiences as of late...

I get this look a lot lately when Aaron Jr. is not getting his way. Still hard to resist. :)

Here are a few activities he has enjoyed lately.

Finger painting was, of course, very messy... but it was totally worth the mess. Aaron Jr. had a blast. I have seen moms on Supernanny who have a hard time letting their kids do anything that will get them dirty or messy and Supernanny is always trying to get them to let it go and let the kids have fun... you can always clean it up when they are done. Well, I have to admit, part of me was ready to put a stop to it a few times... I even started to put the lids on the paints when I figured there was enough mess. But when Aaron Jr. protested and wanted to keep painting, I just had to take the lids back off so that he could keep creating. It was worth it. I have some wonderful 'original paintings' of Aaron Jr's that I will treasure. The one thing that I could have done without was when he started painting his feet and then using his feet to paint the cupboards underneath where he was sitting. That is when we quit and I told him it was time for a bath. I wasn't thinking at all and he started walking towards the bathroom... on the carpet... with the paint still on his feet. What a blessing that it was washable paints. :) He had such a great time.

Aaron has been doing pretty well at staying in his own bed when I am finally able to get him tired enough to go to sleep. This particular night, out of the blue, he said he wanted Daddy. So, I found a little photo of our family and gave it to him to hold. He was SO excited. First, he put it next to himself on the pillow so it was right next to his face. Then, the next time I had to get him into bed, he held it close to himself and then he put it down his shirt and hugged it tight. It was so cute.
Once he was finally asleep, this is how I found him. The little photo is under his very uncomfortable looking right shoulder.

I have really been enjoying the veggies I have been able to bring home from the farmer's market that I work at every Thursday. Here is a butternut squash that Aaron Jr. is using as an instrument and a baby. Mmmm... squash.

Top left: the night before his haircut.
Top right: the next morning when I had to carry him out of bed to get his hair cut. NOT a happy camper.
Bottom left: Suzy cutting his hair.
Bottom right: Aaron Jr's adorable haircut.

Aaron cutting his fallen popsicle with stick.
Aaron slurping his fallen popsicle from ground.
Aaron feeling proud that he was still able to eat fallen popsicle.
Should I be worried about this?

Okay, now... it sure is nice when your child starts to become a LITTLE more independent, BUT Aaron Jr. has been scaring me more often. When I let Ode out to go to the bathroom, Aaron Jr. usually wants to go out with him. So, I will let him out and then when I got out a few seconds later, he keeps following Ode down the street. I think that he thinks as long as he is with Ode, he is okay to go wherever Ode goes. I have had to put a stop to Aaron Jr. going outside with Ode unless I am there by his side. He sure has gotten fast though... he runs when I try to get him back to our house.
Also, he has begun getting into the refrigerator and cupboards to get his own snacks. I have had to move all of the food to really high cupboards and the top left photo is what I have had to resort to with the refrigerator. I would be okay with him getting his own snacks, but I keep finding him eating things down on the couch. Yogurt, crackers, bread, corn on the cob (right photo). I have had to clean the couch and the carpet way too many times in the last couple of weeks for my liking. The corn on the cob... there were a few left over after dinner, so when I wasn't looking, he got the butter out and buttered them and ate them all like this sitting on the couch. Butter isn't a good thing to get on a couch.
Another reason it needs to be stopped is because he keeps getting into the refrigerator at other people's houses. Those just are not the greatest manners. :)
The bottom photo is of him washing dishes. He is obsessed with pulling the stool over to the sink and 'washing' dishes. What actually happens is that he usually washes the floor and himself a little more than the dishes.
ONE thing that melts my heart is that every time Aaron Jr does anything that disappoints me, all I have to do is show it on my face that I am disappointed, and he walks over, gives me a hug, and says 'Sorry Mom'. It melts me and it is so hard to put him in time out after that. But I still have to sometimes.

A Year Ago...

The two photos of Aaron with Aaron Jr. are so special. We were at the park in the bottom one and Aaron was SO proud of Aaron Jr. that he was hanging from the bar all by himself... so he called me over to take a photo.

Here is Aaron Jr. last year when I caught him putting on Daddy's shoes and Daddy's jacket. I do want Aaron Jr. to know his Daddy. He can't get to know his Dad from personal experience with him, but I am hoping he gets to know his Dad through these posts and also through the friends and family who know Aaron. I do hope Aaron Jr. grows up to 'walk in his Daddy's shoes' by having all of the greatest qualities of his Dad.

Aaron Jr. has hit a stage of life in the past couple of weeks that is unlike what I have seen in him before. I have never really liked the term 'terrible twos' when referring to kids that hit a certain stage in their cute little lives... but Aaron Jr. has definitely hit the 'rambuncious twos', the 'energetic twos', the 'independent twos', the 'emotionally and physically draining of his Mom twos', the 'mischeivious twos', the 'making messes twos', the 'wanting to do everything his own way twos'... I could go on and on...
BUT on the flip side, he is still in the 'bringing overwhelming joy to his Mom twos' stage.

As far as being a single parent... it is a task I never expected or desired to have to take on. It is a very lonely and overwhelming task. With Aaron Jr. becoming more and more active and independent, I have become more and more tired physically and especially tired mentally. The time of day when Aaron would have usually come home from work, it hits me especially hard because I just long to see him walk through the door and give me that boost of emotional support and give Aaron Jr. some much needed Daddy playtime. Definitely something I took for granted when I had it.
But no matter how difficult this is, I am SO grateful to be Aaron Jr's mom. I am blessed every day by his life.

'I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.' -Doctrine and Covenants 84:88

What a precious gift.


Missing Daddy... we love you Aaron...

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Valeri said...

That was precious. So much of what you explained about Aaron's stages and ways reminded me of Chloe. It's no wonder considering they're only a couple weeks apart. :)

He is such a sweet little guy. I love the photos, and especially the one of him sleeping with the family picture. What a sweet story it tells. You are clearly such a good mom. It is natural to struggle and feel exhausted at times, but you handling it all beautifully, Leslie.

Kelly said...

I realize this is very different, but when my brother-in-law left for Iraq he and my sister had pillowcases made with his picture on them for my nieces so they could feel closer to him while he was gone, and while they slept.

Brenda said...

You are doing such a great job, Leslie! Single parenting is definitely hard and lonely--but God is with you so you're never alone. Praying for you!

Mindy said...

I have a hard time letting messes happen... thanks for the lesson in letting kids just play! I also loved your alternatives for "terrible twos"! You're doing an amazing job, and I love you!

Jyl said...

He is so precious and what great pictures you have of him! I love it!

Danielle said...

Hi there. I found your blog recently and have gone back and read your posts. I am so sorry about the loss of your husband. I just wanted you to know that I think you are an amazing women and mother. I'm sure your heart is broken and you are sad inside, but you are trying so hard to make a happy life for your son. I really admire you. Please know that although I don't know you personally, I pray for your peace, comfort and joy, every day.

Much love,

dani said...

dear leslie,
twos are different; aren't they, ha!!! i totally cracked up when i saw the photo of aaron jr with the ear of corn... too funny:D i'm thrilled you are able to enjoy this time with your beautiful little boy; though i know it is tiring and not the way things are supposed to be...
take care.

Tawnie said...

I haven't read this post yet. But I'm excited to. Wanted to let you know that you were already on my list for private viewers. Which is why you didn't get an invite.
Love you!!!!!

Rebecca_Adams said...

Aaron Jr. is getting so big! Every time you posts pictures of him, he seems more like a grown up boy to me! I'm glad you still have fun with him every once in a while. Aaron Jr. is lucky to have a mom like you!

On a side note, I just noticed Tawnie set her blog to private and I don't think I have her e-mail or anything to get in contact with her. Could I be invited to read it? My e-mail is Thanks!

Joann said...

Every single one of those pictures is absolutely precious! I honestly think it's a boy thing. They just have so much energy! The picture of him asleep on the chair is definately a keeper! I hope you are doing okay. Let's get together (yeah, yeah, yeah)!

Leslie said...

Im so glad you are enjoying every moment with him. Hes such a precious boy and has such an awesome mom!! I have a 2 year old and an 18 month old so i know all aobut these little stages they go through. Its a good thing they are so cute.

Kristi said...

We love Aaron so much. We can't wait for him to come and play with our boys.
He sure is sweet with you. I loved the story of Aaron taking the picture to bed with him.
They are only young like this for a small while. I love that you are cherishing these years while before he comes a big giant boy.
Love you lots

Tabitha said...

These are such great pictures of your sweet little boy!! He looks like a real little character!!
Hope you are both doing ok.
love and big hugs to you both XXXX

Liz said...

I can not imagine the emotional and physical struggle of a single parent. I think of you often when Steve is helping me put the kids to bed. Love your pics as always.

Cloward Family said...

Hi Leslie! Don't know if you remember me....I graduated with your sister Lisa and knew her and her friend Karrin. Anyway, I hope you don't mind I got onto your blog from Karrin's....I was up the other night with a sick baby and couldn't get back to sleep, so I stayed up reading your really touched me...I just wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss and all you are going through. Your little boy is sure cute, and you seem like an amazing mother. Take care.

Cloward Family said...
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Seesalou said...

glad you are having fun together. it was fun to have you over to eat on saturday, and yes, the zucchini bread was delicious. love you.