Just like you...only different: An open letter to Aiden's Kindergarten classmates

Congratulations on this huge milestone in your lives! Kindergarten is SO much fun and such a huge step. Many of you are leaving your mommies and daddies a few hours a day for the first time ever. You may feel nervous, excited, scared and so many more emotions and that is okay.

My little guy Aiden is starting this journey too. He is most excited about riding the big yellow school bus with his brother, but he is nervous about going to a new school and making new friends.

Can I let you know a little secret? I am his mommy and I am nervous too.

You see, Aiden is a very special boy. Aiden has Apert syndrome.

When I look at him, I see his big bright eyes, his long and luscious eye lashes that would make any woman envious. I see the soft brown freckles sprinkled ever so delicately across his cheeks and nose. I am drawn to his contagious smile. I don't notice the scar on his head or that his face looks a little different.

But I know you probably will.

I marvel at the hands that have been refined by an amazing surgeon giving him fingers where there once were none. I watch in awe as he twists the cap off a water bottle or cuts a piece of paper into a million scraps. I see perfectly created little toes that make shoe shopping a week-long challenge. I don't think his hands are strange or his toes are weird.

But you might think so.

When I hear Aiden talk, I am reminded of when so many doctors and specialists told me he may have hearing loss that would effect his speech. That language may always be a struggle. Needless to say, he has proven them all wrong. When I talk to Aiden I don't think he's hard to understand.

But it may be difficult for you to know what he's saying sometimes.

I don't mind if you notice these special things about him. Most people do. However it is my hope that when you are learning your ABC's and colors of the rainbow, that you also learn how to accept my little boy. That before you decide not to sit next to him on the bus or share your crayons with him during art, you give him a chance.

He will make you laugh with his little jokes and silly songs. He will be a great friend, always ready to help you hang your backpack or put the blocks away. And my Aiden? He gives the best hugs, hands down.

Get to know him. That's all I ask. And when you do, you will understand - Aiden is just like you...only different.

Hope you all have a wonderful year!

Love, Aiden's mommy

A Week of Firsts

Just to keep things interesting around here (since we don't already have enough on our plate), Ricky and I have refocused our house hunting goals. We haven't ruled out building altogether but as of right now we are leaning more towards purchasing an existing home for several reasons. First, we are finding that we would be able to get A LOT more home for the money and second, the time frame for building the house we originally set out sights on means definitely not getting settled back together as a family until May/June 2014.

With all that said, we've been keeping an eye on houses that are for sale and a few weeks ago I saw a gem that I couldn't pass up. I called our realtor, asked her to set up an appointment, and drove to Louisville the next day to take a look in person. It was perfect. As I compared the pros and cons of this 10 year old house to our plans for building, it totally came out on top. Some of the things we would sacrifice if we chose to build were: a finished basement, an office, a 5th bedroom, an eat-in kitchen, a garage large enough for both cars AND storage, and some of the "extras" that tack on additional costs. This house has all of the above and then some.

So, I took a TON of pictures and attempted to FaceTime with Ricky - after all, he was going to have to make a decision on whether to put an offer in on this house without ever having seen it himself! And...we ended up doing just that. We thought for sure there was no way the sellers would accept a contingency offer but we decided to give it a shot. Guess what? They accepted it! They gave us 30 days to sell our home in Texas during which time they would list it as "pending" and agreed not to show it or take back up offers. They also wanted a home inspection done within 10 days.

Less than a week later Ricky was on a plane to KY. The timing of all of this worked out beautifully - as this meant Ricky would be in town for a whole slew of major "firsts". He got in on Tuesday night and surprised the boys Wednesday morning for their first day of school.

After they got on the bus, we headed to the hospital for an ultrasound where he got to see the baby moving around for the first time (I had already had 2 ultrasounds but Ricky was in Texas and they have a strict NO PHONES policy so he was out of luck until now).

The inspection was slated for Thursday afternoon. That morning, Ricky was able to coordinate some time in the office at corporate to discuss some of the work transitioning while I took Hudson to my in-laws for a visit. We had lunch with our friend Tom at one of my favorite pizza joints, got my rings cleaned at Haas Jewelers and then went to the house for the inspection. Remember, this was Ricky's first time seeing the house we are set to buy! (He loves it by the way - PHEW!)

We didn't make it back to NKY in time for the boys first Karate class (thanks for taking them Nana!) but Friday brought Hudson's 1-year photos and Ethan's soccer practice. On Saturday Ricky got to see both boys rock it in their soccer games and afterwards we spent a few hours as a family at the pool. He had to head back to Texas on Sunday - and there was no shortage of tears as we said goodbye. We don't exactly know when he will be back but the best case scenario is not until mid or late September. While the not knowing is difficult, we are very thankful it worked out to where he was able to be here for all of those very important "firsts".

Pictures taken at Portrait Innovations

In the meantime, the boys and I are settling in to our routine here and keeping our fingers crossed that our house sells soon so we can move forward with buying the one we found in Louisville. We've buried St. Joseph and are saying lots of prayers -- we would appreciate anyone willing to say some on our behalf as well!

Everything's Changing

Well, it's official! I just completed the "change of address" form with the Postal Service. My time in Texas is over and I'm settling in at my parent's house in Kentucky. This is definitely going to be a year of transition. Ricky is still in Texas until at least Labor Day, but we are hopeful our house will sell SOON and he can get it all wrapped up before then.

My dad flew down to Texas last week and will be driving one of our vehicle's back to KY - loaded with all the "stuff" we will need at my parent's house this year. Consolidating an entire house into one car load has been an eye opener for sure. It has made me wonder if I can live without SO MUCH stuff for a year, is it really necessary at all?

So to sum up the changes our family will be up against this year...
- a major move from Texas to Kentucky
- moving in with my parents
- living apart from my husband
- kids starting at a new school
- attempting to build a house in Louisville

And oh yeah...if you follow More Skees Please on Facebook, you have seen the news...

Yep - that's right - we are expecting baby #4!!! 

(For the record: Yes, we were "trying". No, we didn't think it was going to happen because of the difficulty we had last time. So yes, we were surprised. No, we weren't "trying for a girl". Yes, of course we will be thrilled if it is a girl. No, we absolutely won't be "upset" if it's "another" boy.)

Just wanted to get all that out of the way upfront. I'll post about "the pregnancy" in more detail later. :)

In the meantime - please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate these major life changes. It's a lot to take on all at once! Thankfully, I am blessed with a large support network who will help things go as smoothly as possible.