Friday, July 29, 2011

Laugh Out Loud!

Sometimes kids are laugh-out-loud funny. You know? The last two days I have been driving and the kids have said things that were so funny (to me, at least) that I laughed out loud. Then they start laughing and we all laugh together, which is one of the best sounds in the world.

Me to A: Honey, you have the hiccups again? Didn't you have the hiccups yesterday, too? Goodness!
A: I know, Mom.
C: Yeah, what's wrong with you? (with that "seriously, what's wrong with you" tone, but not in a mean way)
-laughter from me-then laughter from everyone!
As I'm writing this, it doesn't sound as funny as it was in the car. Funny how that happens!

C: Mom, I just saw a dead monkey on the road.
Me: You did?
C: Yeah.
Me: (laughing) Buddy, monkeys don't live here. They live in warmer places.
C: Oh (smiling). Well then, what was it?
Me: A raccoon.
C: Well, it looked like a monkey.

And then of course there was one other thing I remembered in the car today that happened yesterday, and I sat down to write and I cannot remember what it was. So there may be an extension to write later if I remember!

Kids are really laugh-out-loud funny sometimes. Don't you think?

Sunday, July 24, 2011


on a tire swing is not such a good idea for C. Did I tell you what happened? I don't think I did.

It was a beautiful day about 2 weeks back and we went to my school so the kids could play on the playground. They love the tire swings there and asked to be pushed. I did and found a way to spin them a bunch. We did it a few times before I heard, "Mommy, my tummy doesn't feel so good." I don't think I really heard him-it was one of those distant things you hear as a parent, but don't really hear. I should have listened.

The next thing I know, I have spun the kids so much that C throws up. Yes! Mommy of the Year Award, right here! We got him off the tire swing and J walked with him to sit down while I tracked down some clean clothes from the nurses office (thank goodness we were at my school!). He says to him, "Daddy, I can't believe I threw up on my "My Mom Rocks" shirt!" Too was a shirt that had guitars on it which he had picked out the night before. He was completely fine after we got him all set, and he ran off to play some more.

J and I have been talking about it a bit here and there as we a beginning to plan our Disney trip in more detail. Teacups? We're not too sure about that now! We're holding off on the spinning for now!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why I Write

Yesterday I had a chance to get together with a writing cohort I've been a part of for the last 2 years. We are almost finished with our classwork and then we will all receive our critical literacy certificate. Basically this means we've learned a lot about writing and will be resources for our district. Through this cohort we all had a chance to go to Summer Institute put on through the Minnesota Writing Project. During the institute we always started our day with a writing prompt. So in true fashion, we had a writing prompt (at the end) that was fitting for us: Why do you write? Here was my response (in 5 minutes!):

Today I write for me. I write to remember, mostly. I write so I know what happened when. I write to remember what C or A said to me that day. I write to get a load off my chest. You know those days-those long days, hard days; the days where something someone said gets you all riled up. I write then, too.

It's hard to write for others. It's hard to write what someone wants when it's not what you want. I get stuck then. I suppose I write for others all the time, now, since I have this blog.

But mostly it is for me. Selfishly me.

Happy Birthday, Mom and Dad!

(These posts come late as I had connection issues and the computer was being used for classwork. Better late than never, though!)

Today (July 10th)  is my mom's birthday. Happy Birthday to you, Mom!
My mom is a wonderful lady, mamma and mom. I love her dearly. You know how "people" say moms know best? It's true. They do. They know a lot about a lot. Little things, big doesn't really matter what it is, they know a lot. I'm lucky to have a mom like that.

I also know that she'll be there whenever I need her. She is trusting, kind and loving. She loves me and the kids unconditionally, even when we're not perfect. She knows we try our best at everything we do. She's supportive. She's lovely.
Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you so very much!


My dad's birthday was yesterday (July 17th). Now he and my mom are the same age. He can always hold that over her head for a week...the fact that he is younger than her for just that little bit.
I love my dad, as any child would. My dad is quiet mannered and kind. He is gentle and caring. He teaches and is patient. He loves and is loved! He is a great Papa to our kids; they love him to bits. C loves watching races with him. He just said to me today, "Mom, Papa sure loves to watch racing. And so do I. Who do you think taught him to love watching racing? He taught me, that's for sure." It's the little things that make kids happy and think about their grandparents.
My dad is also a hard worker. He doesn't sit still very much, but that is to everyone elses advantage. He pretty much runs when he is at work to get everyone their things on time. He doesn't sit still at the cabin, but that's because he is always doing something to fix something or make it better for someone else. He's pretty selfless.
I love you, Dad! I couldn't wish for anyone different but you. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

10 Years

Happy Anniversary to my Honey! 10 years ago today we were married on a very hot day. Go figure, in July. We cannot believe that 10 years have already gone by. I'm pretty sure that seemed like forever when we were married.
I have to say that I feel like our relationship is stronger and better than it ever has been. Not that it has ever been not good, but I think it has gotten better as we've been together longer. I feel really lucky in that sense because for many people that is not the case. I think we "get" each other more than before. I understand where J is coming from and can see his point of view. It isn't just about what I think or about what I want. Sure, I still want things to go my way, but I know and understand where he is coming from which is important in a marriage.
Going through being a parent together makes me appreciate and understand our relationship even more, too. I think being parents together makes us stronger. Where I lack, he picks up and is strong and vice versa. Having the strong relationship base we have in our marriage makes being a parent that much better because we know we have each other.
We have each other. That's the most important thing. I don't care about the size of our house, the trips we take, the things we have, the places we go...all of that pales in comparison to what we have in our marriage. I panic at the thought of the day when I don't have that. The only time I see that coming is when one of us is no longer here (physically). Until then I will live in the here and now with J and thank God for every day I have with him!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One of those days (or two days)

Have you ever had one of those days with your kids? I mean the kind of day where you're not sure who got up on the wrong side of the bed-you or them? Yup. We had that kind of day. Today and yesterday. Not fun. Yesterday morning A said to J, "Daddy, this is not a good day." Even she knew it. The two kids were arguing about EVERYTHING. Who got to sit where. Who got their food first. Who got to go to the right on the sidewalk instead of the other way (where there was WAY more room). Who got to go on the "high" swing (that's only about 2 inches higher than the other). Who got to use the bowl of beads for a project. Who got to pick up the beads after they fell on the ground. You get it, right?

It seems our kids have hit that point in the summer where they need a bit more structure other than, "Go play!" The last two days they have wondered around the yard and the house like lost puppies. They hang over our shoulders, wondering what we are doing, even though we've told them 5 times. One would think that after having a birthday they would want to play with all of their new toys. They do want to, and have, don't get me wrong, but they last about 5 minutes with each new thing. I'm beginning to think we need to have just a few new things out. Maybe that would help the aimless wandering.

So to all you parents out there who can hardly wait for school to start again, I hear you! I hear you loud and clear! I was at that point and even said to J, "Ok, school can start for THEM. Not for us, just for them." I know this will pass and I'll be thankful (hopefully tomorrow) that we're home with the kids and get more time to spend with them. In fact just tonight I was feeling better about things. We took a family bike ride around the block and the kids were all smiles. No complaining, whining or negative things said. I know this will carry over to tomorrow...positive thinking makes a difference!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A couple to look to

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!

Today is their 36 wedding anniversary. That's a long time and they still have so many more years to come! I love my parents and love the fact that they continue to be a couple to look to for our marriage. My favorite part about watching my parents is when I see the glance they give each other or the times they hold hands. These are some of the things I hope our kids see us do as they grow up so they know it's alright to show signs of loving each other.

We love you and love the things you have provided us in a model for a marriage. Thank you. Happy Anniversary and may there be many more to come!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, my babies!

Dear A,
Today you are 5 years old. You are still so much the same as you were the day you were born. Your red hair lives up to the spunky nature of your personality. Your blue eyes and fair skin continue to remind me of your daddy. Your smile and freckles tell so much about you and your silly, smiley way. 

This past year has been a very busy one for you. There were a few firsts along the way. You went to pre-K this year and made so many friends. You loved every part of school. You especially loved your teachers and wanted to do the right thing for all of them. At the cabin you went tubing for the first time and you went waterskiing too! We signed you up for soccer this year. Your favorite parts were the water breaks and the snack at the end of the game. You are trying to learn how to ride a two-wheel bike, and Daddy and I have no doubt you will learn by the end of the summer. You have already lost two teeth! The tooth fairy keeps leaving notes for you, which you love. 

We can't wait to see what the next year will bring. We know you'll continue to amaze us with all you will learn. We will have many more "grown-up" conversations with you, because you always chime in with things that surprise us. You are such a kind and caring sister-always looking out for C. We love you so much, Peanut. We are so proud to be your Mommy and Daddy. Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Dear C,
Today you are 5 years old! My Buddy, who still likes to snuggle his mommy (sorry, I told your secret), is getting so big. Your sweet, mellow personality is very much the same...only getting crabby when you're hungry. Some things never change! Your big brown eyes still melt your mommy's heart. I have a feeling that will always be true.

This year was a big year for you! You tried soccer, basketball and t-ball for the first time. You especially loved the running in soccer and basketball but loved hitting and throwing in t-ball. We'll see how things end up in the coming years! At the cabin you went tubing for the first time-even before your sister! You tried waterskiing too. You still love riding your scooter (now a 2-wheeled one) outside. You also (still) love anything Cars related. That seems to have stuck with you! You went to pre-K this year and really surprised us. You were so meticulous in your work and wanted to please your teachers (who you absolutely adored). We are so proud of you and are excited for what school will bring for you. You are starting to read, too, which is also exciting! One of your very favorite things to do is rough-house with Daddy. I know this is just the beginning!

We can't believe our Big Guy is already 5 years old. We love every part of you inside and out. We are so proud to be your Mommy and Daddy. You are growing up to be a kind, caring brother and friend. We can't wait to see what will come next! Happy Birthday, Punkin!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

An Accidental Find

This year our kids had a wonderful experience that was completely accidental. I mean their entire year of preschool or pre-K was accidental. You see we were all set and ready to go back to their old school. Payments had been made already and we knew the class they were going to be in. There were some things we weren't so sure about with that place though: the price going up, A & C not being with other kids in the pre-K class and a few other pieces that dealt with the business side of things.

And then the postcard came.

Fun For 4’s Preschool…offered full or part-time…at our neighborhood school. How had I never heard about this before? I looked EVERYWHERE for something like this earlier last spring. And I found nothing. Too good to be true, but not! I called and talked to someone who turned out to be Miss Kara. She was very good at calming my fears as we were at the cabin for our last hurrah before school started again. I mean we’re talking down-to-the-wire with making this decision, which is why I call it An Accidental Find. The 4 of us went to the school to take a peek at the classroom they would be in and learn that the two teachers are former half-day kindergarten teachers. The district we are in went to full day kindergarten as the only option a few years ago, so Miss Kara and Miss Lindsey went into the position of the pre-K teachers. The interesting thing about this is that the program is completely independent of the school district and community ed. They run under a non-profit group that also runs the before and after school childcare. Interesting, don’t you think?
But seriously, how did this all happen? It was a leap of faith to say the least. We really were happy with the kids’ previous preschool/daycare experience. We loved everyone there and they loved our kids back. Were we ready to take that leap and switch things on our kids even though there wasn’t anything wrong? We were and we did, with much satisfaction. This Accidental Find was one of the best things that could have happened to our family. Our kids were so happy this year and met so many nice kids they will be with for years to come through kindergarten and on. Kara and Lindsey were true blessings. Things fell into place as we met with them and talked through what to expect. That whole “Things happen for a reason” saying is true. I know it can be cliché sometimes, but in this case I really believe we got the postcard for a reason. A & C have learned so much in the last year and I believe it is a direct reflection of the Fun For 4’s.
So thank you, Kara and Lindsey (and Rachel, Andy, Barbara…), for loving our kids. Thank you for teaching them how to count to 100. Thank you for teaching them to love books. Thank you for teaching them science (we’re constantly trying to figure out what floats or sinks). Thank you for teaching them how to work with others. We couldn't have asked for more and are so thankful to have accidentally found you.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Catching up...a visit to a museum

Do you ever feeling like you’re always catching up? I do. At least that’s how I’m feeling right now in the summer about my writing. I did so well during my month-long challenge in March! But that was long ago, so now I sit here with my list of things to write about and I go back to the month of May.
I was lucky enough to take some time to go on a field trip with A & C’s class when they went to the Art Institute. I had only been once before on a different field trip (9 years ago) so I was excited to go. We had read a Fancy Nancy book about going to a museum so the kids were a little familiar with what to expect. Not that she tells all, but at least they identified a bit.
The kids were all paired up as they walked into the museum. It was clear they had done this before-gone on field trips-as they knew just what was expected of them!
Upon walking into the building, we were greeted by our guide who explained we were going on a safari. This meant we would be looking for all things animal related. I have to say as I walked through I was less focused on the artwork on display and more focused on how well the kids were doing walking through the exhibits. Wow! Would our kids act like this if we went as a family? I hope so, but I don’t think I’ll hold my breath.

My memory from this day lies in the fact that I got to be there with my kids. They were just as excited about me being there as I was to be with them. I remember what it was like as a kid-having parents that worked full time-and having those couple days when I knew my mom was going to be at a class party or on a field trip with me. They were highlights of that year, no matter the age. Even though the kids are only 4, and maybe they don’t think like that yet, I know I feel like I’m making a difference like my parents did when I was younger.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pretty soon, they will know...

that we're going!
Can you tell what we're getting ready for?
They won't know until Sunday though, so shhhhh...