Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

Today is Daddy's birthday.  We are not saying how old, as Mr. M has reached the point of not wanting to celebrate them.  :$

J is beyond himself with delight in celebrating Daddy's birthday.  He was very adamant about wanting to sign his card to daddy

He did pretty well.  I cannot believe he is already to this point.

It's so bitter sweet...

Happy Birthday Baby!!!  I hope this year continues to grow in happiness & delight we've enjoyed since meeting you in 2001, just prior to your 30th birthday.  Love you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vacation Countdown

J could not be more excited about going to see Grandma & Grandpa P at "the Beach".  He is already packed, although, he does seem to pack, unpack & repack his toys daily.  I think I finally have him convinced to not pack toys until this weekend.  Sigh.  He is so cute & I love he is so excited.

I'm looking forward to a few days of not thinking.  A few days of just being mommy.  No 5:15 wake ups.  No set schedules.  No *must dos*...

That said, I did request we check out the Gator Airboat rides this time.  I think J will love it, as he is getting so into nature. 

J is so excited he will have 3 unscheduled, uninterrupted, unplanned days with me...

And I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'm delighting in his joy & exuberance.

<3 him bunches & bunches!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It's what is for breakfast!

I have to share this as J was so fascinated by the raw nature happening before his eyes.  He asked about 10 million questions trying to understand the "hows & whys"...

How did the duck die?  Did he go to Heaven?  How did the Hawk find him?  Did the Hawk kill him?  How does the duck go to Heaven if the Hawk is eating him?

and on & on it went...

All in a day's learning, as I dropped him off at school...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Season Opener

"Let's play ball"
 Or not...

Mr. M & I had many discussions on whether or not to sign J up for this year's t-ball.  He just barely made the cutoff to play.  In the end, we went with the 'eff it' attitude thinking what could the worst thing be that could happen?


A week ago yesterday, J's coach made a off-handed comment in regards to J being one of the best players on the team.  Mommy soared with pride, especially when you realize he is playing with 6-year-olds.

What a curse... Last Tuesday J spent practice in tears, and yesterday - OMGosh what happened to my player & can I please have him back?!?!?! 

At practice, I would stand on the field with him to help keep him focused, but during the games, I need to go no further than the dugout.  Sigh.  J had a really difficult time with me not actively being involved.  And that stressed out me & Mr. M, which in turn stress J out. 

As pitcher, J was randomly focused.  He'd grab the ball coming his way, but he'd also throw his mitt in the air if they were working on hitting.  He'd run off the field if he wanted to high-five, fist bump, or just "tell me something".  It was craziness.

To start 2nd inning, J was to the catcher.  He was all excited about getting to wear the helmet, then his coach said he didn't need it, then the Ump said he did.  It was a complete cluster to start the 2nd inning. 

It ended with J refusing to wear the safety helmet to play catcher (granted, he did face plant due to it being so heavy when he went to pick up a ball) & Mr. M deciding it was time for us to leave, prompting a massive meltdown by J.

We are now questioning on whether J is simply to young to play.  Are we pushing him to hard?  Initially we thought it couldn't hurt, but now I'm wondering if it is too much for him.  Tomorrow he will go to practice pretty much straight from school since Miss Cheryl is on vacation.  This will be new for him.  It will be interesting to see how he does without his normal downtown, especially since I will be standing with the moms & trying to put more of this on his Coach setting him for success on Sunday.

I hope anyway.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Nights

Tonight J & I continued our Friday pizza & a movie night. It was so much fun! For starters, Miss Wendy & Skye joined us. J was rather bummed to realize Skye did not cherish this dinner & a movie as much as he does. But J was happy to snuggle on the couch with me and watch Puss n Boots together. Wendy & I were able to catch up on the chaos that seems to be invading our lives recently without dwelling on any one thing. Mainly it was nice to sit with a glass of wine & just relax. No driving required, so simple & so nice. We did find a super yummy wine tonight. I've found I really enjoy the sweet delights of reisling wines. Being from Michigan, I liked the idea of supporting a local winery. I'm so glad I did, as I stumbled upon a reasonably priced bottle of wine that was a full bodied delight to my tongue. Grand Traverse Select - Sweet Select Reisling. Truly enjoyable. J is surprising me more & more with the words heis learning. Between having to know how to spell things to communicate in ASL, or simply developing, he astounded me tonight when I spelled ice cream for Miss Wendy to approve prior to offering to Skye, only to have Mr. Monkey spell it out to himself & respond with "ice cream!!! Yes, I want ice cream!! It is crazy to me that he is picking this up. Id be lying if I didn't admit it makes reading & such a whole lot more fun... J's home opener is Sunday. Should be a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Time Slips By...

No idea why this post does not seem to want to post... Try this one last time...

Life has been crazy in our home... Q1 close followed by a visit from the man whose name is on my paycheck from Europe.  We've been busy with t-ball & getting ready for some beach time. 

J has been an awesome trooper through it though.  He entertained himself while I worked from home & generally stayed pretty upbeat, all things considered, about Miss Cheryl feeding him dinner & putting him to bed on occasion.

Things are looking up & boy are we ever excited...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Local News...

Someone special made the front page our local newspaper...
J was more excited to see Maddi than to see himself.  :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This year we really tried to expose J to both components of Easter.  On the fun side, he had the bunny, the egg hunt, the loot.  And on the more serious side, we did Palm Sunday and Easter services.  We talked about Jesus rising from the dead.  About Judas betraying him. 

And of course, J was totally confused, as we been trying to convey once you die - you go to Heaven, you don't get to come back to Earth as a baby.  J is in the "next time I'm a baby" phase.  It's cute, but oh so confusing when tied in with the Resurrection.

I find J challenges me.  He requires I think outside of the box to answer his questions in a way that he understands.  Last night we read an less modern version of a Mickey Mouse story, and I tried to explain what an orphanage was and why it was so nice of Goofy to give all his race winnings to buy toys for the kids in the orphanage. 

While J was up early, doing his nightly migration to our bed, he didn't actually want to check out his basket until the sun was up for the day.  Mommy & Daddy were truly grateful.  However, once the house was moving, J was all about the basket. 

And it was filled with goodies he was so happy to find.
 Angry Birds PJs, and two games (one with actual pigs & birds), reusable Spiderman lunch mates, and jeans in size 5, plus some White Sox gear.  Of course, the bunny left an actual bunny, but so far he is happier with the sugar free gum.

Mommy swoon.
 Requisite Easter Spring picture.  I knew he was in the sun, but it wasn't until he took the picture that I realized the impact the sun had on him.
J asked for "Pocket Full of Sunshine" on the way home, and I simply cracked up when I spotted him sitting so sprawled rocking it out on the way home in my mommy eye-spy mirror.  The next stop sign I snuck this quick pic to savor for all eternity.

Love him!!!
I honestly don't think anything could have made this boy happier than this game.  He immediately started asking if we could do "Family Game Night".  At 8 in the morning.  So yes, he was beyond thrilled for us to commence it after dinner & nap time. 

He's even gotten pretty good at knocking the pigs over.  Mommy still has to read the full directions & learn how to incorporate the cards and such for point, but right now we are just having fun playing it with just the pigs, the birds & the sling shot.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Egg Painting Time

We had such a fun weekend!  We spent Friday entertaining a friend of J's from FRA, his mom & little brother.  We played inside, at the park and back to play downstairs.  Even though nap time is around noon for the little one, we pushed it till closer to 2 and wow did everyone nap & give us momma's a couple free moments Friday afternoon.


I was all prepared for Sunday on Friday afternoon.  Delightful!

Plus, good times spent bonding & enjoying good company.

On Saturday, J and I just simply enjoyed not having any responsibilities.  Simply relaxing.  We played together.  We snuggled.  We napped.

We painted eggs.
 J being the clean kid he always is... He loved not getting all dirty while doing the eggs.  :)

Such fun & colorful addition to our Easter decor for Sunday!

We made a taco dinner for daddy.  J is having so much fun helping me cook in the kitchen.  I love sharing this time with him, even if it is only getting him to expand his choices slightly.

This weekend was awesome! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Since June 2007, I've lost the ability to sleep.  It started out innocent enough.  Anytime I ate pizza sauce, I was sick.  Then I noticed, if I had a tomato on my hamburger or salad at lunch, I was sick.

Then, due to discomfort, I moved to the couch and achieved less sleep.  Kind friends whispered in my ear about this preparing me for the child I was carrying.

Then February 9, 2008 arrived, and wait - J was a great sleeper.

As long as the person watching him (I worked 2 days a week) ensured he napped, he would sleep like a champ.  You miss a scheduled nap & oh, you were screwed.  He would need to be held through the next round or 10 of naps to recover sleep loss.

Then teething and growth spurts and any other nonsense babies turning into toddlers are known to have, would interfere with our well honed schedule.

Seriously, schedules, smedules.  If I learned it, J changed it.

By the time J was 2 and I was back at work 4 days a week, seemingly humming along, I had developed a habit. 

A Diet Dew habit, to be exact.

So when J joined us in bed at 3, I found comfort in his being there & could sleep.  But now, that we have him back in his own bed.  And Mr. M being gone several nights a week (hopefully this will end soon), I've lost my ability to sleep.

Even on the rare weekend day that my alarm is not chasing me out of bed at 5, the dog will be crying to go outside.  And this is all after my not falling dead in bed after 10 or 11, possibly later if I get into a mood.  Either a book or catching up on TV.  Winding down.  Trying to catch an ounce of me time.

Heck, the night I went blondish, I didn't even think about starting till it was 9 pm.  Because everyone needs to start an hour project on a work night at 9 pm.  It truly makes so much sense.


I'm slowly starting to scale back my Dew consumption, but it is hard.  Part of it is habit.  Habits are comfort. 

And I'm feeling it.  My eyes are heavy by late day.  At night, I'm simply defeated. 

Too bad work doesn't offer an afternoon power nap.  I think it would help.

I think this is the hardest part about working.  Finding the balance between what I need for my health & what I need to survive.

Let's not even discuss working out.  Sigh... and Double Sigh...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I thought we were here to play tball...

  • not pick the grass & put it on top of anothers head...
  • certainly not gymnastics
  • or lay down & whining
And that is just the 6 year olds.


My 4 year old adds to this mix running aimlessly for no reason as far as he can to reach the bike path & then come back.  (Yes, he does at least come back)  Coupled with the nonstop:  'Am I being good mommy?  Am I going to get to play on the playground after practice?'

Because, yes, that is why we are here... For you to listen & follow directions well enough to earn a trip to the park at 7pm for a whole whopping 15 mins.

It is a school night & that equals bedtime.  Sorry Bud!


I expected the 'he got my ball' cries and 'when is it my turn (to hit or to get the ball)' queries.

Most practices I leave feeling a bit awed that J is paying attention at the same level as the 6 year olds.

But then, with the bar set at this level...

I may have silently echoed the Coach's out loud thinking...

"Hmm... What's it going to be like when we play an actual game?"

Should be good for some chuckles learning experiences...

And the kids are having fun, so there is that.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lessons Learned on Tball clean up day!

Saturday started out great.  I had gotten 2 loads of laundry of done Friday, so sneaking in an additional load early Saturday set us up perfectly for grabbing a bagel before heading out to the Tball fields for clean up day.

As we were wrapping up our breakfast, J did something he has not done since his race across the Orlando airport.

He took off running away from me.

Our bagel place is right off of route 30, and I freaked out.  This was one of those adrenaline fueled, loss of breath moments.  Luckily I was right behind him, so he did not even make it to the next store before I had my hand on his shirt.

Naturally, we promptly walked back to the bagel shop, and had a little conversation regarding this.  I'm not sure who was shocked more, but I kept my voice very calm, almost wicked calm, as I explained to J how scared I was & how sad I was he ran away like that.  I explained he could have been hit by a car or someone could have snatched him up & Mommy & Daddy would never see him again.  I gave him the biggest hug.  Told him how much I loved him.

He got the biggest tears in his eyes.  "Sorry Mommy" 

Then I asked, "How long of a time out J felt this deserved?"

He quickly answered "15 minutes".

And I sighed a huge relief.  I had gotten through to him.  He realized this was a severe action and deserved the highest level of punishment known to him.

We then left and headed over to the field for clean up day, because I felt a little manual labor would be good for him.

Considering it was low 50's, cold and windy, and in J's worst nightmare - dirty.  Let's just say he did more pouting than helping.

Which was okay, when it was just us.  I knew he was sulking over getting in trouble.  I knew as long as he was sulking, he was thinking about what he did wrong.  It also gave us the opportunity for him to prove he could be trusted to not run off in the controlled environment of the fenced field. 

It wasn't perfect, but it was needed.

As time went on, a father & his son joined us.  Then a set of grandparents with their grandson joined us in our bullpen for weed pulling and raking.  Watching the other kids have fun got J over his initial resistance and participating.  Especially when the dad grabbed a shovel & offered to show J how to use it, if he'd like.  His smile was huge.  This guy had no idea what our morning had been like and how much I needed a positive redirection for J without my giving cart blanche to letting what happened go.

J was so happy that I wanted to snap a picture of him.
Of course that would be the minute he hit a weed root he needed help pushing the shovel through & was more annoyed mommy wanted the picture than stopping the presses to help him.


It did capture the morning mood perfectly though.


After clean up, we came home & did a load of laundry & started another one, then ran to the dry cleaners & grabbed lunch.

Then we proceeded to nap for 3 hours.  Whoops!

J spent Saturday night in his glory celebrating his 4th birthday one last time - this time with Paternal Grandparents & Aunt Liz. 

Afterwards, Mr. M had a long chat with J before bed.  When they were done J came in & started to repeat what Matt had told him to say.  J remembered only the first sentence and then started laughing & said "I don't remember the rest" so of course, he was sent to his room.

I gave him a few minutes to think about it, and then went to join him.  He started to cry and said "Why won't Daddy help me?"

Me: "J stop.  Stop & think.  If you were sad and scared about something someone did to you, what would you like them to say to you.  You said it earlier."

J:  "I'm so sorry, Mommy"

Me:  "Exactly.  That's all you have to remember - how sorry you are right now for making Mommy so scared today."

Then with a great big hug & smile, we did our story & bedtime.

Sunday on our way to church, J was watching Lion King 2 & Simba gave Kiera a lecture similar to mine & he said "Mommy, I'm really sorry for scaring you yesterday."

I'm hoping this is one lesson learned. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday

Even though we had a late Saturday night, J was super excited about attending church today.  I even offered to let him sleep & he said "no mommy, we need to go to church"

Such a smart boy.  And well timed to motivate my less than motivated rear to be where I knew I should be & would feel very guilty if I had skipped.  Especially so close to Easter.

Walking in to learn it was Palm Sunday was such a treat.  The last Palm Sunday service I attended was right before my own Baptism two years ago.  I'm kind of shocked it has been two years.  Kind of like giving birth, Rebirth stands out as a moment that stands still for me.

All the way to church, J kept talking about how excited he was for class.  It was so cute!  Little did he know, he would be marching in the big church as part of the Palm Sunday parade reminiscent of the days the towns people laid palms on the ground for Jesus to walk upon.

The parade was not until the end, but when J came in, tucked in between the bigger kids, he had such a tender look of fear.  I could see him cautiously waving his palm, looking for me.  In that moment, I knew I needed to not let him see me, or he'd lose it & join me instead of marching.  So with tears of joy in my eyes, I hid behind the lady next to me.  His teacher spotted me pretty quickly & redirected J, having some of my same fears.

The kiddos did 3 circles around our church, and with each round, J got more confident.  By the 3rd pass, J was proudly and confidently marching.  He was waving his palm like he owned the place. 

And Miss Sara & I looked at each other and chuckled.  He is just so awesome & sweet.

All the way to Meijer, as we've started to make our weekly trip follow church, he chattered away about Jesus and he is dead & up in Heaven. 

With Simba's Daddy & Bambi's Mother, of course.

Love him!