Monday, August 26, 2013

Perfect Moments Coupled Together...

Making everyday Moments happy Memories is what life is about.

Or at least it is what I want for Monkey.

This weekend, that is EXACTLY what we did. From kicking off the weekend grocery shopping while he inhaled McDonald's. Poor kiddo was starving! To soccer followed by fun kick off the season activities. To working on the pool (it’s still cloudy, but thankfully no longer green). To bike riding around the lake in our neighborhood. To laundry being juggled between all this fun.

Ending the day with a 2.5 hour drive into the City for dinner with friends. The plan was for a play date followed by dinner, but after the crazy drive all this Mommy wanted to do was eat. While the elongated dinner was perfect for the kiddos and parents to catch up, it was also very tiring after such a long drive. By the time we left for home, it was way later than I had planned, and I was pretty crabby. J thankfully was happy for the more often than not these days, rare opportunity to watch a movie while I drove. Within minutes of our arriving at home, he was in bed asleep.
Sunday we started off early, heading to the beach in New Buffalo, Michigan. All I can say is WOW! What a great day! Our neighbor invited several of the families in the neighborhood to spend the day on the beach with *the more, the merrier* belief. J, who has always idolized her oldest son, was over the moon spending the day with him. Since he has the capacity to see J as a kid brother (he actually likes), he was pretty awesome about letting J pal around with him.

It was also great for J & I, as we could go off & explore things, without having to be worried about our stuff coming up missing, since someone in our party was always around our groups’ stuff. We walked the rocks, until even Mr. Brave decided maybe that wasn’t such a great idea. Since Mommy had already gotten there, she was more than excited to turn back.

However, I am looking forward to maybe going back, if not this fall – next spring to do it with sneakers. I think I would have had more confidence about the rocks had I had on better shoes. As it was, I started carrying my flip flops, in fear of them falling off my feet, or causing me to slip on the rocks.

Mother Nature deciding to wait until school started to FINALLY give us some warm weather, is a pretty rotten joke, but at least we’ve been able to make the most of it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Jacob's Mistake

It's the second day of school & this was the title of an email I received from J's teacher.

His brand new teacher.

2nd day of school.

And of course, it takes the typical 2 centuries for Yahoo! to load an email here, as our reception is just so overwhelmingly not awesome.

In that time I may have questioned, Show & Tell mishap, making girls cry on the playground declaring future marriage plans (yes, this happened last year) to another little girl, a (gasp) potty accident/incident.

Oh man...It's only the 2nd day... This is not a good sign for the year.

FINALLY!  Message loaded.

"I'm sorry, I failed to order Jacob his Subway sandwich for today's lunch.  Instead of Subway, he enjoyed cereal and goldfish crackers.  I apologize for my mistake, and will be sure to place his order next time."

Oh... That's it.  My child, who would live on junk food - if permitted, got a junkier lunch than planned.  Awesome.  Relief.  Joy even.

It's the 2nd day, and we are not on the bad list for anything yet.

Even might have bought some leeway of sorts.

Life is good.

And J will be getting treated tonight for being a trooper at lunch!

We can just ignore the fact he was going to get treated anyway, as I planned to grocery shop tonight and still be home before 7, so yeah - he can think we have to go shopping to get his treat.

Sometimes *mistakes* are just hidden blessings.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

1st day of school - Big K

It's back to school time... My how he has grown. 

1st day Young Scholar
1st day Junior Kindergarten
1st day Kindergarten

Current dream when he grows up:  Be a Karate Guy

aka - a karate instructor from his Mixed Martial Arts

2nd choice:  Your job Mommy. 

I do a lot with math, do you know what math is?

Of course... It is numbers and all that adding and subtracting.

(Okay... I'm impressed...)  Why?

You have Angry Birds to play with in your office.

Love it!!!

My wish for this year is for J to continue to dream big, grow leaps and bounds, and continue to amaze and dazzle me. 

His???  Be in class with Ella.

Sigh... I'd hoped the summer would quell this "I'm going to marry Ella" theme J seems to have started at the end of last year, but no.such.luck.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

1833 School

In the spirit of back to school this week, I found it pretty neat we stumbled into an impromptu visit inside a school from 1833.

During it's prime, it educated children age 4 through 13, having desks of varying sizes to fit the student mix taught inside the one room classroom.

Pot belly stove, with my former junior high science teacher and Lifeguard instructor.  Between her sister, brother-in-law, husband and herself, the school is maintained. 

at the desks

Cam's didn't want to sit with Mallz and J, so she took her picture outside. 
On the walk from grandma & grandpa's, J and Cam's traded toys... J ended up being pictured with Gizmo and Cam had Bumblebee.

J is so excited to have me upload these and get printed copies, so he can take them into his school and share with his class.

Monday, August 19, 2013

...It's the moments...

This summer has been just spectacular.  As a family we have focused on us, nurturing bonds with laughter and love.

This weekend, we spent at my parents - seeing my nieces & brother.  It was 3 days, the last just spent with Grandma & Grandpa.  J dazzled us again with his lack of fear while tubing.  Wants faster, bumpier, read - scarier.  He's looking forward to next summer already, as we told him - we'd have grandpa intentionally dump him off the tube, so he can learn what it feels like, safety of being in the water after being dumped, and how to get back on the tube in deep water.  He is over the moon.

Mommy's arms still hurt from hanging on for dear life yesterday.  :-)

Another big accomplishment was to fully become independent on two wheels.  He's over the moon that he can take off and go with our 13 year old neighbor, who looks after J as a little brother.  We are so blessed to have such awesome neighbors. 

But the best moments of this weekend happened so naturally and innocently...

Jacob, knowing nothing but love - giving it freely...  He spontaneously walked up to both of my parents over the weekend and just planted kisses and hugs.  It was so out of the blue, it caught both my parents by surprise and the delight it gave them was evident on their faces.

Those were the moments I'm holding closest to my heart from the weekend. 

And so thankful Matt & I have shown J how to show love so naturally and spontaneously.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wrapping up July...

How quickly this summer is flying... I'm so thankful for all the time we have spent together as a family.  I have absolutely rejoiced in this summer of fun and family.

J has had endless adventures... Carnivals, waterparks, working around the house, working on riding a 2-wheeler, taking martial arts, working on reading on his own.  Library visits. 

We even managed to sneak in a couple jet ski adventures at grandma and grandpa's.  Froze.  But we snuck them in...

Early morning, then a day of lake play = one tired little boy... :)


Okay, it'd be better if it was a tad warmer...

But these memories are great for keeping me warm...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer Mid-point

I cannot believe we are already half way through summer.  J starts school again on August 22nd.

Okay, so maybe we are not to the mid-point just yet, but with the cold weather & the fast pace of the summer - I feel like we are there already.

1st tooth.  2nd tooth crooked it's so loose.

Extreme Martial Arts started

Soccer Fall Season - coming up

Reading, doing spelling, etc...  happening.

Falling into a routine for summer - looking forward to fall.

It's crazy this is all going so quick.

It's crazy we are still in the low 70's temp wise.

Coming up on the 4th, I hope it warms up - so Mr. M & J can fully enjoy the celebration.  I will be working (close), but planning to do an early in early out schedule.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dinner Prayer

J asked if he could make up the dinner prayer, instead of saying our standard "God is great.  God is good..." prayer.

Okay Bud.  I will totally admit to being curious as to what he'd say.

Thank God for mommy being with him.  The sun.  His grandparents.  Toys. 

Hmm... What will he say???

"God please protect people from those evil people who bombed innocent people."


Hold the presses - what are you talking about?

Thoughts flying through my head were of September 11th.  How did he know?  How was he absorbing this?  Is he picking up from adult show Matt & I thought he was asleep when we watched on the living room TV by his bedroom...

"You know Mommy.  From when I donated money to get the no uniform pass at school"

Wow... That was in April, and this is the first I've heard of what he was learning.  I knew it was about the Syrian Genocide, but I had NO IDEA that he was learning what that meant. 

I'm still at a loss as to how to address this.  In the moment, I addressed how thoughtful and sweet it was for J to choose to pray for the innocent people being hurt.

But wow.  Just... Wow...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Extreme Martial Arts

J loves soccer, basketball, running, swimming, all fun active sports.  T-ball - not so much, but hey - dad can't win them all...

This week we started J in Extreme Martial Arts.  I'm amazed, excited, oh so excited for him.  They put him through the paces on evaluating his basic agility and fitness skills.  Sit-ups, push-ups, etc.  The growth goals they set up for him, are amazing. 



Look at that fight stance. 
Huge thank you to Daddy & Grandma M for taking a day each week to join J at practice.  And to Daddy for the pictures and details. 

Daddy said J was all about getting in and not backing down or off.  He was impressed at how quickly J picked up on the skills being taught and how he expected J to just get his rear handed to him, as he was the only newbie, but instead he held his own.

This kiddo just keeps amazing me.  If this helps him learn to focus, channel and learn appropriate use of his temper - I will be one happy camper.

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's Summer!

J is having such a blast this summer!  I love that he is loving summer so much!

This week he spent a day with a friend, a day with daddy, two days with Grandma & Grandpa M, then delightfully joined Grandma & Grandpa P for a long weekend.

Yes, Mommy is taking off to join them on the lake for a long weekend.

In the words of my delightful little boy...

"It's time to Jet Ski Grandpa!"

I totally agree.

Bring on sun, warmth, and summer fun!

summer 2010

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Mother's Love....

Father's too, but I write this, so it's about me.

My love. 

Today, I was reading, getting caught up on a blog that caught my attention while the family was enduring my worst fear.  My fear, since the day I learned I was carrying you inside me.

One that I cried over when I slipped on my front lawn at 4 weeks while starting the sprinkler & running away with the joy only a new mom after dealing with infertility can know.

One that had me on the couch at 12.5 weeks when I spotted with you. 

One that had me frozen in fear the last 8 weeks I spent on bed rest.

The fear of losing you to God in Heaven.  I pray.  We pray.  I want you to love and meet God one day.  Just not before me.  A parent should never have a child die before they do, but it happens.  Every day.  The closest I have ever experienced was the loss of twins to very close friends.  As I read Anna's blog, I wonder if they still grieve as she does... I pray for comfort to be granted.  And I wish yet again, we lived closer.

It also makes me realize that I take so many moments with you for granted.  The moments when I am tired and cranky and possibly not in best graces with your Dad... I snap.  I get annoyed.  I'm not the mom I want to be for you.   

I'm sorry.  I cherish so much the time we spend together, I'm sorry I lose sight of that at times.  I kick myself when you do something so unbelievably careless and I snap instead of thank God you are safe and not hurt.

Most recent example - Monday...

Me:  "J - please sit nicely on the stool so you won't fall"

You:  "I won't watch"  you proceed to screw around & go kerblunk on the floor.

Me:  gasp in horror & relief you landed on your knees... Thoughts of broken bones flying through my mind.

J:  "See mommy, I didn't get hurt."

Ohmywordchild... Huge sigh...  And yes, you are no longer allowed to sit on said stool.  It is off limits until Mommy can breathe again.

Thankfully you seem to get it when we talk about it afterwards and tell me you understand my sharp tone is over fear and not anger.  But how can you?  You are 5.  You shouldn't have to understand this differential yet.  I should be better.

But I think, what matters most about reading her journey is she reminds me it okay to be human.  To not let the mommy guilt overwhelm me, and to take comfort in the Lord.  Take comfort in the moments with you where I rock it.  Those far outweigh the bad moments.  And I pray that they are far more meaningful & memorable to you.

I'm going to keep reminding myself...

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13 NKJV

If I can keep this at the forefront of my mind, possibly I can navigate my way through mothering your powerfully independent and curious nature.  You make me so proud and honored to be your mom.

I love you Monkey!!!

Or as I tell you - "I love you the whole world and back again."

You try to top me with "Well, I love you infinite and beyond"

thank you Buzz!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

JK in a snaphsot....

Oh Monkey... How you have changed this past year... At the start of the year, you could read a few words... Spell your name... Count to 20... Maybe more if you really concentrated...
But now...

Reading - You are starting read level 1 books independently.  I'm introducing level 2 & reading with assistance books.  You love going to the library, even though I will only let you check out books you can take a shot at reading.

Spelling - 100% every.single.test all year.  So proud of this for you.  And you loved your year end reward of walki-talki's.  Where grandma had to bribe me at every.single.test to study & do well - you thirst for knowledge & wanting to learn.  As you realized learning to spell would enable you to read independently, you were so good about studying.  I won't lie though, as the year wound down - your willingness became resistance, which equaled several go rounds with Mommy.  I never did have to resort to weekly bribery - so that to me is a total WIN when paired with your perfect score.

Mommy & Daddy are so proud of this!

Math - going into the year, you had the concept of addition nailed.  During the year, you grasped the concept of subtraction.  You can count by 10's, 5's, and well beyond a 100. 

Science - you love doing science experiments.  Microscopes are fascinating to you now.  You pick grass just so you can look at it *under* the microscope. 

Spanish - you speak it like a natural.  You blow mommy's mind with how naturally you take to rolling your Rs.  Senora stops me every time she sees me around FRA to make sure I know how naturally you speak it.  I laugh and always remind her, it's all you Bud... You correct my enunciation anytime I try to communicate with you.

American Sign Language - this has probably been the part of your FRA experience that has emotionally meant the most to me.  One of your before school teacher's is deaf.  In the early part of the year, a great way you & I learned your spelling words was learning how to sign them together.  For you, putting the two together helped you retain what you were learning.  For me, it forced me to learn how to speak ASL.  A skill I have never needed, but have found to be invaluable now.  Seeing Mrs. Camplin's face, watching you sign and knowing I was learning it with you - proved to me how under served our Countries deaf citizens are... Knowing how you & I love to talk, to be someone who cannot hear must be so isolating.  Watching the joy she received from you so happily learning how to communicate with her, and knowing I was making the effort was truly priceless...  I hope this is a skill you never let lapse & that you always remember how much it means to someone who cannot hear you speak.

General Knowledge - You now know & can recite on demand - both Daddy & my cell numbers, our home address, including zip code. 

Gym, Woodshop, Art, & Music -   Like the rest of your report card was all above average marks.  You rock on the +'s, and S+'s.  

Overall - you started your year with Mrs. Kaiser.  You loved her.  Mommy, not so much... My issues with her probably are also the reasons you loved her.  She was wonderfully kind, but totally scatterbrained.  She thrived on teaching compassion & warmth.  However, she had to leave at the end of Spring Break due to personal issues.

At that point... Mrs. Moynihan (aka Miss Dana from extended care) took over your class.  She is A LOT more like me.  You liked her, but she did not bond with you over school like Mrs. Kaiser did.  Part of that was Mrs. M being a little harder on you guys to enforce that she was no longer Miss Dana - fun, easy going, playful Dana... But also, Mrs. Kaiser had fallen behind the other JK class in basic teaching.  Since you will be expected to know this information next year entering into Kindergarten, Mrs. M had to work really hard to keep you guys focused and moving forward.  Times she should have spent repeating work, she spent teaching.  As a result, she is offering to tutor you guys over summer to ensure you guys don't lose any ground she made up during the latter part of the year. 

Last, but certainly not least... Social Skills - oh Bud, where do I start???

You are naturally a leader.  You will never be a wallflower, nor will you be happy not leading the charge.  You do well following directions, but would prefer to mark out your path.  You ALWAYS know better.  You are constantly trying to prove authority wrong that you CAN DO and WILL NOT GET HURT.  I'm certain my Mother's Heart is going to shed more than a few tears as you grow.  That said, I could not be prouder of you.  I know that strength will serve you well in your teens, even if it makes me want to knock sense into you now.  :-)

Oh the one piece of torture you added this Spring... You started declaring girls as your *girlfriend* and that you would be *marrying them & having babies*...


Sadly - this did cause the girls you passed over to shed more than a few tears at recess.

And I got emails over it.


But you do still tell me you have to wait until you are 30 to kiss a girl, but you do sneak in a few 13's to that question.  I keep trying to reinforce the concept of 30, but right now knowing I will be lucky if you wait until you are 13...

I love you so much Monkey!!!!

Good Luck Next Year!!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FINALLY... A visit from the Tooth Fairy

And 24 hours of ZERO thumb sucking.

We started the day off like any other week.  Yep, tooth is loose, but still firmly attached.  Band-aids on thumbs, as we were working on curtailing the daytime enjoyment.

Explaining to Jacob why it was important to stop sucking his thumb, reading a cheesy book on it that put the power in the child to stop & we launched into a positive start towards ending the comfort habit. 

While snacking yesterday at his summer babysitter's, his tooth really knocked out of place.

Delight & joy!
 After looking in a small mirror, J decided he wasn't up for pulling it... So another chomp into the apple.
 Success!!!!  A bloody gap & tooth firmly in his hand.
 Smiles & celebration were had!!!
 Mommy even found the special Fairy case that Grandma P had bought in preparation for this big day!
 He was so serious putting it into the case.  He was so afraid of losing it & the Tooth Fairy not coming to visit.
And yet he was so proud as well.  He is just growing up too quick.

This morning, J woke up with both sock on his arms, and once awake was ready for the add on of the band-aids to his thumbs.  All this took a back seat though, to celebrating he slept in his own room ALL night AND his snapping to action... Case checked - tooth gone.  Under the pillow check... SCORE!!! 

We like the Tooth Fairy.  J is ready for her to come back & visit again.

Sadly, with the way his other bottom center tooth is wiggling - I'm thinking that will happen sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Date Night - Uncle Jon & Aunt Kim

Around Christmas time, Uncle Jon & Aunt Kim expressed a desire to have J come for an overnight after school got out for the year.  They wanted to time it around vacations & Kim's niece & nephew J walked the aisle with last fall.

So minor things like - Grandma P coming home from Florida for the season were not to interfere with this overnight.

J was so excited.  He talked, and talked and talked about this FOREVER.  Until, we were on our way that is... Then he wasn't so sure & just wanted to go home.

Aunt Kim & Uncle Jon handled it smoothly & J never thought about it again.

He thought snakes (thankyouforthatJon) to toss, forts to build, fun to be had by all.
As for Daddy & me... We had a bit of a fun night ourselves - Thank you Aunt Liz for scoring us tickets!  June 8th was one for the record books!

And with the WIN - proving I'm not a jinx.  Finally a Chicago team likes my attendance.

Even if it was a nail biter - double OT - sudden death goal.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Recycle Rally


Recycling Efforts Pay Off

Mrs. Frantal is excited to share that Forest Ridge Academy has been selected as a Top 20 Award Winner in the Dream Machine Recycle Rally sponsored by PepsiCo, Inc. This honor awards us a cash prize of $1,000.00 to be used toward “green improvements” at our school. Being “green” is cool!


My wonderful co-workers helped a certain little boy make his goal of supporting his school's recycle rally by delivering 2 big black trash bags in two weeks.

My incredible, wonderful, sweet, conscientious little boy.  He's getting so big too quick.

I told Matt that J just didn't look like a JK'er as he walked into school with his sports bag across his body & his school backpack on his back.  In that moment I flashed forward for him and backward to my days past doing the same thing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wrap up Spring Break pics... Good bye Miss Cheryl

As the school year wrapped up, we learned Miss Cheryl & Mr. Brian were looking at moving.  We are wishing them the best of luck.

While also mourning their departure from our family.

2 years ago when I was looking for a nanny for after school, sick days, and Holidays, I had no idea what a find Miss Cheryl would be for us.  After months of searching, several interviews that where I was either less than impressed with my options or simply stood up, I found this candidate from Michigan.  Total win.  She was graduating with her early education degree, and marrying her fiance.  She couldn't start until fall.  We didn't need someone till fall. 

Perfect fit.

It ended up being more perfect than I could have even imagined. 

Miss Cheryl helped us with tutoring J after school.  Helping him develop study habits.  Helping us develop bedtime routines that encouraged independence in falling asleep.  Removing mom's guilty heart over working.  She replaced my guilt with sanity - freedom. 

Mr. Brian would join Miss Cheryl on full days, which J simply loved.  He adores all older males who play with him.  Mr. Brian fit the bill the perfectly. 

J will surely miss them. 

As will we...

But thankfully, Miss Cheryl shared pictures to keep the memories close to our hearts.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

dipping my toe in...

It's been entirely too long since I've graced this page.  Or anyone else's for that matter. 

I've been disconnected.  From a lot of things.  Focusing on family.  Focusing on love.  Focusing on living in the moment.

Leaving little room for me to give of myself elsewhere. 

Especially as work has been filled with special projects, staff changes, and normal run of the mill analysis. 

Upside is... Life style changes I started slowly last year are taking roots.  J is starting to engage in them.  I'm feeling better than I have since I went off birth control in 2006.

So much of life has changed.  So much of life is better.  Richer in spirit.  In love.

Big highlights...

I'm 37 today.  I'm having a horrifically hard time with it, and have yet to figure out why.  May have to do with the two stray gray hairs I randomly found.  :(

It may have also to do with the fact my Junior Kindergartner is no longer a JKer.  He's officially a Kindergartner.  He's reading.  He's excelling at soccer.  It was suggested Matt & I move him to the U8 league for the fall. 

We're not.  But it blew our minds that it was even suggested. 

Just as we were blown away he was invited to the older kids summer soccer camp at FRA.  A professional soccer player from Brazil is hosting it, and the school's soccer coach personally invited J.  It was only after we waffled on signing him up, that I learned he was one of very few his age invited.  She expressed her excitement we were signing him up because he shows potential already & interest. 

He's growing into his own little person.  His face when he sits down to read a book (Old Hat, New Hat being the most recent), and able to read the whole book with very little help on my part creates such pride on his face. 

...So I'm here... I hope to get back here more.  So many things to get caught up on for J.  So many memories I need to log for him.  His trophies.  His good-bye to Miss Cheryl.  His spelling test record.  Our field trip.  Upcoming fun things... Grandpa's new fishing boat. 

I wish I could stop time, so I wouldn't miss anything today, while playing catch-up on yesterday.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Break Pics part 2

After spending day 1 of Spring Break at the White Sox home opener.  Then day 2 {cold} fishing as the big outing of the day.

Day 3 was welcomed with the Sun shining and smiles all around.  Spring fever was in the air, and getting outside was the order of the day.

But it was a little cold, so Miss Cheryl & J took time to build a site word book for J out of his Highlight's magazine.

He's so proud!

 Then they made some jiggle jello to make shapes out of later.
 J loves helping in the kitchen.
 Followed by burning some energy on the trampoline.
 Then bubble mowing.
 Followed by bikes... then... then... then...

Needless to say, J wanted to do every.single.outdoor activity he owns.  Fresh air and outside play made him one happy boy.

He was so proud of the heart cutout - it had to be the dessert he got after dinner.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Break pics part 1

I LOVE Miss Cheryl.

Love her.

Not only because I trust her to make sure you are well cared for, loved in my abscensce, but also worked with on the tried and true Reading, wRiting and aRrithmatic.

This year you spent your Spring Break with her, and probably would not have had more fun if we were in Florida, considering temps there did not reach 80.

We had cold, but pretty weather.  You two spent time being spoiled by Mr. Bryan.  Time fishing.  Playing.  Also, time working on your words.  Doing spelling.  Doing math.

But the biggest reason I love Miss Cheryl today...

She shares pictures.  Lots of them.

Some how she knew mommy was really missing being there for your time off of school.  She included me in your daily activities with text updates and lots and lots of pictures.

Mommy love!

Monday, April 8, 2013

White Sox Home Opener

Daddy lucked out.

Big time.

I doubt next year will be so lucky, but a mommy can hope.

See, daddy announced to J - with ZERO discussion with Mommy - the boys were starting a father/son tradition.

A school skipping tradition.

A thing of Chicago Legend and Pride.

A family tradition.

A day off school to attend the White Sox home opener.
J was over the moon.

What better way to start Spring Break.  okay, so it was a week ago...

Whew.  A discussion for another day.

Today however, J made the day...

Daddy:  "J are you hungry?"

(insert contemplative look)

Daddy:  "Dude, it's a hot dog - Yes or No."

J:  "Well... Am I paying for it or are you?"

Daddy:  (laugh) "It's dinner - Mommy & I can get this."

J:  "Alright then - I'll take two with a pop."

I guess my lessons on saving money are working.  And this is translating over into grocery shopping as well.  He will think long and hard about whether he wants to buy something with his own money or not.  I use it on ANYTHING I don't want to buy from books, to toys, to Oreos.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Easter Fail

How does one make a 5 year old question the bunny? 

Glowing bubbles.

How does glowing bubbles = a 5 year old questioning the bunny?

Oh - the big $2.99 sticker price on it.

One inquisitive and overly observant little boy noticed this minor detail upon pouring through his basket.

Mom - Look he says!!  Does the bunny pay in bunny bills? 

He found it hilarious, if not truly puzzling.

Mom has learned - MUST BE MORE OBSERVANT.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

I'm not sure about anyone else, but man - oh - man did Easter sneak up on me.


Totally snuck up on me. 

I did not even think about decorating until AFTER Good Friday.


Thankfully, I had shopped for J's Easter outfit last fall, so he was all set to go. 

After school Friday, we visited the Bunny.  It was so nice to do that with Daddy.  I know J was as excited as I was to have him around all weekend for all our festivities.
We did Eggs on Saturday.

Bunny Visited Saturday Night.  Mommy was delighted to see the Bunny limited the candy loot this year in favor of vending machine little toys.

Also, he must have known J was starting Spring Break, as he brought him the requested - Cannon Blaster.  He also added to his dinosaur collection.  T-Rex was so happy to have friends he came to the party.  J was a little distressed by this, I won't lie.  Kind of made me chuckle.

The best adds though, the Space and Dinosaur books.  J is so totally *in to* both of these topics, the Bunny did a great job with finding good grow into books. 

Then off to see Grandma & Grandpa M on Sunday.  I'll have to post, but Grandma M has her own little Super J now.  The cape & shirt could not be more adorable.

Today is back to work Monday for me, but the boys are stealing one last day before J officially kicks off Spring Break with Miss Cheryl.

Boys took in the first (of many I am told) White Sox home openers.

....Love these life making moments....

Thursday, March 28, 2013

You make me laugh...

Kiddo, you crack me up.  Daily.  Belly laughs.  Here are some of your more recent chuckle moments.

Mom you know what'd be really cool?

No - what?

If Mr. Kyle's name was just Kyle.

It is.

What?  Why do I have to call him Mr. Kyle.

Cause it's polite.

Awweee Mannnnn.


Hey Mom...  I was once in your belly because you ate me.

yeah... Not going there yet.

In a discussion of healthy vs. non-healthy foods...

French fries are un-healthy. (1 min delay) Well, they do come from potatoes, and potatoes are vegetables.  And vegetables are healthy.  So they are sorta healthy.

Mom, when I get big.  Like 6, will I be able to drive a car like you?


In a discussion about my childhood...

Wow mom.  You are REALLY old.  What are you - like 90?


In a discussion about getting your picture taken with the E. Bunny...

Daddy asked if you were too old for that.

The look of horror on your face I believe matched mine, as I kicked daddy under the table.

Needless to say, we have a date with said Bunny tomorrow after school.


Speaking of the Easter Bunny... What would you like this year?

Well... I'll give you a hint. 
I do it in the pool. 
Pirates Shoot it.
It starts with a "K" sound.

A cannon ball.

Nope.  No more guesses for you!

.... Next morning ....

Sorry mom... No more guesses.  It's between me & the bunny. 

(enter guilty grin) okay, okay.  I'll let you guess.


(happy grin) Maybe... I'm not telling.

Whew... Way too much work.  Maybe you are getting to old.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Consequences - I suggest... You suggest...

Wow Bud... This weekend started off with a bang.  In the form of leaving breakfast with grandma and grandpa M to deal with a rather surprising and totally unacceptable meltdown at the end of breakfast.

Looking back on it, I get you were tired.  I get you were in general cranky.  I get you wanted to stay home, and I said sorry.  Grandma and Grandpa hadn't seen you in a while, and they wanted to see you.  We do what we do.  I'm teaching you that you respect family commitments, even when you don't want to do them.  You do them because it is the right thing to do.  And yes, I care about how it makes them feel, and I want you to care too.

So while, yes, I can see why you  melted down, I am still issuing consequences because your meltdown was completely unacceptable. 

What I did love was how after you got your emotions under control, you recognized you deserved consequences as well.

Mommy's suggestion was - you melted down because I would not discuss buying you a toy at Cracker Barrel that would be candy filled insanity until AFTER you ate your breakfast. 

Really dude?!?! 

You know Grandma would have totally sprung for it... All you had to do was eat 5 more bites.

Nope... You pulled tears and madness.

But they are no match for Mommy.  And thankfully the grandparentals totally understood your meltdown was exacerbated by an audience and promptly left upon you returning to your tear state after my first pass at calming you down.

So yeah.  Have your tantrum bud.  I will keep you safe and love you, but do not mistake that for my letting you off for such behavior.

I won't.





Got it.


So as such... I suggested, we pick a toy in current rotation for donation as a consequence for reacting so poorly.


No TV for 3 weeks instead.

Clarification:  No TV means, no video, no TV, no You Tube - not even the pistachio commerical, no video means just that - none.



Further clarification:  You do know this means when you go to Grandma's for Easter, there will be NO TV.  And you do understand that this time period includes the entire week you are off for Spring Break.  That means 5 days you would NORMALLY be in school - there will be no TV.

None.  Whatsoever.

Further Contemplation...


Alright then... We have a deal...

And because Mommy realizes you have no real concept of how long this is, I will offer to let you revert to the initial suggested consequence, should you decide this wasn't really the best idea.

We are 5 days in, and so far so good.  You are doing great with taking charge to keep yourself busy and not whining about no TV.

Love you!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Oh kiddo, by the time you read this, I wonder if you will know the song I played on it title to create today's blog title.

I am so crazy busy right now... It has been total chaos over the past couple of weeks, then adding I'm working downtown you are just all out of sorts.  I felt so bad tonight when you started bawling over basically nothing.  I know your heart was sad, but man kiddo - small things in the big picture. 

But it also was good, it made me stop and just be with you.  Walking in tonight at your bedtime from an evening of you & daddy equaled Mommy tossing you into the shower, followed by spelling words, followed by sight book and finally a fun book.  At no point was there the normal decompress time to say "how was your day?"

My mind was already back on work.  Work that when I sat down to do, was pushed aside for political hot potato.  I HATE that.  I hate that I short changed our time, and still did not accomplish what I set out to complete tonight.

And now... Now I am just tired.  So I am going to wrap this up - make sure all boxes are checked to ensure you are ready for a daddy managed morning - then I'm heading to bed.  But I will admit, your unwillingness to give up time with me - even if it is sleeping time - makes it hard to sign off because you are so adorable asleep beside me on the couch.

Tomorrow night will not be much better with mommy taking time to get her hair done - but Friday through Sunday... Bud they are your days.  With Daddy around, this should be a spectacular weekend. 

#one more week till Spring Break#


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ahh... Another busy time closed... Time to think...


I love Spring.  I love every thing about it.  Okay, so maybe I could live without the whole - snow, rain, mud, snow, ice, rain, mud, melt, mud, etc. cycle we are in.  But otherwise, I love it.

I love flowers blooming.  I love weather above 30 degrees.  I am looking forward to summer.  I am looking forward to our plans this year.  I am looking forward to all parts of it.  Okay, so maybe not the part of missing my bud one night a week (for ~ 10 weeks), but I know he is looking forward to it.  He is going to have one terrific summer. 

And Spring will lead us into it.

With the forecast over, it is time to start planning... Time to kick it off. 

And J is one excited little boy.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's close...

I'm in the heart of close for February... Realizing we are finally getting our first real snows in the same month I'm thinking Spring. 



And this summer, at J's urging, I'm looking into creating a garden for our family.  J suggested strawberries, as I told him we had to eat what we grew... I suggest red peppers.  Oh, and corn. 

Now, for looking at how to make this happen - Grandpa P (HINT, HINT)... And other ideas of what to grow. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow Day... Snow Day...

Yesterday was crazy.  School was called Monday night in preparation of snow.  I mean, we are in March here, with barely any snow to date...

So I guess it was time.  And in all fairness, it did get bad enough during the day they sent us home 3:30pm, so I was able to join the boys.  Granted, it was almost 5 by the time I got home, still 5 is better than 6.  :)

Jacob had a blast at home with daddy.  He played, watched movies, and just generally had a blast.  Daddy even gave him a good work out in the snow. 

During the day, J sent me sweet text messages of love and missing me.  Of our puppy in the midst of falling asleep.
When I got home, he had a special surprise for me.  He had taken a baggie, taped it to the gumball machine and put in sugar free gum.  It was a small, but oh so thoughtful gesture that totally melted my heart.  We agreed, once the gumballs are gone, we will be replacing it with sugar free gum. 

I love him so much.

After dinner, we had fun working on some math.  My mom tells stories about me choosing to work on math when I was kiddo, so I love to see J follow in my footsteps.  He was so excited to do it with me.  We even did some more BEFORE school today. 
I LOVE to watch him learn and grow.

Mommy's most awesome little man.

Monday, March 4, 2013


This past weekend, we just simply decompressed.  Slowed down and caught our collective breath. 

It. was. awesome.

Seriously... I'm glad we did that, and I hope we take advantage of it more in the future.  It was hard for J to be so simply lazy.  He & I are just not wired that way.  Hence, the disaster that was our basement this morning.  But in under fifteen minutes, I had it cleaned, leaving me plenty of time to grab a thirty minute workout on the elliptical.  Great way to start my week.

That said, the best way to end my weekend was this:

A monkey reading.  Reading whole pages.  Granted they are early reader one sentence pages, but he was doing it.  And since this was a new book, I know it was not one of those "I've memorized it, so I'm reading it", but real sound out words reading.

My excitement was contagious.

Jacob said at the end, can we do another book tomorrow night?  Then you can read me more about Fried Worms.

I love him so much my heart feels like it is going to explode at times.

Friday, March 1, 2013

What we are reading around our house lately...

This morning, I learned...

Today is... NEAs Read Across America

Who knew?

Since I LOVE reading, and thankfully Jacob seems to be following in my footsteps, I thought it would be good to post some of the books we've been reading.  We go back and forth on J's books for whether they are hard/soft or the electronic version.  I want him to experience the awesomeness of a book, while enjoying the snuggling in bed reading a good book with the lights out.  So far, our balance has worked.  :-)

Stink & Judy Moody Series (completed through book 4)
Roscoe Riley Rules (completed book 1)
How to Eat Fried Worms (he's eaten the first worm - YAY!)

On my own, I've have been sucked - literally sucked into a-new-to-me Author...

Allison Brennan.  Oh my gosh, I cannot say enough about how much I LOVE her books.  They are fast paced, and literally have been keeping me on the elliptical since before Christmas vacation.  I'm so excited. 

Currently, I'm primarily reading (as in when I'm not working out, and considering the past week I've had a head cold I haven't worked out either) - Detroit: An American Autopsy and wow... Just wow.  Having lived in the Strohs building apartments in the late 1990's, I saw the hope and possibility of Detroit.  GM taking over the RenCen.  Builders coming back to Detroit creating attractive downtown condos.  There was whispers of what could be...  So when I got lost a couple of years ago coming from the Northeast Suburbs, I grabbed interstate 94 to take through the heart of Detroit towards my ultimate goal in the middle of the state.  My heart was broken from what I saw.  I told my parents, I was truly shocked at how devastated it is.  Any hope seen has been replaced with boards, or worse - simple deterioration.  Reading this book is taking me through all of what I saw.  Knowing most of what is written was previously reported in the local Detroit News, I'm sure it will not shock locals, but for me - having moved away it has been eye opening.  My biggest shock is the devastation to our local Police and Fire Departments in the boots on the ground levels.  My thoughts and prayers go out to them trying to do an honest job daily.

Another good book I read this year, was Hopeless.  I picked it up on the suggestion from my FB app "Kindle Daily Deals".  I was sucking down Allison Brennan's books so quickly, I truly felt I needed to slow down.  I had no expectations, and yet this one made such a huge impact on me.  I'm not sure how I feel about it being teen lit, considering I'm going to be a *please wait* mom, but from an intensity and complexity of emotions - I loved it.  If she had aged the characters, I don't believe it would have made such an impact on me.   

Thursday, February 28, 2013

School Changes - Working Mom Guilt

This year has been a struggle for me personally with J's school. 

Let me be clear...

I LOVE his school.  I LOVE how he has grown & developed both maturity & academically.

That said...

I have not been overwhelming thrilled with his teacher.  Jacob has grown and developed, which is what has kept Mr. M & I from voicing our unhappiness.  I've tried really hard to just keep following up with her in hopes of building a relationship that would open the lines of communication that I grew to expect during J's time with Young Scholars. 

This week we learned, she is resigning effective Friday.

A new teacher, a teacher J knows through before and after school care.  A teacher who knows how to help redirect Jacob when needed.  One who has 5 years prior teaching joining FRA.  One who is energetic and excited about being with these kiddos.

We are wishing Mrs. K well.  We will pray that she gets the support she needs that played such a huge part in her decision to leave mid-year.

And with a huge hug, lots of hope, and excitement - we welcome Mrs. M to J's classroom.  I'm excited to see what the remainder of the year will be.  :-)

This all said, this situation created the opportunity for me to learn what I didn't know.  To learn what I, as a working mom, have missed.  Miss Cheryl has been, to an extent, whispering in my ear.  But not having an education background, I have not fully understood.  My strength is math, analysis, trends.  Writing, reading, etc?  Yeah, not so much a strength.  I love to read.  I love to write, or I wouldn't have a blog.  But being good at it - not really.

Miss Cheryl has brought to my attention, how J, while being asked to learn how to spell words with ch, oo, ending in e, he was not been taught the basic rules.  The silence of the "e" creating the long "i" in *fine*. 

On my way into work today, I spoke with another mom.  There are only 10 kiddos in class.  I only know a few moms, as I do my drop off at 7 (okay 720) - school starts at 830.  Miss Cheryl generally does pick up at 3.  Daddy has met a few moms, but he is less likely to chat with them as he is to duck in grab J & run out the door.  :) 

And if I do pickup, it is 545'ish (closes at 6). 

It's my fault, by I have not cultivated the relationships to have the door opened and understand when there is a potential for issues in his class that I should otherwise know.

Today, I learned how that is impacting J.  I didn't know.  I didn't have those doors open.  But now they are.  My concerns I've been expressing to family that have been dismissed as my being an overbearing mom, were in fact valid.  AND other mom's have felt the same way.  Mom's who have had older children go through JK at FRA, who knew what to expect AND have realized - the expectations where NOT being met.  Granted, Mrs. K has had issues, and for that reason alone - I'm glad I did not add to it by complaining.  But I feel so much better knowing that my gut was right. 

As a working mom, it is so hard to balance motherhood, my job, childcare, marriage.  I have to delegate.  I have to rely on those who are assigned tasks to be following through at the level of excellence I would give to the tasks I have in front of me. 

I'm in by no means perfect.  And I ABSOLUTELY have my moments of Mommy Fail.  I'm human.  I understand. 

And that's why I have working mom guilt right now.  I know I failed my kiddo by not being on top of it earlier. 

That said... Stepping back.  Recognizing he is only in 4 year old preschool.  If I was going to need to learn this - now is the best time.  This was a growing moment for me.  He may not have learned those basics, but he is learning more new words every day.  He is getting so much closer to reading books with me, as opposed to me reading at him. 

From now on, I am going to make a bigger effort to interact with Mom's in his classes.  I'm going to make the time to know what I need to know.  I'm not going to just phone in the minimal requirements.  No one person (besides Mr. M) is as or more concerned about J's development than me. 

We are blessed in the support we have.  We are so blessed by Miss Cheryl's background giving us supplemental support to the wonderful basis of FRA.  We are blessed by family who gifts Jacob books, learning exercises and games.  He absorbs all of this. 

We are so blessed.  Mommy just needs to step up her balancing skills... This way we can better maximize our blessings.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

Probably should share these before the month is over...

Mr. M sent me the most beautiful, looks and smell, flowers this year.  He also included a box of chocolate that contributed 5lbs to my waist.  After engorging myself, I realized I was in severe hip pain again, and have quite radically moved back to avoiding sugar and flour based foods.  It's crazy, being on Metformin, I don't lose weight radically like I did before trying to conceive J, but my body just *feels* better.  I don't wake up in pain in my hips.  I don't want to cry in the middle of the night.

Good things when all you want to do is sleep, thanks to a head cold.

Back to the beautiful flowers.  They truly smelled spectacular.
And they held up for over 10 days. 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trampolines are...

not just for summer...


not just for kids...



boatloads of fun...

Even in snow.
While the puppy, who will be 13 this year, runs around barking at the air. 
Oh... And they create awesome nap times...

Soaking in these stolen moments of snuggles & sleep that will tragically end entirely too soon.