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.