Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Backblogging... Easter Sunday at the Beach

Again.... I am behind. No excuses.

This Easter Monte was away on a business trip and it was HOT. The kids and I went to church then decided to hit the road and see how many other people decided to hide their eggs in the sand. We had a lovely time... though I am fairly certain if God had given us an 11th commandment, it would have gone something like this ....

"Thou shalt NOT eat McDonald's on Easter Sunday!"

But we did. Twice.

I justified it this way... Mama was making memories... not sandwiches.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Arrrgghh.... the Two's Room Be Over ....

It's the last week of preschool for the year. Sniff.

Cooper is wrapping up his 2 yr old year with Pirate Week.

I love preschool. It allows me to go to work and be my "pre-children" self for a few hours a week. But more than that, it allows my kids to grow, and be active, and learn, and become more independent. Plus, they get to do all kinds of fun things that I don't have the creative spark (or patience) to do. Homemade bird feeders and tye-dye? Those are "preschool only" activities. After all, what fun would Ms. J and Ms. L have if all of you had "already done that" at home?

This two year old class was a big gamble. Cooper had just turned two, we had just moved, and I was still grieving the loss of the "known" preschool at home. But I believe God left that ONE opening just for us... and He knew what we needed.

Cooper and I fell in love with the preschool... the entire staff. It's now our church home. It's gone from "the new" to "the known" and we are thankful for what it has given us. I just hope they don't expect any tye-dye coffee filter projects over the summer....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daddy Envy

Admittedly, there are numerous things that I just don't fully comprehend. Gravity, nuclear power, middle eastern politics, people who don't like chocolate, red wine drinkers... and the whole and all-encompassing power of the DADDY.

At our house, I can spend the ENTIRE day throwing balls, cutting out playdough, baking cookies and speaking in all of the voices from Wonder Pets....but when the DADDY walks through the door...all bets are off. When he asks them what they did all day, they (often) shrug their collective shoulders and say "....nothing."


It doesn't even start when he walks in the door. Often it starts when they spot his car, hear the garage door, or (God forbid) read the clock on the microwave that indicates he MIGHT be home soon. The looks on their faces when they see him reminds me of the looks in the kids' faces when they finally reached Willie Wonka's chocolate factory. Every day.

Don't get me wrong... I love that they love him. I don't blame them. He is a FAN-tastic daddy and lots of fun. He has endless patience for multiple books, lengthy backscratches, tickle contests and pillow fights. Of course, he doesn't need to race downstairs to answer emails about donations for school projects, RSVP to birthday parties, organize carpool or arrange playdates.

He doesn't covet bedtime like I do... maybe because he hasn't been with a two year old for the past 10 hours. Or because he hasn't done homework, cleaned out backpacks, assigned chores, signed consent forms, and found and laundered the class shirts that have to be worn on the field trip the next day. Before dinner.

I thought this phenomena was unique to my house. Until I mentioned it to my friends... and neighbors. It turns out this Daddy-Mania is an epidemic sweeping the nation. 9/10 families "surveyed" feel like the mom is consistently the taskmaster while Daddy tends to be "the fun parent." In fact, several people noted a recent episode of Modern Family that addresses this very issue. I am going to find that on Hulu for sure.

And while we love and are eternally grateful for our partners and the support they give us..and again, we are not suggesting we trade places with the Daddys....all moms I spoke with said they would just LOVE to be welcomed home after grocery shopping by their children with a rapture-like chorus of "MOMMY'S HOME." Instead of the usual ...." Did you ONLY buy the healthy cereal?"

So come one fellas... give us the secret. What's in that Daddy mojo? Can we get just a little bit of it?

Until then....I guess we will just say thank you to the Daddys in our lives, accept our fate, and chuck it up to "things we'll never fully understand."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday Grayson!!!

It's funny how some years just seem to have a large amount of change built into them. Some birthdays are just milemarkers that tell you just how fast time has gone... and how your children are morphing into more self-reliant people. Smarter, more independent, more self-assured, with a sense of humor that is more and more unique to them.

From seven to eight has been a year like that for you. We are excited to watch your soccer games, swim meets and neighborhood football scrimmages. Your brother idolizes your every move.. and (most of the time) you are very patient with him. You are a good friend ... and the group of you is always good for a laugh. And a pile of empty food wrappers. And dirty laundry.

When you read this, who knows how old you will be... and if you will even care what you were like at age eight. But I care... and I want to remember. So here we go.


*love music

* are taking guitar lessons

*can swim competitively

*love soccer but not sure if you want to do it in a structured league

* like your hair longer than I like it

* live to play outside with your friends

*are best friends with your siblings...mostly

* can eat an infinite number of tacos at Taco Bell

*are reading the Harry Potter series

*are starting to notice girls... but not "liking them"...

*would sooner have a limb amputated than do homework

*read Sports Illustrated for Kids cover to cover

*would live at the beach if you could

We love you and are so proud of you. Happy 8th birthday buddy!

Mom and Dad

Monday, May 9, 2011

The art gene...

There are some traits the kids have that are obviously from Monte or me. The hair, the dimples, the sarcasm...those are all things we can attribute to family members...immediate or otherwise.

But there is one gene that Emma (and recently Claire) has always had that we can't place.

It's her art gene.

She has it. We don't.

We admire it ... we are inspired by it... and want to cultivate it. But since we don't have one, we often just don't know quite what to do with it.

That's why we are forever thankful for art teachers like Mrs. Hoffman... who reach out and touch students who have a love of art, a potential for passion.... and art-impaired parents.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day...2011

I am blessed to have a mother...be a mother...and know mothers....as well as mothers to be.

Many women of different ages, ethnicities, origins, religion, circumstances and situations have crossed my path over my 40 years. All have shaped me into the woman and mother I am today. All have had a lesson to pass along in some way... and for that, I am grateful.

I am thankful every day for the four blessings God has brought into our lives and especially today, when they joyfully bring me overflowing coffee cups, hand-drawn pictures, heartfelt cards and their best behavior (for half the day anyway). I know it won't always be this way. But today it is.

Many women who have graced my life and touched my heart are not celebrating in the same way I am today. Some have unborn children. Others can not hold their children today. Some don't have the monetary options or support to buy groceries for a favorite meal.

It doesn't make them any less a mother.

God bless those of us who have been graced with this tremendous task. It is as close to God's work as we will ever come.

From the girls in our house to those in yours,

Happy Mother's Day