Welcome to my world

I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
Thank you for stepping in to my world!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today my daughter turns five years old.  I can't even believe it.  While it seems like eons ago that she was born, it does not seem like she could possibly be five.  K truly is a precious not-so-little girl.  She is smart and funny and sensitive and curious and so, so loving.  She never has a bad word to say about anyone and she is very loyal and caring.  She loves her family, she loves her friends, she loves princesses, ponies and every single stuffed animal she's ever had.

Her party today at Pony Pal Stables was a huge success.  We had about ten kids, which was plenty.  They each were able to ride the horse several times, we went on a hayride (much to J's dismay because he is allergic to hay) and they even had a little train (pulled by a tractor) that the kids rode.  So much fun.  The horse-decorated cake was a huge hit - very pretty and delicious!  K was very blessed with a ton of fun presents that she loves.  I can honestly say we won't have to use any of the gift receipts!

After a birthday lunch at Red Robin (K's choice, of course), hubby spent the afternoon mowing the grass and I worked on cleaning the pool/deck furniture.  A few hours lounging by the pool nursing a cold beer and now I am very pleasantly tired!

 Good morning birthday girl!

 When did you get to be so grown up???

I also want to say Happy Memorial Day.  I'm thankful for my freedom, and grateful to those who serve and who have paid the ultimate price for that freedom.  All gave some, some gave all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Grammie to the rescue!

Grammie arrived yesterday from New York, much to the delight of my children.  And to me.  I basically get a vacation while she is here because J & K want NOTHING to do with me as long as she is around.  They fight over who sits by her and where she is going to sleep and who rides next to her in the car.  I think her visits here must be a huge boost to Grammie's ego.  There is no doubt who is #1 in my children's affections.

It has been six long months since the last Grammie visit and we are going to make the most of this week.  Yesterday J had his last baseball game.  It didn't turn out to be a very enjoyable afternoon thanks to 109 degree heat and a loss that kicked our team out of second place.  We were glad that Grammie was able to see one of J's games, though, and afterward one of his team member's family hosted a team swim party.  That was a lot of fun, all of the boys (and their siblings) swam to their hearts' content and even enjoyed hot dogs and hamburgers compliments of that boy's parents. 

Tomorrow is K's fifth birthday.  I can't even believe my little girl is turning five.  What a milestone that seems like.  Five means the end of toddlerhood and preschool and marks the beginning of kindergarten.  Yikes!  I'm not sure either one of us is quite ready for that, but luckily we have the summer to get ourselves ready.  We are having her birthday party at Pony Pals Stables and have invited friends, school classmates and cousins and should be a fun, fun time.  Unfortunately the wind is blowing 40mph right now - I hope it calms down by tomorrow!

We are also going to try to fit in a round of golf, a round of putt putt, some bowling and a movie this week.  It is going to be very hot so I'm sure we'll get a lot of pool time in as well.  Sadly the time always flies by when Grammie visits so Sunday when we have to take her back to the airport will be here before we know it.

Thankfully we are headed to the east coast at the end of June and we'll be meeting Grammie at the beach for a little vacation before we continue on to New York for our annual visit.  Perhaps that will lessen the blow of Grammie leaving, at least slightly.

Tomorrow will probably be hectic, so I will just say now Happy 5th Birthday to my beautiful, funny, imaginative, loving daughter.  K, you light up our lives!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Free-speaking Friday!

Hubby informed me yesterday that I have gone almost an entire week with no blog posts.  Shame on me! 

In my defense, life has been a bit hectic with the last week of school, baseball games, t-ball closing ceremonies, and my impulse spring cleaning that had me doing a total overhaul in J's room over the weekend and in K's room the last few days.  By "total overhaul" I mean moving everything, cleaning everything, getting rid of everything (well, not really, but close!).   Do you have any idea how much crap two kids accumulate?  Yikes.  K is pretty good about playing with most of her toys, but J is pretty much a two act wonder now.  LEGOs and video games are his entire focus these days.  So why did he have an overflowing toybox, a closet FULL of toys, some of which he'd outgrown years ago, etc???  He doesn't any longer.  Now he just has a Mt. Everest of containers and boxes in his room waiting to be packed up and/or sold.

Which brings me to my next rambling.  Craigslist.  If you've ever bought or sold anything used online, then you have probably used, or at least heard of, craigslist.org.  It can be wonderful.  One can certainly find hidden treasures on there for far less money than buying something new in the store, and it's a terrific way to unload all of that "stuff" you have laying around.  One man's junk is another man's treasure and all that.  Unfortunately not everyone is a serious craigslist shopper.  I posted two different ads this week listing boys toys I have for sale.  I can't even tell you how many inquiries I had, most of which led to people backing out, changing their mind or flat out not showing up when they were supposed to.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  A lot of people tend to relax over holiday weekends.  Not us, at least not this weekend!  Tomorrow Grammie arrives for her biannual visit from New York.  My kids are SO excited.  The first thing K said this morning was "Guess who comes tomorrow?".  Hopefully her flights will all be on time with no problems (which is probably asking a lot).  She's due to arrive at 1:15, and J has his last baseball game of the season at 4pm.  We're fortunate that she will (knock on wood) be here for it.  Unfortunately it's going to be hot.  I don't mean hot, but HOT!  Right now my thermometer says 106 degrees in the shade, and it's supposed to be the same tomorrow.  I don't even want to be outside in that weather unless I'm in the swimming pool, let alone playing baseball!  Poor boys.  After his game one of his teammates had his family volunteer to host a team party at the country club pool.  I've never been there, but it seems like a fun time for the guys.  Sunday is relatively free at this point, but Monday is K's fifth birthday!  We are having her party at Pony Pals Stables and she is so excited. 

Today is J's last day of school, so next week is also the start of summer b-cation (as K calls it).  We don't have any set plans after her birthday, but I'm sure we'll find plenty to keep us busy with Grammie here.

 The pool is open for business!!!
K getting her t-ball trophy at the team party last night.  Go #12!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Have you ever seen the t-shirt...

"Mean people suck"?  Or maybe it was a bumper sticker.  I don't remember.  Anyway, my experience today at the little league ballpark brings that slogan to mind.

I know people the world over experience this very same thing - some parents take their kids' sports sooooooooo seriously or they are overly competitive or whatever.  It really bothers me when folks take it too far.  It's a GAME.  Not only that, they are KIDS.  The kids in question today are 8, 9 and 10 year olds.  We're not talking major leagues here, people.

J's game today was a big one.  His team was in first place by half a game, but they had to play the team in second place, which also happens to be the only team to have beaten them this entire season.  Unfortunately they had our number again and ended up winning 11-8.  We held our own against them, though, and went into the last inning ahead 8-6.  Our team went downhill fast and their team came alive right at the end, and the result was a win for them.

I'd like to think I'm not a sore loser.  I can be competitive just like everyone else, but I like to encourage the kids no matter what, and I'm just  thrilled that our boys have done so well this year (a 10-3 record is nothing to scoff at).  Honestly, though, this loss made me sick.  I was a nervous wreck the entire time because it was such a close game and so much was on the line (winner pretty much wraps up 1st place and a playoff spot).  The fact that we lost doesn't hurt as much as WHO we lost to. 

The parents/fans/coaches of this other team were obnoxious.  The head coach is arrogant and rude (although he plays "nicest guy alive" off the field), the fans were chanting and dancing in the stands... you would have thought we were at the little league World Series.  At one point even one of THEIR coaches had had enough & he left the dugout to go sit in the stands - that's how awful the head coach is.  He and his wife were accusing us of things that were untrue, he yelled at the other coach and talked rudely about his players (loud enough that the players could hear).  I told hubby as long as J keeps playing, he needs to keep coaching so we don't end up on a team like that.

Our boys played such a great game and put their hearts and souls into it.  They came off the field in tears.  We all wanted it sooooooo much.  I think it just rubs salt in our wounds that we had to lose a big game to a team like that.  When the adults ruin it for everyone else, there's something wrong. 

On a side note, I am so proud of J.  Ever since he was hit in the face by a pitch, he's been a little skittish up at bat.  Today he had to face the pitcher who hit him.  He struck out, but he stuck in there, didn't back out, and put in a good try swinging at decent pitches.  I know he had to be so nervous and have what happened last time he faced this kid in the back of his mind.  His second at-bat he faced a different pitcher, but another great, fast pitcher, and he made contact.  The fielder caught the fly ball, but I'm so glad that he hung in there and had two quality at-bats when he was probably scared spitless.

The Royals have two more games this season and I hope they hold their heads up high and go out on a winning note!  (And boooooooooooooo to the Rangers!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Free-speaking Friday

I hate headaches.  I've been a headache sufferer all of my life and they haven't gotten any better.  (Yes, I have a headache today)

Today was K's last preschool class at the zoo.  We've had a lot of fun this year learning different things about creatures big and small, meeting different types of animals and spending time at the zoo.  K loves Miss Joy (the teacher) and always wants to hold her hand when we walk from the classroom into the zoo.  We'll miss our third-Friday-of-every-month date next year!
 K and Miss Joy observing the prairie dogs (today's theme was "habitat").

K and her little friend (another K) on their way out of the zoo.  We were hot, tired and hungry!

And just in case you needed a little "pick-me-up" today, here's a sample of K's graduation performance from last night:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The end of an era...

Beltway Park Baptist Church has been a part of our lives for seven years.  When J was two years old he started going to their "Mother's Day Out" (preschool) and continued to do so for three years until he started Kindergarten.  K was just a baby when she made her debut there.  She was so lonely at home without J when he was in school full-time.  When she was just over a year old I signed her up to attend one day a week.  She is now completing her fourth year at Beltway!

Today, in honor of K's last day of preschool (and my last "free" day before summer vacation), hubby took the day off and we had a golf date.  It was hot and windy, but we both played fairly well (he played better than me...grrrr) and had a great time.  The course was empty and we played a really quick round, so we even had time to bring home lunch before it was time to get K.

Her last day of school was filled with all kinds of fun things including cupcakes and a pizza party and bounce houses.  They had a graduation tonight to celebrate the three older classes that are completing preschool and heading off to kindergarten next year.   They performed a few songs, recited a poem and each received a "diploma".

Today was also a great day for J.  His school had an awards ceremony where they honored students for accomplishments such as good grades, perfect attendance and meeting their reading goals.  J received an Academic Excellence t-shirt for having a 95% or above average for the whole school year, and also received an A-Honor Roll certificate for making the honor roll every six weeks of the year.  I am so proud of him!  (He missed the perfect attendance award because he missed ONE day the whole school year!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The mysteries of parenthood

Every parent knows that kids should come with an instruction manual.  You can ask doctors, get opinions from other parents, and Google things to death, and you will still have a hard time figuring things out.  After nine years of parenting, the only concrete things I have learned is that you can't make kids eat, you can't make them sleep and you can't make them poop.  (I bet you can figure out what we've struggled with in this house)

My latest parenting mystery is allergies.  I don't have allergies.  The only thing I know I am allergic to is penicillan  - I learned that the hard way when I was in labor with K!  Hubby struggles with sinus allergy problems and is allergic to coconut (or maybe he just can't stand the taste/smell of it).  So we don't really have a lot of knowledge regarding specific allergies.  I had to learn on the fly when I had J.  He had problems with dairy as a baby, and showed signs of a peanut allergy (which I'm sure he's outgrown but he refuses to try anything peanut-related).  Last summer we figured out that he must be allergic to cantaloupe(!) because even though he likes it, he can't eat it anymore because it "makes his throat feel funny".

Now let's talk about my lovely daughter.  We discovered when K was a baby that she is allergic to those temporary tattoo/sticker things.  J always puts them on his face before football games, and we put a megaphone one on K once.  These things normally come off relatively easily with tape and/or rubbing alcohol.  Not on K.  It would NOT come off and she screamed and cried, and the tattoo left a burn-like mark on her skin.  She was sporting a pink megaphone on her cheek for days afterward.  Apparently she has very sensitive skin.  She wanted earrings but does not want to get her ears pierced, so I took her to the mall and we bought some little girls clip-on earrings.  After wearing them for a few hours, she cried when I took them off, saying that I hurt her.  Her little ear lobes were red and swollen.  The poor girl can't even wear pretty bling.

One night after her t-ball game she ordered a Tigers Blood sno-cone, which is a lovely bright red color.  She ended up poking a hole in the bottom of her cup, so half of her sno-cone ended up on her pants.  Later on I took her to the bathroom and when she pulled her pants down, she had a bright pink splotch on her skin in the exact shape & size of the sno-cone spill.  I don't know if it was from the cold ice (although it was quite a while after the spill), a red stain from the sno-cone or a reaction to the dye used for the treat (or all of the above).  I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter.  J's doctor was always very reluctant to recommend allergy testing for a child.  Since J & K share that same doctor, I doubt he'll be receptive to the idea with her, but it seems like it might be smart, given how sensitive her body seems to be.

I don't think you ever really get this parenting thing down.  As soon as you figure one thing out, some other bizarre condition or behavior or phase will appear and throw you for a tailspin once again.  And they say women are a mystery!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Should've been a Cowboy

Do you know who "The Manster" is? 
If you're not a Dallas Cowboys fan, or haven't been one for a long time, then probably not.  Randy White (#54) played for the Cowboys in the late 70s and 80s when they went to three Super Bowls.  He was labeled "The Manster" because someone told him he was half man/half monster, thanks to his off-the-field gentleman-ness and his on-the-field fierceness.

Last night hubby and I had a date at the country club.  Yeah, we're that type of people.  Ha - not really.  Someone hubby knows through work sponsors a table and invited us to go.  There is a foundation here (Zac Robinson Memorial) that holds an annual golf tournament/clay shoot/auction & concert and we've attended the VIP party the last past two years.  This year was a hundred percent better than last year!  Johnny Bench was the guest speaker last year and he was the highlight for sure.  He was funny and personable and made the evening quite enjoyable.  Unfortunately the atmosphere was stuffy and the food was awful.  This year's banquet was a complete 180 from that.  It felt more laid-back, the food was actually quite good - last year all hubby and I ate were the mashed potatoes served in martini glasses - and the guest speaker was the icing on the cake.  Mr. Manster himself - Randy White.

Since hubby and I have both been lifelong Cowboys fans and are completely in love with the game of football, this night was such a treat.  We sat at a table with eight other people, most of whom are close friends.  We dined on salad, roasted potatoes & vegetables, prime rib and chocolate cake & pie.  Randy White was so down-to-earth and funny and entertaining.  He didn't get up there and start spouting off some speech he'd rehearsed.  He pretty much stood there & said he didn't know what to talk about so how about we ask him questions and he'll go from there.  He spoke for over an hour about everything under the sun, from the glory days playing for the Cowboys to what a mentor Coach Tom Landry was to the current situation in the NFL with the lockout.

If you're not a Cowboys fan, or even a football fan, your eyes probably would have glazed over, but for those of us that are, we could have listened to him all night.  And I think he would have talked all night, too, if they hadn't cut him off to finish signing autographs!!  We ended the evening with hubby winning several silent auction items (signed football memorabilia), one of which was a full-sized Cowboys helmet that we were able to have Randy White autograph.  There was a professional photographer in attendance who took our picture with Randy White before we left. 

I snapped these photos on my cell phone while waiting in the autograph line.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Free-speaking Friday

One of my best friends is in the process of moving back to Abilene.  If you know me and my luck with friends, then you know this is a momentous occasion.  I am known as the lady with the friend jinx. Every one of my friends that I make, or that my kids make, end up moving away.  Thankfully K's best friend looks to be here for the duration, and I happen to be good friends with her mom as well.  Now having R and her family back, I feel like my friend cup overfloweth!

Baby kittens are the most adorable animals.  Admittedly I am a cat person, so it doesn't take much for me to say "Awwwwwwwww".  The above-mentioned friend moved back to Abilene with four baby kittens in tow (and the mama, who has since disappeared).  If only we didn't already have two adult kitties that hubby absolutely loathes....

My kids have a more active social life than I do. 

It is possible to have a two hour lunch at Johnny Carino's without even trying.  And it didn't  involve cocktails.

Speaking of cocktails...happy hour (the non-alcoholic kind) at drive-through restaurants makes me happy.  I got a huge diet Coke at Mr. Burger for eighty-seven cents today.

Tomorrow night hubby and I have a date.  And not just any date.  We are rubbing elbows with the fancy people at the Abilene Country Club.  Randy White is the special guest, which makes us die-hard Cowboys fans very happy.   Are you sitting down?  I even bought a new dress to wear.

Lastly, my camera-baseball jinx continues.  Tonight at K's t-ball game they played three innings.  That means she was up to bat three times.  The first time, when I had my camera at the ready, she missed the pitches and had to hit from the tee.  After that, with my phone/camera firmly in my pocket, my girl nailed the ball pitched to her both times.  Way to go #12!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Unconditional Love

Someone needs to teach my daughter the meaning of unconditional love.

Every morning when she wakes up she comes in to my room (and usually either finds me in the bathroom getting ready or back in bed if I'm feeling lazy).  She will give me a hug or sit on my lap, but that's the extent of our morning hugs & kisses time. 

Today I sat on my bed while chatting with hubby on my cell phone and K decided to join me.  Not only did she sit next to me on the bed, but she proceeded to lay across my lap and told me I couldn't get up to go dry my hair.  She was hugging me and holding on for dear life.  I asked her why she will never snuggle with me when I want to, and yet when I have to go do something she won't let go.  Her response?  "That's because you already have your makeup on."  I asked her why she can't snuggle with me when I don't have my makeup on, and she said, "Because you look prettier than at the night."

Alrighty then.  Never underestimate the power of a child's honesty.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The dreaded "To the parent or guardian of"...

When I walked out to check the mail today, there was the typical offering of an In the Swim catalog of pool stuff we never buy, a couple of credit card offers, a bill from the eye doctor that I paid last week and a graduation announcement from someone we know.  There was also an envelope from the intermediate school addressed to "Parent or Guardian of J.A.B.".

Even though my kids are good kids and very rarely, if ever, have a problem in school, my heart skipped a beat.  It's usually not good news when you get something in writing from the school, right? 

The envelope contained a letter from the principal and this is what it said:

Dear Parent/Guardian,
During the 2010/2011 school year, your child complied a yearly average of 95 or above.  This is a great accomplishment.  I extend my personal congratulations to you as parents for supporting your child in this endeavor.

It went on to invite us to an assembly next week honoring all students achieving this recognition.  Words cannot even express HOW PROUD I am of my son.  He has learned so much and worked so hard, and even though he is very, very smart, sometimes the "9-year-old boy laziness" gets to be too much and he gets careless or doesn't put forth the effort.  He has been on the honor roll every 6 weeks since he started kindergarten, though, and this year he was only one absence away from achieving perfect attendance.

All of those homework battles seem well worth it now.   Superb job, J.  You've definitely earned your summer vacation!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kids say the darnedest things!

Sometimes, as a parent, you just have to give in to the burst of laughter that wants to come out when your kids say certain things. 

Today at our usual Monday lunch date at McDonalds, K and I were talking about her birthday in three weeks.  Her best friend's birthday is tomorrow and K said she wishes SHE was having her birthday first.  When I asked her why, I figured she'd say that she didn't want her friend to be older than her.  She said, "I wish it was my birthday so I could be five, then I could almost be six and then I could play golf."  (The golf course we play at says no children under 6.)   There's a girl after my own heart!

Out of the blue a few minutes ago K asked me if "that wedding thing" was across Kirby Lake.  It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about, because a wedding thing had nothing to do with the grapes I was washing or the Spongebob episode she was watching on tv!  Then I realized she was talking about Prince William and Catherine's royal wedding.  She watched some of it on tv with me and I told her then that it was far away across the ocean.  Apparently, to an almost-five-year-old, "across the ocean" and "across Kirby Lake" are the same thing.  To those of you who don't know, Kirby Lake is about 2 miles from our house!

Add to those kid-isms all of the adorable mispronounced words I hear throughout the day and you'll realize how entertaining a few short hours can be with my very imaginative daughter!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Today my kids insisted that there should be a "Kids day" (isn't that every day?!?!?!), but in reality today is the day that mothers everywhere are honored, appreciated and loved a little bit more. 

My Mother's Day celebration actually started on Thursday.  My thoughtful brother sent me a beautiful vase of flowers, and what girl doesn't like to get flowers???  K was a little put out that she didn't get any this time, but I pointed out that they are for MOTHER'S DAY and she's not a mother! 

Hubby told me last night to send the kids to him in the morning if they woke me up, but that wasn't necessary since he couldn't sleep & ended up in his recliner.  I'm guessing the closed bedroom door was enough of a deterrent, because I didn't hear anything until the two little cuties (and 1 big cutie) came in to wake me up at 9am.  I received two beautiful silver heart necklaces (one from each kiddo) and we had a family golf date.  Luckily the course wasn't too busy and there were times we couldn't even see another golfer anywhere near us!  Afterward we went out for a late lunch (place of my choice). 

I know today is very bittersweet for hubby.  He went out of his way to make today special for me despite the fact that it's the first Mother's Day since his mom passed away.  She was a very sweet and loving lady - we are all better people for having had Flo in our lives.  Even though I wish so much that I could have my mom HERE, I know I am more than blessed that my mom is happy and healthy and able to be in our everyday lives, albeit in a long-distance way.  K told hubby that she's sad for him because his mom died.  We did stop at the cemetery to visit Granny after we ate, and went out for hot fudge sundaes afterward in honor of her (she loved her ice cream!). 

Happy Mother's Day to all of the special moms in my life - my mother, my mother-in-law in heaven, and all of my special friends who are beautiful people and terrific moms!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Superstitious much?

Here is the definition of superstition:
- a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
I never really put much stock in superstition.  I might have to rethink my position.  After the first few baseball games of the season, I quit bringing my camera.  Every time J was up to bat & I'd try to photograph him, he would strike out.  I started leaving my camera at home and he started hitting the ball.  Tonight was the first time in weeks he hasn't at least made contact (well, unless you count Monday when the ball made contact with HIM instead).  
This superstition thing might be going beyond just my camera, though.  Tonight J had a game at 6pm and K had a game at 7pm.  I managed to watch the first couple innings of J's game before I had to leave.  The boys were not playing well and were losing 5-2 when I walked over to K's game.  A friend of mine was at the boys' game and was sending me updates via text.    Here is our conversation:
S: 3rd inning. 3 runs. 6-5
   me: We 5 or 6?
S: 5
   me: good or bad?
S: 8-6 them. We are batting with one out.
S: bases loaded
S: 8-8 with one out.
   me: you are killing me!!!!!
S: Bases loaded two outs. 9-8 us.
S: now we're done.. bottom of 4th.  Up by one.
S: One out.
S: Two outs.
S: We Win!!!!!! 
I really don't want to think that I could be a jinx for the team, so I will hope that it was just a coincidence that our team started playing better and ended up winning AFTER I left!  I wish I had been there to see the boys celebrate coming from behind to win like that, but I had to put on my t-ball team mom hat and go to work.  Congrats Royals on sticking it out and coming out on top tonight!     

Friday, May 6, 2011

C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N! (Free-speaking Friday)

Does the song "Celebrate" jump into your mind after reading the title of this post?  People (my mother) will use any excuse for a celebration.  Growing up, we always went out to dinner to celebrate everything:  Easter Sunday, Father's Day, a lost tooth, a paper cut (ha ha), etc.  In accordance with my randomness of Friday posts, I wanted to mention a few arbitrary things my mom always celebrates.

The reason I bring this up in the first place is that yesterday was Cinco de Mayo.  May 5th.  A Mexican holiday or Spanish or something totally unrelated to our heritage.  I could Google it and give you a history lesson but that's not the point.  Every year my mother and her significant other, along with their friends, go out on Cinco de Mayo to celebrate.  To celebrate what?  Who knows. I think it's just an excuse to have a few margaritas!

St. Patrick's Day is traditionally known as the holiday honoring the Irish Saint Patrick.  It's also an excuse to eat corned beef & cabbage and get drunk on green beer.  Now I'm sure my mother passes on the green beer (or at least the getting drunk part) and she's not Irish, but she and her cohorts go out every year on March 17th for corned beef and cabbage.  More power to them.

I already discussed the "give something up for Lent" thing.  As far as I know (which may be very little), Lent is a Catholic thing.  Are we Catholic?  No.  And giving up chocolate would never be considered a celebratory thing, but this kind of goes along with the celebration/traditional ideas that my mother perpetually persists in doing.

This Saturday is the Kentucky Derby.  Our family is not a huge supporter of horse racing.  We're not affiliated with the sport at all, although we do enjoy watching the big Triple Crown races and my parents occasionally attend a day at the track in Saratoga.  The other day when Mom was discussing how busy the month of May is for her, she was going day by day and telling me what she had planned.  I kid you not, watching the Kentucky Derby was on her list.  One of these years I'm going to make a pitcher of mint julips and send her a big floppy hat so she can really get into the Churchill Downs spirit.

This may sound like I'm poking fun at my mom, and maybe I am, a little.  But she truly is a fun and thoughtful person, and I think all of these "celebrations" just show how she embraces those qualities.  Finding the positives in life is a true talent (that she excels at) - whether it be drinking a margarita on May 5 or calling my dad (a veteran) to thank him for his service on Veterans Day or sending my son an extra $10 for a good report card.  She enjoys the little (and big) things in life and all of us around her benefit from that.

This weekend is Mother's Day, so in honor of my mom, let's celebrate!!!

Here's our family (mom front & center) "celebrating" Thanksgiving 2010...albeit 3 days after the actual holiday! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I don't know what amazes me more - that hubby and I will be celebrating our tenth anniversary this year, that my son will be in FOURTH grade next year (how did that happen?), or that my daughter will be starting elementary school in August.

Everyone knows that time goes by so quickly - flies by, really - and that your kids grow up way too fast.  If you are a relatively normal adult and a parent, then those two facts are not a surprise in any way, shape or form.  I think it really emphasizes how much time has gone by when you celebrate a milestone of some sort.  The other night at J's baseball game (before the ball to the face trauma) I was chatting with one of the other moms and she asked how long J has been playing baseball.  I had to stop and think, because frankly I couldn't believe that this is his fifth season.  Wow.  Wasn't he just born five years ago?  Oh no, wait, that was K.  Which brings me to another milestone:  K will turn five at the end of this month.  Five means the end of the preschooler years and an entrance into the world of public education. 

This afternoon we have to go to the elementary school for "Kindergarten Round-up".  My daughter is more than ready for school, at least academically.  She is smart and creative and loves to learn.  Unfortunately she is also very sensitive and attached to her Mama.  I wouldn't say she is immature at all... it's more of a "clingy" thing.  I can just picture us next year - I'll be the mom dragging her crying child into school and then I'll be the mom crying as I leave my child in tears.  Ok, hopefully that's a slight exaggeration.  She loves to go places and even has started looking forward to going to school, but it took her FOUR YEARS of preschool to get to that point.  She has been at her current preschool since she was a year old, and even up until a few months ago she would cry when I left her.  She's familiar with the school, she has friends in her class and she has fun being there, so I can only chalk it up to missing her mommy.  She has slowly gotten better and I know (I hope) being at kindergarten will be different.  I wish she would get the same teacher that J had but with twelve (yes, twelve) classes, the odds aren't great.  All I can do is hope & pray for a good, kind, and fun kindergarten teacher for her - otherwise it will be a LONG year! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Have you ever had a moment in your life where you actually felt your heart stop?  That momentary panic where everything inside you just freezes is so awful.  That's what happened to me at J's baseball game last night.  His team was in first place prior to last night's game and they were playing the only team to have beaten them this year.  The main reason this other team is so good is because of its pitchers.  They have two "ace" pitchers who throw hard and throw accurately.  Unfortunately for J, he found out that they always throw hard, even when not accurate.

He was only up to bat once in the game, and on the third pitch the ball hit him square in the cheek.  I was sitting on a bench behind home plate so I had a clear view of the ball zooming straight towards his head.  It was a hard hit that you could hear, and immediately afterward J grabbed his head and started screaming.  From the sound of the hit, I knew it didn't hit his helmet but rather it hit HIM, I just wasn't sure where.  I could only see from the back side of him and I had visions of him turning around with blood streaming down his face.

Luckily for him, he got hit on the only part of your face where I guess it's not horrible to be hit - right smack in the middle of his cheek.  An inch higher and it would have crashed into his cheekbone.  An inch lower and his jaw would have been struck.  An inch or two to the side would have hit his mouth and/or nose.  So all in all, taking a baseball to the fleshy part of your cheek is the best case scenerio.

This first picture was last night right after the game.  The second one was taken this morning before he went to school.  The swelling is just as bad and now his cheek is turning a lovely reddish-purple color. 

I am so thankful that he wasn't more seriously injured, because it could have been so much worse, with bones and teeth and even eyes involved.  I had a hard time going to sleep last night because I just kept reliving that moment of impact again and again and hearing him scream in pain.  I was so, so proud though, because in just a few minutes he composed himself and even took his base.  His coach asked him if he could run and he said yes, and hubby even asked again when they got to the base.  J also told me afterward that he was hoping to get up to bat again so he could try to get his team some points.  I hope he doesn't let this affect him the next time he faces a pitcher.  I'm thinking the sooner he gets "back in the saddle" the better. 

If I never have to relive a moment like that in my life I will be forever grateful.  Poor little guy.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Free-speaking.... Sunday?

I just realized when I sat down to write this post that I missed "Free-speaking Friday" last week thanks to my concert entry.  Since I'm struggling to come up with an idea for an interesting topic today, we'll just move our freedom of speech to today.

You would never know it was May by looking out the window today.  Yesterday we spent an amazing afternoon on the golf course - sunny and 80s and, most importantly, NO WIND!  Today it is cloudy, windy and 47 degrees.  Since it is warm & sunny in New York, I'm guessing we traded weather with my mom.

May 1st is my nephew's birthday and this year he turns 21.  What a milestone!  Was it for you?  I don't really think it was for me, mostly because being able to legally drink wasn't very important to me.  I will occasionally have an alcoholic beverage (it just took me three tries to type alcoholic!) - like the other night before the concert when I enjoyed a strawberry daquiri - but drinking has never been a priority for me.  On my 21st birthday my family did take me out and I did order a drink, but for the most part it was all for show.

Am I the only person on the planet who doesn't Twitter?  I don't even get the point.  We have the news, we have web sites, we have Facebook.  Why do I need to sign up for something so I can read up-to-the-minute updates on other people's lives? 

Mother's Day is next Sunday, so make sure you get your cards in the mail!

This is going to be a busy month for us.  J and K have four and three weeks (respectively) left of school (which means I am running out of time to think up some clever teacher gifts)!  Our family has three birthdays this month (nephew, stepson and K).  Every week is filled with the usual baseball & t-ball practice and games until the end of the month.  And four weeks from yesterday my mom will be here for her annual visit for K's birthday on Memorial Day.

I think it's such an interesting contradiction when you go from being the child who can't wait for summer vacation to the adult/parent who dreads summer vacation!  I love the freedom summer gives us.  As a stay-at-home mom, I don't have to worry about where my children will go for three months.  We are able to stay home when we want,  go out & about when we want, etc.  And since we have a pool, we pretty much park our behinds in the backyard to swim every afternoon.  But summer brings lots and lots of empty hours to fill.  Luckily my kids will have their Grammie here their first week of summer vacation, and then three weeks after she leaves we will leave for the beach and NY. 

One last thing... if you find my motivation to exercise wherever it's hiding, please return it to me!

Happy May!