Monday, October 25, 2010

7 Years Ago, Today...

I married my best friend and the love of my life!

The 7 years have gone by soo fast!   We have done so much together.  We have shared so many 'firsts' together.  We bought our first home together.  We became first time parents.  We became 'that' couple we swore we never would ;)  You know the kind...that know everything until they have children of their own.  Turns out we don't know squat about parenting!  It's all just a crap shoot! 
 
He made my dream of motherhood, a reality.  I have the most adorable children, because of him! 

Marriage is hard.  No doubt about it.  But the payoff.....it's unbelievable!  There are moments when I sit back and am in awe of my own life.  I have everything I have ever wanted and it is all because of this man. 

We have learned so much about each other and ourselves in this journey. 

I've learned that I must trust him completely with my heart.  He deserves that from me. 

I have learned that, I too, have flaws. 

I am learning how to love and how to be loved. 

I knew from the minute I met him, that he was my soul mate.  Love at first sight does exist!  

He is my everything.  He is my best friend.

My life is complete.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Bird Has Landed!

I don't know why I chose that title, but it seemed to fit!

Jake started Pre-K on 8/23 and we decided that we would no longer put him in pull-ups.  So we sent him into school in his big boy undies and lots and lots of extra clothes.  And guess what...he has done fantastically with it!  The last few days of last week and yesterday, he has come home in the same shorts and underwear that we sent him to school in! 

And then last night.......

He was in taking a bath and I was cleaning up the kitchen, when I heard "MOM, COME HERE!!".  Much to my surprise, he had gotten out of the bath and went poo poo in the potty!!  I called for the rest of the family to come see!  Everyone was sooo proud of him and he was soo proud of himself!!  James took a picture of it, but I am quite sure, that no one really wants to see it!

It is a tradition in our family that when you poop in the potty and are using the potty consistently, you get to go to Target and pick out whatever toy you want! 

I immediately got him out of the tub and dressed and off to Target we went!  Here is what he picked out...

Sorry for the picture quality

I love how proud Grace is of him in the background!! 

He's awesome!

Monday, August 23, 2010

School Begins!

Today is Jake & Grace's first day of Pre-K and it is Caroline's first day at preschool!  There are finally all back in the same school! 

Because of space limitations, all the kids could not start at the same time.  Grace was first to start and we couldn't have made a better decision to have her start first if we tried!  She started on August 2nd and has been learning the routine, so when it came time to show her brother and little sister around, she was in hog heaven!  She has shown them where to put your lunch box, where they lie down to take a nap, the best toys to play on the playground with...etc!!  She has been awesome with them today!  She might be a little control freak, like her mama I'm afraid ;) 

They have been separated for the past year, so it is sooo awesome to have them all in the same place so that they can see each other every day!

Here are some pics!!


They are soo awesome and I am soo proud to be their mama!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

And....I'm back!

Wow, it's been awhile since I have posted.  I guess I am not very diligent about posting regularly. Oh well, it is what it is and I can't, won't, put expectations on myself.

So, life has been great lately!  I am such a lucky person to have the husband and kids that I do.  They make my life absolutely awesome!  I am in a place of euphoria these days.  Just been hanging out and doing stuff with the kids and the hubby.

Summer is going fast!  Jake starts back at his school on the 23rd of August and this is the make or break year for him.  This next school year will determine if he makes it in to Kindergarten.  Our fingers and toes are crossed that the deem him ready.  I feel in my heart that he will be ready based upon the strides he has made in the last two years.  The strides have been HUGE!  From a child, who at age 2, could not utter a word, to a little man who uses 5 word utterances and more!  He is doing just awesome and I could not be more proud of all the progress he has made. 

Also on the 23rd, Caroline will join her big sister at preschool!  I am soo nervous for her, but I know she will do great!  Recently my sis-in-law has been watching Jake & Cara and it has been beyond wonderful!  I love knowing that she is with them and that they get to spend so much time with their Auntie.  We will all miss her watching them!!

Here is a pic of Grace & Caroline watching t.v. together

Grace started at the new preschool on August 2nd, so she will be able to show Jake & Cara around.  Which I know she will love to do!  She is such an awesome big sister to Caroline.  She really likes to take care of her.  It is soo sweet to see the relationship blooming between them.  And I know with both Jake & Grace at the same school, that they will look after Caroline.  Jake has really shown his big brother ways too!  He is soo very cute with her!

So, that's it for now.  I hope to not be away for soo long again as many other topics are swirling in my head that I would love to post about.

Bye for now ;)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daddy's Boy

This morning I was cleaning out Jake's dresser drawer when I came upon a shirt I had forgotten all about!

It was his Steelers shirt!!

So, I was soo excited and ran into the family room to show Jake!  He was in there with Daddy watching t.v.

Mama to Jake "Jake, look at what I found!!"

Jake to Mama "WOW, MY FAVORITE STEELERS SHIRT!!"

Right then and there, I swear my husband was going to cry! 

He immediately put it on and insisted on wearing it all day, even though it was like 90 degrees here today!

The Steelers are his all-time favorite team and while, of course, we watch every game and always root for them, I truly had no idea that Jake knew who they were.

It was really, really awesome to hear him say that!!

Here are some pics:




My son, he's a stud!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Two Years Ago

You, my Sweet Caroline came into my life.  When I think about our time together in the hospital, tears come to my eyes.  Not sad tears. happy tears.  Oh how I loved having that one-on-one time with you and getting to really bond with you.  Something I definitely missed out with your brother & sister.

It was 11:30am when Dr. R proudly announced "IT'S A GIRL"!  We had kept your gender a secret for the whole pregnancy, which I might add, was the hardest thing ever and I don't even know why we did it!  Although, I knew in my hearts-of-hearts that you were my Sweet Caroline.  I think we all did :)  In fact, we hadn't decided on a boy's name!

You were absolutely beautiful!  I remember our first 'meeting' so vividly.  You instantly tried nursing off my nose!  You smelled so yummy and I couldn't get enough of you!  Your eyes, your lips, your long fingernails.  All of it, was beautiful.  I felt like the luckiest mommy in the whole world.

The time we spent together in the hospital was amazing.  Daddy had to take care of Grace & Jake, so that meant that you and I had lots of bonding time.  I am forever grateful for that time with you.  You were amazing from the first night with us.  Grammy stayed overnight with me while Daddy went home to take care of G&J and I remember when Grammy & I decided to go to sleep and catch the couple of hours sleep we could....we blinked and FIVE hours had passed!  On your first night, you slept FIVE hours straight!  Grammy & I panicked at first but then realized that you were just sleeping like a baby :) 

After that, you discovered how to nurse and you were a champ from day 1!  You nursed like it was going out of style!  The nurse would tell me to write down everytime you nursed.  So I did.  And before you knew it, I was writing every 20 mins!  No kidding!  Grammy & I use to laugh at that!  There wasn't much sleep to be had until we got out of the hospital, but I didn't care.  I loved being with you, awake or asleep!  In fact, I am POSITIVE that your first smile happened on your 4th day in the hospital.  I tried to get a picture of it, but wasn't 100% sucessful.  But these are pretty close.


You are soo very precious!

While in the hospital, your brother & sister did come and visit you but Grace was very unhappy that day and refused to have her picture taken.  But here is one with Jake.



Then before we knew it, you turned 1!  We of course threw you a birthday party and you were unbelievable cute that day.  You decided not to nap that day and rallied! 



And here we are.  You are now 2 years old and I honestly do not know where the time goes.  You are such a happy, joyous baby!  I constantly feel like I hit the lottery with you!  You are sooo smart.  You can count to 11; you have a fantastic vocabulary and speak in 3 word utterances!  You are amazing and I am honored to be your mommy.

I love you to the moon and back, my Sweet Caroline.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kids say the darndest things!

So I thought I would start an ongoing post full of, as we call them, Grace-ism's!  She truly says the darndest things!  So, here's a couple to start and I will update this as new ones come out!

Dad to Caroline "You're so pretty, just like your sister Grace".  Grace looks over to Dad and says "She's not THAT pretty Dad".
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As I am scolding Grace for not listening, she puts her hand over her heart and says "This is my heart. God loves my heart.  Jesus loves me"
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Grace and her friend are having a picnic outside.  Her friend says "I want to have a picnic at your house.  Do you have a dog and a cat?".  Grace says "Yes, we have a dog and a cat".  Friend says "I don't like cats".  Grace says "Well I guess you're not coming to my house then".
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* Grace out of the blue comes over and says to me "I'm tired of being so pretty".
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She cracks me up!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A way to give back

I have joined Stella & Dot!  For those of you not familiar with them, check out this link!  Their jewelry is adorable and affordable!

So my thought is to introduce everyone I know to Stella & Dot so that you can get some rockin' pieces for yourself while helping out some incredible non-profit organizations at the same time!

But I also have a motive :)  A hefty portion of my proceeds with be donated to 3 charities that I wholeheartedly support.

The first charity that I plan on supporting is 'Friends of Maddie'.  This little girl changed my life.  She changed my whole way of thinking about life on this earth and how we should not take one day for granted.  Her parents started this non-profit to support families of critically ill babies by easing the transition into NICU life and providing an ally until the end of their child's hospital stay.

The second charity is the 'Layla Grace Children's Cancer Foundation'.  Another little girl who I fell in love with that lost her battle with cancer.  Her parents are determined not to have her death be in vain and have started the non-profit to help raise funds in stopping cancer!

The third charity is 'St. Baldrick's'.  This is an amazing organization that, thus far, has raised $20million, that's right....MILLION, in the fight against childhood cancer!  I am in awe of all they do to help eradicate this nasty disease.

So, won't you help me by ordering some beautiful jewelry??  Just think, everytime you put on a piece of jewelry that you ordered from my website...you will have helped in the fight against cancer!!

Here's the link to my website.  Happy shopping and thanks for helping!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's one of those days

It's one of those days where the tears will not stop flowing.  As much as I try to pull myself together, it is just not happening.

Maybe I am hypersensitive??  Why do I feel so alone in my mourning??  I feel like I am the only person out there that mourns these babies that pass as if I knew them personally.  Is that soo crazy?  Definitely a question for my shrink!

All I can think about are these mom's that are having to witness their child's last breath on this earth and wonder how does one move forward after that.  And yet they do with strength and grace that I did not know existed on this planet.  I am in awe of their faith and their will to go on.

To the Potvin's, there are no words that I can give you that will comfort during this time.  Just please know that my heart is heavy with sorrow for your loss.   I am soo deeply sorry for your loss.

For those interested, here is the to the Ellie's CaringBridge website: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/elliepotvin

God bless you all Potvin Family.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Starlight, Starbright

For my babies ~ you have made every wish come true and I am the luckiest mama on the planet!

Lyrics by Nicolette Larson

baby i am here
baby i am here

never thought that in a million years
never thought that you would come to me
you're the answers to a million prayers
you're the apple of my eye

i can hear you breathing next to me
just how lucky can one person be?
i am looking at a mystery
everything i dream, more than i can wish for

starlight, starbrigt, all day all night
i will be right next to you
here forever, i will never leave, i will never leave

baby you're my little ray of light
i could fin you in the darkest nights
if you cry then i will hold you tight
never letting go, i would do that for you.

starlight, starbright, all day all night
i will be right next to you
here forever, i will never leave, i will never leave

baby i am here
baby i am here

starlight starbright, all day all night
i will be right next to you
here forever, i will never leave, i will never leave

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

I am truly blessed to have two great men in my life.  My dad and my husband.

They both deserve soo much recognition for all they do for their families.

My husband is one-of-a-kind!!  I feel like I seriously hit the jackpot with him!  He is a keeper, ten-fold!  I knew it from the minute I laid eyes on him...of course, it took me a little while to convince him of that!! (more on that another time). 

My kids will grow up with the most amazing Dad!

Happy Father's Day Baby!  We love you!

Phin's Fight

Hi All,

I am saddened to even have to post this.  It's just been too much lately.

I am posting this info about a little boy named Phin who is 18mos old and is battling stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma.  He is the nephew of a friend of mine. 

Please take a moment to read the blog that has been set up for him and his CaringBridge website. 

Please include him in your prayers!!

Phin's fight: http://phinsfight.wordpress.com/

Phin's CaringBridge Site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/phinhalligan

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lacking Patience

Lately, I have had a rough go of it with my kids.  My patience with them is at an all time low and I honestly don't know why.

They aren't really doing anything out of the norm for 4 year olds and a 2 year old.

-they don't listen
-they are constantly telling ME how it's going to be
-they insist on NOT eating the dinner I have slaved over
-they refuse to talk in an inside voice
-they will not stop using the couches as pommel horses

These things are all normal...right?? 

I know, that I need to step back and be thankful for their health and for the fact that they are at my feet driving me nuts as I know other mother's who would do anything to have their kids at their feet.  I want so badly to have a happy house where there isn't constant contention but I am failing miserably at this. 

Seriously, are my expectations just too great?  Am I living in a fuzzy reality again?

I need to chill out and can figure out how to stop the fighting, the yelling, etc. 

I'm at a loss.  So until I figure it out, I guess I will just hold on for dear life!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It feels good to be 40!

On Saturday, my wonderful husband threw me a 40th birthday party! 

Great friends were there to help welcome me in to my 40's!  I am soo touched by how much love was there that day. 

Some friends drove from very far away, and for that I thank you so much for making the drive.

Some friends came from around the corner and I thank you for everything you did to make my day awesome!

Special thanks to the bartender (Jim)!  Great lemon drops ;)

I love you all so much and am honored to be your friend!

BIG thanks to my most wonderful hubby for throwing me the party!  You did a great job with everything and I soo appreciate all the time and energy you put into it!  Thanks for the belly laughs ;)

Caroline's Big Day!

Caroline, who is not even 2yrs. old yet, just pooped in the potty!! Woot!

Way to go Caroline!! Mommy & Daddy are sooo proud of you!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

F&%K CANCER

Yep, I used an expletive in my title because that's how pissed I am that cancer is robbing this world!!

Up until Tuesday, I have said that cancer has never affected me personally.  Not true anymore.

On Tuesday I was given sad news that a dear friend of mine and my husband's has only 6months left to live due to a cancer they *thought* they had gotten rid of, only to find out that it is ravishing her body.

Sad, mad, heartbroken, don't even do justice to how I am feeling right now.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


An Oldie...:)

This is of Grace when she was about 18mos old.

It's a rude, rude world!

As of lately, it seems, as if this world is getting ruder by the second!  I am constantly floored by the rude actions I see happening around me.

People cutting people off on the freeway.  People not holding doors for others.  Or holding the doors, only to be ignored and not given a thank you!

Here is a really, really good example:

I took the girls to breakfast at the little restaurant around the corner from our house.  We have been going to this place for about 7 years now.  The waitress, we will call her "D", knows us by our first name.  Knows our children.  We know hers, etc.

So, the girls and I sit down.  She gives me a menu and crayons and paper to the girls.  We have been sitting and waiting now at least 10mins when a man (you will notice I did not call him a gentleman), sits down at the table next to us with his 2 boys.  He immediately starts telling "D" that he is in a hurry.  She assures him that she is aware, as this is apparently a frequent thing.  She then comes over and asks if we are ready.  We are.  I give her our order and she then walks to his table to get his order.

It's now been about 10minutes more, and Caroline has already started to ask that we leave.  She is bored.  We have played with all the jelly packs we can to entertain her.  She has colored.  She has drank her juice.  She is ready to go.

On the counter, I can see that food has come up and is ready to be brought to the table.  "D" gets the food and brings it to the man and his kids!!  She says "you should thank her (me), I put your food ahead since you were in a hurry"!  

I'M SORRY!  WHAT??  WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

The man attempts to laugh it off and thanks me.  The nerve!

So, the man and his sons, gobble their food and leave.  "D" then trys to lessen her rude behavior, by telling me that he does that to her all the time.  I tell her, "that was rude on so many levels.  His issue of being late, is not my problem.  You should not let anyone instruct you on how to service your customers.  Also, is that really the message he wants to send to his sons?  That he can cut in front of people and that it is okay?".  Yes, I said a mouth full, but I was soooo mad.  Where does this sense of entitlement come from?  Why would anyone a) ask a waitress to do this and b) why would the waitress allow this?

Well, needless to say, my dissatisfaction was reflected in her tip. 

What do you think?  Do you find the world to be ruder these days?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Where have I been?

Has anyone been wondering? 

The month of May was a crazy one!  There were too many things going on to stop and update my blog.  Although, I am certain most people have a blog so that they can do just that!

But, me...well I was overwhelmed with May, and quite honestly, am glad to see it gone!

Here's a few things that happened in May:

* The twins turned 4 and we had a party!
* I turned 40 and my husband is throwing me a party this weekend, sans kids ;)
* My mom had back surgery, which then led to pneumonia, which then led to an ambulance ride to the ER, where she was hospitalized!  She is out, thank God, and doing better!
* My boss quit and since I am an Executive Admin, he was my job.  Luckily I work at a great place and have been told that I am fine and to sit tight until they replace him! 

So, that is enough drama for one month....wouldn't you say!

Now, let's bring on June!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

For my mom

Ever since I can remember, I have felt like the black sheep of the family.  My parents are Democrats and I am a Republican.  How or why I became a Republican, I don't know.  But I have always seemed to side with their logic.  Obviously, this has caused many, many heated arguments between me and my parents and my extended family.  They were respectful arguments, but heated none the less.  Even though I stood on the right and my mom on the left, never have I felt that my mom was judging me or belittling my choice.  My mom always listened to my point of view and I to hers.  We typically don't agree, but we listen ;)
My mom is the most giving, unselfish woman I know.  She would give you her last dime if you asked.  I remember traveling with her about 10years ago.  We were in a hotel and right before we checked out, she started gathering all the miniature toiletries and loading them in her bag.  I was perplexed.  She took every last one of them.  I said "why are you taking all of that?"  She replied "because, I donate all of this to a woman's shelter".  I was taken aback.  I swear it was right then and there that I truly realized how awesome my mom is.  I know it may not seem earth shattering to you or probably even to my mom.  But it was then and there that I realized just how giving and thoughtful of a person she is. 

She inspires to give back and to help when I can.  So much so, that I remember a Christmas when I was about 25 or so and she asked me what I wanted.  I told her that I wanted her to spend whatever amount of money she was going to spend and give it to Toys for Tots.  She had a better idea!  She said, let's go buy toys with it and donate the toys!  So, I matched her dollar for dollar and off to Target we went!  When we reached the checkout line, we had two full carts of toys!  When then took all the toys to the local firehouse where they were collecting the toys.  That was the best feeling ever!  To know that we gave soo many kids a Christmas they typically wouldn't have had, the words are indescribable.

We grew up in a very unconventional way, much to my chagrin back then.  During the holidays, anybody that didn't have a home to go to, was always welcome at our table for the holiday meal.  I remember begging her to just let it by us (mom, dad, me and my sister) and she said "I'm really sorry honey, but these people don't live near their families and I won't shut my door to them".  I guess the Republican in me really wanted the Currier & Ives type of Christmas.  Little did I know, that I had it. 

My mom never discriminated against anyone.  They had friends that were homosexuals, they had friends that were of a different race than us.  They were always welcome and accepted in our house.  This is another life changing moment for me.  You see, my mom was raised knee deep in the heart of Texas where racism runs rampant.  She could have easily followed trend and been just like some of those that don't feel humans are humans because of their race.  She taught me that no matter the color of someone's skin or their sexual orientation, everyone is equal.  Mom, I love you for teaching me this and making sure that we understood to love people, not hate. 

Mom, I hope I inspire my children the way you have inspired me!

I love you!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The twins turned 4!

My babies turned 4 on Saturday, May 1st.  We had their party at a beautiful park on a beautiful day!  There were many fun things to do!

We went on a train ride with Grammy & Grandpa


We played kick ball!

And looked darn cute doing it!

We played on the playground.


We blew bubbles


We went for a walk with Daddy


We had snow cones 


We opened presents


Even Caroline got a new baby!


We had a great time! 

I cannot believe that my babies turned 4 years old!  Where o where does the time go??

Friday, May 7, 2010

Good things coming!

It has been awhile since I posted, but it is all for good reason!

I am trying Adobe Photoshop and trying to get all the pictures from Grace & Jake's 4th birthday party edited and loaded.

But for now....here is a teaser!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A letter from Daddy to Grace & Jake

Written by Daddy to Grace & Jake for the 4th Birthday

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4yrs Old

First, this is really my first authentic non sarcastic blog posting of more than 2 lines so forgive the choppiness and lack of flow. I have never written much, except in my journal to myself.

There are milestones we pass on the road of life that are very hard to describe. Adulthood is riddled with all kinds of surprises. Surprises that usually spring up right after declaring in my inner monologue that I am totally normal, things are going great and I have successfully maneuvered the obstacle course of life and now comfortably sit in the Captains Chair on cruise control. On May 1, 2006 I hit the brakes. The cruise control disengaged. The road ahead was in view. For the time being. But all of the pre-conceived notions I had about what the road was going to be like for me and Jenn were suddenly masked by a Tule-Fog.

The birth of my twins, Grace and Jacob, completely changed everything I thought I knew about......well, everything! I used to think I was tired. I used to think I was quite sane. I used to think everyone else just needed to rise to my level of understanding and discernment. I used to think Jenn was the noisiest human ever. I used to think I could handle having kids in stride, no alteration to my life necessary. Cause hey, it's me, James. The Wildenator. Mr. Easy Going. Mr. Gets along with everyone. Mr. Party-time. I used to think so many things that were/are not so. I used to think that basically, I was perfect. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

I remember that day. The birth day. The scheduled c-section. We were going to the Hospital. What could be so hard? We were gonna have 2 kids and we were gonna come home. No big deal. Notice, nothing is hard when I don't have to do it. Cause remember, I'm "James". I thought to myself, finally, we are going to have these kids. I would be able to see and touch them and bond with them as Jenn had for nearly 9months and everything would be fine. I would be able to sympathize and empathize with my wife on all levels. No worries. That would solve that gap. When they are hungry I will feed them. When they poop I will change them. Easy money. I felt good. I was very excited to finally meet them. I thought to myself, wow, this is a really grown up thing that is about to happen to us. Super. I was fine. I thought.

As people started trickling in to the hospital room, I suddenly shrank. I was getting very nervous. Very unsure. I didn't want anyone asking me how I felt because all of a sudden, I wasn't sure. I felt a bit nauseous. I felt like maybe I was about to give birth. Why was I so nervous? Jenn was the one getting split open. I had no problem with that. It wasn't me it was going to happen to. She was laughing, smiling for the camera and having a great time. Suddenly, my eyes felt like they were opening to the reality of what was about to happen.

We go in to the O.R. Now I actually feel ok for some reason. Maybe because I can deflect my emotions by calming Jenn as she gets gutted by the Doctor. I video tape the births with Liz, Jenns mom. 2:30pm, out comes Grace Elizabeth. My baby girl. My piglet. She is perfectly pink. Very fitting since that is her favorite color. Just ask her. She has a raspy, coarse voice and is crying and flailing. Hungry and cold no doubt. Probably stunned by the lights and the sensation of human hands holding her. Then, 1-minute later at 2:31pm out comes Jacob Alexander. My baby boy. My bubba. He is noticeably smaller. Not quite as pink but definitely as loud. He has these huge ruby red lips that look like a cartoonish exaggeration of Mick Jaggers. He is also crying, but his cry has a higher pitch and not so rasppy as his older sister.

Fast forward 4yrs.

Grace and Jacobs 4th birthday is here. The last 4yrs have been a whirlwind for me. In every sense of the word. Halfway through the 4yrs that we just fast-forwarded through, we welcomed our darling Caroline Marie, who is 24months younger than the twins. The joy these children have brought to our lives is immeasurable. So have the trials and learning experiences. I have seen myself transformed by the washing away of so much of my arrogant pride (unfortunately, not all of it yet; but hey, they're only 4 so there is plenty of time).

Fatherhood has exposed so many things I had sworn I had under control. My temper, my ability to be laid back, roll with the punches, hey no big deal. Basically, all of the necessary qualities of being a good parent. The character flaws that parenting exposes are humbling. They not only expose the flaws as a parent, but as a spouse. They expose qualities, positive and negative, related to everything about me. Me the husband. Me the son. Me the nephew. Me the friend. Me the employee. Me the voter. And then, ME! Me the Me! I eat the words and advice I gave to others before I knew better. I eat them with salt, pepper and some Habanero sauce, washed down with a blow torch. I do have a temper. I am not laid back. Little things are HUGE deals. WTF? I thought I had it figured out.

May 1, 2006 was the twins birthday. It was my re-birth day. I am now 4yrs old. They are 4yrs old. So far, they have aged, matured, learned and become better 4yr olds than I. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. They are the best teachers ever! The laughter, the yelling, the crying, the shots to the nuts 24/7, being puked on, pissed on, crapped on, smacked in the face as I sleep, kicked, punched, pulled and defied at every step of the way. And thats just the wife :~) (couldn't resist some sarcasm). The one liners, the tantrums, the stubbornness, the mess. Holy Mackerel, the messes. The laundry, the dishes the peeing in the beds. The pooping in the baths. The sippy cups. The diapers. The diapers. I forgot to mention the diapers I think. The loss of sleep. The stress of finances. The toll on my relationship with my Jenn. The fighting, the biting, the breaking, the ripping, the tearing, the tattling, the constant requests the second you sit down. A lot of these things playing out multiple times per day. Caroline, almost 2yrs old being cast into the mix and voila. You have a man brought to his knees. (my wife takes the brunt of most of this btw, just to be clear. not sure how she does it with such grace)

Sometimes, in stark contrast to how I felt in the opening paragraph, I feel like I am the only INSANE person on earth. Unable to deal with the demands of fatherhood. Unable to reserve an ounce of compassion for my wife. Unable to roll with the fast pace and changing routines. Unable to be a great employee. Instead, being brought to my knees is a positive I have decided. I have risen this morning and knelt before God. I thank you God for giving me this wonderful family. I thank you for entrusting me with their care, nurturing and health. I thank you for teaching me through these children. For allowing me to experience all of these blessings and the hardships that come with them.

I think about what my life was like before. What I was like before and I am wondering, what on earth would I be doing right now without all of these gifts? I would have continued on a selfish and arrogant path. Learning few, if any of these hard lessons. Taking for granted and criticizing others experiences with no real knowledge or experience of my own. No idea of what real and true love is and can be. There are a lot of things listed above that could be construed as negative. They are not necessarily. They are life. They are my life. They are what makes this experience so unique and so rewarding. The opportunity to grow, to live for something larger than myself and to care for, guide and simultaneously come under their submission.

Some days, I am up and some days I am down. I make a lot of mistakes as a father and a husband. A lot! But my wife and kids love me anyway. Despite the fact. That is pure love. That Agape love that God has for us even while watching us fumble through life. That love that I am learning to have that I never thought possible.

There are only 4 things I know are not mistakes. My marriage to my wife. And my 3 kids. 2 of whom, I will share a 4th birthday with. Grace and Jacob. You are the lights of my life. I am honored to be your father. Thank you for everything you have taught me and continue to teach me through your lives.

Happy 4th Birthday to you, Grace and Jacob. And to me, for that matter.

I love you,

Dad

********
I posted the link to his blog posting earlier, but wanted to copy the written words so that when I turn this all into a memory book, the words will be there ;)

I am honored to be his wife

My husband wrote this in regards to the twins birthday coming up on May 1st.  He is an amazing writer!

Hands down, I am the luckiest woman to be married to him.  Eat your heart out ladies...he's mine ;)

James's post.

~Enjoy

Monday, April 19, 2010

A milestone for Caroline!

Just a quick note:

Caroline went pee pee twice in the potty on Friday!  Whoo-hoo!!  Then on Saturday, I was getting her ready for bed and changing her diaper and she told me she had to go pee pee!  She was actually listening to her body and knew she had to go potty!  She is such a smart cookie!

James & I are breathing a big sigh of relief just for the mere fact that we *might* be able to get another out of diapers soon!  Seriously, the cost of having 3 kids in diapers is just amazing! 

Grace is now completely out of diapers except for night time.  Jake is just starting to get the idea and hopefully in a few months he will have the hang of it.  As of right now, I think Caroline might beat him!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mama and Bubba Day!

Today was an awesome day!  I got to spend the whole day with Jake, just me and him. 

I'd been planning it for a few days now and I wanted to take him to see 'How to Train Your Dragon'.  I was trying to find reviews to make sure it wasn't too scary for him.  Couldn't really find anything on it, so if you are looking to take your 3 or 4 yr old, I think they will be just fine!  In fact, seriously, parts of Snow White are scarier than this movie!!

So we left a little early to get lunch before heading in to the theatre.  His request was corndog-on-a-stick.  And of course who am I to deny him ;)  He looks pretty happy about it to me!



We found our auditorium inside the theatre and walked in and we were the only ones there!  So we went all the way to the top, right in the middle to get the best view!  More people began to trickle in, but for the most part, it was pretty empty.  Then, lady came in late and sat right in front of my son!!  Seriously!!  He can barely see over the seat in front of him and you come and sit down in a 98% open theatre and sit in front of him???  People never cease to amaze me. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my day with my son! And he, thoroughly enjoyed his life size popcorn that he almost finished by himself!! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great friends

On Saturday we had some friends over, great friends!

There was much laughter, much food and, most important, homemade Sangria!!

One couple brought their daughter and our other friend brought her daughter.  It was a mad house!  A noisy, mad house and I loved every second of it!  I loved hearing our kids play with the other girls and having such a good time.  Just like the adults ;)

The company was fantastic and we all had such a great time!  It was one of those moments in life where you stop and take it all in.  Just how very fortunate I am to have such great things in my life.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spreading the word!

MckMama is giving away an iPad...but that's not all!  She is a smart cookie!  She knew we would all be interested in an iPad, but she very cleverly tied it to Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program.  For every $5.00 you donate to this cause, you will earn one entry into her giveaway. 

This is an awesome thing she is doing!  So far, she has raised over $20,000.00 in one day!!  Go MckMama!!!

Please click on her link and help these babies!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Remembering Maddie

This post is very hard to write.  It has been one year since sweet Madeline Alice Spohr passed away.

This child changed my parenting in so many ways.  In the past, I would be quick to shoo away someone so that I could finish the dishes or so that I could finish folding the laundry.  Not anymore.

She makes me stop and think.  I think how her mother would do anything to have her at her feet wanting her to help color or read her a book.  Then and there, I stop what I am doing and give that attention to my child.

However, I am not perfect and still at times get frustrated with my lack of patience.  I am only human and do my best to keep things in perspective.

Today was the day many of us, who knew Maddie through her Mother's blog, had dreaded.  We knew how hard the day was going to be for Heather and Mike.  And yet, there is nothing we can do to relieve that pain.

Maddie, you are missed by thousands and thousands of people!  Your sweet smile.  Your beautiful blue eyes.  How I wish things would have turned out different for you and your mama.

We love you and you will never be forgotten.

God bless you Maddie.

Great Expectations for Jake pt. 2

Yesterday went fantastic with Jake's IEP meeting! We could not be more pleased. And for a number of reasons.

He has made huge strides from where he was a year ago! Just huge! He is ahead of his class in academics! Go Jakey! His vocabulary has improved vastly! He uses 6 to 7 word utterances in sentences. This is huge considering he didn't speak a word until he was over 2 years old!

The only area that we are all concerned about is his high activity level. Him being able to sit still is really hard for him. BUT, it has improved and the teachers feel that with this, his last year, they will be able to get him where he needs to be and that he will be able to go to Kindergarten on time with his sister! Whoo-hoo!! Such a huge relief, I can't even tell you!

Aside from all the good news we heard, the one thing that James and I felt most comforted by was how the teachers spoke of him. The love they have for him is undeniable. They can't help but smile when we share funny stories of him. He is sooo charismatic and has a smile that could warm the coldest heart.

What's not to love??

I love you baby boy and I am soo proud of you!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Great Expectations for Jake

Tomorrow is an important day in our household.

I have a meeting at Jake's school with his Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and his teacher. This is the annual IEP meeting where they will tell me the strides he has made and where he still needs improvement.

Fingers crossed, they will tell me that they think he will be ready for Kindergarten next year. That has always been a possibility, that they will hold him back a year b/c socially he isn't ready. I'm honestly unsure myself if he is ready. I'm hoping another year, this his last year of intensive therapy, that he will be ready.

I probably wouldn't be THIS worried about it if he wasn't a twin. But what I fear is that they will hold him back and Grace will go on to Kindergarten on time. Then, forever, the stigma will be placed upon him. Questions like "you have a twin sister, but your in a different grade? why??" I sooo don't want that for him. Kids can be very cruel and I just don't want to start him out on a negative footing.

Intellectually, he is off the charts! He can spell and write his own name and he isn't even 4 yet! That is awesome! He knows soo much, but socially is where he struggles. It is REALLY, and I mean REALLY, hard to get him to sit still and not jump around.

We have friends that have a cabin in Tahoe who invited us to come up with them and spend the weekend. We did, and honestly, we decided that trips as a family should be just kept to that for now. Jake has outbursts and they aren't things we can control. And when a kid wakes up at 5:30am every morning and can't sit still and is REAL loud, it gets real old and we felt really bad for our friends. I know they said, 'don't worry about it". But that is so hard to do when it is your kid. When we are home, it is a different story. We are use to his outbursts and such and can tolerate them better than an outsider.

So, hopefully this last year, he will learn how to sit still and listen a little better.

Wish us luck tomorrow!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Away

I had my first trip away from home this weekend without the kids or the hubby. Typically I either take a trip with the hubby and someone watches the kids or I take the kids somewhere but I have never been gone from everyone.

On of my best girlfriends has a house in Tahoe and was kind enough to invite me for a girls get away! No men or kids were allowed! It was very nice to sit and relax. To take a nap when I wanted for however long I wanted! To go out for a meal that didn't have to be inhaled or need to be cut up into tiny pieces! We went for a nice hike on a snowy path. We went out for a nice relaxing lunch that included bloody mary's ;) We made a delicious dinner that was enjoyed with a nice merlot. We drove around the lake and enjoyed the beauty of Lake Tahoe. It was truly a much needed break and one I am grateful to have gotten.

All that loveliness aside, I missed my hubby and kids like CRAZY!! They were all I thought about while I was gone. I spoke to them many times while I was gone and James did such a great job of keeping them all busy and fed! They all seemed to have a great time!

I didn't get home until late last night so I didn't get to see any of them until this morning. Somehow Frace managed to crawl into our bed without us realizing it and I woke up to my sweet girl all nuzzled up with me! And Jake and Caroline were all smiles when they woke up and saw me! What a great welcome back!

All in all, it was a great trip and I am thankful for the break. I am also thankful to be back home with my family.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I had a BIG day!

Warning..this post is going to be a long one!

As you know, I recently volunteered at an event that my work sponsored.  It was for St. Baldrick's.  I work for a very large company and we were able to have events in 10 different locations all around the world.  We raised over $500K for St. Baldrick's!!  That is amazing!  I am so proud to work for such a great company that gives back to the community.

Our event was held on March 16th.  Prior to the event, all the volunteers were on a phone call going over who was going to what, where, etc.  During the call, the it was asked if any of us were volunteering in honor of anyone.  I spoke up.  I told Layla's story.  The leader of the event asked if I would share her story on stage at the event.  GULP!  I thought, OH NO!  Nothing frightens me more (okay, maybe flying) than speaking in front of a large crowd.  He could tell I hesitated and he said that if I was uncomfortable that someone else could do it.  I told him that I would think about it.

So, I thought about it.  I thought...man, it takes a lot of courage and guts to go in front of 300+ people and speak.  See, I was always the girl with the shaky, trembling knees when it came time to give an oral book report in front of my classmates in elementary school.  It has NEVER been my thing. 

Then it hit me.  It took Layla a whole lot of courage and guts to fight that monster.  The fight and tenacity she showed will always be an inspiration to me.  So, obviously getting on the stage and telling her story no longer seemed that bad.  Still nerve wracking, but now I knew I could do it.

So, the day came.  The event started.  The room was full and I was working the T-shirt table.  Our emcee got up and kicked off the event!  He then said "and now we have someone who would like to share something with us, is Jenn here?"  Did he just say my name.  I knew it was going to be a possibility, but I thought surely there was someone else who had a story to tell too.  But, I guess not.  So I raised my hand from the very back of the room and made my way to the stage.

The first thing I said as I took the microphone, was that I have never spoken in front of a large crowd before and that if I faint, someone better pick me up.  So here I was on the stage.  All eyes upon me, lights beating down hot on my face, which I am sure was already 50 shades of red!  I took a deep breath and told her story. 

It went something like this:

"I am here to honor Layla Grace, a little girl, who one week ago today lost her battle with cancer.  She was only 27months old.  Young enough to count in months.  She was taken away by a cancer called Neuroblastoma.  A rare cancer that attacks the nervous system.  She fought very, very hard"...then I kind of draw a blank as to what else I said. I wasn't up there very long. But enought to make an impact and introduce all those people to Layla.

Surprisingly, it was the easiest thing to do.  And I truly think that is because she touched me soo deeply and emotionally that it was easy to talk about her and share her with everyone. 

I walked off the stage and back to the t-shirt table.  A few minutes went by and our SVP of Sales came over to talk with me about Layla.  We talked and he told me how touched he was.

A few other people came up to me over the course of the event and said the same thing.  They cried, they were moved, etc.

Then the SVP of Sales motioned for me to join him in a conversation he was having with the Chief Philanthropist of St. Baldrick's.  She told me how much that story moved her.  We spoke for about another 20minutes. I shared with her all I could about Layla.  How I came to know of her.  How much she meant to me and how she has impacted my life. 

This is where the story gets interesting!

I told her that I wanted to start my own non-profit to bring awareness to cord blood donation because it cancer's such as Neuroblastoma, it is genetic.  Which means, Layla would not have been able to use her own banked cord blood.  Of course, she knew all about Neuroblastoma.  In fact, she told me that the bulk of their money goes to finding a cure for Neuroblastoma.  In fact, check this link out!  She then asked me what my goal was and how I was going to run my non-profit.  I told her all I wanted to do and achieve.  And she said "Here is my card.  I want to Partner with you.  Call me when you get up and running."  WHAT??  Did that really just happen!!  Oh my!  St. Baldrick's wants to partner with me in bringing awareness to cord blood donation!!  Woot, Woot!!  I was smiling from ear to ear and ALL I could think about was Layla.

All because of a little girl named Layla.   Had I not gotten on that stage and told her story, this would not be happening.  And this happening, means that MAYBE another child will be spared from this ugly monster.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fuzzy reality

So, I pick the kids up.  They are all smiling and happy!  Excited to see each other and me!  We get home, make a nice dinner, everyone eats and we enjoy each other's company.

Now here's how it really goes down. 

Pick the kids up.  As we are leaving daycare, Jake & Grace always run to the van and want to be first to get there.  Jake pushes Grace to the ground so that he can get in the van first.  Grace starts to cry.  I, having Cara in my arms, pick her up.  Get her in the van.  Tell Jake to stop.  Get him in the van.  Get them all buckled up.  Ask them all what they want for dinner.  No one agrees.  A fight between Jake & Grace break out about what I will be making for dinner.  We get to the house, they fight over who gets to unlock the door.  We get in.  They all push each other down to get to their bedrooms first to take their jackets, shoes & socks off.  They all come out and immediately start barking orders at me.  Mom can you...get me some juice, help me take my socks off, sit down and color with me, take my shoes off, put me in my seat to eat (cara)!!!, etc....

When I am sitting here at my desk at work, I am thinking about my sweet babies and how I can't wait to get home to see them all.  And then reality sets in.  30 mins after I have picked them up, I am already frustrated.  I hate this!  Why can't we all walk in the door like calm rational people and enjoy what's left of the day???

I guess this is my reality not the 'June Cleaver' picture I have in my head.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I miss my husband

I miss 'us' before kids.  I miss that all my time could be focused on him.  He always knew I loved him for I had all the time in the world to tell him and show him.  I miss our quick little weekend getaways to our favorite spots.  I loved staying up late playing Trivial Pursuit with him.  I loved just going to a restuarant/bar and spending hours talking to him.

That was the past and here we are in the future. Don't get me wrong, I love our kids and would never trade where we are for anything!  I just wish I knew a better way to balance it all.

We both work full-time and as soon as we get home, our second job starts.  The kids are still young so they still rely on us for just about everything.  Helping go potty, helping get dressed, helping get a cup of water.  You name it, we are at their beck and call.  And now whenever James & I try to have a discussion one of them will purposely interrupt by singing at the top of their lungs or needing something (not really, just an adversion).  So our time to talk and reconnect is sooo very limited.

I want so badly to sit up and talk and watch a show together, but honestly by the time 8:30pm rolls around, I am completely exhausted.  And I hate it.  I hate that James doesn't feel like he is getting 'me' time anymore.  I feel so bad about it.  I want to give my husband all that he desires.  I want him to feel loved and adored and I feel like I am surely falling short in that.

Date nights don't happen very often b/c it is very expensive to pay for a babysitter to watch 3 kids.  His parents live by and we ask them occasionaly, but hate to abuse that option.  They are soo generous when we ask and I know if we asked more, they would oblige.  But I just feel guilty about it.  I think b/c they are still so young and they are a lot of work!

There is a great organization that I just came across called "Focus on the Family".  The first thing I heard was "Never be a better parent than a spouse".  That hit home.  It is soo very true for soo many reasons.  One, my husband is such a fantastic man and I am so very lucky that I get to call him my husband and he needs to be treated and loved the same way I love my children.  No less.  Second, we are examples for our children and I want my kids to lead by example.  Which means I have a lot of work to do!! ;) 

Baby, I just want you to know that I love you with all that I am and want you to know that I am committed to showing you just how much.  Thank you for being patient while your dum-dum wife figured all this out.

I love you!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gracie's First Sleepover

About a month ago, Grace had her first sleepover at Grammy & Grandpa's house!  She had been working up to that day for a long time.  My mom told her that as soon as she was using the potty like a big girl (I know, bribery, but please...she is 3 1/2 and we were not even close), that she would be able to spend the night, just her and Grammy & Grandpa!  This thrilled her to no end!  So the girl went on a mission and started using the potty. 

So we sent her on her way for one of her first 'big girl' moments!   Of course, I called a gazillion times to check on her and of course, she was having a blast!  They took her shopping.  They made cupcakes.  They got their nails painted, not Grandpa of course ;)  They were all in hog heaven!

My parents live about 90minutes away, so I met my parents at a half way mark and for the return, my husband picked her up.  He called me as soon as he had her in the car and said "babe, you are not going to believe how cute she looks!!  They dolled her all up and she keeps saying "mama is going to be soo happy to see me!".  Indeed I was!

Below are the pics from her weekend away with Grammy & Grandpa.  She is showing off her new outift, complete with hair bow and pretty pink (her favorite color) nails! 

She is awesome!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

God's will for me

I sit here and I cannot think.  I cannot concentrate.  I cannot do anything.  I am paralyzed with sorrow. 

I am at work and people have walked by and asked why I was crying and I don't know how to explain the sadness and sorrow I have for a little girl I never even held.  Never even knew outside the walls of the internet.  Yet, it has touched me so deep.  The same thing happened to me when Maddie passed.  I cannot be the only one out there that has such feelings for someone they never actually met.

I just look at her sweet photo's and cannot understand.  Everytime I see her chubby cheeks, I think of my Caroline's chubby cheeks and how much it would destroy me something happened to any of my children.

I want to jump on an airplane, right now, and go to Layla's house and wrap my arms around her mother because as a mother, I don't know how she will get through this, yet I know she will.  But there is such a deep yearn inside me to comfort these people.  To sit with them and let them cry on my shoulder.  I feel so useless sitting here.

I truly believe that I came across Layla for a reason.  I do believe that I am working through God's will and that he has a plan for me.  I am now so determined to help get the awareness and education out there about cord blood donation.  I know that it can't save everyone, but it could save someone.  I will not let Layla's death be in vain.  There was a reason she was born.  There was a reason God picked her and she brought more awareness to this awful cancer that anyone could have imagined. 

God Bless you sweet Layla Grace.  You will forever be in my thoughts.

Another Angel in Heaven

There are just no words.  I am completely heartbroken about this and cannot make sense of it.

Why does this have to happen?  I am sooo mad.  Why God, why any child?

Layla went to play with the angels early this morning.

Rest in peace precious Layla.

11/26/2007 - 3/9/2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Daisy Duke's for my Daughters??

So, i'm out and about shopping this weekend looking at all the pretty new colors for spring! Loving the turquoise and the pinks!

When I stumble upon these:

Am I the only one that thinks these shorts are COMPLETELY innapropriate for children!!  Why in the world would retailers even think that these were ok for children?

Am I totalling over-reacting?  I just can't imagine ever putting these on my girls.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Room Swap

Since the day the twins were born, they have slept in the same room. Never been apart. So deciding to separate them was not an easy decision. However, after much pleading from Grace (in her words), "Can you please move Jacob out of here! He keeps waking me up!". Jake is a very early riser (5am everyday) and as soon as he would wake up, he would flick on the light and want to start playing. This was not going over well with Grace. She was not ready to get up and was getting seriously ticked that he kept waking her up everyday before she was ready to rise.

So, this Saturday we moved Jake out of the room and moved him into Caroline's room, moving her out and into room with Grace. It made the most sense to move him out, giving him his own room. That way, when he wakes up with the roosters, he can turn on the light and play to his hearts content!

The move went flawlesly! We boy-ified Jake's new room with framed pictures of trains, cars, airplanes! Moved in all his trucks & cars! Gave him a little nightstand with a light and books. Moved all his clothes in. He was very excited to have "Jakey's room" as he calls it. His bed is all comfy and the room stays darker than the girls room which I think will help him sleep in later...already has! The first nap time came on Saturday, while I think he was a little lonely since he asked Daddy & I to lay down with him in his room, he was pretty content. Instantly he knew which room to go to when he asked him to get his shoes & socks! Went right to his new room.

So on to the girls. They seem very happy to be rooming together. Especially Caroline who up to this point, has been all by herself. During the first nap time, we could hear her and Grace talking. Carloline kept peeking her head over the crib rail saying "HI!" to Grace. She is soo happy to have her big sister with her. Then you could hear Grace say "Shhh...lie down and go to sleep". To which Caroline obliged and went right back to sleep. It is very cute to see this new interaction between them. Grace taking on the role of big sister is very cute. I think this will help them be even closer than they already are.

The only thing I will miss is hearing Jake & Grace early in the morning playing together. They were always so cute. Some mornings I would walk in and they would have their boots & hats on and Jake would be telling me how he was Prince Charming and how Grace is Cinderalla! Good times!

It definintely was bittersweet to separate them, but in the long run I think it will be better for all parties involved! In fact, Jake is already sleeping in later and made it all the way to 6am this morning! So did the girls!

Can I get a whoo-hoo!

Friday, February 26, 2010

So, I might have found my calling

As I have posted many times before, my frustration is at an all time high with this feeling of helpless to help these babies dying of cancer. I am kept awake by their haunting stories. My mind is constantly being tugged to sympathize with this mother who is losing her baby and my deep desire to reach through my computer screen and sit for hours and just cry with her.

I am constantly thinking of what I can do to offer some kind of help. Whether it be donating my time, donating my resources, dontating money...but none seemed to be of enough impact that would satisfy me. I need a cause that would impact not just one person, but many families. And I think I found it.

So, I was talking to a colleague yesterday and we were talking about sweet Layla Grace and all that is happening with this sweet child. And it was her who actually started talking about the donating of cord blood. Then and there was an ah-ha moment.

The two times I have given birth, I was sent stuff in the mail about storing my cord blood. And it seemed like a great idea, but it is soooo expensive to do it and, unfortunately, the cost deterred me. Then I heard about a Dr. who suggested to his patient that they donate the cord blood that way, if someone else needs it, it is there. The goal would be that all mother's would donate the blood, therefore not needing to pay the storage fee and then there would be lots more cord blood to go around.

It seems like such a no-brainer. Cord blood can help with so many different diseaes. Here is the link the the Cord Blood Registery.

While I know that are many, many pros to this, as with anything, there are also cons. But I believe that the pros outweigh the cons.

So, I will be embarking on a new journey to encourage new mom's to donate their cord blood.

I honestly, have no idea how I am going to start and how I am going to get the word out to millions of people. But I am up for the challenge.

Will you help me?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How do I do it?

How do I sit here and work knowing that a sweet, precious little girl is losing her fight with cancer and will most likely leave this earthly world before the day is over?

I know that many of my friends do not want to hear me talk about this and all the other babies that I get consumed with that are fighting one battle after another. I know it depresses them and it's hard as mom's thinking about that happening to us, but on the other hand, isn't that exactly why we should be consumed with this? Because it is not happening to us and we should be doing all the we can to help these families.

But what is it that I should be doing? I think this is where my frustration comes in. I feel so helpless that all I can offer are my words of sorrow, love and peace and that surely is not enough. Not in my book anyway.

I truly feel like God has led me down this path and I am here to do something of value but I don't know what??? Why has he led me to these families?? There has to be something I can do.

If anyone has any ideas...please, please let me know. Maybe us mom's should get together and form some kind of place where we can express our emotions and brain storm on what we can do. What do you think?

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm not cut out for this...

world. This world where babies are taken much too soon from their mommies & daddies. I just don't understand.

I know some of you must be saying "oh boy, here she goes again."

Yes, here I go again. I am heartbroken of hearing about a little girl named Layla Grace who is only two years old and is riddled with cancer. Her only hope is a miracle. I feel so damn helpless when I hear about these babies, who should be doing nothing but running around with their brothers and sisters and playing, but instead are in hospital beds being fed chemo.

I'm sorry if I go down this path a lot, it's just something that is constantly on my mind. I look at my kids and thank God everyday that they are healthy and that I can wrap my arms around them. And then the sadness and the guilt comes rushing in.

I had a REALLY bad day on Saturday. I mean, REALLY, REALLY bad. I woke up in a bad place and could not shake it all day. I was frustrated with everything and everyone. I had no patience or tolerance for anything. It was a BAD day. And I am ashamed at the way I behaved.

And then the reality of life slaps me in the face and I am brought back down to earth.

I just don't understand. I guess I never will. It is God's plan and somehow I have to learn to cope with that.

Until then, you all get to listen to my rants about it ;)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gracie goes back to preschool

Yesterday was Grace's first day at her new preschool. All weekend we had been talking about it and getting her ready, or should I say, she was getting us ready! She kept saying "I'm going to my new preschool!" and would tell us all about her new teacher, Ms. M, and how she would be making new friends. The girl was over the moon about going.

So yesterday morning came and she woke with a huge smile on her face and was soo excited! She picked out her favorite outfit (courtesy of Grammy), picked out what she wanted in her new lunchbox. Wanted me to make sure we packed her new Care Bear blanket for nap time.

When it was time to go, she kissed her brother & sister good-bye and told them that she was going to her new school!

On the way to school she said "Mama, today is my special day. I get to go to my new preschool!". I told her that from here on out, it was going to be her special day because she would be going everyday!

Once we got there, we were told where everything was to go. Where to sign her in, where to put her lunch and things. We were shown her own cubby with her name already up on awaiting her arrival.

I hung out a while to make sure she was fitting in and boy was she! She immediately connected with these two older girls, who included her in playing a marble game and were all taking turns playing together. It was adorable. She seemed right at home. Not one ounce of shyness, no lack of confidence. She was on her way.

I stayed only 20minutes because she was kicking me out the door! She was just fine with me leaving and just fine with starting her new adventure at a really great preschool.

So of course, by 3pm I was anxious to get out the door and go and get my girl and hear all about her day.

As I arrived, I found her in the craft room with a pretty little princess crown she had made with foam pieces. She was smiling ear-to-ear and was soo excited to show and tell me all about her 1st day. Her Teachers all said how great she was and how well she listened and used her manners.

Nothing could have made me happier at that moment. I for the first time in a long time, felt like I had made a good 'mommy move'!.

This morning was basically a repeat of the above. She was thrilled to get there today and instantly knew the drill and sat down and started playing with her friends.

Life is good in the mommy world today!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mama's Song

Ever since my kids were born, I have sung a song to them. So much so, that the twins now know most of the words by heart.

The song is 'Three Little Birds' by Bob Marley.

I love it when someone in our house just breaks out and starts singing the song. It makes a bad day, and instant good day. You can't help but smile. I even hear the hubby singing it too ;)

Just recently Nick Jr. made a cute little music video using that song and every time it comes on, my kids will start screaming for me. "Mama!!! Your song is on! Come quick!!" So we all run into the room and listen and sing along with 'my' song. Life is good!

Enjoy the show!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Trials and Tribulations

So, as of lately we have been thrown into a HUGE power struggle with Grace. So much so, that I am completely terrified of her teenage years!

Back in October we decided to pull all the kids out of preschool and put them in an in-home daycare (here's the post about it) because they were getting sick so much and Grace's hospitalization in January of '09 was the final straw. So we moved them over and thought it was the best choice. Fast forward to now and Grace's attitude has never been worse! I don't know if the two situations are related or not, but the girl is just being sooo naughty.

So after much discussion, we have decided to put Grace back in preschool. We are thinking that the lack of structure and the lack of academics is contributing to her naughtiness! I truly think she needs the structure and is easily bored without it. That and not having the challenge of learning everyday. It was just too much down time for her. She is going to be one of those kids they were are going to have to have in many activities.

Anywho, wish us well that the switch back to preschool will be an improvement in her attitude. Otherwise I am going to put her up to the highest bidder!! jk ;)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Mother's Guilt

Does it ever go away?
Caroline's cold has turned pretty nasty and required someone to stay home with her yesterday. So after my husband & I compared calendars, it was mine that afforded the flexibility to stay home.

So it was she & I all day yesterday. She was feeling pretty crummy. Runny nose, bad cough, and overall yuck. But she wasn't in bad spirits. She never really is. She is a pretty happy baby.

She was my little shadow yesterday. Everywhere that I went, she was sure to follow ;) If I sat down at the table to work on the computer, she sat in the chair next to me. If I sat down on the couch to ice my knee, she sat down next to me. If I went to the kitchen, she was right behind me. Literally everywhere I went, she went too. And I loved it!

I had to get on a call for a staff meeting and she had just woken up from a short nap and was not ready to be up yet, so I curled her up on my lap and I took the call with my sweet baby snuggled on me. Can't think of a better way to take a call ;)


My husband took her to the Dr.'s last night so that I could go to my physical therapy appointment and she got a clean bill of health. Meaning that she just has a bad cold. No ear infections, no lung infections, all is good. Which meant, she was clear to go back to the daycare today.

That is where the guilt comes in. As we were getting them in the car and in her carseat...she was crying and so sad. She just kept putting her arms out to me, crying "mama". :( She wanted her car seat belts off and wanted me to pick her up. She clearly did not want to be separated from me and I either from her. So what does a good mother do, I cried too. Her little tears streaming down her chubby cheeks got me. How I wish I could stay home everyday with her. She is a doll and I am soo in love with her.

I guess the mother's guilt never gets better or easier.