Tuesday, June 28, 2011

R.I.P Binky

We have finally gotten Caroline to give up her Binky!!  It actually wasn't a struggle at all for her to stop, but it just seems like we should have gotten her to stop earlier.  But whatever.  She has been Binky-free now for two solid weeks and she has done awesome!  And for a girl with the strongest sucking reflex EVER, to just give it up cold turkey, is nothing short of a miracle!!  Way to go my Sweet Caroline!! 

 Year 0 - first Binky in the hospital

 Year 1 - still using the Binky

Year 2 - STILL using the Binky

In September 2010 when she started pre-school, we stopped the Binkies at nap time.  She was only using them at night.

June 2011 she is Binky free!!  Yippee!!

Year 3- her birthday is July 11th and there will no longer be any Binkies!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Religious Confusion

I was raised in a Christian household.  Not overly in-your-face, but I knew it was there.  We never prayed, except on major holidays before chowing down.  We never went to Church.  My Mom's feeling was that we didn't need to go to a building to talk to God.  That we could talk to him whenever and wherever, not just on Sunday or in a Church.  It made sense to me.  Still does. 

Something in me decided that around the age of 9 or so, that I was going to be a Catholic.  I still to this day, do not know why I chose that path.  But I was determined to get baptized and made my Mom take me to Bible Study once a week so that I could learn all about the Catholic religion.  And she obliged ;)   I was baptized and from that moment on, I became a Catholic. 

When I met James, I knew he was Christian but didn't think much of the difference at the time.  In fact, we attend a Christian church.  And it is fine, but it feels informal to me and I struggle with feeling the authority or history of God.  There is something to be said for attending mass and feeling that overwhelming spirit when you walk in.  I love the pomp & circumstance of the Catholic church and long for it.  I also struggle with wondering if my kid's will get to know both religions and still want to have them baptized.

Now as I get older, and I understand all the nuts & bolts about what each religion believes, I feel like I am even more confused now.

1 - Here's what I mean.  I ABSOLUTELY do not believe in abortion.  I believe that life starts at conception, and that no human should have the right to end that life due to an inconvenience.  If you are old enough to have sex, than you are old enough to deal with all issues that come with that responsibility.   It is even hard for me to agree with an abortion when a women has been raped.  I know, I know.  Put myself in that situation and would I feel differently?  I really don't know, but can't know because I haven't been there.  I think people really like to use the "women's right" thing as a get-out-jail free card.  I think that law that just passed in Oklahoma, where a woman must undergo an ultrasound and hear a description of the fetus before getting an abortion, is absolutely the right thing.  People need to understand, that this is a living breathing child. This is where I agree with the Catholic church.

2- I don't care if a gay or lesbian want to marry each other.  I am for gay marriage.  I believe that if you are in a loving relationship then there should be no reason why you cannot commit yourselves to each other.  Seriously, what harm would happen if this were to be made legal?  I also don't agree in promoting hate and it seems that is what happens with this subject.  It feels more like bigotry to me, than people preaching what God wants us to do.  I don't believe God would want us hating people.  Just my feelings on it.  This is where me and the Catholic church do not agree or the Christian church for that matter.  Seriously, can't we all just get along and love each other??  If no one is hurting anyone, than who cares!

Those are just two examples of where my confusion lies.  There are more where that came from, but those are the hottest issues.  For me anyway.

So, where does this put me religiously?  I have no idea!! How about you?  Are your thoughts in line with your religious beliefs?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This, This & That

When you are thinking about a mate, most of us have a list of 'this, this & that', that we hope they have.

Well, when I married James, I got this, this & that AND a whole lot more!! 

I got a man who has a heart of gold and loves with his whole heart.  Me and the kids hit the jackpot!

Back in March, my company sponsored a St. Baldrick's event.  If you do not know who they are, please take a moment to check out the link at the bottom of my page as it will give you all the details.  I was not aware of St. Baldrick's until my company hosted the event two years ago.  At that time, I knew of a little girl that was fighting a vicious battle against Neuroblastoma.  Her name is Layla Grace.  I watched in despair as her parents did all they could do save their little girl.  Unfortunately, she succumb to cancer on March 9, 2010 at the tender age of  27months.  To say that I was completely consumed with her and her fight, would be an understatement.  I was mad, devastated and guilty.  Mad that this was happening to this little girl.  Mad that her parents had to watch their baby suffer and ultimately, pass away in their arms.  Devastated that I grew to love a child I never knew and had to mourn her loss.  Guilty that at times my kids were so misbehaved that I wished for two minutes of peace, knowing that Ryan & Shanna would give anything for those two minutes back with Layla. 

As you can imagine, James would watch me suffering and at first, thought that it was not a good idea to get so wrapped around a child that I didn't even know.  Which, I totally understand.  He would see me cry and cry and cry.  And as a spouse, the last thing you want to see is your partner crying and knowing you can't do anything to help.  And then, his light bulb came on!  

As I told him of my desire to do whatever I could to help these babies, he joined the fight!!!  He helped me think of ideas regarding my non-profit.  He helped me by talking about the babies that I would tell him about. He didn't have to do any of this.  He could have turned his cheek and let me go down this road he knew I needed to travel down.  But no.  He joined me!

So, when St. Baldrick's came around again this year, I decided I was going to get even more involved and became one of the organizers of our event.  I met weekly with other colleagues and we brain stormed on how we would raise more money than last year and how we would blow the roof of this years event!  And we did!  Combined with our other locations around the world, we raised over $970K for St. Baldrick's!  Quite an accomplishment!  But...that's not all!

My husband decided that he and Jake would join the fight and raise funds to shave their heads in solidarity for all the kids around the world fighting this disease!  He and my son raised over $1800.00!!   His heart is simply amazing to me.  Not only did he decide to shave his head, he also reached out to a little girl and her family and wanted to sponsor them.  He told them all about the event and invited them down to be a part of it.  Her name is Hailey and she is the little girl pictured between James & Jake.  She had brain cancer and is now in remission! 

He and my son, took the stage together and shaved their heads!  It was awesome to have my kids there and teach them about giving back to those that need it most.  I love that, if nothing else, this is the lesson that they get from James & I. 

 I firmly believe that those that can, should.  If you have even a few dollars to spare, you should be donating them.  If you have even a few hours to spare, then you should be donating them.  Those of us that are of able bodies, should be giving back.  It is the humane thing to do. 

Babe, I am more in love with you everyday!  I am so proud that you are my husband.  Thank you for being such a great example to our kids!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Change of Direction

Lately, James & I have been leaning towards Jacob attending mainstream Kindergarten and were very excited that he and Grace would, finally, be attending the same school together.

Well, that is not to be.

His present teacher called me for a conference and expressed her concern about Jake attending regular Kindergarten.  She does not think he is ready.  I won't lie.  This deeply saddened me.  Here I had been talking to Grace & Jake about their new school, even taking them there on the weekends to get them familiar with the lay of the land.  And now, it is not to be :(

I really wanted to tell his Teacher that she was wrong.  That he was ready.  But in my gut, I know that she is right.  He is not ready.

Academically, he is perfect!  He is scoring above his grade, but socially, he is behind.  Not far, but still behind.  In Kindergarten, it is required that you do as you are told.  If you are told to sit down and do your work, that is what you should be doing and the Teacher should not have to be reminding you of this task.  This is where the issue lies.  He is probably hitting this command at about 50%.  We still see this behavior at home, which makes it easier to accept her recommendation.

His current Teacher, Ms. C., wanted me to go and tour the school they are recommending.  It is what they call an 'SDC' (special day class).  Where there is a Teacher and four Aides to 10 kids vs, 1 Teacher and 1 Aide to 25 kids.  The individualized attention is so much more and will benefit him greatly.  The plan is to have him in this class, but during part of the day he will be mainstreamed into the general Kindergarten class so that he can see what is expected of him and be ready to rock 'n roll when the time comes!  The goal is that by the time 1st grade rolls around, he will be ready to attend 1st grade in a general session.

So this morning, I met the school Psychologist at the new school and was more than pleasantly surprised at the class.  The Teacher, Ms. K., is a woman that has the most calm way about her.  I was there for a good 35mins and she had those kids listening and participating without raising her voice in the slightest!!  Heck..I need parenting classes from her!  She had them saying the Pledge of Allegiance, counting the days that had past of the school year in ten's, she even had them doing yoga!  So cute to see the little ones in the doggie down pose ;)

Now, my heart and soul feel great about him being at this school.  I know that he will succeed and soar!  I have no doubts in my Bubbi!

I attached some pics....well just because he is so stinkin' cute!  He was showing off his Mohawk :)