Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time for Christmas Cookies

We spent more than a couple of days at G&G Scellick's house last week.  One of the highlights was Grandma having the whole time off, which meant a lot of quality time with the girls.  Grandma had Christmas tree cookies all cut out & baked, frosting ready to go, and lots of cookie sprinkles.  Veronica took her job seriously, avoided temptation of eating the yummy elements & was the cookie decorator workhorse of the two girls.  And then there was Tayers...

Notice the bowl full of M&M's when the video starts and how it ends...

The infamous cookie

An artist at work

It wouldn't be quite done without sprinkles

Trusty ole' Veronica working hard at finishing making the rest of the cookies.  She did a great job (and so did little sis').



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

A couple evenings back we put together gingerbread (graham cracker) houses. As you will see, this was all girl decorated, which makes for a better house. Before actually putting the houses together, the girls had put the candies into various bowls. Veronica had picked out some gummy butterflies for her house, which butterflies are all the rave for her right now. One morning, she took one gummy butterfly out of the bowl; however, not to eat, but to use as a play toy. She put it behind her back saying, "Oh look at my butterfly wings!" as she pretended to fly through the house. Imagination sure isn't lacking in this house.

Cadence's finished house

Veronica's finished house

Here's a little video of Cadence helping put candy in the bowls.

Friday, December 3, 2010

What a Daddy!

It must be said that I married one of the best men out there. I know, you're thinking, "well, my husband is the best," and I guess we can agree to disagree (but that's a good thing). I saw this picture and realized I didn't post it. It was from the first snow in B'ham. Afterward, Veronica thought it a good idea to get warm & cozy by the fire. So daddy sat down (after being outside with the girls playing in the snow) to read some books with them.

I love this man so much. He is truly that person who everyone loves when they meet him. Incredibly congenial, very diplomatic, harmonious, has such high integrity & work ethic, adds humor to life, tirelessly serves his family of girls, and treats me SO very well. He's a gracious individual and I am constantly impressed with how loving he is to any & all he meets.

His name at Camp Berachah (where we met) was G-Bear. It was decided that he was like the character Gentle Ben, who was a Bear; hence, he was Gentle Bear. There's a picture hanging in our home of a little girl walking along a river holding onto a bear. It's very fairytale-esque. When Ben and I saw it in an art shop many years ago, we both loved it. Without saying a word why I loved it, I asked him why first. He said, "well, it reminds me! Like I'm the bear & you're the little girl." That's what I thought. The bear was gentle & safe enough to walk alongside. And that's Ben. He's gentle, gracious & loving. The girls know this too. So when he barks--it comes as a surprise (right!), because it's so rare.

When I was a freshman in college, I dreamed of having my own family and allowing God to come in to redeem my past. I never thought I would have this wonderful:)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Christmas Tree

The girls and I each got an ornament yesterday. When we got home, Veronica said, "I need to put my ornament on the tree!" Unfortunately, we didn't have a tree yet (and I told her this). She said, "Well, we need to get a tree!" I informed her that we needed to wait until daddy came home. She then asked when daddy would be home...(in my head I'm thinking, "umm, well, we haven't eaten lunch and then you need to have a rest time. Then, daddy will get home as he does everyday). So, of course we needed to get a tree that night, even if it wasn't the most ideal time of day, because an almost four year old needed to put her new beautiful, sparkly gold butterfly ornament on the tree. I think Cadence enjoyed her ornament too--or I think they enjoyed ALL the ornaments, not just the ones they received that day.

Here is the "cheese" you can see

A First Day

One thing I love about being a mother is how well I know my girls. I know what is going to upset them, or how certain tones or words either bring comfort or ruffle their feathers. At the end of the day, I feel a sense of accomplishment. But then there are those moments when your brain comes to a screeching halt, and you wonder who's child this is...and when did they become so BIG?

Yesterday was Veronica's first day of preschool. It was a bit surreal. I knew it was coming and I was getting excited for her. We met at the school Monday to finalize her IEP, which is her educational plan of goals to achieve within the next year. After we finished up, we enjoyed our last day before school. I asked her if she was looking forward to school--she was. I occasionally talked about riding the bus (since her school is part of the public schools, they must offer transportation for the kids). The plan was mama would take her to school for the first couple days until she built up enough confidence to ride the bus.

She said she was interested in riding the bus, but I know that she says things like that and it's more of the "idea" of doing something; rather, than actually doing it. So I'm thinking in my head, "I will drop her off and Ben will pick her up." Here's our conversation:

Me: Veronica, so daddy is going to pick you up from school in the green car. And I'm going to drop you off. Then, maybe you can ride the bus tomorrow or the next see how you feel about it (insert: how I'm confident in my knowledge of what my child is thinking).

Veronica: I want to ride the bus! I don't want daddy to get me.

Me (a bit baffled): You DO? You want to ride the bus home? You DON'T want daddy to pick you up? Is that right?

Veronica: Yeah! I want to ride the bus.
~insert: I kept repeating and asking to make sure she knew what she was asking...she did~

Me: Okay, well. I'll take you to school and you can ride the bus home. You want me to take you right?
Veronica: I want to ride the bus to school, too.

Me: Are you sure you want to ride the bus?

Veronica: Yes!

Me: Veronica, if you ride the bus, Mama is NOT going to ride the bus with you. I would take you to the bus, you would get on the bus and I would stay on the sidewalk and wave to you 'goodbye!' Is that what you want?

Veronica: Yes!
~insert: I kept asking her to make sure she knew what she was requesting---she did~

Me: Well, would you like to ride the bus and I will drive the van behind the bus to the school?
Veronica: Yeah!

It was in that moment (and when she arrived home on the bus) that I realized that this little person still has some surprises up her sleeve. She was confident, brave, and exhibited such grace in approaching her first day. Me on the other hand...a complete, dramatic wreck. After I put her on the bus and went back to the van, I cried (Cadence was crying too, but only because she wanted to ride the bus too).

Cadence and I arrived at the school waiting for her bus. When she got there she had managed to empty the contents of her backpack, but all with a smile on her face. She was excited to have her own backpack, snack (of cheese & raisins), a special book & Strawberry Shortcake figurines for the ride and an extra change of clothes. She went into the school and it was time for me to leave. I cried a bit more (and a little bit more after that).

School is for 2 1/2 hours four days a week, which is a long time in my mind. But with the bus ride, well, it's even longer. Yesterday from the time she got on the bus to the time she got home it was a total of four hours. She was the first one to be picked up and the last one to be dropped off. I was standing on the corner in the dark waiting for the bus to turn the corner. I was told she would be dropped off between 4:00-4:30, but it wasn't until 4:45. Ben and I don't like how late it is and we're thinking we will have her ride only two days a week.

She told me her favorite part of the day was snack time and playing ball outside. As for anything else that happened...I have no clue. She told Ben last night that she wanted Cadence to ride the bus with her today and go to school with her. I'm guessing that in a couple days the novelty of going to school might wear off, but she has surprised me in the past. As I sat there crying after seeing her go into the school I thought, "Oh Lord, this is just one of many moments when I'm going to cry about situations in my girls lives." I don't think I ever prayed so fervently than yesterday--I think Jesus is going to be hearing from me a lot more....and Cadence of course said with a sad voice, "I want to go to school!" Good grief!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On Being Beautiful & a Sports Fan

A little Bit on Storytelling Scrapping

Each day passes and I tell myself, "I need to write that down, so I don't forget this moment." Donald Davis, an professional storyteller, says that storytelling is like quilting. A quilter goes through life collecting scraps of fabric, which will one day be a masterpiece telling a story. A storyteller goes through life collecting "story" scraps, which will one day be a masterpiece story.

I see our life and like to tuck those scraps away. Sometimes they can be woven into a bigger story, and sometimes not. Still, it's important to be a scrap collector. You may find that one day, many years from now, that those story scraps are much more than scraps, but a building block for a story that will be your very best one. Here are what I view as scraps right now and I want to tuck them away, in order to hopefully pull them out later on.

On Beautiful

Veronica said that she wanted to wear her purple dress with pink dots on it. She said it was beautiful. She wore it throughout the day and I mentioned nonchalantly how beautiful she is in the dress. After dinner, the dress had taken its beating and it was time to retire it to the laundry basket. Except, Veronica said, "No Mama! It's my beautiful dress! I'm so beautiful in it!"

I told her, "Veronica, you're right, the dress is beautiful and you're very beautiful in it. But, sweetie, you would still be beautiful even without the dress. You would be beautiful in pants & a shirt. You would be beautiful in your pajamas. And you would even be beautiful in your swimsuit, because YOU are beautiful!"

This morning she said to me, "Mama, I'm even beautiful in my nightgown!" To which I replied yes, "And you know what makes you beautiful Veronica? It's your loving & kind heart. There are many people who have beautiful faces, but their hearts are ugly & yucky. Veronica you are both beautiful on the inside and outside."

On Sports

Ben is a sports guy. This football season he has been meeting up with friends to enjoy the game with some beer (although he hasn't been able to enjoy it during our Paleo challenge). He is one of those people who enjoys fantasy sports, a true stats guy. We get Sports Illustrated delivered each week. Now, being a father of two girls, it's far too easy to get overwhelmed with A LOT of female/feminine stuff. One thing I appreciate so much is him taking Veronica to her first triple A baseball game this summer. Ben is sharing his interest & love with his daughter. And fortunately, she LOVED it.

Daddy & Veronica went to the game in July, enjoyed a hot dog, watched the game a bit, & brought home some cracker jacks. The one scary part was the team's mascot, a big Chicken, to which daddy still tells stories about the chicken and Veronica overcoming her fear (i.e. Veronica told the chicken to go back to its closetless, chicken bedroom---which was really a little shed, but she thought it was his bedroom).

Since that day, Veronica has immersed herself into watching baseball (and now football) with daddy. During baseball season, she would grab her fake hot dog, squishy baseball and sit on the couch to watch the game. She has added in a baseball card to the mix. She asks daddy, "Daddy, what's this team called?" So if you were to come over today and ask her some Q&A about the recent games she's watched, this is what she would say:

Q: Veronica, what was the last baseball game you watched with daddy?
A: The Giants & the Rangers
Q: Veronica, what was the last basketball game you watched with daddy?
A: The Magic & the Heat.
Q: Veronica, what was the last football game you watched with daddy?
A: The Seahawks & the Cardinals
Q: What was the football game before that one?
A: The Dolphins & the Ravens

One day upon entering the bathroom, she didn't have her regular Strawberry Shortcake book in tow; rather, she was carrying daddy's Sports Illustrated magazine. She later quizzed daddy about a list of football players and their names, along with team. The next day with her hand covering the last name of the player, she asked, "Daddy, who's this?" Ben saw the first name and the first two letters (Wa) of the last name & replied, "Oh, it must be Cameron Wallace."
Veronica with authority replied, "NOOOO! It's Cameron Wake!" Ben moved her hand and she was right.

The following Sunday she was watching the Dolphins & the Ravens, and asked daddy, "Who's this?" Ben answered, "It's the Dolphins & the Ravens." Veronica asked, "Is Cameron Wake playing?," because he plays for the Dolphins.

Last night as they were watching Monday night football, Veronica asked daddy, "Daddy, where's MY football (much like her baseball during baseball games)? I don't have one (giggled)! I'm going to get one for Christmas," she says with certainty.

All of this shows that a little girl can be frilly, floofy & girly, while still enjoying the game and tallying up the stats with her daddy! I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November is Birthday Month

  On Saturday morning I picked up two pink balloons & a mini doughnut with pink frosting for a birthday surprise.  Her reaction was fantastic.  She got some My Little Pony items and fun light up shoes, which I think are a contender with her Big Black Boots (see pic below). 

Our family on both sides has numerous birthdays this month.  Not only do we have many birthdays in the immediate and extended family this month, Tay's birthday kicks off the first of 10 birthdays (within the immediate family) we will celebrate under two months.  We did have a wonderful, simple birthday celebration for our Tayers on Saturday.  I'm still a bit taken back that she is two years already, because it definitely doesn't feel that long since giving her birth (labor yes, birth no).  

 My sweet Cadence,

Who knew that while I was singing at worship practice and the bass & drums would start thumping, you started moving & kicking even more...that it was a foreshadow of your name matching so well with what we know now.  You keep rhythm, not only to the music, but it's in your walk, your laugh, your cadence.  When I was in labor, waiting & waiting (42 hours or so) for you to arrive, I now see that it was part of who you are.  You have a persistent spirit about you.  Your ability to stand your ground with authority, even at age two, is a gift.  Your infectious laughter & spirit light up our home. 

I love how you are a mixture of me & daddy with that persistent & direct spirit, while being able to go with the flow & be playful.  You know what you want in life and I want you to go for it.  I pray that you would yield your will to God's, in order to love more boldly, justly & freely.  I know you have the greatest of potential to lead and stomp on the feet of injustice.  Your adventurous spirit is admirable.  I have a sense that the word "no" will only drive you to show everyone that "it CAN be done!"  And that is where I pray the Spirit of God breathes his truth & love into you and you fly with it. 

I joke that I say to you, "Charm is deceitful, beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised," but it's true.  You are so smart & perceptive.  Such a strength and I'm excited to see how God will use it.  Cadence Evangelina, you give some of the best snuggles.  Your ability to make me laugh and how you run to the corner of your crib as a game, in order to "make" mama "try" to kiss you.  You adore your sister and love being with her.  She's your favorite person and I pray that you two have the best of friendship ever.  Well little monkey--you are a priceless gem who dances to the beat of her own drum, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I look forward to this next year and I treasure this last one!
Love you sweet girl--Mama

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Almost Two Years Ago

I'm still in shock that Tayers will be turning two shortly. Whether I like it or not, it will happen, so I guess I'll learn to accept it and move on. In the meantime, I do know a thing or two about this little monkey (which I'll share in a couple days), but here's one to keep you coming back.

Whenever we are in the van arriving home, we stop at the mailbox. I push the window button, turn off the car, and insert key. Cadence then says, "I need mail. I need mail, Mama!" Today was her lucky day, because she did get "actual" mail (you know, aside from the political campaign ads). Grandma & Grandpa sent her a card in the mail. It was in a blue envelope and if I know Grandma, she must have found a special My Little Pony card. What do you think?
She also got some My Little Pony stickers, which obviously belong on the card.

And in case you want to hear what the card says...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Catch Phrases

You know when you're walking through the clouds of seriousness, and you think, man when was the last time I laughed? Well, part of our family's mission statement says, "makes laughter a focal point of our time together." I feel like I forget that sometimes when my melancholy consternation abounds. So in keeping with laughter as a focal point, I thought how I don't ever want to forget these little moments in time (and hopefully pass some laughter on to you).

1. On Thursday night I had an appointment, so I gave Ben some instructions to cook fish for dinner. Now, our little Veronica loves listening to stories. If you've been around me (or this blog) for very long, you know I'm talking about the time old tradition of oral storytelling, not the kind found in books with fancy pictures. One story I've been retelling (and retelling) is when Cadence turns into a little fish, but finds her life as a fish isn't as good as her life as a little girl in our home. In the story, mama (played by yours truly) scoops up the once little Cadence girl, now little fishy Cadence, into a glass bowl with water.

Fast forward, Veronica is eating her dinner, then pauses & thinks. She turns to daddy and asks, "Daddy, what's this called? (pointing to the fish)" Daddy replies, "It's fish." Veronica proceeds to pick up her fish and put into her glass of water. She begins talking to her fishy, saying things like, "AWWW, little fishy, sweet fishy." Daddy turns to see what he thinks is Veronica simply playing with her food. He tells her, "Veronica, stop playing with your food. You need to take the food out of the water."

Veronica aghast replies, "But it's my fishy! The fishy needs to be in water!" A brief pause & thoughtfulness, then Veronica cocks her head and sweetly asks, "Can I keep my fish?" Ben tells her no.

When I get home, Ben told me about the night's fishy incident, while I'm hysterically laughing. "Ben," I say, "you know why she asked to keep the fish, don't you?" Ben replies, "No." "Remember the Cadence fishy story?," I answer. Ben ensues with laughter.

Stay tuned for episode two in one or two days.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What is SPD, PT, S&L, SLP & OT?

The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears.--Ellen Goodman
You may recall that July wasn't a good month for me, which makes me a bit sad, because I felt like I missed those few weeks of wonderful summer (I guess I get to try again next year). Anxiety & fear flooded my system and spiraled a bit out of control. After dealing with the culminating fear, anxiety & upset stomach, I did two major things to combat it. First, I called my wonderful counselor that I hadn't seen in about a year. Second, I did the unthinkable and joined the intense gym, Jogo Crossfit, I now know & love. A couple things I learned through this experience (and am still learning).

1. Exercise in this capacity has been a breath of new life & rejuvenation (even though I cannot see it when my alarm wakes up at 5:20 am).

2. There are stories, memories & experiences one can have from childhood that don't completely come up until you get older (call it psychological delay of sorts).

3. Death is not to be feared, it's something that happens & I know my future is glorious.

4. No matter where my mind races with my oldest, little girl, I can be mindful of what I know about her right now.

5. And five, being mindful of the present is so much more worth living than anxieties of tomorrow.

So what do I know about today?

We have seen a myriad of specialists regarding Veronica and where she sits on the "developmental charts." She is labeled with a developmental delay in some cognitive areas, along with gross motor & some speech. She's been tested through the public school system (contributing taxpayer money at work) with a cognitive test & a speech test. Next Monday, she will receive a test from the Occupational Therapist (OT) as well. The following Monday after that is when we will sit down to hear about all the results.

What does this mean?

In March, she was referred by her doctor to receive a Speech & Language evaluation, along with a gross motor evaluation. Her S&L eval came back within range, while her gross motor did not. In June she was referred to receive support for her overpronation (ankles turning out) through orthotics (braces on her ankles).

Essentially, she has weak ankles and needs extra support to strengthen them. She is suppose to wear them 8+ hours a day for 6-12 months (possibly longer). Her physical therapist (PT) Jill, who is absolutely wonderful, has diagnosed her with low muscle tone. She also sees some proprioceptive & vestibular issues. Proprioceptive & vestibular is related to Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). We commonly think of simply five senses; however, those are merely the external ones, while the internal ones are the proprioceptive & vestibular systems.

Proprioceptive System deals with the joints & muscles, while the vestibular system lies within the inner ear and deals with gravity. Now, there could be an individual who is either hyper- or hypo-sensitive in dealing with these two areas or the other commonly known five senses. However, a person could show some signs of hypo AND hyper. It's not a this or that sort of set-up all the time (hence why we are all unique creations). She shows signs of hypo-proprioceptive issues, which also affect some of the external senses. She needs to do exercises to build strength in her core, due to low muscle tone; as well as, incorporating a sensory diet to tell her central nervous system how to function.

Veronica will get tested with the OT next Monday. OT's work with fine motor skills and everyday functioning skills. So she will be testing Veronica on her fine motor, functioning (toileting, zipping, eating, etc), and SPD. Jill is not authorized to diagnose Veronica with SPD, because it is out of her jurisdiction; however, the OT can.

How did we get here?

I ran into a friend of a friend at a dance class this summer and reintroduced ourselves. She noted V's braces and said, "the only reason I said that is I notice those things, because I'm a Special Ed ECE (Early Childhood Education) teacher." We got to talking and one thing led to another with her giving me her number if I wanted any information on how to get V help.

Now, I'm personally not one to enroll my 3 year old in preschool for various reasons. However, one of the reasons is my lack of confidence in someone instilling the appropriate care for this unique, special little girl. I know her quirks and that she is a bit different (not always a bad thing). So, I wouldn't have confidence in a person who is responsible for 9 other kids to care, along with giving my girl the amount of care & attention she needs.

So--why not just care for her at home? Well, this is where all this testing, evaluations, screening, paperwork come in. Veronica qualified to get into the Special Needs ECE preschool through the public schools, which would meet 2 1/2 hours a day/4 days a week. As a mom who has seriously weighed in the options of homeschooling, I feel like I would be doing my daughter a disservice to rule out receiving extra help at this stage of the game. And the only way I would have confidence in someone giving that care for this unique little girl, would be a Special Education ECE teacher, who had additional Instructional Aids (IA) in the classroom, along with a PT, OT & SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) working with her every week. That's what she would get.

Not only that, but at this young age of 3, her brain is still very malleable and able to correct itself. Kids with SPD or other related delays (previously mentioned) have a higher success rate if addressed earlier in life (age 3) versus age 9. To put this into perspective, Veronica's central nervous system is a bit out of whack, which inhibits her from participating in daily functions (eating with utensils, putting on clothes, understanding requests or questions asked of her, etc), communicating in a social/emotional way (joining in play with others, lacking the confidence, etc) and being able to fully move & play (walking down the stairs, hopping, running, etc).

Where do we go from here?

We will meet with the school psychologist, SLP, OT, PT, & the Special Education ECE teacher, to draw up an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) and get her started in the preschool. This will start for her in November sometime, but don't know when. After she did the cognitive test a couple weeks back, the school psychologist scored it there letting me know that Veronica scored 2 points below the mean, which automatically qualified her to receive Special Education services for three years. She also let me know that Veronica scored "normal" on her verbal, which is the best thing you want to see for a child, because their ability to communicate above all other areas cognitively shows the highest signs of success.

How am I dealing with it?

I sat there trying to hold back the tears, but you can't hold back the flood. I wasn't crying because I was told my daughter had a "developmental delay," or that she might possibly have a harder time functioning in life. My tears were ones of joy. I have been looking at this special little face for years and in the past two (or more) thinking, "something's just not right." Feeling like I was the only one to see it--it helped me feel sane. It affirmed that there is a little thing called intuition which should not be thrown under the rug. It gave me hope...for her.

When we go to see Miss Jill, there's this little girl who blossoms. She's absolutely beautiful and sometimes I have to hide my face. I hide it because I'm ashamed for believing lies, which say, "being different is bad...being different is abnormal...being different is less than what God created...being different is hard to love at times, etc." There have been so many thoughts of comparison with other children, wishing that everything was "normal" and even embarrassment. As I've been walking along the path of internal healing from my own past hearing God's voice saying, "I delight in you...your worth is far removed from your abilities & gifts." And then I heard him talk about his love for Veronica, which continues to pierce my heart, "Her worth is not dependent upon her physical prowess, ability to achieve 'milestones,' or anything measurable by human standard, but simply because I created her in my image & she as my creation is not just good, but very good."

And what I know about her now is seeing a little girl who is a bit inhibited on one side of the bridge wanting to cross, but out of inability & fear, she cannot embrace the beautiful grassy meadow filled with wildflowers on the other side of the bridge. Where she can dance freely knowing her worth, like a picture of heaven. I have seen glimpses of her walking toward the meadow--blossoming into who God designed her to be, and I know Ben & I simply want to encourage toward that path.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Perfectionists need not Apply

"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." -Jill Churchhill
1. No Double Standards

Parenting on good days is full of hope, laughter, & working together. On the bad days, well, they feel like you're standing at the crash site looking for semblance. I said to myself as I entered the bathroom while the girls remained at the table, "Okay Kamille, we will not shout or yell!"

In our home I have a phrase, "Are your words sweet like honey or yucky like dog poop? (very visual & tactile)" When the girls have whining or a disrespectful tone, out comes the phrase. The same goes for yelling, screaming & shouting. Well, what do you do when it's the keeper of the phrase who is choosing "yucky dog poop?"

Apologize, ask for forgiveness & reconcile.

2. Putting in Coins of Affirmation

Last night during dinner, I brought up to Veronica how I noticed how she had been using manners, a sweet voice & choosing to do what is right & good. From the time we dropped her off at Sunday School, she had a sweet disposition till dinner.

I remember reading that for every negative we need 10 positives.

With little ones who cannot really function without you, it seems like I'm more of a maid trying to get food on the table, diaper changed, sweep up the laminate floor, fix a booboo, etc. Meanwhile, there are those nuggets of affirmation slipping by unnoticed. And sometimes a bit too late once it is.

3. And then comes the Meltdown

Once I made note of Veronica's wonderful choices at dinner, it seemed she let her guard down saying, "Finally someone noticed and it's taken a lot of hard work...onto some meltdowns."

Don't we all feel like that at times. I work SO hard to remain patient in the midst of the storm, to use sweet words, to love relentlessly, but to much avail...I'm exhausted from trying so hard. Isn't that why we work out, so we can enjoy a dessert afterward?

~We run with an expectation that we will obtain perfection on the first shot, or even the second and third. Our aim can be simply unreasonable (especially when we factor in little people meandering about). I'm convinced that motherhood is not about being perfect; in fact, it means our failures/shortcomings, haven't taken a shower in two days, eating leftovers for the third day, kids still in pajamas when daddy gets home sort of days WILL happen. However, it's more about getting back on the "proverbial" horse and riding again into the unknown (and perhaps, more failures).

So let's get back into the saddle (whether you're a parent or not) and ride into the mystery of tomorrow together, because I'm certain John Wayne types are pretty miserable without a riding companion. And leave a comment--it will make you feel better, for sure.

Friday, October 8, 2010


We actually haven't been very busy this summer.  However, it seems like the month of September was filled to the brim with events, appointments and whatnot.  We made a trip to Artist Point Labor Day weekend, only to find so much fog that the point was nearly invisible.  On top of that, add that mama & daddy wore shorts forgetting that we are in the "cascades" at a 45 degree day.  Not to mention that the night before we went with friends here, so bedtime was later and girls still wake up a bit early, which made for a semi-miserable experience at the mountain.

I'm sure you can picture it.  The culmination of lethargic bodies, whining, wild blueberries not coming out of the coat pocket like a 3 year old would like, while the 21 month old is on broken record mode, "Mama, mama, mama..."  It's moments like these in a year from now (and more so in 20 years) that we will laugh about it, forgetting how painful it was and try again.  I guess that's the beauty of parenting.  We can fully see the hard, the bad & the ugly, but we keep with it, because the beauty always outshines.

Picture encapsulates our journey to Artist Point

Taking a lunch break

Do we look excited?

Veronica fell down and I'm comforting her

Tays painting on paper, and the wall too.

That rascal face

This was "paint in your pajamas" day

Both girls dedicated to their art

Long day of traveling requires a ride in the stroller, along with Puppy

The pool was all the rage

Cadence dancing with Grandpa on the Strip

Beautiful girl with her strewn blown hair (and messy face)

The love of a puppy--life couldn't be better

Auntie Mimi & Uncle Apple Bob got married!!