We like our bike
It’s made for three
Our Mike sits up in back you see
We like our Mike
and this is why

Mike does all the work when the hill gets high….*

It’s been a tough couple of weeks around our house.  It’s baseball, tae kwon do AND dance recital time. We’ve had tae kwon do three nights a week, baseball practice and baseball games.  We had pictures for dance.  Usually, this is a lot of work, but not a problem because I can manage work/life balance pretty well.  This year, however, I had my company’s largest customer meeting, in New Orleans, during this time.  I had presentations to create, presentations to review and all the prep work for being away from the office for three days. 

Despite all these extra things, this year,has been better….better because we have our Mike. And when the hills of responsibility and duty have gotten high, he’s pushed us all up them.Thank you, Mike.  We all appreciate who you are and what you’ve done for us. 

We love you.

* From Dr Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Easter Veggies

April 5, 2010

Family holiday dinners are always a bit of a challenge, because inevitably, we have to fight over vegetables.  Ordinarily, I focus on fixing veggies that my kids eat.  Because really, I don’t have time for MORE drama…and honestly, they love some good, healthy veggies, so I don’t worry.  But holidays mean that Papa will be there, and papa likes mashed potatoes and peas for every holiday, well except maybe the 4th of July, but I bet he would not pass them up then either.  He likes mashed potatoes and peas together, no gravy, peas.  We have no idea how it started, but it’s become a family tradition.  (One that borders on being VERY difficult to explain to newcomers.) My son, he does not eat mashed potatoes and peas, not together, not separately.
Bear will eat broccoli ANY TIME, ANY WHERE, to the point of having claimed to dream about it at 3 years old.
Bear will eat sweet potatos.  Despite being “not much of a potato guy”, sweet potatos are good because they taste more like carrots than potatoes.
But, Bear, he does NOT like peas.  He’ll cut them in half, feed them to the dog, hide them in a napkin, ANYTHING to not eat peas.

But yesterday, at Easter dinner, I told him no strawberry shortcake for dessert if he didn’t eat three spoonfuls of peas.  He cut some in half, he made jokes about hiding them, which started a lengthy conversation between he and I about all sorts of random food facts.  At the first pause in the banter, Bear looked up at me and said, “I don’t like it when you distract me with conversation….”  I had a questioning look on my face.  He pointed to his plate.  “I was so caught up in our conversation, I finished my peas.” 

HA!  I win again!

Happy Easter

April 5, 2010
You may not be able to tell, but we had an amazing day!  Our day started at 5:30 in the morning with a sunrise service complete with U2 cover band. 
We hunted Easter Eggs…
We shared our Easter gifts…
We spent the day together as a family. 
And it was AWESOME.

Ok, son, SERIOUSLY? 
Last night, at bedtime, he shares the fact that he has signed up for the “show what you know” fair.  It’s like a science fair, for all people, even the non-sciency ones. He’s building a volcano.  This is how it went down.

Him: I signed up for the Show What You Know Fair.
Me:  Cool.  What do you know?
Him: I know how to build a volcano and then make it erupt.
Me: Super cool.  How do you know how to do that.
Him:  The 4H lady came to school…and what she didn’t tell me Google will.
Me: Ok. 
Him:  Here’s the list of stuff that I need.
Me: *taking the list that’s as long as my arm* When do you need to have this stuff?
Him:  Well the fair is on Friday night.
Me: *mouth hanging open* Uh…
Him: *staring back innocently*
Me: When are you going to build said volcano?
Him: I don’t know.  Wednesday or Thursday?
Me: You mean the two days we have two tae kwon do classes, your tae kwon do calisthenics, and baseball practice…not to mention your sister’s dance class and any other homework you might have.
Him:  Yep, I guess so.
Me: *shakes head* *walks away muttering something about being his fathers son*

So…while he’s searching Google for volcano instructions, I’ll be searching for cloning instructions.  If there are two of me and two of him…we stand a chance.

I left work early Friday for a nap before taking the kids to the ball. Because, Mom being sick, is NO excuse to miss the elementary school ball. I learned a lot about my kids that night.

Bug wanted nothing more than to go to the ball. When I asked what she was going to wear, she had it all figured out. She wanted her hair done and her make up done. It was an opportunity to be a princess. She wanted to find her bffs and dance and sing the night away. Bear on the other hand was apprehensive. At school when they’d had “dancing” in gym class, he found it very awkward to dance with a girl. So he couldn’t see what the big deal was. But he said he would go, simply because everyone else was going to be there, also.

What actually happened that night, was awesome. We all dressed up to go. We had to park quite a distance from the school and it was cold and icy. Bear stayed close to me and helped make sure I didn’t slip in my stilettos on the ice. For 11, he was strong, thoughtful and an amazing “date”. Bug, who is typically the whiner, was so excited she barely noticed the cold, icy walk. But did point out any areas of ice she noticed to her brother and I, so that we would be safe. As soon as we walked in the door, we bought them raffle tickets and they raced to show me their artwork that was hanging on the wall. I asked them if we could please get a family picture taken…and they happily agreed. They helped each other find their friends. They checked in with me frequently to make sure that I knew where they were and who they were with. They were happy, respectful and most importantly….they were kids. It was such a joy to watch them just be in their element. There aren’t a lot of opportunities to watch them interact with their peers, their teachers and other adults, but I soaked up every moment of this one.

We chatted excitedly all the way home. We all got directly into our jammies and I told them that they could come hang out in my bed, to read, if they wanted, but that due to my illness, it was time for me to go to bed. My son came in about 10 minutes later, with a glass of water for me, and he pulled the covers up around me and then sang this……

“Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr.”

If you don’t watch Big Bang Theory, it won’t make any sense. But if you do, you know it was the sweetest, most loving moment an 11 year old boy can muster for his sick mom. And one, in all my years, I’ll never forget.

Wordless Wednesday

February 18, 2010

*Note: This was taken with a phone, at night, in low light. Photographically it sucks…but these are my loves and I love this picture despite that.

My Bear is 11

February 5, 2010
Dear Bear,

Wow…Eleven years ago today you were born. It was one of the happiest days of my life. I was scared and anxious as we left for the hospital. We would be coming home as three. When you were born, there were dozens of people that came to meet you. Everyone was SO excited. You were a sweet baby. You didn’t want to sleep much, heck you don’t now, but not sleeping didn’t make you too crabby. You were spoiled by everyone. You didn’t like napping much, but you loved snuggling. So if I would hold you during the day, you could snooze for hours. You were so spoiled. Even once I returned to work, your babysitter would hold you every day for your afternoon nap. I think it’s because you were so snuggly. It was relaxing to just sit and hold you.

You have always been smart. You started walking early, Halloween night, as a matter of fact. You were just about 9 months old. You took off walking across a hardwood floor…in only your stocking feet, which no one would have suspected to be a problem because YOU WERE NOT EVEN 9 MONTHS OLD. Five steps in and you were on your butt. And because you were so smart, you chose NOT to walk for almost another month. Then one day, in the middle of the fabric store, you just walked clear across the store. Fort Morgan was such a small town that everyone in the store knew you and cheered for you. You were so proud of yourself, as was I. You also spoke very early. At 8 months old you could say dog, sock, mama and dada. By 9 months nothing was off limits…including dammit, which I’m proud to report you used in the right context when pushing the water dispense button on the fridge and getting soaked. By the age of 2 you had a US puzzle that you could name almost every state and could put together in no time at all.

Because you are so naturally smart, school subjects have always been easy for you. Sitting in class, actively participating, and not goofing around however…have not been easy. Every year at conferences your dad and I know exactly what we will hear. He’s so bright, but what a pain in the butt. (That’s not what they say EXACTLY, but that’s what we hear.) You love to read, you love computers, you love your HAL subjects….as long as you can do them on your time. It may very well be a life long battle for you. But, I know, no matter where your decisions take you, you will be successful.

You have the biggest heart. You care about people. As a small child, you were often cognisant of how others must be feeling. You are still very empathetic, to everyone…except your sister. You give the most remarkable hugs. When you see someone struggling with their emotions, you do what you can to help them be happy or feel better. I hope you continue to develop this skill as you get older, it’s very important and not everyone can do this. You do it very well.

And now for the fun….you’re hilarious. I mean, roll on the floor laughing, hilarious. I love that about you. You’re humor is directly related to your brilliance. You see things in a way that often others don’t. You say things that make people think. Everyone notices your smile, your sense of humor and your adult wit.

On your birthday, I want you to know what I want for you in your life. I want you to learn to work hard for what you want. I hope that you understand that you can have all the things you’re looking for, IF you’re willing to work for them. The world doesn’t hand you much…you have to make things happen for yourself. I want you to find something that makes you truly happy. I want you to pursue your passions, find a way to make those your livelihood. You can do anything you put your mind to so find a way to do something you love. I want you to find a way to value the opinions, directions and wisdom of your elders. Learning from others mistakes can make life a little less painful. Embrace life, have fun, be responsible and accountable and most of all…FIND A GOOD NURSING HOME FOR YOUR DEAR OLD MOM WHEN SHE FINALLY CRACKS.

I love you, son. You are my pride and joy. Watching you grow up has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve EVER done. I know in my heart that you will grow up to be a strong man, with a big heart and a true passion for life. Don’t let anything hold you back. You decide your future. You have the heart, drive and passion within you to make all your dreams come true.
I love you,

Wordless Wednesday

February 4, 2010

Almost. It took MONTHS, but it’s finally fallen out…

Introducing Bear-isms

February 1, 2010

Bearisms: The obnoxious, yet hilarious things my son says that probably should get him in trouble, but its hard to punish him when you can’t keep a straight face. These types of comments happen frequently…it seems appropriate to now start documenting. Because, yeah, they’re that good.

After finding out that a mutual friend had recently found a girlfriend online (and the details behind how these dating sites work) AND the unfortunate timing of the knowledge that this new gal and her family like “Hebrew National” hotdogs (same as they love), he responded with “Was that one of the 29 compatibility points or what?” I think he’s really got a handle on this internet dating thing.

Oh son…your sarcasm will get you far in life, unless it gets you beat up or thrown in jail. Only time will tell.

I’m coming back

January 21, 2010

I suppose any of you who stumble by have wondered if I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. I haven’t. It’s been a rough go lately, but I am working on finding my new normal. I had a hysterectomy at the end of December and lost one of my dearest friends to a totally senseless death on January 9th. But, each day I have worked to find myself again. I miss appreciating my kids and finding the joy in our lives…so the good news is…I’ll be back. The bad news is…it won’t be today. New blog post about kids and joy…coming soon!