Friday, May 30, 2008

Snapshots of a Sleepover

Kate had her BFF over for a sleepover.

She loves sleepovers. She loves her friends. She loves talking, giggling, and all things girlish. She looks forward to sleepovers and makes lists of fun things they can do during the actual sleepover period of time. Once the friend arrives, she skips around the house with her and is on top of the world.

They plow through the "List Of Fun Things To Do":
Swimming...CHECK.
Hide and Seek...CHECK.
Scavenger Hunt...CHECK.
Change into matching silk jammies...CHECK.
Play cool music and sing along...CHECK.
Peruse Yearbook...CHECK.
Play the Wii...CHECK.
Spy on Brother and Giggle...CHECK.

Every time Katie asks if she can have a sleepover, she has such a desperately hopeful tone in her voice, as if she is holding her breath, silently pleading "please say yes...please say yes..." I crush her soul when I say no, and I make her day when the answer is yes.

This time, I made her day. :)


Secured Mother Of The Year status with Make Your Own Pizzas and Ice Cream Sundaes.
Still waiting on that trophy. They must be having it engraved or something.




The many faces of Katie...
God, I love this kid.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Must See TV

Here it is...here HE is!! Kelly recorded her TV as it played Jordan's speech...thank you Aunt Kelly!!

Click here:

video

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Golden Apple 2008


Jordan was asked to present his first grade teacher, Libby Buck, at the 2008 Golden Apple Awards Show. This was a big deal. Televised live. Thousands of people watching. My sweet twelve year old son in a tuxedo, standing behind a huge podium at the Philharmonic, speaking into a microphone on live TV.
Lots of emotions that night...so honored to be there...so proud of my family...so happy for Libby...and SO NERVOUS for Jordan…I literally had a lump in my throat.
He AWED me. He was confident. He was relaxed. He stood up on that stage in front of thousands of people and blew us all away. My heart swelled.
Enjoy the show. :) jc

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where did they go?


Where have these children gone?



They were my babies.



They ARE my babies.



They have grown into everything I hoped for them.



I miss them.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Working Out



I was really on a roll with exercising. Doing something pretty active nearly every day. Lately, though, my motivation has stalled.

I used to look forward to it. All of the sudden, now I dread it. Kind of like a friend that I usually looked forward to seeing, calling, laughing with...but suddenly, we don’t connect anymore and I miss her. I want to break up with her but I know she is good for me. OK, so maybe that’s a tad deep. But I do miss it.

Today, I went to the gym after a 4 week hiatus. Yes, I realize that equals one month, but 4 weeks is easier for me to admit. :) The Group Power class, that used to be routine, was brutal. My muscles are now as sore as if I had not darkened that doorstep in a year.

As I struggled, cringed, and grunted through the weight class (cursing the trainer through every rep), I vowed to make a list of the good things that I love about exercising, so that I can refer to it as my own personal “pep talk”.

So here we go…

Benefits of exercising for me:

· I feel strong

· more energy for the rest of the day

· huge feeling of accomplishment in just one hour

· fun thing to do with Jamie

· clothes fit better

· toned arms for tank tops

· reward of Planet Smoothies afterwards

· model lifetime fitness for my kids

· confidence builder

· results come pretty fast

· can eat more :)

· “me” time

· models discipline for my kids

· declares a big “F-you” to aging

(insert middle finger here)

· music in class is inspiring

· works out frustrations

· the feeling of soreness the rest of the day

· makes me feel like I’m “doing my best”

· keeps me connected to myself

· breathe better

· more likely to try new things

· makes me more conscious of healthy eating

· reminder that self improvement never ends

· lots of role models at the gym…in all ages, shapes, and sizes

· escape from reality

· learned that I can work through injuries

· feels good to sweat and get out of breath

· model of feminine strength for Katie

· reminder that God gave me a healthy body, and it’s my job to take care of it...

Moments


Little League baseball registration:

$175.00

*****************************



New bat so he can hit the faster pitches in Majors:

$210.00

*****************************



New Nokona glove so he can catch better:

$168.00

******************************



Gas for car that carries him all over town to endless practices and games:

$350.00

*******************************



Laundry detergent and bleach to scrub stubborn orange clay out of white uniform:

$25.00

*********************************



Watching your son hit his

first home run...

running the bases...

and meeting his team waiting for him at home plate:


PRICELESS.





Sunday, May 4, 2008

Reading

When I was young, I loved to read. I mean, LOVED. I devoured books and couldn't wait to read the next word...sentence...or chapter. My Mom says she would have to call me repeatedly to dinner, only to hear me call back "In a minute"...."Right after this chapter"...or "Alright already!!!" When I think back to my childhood, I have many clear memories of my younger self with my nose in a book on the yellow couch in Coral Springs. It was a chunk of time when I could just lose myself in the worlds of characters, settings, plots, twists, suspense, humor, and sadness. I loved it. I read constantly. My vocabulary and creativity flourished. I was successful in school and on standardized tests, and I credit all of this to reading. A good book is like a potent vitamin for the brain, and a warm hug for the soul, all packaged in a stack of bound pages.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my passion for reading. This has always made me feel sad and a little disappointed in myself. Like I wasn't being true to that young girl who loved books so much. Where did she go?


Maybe it happened in college when I was required to read volumes of words to memorize and regurgitate on a test. Perhaps it happened because I became more preoccupied with socializing and partying. Probably both.

Then marriage and kids came...and POOF, there was a new excuse...I'm simply too BUSY. I would think, "I have a toddler and a newborn for God's sake...how can I find time to read??" Later it was, "I have a school aged child and a pre-schooler...how could I possibly??"

Now, there are soccer, golf, and baseball schedules...playdates, projects, and homework. A hotbed of possible excuses.

But...NO MORE. No more excuses.

I have missed reading. I miss getting lost in the pages. I miss losing track of time because I am so entranced.

Guilt-ridden parent confession coming up...
Over the past couple of years, each of my kids have, more than once, made this statement to me...

...And these are the dreaded words that every parent (especially one who is also a teacher and preaches the importance of reading to her students and parents daily) NEVER wants to hear:

"Mom, I don't really LIKE to read." (GASP)

or...even worse...

"MOM, I HATE READING!!" (shouted in disgust, stomping off to their room, after I had just directed them to read).

Yikes. UGH.

Then I would reassuringly retort, "When I was your age, I used to LOVE to read."

To which they would reply: "Well...you don't read NOW".

OUCH.

Mom is a hypocrite. Kiss of death.

So...in our household, we are slowly bringing reading books back into our lives.

It began when Jordan came home this year with the Alex Rider books, a series his reading teacher had introduced to him. He LOVED these books and would read them whenever he could.

I saw him reading one night. Impressed that he was doing his homework (without a hint of nagging from me), I asked, "Oh, do you need to read some chapters tonight for school?"

"No, I just want to. This is a really good book."

WHAT THE!!!!!!!!!


Here was the sign.

It might as well have been a blaring siren or a club to my head:
You dumbass hypocrite Mom, you had better make something out of this.


So I turned off the TV, scrambled to dig out a book I had tried unsuccessfully to begin months ago, and carefully curled up under his comforter, on the other side of the couch. We read together in silence. I listened to him turn the pages and stole peeks at his eyes as he read. They were focused and intent on every word. I was so excited that he was "catching the bug". I"m not sure how much I absorbed from what I was reading...I was just happy for him at that moment. He was reading, and he was LOVING it.

Katie would wander by periodically and look at us curiously, like, "what the F are they doing?" (That girl SOOO talks with her face.) I then instructed Katie to read with us...for some reason, she complied...and she didn't even roll her eyes.

"Reading Time" was born.

Reading Time is silent. Reading Time is all of us reading in the same room. In silence. Only the sound of pages turning can be heard. It is peaceful. It is quiet. No one speaks. (did I mention it is quiet??) Jamie has joined in the cause. Reading Time is precious. It is a time to relax, unwind, and get lost in the pages of your own book, while remaining even more connected to each other.

I love it. I think the kids love it, too.

We went to the bookstore the other night...and found some new gems to read...and so instead of beginning my new book, I started snapping away with the camera, and snuck these pictures of Reading Time...before they admonished me for "NOT reading during READING TIME".

Whoops...off to my book!!!