Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Recount, please.

We were ROBBED.
Gainesville did not win ESPN's much coveted, highly anticipated, "TitleTown USA" contest.
I'm off to pout now.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ballgame...

My kids are alike in many ways.

Despite being of the opposite sex, and nearly three years apart in age, they share many of the following traits:

They are affectionate.
They love music.
They are sensitive.
They possess a strong sense of family.
They are loyal.
They are competitive.
They are thoughtful.
They love to argue with each other.
They are stubborn.
They can be picky eaters.
They are athletic.
They love going to the movies.
They are confident.
They are sweet.
They love to have the last word.
They love animals.
They are empathetic.
They have a razor-sharp sense of humor.

One significant difference between J & K …how they form and define friendships.

Katie makes friends fast, easily, and with nearly anyone her age…or younger or older, for that matter. She seems to find a common bond with someone in a crowd. She has no problem going into new social situations not knowing ANYONE…and will emerge at the end with a new name to talk about, a story about someone new, whom she has bonded with in even the smallest of ways. I marvel at this quality, because it’s not something I possess. In this way, she is a lot like Jamie, I think. He is at ease in any crowd, and feels comfortable talking to anyone, no matter how much or little they have in common. I think I have gotten better in this area, but I still generally sit in wonder at how easy it is for the two of them.

Jordan is a little more guarded about who he lets in. He is selective and extremely loyal in his friendships. He doesn’t really need a LOT of them. He has friends he has had since Kindergarten, and that suits him just fine...he doesn’t seem to need any more. And, in his words, “boys my age can be so immature, Mom”. The friends he has now, they have passed his litmus test…the test of time…through 6 years of elementary and one year of middle school.

We took the kids to a Ft. Myers Miracle baseball game a few weeks ago…and two of Jordan's close friends came along. These are two sweet boys, twins whom I taught in Kindergarten 6 years ago…and today, they are still the same good, sweet, polite kids... just a little more grown up. I just adore these boys, and I love that Jordan has such a close bond with them. So it was just good to see the three of them have a great time that night...

We sat over third base...and one of the players tossed a ball right to Jordan...and he was thrilled, to say the least...

Before long, they all had one...

When we first got there (after a 35 minute drive), it was all rainy (ruh-roh)...

but then we saw this...

Kate still wasn't impressed. This girl did NOT want to be there. She was throwing a serious pout fest.
The following picture is the best she could give me, when I ordered her to "SMILE".

She warmed up later, after a hot dog and soda...

To watch the game, the boys found a patch of grass at the bottom of a hill...

It's so funny what Florida kids will do when they FINALLY find a hill, just like kids do up's the same everywhere...

Yes, I asked them to pose for this picture, and so glad I did...


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tooth Tales

We had an orthodontic consultation for Jordan the other day. Yes, he needs braces, and yes, it will cost a lot. Oh well. Part of parenthood.

Two stories about getting braces…one funny, the other…well, I don’t know, you decide.

1) Funny Story:
When the issue of cost came up, Jordan seemed concerned. Like we might just lose our entire net worth over straightening his teeth. It was so cute. As in his way, he stewed about this for a day or two. Then, as we were walking into Wal-Mart one day, he asked,
“Mom, are braces expensive?”

Me: “They can be”

J: “Like how much, over a thousand?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I think mine cost 3 thousand, and that was a loooong time ago.”

J: (saying nothing, just looking concerned)

Me: “Don’t worry, hon, we will be fine. And they have payment plans, so it all works out. …And you’re worth it” (shooting him a smile with a reassuring back pat)

J: (more silence)

We continued our shopping in Wal-Mart. I forgot all about it, until the ride home:

J: “Mom?”

Me: “Yeah babe.”

J: “Even though braces cost a lot, is it OK if we don’t get the painful plan for me?”

Me: “huh?” (trying to process)

J: “Yeah you said they have PAINFUL plans, and I don’t think I want that one, even if it’s cheaper…ya know, I’m just sayin'…”

Me: (trying to suppress laughter, shock, and utter adoration for this boy, all in one moment) “Oh, no, honey…NO…I said they have PAYMENT plans, not PAINFUL plans...”

J: “Oh...thank GOD."

That poor child thought he was going to get the painful kind of braces, just to save his parents a few bucks. Needless to say, this is now a solid running joke in our house.

2)“I don’t Know How To Feel About This” Story:
So the orthodontist is looking over Jordan’s teeth. She is telling him to open, close, pulling his lips all around, and verbally giving her notes to her assistant who is typing away.

Ortho: “Yep, he’s ready”

Me: “What about his baby teeth, what happens when the rest fall out?”

Ortho: “He doesn’t have any baby teeth”


Me: “What?? I thought for sure he had some” (pretty certain she must just be mistaken)

Jordan: "Nope, they are all gone." (looking pretty happy with himself, like he just made a home run)

Me: “but you just lost one the other day…”

Jordan: “That was Katie, Mom.”

Me: “Oh.”

Questions with no answers…
How could my baby have NO BABY TEETH?
How could I not know this?
How could I have let this momentous occasion slip by, without snapping the appropriate photos, and perhaps sliding a few extra bucks under his pillow?

And where IS that last tooth!? WHAT KIND OF MOTHER AM I!!!

Sigh. He really is growing up. But I do love the person he is becoming.

In honor of his LAST baby tooth lost, and also in the name of self redemption... I dug through my picture files and found his FIRST tooth ever lost...and got to work.

Now THAT, I have documented. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thank you

There is so much in this life to be happy about. This is especially clear to me after a relaxing, FUN, giggle-filled weekend with my Mom and sisters. I am grateful for...

-a great girls weekend

-sisters who are my best friends

-sharing wine while we get ready

-toasting before the first sip

-admiring my sisters' mothering

-a "fun" Mom who loves her daughters like no other

-a hotel that holds so many special memories

-the lobby with the beautiful scents, stone fireplace, and super shiny wood floors

-napping in the hammock

-phone calls from home

-waterfall sounds

-finding a new favorite restaurant

-telling stories about my kids to people that love them as much as I do

-the waiter who was a "future Jordan"

-getting away from it all

-real conversation

-people watching

-yummy chicken wraps

-two kids that make me so happy and proud I could literally burst

-a capable husband who loves spending time with his kids alone

-deciding to go down the lazy river

-bringing lots of books and magazines to girls weekend and not reading a word because we talked the whole time

-my beautiful new lens, a surprise gift from my family

-a dad who just wants his girls to be happy

-feeling happy, content, and oh-so-lucky for being born into the family that I did. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rainy Spa Day

You know how there are days when you just want to decompress, and get away from it all? My Katie felt that way today. She is going through some neighborhood friendship (aka "mean girl") issues, and was really sad this afternoon.

So, after she burst into the house in tears for the third time in 24 hours, I resisted the urge to march down the street and give said mean girl my "gentle but firm" talk about how girls should treat their so-called best friends the same, no matter WHO is standing next to you at any given moment speech (and believe me, I envisioned the entire thing, and had actually planned my words for hours prior). Doing this would have made me feel SO SO good and all protective, but eventually the speech would have accomplished nothing except Kate learning the life lesson, "Hey, just go crying to Mom, and she works it all out for me".

Yikes. Not so much.

So instead, I asked her to go for a drive with me in this dreadfully rainy weather.
"Where will we go?" she asked. "Oh, shopping and browsing for cool stuff, I don't know, let's just go somewhere".
She wasn't that into it. She was all defeated. Pouty face, still wiping tears away...but I made her go anyway. :)
The drive was pretty quiet. I could tell: a) she didn't see much point to this, and b) she was still thinking about her friend who hurt her feelings. She needed a little more time, so I tried to just say nothing.
So we went to Marshall's...just like Carin. (I mean, the store is, after all, the holy grail of all that is female.) We browsed aisles and smelled candles. Kate found some cute tank tops for dance camp. I found a cool wooden salad bowl on clearance. Then a darling stationery set with the letter "K" for her. We picked up odd items in the clearance aisle and said "wow, this is only TWO bucks". Listened to the rain pouring outside and forgot all about mean girls!!

Next stop...Sally Beauty Supply. I wanted to get some new mascara, and she found a 99 cent lip gloss.
Then she saw this...
and said... "Mom, someday I wanna do facials like they do in a real spa."

So...we did.

And...we have pictures. Brace yourself.

Katie before:

Katie after:

Katie applying mask to Mom:
(and I was giggling the entire time because: a) the mask was SO cold.... and b) I couldn't stop laughing at the sight of her green face and pink lips) All I heard was "Mom, hold STILL"...and I could NOT stop laughing at the seriousness of that green face...

Mother and daughter having a REALLY good time, but we can't smile because our green masks will crack and start to itch:

Heartprint Book

You know how you read some books, and you know you will always have a tiny piece of it in your heart? I call them heartprint books. This book is one of those books for me. It's about two lifelong friends who met in Kindergarten and are now in their fifties. Lots of names/dates/references to the Ohio area, so anyone from there would really like it.

As I read about the two of them in Kindergarten, I wondered if any friends will meet like that in my class this year? And how many already have? :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Little Girl in a Big Chair

This is my girl last night. It was during Reading Time. I was supposed to be reading, but I couldn't take my eyes off her. So I snapped this picture.
The silk jammies. The pillow placed behind her back for extra comfort. The freshly showered hair held back by her eye guard, that she will later slide down over her face when she sleeps. Her favorite monkey blanket carefully smoothed over her. The place by her feet is where she hopes the cat will settle.

Then......... this morning, I walked by her room to peek at her sleeping, and saw this laid out on her floor:

Apparently we have a big day planned. :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Missing Cousins

I miss these kids. I miss how cute they are. I miss how they interact with J&K. I miss how much they change each time I see them. I miss the sense of family we all feel when we are together. I miss how they are amazed by our dog and cat. I miss their funny expressions. I miss how they remind me of a time gone by when J&K were that young. I miss how my kids suddenly become role models in their presence, and rise to the occasion.

I miss how they look up to J&K as if they possess hero status. I miss how they bring a youthful innocence to our time together. I miss how my kids don't fight when they are around. I miss how they smile. I miss their chubby cheeks and toddler voices. I miss how they still need help doing the littlest things.

I miss how when we all meet again, it's like we were never apart.

It's natural. It's cousins. It's FAMILY.

I miss these kids.

Friday, July 11, 2008


So proud of my boy today. He played in a golf tournament and came in second place. After countless tournaments in which he watched his peers hit better, score lower, and accept their trophies in the midst of cheers and applause, Jordan finally had his turn today.

But my pride for him is not simply rooted in the fact that he finally placed. Is he happy and proud of himself? YES. Does it make me happy for him? YES. Did I give him a big hug as tears formed in my eyes? Hell to the YES! (cursing effect for Donna)

My pride for Jordan swelled after I learned that he overcame a VERY rough first hole (5 putt) at the beginning of the tournament. In the past, this turn of events has caused occasional bad moods, negative self talk, crossed arms, and frustrating conversations with Jamie as they traveled in the golf cart to "find his ball". Over time, these behaviors have gradually faded... and he has learned patience, maturity, and true golf ettiquette.
So today, instead of getting discouraged, upset, or just giving sweet boy recorded his huge number, regrouped his thoughts, slung his golf bag over his shoulder, and trudged on to hole number two in this blazing summer heat. And he didn't look back.

And THAT'S why I'm proud. :)
How can I love a kid THIS MUCH...and it keeps getting better. :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunday, July 6, 2008