Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend ~2012

Memorial Day weekend brought a lot of heat this year. It was downright gross out. Humid. Low 80s, high 90s all weekend.  We spent much of the weekend trying to stay cool!

We had a super lazy day Saturday spending much of it in the bedroom in the ac watching movies and relaxing.  Man, that heats just zaps me. Sunday wasn't as bad with the heat in the morning and we did some things around the house, returned an ac that wasn't cooling like it should be and got a new one. In the evening, the humidity had dropped and it was perfect. After Lily went to bed, George played guitar for a little while, Andrew played video games with friends and I sat outside on the back porch doing some blogging and photo editing.  A very relaxing evening.

Memorial Day we had a couple birthday parties and a cookout to head to. Lily and I went to a 1st birthday party of our friends Amy and her baby! Who doesn't love 1st birthdays???

Lily had fun eating chips and running!

After we left that party, we headed over to our Pittsburgh parents' house for the next birthday party and cookout!  Andrew was excited to swim swim swim!

This was Lily's 1st time in the pool this year and at first she was a slightly hesitant, but it didn't take long and she just kept saying, "splash! splash!" and wanted back in the "bath". She started out with Auntie Hannah who is always great with her {and kids in general}!

Daddy got in soon after Lily was comfortable in the pool! She kept wanting him to throw her up in the air and spin her around to make waves.
Dirty Dancing, anyone?

After she got out of the pool, she decided to mow the grass...

She is so happy to just run around...literally.

While Lily was mowing and running, Pappy was grillin' up supper so we could have cupcakes and ice cream soon!

Izzy was in the middle of a super nap after supper, so it took her a little bit to wake up while we sang "Happy Birthday,"! Granny's always got a smile. :)

Lily was happy to pick up and carry the cupcakes from the display... This was number 3.

Lily reluctantly giving a toy to the birthday girl

Lily also managed to make it happily throughout the whole day on zero nap time...

until she hit the car...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

17 Years

Last Sunday I got a text from an old friend. 

She's not old, of course, but old meaning we've been friends since junior high school and since we graduated 22 years ago, well, that's just too much math for me, so suffice to say...a dear, lifelong friend. :)

She and her husband, who is also that long of friend, and their children were heading to the cemetery to visit her mother's grave.  Her mother and my father are in the same cemetery. 

We had emailed once last Fall about where my dad was located and where her mom was when we'd learned they were in the same cemetery.   It was honestly quite awhile ago and life is busy and until I got her text, the conversation was simply filed away in the back of my mind.  We have 7 children between us. She and her husband are both plugging away through nursing school and working also.  When I got her text asking me to remind her where my dad was located, my eyes instantly filled with tears.  It was so thoughtful and so out of the blue for me.   I gave her the directions to where in the cemetery he is and she and her family took time to take care of my dad's stone and leave flowers.  It was very much appreciated!

My dad's marker is under a tree. :)

May 28, 1995, was a life altering day. 

I miss him every single day of my life. 

I'm not sadder just because it's an anniversary date. It marks a passage of time for me. 

I find myself missing him more when I hear Andrew say something he would laugh at or watching Lily kiss her daddy to get a taste of his popsicle on his lips because I used to do the same with Kool-aid with him when I was little.  I find myself missing him when I see old couples holding hands and I'm sad for my mom. I find myself missing him when I think about all the things my kids don't even know they're missing for not having him in their lives. I find myself missing him when my husband says something almost word for word, he had said.  It's difficult when the love of my life and my children don't know someone so very important to me...still.  We talk about him openly so it's not foreign to them, but it is very removed because they don't know him in person.

Those moments happen at any random time, not simply on a birthday or anniversary date.  I so very much appreciate the rememberence and acknowledgement from friends and family. 

I'm very reflective as it is and I've been very blessed to have good, good people in my life who love me and accept all of me.  Thank you for walking beside me in my journeys...especially when they are difficult.  I spent this, the 17th anniversary of my dad's death, with people I love... who love me, love my family and even those who love my dad. I choose to honor him by living.

My dad, my cousin Jonny, our Oma, and me.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

End of the Week

This week was one of those weeks. A lot accomplished. A lot going on. Not bad at all. Good, actually. Great, in fact.

The heat has been cranked up for the weekend like nobody's business. All of a sudden it's summer. Not really much of a Spring at all, sadly.  I can deal with the heat.. It's the thick, soupy air that kills me.  We've got that too.

Last year, end of July one of our window air conditioners broke, so we had to replace that this year.  One of our other "keep cool" staples are popsicles.   Yesterday afternoon, Lily and Daddy shared some. :)  She'd give him a kiss in exchange for a bite. It was super cute!

We headed out last night to run a few errands and I had one of those moments of disbelief. This is my is she big enough to want to walk into a store instead of being carried????
She adores her daddy, that is for certain.

My kids had a great week all around too.
Monday brought an evening of hanging outside after chores and homework, catching up on our day of transition.  It was adorable to watch Lily just so enamored with Andrew and Reagan and wanting to be like them.  We're very blessed with the children we have.

Lily had some cereal in a bowl with milk for the first time this week and it's safe to say, she loved the milk the most!

She also spent some time trying to soothe her teeth this week.

Operation Paci Weaning has been going really well! She's cried for it a few times randomly, but overall, she mostly just wants it when she's tired and ready for a nap or bed.  During the random times, if I ask her if she wants to take a nap, she'll shake her head no and then stop asking.  Smart baby and I feel pretty good that we'll be able to be done with it by the time she turns two. That's the goal anyway.  We're also going to seriously start potty training this summer too. She hides when she poops and comes and tells us afterwards, "Potty. Poopy."  The other day I left her diaper off just to see and as she peed in front of my bedroom mirror, she said, "Mama, potty."  Okie dokie, Lily.

Andrew and Reagan are heading into their homestretch of the last 2 weeks of school. They're definitely anxious in some ways to be done.  Reag had her final field trip of the year and her Brownies end of the year ceremony this past week while Andrew has his big 6th grade field trip coming this week.  They found out they won't be getting their yearbooks until next year because the committee wants to include all the end of the year activities. Andrew's pretty bummed because his friends won't be together to sign them.  

This coming Monday marks the 17th anniversary of my dad's death, which in some ways seems like yesterday and others so long ago.  My family will be spending the day celebrating birthdays with friends and family and I can think of no better way to honor my dad than celebrating life.♥

Hope you're all having a safe Memorial Day weekend! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Happy Brownie

Last evening was Reagan's Brownies end of the year ceremony. It was a short little ceremony held at school and then we had some light refreshments to celebrate with the girls.  It was sweet and she was just so happy and proud!

The girls received a sapling of a tree in honor of this year being the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts and in PA, planting trees is how they are choosing to honor!

Pennsylvania Girl Scout Tree Planting Initiative"In May 2012, the three Girl Scout councils in Pennsylvania will join forces to plant 10,000 trees statewide. Every registered Girl Scout will have the opportunity to plant and tend a sapling in honor of Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary. Trees planted in Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania’s jurisdiction will not only honor this momentous milestone in Girl Scout history, but will also help contribute towards the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s goal of planting 1,000,000 trees by 2020!"
Reag isn't certain whether she wants to plant her tree here at our house or with her mom at her house there.  We've left it up to her to decide.

She loved Brownies this year, it was a great experience for her and she's hopeful that next year she'll get to do it again and participate even more!  She also got her remaining cookie sale incentives for selling 150 boxes of cookies --one being a giraffe print bag with pink edges that she was excited about! I think it looks like a perfect overnight bag for sleepovers and taking her stuff to the pool or back and forth to her houses this summer. It's super cute. :)  They have a pool party the week after school gets out which will be fun for the girls to get together one more time this year and have pizza and swim! :)

She's off to the Science Center today for their last field trip this year!

Happy girl watch her go...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Getting on the Same Page

Mid-afternoon the phone rang. 

It was close to Lily's waking up time, but I answered anyway.

It was Reagan's mother.

I had recently said to her if she had something to say to me to call, not email or text.

This time she called.

Of course, it's not the most comfortable of situations for either of us, but she asked if I had a minute to talk and I did.

So we did.

While, the specific words are not necessarily important to journal here, the turning a corner is.

We {she and I --I know weird, huh.} are both at the point where enough is enough.

Some past tendencies on both our parts started to leak out on the phone, however we were able to redirect the conversation back to what matters and why we are even in each other's lives at all. 

Neither of us is going away.

We've got to figure out a way to be on the same page about Reagan on some level.  There will have to be give and take on both of our parts.

She shared a few things that I was surprised by. And I believed her.

I did hear some surprise in her voice as I think she realized some things I said were truthful, but maybe I'm just hopeful.

I feel it's a very simple fix to start.

If she and I present the front to Reagan that we are on the same page, much of the back and forth will simply be eliminated.  Does it mean we're going to be the best of friends? No, but it will show the daughter we share that pitting her mothers against each other does nothing good for her own life.  I think we both want a peaceful existance in our lives. I know I do.

I spoke with Reagan later this afternoon. I asked her a couple tough questions {that I already knew the answers to} and saw her immediately tense up. To her credit, she owned up. 

After getting to the heart of some of this, I shared with her that she is modeling behavior both good and bad for her baby sisters. Even though they're both little, they still look up to her.

Lily squeals with excitement, screaming her name when she comes in the door on Mondays and each day after school. She's started crying when Reag leaves for school and she asks for her over the weekends looking for her. I know it makes her feel good when Lily is so excited to see her.  I told her that I'm sure Roxy is the same only she can't say it yet, just like when Lily was tiny, but I bet she smiles when she sees her. Reagan smiled pridefully and said she understands what I mean about modeling her behaviors.

I asked her what she thought could make things different with the 3 of us~her mom, her and myself. She made a suggestion about all of us talking "in a room together."  {this actually made me laugh to myself picturing all of us trapped in a room together}  I told her it was an idea and she should talk to her mom about it.  I also suggested to her that she might feel less worry and stress if she was just truthful to both of us.

She spoke with her mother this evening and owned up with her about some things as well.  I feel sure they'll talk more when Reag goes there this weekend. I hope the open-mindedness is there with Reagan's mother and that Reag remains truthful...even when it's hard.  Time will tell.

Maybe if we can find a way to simply get on the same page, we can just start a new chapter.

 As I said earlier, something's gotta give.

The One About a Shirt

On May 28, 2009, George and I found out we were pregnant with our first baby together.  He was over the moon while I was terrified. Not of the pregnancy or having a baby, but bringing a baby into the chaos and drama that surrounded our lives.  At that time, we had just finished a custody trial the month before and were beginning a new journey of shared custody after years of false accusations, financial draining, and litigation.  We were learning how to cope with the most recent of false allegations of sexual abuse and the feelings of betrayal and pure shock that accompanied them. Life altering.  Needless to say we were stressed. We miscarried in early July and were both devestated. {You can read that story here.}

When we got pregnant with Lily later that year, the rose-colored glasses I'd once worn regarding pregnancy were gone. I was pretty much terrified the duration. 

During that first pregnancy, I had made Reagan an "I'm the Big Sister" shirt with a tshirt and an iron-on. That was how we were going to tell George's parents. Just for her to wear it and eventually they'd notice. She was excited about it.

The day we went out to get the materials, was H.O.T.
We stopped for an icee along the way!
{yes, we were parked}

Nearly three years later, last Friday, Andrew and Reagan had an event for school-Jump Rope for Heart-after Reag's field trip where she'd needed a change of clothes to be outside actively.  She wanted a tshirt and shorts she could move in.  Okie dokie. She took a pair of pink shorts and the above shirt. Heck, she's a big sister a couple times, so she was happy to wear it. 

Well, on Fridays, she goes to BM's after school.

As you could imagine a conversation ensued about the shirt. And after all of the drama last week, I should have known better.  Because when you're a 30 year old "mother", telling your 8 year old child that you can't believe your child actually believes the "lies" about us being pregnant with that baby and forcing her to turn her shirt around backwards before taking a picture of her, will result in a lot of hurt feelings on the child's part. 
Reagan described her pose as "miserable".

Most nights, we watch Jeopardy as a family while we eat supper and we play along. Funny enough last night's final jeopardy category was, "Drama."
Reag piped in without missing a beat, "That's something my mom would know a lot about." 

Albeit hysterical because it's truthful, I also found it to be really sad that she feels that way about her. Although, from the look on her face above... something's gotta give.

A Winner's Gonna Get Busy in a Burger King...

Thank you to all who entered my Burger King gift card giveaway! I was excited to "meet" so many new fans and I hope y'all will stick around!

I let choose the winner out of 87 entries......

Congratulations, Mami2jcn!!!
An email was sent to you, please respond with 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. Thanks so much!

Thank you again, for all your entries, ladies! 
Thank you also to the Burger King Corporation and MyBlogSpark!!

~All entries were verified. There was one disqualified as the action was not actually taken. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend & Operation Paci

Our weeks are so busy and there's so much running around that when we have the opportunity to hang around the house on the weekends, we do it.

This weekend Andrew had to finish up a science project building a model of his room to scale using the metric system.  This was originally a group project.  Andrew learned pretty early on the value of choosing a group of like-minded people {not necessarily your friends} so you're not the one left doing all the work.  After parent-teacher conferences, Andrew and I had a discussion about group projects and the group he was in.  They hadn't even started and had several steps that were to have been completed already.  I told him he would be doing the project on his own and if he wanted to not cause trouble with the people in his group he could be a part of that too, but he was doing his.  He said he was just going to work on his own. I contacted his teacher about it {we'd discussed it at conference} and that was that. She'd made an announcement later that day about how several students were working on the projects on their own because members of the groups were not pulling their weight.  Andrew learned the "choose your group carefully" lesson quickly. 

He spent the majority of his Saturday constructing his model of his bedroom and the 10 objects he had to include. They had to measure everything in centimenters and then build a smaller scaled model. His was primarily out of cardboard, cardstock and a few pieces of fabric.  It turned out pretty nice. He told me I can't say "cute".  I'm not one of those parents who does the project for the kid. So it definitely looks like a 12 year old, 6th grade boy made it. As it should. I helped him organize his process so he didn't get overwhelmed, but the rest was all his creation. Today he had to present it and talk about the process measuring and building. Hope it goes well!

While Andrew was architecting, Lily and I spent a lot of time outside this weekend.  We forgot about the Touch a Truck until too late in the day on Saturday. Booooooo! I didn't look at my planner. Dummy.   George was down with a headache a lot of the day Saturday.  I meal planned and went grocery shopping. Gave Andrew a break to make him come to the grocery store with me. haha He hates grocery shopping, but he's always impressed with my savings and asks a lot of about that. "Well how much would it have cost if you didn't use coupons? Wow. That's a lot more, Mom."  Meal planning saves my sanity grocery shopping and with supper.  I posted a menu on the fridge this week so I don't have to hear "What's for supper? 19341934139 times a week."  Plus with days when we have activities going on I need something quick and easy when we have someplace to be at night. Sanity saving.  I get it, Mom.  Thanks for modeling it.

Also, we started Operation Paci Weaning this weekend.  We now have two months and 3 days until our goal of completely removed paci by Lily's 2nd birthday. I can't believe she's almost two, but that's a different post. :)  For now, she can only have her paci when she's in bed--naptime and bedtime. We'd been doing that, but then she was sick and teething and before we knew it we'd created a monster! Day one, Saturday. I got her out of her crib, took her paci and said, "bye bye paci, see you at naptime" and tossed it in her crib. She cried for it while I changed her diaper. I asked if she was ready to go back to bed, she'd shake her head no, so paci stayed. I put her down after changing her and she started screaming for "Paaaaaaaaaa ceeeeeeeeeee!"  I said no and headed out of her room. She ran into Andrew's room asking him to help her, "Bubbbba! Paaaaaa ceeeeeee!" She ran back and forth crying, screaming...temper tantrum. I could not stop laughing! She finally came downstairs, got some milk to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and asked for her paci a few times. I asked her if she was ready for her nap and told her she could have it at naptime.   Finally naptime came and she was happy for her paci.  Less dramatic scenario after naptime, but still some of the same...crying for her paci. Bedtime came and she got her paci relief. :)

Day two, Sunday.  She asked for her paci in the morning, but no tears or screaming. When naptime came, she didn't want it because she knew it meant she had to take a nap! Smart kid.  After nap, "bye bye paci".  She asked for a couple times in the evening when she got sleepy, but no screaming or crying. Bedtime came, so she got her paci. :)

Day three, Monday. Bye bye paci this morning when I got her up.  So far, she hasn't asked or cried for it. I love new good habits. :) 

We spent a lot of the afternoon Sunday outside, "Pay {play} pay, Mama!"  She colored with sidewalk chalk on the backporch. We played with a little bowling set she has, she went on her slide, played in her house, we blew bubbles, ran and explored. She's just so happy with simple. I love that about her.

Andrew finished his project then he and George played some video games together while I got Lily a bath and in bed.  She was definitely ready for bed last night.  Happy day, happy girl, happy mama!

I like our relaxing, non running around weekends at home. Summer begins soon and the older kids' schedules change, so it'll be a whole new adjustment for them and Lily. Until then, we've been savoring the moments.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lily Blurbs

~We have a husky who sheds like crazy. There's dog hair everywhere even when it's cleaned up daily.  Lily drags her blankieeeee all over the place, so it also is a magnet for dog hair. When she gets a hair in her mouth, "Mama, a lucky."  "a lucky" = yucky.

~Lily is finally saying "more" instead of just signing it. Says "moan".  She came up to me with her cup for milk. "milk. moan." me: do you want more?  Lily: thank you.

~Crayons used to be "kee kees"  now they're "cahn yays"  like Kanye.  Don't worry, she'll interrupt you for cahn yays.

~Very much into associated words:  star/moon/sun. off/on. up/down. fall/hurt/careful. If I say at anytime to anyone, "Be careful", she replies, "Fall."

~Do you want something to eat or It's time to eat.  Her response: Cheese!
No matter the time of day. Cheese cheese cheese! If I say, "No cheese." She then asks for "chick-ennnnn."

~The other day she was nonstop chattering and I couldn't understand what she was saying, so I said, "What did you say, Lily?" She stopped and said, "Nothin'."  hahahahah

"Ball, Mama!"

Don't forget to enter.... $25 Burger King gift card here. Still plenty of time and ways to enter! You can enter one, a couple or all the ways! Come it!  Today's the last day!!