Friday, July 23, 2010

She's a Big Girl Now!

For the last few months Emma's been asking for earrings. I tell her that only "big girls" have earrings because she tells us that she wants to be a baby forever. Last night we were at the mall and she asked if she could be a big girl and get earrings. I NEVER THOUGHT SHE'D DO IT IN A MILLION YEARS. But, she did it! Not a flich or a tear - just a great big smile when she saw her beautiful "diamond" studs. I got a little choked up and Maggie kept going "I'm freaking out Mom, I'm going to pass out". My baby is a big girl now .... something I've dreaded for the past 4 years and 10 months. I'm really proud of her though. She made the decision all by herself - to get earrings and to be a big girl.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On the Road Again.....

1 week, 2 trips and a daughter that is sad and doesn't understand why I have to be gone on my birthday. When I try to explain that Mommy birthday's are different than kid birthday's, she doesn't understand. That's alright though...

Monday I'm off to Connecticut. I'm excited though because it gives me the chance to see some good friends that live near Boston that I only see a couple of times a year. One of them recently had a baby so I get to meet him and I'm thrilled about that. MGM Grand has this big resort stuck right in the middle of nowhere! Here it is! I'll be there until Tuesday night.

Then, Thursday I'm off (again) to Chicago. I'm actually not sure if I can count this as a "trip" anymore because I feel like it's my home away from home BUT since I'm not actually at home and in my own bed at night, it counts! I love that city though and each time I go it grows on me more and more. Ahhhhhhh Chicago.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Hardest Job in the World

Parenting. I've been going at this for 7+ years now and have huge highs and the lowest of lows. My darling Maggie was a difficult baby, harder toddler and then right into the 14 year old mouth from there. For so long I wondered "What am I doing wrong?" and then it dawned on my that Emma couldn't be more opposite. If it's ME, why isn't Emma the same. I've watched Oprah, Dr. Phil, talked with experts at school, the doctor's office and just about anyone that would listen until I figured it out. All of the above had the same answer that I didn't WANT to agree with but understand the theory now. It's fear. Oprah had a panel of child psychologists on and they all agreed that the sign of a good parent is "having kids that fear you." Emma has this - all I have to do it use a tone or give a look and she knows that trouble is coming and has NEVER tested me beyond that point. But, here's the question. What do you do with a child that DOESN'T fear you? I do not in any way, shape or form condone child abuse. But, I do believe in the occasional spank when needed to get someone's attention. Emma's never had one ... Maggie, more than I can possiby begin to count. I've washed her mouth out with soap of every scent at BBWorks, I've used tobasco sauce, vinegar, stripped her toys and beloved blanket on several occasions (and when I say strip I mean down to the sheets!). I've screamed until my head just about blows off, I've threatened. I've pulled the car over, taken her out and got back in. I've convinced her that the Neenah Police Department is "jail" and have even parked there on occasion. NOTHING even remotely scares her. UNTIL NOW. I may have found the key. SILENCE. They say silence is deadly and my daughter can't stand to know that I'm upset with her. It's a technique my Grandma used and I'm going for it. The other night she knew I was mad at her and begged me to let her cuddle with me. I wouldn't let her. Now, my next mission is silence. Grandma says "you have to go 2 whole days without a word or acknowledgement to her and you have to be completely committed and determined." I AM! It is not my job to be her friend, that's not why I'm here. I'm her mother and I'm going to raise appreciative, polite, socially acceptable children if it kills me. I will never give up. So, for now, it's a goal to see how the "silent treatment" works. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, July 19, 2010

This is what happens....

....when my husband is in charge.

Yes, the tent was smack dab in the middle of the living room when I got home.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thought of the Day

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
-Maya Angelou

Coming home from Chicago last week we asked each of the girls, "What was your favorite part of our vacation?" Maggie's answer included just about everything we saw or did. Emma summed her favorite part up with just one thing ... "the bed". She loves anything that relates to home. It's her comfort zone, her safe haven. She will be the daughter that always stays close.

It's Official - I have a Pre-Kindergartener

Where does the time go? You hear people say it nearly every day. How could I possibly have a 7 year old and a nearly 5 year old that is entering pre-k? Most days I'm pretty happy about it. The thought that only 1 year from now my girls will be in the same building at the same time on the same days is nothing short of THRILLING! But, then there are days like today. I remember how tiny she was - only 5 pounds 4 ounces the day we brought her home. She was 10 days old - she came home on October 6 and it was 80 degrees that day. Then she grew up a little each day and now every second of grief that Maggie gives her, she gives 10 back. She loves everything and anything pink, frilly, flowery and pretty. She is somewhat excited for school - depending on the day she either asks if she can go or she says "I not going there Mama". That's my girl ... my baby forever and ever.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thought of the Day

1 year ... that's all, just 1 more year!
Steve has been working so hard to finish his degree ... for himself and all of us. That means 1 year of books, classes, teachers, papers, assignments, lectures and credits. Once he graduates we have to stay here for 1 year. In our world it also means 2 more winters and we can say BYE BYE to snow, ice and cold. The next year is going to be a challenge - 2 to 3 classes at a time plus work, plus family, plus my travel schedule. Together we'll do it!

THANK YOU for everything you do for us! We love you so much and can't wait for you to finish. We are ready to start loading the moving truck so you just have to tell us when!!! Love you!


As I mentioned yesterday, our relatives from Kansas were in town over the weekend. This is from my Grandma's (Lois)side of the family. I think I was about 5 or 6 the last time this group was together. Here we all are! Who knows when this will ever happen again so it was really nice to be able to get everyone together like this. And, the kids are all smiling!!!! It was a great day. Thank you Aunt Dorie for hosting a wonderful party!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Power Thought for the Day

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
-Maya Angelou

A few weeks ago Mags and I were watching the GLEE episode where "Becky", a young girl with downs syndrome tried out for the Cheerios. Maggie said to me something like, "if I went to school with a girl like Becky I would want to be friends with her. If she had trouble jump roping, I'd help her learn." Fast forward to today....We had our annual family picnic at Aunt Dorie's house today. Our family that I haven't seen since I was a little girl was there too - they drove all the way from Kansas. I watched the kids play and have a ball in the pool, with the pinata, running around and laughing. I realized that although Maggie is growing up like a weed, she has something that I envy. A quality that many people don't posess - perhaps they are afraid of it, perhaps they are ignorant to it, or perhaps my daughter is just at an age where there really are no differences between people. While some shy away or turn their back, my daughter holds their hand. I have a tremendous amount of respect pride for her because of this.

Rainy Day, Play Day!

Yesterday the sun was shining, it was warm, humidity was low. We made plans with Maggie's friends, Ellie & Josie and their little brother Owen to come over and we were all going to go to the Neenah pool so their Mommy could start getting their new home ready to move in. Kids got in their suits, sunblock was on and cue the black clouds, thunder, lightening and pouring rain. UGH! Why does it have to do this on these days? We watched movies, played soccer once the rain cleared, sang to Karaoke Revolution on the Wii and life was good! It turned out to be a great day and lots of fun was had by all!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Quote for Today

In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back.
-Charlie Brown
I chose this quote today because of the uncertainty of each day. Because of the lessons that we must experience first to understand. Because there are people in this world that can't just be true-to themselves or to anyone else. Because as parents we struggle with making the "right" decisions only to find out that what is best for our family IS the "right" decision. Because at the end of each day I will never find the words to tell my precious princesses how much they mean to me. Good heavens, Charlie Brown ... you were right!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Power Thought for the Day

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I chose this quote for today because I think it applies in just about every situation. More closely though, it's important to realize that what you do is what makes an impression on people - the way you carry yourself, the message behind what you say, the things you do. My grandma used to say "people that know everything and have everything don't have to tell you how much they know or have".

My Daughter, the Circus Girl

In about 11 years when Cirque is looking to enroll people into their "circus school", my daughter may fill out an application. She's obsessed with the concept of the art. At first glimpse of the bungee attached apparatus at the park the other day that launches kids or adults of a certain height up into the trees, she begged until I finally gave up the $7 for the 3 minutes of enjoyment. I finally gave in because I honestly didn't think she'd actually do it. Well, not only did she do it, she wasn't happy about getting off and wanted to keep it up. She figured out how to do a full front flip in the air while attached to this thing. If this is the future, Maggie's Mama is going to have some sleepless nights!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chicago 2010

It is always amazing to me how fast vacation goes. But, it came and went in the blink of an eye but not before we had a fantastic time in Chicago! I go there somewhat often and know the city pretty well which helped. Maggie LOVED it! She is my city girl. Emma on the otherhand, says that her "favorite part was the bed and the hotel".

We visited Shedd Aquarium, shopped on the Magnificent Mile, went to American Girl Place, took a Chicago City Tour, went to Navy Pier, Millennium Park, ate at some of Chicago's most famous (and family friendly) restaurants, walked, ran through fountains and had a blast! I'd love to know how many miles we put on ... which Emma didn't like either. She really wanted to be held - it was 95 degrees each day so that didn't happen!

Maggie had a moment - she hailed her first taxi! Coming out of the restaurant on our first night she said that she wanted to take one back to the hotel. We told her that we were going to walk. Next thing I knew, she was standing on the curb with her hand up calling "TAXI!" and one pulled over to her! That's my girl!

Steve surprised me on our last night at dinner - he had snuck out earlier in the day and I didn't know where he had gone. At dinner he handed me my favorite colored box, yes girls - Tiffany Blue with a white satin ribbon. He got me a necklace from Tiffany & Co. which is becoming a vacation tradition but I'm not complaining!

I'm so lucky! What a wonderful time with my family. The memories that we made will stay with us forever ... even if all one of us remembers is the bed.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Yesterday we spent the day out at Kelly's parent's house in Winneconne. The kids had a blast. From the time we got there at 3pm, we barely saw them until we left to come home at 10:30 last night. They had games, pools, sand box, swing set, food, bonfire, made smores and set off some fantastic fireworks! Great day! Emma was the first asleep at the party but she made it until after 10:00 - Maggie threw a fit the whole way home because she was upset that she had gotten bitten by mosquitos. Bummer but that's the way it goes when you are running around without shoes on in the grass!

We're getting ready to head to Riverside Park this morning and planning a full day there. Last night Kelly and I put our tarp down for the fireworks and got a PRIME LOCATION that we are thrilled about! So, off we go again!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Power Thoughts - Day 2

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
-Maya Angelou

American Girl, Here We Come!

My children are not deprived. We have 2 American Girl girls, Molly & Josephina, 1 set of Bitty Twins and 1 Bitty Baby. So, when asked "Can we get an American Girl doll at the store??" The answer is a big fat NO. Between the dolls, the clothes and the accessories we now have invested A TON of money in American Girl. I don't mind - it makes them happy which makes me happy. They've only been to one American Girl Place - the one at the Mall of America. In just a couple of days they are going to the biggest of all, the original American Girl Place on Michigan Avenue in Chicago and we are all VERY EXCITED! I've been there and couldn't wait until I could bring them so I'm pretty anxious.

Originally I wasn't going to let them bring their dolls. Let's face it, I'm a realist. I will be the one that ends up carrying these things around. But, then I thought about it for a few minutes and remember being in the store seeing the multitudes of little girls carrying their treasured American Girl dolls and when I thought about my two little darlings I realized that I can't possibly deprive them of this. They were each told to choose ONE doll to bring. Mags chose Josephina and Emma chose one of the twins, Kaitlan (she named it!). I have now invested the last hour+++ of my life making them pretty - dressing them, fixing hair, etc. After all, we are not going to bring crappy looking girls into the store that they came from!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Power Thoughts - Day 1

I have a book on my desk and everyday I turn the page - it's a 1,000 page book. The book includes a "Power Thought" or famous quote for each day that just makes you think. Those of you that know me understand that I love this stuff. I feng shui my house, I have the house blessed and saged consistently, I have what I call "think time" every day which is 10 minutes of pure quiet and I love these little tidbits that make my mind think. So, I thought that maybe some of you would like them too. Here's the first! I chose it because I know that there are friends and family out there that don't understand or agree with what I do for a living because it pulls me away from my family and there are people that criticize at any opportunity. What none of "you" know is that I do it for my family because my determination to succeed for them far exceeds a fear to fail, or not give them every thing or every opportunity I can.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
-Bill Cosby

Happy Early 4th of July!

I know that we'll be busy this weekend and although I have hopes, I'll never get here to post. So, we wish everyone a very safe and happy 4th of July! We're so excited for fun times with family, friends, Riverside Park Pizza and Fireworks!!!

This picture makes me think of so many things ... how I love this holiday and time with our friends and family but also that our founding fathers are probably rolling over in their graves at what this country has become in the past couple of years. Ugh...that's an entirely different RANTING post!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yes, we are GLEEKs

GLEE - Maggie loves it. (Even though I spend time on occasion distracting her from the sometimes inappropriate content.) Emma thinks that the musical numbers are great. Steve is a fan and I never miss an episode. I haven't been this adoring to a TV show since Beverly Hills 90210. Even American Idol can't hold my attention this well...except when Chris Daughtry was on but since we know that horrendous and sad story I won't continue. You don't want to hear that rant today. Back on track...We HEART Glee! Sue Sylvester's antics and one-liners make me laugh so hard I cry.

You know that there's a "BUT...." coming, don't you. I got home from work today and Maggie rushed to the door yelling "Mommy, Mommy, I have to tell you about this crazy dream that I had last night. My dream was that we were at the zoo by the monkey's and I pushed Emma into one of the pink monkey butts. Isn't that hilarious!" Sound familiar? If you are a GLEE fan it does. Last episode, Sue Sylvester to Will Schuester: "Sure. I spent large segments of each day picturing you choking on food, and I recently contacted an exotic animal dealer because I had a very satisfying dream that I once shoved your face into one of those pink-inflamed monkey butts." I guess that the only thing I know for sure is that my daughter is now, an official GLEEK.

2 more days!

Thursday. Friday. VACATION TIME! Steve and I are both off all next week with the kids and I'm not sure which of the 4 of us is more excited! I'm not sure how much of a "vacation" we'll actually get though. Saturday we have an annual 4th of July party to go to, Sunday we hit the park all day for the 4th festivities (and Maggie has already reminded me several times that we need to get a good seat for the Wisconsin Singers Show Choir performance!) and of course fireworks. Monday I'm getting them up out of bed and into the car so we can make it to Shedd Aquarium downtown Chicago by 10am and then we're staying there through late Wednesday afternoon. We're going to take them to Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Lunch at American Girl on Michigan Avenue and who knows what else. I get to Chicago pretty often so I'm excited to show them the city that I've grown to know quite well and love. We may even run into one or two of my friends that live there so that's exciting too! Wednesday night, dinner with Steve's parents on our way home. Thursday, wonder where the past 5 days went! Whew - I'm already exhausted. Here are the girls on the 4th of July last year - it's funny to see how much they've changed. Oh and by the way, where did the year go???