Friday, May 29, 2009

Maryland is very lucky.


This is my friend Amber. Most people would probably be upset at me for posting a picture like this of them on their public blog. But not Amber, because that is the type of person and friend she is. We all have different friends and acquaintances that we have varying levels of comfort with. In just three short years Amber has become one of my closest and most comfortable friends. And since she is moving all the way to Maryland in less than 3 days, I wanted to proclaim to the world the kind of friend she is:
She's the kind of friend who...
*I can pick my wedgie out in front of.
*knows my daily/weekly schedule, so she knows when she can call to chat or to babysit!:)
*knows all my secrets and loves me not only in spite of them but maybe because of them too.
*knows exactly how much she can tease or make fun of me.
*can match my wit text for text.
*loves my children.
*will defend me to the end... even to 80 year old VTing supervisors.
*I can talk to about anything.
*will force me to have a Snickers ice cream bar to keep myself from buying a bikini.
*shares her treats with me almost ever time she makes them.
*always has the ingredient I am looking for when I need to borrow one.
*will be goofy/dorky with me and then make fun of me for it.
*will drop everything to have lunch together.
*will let me swear in church and tell me I must be right because I didn't get struck down.
*allow me to become another sister in her family without having to marry any of her brothers.
*makes me laugh when I am crying.
*lets me cry.
*toilet papers my house.
*shares recipes with me.
*lets me rummage through her cupboards looking for treats.
Basically Amber has become like another sister to me and I feel like a little piece of my heart will be broken when she leaves on Monday. But my one saving grace is- like I said before- I feel like I have become a member of her family and when she comes to visit or they go to visit her- I had better be included! I have all the benefits of the family without all the obligation! Its great! I really do love you Amber and am so grateful for all you've done and brought to my life. I truly believe that the Lord moves us in and out of each other's lives just when we need them. And I don't doubt for a minute why you have been part of my life the past three years. The Lord knew I needed you. Now my only question is this: If the Lord feels like you are suppose to be in Maryland, what does that mean for my life?!?:) Because you know it really is all about me and my needs. Seriously, sisters/friends like you are rare to find and I will have a hard time finding someone to fill your shoes. But in case anyone wants to know Julie and I are accepting Sister/BFF applications for anyone who wants to apply.
I love you Amber! Maryland is indeed very lucky.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May Tinkling of the Ivories

For as long as I have been involved with piano, May has always been the month for recitals. And this May was no different, except Finn was one the doing the playing. So here is Finn's stunning rendition of "Willie the Whale." This really is for Grandpa and Grandma in Prague who couldn't come to the recital, but if you ask me, this is the best way to support a recital. Only one song to listen to played by one of your favorite people. Oh and sorry about the shaky camera- work. I must have been having some sort of caffeine- withdrawals or something like that!
video

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The best compliment I've gotten all week

I was outside playing basketball with Finn and my 9 year old nephew, Michael. I wasn't asked to play by any means, but joined their game anyway. After a few minutes of showing them by ball stealing and lay-up skills, I heard Michael ask Finn, "Has your mom played basketball before?"
Finn: "I don't know. Why?"
Michael: "Because it seems like she played in high school or something."
Does playing church-ball for 3 years and scoring a total of 2 points all three years count as "playing" in high school? Either way- thanks for recognizing Michael.

Michael, the one who knows talent when he sees it, is the one on the far left.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Partied like I was having a mid-life crisis!

Yep! That's what I did last night and this is who I did it with:
In case you can't tell who this is- its Eagles-early 70s rock band who each band member went on to have fairly successful solo careers until they reunited in 1994. Thank you Wikipedia.

And I must say there are a few things that surprised me about this whole event. First of all these guys didn't look nearly as cool and suave last night as they do in this picture. They looked like they had just finished a day of working in the yard and then decided they would go put on a concert for thousands of people. They looked seriously old. At one point one guitar player, Joe Walsh, looked extremely confused like he was either low on oxygen or high on something else. But I have learned- again Wikipedia- that he is a teetotaller. Which means he practices the practice and promotion of abstinence from alcohol. And guess what- same-same! I am a teetotaller too. But I didn't realize it had such a cool name and I'm pretty sure Joe Walsh hasn't been one his whole life- like myself. Which is one of the reasons why I could only party like I was having a mid-life crisis as opposed to partying like an early, twenty-something who doesn't know who she is! Anyway- once I got past the fact that they looked like they had current subscriptions to AARP and that they dressed like my Dad- I realized they still put on a good show. Not that I have ever been to their concert before- I mean c'mon I was in diapers during the height of their popularity- but I was amazed at the number of their songs I knew very well. It was interesting to see the range in ages of the people there- people I could have taught in elementary school, people who could be my parents or grandparents and people who teach my daughter in preschool-(That's a little shout-out to Katie's preschool teacher-Ms. Lorie who we saw on the FRONT ROW with her husband! I'm pretty sure she had been to one of their concerts before.) Anyway it was a fun and entertaining concert to attend and thanks to Amber who helped me release my inner fifty year old!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Birth Order Revised

I'm sure many of you have read the email titled "Birth Order" that describes the progressive declining behavior/anal-ness of parents as they have more children. I think this email is hilarious because like most things that are funny- it rings very true- especially for me. I have posted it here for your reading pleasure. I have also added a few more that I have discovered as the number of my offspring has increased and the expectations I have for them and myself has decreased.
BIRTH ORDER OF CHILDREN

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.

2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.

3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

Preparing for the Birth:

1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.

2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.

3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

The Layette:

1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.

2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.

3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?

Worries:

1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.

2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.

3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

Pacifier:

1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.

2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.

3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

Diapering:

1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.

2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.

3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.

Activities:

1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.

2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.

3 rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out:

1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.

2nd baby : Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.

3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home:

1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.

2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby

3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

Swallowing Coins:

1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.

2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.

3rd child: When third child swallows a coin, you deduct it from his allowance!______________________________________________________
Here is where my own begin:
Bath time:
1st child: Bath time is a special daily bonding time with all kinds of toys and extreme monitoring of temperature.
2nd child: Baths are an every other day occurence with whatever toys haven't been lost yet.
3rd child: 3 times a week is plenty for baths and the temperature is only checked when someone yells, "Its too hot, Mom!"
4th child: Saturday night baths for sure and the 4th child knows how start their own bath, undress themselves and find their own toys to put in.

Dealing with owwies:
1st child: Lots of hugs, anti-septic wipes, band-aids with characters and kissing of the owwie.
2nd child: A hug, a character band-aid and a kiss.
3rd child: A plain band-aid (You've wised up to the fact that if you buy band-aids with characters, they are used for everything but their intended purpose.) and a kiss
4th child: Kisses their own owwie better.

TV viewing
1st child: Very strict control and no more than the recommended 2 hours a day.
2nd child: Allowed to earn more TV time by playing outside and can watch the occassional movie.
3rd child: Can watch as much as they want as long as it is on PBS.
4th child: Can work the DVD player at 2.

Potty-training:
1st child: Consult everyone, read all the books and have all sorts of incentives and motivators. Purchasing the "big boy pants" or "big girl panties" is a day that is heralded as a monumental benchmark in childhood- right up there with the first lost tooth or even graduation.
2nd child: "I know I read a book about potty-training- what was it again?" Throw some underwear in the cart next time you're at Target.
3rd child: By now you know the signs of the child being ready to potty-train and only start when you see them. Oh wait, you forgot to buy new underwear. Guess it'll have to wait until next week.
4th child: Hold out a used pair of holey underwear and tell/threaten your toddler that they can wear these if they promise the training won't take more than a day.

Learning:
1st child: Great lengths are taken to teach the ABCs taking into account the potential learning modalities of the child- tactical tracing, songs, computer games, books,art activites all about each letter.
2nd child: "I know I bought some books about each letter- Where are they?"
3rd child: It counts as being read to if the 1st child reads to the 3rd child- right?!?
4th child: Can sing this without you being able to recall ever teaching it to them:

video
Lullabies:
1st child: Vast repertoire of lullabies sung to the child at bedtime or anytime.
2nd child: Sing a song or two at bedtime.
3rd child: Sing themselves to sleep.
4th child: Sings this instead of lullabies:

video

In case you can't make this out- that is our two year old singing the chorus to "We Will Rock You" by Queen- complete with the sound effect of the percussions-"bump, bump, pish". We're so proud!