Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One Year Later

One year ago, Kiki fell and knocked her two front teeth loose, and eventually had to have them both pulled. That one incident changed her look forever and I will not soon forget it. She's grown and changed so much since then. She's getting taller, more mature, and just growing up way too fast.

Her permanent front teeth have taken a whole year to come in. While I did quite enjoy her toothless grin, I am glad to see them finally making their slow progression into her mouth. One tooth down, one to go. . .

Friday, March 27, 2009

March Madness

In the spring of 1939, March Madness was born, with the first ever NCAA basketball tournament taking place. There were only eight teams that year in the tournament, with the final four teams of Villanova, Ohio State, Oregon, and Oklahoma. The Bucks and The Ducks (nice rhyme) played the final game on March 27, 1939, with the Ducks winning 46-33.

Also on March 27 of that same year, my father was born. I find it ironic that in the same year he was born, his future alma mater was in the championship game (too bad they didn't win).

What do these two events have in common besides their date? One of my favorite sports to watch is basketball and one of my favorite people in the world is my father. He taught me so many things; love, compassion, honesty, respect, tolerance. He is a sensitive and caring person and has the best, albiet dryest, sense of humor. He taught me that you can find humor in ALMOST any situation and to make the best of it. I can always count on him to make me laugh.

My dad has always loved sports, basketball being one of them, and growing up he often shared this enjoyment with me. I remember watching football games with him (and keeping my distance when the Buckeyes lost to Michigan), having him teach me to keep stats while watching baseball games, and of course there was basketball. I think because it was the easiest for me to understand and fast paced, was the reason I grew to love it so much. I also have always enjoyed the result of the games often being determined right down to the very last second. Just when you think one team has won a game, the other team nails a shot at the buzzer and turns it all around.

One of the most important things my dad taught me about sports, and life in general, is sportsmanship. While winning is great and losing isn't always fun, playing the game (or in our case watching it) is the best part. Growing up I loved going to sporting events with him, because just being at the game was so much fun! I still remember the endless 13 inning Tigers baseball game where my dad, brother and I started making up songs, inspired by players' names in the game program, just to entertain ourselves. We were having so much fun with that, we didn't even care at that point who won. There has also been times that my Purdue Boilermakers beat his beloved Buckeyes and he didn't care, because he was so happy for me that my team had won.

I think why I love sports so much is because of the memories I have of watching games with him. We still love to talk on the phone and exchange emails about the various games our favorite teams play, and about which teams we picked to win games in our NCAA bracket. I thought about these memories recently when we took the girls to a couple of Indiana Pacer games, and when I sat down with my them to watch Purdue (lose) in the Sweet Sixteen last night. I am hoping they enjoy these moments as much as I do and that they will one day share these memories with their own children.

March is a great month! Spring arrives, March Madness begins, and of course I get to celebrate the life of one of the two great people that brought me into this world.

Happy 70th Birthday, Dad! Thanks for all you do for us!

Grampa Jack with Boo at a baseball game June 2008

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who me? Really?

I am honored to receive my first blog award from Liz at Eternal Lizdom. She gave me the "Mom of the Year" award! I guess there are "rules" to this type of thing, where I share my experiences of being a mom, both good and bad, and then pass the award on to others. So here goes:

RULE #1: Admit that One thing you feel awful about involving being a mom. Get it off your shoulders. Once you've written it down, you are NO LONGER allowed to feel bad. It is over with, it is in the past. Remember, you're a good Mom!

I received this award during a particularly trying week. Boo is a very strong willed child and had been testing my patience all week. I feel badly that I am not more patient with her, but sometimes it is so difficult as she seems to push every button I have. I have tried many different approaches with her and am still trying to find what works best. I also worry about her self esteem as she sometimes says things like "No one likes me." and "She does this better than me", etc. It is hard for me to know if she really feels that way or is trying to get my attention. I've tried hard to treat her equally and wonder where I've gone wrong. So I feel like I've failed her somehow and am not sure what to do. I worry sometimes that maybe I've been too hard on her (by losing my patience, etc.) and caused her to feel this way.

RULE #2: To remind yourself that you ARE a good mom, list SEVEN things you love about your kids, you love doing with your kids, or that your kids love about you. These are the things to remind yourself of EVERY DAY, that you rock!

1). I am a very loving, affectionate, hands on mom. Not a day goes by that I don't hug or kiss my children and tell them I love them. Even after our worst days, I make sure they know I love them.

2). I am a hands on mom. I help out at school, play games with them, read, etc. I'd much rather be with them than do my chores, which is why I have a messy house.

3). I love to dance and sing with them. We put on silly music and dance around the house and just laugh. This is probably one of my favorite things to do with them.

4). I also enjoy reading to them, and listening to them read to me. My highlight of the day, especially on a particularly busy one, is sitting on the bed with them at night, cuddling and reading together. Once in a while they get to bed late because I don't like to put them to bed without reading to them. Sometimes these reading sessions lead to lengthy discussions. They love to ask questions and I do my best to answer them!

5). I love going swimming with the girls in the summer, when we practically live at our neighborhood pool. They truly enjoy swimming and I love getting in the water with them and playing. Some of my best memories of my childhood were days at the pool and I hope they feel the same way someday.

6). I love listening to my girls laugh. Nothing makes me happier than their laughter. They both have very contagious laughs so it is hard to keep a straight face when one of them gets going. We joke around often and try to find humor in everything we do. My dad taught me the importance of a good sense of humor and I want to pass that on to them. Life is too serious most of the time.

7). I love every part of my girls. They are so beautiful, inside and out, and both have very different but wonderful personalities. Kiki is outgoing and inquisitive and a caring child. She is the first one to help someone when they are sad. Boo is a good mix of shy and outgoing, depending on her situation, and despite being strong willed, she is also strong and independent and I love that about her. I am so blessed to have them in my life!

I am passing on the Mom of the Year Award to:

Burghbaby, one of my all time favorite bloggers to read. She is funny, sarcastic and so much fun to read. She takes the most amazing pictures and I highly recommend you check out her blog.

Emily from DesignHERMomma is another fantastic blogger. I love the way she writes. She has a way of making you laugh, and then the next minute you feel your eyes welling up with tears. Highly recommend her blog as well.

Piaku is written by Mandy, a neighborhood friend of mine. She started a new job this past fall and hasn't had much time to update her blog. I know she loved blogging and wants to find her way back to her blog, so I am hoping this inspires her as I sure miss reading her posts!

I also chose Throughthisvalley, written by a friend of mine from high school, whose has a son with Neuroblastoma cancer. She has only written one blog post and I know would love to do more, but she has her hands full with caring for her son, and three other children. With all she has been through, I felt she deserved to be Mom of the Year.

And of course, please check out Liz at Eternal Lizdom. She is a wonderful blogger and has so much to share about motherhood and life in general. She is another one who can make you laugh and cry in the same post.

Thanks, Liz, for this wonderful award! ! You really lifted my spirits during a difficult week and helped me put motherhood in perspective. I've also been suffering from writer's block lately and this gave me a chance to write again!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ding Ding!

When Kiki was about two years old, the daddy private parts somehow earned the nickname "ding ding." Seems to me this all started with my husband, who gave "the parts" that name when Kiki was playing with him and accidentally kicked him down there yonder. He told her, "no kicking Daddy in the ding ding, " which was followed by many giggles from our precocious two year old.

Weeks later we were shopping for a birthday present for him and walking through the men's department looking at clothes. She said "Get Daddy a ding ding!?" I was mortified until I realized she was pointing to the belts (and then I laughed my ass off)! I was more than amused that she had thought all of this time that the "ding ding" was the belt instead of the male body parts slightly below that area. Why would she know anything else?

Fast forward six years and somehow the discussion comes up about the "ding ding" again. One night after dinner, Bill was joking around about teaching our dog to "get the ding ding" if there was ever a bad guy around. Mind you this is a Labrador, who won't even bark when strangers come around, and would likely lick an intruder to death. Then realizing that he didn't want to give the girls any ideas, Bill told them "you know you should never kick or hit a boy on his ding ding." Of course the girls giggled. We told them that this was never OK and if they did this, they could really hurt someone. He said the ONLY time it would be OK., was if a boy was hurting them and wouldn't stop.

I kept looking at both girls to see if they were understanding this, and then thought to ask "you do know that when Daddy says "ding ding" he is talking about a boy's private parts, right?" Both girls just smiled at me and then Kiki said, "I know why they call it a ding ding." I said "Oh really? Why?" and she said, "because it just hangs down and goes ding, ding, ding, ding," all while waving her belt back and forth between her legs.

And that was the end of THAT discussion. . .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Maxi Girl

My niece, Pippa, discovers another use for her Mom's maxi pads