Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Thanksgiving Pig

I've always wanted to write a Thanksgiving post, but never have, since we are typically with our extended family. This year we are on our own (first time ever since we've been married I think!), which gives me a little time to write.

I thought about listing all of the things I am grateful for, but thought it would be more fun to share a Thanksgiving story that Boo wrote for a project at school.   She is a great storyteller, and has an active imagination.  Mix that together with her great sense of humor and the result is some pretty funny stories.  One of these days I need to videotape her telling one of her stories - to have me retell her stories by copying her words on to my blog, just doesn't do them justice.  You have to hear and see her tell her stories to truly appreciate them!

Boo is a second grader now and her class is currently learning about creative writing, something she really enjoys.  For her class Thanksgiving writing project , the teacher sent home a drawing of a turkey.  The students were told to decorate the turkey anyway they liked, and then write a story about their turkey.  Something to keep in mind while reading her story is that Boo LOVES pigs.  She has loved them since she was about 3 years old and if we'd let her, would gladly have a pig for a pet. I also included her original misspellings of words (there weren't many!), including the word "saw", which she spelled s-a-l-l.  When I helped her proofread her story and told her she had spelled that wrong, she just didn't believe me.  Took showing her the correct word in the dictionary for her to believe me.  She had thought all of this time that "saw" was something you cut wood with, and that "sall" was a form of "see." Tee hee! Anyway, now that you know the background,  here is her story:

The Thanksgiving Pig

Once opon a time there was a turkey sitting outside on his porch.  He sall a pig walking by.  He went inside and looked at his calender and sall that Thanksgiving was coming up.  The turkey went down to his basement and went over to his table.  Then he made a sign that said "Eat Pork."  When he was not looking, the pig snuck in and glued a feather on the turkey's sign.  The pig made a new sign saying, "Save Our Pigs, " then he snuck back outside.  When the turkey turned around, he axedentley grabbed both signs and he went outside.  Everybody walking by saw the signs, but they still ate turkey on Thanksgiving.  That turkey never lived again.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Always Remember, Never Forget

 I will never forget. . .
the early morning phone call from Bill, telling me to turn on the TV
the horror I felt as I watched a plane hit the second tower
calling my family members to see if they had heard the terrible news
 the fear that ran through me when I realized our country was under attack
hearing the panic in the voices of Matt Lauer and Katie Couric, as the towers fell
sobbing as I heard about the attacks on the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania

I will never forget. . .
holding my nine month old baby tight in my arms, not wanting to let go
the sadness I felt and saw in the eyes of everyone that day
the eerie quiet outside with no planes or helicopters in the air
the almost empty streets with few cars on the road
jumping out of my seat at the sound of a sonic boom from fighter jets flying by
sitting with Bill and Cameron on the couch, glued to the TV

I will always honor. . .
 police officers, firefighters and rescue workers
the Heroes of Flight 93
the soldiers fighting for our freedom

I will always remember. . .
the men, women and children who lost their lives that day
the families of the ones who died

I will always remember. . .
that I am an American
and live in a free country

Always remember, Never forget
September 11, 2001

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Caption Me - Doggy Edition

I am in need of a caption for this picture.  Care to help? Please leave me a comment with your caption. The more creative, the better!  

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crazy, Lazy Days of Summer

Summer, as usual, is flying by at great speed.  Hard to believe it is already late July!  With Indiana's  backassward  school year calendars,  the girls'  "summer"  break started May 26 and will end on August 11,  just when the heat really fires up.  In in a little less than three weeks, my girls will be in school all day.  You would think I would be thrilled to have some peace and quiet, and while I will find it nice not to have to hear the constant bickering, I will miss our days at the pool, sleeping in and pretty much doing whatever we want with little worry of a schedule.  

We have had one crazy busy summer this year!  Since I unintentionally put my blog on hiatus from March until just a few days ago,  I am way behind on updating everyone on all of our adventures.  We enjoyed a nice vacation, dance gala, summer dance camps, and of course frequent trips to the pool.  Instead of trying to play "catch up" and trying  to write a post about each one those adventures (I may not finish until next summer),  I thought I'd just show you. I do think I will have to do a separate post about our vacation because there were so many little adventures during that week,  the two pictures I included in this post just don't do it justice.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed experiencing all of the fun!

Crazy, Lazy Summer - 2010

Taylor's High School Graduation

Keeping cool in the pool!

Indy Zoo Trip


Dog days of summer
Vacation in Southport, NC
Vacation pose with Grampa Jack and Grammalene
Yes, We think We Can Dance. . .

 Happy Birthday to America and Laci
"Starry Eyed" in the 4th of July Parade

"Little House" on the Conner Prairie

Summer Dance Camps

Playing with our friend, Jack

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Organizing My Life

I haven't written a blog post since March, which is about the longest dry spell I've had since I started my blog.  Life has just been way too busy, and at the end of the day, when I typically have time to clear my head and write, I am just way too tired. I've had so much I've wanted to write about. I've practically written whole posts in my head while driving the girls around in the car, but when I actually sit down to write, I can't remember any of it. I swear if there was a way to write my blog by wiring my brain right up to the computer, I would have more frequent posts. But I am actually scared of what those thoughts would look like if they came directly from my brain, as I rarely am able to focus on one subject for more than a few minutes. Let me explain. . .

I was recently diagnosed with Adult ADHD, yet I've suspected for years now that I have this condition. I just never was sure how to go about getting diagnosed. I took several online screenings, and all of those pointed to me likely having ADHD, but again I did nothing. I talked about it with a few friends and family members, and while many of them agreed I had some of the symptoms, no one was as convinced as I was that ADHD was the cause. I kept thinking, "If only they knew what it was like inside my brain, they would understand."

I also was told that my symptoms are classic of anyone my age, with small children, and that I just had too much on my plate. I'd agree with them, except I have ALWAYS had those symptoms, well before I had children, but they've just gotten worse as I've taken on more responsibilities. Again, hard to explain if you don't actually experience it first hand.

The only way for me to even come close to describing how my brain works, is to share this joke someone sent me via email once, called Age Activated ADD:

"I decide to wash my car. As I start toward to the garage, I notice
that there is mail on the hall table. I decide to go through the
mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the trash
can under the table, and notice that the trash can is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the
trash first, but then I think that since I’m going to be near the
mailbox when I take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills
first. I take my checkbook off the table and see that there is only one check
left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go to my
desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.
I’m going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I
don’t accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye–they need to be watered. I set the Coke down on the counter and I discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning.I decide I’d better put them back on my desk, but first I’m going to water the flowers.I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water, and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight, when we go to watch TV, we will be looking for
the remote, but nobody will remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I’ll water the flowers.
I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up
the spill. Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.
At the end of the day; the car isn’t washed, the bills aren’t paid,
there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers aren’t
watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook,
I can’t find the remote, I can’t find my glasses, and I don’t remember
what I did with the car keys. Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day long and I’m really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check my e-mail."

When I first saw that joke, I laughed, because it sounded like my typical day. Yet the more I thought about it, the less funny it became. Sure it is funny if you look at it for what it is - a growing old joke. But when that describes how typical my days were even when I was younger, than it isn't so funny, at least not to me. Obviously things weren't quite so obvious when I was a child, but back when I was in school this wasn't even classified as a disorder. The only thing even resembling ADHD back in my youth, was something called "Hyperactivity." I knew kids in my class that just couldn't sit still and would act out, run around like crazy, etc. I was not one of those children. In fact, I rarely got in trouble at school, except for talking during class or interrupting. I could sit in my seat, finish my work, etc.

As I got older, I did get decent grades, but not excellent grades and I always remember having trouble staying focused in class and while doing homework. And the harder school became, the more trouble I had completing my work. If I really liked a class or subject, I excelled. If I didn't, I struggled. And it just got worse in college when I had no parent around to make sure I was doing my homework or go to class. My grades were so poor one semester, I nearly flunked out, ending up on academic probation. I also had trouble with tests, especially the standardized variety. At least with the written tests, I would get partial credit for explanations even when my answer was wrong. I procrastinated when it came to projects, waiting until the last minute to finish, which often resulted in a poor or average grade. Studying was difficult for me, because the littlest noise or interruption distracted me. I could never study anywhere public and often hid in the corner of the library or the stacks in hopes of getting something done.

Things didn't change when I graduated either. I never had success finding a job in my field, education, because I wasn't motivated enough to really look hard. I applied for a few jobs, had a few interviews, but rarely followed up. And when I was turned down for a job or two, I just gave up. I should have applied to every school district I could find, yet I only tried applying to a few and then just decided it wasn't worth it. So I worked at a restaurant, a bar, and eventually found work in a child care center.

I did manage to do well enough in the restaurant to become one of the lead servers, and a floor supervisor. I think I did pretty well waiting tables because it was something that kept me busy. But I wasn't completely symptom free. As good as I could be with my customers and tables, I was constantly forgetting things and getting sidetracked, even when it wasn't busy. Someone would ask for a refill on their water, I'd walk back to the kitchen to get it, and would immediately forget what I was doing, especially if someone interrupted me. Then I'd have one very unhappy, and thirsty customer.

When I worked at the child care center as a supervisor, I was constantly getting sidetracked and had trouble completing work my boss gave me. I was great with the parents and the kids, so I managed to keep my job. However, when an assistant director position became available, a person with less experience than me was offered the job. As upset as I was, I knew why I wasn't the one chosen for the job. My boss even sent me to an "organizational skills" workshop and I tried so hard to be more organized, but was not successful.

I also lost a job once because I got sidetracked and forgot to do something that could have resulted in a really bad situation. I don't really care to go into details because I have never been fired and the thought of what could have happened still upsets me too much.

Becoming a parent has made my symptoms even worse. I LOVE being a parent, but the added responsibilities, especially where the housekeeping is concerned are just overwhelming. My house is a mess. I have clutter everywhere and I just can't seem to get started getting rid of it, as much as I want to. I get the laundry done, but it often sits in a basket unfolded for days. I know I need to get rid of outgrown clothes, but just can't seem to find the time. I do manage to make sure my girls are fed, dressed, where they need to be, etc. I never miss an event at school, have rarely missed getting them to their appointments, etc. I've never forgotten to pick them up or get them off the bus. But I have to make sure everything is on the calendar, and even set alarms to make sure I don't forget. I fear one of these days I will miss something important and I think that alone keeps it from happening.

I have so many other symptoms I haven't described yet, but this post is long enough. I will address some of those in another post later down the road. If I wrote about all of them today, I'd have enough to publish a book. I am not kidding. Finding time to write, and being able to focus long enough to finish (and have what I write make sense) is very challenging. As much as I love to write, I still need a clear head, and that is something I just don't have very often.

I recently started taking medication and I am hoping it helps me clear my mind a bit, and become more focused. Yet, I don't expect things to change overnight. I know that I will not only find the medication/dose that works, but also need to work hard to change some life long habits. I know I have the support of my husband, family, and close friends, which makes all of the difference in the world. I haven't told very many of my diagnosis, even some family members, because I am a little afraid of the reaction I will get. I know that not everyone believes that adults can have this condition, and even if they do, don't completely understand it. Many believe that people like me use this diagnosis as an excuse for their behavior.

I debated writing this post, because anyone who reads this will now know about my ADHD. I really am exposing a part of me that I've kept to myself for most of my 41 years. But I decided I NEEDED to write this post, not just for me, but for anyone else like me that may have this condition but doesn't know what to do about it. Hopefully I will enlighten anyone who believes Adult ADHD doesn't exist. I am working on organizing my life, one step at a time, and am hopeful I can change for the better. Now if I could only remember where I left my keys. . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Farthest Star

One of the my favorite things about the girls' elementary school is the way the teachers and staff involve the parents in the education of the children. The school hosts several events at school throughout the year, and the teachers often invite parents to participate in activities in the classroom and to work on projects at home. The staff also encourages parents to volunteer and visit the classrooms and be an active part of the learning process. I really feel our school is successful because of this type of parent involvement.

Kiki's 3rd grade teacher recently assigned the parents "homework", asking us to write an encouraging letter to our child, to help boost her confidence during the week of
ISTEP testing (Indiana's assessment tests for school children). Bill and I took this homework very seriously, as we wanted to help encourage Kiki without making her too nervous. She already tends to be a "Nervous Nellie" when it comes to assessments and tests, so we wanted to do what we could to ease her mind.

I couldn't believe how tough of an assignment this was. I write Kiki and Boo notes all of the time and put them in their lunchboxes. I am forever giving them pep talks and doing what I can to make sure they feel confident in their intellectual ability. I often tell them things like "You will do great" or "I know you can do it" before they have a test or when they are working on a project for school. So why was this so hard? Maybe because we wanted to find just the right words, knowing she would likely read that letter over and over again.

Bill and I talked about what we wanted to convey in our letter, and then I sat down to write it. At first I just sat there and didn't know exactly what to write. But as I thought about my beautiful, smart, 3rd grade daughter, I couldn't believe all she had accomplished in her short nine years! My heart filled with pride, and the words started flowing from my mind with ease.

Here is what we wrote:

"We are so lucky to have you in our lives. We are so proud of all you have accomplished in your 9 years and are especially proud of what a great student you are. You work so hard everyday and are a great example to others, including your sister.

ISTEP is your chance to show off all you’ve learned this year. Relax, take your time, and just do your personal best, just as you do everyday. We know you will do great!

We love you all the way to the false planet Pluto and back a million times!"

Kiki didn't tell me when she read her letter. I knew the teacher would be handing out the letters sometime during the first couple of days of testing week. A couple of nights into testing week, after the girls were in bed, I found an envelope addressed to me in Kiki's handwriting on my bathroom sink. Bill found a similar letter on top of his computer keyboard in his office. We knew that meant she had read our letter.

As you can imagine, those few sentences we wrote meant the world to her. She loved the letter so much, she keeps it in her desk at school where she can read it anytime she needs a little boost to get her through the day. I also keep her letter near my desk, right there and ready for when I am needing my own boost:

"Dear Mommy,

I love you a whole bunch! Thank you for that nice letter. It made me so happy that I cried a little bit. I am so happy that you are in my life. Every morning I read the letter that you and Daddy wrote me. I love you up to the farthest star from home and back to you. "


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nothing to Lose

My girls love music and art. They are constantly singing, dancing and creating. Boo especially loves art and is constantly crafting. She is forever getting out art supplies and cutting, gluing, drawing - you name it, she loves it. Boo couldn't wait for 1st grade so she could attend "specials," and finally be able to go to art class like her big sister. If you ask her what her favorite thing about school is, she will tell you without blinking an eye, "art." She enjoys music too, and will sing often, but art is definitely her favorite.

Kiki is definitely the more musical child. She sings nonstop and just about anywhere and everywhere. I am not exaggerating when I say everywhere - the child sings while using the bathroom! Her new favorite place to sing right now? In the shower! She loves music class at school and I can always tell you what they are doing in music because she will come home singing the songs she's learned in class. When they have a special event they learning songs for, such as the Veteran's Day assembly, she rehearses every chance she gets. By the time the event comes, I could practically sing the songs in my sleep, I've heard them so much. While Kiki enjoys art, she would tell you music is her favorite.

The art and music teachers at their school are wonderful. Both of them really know how to make their subject fun, but also teach the students valuable skills that relate to what they are learning in the regular classroom. They don't just sing and draw, but the learn all about technique, patterns, reading notes, art mediums, composers and artists. I could go on and on. Just recently Kiki told me her favorite classical music song was Beethoven's 5th Symphony and she knew and could pronounce the composer's name of The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky, in case you didn't know). And she's only in third grade.

I can't imagine school without art and music class. These subjects, while enjoyable, also help make our children well rounded. They learn that math can be found in a song or a painting and not just in a textbook. Music makes learning those subjects more fun too - anyone learning to count or spell with a song can tell you that. And for a child who may struggle in math or reading, excelling at something such as art or music can really boost self esteem, which goes along way to helping them succeed in school.

Due to slowing economy and budget cuts, our school district, and many others across the state, may have to cut art and music in grades K-6. We may also lose our media specialists, nurses and clerical staff. Class sizes may increase from and average of 25 to 44 students. When I first heard of this last week, my heart sank. I felt sick to my stomach. And I am not even one of the teachers that may be affected by those cuts. Just the thought of my girls and all of the students missing out on such important education, makes me sad. I want to cry when I think of losing the loving and dedicated art, music and media teachers.

I have a college degree in Education. I've never been fortunate enough to have my own classroom, but I've subbed, was a teacher's aide for a student with special needs, and I now volunteer regularly in my daughters' classrooms. I know how hard these teachers work every day and that they often go above and beyond for their students. I see the passion these teachers have at our school for educating our youth. Despite the fact that they have 25-30 kids in their classrooms, they manage to help each student the best that they can. They do what they can to make sure students who are struggling get extra help, and challenge everyone to do their personal best.

I can't imagine how difficult teaching will be if there are 44 students to a classroom. How are they are going to be able to focus on making sure kids can read, write and add and also find time to teach art and music? If they manage to find a way to the media center, they will likely only be checking out books. There won't be anyone to teach them lessons on the computer or involve them in an author study.

I am not a politician and I don't particularly like politics. Part of my disdain is that politicians of all shapes and sizes say they are going to make education a priority in this country. Yet every single one of them seems to put it on the back burner the second they are elected into office. Our schools are losing money by the day and no one seems to care. Everything else takes a priority, and I just don't get it. When are people going to realize education is our future? That none of the rest of it would happen if we didn't have teachers and schools to help educate our children. Sure we could all home school. I know there are some really great parents who have had great experiences homeschooling their children. But not everyone has the means or ability to home school. Even with my background, I am not so confident that I could do so and be as successful as the classroom teachers are.

Our country is failing when it comes to education, and something has got to change. Education is becoming for the privileged, and everyone else is left to get by on whatever they can afford. Which for most means no special classes, no opportunities to learn about music, art and technology.

I hear so many people say they don't want tax increases, that they can't afford to spend money on schools and education. And of course not nearly enough people want to devote time to figuring out a solution. Politicians are too busy campaigning to really come up with a good education plan that they will implement past election day. I keep hearing "we can't afford it." My question is, can we afford to continue this way? Can we neglect our children and schools to the point that our country falls apart? By devoting our money and resources to improving education, we have everything to gain. As a country, we could only get better. Seriously, what is there to lose?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Go Clots?

In honor of my favorite Indianapolis Colts and Super Bowl Sunday, I thought I'd share what my Kiki wrote at school on Friday:

In case you can't read it, this is what she wrote:

"I think the Clots will win! If the Clots don't win my mom will fell happy for a person how (who) is on the Saints that useds to be on Purdue."

Well, spelling may not be her strength, but she sure knows me well! Go Colts, or should I say, Clots?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Brave Nine

Kiki was born nine years ago today on a cold, January day. She didn't want to come into this world, or at least tried her best to stay in the womb. Which meant seventy-two hours of labor for me. Yeah, you read that right. SEVENTY-TWO. And from the minute she was born, she wanted to be held, and as you would expect, found the most comfort in my arms.

Nine years have passed now, and I find Kiki is very much the same way today. Each year she gets a little more self-sufficient and seems to need me less and less. Yet there are times (mostly at night) she turns back into my baby again, and wants to cling and be held. I can't even count how many times I've heard her say "Mommy, I want you." I go to school to help out and her teacher is amused at how the independent, confident child he sees everyday, suddenly attaches herself to me minutes after I enter the classroom.

That same child didn't blink an eye this past August when she auditioned for a local production of the Nutcracker. Kiki walked right into the audition like it was just another day at school, with only a "Bye, Mommy." Didn't seem bothered at all that I couldn't go back with her, or watch, despite the fact that it was a completely strange, new place around a bunch of people she'd never met before.

That same, (almost) nine year old child, bravely danced on stage five times in a matter of three days. FIVE TIMES. Kiki danced in front of an auditorium full of (mostly) strangers, and enjoyed every single minute of it. During one of those performances, a fellow dancer accidentally stepped on her dress, causing her to trip and fall, just when she was to leap across the stage. Despite the fact that this was her turn in the spotlight, that very brave child did not stop. She did not shed a tear, nor bat an eye. She never once cried, "I want my Mommy!" That soon-to-be nine year old stood right back up, and continued dancing, never missing a beat, with a big smile on her face. My child. *Heart swells*

I have never been more proud of Kiki in all of her nine years. I truly don't think that as a grown adult, I could have handled myself as well as she did. She is so brave but fortunately for me she is still a Mommy's girl. The night she fell on stage, Kiki came home, curled up in my arms, just as she has done so many times before. I heard the all too familiar words, "Mommy, I want you." She may be nine, but she is still my baby.

Happy Birthday, brave girl! I love you and am so proud to be your mom!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Hair Raising Experience

Kiki has had long hair since I can remember. Last time it was short she looked like this:

Kiki - 18 months old

Her hair made it past the shoulders when she was about two years old and just kept on growing. Sure we would take her for haircuts, but they were mostly just "trims" and the most she'd ever get cut was 2-3 inches. Part of the reason we never cut it any shorter is that I was enjoying all of the things we could do with it; learning to braid it, put it in a bun, etc. The other reason is that her daddy loves the long hair on his girls, and he really wanted her to keep it that way. She looked so darn pretty with it, who could argue with that!?

In Kindergarten, Kiki had a friend with the condition, Alopecia areata, a common autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair. When I learned of this, I mentioned to Kiki that maybe she could someday get a big haircut and donate her hair for some little girl who couldn't grow her own, or who had lost her hair due to an illness. Of course Kiki was only five at the time and was a bit horrified at the idea of someone else "wearing my hair, " so I let it drop.

Flash forward to second grade, year 2008. That same Kindergarten buddy was in her class again and the whole topic of donating hair came up again, but this time it was Kiki who came up with the idea. She told me how her friend was "better" and now had all of her hair back. But she knew there were other little girls and boys who had lost their hair due to similar circumstances, namely one little boy with cancer. This boy was the son of a childhood friend of mine, and Kiki had seen enough pictures of him to know he had lost his hair during cancer treatments. She also realized there were many other children like him and she wanted to do something to help. "Maybe I can cut my hair short and give it to someone who needs it, since I can always grow mine again and little kids shouldn't have to go without hair." *Mom's heart melts*

However, while Kiki's hair was quite long, it wasn't long enough to meet the requirements of the different hair charities that accept hair for donation. So Bill and I told her to wait. Take some time to really grow it long, and then maybe get it cut before third grade. Finally that time came and it still wasn't quite long enough. There was probably the minimum ten inches to donate, but Kiki wanted a certain style and we knew that she would not be able to if she had her haircut then. So, once again, we talked her into waiting. I told her that she should easily have enough hair by Christmas vacation.

Flash forward once more to December 2009, just before Christmas. I measured Kiki's hair and, lo and behold, it was finally long enough. So I scheduled an appointment and just a few days shy of 2010, she finally got her big haircut. Let me just tell you, I've never seen a child so excited about a haircut. Kiki was so excited she practically skipped into the beauty salon. This was the same child who I used to have to hold on my lap while someone trimmed her hair. The same child that loved braids, buns, curls, bows, and ponytails. I kept asking her if she was nervous about cutting so much off (I know I would have been) but she insisted she was not. After the haircut was finished, she kept admiring herself in the mirror and swinging her head around, enjoying the way it felt to have her hair bounce around at her shoulders. I can't imagine how much lighter her head felt. I've had long hair before, but nothing close to as long as hers was.

I think what I loved most about this whole experience for Kiki, was how excited she was to do something for someone else. She wanted to do this all on her own. Every time we talked about getting her haircut, she'd mention how she couldn't wait donate her hair. She said she didn't have money to donate, but she had a lot of hair, and she knew that would make some other little girl happy. Kiki asked if she would get to see who got her hair, and was disappointed when I told her "no", but she understood.

We mailed her hair off to Locks of Love on New Year's Eve. Kiki chose that one because she knew the charity specifically helped children, and while she understood adults sometimes lose their hair too, she wanted to help someone closer to her age.

I am so incredibly proud of my daughter. Kiki already has said she is going to grow her hair out again, and donate more when she has enough. She's inspired her little sister, Boo, to want to do the same. Who knows, maybe I will follow suit. . .

Kiki before the big cut

Anticipation. . .

Here we go. . .

Boo can't watch!

Halfway there

Long gone. . .

Kiki checks it out. . .

View from the back

Kiki's new "do"

All ready for the mail

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Caption Me

I've never done a "Caption Me" post, but I really didn't know how to describe this picture. So please help me by leaving a comment below with your caption.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Seven Things I Love About You

Sweet, smart, silly

A year ago I wrote a post saying, "I can't believe my baby is six years old." I feel like a broken record because I can't believe Boo turned seven today. I might as well get used to it, because I know I will be repeating myself annually on both of my girls' birthdays.

Because of Boo's difficult start to her life, I really treasure each year we have with her. There are too many days I know I take her for granted. She has gone through some tough phases recently which have really tested my patience. She is strong-willed and there are days I am just emotionally spent by the time she goes to bed. I sometimes lie awake at night wondering what the next day will hold for us, and just praying it will be a better day, that I will be more patient and hoping for a better day. Sure enough, nine times out of ten, she wakes up bubbly, full of energy, all ready for the day, and I quickly forget whatever trouble we had the day before.

Boo is unbelievably smart and she doesn't let anyone forget that. She rarely lets anyone make a mistake and will be the first one to tell you when you are wrong. Boo is full of attitude and spunk, yet one of the most sweet natured, happy children you will ever meet. Most of the time, she just goes with the flow and does what she can to make others happy. She can be so stubborn, yet will be the first one to meet you halfway. She will gladly compromise just because she knows when she does, she's made someone else happy. Boo has the best laugh which is so unbelievably infectious and can really light up a room. She loves art and is crafting or drawing whenever she can, even when it isn't the most convenient time. The walls and tabletops in my house are proof of her constant creations.

I know I may sound like a broken record by repeating some of these words I've said about her in the past. However, I feel it is important to write about these things every year, if not every week or every day. I know someday Boo will read the posts I've written, good ones and bad. I'm hopeful though that no matter how she feels about herself at that moment, she will know how much she is loved. And I also know that writing them down just makes me appreciate her even more than I already do, so that I never, ever, take her for granted. Happy Birthday, Boo! I love you more every day!