Oh Snap, Spring Break!

 

Just relaxing

Sorry for the hiatus.  It was on account of SPRING BREAK!  I can’t really use that as an excuse, because Spring Break came and went without us going anywhere.  We stayed in cold, windy Indiana.  I’m not kidding when I say it even snowed.  We were enjoying ourselves indoors at the crazy-busy Children’s Museum, and I looked out the big atrium window and big white flakes were falling from the sky.  That foreign, white substance didn’t help the sting we already felt about not escaping  to someplace warm.

Nonetheless we still had a great break.  We had company, we went to the museum, saw a little play, and went to both Grandparents’ houses. 

Friday afternoon marked the start of Spring Break, and we were living it up.  We met some good friends at Panera for a snack and then went to an indoor play place.  The kids ran and laughed and just had a good ol’ time together. 

The next day, all the same kids and their families came over to our house to cheer on the Butler Bulldogs.  It was basically an excuse for the kids to get together and run amok, the men to be men, and the women to, well, be women.  We all had a great time.  At the end of the night one of the moms said to Brayden, “Thanks for having us over to play” and his response was, “It wasn’t my idea!”  Oh, the things kids say.  Obviously, no matter how much we teach them about being polite, they can always learn more.

Lydia playing at the museum

The next few days were heavenly bliss for Jay and I.  My parents took the kids for a couple of days.  Why as parents do we not know what to do with ourselves when our kids aren’t around?  The evening routine just seems off.  No playing on the floor, bath time, and book reading.  No hurrying to get dinner ready so the kids don’t fall apart if they are eating too late.  Just silence. 

Jay and I don’t do well with silence so we had my best friend, Beth, and her husband over to hang out.  The next night we saw a movie!  You know, in an actual theater!  I can’t even tell you the last time we went and saw a movie that didn’t involve animated singing chipmunks or fairytale characters. I even ate a whole bag of Twizzlers by myself!

We met my parents for dinner on Tuesday night to get the kids back and to celebrate Jay’s birthday.  He is now officially the same age as me (even if it only lasts for a couple of months.) At dinner that evening I realized Brayden is starting to be influenced by things he sees and hears at school.  When he dropped his napkin onto the floor he said, “Oh, Snap!” I first thought to myself, “Where did he learn that?”  and then I thought, “That’s hilarious!”  The only explanation is that he heard it at school because we don’t walk around our house saying “Oh, Snap” though maybe we should. 

It’s not just the words that come out of his mouth, but the things he enjoys.  I realized that he loves Star Wars not only because his Uncle Carey does, but also because all the boys in his class do.   He likes playing with Hex Bugs and Kung Zu Pets because all the kids do.  It seems crazy to me that kids in kindergarten already realize what the “cool” things are.  So here it starts – I’m sure next year Brayden will expect Nike shoes and prefer to shop only at Abercrombie.

So after that, we headed to the Children’s Museum on Wednesday.  Though I knew it would be busy during spring break, I never remember just how busy it gets.  Busy is an understatement.  But we met friends there and saw the new costume exhibit which was fantastic.  Brayden had to get his picture taken with Darth Vader’s costume.  All together it was a great day!

Brayden with the Darth Vader costume

The rest of the break was pretty relaxing.  We had a “lazy day” on Thursday.  We stayed in our pajamas and just played the day away.  Scott and Sarah (Jay’s brother and his wife) came over for dinner and games that evening.  It’s always a pleasure hanging out with them. One of Brayden’s best friends came over on Friday for a playdate.  While Lydia wasn’t much into company and slept the time away, the two boys played with legos for more than two hours straight.  That allowed his mom and I to have some good conversation. Friday afternoon led us to an adorably cute play put on by children.  And to cap it all off – the Pacers game!  After Friday’s excitement, Saturday was again a “lazy day”. 

On Sunday we went over to Jay’s parents house to celebrate his birthday yet again.  My Mother-in-Law is one of the best cooks EVER!  Everything she makes is awesome.  Foods that I don’t enjoy that much, I like when she makes. So going over to her house for a cooked meal is just the best. 

We had a low-key spring break, but it was still good.  We were able to spend time with all of our favorite people and that is what really matters in the end.  I’m not saying sandy beaches and sunny skies wouldn’t have been nice.  But I love spending time with the people that matter in my life.  And if that is all we got to do for every spring break to come I’d be okay with it.

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What are you thinking right now?

Jay and I have this little game we play.  Randomly, we ask each other, “What are you thinking about right now?” 

This is how it usually plays out:

Jay: Shayla, what are you thinking about right now?

Shayla: Well, I’m thinking about how I didn’t get this certain project done at work and trying to figure out how I am going to make time in my day to do it tomorrow.  I’m thinking about how I need to put Brayden’s folder back in his backpack before he walks to school tomorrow.  I’m thinking about Lydia’s doctor appointment Friday, trying to get it in my brain so I don’t forget to go to it.  I’m thinking about what I am going to make for dinner tomorrow night and what meat I should take out of the freezer in the morning to thaw.  I could continue, but I’ll stop there. What are you thinking about?

Jay: I was pretending in my head that I shot a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game. 

That’s not a joke.  It’s a pretty typical answer for Jay.  He has also told me he once was imagining himself as a world class pole vaulter.  He imagines he is on American Idol and what he would sing. He never thinks about real things in life.  I’ll prove it.  I’m going to ask him right now.

Here was his reply:

“I was thinking about Steven Tyler singing songs. And what he should have said to the American Idol contestant about “connecting” himself  to a song.”

Who does he think he is? Steven Tyler’s Communications Director?  Stick to Indiana politics, Jay.

I’m not sure how someone can function in life without actually thinking about it.  I don’t know how I would get anything done without preparing my mind beforehand.  But at the same time, I wish that I could just not think about anything for one day.  Or even just one hour of one day.

I can’t even explain this!

The scary thing is Brayden is starting to be just like Jay.  When I ask him what he is thinking about he will tell me he was thinking about his Star Wars game and how Yoda does this and that.  Again, all made up stuff! I’m sure when Lydia can start voicing her thoughts she will tell me she was thinking about how she wants to arrange her room, setting up a playdate with Kelly and Molly, and how it will all fit into her schedule of events.

This is either a fascinating case study in the male versus female psyches, or a demonstration of how crazy Kenworthy males are. Go try this little game in your house, and let me know what happens.

To rest my mind would be amazing. Maybe I need a massage or a vacation.  Jay, I hope you are listening – start thinking about planning this instead of your world record in the 100 meter run.

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God Chose You

Expecting mothers hear all sorts of advice.  Some of the advice I heard I used and other pieces I let go through one ear and out the other.  Not everything is right for each family.  While it may fit one family like a glove, it might be another’s disaster. 

8 Months pregnant with Brayden

But there was one thing that I took to heart, and it wasn’t “advice” but more a reassurance.  Quite frankly when I was pregnant with Brayden and about ready to give birth to him I was a bit freaked out. I was going to be responsible for another human being and was expected to raise him so that someday he will be a responsible citizen in our society.  All I could think was, “Oh my goodness…am I ready for this?” 

The “reassurance” was given to me by Jay’s cousin, Shanna.  She told me that God chose Jay and I to be Brayden’s parents. He chose us because we would be the best fit for him.  We may not have all the answers, but that we would know what’s best for our children.  

Welcome Brayden!

As I said, I took that piece of advice to heart. We have been blessed with two beautiful children that God gave us.  That God specifically gave us to care for.  I often don’t know the answers to the difficult parenting questions, and Jay doesn’t even know the easy ones (kidding).  But I can hold strong to the truth that God gave Jay and I our two little blessings. 

The whole fam welcoming Lydia!

Soon we will have two new little ones joining my side of the family.  I’m going to be an Aunt again x2! My sister-in-law, Nicole, is expecting in late April and my younger sister, Kelly, is expecting in mid-June.  Two baby boys will soon be joining the cousin ranks, therefore evening out the boy-to-girl ratio at three to three.

So my “advice” or “reassurance” to them is that they know that God chose them to be their child’s parents.  You are the right fit for your child.  Now that doesn’t mean that you have all the right answers, because none of us do.  But God knows you will be able to give your child the perfect kind of love.

Love

Knowing God left Brayden and Lydia in our hands I now have a duty to teach them about the love the Father has for all of us. 

Before Jay and I were married we worked through a book for part of our premarital counseling.  And I remember it posing the question what is your biggest fear?  My biggest fear (even then before having children) was the fear that my children wouldn’t believe in the Lord. 

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” 

My little man

Jay and I are following our instructions as best we can.  We are trying to teach them that we should always place God first in our lives, then people and ourselves last.  Leading by example is the best way they can learn this.  As a mother I have done a good job of putting my children’s needs before my own.  I think that is a motherly sort of instinct.  But I don’t always do such a great job putting Jay’s needs before my own, let alone always keeping God at the center of my decisions.  And I pray that I start doing a better job of it for their sake. 

My liddybug

So to my sisters: Know the Lord chose you to be your children’s parents and as parents remember to teach your children God first, others second and yourself last. 

But since I have your attention, let me give you the rest of my advice:

  • Get a schedule going with your little one – but be flexible – it helps them learn adjustment.  
  • Breastfeed (if you can) and if not, don’t stress about it.
  • Be strict on bedtime – kids need sleep.  They require at least 10 hours a night.  This helps them process the events of the day and retain things in their memory. If my kids weren’t in bed by 7:30-8pm each night, they would be holy terrors the next day.
  • Parents also need that down time each night to recoup themselves.  When the kids are in bed at 8, Jay and I get a couple of hours to relax.  I certainly need that or I would be more high strung than I already am.
  • Get down on the floor and play with your children.  Most of what they learn at an early age is from what they have played and experienced. 
  • And I can’t stress enough the importance of reading to your child! 

And now you can decide if you just let it go through one ear and out the other. Ha!

Goodluck!  Being a parent isn’t easy, but it is the best job ever!!!

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Back in the Habit

The trouble with bad habits is you often don’t realize how bad they’ve gotten until someone points them out to you in an embarrassing situation.

While crawling under a table today, Brayden had what I could only describe as an audible gastrointestinal event. Well…I could also describe it as a fart, but this is a family blog.

He immediately blamed it on me.

The bad part about it is that I know exactly — Exactly! — where he learned it from: Yours Truly.  So if there is anyone out there who is struggling with recognizing your bad habits. If you are oblivious to your improprieties. If you don’t “know thyself”, I have a solution: Raise a five-year-old.

Having a five-year-old is like having a mirror that only shows your faults. No matter how hard you try to set a good example, behave yourself when they are around, and act unseemly only when no one is watching, they will always see your belching and raise you peeing with the door open.

The verdit? I’m a big, disgusting animal.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s hard to feel flattered when your son is riding in the car and has more knuckle in the nostril than out.

I realize the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but couldn’t the apple make wedgie-picking a little less obvious?

And why are good habits so much harder to pass on than bad ones? I may burp loudly, but I chew with my mouth closed thankyouverymuch and I’m really good at not peeing in my pants. That’s right, Lydia, I went there.

Thankfully, the one bad habit we haven’t passed along is cussing. The language in our house is squeaky clean.

But the other night, I had a dream that I was looking very closely at a doll. I don’t know why, but it was a little doll with long, skinny arms and legs. In the dream my face was like four inches from its face and I was concentrating on it pretty intensely. Suddenly, the doll jerked to life and I was so startled that — in the dream — I yelled the F word.

The only problem there is that I guess I didn’t shout that word out just in the dream. I screamed it out loud, in my sleep, causing Shayla to jump out of bed, freak out, and run to the light switch. To cap off all the excitement, she was mad at me because I scared her half to death. But I don’t feel sorry for her. She didn’t have A DOLL SPRING TO LIFE FOUR INCHES FROM HER FACE!

It all turned out okay. The kids didn’t wake up, so I think our impeccable language record in our house is intact.

But if Lydia is ever staring at one of her dolls and hurls the mother of all cuss words, just remember one thing.

She didn’t get it from me.

 

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It’s Hard Work

Remember when I mentioned that Jay and I were coming to a crossroads in regard to Brayden’s education? And that it required another blog post and a clearer head.  Well, here it is.  I’m not sure if I am in a clearer head yet, but at least it is another blog post. I will also apologize ahead of time to the grandparents because this post is not going to carry any pictures along with it.  It’s too serious and I need to focus on the content. I will also try to make that my last joke.

Sometimes you just don’t quite know what to tell people so you just choose not to.  This is what I have done many times about Brayden.  And of course some of our close friends and family know, but I’m sure a few of you reading don’t. There are stories I wish to tell here on our doorframe. Stories I will someday want the kids to hear about and understand why we made the decisions we made. So here it is…

Ever since Brayden was an infant we knew he was “different.”  Not “different” in a bad way, just unlike other kids his age.  He speaks differently, thinks differently, and acts differently.  When he was 2 1/2 we decided to enroll him in preschool.  We felt he was ready to be challenged and to interact socially with other kids his age. So we enrolled him in our church’s preschool.  Shortly after we learned there was no space available for him. So we were back to square one.  And so I did what any mom in the 21st century would do, I Googled pre-schools in my area.  One of the first schools that popped up in my search was Sycamore School.  So I clicked on it and learned it was a school specifically for gifted children. It had me intrigued.  We knew Brayden was “different” but we didn’t quite know what that meant.  I started to read the characteristics of gifted children on their website.  It was like someone was describing our child.  So we went for a visit and loved what we saw.  The last testing date to get into their early childhood classes was the following weekend so we had to act fast.  We took Brayden for testing and weren’t surprised that he was functioning way beyond his age.  Of course right after we found out this new information about Brayden our church had a spot open up for him in their preschool classroom.  That was the first time we had to face a big “education” dilema.  That is if you can call choosing a preschool for a 3-year-old a big dilema. 

So we entered Brayden into a school for gifted children. At first I was almost embarrassed to say he was “gifted”. Because really, what does that even mean?  What would people think if I were to tell them our sweet, little 3-year-old Brayden was “gifted”?  I didn’t (and still don’t) want people to think I am just trying to brag on my child. With that being said, he took to the school like white on rice.  The teachers were amazing.  The curiculum was exciting.  And Brayden loved every minute of it.

Jay and I had never planned on Private education for our children.  We both went through public education and excelled.  We moved to the town we live in because we wanted to someday send our kids to its public schools.  So after two wonderful years at Sycamore, we moved Brayden into Kindergarten in the public school setting in our town.  That too was an interesting process because Brayden was born at the end of August and in Indiana, their cut-off date for enrollment is August 1.  So we had to go through a whole process to early enroll him. 

So now we are facing our second education dilema with our kindergartener. We are trying to decide if public education is the right fit for him.  I believe in public education.  I believe teachers and administrators in public schools can be great and that students in turn can do great things.  I work for a non-profit organization that raises money for teachers and students in a public school system.  I very much want Brayden to fit into our community’s public school.  I find a lot of value in that.  I believe it is important for our children to learn adjustment.  Brayden needs to learn that others aren’t as blessed as him with a brain that processes things in .2 seconds.  But I also feel as Brayden’s parent, knowing his abilities, that I need to be an advocate for him.  He needs to be challenged and it’s not fair to him if he stalls in his education because he isn’t in the right setting.

We also know that we need to be realistic in our planning.  As a parent I’ve decided that being fair to my kids is very important. If Lydia gets into Sycamore, she will experience the same great classrooms Brayden once did.  If Jay and I are blessed with more children someday, they too will be treated in the same manner.  Jay and I may need to make lifestyle changes if we think for a second we will be able to afford private education for 2+ kids.    

We see the value in Sycamore and we also see the value in going to the public school in the community we live in. 

I said to Jay, “We have been spoiled being at Sycamore for two years, but even if we decide to leave Brayden in public school we shouldn’t settle for anything less because Brayden deserves the best!”

We will be making some tough education decisions in the next few months.  We just had Brayden tested again at Sycamore just to see where we stood and once again we weren’t surprised to see that Mr. Smarty Pants is still functioning way beyond his age norms.  I just pray that we keep our kids and family in mind while we are making these tough decisions.  As former President George W. Bush says, “It’s hard work.” It’s hard work making these important decisions as a parent.  Heck, it’s hard work just being a parent. But no matter what, I will always be an advocate for my kids.  They deserve nothing less.

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Brayden’s 5 1/2!

Brayden getting measured at the doorframe

I can’t believe Brayden is already 5 1/2!  It seems like just yesterday Jay and I were driving to the hospital in the middle of the night knowing that soon we would be parents.  And now we can’t even remember the days before he was born.  It seems like he has always been in our lives – making us smile and laugh along the way. 

He is such a sweet, loving kid.  He’s always thinking of others.  Just the other day I let him go pick out a little toy at the store.  It was just the two of us.  Before we left the toy section he asked if he could pick something out for Lydia.  He is such a good big brother to her. Lydia adores Brayden, and he is pretty fond of her as well. 

Playing Battleship against Daddy

He loves playing games, building things out of legos and coloring.  He’s getting really good at Chess, so much so that Jay is even impressed with some of his moves.  I won’t even attempt to play him because I know I will be no match.  I’m not sure if my ego could take being beat by a five-year-old time after time.  He also impresses us with his Lego building.  He speeds through the steps putting sets together that were made for kids years older than him.  I will never understand why Lego sets cost so much. Basic sets can cost in upwards of $30.  They’re just tiny little blocks!

Brayden is also constantly coloring.  Every crayon from the box is used on each page he colors.  My favorite right now are his drawings because he adds little speech bubbles to all the people and animals he draws. He’s so creative, and I’m jealous of his curious mind.

He is also becoming quite the piano player.  He has been taking lessons for just over a year and does a great job.  He has quite the ear for music.  We’ve known that ever since he was little.  He’s always been able to keep a beat and sing in tune.  And we’ve started to notice his spot on pitch, another thing I am jealous of.  I love asking him to sing me a middle C and running to the piano to check.  It’s pretty incredible!

Brayden's sweet smile

Jay and I are having to make some big decisions about his education right now.  Big decisions that will have to wait for another blog post and a clearer head.  But I’m sure everything will work out just fine and we’ll get past it because Brayden is such bright, easy-going child with a huge heart!

That is my favorite thing about Brayden, his heart which is so full of love. I love being his mommy!  The love a son gives to his mom is so very special.  Already at the ripe old age of five he is very complimentary and protective of me (and his sister).  Brayden, I hope you continue those wonderful qualities.  You are my favorite “baby buddy” and I love you so much!

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The Best Word

Several years ago, I was flipping through the channels when I came across “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” where James Lipton interviews movie stars in front of an audience of theater students. I hadn’t known anything about the show other than Will Ferrell’s over-the-top impersonation on SNL, but this time I decided to linger.

I have a tendency to flip rapidly and had passed the show a time or two in the past, but this time Tom Hanks was on. I have few rules for channel surfing, but among them are 1. Stop on any Rocky movie 2. Stop on any Saved By The Bell episode 3. Stop on anything Tom Hanks is in and 4. Stop on any episode of The Hills, but pretend it was an accident.

Anyway, Lipton always asks the same ten inane questions to every actor, including “What’s your favorite curse word?” and “What turns you on?” But the first inquiry is always “What’s your favorite word?” Brayden hadn’t been born yet when I happened across this episode, but I’ll always remember Hanks’ response: “Daddy”.

Fast forward seven years, and I find myself agreeing with Gump. The best part of my day is coming home from work and hearing my kids yell “Daddy!” They both have unique ways of doing it.

Go Kart Racing!

Brayden always shouts “DADDY!” in plain English. Sometimes he’s too busy to come greet me at the door. But when he does, he has a big grin and wants picked up, or at least to get a hug. I oblige whenever my arms aren’t full of massive amounts of Lydia. And he always has something sweet to say before rushing off to resume whatever actvity he had been enjoying. He’s a busy kid, and the fact that he stops to acknowledge my presence is rewarding.

Daddy & Lydia - January 2011

Lydia shouts too, but she’s somehow figured out how to remove the second and third Ds from the word “daddy” while still keeping it at two syllables. “DA-EEE!” She then runs toward me, although her toddler legs have yet to figure out a traditional run. She speeds up by walking while twisting her arms side to side in a more exaggerated manner. Think Apolo Ono without the fluidity. The additional torque also flings her diapered booty more than normal. When she gets to me, I pick her up, and she immediately points to the snack cabinet.

No one else is that excited to see me the rest of the day. The parking lot attendant scowls. The co-workers small-talk me. The cashier grins. The colleague shakes my hand. The wife welcomes me. The TV doesn’t acknowledge me. The sheets accept me. But the kids miss me.

And that’s why “Daddy” is the best word.

Now about the curse word….

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Farewell Trampoline…

The end of the trampoline era...

Dearest Trampoline,

I am so so so sad to see you go.  You endured such a painful death, being ripped from the seams and left to rot in Grandma and Grandpa’s backyard.

I will greatly miss you and your bouncing skills. No one will ever match your springy agility.  Your double bounces were extraordinary!

Many memories were made when you were still intact.  Lots of girly laughter could be heard from around the neighborhood, late night naked jumping parties were had (I was not involved), and a dog’s favorite pasttime was fulfilled when you were around.

I will always remember you and your bouncy greatness…

Regards,

Shayla

———————————————————————————————-

This weekend was interesting indeed.  Jay came down with something on Thursday evening.  In the nine years we have been together, I don’t think I have ever seen Jay that sick.  Other than the time he ate a Snicker bar and a Coke then played 18 in 90° heat.  Or the time he ran a 5k (again in heat) after not training in advance.  But I digress….

We were planning to head to NW Indiana to visit my family for the weekend and Jay didn’t want our plans to change because of him.  He was feeling a bit better so we made the trek north.  The next day it was beautiful outside.  Brayden was getting antsy so Daddy decided to take him outside and bounce on Grandma and Grandpa’s trampoline. 

The trampoline has been in their yard since I was in late elementary school.  My sister and I got it from my parents as an Easter present one year. Best Easter present ever!  So it is around 20 years-old.  Now being a parent myself, I think my parents were crazy getting us something we were bound to get hurt on.  We were both gymnasts so I guess my parents thought we knew how to use it properly.  They were correct in some respects.  We knew how to use it correctly, but that didn’t mean we always did.  They told me to take it to my house so the kids could jump on it, and I thought they had up and went to Crazytown!

In the 20 years the trampoline has been around, no one ever got hurt on the thing.  That’s pretty amazing!  Especially since we have four kids in my family.  Not a one of us ever got a broken arm or leg or anything else for that matter.  We were all really active, too.  I need to find out their secret to healthy children!

So Daddy and Brayden were having a good ol’ time until Daddy jumped up, bounced on the trampoline which broke from under him and he came crashing to the ground.  Jay said he came right down on his tail bone.  He said at that instant he thought he broke his back because all he could feel was a sharp pain and the wind knocked out of him.

Jay must have yelled for help (or tried too) because Brayden hopped off the trampoline and told Jay he was going to get help.  He ran inside with a sense of urgency but without panic and yelled to us, “Daddy got hurt…real bad.”  We ran as quick as we could outside to find Jay laying on the ground.  It took him a bit to get up but realized he was okay, he just had to catch his breath. 

Thankfully Brayden was on the other side of the trampoline when it caved.  His side held up and he didn’t get hurt at all.  And thankfully Brayden was smart enough to hurry in to get help.  He stayed calm, but made sure we knew it was urgent.  I am VERY proud of him! 

Jay has since got an x-ray and everything checks out fine.  He will just be sore for awhile.  I still don’t understand why Jay got up on the trampoline and jumped around after just getting over the stomach flu, but many times it seems I don’t understand him and I guess I will just leave it at that. 

It’s sad to see it go.  Many memories were made on that thing. But I think the person most upset about the trampoline breaking is not a person at all but my parents’ dog, Shelby.  She has lost one of her favorite toys.

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Crazy Indiana Weather!

You wouldn’t believe me unless I showed you…so I’m going to show you. But first let me set this up —  The ice/snow finally melted (well at least most of it) yesterday.  Yes, yesterday.  And today after getting Brayden out the door and ready to walk to school (in a “spring” jacket) I started walking around the yard a bit.  Basically I was nosey to see what one of the coldest and snowiest winters I have ever witnessed did to our yard.  Well, much to my surprise, I found Daffodils peaking out of the ground.

Spring has arrived - hopefully!

I’m hoping this is the sign of what is coming.  I’ve loved this whole winter, but now it’s starting to drag on.  I’m ready for spring to arrive!  I’m ready to get the kids back outside to run around and enjoy the fresh air, to play with the neighbor kids and to huddle our friends around the fire pit outside instead of snuggling around the fireplace inside.  

This will be the first spring/summer that Lydia will be able to “do” things.  She can walk and run and I’m sure she’ll continue thinking she can hang with the big kids. And she will be able to do a better job of it this go-round since she isn’t in the crawling or just sitting stages anymore like last spring. 

Brayden’s training wheels came off his bike at the beginning of fall and he was getting so close to taking off on two wheels and then we had to put the bike back into the garage for about 4 months.  He is going to have a blast riding his bike again!

Spring is my favorite season (though fall has started to make a good impression on me.) I love seeing the trees start to bud.  I love when the grass turns green and when the daffodils start blooming, then the tulips, and then the hostas start forming again.  I love putting new mulch in the beds. And the fresh smell in the air. For Jay, spring and summer are probably his most hated seasons for the fact that yard work is required.  And Jay doesn’t hide the fact that he loathes yard work. But he too has to agree that we all seem to fill with new life when spring is here.

With all that being said…it’s supposed to be a beautiful 58 degrees today and could possibly get down to a miserable 22 degrees with snow in just a few days.  Really, Indiana weather?  Why are you so crazy? 

I’m choosing to believe that what happens with the groundhog is true.  And this year he didn’t see his shadow so that means spring is near! We’ll be anxiously waiting…

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Lifelong Friends

In this world, where everything seems uncertain, one thing is definite. I have found people who will always be considered friends – beyond words, beyond time and beyond distance.

Brayden's 1st Day of Preschool

When Brayden started preschool (just before his third birthday) he met some amazing new friends.  Friends he adores. And with these friends came friends for me – the mommies.  Friends that I too adore!  With these “mommies” came daddy friends…I wouldn’t say Jay adores them, (it wouldn’t be manly enough) but saying he thoroughly enjoys himself around these new friends is more appropriate.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the siblings of the original kids.  They too are a piece of this puzzle where we all fit together.  Lydia has new best friends who are years older than her, but she doesn’t care.

It’s comforting as a parent to have other mothers that understand what is happening in your life at any given moment.  To seek advice from, to share a laugh with and sometimes just to have a pair of ears that are willing to listen. And I’ve certainly found that in these ladies.

We’ve done many things together from at home playdates – a few which include Vet Hospital Day and Funky Felt Craft Day, weekly lunches at McCalister’s Deli, ice skating, dinner out with the families, dinner in with the families, a crazy mishappen day trying to visit Monkey Joe’s, sledding, etc, etc, etc.  And the parents have also managed to get away without the kids  too.  Those nights have been great! (Thanks to Lori at Wisdom Comes Suddenly for capturing those great moments!) We actually just went to dinner with all of them last night sans kids to celebrate her birthday.

Brayden has called one of the little girls his girlfriend from the day he met her. Maybe one day they will get married and her family will be his in-laws. Though he did once say that he can’t get married until after college.  And that he will meet the girl he marries at Butler or Ball State.  There is video proof of this. I think this little girls’ parents (well at least her Mommy) has already decided she will be attending Butler so she stays close to home.  So it looks like the cards are in Brayden’s favor. 

I owe my thanks to these families who I’ve only known for a couple of years but already consider lifelong friends.  They aren’t on my “B-Team” as we joked last night at dinner.  They are a part of my “A-Team” and am looking forward to many more memories with them.

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