Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chloe & her Bitty Baby

Chloe Belle is having a sick day.  She's wearing a pesky fever which comes and goes with dosages of Tylenol.  She's clinging to daddy and resting her droopy eyelids at home today...but she's still playing with her Bitty Baby.  Hubs sent me this cell phone photo this morning:

Chloe - Bitty Baby

Last night, Chloe opened a belated birthday gift from her Aunt & Uncle in Washington (state).  She received this gift set (minus the doll which she already had):


Even with her fever her eyes lit up when she opened the box last night.  She sat on my kitchen counter and we immediately redressed baby in her brand new dress and bib.  She proceeded to cover her with her blanket and feed her with her new bottle while I got dinner ready. 

She played with baby until her eyes could no longer focus.  After one failed attempt to lay her down in her crib, which resulted in crying, gagging, and throwing up chunks of watermelon in my hands (Ewwww), she finally succumbed to sleep in my arms in front of the TV...then, I laid her down in her crib - right next to baby.

Hopefully Friday will bring restored health and sunny skies (seriously, enough of the rain and gloom already).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Chubby Cheeks

There was a day when I thought these chubby cheeks
would never un-chubby
I thought they were there to stay  
and I almost wished them away
I still kissed them endlessly
They Vanished,
yet I still do...
Kiss them endlessly

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Tomorrow night our family will be visiting the elementary school for Kindergarten Round-up.  This is our opportunity to see the school, meet the teachers, and pick up registration information for next year.  It's exciting, but it's also heart-breaking.  My chubby toddler, who is now a strong and athletic pre-schooler, will be a Kindergartner in a few months. 

Someone stop time for me....
just long enough for me to catch my breath. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


It's been a little silent here on Knee Deep.  Not intentionally of course.  I've been thinking about my blog, my next post, and getting some photos on here everyday.  I just haven't prioritized it. 

 Positive Parenting Solutions (PPS) sends me their newsletter every month, week, well, honestly I don't know how often they send it because sometimes I delete it before I even read the subject line.  Today, I didn't delete it.  The article was about the new 4 letter word....BUSY.  Humph, certainly a word I use almost daily.  I'm too busy, to make a healthy dinner for my family, I'm too busy to get to the gym, I'm too busy to blog effectively, I'm too busy to edit those with 2 little kids is just busy...or is it? 

This is the PPS's question at hand:
How often do we let our "busy-ness" get in the way of what is important?

My answer:  A LOT. 

Although I like to think I have my priorities pretty well in line, there are definitely times that I choose to do something that completely whacks out my schedule.  I'm a social person and am guilty of prioritizing social events (birthday parties, lunch with friends, play dates, etc) over doing things that I should be cleaning and grocery shopping.  Of course this doesn't seem like a big deal at the time, and relationships, friendships, etc, should come before cleaning, right?  I'm comfortable with that choice, but then a day or two later and I'm overwhelmed by the number of things that need to get done, but didn't because I went out to lunch with the girls, or hit that gymboree sale with the bestie instead of tackling my to-do list. 

My New Year's Resolution this year was to slow down, to resist the urge to over schedule my life, and just like all New Year's Resolutions...I can't stick to it.  It's like it's in my blood...I'm born to be busy.  I keep saying that next month things should slow down, next month won't be so hectic, next month I'll make fitness more of a priority...of course, next month is always next month.  I guess I just need to accept that this is the way things are.  As kids get older life gets even more hectic. 

I'm dealing.  I'm trying to not sweat the small stuff, and I'm trying to keep my priorities in line...and I'm trying to keep my blog one of them.

I'll be back tomorrow kids...and that's a promise :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - TWO

A Two Year Old Child is So Many Things
A Tiny Discoverer of Butterfly Wings,
A Hugger of Teddies,
A Sweet Sleepyhead,
And Someone to Dream for in Bright Years Ahead...
~Author Unknown

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During the Birthday Song, Chloe waits confusedly to blow out her candles.

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Waiting on her lunch to be delivered to her. This is pretty much the expression she wore all day.  No tantrums, but no smiles either.

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Chloe bounced and bounced and bounced on her birthday.  Bounce houses are way more fun when you get to bounce alone or with one or two friends.

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Chloe had a great birthday party.  The kids really seemed to enjoy the food, the bounce house, the playroom, and the pool!  As rushed and thrown together as the party was, it turned out perfectly. 

Many thanks to all my friends who dropped their plans and made Chloe a part of their Saturday morning!

Friday, March 18, 2011

To Chloe Belle on Her 2nd Birthday {Slideshow}

Dearest Chloe Belle,
Now, two years after the day you joined our family, it feels as though you have always been here.  I can hardly remember the times when I was not Momma to two little girls.  It seems as though your little blondish head has been bee-bopping right along with your sister's since the beginning of time.  I dig that about having two kids. 

Tomorrow we will celebrate you in a very spur of the moment, impromptu, birthday party that has ever been planned and executed in a mere 3 days.  It's my fault really.  I couldn't quite come to terms with leaving you on the night of your birthday to go to that concert that I really wanted to go to.  So, I procrastinated, hoping at some point it would feel right.  It never did.  So, with 4 days left until the main event, I decided that you should have a party and we would celebrate, because my dear, that is what feels RIGHT. 

We'll celebrate everything about you that is Two.  We'll celebrate your reluctance to have your diaper changed, unless we are laying you down on the memory foam bathmat that we purchased just for that purpose.  We'll celebrate your open mouth laugh and the high pitch squeal that comes with sheer excitement.  We'll celebrate your love for Nay-Nays and cows and revel in the way the words "baby cow" and "I nice to Trace" sound as they come out of your tiny mouth.  We'll celebrate your sweetness; the way you give bear hugs and your insistence on kissing Daddy & Sissy before we rock at bed time.  We'll celebrate your sour side too; the side that knows what she wants and does whatever she can to get it. 

We'll celebrate all that is YOU.

As your birthdays begin to roll two becomes three, and three becomes four, I am aware at just how precious each year is.  Next year at this time, the toddler will have worn off and pre-schooler will be written all over your vocabulary, thoughts, and actions.  No sooner do I adjust to it, will you be entering the doors of Kindergarten.  Time can't stand still and I don't want it to.  I just want to remember it.  All the quirks and nuances that make two such a fun age.  The new sentences like, "I don't want it" and "I wuv you more" that melt my heart and befuddle me at the same time.  The skinned knees and tiny hand holding; the playground adventures; and big crocodile tears.  I want to lock them away in my memory bank; the toddler in you won't last another year.  You are growing up. 

And, I want you to grow up....but....I never want you to feel too old to call me with your problems.  I never want you to feel too old to crawl in bed with me at night when you are sad, scared, or lonely. 

I want you to grow up always feeling this loved and protected and adored.  I want you to grow up knowing that home is always home, and that you have a soft spot to fall.  I want you to grow up and be you; keep the fire in your eyes, let the sweetness shine, and grow in to the wonderful little girl you are destined to be.

But somewhere behind my smile, I'll be wishing that you never grew up.  I'll be wishing that things were always this simple.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Bellie Boo

Love Forever and Always,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Family Shoot and Edit - Yellow

One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows
~Benjamin Franklin

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Camdyn with her Papa Bob

The Shoot and Edit prompt this week is Yellow.  This is my SOOC shot:

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Hummm.  It looks a little yellow to begin with, probably because it was taken shortly before sunset.  We'll see what I can do with it later in the week.

Happy Wednesday, Y'all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

When it's Over, it's OVER...But Not Really

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In the past week, we received two separate autograph requests for the Hubs to sign.  This comes with the territory when you play a sport professionally.  There was a day when the Hubs got paid to sign baseball cards.  He would sit at our kitchen table with a representative from Topps or Bowman looking over his shoulder as witness while he personally endorsed a series of 500 cards. 

However, come September it will have been 10 years since he threw his first and last major league pitch.  Come June it will be 4 years since he "retired" from the sport altogether, at the ripe old age of 29.  These autograph requests are not being mailed to the baseball field, he's not receiving them at the clubhouse, he's getting them at HOME. 

We moved twice in 2010 (one move was to a rental house with no public record of our occupancy and the 2nd move was to our forever home) and still these cards find us.  Creepy?  A little.  Harmless?  Probably.  Invasion of our privacy?  Perhaps. 

The Hubs has always been less than thrilled to acquiesce to these requests.  A few years ago, I would prompt him "Just sign it. It might be the last request you ever get."  He refused.  Now, I kinda get it.  If he signs these cards and sends them back in their prepaid envelopes then the sender will know that is our valid address... and that's not okay.

In addition to the whole privacy issue, these requests bring back bittersweet memories of a sport that he loves but they also surface a hole in our lives where baseball once was.  A hole, that we've been filling over the last four years with a "normal" family life.

That first year of retirement was rough to say the least.  We were a new family with a 14 month old baby, when Hubs decided he wanted to end his career on his own terms.  He didn't want to be a minor-league lifer.  His shoulder wasn't bouncing back after his surgery.  His velocity wasn't ever going to be what it once was, and he wasn't getting any younger.  He wanted to be with his family.  He knew it was time to go in a new direction and I supported that.  However, this meant BIG change. Not only did he have to find employment that did not involve a curve ball or slider for the first time in his adult life, but we also had to adjust to being together all year round.

The old adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is true.  Being together six months out of the year, and then apart for six months was all we knew.  That was our normal.  Suddenly, we were together every single day for an entire year.  The intensity of  - I'm going to love and dote on you while you are here.  I'm going to soak up every second I have with you because I know you are leaving - kinda vanished.  We lost the - I missed you so much - passion.  We had to learn how to live together FOR-EV-ER.  I know that sounds kinda ridiculous but it really was a big adjustment.  And then there was the whole "What will I do for work now?" thing.

Luckily ex-baseball players make really awesome salesmen, and Hubs found his niche.  The competition factor that motivated him since his days of little league really comes in handy in sales.  Our conversations at the dinner table no longer revolve around ERA, BP, and Appearances, but Percent to Margin , Kicker Checks, and Quotas instead. 

And, I'm good with that now.  It turns out that he's a far better provider in Sales than he ever was in baseball.
It turns out that having him at home all year round is a huge blessing.  It turns out that our little girls get to have Daddy tuck them in every night.  It turns out that baseball will always be a huge part of our past, but it's not our future.  It turns out that baseball doesn't last forever (for most of us), and when it's over, it just might be the best thing that ever happened. 

So, I will stow these autograph requests away, I'll think back fondly on our baseball days, and I'll smile...for we are blessed.

The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121:7-8

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Kid Learned How to Play Spin the Bottle


Y'all I don't know if this is hilarious or disturbing...probably a little bit of both.  So, I share this with you for laughs and input. 

Last night we were sitting around the table eating cereal dinner.  The conversation went like this:

Me:  Cam you must be hungry that is your 2nd helping of Chicken and Asparagus Rice Krispies.
Cam:  I'm having seconds.  Daddy?  Have you ever played spin the bottle?
Daddy:  ::falls off chair::
Me:  ::wide eyes, mouth gaping::  What kind of game is that?
Cam:  You know, the kind where you spin the bottle.
Me:  Oh.  Who do you play this game with?
Cam:  I play with "sally" on the carpet at school.
Me:  Hum...
Daddy:  ::still on the floor::
Me:  How do you play the game?
Cam:  ON THE CARPET.  It's impossible to cheat at spin the bottle. 
Me:  Oh.
Daddy:  ::looks at me:: I think we are thinking of two very different games...

Later that night I emailed "Sally's" mother to share this conversation with her, mostly because I found it hilarious...AT THE TIME.  It turns out when "Sally" was picked up from school yesterday another little girl ran up to her and said something about spin the bottle and then kissed her on the lips. 

WAIT A MINUTE.  I thought we were talking about a board game...this sounds like the same spin the bottle game that I was imagining....

After further discussion, it turns out that there is an Arthur game on the computer in their classroom.  In part of the game Francine daydreams about playing spin the bottle, the bottle lands on Arthur and she kisses him.  I believe the computer game is tied to this episode the girls in the class saw that and decided to start acting it out.  It's not like they were actively taught how to play the game, and it's innocent as can be.  I just don't know how I feel about a 5 year old talking about playing spin the bottle.

So, my quandary is...Do I bring this to the teacher's/director's attention and request that the kids don't play that game anymore or Do I just let it go and figure that if I don't make a big deal of it then the kids won't make a big deal of it and they'll forget all about it?

What would you do?  Either way, I guess this is preparation for what the future holds.  I'm sure she's going to be exposed to a lot more when she enters the wide wide world of elementary school next year.

And, here are a few photos taken at the park last weekend.

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Happy Friday, Y'all!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Childhood Friends

"We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere."
-Tim McGraw

This series of photos was taken by my friend, Becky, with her iphone.  She has been a Godsend in my life.  Every day for the past 3 years we take our kids to the park to play after school.  We chat, we vent, we play with our kids, we intervene in squabbles and we treasure the days that now seem strangely numbered. 

As excited as I am for Cam to start Kindergarten, I am distraught that she won't be with her Bestie.  They are growing up together and I hope that going to different elementary schools won't change that.

Here they "entertain" over cake at a birthday party we attended last Saturday.  The girls are dressed in their matching Harley Davidson gear, because they've been dressing in matching clothes since they were tiny tots.

I hope when they go off to college that they will think of each other as their Childhood Friends.   











These photos remind me of the kind taken in a photobooth at the mall.  And, I love them almost as much as Little Miss and her family.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

So You're Saying There's A Chance

My to-do list is about 100 items long.  It's overwhelming, really, but I try to tackle it one thing a week.  Last week my item of importance was sifting through and organizing the five bins of baby clothes (size 0-12 months) that I have stored.  On Tuesday night, I got to work. 

I made a pile of "keeper" clothes that have sentimental value; the Girls' homecoming outfits, first Xmas dresses, dresses worn for photos, and Easter dresses.  I got together a box of Gymboree and fancy label stuff that I'll be loaning to a friend.  I prepared a giant bag of clothes to give to a teacher at the school who is expecting her first girl.  As I was throwing the last few outfits in the 2nd of two giant garbage bags to donate to Mothers Helping Mothers, the Hubs (who had been diligently watching the organization process from the comforts of the bed) said:

Him:  Are you sure you want to do that?
Me:  Do what?
Him:  Give it away?
Me:  What?  The clothes?  Yeah.
Him:  But, ALL OF IT?  Don't you want to keep some of it?  We'll be left with nothing.
Me:  But, we're done.
Him:  ::silence::
Me:   ::finishes packing up the last bag and brushes teeth::
Him:  ::silence::
Me:  The way I figure it...Chloe only wore a handful of the clothes we stored that were Cam's, so IF we have another girl we'll buy her new, or we'll borrow from Liz, or we'll have Laura send us all of her stuff since she is done for sure.
Him:  ::nods::
Me:  And, if we have a boy, it doesn't matter anyway
Him:  Alright.
Me:  And, it's all IFs anyway
Him:  For now...
Me:  So, You're saying there's a chance
Him:  There's always a chance....

And somewhere in the heart of the MidWest Gramma just smiled :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Children's Garden

Last Sunday we attended a birthday party at the local Children's Garden.  We'd never been there before, and were quite thrilled to find, mazes, things to climb on, a giant sandbox, a tree house, and best of all....a costume room for children & adults to play dress up in.
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Yes, I realize that this photo is sun-streaky all to hell, but it's still cute and Cam was LOVIN' the mermaid dress she picked.  This is her best "I'm a model" pose with her Bestie.

We ate lunch and we watched the children enjoy themselves and the splendid weather.

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We played and we laughed, and I snapped as many photos of the kids as I could.  Including this one of the Birthday Boy who absolutely avoids the camera at all costs!

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And here he smiles at his Momma while she prepares his birthday cake.  You seriously could not wipe the cuteness off of his face.

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This weekend we'll be enjoying another birthday party (The Girls are popular) and on Sunday Papa Bob is coming to visit for the day.  We'll be doing the usual stuff too, grocery shopping, taking pictures, and hopefully playing at the park.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My kid gets pink slips....a lot.

"So what I told you was true...from a certain point of view"
~Obi Wan Kenobi

Yesterday, I spent 13 hours driving to, sitting in, and driving home from a training class.  It was a long day to say the least.  I was about half way home, singing to the radio and trying to enjoy the commute when the phone rang and I heard the Hubs' voice through the car speakers.  His first words, "Cam got another pink slip today."  Me:  "WHAT?  ANOTHER ONE?"  Yes, that makes two in a row this week.  Me:   "FOR.THE.LOVE.  For What?"  For stepping out of line and shutting the door to the closet while the teacher was inside of it (I'm guessing half of you will ::gasp:: and half of you will ::snicker::)

Here's the problem:  My kid is guilty of not always making the best choices.  She doesn't think of consequences before she acts.  I'm not making excuses for her, I recognize that it's an issue and I'm hoping as she matures it'll lock in to place for her.  But, if my kid is going to get a pink slip every time she makes a poor choice or doesn't follow directions, then I might as well buy the school a ream of pink paper, because they are going to run out! 

Isn't this what preschoolers do?  Is my child the only one getting written up for stepping out of line?  Is she the only one that gets written up for poor choices?  Historically, pink slips are used for incidents when a child hurts another child, kicks, hits, bites, or suffers some sort of injury.  In this instance, the injury was to the teacher.  Was she so upset she wrote her up?  Was she embarrassed that Cam shut her in the closet?  Did the other children laugh and wound her ego?  I really don't know but I'm tired of signing those pink sheets of paper.  I'm tired of having "the talk" with Cam about poor choices.  I'm tired of a school that is so rigid and strict with its policies that it leaves little room for children to behave like children.  I'm tired of the overwhelming feeling that my kid is perceived as "the bad kid." 

Thankfully, this is the only year that Cam has had a less than a positive experience at our school.  For whatever reason, she is not gelling with her teacher, or her class, and the result is that she's taken several steps backwards socially, but has soared academically.

For those of you that are Faithful Readers you may remember this post about the drama with classroom assignments for this year or this one on how orientation went..  As I read back, I find my intuition to be almost eerie....this year has turned out to be exactly the way I hoped it wouldn't.  As positive as I try to be, as much as I wished things would pull together this year, I realize that it's not going to happen. 

I really don't think it's going to get better, we are just going to get through it.  So, while I hate to wish time away, while I hate to look forward to the next step, I am...just like I predicted in August. 

Kindergarten has to bring better things for my bright, energetic, little girl, who absolutely bubbles over with excitement and curiosity.  School life for her (as much as she absolutely loves it) has to get better than this.  She needs to be engaged more, challenged more, praised more for good deeds, she needs a teacher with endless patience and a more credentials.  I am wishing on a star that Kindergarten brings her that.

This rant isn't the way things usually go around here, but this situation has caused me astronomical amounts of stress this year...It finally deserved a spot here, in my online memoir.  My hope is that next year, I'll look back at this and wonder why in the world it had to be so difficult...

In better news, I've been working with Camdyn on a computer based Learn to Read program.  She beams when she gets answers right.  I think it's really wonderful for her self esteem as well as her listening skills.    Well, last night, during story time she read her first word...G-O, GO!  ::Head explode::