Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Little Friends

Love is rarer than genius itself. And friendship is rarer than love.
~Charles Peguy

You may remember this adorable shot of handsome that I took back in August.  In that post I mentioned that I wish for these two what their big sisters have...friendship.

After spending a month in pre-school together, that wish is coming true.  They get along...finally. 


Handsome will say "May I have a bite?"  And Chloe will joyfully hand him over a Craisin...and another...and another...until her pack is empty.

And then Chloe wants to ride his scooter.  So, they switch and he rides her pink princess scooter and she rides his red Radio Flyer scooter...and nobody cries.

They are the cutest of friends. 

**Photos compliments of Handsome's Momma, Becky.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Little Bit Broken

Last week, on our way to the gym, Camdyn and I made a stop at my favorite little cupcake store.  Totally counterproductive, but that's the way it works, I guess.  The cupcake store is located right next to a florist shop.  So, to kill some time, we wander in and look around.  Camdyn spies this little Gund stuffed Eagle.  It's cute and she wants it very badly.  I look at the sticker...$12.99.  I tell her that she'll have to earn it. 

We get in the car and we work out details on how she can earn this toy.  I tell her that if she gets stars on her behavior chart for the next two days then she earns the eagle toy.  Thursday she got a star, and Friday, she ended up with a straight face for disruptive/loud voice in the Library.  No toy for Camdyn.

So, this week brings a fresh start and a new goal...two stars in a row earns the toy.  She accomplishes her goal and yesterday on our way to the gym, we buy Camdyn her prized Eagle. 
(Cam is obsessed with birds right now - thank you Rio - and her school mascot is the she is super happy about this stuffie). She is so proud of herself and can't wait to show her teacher.  She talks about it all night long and sleeps with her eagle (named Flower) tucked in neatly beside her.

This morning, I tell Camdyn that she can bring the eagle in and show her teacher, but then the eagle is coming to the truck with me, toys aren't allowed at school.  She was on board with this idea.

We get to school early, she is playing with her eagle and is totally pumped to show her teacher. When the door opens she strolls in with her toy, and 10 other kids, and some parents. She waits patiently for her teacher's attention. She finally taps her on the hand and says "Look - Eagle." Her teacher says, "cute" and then goes back to the conversation she was having with a 9 year old school patrol. Cam stands there for another 2 minutes, waiting to have more of a conversation with her teacher about her eagle. She finally gives up, and walks over to me, half broken hearted because the teacher didn't give her more attention.

::Sidebar:: I don't blame the teacher, she's busy, she has a million things to do in the morning, she has kids and parents coming through the door, she just didn't have time, and I get that, I really do.

BUT - the look on Cam's face killed me. I can still see her...eyes turned down, but trying to put on a smile as she handed me her Eagle to take home. The look of sheer disappointment blanketed her face. So, I said, "She said the eagle was "cute." She liked it!!" Cam just shrugged her shoulders. Then I left.

On the ride to work I was thinking about how something so important to a child is often just tossed aside by adults because we are too busy with our own lives and agendas to see their simple pleasures.
I wonder how many times I have done that same thing to her, only I was too busy to see that look of disappointment wash over her face.  Five times? A hundred times?  I have no idea.

So, I sit here, a little bit broken.   Feeling every bit as disappointed as my little girl was this morning.  I should have walked into her classroom with her (instead of waiting in the hallway) and said "Cam has something special to show you. She's been waiting all night to show you this." 

I should have made it important, because it was important, to my child.

I can't change what happened this morning, and like a good friend told me , "Luckily they [kids] also forgive and forget pretty easily."  She is right, Cam probably shook off her disappointment like a champ after I left the room.

But, me, I'm going to remember this...and the next time I find myself saying "one second" or "in a few minutes" or "not right now."  I'm going to stop and remember the lesson here. 

Time, is not more valuable than her sense of significance. 

She is worth it.

Her accomplishments, her imagination, her stories, and her interests are worth time. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Taking the World by Storm on 12" wheels

Last Tuesday night I asked the Hubs to take the training wheels off of Cam's much too small bike.  He grabbed his tools and together they sat down to work on the project, and five minutes later it was complete.

We spent 10 minutes that evening helping Camdyn learn to ride her bike.  We would walk next to her with a hand on her shoulder, ready to pull her back to center when she would lean too far to one side or the other.  It wasn't long before she was too hot and too tired, so we parked the bike for the night.

The next evening, I pulled my truck in to the garage and began my usual routine of unloading my bag, purse, backpacks, lunch boxes, and Chloe.  Camdyn asked if she could ride her bike.  "Sure.  But stay close."  I take everything in to the house and get Chloe set up with Dora and a cup of milk and then head outside to check on Cam.  She is standing in the driveway, her bike laying on the ground beside her and she says, "Well.  I have that all figured out."  What?  "You have what figured out?"  I ask.  She proclaimed, "I can ride my bike now." 



And off she pedaled on her tiny 12" wheels. I guess that's the pay off for waiting until 5 1/2 to take the training wheels off. I have to hand it to her...the girl has initiative.

We bought her a bigger bike this weekend.

Well done, Cam. Well done!

Monday, September 19, 2011

To Chloe - 2.5

Sept_2011_0003-1-2Dear Chloe Belle,

Funny. As I type your moniker I think of your little voice saying "No. My name is Chloe!" You aren't too keen on your nickname anymore, and are often quick to tell us your full name, which sounds like such a mouthful coming from your little lips.

So, here we sit at 2 1/2 and things aren't so black and white anymore. There is this element of predictability that is nice, or convenient or maybe both with babies. In toddlerhood, that fades, and we are now in the phase where we never know what is in store for us.

Sometimes in the morning, you detest wake up time. I can sing the Good Morning song to you and you scream for me to leave the room. You cover your head with a blanket and wish to hold on to the darkness.  Other times, you wake smiling and singing along with me. It's a crap shoot, really.

The same is true at bedtime. Sometimes you stall, and you want to read one more story. You cry and flail and make a huge production when it's time to shut off the light.  Other times, you willingly shut the light off and then crawl in to my lap only to say 5 seconds later, "I go to bed now."  Either way, gone are the days of contented rocking in the chair.  I still try.  Every night I try, but rarely does it result in one or both of us falling to sleep.  It's still my favorite part of the evening though.

Developmentally, you are progressing, growing, and learning just as you should be.  You know all of your colors, you count to 20 in English, and to 12 in Spanish.  You are interested in learning your letters and often recognize, A, B, O, C, and S without hesitation.  You engage in pretend play right along side your Sissy now, who you prefer to call Camdyn instead of Sissy.  You both like to sit at the kitchen table with your stables and toy horses and play at length.  Your horses have conversations just like Cam's do, it really is the sweetest thing.

Your potty training is nearly complete.  You've been in big girl panties during the day since you turned two, but it's taken awhile to get comfortable with the deuce.  You still prefer a pull up for that business, but we are getting away from that now, and your pull up days are numbered.  You really were a breeze to potty train.

Your favorite things still include your blankie, your paci, baby, and your crib.  Oh, how you love your crib.  I speak of getting you a "big girl bed" often, but you aren't having it.  You love your crib.  Honestly, I love your crib too.  I love knowing you are safely confined in it, I love that you get good rest while you are in it, and that you don't have the temptation of toys to interrupt your sleep.  You can have your crib...for another six months.

As much as you have changed over the past six months, some things are still wildly the same.  You are still a screamer.  When you get really frustrated, embarrassed, or really mad, instead of using words, you just scream...scream at the top of your tiny lungs.  A few weeks ago, you were playing at a party and bumped your head on a metal railing.  When I asked you if you were okay, you simply screamed at me.  I tried to comfort you, but to no avail.  You screamed louder.  I began to stifle a laugh because you were really causing a scene, and when I could no longer contain my laughter, you really got mad, and took the scream to a whole new level.  I finally had to have Daddy come over and help you regain your composure while I walked away.  I know why you screamed.  You screamed initially because you were hurt, and then you were embarrassed, and then you were just flat out mad that I was laughing at you.  I'm sure bystanders mistook your scream for a tantrum, but I know the reason.  I know you.

While you've found your gentle hands, and your words in most cases, you still have that big, giant voice.  You have that ability to stand up for yourself and to make your desires known.  You are fiercely independent and headstrong.  You are testing the waters, dabbling in disobedience, it's the natural course, really.  It's what you are supposed to be doing as you figure out right from wrong and consequences.  But, you are also sweet as spun sugar; helpful as the day is long.  You love to snuggle in front of the TV, help me pick up toys and unload the dishwasher.  You are caring and motherly to friends that get hurt. 

You are the calm and the storm.   

And I am happy to weather both.

Love you Forever and Always,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Bubbly

"You are the Ocean of Water, and You are the foam and the bubbles on its surface. 
I cannot see any other except You, Lord."
~Sir Guru Granth Sahib


(excuse the after nap-time hair)


(this is her "cheese" face)

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11 Remembered

The girls didn't get to watch many of their shows on Sunday morning because Momma was glued to the 9/11 tribute which was broadcast on every major network.  It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years.

I sat down yesterday morning with my cup of coffee and watched TV while two little girls played with horses on the floor next to me.  Every now and then Camdyn would ask me question, "Why did the bad guys fly in to the buildings?  Did the bad guys get out in time?"  Hard questions to answer in a way that doesn't evoke fear in her tiny, innocent, and perfect world.  But also questions that need to be answered.  She'll only remember what she reads and what we tell her.  Eventually she will know the magnitude of that day...although she'll never understand the gravity of it.  She'll never know how much the world changed after 9/11.

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

It's Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  I'm living in a two bedroom apartment in Oceanside, CA with my old college roommate.  We both work in the 24 Hour Fitness Corporate Office and we wake up about the same time that morning.  It's 6:30 am pacific time.  I turn on the radio and hop in the shower and about half way through I realize that they aren't playing music and radio hosts are talking.  I realize that their tone is concerned and from what I grasp a bomb went off?  Someone is bombing the US?  I jump out, and immediately turn on the TV.  My TV is tuned to SportsCenter which I was watching the night before, but they aren't talking sports.  There is news on SportsCenter that is not sports related???

Out in the yard with your wife and children

Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky

I call for my roommate and I flip to CNN.  What in God's name?  My roommate and I stand and watch in disbelief. 

Did you shout out in anger

In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

My mind swirls as I try to grasp what is going on in NYC, I think of the Hubs (only he wasn't hubs then...he was simply boyfriend No. 3).  He had just flown in to Chicago to play a series against the Cubs.  I dial him, knowing that I'll be waking him from some much needed sleep.  I am worried.  He's downtown Chicago and staying in a hotel located next to the John Hancock Tower (one of Chicago's tallest buildings).  I get him on the phone, fill him in, and then I leave for work.

Did you weep for the children

Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

When I arrive at work, the scene outside has tragedy written all over it.  Groups of employees are huddled against each other, and some women are bawling to the point of hysteria.  You see, we live and work a mere 15 minutes from Camp Pendleton.  The military (marines) have a huge presence in this area, and likewise, many military wives work for in the 24 Hour Fitness Corporate Office.  They knew the gravity of this situation before many of us civilians did.  They knew this would mean war.  They knew that they would soon be sending their deployed husbands out to make this right....and they were distraught. 

Did you burst out in pride

For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

We didn't work a full day that day.  I think I stayed two or three hours before the powers that be told us to go home. 

I'm just a singer of simple songs

I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran

My roommate and I spent the rest of the evening watching the events unfold on TV, while we restored a coffee table in to usable condition.  For all it's worth, we spent the better part of the week glued to the news. 

But I know Jesus and I talk to God

And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Through all the tragedy, heartbreak and the feeling of helplessness and loss, there prevailed an even greater pride and patriotism.  I'll never forget how many cars had flags hanging from their car windows.  The same kind that people use to show team spirit for their favorite football team, only now they are American flags and we are all standing up for Team America. 

I'll always remember the tears I would blink away and the lump in my throat when God Bless America was played at every remaining baseball game that year. 

The greatest is love

This past Friday night, I saw Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley in concert.  Brad Paisley performed his song "This is Country Music" to a montage of photos of performers who have passed on and snippets of American history.  The song ended with a photo of the towers burning, followed by photos of military men, and the flag.  When the song was over and the music stopped...All that could be heard was a unified crowd chanting "U.S.A." 

The greatest is love.

**Song written by Alan Jackson

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Treasured Moments

We had a busy weekend which included a trip to Busch Gardens on Saturday followed by a late night out with friends that evening.  We went to church on Sunday and then to a Fantasy Football Draft Party in the evening. 

But on Monday...on Monday we took it easy.  I spent the morning with a cup of coffee in my hand while the Hubs whipped up scrambled eggs.  I even blew the dust off my camera, which hasn't been getting much use at all lately.  I discovered that I miss her just as much as I miss the inspiration.


In the laziness of a Monday morning that was spent playing with the kids at home instead of making lunches, instructing little girls to brush their teeth, packing backpacks, and loading the car; I discovered treasured moments.

I visited their world.  A world that knows no stress, no schedule, no perception of time.

A world where your imagination can take you anywhere you want to go.  A world where horses talk and some can even fly.


A world where rules are simple.  "It's too hot to go outside.  Ride your scooter in the house.  BUT - STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN.  I do not want dents in my new appliances."  "Yes. Momma." 


After watching them play and letting the coffee in my mug grow cold, they snuggled up on the couch together to watch one TV show.  Playing is exhausting.
(this shot is horribly OOF...but I love how their little fingers are intertwined.  You just can't pose kids like this).

And as I scrolled through the photos that I had taken of the morning, I realized just how precious and fleeting these small little moments are.  I warmed up my coffee, turned up Pandora, and set out to clean my Master Bathroom...when a little voice came in and said "Momma - can I help you?"  I gave her the Windex and we worked side by side for half an hour. 

Treasured Moments.