Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Fun Day but no Mother of the Year

We headed into Detroit today for our first trip to Eastern Market, my new favorite place. If only it was closer! It was like the biggest farmer's market you have ever seen! $1 quarts of strawberries, 50 cent red peppers! We bought tons produce and had a fantastic time. Following the Market, we headed down to Mexican town for some good grub. So yummy!

Since it was a beautiful day, we continued to the Detroit River front which now has an absolutely beautiful river walk that goes for over 4 miles. We walked and walked and then discovered the Smooth Jazz Fest which was just an added bonus. We listen to a bit of music, watched boats and Janie did handstand on any empty surface that she could find.

After a couple of hours, we headed back to the car. The two young guys that were having their own BBQ on our way in were now clearly finished. When they finished, they apparently left a few things behind. Since my boys love to pick up anything that resembles a rock, Owen picked up the white, extremely hot, piece of charcoal that was sitting in the middle of the side walk! Needless to say, he cried for several hours and now has huge blisters on 3 fingers and the thumb. I guess I could beat myself up with the fact that I did not see what he was picking up but honestly, who leaves hot charcoal in the middle of the sidewalk. Idiots!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Saying Goodbye

When we found out that we were having twins, we decided that it would probably be best to try to bring someone into our home to watch the kids instead of taking them to daycare. I really didn't do much work on this prior to their birth probably because they arrived early. Shortly after they were born, I ran an ad in our local newspaper for a nanny. The phone rang often and I set up many interviews. Fortunately, my aunt was in town helping me with the boys and was able to give her judgement during the interview process. We interviewed about 4 candidates (none of which made the cut) and then in walked Krissy. Krissy was different. She was cheerful, energetic, educated, young and delightful to talk with. We just knew that she was the right one to care for our most precious gifts. We hired her!

Today was Krissy's last day with us. She has now been part of our lives since I went back to work at the beginning of June 2005. She cared for the boys as infants~ feeding them often, giving medications and caring for them like we would ourselves. She loved them through the tough toddler times, kept them safe and helped us teach them right from wrong. Most recently, she has helped them to potty train. She has cared for them when they we ill and lifeless. She has cleaned up poop and vomit. She has tended to boo-boos and wiped tears. She hung on and cared for Owen while he was in a body cast. She has held them when they were sad and cheered with them when they learned something new. She has taken them to the doctor, the park, and McDonalds several times. She has walked hundreds of miles and thrown thousands of rocks in the water with my children. She has helped raise them and been a mother to them when I was not around.

Krissy had a baby, Alivia, in August of 2006. She took a few weeks off and then returned with Alivia in tow. Since then, Alivia has also been a part of all of our lives. She has been like a sister to my three children and we all love her dearly.

So now we move on...the boys start pre-school on Tuesday and Janie 3rd grade. I suppose the time has come. Krissy will have her second child in early November. Lives changes and children grow. This doesn't however make it any easier to say goodbye to someone that you could only dream of being the caregiver to your children.

We love you Krissy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Family Vacation

What a fantastic time! I have been looking forward to this vacation for many, many weeks and it was everything I had hoped for. We left here last Tuesday night and stayed the night with my mom in Mt. Pleasant. We got up the next morning and headed to Mackinac for two nights. We completed our vaca with a stop at the family cottage in Bay City on Friday night. We all just had a blast! The kids were fantastic (at least until about 5pm each day) and loved everything we did.

Bike riding was my fav. We rented bikes with baby seats on the back that the boys almost did not fit in. It was fantastic because they could see everything. We biked the 8 miles around the island with no problem and included several stops to throw rocks.

We visited the Fort and enjoyed the dancing, music and history. In my 10+ times to Mackinac, I had never been to the Fort.

It was Mackinac Island's music festival so we were able to spend a few hours one afternoon at the park listening to some good tunes. The kids did some dancing, had some snacks and enjoyed it as much as we did.

Our place was fantastic and a huge reason why the trip was such a success. We stayed at this same place 4 years ago when we took Janie. It is way out on the west end of the island. It looks like and apt. complex and kind of is. You can rent whatever size place you want. We had a place with a family room, bedroom and full kitchen. It was wonderful because we could take food to cook or grill out for dinner and also for breakfast. Huge cost savings and convenient! Also, the kids were done by 5pm each so we would take our 30min. carriage ride back (also super fun) and hang out. They had a swimming pool and DVD players. What else can you ask for? Actually, the deck overlooking the water was nice to sit out on after the kiddies were long asleep!

Now back to the start of school reality....Boo hoo! Great memories!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

8 years ago...

I have been thinking for weeks about this date, August 17. Not because it was the day that I was married but because it was the day that my amazing father died, 8 years ago.

The picture above is obviously my wedding day. This picture has such significance because it is a moment that I will cherish forever. It was also just days before my father would be diagnosed with cancer. The feeling I had when my father walked me down the isle is something I will never be able to explain. The sense of security, love and honor was indescribable.

There are many of these times that I wish I could do just one more time. I may have not completely realized how great it was when it was happening, but I sure realize it now that it is gone. I wish I could feel his hand holding mine again. I wish I could feel the floating feeling that I felt when I danced with him. I wish I could call him and have him console me when I am sad. I wish I could tell him about my job and seek advice. I wish I could sit next to him at the piano so he could sing Swinging on a Star to me.I wish I could see him interact with his grandchildren and feel how proud he is. I wish I could hear his voice and smell his smell. I still wish he was hear every day!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Self Evaluation

I feel now, more than ever, that I am in a major period of self evaluation. I am certain that this is all part of being a mother and because my children now need me in different ways than they did two years ago or even two months ago.

I have always had pretty good self confidence and have been fairly happy with who I am. I now constantly question that. Not so much in my work life but definitely in my home life. Bottom line, I am scared to death of screwing my kids up. For years now I have fed bottles, changed diapers, cleaned up vomit, played with my kids and kissed and hugged them endlessly. That is no longer enough.

Janie, Janie, Janie... I have no choice but to recognize that she is in no part a small child anymore. She needs structure, discipline, guidance, understanding, explanation and a lot of love. These things seem the same that I would have listed years ago however it is so different now. She asks difficult questions, she can manipulate me, she sees everything that is going on around her, she likes boys, she can be mean and yet she is so fragile. So fragile that I feel if I don't handle all of this correctly, I am going to screw her up. She is definitely on the fast social track, she is pretty and has a great personality. I want to do my best to filter all of this correctly. I so want her to be kind, loving, hard working and appreciative. This is not about me but instead about trying to teach her the importance of these things without be a nag or a mother that she will hate some day because I was constantly lecturing her. I believe that children learn best by being a good example for them. I want to be that but I am not sure that I always am. I am not a patient person, I don't always take the time to discuss things in depth like I should and I constantly wonder if I give Janie enough of "me" as I feel I am always dealing with the boys. I often go to bed at night questioning myself on my day. Was I too hard on Janie? Are my expectations that she needs to keep her room picked up, her bed made and her laundry put away too much? Why do I have to take privileges away weekly for not completely these tasks? I want her to be a kid and to have fun but I also want her to work hard and appreciate what she has. I constantly hear how a friend has a better house or a better toy. So I can't buy my children EVERYTHING but they certainly have what they need, and more.

Don't get me wrong, I think Janie is great. I am so proud of how she is doing in school and she excels in all the activities that she tries. Is it just me? Do I want to much? I guess I just want to do right.

The boys of course are at a completely different stage of life. In many aspects it is easier because I don't have to worry about the hard "life" stuff yet. They do however consume the majority of my time just keeping them safe and out of trouble.

I realize that this is just the beginning of many, many years of this tough stuff and that it will get harder before it gets easier. I know just a few things~these precious gifts that I call my children are loved as much as anyone can love anything. I also know that I learn more about myself and life from them every day than I do from anywhere else. Together, we will make it work, even if I mess up sometimes!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A great weekend!

We were able to make some plans with my cousin, wife and kids for Saturday which was nice for a change as our schedules often conflict. They are only 30 minutes away and the boys absolutely love spending time with their cousin Caroline (and I do too)! So we hooked up on Saturday and went to a water park near their home in Saline. What a ball! They had great stuff for the boys and Janie had a good time too (of course it would have been a better idea to bring a friend along). It was so great that since Mike had the day off today, we went back again for a fun day in the water and sun! Thanks Angie and John for showing us this great spot and for a fantastic dinner!

The even better news is that Owen has started to go on the potty! Only once a day but it has been about 5 days now and he is still trying! Way to go Owen

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Happy Belated B-Day Abby!

My favorite niece turned 1 last week! I just have to say that she is the cutest, most edible little girl and I think I may need to steal her!

We love you Abigail and wish you a very happy belate b-day!