Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy 70th Dad!

I missed posting this yesterday on my Dad's 70th birthday because my stupid computer was/is on the fritz!

Anyway, yesterday would have been my daddy's 70th. Unfortunately, he has been gone for almost 9 years now. I spent a lot of time thinking of him yesterday and wondering how we would have celebrated. Would there have been a party? A trip? Not sure but one thing I do know is that we would have all been together. All children, grandchild with my Mom and Dad. Gosh what I would give to see that!

Love you dad and yesterday and every day, we celebrate you and wish you were here with us!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Raising Children

No one ever said parenthood was going to be easy. No one ever said that it gets easier as they get older. We are now experiencing this "getting older" thing. Although Janie is still years away from being a teenager, the emotional drama of a 9 year old has begun! We seem to be dealing with two major things right now. Our first challenge is friendship/competitiveness/jealousy. This is pretty big and complex actually. Janie has a significant amount of friends and makes friends easily, fortunately. She spends most of her time with her gymnastics friends (which includes her best friend Zoe) because that is how the ball bounces. When you do gymnastics from 8:30a-2:00pm, 4 days a week, these are the people you spend your time with. If you want to do sleepovers, it is only logical to do it with a gymnastics friend since you both have to get up in the morning, right? Plus, my friends are these girls' mothers and I rely a lot on them for help with transportation/childcare.

Janie is naturally competitive. After all, both Mike and I are very competitive. The challenge is that she feels the need to always be the best, beat everyone, have the most friends, be the leader and on and on. I guess it is great that she is motivated but sometimes it doesn't work out so well. She gets her feelings hurt when her friends do things without her. I am not sure how to deal with this. She is incredibly jealous and feels like she is left out when she isn't always included. Example - two of her gymnastics friends are running in a race this weekend. We just can't make it. Mike is going to be in California and we have a million other things going on. She is devastated that "they" are going to do the race and she is not. Then she pulls out this "mom, it's not that I want to do the race with my friends, it's that I would be so proud of myself if I could do it". Really? What do I say? After a lot of talking, we have agreed to find a race for the two of us to do together. She seems satisfied so maybe it is not just about the friends.

Challenge #2 - bed! Every night is a struggle right now. She goes to bed at 9pm and gets to sleep at 10:30 or 11. She makes many trips to me in tears telling me that she feels like she will never see me again. She wants me here in the mornings but I just can't be. I have to be at work. I explain to her that I go in early and get off early so that I can be with her in the afternoon. She continues to struggle every night until I lay down with her. I get so frustrated but understand at the same time. I was a mommy's girl (probably still am) and always wanted my mom. I had big time fears of her not being with me. Those feelings are awful so I try to constantly remind myself of how that can feel and it helps me be a bit more patient.

Hopefully we will get through this phase too. In the meantime I will just love my daughter and try not to screw her up!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Texas Family Reunion

Two years ago, my amazing Uncle Bob (my deceased Aunt Janes' husband) decided that our family (Dad's side) does not see each other enough and he wanted to do a trip so that we could all be together. So, he started the planning of a trip to a Lost Pines Hyatt Resort in Austin, Texas. During the initial planning, I thought it would never get here. I mean really, 2 years out? Anyway, last weekend 38 first and second cousins, along with the parents that are still alive, flew to Austin for the most amazing weekend. It was so fantastic to reconnect with and see some of my favorite people. The kids are at the perfect age to enjoy a place like this. They played in the water while I was able to have great conversations with family. The kicker, my uncle paid for the entire trip! There is no way we would be able to go on a vacation like this so it was a huge treat! The double kicker, he said we are going to do it in another two years. Yeah! And cheers to the best family ever. I am so blessed.

The boys with my cousin Kamp son Jake

Janie dancing with Uncle Bob

My beautiful niece, Allison

Did I mention that the resort was on the Colorado River?
The entire gang!