Monday, March 18, 2013

Rad Kids

Maddie has been making some major blog headlines lately, and this post is no exception.  I'll try to remember that I have other kids in the next couple of posts, but this story was just too good not to put into writing.

Two weeks ago Madelyn's school started a program called RAD kids. It is a program designed especially for second graders to teach them of the dangers the outside world has to offer.  It really covers a lot of bases from being kidnapped, to sexual and emotional abuse, to the importance of 911.  The kids learned a family passcode, about the dangers of the internet, name it.  I was unbelievably impressed with the program and how much Maddie got out of it.  She would come home on a daily basis and tell us what she learned and would show us all of her self defense moves.  She couldn't seem to get enough of it,  and as a parent I felt so empowered knowing that my daughter had been given so much knowledge on areas that I just wasn't sure how or when to tackle. 

Here's a little video from Maddie's graduation - she demonstrated escaping from three different types of attacks:  a verbal confrontation ("my puppy is lost can you help me find it"), a front facing grab, and a rear facing grab.  After each attack she runs to Rob to "tell an adult".

Yep - couldn't be more proud.  She OBVIOUSLY learned a ton.

Fast forward ONE DAY after her RAD kids graduation ceremony.  Maddie walks into the house after playing outside with five helium-filled balloons.

"Hey Mom.  I have some balloons for all of the kids."

"Balloons?  Where the heck did those come from?"

"Some guy gave them to me."

"What?!  Who?"

"Oh, just some guy driving by in a car.  He said he didn't need them anymore."

"Was it someone that you had seen before?  Was it a neighbor - or someone from church?"

"Yeah, I had seen him before - when he was driving up and down the street with the balloons."

"WAIT!  So you mean to tell me that a STRANGER pulled up in a car, offered you walked up to the car and TOOK THE BALLOONS??!!  What on earth?!  Didn't you JUST finish learning about this yesterday?!"

"Yeah, but this was different.  This guy actually HAD balloons."

"MADDIE!  You absolutely CANNOT take things from strangers!  Whether or not they actually have them!  This was the whole point of the two week class you JUST TOOK!"

Eye roll, hand on hip, sassy tone "Fine Mom.  Then why don't you just pop them. That will teach me."

You have got to be kidding me.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Bike in the Dining Room

When my parents were first married, one of them - I'm still not sure who - leaned a bike up against a wall in the dining room.  It may have been while they were moving in...or something, but that bike stayed and stayed.  It became part of the dining room.  Not because they liked it there - but because they were just used to it being there and it didn't stick out as being abnormal.  People would come over and ask, "Why is there a bike in the dining room?"  To which they would get confused and say, "There's a bike in the dining room?"

The whole point of the story was that people who see things every day, often overlook the details.


Today Rob and I sat down to make a list of "bikes in the dining room" that we have been living with.  I couldn't help but chuckle as I thought about the amount of silent people who have come through our house and thought, "Well, that's odd..."

Here are some of our bikes:

1.  We don't have a single toilet roll dispenser.  When we first bought the house Maddie was only 9 months old.  She was obsessed with pulling TP all over the house, so we pulled the rolls off of the holders and set them on the back of the toilets.  We have had a toddler in the house ever since, so that is where the TP has stayed.  I'm sure guests find that a BIT odd.

2.  Our kitchen table is covered in permanent marker.  Jude was making me a beautiful card - with a big red sharpie - and it bled all the way through.  I have tried to get it off - but it just won't budge.  Every time I look at it and think about buying a new, marker-free table I cringe.  I can't get myself to do it until the kids are just a wee bit older.  I may hate the marker - but at least it's an old table!

3. (Recently fixed)  Claire's bedroom door was without a doorknob for about two years. It started getting stuck, and then one day the whole thing just broke.  I was on the inside of a busted door - with one child alone running through the house when it finally gave in.  I was stuck - no cell phone and only a small window to (pregnantly) climb I literally had to yell to a neighbor (who I should add I had never spoken to) to break into my home and let me out.  Once the entire knob was taken out, it left a lovely hole in the door - which ended up being awesome.  We could peek through the hole to see if the baby was sleeping without ever having to go in the room.  Rob and I thought it was one of the greatest features in our home...but I'm sure looked horrific to anyone that walked passed.

4.  There is a huge hole in the tile below our washer and dryer.  When we bought the house (SEVEN YEARS AGO - today...ironically) there was an issue with the tile in the laundry room.  We had to pull it up in one spot and figured we'd get around to fixing it at some point.  After about a week of fix-ups, we had to get the washer and dryer put into place so I could do laundry.  We placed them right where the tile was pulled up and haven't moved them since.  Thankfully, we don't get a lot of visitor traffic in the laundry room!

I have moments of horror when my detailed eye notices these things  (aka - ten minutes before company is expected) but I take some comfort knowing that most people I know have similar things going on at their houses - and I don't notice until they point them out.

Some day I will have a perfect house.  But for now, I have kids who are messy, loud and lovely.  Perfect house - not quite.  Perfect family - spot on.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Puppy Love

Maddie has come home with love letters from four different boys in her class.  It's so adorable how she handles it, too.  She comes home and says, "Mom - it looks like I may have another secret admirer..."

"Oh yeah?  Is it really a secret, or do you know who it is?"

"Well - I know who it is already."

"Oooooh!  Do you like this one?"

"Well, not really in that way - but I think it's nice that he likes me."

I'm waiting for the day she comes home with a letter from the boy that she adores. I think that reaction will be my favorite.

Anyway, I wanted to share two of my favorite notes.

#1 - Maddie you smell like a flower. XOXO - Gros why did I write that?

Awesome because it was done in classic second grader fashion.  Love and embarrassment tied into a one line sentence.

#2.  Dear Madelyn, You are nice and pretty and carrying for others.  I like how you write stuff in your journal and I hope you love this letter and I wonder how you got it. And you are really nice to others and look on the back.

(Turn page over)


I love you!

Okay, now number one was unbelievably funny - but how incredibly sweet is number two?!  This kid is waaaaay beyond his years in knowing what to look for in a girl.

I found out today that this letter was given to her from the boy in her class that is often in a wheelchair.  He has some sort of muscle difficulty and in Maddie's words "sometimes he just falls down."

When I asked Maddie if she had a crush on him - she gave me the usual response "I don't really like him in that way - but I'm glad we are good friends and it's nice that he likes me.  He always asks me to push him in his wheelchair and I think that's really fun."

Be still my heart - my daughter is everything I've always hoped she would be.  What a sweetheart!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Haps'

There have been some crazy things-a-happenin' around these parts.  Indulge me while I reminisce on a couple of cooky events that have stayed in my mind.

1.  Maddie came home from school the other day talking all about a friend she has at school. I have met him before, and he seems like an interesting character.  "Mom...I really like "Scotty".  He is such a girl's boy."

"A what?"

"A girls' boy.  He loves girl things like me.  We can talk all day about our love for unicorns and princesses. Maybe we can have him over to play dress up or something. I wish I had more friends like him."

You are going to have a great time in college, my dear.

2.  This pregnancy has given me RIDICULOUS dreams.  Over the top-where the heck did that come from- dreams.  Last night I dreamt that Rob and I were visiting our friend Brian who is an ultrasound tech.  He has helped us in the past with complication issues, etc.  So in the dream we are at Brian's office trying to determine if this baby is a boy or a girl.  Rather than laying on the ultrasound table, Rob and I are staring at the baby which is on the table and (apparently) out of my stomach although not yet developed.  Oddly enough, the baby looks like a really thick, uncooked, steak.  Brian can't seem to use the ultrasound wand on the baby/steak, so he decides the best way to find the gender is to get out a knife and fork and just start slicing it into pieces. Brian is carefully slicing while Rob is looking on with great interest.  The whole time I keep thinking, "I've never seen this method before."  After a few more careful slices Brian says, "We can't tell yet," and starts smashing the steak back together.  He explains that over the next few weeks the baby will just mold back together and be normal again.  Rob and I thank Brian for his time and go home - steak baby back in my stomach.

What the crap?!

Seeing as how it's early afternoon and all I've done today is blog - I think I'll leave it at those.  But, believe you me, there are plenty more odd-haps going down.  I'll continue to post as they pop into my mind.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Is It Time?

Ah, yes....I suppose it is.  I have taken a bit of a hiatus from the blogger life - for anybody that may have stopped by and noticed over the past three months - but I think it's time to really kick my own butt and get this thing going again. Let me tell you why:

Two nights ago I woke up to the sound of a child shuffling around in the bathroom. When I went in to see what all the commotion was about I found Ella mumbling weird words and trembling to herself.  I snapped her out of her trance and finally understood that she was, "so freezing, Mom!"  I felt her head and she obviously had a fever.  Nothing over the top, but enough to make her shiver.  I ended up bringing her into my bed to try to cuddle her into feeling warm.

Listening to her continued shaking, chattering and muttering, my mind started wandering to that, "is she really okay?" place.  My heart sunk as I thought about what a darling little girl Ella was.  Then I wasn't sure if I'd ever remember exactly how much I loved her if anything happened to her.  Yes, it's dramatic and it's Motherhood Overreacting/Anxiety at its finest, but it really got me thinking.  This blog is the only journal that I really keep, and even if nobody in the world takes the time to read it - it is the only place that my memory is perfect.

So it is for them, and for me, that I continue this blog....REGULARLY.

I also want to thank the people that have reached out to me and asked me to blog again - your kind words made me realize how much I love doing this.

Christmas Morning Scooter
While I'm at it - I'm going to take a second to tell the world why I love Ella Bell so stinking much.

  • Ella loves to cuddle with me, and will walk up - take my hand - and randomly say, "I love you, Mom."
  • She holds my cheeks close and whispers things like, "I like being your friend."
  • She treats Claire like a princess, and adores everything she does.
  • She knows more lyrics to radio songs than I do.  She LOVES to sing in the car.
  • After a fight she will tell me that she didn't really want to be mean, and that she is sorry. Often without prompting.
  • She has the most adorable giggle on the planet, and she shrinks into her shoulders whenever it comes out.
  • She constantly asks me when she is going to be old or big.  She wants to grow up, but I want to freeze her in time.
  • She always offers to help.  With everything.  If something is lost she ALWAYS "knows" where it is, and will help look for it until it is found.
  • She will give anything to anyone at anytime.

BDEM:  Getting everything done.  It was a LONG day with a ton to do, but it's finished - and my aching feet are a reminder of a hard-days-work done right!