Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Fun and trying to Keep Cool

We've had quite a hot spell in the mid west this past week. It's been an adventure to try to find things for the kids to do without getting over heated and keep busy. We went to the Aquarium on Saturday. The kids love it there. We're members so it's easy to get in early and get out before the crowds start piling in.
I took this picture of the girls with Daddy just before we left the house since we didn't get one on Father's Day. They're dressed in cool clothes, and cold drinks ready to go!

Sunday was not as hot and we had a breeze which was wonderful! The kids played and played outside for a long time. I think they enjoyed it so much because we haven't been out a lot lately.

Here they are hiding from the sun, under the slide. They were picking blades of grass to stick between their toes. Oh the joys of childhood! Tia had to have a sweater on because of the breeze. She can be a bit particular about her skin.

After their naps, we promised them we would go out for ice cream. D.R. and I decided that it would be better to go buy the fixings for sundaes and make them at home. The girls thought this was great! I think they liked the cute mugs and whipped cream on top better than the actual ice cream. I'm pretty sure that for one day they thought we were really cool parents!

What a nice way to finish off the weekend, and beat the heat.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The honesty and innocence of children

Yesterday it was about 94 degrees and very humid. Although I rarely wear shorts, I thought the weather was in control of the wardrobe decisions. When I was getting dressed, Tia looked at me with a very concerned face. She said "Mommy, everyone will look at your legs". I asked her what she was talking about, and why people would look at my legs. Her response was "Well, I just think you should wear pants". Thank God I have a good sense of humor, I laughed so hard! Not exactly good for the ole self esteem, but hey, 3 year olds are honest to a fault.

Later in the afternoon Tia was telling me that when she gets older she is going to have a wedding and wear a fancy dress. I asked her if she would marry a nice, handsome boy just like her Daddy. She looked at me with a face that can only be described as 'duh', and said "No, I'm gonna' marry Daddy!". I said "Well, wait a minute, Daddy is my husband...if you marry him, what am I going to do?". Before she could even think of an answer, Gia blurted out "I'm gonna' marry Mommy!". Ahhh, at least I won't be alone in my old age. Gia's sticking by my side!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Here's my hubby. There are so many things I love about him ,but the thing I love most is the fact that he's a great Dad. He takes that role very seriously. It's funny how he grew up most of his life without a father, yet he figured out how to be one, and a great one at that.
He changes diapers, gives baths, brushes teeth, reads stories and tucks them into bed, as if he's been doing this his whole life.
When we go out, it's almost always with the kids. Leaving them home is not a thought at the forefront of his mind. He wants to spend as much time with them as possible. So, when I asked him what he wanted to do for Father's day, he asked that we all go out to lunch together. That's it, just spending time with his girls is enough!
I feel great knowing the girls have a Dad they can count on. They go to him for comforting more often than they come to me!
They love their Daddy, and so do I.

Great job Honey...Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Time to Say Goodbye

This is my Mom.
She passed away peacefully on Friday, June 12 with her family by her side. After a 15 month battle with lung cancer, Mom had decided to enter the Journey Home, a hospice care facility. What a wonderful place to spend the end of your life. The volunteers and nurses are all amazing. The best part is that my Mom was able to make the decision to move there completely on her own. Her mind was clear right up until her last few days. We joked that it was about time for her to be taken care of, after a lifetime of taking care of everyone else.

My girls filled the normally quiet house with lots of noise and laughter. We had a great time visiting her there, and I know she felt our presence. In fact on one of her final days, when she had been unresponsive all day, she opened her eyes and kissed my little Gia goodbye.
That was the last time I saw her react to us.

Because Mom had time to think about her mortality, she was able to convey many of her wishes to us. She said if she could choose what to do, she would have a party. That is just typical of her personality. She didn't want anyone sitting around crying about her, she wanted us to celebrate. That's exactly what we did. We had a brief memorial service at a church, by the pastor who had been visiting her over the past month. Afterward, we invited everyone to a local restaurant where we held a dinner party. My sister and I had tried to estimate how many people would show up for the event. Our figure was less than half the actual number! The people just kept coming and coming. A true testament of what a great friend she was, to so many. And, just as she wished, we didn't sit around crying for her. We enjoyed each other, shared stories, looked at pictures, and pretty much had a good time. I'm sure she was pleased.

I think of my Mom every day, and often. I wonder when I'll stop picking up the phone to call her, or think of sending her the latest pictures of my kids. Losing a parent is tough, but losing a Mom is nearly unbearable.

I love you Mom. You'll always be in my heart.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Who needs Toys?

I don't know why we buy our kids toys. Obviously they have plenty of fun with other things found around the house. In fact, I've never seen them have this much fun with any store bought toy. Look at those smiles!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

G is for Gia!

I always feel a little bit brave when I bring out the art supplies. Today is the first day I actually allowed Gia to participate in a painting project. Usually, I give her something else to do while Tia paints. Today I felt compelled to let her join in on the painting fun because the project was for her room.
A few years ago, my sister painted the letters of Tia's name to be hung on her wall. When Gia came along, I said I would do the same thing for her room. It's been 2 years and I'm just now getting around to it!

Here are the kids painting letters.

They had a blast, and it was well worth the mess.

Those little paint cups are actually from single serve brown rice containers. I couldn't bring myself to throw them out, knowing I could use them for something (just like my Mom!).

I decided I didn't like the white letter 'I', so while the kids weren't looking, I changed it to yellow. I don't think I'm thrilled about how the yellow looks either, but I can change it some day if it really bothers me.

And here's the finished product, hanging in her room.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ice Pops for breakfast!

Since last year I have been searching high and low for popsicle molds. I remember as a kid making our own popsicles at home, and wanted to do that with our kids. Also, my friend Amy Jo makes them with left over smoothie mix and I thought that was a great idea. I can't believe how hard they were to find.
FINALLY, I was wandering through a new baby store and found these.

I guess they are supposed to be for babies, but they were exactly what I wanted. D.R. made this batch with some juice that the kids didn't like very much. Tia is a plain apple juice kind of kid, so this red juice was just going to be wasted. Once the juice was turned into "Ice pops", they loved them. I let the girls try them out at breakfast. It's just juice, so what's the harm, right? And as you can see, I gave them some fruit and toast to go with them!

Now I'm kinda' wishing I had bought 2 sets so I could make the smoothie pops before the juice pops are gone!