Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Miracles DO Happen

We've been struggling with Gia about the whole helmet issue. She has been refusing to wear hers, even though we picked out a brand new one that she loved. She's terrified that her chin will be pinched (with good reason). Until today, she's been totally content walking behind her sister. However for some reason today, she decided to give it another try. If you know anything about my daughter, you know this is certainly along the lines of a minor miracle. Let's just say she's a little bit stubborn, and leave it at that!

She rode her scooter almost all the way to the park. She was proud to park it along side all the bikes. Then, I had to carry it most of the way home. Hey, baby steps are OK with me!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday D.R.!

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. It's a milestone, he's 35!
I didn't have time to write about it yesterday because we were too busy celebrating. You see, in D.R.'s family, and now in ours, birthdays are reason for days and DAYS of celebrating.
We started on Friday night by having a drink and movie after the kids went to bed. Then on Saturday D.R.'s folks flew in and we all went to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. The kids REALLY enjoyed the dessert.

On Sunday, the actual birthday, we gave D.R. his presents and went to church. Then the guys went out to lunch and a movie (male bonding!).
We all met back at the house for a fancy dinner. Since he doesn't eat cake, he had rainbow sherbet with a candle. I think he's the only person I know who doesn't like birthday cake!

Now, you may be thinking that we're done with the birthday celebrations. Nope, not even close! Tomorrow night D.R. and his step dad will be going to a Chicago Bulls game together. Then, on Friday he and I will be going to dinner and a movie, just the two of us! I told you, in this family birthdays go on and on!

So, Happy Birthday to my wonderful, loving and caring husband. He's the best and most devoted husband and father that anyone could ever ask for. We are truly blessed to have him in our lives. May we be celebrating for many years to come!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thank you Marc Brown

Tia and I both enjoy watching "Arthur" on PBS. It's a great show for kids, and I personally think its' creator Marc Brown in a genius.
Yesterday during our quiet time we watched a new Arthur episode together. I was blown away at how plainly and tactfully they addressed the subject of cancer. I sat there thinking "Oh my God, they're saying the word right there, out in the open!". You see, when my Mom was sick with cancer, my kids knew she was sick. I often talked about how she was not feeling well, or in the hospital, and that she was getting special medicine to help her. I NEVER used the word cancer. I'm not sure why. Maybe I thought the kids were too young to handle it, or maybe I just didn't want to say that word out loud.
I hadn't thought about that again until watching Arthur. The show taught the kids in a gentle way that people with cancer are still the same person, that you don't have to be afraid of them when their hair falls out, and that cancer is not contagious. Tia watched intently. It gave me the opportunity to discuss my Mom's illness openly and honestly. Tia and I FINALLY talked about how Mema had cancer, just like the lady on the show.
I wonder why as adults, we don't give children the credit they deserve. They're usually smarter than we think.
So, I say Hooray for Public Television and Thank You Marc Brown!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Day at the Museum

We've been in the Chicago suburbs for more than 3 years now. There are so many things that we haven't yet done or seen. So, D.R. decided to take the day off yesterday and take the family to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Great idea. However, it's more than an hour by car to get there. I was pretty car sick by the time we arrived. Then, since it was the museum's free day, there were 3,000 school children who had been brought in that day! I think it would have been better to just go and pay full price on a regular day. It was crazy. Gia decided she'd rather cry for the entire morning than have any fun. That was a little tiring on the nerves! Since Tia was excited and having a great time, we tried our best to ignore her sister's screams.

We made our way to the hands-on area for small children. It was a huge wonderful place just for the little ones. Well, we were told they would be closing down in 10 minutes to clean up and get ready for a private group. For 10 whole minutes Gia was a happy kid. Then when we had to leave, the screaming started all over again. What a day!

We didn't bring our 'good' camera, so the pictures all came out a little blurry.

I had to take a picture of this gorgeous train because it's the "Empire State Express". Being from New York, I wondered if I could hop on and be transported back home. Wouldn't that be nice!

The girls sitting in an airplane engine (another blurry picture!).

Last night D.R. and I decided that the museum was a pretty cool place but we just went at a bad time. Now at least we can say we've been, because we'll probably never go back!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I can keep my husband!

After months of insisting that she would marry Daddy when she grows up, Tia has finally decided against the idea. Yesterday over dinner she informed us that she will need a husband. She says he will be a nice boy, and "not too silly". D.R. and I both started to laugh so she put her hand up and said "No no, I mean when I get older!". Phew, so glad she doesn't want one now.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Lone Rider

We've been playing outside this week since we've had some great Spring like weather. The girls both got bikes and scooters for Christmas so we were all excited to bring them out and take a spin. However, Gia has been refusing to wear her helmet saying that it hurts her head. The rule at our house is: No helmet, no riding! I will not make an exception to this rule. It's too important. So, she's been doing a lot of watching, while her sister has been doing a lot of riding!

I took Gia to the store to pick out a brand new helmet, one that wouldn't hurt her head. She found one she liked a lot and even tried it on. If you know how stubborn this girl is, you know that's a huge feat in and of itself! We got home and she was so excited to show her new helmet to Daddy. He decided to have her try it on. Well, while buckling the strap, he pinched her skin! That's it for the helmet. We're back to square one.

So, here's a video of Tia riding her new bike yesterday. We went up and down the street about 5 times. Gia walked the whole way. Remember, no helmet, no riding!
Do you think this will go on all Summer or will she eventually give in?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wise Words from a Wise Woman

I've been reading a new book this week. It's called "The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours", by Marian Wright Edelman. I never knew of this author until I read an article about her in the newspaper last week. Go ahead and google her name, she's an extraordinary woman.
There's one paragraph in the book that really struck me and I want to share it with you here.

"I want my children to know the values I hold most dear, which do not change no matter the times; that they are in my thoughts and prayers often every day; and that each occupies a very special room in my heart and owns love that is his alone and that can never be occupied by another or taken away by anything he can ever say or do."

What a profound statement. This is something I think of often as a parent, but didn't know how to put it into words. I'm a person who believes that being a parent is my job and I take that job very seriously. These little people are in my care and I am responsible for growing them into great adults. One way I do this is to tell them every day how much they are loved, no matter what. Think about that when you're angry, tired, frustrated or impatient.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another Fun Wednesday

It seems that Wednesday has turned into Fun Day at our house. It used to be our "stay home day" where I would get caught up on house work and laundry. I must have Spring Fever, because these days I'm trying to get out of the house more.
Today we joined our Mom group friends at a place called Monkey Joe's. It's a huge room filled with things for the kids to bounce on. It's very safe and clean and the kids had a blast. The entire center aisle is set up with tables and chairs for the parents to enjoy while the kids play. Great set up.
Here are some pictures from our fun morning...