Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lord I thank you!

I am so thankful for my blessing of a family. We are not perfect, but we are a family and I am feeling blissful as I look through a sneak peak of the pictures we took on Saturday. I've gotten the kid's pictures done over the years, but we've never actually done family pictures! We were long overdue, and we are blessed enough to have a good friend who's a photographer (among many other great photographers we know!! I try to rotate, because they are all so fabulous!), so she met us at a local forest preserve and we snapped away!! This is just a "sneak peak" as she calls it, we will get the rest by the weekend!!
I am thrilled with them!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Living in a divided house

Today was an amusing day. Al was home this afternoon when our doorbell rang. I enjoy when he's home because he gets to answer the door. It doesn't happen often, that our doorbell rings, but, anyway! It happened today, I wrangled the dogs who were barking furiously at the person standing outside. Al stepped outside to talk. A few minutes passed and he came in and nonchalantly mentioned that he had a conversation with someone local that is running for County Board. He stated a few things about him to Al and then stated he was leaning Independent. Long story short, Al told him he was welcome to put a sign in our front yard. EXCUSEME?!!!?!?! A sign that shows support for a candidate we do not know? Serious? Political signs in your front yard, they are a statement. I see signs in other people's yard and I am sorry to admit, but I do prejudge the type of person they are based on who is getting their support. I tend to "root" for the ones that are voting for the same candidates that I plan to vote for, and I tend to scoff at the ones that are not the same. It's childish of me perhaps, but it's a private moment I have with myself, it doesn't hurt anyone, and I feel like they are fair game considering they are wearing their political affiliations on their "sleeve" so to speak. These signs stir up emotions in people. I take them seriously and I don't want just anyone putting a sign in my front yard. I went online to see if this person really was as "Independent" as he made it sound. What I found was he most certainly was NOT independent, but very much a part of and endorsed by a specific party. My husband and I vote for opposite Presidential candidates. Well, we did in the last election anyway, and it seems it will be that way for this election too. All the more reason not to put a sign in our yard.

And, it seems he got to our whole block!! My neighbors were also "fooled" by the Independent comment, I was sure to text her and ask her if she is changing parties, we got a good giggle out of the fact that both of our husband's were "schooled" by this candidate. Reason number 1,001 why you don't take what someone who is running for office SAYS as much as you need to do your own research about them.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The mind of parenthood

Acilia is 9 now, she pays attention to what other people do, she questions when she can't do something that others do, I would like to say she is a typical 9 year old little girl who is getting in touch with her personal feelings.

A few days ago, Acilia came home from school a bit down. She wanted to rush to the store to buy a pair of "fake glasses" because one of her best friends in class wore them to school and got a lot of attention. Interesting I said, and of course pulled the "this is a good teaching moment" card. "Well, Acilia I know you want to get fake glasses, but you do realize that won't make you popular like loving others will right?" (To be fair to Acilia, she was asking a few weeks ago that she could maybe get a pair of fake glasses for Christmas, but now there was an urgency, she wanted them NOW and she really wasn't accepting my reasoning for why we couldn't just run to the store right then and there and get her a pair of her very own.) Acilia said she agreed with that statement, but she was still pouty about not getting them. I told her, I would TRY to get a pair in the next few days, but I was making no promises. (My thought being, she wants the glasses, if she waits until Christmas the moment of desire may have passed and she will have missed out on a fun style statement.)

Yesterday, she came out of school again, now her OTHER best friend (they are sort of like the three amigas) wore a pair to school and she felt completely left out. I can just picture my shy little girl feeling sad because her two best friends had this "attention grabber" that she did not have. I am not a fan of doing what others do, but I had that deep down question "is this a battle I need to fight, or should I just let this one go and go get the glasses?" I was thinking about how the "fun" of wearing fake glasses will wear off soon I am sure, and then it will all be behind us and then perhaps a bigger, less trivial experience will come along and my seeming "support" of giving in to the trend is going to work against me when she pulls the "but mommmmm, everyone else is doing it!" I do still have that age old "Well, if so and so were to jump off a cliff, would you?" phrase that I believe every parent has used at one point or another, so I feel content that these glasses aren't going to make or break my method of parenting. So we went to Claires and got Acilia her very own pair of "fake glasses". She was thrilled!

I had to giggle a bit, Claires can be a bit trendy and when I asked about the glasses the clerk informed me they are called "Attitude Glasses" and she can't keep them on the shelves! Apparently they are the new "it" craze. Well, fancy that, my daughter has officially found her seat on the "cool train". My job as mom just got harder. And, another giggle came when she tried to sell me a "Justin Bieber" diary, to which I said my daughter is not into him, she said "Oh, is she over it?" I said "No, she never liked him" :) My little girl DOES still have a bit of rebel against the craze in her!

All jokes and deep analysis aside, Acilia is beautiful inside and out and I feel so blessed to have her in my life, especially right now, she is so delightful at this age and we are building a bond that I am confident will be strong as we face the hard years together. Seeing her wear these funky and fun glasses, I see the joy and appreciation in her face and I see her beauty and I am just in awe of her.

modeling the new glasses

Today, she gladly donned her "attitude glasses" to school, I, being the wannabe stylist, put her in a black polo with charcoal capris, she had her zebra converse shoes on (which I LOVE those shoes!!) and we put her blue beaded peace sign dangly earrings on. She looked absolutely precious!! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Milestone for Miles

My baby boy, starts his first day of his last year of preschool tomorrow. Two years ago, I checked in to the school he attends now, they have a parents morning out program and I thought his time in class would do some good for his social life and I needed the extra time so I could attend a few classes as I started my journey to nursing school. Tomorrow starts his THIRD year there and we've been so happy. Miles will be in 4 year old preschool this year, which is 3 days a week for 2.5 hours. I have a tradition that I started, I allow each child to choose what they would like for dinner, the night before school starts. Miles wanted pizza. I added a healthy spin to it when I decided to do homemade instead of order out. Miles chose to have carrots on the pizza. I thought to myself  "Different...hmmm...healthy, so hey! We'll try it!" He ended up changing his mind and wanted black olives on it instead. It's his choice, since I asked him what he wanted, so I made it! We had two pizzas, one was half cheese, half black olives. The other was spinach, broccoli and I filled my carrot topping curiosity with that one. It turned out great!

I had to laugh when I was washing spinach and came across this funny little leafy specimen. Not sure what it was, but I chose to think it brought us good luck ;)

So, my baby starts his last year of preschool tomorrow, which means, Kindergarten is around the corner and if I let myself think about it too much, it just might make me tear up! As if that wasn't enough, I have decided to put his stroller up for sale. I am not a saver of things, and I was holding on to his stroller for whatever reason I don't know, to be honest, I think I just have a hard time letting it go because I loved it so much...I still remember the day I found it, it is Mia Moda which was a brand I was not familiar with, but I was thrilled to find something other than Graco! It seemed to have everything I was looking for (adjustable handle, unique looking, fun colors and practical!) I bought the infant seat that went with it and it was what we brought our baby boy home from the hospital in. My heart melts when I have those memories! The realistic side of me couldn't logically think of a reason to allow it to keep taking up space though, so it must go. All good things come to an end, so this is "Good bye" to baby and hello to big kid who is an absolute JOY! (I should note, we haven't used the stroller in about 2 years, so it was just collecting dust and dog hair because Acilia likes to take our dog for rides in it!)

Monday, September 3, 2012

A great transition

This weekend has been a great one. It was unexpected because we had a clear calendar, but we filled our time and looking back I am utterly satisfied with the beautiful transition of activities that is taking place!

Acilia had off school on Friday, it's part of what the principal likes to call "easing them in to school" the first week was started on a Wednesday, we had half days both Wednesday and Thursday, then Friday was a full day. The following week was 4 full days, then we had an extended "Labor Day Break" now next week will be 4 full days and the week after is the real 5 full day shabang! I like that they do that! However, since I too am taking classes, my college is not so graceful about school, I had to drag myself to class, when I would have rather stayed home with my kiddos! They had fun spending the day at grandma's though! Have I ever stated how wonderful it is to have a mom that run's a home daycare?? (Definitely worth a post of it's own!)

So, Friday, I attended class and then worked for a few hours. My one and only day of the week where I put time on the clock. It's for a woman who suffered a stroke nearly three years ago, who needs assistance for exercise and some daily living tasks. She is a true delight and I love spending a few hours with her each week!

Friday night came and if I haven't mentioned before, I will say now, we live across from a high school. This is a great time of year for high school because of the Friday night football games!! I have made a tradition of taking the kids to the homecoming game every year, but this year, I figured, it may be our last football season where we can walk to a game and get in free! (We have something called a good neighbor pass that gets us in to all the high school games free of charge, I guess it's sort of in exchange for "putting up" with all of the crowd and game noise? Something I truly don't mind, infact I ENJOY IT!!) The kids and I walked over, we have family members who have son's that play football so we ran into them at the game. I have a cousin too who's daughter is very social and she meets her friends at the game to "hang out". So my cousin sat with us too for a while. We usually get there the beginning of the game, get the pop corn and candy treats and then stay through halftime and make our way home. It was a fun night and as always I thoroughly enjoyed the halftime show. I reminisce my cheerleading days and my heart fills with joy when Acilia shows interest in the available activities. (Sometimes she wants to do band, sometimes poms, sometimes cheerleading, sometimes color guard)

Saturday was sort of a bust, it was a rainy day and Acilia is supposed to volunteer at her barn on Saturday's, we showed up, but she wasn't needed because no one was there! She was bummed to say the least! Saturday night, I to sneak away for a few hours, for some much needed girl time with my dear friend Liza! She shopped for a while, I was on a mission to find shoes for my cousin's wedding and then we visited a little cafe for some food and outdoor seating. 

Sunday, Acilia and I attended church in the morning. We brought lunch home to the boys and then we went back to the high school for another football game. This is not a usual weekend football game wise, but my cousin's daughter (different cousin that's listed above, I have a HUGE family!) was cheering for her team that was playing against our home team. They came back to our house for a little while to visit, such a nice treat!! I was also thrilled and honored to be asked to be their new baby boy's God Mother. It was completely unexpected, so much so that I teared up. A true honor, my heart is warm and fuzzy even as I type this :)
My parents brought dinner to my grandma's house last night, so I called my mom to see if we could join them. My kids LOVE being at my grandma's house, she is the sweetest and I just thought it would be a nice time, it was a great time! Al met us there, and my brother came too (His family is out of town this weekend, so he's had a quiet house, which is quite a change from having 4 kids there). My grandma only expected my parents, so imagine her delight when we all showed up. She was so thankful and it was a really nice time. Then the 4th of July fireworks that were cancelled, were going on and we worked our way to the top of a parking garage by the hospital. We figured that was the least likely place for mosquitoes to bother us, since the fireworks took place "at dusk". We made it through most of the show when Miles started to get antsy. He was so excited to go and it just makes me laugh that he can't tolerate sitting still for a 15 minute show :) My little active boy!! HA! I brought him to the car and was just starting a movie for him when the hospital security came and told us we shouldn't be using the space to watch the fireworks show. He was a big bummer, considering we weren't causing any trouble. So, fireworks were a little hindered, but I still enjoyed them probably more so than I would have on the 4th of July, considering the spontaneity of the night. 

Today, Monday, Labor Day, the day that's supposed to be BBQ day, we don't plan to BBQ, but I am on deck to take the kids to the pool for one last HURRAH!

Football games, mixed with fireworks and swimming, I would say that's the perfect transition for what is dubbed "The last weekend of summer"!

God bless America!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A few thoughts

I am at fault for getting into political debates in public. This is something I felt deep down wasn't right, and I don't want to be a part of it. Now, I am in a pickle because I have thoughts I want to share, however, I don't want them to be viewed as "downing" the other side. So, I am hoping that my thoughts don't come off as disrespectful to either side. To be honest, it's not so much the one side or the other that offends me, it's the lack of respect that people share with their opinions. The blatant bullying that takes place when someone disagrees with your opinion. Let's be real for a minute and look at the fact. Sharing my opinion here or anywhere, is not going to change an opinion of someone that believes something different than me. So why would I do go out of my way to debate my beliefs, when they are mine. Right? Well, with the convenience of over sharing on Facebook and all those "statement posts" do nothing more than irritate people and to be brutally honest, it makes me dislike people sometimes whether I agree with what they are saying or not! I'm working on that. But, I find it hard not to take offense when people post things like "...blah blah blah, this is my belief and anyone that doesn't see the way I do, is an idiot and I don't want to be friends with them anyway". I find myself thinking, I don't agree with you, does that really mean you don't want to be my friend or does it mean that you are speaking tall talk and I should respect your opinion, even though it's stated in a completely ignorant way?

I have done some soul searching during this election. I have been raised to favor a specific political party and my views haven't changed much however, my mind has opened to the fact that life is NOT black and white. I may disagree with certain actions, but at the end of the day, these actions DO exist and there are people that it affects and furthermore, if I want to live to love others like Jesus loves me, it is my duty to lighten up a bit and see both sides. This got me curious as to whether I am really true to the same political party that I am registered. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive to find out. I didn't want to do my soul searching and then find out I have "changed parties" however, it was something I needed to know. I visited a great website, I will share it with you incase you want to visit it as well, I side with, I took the test and was pleased with my results. It does put me in to a different party, not the typical "left or right" side, but a party that is new to me.

This is getting more wordy that I anticipated and I haven't even gotten to my point...I just want to share one more thought before getting to my point: Don't be afraid to look into yourself and if you haven't, figure out what's important to you and then go from there.

During election time, it's the personal stories that clench my attention. In light of that, I will share my personal reflection. I want to put my house up for sale. I posted about the visit from my realtor, what I did not share, (perhaps because I am still trying to keep my hopes up since we won't be putting it up for sale for another 6 months), is that the realtor suggested a listing price of LESS THAN we bought the house for 8 years ago. Now, anyone can calculate, but just to put it in black and white, we bought our house after 9-11, our country had been at war and the economy had already taken a hit, but my house was sold for a price and we bought it. The housing market crashed right around 2008. I can look at the value of my home on a graph and it peaked a tiny bit in 2008 and then plummeted! Here we are, 2012, sssssslllllloooowwwwwllllyyyy climbing, but not where it needs to be and I am not the only homeowner that feels this somber reality. We are worse off than first time home buyers just starting out because we have to clean up the mess that our country has made and with that comes money out of our pocket. One more point is, there are TWO Presidents that were in office during this time, one that started a war and one that promised to END the war. From what I see, as home owners, we are far worse right now that ever before. Ponder.

Another example, this healthcare that is at the forefront. I was skeptical, but curious. If what was promised is true, my husband with his preexisting condition of end stage renal failure, should be covered. This should have been good news to me. He's been on Medicare since the transplant and per Medicare's specifications, he will be "kicked off" come December, which is his 3 year post transplant anniversary. It's interesting because he still will not be able to get on regular insurance, infact, he is going back on the specialized insurance that he was on last time around, which was 20+ years ago. Ironic, since we were promised things that are not coming true and that was what sold the supporters of the bill on the healthcare. Coverage for preexisting conditions.

I do NOT want to feed into the Debbie Downer, pessimist approach and I am not about to go into a rant about how awful this President is, because there is a bigger picture and as much as people would like to blame ONE person, blame can't be placed. I hate to break it to you, it's not Bush's fault, it's not Obama's fault. Presidential office is a very complicated position to be in, one I would never ever consider for myself, so I am not one to judge the job that's being done in office. I just found some irony in my life and wanted to share my perspective. Sharing here, helps me to organize my thoughts, as odd as that sounds!