Wordful Wednesday – No Good Pictures

Every summer (or anytime we go some place) I take my camera and this year was no exception, but for some reason the few times I did pull it out I couldn’t seem to get a good picture of my kids.

No matter how hard I tried…. fail. For some reason they just weren’t cooperative!

kids at Whitefish Point

Take this one for example. I have at least four or five of them here…. While we were on vacation I thought why not get a great picture of all the kids! And the location could not have been better… we were on the beach at Whitefish Point in the UP. The beach is beautiful with soft white sand, sun bleached drift wood and gorgeous blue water. Sounds perfect right? Getting them all to sit right, look towards the camera, and smile all that the same time was a bigger challenge then I thought that it would be. Long story short… I didn’t get a picture.

Silly faces

Toddlers can be so much fun and at the same time they can be the  biggest pain in the rear that you’ve ever known. Of course any of you with kids already know this. He is kinda cute even though sitting still for me was a lesson in futility last week.

playing at the park

Now this picture is one of those very, very rare pictures. You see that is my oldest daughter and getting a good picture of her is next to impossible. A couple weekends ago we went to the park together with the toddler to play and burn off a little bit of energy. Anyway, I brought the camera with me and was able to get a picture of her playing and smiling. It’s not the perfect picture but she looks happy and is having fun and to me that’s priceless.

Still life acorn

Now this little gem listened to everything I said, smiled, sat still, and posed so perfectly for this picture and one more. I couldn’t have been happier! Yea… I know it’s just an acorn.

ice cream dinner

As summer winds down and the kids get ready to head back to school I thought what better way to celebrate then by doing something a little fun and having ice cream sundae’s for dinner one night. It goes without saying that they all loved it! Now, I did make a macaroni salad with tuna just in case they got hungry later and wanted something more than ice cream again.

Do you struggle getting a good picture of your kids?

Have you tried ice cream for dinner yet?

Of course since it’s Wordful Wednesday I’m linking up with Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies!

On being a parent

Well, it’s Monday again and in lieu of the Monday Menu (I couldn’t come up with something good) I decided to link up with Just.Be.Enough for a change.

It’s been a while since I wrote anything for their weekly link up but something just clicked this week… I’m not sure what it was. Oh wait, yes I do.

My sister called me Sunday evening and we talked as we normally do but then out of curiosity I asked if she had spoken with our dad in a while. I pretty much knew the answer… she hadn’t. But I wanted to hear what she had to say and if she was still upset with him, of course she was.

Each of us has a different style of parenting, a different style of discipling, and different ways of showing love to our kids. There isn’t much out there either to say that one way is wrong and another is right and we all do what works best for our families and our situation. Honestly, I think that we all make mistakes once in a while…. almost daily in my case. I know that I’m far from perfect and try to realize where I go wrong and not do it again.

My sister and I are pretty close and often a day rarely goes by that we don’t talk. In ways we are similar… scary similar and then in other ways we are so different, but that’s what makes us who we are. Raising our kids is one of the ways that we differ.

While she was home my parents got upset about the way her & her husband treated their son(s). They thought that my sister & her husband were to hard on the boys and didn’t treat them equally. My parents said something to them and caused quiet a stir that weekend… needless to say things were a little tense.

Did I agree with the way they treated the boys? No, but it’s not my place to say anything how they raise their kids. They’re not mean, they’re not abusive, or anything like that. What they are is strict and they mean business when they say something… they’re also a dual military family (20+ years in the service for them). I think that alone says something.

Did I agree with how my parents went about saying something? No, but that’s just them. Really, it could have been a lot worse…. my parents held back a lot. But they couldn’t hold it in for long and my dad finally called my sister and let her have it.

Long story short my sister is still upset and through our conversation she said something that stuck with me…. there are things that I do as a parent that she doesn’t like. She didn’t elaborate on it or even hint at what it was, but while I know we don’t agree on things it caught me off guard. What was it that I do wrong? What is it that she doesn’t like?

It’s been bugging me ever since I talked to her…. is there a lot that I’m doing wrong? Have I done everything wrong as a parent?

Am I enough?

I love my kids dearly.

I would do anything for my kids.

I try my best every single day.

I want only the best for my kids.

I listen to them.

I give them the best advice I have.

I set boundaries & have rules.

I am enough!

We’re all different as parents and we all do the very best that we can each day.

That said… I am enough and so are you.

PYHO:That Girl….

There’s always one in school, the office, anywhere really… sometimes there are two, but that’s a horrible situation.

Some call them mean girls.

Some call them other things that I will not dare repeat.

Here is what I know for sure… there is one that is in my daughter’s school (it’s a big school so there has to be more but this one is my daughter’s nemesis). That girl seemingly goes out of her way to get under my daughter’s skin.

That girl does things on purpose to upset her.

That girl has made it almost impossible for my daughter to talk to much less hang out with one of her oldest and best friends. Oh… who now happens to be That girls boyfriend.

That girl spent the better part of the last school year stalking my daughter’s boyfriend, spreading rumors, and doing her damnedest to break them up.

That girl went so far as to have her mom call my daughter! Now, if you ask me that takes a hell of a lot of nerve!

That girl gets on my daughter’s last never, but she is the better person and says nothing. She lets it all go knowing that That girl is being petty and childish.

That girl needs a lesson taught to her.

But karma has a way of finding those who are most deserving of her wrath and one day That girl will learn how terrible she has been and tables will be turned.

That girl will learn that lying and spreading rumors is not the way to get ahead in life or to get the things that you want.

That girl is lucky that I am not in high school or else she’d get an ear full from me.

In the meantime I will do everything that I can to support my daughter and in my head say all the things that should be said to That girl

What about you…. do you know someone like that? How did you deal with her?

When a toddler learns to use the iPhone camera

Cheese!! That’s what I kept hearing over and over again while Andrew was playing with my phone. I didn’t think much of it because I figured that he wouldn’t know how to work the camera or anything like that. Often he just looks at the phone and says cheese because he knows I use the camera to take pictures. No big deal…. he was just playing.

Well, guess what? I was wrong. Yup, you got it…. the toddler figured out how to open the camera app and then how to take a picture. When I looked there he was, face so close to the screen that the only pictures taken were of one eye or his forehead, taking picture after picture.

Andrew self portrait

From the grainy look of it and the fact that you can see about a quarter of his face you can guess how close he had the camera. But there is a definite smile on his adorable face.

Andrew & I

Once I figured out what he was doing I had to try and get in on the action. I thought that maybe I’d get one or two cute pictures of the two of us together. Nope… just a pic of his forehead (again) and me looking like a crazy lady.

Andrew. My favorite pic.

This one is my favorite and not only because you can see most of his face. What I love about it is how happy he looks, how it captures his pure joy, his fondness for having fun, and of course mischief. This picture captures the pure essence of Andrew. Could there be a better picture?

I’ll be honest… I did delete some but I kept a few just because they were cute and halfway decent. Most of all they’re memories that capture mere moments in time that are fun, special, and were a learning moment that made him happy.

Tell me…. have you found similar pictures on your phone or camera?

Of course it’s Wednesday and that means that I am linking up with Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies!

Wordful Wednesday ~ Bit by the theatre bug!

“The center stage is where I am.” ~ Martha Graham

At a very young age all of my girls were introduced to our local community theatre and have starred in a number of shows over the past 7 or 8 years. It started out as a way to keep the girls busy and out of trouble because I figure that kids who are busy, have interests, and are involved in things tend to stay out of trouble more than others. I’m happy to say that it has worked…. but that’s not what this post is about.

One of the very first shows that my oldest daughter was in was The King and I. To date it has to be one of the biggest and most elaborate shows that I can remember and one of the best too. Kids of all ages were involved and as a backstage parent who helped wrangle the kids, do makeup, and help keep them quiet during the show I can tell you that the amount of work involved is incredible and that the kids were simply amazing.

Cait in the King & I

Caitlin was on of the King’s children… I think that total there was around 20 kids in this show!

Natalie from Mulan 2008

Natalie started out in the Jr. shows and starred in Mulan Jr. and Alice in Wonderland Jr. After these shows she decided she liked working backstage better even though she did a great job in both shows.

cinderella

If Caitlin sees this picture she’ll probably kill me for posting it… she’ll say how terrible she looks. But what I see is a happy girl with her friends getting ready for the production of Cinderella. For some reason I seem to be missing pictures from so many of the girls shows! I have no idea where they all disappeared to.

HS Musical

Right there… front and center…. that’s my kid in High School Musical!

Dorothy's Beauticians

And we can’t forget one of our favorite shows of all time! The Wizard of Oz! Caitlin was one of Dorothy’s beauticians and I worked on costuming. Let me tell ya… finding all those green outfits was a challenge! For munchkins we had mostly kids and we had to sew all of their outfits from scratch… again with tons of work! It was fun though and I’d do it again if it were a smaller show.

Now my youngest daughter has been bit by the theatre bug and is starring in her very first show! School House Rock Jr. which also happens to be the exact same show that her older sister was in when she was in 3rd grade.

Lauren - school house rock

And there she is… in the purple! I am so proud of all my girls and I love watching them on stage because they’re good. They can sing, dance, and act really well and I’m not just saying that because I’m their mom! I hope that they continue with it and always have fun up there in the spotlight.

Sometimes I wonder where they get it from because I am terrified on stage, can’t sing to save my life, and well I can sort of dance but not well enough. I am an awesome audience member and backstage helper!


Wordful Wednesday ~ Today

Today is the first day that you start daycare… you’re a big boy now and will have so much fun.

Today you will make new friends with all the other 2 year olds in your classroom and come to love your teachers.

Easter Scavenger Hunt

Today you will sit at the table like a big boy and eat lunch with all of your new friends and teachers.

Today I will worry that you will be scared and unsure of your new surroundings even though we’ve visited the classroom a couple of times.

blowing bubbles

Today I will worry that you’ll cry when daddy leaves and you’ll be all alone with new people.

Today I will also worry that I am failing you because I am not home with you like I was with your sisters.

Today a new page in our lives begins.

Playing in the sand

I know that this is the right thing to do for you and that you are going to learn and grow so much from being in a structured daycare and that you will enjoy it in time.

I’ve seen the things that the other children can say and do and was surprised. I couldn’t believe that they could recognize the names of their friends on flash cards…. I couldn’t believe that some of your new friends could talk in complete sentences that I could fully understand. I know that you will be sitting in that circle with them and doing the exact same things as them in no time.

playing with the buzz quad

Pretty soon you’ll be rattling things off in complete sentences and telling us about your day and how much fun you had.

This first day is going to drag for me as I watch the clock tick… waiting for that magical hour when I can leave work and finally come and get you and gathe you in my arms. All day I will wonder if you’re okay but I won’t visit yet because you need to get adjusted, but I will call to check on you. I need to for my own sake really… I need to know that you’re alright and now having a meltdown.

As the days turn into weeks I know that things will get easier for the both of us. All you need to remember is that we love you so much and that you will learn a lot and have fun.

 


Today you are two

Today you are 2 Andrew.

Memories, milestones, and so much more has been achieved in the past year.

How do I summarize it all into one post, how do I explain all that you’ve done, all that you’ve accomplished? I don’t think that I can.

Andrew 3

My little baby is quickly turning into a little boy.

Every day he learns something new and changes in a little ways.

Every day his smile and laughter warms my heart.

Andrew 2

He makes everyone laugh, even his sisters who I know adore him greatly.

He’s a little sponge and seem to pick up some of the silliest things from them as well.

He is full of light and love and happiness.

Andrew 1

As we look ahead to the next year what new thing will you learn?

What new things will you teach us?

One thing that I’m sure of is that you are a true joy to us all and we love you more than you know.

Happy Birthday, Andrew.

One to remember

Every year I hope to get one perfect picture of my kids together during the holidays. It’s the one time of the year that I can almost guarantee that they’ll all be dressed up and some what coordinating…. Yes, I know I can try other times of the year but I have teens so that should be enough explanation, ok?

Anyway, this past weekend we had our first holiday gathering and I brought my camera along and snapped pictures here and there and when the kids were standing near each other I took that opportunity to take a couple of them together.

the girls.... posing

Is this the one to remember? Nope. It was missing their brother who is in a constant state of motion unless he is asleep.

The kids

Oh look!! Two of them are smiling nicely! Andrew obviously didn’t want his picture taken and I think Natalie was talking to someone near me. So, this one isn’t the one to remember.

After the last picture I gave up. One day I will but until then I have all these cute and silly pictures of my kids that remind me of exactly who they are. They sweet, smart, fun loving, honest, and most all … they’re mine. I love them all more than they’ll ever know. So while I may never get that one perfect picture the ones I have are all ones to remember.

MemoriesCaptured1

I am linking up with Allison and Galit for some great fun and fond memories that we’ve all captured. It took me all week to get to it but I finally did it!

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There’s no place like….

I heard something the other day…. there’s no place like… and of course it got me thinking. There’s no place like what? A lot of places came to mind.

Of course the random thoughts came into mind like the Wizard of Oz but the I was back on track after a moment.

So there’s no place like what? What comes to mind first?

Home. Of course there’s no place like home.

Walking into your home after a long day at work or after being away on vacation is comforting. It’s the sight of the pictures of your friends and family welcoming you, the messes you left, or the perfect organization you have. It’s the smell that is unique to your home, again welcoming you in. Your home is special and always a place you can relax, laugh, and play with your family.

pumpking carving

Carving pumpkins at home

There’s no place like…. the beach.

The sun shining down on the sand warming it so when you walk on it your feet are enveloped in the heat or the water glistening with each ray of light that hits it. The beach is a wonderful place to sit back, relax with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. It’s also a great place to spend the day splashing in the surf with the kids, building sand castles, and eating a picnic lunch. The beach can be almost anything you want it to be and what’s even better is that they’re all over… whether it’s the beach at a local lake or the white sandy beaches on a tropical island there really is not place like it.

Kids on the beach

My kids on the beach in Mackinaw City

There’s no place like…. cuddling with a baby.

Cuddles from a baby are amazing. They make you feel safe & warm even though you’re the adult holding the baby. Holding a baby brings a smile to your face and can brighten anyone’s day no matter how bad it’s been. Holding a baby is love… pure and simple and there’s nothing like the joy you feel when holding your baby for the first time.

Newborn

Holding my newborn

There’s nothing like… sleeping in a big bed alone.

I love this! I love being able to make the bed perfectly and then climb in and position myself right in the middle. The comfort of the cool sheets below me and the weight of all the blankets and comforters above me. There’s nothing like being able to spread out in bed… diagonal, across the middle, or however you want. Now this is not to say that sleeping with my husband is a bad thing but every once in a while when he’s gone I look forward to that time where I can hog the entire bed, pillows, and blankets!

There’s no place like….what? Well, it’s your turn so tell me!