Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Seriously? Seriously!

Bella's had a loose tooth for what seems like an eternity... Really since my birthday, April 21st. Last night around 3am, she climbed in my bed saying it was bothering her. Like any good mom, I shined my phone light into her mouth and the tooth was still there, no blood, no gapping hole, no redness, no swelling. Then I told her she could sleep with me.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I get off of work and race to the bus stop to get her before picking up the boys. She smiles from here to Alaska and then tells me she lost her tooth. I know how excited she was about it, you could see it shining in her face!

"Well where is it? How'd you lose it? What did the teacher say? What did the kids say?"

"Well I lost it at lunch!"

"You did, that's so cool!"

"And I swallowed it" she grinned.

"No way!! Where is it?"

"Seriously Mom, I swallowed it."

"Come on, stop playing, where is it?"

"No Mom, for real. It was an accident but I did REALLY swallow it."

"Did you choke?"

"No I just bit into a carrot and then it was gone."

"Wait you ate a carrot?"

"Mom, it was an accident for real"

"Okay honestly, let's see it"

"No Mom really, I actually did swallow it accidentally"

So it's true. She actually swallowed her first tooth! Like gone, down the hatch. Like any good nurse mom, I told her she'd have to wait for it to come out of the other end to get her money because why would the tooth fairy pay for a tooth she doesn't even get to keep!

"Mom, I already wrote her a note, it'll be fine"

And so it went... the tooth, swallowed. The crazy mom that wants to keep the first tooth, out of luck. The tooth fairy, screwed!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Seriously kid

I was tucking Bella into bed and we were doing our normal routine. Chatting, reading, giggling. Out of left field she lifts up her left hand and says "Mom, I think I'm getting a 6th finger!" with the biggest smile on her face.

Initially I didn't know what to say, so I said "really where?"

"See this little bump right here? That's where my 6th finger is growing!" True fact, she did have a little red bump on her left hand.


"Wow that's crazy!"


"Mom, did you seriously think I was growing a finger? I'll NEVER grow fingers, crazy!"


We both laughed and then carried on with our nightly routine. Sometimes, she says crazy stuff like that and sometimes she says other kinds of crazy stuff. Hand comments though, they always come out of no where for me.

Sometimes she's oh so matter of fact about it and very serious. Other times she's truly a six year old. Like tonight.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Almost there

Tonight I booked our flight for Camp No Limits Maine!! Our first time in Maine ever, a new state, a new camp, a new place to cross off of our bucket list. I can't wait. I almost had a heart attack at the price tag for flying with a family of five. Holy smokes Batman! Seriously, I work so we can travel :) Well... kind of.
(My crazy poser at Target)


I'd rather have a life full of memories than a house full of stuff. Stuff means nothing, we can't take it with us. Memories however, they are what keep us alive. Memories of my dad remind me of how deeply I was loved by him. Memories of sunny San Diego, remind me of the beach and meeting the Mr. Memories of hiking in Washington State are filled with laughter and our hike and how my pants were too long and got soaked to my knees. A tiny $12 ring I got on our Mt. Rainer hike still sits on my right hand and reminds me of our first adventures together, before we were truly a couple. Mexico reminds me of my sister and brother in laws wedding and monkeys... and chicken and cheese. Ah the sweet memories. A price tag that sits empty because memories can't hold a price. Instead they hold a place in our heart. I vow to fill my children's hearts and minds with sweet, sweet memories of our adventures together as a family.
(Cookie decorating in Madison)

This year, our adventure will take us to Maine. I'm dreaming of eating lobster and sticking my toes in the sand. I'm dreaming of meeting new camp friends and spending time reconnecting with old ones. I'm dreaming of new adventures, new sibling groups, new tasks completed, new parent support... My heart will be filled once again with gratitude.

Thanks to all of you who make our camp trips possible. For allowing me to balk a little less at that price tag and know that you have allowed our family to go on this adventure.





(silly girl at Hobby Lobby)--------------------->

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Standardized testing

I received an email from our school about PALS testing this week and MAPS testing for two days the following week. I've emailed her teacher, who I completely adore to find out more about both. Do they last all day? Why two forms of standardized testing? Why does the MAPS testing last two days? How important are these tests?

I can't help but wonder all about this. Is it truly necessary that my first grader be subject to so much standardized testing? It seems a bit excessive to me. I'm anxious to hear her response. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing... so as any normal mama, I went to Facebook to find out what my friends thought. I have some opinionated friends! :) I'm thankful for feedback from all those that answered, honestly, there was a varied response with some very valid points.

Here's a brief summary:

"my kids struggle but the teachers are amazing so we do it"

"stupid"

"If SATS don't go away then standardized testing is a necessary evil"

"Ask for extra breaks so she doesn't overuse her hand"

"Encourage stretching of her hand"

"I have a limb difference and don't want any accomodations!"

"Lots of parents pull their students from these testings"

"Does she mind it?

"One student I know had panic attacks because she got so stressed out."

"Our district doesn't start until 3rd grade"

"It helps to prepare with time management"

"She can't opt out of ACT, SAT or other tests in college"

"She can come play with my homeschool group instead"'

"Who do the results matter for? The students, the teachers?"

"Does she get stressed out by it"

"Teachers in Texas spend the whole year teaching to the test"

"They are required in Florida or they can't advance grades"

"Private schools don't have as many standardized tests in Florida, just one at the end of the year"

"Some districts teachers pay is based on the test"

"total bullshit"

As you can see, lots of interesting points of view. I honestly never viewed it as an overuse of her hand to fill in circles on a scantron for hours on end. I think I need to think more about how to prevent overuse of her hand since she only has one... it's something limb different parents really need to consider. It's something I honestly forget about at times! I also make sure she uses "both hands" when she can, for holding, lifting, carrying, etc...

As far as the testing goes, I'm interested to hear her teacher's point of view. I value and respect her insight as an educator and a mother. I also asked Bella about the MAP and PALS testing and she knew nothing about it! So clearly she's not stressed by the whole thing because she has no idea what I'm talking about...

Wanna know what's stressing her? The concert she has for school tonight!

"Mom, I NEED to be dressed like the email says! WHAT did the email say? It's okay that I have the sniffles, lots of people are singing so don't worry about me having a stuffy nose. No one will notice."

Oh my sweet, sweet girl. You have no idea how much this mama thinks about! Standardized testing, limb differences, attitudes, stress on you, your mind, your body, getting enough sleep, getting enough exercise, eating well, drinking enough water, having fun, exploring, traveling... concerts! That's just a few.

For today, we worry about concerts... Tomorrow, I'll think again about the testing!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Bella on being romantic

Seriously this kid... she kills me sometimes with the things that she says. So I'm in bed with her tucking her in for the night and she says "You and Daddy are romantic."

"What does romantic mean anyways?" I asked, almost afraid to find out the answer.

"That you kiss with your tongue!"

"Ew, why would I kiss Daddy with my tongue! You better not EVER kiss a boy with your tongue!"

"Well it's when you hold your face when you kiss"

"Daddy doesn't hold my face when he kisses me... but Grayson does! So he's romantic!" We both laugh and she gives me the side eye.

"MOM, Seriously, it's when you love someone, you are romantic with them"

"Oh I think I understand" as I smile, hoping to end the conversation for fear of what she might say next!

"Let's just read, okay. I'll read you some poems I wrote" and away she goes, reading her poems. I smile to think that she's thinking about romance and love. I'm happy she thinks her Daddy and I are romantic, although I'm not so sure we are. I mean is falling asleep at 8:30 romantic? Or rushing through the morning and barely stealing a kiss in the madness? It's life, it's where we are right now and I wouldn't trade it for anything else on the planet. I'm happy to know that she's witnessing love first hand and watching her dad and I closely. I'm happy to think that she knows Daddy and I are in love and happy. We spend a lot of time laughing together. I'll be romantic with that guy any day... but I'm not kissing him with my tongue! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mom guilt

I've talked about it before and I'm readdressing it today. Yesterday I was working my first day at my new job. (Yay for full-time faculty position less than a year after getting my master's degree!) I received a phone call from Bella's school. I was in a meeting and unable to answer. Then I received a text message from my mom "Bella has a tummy ache and is hunched over and school called me". Then a few minutes later, I received a text message from my mother-in-law "Bella is in the office and I'm at the doctor". I politely excused myself, listened to my voicemail then called Bella's school.

I was told that Bella was in the office with a tummy ache. Que the nurse mom... 


"Is she puking?"

"Well, no."

"Does she have diarrhea?"

"No, but she's been here for 20 minutes complaining of her tummy hurting."

"Does she have a fever?"

"No."

"Do you think she's contagious, needs to go to the doctor or the ER?"

"I don't think so, she just says her tummy hurts"

"Ok well then unfortunately she'll have to stay at school because I'm working and it's just a tummy ache. She can rest for awhile longer then she needs to go back to class. Call me if she gets worse."

"Um okay but most mom's come get them if they've been in the office awhile."

"Well it's my first day at my new job and I can't come get her for a tummy ache, sorry."

"Ok"



Maybe it's because I'm a pediatric nurse, maybe it's because I'm a working mom, maybe it's because if I pick her up for a tummy ache then I know she'll want to have a tummy ache and come home in the future.

Regardless, I hung up and felt like total $hit... I'm NOT MOST mom's... I'm a nurse, a pediatric nurse and I have a full time job. I love my kids and I would absolutely leave work and go pick her up if I felt like it was necessary. It also freaked out both mom's (my mom and my mother-in-law) that school called them. Does a tummy ache deem it necessary to call EVERYONE on the emergency contact list? I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this. I personally felt like it was completely unnecessary but I would love to hear both ends of the spectrum to put my own thoughts in check.

Fast forward to today, we unloaded her lunch... guess what, she felt well enough to eat the cookie out of her lunch but not the rest. When talking with her, I explained that her tummy probably hurt because it was hungry. I asked her "What did you want mommy to do for you?"

"I don't know but my stomach did hurt" She said with a giant smile.

"Well you HAVE to eat your lunch honey because if you don't, your body doesn't feel well. You can't learn or play if you don't eat because your body needs fuel."

"Yeah mom, I know"

Needless to say, she came home yesterday and ate a GIANT dinner. She played in the backyard, running around and chasing her brothers. She was great.

What would you have done in my shoes? Do you think its necessary to call the entire emergency contact list for a tummy ache? What would you have said to the school nurse?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Refilling my tank

Every other year since 2012, I've gone on a girl's trip with four friends from "home"... Two of us have moved away and two remain in the Kansas City area. I'm the one that lives the furthest away. Between the four of us there are: four husbands, eleven kids (one set of twins), fifteen plus years of friendship, twenty-sevenish years of college... they are good solid friendships, the kind that pick up like you never missed a beat or haven't talked in months. This year, only two of us could go. It was unfortunate but life and love sometimes take priority, the great thing is there are no hard feelings and everyone understands.



This year, Ginny and I went to Dallas! Two years ago we all four went to San Antonio, the first year was Chicago... what's with Texas though, really?! We had a great time, almost got hit by a semi on our way to the hotel, we stayed up late, slept in until 9:30 (um hello that's FOUR hours of sleeping in for this mama who gets up at 5:15 typically), drank Bishop cider (delish!), walked around the West End, ate mexican, checked out Bishop Arts district, went on a Downtown Dallas tour, had our tour bus breakdown, had the cops come, got sunburnt at the pool, read a book, drank fancy fruit water, broke a table light (GINNY!), bought souvenirs, tasted fancy chocolate, but most of all we laughed. Like really laughed, my stomach hurt, my cheeks hurt. My tank was refueled. I'm ready to go home a better wife, nurse, teacher, mother and friend.

This year I was reminded that it is important to take time for me. To really think about the things that make ME happy and continue not to do the things that don't make me happy. The answer should be not just yes but HELL YES! I remember her standing next to me at my wedding and supporting my marriage so many years ago, she's been through thick and thin with me. Breakups, road trips, shitty hotels, fancy hotels, finding true love, engagement, marriage, moves to four states, getting pregnant, my mom's cancer, a miscarriage, getting pregnant again... and again!, my father's death, breastfeeding, girl's trips, grad school, job changes... one thing remains she always is there, she never judges, she's always supportive, she always listens and offers insight and a new perspective.

Ladies, I beg you, find your person... find your friend. Find the person that is there for you no matter what. I've been lucky enough to find that over 15 years ago. I'm blessed beyond belief to know that these four ladies are a source of rejuvenation for my soul. Take time for YOU, it'll make you a better mother and wife. It'll help you learn about doing things different and embracing the way others work their relationships with their spouse, in their careers and with their children. I can honestly say I have a great deal of respect for all three of these ladies and what they have brought to my life. They make me want to be a better me. GO and be a better YOU!!