Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gloves, the struggle is real

Every year for winter, Bella struggles with gloves. I usually flip the glove inside out, sew the fingers closed, then cut the fingers off and she wears the glove as best she can... in years past, it consistently falls off. We put it back on, it falls off, we put it back on... and so it goes. It's a constant struggle but something she's never truly complained about until this year.

This year has been a bit different. It's bitter cold here this week. Like, my car said 1 degree but with the wind chill its -26, yes NEGATIVE 26. I mean that's cold! You need gloves, no question about it. With or without a hand, you need both limbs covered. Heck, you need your whole body covered and properly geared. Grayson's poor nose and cheeks, the only thing that's been exposed, has wind burn from the cold.

Us two handed folks take for granted that our wrist actually holds our glove in place. While Bella has movement in her left wrist, there's no real definition between the end of her arm and her wrist. That makes gloves a struggle. In the past, we've used a sock for her left hand. And yes, I always refer to her left hand has such even though she has no fingers. In the past, the sock is longer so it stays in place better and works as a knit "glove" on her left hand. This year, she doesn't want that. She wants to be like everyone else and wear two gloves. I can't blame her.

This year, we've had tears over gloves. Let's be real, we've had tears from all three kids over gloves. Bella because nothing works right. Grayson because it "feels funny". Luca because he can't get his stubby little fingers into the whole quick enough for his liking. Everyone has their "thing".

Last night, I laid in bed with each kid like I always do. I read them a book and snuggled. Last night, Bella asked if she could close her eyes because she was so tired. She closed her eyes and fell asleep in my arms. I laid next to her and watched her sweet face. Her little button nose, her super long eye lashes, the sweet movement of her breathe next to me, her long little fingers on her right hand, her bunny curled under her right arm. I remembered her as a tiny little five pound string bean and the nights of her curled under my arm nursing in the night. I remembered her as a toddler, so full of energy and excitement. I remembered her learning to read and figuring out the sounds the letters make. Tonight, I cried. Tears rolled gently down my cheeks as she lie there asleep in arms. My first born baby was now seven. She was reading chapter books and asking about makeup just hours earlier. I missed that tiny little babe that used to co-sleep in my bed at all hours of the day and night. My girl is growing.

As a parent, there's nothing more than you want for your kids to be happy AND healthy. I want them to work hard and play harder. I want them to work through their struggles. Gloves are our current struggle. Do you have a suggestion? Has something worked for your child? I'm open to trying anything to resolve this little blip in her road of life. Can you help?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

First there was us...

Before there was Bella.... or Grayson.... or Luca. There was us... just us. It's easy as parents to get into the swing of things and completely side track your love or even like for one another. You get caught up in dirty floors, dirty faces, laundry, dishes, meals, Girl Scouts, guitar lessons, homework and well... life. You forget about blogs, about writing thank you notes, about handwritten cards, your passions... you also forget to really take the time to nurture your relationship. It ebs and flows.

Sometimes we go through life not taking the time to really embrace the one that started it all with us. Sometimes we reconnect on a date night or on the dance floor. Most times, you arms are filled with your children and not your spouse. It's easy to kind of just let life take over. Date nights become less of a priority and surviving is your only priority at times, especially with three young kids and a dog.

This past week, we reconnected... in a big way and NO we didn't make a baby (Dear Lord thank GOD we did not make a baby!). We went on a fantastic week long vacation to the Dominican Republic without kids! All alone, yes you read that right. We put each of the kids in a dog kennel and out we went to the tropics... well not really... we flew my Mom and stepdad up to keep them alive. It's a few steps up from a dog kennel! :)
Just a week, just the two of us. It was beyond amazing, it was beyond fabulous. We slept (well when Ryan didn't wake me up!) and sat on the beach under a cabana. We talked, we both read (I finished an ENTIRE 400+ page book), we laughed, we danced, we ate, we drank, we danced some more, we played in the ocean, and the sand, we went for walks on the beach, during the day and at night, we walked around the resort, we explored. It was just what we needed.

It's not like I've forgotten how much I love this man... in fact it's quite the opposite. Each day, I'm reminded how incredibly lucky I am. I have a husband that is truly a team player. We work together towards our goals, we support each other's passions and careers. He cooks most our meals, I do most of our laundry. He shovels and takes the trash out. He loves our children to the ends of the earth and he loves their mama. Each day, I watch him work hard for our family.

This vacation though, it was just what I needed to remind myself once again how much fun I have with this handsome burly bearded dude. We dressed up and went to dinner. We talked about our life and our goals. We talked about where it all started 11 1/2 years ago. So many things have changed... we've lived in California, Seattle, Hawaii and now Wisconsin. We've been pregnant four times and have three beautiful babies. My dad died and he held me high and encouraged me. I started and finished a graduate program. He opened, maintained, then closed his business. We've bought a condo, a house, sold cars, bought cars, bought an RV. We've been through my mom having cancer and he encouraged me to be by her side.

One thing, above all else remains the same. I fell in love with that man so many years ago and I've fallen in love with him again many times over. Above all, I hold strong and true to my love of him and the life we've created. It may be crazy at times but it's our life and there's nothing more in life I could want. I know without a shadow of a doubt that he'll be my partner in life and love for the rest of my life. I know that I will fall in love with him many more times. I know that my love for him will continue to grow.

Did I feel bad about going away for a week without my kids to show them that my marriage was important? No. I knew they were well taken care of and more than anything that they were loved while we were gone. I also knew that it was important for them to see that having time alone makes us better partners in life and better parents to them. I think it's important for them to realize the love we share for one another. So don't wait... take that trip! You won't regret it!

Thanks Mom and Mark for making this whole thing possible. I think my kids had just as much fun with them as we had being away. They were too busy to talk long to us while we were gone because they were enjoying having their Tutu and Papa all to themselves! It's safe to say they've asked when they'll be moving to Wisconsin and when they'll be back. :) Thanks to the people here in Wisconsin that shoveled our driveway, checked on my mom and Mark to be sure they were still alive. Thanks to my sister in law and brother in law for keeping our bunch on the last night, again they were FAR too busy to talk to us! Your kids will survive if you leave, trust me. There was NO lack of fun, that's for sure. Do it... take that trip... because first, it was just you two :)

CAMP NO LIMITS all booked!

This picture was taken just last weekend while we were camping. Bella and I were walking around the camp ground just the girls. Dirty from...