Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to my FIVE-YEAR-OLD!!!

My second-born, my tender-hearted, sensitive, funny, social, intelligent, charismatic, independent-thinker, music-loving, good-time-loving, drama-queen sweetheart is FIVE today! F-I-V-E! I just can't believe it! I love this little girl. She does everything big. When she's happy...she's HAPPY! When she's sad, she's SAD! When she's mad...LOOK OUT! When she's excited...she's EXCITED! You get the picture here. But that's who she is...and it is what makes her so wonderful (and challenging).

Five years ago tonight, after laboring all the ding-dong day and into the night, she was born via c-section. She even arrived on this earth in a BIG and DRAMATIC way (go figure). My first thought when I saw her was - She looks JUST like Mark's baby picture! And she still looks like her Daddy! I also remember how her first cries sounded exactly like a bleating baby lamb. Her Dad actually used to call her Lambie-Pie (and Knuckles...because before she found her thumb she used to suck her knuckles - ha).

She was born Labor Day weekend 2005. It was Hurrican Katrina week and the news was more than depressing for anyone, let alone a post-pardem viewer. I remember looking at her sweet, innocent newborn face and wondering what kind of world I had brought her into. Images of Americans covered in sheets or clothing - left dead on the side of a flooded street. Images of dehydrated babies, mothers begging for someone - anyone to help. An entire city in THIS COUNTRY abandoned..or so it seemed. It was a scary time to be holding a newborn.

I remember gas prices were over $3/gallon on the way home from the hospital (is my memory right?!). It was the beginning of a long list of uncertainties to come.
But now that she's five, and I have a better glimpse of the person she is becoming, I can say that this troubled world needs her! She is just the compassionate firecracker that may one day solve a big problem! She's the loving intelligent faith-filled girl that may one day comfort someone in need. She's the happy fun-lover that may turn someone's day around.
So although I may still be concerned for our world, I don't question bringing my girl into it. She's exactly what this world needs. My prayer is that she continues to be such a bright and shining star in this often dark and depressing time and that she never lose that spirit because I know with certainty...she will make a positive difference. Our little "Lambie-Pie" may be the girl to show others to the lamb of God!

I love you so much, pumpkin! Happy, Happy Birthday, big girl! I'm so blessed to be your Mommy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

1st Day of School - Sophomore Year
August 23, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to my AMAZING daughter! I look at this sweet little face and I can hardly believe she's turning 15 today. FIFTEEN! A decade and a half! Surely I'm hallucinating! This little sweetie pie (pictured at age 4 I believe) has grown up in a flash. Today she's such an incredible young woman - I truly couldn't be a more blessed Mom! She's sweet, silly, smart, talented, beautiful, caring, compassionate, Christ-loving, tender-hearted, honest, loving, responsible, wise, creative, determined, independent and overall fabulous.

When she was born, my life changed. She made me better. I've loved being her Mom over the years (some years more than others - ha). My role has changed as she's grown...and sometimes that's been hard for me. But what could make a Mommy happier than watching your little girl blossom into a brilliant young woman? She needs me less and less...and sometimes that's hard. This is what's supposed to happen though. She's growing her own wings and learning to that SOAR on her own. I couldn't be more proud. I love you, Bailey!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

...And Later That Day

Lauren made it safely home from her first day of Pre-K, we enjoyed lunch together, read a couple library books and headed upstairs for nap. I was SURE both kids would settle in for naps today without any problems because they were both exhausted. So I tucked them in, shut their doors and quietly started gathering up a load of laundry to start before heading back downstairs. Just as I was measuring the detergent I heard Grant out of bed (eye roll). I opened his door, gave him the Mommy stink eye and told him to get back in bed...NOW! He bolted back into bed and jumped into the air to dive-bomb onto his pillow....

he missed. :(

I took this picture when we arrived at the Urgent Care Clinic. The swelling/fluid had already gone down quite a bit in the first half hour. I soooo wish I had taken a picture before we left home, but I was too busy FREAKING OUT internally while trying to maintain an external calm. It was HUGE! INSTANTANEOUSLY HUGE! I bet that sucker stuck out 2-3 inches from his forehead and was at least that tall and wide too. It was scary looking! He screamed and cried for about 2 minutes. After that he was just sweet and kept saying "I need a Band-Aid!" Sweet boy!

He hit with such force I decided I wanted to take him in to be sure he didn't have a concussion. His neurological exam found him to be A-OK...but I still worried because he could NOT stay awake! And if you know know this is NOT him! He was out before I left the parking lot and stayed asleep while I carried him through the grocery store, shifting him from shoulder to shoulder. But when he finally woke up an hour later, he was back to our normal, rambunctious Grant. SHWEW! The Dr. said he might end up with a black eye because all of that blood/swelling had to go somewhere. So far no black eye...we'll see what tomorrow brings. The Dr. also noted that Grant was in a year or so ago for stitches. (eye roll again!). He wasn't accusing me of anything, but just in case I thought I should mention that I have two girls at home who have never been to Urgent Care. =-) That boy is aging me!

All in all, he was one lucky boy. Now hopefully he learned a lesson! Beds are for SLEEPING! If I put you in there....SLEEP! =-)


August 17th sounds EARLY, doesn't it? I mean...WHERE did summer go?! But ready or was the day for Lauren. She started "Optional Kindergarten." This is a program designed for kids who might be OLD enough to start Kindergarten but maybe they have late summer birthdays (Lauren's case), or maybe they need a little more social/emotional development time (Lauren's case on the emotional front). We struggled with this decision for MONTHS! It's a hard decision when you have a 4-yr-old who reads, yet has a meltdown over something ridiculous. Ultimately we decided it would be best for her to wait, understanding that if we feel we've made the wrong choice, we can always move her to Kindergarten at semester.

Last year Lauren attended preschool three days a week. This is a step-up from that stamina-wise. This program is every day, half-days. So although this wasn't her FIRST first day of "school," it was still a first.....a first day at a new school, a first day with a new teacher, a first day of a new class.

Leading up to today, I'd say Lauren was pretty excited and unapprehensive about school. (She's not afraid of much..and LOVES school and social opportunities). HOWEVER, Grant decided last night would be a wonderful time to sneek into Lauren's room and sleep with her. BAD IDEA! The result was one tired and MOODY girl this morning. She was still excited after the required pictures, we set out.

Grant wanted to go to school in the WORST way! "Don't leave me, Lauren!"

Lauren READING on the way to school...sharpening up her skills before school. ha.

Daddy's girl

Apprehension sets in

But with a kiss from Daddy, it's going to be alright.

Friday, August 06, 2010

We received our slideshow today - yay! Thanks again to the AMAZING Sarah Burke of Sarah Burke Photography for really capturing the love, joy and silliness that is our family. We can't thank you enough!

Click here to view this video

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I LOVE the Iowa State Fair! I grew up at county/state fairs and it brings back mostly fond memories for me. My first real internship was in the PR/Marketing department at the Iowa State Fair back in the early....ummm...well it was my first internship..that's all you need to know. Iowa has one of the BEST Fairs around...hands-down. Unfortunately, the older I get and the more kids I have in-tow, the less I find myself there. I think if it were held in early June or maybe late September I'd go lots! But mid-August? HOT! HUMID! HOT! It's worth it though. If you haven't been, or haven't been in awhile - I encourage you to go. If you are a Fair-regular....make a special effort to check out something new this year. There is soooo much - you'll never see it all in a day. So, in honor of our state's GREAT Fair, I have created a sculpture of myself out of butter. (Totally genius idea, Midwest Dairy Association!). Try it for yourself!

Here's my girl in her varsity cheer uniform...all ready for cheer camp next week and the upcoming football season.

Monday, August 02, 2010

We don't have the photos from our weekend family photo shoot yet...but our AMAZING photographer did share a few with us to tide us over. LOVE IT! Oooooooo....I can't WAIT to see the rest!!!