Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Season of change...

     It's been a summer full of fun Rosebush antics.  I have enjoyed spending everyday with my little Rosebushes and watching them grow, explore,  and laugh.  Like all good things they must come to a  end.              Tomorrow is the day!  I'm sending my baby girl off to her first day of Kindergarten.   I'm not sure how this happened so soon.  Wasn't it just yesterday the nurses were holding up this naked, bald, screaming,  gunk covered baby for me to admire?  In reality that was almost 6 years ago and that little baby has grown up into a blonde haired, blue eyed, bundle of sass.  She makes me laugh daily and want to pull my hair out at the same time.  Let me just take this time to officially apologize to my mom and dad because I'm certain she's just like me.  She says she's not nervous.   She says she's ready.  She says she's excited.  I, however,  am nervous,  unprepared, and most definitely NOT ready for this.  I worry everyday if she'll fit it.  Will she make new friends?  Will she behave?  Is she smart enough?  Have I prepared her well enough? Now logically I know the answer to all those questions is yes.  She'll be just fine.  My mom brain just works overtime and maybe I'm too overprotective.   If I feel this emotional about Kindergarten then sending her to college may actually kill me but thankfully that's a long way off.
Kindergarten is not the only big change in the Rosebush house though.  My days as a stay at home mom are also coming to an end. My plan for staying at home was to stay at home long enough to get the kids ready for school or until the perfect job came along.  I had been hoping the perfect job would hold off until Jax was ready for kindergarten but sometimes the best laid plans don't work like they are supposed to.   I was presented with an opportunity to do basically the same job as I had previously but for a different school. The best part of it all is that I can do it FROM HOME! Oh and the money was better than the job I left to stay at home so it was really hard to pass up.   I wrestled with the decision of whether or not to take the job.  I have felt a tremendous  amount of guilt for even considering it.  I felt like putting Jax in a daycare or preschool was screwing him out of this valuable time with his mommy.  I felt like I was choosing money over my kids and that  wasn't fair to them.   There were positives to taking the job of course.   The extra income would allow Fred and I to pay off all of our debt in less than half the time we had calculated.   We would have more disposable income for fun things like the trip to Disney that both kids have been begging for.  Preschool might actually benefit Jax because the poor guy has ZERO social skills when it comes to playing with other children.  I would get the chance to do something I'm actually good at and be an encouragement to other people who are trying to get their education and possibly change their lives for the better.  When I considered both sides it really made sense for me to take the job.  I visited a few daycares and preschools. I cried like a lunatic the entire time but found one that I was comfortable with that was just a few miles away.  I signed the paperwork and he starts Monday.   I am not ready for it but I think in the long run our family will benefit from me working.  
I am going to miss staying at home more than words.  I will probably continue to feel guilty for working  for a while but I have my eye on long term goals.   I have accepted that putting Jax in preschool and working DOES NOT make me less of a mom.  It makes me a mom that wants the absolute best for my family and is willing to whatever it takes for them.
So here's to new journeys and lot of tears for me and both the kids.  Say a prayer we all survive!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Let it Go.

     Today my little Rosebushes and I set out on an adventure.   We were headed to the library for a Pinkalicious Party.  If you're not familiar with Pinkalicious it's a series of children's books about a little girl who loves all things pink;  much like my Emma.  There was a promise of pink cotton candy at the end of the party so both kids were all in from the moment we left the house.  
     The real fun began as soon as we got in the car.  The Frozen Soundtrack was requested from the back seat passengers so I happily found it on the ipad and we were off.    If you read this blog often, or you know my kiddo, then you know that Emma is a true back seat singer.  She sings.  She dances.  She is super dramatic.  Now what you may not know is that she gets her car singing talent from me.  I am an absolute rock star in my vehicle worthy of winning Grammy or Tony Awards.  I have extreme stage fright though so I will NEVER EVER sing in public, NEVER.  Sadly most of the world will never know the depths of my talent.  Today we were doing a full scale mother/daughter performance in the car of "Let It Go".  Full voice, hand motions, awesome facial expressions,  the whole shebang.  We stopped at a red light just in time for the big finale so I could really get into it.  For those familiar with the song, "My power flurries through the air..."  The best part of the song!   Emma and I were AMAZING.  We gave our all. It was a magnificent performance.    I glanced back at Emma to congratulate her on a job well done and noticed that the car full of teenagers next to us were clapping and I'm not completely certain but one of them may have captured some of the performance on their cell phone.

Then I realized it...

I remembered that today was a beautiful day and we had been enjoying the cooler air with the sunroof open and the windows all the way down!  We had been at the light long enough for these four kids to enjoy a show that Idina Menzel herself would have been proud of.   I was horribly embarrassed but not Emma.  Emma stuck her hand out the window and waived.  She graciously took a small carseat restricted  bow and then the light turned green and our audience was gone.   As we continued on our way Emma said, "I really hope we made their day Mom."

I laughed told her that I am absolutely sure that they will never forget that awesome show.

The rest of our trip to the library was uneventful. When I asked Emma what her favorite part of the day was she said "When the people next to us in the car clapped for us.  We were stars!"  

My awful embarrassment was totally worth it because it made Emma's (and some random teenagers) day.

Friday, July 11, 2014

There's Gotta Be An Easier Way...

Today I was watching the news while my little Rosebushes played.   Typically neither little Rosebush pays attention to the news.  It's boring adult stuff.   On the news tonight they were talking about a man who used a Gopro camera strapped to his head to capture the drive to the hospital and birth of his son at the hospital's front door.  They showed the video and I guess Emma tuned into the laboring woman's screams of agony.  She started watching.  Her eyes were glued to the TV as the woman gets out of her car and starts screaming at her husband to come catch the baby.  Emma's eyes widened and she looked very concerned.  She turns to me and asked, "What the heck is wrong with that lady? "  I informed her that she was just having a baby.  Emma flew into a panic.  "MOM!  She's going to die! Who is going to help her?"  I explained to Emma that it was no big deal really, people have babies everyday.  Emma responds with "But Mom, who will sew her back together?"  It suddenly hit me as to why there was such confusion and panic on my daughter's face.  She has no clue how babies typically get out of the mommy's tummy.  Emma has seen me pregnant and come to the hospital when I had Jaxon.  We carefully prepared her for the event by telling her that that the doctor was going to cut mommy open and get baby Jax out.   We warned her to be very careful with mommy because the doctor had to staple her belly back together and it was very sore.   I guess it never occurred to me that this would stick with her forever and she would assume that all babies were born this way. I've never had a reason to explain it to her any further.
Emma continued to watch in horror as the poor woman on TV gave birth to her baby while standing in the curb in front of the hospital, sure to meet certain death when no one sewed her back up. Don't worry folks, the video was sensored!  That's when the questions began.  Emma was almost in tears worried that this poor mommy would die and who would take care of the poor baby.
Emma: "Mom,  what are they gonna do? Why aren't they helping her?  What if her guts fall out?  Did the baby just scratch his way out?"
As entertaining as the thought of letting my daughter believe that if you don't get to a hospital in time your unborn baby will simply scratch his way out through your abdomen sounded; I thought I should tell her the truth.   This is a little snippet of how the conversation went.

Me: "Emma,  babies don't typically get cut  out of their mommy's belly like you, Jax, and Maddie. That's only for special circumstances. "

Emma:  Super confused look on her face.   "Well, then how do they come out?"

Me: "Well most of the time they come out of your hootie-butt."

Emma: "WHAT? You mean they come out your ba-china? Like pee?"

Me:  "Ummmmm....sort of." Keep in mind that she's 5 and I don't want to terrify her.

Emma: "I don't think that's possible?  Are you sure?"

Me: "Yep, I'm absolutely positive.  Babies are born that way most of the time."

Emma: "That's gotta hurt your ba-china. "

Me:  Giggling at the last statement.   " Yeah I'm sure it doesn't feel good.   When you want to meet your new baby so bad some times you don't care how much it hurts. "

Emma:  "Seriously,  your ba-china?"  She shakes her head in disbelief and ponders for a second.  "How does the baby fit? "

Me: "Well Em it isn't easy.   God designed  mommy bodies to do amazing things and when it's time to have a baby your body knows how to get babies out. "

Emma: "God's pretty cool huh? That's awesome but I'm not sure your hootie was the best way out."

Me: "Me either  Emma."

Emma: "There has to be an easier way! I don't think I want to have kids then."

I laughed.  Hopefully this little conversation sticks with her for the next 20 years!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Class Notes

The summer is in full swing in the Rosebush garden. My little Rosebuds are really blooming and keeping me super busy.   I spend most of my days finding ways to entertain them,  it's exhausting mentally and physically but mostly a lot of fun.  I mean who doesn't love a job where you can swim on a daily basis or watch Frozen for the 432,652nd time in your PJ'S, in the middle of the day.  I truly love spending time with my two little nut jobs but some days I feel like I have accomplished nothing.  Today, I grabbed the mail, like I do everyday and in it was my quarterly Bellarmine Magazine.   I enjoy reading about all the things happening at my Alma Mater.  I am a proud Bellarmine Knight.  It's when I get to the Class Notes section and read about all the great things my fellow alumni are accomplishing that I feel really unaccomplished, if that's even a word.  Things like so and so from the class of 2004 was recently promoted to CEO of total world domination, or  Suzy Q. Overachiever has just earned her third doctorate in rocket science; sometimes those really make me feel like I've wasted some serious time and am a giant underachiever.    I'm not trying to knock down or discount my fellow alums achievements in anyway.  I'm just saying the things I have accomplished suddenly seem pretty insignificant.   I thought if I were to write a "Class Note" for my day today it would list the following achievements:
1.  Became a master plumber by skillfully using tweezers to remove toliet paper that had been shoved into the bathroom sink drain.
2.  Promoted to head chef by finally preparing a meal that EVERYONE in the house ate and enjoyed.
3. Squashed a rebellion amongst the natives in order to maintain peace in the land.    Twice.
4.  Received the prestigious award "Best Mom Ever".
5.  Had previously mentioned award rescinded mere minutes after it was bestowed.

So it's clear that I won't ever be a CEO of a major corporation.  I won't make millions of dollars.  I probably won't single handedly change the world.  What I will do is attempt to raise kind,  loving, intelligent,  wonderful little humans that may someday run a major corporation or be a world leader.  I may not use the excessively expensive education that I received at my fantastic university but I wouldn't change what I do for the world.  I love my little Rosebushes and the title of MOM is all I really need.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

So Thankful

This weekend was the Walk for Wishes to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.   Our family has participated in this event every year but one.  It was just too much to handle the summer after Maddie died so we sat that one out.   Now the walk has become sort of therapeutic for me.  It allows me to remember one of the best times that we ever had as a family with Maddie and tell our story to others.  I miss her so much! The walk allows me to do something good for others in her memory.  This year I set a goal to raise $5,000 as a team.  That amount seemed crazy when I started but it gave me something to work toward.  I spent the last 4 months bombarding my friends Facebook feeds with messages about Make-A-Wish.  I basically became a beggar, and for that I apologize.   I turned my friends and family into beggars, again I apologize. I went for months with little to no donations happening but a few weeks ago something amazing happened.    Donations started to pour in.  People I haven't spoken to outside of Facebook in years made donations.   I even had donations from strangers and friends of friends.  My team received donations from a friends I went to middle school with in another state.  There were donations from a fellow cheerleader from high school,  a coworker from a job I had in high school,  college friends, family, and even Maddie's former teacher.  I was overwhelmed at the generosity of people.    We had people sign up to walk with us from Indiana and Ohio.  One of our team members got her husband and two girls up extra early on a Saturday,  drove an hour and fifteen minutes to Louisville, and was there to walk with us at 9:00AM.   Did I mention that I'd never met her before?  She used to work with Fred and was so inspired by Maddie that she felt like she had to help us.  My best friend brought her family three hours south from Dayton,  OH so that she could walk with us.   My friends and family showed up in full force.  My mom's cousin Troy even showed up out of the blue to support Team Madison Hope.  My friends and family got up early, brought their kids out, and walked in the hot sun and I am inspired.
We weren't the biggest team there but we did raise 3rd highest dollar amount. We weren't a corporate sponsored team like the other two top fundraisers.   We were an angel inspired team.  Inspired by one amazing little girl that never spoke a word during her time on Earth but changed lives and hearts wherever she went.  We raised over $5,000!  We did it!  You did it! I am humbled, honored and inspired by all the support we had.  I honestly can't put into words how exactly I feel so I won't try.    I'll simply end this blog post with a big THANK YOU even though that doesn't seem adequate enough.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wake Up Call

It's summer time and the little Rosebushes still like to get up early.  Sometimes they get up extra early and find amazing ways to  wake me up.  This was one of those days!

I was laying in my bed this morning presumably having sweet dreams.  I felt a little tug on the covers and the bed shift with the weight of another human.   In my sleepy haze I heard a tiny giggle and 2.5 seconds later a 28 pound bundle of crazy launched himself onto me and shouted "GOT YOU!"  I glanced at the clock which read 4:34.  I grumbled.  What on the world has him up at this ungodly hour?  I rolled over to look at him only to discover that the little spider monkey was COMPLETELY NAKED.  No pajamas.  No diaper.  No anything!   When he saw my face he smiled and said "I'm naked!"  He stood up to get in a few good bounces on my bed in all his naked glory.   I asked,  "Why are you naked?"  His simple response was "I peed."
Oh well that's a simple enough explanation. Hold on.... you peed?



Oh for the love of Pete where did you pee?

Please don't let it be on my bed!

Sometimes when you say you peed you really mean you pooped.

Oh God please don't let it be poop.   Not at 4:34 AM.

Suddenly my sleepy haze was gone and was replaced with mom panic.   I sprang into action.  Literally!

I first examined the naked little person bouncing on my bed.  Whew, no sign of poop!  Now I just need to go on a search and rescue mission for the missing clothes and di aper.  I scanned my room and didn't see it so it must be in his room.

My sleepy feet hit the floor and down the hall I went.   I didn't get far before my toe hit a puddle on the hardwood.   I flipped on the hall light to find  a trail from his room to mine.  

I grabbed a towel from the bathroom and cleaned up the trail and continued to his room.  Right there in the middle of his bed was a peepee filled diaper and a pile of  wet pajamas.  

I guess he didn't like the wet diaper or clothes so he decides to handle the situation in his own two year old way.

I cleaned everything up and quickly diapered and clothed my little nudist.  Since his bed was wet I fixed his pillows the way he likes them and snuggled with him in my bed.  I put on some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and back to sleep we both drifted.    

Everyday is a new adventure in the Rosebush house.  I just wish they happened during normal business hours.  

Now I have to go wash some sheets....

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Burning Questions.

It's finally summertime and in the Rosebush growing business it's a really exciting time.  The little Rosebushes thrive during summer.  Now that Mr. FixIt has finally sorted out the pool situation the Rosebushes can stay thoroughly watered.    A few days ago Emma and I were out by the pool and she was swimming.   I refused to get in the pool because it is still pretty cold but I sat on the deck and watched her.  As she was swimming she was pretending to be a mermaid.   She swam in circles.   She did belly flops and back flops.   She floated around.  She sang Little Mermaid songs.  I enjoyed watching my little mermaid play now that she is  getting big enough to swim on her own.  As she was swimming along like Ariel she had an interesting question,  that led to more questions and a very funny discussion.  

E - "Mom,  how do mermaids pee amd poop?"

Me - "Ummmmmm.... I'm not sure."

E- "They don't have a butt or a 'ba-china'. "

Me - "I know that."

E- "So do they pee through their tail?"

Me - "Em, I seriously have no clue.  I've never given it any thought."

E - "Do you think Google would know?"

Me - "Doubt it.  Mermaids aren't real you know. "

E - "Ummmmm, I don't know about that.   8 think you might be wrong. While we're on the subject of mermaids, how do they have babies?"

I started to worry where this conversation was going.

E - "I mean do they lay eggs like fish or do they get them out of their bellies like people? How would they get them out of their bellies anyway? "

Me - "Emma, honestly I DO NOT KNOW! I'm pretty sure mermaids are not real."

E - "Yes they are.  I've SEEN Ariel at Disney World.  I bet she could answer my questions."

It was clear to me that no matter what I said I was going to lose the argument.   Clearly my daughter thinks I'm an idiot.  Maybe she's right because I clearly don't know my mermaid anatomy or anything about their reproduction.

Me - "Perhaps she could Emma.  Next time we go to Disney you can ask her."

E - " I will.  So can we go to Disney soon?   I really need this cleared up."

I love how this kids mind works.   I feel like the whole thing was a ploy to ask about going to Disney World.   It's really important that we answer these burning questions.   So if you know anything about mermaid reproduction or urination please let me know.    

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Backseat Conversations.

Today while going about my daily business with my little Rosebushes I overheard a conversation that warmed my heart and made me cry at the same time.   Today Emma's BFF Macie came home from school with us.  The girls played for awhile at the house and then decided they wanted to go to Orange Leaf.   They had been good so I agreed to take them along with Jaxon.  As I drove the girls sat in the backseat and chattered. They have the funniest conversations.  Today was the best one I've ever heard. I only picked up part of the conversation so I don't know how it started but this is where I really started listening:

Macie:  "I'm gonna meet Jesus one day."

Emma: "Me too, but we have to get to heaven first. "

Macie: "Yeah,  I wonder what it looks like there? "

Emma: "I don't know but I can't wait to get there and see my sister again.  I miss her."

Macie: "Oh that would be awesome.  Can I meet her too?"

Emma: "Ummmm....Yeah....you're my best friend and she'd love you.  She didn't walk or talk here, but mom says she can in heaven.  I really want to see that. I bet she likes walking and probably dancing.  I really miss her. Sometimes I forget what she looks like and I get sad"

Macie: "She could play with us and that would be fun. If she likes to dance we could all dance....In princess dresses. "

Emma: "I hope she remembers me.   I was littler when she died so I probably look different.  I'll have to introduce Jax because she never met him."

Macie: "He's kind of crazy I hope she likes him. "

Emma: "She probably won't but he is her brother so she'll have to.  Maybe he'll be better in heaven."

Unfortunately we arrived at Orange Leaf and the conversation ended. Luckily I had on sunglasses and neither girl could see the tears in my eyes.  I really wanted to hear more because it was a conversation filled with such innocence and hope.  Emma rarely talks to me about Maddie and I often wonder exactly how much she remembers about her.  I've wondered if she would remember her at all as she grew up.   I think today's conversation cleared some of that up for me.  Emma will always remember she has a sister.  The memories of her sister will likely always be trapped in a three year old state because that's how old she was when Maddie died. At just 5 years old I think Emma understand life, death, and heaven better than most adults.  I love that she shares these little snippets about her sister with her friends.  It's good to hear her talk about Maddie and even better to hear that she obviously talks so frequently about Maddie to her friends that they feel like they know her too.    
I needed that conversation today for so many reasons.  It meant a lot to me.  I didn't mention the conversation to Emma because secretly I hope to catch more conversations like that in the future.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Pool Man

Many people who read this have been my Facebook friends for awhile and because of that they know that every summer the pool is a source of aggravation for me and comic relief for my friends.   This summer is shaping up to be like the summers prior.  Mr. Fix It, AKA Frederick,  seems to lack a lot of motivation this year and is moving at turtle speed.
The pool saga truly started about a month ago when Fred realized that the harsh winter had caused some damage to the pump and skimmer.   The extreme cold cracked the skimmer,  I suspect that was due to improper closing by Mr. Fix It but we're just going to leave that alone for now.  The skimmer and part of the pump needed to be replaced so Mr. Fix It spent hours over the course of weeks searching all over the internet for the correct parts.  Instead of jusr ordering them he wrote down part numbers and said he was going to check local pool stores.  I suggested that it might be a smarter use of time if he simply called the two pool stores nearest us and see if they carried what we needed.  Since efficency isn't really one of his strengths he scoffed at my suggestion.  He decided to wait until 4:00PM last Sunday and head out to the pool stores .  Shockingly when he arrived at one store they were closed because he didn't bother to check the hours.  When he arrived at the other they didn't even sell the brand of pool and pump that we own so naturally they couldn't help with parts.  So basically that was a complete waste of time that could have all been avoided if he had simply made a phone call but I'm not one to say "I told you so!"  Ok so maybe I am but he wouldn't listen anyway.  The next logical step would be to just ignore the pool while the temperature soared to near 90° last week.   That plan of action didn't really work for me so on Monday I drove him to the pool store myself and refused to leave until he went inside and purchased the things we needed.  He complied and we now had the $300 worth of parts to fix the pool.  Hooray!  I was thinking he could get right to work because he assured me that both pieces where easy to install.   Wishful thinking.  He waited until Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 in the afternoon to get started.  That is exactly 2.5 hours before he needed to leave for work and that time needed to include a shower.  Needless to say not much got accomplished that day because as I suspected neither piece was "easy to install".  I gently reminded him that rain was forecasted for the weekend so he needed to get the cover off before it filled back up with water.  Wednesday  afternoon was a little more productive and Mr. Fix It actually got the pump back in working order (This is still unproven however because it hasn't been turned on yet.  I'm just trying to be positive.)  Thursday came a and I was excited because I thought that finally the cover was coming off.  NOPE!   I was wrong.  He milled about outside near the pool for a bit but nothing seemed to be happening.   Again, I gently reminded him that they were pretty good at forecasting the weather these days and it was supposed to rain this weekend.  My words of warning were once again completely ignored and as predicted it rained on Friday,  Saturday,  and again today!  So now I have a swimming pool that is full of water that has a fully functional pump and filter, and still has a cover on it.  A cover that is now full of standing water AGAIN and cannot be removed until it's drained of its contents.   I can't be certain but I'm sure draining the cover will likely take another week of Mr. Fix It's time.  The pool may be open by June 1st.  MAY BE.  .  . Let's see how next week goes.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Two Year Old At A Funeral

Today my dad's  side of family gathered to remember my uncle Bart.  It was a difficult day for a lot of people.   I thought seriously about not writing this post.  I thought that writing about my son at the funeral might be a little taboo.  But the more I thought about Jax the more I smiled and many of the people that read this blog were probably at that very same funeral and maybe they need to smile too.  I also thought about my uncle Bart and thought he would appreciate the antics of an antsy two year old boy in a quiet church.
I knew before I walked into that church today that Jax was going to be a handful.   You see, we are Baptists, and Baptists take their antsy kids to the nursery on Sunday mornings so my poor kid has no concept  of what it means to sit quietly in a church.   I walked into the church this morning, the church that my grandma used to drag me to when I was a kid, and I thought  "Oh Lord I'm gonna need the spirit of Lucille Stith to help me control this guy."  Jax immediately went to work touching everything in that old wooden pew.  Luckily for me my stepmom brought lots of candy for bribery and  a marker and paper set. That marker set entertained him for 2.5 seconds.   He quickly spotted my sister Gillian up in the front because she was singing and attempted to begin a rousing game of peekaboo.   Peekaboo from 20 feet away is not exactly quiet.   After Gillian quit playing Peekaboo with him; he discovered that the kneelers were perfect for climbing.   I'm sure in his mind this old Catholic Church was way cooler than our church.   They had things for climbing right in the pew, books to play with right there in the pew,  and it echoed slightly when you jumped up and down.   As soon as the music started and everyone stood he took the hymnal and pressed it against my face.   He also giggled and said "smash, smash! "  Now don't get me wrong,  I enjoyed getting my face smashed with a book but it was distracting to those around us. My stepmom took the opportunity to shove a lifesaver in his mouth.   That kept him quiet...for a minute.  He played around in the pew doing all the things that two year old boys do in church.  His body language started to say "stir crazy" so Grammy came to the rescue again.  She dug through her big ol' purse and found an ink pen!   Jax sat in my lap and decided to use that pen to draw designs on my right hand.  He scribbled all sorts of circles and lines until my hand was a true work of art.  When he decided that he was done being creative he found a place to put the pen.  He stuck his pen and his marker down my shirt.   He was being quiet and sort of good so I just sat there with two writing utensils sticking out of my shirt like they were growing out of my cleavage.  Soon he retrieved his pen and marker and sat down on the floor in front of our pew and went to work disassembling the pen.  Why?  I don't know,  because that's what boys do.    He continued to play  while my cousin spoke some very touching words about his father.  Like most everyone in that church it brought tears to my eyes.  Jax turned to me and noticed I was crying so he sweetly hugged my legs and said "love you momma".  I doubt anyone around us even noticed that tender little moment but it meant the world to me.  For a few moments he seemed to tone down his shenanigans but only for a few moments.  He sat in my lap while my cousin played a song on her violin that was so beautiful it moved everyone.  After that Jax went on about his business messing with stuff in the pew,  hitting his head multiple times, telling the little boy behind us to "go away" and basically just being a two year old.   At some point someone's cell phone rang and Jax put his hand to his ear and answered that pretend phone, "Hello? HELLO?"  I saw a smile crack on my dad's tear stained face and I knew that this busy, distracting,  crazy little curly haired boy was exactly where he needed to be. His mission for the day was to be a sweet distraction from the sadness and a reminder of some of the sweetest things in  life.
In everything in life there is beauty and even in this time of sadness there is something beautiful about a two year being a two year old at a funeral.  I'm sure my grandma, my Maddie and my uncle were looking down on that church today with a smile.
*I hope that this particular post makes you smile.  I ask that you continue to pray for my Uncle's wife and his children  as they have a lot of sorrow filled days ahead.  Pray for my Dad and all my aunts and uncles as they have lost a brother.  Pray for anyone that knew Bart that they may hold only fond memories in their heart.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Emma vs. The Mormons

Yesterday I decided to expand the minds of my growing little Rosebushes.   It was a rainy gross day so we went to the library.  I know you're probably laughing already because what could go wrong with my two kids at the library.   You just never know with my little Rosebushes.
As we entered the library I noticed a group of young gentlemen dressed in crisp white shirts, black pants,  black ties, and their Latter Day Saints  name tags.  Emma dropped her books in the book return and we headed back to the children's section.   I made the mistake of making eye contact and casually smiling at one of the young men.  That's when he decided that he was going to the opportunity to tell me about Jesus. Jax was about to lose his cool in the stroller so I honestly wasn't listening to what he was saying.   I was just about to politely cut him off when my little blond Rosebush piped up.
Emma - "Oh we already know about Jesus. I go to Children's church at Beechland Baptist so I'm good.   Thanks. "
She promptly turned and walked off to the children's section very matter of fact.    She took about five steps and turned to make sure  I was coming behind her and  continued on.
I wasn't sure what exactly I should say to the poor missionary guy who just got put in his place by a well spoken five year old. He honestly looked completely shocked that he'd been out "missionaried" by a preschooler.  I simply smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and followed Emma.  As we walked away Jax smiled his goofy smile, waved, and said "byyyeeeee".
Part of me was mortified that Emma would speak to a stranger so rudely.   The other part of me was astounded by what she said. After replaying the conversation in my head I realized that she wasn't intentionally being rude she was just very certain of something she already knew.  I was maybe just a little bit proud of her and A LOT thankful for the Children's Church at Beechland Baptist!   I guess she absorbs more than I realized.
I will let her handle all door to door Jehovah's witnesses too from now on.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Explained by Emma Catherine

This weekend we celebrated Easter with the little Rosebushes.  Easter is an amazing time of year because it usually bring with it the beginning of spring, warmer weather,  beautiful flowers,  and cute fluffy bunnies.  For Christians Easter means so much more and nothing is better than having a five year old explain to you what Easter is all about like you are a clueless buffoon.  All week last week Emma carefully explained to me many times, that Jesus died on the cross.  This is the best conversation.   She started,  "Mom,  seriously they nailed Jesus to a big cross.   They put nails right through his body and I'm sure it hurt.  Do you know why they did that?"  I decided to play along with her belief that I knew nothing and pretend to be clueless, "No Em, please tell me."  Her eyes got bigger,  her chest puffed out, and this is what she said,  "Well mom,   they did that because God said it was ok.  He sent Jesus here on Christmas,  you know when he was born, so that he could save us all from sins one day.  I'm not sure why people were so mad at Jesus that they wanted to hang him on a cross but they did.  They killed Jesus but don't worry mom cause this next part is pretty cool."  I nodded my head and encouraged her to continue.   Her tone changed a little and she got very matter of fact, "After they killed Jesus his friends took his body and put it into a grave.   It wasn't a grave in the ground like Maddie, it was more like a cave.  They put a big stone in front of the cave like a door so people couldn't go in.  Jesus was in that cave for three days."  The three days part was  very important because she kept nodding her head and  she held up three fingers carefully stressing the word THREE.  She continued,  " MOTHER,  after THREE days do you know what happened?  That stone rolled away and Jesus was ALIVE!  He walked right out of that grave.  That is how he saved us from our sins. You know now that means we can go to heaven now when we die,  like Maddie. " I smiled and nodded so proud that for once she got most of the details of a bible story correct and seemed to understand the meaning.  I don't know if it was the teachers at the school she attends, the volunteers that teach Children's church at our church, or the bible stories we've read at home but she actually got it!  I will give the credit to a combination of the three.   She was a proud little peacock telling the Easter story.
Once we covered the Easter story and Emma was confident that I understood; she had one more little piece of Easter that we needed to discuss.   Emma is an extremely logical kid so once again this year she seemed to question the plausibility of the Easter Bunny.  Here are a few facts about the Easter Bunny that Emma just doesn't think add up.
    1.  We've never seen the actual Easter Bunny.  We've only seen people dressed up in bunny suits that just pretend to be the Easter Bunny for pictures.
    2.  The Easter Bunny is not human.  He doesn't have hands so how does he carry baskets and put things in them.
    3.  Santa has a sleigh and elves but the Easter Bunny has none of that so how does he get around. There is no possible way that a bunny could hop around the world.
    4.  Bunnies are typically small not human sized.
    5.  Bunnies would eat all the candy because that's what animals do.
So after careful discussion of the facts a Emma has decided the Easter Bunny is a thing of fiction.  However, in the interest of her brother she has decided to go along with it so that they can both get baskets of stuff.  You know,  just for Jaxon's sake.

It's so amazing to watch my little girl finally get it.  I can't wait to see how her faith grows.  It's bittersweet to see her starting to give up on a childhood tradition but I love the way her little mind works.  I am so thankful for this time and these memories.  I love watching my little Rosebushes grow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Time Marches On...Quickly

I'm sure you've figured out by now that raising Rosebushes can be crazy.  Sometimes with all the crazy things that my kids do I forget to stop and enjoy these moments.  This weekend time seemed to slap me in the face and remind me how quickly it passes.
Not long after Jax turned 18 months he started climbing out of his crib.  I feared that he would break an arm, leg or skull so we converted his crib to the toddler bed.  He's done well in the toddler bed and likes the freedom of not being confined to the crib.  Not long ago my mother surprised us by buying both kids nice, new, beautiful twin beds.  We put off putting Jax in his because we had to buy a mattress and frankly I was just not ready for a big boy bed.  This was the weekend we decided to make the big switch.  I watched as my husband took apart the crib and reminisced about all that crib has held.  The crib first held my sweet Maddie.  I used to stand at the side of that crib and watch my angel sleep in it.  She slept in that crib for a long time until I could no  longer lift her out of it.  Next came Emma.  That poor crib didn't know what hit it.  Emma chewed on the rails. She jumped in it like it was a trampoline. We converted it to a toddler bed for her and the fun continued.  I'm sure along the way it was peed in, pooped it, and puked in too!  Shortly before Jax arrived we kicked Emma out of the warm comfy confines of that bed in order to make room for her baby brother.  We put the rail back on the bed and prepared that old crib for another little Rosebush.  Jaxon arrived and he too laid his sweet head in the same bed that held his sisters.  If we thought Emma was rough on the crib we hadn't seem anything yet. That boy made would push the crib around the room.  Now seeing that crib disassembled seemed to mark the end of an era in the Rosebush family,  the baby era.  There will be no more baby Rosebushes for us.  While part of me is happy to see the baby era go, and I know that I definitely DO NOT want any more children; putting that crib away is just a visual reminder of days gone by.  I'm reminded how quickly the time has passed and how big my "babies" are now.
As if the crib wasn't a big enough remaindered Emma added another on Saturday night.  She said "Mom, my gum hurts behind my loose tooth and it feels weird."  She came over to let me see it and what I saw I was not prepared for.  I've told you all before about the loose tooth and how very sad this makes me.  When I looked at Emma's mouth I noticed a very large permanent tooth coming through her gum behind the row of perfect baby teeth.   WHAT?  I.AM.NOT.READY!   I had just gotten used to the loose tooth now the adult tooth is already coming in!  Time please slow down!
The last reminder had nothing to do with my own kids but the child of an old friend.   I found out through the power of Facebook that a friend from years ago was in town this weekend with her family.  I first met Tonya over a decade ago when we worked together at The Fishery.   I was a college student with a special needs kid just working part time and she had moved here from Georgia.  We were instant friends.  Tonya soon found out she was pregnant and I was by her side to help her prepare.  She had beautiful baby girl and I remember holding that little girl just days after she was born.    Time moved on once again, I moved on from The Fishery and Tonya ended up back in Georgia.   We found each other again via Facebook several years back and have kept in touch ever since.  We managed to work out meeting up at McNeely Lake park yesterday.   It was so awesome to reconnect.   She met my kids and I met hers.  When she introduced me to that baby girl I held so many years ago I was blown away.  That baby was now a beautiful young lady who is nearly as tall as I am.   Wow,  when did that happen?   I guess it has been a long time.   Tonya and I didn't waste time we started catching up on all the places that life has taken us.  We laughed about the good old Fishery days and the people we used know, including the former versions of ourselves.  It was really great to see us both all grown up with husbands and kids.  Hopefully it won't be another decade before we see each other again.  
This entire weekend reminded me that life moves on no matter how much we wish it would slow down.   Sometimes we're lucky enough to get these gentle reminders so we remember to stop and take it all in.   I'm so lucky that I have had 3 wonderful children, an amazing husband,  and have shared some great memories with some awesome people along the way.  It hasn't been am easy journey but we'd never grow if we never had struggles.  So thank God for cribs, teeth, and old friends!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Park

    If you want to raise healthy, happy Rosebushes outside time is imperative.   It also helps to keep mommy from going crazy.   The weather is slowly getting warmer so visits to the local park will become more frequent.     We visited the park today and maybe I was in a bad mood but there were some things that really got under my skin.
1.  Adults that spend more time on their phone than watching their kids.   If you bring a child to the park you are responsible for what that child does.   If your kid is "that kid" that keeps pushing my kid or saying the most rude and inappropriate things I expect you to deal with it.   While I would never let a child get hurt it is not my job to keep your kid from jumping off the playground equipment.   WATCH YOUR KID!  You might be surprised what fun you'd have if you put down the phone and played with your kid.  
2.  Adults that hang out at the playground and have no children.  Let's face it if you hang out near a playground and you don't have kids that makes you creepy.  I will go out of my way to keep my kids far away from the creepy people. 
3.  People who smoke on the playground.   Seriously,  I have no problem if you smoke but don't do it where my kids play.  I work very hard to keep my children's lungs healthy and you should do the same for your kids.  You have 2 options.  One, go smoke away from the kids, which could put you in danger of violating pet peeve #1.  Two,  put the cigs away for a bit while you're at the park.  How long are you going to be playing anyway?   One hour maybe two?   If you can't go an hour without a smoke then good luck being gainfully employed or living to see you're grandkids grow up.  One other thing on this subject,  please DO NOT throw your cigarette butts on the ground where my kids play.  It's gross!
4.  People who don't clean up after their dogs.   If you bring your dog to the park and he takes a godzilla sized poop three steps from the playground I expect you to pick up that crap.  Would you want your kid stepping in dog poop?  No!  PICK UP THE POO! Today I suggested that to a man who was letting his dog poop everywhere and he looked at me like I was insane and replied "What would you like me to do with it? If he's gotta go he's gotta go."  My response was "a responsible dog owner would know that dogs poop so would be prepared with bags to pick it up."   He gave me blank stare and walked off mumbling.   I later heard him call his kid a "stupid lazy ass" so I'm thinking he's probably not the brightest guy and didn't learn anything from our little convo. 
5.  People who come to the park and smell like marijuana.   Do I really need to explain why this bothers me?  Two reasons.  One, if you're high you can't watch your kid.   Two,  if you still smell like weed you've likely smoked it in the presence of your kids and that is down right criminal.   Enough said.  
6.  People who drive like maniacs in the parking lot.  It's a park where kids play why to you need to drive 60 in the parking lot.  What if a little kid gets away from his mom and runs into the parking lot and you mow him down because your speeding?  It only takes two seconds for an accident to happen.  Slow down and be mindful of the little ones.  
    I'm not a perfect parent, far from it.  My kids can sometimes be "that kid"  but I try very hard to address that when I see it.  All I'm asking is that people work together to keep our parks nice, our kids safe, and hopefully we can all raise happy, healthy little humans.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Road Trip with the Rosebushes

    Last Wednesday I received the following text, "Hey come visit us.  This is not a request it's a demand...Chop chop on the packing or we'll think you don't love us."  That one text got us thinking.   Fred had planned some time off and it was spring break so why not go on a spur of the moment 9 hour road trip.   It could be fun, right?
     I hate road trips,  especially road trips with children but we hadn't seen Fred's brother and his family in 6 months or so.  I made a few arrangements for the dog, covered  our soccer coaching obligations and started packing.  I packed everything for a family of four in a matter of a few hours.  That in itself deserves some sort of medal.  I also packed a bag full of all sorts or entertainment things for the kids.  When Fred got home from work we headed out.
   It was late and the kids were tired so they crashed pretty quickly!  Yay! Now the only thing I had to contend with on the first part of this journey was Fred,  my sometimes oversized adult child.  Fred volunteered to drive the first leg and told me to get a quick nap.  The problem is that Fred drives like a maniac.   He sets the cruise and then his goal is to not hit the brakes, no matter what the road or weather conditions are.  Every time you drift off to sleep you are suddenly startled awake by sudden movement of  a lane change or crazy curve.  The lines in the road and speed limits are merely suggestions and mean nothing to Fred.   It's terrifying and I'm scared to die in my sleep so I stay awake.  I also sat shivering in my seat because apparently Fred made up some ridiculous rule that the driver gets to control everything in the car from the temperature to the radio. The kids were cozy with blankets but I had to suffer because "the driver must be kept comfortable and happy at all times."  This rule also only applies when Fred is the driver because when it was my turn to drive I cranked up some heat but he kept messing with the controls and complaining like a school girl.   There was no use in reminding him of the rule because there are all sorts of scenarios that negate the rule. They mostly all boil down to him being a terrible terrible co-pilot.  He cannot help the kids with anything so I have to drive and deal with the kids.
     The kids were awake off and on throughout the night when we made potty and gas stops.  The late hour and confined quarters made for some super fun times.  Here are some highlights.
     -Emma announced "either I smell a skunk or I farted.  I'm not sure which." You truly have to hate it when that happens.
     -The kids had several fights over the ipad.  They each had one but for whatever reason wanted the other one.  That resulted in several screaming episodes.
     -There were several family sing-a-longs that I'm terribly sad no one was around to hear.
     -I refused to "unbuckle" Jax when he demanded it and he repeatedly shouted that I was rude.  He also told me to "go away" and "get out".
     Finally we made it in about nine hours.  I was amazed we made it.  We were all in one piece and everyone seemed happy.  Woohoo!

We had a great time hanging out with the other Rosebush family but all good things must come to and end.  We had to head home.  For whatever reason we decided to head out in the middle of the afternoon.   Dumb, dumb,  dumb idea.  Driving through some very scenic mountains during the day was beautiful but more daylight hours means more grumpy kid time awake.
    We stopped almost every hour and a half for all kinds of crazy reasons.  Every time we put Jax back in the car it got a little more difficult and he would scream a little longer.  Emma whined about everything from Jax looking at her to the volume of his ipad.  
    The best part of the return trip was when Emma announced she had to pee about four seconds after we passed an exit.  She started screaming that it was an emergency and she couldn't hold it.  Lucky for us there wasn't an exit for several miles so she decided to pee in her carseat!  Yay!  The total time from peepee announcement to peepee release was less than five minutes. When we finally reached an exit I was so angry I could spit nails.  We decided to get gas while we were stopped so Fred started pumping the gas and I went to get Emma some clothes out of the suitcase.  When I went to get Emma out of the car so she could go in and change I opened the door to find her completely naked.  I guess she couldn't wait to change.  I'm fairly certain she only mooned three or four people.   After she was changed we had to go inside and buy a $6 gas station blanket and get several plastic bags to cover her carseat with.   The carseat was covered and Emma was buckled in when Jax announced that he had also peed!  Seriously I was tired of dealing with urine!  I changed Jax quickly,  while Fred watched, and finally we were ready to get on the road again.
   The rest of our return trip was  just as crazy and the people at IHOP in Morgantown, WV will probably never be the same thanks to the antics of the mini Rosebushes.  You're welcome Morgantown!  
   After what seemed like 72 hours in the car, 400 stops, 96 meltdowns, and two wet carseats we finally made it home sweet home.  
I think it's safe to say that the Rosebush clan should only  travel by airplane for my sanity,  the health of my marriage, and the sanity of those we encounter along the way.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oh Happy Day

It's been a relatively uneventful week at the Rosebush house.  If you read this blog regularly you know that is something to truly be thankful for or you may be sad because you've had nothing to laugh at.   Today was the day that things changed.   This day started out like any other but I quickly discovered that it was a big day for Emma.
Today was the day that she's been waiting for for nearly a year.  
Today was the day that she's been trying to convince me was here for six months.  
Finally, "the most exciting thing ever" happened TODAY!

I woke Emma up this morning to the usually grumbling about it being cold, early, and various other morning complaints.  Emma insists that I wake her up for school at 5 AM and she tells everyone that.  The reality is that she gets up for school at the 7:20 but that's another story entirely.  She got dressed, put on her shoes, and fixed her hair as usual.  Just before she sat down to breakfast her whole life changed.  

"Mom, I think it's loose this time"

We've been through this before.  Nearly everyday.  She tries to convince me that at least one of her teeth is loose.  She's so eager for a visit from the tooth fairy that she diligently checks each of her teeth daily, sometimes twice, for even minor movement and calls me in to double check when things seem wobbly.  Normally it's nothing.  Her beautiful, perfectly straight, little baby teeth are in there for the long haul.  Usually not even a wiggle.

Today however there appears to be a breakthrough.

Today one of those little bottom baby teeth is getting ready to leave it's place in her mouth behind.

When I confirmed that today her suspicions were correct and her tooth was loose she was over the moon.  She's been wiggling it non stop the entire day.  She can't wait for it to fall out.  She's even inquired about the toothfairy's going rate.

Despite her happiness today for me was just another reminder that my baby girl is growing up.  Seriously, I  remember when she first got that little tooth.  It seems like it was only yesterday.  

I know she's been waiting,  wishing, hoping,  and wiggling for this for awhile but I'm simply not ready.  I'm not ready for her to lose her teeth.  Soon it will be kindergarten.  Then she'll be interested in boys.  Then we will tackle high school.  Then prom.  Then college. At some point on this journey we will also have to deal with braces.  For sure braces!  Even the dentist told me to be prepared for that one because her teeth are so amazingly straight now her adult teeth will likely "need work".  These milestones, the good, the bad, and the ugly, will all come way too fast I'm sure.  Just like this loose tooth.  I.AM.NOT.READY!  I need time to slow down even it it is for just a little bit.

For now though we will keep wiggling that poor little tooth.  Oh Happy Day one is finally loose.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

You want me to what?

     Today the little Rosebushes had appointments with their pediatrician for their annual well child check ups.  Emma spent most of the day worrying about whether or not she would be getting a shot at the end of the visit.  Little did I know that there was one part of the visit that would cause more issues than a tiny needle.
     As soon as we walked into the office I went to sign in and Emma announced that she needed to pee.  The nurse at the desk heard her and informed me that we would need a urine sample today and handed me a cup.  Really, a urine sample from a 5 year old? There are so many reasons this was going to suck.  I go into the bathroom with BOTH kids.  Emma sees the cup in my hand and goes into full panic mode.  "What is that? "  "Why do I have to pee in it?" The tears start.   The whining starts.   The argument starts.   Did I mention that while I'm trying to coax my daughter into peeing in a cup that my son is running around the bathroom touching every possible surface yelling about how he needs to wash his hands?  After what seems like an eternity I have at least convinced Emma to pull her pants down and sit on the potty.  Her bladder is about to explode but still she refuses to pee. I'm squatting in front of her on the potty holding what has to be the world's smallest cup and begging her to pee.  Suddenly the lights go off and I hear Jax laughing.   "Hold on Emma! Don't pee now."  I yell.   The doctor's office has "kid friendly" lower light switches and my son had found them.  In typical 2 year old fashion he had to flip the switch.  I jumped up and flipped the switch back on and went back to my crouched position ready to catch the pee.  I open the dreaded wet wipe, every woman reading this knows about the wet wipe.   I explain to Emma that we need to wipe her "hootie" before she pees.  She agreed to let me.  I take the wipe and attempt to wipe her.  She starts screaming hysterically as if the wipe is covered in acid!   I don't know if it's because it's cold or new or because she just wanted to cry.  I'm trying to calm her down when again the bathroom goes dark.  I can't see him but I feel Jax run past me giggling.  Again I get up from my crouched position in front of Emma and head for the light switch.   This time I grab Jax by the hand before crouching back down in position to hold the cup.  So here I am holding Jax's hand while he struggles to get free and holding a tiny cup just waiting to catch some pee if Emma ever decides to let it go.  I'm totally prepared to get peed on at this point I just want this experience over with.   Jax is screaming, Emma is "scared" to pee in the cup, and my feet are falling asleep, and now I'm breaking a sweat while I plead with her to just do it.  FINALLY, she decides to pee!  I manage to catch some without getting any on me and we are done!    This whole experience from start to finish was a good 15 minutes.   I deliver the the little cup back to the desk and the nurse is smiling.  She says "how'd that go?"  I fought the urge to throat punch her and simply smiled as I walked away.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Can I get a Do Over?

   Some days go wrong.   Some days are really terrible.   Some days are today.   As usual when the little Rosebushes are involved you never know what's coming.   My day today started with vomit, lots of vomit!   Your day really has nowhere to go but up after another human empties the contents of their stomach on you.   The worst part is that when it's one of your kids you have to remain calm,  not throw up yourself,  and help your baby feel better.   Luckily the puking didn't last all day, so that was a win.
      Here is a list of other events that transpired throughout the day today.  Most of them make me just shake my head and think "only in my house."  Hopefully they will all bring joy to your day.
1.  I spent 10 minutes on a search and rescue mission for 5 little hot wheel cars.  For whatever reason my youngest Rosebush thought it would be a good idea to shove them into the cesspool of dirty diapers otherwise known as the diaper genie.  I was tempted to just chalk them up as a loss but Jax was losing his mind insisting that I get them out.
2.  I realized that we were down to just 2 rolls of toilet paper.   This is a serious EMERGENCY.   My daughter told me not to worry about it that we could just steal some from a public bathroom.  She learned this particular toilet paper replenishment technique from a certain someone that shall remain nameless but you know who you are!
3. I was informed by my 2 year old that I am rude,  more than once.  Apparently turning off the bathwater qualifies as rude in toddler eyes.
4.  I prevented my son from peeing on the dog.  He pulled off his diaper, aimed his boy parts at the dog and announced, I PEEEEEEEE!  I saved the sleeping dog just in time but my carpet took a direct hit.
5.  While giving Jax a bath I turned my back to retrieve him a towel from the closet.  I turned back around in time to see him dump an entire bucket of water onto the bathroom floor.

That was my day.  Sometimes the craziness gets to me but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.  I love my kids and I'm so lucky I have the opportunity to spend my days with them.   One day I'll miss the chaos.  One day I'll enjoy telling Jaxon's future bride about the time he tried to pee on the dog.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fred and Lydia, Soccer Coaches

    I try to keep my Rosebushes growing up healthy by encouraging them to play sports.   Jax is too young right now for sports but he'll get there soon enough.   Emma however wants to play every sport imaginable.   She has tried basketball and did well.   She is currently doing gymnastics and is doing well. She is about as coordinated as her mother which leaves a lot to be desired but she makes it work.   We just finished her first season cheerleading for our church's Upwards league.   Cheerleading was the only organized sport that I ever truly enjoyed and was good at so I had high hopes for Emma.   Maybe I even wanted to relive my cheerleading glory days through my kid BUT I don't know if she was that into it.   She told me after game 2 that it was "boring".  She stuck with it and learned to enjoy the performances but bless her heart she inherited her daddy's rhythm.  There is hope for her,  she could grow out of it.   Maybe? Hopefully!?!  Now we are starting our second season of soccer.   Soccer I believe may be her sport.   She is actually very coordinated with her little feet.   She's fast.  If we could get her to be a little more aggressive she would be the perfect little player.  This season we decided to have a little extra fun and Fred and I volunteered to coach.   I know you're all thinking that we are nuts and you would be absolutely correct.   I really thought "these kids are 5 and 6, how hard could it be? "  Tonight after our first practice with our little team it was painfully obvious that we were in over our heads.   It is worth noting that Fred and I have exactly ZERO soccer experience.  I dated a guy in high school that played soccer does that count?   These kids ran circles around us.   We tried to do some practice drills but focusing 10 kids is like herding cats.   Some of then actually are pretty coordinated and most of them have played soccer before but our biggest obstacle will be reminding them that they are all on the sane team.    We tried a little scrimmage at practice and they kept stealing the ball from each other and running in whatever direction the wind blew.   One poor kid kept rolling around muddy ground and for the life of me I don't know why.   One boy insisted that he wanted to play with his water bottle in hand. My own daughter stopped calling me mom and started calling me coach.  Another little boy politely asked me if I knew what I was doing,  more than once!  This was easily one of the longest hours of my life.   Fred and I spent a lot of time laughing at our glaring inadequacies.  We kept those little people busy for an hour and at the end they were all smiling so I guess it wasn't a total failure.     Our first game is Saturday if you'd like to come out and witness coaching greatness we'll be at the Southwest YMCA at 9:00AM.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Family Vacation.

    Growing happy  healthy Rosebushes takes a lot of work.   I am constantly chasing them around making sure they don't cause themselves or each other harm.   I make sure they are fed and washed.   I do their laundry,  their dishes,  and clean up no less than 1000 messes per day.  I plan activities for them.   I host play dates.   I read 75 stories per day.   I referee 263 pointless brother/sister squabbles. I get tired and need a break.   I think the kids get equally as tired of me and beg for a break.   That's usually when the grandparents come in!  Emma calls the grandparents and asks to come visit or be rescued.  It usually works too. Lately however she has been begging for a vacation of a different kind.

Emma - "Hey mom.  I want to go to Disney World."

Me - "Me too baby girl.   You better get a job first though.   Disney is expensive. "

Emma - Brow Furrowed "Ummmmm,  you are the adult and you don't work.   So YOU better get a job!"
Typical Emma!

Emma - "Can we take G and Grampy to Disney?"

Me - "We could ask."

Emma - "I really want to take Grammy and Pappy too.  Janie and Gillian would come too and take me to do things. "

Me - "I don't know if we could all go together.   That's a lot of people and I'm not sure we'd all get along. "

Emma - "Why cause G is grouchy?  Grammy says that Pappy needs happy pills cause he's grouchy too.  Maybe everybody could just take happy pills."

In my head I thought There aren't enough happy pills in all the world! 

Me - "I don't think there is such a thing as happy pills.  I just don't know if we could make it work. "

Emma - "Well wouldn't it be nice to have your mother and father go to Disney with you?"

Me - choking back laughter and fighting a smile "Emma,  it's not really that simple."

Emma - "Yep it is.  Everyone likes each other and we can all be extra nice.  It's for the kids.  Please mommy,  it's my dream to take a real family vacation. "

I couldn't help it I had to laugh.   She was so cute I had to end the conversation.  I felt so bad for her that I told her I would work on it.  SOOOOOOO..... Who wants to go to Disney World?   Grammy? Pappy?  G?  Grampy?   Heck GR and Pappaw Rosebush you should get in on this action too.  This could be fun.   Or at least interesting.   C ' Mon people it's her dream!   Let's do this.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Walk for Wishes Wednesday

    My favorite day of the week!  This week I was asked if I would be interested in helping with the Walk committee and I jumped at the chance.  It's a lot of pressure though, you know Maddie would insist that if I was going to represent her that I put together THE BEST TEAM!  Please help me make her proud and share our story and our cause.
     I've talked out our first experience with Make-A-Wish,  our special treatment at the airport, and our magical accommodations.  Today, I want to talk about our experience at Disney.  Everyone knows that Disney World is the happiest place on Earth but few have experienced the Disney magic combined with Make-A-Wish awesomeness.  We pulled up to the booth to pay for our parking and flashed our little Make-A-Wish and Give Kids The World badges.  The parking attendant welcomed us warmly and asked to see the kids.  She spoke directly to the two princesses and told them that Mickey was waiting.  We were told parking was free and we were directed to the handicapped lot.  We made our way to the Magic Kingdom, a place we knew really well.  When we entered the park we saw Daisy Duck and Emma begged to see her (because Maddie wanted to see her).  We headed to the end of the line to wait our turn.  We were quickly noticed by a Disney cast member and scolded for standing in line.  She spoke directly to the children and said "Sweet princesses, this is your kingdom while you're here.  You're special button tells us that you are royalty and you don't have to wait in line."  From that point forward we were ushered through every line,  given extra time with every character, and everyone played along with the princess charade.  Maddie was never excluded from anything because she was in a wheelchair, and THAT was a huge deal.  We laughed A LOT! We played A LOT!  The one thing we did not do was worry about anything!  We were allowed to forget for a little while that our daughter wasn't "normal".  That's exactly what Make-A-Wish does; it allows families to escape sickness, disability, and worry for a short period and enjoy just having fun.

Please find it in your heart to give to our cause.  Help us pay it forward.  You can use the link below to make a donation or sign up to walk.  Please share this everyone you know!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Her Last Hope

     One of my little Rosebushes has a really hard time with the difference between needs and wants.  She decided yesterday after church that she "NEEDED" new shoes.  I explained to her that her tennis shoes where not that old, they still fit, and were in good shape and therefore she would not be getting new shoes at this time.   She had other plans.
    When we got home from lunch after church she asked for my cell phone.  She know how to work it better than I do so I gave it to her and she informed me that she was calling G.   She found my mom's number and hit the call button.   When G answered this is what I heard.
"G will you buy me new shoes?"
"Mom and Dad said no."
"I need new shoes because my shoes are getting too small, they're dirty, they have a tiny tear in the front, AND Macie just got new shoes.   PLUS Jax got new tennis shoes a few weeks ago and new Sperry's yesterday.   I got NOTHING!"

I couldn't hear the other end of the conversation but I assumed my mom was laughing at her but Emma's manipulative magic was somehow probably working.  The conversation continued.

"Well if you buy me shoes I'll buy you some.  Just come get me.  I'll bring my wallet."

In a side whisper Emma asked me if she could have $80; presumably to buy G's shoes.

"Listen G, you're my only hope.  Mom and Dad said no.  Grampy is out of town or I'd ask him.  You're the only one close enough to come get me and buy my shoes.  I need them.  PLEASE!"

Now I was certain that my mother was laughing and that she was probably on her way.  Emma continued to work her magic,  and suddenly there was a knock at the door. Who could it be???

"G!  I knew you'd come!"

It worked!  How in the world did that sob story work?  I'm certain that if I called my mom and asked for new shoes that I would get a no, maybe even a hell no!  Grandkids get away with a lot; especially when they know exactly what buttons to push!

Emma got her new pair of shoes yesterday.  They are pink just like Macie's.  She also reminded me last night that G cares about her and I clearly do not.  G came to her rescue and she specifically thanked God for G and her shoes when she said her prayers last night.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Walk For Wishes Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means.  I get to tell you how amazing Make-A-Wish is.  Last week I told you about our flights and celebrity status and now I want to tell you about our arrival at our home away from home.  We stayed at a place called Give Kids the World.  GKTW is a village built on one man's dream in order to give wish families a place to stay and play on their wishes.   The place unbelievable!   GKTW works with several wish granting organizations and is not directly affiliated with Make-A-Wish.  They run almost entirely by volunteers.  Check out their website for more information about their mission www.gktw.org.
On our trip we were greeted at the airport by a volunteer holding a sign with Maddie's name on it.  We were given detailed instructions on how to get to the village, help with luggage, and walked to our waiting rental car.   When we pulled up to the security gates at the village the first thing the security guard said to us was "welcome home."  GKTW wants the village to feel like home for everyone there and they go out of the way to make it feel comfortable.   The kids were also given a giant stuffed Mickey Mouse when we checked in. We were given a tour of the village which includes an arcade, putt putt golf, a castle, an awesome pool area, a gingerbread house where meals are served, and most importantly an ice cream parlor that opens at 7 am.  Every family is encouraged to have ice cream for breakfast at least once during their stay.  We may have indulged more than once!  Everything in the village is free and tips are never accepted.  The families NEVER pay for anything.  We were given a book that detailed the village events because everyday they have special things going on.  After the grand tour we were taken to our villa.  The outside of our villa looked like something from a fairy tale.  It was brightly colored and whimsical.   The inside of the villa was large and spacious with a full kitchen, two bedrooms, a big living area, a large handicapped roll in shower big enough to qualify for a bedroom itself and a jacuzzi tub.   The pantry and fridge in the villa was already stocked with some goodies for us too.  The kitchen table also had some surprises for the kids and everyday when we returned from our adventures we would find that the wish fairy left the kids gifts.  To say that this place is magical doesn't even do it justice.
     Every week the village celebrates Christmas; complete with a Christmas parade, Santa, and even snow.  The gingerbread house even serves a holiday meal. We couldn't wait until it was time to celebrate Christmas.  We ate our Christmas meal, watched the parade and then it was time to see Santa!  This is one of those moments that makes the village so special.  While we were waiting in line to see Santa; Maddie had peed through her diaper.  I didn't want her to get Santa wet so I told him that we would just take her picture next to him in her chair.  Santa said, "ABSOLUTELY NOT!   Every child sits in Santa's lap!  It might be the only time some of these kids can sit in Santa's lap.  We'll get a towel and I will hold her."  I told Santa that wasn't necessary but he insisted.  He explained to me that he wanted every child to have that experience at least once and that's why he volunteered.   Santa did hold my baby girl that night and she loved it. It was truly a memory that I will not forget.   Of course no Christmas would be complete without presents! Every child gets to pick out a brand new toy from their giant toy closet.  You can imagine the excitement there.
     I could go on and on about the village but I won't.  I'll save some for another time.  What I do want to remind you is that Make-A-Wish made our trip possible  They set everything up for us.  They made sure we could experience this one of a kind magical place.  Please help us spread the magic and support Make-A-Wish financially.   Our family is walking in the Walk for Wishes this summer in honor of Maddie.  I invite you to join us by clicking the link and joining our team.  If walking isn't possible please consider a donation.  Share this with everyone you know because every penny we collect helps grant wishes! JOIN OUR TEAM OR MAKE A DONATION

Friday, February 28, 2014

How was your day?

     Everyday my little Rosebushes are soaking up something new.  Sometimes it's new words, new skills, and even new games.  I send Emma to school everyday and I trust that she will learn something new from her friends and her teachers. Today I was certainly not disappointed.  
     Today Fred and I picked Emma up from school, which is a special treat because Fred is usually working.  We had some errands to run so we went over our plan for the rest of the day and went on our way.  While we were driving around Emma very excitedly said "'Ms. Marsha told us about a game that they used to play when they were kids."  Usually Emma is pretty mum about school so Fred and I were excited to get some schoolday details. This is the conversation that followed.

Me -"Cool, tell me about it."
Emma -"You're going to love this.  It sounds fun."
Me - "Oh"
Emma - "You take an empty Coke bottle and you sit in a circle around it."
Now I can sort of see where this is going and I'm curious.  I just let her continue.
Emma - "You take turns spinning the bottle and whoever it lands on you have to kiss!  Isn't that a crazy game?"
Me -"You learned this at school?"
Emma - "Yep, it's called spin the bottle."
Me - "Wow, that's a silly game."
What I wanted to say was OH MY LORD!  What the heck are they teaching you?  Ms. Marsha taught  you this?  Oh wow!

I looked at Fred and we both had a good laugh.  Both of us are very curious why spin the bottle was the topic of conversation in a classroom full of five year olds in a Christian school.  I asked Emma why they were talking about that and she said she couldn't remember.  This is one thing that she learned in school that I hope she forgets!   I never know what I'm going to hear when I ask "how was your day?"

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


      It's Wednesday and that means I get to write about one of my favorite organizations and my family's experience with them.  The Make-A-Wish foundation granted my Maddie's wish and since then my family has worked very hard to give back to them.  We are going to form the biggest and best walk team  we can with a goal of raising $6000.  That is the average cost of granting one child's wish.  Mark your calendars for June 7, 2014 and get ready to start raising money!
     Make-A-Wish works very hard to make sure that every aspect of your trip is taken care of from flights and cars to meals and spending money. They give each family a very detailed itinerary so that all they have to do and think about is having fun as a family. Our trip was no exception.   We were presented with a beautifully decorated folder  full of all kinds of info and a Disney World  travel guide.
We had dates. We had tickets.   We were ready!   We woke up in the wee hours of the morning on November 14th and headed to the airport.   Traveling with a three year old and a handicapped child can be a bit of a three ring circus so I was nervous, and when we arrived at the airport to a line of about 30 people at the ticket counter my anxiety meter was off the charts.   We arrived just as the Southwest Airlines ticket counter was opening for the morning.   We were immediately greeted  by a skycap (who happened to be my great uncle).  He vowed to get us to the gate with plenty of time.  He left us briefly and when he returned I heard the Southwest ticket lady make an announcement. The announcement went something like, "Attention  passengers.   We have a special guest today.   This is Madison and she is going on her Make-A-Wish trip.   She is going to go first today so we can get her on her way.  Thank you for your patience. "  Something surprising happened next. People clapped!  Grumpy,  early morning business travelers actually clapped for us!  We were treated like celebrities everywhere we went that day at the airport, even the TSA people were nice AND helpful!  The flight attendants on our flight safe a big deal about Maddie and Emma.   That was the beginning of a special trip for us.   Our Make-A-Wish celebrity status only gets bigger!   
Please keep Make-A-Wish in your heart and come back next Wednesday for more of our story.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Am I doing this right?

In the Rosebush Raising business I often wonder if I'm doing this right.  I mean sure the little Rosebushes are alive, clean, and fed. That's a big step in the right direction but am I raising them correctly. Am I doing every possible thing I can to make sure these tiny humans are growing up properly?  I'm sure I'm like a lot of moms; I read all kinds of blogs and articles about all the "right" things to do for your kids.  I've read a ton of stuff on a variety of subjects ranging from when and what to feed them to when, where,  and how long they should sleep.  I read about my Facebook friends and their children and sometimes have the mommy moment of panic when I think I am doing this all wrong.  I know I'm not the only mom that has their moment of mommy guilt when I think I may be screwing up my kids.  Here is what I have come to realize.
     Mom guilt is insane!   Why do women do this to themselves?   Why do we feel like we need to compare ourselves to each other when it comes to raising our children?  Now be honest ladies WE ALL DO IT!  Now days it starts as soon as your kids come out of the womb.   I've read an article online once that suggested that women who have given birth via c - section  are somehow  missing out on one of the joys of motherhood because they didn't push a kid out of their lady bits the natural way.  I've had all three of my children cut out of my body by a skilled doctor and a scalpel and let me tell you I felt an amazing amount of joy when they brought my sweet babies to me.  I'd didn't know it mattered how they got out only that they got out! I have never once thought I missed out on anything because of the way I gave birth but somewhere out there is a large group of women who feel like I am somehow less of a mother. Why in heavens name does that even matter?  Once you get your kids into the world then how you feed them comes into question.  Breast or Bottle?  Which is best?  Are you less of a mom if you chose bottle?   I nursed Emma and Jax both for nearly a year and loved most every minute of it and my kids seemed to be healthy and growing well. It was a huge lifestyle choice and time commitment but so worth it for me.  My two BFF's tried breastfeeding and it wasn't for them for various reasons. Is it my place to judge the type of mothers they are? NO, because it doesn't matter as long as your kid gets fed!  Don't even get me started on the people who feel pressure to now make their kids baby food.   It's great if you have time and enjoy it but please don't judge us moms that prefer those little glass jars from the grocery. IT DOES NOT MATTER!   Ladies stop pressuring each other! It doesn't get better as they grow.  You question how your kids sleep.  When do they sleep? Do they sleep enough?  What is sleep training?  Do I do it?  When do I feed them solid food?  What do I feed them?  What if my kid wants popcorn for breakfast?  Is my kid smart enough?  Are they smarter than so and so's kid?  When do I potty train?  How do I potty train?  What if my kid isn't ready when others think he should be?  All these questions can be mind numbing.  I still rock my almost 2 year old to sleep every night and if he drags his blanket and pillow to my room at 2 AM I scoot over and let him in.  I let him have popcorn for breakfast if that's what he wants once a week.  I'll wait for him to be ready to pee pee like the big boys even if it takes awhile.   Who cares if my kids are smarter than than so and so as long as they are meeting milestones appropriately.  I will no longer feel guilty because of the choices I make with my kids.
    This is my philosophy on my children.  I want them to know every single day that they are loved, wanted, and cared about.  I want them to be good little people with a little bit of sass.  I've stopped comparing myself and my kids to other people and their kids.  Guess what? There are lots of people that are better moms than me.  There are lots of kids that are smarter, more talented, maybe even more attractive than my kids but I have stopped caring.  I am no longer going to worry about the pressure society puts on me to be the "perfect mom".    I encourage all moms to do the same.  Instead of judging each other, encourage and celebrate each other as we all take on this difficult task of raising little people.  Have fun with your kids. Spend your time being silly with them and making memories with them because to those tiny people you already are the perfect mom.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Day Every Mom Dreads.

As my little Rosebushes grow they are bound to make friends.  Watching my Emma make friends and play with them gives me some of the greatest joy as a mom.   Emma has two friends that she calls her BFF's, Macie and Ellie.  I absolutely love both girls.  They  are both so sweet. They are all bossy little divas with a ton of attitude and I love watching 25 year old attitude come out of 5 year old bodies.
Today Ellie came home from school with us for a playdate.   The playdate started off well.  I took the girls and Jax to the McDonald's playplace and everyone had a wonderful time. After about and hour at the playplace the girls said they were hot and ready to leave.  We came home and the girls played in the basement for a while.  Jax tried desperately to play with then but they wanted no part of the pesky little brother.  Poor kid, he just wanted to play with the big girls.  Emma and Ellie decided to escape to Emma's room for a little peace and quiet.  They told me they were going to color and play with Emma's art supplies.  They played quietly for awhile and I tried to keep Jax occupied so he would leave them alone.   Apparently there was some sort of scissor mishap that resulted in a hole in Ellie's sock.  Ellie blamed Emma and Emma denied any responsibility in the sock butchering incident.   Since the truth was probably somewhere in the middle and I clearly wasn't going to get it I simply removed all scissors from the equation and they went back to play.   They quicky abandoned the art supplies and headed back to the basement.
Ellie's dad showed up to pick her about twenty minutes later.  There were a few tears because Emma really wanted Ellie to stay for dinner. In five year old society staying for dinner is a very big deal.  I explained to the girls that the weather was supposed to get yucky and Ellie and her daddy needed to get home before it stormed.  I promised another playdate soon.  Ellie sat on the couch and I helped her get her shoes on.   The girls hugged goodbye and Ellie was off.
After seeing Ellie and her dad out the door I returned to the living room to straighten up a little.  That's when I saw it,  a two inch long, shiny blond lock of hair laying on the couch.  INSTANT PANIC!  The day every mom of little girl dreads is finally here.  She has cut her hair, or worse she may have cut someone else's child's hair.  Since both girls have golden blond hair I wasn't really sure who the lock of hair belonged too.  I called for Emma. When she came upstairs I inspected her hair carefully and it was obvious several chunks of hair were missing. OH NO!!!!!!  Emma claimed that she didn't cut her hair that it fell out.  After a brief  interrogation Emma led me to her room and pulled the remaining evidence from  under her bed.  There it was a pile of blond hair, and it was clear that it was cut from the head of both girls.  OH NO, OH NO, OH NO!  I have allowed the massacre of some one else's child's hair in my house!  BAD MOM, BAD MOM, BAD MOM!!!!!!  I felt horrible telling Ellie's mom what had happened but luckily she was very understanding.   Since neither girl tattled on the other and they took great care to hide the evidence I am certain the hair cutting was a jont venture.    I think Ellie's mom said it best when she said "Hopefully this isn't the beginning of them being partners in crime!"  They aren't even in kindergarten yet, so lets hope this is the only criminal incident!
The three amigos 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Perhaps she's a philosopher.

Raising Rosebushes can be mentally trying at times.   The little Rosebushes and sometimes the big Rosebush really try to test their limits. Maybe it's my limits that they're testing?  Sometimes Emma with have one of this days where she comes up with a thousand questions.  Usually the questions are simple and I can answer her questions with a questions.  After answering question number 475 with a question she gets super tired of my little game and moves on. Today however she was feeling a bit philosophical.  This is our conversation:

Emma - "Mommy if I were an animal I would be a kangaroo."

Me - "A kangaroo huh?"

Emma - "If I were a kangaroo would I have to follow God like people do?"

Me - "Ummmmm.... I'm not really sure how it works with animals."

Emma - "I knew you wouldn't know."

Me - "Thanks Em.  Where do you come up with this stuff?"

Emma - "My brain.   I'm super smart, possibly a genius.  How about we check google."

Me - "I am not  googling that. "

Emma - "We could probably find the answer in the bible."

Me - "I'm not even sure where to find  that in the bible.  I know God created animals I'm not sure if they follow him.  I'm thinking probably not in the same way people do."

Emma - "You just made that up. I'll ask my teacher."

I thought it best to just leave the conversation at that.   Clearly I'm an imbecile .  I'll let my little Plato figure it out on her own.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Which Rosebush am I raising again?

     Every night in the Rosebush house I try to spend a little one on one time with each of my little Rosebushes.  I spend my one on one time with Emma reading atleast one story a night.  Tonight we started a new book of Bible stories.  The very first story was of course the story of creation.  This particular book is written in small words and short sentences so that children can read it.
    Emma and I were sitting on the couch reading and she is very diligently sounding out words.  She is working so hard and is identifying the letter sounds.  She would just about get a word figured out and then I would hear a voice from the floor say the word.  This happens like ten times and Emma is starting to get annoyed.  I try to ignore it and keep Emma focused.  She does a great job and we get through the story.
    I always ask Emma questions about the stories that we read just to make sure she is paying attention to the content and not just the words.   We read the story of creation so I asked Emma to name three things that God created.  She pauses and says, "sky, plants and..."  The voice from the floor says, "people".  The voice from the floor is very proud of himself too.  He got an answer right.  Emma growls and says "I knew that mom! I really did know that. I didn't need help."  I asked her what God said about his creations.   Before Emma can respond, the voice says "it was good!"  This time I couldn't take any more of the interruptions and responded to the voice.  "Fred, you are 36 years old and were raised in the church I am glad that you know the story of creation.  I am also very thankful that you can read.  However, your daughter does not know either of one of those things and it is very difficult to teach her if you won't shut up.  I need her answers,  not yours."   Emma looked at me very seriously and said "Thanks mom,  I will never be able to learn if you're always teaching dad."  Sometimes I'm raising two Rosebushes and sometimes it's three!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Rosebush Style

     This morning I woke Emma up for school and reminded her that it was Valentine's Day. She was so excited because that means a party at school.  She worked very hard carefully signing her name to all her little cards for her friends and we bought little candy treats for her class.  While she was getting ready for school she asked "What is Valentine's Day anyway?"  I responded with "It's a day where we show all the people we love how much we love them?"   Her sweet little face looked up at me and said "But Mommy,  I show you that I love you everyday and you tell me everyday that you love me.  Why is today special?"   Why is my child like a wise old woman?
     Our last name is Rosebush so you'd think Valentine's Day would be our thing, but you'd be wrong.    Fred and I just don't make a big deal of Valentine's Day.  Why, you ask?  Let me tell you.  Love for us isn't flowers, candy, jewelry, or a fancy dinner. Love is spending years working opposite schedules and rarely seeing each other in order to avoid putting the kids in daycare. Love is wakng up every morning driving and hour and a half to a job that is less than satisfing, working 10-12 hours, and driving an hour and a half home so that your wife can stay home everyday and raise your kids.  Love is blonde haired, blue eyed, five years old, and full of attitude.  Love is using you're day off to take your wife's car to get an oil change so she doesn't have to bless the dealership with the presence of your children.  Love is spending your Saturday mornings sitting on rock hard bleachers watching your daughter cheer her heart out. Love is curly headed, green eyed,  still lacking all his teeth, and almost two years old.  Love is seeing your children's face light up when you walk in the door.  Love is hearing a little voice call you  mommy or daddy.  Love is not smothering your snoring husband when his snoring keeps you up at night.  Love is sharing a morning kiss despite heinous morning breath.  Love is losing a child and knowing that you can depend on your spouse for every ounce of strength you have.  Love is knowing that no matter what life throws at you that you can tackle it together.  Love is being able to  make fun of each other.  Love is laughing at each other A LOT.   Love is everyday.  Love is sharing every part of your life with someone.  Love is dedicating our lives to raising two beautiful Rosebushes and making sure that they feel loved, wanted, needed, and special everyday.  So today you won't see Fred and I exchanging crazy gifts because we exchange something much more important every day, we exchange our love.  
     My wise little Rosebush was right; today isn't really that special.  My heart is full of love today because I know, that my kids know, that they are loved and they live in a home filled with love everyday of the year.

Happy Valentine's Day to all. May all of your days be so filled with love that February 14th is just another calendar day.