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.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Walk for Wishes Wednesday

     The Make - A - Wish Walk for Wishes is happening this summer so I thought I'd start getting ready now.   Every Wednesday from now until June I am going to share some of our wish story.   If you know our family you may have heard some of these stories.   My hope is that you read them again and share in our memories. I also would like for you to share these stories and this blog with your friends,  family, coworkers,  and anyone you can think of. I can never repay Make - A - Wish for the gift they gave us but I can raise awareness for what they do and help raise money to help grant other children's wishes.   The average wish costs more than $6,000 and wish families are never asked to pay for anything.   I ask that you search your heart and your wallets to help their cause.
    Before we get into our trip let me set the stage for you.  Back in the beginning of 2010, Maddie was approaching her 10th birthday.  That was 10 more birthdays than the doctors said she would ever have.  She had been getting sick pretty frequently and it was becoming very difficult to bottle feed her.  Our pediatrician suggested that it was time to consider a feeding tube.  This was like a kick to the gut for us, a HUGE kick to the gut from a Colts linebacker sized man.  Maddie had done so well for so long a feeding tube felt like we were somehow failing her.  It felt like she was slipping a little bit and that was scary.   It would mean major surgery  and all the risks that come with that. We spent a month or more visiting with the surgeon and having every test imaginable.   We got know the radiology department so well at Kosair Children's hospital that they greeted us with our first names and a kind hug.  During all of the crazy hospital visits I was introduced to Make-A-Wish by one of our new found radiology friends. I looked at their website and filled out the wish recommendation form, expecting nothing to come from it. We decided to go ahead with the feeding tube surgery the beginning of March 2010, again with lots of mixed emotions.  Maddie had her surgery and all went well.  We spent several miserable days in the hospital while Maddie recovered and we learned how to feed her through her new tube. While setting in that sad little hospital room, wallowing in what I saw as my failure as a mother, my phone rang.  When I answered it I was surprised to hear that it was a lady from Make - A - Wish and they wanted to grant Maddie a wish.  I was blown away.  What perfect timing.   We talked about some details and she said that our wish granters would be in touch so start thinking of what Maddie would like.    Fred and I tossed around several wish ideas that we thought Maddie would enjoy and we settled on a trip to Disney. Disney was Maddie's favorite place in the world.
    What we didn't know at the time and have only realized recently is that knowledge of the wish to come helped us get through that emotionally difficult time.  We had something to look forward to.  We had something to keep Maddie healthy for.  We had something to focus on rather than feel sad that our daughter might be slipping away from us.  That's what Make-A-Wish does, they give families of sick kids hope.
    Want to know more about our wish story?  Come back next Wednesday.  Want to know more about how you can help Make-A-Wish?   Feel free to find me on Facebook and I'll happily share with you some ways you can help.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Emma and the Olympics

     Like most of America right now the Rosebushes have been enjoying the Olympic competitions.  We watch all kinds of competitions even things that we didn't know were sports.  Emma really gets into any sport that she watches. Last night she watched some figure skating and danced like a crazy person all around the living room. She even changed into a leotard with a tutu.  She asked me why she could not do those turns and jumps on the ice.  I replied that those women have been ice skating since they were her age and practice every day. That's when he tears started.  She said, "I HAVE been ice skating.  I know how to skate."  For the record she has been ice skating exactly two times and has probably skated about six feet total without holding on to someone or some thing.  I don't think she's ready for triple axles just yet.  She cried and cried because  "she wasn't good at anything."  She sat in the floor in her pink leotard and cried for thirty minutes because "she was never going to be famous and people wouldn't know her name."  She cried so much that at one point Jax looked her and said "STOP IT!"
    I tried very hard to convince her that she was good at lots of things, like singing, dancing, coloring, and most of all being a drama queen.  She continued to cry because she wanted people to know who she is. She "must be famous one day."  I'm not sure when my daughter became this little narcissist.  This little display was very funny but very heartbreaking at the same time.  I started to fear that my child may not feel like she's good enough.  I cuddled her and assured her that at some point in her life she would find the thing that she was really good at it.  She asked me what I was good at and after a lot of thought I told her that being a mommy was what I was good at and it took a long time for me to figure that out.  I also told her that being a mommy would probably never make me famous but I was okay with that.
     She was happy after our talk but then ski jumping came on! The water works started AGAIN.  She thought that ski jumping looked like fun and wanted to know how she could learn to do it.  At this point I've given up.  If anyone knows how my daughter could get started as a professional ski jumper please let me know.  Better yet, if you can make her famous that would be even better.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What do we do?

   I normally write about my adventures with my little Rosebushes.   Yesterday my little Rosebushes planned to go spend the night with their Grammy and Pappy.  Emma had a game yesterday and her Gram, Pap, Aunt Jane, and Aunt Gill came to watch her.   She was so proud to show off her cheerleading skills.  After her game they were off to Grammy and Pappy's,  a fairy tale land where they are allowed to do whatever they want; at least that's the way Emma tells it.
    Once they were gone Fred and I looked at each other and said "What do we do now?" We haven't had a night without the kids since New Year's Eve.  After a few minutes of debate we settled on the only imaginable option for us; A NAP!  We laid on the couch together and slept for three glorious uninterrupted hours.   THREE HOURS!  In mom time that is equal to 3 days.  It was amazing.   When we woke up from our slumber we were of course hungry. Fred offered to take me to my favorite Louisville restaurant, Porcini's (made famous my Rick Pitino). We could have a nice romantic early Valentine's dinner.  That thought was really appealing and I love my husband for his attempt at romance.  I decided that I just didn't want to get dressed up.   I'd rather have a low key evening just spending time with my love.  He understood and we settled on sushi and a bottle of moscato.  I love sushi but the kids hate so it was a logical non - kid choice.  We ate amazing sushi and laughed about the fact that I cam finally use chopsticks.  As we were finishing dinner we tossed around the idea of going to the movies.  I looked up movie show times on my phone.  We finished dinner about 7:10 and most of the movies started at 7:30 making it impossible for us to make that showing.   The next possible showtime  was 8:30.  This is the discussion that followed:
Fred - "How long is the movie? "
Me - "Almost 2 hours."
Fred - "Wow that's long.  That means we wouldn't get home until 11:00."
Me - "Yeah, 11:00 is kind of late."
Fred - "We have church in the morning.  We should just go home and watch a movie on the couch."
Me - "Can we have popcorn?"
Fred - "Anything for you my love."

     For the record I do not know the two boring people that had the above conversation.   I'm not sure when Fred and I became those people.  We used to go out all the time.  We could hang out until 4 AM and get up the next day with no problems.  Is this what growing up feels like?  
     We came home from dinner got some comfy clothes on and found a movie on demand to watch.  We snuggled on the couch under a blanket watching the movie, making fun of it and making fun of each other.  We laughed a lot. I fell asleep with my head on Fred's shoulder around 10:30.  He woke me up around 11:00 to go and get ready for bed.  When I went to brush my teeth I noticed he had already prepared my toothbrush with toothpaste.   Folks, if that's not love I don't know what is.  We were in bed under the covers by 11:15.
    It was a super boring night but we were with each other.  After nearly 10 years of marriage it's good to know that we can do nothing and still enjoy each other's company.   I love that man and if we have to grow up I'm glad we're doing it together.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Just may be doing something right.

When you are raising Rosebushes you learn to expect the unexpected.   Most of the time it's my little diva surprises  me.  As I drove Emma to school yesterday morning we were listening to the radio.  They happened to be talking about how they were collecting Valentine's cards for kids at our local children's hospital.   I was only half listening when she asked me to turn it up.  I turned it up so that she could hear.  This is the conversation that followed.
Emma - "Mom, is that the hospital Maddie went to before?"
Me-  "Yes Emma.   She stayed there several times."
Emma- "Mom are there lots of sick kids there?"
Me- "Yes Emma.   There are lots of sick kids there."
Emma - "If people don't make them Valentine's they won't get any, right? Valentine's will probably make them happy so they will feel better."
Me- "You're probably right Em.  Valentine's will make them happy. "
Emma - "After school cam we go buy some supplies to make them cards?  Can we get glitter?  We have to have glitter.  Glitter makes everyone feel better. Yes, definitely glitter."
Me-  "Yes Emma we can do that if you want."

She was elated that I said yes.  So as promised after school we went to the store and bought paper, markers,  glue sticks and of course GLITTER! When we came come we spent 2 hours cutting hearts, gluing hearts, and glittering everything in sight.  We made a grand total of 15 hand crafted cards.  They were most certainly a labor of love.

Emma's naturally giving and caring spirit truly inspires me.  One of my only goals in raising my Rosebushes, aside from simply keeping them alive, is to raise them to be good, kind, and generous human beings.  It's times like these when I think I just might be on the right track.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Impossible

     We've had two snow days so far this week.  Two days that keep us inside and out of our routine.  I've learned in the few years that I've been raising the Rosebushes that the key to happiness is ROUTINE.  The lack of routine or a change in the routine usually sends the little Rosebushes into a tailspin of insanity, especially Emma.
     I've discovered that there are a few things that are impossible to do on a snow day.
1.  Sleep past 7:45
2.  Do anything alone in the bathroom.  When I showered today Jax actually brought his ipad into the bathroom and started watching a movie. Seriously,  he propped it up against the wall and laid down on his belly to watch.
3.  Make a phone call.  I swear they are quiet and playing and the minute I pick up the phone they sense it.  That's when the fighting and screaming starts or that is the only time that Emma is starving to death and absolutely has to have a snack.
4.  Laundry.   They insist on "helping" me.  I spend more time trying to give them directions and redoing what they've "helped" with that I just give up.
5.  Clean anything.   Same reason as #4.
6.  Have any sort of conversation with a 5 year old that doesn't end in tears.  It doesn't matter how the conversation starts or what we're talking about.  It ALWAYS ends in her crying.  Today every conversation made it's way to her wanting to go see her Grammy and Pappy.  She cried for hours about NEEDING to see them.
7.  Reason with an emotional 5 year old after #6.
8.  Remember anything.  I can't explain why,  maybe the ice has frozen my brain, but I seriously can't remember all of the things I need to accomplish today.
9.  Get both kids to nap at the same time.
10.  Use any electronic device.   I attempted to write this blog on the ipad, it was commandeered.   I tried to use my laptop. Jax kept telling me to "shut it".   I grabbed my Kindle.   I was forced to use it to settle an argument.  In case you're wondering I am writing this on my cell phone.   This seems to be the only device that is truly mine.  

 On the bright side I think there are 42 days until spring.   I hope we make it!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Snow Day

     The weather has a big impact on how you raise your Rosebushes.  It's wintertime and this winter has been particularly brutal on our old Kentucky home.  It seems like we've had snow at least once a week since the year started.  The snow hasn't been the only issue, it's been bitter cold.   It is BAD for the growth of the Rosebushes, and my mental health, when they have to stay inside day after day.  
     Last night Mother Nature dumped yet another pile of snow on us; about 5 inches to be exact.  This morning I awoke to a text message from Emma's school saying they would be closed today!  Woohoo, snow day!  I had hoped the kids would sleep in but those hopes were dashed at about 7:30 AM when Emma pounced on my bed.  Grrrrrr.....why can we sleep in?
     After the Rosebushes were fed and watered and the sun was fully up; Emma started begging to play in the snow.  She always begs to play in the snow but I've been reluctant to let her.  I hate the winter, the cold, the snow, the nasty wet footprints that get tracked into my house after the snow,  and pretty much everything the season brings.  The snow today was very light and fluffy so I decided to stop being a grinch and let the kids play.   We have absolutely no winter weather clothing in our house so I had to get creative.   I dressed the kids in multiple layers, with lots of complaints about wearing more than one pair of pants and socks.  We had no snow boots so I improvised.  I put grocery bags on our feet and duck taped them around our legs.  The result was an amazingly ridiculous looking, extremely effective, and super cheap pair of snow boots.  We completed our ensembles with coats, hats and gloves.  Poor Jax did not have gloves or mittens so he had to wear a pair of his sister's socks on his hands.  He didn't seem to mind though.  As we headed out the door I was skeptical that this was going to be even a little fun.
     Once we hit the snow something amazing happened.  My kids faces lit up.  Jax ran through the snow like a nut job.  It was us very first time playing in the snow.   Emma attempted to build a snowman but the snow was just to fluffy.  She and I managed to build about a three foot pile of snow when Jax came running at it like Godzilla and belly flopped right on the top.  Our hard work was destroyed but we all laughed.  We threw snow in the air,  had a small snowball fight,  and Emma made snow angels.  Jax seemed to enjoy eating the snow.    The best part was their smiles.  I love watching them have fun. Guess what happened next?  This Momma had fun too.
     As we walked in the house Jax was screaming, "SNOW! SNOW! SNOW!"  Emma threw her snow covered arms around me and said, "BEST.DAY.EVER!  Thanks Mom for the playing with us!" Once again I am reminded that these days are so special.  Creating memories with my children is the best job ever.
     Here are a few pictures of our snow adventure.

Super Bowl Sunday

I usually write this blog about my two beautiful children that are here on Earth but today I want to write about my sweet angel girl.  Today was her day.  Super Bowl Sunday was Maddie's third favorite day of the year following only her birthday and Christmas.   You see, football was her thing.  She loved football so much and for the life of me I don't really know why.  When football was on TV her face would light up.  We attended lots of Colts games and anyone who ever had the pleasure of seeing her at a game knew she was in her element.  She was sort of a big deal at Lucas Oil, staff knew her, fans knew her, and the Colts Go-Rillas knew her (if you've attended a Colts game you know who they are).  She made everyone's day when she showed up to watch her team.  I don't think it's a coincidence that Peyton Manning left the Colts once Maddie left this earth.   Just sayin'.
     One of the my most cherished memories with Maddie was a Super Bowl Sunday in 2007.  I remember this game like it was yesterday.  We had been living in Indianapolis for about 6 months.   Fred had to work that February night so it was just me and my girl.  I had been pretty homesick so I watched the game snuggled with my girl.  Our beloved Colts were playing the Bears.  We were dressed in our jerseys and Maddie had every Colts toy she could find for good luck.  Every time the Colts would score I would yell and she would laugh.  The Colts won that game and our team became world champs.  I snapped this picture of her right after they won.
She was laughing out loud.   This game was so special to me because it was just us, just our special memory.   
    The following October we went to a Halloween party in Indianapolis sponsored by the Colts.   We were invited to tour the team's locker room.  In the locker room the Lombardi Trophy was set out for fans to see and to touch.  The trophy rested on a wooden platform surrounded by a glass box with a hole cut in the top.  The hole was to allow fans to touch the trophy but Maddie was too short and could reach it from her chair.  We were content to take our picture next to the trophy,  being in the same room with it was enough for us.  That's when something amazing happened.  A Colts staff member walked over to the box and lifted it off the trophy.  He picked the trophy up and he placed it in Maddie's lap.  They let no one else in the locker room and let Maddie have her moment with a piece of football history.  We never felt rushed, they allowed her to hold it as long as she wanted.  We contemplated making a run for it with the trophy but two linebacker sized fellows standing by the door led me to believe that was a bad idea.   She absolutely loved it.  
Again, a memory that I will cherish forever.  
    Super Bowl Sunday has been rough for the past two years.  I really haven't been into the game.  It's been sad to watch.  This year we decided to get back into the spirit of Super Bowl.  We invited some friends over to watch the game with us.  In true Maddie fashion we all watched the game in sweats.   We ate LOTS of food and laughed quite a bit.  This year the game was horrendous and the commercials weren't much better but we had a good time.  Maddie would have hated this game but would have loved the noise of kids in the house and the sound of everyone having fun watching her game.  
    I love you Maddie girl and miss you always.   

Saturday, February 1, 2014

     It was time to head off to the grocery store today for some supplies to raise my Rosebushes.  Since it was a weekend Fred and I went with a "divide and conquer" strategy with the kids today.   I was assigned Emma for the afternoon.   I headed off to the store with my mini-me.  It should be noted that I HATE going to the grocery more than anything.  Seriously,  I would rather visit the "lady doctor" than go to the grocery!   I'm not sure why I thought the day before Super Bowl Sunday would be a great time to take my super mouthy, extra opinionated five year old to the store, maybe because I thought it would make an amazing blog post.
     Emma has no filter, none, zero,  zip,  zilch, nada, and if you attempt to ignore her she will get louder until her comments are verbally acknowledged.  As we walked into the store we saw a lady getting her cart, the lady happened to have a belly and a poorly chosen outfit.  Emma asked me if the lady was having a baby like her friends mom.  I've seen enough baby bumps to know that the lady wasn't preggers.  I quietly shushed Emma,  but you know Em didn't take kindly to that.  She very loudly explained that the lady's belly was visible below her shirt and the only possible explanation for why anyone would be seen with her gut hanging out was pregnancy.   At that point there was only one thing I could do. I had to hang back, put as much distance between us and belly lady as possible, avoid any eye contact and spend the rest of my shopping trip dodging her.
     I don't know about all children but my child sets a personal goal for herself when we enter the store to see if she can physically touch one of every item.  I swear she gets pretty close too.   I can't stand it.  It drives me crazy!   I go in with a list and a plan but after Emma starts pulling every item off  the shelf and asking if we need it, I lose track of what I need.   I end up back tracking all over the store and the trip takes FOREVER.   It also increases the possibility that we'll run into belly lady.
     It's also not a grocery trip until Emma tells me that I'm the worst mom ever at least twice.  Today we completed that mission when I refused to buy jello and a $10 One Direction toothbrush.  I know you're probably thinking that Emma is right.  I am horrible.
     As we made our way down the cereal aisle we crossed paths with a woman who was probably my age but had bright pink hair, green lipstick, and blue eye shadow.   My daughter looks at her, looks at me,  back at her, and I knew something bad was coming.   She says to me "Hey Mom, why is she dressed like a clown?"  I could tell this woman legitimately thought this was a good look for herself.  It was not.   We high tailed it to the next aisle where Emma and I had a stern conversation about keeping our opinions about other people's appearance to ourselves.  Needless to say Emma still didn't see a problem with her question or her opinion and had a million very valid reasons why she needed to say things like that and ask questions.   When it was obvious I wasn't going to win this battle I gave up and did some speed shopping  to get out as quickly as possible.
     We made it to the check out line.  Woohoo!     We're almost finished when I hear Emma say to the lady bagging the groceries "could you please hurry up?   I REALLY HAVE TO PEE!"  I should have anticipated this because we hadn't visited the bathroom yet and heaven forbid we go to a public place and not check out their toliet.  I apologized s for Emma's rudeness and thankfully the lady just laughed her off and found her bluntness cute.
    Finally safely in the car where Emma can no longer insult anyone or embarrass me she calls my name and I turn around to see this:
How could I be mad at that?  I love my spirited little girl, even when she is embarrassing.