Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bonnie and Clyde in the kitchen

Alas, my toddler cooking classes are starting to pay off!

The funky bunch was able to create this masterpiece for my birthday...

Baby Bear was in charge of decorating...

Another year wiser! Thank you Daddy for all your hard work!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A moment of silence for our friend the turtle

Those of you with children know that silence is truly golden.

The other day after an attempt to wear them out before bedtime provide some exercise by letting them run around in an open field by our house, we discovered a turtle on the side of the road.

We ran over to rescue the small turtle and return him to the nearby pond. After I sat him down, the little guy wouldn't come out of his shell. Probably because Baby Bear kept sticking his face down by the shell and shouting "Come out turtle, come out!" There are mornings when I don't respond well to that call from him either. So I asked the kids to sit down quietly to allow for Mr. Turtle to feel safe and return to the water.

And then it happened.

For an entire 15 minutes, we sat in the grass on the side of the pond in complete silence while we waited for Mr. Turtle to do his thing. It was amazing.

I now have a cooler in my back yard of turtles on standby for emergencies.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy

Two things I am completely passionate about:
  1. Magazines - retailers make a killing off of me at the check out counter.
  2. Making the cake for each family member's birthday.
When those two passions collide, it's usually a hot mess.

This week was A's birthday and in our traditional fashion, the kids and I set out to bake yet another masterpiece. I saw it on the cover of a magazine and just knew it was the perfect choice for this year. It was similar to this...

Four hours, a couple of "accidentally forgot" key ingredients, an emergency icing run later - this is what we ended up with...

O, well - it's the thought that counts and the kids had a blast!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Friday, June 6, 2008

How it all started...

First, I should get it out that I'm not the perfect parent nor have I ever claimed to be. I just passionately believe that if you're going to do it, you have got to do it right. There is no such thing as passive parenting in my book. Parents who park their kids in front of Baby Einstein videos or whatever happens to be on Toon Disney drive me bananas. You have got to be involved. That's where the magic happens.

My parenting journey started during a very tumultuous time during my life. Like many women, I got pregnant at an inconvenient time. It was at that point though, that I decided that my child was number one and I needed to make decisions in her best interest. Part of what led me to that decision may have been Divine Intervention.

In early January of 2003, I had recently divorced my husband. One night I had a dream that I was sitting in a rocking chair, holding a baby wrapped in a pink blanket. In the dream, he gave me a toggle bracelet with the date 9/22/03 engraved on one side. The next day I actually told him about the dream. Two weeks later, when I started vomiting consistently at 4 p.m. everyday, I knew my life was about to change forever. The doctor confirmed what I already knew to be true and said I was due on 10/13/03. Sure enough, on 9/22/03, my amazing Mooka (short for Mooka-Chooka-Latte another story for another day) came into my world and life has never been the same.

So back to making decisions. A and I talked and were committed to providing the best home for Mooka. A year after she was born, we remarried. To me it just seemed like the natural thing to do even though I knew it was going to be hard as hell. We had enough problems to divorce before a child; how could we possibly make it work now? The answer for me has been that before a child, I was selfish and had no interest in putting in effort to make something work. Our society is conditioned to take the easy out, which is exactly what we had done. Did we make the right decision? Who knows. A very wise friend once told me "There are no right or wrong decisions. There is YOUR decision and you make that one work." I cling to that philosophy often.

Today we have two amazing kids and wouldn't change a thing. Has it been easy - of course not. Do I ever doubt myself - of course. But this is my decision and I'm committed to making it work.