Thursday, April 30, 2009

He's not grown up yet

As the mother of a young boy, there are often times when I think to myself, "He's growing up too fast."  I still remember him lying peacefully asleep on my chest as a newborn.  I remember all too vividly the first words and first steps and first day of school.  I have so many fond memories of him and his baby sister - he loves her SO much.  He's 8 - almost 9 years old already.  We have only 9 or 10 more years with him at home.  Halfway done already.  These thoughts occasionally crowd my mind and make me happy and sad and nostalgic and worried and excited all at the same time (spaghetti, of course).  

And then there are moments like last night that make me realize that life is not going too fast. It's just the right speed.  And, he's not grown up yet.  He's still my little boy that needs his mommy's love and comfort.  I never want these moments to end.  

I picked him up from after school care, car packed with all the gear to go to baseball practice.  We ate leftover pizza in the car on the way from the school to the ball park.  (He was trying to multi-task and play his Nintendo DS at the same time.)  We got to the field and he practiced for 2 hours, then back into the car for another trip across town to Wednesday night bible class.  As we got in the car, he asked me to get his game case out of his school bag.  He keeps his DS games in a little plastic case that is smaller than a credit card -it holds 4 games.  We looked in his bag, but couldn't find it.  So, when we got across town, we looked all through the trunk and still found no game case.  He started to get upset and worried.  He went to his bible class, and while he did, I drove back across town to the school yard where he had been playing outside when I arrived almost 3 hours earlier.  I was hoping maybe it had fallen out of his bag into the grass or something. I don't know what I was thinking.  Of course, I didn't find it.  So, I drove back across town to the church building, just in time for him to be done with class.  I broke the news to him:  I had searched the car, I had searched the school yard.  It's lost.  Or stolen.  Who knows.  

That is when the moment happened.  I witnessed with my own eyes that he is not grown up yet. Because he cried.  There were people everywhere, even kids his own age.  And he still cried - big tears rolling down his cheeks.  He was so upset at the thought that 4 of his best and favorite games were gone.  Just like that.  My heart broke for him.  I felt a loss, too.  That was about $130 worth of games in that case!  But my loss was nothing in comparison to his.  So, I put my arm around him and let him cry.  Let him mourn the loss.  It took a while.  I told him to keep up hope that maybe someone found them and will return them.  Eventually he started to come around, and then started playing a game (one was still in the DS).  

On the way home I happened to remember that I thought I saw the case on the living room table that morning.  As we got closer to home, I was more sure that the case was on the table all this time.

And . . . sure enough . . . it was!

There wasn't as much joy and happiness and there was grief and sorrow.  It must have been silent relief.  The games are found, the crisis is over, but the memory of my little boy's pain will remain.  As a pleasant reminder that he's not grown up yet. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Today we went on a road trip.  Destination?  Terre Haute, IN, for the Indiana State Chess Finals.  Hayden plays on Edgelea's chess team and about a month ago his team went to the Regionals in Indianapolis and there they qualified for the State Finals.  Today was a little hard on the team. The competition draws the best players in the entire state.  Because all of the team members are 5th graders except Hayden, the Edgelea team plays in the 6th grade & under division.  So today he (an 8 year old 2nd grader) was playing against kids who were in 4th, 5th and 6th graders!  He played 3 of the 5 rounds, but lost all his games today.  His ego took a little beating, but he recovered quickly. He's looking forward to playing our next door neighbor (and beating him!)

Here's a slideshow of today's events.  

Team Colors? Pink and Purple!!!

Mallory's first Tee Ball practice was Friday night.  I sure hope the team colors are pink and purple!  I think almost every girl out there had a pink bat, a pink and purple mitt, a pink bag, and some even had pink on their cleats!  I definitely need to get the Sharpie out and put her name on her things.  

Of course, it's going to be fun watching them play . . . it will be comic relief for sure.  I couldn't tell if Mallory was having more fun playing catch or doing dance twirls and ballerina leaps!  It was pretty cute.  You can tell that she'd been watching her big brother for a few years, though.  She had pretty good form when throwing and catching and the coach even complimented her a few times.  

Here are a few more photos to enjoy . . .

Friday, April 24, 2009

More on Waffles and Spaghetti . . .

So, after I started this blog, I decided that it would be good to actually read the Waffles and Spaghetti book, you know, so I know what I am talking about! It has turned out to be a pretty good book. Of course, I’m not finished yet (because who really has time to read?), but the things I have learned so far are right on. Here is my favorite quote so far: “A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.” **LOVE IT!** It has taken us nearly 18 years of knowing each other, but the Waffle and I have finally reached the point where we don’t argue anymore. We’re much better at communicating now than we ever were in the past. Yes, we still disagree, and we’re not afraid to tell each other that we disagree. It’s just much more calm now. And, more importantly, we’re not always trying to get the other to agree with us. We have come to the understanding (should I say “I” instead of “we”???) that just because our spouse doesn’t agree with us, that doesn’t mean he/she is wrong! Ahhhh . . . maturity.
So, as we approach our 12th anniversary, I am happy to say that our marriage is AWESOME and that we are happier now than we were when we started out. There are many reasons for this, but here are just a few . . . Sending me flowers for no reason . . . Knowing that it’s best to let me sleep a little longer on Saturdays . . . Buying me a book instead of chocolate . . . Helping me with my goals to live a healthier lifestyle . . . Being a great Dad . . . Cooking breakfast for the kids every morning . . . Overcoming our weaknesses together . . . I could go on, but this blog needs to end. So, you probably won’t be surprised when I tell you that I am absolutely 100% looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him. Even if it means I have to learn how to understand Waffles. After all, he is pretty good at understanding Spaghetti.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Spring Training Time!

Like many people in the Midwest, I simply cannot wait for the time when the snow melts and the flowers bloom . . . there's just something about green grass and tulips that says SPRING! Well, around our house something else says spring, too. BASEBALL! We've had sign up and round up, and now today was our first practice of the season. This is Hayden's 4th year of baseball and his 2nd year in the Pinto league. I told one of the coaches today that I can't figure out why, but I am just really excited about baseball this year! I've been a 'team mom' every year, and this year is no different. I just get the challenge of being team mom *and* shuttling the kids between two sets of practices and games this year. And, I'm excited to say that I have even set up a blogspot for Hayden's team! You know, to share photos and schedules and to talk about how the season is going. Check it out: Here are a couple of pics I snapped today at practice.

Mallory has decided that she wants to play this year, too. We gave her the option of playing on a team with boys and girls mixed, or with all girls. She chose all girls, so we signed her up for softball. Of course, our little Mallory has a pink bat, a pink and purple mitt and a pink and white ball. Now, if only we could have found pink shoes in her size!

All their eggs in one basket

For Easter we always go to Michigan to see my family.  My sister lives in Berrien Springs and my dad and stepmom live in Hartford. My sister has two girls (Chloe and Alayna) and the cousins always have lots of fun together.  We usually make a weekend of it and stay overnight for a night or two.  This year was lots of fun.  We went to a public Easter Egg hunt at a local park on Saturday, then followed it with one of our own on Sunday.  The kids definitely got loaded up with goodies this weekend.  Now it's up to us to ration it out!  Here are some sweet pictures.

Alayna's Easter Egg

Eggs decorated by the kids

Hayden fills his 'basket' (sporting his new sports glasses!)

Hayden, Chloe and Mallory take turns dippin'

Mallory's goodies from the Saturday hunt

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Museum photos slideshow - Enjoy!

I'm so impressed with my new technological abilities. Give a girl a laptop and she gets obsessed! Below is the slide show of the museum photos. I'd still like to take pictures of all the pennies we smashed and upload those, too. Maybe another day. This will do for now.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We got them all!

Our smashed penny collection has almost doubled!  Last Friday we were able to collect ALL of the pennies at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  And we found out that there were actually 29 different designs there rather than 28.  The collector's book had a unique penny on the front of it that wasn't anywhere else in the museum.  The shiny copper pennies look awesome compared to the ones we were using when we first started our collection.  (It makes me wish we could go back and start over!)  I'd like to upload a photo slideshow, so that I can share many of our pictures from the trip.  We'll see if I can figure that out soon!  

Our trip took all day.  We left at 7 am and didn't get home until midnight. After the museum closed, we drove over to Boling Brook for a leisurely stroll through IKEA.  Note to self: next time no kids and come with a list! The place is just as big as everyone says it is, and BOY! did I get some good ideas for organizing our home.  I love this kitchen!  

I would love to demolish our current kitchen and have one of these. But, as spaghetti would go, then I would have to pull up the carpet (to expose the beautiful oak floors underneath), re-do the bathroom (complete with heated floor tile), build a deck , re-side the exterior, build a new garage (3 car, of course). . . you see, it just never stops!

We have decided that Chicago is WAY too close to not go back sometime soon and take in some of the other attractions there. The kids had a great time, and so did we.