Monday, March 29, 2010

Good news...and other fun stuff

We recently learned that Jack had been accepted into a local private school for kindergarten - and I'm still just over the moon about it. We didn't think we had a chance for acceptance because it is a church-based school and we are not parishioners - plus the competition was pretty stiff (30 spots and 45 applicants), but he got in! His test scores were awesome, which I knew they would be, and I'm so very proud of him!

In other silly story news...Benny spent a large portion of tonight sticking his fingers down the back of my pants. Clearly I either need a belt or to keep them pulled up more often. He thought it was hilarious, but I prefer that he not find my crack so entertaining.

This weekend I stalked another mom to find out the brand of shoe she was wearing. They were cute little yellow sandals, and I desperately coveted them on sight, but don't know her well enough to be all "hi, I'm in love with your sandals...where did you get them? what brand? I must have them!), so I just gazed longingly at them for a while, wishing I had the guts to ask her about them. Then! I looked up from fishing a piece of half chewed pizza crust out of my bra (thanks Benny) to see that she was standing in front of me with one knee on a bench, so the bottom of her shoe was facing me. I was able to read the brand off the sole, and when I got home, started Googling until I found them! They will be mine very soon!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happiness is...

Listening to Jack try to say Modern Marvels and turbo detonator (martyred marbles and turbo deponator).

I love his lisp.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lovely Layla

It was a tough day in a small corner of the online world today - we lost little Layla Grace to neuroblastoma sometime early this morning.

I say "we" because, although most of the 40,000+ Twitter followers, FB fans and other online friends never met Layla or her family, we've been following her journey closely, praying for a miracle, hoping that she would find peace and crying for this beautiful little girl while holding our own kids closely. "We" are grieving with her parents and sisters. "We" are more aware of the disease that took her and will help spread the word to help prevent similar tragedies from happening if we can.

This is a shining example of the good that comes from social media. Entire communities are built around the words of others - their stories, daily successes and tribulations, tragedies and joyous events. We celebrate, grieve, pray, hope, laugh and cry with the other members of our community.

I'm fairly new to this - I struggle to find the time and inspiration to post and tend to be hesitant about engaging online. But I also truly care about these people that I follow - whether it is my daily laugh from Amy, a check in with Heather and her family, social commentary from Jessica and Erin or shopping finds from Maggie - I look forward to these interactions every day.

This is why I found myself dreaming of Layla last night and checking Twitter this morning on a regular basis, hoping for good news from Layla's mom, but also knowing in my heart that it was unlikely. She had a tough day yesterday, was clearly deteriorating and it was time for her to go, to be at peace and without pain.

My heart broke when I read that she had passed, as it had been breaking these past few weeks while following her story. I cried most of the day, whenever I read more Tweets from others (and sobbed when I inexplicably subjected myself to a video montage of her photos).

I'm not one who prays very often, but I definitely did for Layla and her family. I still am.

One of the many gifts that Layla brought to this world was a reminder for parents to cherish the here and now with their kids. To recognize that life is short.

I'm going to strive to think of Layla every day when I hug my boys - even when they are pushing me to the edge of sanity (tonight) - I'm going to strive to take a deep breath and find a way back to solid ground. To slow down and kiss their cheeks while breathing them in.

Love to you Layla - you are eternal.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Finding the good

We are stuck in a rut - and it isn't one that I seeing us getting out of very soon, so I'm trying to remember the good things about this time in our lives. The things that make me smile and laugh, the things that make me wish the boys would stay this age forever, and the little memories that I don't want to cherish.

  • The feel of my boys' squishy cheeks against my lips when I kiss them (a lot!)
  • Benny's sweet little voice when he says: outside, mama, dada, gak (Jack), alldun, nigh nigh (night night), Sascha (our cat) vs. the screeching that accompanies just about every other form of communication
  • The awesome conversations I have with Jack about superheroes or his Wii prowess, and how I'm constantly surprised by his vocabulary
  • The way Michael and I can't keep a straight face when Jack busts into our room at 10 p.m. with his newest stalling tactic all ready for us
Fortunately, there haven't been any major catastrophes lately, but we are stuck in this damn rut right now and it isn't a great place to be. This is the hardest part of being a working mom - I see the kids in the mornings and evenings, during the toughest parts of the day, and that is about it. It is very difficult to find time for myself or to even leave the house beyond the treks to daycare (I work from home). The kids are awesome, but also very challenging right now and we try to be home together as much as possible so we aren't stuck doing the yucky bedtime chores alone (worst part of the day = arriving home from daycare...cranky!).

I think my desire to lift out the good things these days is influenced by Layla Grace - a little girl in Texas who is losing her battle with cancer. I don't know Layla or her family, but have been following her story online. My heart breaks for them - I can't imagine the pain they are dealing with in losing their baby girl. And yet, as so many have said, Layla's struggle is benefiting others. People are praying for her, even if they aren't regular pray-ers. People are hugging their kids more, slowing down to enjoy the moment instead of rushing through their days. I'm so grateful to Layla's parents for sharing her with us all. She's a wonderful gift to the world and I wish her peace.

Monday, March 1, 2010

When did he get so big?

That is a question I ask myself daily - when did he get so tall? So smart? So funny? So sweet? Jack will be 5 in May, which means he enters Kinder this fall and starts Little League this week. We have begun searching for the right school - applications are in, testing is this week, and while I'm perfectly comfortable in both of our options (and one is a sure thing, which helps take the pressure off), I'm still nervous. We are applying to our local Catholic school - and as we aren't active parishioners yet, we are pretty low on the list for acceptance. I'm not at all worried about his abilities - Jack is more than ready for school (LL is another story, but we'll try it out) - but I'm just not ready for him to be a Kindergartener. These days, he is more and more amazing to me - his vocabulary is awesome, his imagination blows me away and his hugs are exactly what I need after a long day. He's also super sensitive, gets his feelings hurt often and feels the stresses of our household these days (usually generated by his brother, Benny the Screecher). But he works it out - attacks his fears head on and figures out how to make something work.

This kid - I tell you - he's the best.

Love you buddy.