My Family

My Family

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My sissy...KK.

I apologize for completely by passing the holiday season this year my friends...it wasn't my favorite one to date, so I didn't really feel compelled to write about it. I am, however, compelled to write about my little sister, Kristin, who tomorrow turns 26.
I remember when she was born, I was in first grade. It was very exciting to become a big sister again...I already loved Eric so much, wouldn't it be great to have another girl in the house?! And it was, until she was about 5 or so...then she became the epitome of obnoxious little sister. She followed my friends and I around, she got into my stuff (well, everyone's stuff...her nickname was "The grabber"), she blamed things on others, and she knew how to push our buttons. Sadly, my daughter does some of these same things to her brothers. Anyway...we didn't always get along. There was a lot of hair pulling and yelling and throwing of things. There were many times that I didn't want to be anywhere near her! And I am sure she felt the same way sometimes....it happens when there is nearly a 7 year age gap.
We are so different and yet, so very much alike. We have completely different tastes in food, some music, and clothing. She loves caring for people and I would rather deal with animals. She has lead a pretty wild life...mine has been only moderately wild (although some may disagree). I love tattoos and she was terrified to get her first one.  But the similarities we share are far more important. We both act as "mom" quite often, we both have big personalities and distinctive laughs, we have short fuses and love like crazy. We live to spend time with our family...even as crazy as they are. We have a warped sense of humor (envision two girls laughing like hyneas while watching people slip on the ice) And we're both pretty big dreamers.
Aside from Jimmy and I, I don't know anyone that loves my children as much as she does. And they love their auntie just as much in return. As we have traveled through this life, and it has not alway been easy...we have become more than just sisters...we're pretty darn good friends. And although I may not always agree with the things she does (I wouldn't expect her to approve of everything I do), I love her unconditionally...and that, my friends, will never change.
So here's to you...KK...I love you!! Happy Birthday!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Another milestone passed.

It was a long time coming....yesterday A lost her first tooth! My kids were all a little late in losing their baby teeth, but none as late as A. I had gotten so used to her baby teeth that it was hard to imagine her with little gaps in her smile. Now that there is one, she looks so much more grown up to me. We had been bugging her for weeks about that loose tooth, and trying to get her to let us help get it out. Finally, she asked Jimmy to just pull it yesterday...not that it was hard, it was hanging on by a thread. He pulled it and she started to run away, not realizing that the tooth was no longer in her mouth. When she realized this, the look on her face was priceless. She started jumping and down with excitement, not even caring about her now bleeding gums. She ran to her brothers with her mouth wide open "Look guys, look!!"
As we laughed at her silliness, I realized something. I looked at Jimmy and said "That was our last first tooth lost." We got serious then, as it hit both of us how quickly they are growing. I am a big sap, so I got a little misty eyed. It seems as though there have been many last firsts lately....our last first day of kindergarten, our last first Christmas concert, our last first two wheel bike, etc, etc, etc. I know that there are many more to come and also that we still have many more firsts that will be quickly coming up. First girlfriends, first school dances, first days of middle school....it is hard to believe that those days are just around the corner.
With that in mind, I will be making more of an effort to enjoy those little moments. You know, the ones that feel little at the time and then looking back you realize that it was a pretty darn big moment.  Here's to firsts...and last firsts.  K

Friday, December 2, 2011

Revealing the Santa "secret"

It is hard to believe that I have children old enough to even consider revealing the big secret. It seems like only yesterday that we were dressing Cameron up for his first Christmas pictures. Back then, being Santa was so exciting and fun. And, for the most part, it still is...it's just more work now.
A few days ago, Alayna approached me and asked who the surprises in my craft room closet were for. What's a mom to do?! I told her that they were for someone else, and that she is not to be playing in my room without me. Sigh...
Once I got to thinking about it, I began to second guess myself. Cameron knows the secret, and we didn't even have to tell him--his friends did. And as a 5th grader, I would have been surprised if he still believed anyway. After all, he caught the tooth fairy in action. Seth has started asking questions too..."Mom, do you and Dad go shopping at night to buy us presents?"
When is the right age to tell them? It's likely they'll hear it from their friends first. Part of me wants to just tell them and be done with it, it will be so much less work at Christmas time. The softer, more sentimental side wants to keep it going for as long as possible....it's the whimsy of it all that I love.
And while Jimmy and I can keep our mouths shut, the boys cannot. Cameron likes to tease that he knows the tooth fairy's name or that he knows how the Easter Bunny gets in. He has yet to mention Santa. I have begged him to keep quiet, and so far so good. Maybe I just need to come to terms with the fact that my kids are getting bigger. Cameron is almost 11, officially a "tween". Seth is not far behind. And my Miss A, is an observant little girl, and knows when something is going on. My guess is that we may only have 1 or 2 Santa years left.
I guess my point is, to enjoy the delight in their faces when they wake you up at 4 a.m on Christmas morning. (yes, mine do that...and I know I'm not alone) Remember what is was like to be a kid and feel like the whole season was magical. And think about your parents, who worked so hard to make sure that every year was special.  K

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Don't mess with my girl!

Over the last couple of weeks, Alayna has been coming home from school with bumps, bruises and fat lips. At first, when I asked her what was happening, she would say she fell down at recess. Turns out one of her classmates is bullying her, one of her MALE classmates. Now, I don't typically go immediately to the teacher, after our issue with Seth and a bully last year it made the situation worse for my guy. So I talked with Alayna about the importance of telling her teacher and that it would not be breaking her teacher's "no tattling" rule. After this conversation, she told me that she had told her teacher and recess aides when issues arose. At the end of last week she came home with a black eye and a blood blister on her eyelid and two days ago with a fat lip. I have had enough!!!!!
So I emailed her teacher and found out that my dear daughter had not said a word....for fear of getting in trouble for tattling. My sweet little blue eyed girl is getting beat up on a regular basis by a boy...going to the nurses office for her injuries and nobody takes a second to wonder what the heck is going on?!
I am trying to give the school staff the benefit of the doubt and am waiting for the feedback on her teachers conversation with her and the boy today.
When did first graders start bullying?  Is it something that we as parents have done wrong? Is it influenced by society? What would make a 6 year old boy want to beat up on a girl? I know that when we were kids the saying was "If he picks on you, he likes you". But fat lips and black eyes??? Come on!!
So Jimmy and I had another conversation with Alayna about how it was important for her to be honest with her teacher about what was happening, that it isn't tattling and that she doesn't deserve to be hurt at school. I tried to explain that her teacher will make sure this doesn't happen anymore and that she will make sure she is safe.....that's what our teachers are supposed to do right?
As a parent of a child that is being bullied, it is hard to know when to step in and how hard to push. Last year, Seth was punched in the face by a classmate and got off the bus with a bloody nose...nobody noticed. When I contacted the school, they were quick to talk to the boy involved. However, it got worse for my Seth man. His "friend" no longer wanted to play with him, he felt like he wasn't being included with his buddies and he was sad. It's a double edged sword really, we want to protect them, and when we do sometimes it ends up hurting more.
In the meantime, we will just keep reminding Miss A just how fabulous she is. And make sure she knows that the opinions of this boy do not matter and she doesn't deserve this treatment. I am trying to teach my children to be the bigger person and walk away from conflict...but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be pleased if she punched him back one of these days... :) K