Thursday, June 4, 2015

Are You Sick, Mama?

I'm home sick with a stomach bug that struck me in the middle of the night. It was gut-wrenchingly awful and there was no way I could make it into work this morning. So I did what I could to help get the kids ready for the day and while we were waiting for Hubs to get himself ready for daycare drop off I slumped down on the couch while the kids ate their morning granola bars.

"Are you sick, mama?" My daughter asked with a very concerned look on her face. I told her I had a tummy ache. She picked up her sippy cup and offered me a drink. When I said "no thank you," she then lifted up her granola bar and asked if I wanted a bite to feel better. I once again declined her adorable offer and then she decided to sit down next to me on the couch.

Meanwhile my son already sitting on the couch with me said through bites of his granola bar, "you know, mom... if your tummy hurts you should really be gluten free like me." "You should have a gluten free lunch today, it will make you feel better." I smiled through the stomach cramps and told him what a good idea that was.

And if my heart wasn't swollen enough, my daughter began to rub my back and tell me to feel better. She even started to brush my hair resting on my shoulder gently back behind my ear.

These kids.

These wonderful, darling little human beings. How did we get so lucky to call them ours? Their personalities are so very unique and different, yet they share the same sweetness and thoughtfulness. I don't know if we have any business taking credit as parents for this trait or if this is simply the fiber of their make up. But either way... I am so damn proud of my kids.

At the very young ages of only 4 and 2 they are smart, show signs of coordination and athleticism, they have a sense of humor and if my encounter today was any evidence at all, they are also good people.

I write all of this to not be braggadocious, after all everyone's kids are special and we could all write posts like this every day. I wrote this as a time capsule of sorts to capture a moment that filled my heart with so much happiness. I've been replaying it in my head all day and can't wipe the silly grin from my face. That is, when I'm not feeling like crap... stomach bug you can kindly be done now, thanks.

Oh, Little C and Lil Miss Mayhem, thanks for making your mama feel better!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up: Mother's Day edition

This weekend was a good one! We enjoyed celebrating our wonderful mothers and I was able to have a super relaxing Sunday afternoon/evening.

It all started on Saturday morning. We went out for breakfast with my mother-in-law, Hubs siblings and the kids. The restaurant had a train track mounted near the ceiling and a train circled overhead. The kids got a huge kick out of that! 

At one point Little C asked for more sausage and I knew Little Miss wasn't going to eat all of hers so I snatched a link from her plate and gave it to her brother. Her reaction to this was priceless and luckily I was able to snap a quick pic of her dramatic displeasure. Of course, we all thought it was adorable and couldn't help but laugh. The baby sister struggle is real. ;)

After breakfast we went bowling which was a perfect activity for all ages. I miraculously won the first game between the adults and Hubs won the second game. It was marital domination! ha!

Saturday night we hunkered in for a family movie. We chose Frozen which was very apropos for that night as snow was falling at a fast and furious rate. We even had the fireplace on in MAY! Alright, Colorado. Please stop. Thank you.

On Sunday after sleeping in, I woke up to fresh coffee, cinnamon rolls, homemade omelet a la Hubs and a beautiful bouquet of flowers and cards. I loved every bit of it! Or should I say, every bite of it! ::snort::

After brehkie we met my mom and brother at Tagawa Gardens. It is a giant greenhouse and every year  for Mother's Day they have a huge open house event with live music. The kids loved helping their Mopsi pick out flowers and they even enjoyed listening to the music. It was a really fun calypso-type band and you couldn't help tap your feet to the beat. The only thing missing was my dad who is still recovering from knee replacement surgery. :( But as soon as we finished at the greenhouse, we went back to my parents house for burgers and dessert and to visit with Popsi.

The rest of Sunday was very relaxing thanks to two wiped out kiddos who took long naps, and some catching up with House of Cards on Netflix. Hubs had grand plans of making my requested dinner of choice but after a long day/weekend I requested that we just relax and order pizza instead. It was perfect! 

Finally, after our supper easy dinner we opted for a family movie on Netflix that we knew Little C would love. Hubs and I devoured Planet Earth when it first came out and since C is so into animals we've been waiting for the best opportunity to share it with him. We started with Oceans because our animal lover's current obsession is sea creatures. When the show cut to a dolphin playfully riding a wave then bursting out of the water in delight, C exclaimed, "this is AWESOME!!" It was music to our ears.

The weekend was a blessing for sure! I loved celebrating with the two women that make our world go 'round and above all, I loved celebrating motherhood. It's not always easy but man is it worth it. The love I have for my children could move mountains and I definitely hit the jackpot with these two nuggets! 

I hope all the mamas out there had a great Mother's Day! What did you do to celebrate?

Friday, May 8, 2015

An Essay for Mom

My mom. A true original yet she embodies all of the lovely adjectives commonly used to describe mothers. Beautiful, strong, selfless, kind, funny. She taught countless life lessons and instilled the importance of common sense into my brother and I. She was a working mom doing her best to make ends meet, balancing the checkbook down to a frightful number but still managing to have food in our bellies and allowing us to want for nothing.

She was goofy and silly regardless of exaggerated eye rolls from her too cool for school spawn. She endured many a difficult conversation as we asked all of life's burning questions and she was always up for a chat. She was at every game, recital, concert or competition.

She weathered the storm of a self-involved, know-it-all teenager followed by a distant 20 something coming home from college to see her boyfriend instead of her family. Then she welcomed the aforementioned boyfriend into the family as he asked for her daughter's hand in marriage.

She sat in a waiting room in the middle of the night eagerly awaiting the birth of her first grandchild. From that moment on she became a beautiful, strong, selfless, kind and funny grandmother.

Oh, and side note! Speaking of grandmother... The woman hasn't aged a bit! No seriously, I'm not sure she know this, but I look at her and think to myself  "what is her secret?" How does her skin look so great? Where are her wrinkles? Can it be that simply being her daughter will grant me the same fortune??? (then I look in the mirror and answer my own question there... nope). ::le sigh::

My mom is the most generous person I know never asking for anything in return. Her far reaching kindness pours over to not only her family, but everyone who's lucky to know her.

It's amazing how our relationship has changed over the years. As the first-born I've done my best to be independent and do things my own way. I didn't always welcome advise because I took it as criticism even if my mother's heart was in the right place. I've been close with my mom but from a safe distance, still remaining pretty guarded when it comes to the things I share with her.

It could have been by my design that we've kept our distance or perhaps she has kept it that way herself, but whatever we constructed in our past, I feel strongly that we're changing and molding a different relationship today. In a weird way I feel like I'm starting to really get to know my mom. Of course, I've always known she's all of the things I've mentioned here and recently we're talking and sharing more than we ever have. I'm seeing not only the lovable and stoic sides of her but the fragile and vulnerable ones as well.

A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves in her kitchen on a solemn, rainy day, opening up to one another. I not only grew a deeper appreciation for the woman standing in front of me, but I also grew a deeper understanding of her. It's an absolute fact that the two of us have had some epic mother/daughter battles but regardless of how angry or mad we'd leave there was no doubt that the love we had for one another was there.

As I think back on my childhood all the way through to today, the one thing that has been consistent and unwavering is my mother's love. There is truly nothing better in this world than to feel loved. Amiright?!?

I'm grateful for my mother and the relationship we're forming. We're oil and water yet two peas in a pod all at the same time. But that's our mother/daughter story and I look forward to seeing where it takes us next.

This Mother's Day I want nothing more than for her to know she's appreciated, celebrated and above all... loved.

Mom (Mopsi Rosie),

Simply saying thank you is never enough but it is what I offer here. You are an amazing mother and grandmother and the nucleus our family needs. Enjoy this day set aside for mothers and know that you're doing a great job. 

I love you. Always have, always will.

Your girl,

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May Goals

I can't believe it's May already! It is probably my favorite month of all. The fact that it's my birthday month miiiiiight have something to do with it. ;)

May is also the busiest month it seems. Mother's Day, graduations, Little C friend birthday parties, my birthday, my mom's birthday, Memorial Day and our wedding anniversary! So much to celebrate!

I did pretty darn good with last month's goals. I still have not had a month where I've hit everything I set out to do but I'm still enjoying this monthly exercise. Here's the recap:

1) Win the Step Up Challenge:
I had mentioned that a group of us at work created a stair challenge for the month of April. It was a point system and whoever had the most points by the end of the month won. I wanted to win so very badly and I really tried hard, but there was one guy that just made it impossible. So alas, I came in second place. I'm still pretty darn proud because I had to work very hard to stay in the lead. Turns out we are a very competitive bunch and the challenge took on a whole new, and in my opinion, ridiculous level. We were doing so many stairs in a day that we'd be sitting at our desks sweating which is really not pleasant in work clothes! Not to mention we'd be doing all these stairs in between getting work done. It honestly was exhausting and we were all glad to see the month end. There's already talk of starting up another challenge but we will definitely have to amend the rules and point structure.

2) Schedule my Series 6 class: This did not happen but not because of my efforts. I had to wait for my boss to confirm with his boss on how I'm supposed to get this class paid for. I was just told yesterday how to go about it and I had asked at the beginning of April. Oh well, on to May's goals with this one!

3) Do 10 real push ups: Not on my kneesno stopping and with good form. DONE!!! You are going to have to take my word on this one but I promise I can now do 10 "real" push ups. At the beginning of April I would have to stop at 4. FOUR! But I stayed diligent and by the third week I was up to 8 and it wasn't until the last week that I hit 10! My strength is really improving thanks to my workouts and I loved having a goal like this to measure progress.

4) Spring clean the back yard: The goal here was to remove all the dead "stuff" and clean up our space. DONE! However, I have to give 90% of the credit to Hubs on this one. He did almost all of the heavy lifting but I did help out some. Regardless it is done and now I'm looking forward planting!

Now on to May!

1) Schedule my Series 6 class: If this is not done by the end of this month, I am the world's biggest failure. 

2) Lose 5 lbs. - It's crunch time, people. Our trip to the beach is only two months away and while I'm making steady progress I still feel far from where I want to be. At this point I feel it's all diet related so I'm really going to focus on healthier eating habits.

3) Do ten sets on each side of these moves:


I'm not sure if I'm lacking the arm strength or the core strength for these side planks, but they are very difficult for me. They look so simple but I really do struggle with getting through them in my routines. I haven't hit 10 on each side, I'm probably at 3-4. Plus all the other planking I'm doing leaves my wrists pretty shot. Anyone know a way to strengthen wrists? 

What are your goals for the month? Is May a busy month for you as well?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Parenthood Rite of Passage

Last night as I was reading Little C his beloved Creature Report, he asked me a question about whale babies. He wanted to know if the mommy whale lays eggs or not. We went through the whole "whales are mammals" thing and naturally this evoked even more questions...

His curious mind led him to think of his own birth and the following dialogue took place:

C: When I was in your tummy did I come out of your mouth?

Me: Ummm, no.

C: Oh, so did the doctor use special tools to cut open your tummy and that's how I came out? (He brought up the cutting open and special tools part because he just learned about his Grandpa's knee replacement surgery and it was all fresh in his mind)

Me: No. You weren't cut out of my tummy.

C: So then where did I come out of?

I became hot and uncomfortable and I paused and had an entire conversation with myself in my head on how to handle this situation before it happened... I told him. I simply just told him the part of human anatomy that he was born from.

He repeated it back to me in the form of a question just to make sure he heard right and when I confirmed it I was certain there'd be more questioning. Instead he promptly turned his attention back to his favorite read and started sharing with me all the facts about leatherback sea turtles. The whole thing was over just as fast as it started.

I share this story because in a way I'm very glad it happened. I wasn't at all prepared for it but it was a parenthood rite of passage that I think I handled to the best of my ability. It wasn't a big deal and it was the truth. And if he takes nothing else away from our conversation I hope it resonated with him that he can ask me anything and trust he'll get a straight answer.

But more than anything... I hope he doesn't have a new topic of discussion at preschool today! Ha!

Monday, April 13, 2015

April Goals

Who's ready to crush their April goals? I'm feeling super pumped and motivated!

Let's recap March, shall we?
  1. Lose 5 lbs. - Nope. Didn't do it. Maintained my current state like a boss and I know my body is changing because my clothes feel looser. In fact, I put on a pair of pants a size smaller than I usually wear and they fit perfectly! But alas, no significant weight loss. :(
  2. Exercise at least 3 times per week - DONE!
  3. Develop a study calendar for Series 6 materials by 3/9 - I abandoned this plan and decided to schedule my class and use that as a deadline for getting through the studying. I've made contact with the right people to get me set up and I'll adjust this goal when I know more. 
  4. Take the stairs at work every day - DONE! For the entire month of March I took the stairs instead of the elevator. I did not skip a day!
Now on to April!
  1. Win the Step Up Challenge: So a group of us at work created a stair challenge for the month of April. Basically it's a point system where going up two flights = 1 pt, from the basement to fourth floor = 2pts, etc. Whoever has the most points by the end of the month wins. So far I'm ahead by one point and really, really want to win. It has been a great addition to my workouts so at the very least I'm moving all throughout the day.
  2. Schedule my Series 6 class: Seriously. Just do it, Kendra.
  3. Do 10 real push ups: Not on my knees, no stopping and with good form. I will have Hubs record me for proof!
  4. Spring clean the back yard: There is so much to do but honestly, this is kind of exciting for us! As first time homeowners we get to call the shots and we've been enjoying discussions on how we want the yard to look. But first things first... remove all the dead "stuff" and clean up our space!
What are your goals for the month?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The big FOUR!

Little C,

Happy Birthday to my best boy! I can't believe you are four now. Actually, that's not true... the other day your Dad and I were chatting about you and we both agreed how much you have changed in the past few months. Not only do we notice how much taller and bigger you are getting, but your conversations and your behavior seem very "four-like." I hope that makes sense. ;)

Anyway, your Dad and I are so stinking proud of you! You have so many noble qualities which we truly admire. You are very empathetic and considerate of others feelings. You are generous and kind. You are also extremely good at expressing how you feel verbally. I believe this to be an impressive trait which you developed at a very young age. Some may call it sensitive and as the outside world begins to impress upon you their own ideas of how little boys are "supposed" to act and feel, I hope you don't lose sight of all the characteristics I just mentioned. Your empathy and kindness are not boy or girl qualities, they are human qualities that most people lose sight of as they get older and suppress who they really are for the sake of fitting in. My hope for you is that you remain your authentic self as you continue to grow and don't lose sight of the sweet little boy that you have always been.

But aside from all of that (I think by now we know where you get your talkative nature from), you are also one tough cookie! Still a calculated risk taker but every time you get nervous or don't think you can do something, you always go through with it anyway and learn that you could do it all along! You love sports and currently soccer is what you enjoy playing the most. Your skills have come a long way since you started at 2 1/2.

You thirst for knowledge and have really taken to reading books filled with facts and tidbits about animals. All animals. All the time. You want to know everything about them and I'm always impressed by how much you retain what you learn.

Your favorite food is pizza. Favorite snacks are grapes. Favorite shows are currently Octonauts (mostly because you are on an ocean animal kick) as well as The Croods. You still are very attached to your white blanket and your monkey lovie, both of which you've had since your newborn days.

You love your little sister so much and always come up with fun new games for the both of you to play. Of course, you do get weary of her typical little sis antics but as I mentioned before, you are great at letting us know when you need a break and some alone time. You retreat to your room to play, read or watch a show on the portable DVD. My point of sharing this is that I appreciate your ability to know when you just need to be by yourself for a bit. I admire that and I love how before long, you're right back down with the family ready for action.

You are super friendly and every day at school people, young and old, are eager to say hello to you. Your Dad said it best that walking through the halls of school with you is like walking next to a little Politician! People gravitate to your charisma and personality like a whale gravitates toward krill! ;)

Bottom line, I could go on and on with more reasons why I love you. Every so often you look up at me with your giant chestnut brown eyes, your contagious happy smile, while you're having a conversation with me and I feel something inside that I just can't describe. The best way I can try to explain it is a sense of disbelief that I am your mother. Your father and I are simply blessed to even know you, let alone call you ours.

Happy 4th Birthday, my son!
We love you to pieces.