Sunday, September 16, 2012


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Oh Ferris, you are so right! Life has the ability to sneak up on you; that happened to me yesterday.

In the Spring of 1999 I pledged and became a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha.  Because of ZTA I had a hell of a good time at Longwood College (yes, I am so old I went there when it was still a college!).  And from that I gained some amazing friends and a best friend that rivals a true blood sister.  I was lucky to join such a great group of girls.

Fast forward to September 2012 when I found out my niece would be getting a bid from ZXA (an off shoot of ZTA...long story, but basically I consider these women my sisters).  So in one day I went from being the only Zeta in my family, to my niece pledging Zeta.  CRAZY!  When I met Ashley she was maybe 13 or 14 years old, now she's in college. Golly day did that happen fast!

When it came up that she was hanging out with the Zetas I was thrilled.  But I never wanted her to join because I was in it, I didn't want her to feel as though she couldn't join another sorority if she wanted to. And I didn't want the Zetas to feel as though they HAD to give her a bid.  So I just sort of stayed out of the way.  But Brittany and Kimi both let me know Ashley would be getting a bid!  YAY!  And yay to my fam for keeping me in the loop!!

So here we are over a decade later and I'll have a niece/sister...a bit weird but a lot awesome!  I wish her luck during her pledge period.  I'll have to write about my pledge experience sometime.  I thought pledging was sort of hilarious and girls crying made me laugh/pissed me off.  I was a total brat back then.  Well, maybe I still am.

Anyhoo, good luck Ashley!  Can't wait to come to Longwood to roster you!! Hehehehe!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 and Kids

I am sure, even 11 years later, we all can recall details of that horrible day.

I was sleeping in my college dorm when the phone started ringing.  And kept ringing and ringing.  I finally answered it.  My roommate was from Jersey and her mom was calling to check in and give updates.

I immediately turned on the news.

The rest of my memories involve sitting with sisters, talking, waiting, discussing, dissecting.  I was a psychology major so of course in class we talked a lot about the feelings surrounding the day.

My most vivid memory is how blue and clear the sky was...a perfect September morning on my beloved campus.

Today is much the same.  A crystal clear sky, beauty all around me as I drove my kids to school.  Fall in the valley, no where else I'd rather be.

But today is much different than any other year, I now have a curious toddler. A toddler who is smart, inquisitive, receptive to information.  She sat on my lap as I checked fb and today it has been filled with 9/11 pictures, some to include firefighters.

She pointed to one and said, "That's a firefighter.  He's going to save people in their house."

At that moment I didn't know how to respond.  She obviously knows a little about firefighters and what they do, but how much detail do I give out  regarding one of the worst days for the US?  How much information do I hand a 3 year old without scaring her, scarring her, or totally freaking her out? But she asked and I felt the need to respond.  I am not in the camp of treating children like they are unintelligent little beings.  Yes, you should simplify it and make it easy for them to understand, but I don't think you should shield them from things they want to know.  I also believe a lot of what you say depends on the particular child.  This child wants answers.

So I told her that planes crashed in to two buildings and the firefighters had to go and help them.

This was a satisfactory answer to my darling daughter.

I know questions will always flow from this one and in time from the others.  As a mother I will have to navigate the waters and decide how to handle delicate conversations.  I will also quickly figure out which conversations are best left for dad!

So, parents, if you've ever had to have a serious, delicate conversation with your child, how did you handle it?  Have any of your kids asked about 9/11?  What was your response?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September - Gabe's Month

I've come to realize September is a big month for me and the Gabester.

The week of September 20th, 2010 I dropped Mr. Gabe off at daycare.  A place I had become familiar with, ok with, comfortable with.  Carter had been going since May 2009 and Dana and I had formed a tight bond.

The week of September 3rd, 2012, September 6th to be exact, I dropped my baby boy off at preschool.

He willingly went.  I subconsciously was pissed.

"Why aren't you sad?  Don't you love me?  Won't you miss me?  Two years we've had together, doesn't that mean anything to  you?"  In a Lifetime movie I'd have mascara running down my face.

Yes, I am THRILLED he is excited, but a part of me wanted him to be a wee bit sad.  At least a hug/kiss goodbye.  He just went right to playing, with no worry of me.

I still got Harpie though!

When we went to pick Gabe up from the hour long open house, we walked in to him rubbing the shoulders of a teacher aide, Emily.  Always the ladies man. We soon found out he had escaped three times.  Marc's co-worker joked that he had a tattoo of the place so he could escape a la Michael Scofield. Making an impact the first day!

When we went to pick Carter up from school yesterday Gabe tried to pull me in to the school.  He desperately wanted to go play with the dinosaurs.

I was so worried about my boy, my middle child, my baby, and I didn't need to be.  Sheesh!

He was the one that broke me.  He was the one that pushed me over the edge and demanded I stay at home with my babies.  He was such a difficult newborn and I didn't want anyone else comforting him. I wanted to do it.  I wanted to hear the screams, the cries, be the one that walked him to sleep.  I wanted him to know that no matter what, no matter how bad he was, I still loved him and will always be there for him.  Daycare lasted about a month before we moved.  I only had a short break from him.

Almost two years later here I am saying goodbye.  I had a very strong inclination that we would be moving when I sent him to daycare, so I never looked at it in a long term focus.  I just needed to work for one more month, that was it. Then I got to hug and kiss my babies all day long.

Gaberdoodle, you're bigger and stronger than I give you credit for.  You are ready to do this, ready to learn, ready to make friends, and ready to rub the shoulders of the lady folk.  Just don't get any harassment charges in preschool, that will set a bad precedent!

Your first day at daycare.  That smile hasn't changed one bit!

Big backpack, Little Gabe

Harper LOVES the camera!

Me and my boy!

Dad photobombing the pic, Carter sensing it!

Brother and sister!

Harper hugging Carter!


Gabe's typical placement of his finger!

I heart this picture in a big way!!!!

He just looks like a kid to me now, so much bigger.

Andrea O., I got a shot of them holding hands!

Harper enjoying her cake pop and the freedom of being an only child.

This has been an emotionally long week for me.  I am exhausted!  But I only have one more hour before I can scoop up my kiddies and hear about their days!  I.cannot.wait!  I'm pretty sure Harper wishes the days were longer though. Ha!

And because I have to assign music to every important event, here are some lyrics to a song that makes me cry EVERY time I hear it...these lines in particular.

"The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon, will find the mouse
And I love you"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Carty Jeanie and Preschool

"My head won't leave my head alone."

Oh Dave Matthews, how right you are!

Carter, you started preschool today!!  On the way to school I asked if you were nervous and you said, "No, mom, I'm a big girl."  And looked at me like I was nuts.  Maybe I am, but I was nervous.

There are so many thoughts swirling around in my head.  I'm excited for you, happy for you, glad you get to do your own thing. But gosh darn if I'm not a complete mess.  I managed to hold it together until we got to the car.  I didn't want to upset you.  But when I got there, the tears started.  I was taken right back to the first time I dropped you off at daycare.  You were SO little, just 8 weeks old, and here you are 3 1/2.  You are still a gem, still darling, and I am still crazy about you.  Just like May 19, 2009 you fit right in and didn't cry at all when I left.  You got to playing, sitting next to your new classmates, and didn't even wave goodbye.  I made you kiss me, though, and your brother.

This is the beginning of me letting you go.  Of letting you fly alone.  You're gonna soar.  You're gonna do great.  You have strength inside of you while still being soft and sweet.  When we were walking in the steps were slippy and you held Gabe's hand so he wouldn't fall.  Always the big sister, always helpful.  Such a big girl.

I've been trying to distract myself since we dropped you off.  The kids and I went to Starbucks so they could get cake pops.  God smiled at me and put the salted caramel mocha back on the menu.  Just in time, thanks Big Guy!  I sang songs in the car, careful to not listen to anything sentimental.  I didn't make a playlist, I didn't put your birth playlist on, I let the radio Gods decide for me.  They played "Dancing Queen" and I started crying.  You are my dancing queen, always showing off your moves, shaking your butt, enjoying the beat.  Of course a fun, happy song would make me cry.

The house is so quiet now.  You aren't here to ask me a million questions, talk to me about EVERYTHING happening, a running commentary on life, no singing, no yelling at Gabe or Harper, no tattling on the little ones, just a few rumblings here and there.

How will I ever do this five days a week? I'm already longing for Saturday when I have you here with me.

This is us on your first day of daycare.  I cried the entire night before and the entire day of!

You're such a big girl! So proud of you!

Everyone wanted to be in the picture!

You and your little sister and brother!

You and your biggest fan, your dad!

He's always so fun and silly!

Your backpack is as big as you are!

You got to pick out your own and you insisted on Minnie Bowtique! 

Your cubby.

You and your teacher. I'm pretty sure you'll love her. And her you!

You jumped right in and started playing.

And so did your brother!

You'll probably be mad when you find out they got these!

I love you Carty Jeanie! (You told me this is what you want your friends to call you!)  You are going to have such a great year and so much fun.  Nights and weekends are going to be so special now, when I get to hear about your day and your excitement for the next day.

You're the best!

Now for a quick trip back to taking you home from the hospital!  "Precious Love" by James Morrison was on the playlist...yes it made me cry!

I say a prayer and send it to you,
That my heart will always be true
Life won't be the same without you
I say thank you,
I'm a lucky man,
I didn't know what life was
But now I understand,

Oh this is love, love, love, love, love precious love
This is precious love, and it’s teaching me,
To be a better man,
This is precious love, oh it’s precious love
No I can’t get enough,
Oh I'm down on my knees, it's there that I see
You must be from heaven above,

Yeah its love, love, love, love, love, precious love