Thursday, June 27, 2013

Doctors, Emergency Rooms and Cast Covers

These past few weeks, I've been to and from more doctor appointments than I can even remember.  Between lingering gastrointestinal issues from a severe Rotovirus 9 weeks ago for my toddler, to a broken wrist for my younger son, to well checks for my oldest two, to new Orthopedic doctors for my daughter's scoliosis and two cases of swimmers ear, I'm feeling very thankful for health insurance.

Oh, I left out two trips to the Emergency Room.  In one week.

Last night, while playing a board game with the kids, I looked at my son's casted arm.  Above the cast I saw red "lines" running all over, and I was alarmed.  A magazine article popped into my head, one about red lines and infections and someone being very very sick.

It was probably from an issue of Seventeen magazine fifteen years ago.

I wasted no time and I called one of my nurse friends.  She asked if the area was warm to the touch.

It was.

Now my heart was racing because it was 9pm, Hubby wasn't home, and I was imagining a terrible debilitating infection under the cast ripping through my son's upper extremities.

I immediately told my little guy we were going to the ER.  All of my kids were confused, and I didn't want to explain too much because I was certain time was a luxury I didn't have.

Yes, I have a flair for the dramatic. 

In the ER, I sat nervously texting friends and Hubby.  I wondered if they would cut the cast off, run an IV, prescribe antibiotics or even make him stay overnight.  I have a terrible habit of getting ahead of the situation, but I was a wreck.  I was probably still experiencing some mommy guilt from waiting a day to take this same child to the doctor for wrist that turned out to be broken.

While we sat, my little guy was cool as a cucumber, checking out the other emergencies around us.  Most exciting was a teenager who came in after us, face all bandaged together.  He was hit in the face with a pole vaulting stick.

I'm pretty sure the sight of him turned my younger son off from pole vaulting forever.

We were eventually called back, and I braced myself for the news.  How long are we going to be here?  How bad is this terrible infection?

The doctor examined his arm, checked his lymph nodes, and asked a few questions.

And then he pretty much sent us home.

No infection, just some marked up skin from what my friend thinks was a swimming cast cover suctioned too tight.  I'm fairly certain she's right too, because now he has some bruising as well. 

To wrap up I ran my son to the ER for a life threatening infection and it turns out I over-suctioned a cast cover to his arm.  I feel kind of like a crazy person, and I'm pretty sure I looked like one last night too. 

It's all good.  Four kids will do that to ya.  I just hope by the time they are older and I can go places with adults again my brain still functions.

One can hope.

Happy Thursday, stay sane!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Birthdays: Easy Gift Idea

Lately we've been hittin' up plenty of birthday parties.

Tis' the season. 

While at Target a few weeks ago I saw cute sand pails.  For $2.00.

Surrounding the sand pails were sand toys, bubbles, water guns, super bouncy balls, frisbees and every other cheap piece of junk munchkins fancy.

These were all $1.00-$2.00 as well.

It was an aisle full of "stuff" that piles up on our decks and peppers the backyard.  An aisle that appears every spring that makes munchkins go wild. 

With munchkin excitement in mind I grabbed two sand pails.  I then loaded my cart with bubbles and bouncy balls.  I threw in disk shooters, bug collecting kits and silly string.

And for $10-$12, I had impressive birthday gifts. 
To jazz them up I personalized each sand pail with paint markers.  If you don't have paint markers, I highly suggest investing in some soon.  They are excellent for personalizing homemade gifts and crafts.  They are worth every penny.

Once dry, I secured the gifts with cello.  Another Mommyhood favorite.  Cello could make a pail of paper shreddings classy.

Lastly, I went the extra mile and added sugar.
It's all in the presentation.

Gifts don't have to be expensive.  They have to be fun.  For me these sand pails are lifesavers; they are easy and versatile.

For munchkins who are classmates, I don't have to break the bank.

And for munchkins such as my nephew, a gift card or savings bond is easily attached or added.

A bucket full of fun that will run its course and won't create any long term toy clutter.

A Mommyhood win-win.

*for any long term readers who may have recognized this is a re-post, thanks for reading that long! muah!*

Monday, June 24, 2013

Filthy Mud Run

Over the weekend, Hubby and my oldest son had the pleasure of competing in a "Filthy Mud Run."  These races are a hoot because the only people who would ever compete in them are nuts.  The runners are all about a good time.  But these races are also tough, because you are running through mud, climbing hills and rolling under obstacles like wire. 

I didn't compete this year because life is kind of crazy post move.  Several of our friends in our new town signed up, and they made a "team."  Hubby signed up himself and my son, and we didn't know what our days would look like when he did.  After arriving I realized with better planning myself and my gymnast daughter would have had a blast as well.

The good news is that I was able to spectate, and stay clean.  I got my run in that morning at 6:30am.

The kids competed in the "Little n' Filthy Mud Run" which was one mile, and they had to go through many of the obstacles the big guys did.

This slide made my week.  Literally. 
It also gave many of the runners bumps, bruises and cuts.  There is nothing but dirt and rock under that bad boy. 

Before Hubby and my oldest raced, we watched runners in the earlier waves.  My oldest son was smart enough to remember another runner rolling under the wire obstacle, while most people crawled on hands on knees.
What a good little nut.

After the race, adults are met with a cold beer.  Kids, a medal and plenty of pride.
There is also a tanker with water to spray off all that mud, and a place to donate shoes if you so wish.
The event was a great time, and next year I hope myself and my daughter are on that course as well.  For now, my boys can proudly say they finished the "Filthy Mud Run."

And we highly recommend it if you're as nuts as we are.

Cheers!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Farm Kittens

I've never been a cat person.  Ever since I can remember, I've been terribly allergic to cats.  It's awful.  My childhood was plagued by ruined sleepovers due to pet cats and allergy meds before visiting my grandparents.

If I was ever caught in a house with a cat, and without allergy medicine, my throat would burn and my eyes would itch.  My lungs would feel as if they were closing up shop.

And for days I would feel not so great.

Hence, the "not really a cat person" thing.

Since moving out to the country, we've seen about a zillion farm cats.  These cats are all stray, and they wander all over the neighborhood.

It's kind of annoying for a person not so into cats.  Plus, they drive my dog crazy.

While I've done my best to chase these roaming cats to the farm across the street, or into my neighbor's yards, we have found one bonus to farm cats.

Farm kittens.
This litter, unbeknownst to us, was born under our front porch.  We discovered them one morning on our way out the door to camp.

They were out discovering, and ever since we've seen them lingering around our front porch.

For someone who is NOT a cat person, I must admit I'm a sucker for kittens.  Ever since we first saw them, all of us have become avid "kitten watchers."

Are the kittens out?  Come look at the kittens!  Should we try and catch a kitten?  Oh, they are playing right on front of the window!

You get the idea.

We've counted five, possibly six.  It's tough to get a real number because they scurry back under the porch as soon as we get too close.

And for anyone who is wondering, mom is around and she takes excellent car of her babies.  We've been watching to make sure they are safe and sound, and lingering close to the house.

I'm not sure what to do with all these baby cats, since they will grow up and make more cats.

But for now, they are a hoot.  And they've been keeping us pretty busy.
Happy Thursday! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Family Game Night


We're big on games.  We love game shows, athletic events, card games and board games.  In the winter we have family game nights and every spring and summer we relish the warm nights, playing family baseball and kickball until it's time to go in for bed.

It's tough to find time to reconnect as a family, and we like games because everyone (usually) has a great time.  We also get to teach valuable lessons about playing fair and learning not to be a sore loser. 

The Game Show Network (GSN) is bringing back the family fun game, "Minute to Win It" June 25th at 8/7c.  The new episodes will be hosted by speed skating champion Apolo Anton Ohno.  We're thrilled because we're huge game show fans.  Game shows are fabulous because our whole family can watch together, and I have no worries about suggestive or questionable content.  We can all kick back and enjoy, cheering on players or playing along.

A few nights ago, to kick off summer vacation, we setup our own Minute to Win It challenge, "Ka-Broom."  We needed a fairly easy challenge since we have younger kids, and we wanted everyone to be able to play.  "Ka-Broom" is a level 1 challenge, which was perfect for us.  Even better, we had everything we needed to setup the game right in our house.  To add to the fun we added prizes, winner choosing first and so on.

Kids love a good prize table.
For Ka-Broom, we setup a folding table with 10 paper plates.  On each plate we put a marshmallow toward the inside of the plate (the side closer to the inside of the table), and the outside rim of each plate had to hang a few inches over the table.

Using a broom, players have to catapult the marshmallows into a cup, catching at least 3 in one minute.  After we practiced with the broom, we realized the kids had trouble maneuvering it so we tried a baseball bat. 

And then we got to work.
Here is Hubby, happily challenging all the kids to "Ka-Broom."  He may have caught the most marshmallows in his cup, but he was not eligible for a prize.  Kit Kats and Hershey bars were for the munchkins only.
  video

This summer, try your own family game night and consider using games from GSN's Minute to Win It.  My kids were excited to try new games and even more excited to be involved in the setup of our challenges.

Break down of our set was another story.  But cleanup is never as exciting as setup, and this time I did let it slide.

All new episodes of Minute to Win it hosted by Apolo Ohno premieres June 25th at 8/7c only on GSN. For more information, connect with Minute to Win It on Facebook and Twitter and visit the GSN website.

Happy summer everyone!

Enter to win $100 Visa Gift Card by commenting below.  Tell us, what games does your family play to reconnect?

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Mama Fog

It's camp week over here.  It's wonderful and annoying at the same time.

I have two kids in two different camps, and one enjoying our town's summer recreation program.  All three of these activities are at different times.

This week, one camp runs from 8:30-12:00.  Another from 12:30-3:30, and Summer Rec is 9:00-12:00.  Add in two doctor appointments, a dishwasher repairman, weight room for my son and gymnastics for my daughter and I didn't know what day it was today.

Literally.

I woke up, in a carpooling confused fog and it took me a few minutes to remember it's Tuesday.  The brain was, and still is working in slow motion.  Almost like it's rebelling against me and all the craziness. 

Without any Starbucks run in sight, this is gonna be a long day.

But hey, it is summer vacation. 

And that makes it all alright.

Cheers!



Monday, June 17, 2013

6:15am

During the week, I set my alarm for 6:15am.  Hubby needs to leave for work by 7:30, and I've discovered that the best time for me to run is in the morning.

If I get up, and get out the door, I get my run in before my day begins.  There are no distractions and no excuses.  I'm also usually too tired to even realize I'm going for a run. 

This works out well, because by the time I wake up I'm five minutes in and there is no turning back. 

There are many mornings I just want to lay in bed and fall back asleep.  If it's raining, I do just this.  I love a good rain at 6:15 that clears in time to enjoy the day.  Those rainy mornings are the ones I sleep in without regret. 

But I know that if it's sunny, I'm running.  If it's cloudy, I'm running.  If Hubby is not away on business I'm running. 

I have turned off the alarm enough to know that I may be happy for the few minutes I'm falling back asleep, but I'll be kicking myself for not running the rest of the day.  99% of the time I tell myself "I'll run later tonight..." I never get that run in. 

If I get up, I may be annoyed for a few minutes, but by the time I'm running I'm good.  And that's what I need to get my day going.  A good, sweaty no excuses run. 

What do you need to get your day going?

Happy Monday, enjoy the week ahead!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dads

Dad's, in my world, are completely different than moms.  My mom was the every day caretaker.  The lunch packer.  She was up at night giving medicine and was always the last one to bed.  She was the one who ran us to appointments and rushed to CVS for project supplies.

My dad was more the athletic director.  The grass mower.  The guy who played hard and was there for all the big stuff.  He was also a tad more "fun," especially as I got older.  He didn't fret about as much as my mom did, and he was not prone to those crazy freak outs.  Those pace all over and yell-into-the-air-to-no-one episodes that always kind of scared me.

Sorry mom. 
Mom, I get where your stress came from and why you weren't always a ball of laughs.  I also now, yell into the air to no one about stuff like unpacked lunch sacks.

Our house is much the same as mine was growing up, although Hubby has done a fabulous job of being involved in the daily tasks over these past several years.  He gets laundry sorted and he runs the kids where they need to be.  "Dads" have evolved a bit in the housework/childcare department since I was a kid.

Hubby is also, sigh, at times more "fun." But that is completely because he doesn't stress about how clean the house is or how many carpools need to be sorted for the week ahead.

He keeps it real, which keeps me real.  Usually.

Dads to me, are realists.  They lay down when they are tired, no matter how much mess is left uncleaned.  They help when they are asked, but they can't read minds.  They are more fun for the kids because they don't carry more weight on their shoulders than is necessary.

And truthfully, I need that kind of fresh air.  Kids do too.

Happy Father's Day to my athletic director, grass mower, fun, keep it real Dad and Hubby.

You've kept my blood pressure considerably lower over the years, and I love yas.

Muah (that's a kiss, from me).


Friday, June 14, 2013

Father's Day (for two!)

Michelle Pino, a spa manager at Skana in New York, sent me a post she wrote after discussing Father's Day at the spa with clients and co-workers.  She thought it would be great to share a few ideas that pampered both mom and dad this Father's Day, and I'm happy to share her post with y'all!  Enjoy!



Every father deserves a special something on Father’s Day. If you’re coming up short on ideas that will leave a smile on your husband’s face, here are some gifts that are sure to please. Not only will the love of your life enjoy these presents, but you will too!


Restaurant Reservations

If you can’t wait to try out that new fancy restaurant in town, give him an excuse to take you! Make a reservation for a delicious dinner that both of you will enjoy. While you’re celebrating his fatherly devotions, you’ll experience a romantic meal full of savory appetizers and sweet desserts. This romantic dinner will be one he’ll never forget!


A Fun Resort Trip

A day pass to a resort will keep both of you happy!  I have seen many couples do this at Turning Stone. While you’re relaxing in the hot summer sun by the pool, he’ll be enjoying an exciting game of golf. Spa days will rejuvenate your body and refresh your mind as you receive massages. Go right back to the pool and sip cocktails in your swimsuit as your husband wins tons of money at the poker tables. Activities for couples are plentiful at most resorts.


Nice Kitchen Equipment

If you’re ready to take some timeout from the kitchen, give your man an excuse to cook more. Gift him a kitchen appliance that he’s been dying to try! Giving him a grill is a great way to ensure he’ll be helping you prepare dinner for the family. It’s perfect for all of those holiday cookouts and summertime feasts when the weather is warm enough to lounge around on the patio. If you live in a cooler climate, find a kitchen gadget that will be fun for him to use indoors.


Flattering Clothes

If there’s a certain garment you’d love your husband to try on, now’s your chance! Gift him that dapper suit you think he’ll look great in or that beautiful tie that will make his look more sophisticated. Stop by Macy’s and grab that pink shirt you’ve been eying in the window and let him know how handsome he looks.


Celebrate the man in your life who adds joy to your day and life to your years. A great gift that both of you can enjoy together will make this Father's Day memorable.


Michelle Pino has contributed this piece based on the knowledge she has learned while working as spa manager at Skana, one of New York’s finest spas. When Michelle isn’t working you will find her baking, crafting, reading a magazine or catching up on her favorite TV shows. if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact Michelle via email at michellepino@turningstone.com

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesdays

Wednesdays are cherished in our home.  A strange day to cherish, but we do. 

On Wednesdays, our evenings are open.  We have no gymnastics runs, which is a phenomenal feeling when you are driving to gym four days a week.  Gymnastics is thirty minutes away, which is an hour trip when I'm just dropping and coming back home. 

That kind of drop off really cuts into an afternoon. 

And if you have to drive back to pick up?  That really cuts into an evening.  Double whammy. 

Plus, baseball is over, which means there is no rush to get home after a playdate or hurry out of the pool.  We can stay where we are, doing what we're doing.

Today we are free all day to do as we wish.  And it's awesome.

With this, I say happy Wednesday to you.   

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Penn State Football Camp


Last year, my daughter attended the Penn State gymnastics camp.  We dropped her off, signed her in and went to enjoy a day on campus.

My oldest son was signed up for the football day camp, which was the next day.  He was over the moon excited about this, especially to practice on Penn State fields and see Bill O'Brien.  He's not a huge PSU fan, but he is a HUGE football fan.  He couldn't wait to get on the field and work on QB drills.

We woke up early the day after we dropped my daughter and drove back into PSU.  We pulled in to the parking lot of where the registration was supposed to take place, but there was no one there.  We were confused, and as time ticked on, we were worried.  We walked inside to inquire about the camp, and see if we were in the right place.  It was then we were punched in the face with a terrible news.

The camp was yesterday.  Que the vomit.

My son burst into tears.  Uncontrollable, inconsolable tears.  He was shattered.  My husband and I were shattered.  It was painstakingly shattering.

It has taken me a year to even blog about this, because it was one of those awful parent moments that you'll never forget.  We had the wrong day marked from the get-go, and after we marked the calendar we never checked again.

The worst part of the whole day was that we were THERE, on campus, checking my daughter in for her camp.  All the while my son's football camp was going on right around the corner.

Horrifying.

The good news is that this year, we made it.  We went on the right day and my son was finally able to see Bill O'Brien.  He worked with PSU almuni and coaches.  He ate in the screening room and we walked to the Creamery after his camp was over.

It was a beautiful day, and a huge success.  And only after this success can I even admit to the colossal scheduling mistake I made the year before.

It was great to see my son run his up/downs, and throw the ball again.  My other munchkins ran on the field and enjoyed lunch downtown.  We bought shirts and my Hubby reminisced.  It was a glorious day.

One of the hightlights?  Bill O'Brien, a total class act, signing my seven year old's cast.

Pretty awesome.
I'm happy I can finally talk about, and almost laugh about, showing up to a football camp my son looked forward to for months on the day AFTER the camp.  After all, I learned a lot about myself that day.  The first being I need to slow the heck down and check the calendar.  The second being I never, ever want to do that again.  The third being I'm human.

Cheers to that, and happy trails!




Monday, June 10, 2013

Up a Ladder, Down a Slide

Last week was a memorable one.  We had a 12th birthday, our first Pennsylvania "recognition ceremony" for my oldest who is moving up to Jr. High (sniffle), the last day of school and a broken wrist.

Quite a mix of events.

The broken wrist caused quite a stir, especially since it wasn't advertised when it occurred.  We were watching my oldest son's baseball game, enjoying a beautiful evening while the little kids played on the playground nearby.

Sometime during the game my younger, more adventurous son decided to go up the slide.  In our family this is a no-no.  In our yard, with just my munchkins, I don't mind.  But at a playground, where there needs to be some semblance of order or kids will get hurt, I stick to the rules.  The rules being:

UP a ladder, DOWN a slide.

It's boring, but it works.

When my son went up the slide, he was near the top when a little boy was starting to come down the slide.  Someone had to go; there was no other way.  My rambunctious son decided to abandon ship, and jump off the side.

He knew right away he hurt himself.  What he didn't want was ME to know he hurt himself.  And so the kids formed one of those pacts, the kind where they all pitch in and try to fix something without saying a word to any adults.  Obviously, this didn't work and eventually I heard about the incident.  Trouble was, without tears and any major fuss, I went about my night as usual.

We ate birthday cake and opened gifts for my oldest.  I gave my little guy ice, but that was pretty much it.  We assumed he sprained it, or he was just tired and ready for bed.

The next morn, I had one of those funny feelings that I should check this wrist out.  He was holding it funny and had trouble dressing and getting on his shoes.  My little guy is not one to drag out minor injuries, and my gut told me to call the doctor.

And sure enough, it was broken.  I give him credit for taking the pain so well, but told him the next time he is hurt I would appreciate a shout out.  Just in case something actually requires medical attention.

I end with this, UP a ladder, DOWN a slide.

While I may be redundant and boring and annoying with all my little rules and reminders, sometimes I know a thing or two.  Maybe, just maybe my kids will remember that.

I'm not holding my breath.
Happy Monday everyone.  Enjoy it!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ninety Percent

My ten year old daughter has been competing in gymnastics for a few years.  There have been many ups and downs, and I've learned much from these experiences.  She trains hard, gives up playdates and sleepovers to be in the gym, and she has the hands of a man who works construction sixteen hours a day.

Gymnastics is tough, because as phenomenal as you are in practice, it doesn't matter if you don't perform the day of the meet.  You have about four minutes to showcase your abilities.  You don't get to run the play again, and you don't get another at bat.

You get one go.  And the winner is the girl who does the best that day, in that moment.

At one of our parent meetings, my daughter's old coach told all the parents to watch what they say to the kids.  She told us that over and over again, in her years of coaching, she sees parents focus on the negative.  Ninety percent of a routine may be incredible, but all their child hears about is the ten percent that needed improvement.

Too many parents focus on what goes wrong, and not what goes right. What happened with the fall on beam?  Why didn't you finish your twist?

I realized the other day that in regards to parenting,  I do this same thing with myself.  I love my kids all day, I hug and kiss them at night.  I make them lunches and do hundreds of loads of laundry.  I get them where they need to go, and tell them what they need to hear.  I do so many wonderful things every minute, every hour of the day.

Truthfully, most of what I do every day I do for my kids.

But I make mistakes, just like every other parent.  I yell when I shouldn't, and sometimes I forget to pack a snack in the lunchbox.  There are days my kid is late to practice because another kid wasn't in the car on time, and there are days my patience is not what is needed to handle the situations in front of me.

I'm flawed.  I admit it.

The trouble is that when I do get something wrong, it's all I think about.  I relive the moment over and over again, feeling not so great about myself.  My entire day could be roses, but if I miss a great hit at my son's baseball game it stays with me.  Sometimes into the next day.

Most of the parents I know have this same tendency.  What we fail to realize is that our kids need us to be flawed.  If they see us make mistakes, they learn that life goes on.  They accept that no one is perfect.

And if we miss that big hit at the game, they learn to deal with disappointment.

Today, I'll be celebrating the ninety percent I do right, and accepting the ten percent I get wrong.  I won't try and change it, I won't wish for a do-over.

I'll accept it, and keep marching.  There is much to be celebrated when we focus on the good, and much to be learned when we aren't who we strive to be. 

Happy Thursday...last day of school for us here.  Bring on summer!




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Date Nights

Since we moved, I haven't been on a date night with Hubby.  Well, unless you count a quick trip to Home Depot for flooring.  After all, we did sneak in a dinner at Perkins, which was conveniently located next to the Home Depot parking lot.

Date nights are tricky.  When you have kids, they are few and far between.  It's not easy to find an available night, a sitter and money to pay for all of this when you have kids running around. 

Let's not forget everyone needs to stay healthy once everything is in place.

Regardless, every mom should be able to enjoy an evening dressed in real clothes with makeup on her face.  Date nights are not easy for me, and unfortunately they are very rare these days.  I do love being able to talk to Hubby uninterrupted while wearing clean clothes.  I also enjoy not having to share my food or hide my dessert for fear it will disappear without me ever tasting it.

It's the little things.

BlogHer was gracious enough to ask me to share this video series, “Different Occasions. Different Looks. Always Pretty.” hosted by Almay.  If your date look is from 1985, or you’ve forgotten how to even make a “date look,” this is a great video to freshen up your style.

Enjoy, and find a night to make this video useful.  You deserve it!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Twelve

Today my oldest baby is twelve.  In this picture, which seems like yesterday, he was turning 6.

Twelve is a big number, especially when I think back to the days of when he was a toddler.  Those sometimes lonely, sometimes hilarious, sometimes magical days that seemed like they would last forever.  I remember the days going slow, but somehow the time went fast.

Days just kept passing, in a Nick Jr., goldfish blur.

Then, I had another baby, and time went faster.

Soon, enough time went by that it was time to start preschool.  That first day I dropped him off, I cried.  And when I went to pick him up, he cried.  He was just so relieved I came back to get him, and it broke my heart.  I forced myself to bring him back again the next day, and before I knew it he was happily going to school.

Somehow, more time went by and my second baby went to preschool, and my first baby graduated preschool.  Life was starting to move at full speed.

Then I had another baby, and all of a sudden my first baby was going to kindergarten. 

I remember dropping him off that first morning because I wouldn't dare put him on a bus.  I sat in that drop off line, watching kids get out of the cars, and all I could think was "How will he know where to go?  I just LEAVE him here?"

Eventually, it was our turn.  He got out of the car, and I pulled away.  Slowly.  And I cried watching him walk through those doors.

After my oldest started kindergarten, first grade came way too fast.  Time was going so fast I couldn't wrap my head around it.

One day I was new mom holding my first baby, and the next I had a toddler, preschooler and first grader.  Three babies.  I was juggling homework and potty training and piles of laundry.  And then, another few years went by and I had another baby.

And ever since then, life has gone from full speed to warp speed.  But I always measure time by my oldest, because when he was born I could never imagine him growing up.  I could never imagine him as anything other than my baby.  But now we've had 12 birthdays.

Twelve.

The world is now a huge influence in his life, and it's so hard to believe he isn't watching Blues Clues, or pushing trains.  He's going to school.  Playing ball.  Playing video games and he knows how to work an ipod better than I do.

He's also everything I ever dreamed my twelve year old would be.  Bright, loving and kind.  And I'm so honored he's mine to raise, because my life changed the day he was born.  My life, in many ways, began the moment I held him in my arms.

Happy 12th to my very first baby.  Reach for the stars, anything is possible.  For you, the sky is the limit.