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A Weekend of Fun...

Monday, February 23, 2009
On Friday evening, we packed all our stuff up and headed to Ashland. I had made plans for us. Bailey was going to get to ski for the first time and Jake was going to spend some quality time with his grandparents getting completely spoiled.

We got up on Saturday morning, had some breakfast and headed to Winterplace in Beckley, West Virginia. Bailey was so excited when we told her what we were doing.

Upon arriving, she was eager to get in the snow. Her biggest interest - making a snow angel or throwing some snowballs. :) She really didn't understand what we were going to do until we got out on the mountain. The employees at Winterplace laughed when we picked out her skis and boots. They kept commenting on how little she was and how small the skis were. We were both nervous about how she'd do. Their comments only made me wonder if we were making a mistake.

Twenty minutes later I was convinced that we should have waited another year. I was only reminded again how some things are genetic. Just so you can understand what I'm saying...

About 8 years ago, Brad and I went skiing to Snowshoe Mountain. It was the first time I had gone. Brad had been skiing before, so he was already good (go figure... I think he'd only gone once before). About a quarter of the way down the first mountain, I had fallen about ten times. This was after I had a lesson. I was tired, frustrated, and I sat and cried. I kept telling Brad that I just wanted to go back to the room and take a break. I never even made it down the mountain at Snowshoe that trip. I went a few times on a couple of the small slopes beside of the room... I think I might have even made it on a couple of the easy slopes the next day. But, I really didn't ski much at all. And I am sure that Brad notes that trip as one of the worst. The next winter, Brad and Kathy pretty much bullied me into going to Winterplace, telling me that if I would go and try, they were certain I would be better. So, I took their advice, despite my pouting and nervous stomach the entire trip to the mountain. I LOVED it. I learned so much and only fell a couple of times. That's about the time we got hooked. And I was so mad at myself for not "getting back up on the horse" when I kept falling at Snowshoe.

So, back to our trip this weekend. We put Bailey's skis on her, took her to the closest little hill and started to show her how to ski. It was only a few minutes in when Bailey started showing signs of frustration. She couldn't keep her skis straight, she kept leaning backward, and she wouldn't bend her knees. Brad and I kept holding onto her and barking commands. About 10 minutes in... she was on the ground crying that she was hungry and needed a break. We had just eaten, so I knew what this was. And, I have to say, I was not the understanding, sympathetic person you would expect. I was frustrated with her unwillingness to get back up and try. But, Brad, having been here before, was patient and talked to Bailey. She and I decided to go in and get something to drink and take a break. We told Brad to go ski and meet us back a little while later. After a cookie, some coke, and a long talk about how Bailey was doing so much better than I did on my first trip, Bailey was ready to try again.

Brad suggested that we go to the "Ski School" area where it was a little flatter and they had moving sidewalk-type lifts. Oh... that was another thing... Bailey was also upset because we wouldn't take her on the ski lift until she had more practice (for obvious reasons). Anyway, we showed Bailey the "skiing position" and she was off. After a couple of times down the training area hill, she was ready to go. Brad and I took her on the "roller coaster" (translation - ski lift) and took her to the top of the mountain. Brad skiied with her in front of him the entire way down the mountain and she loved it. We had to practically bribe her to get her to leave about 5 hours later. Needless to say, she was exhausted... and most importantly, we have ourselves a little ski bunny. We are so excited about the possibilities for future winter vacations at Snowshoe... dreams of trips to Colorado, Vermont, or Canada. But, Bailey has made sure that Brad understands that those trips cannot replace our summer trips to the beach. Apparently, we must take two vacations in the future. :)

Here are some photos from the day. I'm going to see about getting a little video of Bailey on skis on here tomorrow.

Two Dramatic Children?

Thursday, February 19, 2009
Bailey might be the dramatic child, but Jake certainly is not going to sit quietly in the shadows. He is making his move into the two-year old phase, and doing it with flair. His drama includes sunglasses, naked streaking, and shouting his commands while pointing his finger at you.

One early morning last week, I got up and came downstairs with the kids. It was a nice day with great weather, and Jake decided he wanted to go outside. However, before we actually went, he had to have "his" sunglasses. You know, the purple ones with princesses on them. Bailey's are the red ones that look like Daddy's. lol... They played outside all day with their glasses on the entire time. I'm sure our neighbors are concerned... they see Jake wearing Bailey's pink Dora dress-up shoes outside all the time. I really do try to discourage it, but he just LOVES them. :)

Jake's other choice of wardrobe would be to go nude. He loves to run around the house after he's had his bath - completely naked. He laughs and dances, acting like it's the greatest thing in the world. His sister finds the same enjoyment in this... beware if you come to our house at bathtime. :) Brad calls Jake a little frog. He's getting more and more slim, but still has a little belly. His little legs and arms are tiny, but his belly sticks out. He really does look like a little frog!

He has figured out how to undress himself and enjoys making me crazy trying to do this when we are about to leave our house. Just a few days ago, I walked into the playroom to find him shirtless, standing on his train table, blinds pulled back, pressing his stomach to the cold window. Apparently, it's more fun to sunbathe in the nude! :) He thought it was so funny and proceeded to yell for me, waving and laughing.

Of course, when he's not laughing or streaking, he enjoys bossing us around. He now looks at us and says, "I da boss," as he hits his chest to indicate that he really is the boss. When he wants something and we are making him wait, he reminds us that he's the boss by yelling what he wants, pointing at us, and saying, "Right now." I don't know where he could have ever heard such words. Certainly not when I'm trying to get him dressed and I'm pointing my finger at him, saying, "Get over here, right now."

:) Ah... the joys of parenting. :)

Drama, Drama, Drama

If it's been said once, it's been said a hundred times... my daughter is a drama queen and she takes after her mother. Recently, she's had a slew of sayings that only further support the idea that she is indeed a bit dramatic.

Among my favorites (or not so favorites):

"I'm starving... I'm really going to starve and die if you don't give me junk food right now." She is certain to do this emphatically with a whiny voice at first and a bossy tone toward the end. Of course, today when she said it, she had just finished eating a baggy full of pretzels and decided that she wanted me to stop at McDonald's. Typically, Bailey is always starving when you near golden arches or Wendy's (which she now recognizes equally as well). Jake only recognizes any yellow signs as "Bries (Fries)." He also now requests "Donal's" when we are out and about.

"Just get me something... I don't know." This is Bailey's automatic response when she says she's hungry and doesn't know what she wants or if she wants to watch something else on tv, but can't decide. Of course, if you choose something for her, she complains that she didn't want it. What do you do with that? I ignore her until she makes a real request, but that's usually after a few minor arguments. :)

"But I'll miss you." This is probably the most dramatic thing she says... because she says it when you tell her you're going to take a shower or walk in another room. It's cute, except that it is often followed by tears if you don't stay by her side. Yes, I know that it will pass far too quickly and I'll be missing the days that she wanted me in the same room with her. :) For now, maybe a little distance for a few minutes each day wouldn't hurt. lol...

"I had a good dream last night... wanna hear it?" I ask her to tell me about it and I get elaborate stories of Little Mermaid coming to see her at the beach, or Cinderella and her mice dancing in her room, or even dreams about marrying Jake or her boyfriend, Austin. (FYI - I do encourage Austin at this point! lol) I guess poor little Bailey is going to have the crazy dreams like I do. As long as she doesn't dream about bees with parachutes any time soon (I know no one other than Cilla will understand that), I think we can manage. :)

Sorry to be Debbie Downer... :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Last year a good friend and co-worker of mine suggested that I apply to be a part of Commerce Lexington's (the Lexington Chamber of Commerce) Leadership Lexington program. Through this program, we meet each month to hear from Lexington's leaders about different issues facing our community. It has been a tremendous experience!

But, last week, we had a program focused on Health and Human Services. It was a rough day for me. I get emotionally involved in a lot of these things, especially when it comes to poverty, abuse, and endangered children. As part of the day, we each had to break out into small groups and choose a human services agency to visit. The one that I chose (I will keep it nameless) was an agency focused on pregnant teenagers. I thought I would be visiting a program that taught young girls how to feed their baby, change diapers, and do CPR. This program was so much more. The children (yes, these girls are children, ages 12-17) are there because the courts have sent them to this home. They have different issues beyond being pregnant, many have been victims of abuse - sexual, physical, and mental. Most have no idea how to take care of a child... they are just babies themselves. It was extremely depressing to hear the stories. Some of these children didn't have a chance in the world. Their parents didn't care enough about them to protect them from the horrible things in the world... many of their parents were involved, the abuser, or enabled the abuser.

Yes, I'm writing the most depressing blog ever. :)

My point in writing this isn't to depress anyone or to keep myself going back to this mentally. It's something that I keep thinking about when I look at my daughter. I can't imagine how anyone could hurt her or how any parent in the world could let their baby go through the terrible things that these children have experienced. We get so caught up in everything that we want for our children. Things that we want to provide, from gymnastics class and t-ball to birthday parties and decorated bedrooms. Always contemplating the smallest details, hoping it will be memorable for a lifetime. Seeing these children only puts it all into perspective. I'm sure I'll never change my ways - I'll always want the best for my babies. And really, I don't want to change that. I just want the best for these babies, too. It really bothers to me to think that they are out there without a person in the world to care about them and there's not a thing that the system is doing to protect them. Most of these teenagers and their babies will be sent right back to the home that didn't protect them to begin with and the cycle will just continue. How do we make a difference here? Education is key, but you can't teach people to care about the people they should love. I feel helpless... just really helpless. ARGH...

A few more...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I had some rave reviews on the funny things kids say... so here are a few others. These aren't as funny... just cute.

Jake has liked dressing up for quite some time now. He has a shoe fetish... especially when it comes to heels. It has been a running joke for us that he is really a little girl at heart and will end up being our cross-dresser when he grows up. He has graduated on to glasses and hats now, which we have welcomed. We just need to purchase some boy glasses and hats and we'll be all set. He loves to go around with Bailey's purple princess sunglasses on (usually upside down, no less). The cutest thing about it is that he looks at me after he's all dressed up, gives me a thumbs up, and says, "Dat's awesome." It is adorable.

Bailey is our singer and, unfortunately, she inherited her tone-deaf mother's voice. Right now it only makes her singing more precious (right now). There is a song out by Taylor Swift called "Love Story." She loves this song... and she knows a lot of the words. This past weekend, I couldn't help but smile ear to ear, with a little tear in my eye, as she sat with two lopsided pigtails, dressed in her little nightgown, sitting on top of the coffee table watching the video and belting out the words. So sweet and innocent... so much more grown up...

But not yet for Jake. He loves to sing, but his favorites consist of "Fruit Salad," "Wiggly Party," and "Quack, quack, quack" by his idols, The Wiggles. Sadly, these songs stick with us as long as they do the kids. :)

Bailey is growing more sensitive... sometimes so much that I wonder if she is really Cilla's child instead of mine. :) When the tree came down in our yard and I showed it to Bailey, she began to cry, telling me how much she loved that tree. She isn't big on changes, at least not unless she is prepped for them... or better yet, unless she's chosen them.

Embarassing moments...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I was thinking today about all of the funny things kids say and laughing about some of the things that mine have said long ago and recently. With Bailey nearing the tender age of 4, she has repeated a lot of things... many times things that she should never have learned, but usually things that she has picked up and translated all on her own. Jake has begun this same practice, learning from his big sister and coming up with his own little unique style. Many of these stories are disturbing... making me sometimes question our parenting, but they are truthful. And I know for sure that I'm not the only one that has had these things happen. So, I'm sharing, despite the ridicule that they might cause. Here's to hoping that through each of the zany things that happen a lesson is learned (and hopefully it's not just a lesson for me). :)

Jake has decided that it is no longer fun to call me mommy. No, I have a new name (and thank goodness it isn't the name that I'm sure many of you are thinking it would be). :) Jake likes to call me monnie... And he does this knowing that I am mommy. When I correct him, he yells "mo-NNNNNNN-ie" back at me. All the while laughing and even sometimes hitting himself on the head as if to indicate that he knows he's being so silly.

Bailey has always been the talker and loves to figure things out. So... when she was just a bit older than Jake, she discovered the difference between boys and girls. Her little friend told her that he had a wee-nut and she had a poody. So... Bailey proceeded to tell our babysitters that her daddy had a big wee-nut. Yes, it could have been worse, Brad. :) She also decided that it would be great fun to point out all of the boys and girls at the health department one day. At the top of her lungs, she yelled as she pointed at each boy, "WEE-NUT" and at herself and the girls in the room, "POODY!" It probably would not have been that bad, but she made sure to grab herself to reinforce her translation. I was mortified.

Jake has grown interested in body parts as well... except he is more of a boob man. He likes to grab whoever is holding him with both hands on the chest, squeeze, and say "boobies." I have concerns about this. :) The most startling thing about this is that we really don't know where this came from. He just started doing this out of the blue! I secretly think Brad has been training him, but I'm sure I will never know the truth.

There are so many more that I could write a book of embarassing things that my kids say. But, I'll leave you with this last one for a good laugh. My mother-in-law and 9-year-old niece took Bailey to Walmart one day. Bailey was riding in one of those carts that has a car in front so she could drive. My niece, Rianna, was pushing her and Kathy (my mother-in-law) was standing in front of her picking things out. Bailey, impatiently driving on what was apparently a crowded road, yelled to her grandmother, "Move, b!*#&." What road rage lunatic in our family do you think got blamed for that one? She has since learned that there are no reasons for her to say bad words... even if she is only repeating and role playing. Ahh... is private school in the cards for us? Probably not... I think we might get kicked out before middle school and I'm not sure that's such a good way to start out.

Good ole public school with roughneck rednecks is probably the only way to go for us... :)