Monday, December 24, 2012

Time for Sparkly Christmas Smiles

merrychristmas-girls

We’re here. We’re swamped. (Well, I am, anyway)  But we’re ok.  By the end of February I think things should slow….. No, new office opening March 1.  Ok, by the end of March, then…  No, wait, boss is having a baby in April. Major shift.  Maybe by Memorial Day then??

It might be the three part-time jobs (the newest of which gave me over 32 hours last week, but should calm down in about 2-3 weeks), the volunteering at school, the two little girls who want lots of go-ing, the house that seems to magically multiply clutter, the church involvement, or the DS group coordinating. Who knows what the main culprit to the chaos is right now, but most are suffering, some more than others…   

In the midst of it all, I love Christmas. And yet it also brings some of the most difficult realities to the forefront for me.  It’s not about money. Just about people.  Christmas is just not quite as I had hoped it would be at this stage in the game.  Every year I hope. And I’ll keep hoping.  I’ll leave it at that, to avoid being a true Christmas downer.

Nevertheless, it’s a precious time to watch my girls enjoy their elf, Cliffie, to see their excitement about parties with their friends and family.  I’m taking lots of pictures.  Just not sure when I’ll get to look at them or share them! 

If you have the option, slow down and enjoy the holiday.  If you have those around you who enjoy making you smile and go out of their way to bring it about, tell them it means the world, and consider yourself very blessed.

And now my girls are coughing in their beds, only 4 hours into their night of sleep….  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a GOOD night!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My "Welcome Christmas" show

Over 20 years ago,  we began doing Christmas shows together. I now have to do it every year. It is the real beginning of the season for me each year.  Can NOT miss it. The show is different each year, depending on who happens to be on town.

Me and Mel are in our seats and ready. I got the tickets as a Christmas gift. It was for the 12 Gifts of Christmas Tour.

That tour was cancelled yesterday afternoon. Day before the show. Out of nowhere. By the promoter. Just like that.

But in a matter of a couple short hours, three of the artists, who happen to be my fave three, had been contacted by our radio station here that was hosting the event. And they were gracious and equally disappointed. The artists and JoyFM. Disappointed and stunned.

So tonight was born. Steven Curtis Chapman, his wife and author Mary Beth Chapman, and singer songwriter Laura Story are here. Just of themselves and those they could get on a plane in 24 hours.

Our tickets are being honored for entry, and thousands more hopefuls are waiting around the arena for tickets to fill this place to the rafters.

There aren't any great set lists, there is alot of improvising, the lights and sound aren't as produced as it would have been with more notice but no worry. We will have a great show and sing along like we love to do!

Let the concert begin!! No silly slacker promoter is gonna take my Christmasy evening away!!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Temporary new office

Today was my test run for a new job I'm technically starting on Monday.  (but I've been working for about 8 days from home and stops by the office.) 

Got the girls up extra early,  everyone got dressed,  fed, and out the door with time to spare. Then did the school drop and got to the office to find locked doors due to crossed wires. No problem. I travel with my laptop and had all my account files with me that needed immediate attention. So I hit the nearby St.  Louis Bread Co and here I sit,  chai tea latte and WiFi. Ready-made office.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Six. Big and little.

My girl turned six today. It's beyond weird,  and yet totally normal. Don't ask me how that works.

She is so grown up and yet so young still in so many ways. She really wants to be a big girl. Sometimes.

It's hard to summarize where this fits into the time line of life. It's six years. In this context,  that's alot. But in the big world scheme of things its just a breath.

Hard to fathom what the next breath will hold. Lord,  give me patience and strength,  and wisdom to handle both appropriately.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I press on

When things jump out and smack me in the face, I remember that my life is not about me. It’s not about just what makes *me* happy or what *I* want or supposedly deserve.  It’s about my responsibility to this little girl. (And her sister, too, but the truth is that this little girl comprehends and absorbs more of the intangibles in life right now than sis does.) 
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Her long term benefit is of the utmost importance. What is best for her takes priority over what makes me feel better or what would be perceived as easier.  That’s what parenting is, if you ask me.

Today, it’s a good thing she’s such a neat kid. And so darn cute. Makes tough choices just a tad easier.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ahead of the curve

Today I sat with Braska's teacher to chat about what's up. To touch base about how things are going.

Braska is in a private school. Small class of 8 in a gen ed setting. There is some assistance for those who need it here or there but no special ed, per se. She does sometimes get help from a teacher who has time to lend an extra hand.

She's been getting pulled out more frequently lately, according to her daily report sheet. I wondered what that was about,  as it was during reading and the phonics,  two of her strong areas. So today I asked.

Her teacher simply stated that she was benefitting from the one on one to keep her challenged and on a good pace of progress. She said the other kids just weren't ready yet for the level Braska was at.

Come again?

That's right.  My daughter,  with Down syndrome, the only child with this type of disability in her school, is being pulled out of her academic Kindergarten class because she is reading at about a grade level above her peers.

Don't worry,  I had to hear it twice to get it in my head,  too.

Wow. Just about blew me away.

I mean I know she's doing well,  and I'm thrilled with the school set up and how much they are committed to her no matter what. But it sure put me in my place, selling my girl short. I know she reads pretty well,  but I don't know what's *normal* for kindergarten. Kinlee is no help since she's years ahead, too. So I felt stunned. And so proud. And kind of vindicated for all the time we have spent working with her... 

My kid with a disability is being pulled out for advanced work.

Yes,  sir. *giggle* I'm quite good with that.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Basement gem

When cleaning the basement boxes, sometimes the true gems come to the surface.

Thank you, 1993, you were delightful. In a ridiculous kind of way.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Schedule insanity

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I know I’m busy.  I know it’s been a little out of hand lately.  I’m cutting back, and I’ve been cancelling things.  I’m letting others do things I’d rather do myself, but it’s just not feasible.

But today I realized that this evening is my only non-booked evening until November 17.  Not one for the next 3 weeks.  And every day in that span also has AT LEAST one event during the day… not counting the normal drop off and pick up from school.  Many evenings are doubly booked, M  will have the girls one place while I host a meeting in another, for example, or back-to-back events, like one for dinner and one following that one.

That’s crazy. And that’s AFTER I’ve thinned out a lot. 

And tonight… what will I do?  Well, I desperately need to hit the grocery shopping circuit. But that may just have to wait.  My house has NEVER been as chaotic as it is right now. Piles everywhere, storage that needs to be stored, tons of things that need to be addressed.  But since I’m running from one thing to the next with quick stops by the house to grab something or change clothes, the disarray continues.

And wow, wouldn’t I love to just kick my feet up.  Oh my, I would.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

But will they bid?

The girls go to a private Christian school (PreK-12), and the school is having their annual dinner/auction this Saturday.  It’s their one big fundraiser, so we’re supporting the event and we’re attending.  (I’m just thrilled there’s no candy, wrapping paper, or popcorn selling required.  HATE doing that stuff!) 

They asked people to donate stuff and I assumed they meant high-dollar stuff, as I’ve heard of some major donations.  Then someone mentioned to me that I should do some bows or something for the auction.  I thought that was a little nuts, because I just do it for fun, for gifts sometimes, and mostly just for my girls.  I really enjoy it, but it’s not so much a money-making situation at all.

But after talking with the coordinator, I agreed to do up a little bundle of bows with a holder.  She said they want things of all values, so it doesn’t come off as only for people who can spend lots of bucks and not for just the average family at the school.

After changing my mind alot, making three separate trips out to the high school to tweak the package a little, I finally got it all done.  And this lovely phone pic is all I have to show. Though I plan to get a better shot at the auction on Saturday, for my own archives.

auctionholderbows

The bow holder says Believe and has glitter. Cute.  There are 9 bows of varying sizes and styles, including one large-ish “spirit bow” for the school colors, one Mizzou bow (which turned out better than I expected), and a really cute holiday bow that’s a style I hadn’t done before.  It came out well, and I ended up making one for my niece, my girls, and a friend, as well. 

I don’t know if they’ll bid much, but I enjoyed it.  Whatever it goes for will go toward the school we are very big fans of and want to help however we can. Win win!

In order to help them look a little more “professional” and allow for the winning bidder to give them as gifts if they choose, I put together a pseudo-logo really quick to put on the cards attached.

justrkdesigns-oval-logo-JPG

Some will get the little nod, some won’t. (Kind of like my license plate T21 MOM. The ones who do get it like to stop me to chat. That’s fun. Community goodness.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Merlion nostalgia

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I’m watching House Hunters International on DVR while I veg a little and fold laundry.  This episode is filmed in Singapore. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I am a big fan of Singapore.  I did an internship there after college (17 years ago!! What??) and have always wanted to go back.  It was *such* an amazing place.  The most beautiful, CLEANEST, and hottest place I’ve ever been.  I met some of the most wonderful people there. I had the worst sunburn there, also. The equator can do that. But Sentosa was worth it.

One of the shots of the couple doing the house shopping is of them trying the “chicken rice.”  It’s not chicken AND rice, just chicken rice. The caption people got it wrong. (Kinlee insists—and has for a couple years—that she *always* be able to read along with every show. Non-negotiable. But since she’s a 4th-grade-level-reading 3-year-old, I won’t argue with her methods, no sir.)  Yum… chicken rice was my favorite go-to meal.  When I wasn’t enjoying straight out of the ocean seafood, that is. *sigh*

Just funny how watching a little HGTV can take me back. And it surprises me that I REALLY want to go back, even now. It was just that great.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cheer-ed out, but so proud

It’s been a very long two days with two big cheer events.  But the girls rocked it.  And I was very proud.

Was it all perfect? Nope.  Were there a lot of adorable moments? Absolutely.

If you missed it, you can go here for videos from yesterday.   (More from the last couple days in a few posts on B’s blog.  It’s fun to see your kids 8 feet in the air standing on one guy’s hand! )And I’ll add a little one from Kinlee’s routine today.  (I didn’t get to tape Braska’s today, which is sad because she did so much better today... but there will be more opportunities soon.)

 

That they went out there and did these in front of big crowds of unknown people is big. I can’t wait to see how they continue to progress. 

AEC has really earned even more respect from me this weekend.  These coaches have gone above and beyond over and over.  They really have a heart for these kids, and that’s worth the world.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

One competition down, several to come soon

We made it.  They made it really, we just watched it unfold. And waited a lot.  I am glad the other parents said that the waiting that this event had is not the norm.  It was a charity event put on by a sorority at UMSL, so we’ll cut them some slack on the little things. 

Here are the teams after a very long morning.  They had a LOT to be proud of!

AECteams

There’s more to say and show.  Soon.  Tomorrow we have another exhibition for our local DS group and other related agencies.  It should be lots of fun.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The night before. Give me an A for anxious!

Tomorrow is the girls’ first cheer competition.  In truth, I’m learning that it’s competition for Kinlee’s and exhibition for Braska’s squad.  But it’s performance. In front of a lot of people.  And I fear they won’t even get to the floor.

I mean, they LOVE cheer. They really like the practices, the attention from coaches and the teen buddies.  But it’s different when there are lots of strangers looking at them. And yelling. And the music is way louder. I wonder how it will go.

I’m not nervous now. I’m trying to think of everything to prepare for.  But I know myself well enough to know that tomorrow, at about 11:05am and 11:25am, I will be one nervous nellie.  Watching them go, or not go, out onto the floor.  Then watching how the routines play out.  I’ll cry, I’m sure.  And I’m not an easy-crying type…  but I know I’ll be proud, and overwhelmed that they’re actually out there, and laughing at how silly the little 3-year-old squad will be. 

And I’ll be proud of Braska. That she is in a full-on real cheer uniform (that I made 40 huge cheer bows to pay for!) and she KNOWS her routine. 

You see, just a few weeks less than 6 years ago, I looked at my little baby in the NICU, staring at her in disbelief. Numb.  Sure that she’d never smile and play and be cute. (Shallow, I know.)  I was devastated that she wouldn’t have friends and get to play with kids at parties.  She wouldn’t understand humor. I just knew she wouldn’t be able to learn, let alone read.

I even asked M to be sure that our friends with kids didn’t bring them to come to the hospital while we were there.  I didn’t want to see those cute happy little girls or boys.  Because I didn’t get one.

Clearly, we have come a long way.  It didn’t take long to learn I was wrong, wrong, and more kinds of wrong. 

And tomorrow, I’ll get to watch, for about 2 minutes, my little adorable, perfectly dressed, swamped-with-friends, book-reading, fully-conversational, and blessed little girl do her *thang.*  She will rock it.  Even if she freaks out from all the strangeness.  She’ll still rock it.  Just because she can.

I’ll be the cheer mom looking goofy-sappy as I try not to cry while I laugh. 

Maybe I’m just nervous about reacting to my reactions.  That sounds like me. 

Sleep well, little beauties. Tomorrow is a big day.  And Mommy is already so proud.

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(Last minute rushed project… cheer mom!  Definitely need a better pic, though.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lots of 6th graders

Today's speaking engagement went well. I think. They seemed to be tuned in,  the six groups of like 40+ 6th graders. That's something.

I had too much material to cover (shock...  me? Wordy?) but I managed. I've got some work to do before I hit the speaking circuit, but I enjoyed it. B clammed up and wouldn't even look at the kids. Good thing I had plenty of pictures in my presentation.

Overall it was good. Really nice group of kids. And the perk of seeing my "old"  roomie was the best.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Acceptance. Awareness.

Tomorrow, or in 8 hours to be specific, Braska and I head southwest to Rolla for Acceptance Awareness Day. My single-days roomie invited me to speak for one of several stops that 6th graders will make. I'll present the same 20 mins of material 6 times through the morning.

I'm looking forward to seeing my friend. I'm looking forward to sharing with the students. I'm hoping I say the right things.

And Braska's not without responsibility... She is reading her own introduction. We talked about what she wanted to say. And I put it together for her. The kids cracks me up. But she's turning into a good little reader. Can't believe she's almost 6!!

Praying for safe travels,  open minds,  and wise words.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Too much loss lately

Friends have lost daughters. Friends have lost mothers. Others have lost beloved friends and aunts and uncles. There has been much loss around my family lately.

But today there will be a service for a husband and father to very young ones who thoroughly adored him. He felt he wasn't enough,  and he had no idea he was their all. It's heartbreaking to think of those children.

Just now, another husband of a special friend, father to really great kids, faithful friend and example for many,  passed away after a totally unexpected health shock. It's hard to even grasp.

I'm so sad for them,  but glad they are those who can grieve with hope. Their trust is not abandoned even in this.

No matter what my current list of frustrating circumstances is,  and it's been longer than usual lately, my gratefulness is in need of ramping up.
I am blessed. To have mine all with me. To have a shelter to sleep in.

Count your blessings today,  friends.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hangin’ with Whitey

We’re busy. Really busy.  Overbooked.  More than even the normal overbooked.  I hope to get to more details about it all soon. But the time just keeps passing…

But we took the time to let Braska be a little mini-hostess of sorts at a big event for her previous school, where she still goes for private therapy.

Just so happened that Whitey Herzog was there too…

woodswhitey

Aren’t we all luau ready?  It was a fun night. And I’m glad for the neat pic. We have an autographed print of it Whitey gave us, too. So nice!

It doesn’t look like it in this pic, but Braska had a blast this whole night. And it was a late one.  The girl was just amazing, charming dollars for the school right out of wallets left and right.

(KiKi was at Grandma C’s for a sleepover. So she had fun, too, don’t worry.)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The daily wait

Here we are.

Today Kinlee is with me since it's Thursday. Waiting for Braska to emerge after school.

I have found in just these short four days that I kind of like this time. I have been able to arrange time to be here early enough to sit,  enjoy the peace,  and prepare for the rest of the day.

On Tuesday and Thursday when KiKi is with me, she sits in the drivers seat and we pretend to take trips.

Sometimes waiting is not a bad thing.


Monday, August 13, 2012

First day of same school

Pre-K4 and Kindergarten. Here they come. They were so excited this morning!

I got up and went for a very early walk/run in the dark. I prayed for them to have a great year and for protection,  as we have been doing many times a day. I got my shower and get-ready routine out of the way before trying to gently wake them with the hall light and some household noise. They were up and eating breakfast by 645, and then we dressed and primped and took pics.

We took some pics in front of the house and loaded up. Managed to get on the road by goal time of 745. First day drop off was all new since it's a new private school for us ... Some parents do the drive by drop and some park and join the classes in their areas outside. I took Kinlee to her class area,  where she saw two friends she recently met and was glad to see. She was being all girly with her friends so I took B in to do last bathroom stop before class. We are working on all that as we go.  Another post...

Then we joined B's class when they came in. She found her seat and I snapped a pic and left. They didn't get worried at all.

But after chatting with the principal in the parking lot, I got to the car and melted. Who knew I had that in me...

They are going to have a great year,  I have not one doubt. But wow,  my little girls are so big. I'm really so proud of them both.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Comments: #2 School Transportation

My friend Cate put forth a question to us, her humble readers, and once I started working through the  comment, it made me think I should have just done a post on it myself. 

But I don’t have time right now.

So I’ll just direct you to her post, and share what I wrote, and if you have respectful input on either, then I know I’d like to hear what that would be.

Ok, if what you're asking is what would WE do if it were B, then I'll answer this way... 
**I would for sure not put her on the regular bus. Not a chance.  Maybe in a couple years, but not at this age.
**I might use the minivan service. The car seat thing is huge to me. And it would be independent, if that's what you want, but safer.
**But I would definitely be driving, and I am driving. (Of course that was solidified by my switch to private school, but I had declined bus service even when the plan was the school 15 minutes away.)  There is just something huge to me about the car ride to school and back. And it's a big reason why I make the sacrifices necessary to be available during the day by not working full time.

That's me.  Those are the choices I've made. And you know your kids better than anyone.  Just like with the school situation, where you chose what you felt like was best, go with what you think is right.

Oh, and for the record, if bus is the way you want to go, the "stigma thing" of the little bus is just not a thing for me.  Maybe it'll be something for me in middle school, but for now, it's just not even a thought of mine.  More attention, safer seats, less rowdy kids. Win win win, in my book.

Can't wait to hear how it goes, whatever you choose. And how school goes as well!  Wishing all the best!

Any additional thoughts? If there are any real live people still out there?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Good time to stock up on Preschool Prep

Preschool Prep Company

Big sale!!


preschoolprepimg

These are the materials my girls like best.  I credit them, and our consistency in working with them, for my girls early letter/number recognition and early reading skills.  We love all of it… letters, numbers, shapes, colors, sight words, and phonics.

If you want more info about our experience with them, just ask!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Funning in the sun

We’re trying to enjoy the last week of summer!  The girls start school on Monday.  But meanwhile…. it’s time to play!
mommygirls-edit

If you’ve missed the big news, visit over here.  And Braska’s tossed up a bunch of stories, so visit over there scroll through July if you’re not caught up!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My own muscle man

Today at the Y they hosted a weight lifting event.  Most of the participants were staff, and when I stopped by “the concrete room” to peek  in while Kinlee was at swim class, I saw some of my buds lifting.

Adam is one of my fave coworkers, one of our personal trainers, and is our Physical Director at the Y. (For only the next 3 days. Boo.)  Kinlee calls him The Silly Mr. Adam. He organized the event with Kyle, behind him in the black/white jacket.  
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And this is Kyle, who finished 4th in nationals of Olympic Weightlifting, competing for Lindenwood University. He’s also a personal trainer at the Y.  (That’s almost 600 lbs, folks.)
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But more importantly, Kyle is also MY personal trainer.  And he kicks. my. rear. when it comes to workouts.  Just had to give props to my pal and fitness guru. 
kyleRK

We’ve got a long way to go, but I’ve got a pretty good pro on my team. 

The event was a hit, and it really ended up feeling a lot like a little fraternity party.  But since I have 10-15 years on most of the staff, that shouldn’t be a surprise.  I’m blessed to get to work with a bunch of fun people.

Blueberry Saturday

After a super bargain at Aldi,  we splurged with blueberry pancakes today. B,  K,  and M enjoyed the pancakes,  and I did sneak one little corner for a taste. Yum.

Now it's off to swim lessons for KiKi at 9:45am while Braska enjoys much loved time at Y-school. Then I'll go back for a workout date at noon. Good thing we are 4 minutes from there.

Our pancakes didn't quite look like this, by the way, though they were gorgeous and golden. But does anyone really eat a stack like that?

Hope you have a good Saturday. What's on your schedule?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

School physical day

First off,  the dentist went ok the other day. Not great but much better...   More details on B's blog when I can do more than these phone posts.
Today we are at the pediatrician getting physicals. Kinlee for K4 (Yes we have been blessed to be able to find a curriculum-based program who will let her jump up a year due to academic skill. More details on that soon too.)  Braska is doing Kindergarten,  but no longer through the conventional means at public school. She will be attending the same private school as KiKi but in the half day academic Kindergarten class. She was screened and accepted and they have been granted a nice scholarship,  so reg ed private school it is!  I'm very excited to be involved in this new school and will talk more about it soon I hope. They are totally excited about having both the girls, and what more could I ask than to have teachers actively want my kids in their classes? I'm still so blown away that this all worked out in a matter of a couple weeks. God has been so evidently involved. Gives me chills. Literally. We are blessed and so grateful.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pre-dental calm

We are at the dentist. For Braska this time. We have not had successful visits,  hence combining dental with eye surgery in the fall. That was handy. But no surgeries on the horizon now,  which is good,  but it means we attempt in-office dental again.

I'm praying for surprising success.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Smile. Then collapse.

Tonight it was let-Kyle-kick-our-rears time again.  This time my co-worker E and I are doing training together.  There are pros and cons to working out where we work, letting one of our co-workers (a currently nationally ranked college bodybuilder, no less) make us look ridiculous and sweat like little piggies. Plus we know everyone working out while we’re there… good to show staff walking the talk, but it feels funny to have everyone see us so much less “done up” than when we’re looking cute at the front desk. 

E is younger than I am, way WAY more fit than I am, and she’s a great cheerleader when I’m grunting like a dork trying to get the 8-lb dumbbells over my head ONE more time.  We did it though, we made it through. And I didn’t feel TOO horrible afterword.
rkelaine-wm

Hoping this kicks in the downward motion on the scale again. 35.4 lbs gone since March, lots more to go!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A little older. A lot more fun.

It’s been about a year or so since Kinlee was last in an indoor fast-food type playplace. The enclosed kind.  Where I can’t really get to her when she refuses to come down.

Which is what happened and why I banned the practice.  I bribed a 9-year-old to go up and shove her down the slide last time (fries!) and I told Kinlee there would be no more for a good long time, at least til she was 3.  And I do not waffle on such promises.  Granted, we don’t ever come to these places unless it’s on purpose for play, so it was easy to fully avoid.

Recently, she was asking if she could try again. She remembers well what happened way back when she was 2.  She can recount the whole story clearly if you ask.  She will conclude by saying she “made a wrong choice and didn’t obey, so I don’t get to have fun there anymore.”  We talked about how, since she was 3 now and was learning to obey better and make right choices, maybe we could see if she was ready to try again.  She didn’t beg, and she didn’t whine about it (hooray!), so we tabled it and I said I’d think about it.  She was good with that.

So for about 4 days, we’ve been discussing that Tuesday morning after we dropped Braska at ESY (Because SHE does not get to play in these things.  That kid will NEVER come down.) we would have a special Mommy/Kinlee morning to go try and see if she can be a big girl when it’s time to leave a play place.

She’s been rehearsing the rules about coming when I call her, being a good friend to the other kids, and leaving when it’s time without a bit of a fuss.  She says she’s ready.  So she’s playing with the 3 other kids here, having a ball.  Running around like crazy, then coming to tell me who did what, thanking me for letting her come to play, then going up again.  (When we first arrived, no one else was here.  She wouldn’t go up because it was too scary, but when the other kids came in, she said she would go with them and not be afraid.)

I’ll give her a while to play, while I try to catch up on posts for B’s blog.  Then we’ll test out the new exit response.  I’m hopeful, but not blindly optimistic.  She knows if she throws the slightest fit, we’ll be absent from this kind of place til she’s 4. (As if you didn’t already know I was a meanie mom, right?!?)

For now, it’s all smiles and fun.  Even though she’s only barely tall enough to make it up there to start with… I hope this is the first of many enjoyable playtimes in the next chapter of her little big girl life.
kikiMcDplayplace1

Friday, July 13, 2012

A favorite sight

On my way home from work. I miss the days when it wasn't necessary. It's worth it for my family, though I miss them when I'm gone.

Today was a tough day, and I'm glad it's done. Ready to walk in and get knocked over with little girl greetings and hugs.

All things considered... I'm thankful for my job. That I have it, little as it might be. Thankful still.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Little thinking sleeper

This girl is something else.


Thankful for paint

After lunch watercolors. Quiet (except for that teeth-grinding fun). This is more like my kind of afternoon.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Saving grace of gelatin

I'm going on 4 months of my new healthier choices in food and activity. I'm doing well. Feeling good. Have lost 32.5 lbs in that time as of this morning.

What gets me through? Well, on days like today, Great Value Sugar Free Peach Gelatin is key. Yum.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Which wire makes it turn on?

It might be difficult to listen to my fave CD today.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Instagram. Finally.

For a long time it was only for iPhone users, which I refuse to be, so Instagram was out of reach, and I didn't miss it.

But today I found out its only a free download away, and so here we are.

Now if only someone had been able to capture the fun I had on the trampoline with the girls today..... That would be priceless in any filter.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Gracious

We are blessed by the generosity of so many people. It is not uncommon to have people share with us in ways we didn't expect. We do not take for granted this provision of God via others.

Today was a day filled with such things. None of them life changing, yet all life enriching. People sharing without being asked. Of their time. Of their encouragement. Of their wisdom. Of their resources.

It was a day that makes me go to bed so grateful for so much and so many.
And icing on the cake, a little sister who just can not keep from sneaking into big sister's bed after she is asleep.

So blessed.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Late for the bar scene

Tonight we went to a bar in downtown StL to see a friend's band play after I got off work . It was fun, though unbelievably loud. A whole lot of people in a small space with not nearly enough chairs and constant movement around us. It was very interesting to me, from both from the music standpoint... because I miss performing with a band alot... and from the angle of the culture side. I never had a phase of doing "the bar scene" and I am ok with that.

It was fun to watch the band play and hear them, though I would've enjoyed a more balanced sound situation so I could have enjoyed the vocals and the superb guitar licks. 70s and 80s rock cover band. Good times.

I learned that I am way older than I realized. I learned that I am strangely enamored with watching young people try to act grown up. And I remembered why I don't live downtown.

Overall I found it enjoyable, and I would have stayed longer if I hadn't needed to come home and let my gracious sister get home to her own bed. The ringing in my ears will last a while I think. But it was a fun night out, though not my new norm by any means.

Funny tidbits to know..
**Our double date couple for the evening...my lovely in laws. The friend playing is from their church.
**I ordered a drink, and sipped a little bit, until it dawned on me that I better check the nutrition facts on it. And after My Fitness Pal woke me up with the calorie and carb numbers, it was all tea and water for me after that. Priorities!!

So maybe we don't qualify as hip or happening or current in any way, but we had fun... Until it was time to get home to real life. And really, I prefer it anyway.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Trim time

We are waiting for haircuts for little girls. Just gotta get rid of the tangle possibilities. New 'do for the hot weather, still with length to do piggy tails, of course.

After pics later...

Edited to add.... Uh. Never mind. We waited 70 mins and left uncut still. That stuff makes me so grouchy. Tell me outright if you won't be able to keep your end of the deal. Don't make me wait with two hungry toddlers for over an hour and leave frustrated. Thanks so much.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Snippets versus stories

I’m still here. I’m not posting much. Well, here, that is.  I’ve been doing mini-updates and sharing bits of life on Twitter, because it’s just easier from my phone, and I rarely get to sit down and work on my computer. Even Blogger’s app is not all that pleasing to me.

So if you think I’m AWOL, check the Twitter box down in the right margin here or just pop over to www.twitter.com/mom2braskakiki for a run down.

Here’s a peek at what it looks like, maybe you missed some action…

image

I’ve debated doing the simple update thing here, instead of feeling like I have to post weightier content…  thoughts?  Would that be better than no content? Or should I keep it to the “real” stuff (which is way rare)?

Monday, June 25, 2012

My girls. Captured.

A couple of weeks ago we met up with Jodie from Fresh Art Photography.  The experience was lovely, good weather, the super cool and sweet demeanor of Jodie with the girls (while I was impatient, trying to get them to “put your hand down! Stand still! Put that tongue away!”).  The very gracious Jenny accompanied me to assist with Baby Patrick and the girls, so that I wouldn’t get swallowed up in the whole thing and miss the fun parts.

Today we were excited to hear that our sneak peek was available to see.  PLEASE go over and see the rest that she posted. They are just beyond precious. 

Braska’s glasses are Transitions, and I didn’t think about the fact that they would turn dark (cuz it’s their job!) being outside for photos.  But I actually like it because it’s they way she looks outside.  That’s what we see when we see them playing, so I kind of like that it’s captured.

RK4-sisters

We were graciously nominated for this session and I was really excited about seeing how Jodie captured them because I have been a big fan for a couple of years.  And she surpassed my expectations by FAR!

Captured. That’s the best thing about this.  Jodie captured their silliness, their cute smiles, their goofy giggles, and it all makes for an awesome composite of where life is right now. So I’m thankful to have these. SO thankful.  I knew they would be great. But I didn’t know how great GREAT can be.

Jodie even let me ask those pesky “what camera should I get” questions when she had far more exciting things to get on to doing. She provided a WEALTH of info, and I can’t wait til my camera fund is up to the point where I can buy what she recommended for what I’m wanting.  They do a VERY cool Fresh Class periodically, teaching people in an intimate fun setting how to use their DSLRs the way they’re best used. NOT on auto.  I am looking forward to enjoying that one of these days.

If you’re in StL or you will even be passing through StL in the future and you want excellent photos, this is where you will get them. Backed by the most personable, knowledgeable photog I know IRL.  Fresh Art Photography. You will NOT be disappointed.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The big event. MunchCon 2.0

We have been planning for almost two months.  And by we,  I mostly mean me. Because I wanted everyone to get to experience the trivia event we are throwing tonight for M's belated birthday party,  I ended up doing most everything myself. I'm flat worn out. And I am the MC,  so I need energy!

In just over 3 hours,  about 50 people will be arriving at our venue to enjoy this night with us. Work friends,  lots of family,  friends through DS,  friends from C-U,  and  friends we like because they are cool. Not that everyone there isn't cool,  mind you!

So here's hoping that everyone has a good time. If you are in South County and want to join us...  Drop me a note and you can come on by!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mini OCD

Some days Braska’s OCD tendencies are more frustrating than others.  Today is a “more” day. 

The need to touch the wall all the way down the hall as she goes to her room… difficult when there are two small boxes in the way. She could go around, but instead she starts and stops over and over and over. Like she’s going to be able to make her arm rubber this time and stretch to reach the wall the entire way.  This one in particular caused a lot of physical moving of this little picky one.  Luckily she’s light.

The need for all doors to be open fully or closed fully.  Sometimes I want the door just slightly ajar, for purposes of proper air conditioning flow, or so that I can hear our little buddy Patrick when he’s sleeping.  But no.  All the way open or all the way closed.  No matter what she’s told or what she agrees to.  She just.cannot.help.it.

There are several others.  But today I seem to have less patience for the quirks.  So these two seem like plenty.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gotta love "perfect"

Dentist appointment.
Good, painless care.
Reasonable cost even with private pay bill.
Walked away with the "perfect teeth" label.
Makes this mouth happy.

0613RK smile

Ok, I wasn’t going to post this, (I posted just the above blip, but now I’m changing my mind…adding the following self-deprecation. ) but I can’t resist telling on my silly self.  Plus, this is such a real look at how ridiculous I can be.  I stood for like EVER trying to get a proper shot of my teeth when I got home…  But they all went silly and blurry and self portraits are hard!

I just wanted to share two of the outtakes….

How can a person look a bit clueless and confused when that same person is the only one who knows what’s happening at that moment????  Huh?
rksmile2

And this is classic… M behind me enjoying (or being annoyed by) my goofy attempts at teeth-picture getting, accompanied by my goofy face.  Classic me. And him.
rksmile1

There ya go, your dose of goofy for the day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Deep breath

This week I’ll have 2 extra cuties for 4 days. 

Tonight … just relax a little and plan when I’m gonna get a few things done.

In the next few days…
Dentist appt for me
Photo shoot for the girls*
Three workouts
Cheer/tumbling for both girls
Swim lesson for Braska
An evening shift at the Y

(All of the above, except the *, will have to be done outside of the time I have the two extra cuties, in few available waking hours.)

Not to mention the dentist appointment for Kinlee that keeps being remembered and then forgotten before it gets scheduled.  Then there’s the big BIG birthday party event in less than two weeks… many hours of work and prep needed for that. And the housework. Oh, the housework.

Here’s to a good week!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What weekend?

I just finished a 5-hour shift at the Y.  Stopped by home to change clothes and now I am on my way to clean for a few hours.  Gotta love weekends.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Smelly and sore

I’m sunburned from playing in the pool.  I made sure the girls were all covered in spf 50 but didn’t remember myself. Of course. I’m paying royally for it.

To try to get through the burn quickly, I’m covered in Desitin. For the second day in a row.  And of course I could only find the original kind in the bathroom closet. Not the creamy lotion-ish kind. It’s helping the burn, but it sure does leave a girl feeling like a dork, covered in thick white goo, cringing when someone small comes flopping in for a hug.

And Kinlee, queen of the super-sensitive-nose club, keeps telling me that this “white medicine” on my skin stinks. Good times.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Old. New. Same. Different.

Almost 3 years ago we were blessed with this van, from my parents since they had just bought another Sienna and passed the well-used-and-loved one on to us.
oldvan1

Just this past week, in a matter of a few hours, we heard about another Sienna they were looking at, and they were proposing another switcheroo, giving the “old” one back to them for a great deal on a “new” one with 100,000 miles less.

After some debate, we decided to go for it.  We don’t NEED a new van at this point.  I really do LOVE this old, dented, 242,000-miles used van.  I’m fine to hold onto it for a while.  We have been through quite a few vehicle transactions in the last few years… remember this?

The final piece needed to talk me into it?  It was the same van.  I mean, a different van, but the same one.  One year older, but with 100,000 fewer miles.  Same interior, nicer exterior without the scratches dents and dings.  And for much less than we could consider replacing our van. 

So the same van, only better?  Ok, I can do that.

Last Wednesday, I drove the “old” one out to my brother’s house where my mom was visiting.  We made the switch, and here’s my “new” van.
newvan1
Looks a little familiar, eh? 

It looked like a gray-green Sienna club meeting in my brother’s driveway. Looking at this, I realize I should have at least washed mine before I handed it over.  Wow.
twovansback

So we have a new, older van that is the same, only different.  And I’m good with that. (The girls were ok with it, too.)

Now we need to get around to the actual money exchange, don’t we, Dad? 
It’s in the mail… Thanks for bringing the deal to us!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Matlock on Monday

My view from the treadmill... Burning calories and solving crimes.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

One. Done.

First visit with the personal trainer. Check. I'm jello. But its good.