Negotiating peace treaties and the Barbie isle at Target …

I am pretty darn sure that my ability to get Reese to leave the Barbie isle at Target has groomed me for a career move I never imagined for myself.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have the skills to negotiate peace treaties!!!

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Delightfully surprised …

Yesterday I hinted (blatantly suggested) to Sid that she should bake me a King Arthur coffeecake mix that I had bought some time ago. She didn’t seem to go for the idea, and I forgot all about it. Last night I had a late hair appointment and literally just threw all the dinner dishes into the sink before leaving for the salon. I got home just in time to put Reese to bed. I accidentally fell asleep with her and when I woke up later I was completely out of it. Forgetting all about the dirty dinner dishes.

When I woke up this morning I saw a text on my phone from Sid that said, “You’re welcome”. I was a little baffled but concluded that it must have been in relation to me thanking her for helping me so much yesterday. I would later find out that I was wrong about that when Libs came into my bedroom and asked if the coffeecake on the counter in the kitchen was for breakfast or for something special.

WHAT?!?!

There’s a coffeecake on the counter!?!?

Sure enough, not only was there a delicious coffeecake on the counter, but all my dinner dishes had been washed! WOW!

I know that I say this a lot, but I really mean it. I have the most thoughtful kids in the world. They are always doing kind things for me and make me feel special. To say I appreciate them, seems like an understatement. They truly are THE BEST and I love them more than words could ever express.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are delightfully surprised!!!

They went on without us …

We rang in the New Year last night in a way that we normally don’t. With a cough, fever and chills. Yuck! We usually go to the movies with family friends, then we all head over to a local restaurant for a late dinner and New Year’s Eve festivities. We have celebrated this way for years now and it has been a lot of fun. We went to college with these friends and our kids have grown up together. We have literally created a lifetime of memories with them. As our kids have gotten older our time together has changed. Sometimes the older kids just can’t make it. Whether they are off at college or at work things are missed … and that’s OK. Life does that sometimes. But what happened last night couldn’t have made me happier. Not the sick part! Despite their parents being sick and older siblings being gone the other kids still all got together. That’s right! They went to the movies and then went back to our friends’ home for s’mores and hung out until after midnight. Isn’t that incredible?!?! Even without their parents they still continued on with our little tradition. It made us sick parents super happy because THAT is what decades of friendship looks like.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you go on without them!!!

The beauty and joy of growth …

Yesterday I had a telephone conversation with Sid while she was on her way to meet her boyfriend. She was taking the BART in San Francisco and telling me departure times and other little details. She was a pro at San Francisco public transit. I remembered our first time on BART together while we were touring colleges. This was several years go and I worried that this type of transportation would be too overwhelming for her. I was wrong to have worried. My, how times have changed.

Yesterday I had a telephone conversation with George while he was out picking out some luggage at a store in Petaluma. LUGGAGE. My son was buying LUGGAGE. He drives himself to stores, buys luggage, gets himself to airports and flies alone now. This is my child who NEVER paid attention to details or his surroundings. The one I worried about for the longest when he crossed streets. My, how times have changed.

Yesterday when I picked Libs up from school she got into my car. We looked at each other with relief and gave a “high -five”. We discussed how WE MADE IT through this HELLA crazy week. When Libs was little she was my LAZIEST child. She and I always joke that she sat on the couch for five years. Ah, the good ole days, HA! Now she takes AP classes, is in her school’s Digital Media Program, volunteers, sings and performs with the Women’s Advanced Choir and is on the tennis team. My, how times have changed.

I bought Reese a Barbie Accessory Advent Calendar this year. She has loved it! Every morning she opens it along with her advent book box and puts a new number ornament on her little wooden tree. We were in a rush yesterday morning so we decided to wait until later when she had time to enjoy it. Last night after her bath she did her Christmas countdown regime. She was very happy about the new Barbie running shoes she just opened up and was excitedly telling everyone. She was standing down the hallway and I had to stop. Her past and present collided. I remembered a scene from last Christmas Eve that I took a picture of and put in a photobook. It was of Reese as she excitedly stood in the same hallway as we were leaving to go see Christmas lights. She seemed so much taller than the little girl I remembered last year. Her speech has immensely improved. And her capabilities have grown by leaps and bounds. My, how times have changed.

Yesterday, was filled with precious memories of years past and of the beauty that comes with change. I am STRUCK by moments like these. I’m so grateful to experience them. They are a treasure. I love being MOM to these four incredible souls. They truly complete me. And their growth brings me nothing but pure JOY.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you grow!!!

Keeping my cool, parenting and IKEA …

In the past I have described parenting as a cross between two professions. The first, an air traffic controller and, the second, a hostage negotiator. After 20 years of parenting experience I am pretty sure I could do both those jobs simultaneously. My proof? Not just anyone can get a HANGRY 8 year old to stop alternating between laying on the floor, climbing the walls (literally) and throwing stuffed animals into the high ceilings of IKEA … without breaking a sweat.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you keep your cool!!!

Feeling very special …

My kids are honestly incredible people. Yesterday was another busy day for us. With two kids moving out this week and trying to coordinate travel plans and accommodations for everyone it's been NUTS. Every time I felt like I could set a sold plan in place someone had a problem or something didn't work. Ugh. Then I had all the finalizing of paperwork. When you have four kids, trust me, there will always be one more form to complete and an email to write. ALWAYS. Especially right before school starts. Again, ugh. I got a lot done yesterday and I was a little frazzled, to say the least. But last night, these kids of mine, made my entire day better. Heck, they made it great!

I was about to make dinner when they told me that they wanted me to stop and go get ready because George was going to take me out to dinner and a movie. They had planned it all out together. Libs and Sid were going to watch Reese and I was going to have a nice night out with my son before he leaves for college. WOW! I was honestly so taken back I could hardly speak. It was one of those silent shocked moments. Never did I expect them to do something like that for me. In the midst of all our craziness, life changes and moving boxes, my kids made sure that they thought of me. I know they see how much I struggle sometimes. My burdens. My pain. And they definitely know how emotional I've been lately. But as a mom, I never think about those things. I just do what has to be done (and probably go a little overboard) to make sure their lives go smoothly and that their needs are taken care of. It's just a natural mom function. Like blinking, but with your heart. Last night my kids took care of me and gave me a night to relax and enjoy myself. It was so kind. And I can't think of a moment that it was more needed. And appreciated. I know I say it a lot, but I really do have the greatest kids in the world.

Well, I hope you all have a day where the people you love most make you feel very special!!!

I can’t imagine what it will be like …

Next Sunday I will wake up to two sleeping children. Not four. Sid will be in her new house and George will be settled into his dorm. It will be the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. I'm trying very hard to picture what this new chapter will look like. What it will sound like. And what it will feel like. But I just can't. I'm not sure if it's my heart or my head that can't fully grasp it all. But I can understand why I can't. It's just too big. It's all so emotionally charged. And it's unfamiliar. A life not yet experienced. A life unknown. I'm literally at a loss at what to expect. So, I guess I'll have to wait to see what it's like when I wake up next Sunday morning. BIG sigh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can't imagine what it will be like!!!