Saturday, March 1, 2014

Abby turns 7

Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains.

Abby, at the moment she turned 7.

It's so hard to believe that this little munchkin is ours. She is such a great person...feisty at times and stubborn as heck, but with a deep passion for the things and people she loves. I can't wait to see her continue to grow and blossom. I know we will butt heads at time (she gets her stubbornness from someone after all!) but I hope that she will never doubt how much I love her.

Her birthday was a few days ago. We celebrated with some classmates on the 21st with a party at the local bounce house, letting a bunch of 6 and 7 year olds bounce off some of that never-ending energy. :) Then on her actual birthday, we had a family dinner at a restaurant of her choice after dance class. She picked Red Lobster, which was absolutely packed! There were the four of us, plus my dad, my mother in law, my brother in law and our niece. We had a great time together.

It was a bit bittersweet though, being the first birthday in the family that we celebrated without my mom. I know were surrounded by her love though. I never doubt that.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Just a few updates

Hello from the frozen land of Michigan!

Firstly, I wanted to thank everyone who sent a message regarding my mom's passing. I am overwhelmed and humbled by the kindness that has been shown, both by people I may know in real life, but also by those who I have never officially met. This community has been so supportive and wonderful, and I really appreciate all of the kind words that have been shared!

It's so hard to believe that it has been almost 2 months since my mom died. It's still surreal, and I still almost expect to hear her voice on the line when my phone rings and I see "Mom & Dad" on the caller ID. We talk about her often, remembering her, especially with my children. Tomorrow is Abby's birthday and it will be a bittersweet day...it's the first family birthday since she died and it will be tough not having her at the family dinner. But we will all be together, and I know we will be surrounded by Mom's love.

Our days have continued to be busy, as normal. That never seems to change, right? The kids are just back to school today after a week off for their mid-winter recess. With all of the Snow Days and Cold Days we've had since the beginning of the year, more than once I've heard a parent grumble about the necessity of another week off. :) This morning, Davin fumbled down the stairs, hair sticking up all over and cheeks flushed with sleep, and the first thing he asked was whether there was a Snow Day today! Poor kid, no such luck, though it's turned cold again and there were flakes coming down as we put the kids on the bus this morning. We had a bit of a break in the weather for a couple days last week, turning everything to icy mush, but it's frozen again, with sheets of ice on roads and sidewalks. I normally don't mind winter TOO much, but like everyone else, I am so ready for spring and the sight of anything green!

Abby had been busy with dance classes. She is preparing for her first dance competition in a couple weeks, so I have been spending lots of time with E-6000 glue and rhinestones to add some sparkle to her costume and team jacket. :) Love those fumes!

Davin has joined the newly formed Cub Scout pack at his school. He has been so excited to join. The group is going through some expected growing pains, and I hope it settles soon. He has also signed up for baseball and that may interfere with scouts so that he can't carry both. But we'll cross that bridge when it comes.

School is going well for both of them. Abby loves her teacher and is thriving in the new school. We are working on developing her sight words skills and challenging her reading so she takes on new material rather than going the safe route with stories she is already familiar with. She isn't a child who likes to dive in to something she doesn't fully understand, which can make learning new things frustrating if she feels she isn't going to master it right away. This year Davin has found a few challenges that we are working on with him. His handwriting has never been great, but it's become more evident this year. He also tends to be distracted during class and has a harder time expressing details in his writing. He is definitely a "math" kid...he flies through his math work, doing the equations in his head and puzzling through story problems. We are working on having him slow down his writing so it's more legible and show his work during math. It's coming, though a little slowly.

If anyone has tips or materials that could help us, I am all ears! :)

As for me, it's a lot of the same old, same old. :) But between work, running the mom taxi, and attempting to keep the house somewhat clean (oy!), I am keeping my promise to myself to do a bit of crafting each day. I have reached the point that I can't just sit and watch tv at night...I need to have a bit of knitting or something else with me to keep my hands busy. I have some projects in progress, and I will spend a bit more time going over those in my next post. This time however, I just wanted to post a quick check-in that was family related. Hope you don't mind! :)

I hope all of you are well...that those of you stuck with this cold weather are bearing through alright, and those enjoying warmer temps can encourage Mother Nature to send a bit of it our way! :)


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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A new year, and a new way of life

Long time, no see, right?
I want to apologize for not posting for so long. Somehow the fall and start of winter got away from me, and suddenly we were wrapping up 2013.

I had planned to write about goals for 2014, but unfortunately, the start of 2014 has been, well, devastating. I unexpectedly lost my mother on January 2nd. She went to the hospital for an outpatient angioplasty on the artery in her knee on New Years Eve, and unfortunately there were some major complications. The doctors found additional blockages and although they tried to clear them, there was a blockage to the artery supplying blood to her bowels and intestines, and the systems had become necrotic and were shutting down. We were fortunate to spend her final hours with her, and I am grateful that my last words to her were "I love you".

There are so many more words to say, but frankly, I don't know how to say them. Losing my mother has been the most devastating thing I have ever experienced. It has also been the most humbling. The outpouring of love and support from family and friends has been overwhelming, and coming from what I always thought was a small circle, it has really humbled me. She touched so many lives in ways I couldn't have imagined. Usually it was in what many would feel were small things but when those things are gone, you realize how much of a difference it made to people.

Her memorial service was on Saturday the 11th. I had no idea how many people would come, but the entire afternoon I was met by people who came to express their sympathy and love for her and the rest of us. When we began the service, the entire room was full. It was amazing. My father, brother, husband and I all spoke, as well as a few of her friends. Their words were simple and loving and perfect. We shared tears and laughs together. After the service, many people came to my parents house to be with my dad. We shared more tears and laughs, were fortified by food and love. It was an overwhelming and exhausting day, but it was a perfect tribute to my mom.

I am still processing all of this. It's still very difficult to talk to people about. Today was my first real day back at work, and it was hard. I cry every day and I miss her so much. We're just taking things one day at a time, it's really all we can do, right?

(My mother, about 1977)



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Monday, November 4, 2013

The Best Moments


There are so many moments when we are running like chickens with our heads cut off, to school, work, getting things done around the house, kids activities, etc. But then there are the best moments, when we get to pause all of the busy times, and get to do things like this. I love it and cherish them. 

The Tigers are bringing sexy back...

So the Detroit Tigers got a new manager...


Based on all the chatter I've been seeing online, I think we can safely assume the next season of Tigers baseball will see a higher female demographic tuning in... :)

Welcome back to Detroit Brad Ausmus!

Happy Monday everyone!

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mmm...

It's a pumpkin bread kind of day and the house smells amazing! Happy Sunday everyone!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Building Bridges

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen this, but I haven't had a chance to share on here yet.

The kids are at a new school this year as part of a pilot Talented and Gifted program for the lower elementary. It's been a adjustment on various levels, but Davin and Abby are pretty go-with-the-flow kids, so it has been fairly smooth. They love their teachers and are making friends. The curriculum is a little different but they are settling into things pretty well.

Davin's class has been working on STEM projects, which is a new experience for us. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics. These kinds of things are right up Davin's alley - he loves them! The first project had very simple instructions: Create anything you like out of unsharpened pencils.

He started brainstorming. Race car? Helicopter? In the end we decided on a suspension bridge. Michigan has quite a famous suspension bridge, the Mackinac Bridge:


We have a soft spot for this bridge, since it marks the halfway point when we drive "Up North" to visit Andy's family. "Halfway" is about 5.5-6 hours of driving, by the way...so understandably, we are happy for a chance to get out of the car and stretch our legs a bit! :)

We spent a bit of time learning about suspension bridge engineering and physics. This website was really helpful to us as we learned how they work and the names of the various parts.

We then made a list of supplies for our own bridge and headed to our local Michaels! We needed:
Thin Balsa wood for the platform
Popsicle sticks
String
Paint (I have plenty of craft paint, but Davin wanted to pick out his own special color)
Pencils (which we already had, leftover from school supply shopping)

We got home and measured the lengths we needed. Thankfully, Balsa wood is very thin and can be cut with normal scissors. The pencils, however, took a little more muscle to cut, but eventually we got everything to the right length. I used a Crop-A-Dile to punch holes in the balsa wood for the string. Davin did a great job painting his pieces, while I used a hot glue gun to put together the two towers with pencils and popsicle sticks.

We then strung the black string (embroidery floss) through the holes and over the tops of the towers. I cut slits in the erasers at the tops of the pencils as anchors for the string. Once everything was dry, Davin had to test it out with a few of his Hot Wheels cars.

Everything worked great! The next day he carefully and oh so proudly carried it on the bus and delivered it to school. He has a new STEM project to work on, this time the assignment is to make anything he likes using toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls. He's already cooking on ideas, and I am sure will have just as much fun as he had with this project.

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