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Happy Father’s Day!

Posted by Christine on June 27, 2011 in Kids, relationships

So this post is about a week late, but hey, it got done. Last weekend we celebrated father’s day and we were so happy that Cailin came down from NY to spend the weekend with us. The kids were super excited about her coming too and a little sad when she left. Ed left too on a trip at the same time and when Ed got home later in the week, Cara asked, “where’s Cailin?” I think she thought since Cailin left with him, she would return with him!

We enjoyed father’s day breakfast at the Original Pancake House. We spent the day swimming and hanging out at my parent’s house. Ed was very excited to receive tickets to all three Mets v. Rangers games as his present! We have waited eight years for the Mets to come back to Arlington.

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It was a baseball-sort-of-gift-giving weekend. We gave my Daddy tickets to the Pirates game for when we will be in Pittsburgh this summer along with a Pirates t-shirt. Grandpap loved seeing all the grandkids for Father’s Day!

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Take Me Out To The Ball Game (over and over and over again)

Posted by Christine on June 1, 2011 in Kids

You know how kids, and I guess some adults too, can get stuck on something. Like a song. And they listen to it over and over and over and over and over again? Well, that would be my kids with a CD we got with a book of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” The book was an Easter present for Sean from Grandma. Of course, we do like ball games and Sean and Cara know the words to the chorus. But now, thanks to Carly Simon’s rendition, we know all the words to the whole song that Jack Norworth wrote.

I love that Sean will change the words from time to time to meet his current sport needs. For example … “for it’s one, two, three, four quarters at the old basketball game!” Great imagination. I like to change the words too …

Katie Casey {Cara Kless} was baseball mad,image
Had the fever and had it bad.
Just to root for the home town crew,
Ev’ry cent, that Katie {Cara} spent.
On a Saturday her young beau
Called to see if she’d like to go
To see a show, but Miss Kate {Cara} said “No,
I’ll tell you what you can do.”

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.

Katie Casey {Cara Kless} saw all the games,
Knew the players by their first names.
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along,
She was strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Katie Casey {Cara Kless} knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song.

I did a little research on the song and this version was the original written in 1908, or at least pretty close to the original. Another version was written in 1927 that featured “Nelly Kelly”. I personally like Katie Casey better. It is said to have first been played at a MLB game in 1934. What I find really interesting is that Jack Norworth had never been to a MLB game prior to writing the song. Looks like he had a great imagination too.

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Random Hugs of Sean-ness

Posted by Christine on May 28, 2011 in Kids, relationships

 

DSC_0067Last Wednesday, May 25, was Sean’s last day of preschool. He has had a great year. I cannot believe how much he has learned. He knows all of his letters and all of their sounds. He is starting to read simple books and can sound out a lot of words. He also loves numbers. He can count by 5s and 10s to 100. He also can do some basic subtraction too. He is a sweet boy who gets along well with others. He loves to sing and in his graduation program did a wonderful job of singing, ringing bells and making hand motions. He has both boy friends and girl friends and enjoys listening to stories and playing any sport imaginable. I love watching him and his friends start to play a game of hide and seek. He is kind to his sister and loving to his parents and grandparents. To say I am proud, well, that would be a bit of an understatement. Probably one of my most favorite gestures that Sean does is his random hugs. From time to time, he will simply come up and give me a hug. Maybe it is when he feels loved. Or maybe it is when he feels pride in what is doing. Frankly, I don’t really care why he does it, just simply, that he does it. That he can express himself and that he expresses love. I want to raise a confident child who is a contributing member of society. The fact that he hugs me and then runs off to do something he enjoys tells me I am doing my job.

Congratulations on your preschool graduation, Sean. Mommy is so proud of you. And more importantly, I hope you are proud of yourself. xoxo.

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Year-End Teacher Gift

Posted by Christine on May 25, 2011 in craft, Kids, relationships

We have adored Sean’s teacher this year. She was the perfect fit for him. Her son plays pot2baseball and is a catcher for his school team. Apparently they have actual conversations about sports together – Sean and his teacher. I volunteered to be room mom and really enjoyed it. For the end of year, I wanted to do something special for his teacher. Something that was a good group gift that everyone could financially participate in, yet someone had the ability to personalize it. My friend Meg reminded me of the custom flower pots by Dixie Belle Gifts. I had bought a few these as gifts (and of course one for myself) about four years ago. I love them! I had a pot made for Sean’s teacher. Next, I made “flowers” for each of the kids. I scanned in pictures and added their photo to the flower. I sent home the flower and asked that the kids write a note on the back for their teacher.

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pot1I purchased the floral prongs for stems and put them in some floral foam in the pot. I covered the foam with a piece of burlap. Some of the kids brought extra gift cards. I took each of these gift cards and added them to that child’s “stem.” I am so pleased with how this turned out. I hope Miss Rita knows how much she meant to our family. Sean loved having her and we are so excited that Sean will go to the same school as Miss Rita’s kids – so we will get to still see her. Thank you for a great year!

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Celebrating History ~ Railcar turns 100

Posted by Christine on May 22, 2011 in Kids

train5For the last three years, Sean and I have been going to the “train story time” at the Plano Interurban Museum. The story time is one of the best and the story leader, Miss Genie, is absolutely fantastic. She is part of the North Texas story teller’s guild. In addition to stories, she has her dog puppet, “Rags”, does felt board stories and sings with the kids while playing her autoharp. Sometimes the train station is absolutely packed and sometimes only a few kids are there. After story time, we like to spend time in the one-room museum looking at the model trains and as Sean has gotten older, we do more of the interactive exhibits. Most story times, they will open up the railway car for you to go inside. We always love that part.

The railway car turned 100 this year and yesterday, May 21, they hosted a big celebration train1along with a pancake breakfast at Haggard Park. And we don’t like to miss out on a pancake breakfast! There were so many fun activities for the kids to do. Sean has been wanting to try fishing for awhile and now he had his chance. I don’t think he really enjoyed it and I ended up holding the pole. We did get to see a few kids catch some fish though. They had a trackless train ride for the kids in the parking lot, which we rode twice. We also ran into our friends the Dahlbergs and rode the train once with them.

 

train3Als0 in the parking lot, they had two fire engines. One from 1929 and one from 1982. I asked Sean what they had in common? Here is what he came up with: 1. Ladder 2. Red 3. Bell/siren 4. Wheels 5. Ax 6. Hose; we also learned that they both had a pump. I thought he did well coming up with a list!

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train2No birthday party would be complete without a cake! They had made a replica of the railway car for the top. First thing Sean asked, “Why don’t they have the train car’s number on the cake?” Again, I was impressed with his observation!

We all had a great time.

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It’s amazing how resilient kids are

Posted by Christine on May 18, 2011 in Kids

Whew. Over and done with. Cara came out of surgery just fine. Other than not not being able to feed her or give her anything to drink, it wasn’t that bad. We weren’t huge fans of coming out of the anesthesia, but so thankful everything was ok.

When they brought Cara back to us, she was not happy about still having her IV in her arm. She was bruised and bleeding some from her eye. I think the IV agitated her. Of course the instructions we were given were to “not let her cry” and “don’t touch her eye.” Easier said than done. Ed quickly got the nurse who came and pulled the IV out. That at least made her calm down some. After that, she was distracted with juice and a popsicle. Then, not so much on the distraction. She was so unhappy and possibly in pain. Probably confused. Poor little thing. We just wanted to get out of there and get home.

We were only at the hospital for about four hours. We got home and Cara was much better. Several times though she said “my eye hurts.” Poor little thing. My mom brought Sean by after pre-school to see her. It was good to see my buddy. Of course that revved Cara up even more. After Sean left and my friend Lara left (she brought us dinner!) we were able to calm down again. We watched a lot of tv and Cara fell asleep sitting up around 6:15 pm. She had a good night’s sleep.

We showed her the eye. You could just tell that she was not so sure what we had done to her. She kept looking at herself in the mirror. You could see the wheels turning. When we were in the hospital we told her that “the doctor is going to fix your eye.” I don’t think she thought he did a good job. She will heal quickly and thankfully will have no memory of this.

Love you baby girl. I am so proud of you. You are so brave and so strong.

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I just wish tomorrow was over.

Posted by Christine on May 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

I know I should focus just on today. And that I should be grateful just for today. I have worked hard at living in the moment and in the present. Trying hard not to dwell on the past and things I can’t change, nor wishing it was however many days, weeks, months from now. But this one is different.

Cara is having her second eye surgery tomorrow morning. It has been scheduled for May 16 for about six weeks now. I did really well by telling myself that I wasn’t going to let it consume me or be really worried about it until the week before. Well, like clockwork, this past Monday I had major anxiety about the surgery. It didn’t help that Ed was out of town and both kids were at pre-school. And I was home alone. I did feel a lot better as soon as I got Sean and Cara from school.

The rest of the week hasn’t been much better. I wake up numerous times during the night and consequently feel exhausted during the day. And now we are just one day out. One day from surgery. I know the procedure is minor compared to what some kids go through. But she is my child. My baby. I have worked at occupying myself for every moment the last few days. Tonight is no different. Uncle Chaz and Aunt Doll are visiting from Pittsburgh and everyone is coming to our home for dinner tonight. My mom is spending the night to take care of Sean in the morning and get him to school. Every moment is planned.

I am hoping I can sleep some tonight, but I know I will nap with Cara tomorrow. After. When we are home. Away from the hospital.

My one vivid memory of the last surgery is when they wheeled her away. image10-months old, and she turned around and reached for me. Couldn’t help but cry. Please take care of my baby girl. Please guide the surgeon’s steady hand. Please let Cara know that we are there for her. That she is loved. I love you Cara Lyn.

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Crafty Cards

Posted by Christine on May 2, 2011 in craft, obsession

Among my numerous obsessions is an obsession for paper. I love it. Cards, gift wrap, scrapbook paper. You name it, I love it. I am a sporadic scrapbooker. Yet, I have an unbelievable amount of supplies. Remember, obsession. I just can’t help myself. I do try to use my supply whenever I can, especially for cards. As my husband remarks, “Thank you for saving us so much money by not purchasing cards at the store.” ha ha. In a future post I will be sure to take pictures of the paper/supply situation. Here is a card I made for a baby shower.

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My most favorite paper manufacturer is Basic Grey. This card features their Lemonade line. I love how all the papers coordinate and go together. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of scrapbooking. I used glossy accents to go over the letters “welcome”. I love the sweet owl hair clip, which doubled as an embellishment on the card.

Crafting is definitely an outlet for me. I love seeing the end product, which I am proud to give. (OK, frankly, sometimes it is hard to give away something I have made. Even a card.)

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Tuck this away in my heart …

Posted by Christine on May 1, 2011 in Kids

One of the main reasons I wanted to have a blog was to record the cute stories of the kids. I love how inquisitive they are and the questions they ask. So, here this is from today.

Background: Ed left this morning, a Sunday, for a five-day trip. Usually his trips are three days long and they don’t involve a weekend day. While Sean was finishing his breakfast he was talking about his dad being gone. And here is how the conversation went.

Sean: “Mom, what’s your favorite part of Daddy being at home?”

Me: “I really like at the end of the day when we go to bed and we talk about our day and things that we are thinking about.”

Sean: “That sounds nice.”

Me: “What is your favorite part of Daddy being at home?”

Sean: “I love it when we play outside in the backyard. Especially baseball. And basketball. And soccer. And hockey. And definitely baseball.”

Here’s to playing outside!

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A Phone Call is Worth a Million Emails

Posted by Christine on April 30, 2011 in relationships

For the last couple of months, I have been writing a white paper for a customer. It is a project that I normally would steer away from, but I like this person and they would need me to write some success stories in the future, something I like doing. We started off with an interview so I could understand what it was my customer saw as the end result. Next, I wrote a draft. While the message was not succinct, I went ahead and sent it off to him for review anyway. I prefer to start with too much content and then edit down from there. He had a lot of good ideas and thoughts, I was just having trouble weaving them into one cohesive piece.

Then the editing process started. And, I didn’t ask who would be involved in that process. Mistake #1.

There were several people involved, both inside and outside his firm. Guess what? They all had very different opinions as to what should be included. I would get draft after draft back with contradictory edit marks. And I would respond by email and the customer would respond back via email. Mistake #2.

In my mind, I started to doubt myself and feel like I was not living up to his initial expectation. Plus, I was concerned that the lack of completion on this project would reflect on how I work in general. This was not going well. Sad smile

Finally, after a month (yes, I know, a month), of back and forth drafts, I picked up the phone and called. Not sure why a call made my heart rate go up and give me a small knot in my stomach, but it did.

What a relief to hear the customer say himself that this project had grown “arms and legs” meaning the scope was completely different than what we started with. We worked out a plan for going forward and I feel a lot better about the project and he does too.

Lesson learned: I use email as a crutch. If there is any sort of confusion, I need to pick up the phone and call.

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