Sunday, July 29, 2012


I have had all four of my children on my mind lately.  Each one goes through trials and tribulations, success and triumphs, at different times and each one needs me in very different ways at these times, depending on the situation.  They each also need different things from me.  One needs me to make few demands.  Another needs me to push hard, even if it's pushing away at times, to succeed as an individual person.  Yet another needs me for guidance more often than the others and the fourth needs me for a multitude of things, all of which seem to be ever changing.  I try very hard to be what I feel they need.  They may get angry at me.  They may feel like I favor another because I didn't do the same thing in a similar situation.  They may feel like I interfere too much or don't get involved enough.  The truth of the matter is, it's a fine line to walk and a tough job 24/7.  What they need is always changing.  What they get, however, never is.  They have my unconditional, undying love always, no matter what they do or where they go.  I know they may doubt my response at times, but I do not think any of them ever doubt my love.

Success comes in many different forms.  Getting good grades in school.  Not getting involved in drugs or getting into trouble with the law.  Making good choices.  Becoming independent.  Standing up for what is right.  Being kind to one another...and kind to themselves.  In their own way, each one of my four children is a success and I, their mother, am proud.  Life is easier for some people.  Choices made aren't always the right ones, but the character it takes to admit your faults is to be commended.  Are the girls moving in the right direction as adults?  Are the boys too attached to me or are they moving toward independence?  I think they are!

As a mother, I have not been perfect.  Sometimes I was too strict and sometimes I wasn't strict enough.  I too make poor choices and the stakes are high when it's someone else's life your choice affects.  One thing is certain, however.  Every choice I made I made with love.  Each of my children are a success in my eyes.  They are kind, passionate, loving, beautiful inside and out.  They look after one another and they are protective of me.  So before you make a comment about any of my children that may not be a positive one or may make it seem that I have not succeeded as a parent, think again.  I have been a success and I am PROUD!  Just look at them!! Every mother should be so lucky.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chesapeake Beach Waterpark

We did a quick 1/2 day trip today as a family to Chesapeake Beach Waterpark.  It's just a small waterpark with 2 slides and a lazy river, but we had fun relaxing on our innertubes, spending time together and keeping cool in the water.  It's nice to escape, even for a few hours, and it's always nice to spend a little time with my boys.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

London 2012

Today I had all three of my "daycampers" so we pulled out all the stops in our Olympic fun.  After some morning free time where they made bead creatures for me to iron they had breakfast and then did a fun Olympics booklet from together then headed outside to have a friendly game of croquet.  When they came inside we got out our plain tshirts, acrylic paint and tp rolls and they had fun making Olympic shirts with the rings and London 2012 (done by me) on them to wear this afternoon for our craft store "field trip".   The shirts were super easy and they turned out great.  The kids couldn't stop saying "cool!" and I deemed it a success!

Fun in the pool came next while I grabbed some quiet time to make up their Olympic medal board pieces for this afternoon then out to the picnic table where they enjoyed Go For the Gold Mac N Cheese and USA Brownies, hand decorated with icing and red, white and blue sugars and stars.  When we finished lunch we packed everything up, put on our now dry Olympic Tshirts and went to AC Moore's free craft time to make duct tape medals, not the best craft they had ever offered and the lady who was supposed to be in charge and help us called out and left someone there who had no idea how to make the craft.  We muddled through and headed back home where the kids worked on coloring flags from various countries to make their own Medal Boards to keep track of the number of gold medals each country earned over the course of the Olympic Summer Games.  I have seen this done two ways.  The first, which is the way I chose, is to put the flags in rows on tag board and then cut small packets of post it notes to put next to each flag.  As the country  finishes the day's sports you can add yesterday's medals to today's medals, pull off the top post it note and put the new number of gold medals in it's place.  We did nine countries, having at least one country representing each of the continents that are participating and for which the five rings represent (Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia).  Another way that I saw on is to put up the names of the continents around the house and then, as a country from that continent medals, put a star underneath.  If I were only doing this with my son I think I would have used the bulletin board, put about six countries to represent, and then made rows for all three medals for each country.  Having the daycamp kids, I wanted something more portable so they could take theirs home with them.

So now it's 3:40 and my daycamp fun is coming to an end.  I am tired, but I know that the kids had a fun day and they may have learned something in the process.  They are back to making beads and watching their "Movie of the Day", which is Jumanji today.  The two "campers" have never seen it so I think that they will probably sit still and watch since it's so exciting and a bit crazy.  The rest of my day consists of an early dinner so my oldest son can eat before leaving for work and then heading out to the Oriole game tonight with my husband, little son, mother in law and neighbor.  It's absolutely gorgeous outside today and I'm looking forward to a pleasant weather night and a good game for the Birds.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Perfect Job

Today the Orioles are back in town and my son went back to work.  He is loving his job as a tarp crew member and I am constantly reminded of how perfect this job is for my sports fanatic son. When he first started there he was a bit starstruck, texting and calling us often to tell us that this pitcher said hello or that he got to see Derek Jeter walk by.  Now, a few months later, he's firmly entrenched in the organization.  The pitchers in the bull pen know him by name, he can be seen at least for a few seconds each night on TV and we even got to see him get in on a team cheer in the bull pen after an especially well timed home run.  He name drops at dinner, telling us how this pitcher's wife is having a baby this week and what this player did during his high school years.  He has realized that these young men, some only a few years older than himself, are alot like him.  He still thinks they are special, but he also sees that they are human, with good days and bad, just like everyone else.

Today our son called his dad and posted on Facebook that he played basketball with a Cy Young winning pitcher.  NBD.  (That's no big deal for us who don't speak "text")  Then he posted that he got to shag fly balls in the outfield during batting practice.  How cool is that?  What baseball loving kid doesn't dream of walking on the field at Camden Yards, let alone getting the opportunity to talk to the players and play a little catch.  I am so proud of my son and so pleased that he has gotten this opportunity.  He is a fantastic young man and if anyone deserved this kind of job, he does.  I hope it serves him well for many years to come.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Beauty of Natalie

Last night my granddaughter came over to spend a few hours.  I like when I have her on the weekend evenings because I have more free time to enjoy her.  I rearranged her room yesterday so that I could fit her kitchen set in there and went through her toys to pack away alot of the "baby" toys for the next little one who comes along.  I brought her into her room when her momma dropped her off and she went right to her kitchen, pulling open all the doors and looking for the treasures.  I walked away and came back a few minutes later and peeked in her room and it was one of those moments parents and grandparents have every once in awhile to quietly observe and appreciate what God has given you.  There she was, soft and chubby, standing on sturdy little legs in lavender leggings and a feminine little summer top.  Her arms still have five rolls, but they are tanned...except for in the creases of the when she reaches out you can see the stripes of dark and light skin :-)  She has the most gorgeous dark hair with soft curls in the back.  Her face is stunning, as are her very blue eyes.  I  stood quiet for a minute, marveling at her.  I've was there when she came into this world and now, almost fourteen months later, I have been privileged to watch her transform from tiny, helpless infant to strong, sturdy toddler who is into everything. I am used to being someone's grandmother now, although it does still seem surreal at times.  I wouldn't know what to do if she wasn't an almost daily fixture in my life now.  I understand the difference in parenting and grandparenting and, while both have their advantages, grandparenting is definitely the way to go for me now.  I care for her daily, so I do have to discipline and "parent", but it's so nice to be able to know the heavy stuff is being cared for by my very capable daughter and that when a tough day is getting the best of me, my tiny terror will go home.  She is a miracle, though, and a beautiful one at that.  I look at her and I am in awe of her.  I have started a new chapter in my life and I am very excited to see where the rest will take me.  I plan to be right there for the good times and the bad, the ballet practices, the tball games, the recorder concerts in a too hot auditorium....  Not just the big stuff, but the small stuff too.  I want her to always feel that Nana's house is just like home, someplace where she is always welcome and where there will always be a grandmother here for whatever she needs.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tough Stretch

It's been a tough stretch of time here and I haven't been able to think clearly enough to do much between anxiety that has popped up and exhaustion from putting up our 15ft x 4ft Intex easy set pool alone (kids bailed and hubby hurt his back).  We've seen our fair share of aches and illnesses, with my husband being out of work for a week with a bad back, a doctor's visit for me because of anxiety, headaches etc and now a nice summer cold.  But enough!  I have decided today I am going to rest in my chair, catch up on paperwork, work on upcoming meetings and field trips and watch trashy tv :-).  My granddaughter has other things in mind, but I'm trying to convince her it's a lazy kind of day.

Starting tomorrow we are going to be focusing on the summer Olympics, which kick off on July 27.  Tomorrow we are going to watch Comcast On Demand's lineup of 3 minute specials on London and the Olympics and I am going to print worksheets from for England's geography and Olympic history.  We are going to color the flag of England and do a craft, which I need to find today.  Then I plan to let the kids watch a few of the Olympic trials, which I have been taping, but which are also on Comcast On Demand.  Next week we are making shirts, crafts and playing some fun games to continue the fun.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Heat Wave

Today is day 11 of an extreme heat wave that has hit the Maryland area....actually many areas across the country.  We have seen above 100 degree temperatures, heat indexes up to 110 and no rain except for the terrible thunderstorm last Friday night that knocked out power to 500,000 people in the Maryland area and has had my husband working 16 hour days ever since.

The boys and I have done okay, although we are getting pretty bored.  We have had easy dinners that didn't require the oven, kept the house dark and the doors closed tight.  We ordered a pool, but that won't be in til next week.  I know my older son is itching to get to college, but I've enjoyed having him here.  Him and I had crabs and the three of us watched Elf on Friday night and celebrated Christmas in July.  The little one and I have watch Journey 2 at least five times.  I've watched Something Borrowed, a few Ghost Hunters, alot of Golden Girls, a few Toddlers and Tiaras and other mindless tv.  We all went bowling on Thursday or Friday.  I can't remember when...all the days blend together.  On July 4th we braved the heat, got some pizza and, with my daughter, granddaughter and mother in law, watched the Arbutus 4th of July parade and melted ever so slowly.  Yesterday we met my husband for lunch ( a rare day sighting of the father figure here lately!) and got to meet some nice men from Massachusetts who are working with him during all this storm trouble work.  They had great accents, laughed easily and bought our lunch.  Last night Dad even made it home by 8pm with enough time to tuck in the little one and watch a baseball game with the older.

They say today is the last day of the heat wave and that storms will break the back of it later today.  I hope they aren't severe because my husband and all these other BGE men and their out of state counterparts need a break.  I haven't been feeling well lately so it's time to make an appointment with the doctor.  I am not good at going to the doctor and I can't tell you the last time I was there...probably two years ago.  I need some bloodwork, a few tests, probably some meds of some sort.  I am feeling anxious, crabby, and have aches and pains....hmmmm... could be I am just getting old :-)