Sunday, June 29, 2014


It's late and I can't sleep.  Today my baby learned a hard life lesson, and I feel awful. It is possible I feel worse than he does.

Today he learned that he won't always be good enough, and that there will be rejection in his life. He will try things, and he will fail.  That is a hard lesson for an eight year old.

I wonder if I should have sheltered him longer, not let him face something like this so young.  What else could I have done to make him more successful in this endeavor? Here I sit, instead of sleeping, wondering if I could have protected him, should have protected him just a little longer.  I wonder how this will affect him in the future.  Will he stop trying? Will he decide he can never be good enough? He is already the kid who is really hard on himself when he makes mistakes. What will this disappointment do to him? How will his confidence suffer? What do I do? What do I say? How do I make this right? How do I spin this? How do I fix his little broken heart?

I think I have said all of the right things so far, I've been supportive, realistic, encouraging.  Per his request, I've started the wheels in motion for more private lessons. I fed him pass after pass so he could practice his shot today. Even after his disappointment he wanted to practice, for next year. Then he cried, "I have to wait a whole year", as tears filled his eyes.

I can't bear to see the sadness in his heart.  If I could I would protect him forever. I know I can't. I can only pick up the pieces, and hold them together until they heal.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book giveaway winner

And the winner is...

Comment #3
Please contact me so I can get information to send you the books!!!

Congratulations!  and thanks to all who entered!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review: Travels with Gannon and Wyatt

I feel so lucky to be a part of this Clever Girls Campaign.  Any one who knows Ryan and Evan, knows just how much they love to read.  Finding a new series that is age appropriate, and challenging enough is always a struggle, so finding The Travels with Gannon and Wyatt,  by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet, is like a little gold mine.

We started reading the first book, Botswana, the moment the books arrived.  Ryan and Evan were immediately excited to find that Wyatt and Gannon are twins, just like they are.  As a Mom of twins, I loved that the boys described themselves as totally different personalities.  I have often supported and encouraged the differences in my boys as it can be very difficult to be a twin.  As fraternal twins, Ryan and Evan have it somewhat easier, they look different, but to always share a birthday, or to always have someone almost the same as you around all the time, it can be difficult. Gannon and Wyatt are both incredibly smart and creative, yet they are such individuals, what we all want for our kids.

Gannon and Wyatt bicker like twins, but also have a undeniable love for each other.  That love is evident when Wyatt gets sick. Gannon sits by his bedside, cares for him and is very stricken with worry. I love the dynamic between the boys, they tease, fight, but ultimately, they love.

On the back cover, the age range on these books states 9-12, which is appropriate.  There are intense themes, like Wyatt's illness, and the constant threat of death by wild animal, but they are managed in a manner that is not too frightening for my boys who are only 7. I read the books with the boys the first time, just to make sure there was nothing too scary for them. There has been nothing better than them coming to me with books in hand begging for me to read more Wyatt and Gannon.

While Wyatt and Gannon experience many scary things, poachers, tomb robbers and wild animals, I loved the way the authors addressed these issues.  Wyatt and Gannon are thoughtful and bright young men and their journal entries address conservation, protection of ancient artifacts and understanding of native cultures. While some of these topics are a bit intense, especially from my sheltered kids who watch minimal television and play zero video games, it does give us moments for frank discussion.  Because of the need to discuss some of these topics more in depth, I feel reading these books with younger kids is a must.

By far Botswana was our favorite, because the first one is always your favorite! But we thoroughly enjoyed the adventures in the Great Bear Rainforest (October, 2013) and Egypt (January, 2014) , and we look forward to continued adventures with Gannon and Wyatt.

One problem arising from these books?  Ryan and Evan really want to travel to Botswana, Canada and Egypt!

Check out the Travels with Gannon and Wyatt Facebook page, where they will be giving away three Kindle Fires! If traditional books are more your speed,  I will be giving away a copy of the three books to one lucky reader! Leave a comment and one randomly picked comment will be drawn on Monday, November 25, 2013 at 7PM Pacific.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We've come so far!

It was not long ago, about a year, that I worried almost daily about Ryan and his reading. He loved being read to, he tried very hard to read himself, but good golly, it was a struggle.  It was frustrating for both of us, I couldn't understand how he did not know that "train" we had just sounded out was the same "train" one line down, as we sounded it out all over again. And then to have his brother, reading everything in sight, with ease, oh my his poor little heart. This time in our lives was very exhausting.  It was really hard on his self esteem and it was really worrisome to me.

At some point last year Evan needed a little extra help with hockey and we put him in private lessons.  He needed some one on one time to figure out what he was supposed to be doing in practice.  During the 45 minutes Evan was on the ice, Ryan and I were given private time to work on his reading.  Seriously, best $40 a week ever spent!!!! Evan's skating and focus was 100% improved, and Ryan was FINALLY able to make a breakthrough with his reading.  Without Evan correcting him from the other room, it was all Ryan and he HAD to figure it out. I admit it was a good thing we were doing this in an ice arena because some days I had trouble keeping my cool, but by the end of five or six lessons, I could see a dramatic improvement.

We've had another MAJOR breakthrough!

Yesterday Ryan started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and tonight he finished it. That is 309 pages in two days!!!  THREE HUNDRED AND NINE!!!! This kid, who last year could barely read nine words in two days just read three hundred and nine pages in two days.  He was SO proud of himself.  I am pretty proud too...

..oh and Evan, he's on page 380 in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Stop, Look, Listen

Today I had one of those parenting moments.  One of the good ones, not one filled with regret, but thankfulness that I took a moment to listen.

The boys were going to spend the day with their old teacher, while I went to a cooking class.  They were so excited, I do not have the words for how much they love Ms. Erin.  They have been talking about it all week, looking forward to spending some time with her, seeing her house, telling her all about their summer.  Every day this summer one or both of the boys has said something to the effect of "you should send a picture of this to Ms. Erin" or "when I see Ms. Erin again..." So they love her and miss her.

This morning, I was in the shower. Now the shower is a wonderful place for me.  With the fan on and the water beating down on my head, I can barely hear what is going on in the living room with the kids.  I can hear yelling and screaming, but normal play, it is blissful silence.  By nature I only take about a 5 minute shower, and I don't think it is too much to ask to be left alone for those brief moments. At seven, I believe that the boys can function without me for those few minutes, but alas, it almost never happens, usually in those five minutes, someone has to visit me to tell me something very important. Usually I ask before they start talking too much, "Is this something that can wait until I get out of the shower in five minutes?!!!!" 99 times out of a hundred, the answer should be yes!

Today, like just most days, I was rudely interrupted while shampooing my hair by Ryan.  I could not hear him, as I started to be frustrated in my mind, I looked at his face.  It was full of joy and anticipation, almost like Christmas Morning.   He blurted out something about what he wanted to do with Ms. Erin's dog Huckleberry. He giggled, and went back to play.

I took a breath and spent the rest of the shower glad I did not make him wait to tell me that little bit of nothing,  because it was so important to him, and that is all that really matters.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Strange Dreams

I had a strange dream about the NICU the other night. 

I don't remember a lot about it, but I do remember that as a safety precaution, they had implemented an odd way of entering the NICU.  You sat on the end of a long bungee cord, and then let go.  You shot past multiple floors, again and again, eventually settling at the entrance to the NICU.  I remember feeling terror as I flung through what felt like a tiny hole between the floors.  I remember wondering how you would evacuate all the tiny babies in a system that required you holding on to a bungee for dear life. 

Reflecting on it now, the dream was much less about how to get in and out of the NICU, but how if feels when you are living in it. Great extremes.  Highs and lows. Bouncing from one end of the spectrum to the others. 

Even 7 years later, my subconscious is still processing the experience. 

(It may have something to do with the NICU picnic we just went to last weekend) =)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Evan at Seven

Evan my sweet, ball of fire, never ending source of entertainment. Evan my Joy. I cannot believe you are seven. Seven years ago you came bursting into my life.  How you were not Baby A I'll never know.  It is possible that you were pushing, kicking, and talking at Ryan so hard he just had to come out. 

Evan you wake up every morning and you are in fifth gear.  You don't slow down until you hit stop for the night and then you crash.  You still thrash and move in your sleep. The energy you have could power a small city.  If only I could harness it, I could reduce our electricity bills, and maybe even power my car! As much as sometimes I wish you would just sit still, I would never want to diminish the exuberance you attack everything with.

Evan you too are wicked smart.  It scares me sometimes!  You sat down the other day and read Tolkien.  Granted it was just the Hobbit, but seriously impressive man. When you are reading seems to be the only time you are quiet and still. Sometimes you hum, but usually you are quiet.  Your focus is amazing.  You have read entire chapter books, written for older kids, in a day. You never cease to amaze me. I am so glad you have been given the opportunity to flourish in school, and not be confined and disciplined to the point where you loose your joy.  I love that they embrace you for who you are!

Evan you still sing, but not like when you were younger.  You hum almost constantly.  You can hear a song/score once and it becomes part of your repertoire. We tried some music lessons, but you don't quite have the focus for the environment.  I want to find something for you this year to encourage your musical gene.

Evan, your vocabulary and your ability to formulate complex sentences always brings a smile to my face.  I recently likened you to Aaron Sorkin, an amazing writer of dialog for movies and television, one of my favorites. When you bust out a Sorkin Sentence, I wonder if your future holds writing, or the like.  I've always said you were my play by play man, but you've been talking about making movies a lot this year. I wonder.

Evan you are very sensitive, and I think you may get your feelings hurt often. You have lots of friends, but I am not sure they always know what to do with you.  With your vocabulary and your gift of gab you can overwhelm many. You are impatient and constantly need to be doing...I don't know where you got that!!! (I am sorry for that honey, I hope to teach you how to channel those attributes)

You are so strong, and determined.  You have wonderful opinions and you are not afraid to share them. You are fiercely loyal and passionate.

I love you my sweet, I love when you turn to me and say "I love you Mom" for no reason at all. I love that for a few weeks all you wanted was for me to cuddle you every night before bed. I know those moments will be fewer and fewer as you continue to grow older so I cherish every second.

Happy Birthday to my love bug.