Grayish?

It’s interesting the way a child’s mind works. So simple at times yet so complicated. Or maybe it’s because I’m an adult I think it’s complicated. I guess they do tend to be pretty basic. Anyway that’s not my point at all.

The other day my girlfriend sent me an article about Mercury being in retrograde and that it essentially makes people kind of crazy. I believe it. Usually I am the epitome of understanding and patience but lately when it comes to other children I’d like to punch them. Not all but some. I know it’s terrible of me to say but I’m being honest. Let me throw this disclaimer out there, I would never punch anyone, especially a child. And again, back to my point.

Something happened today while we were at a birthday party. I overheard a conversation between my daughter, Lily, and another little girl ( a bit older than Lily). She asked Lily if her family was grayish. I could tell by Lily’s lack of response that she had no idea what the little girl was talking about. My hubby heard and was a bit thrown by the whole exchange, I think. I quickly jumped in for a couple reasons. First, I knew she would continue down this path and I knew Lily wouldn’t quite catch on to the line of questioning. Second, I wanted to have the conversation with her and not let it be left hanging in the balance. Clearly she was having thoughts about our family but maybe wasn’t sure who to ask.

I asked her if I had heard correctly that she asked Lily if her family was “grayish.” She said yes and immediately started to shy away. I told her it was a legitimate question and she should not be embarrassed. I said, “Did you ask that because I’m black and David is white?” Of course her response was a big nod of the head.

I took a breath and figured out how to approach the subject swiftly and to the point. No need to make a big deal out of it. I decided to use paint. I asked her to take look at my skin and said to her, “Well it’s not really black is it?” She shook her head no and I pointed out that my skin color was actually brown. I asked her if you mix brown paint with white paint what color do you get. Of course her answer was gray šŸ™‚ but I’m thinking she might have felt a bit put on the spot. I continued on that we actually wouldn’t get gray but a lighter version of the darker color and that’s what our family is. She got it…I think.

We are all different shades. We talk about being color blind and how we shouldn’t judge by ones skin color. But have we forgotten that when someone’s skin color isn’t the same as ours questions might arise? Maybe for most adults it’s not a big deal but we have to make sure for the young minds just learning the world we accept their questions with open hearts.

Oh and don’t worry I didn’t want to punch this beautiful mind with such a true question.

I Sell Juice!!!

Summer has finally arrived. What better way to spend a hot summer day than on the driveway selling juice?

On our way home from the Y, Liam said let’s have a juice stand. My first reaction was to say not today, but I took a moment before answering. I realized there was really no good reason for me to say no, so I said sure let’s do it!

He originally wanted to make blueberry and lemon juice but we didn’t have enough. We ended up freshly juicing oranges, carrots and apples with a splash of sparkling water. Delicious!

While I was juicing Liam was making his sign.

20140626-152515-55515664.jpg I gave him the letters to trace and he wrote very well. Proud mama!

We setup shop and waited. And waited some more. I was praying for a neighbor to come out.

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Then lo and behold my neighbor came over!! His first customer!! He was so very excited. Audrey was out helping at this point. I think having reinforcements made him feel a bit better.

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Between customers he would yell, “I sell juice.” Then he would get discouraged because nobody was coming. We talked about building his business and having to be patient waiting for his customers since he was a new business.

All in all, it was a great learning experience. He ended with four customers. One even tipped him. It’s all he can talk about and wants to have a juice stand every day.

Mom Fail: Bunny

LAL were given bunnies when I was pregnant. Liam and Lily love their bunnies beyond belief while Audrey could take it or leave it. Here is where my fail comes in.

Last week my friend gave us coupons to the circus. I figured, why not? The kids would get in free! How could I deny my munchkins their first circus? We planned to go but had the usual “try to get out of the house drama.” Lil and Liam both asked to bring their bunnies and I said no. Cue the tears. From both of them. So I folded in an effort to get out of the house. I told them both bunny was their responsibility and if they lose it, it’s on them.

We made it to the circus. Amidst the complaining it was too loud and the general needs of a four year when out in public we got through it. There were elephants, tigers ( we missed them because we were a but late), aerialists, clowns, motorcycles and the usual things you find at a circus. It was a nice afternoon. And of course once we left, LAL talked about how much they loved the circus. That through me for a loop because while under the tent Audrey was the only one mesmerized. Anyway we got into the car and Liam asked, “where’s bunny?” I said, “I don’t know. Where IS bunny?” He looked in the car, and we recounted getting into the car. At this point I couldn’t remember whether he had actually brought it or not. Then he said he had left it at home and didn’t bring it. I trusted his word though and we waited for parking lot traffic to die down.

I wish I had taken them back into look for bunny. Part of me knew it wasn’t at home but the girls were complaining and I just couldn’t be bothered. I also had the wherewithal, halfway through the show I thought to look around where we were sitting to make sure no bunnies were floating around. Then again as we were leaving I turned back to check again and there was nothing. This is why I believed he hadn’t brought it. When we got home bunny wasn’t home. Liam everyday since tells me how much he misses bunny and he doesn’t think he will ever see bunny again. It makes me so sad to my little guy hurting. He such a sweet boy. I wish I had just sucked it up and gone back in. Who knows if we would have found bunny but at least I would have tried. I know time will mend his broken heart but I wonder about mine. I feel like I failed my little guy.

Bad Guy Potion

The other morning Liam asked me if the bad guys were still here. I asked him, “What bad guys?” He looked at me and said, “Remember mama, we were on the stairs and they were behind us and they made us invisible?” At first, I was going to brush it off and disregard the bad guys. Then I thought about the night before.

Liam had come into our room several times. He came and snuggled with me for a bit and then took him back to his bed. A few minutes later he came back asking me to sit with him. I groggily obliged. Liam laid with his eyes wide open looking from side to side. He told me he didn’t like the star above his head so I turned ladybug (one of the best gifts we’ve ever gotten, thank you Jess) to give him new stars and he started to drift.

He must have had a bad dream. I told him the bad guys were gone and they won’t be coming back. He asked how I knew they weren’t going to come back. I said, “Well we’re going to make bad guy potion.” He was intrigued.

I ran down to the basement, grabbed some glitter, a few beads, glycerin and a spray bottle. First, I let each munchkin choose a “special jewel.” Next, I added water to the spray bottle and let them each shake some glitter into the bottle then their special jewel. After they did their jobs, I put in a few drops of glycerin so the sparkles don’t settle right away.

Now for the bad guy potion ritual. We all stood in front of the front door and they each sprayed one spray in front of the door. Then we went to the back door and sprayed that door. I figured the two major entrances should cover it. I told them the potion would travel all over the outside of the house and it was impenetrable to bad guys. Last but not least w had to seal the shield by eating ice cream!

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The next day Liam asked me if I saw any bad guys last night. I said I had not and asked if he had. With a big smile, he said, “No.”

Job done!!

Third Time’s a Charm

Happy New Year!

I actually started writing this letter after the 2013 Boston marathon and left it to rest. After reading it again, I realize it was written from a place of anger and confusion. I decided not to use my original and begin again. New beginnings. Or maybe it’s old beginnings with a fresh prospective, either way here I am.

As the saying goes, “Third time’s a charm.” Well, I am hoping it will be.

I ran my first Boston marathon in April of 2012. We had such a fair weathered training season I had a feeling race day might not be in our favor. That feeling was correct, coming by the way of heat. A whopping 92 degrees worth of heat!! There were many emails from the Boston Athletic Association telling me speed kills, be sure to hydrate but don’t over hydrate and if I’ve never run a marathon before consider deferring. I ran. I finished. And immediately decided I wanted to run again for a “normal” experience. There was no way Mother Nature would throw another 90 plus degree day at us again.

I was correct. She gave us a beautiful day but two sad souls had something else in mind. They took it upon themselves to take the glory from thousands of runners and turn a day of triumph into a day of fear. They did just that. Once again, I knew I had to run again.

Which brings me to today. I am training for the 2014 Boston marathon. There are three reasons I am running. First, to show the sad souls that dedication, pride and love trump fear…always. Second, to support this city. I am Boston strong! Most importantly, and why I’ve always run, to raise awareness about stroke. Over the past three years I’ve run various races for Tedy’s Team and The American Heart Association. When I started running for Tedy’s Team stroke was the third leading cause of death in the United States it has since dropped to number four. That being said, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds which means there is still work to be done. Please learn the warning signs we never know when we will need them.
F.A.S.T
Face Drooping ā€“ Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
Arm Weakness ā€“ Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech Difficulty ā€“ Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time to call 9-1-1 ā€“ If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Iā€™m asking for your support through your good thoughts and a generous donation to the American Stroke Association. I am especially proud to run on behalf of those I know personally and the many I do not who have had a stroke and desperately need our help. I’ll do all the hard work and you can run with me in spirit.

Donations can be made by clicking this link:
http://tedysteam2014.kintera.org/kristi

Lots of love and thank you for your support,
Kristi

P.S. Your tax-deductible contribution, sent as soon as possible, is greatly appreciated! Every dollar makes a difference toward stroke research and education. If your company has a matching gift program, please send me the matching gift form along with your check ā€“ and potentially double your donation!

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The Day After Christmas

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through house…yeah that’s all I got. But it really is the day after Christmas and it was a wonderful day!! LAL had a day filled with, cars, princesses, books, puzzles and most importantly family. David’s sister, mom and step father came over to spend the day with us.

Now that Christmas is over its time to reflect. A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a friend about the magic of Christmas. We were saying how, as adults, we get caught up in what did you get for whom, where we have to go, how are we going to afford everything we want to buy, are the kids going to be happy, etc… That’s not very magical. It’s so easy to get caught up in the what, rather than the who and why.

Last year I went crazy and bought LAL tons, too much to be completely honest. It was chaos here and talk about over stimulation. We made a decision at that point to keep Christmas simple going forward. My strategy this year was three gifts each plus stocking stuffers. Surprisingly, I actually kept to it!! I’m proud of myself. Christmas morning was much more manageable. They all loved their presents. Smiles all around.

Back to the magic. After that conversation, I figured maybe I should start making some magic and seeing the magic that is right under my nose. First, in an effort to teach LAL Christmas is not only about them, we took a charity ornament off the tree at the Y. We purchased a coat for a young boy. It’s definitely becoming more of a challenge telling three toddlers we’re not purchasing for them. But after some explaining they understood. We also made gifts for their grandparents along the lines of this from Pinterest. Sadly I think it only works with black permanent marker. We tried it with colored and it didn’t work out so well.

Something else that always warms my heart are Christmas lights. I personally don’t enjoy crazy over the top light displays. I’m more of a simple elegance type girl. This is how I decorated our house

20131226-115422.jpg I love seeing a lit up Christmas tree through people’s windows.

Every once in a while marketing teams hit the nail on the head with their holiday commercials. Here are my three favorites. Two of the three are from this. The coffee commercial is from a few years ago but never ceases to get me choked up.
Coffee

Air freshener

Computer

Though these commercials did not make me run out and purchase their merchandise, I do think they are very special.

And last but not least, Christmas PJs!!!!!! I don’t know why but for some reason I LOVE Christmas jammies. I’ve always done it for LAL but this year I stepped it up a notch and got them for David and I, too!!

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I hope you found the magic in your own special way.

Christmas Crafting

On Wednesday Audrey said, “Let’s go get a cwistmas twee.” At first, I was hesitant but then thought about it and realized I really didn’t have a reason for saying no. I said, “Okay let’s go!” She was surprised. We got in the car and headed to our local nursery to pick out a tree. LAL are like me they all wanted the 12 foot tree, I’ve already made the mistake of getting a tree that was too big once. The kids often ask who drew on the ceiling and I go into the story. We all agreed on one and chose an eight foot tree. Once we got home I put it in the stand and told LAL we couldn’t decorate until tomorrow so the the branches could settle. Now for the magic to begin…

Thursday LAL went to school and Cubby the elf went to work!!! By the time they came home to decorate our tree the house was decorated for Christmas. They were in awe when they walked through the door. They still are. I love that they are so proud of the work that Cubby did they show anyone who walks through the door multiple times. We put Christmas music on and got to decorating.

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Oh I’m completely off track I’m supposed to writing about crafting. Here it goes…

I love Pinterest! I love it for recipes, crafts, and anything really. One day I was looking for an easy DIY wreath from my front door. And I came across this. It looked simple enough. Everything looks simple on Pinterest though so I was hesitant which is why I didn’t take a ton of pictures of “the process”. Well I didn’t take any really. Ok one…here.

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That picture was really for me to see what it looked like. Not for blogging purposes. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to use my fancy camera and actually take decent photos. Anyway back to the story.

All I bought for this was a whole bunch of ornaments from the dollar store (I think I bought 15 tubes in different sizes), a glue gun, and a styrofoam wreath base. Then I started gluing. And that was it!!! All in all, I’d say it took me about two hours to complete. This is the finished product.

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Next time I’ll do a couple of things different. First, I’d spray paint the wreath base. When I look at it up close I can see some of the white. Which drives me bananas. But I’m trying to cut myself some slack since it’s my first one. Second, I’d cover the back with a piece of felt. I thoroughly dislike whenever I walk past my front door seeing the back of the wreath. Again rookie mistake so I’ll let it slide and adjust mine eventually.

If you’re up for it, this is an easy DIY. If not, you can buy one from me!!