Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Summer, Glitz, and Smart kids

Our family enjoyed a busy Memorial Day weekend. It seemed we were always on the go, and now that the weekend is over I am beat and finding myself very tired compared to the norm. I so wanted to scrap tonight. It's 10 p.m. and I just finished helping Kyle with a Powerpoint presentation on Navy ships and aircraft for a classroom presentation. I love the people I meet on the message boards - my friend Kristi Bergin-Smith assisted with the class project by sending photos her husband had sent her from where he is stationed. May God keep Dennis and all of our military safe and bring them home to their families!
Take a look at the great new product sent to me by Glitz Designs - I love it so! I love the bright colors mixed with muted tones, lovin' the cards and droolin' to use the Glitz Netz - can't wait to play with it all!Tonight, however, I am too tired. I want to be overflowing with mojo when I play with these products as I want to send the layout images back to Laura, who is so sweet! For tonight I am just going to continue with the "tidying of the creative station" and pull photos to go with the product colors, and perhaps sketch a few ideas.

Why is it that the end of the school year seems so busy? Jesse and I are busy planning how we will juggle schedules. We're going to work in shifts this summer and avoid the entire summer babysitter dilemma. Yes, we will save money, but I am worried about Jesse burning out with his "before dawn" work hours. The kids will also have to adjust to the fact that daddy will be too tired to stay up and play with them at night.

Today I wrote a letter to our principal at the elementary school to see if it is still possible to have Abigail tested for early Kindergarten. She doesn't turn 5 until October - but she is SO ready for school. I had given this thought much earlier in the year, and sought advice from others. The school gifted teacher had very little to offer for suggestions, and indicated that nothing is offered until third grade. After asking other moms for their opinion I decided to just wait, as I certainly was not in a hurry to see my baby girl board a school bus this fall. However, Abby continues to amaze me with her spelling, reading and counting - and the girl has been a social butterfly for as long as she could talk and walk. I realized that our holding Abby back is purely selfish, and in all likelihood - not in her best interest. I wrote a letter to the principal, as required, but we are way past the due date for this request, so I am not sure they will do any testing at this point.

If not we will just make the best of it, and make sure she is challenged here at home. The girl is totally into the learning thing. Kyle brings home his spelling words and Abby takes the list, spells out the word and wants to know what it is. I give her the answer with a smile, but suggest we continue focusing on the three and four letter words. Since the age of two Abigail has taken at least one book to bed with her every night - so much for stuffed animals or dolls, eh? It was an early indication that our girl was going to be above average in the department of smarts.

As I did some reading on the internet today in regards to gifted children, and read the list of how to determine if your child is ready for kindergarten, I noted that Abigail exceeds many of the kindergarten expectations. Count to 10? How about 113? Spell their name? Yes, hers, and mine, and Kyle's, her dad's, and at least 15 other words. She recites our address and phone number in a made up song. Identifying shapes and basic colors has been mastered since age 2. I remember being surprised at how early she could identify gray, brown, and other colors not included in the primary and secondary categories. Today she put a 50 piece puzzle of the U.S. together in less than 15 minutes. She is independent - not wanting any help in doing things. Her small size can certainly fool people as to her age, but once she starts talking it's pretty obvious our little girl is a big girl, and proud of that fact. I really do hope that our school will be able to keep up with her!

In the meantime we are in prayer that God will put Abby where she needs to be. Whether she begins kindergarten this fall or ends up waiting another year. We know that God is in control.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Scrap time today!

Friday I spent the entire, gorgeous day making graduation cards for a consignment job with the local, new coffeehouse in town. I made about 20 cards! I hope they get noticed and sell. Part of the proceeds help my niece with funding for Schools for Haiti.

I have been working with some fabulous papers from Creative Imaginations Fresh line for Scraptalk- just love the colors. Several were in muted shades of blue and brown - a favorite combo of mine. I worked on these last week and posted them in the Scraptalk gallery.

Today I had a blast working with the line containing the hot pink and girly colors - too much fun! I also incorporated a few challenges from Busy Bee Scrapbooking. The first was to make something out of chipboard - I couldn't resist making a crown for Abigail's head in a photo taken at swim lessons this past week.

Yesterday I spent the entire day working outdoors - weeding flower beds and transplanting perennials, and planting the flowers that I just love from Vermon View Greenhouse. Of course I had to take photos - I am so attracted to the hot pink colors. As I look at my flowers freshly planted in pots - they just glow. Especially the geranium planted high on a corner of the deck - it just glows with the background of green pines behind it. It seems to be waving to the hummingbirds- here I am! I know I was buzzed by a hummingbird in the past week or so - I hope he flies over soon - I am sure he will notice that I have planted food for him!

I had to create a layout with some of the flower photos I took - a digitally created collage of hot pink flowers. I have been saving my plant ID markers for a long time to use in a layout. Finally did it, using those from the flowers planted yesterday. Welcome to a glimpse of my garden!

Friday, May 11, 2007

On Becoming A Mother

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. – Rajneesh

Oh how I remember becoming a mother….well, actually I don’t recall the exact moment as I was anesthetized for an C-section. My son was late… and the doctor said it was time. Come to find out that little guy inside me had turned himself around. Many efforts were made to turn the baby to no avail, and the monitor indicated it was time. I was carted off for a C-section, and resisted the insistencies of anesthesia. I wanted to see my baby born!

I remember clearly the doctor asking, “can you feel this” (as he pressed the scalpel against my bulging tummy)– oh, a little prick - “no prob Doc – get my baby outta there!” You see, I have always had a high tolerance for pain and I wasn’t going to let a little poke stop me from seeing that miraculous moment. But miss it I did…the last words I remember hearing…:”if she can feel that give her a general.” I drifted off.

Next thing I remember I was in a hospital room. My father and niece were there along with my husband, but not my mother. Nope – my mom was at an all important bowling tournament, and besides, our son was one of many grandchildren. Still, I remember the disappointment at my mother not being present for the birth of my first child. As I think back on that day over 9 years ago I am amused – in her own quiet way my mother can be amusing. Although she missed the birth of my son she has been and is a wonderful grandmother and I cherish times our children spend with their grandparents.

Being a new mom was not easy. This week I created a layout called “These Hands” http://scraptalk.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=22679&cat=879&limit=recent and I was reminded of how scary being a new parent was. It did not help that our baby had colic. My husband worked second shift and I had all I could do to keep sane until he came home and I could hand over the crying baby and escape for a bit. Mornings were a blessing, however, and our little boy was as precious as any baby could be. In “Discover” I imagine Kyle is checking out the mobile hanging over his crib, or hey, most likely – eyeing that contraption mom has placed in front of her face before blasting him with a light. For all you moms out there – colic does pass! I may not miraculously disappear at 3 months – but doesn’t hang on a whole lot longer unless there is really an allergy situation. If you have a difficult baby the best thing I can advise is to get a support group. I had no one to call on for relief. My parents lived too far away. From 1 pm to after midnight I had no break. Everyone I knew worked – who could I call at 9 pm when I had had enough? My advice –before you give birth find out who is willing to give you a hand at night if your baby has colic. I have also since discovered the wonders of chiropractic care for babies - colic to ear infections! Kyle had wedged his head in my pelvis bones - I shudder when I watch the birth video - they had to pry him out and then he loosened with a huge jerk. His poor little body needed an adjustment from day one, and had I known that our first months together may have been more peaceful.

Nine years later my troublesome baby baby has grown into a very kind and compassionate young man. He is my helper, my cuddler, and a lover of all God’s creatures – just like I was as a kid. Right now he wants to be a veterinarian, he writes stories and he draws – all reflections of who I was as a child. I am amazed at how he is so much like me. Thankfully there is the gentle and patient father, who can counter my not so good traits. (ha ha)

We’re also blessed with a precious little girl – whom God chose for our family after many, many nights of tears and prayer for God to give me another baby. My mother didn’t miss her arrival – and in fact an entourage of people paraded to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago the day Abigail was due to fly in from Seoul, South Korea.

What a wonderful feeling I had on Mother’s Day in 2003 – our baby girl had had some weeks to settle in and it was like she had always been a part of our family. I had never felt so blessed and complete in my life. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, and for those of you who wish to be moms – stay fervent in prayer, and remember this verse from Hebrews 11:1 that got me through my wait for a daughter: “…faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” God knows the desires of our hearts, He wipes away our tears and delivers hope to all of His children.