Jan 29, 2008

Thumbs Up

1/29/2008 — cori

Evidently, Chloe is doing a great job listening to her brother. Bennett drew her a special picture to tell her so. In case you can't read phonetic writing it says, "Chloe, I command you. You have been great!" I believe he means 'commend you' - but he might also literally mean 'command you' since they've been playing many games where he's the boss. Who knows, either way, their play time together has been successful and garners two thumbs up. Chloe treasures this piece of artwork from her brother. It rests in the coveted spot on her shelf for 'where everything goes that I don't have a spot for' section. It's nice to know, that for one day, all is well in the house with the siblings. Love is in the air. That drawing just wreaks of love. I can only hope that one day I'll get a drawing like this from him too.

Jan 23, 2008

Best Princess Friends

1/23/2008 — cori

We are two peas in a pod, my little girl and me. She wants desperately to be me. She copies everything I do (with the exception on whining - I so don't whine...okay, maybe a little, but not in a high pitched, sing-songy kinda way). She wants to dress like me, walk like me, cook like me, talk like me, read like me. She's 3 going on 30. Even today she asked me when her prince will come. She just doesn't think she can wait any longer.

It's no wonder she thinks I have all the answers to life's questions. I've been writing down several of the adorable questions she's been asking me of late. Thankfully, these are easy ones that I know the answers to. Princess Mommy to the rescue!

*At McDonald's eating a happy meal. "Mommy does this circle meat make little girls muscle's bigger?" Oh yes, honey. Lot's of muscles from circle meat!

*Driving in the car together running errands. A look of deep contemplation etched in her face. "Mommy, why don't Daddy's get wedgies?" Obviously, she's been having wedgie issues. I recently let her in on the technical term for getting your panties in a wad in your behind. Now, I imagine her looking at everyone wondering if they do or don't get wedgies.

*I just finished a rather serious, frustrating talk with another small, boy member of the family (to remain nameless). I was very perturbed by his choices and my countenance as well as my face were reflecting this mood. Chloe, hating to see me upset, came up to me and asked, "Mommy, is there anything I need to say sorry for?" She thought her apology would make me happy again. I informed her that just because I was upset with her brother, does not mean I'm upset with her. You should have seen the look of relief cross her face. Whew!

*I was cuddling her in the morning and her feet were ice cold. I asked her why she didn't have her slippers on. "Mommy, Lava girl doesn't get cold cuz she's made of lava." Duh! I should have seen that one coming. Sometimes I just don't think.

*Upon seeing a messy room she declares, "Everything rat girl sees is junk." Love the superhero theme, but how on earth did you come up with these names?

*I recently showed Chloe that every time she sees a church, she'll see a steeple or cross. That cross should remind us of Jesus and what he did for us and how much he loves us. EVERYTIME since aforementioned educational moment she yells out, "Mommy! A cross! I LOVE Jesus!....and Santa!"

Jan 16, 2008

Chloe's Purse

1/16/2008 — cori

I'd like to take a minute to discuss my daughter's purses and the contents that lie therein. She is 3. She has 3 purses. Each purse holds a unique set of items. It appears that she can pick a purse pursuant to whatever mood she may be in on any particular day. I have never shown her the contents of my own purse. However, she is aware that I carry gum, money and keys since those items are forever coming in and out of my purse. Unfortunately, I do not own as many purses for as many years old that I am - that would be cool. I guess that habit might have to stop around 20 years old or something reasonable like that. Here we have purse number one:

Let's call this "The Princess Purse". You will see that there are times when you just can't have enough lipstick and you're not sure exactly which one you might need at any given time. Mind you, they are all clear, shiny and sparkly. But the packaging is quite different, as are the fragrances. The princess tin container is secretly housing two more variations of sparkly, princess lipgloss. Having a red permanent marker is always a plus for any three year old. I love the one earring...even I have that problem in my purse. A princess compact is perfect for double checking your princess perfect lips after multiple lipstick applications. And throwing on a good beaded necklace can dress up any outfit when you're in a bind. Let's move on to purse number two:

I like to call this "The Practical Purse". This is her oldest and most favorite purse. This one dates back to when she was at least one. This is her 'real mommy' purse. Notice the hand-me-down cell phone (that doesn't work), two sets of keys in case you loose one, gum, a blush brush, tic-tacs (evidently she hates bad breath), her Daddy's business card (never know when an opportunity might arise to do a little networking). A baby brush comes in handy if you have baby fine hair. A purple pencil is a must because there are always your ABC's to write down anywhere, anytime. And extra lego pieces...well, you just have to be prepared for anything. And lastly:

Here we have "The Personalized Purse". This is a treasured birthday party gift bag. It appears that we like to fill this one with....I don't really know any witty way to describe this one. It is what it is. Evidently she finds a need to carry these things around with her at random times. I'm sure some of the things in my purse may leave one speechless at times too. I just thought it was so funny to see her feminine personality take shape without so much as one lesson in how to organize or fill your purse. Some things are just inherent.

Jan 13, 2008

Performance Review

1/13/2008 — cori

Today I decided it was time to paint upstairs. So, in typical fashion I just did it. I tend to make quick decisions. As I was slathering the first layer of "Earthy Ocher" on my wall, Gavin comes up to me and says, "Mom, I hope one day I can find a wife as good as you."

"How sweet, thank you Honey. But do you mean as good a painter as I am?"

"No, I mean, someone as nice and loving and kind and as smart as you. You're a good Mommy. You know how you taught me that phrase 'a jack of all trades and a master of none'? That's you Mom. I think you know a little about everything. Look at what a good painter you are."

His timing is always impeccable. My heart was heavy today. I was in one of those moods where I felt all I've been doing lately is playing 'the bad guy' as the parent and constantly correcting, scolding and disciplining. And then BAM, out of the blue Gavin showers me with love and encouragement.

It's nice to know what your children are thinking. They don't have to like me...but it's nice to know they do. They just better be careful not to ask me too many questions that go beyond the scope of my wealth of knowledge. Afterall, I only know a little about a lot.

Dogs and Dolls Don't Mix

1/13/2008 — cori
Don't let the sweet, calm face on the left fool you. It was her that created the distorted, freaky face on the right. Can you imagine waking up in the morning to find your doll like this? Chloe is going to have doll issues for years to come.

Jan 10, 2008

My Big Boy

1/10/2008 — cori
This is what my firstborn looks like just days shy of turning 9 years old. I'm still in shock that I'm old enough to have a 9 year old. I remember turning 9. It's so much fun though! I love our conversations, his sense of humor, his thought process, who he is maturing into and his sensitivity. This is such an awesome age. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be his mom. God knew I needed him - he's taught me so much, ever since he was a baby.

Being the first, he's been my guinea pig, but he can even find the humor in that too. He's very patient with me and highly sensitive to my needs. He hates to see me sad and will do anything to help me feel happy again. He even finishes my sentences for me. I love watching his imagination and intelligence grow. I love how he consumes books and especially history (my favorite topic). He learns more than I can keep up with. Since he was a baby he has been highly driven. This made him very difficult as an infant - highly needy. But now I see why. He doesn't need pushing or prodding (only when it comes to cleaning his room). If he wants to know something, he finds out, he asks, he looks it up, he figures it out. I admire that in him. Thanks to his Daddy, he's becoming a huge computer whiz. He even teaches me things on the computer. He just can't get enough. Sometimes when I look at him now, I see this little baby and have to shake my head and refocus in order to see the big boy he is now.

He's taught me what the love of God feels like, he's shown me compassion when I didn't deserve it and forgiveness without hesitation. His love is unconditional. His trust in me is limitless. He thinks I'm the funniest person on earth and thankfully, he laughs at all my jokes. He treats me like a lady, thanks to his Daddy's beautiful example. I can barely remember life before him and I couldn't imagine my life without him. I'm a better person because I've had the chance to be his Mommy.

This morning, we had a rare cuddle time alone since Chloe and Bennett were still sleeping. He had alot on his mind to share with me. He says, "Mom, you know, I'm not a very good conversationalist." I told him that I understood perfectly because I'm not either. He went on to explain that he doesn't always know what to say to people. Ha! I know that is a gene I passed down. I encouraged him that if he was ever stuck about what to say to someone, just ask the person about themselves - people love to talk about themselves. I also told him that sometimes its okay to not talk and just sit and enjoy each other's company, just being together. Thank God for families and the only safe place to be yourself, whether that be when you feel quiet, silly, talkative or down.

Happy Birthday, Gavin. I love you as far away as Pluto is and back again!

Jan 8, 2008

Chloe Questions

1/08/2008 — cori

Within the past two days, I have had to be quick on my feet when it comes to giving answers a bout life's questions. Chloe has been pondering alot lately. Here are her latest questions:

1. "Mom, a wong time ago, did vey use to use leafs to wite wiv?" It took a while to go through the data processing center inside my brain and pass through the 'translator', but 5 minutes later I was able to understand the basis of the question. "No honey, a long time ago people used to write with quills. They look a little like leaves though, don't they?" Then we had a nice, lengthy discussion on the history of quills, what they're made of, what you dip them in and why they didn't use to have pens.

2. "Mom, can my pink teacher in charge of her own felf, or is her mommy still in charge of her?" This one caught me off guard. You see, her 'Pink Teacher' is in her 50's, but her Mom, the original dance instructor who started the school (and is in her 70's) still sits in on all the classes. Chloe gave her a Christmas gift and the grandmother sent her a thank you note. This is the only thing I could think of that sparked the question. I loved her outlook on who controls whom. :) I assured her that once you reach your 50's you can control your own self. I'm starting to wonder if she thinks I have control issues....just a guess.

3. "Mom, why did God make eyebrows?" I have no clue. There is no answer for that question. I could guess that maybe it's to catch the sweat that falls off our forehead, but she wouldn't want to hear that. She is a 'real princess' and 'real princesses' don't sweat. This was a good time to divert to the old stand by, "Because God made you that way sweetie and God must like eyebrows."

There are many things in life I just don't know. It also just so happens, that it is those very things that my children desire to know. Odd. Thank God for the internet!

Jan 6, 2008

My Personality

1/06/2008 — cori

This is a conversation that I just had with my eldest child. He was trying to compliment me, but I'm not so sure it comes across that way.

Gavin: "Mom. I really like your personality. It's very unique. One minute you're angry and the next minute you're happy. That's nice. I don't really know too many people like that."

Me: "What exactly is it that you like about my personality? The happy part or the angry part?"

Gavin: "I like it all."

Me: "So, are you telling me that I'm angry alot? Or do you think I'm happy more often than not?"

I do not think he was ready to analyze his statement to the depth I was wanting to go. So I let it drop. But inside I'm thinking to myself....mmm, lovely personality Cori!! Most people would refer to it as, Manic Depressive or PMS or crazy or hormonal. I've never heard anyone call it unique or even say they like it.

At least he tried. I'd rather hear that any day instead of, "What's your problem?" At least he made me laugh and helped swing my lovely personality pendulum to the other side - you know, the happy one.

New Year's Eve Insanity

1/06/2008 — cori

Hello...my name is Cori and I'm insane! I let my husband talk me into crazy things...but the average person doesn't realize that it's crazy until they're in the middle of the 'activity'. I guess love really is blind, because I should have seen this one coming.

At dinner time on this, the last day of the year, my dear husband decides it's time he confess a story to the children that dates back to the bygone era of his childhood. The kids sit spellbound. They love stories of Daddy when he was a little boy. Surprisingly, in all our years of marriage, I'd never heard this story. That tells me he must have been saving it for some special occasion. Unbeknownst to me, tonight was the occasion.

Once upon a time, as the story goes, when Daddy was just a wee little lad of 10 years of age, his brother (two years younger) and him were left home with a babysitter one fateful New Year's Eve night as his Mom went to a party for grown-ups. Evidently, the sitter was "super cool" and let the boys stay up all night. When the clock struck twelve, do you know what the babysitter proposed they all do?

Before I tell you, it's important that the reader know the location of this blessed event was in Marshall, Minnesota. This is an extremely cold climate this time of year and snow is a frequent visitor. That being said, do you know what they still did?

They ran around their apartment complex solely in their underwear and socks. As the story goes, there was a foot of snow to traverse through, but that only seemed to energize their midnight trek.

In response to this delightful little story, the kids laughed and talked about how fun it would be to play in snow (with proper attire, of course). They asked if Daddy was cold and if his Mommy knew about it. That's when he proposed a new tradition for our little family. With the scene already set and the kids eager for excitement he non-chalantly suggests we go on a little midnight walk when the clock strikes twelve.

I couldn't say 'no' even if I wanted to. The momentum and excitement of Daddy's story left the kids thirsty for adventure of their own. I figured no one would even stay awake that long anyways, so I cast my vote in favor of the escapade, even though it already had enough votes to win without mine. I wasn't about to be the lone practical one.

Chloe and Bennett (who both took naps earlier in the day), are still wide-eyed at 11:45pm. Gavin is dozing off and Chuck and I are singing "Edelweiss" as we watch "The Sound of Music". We figured a 3 hour movie would help keep us all awake. So, 5 minutes before midnight, we all donned our bathrobes and slippers and braved the 40 degree weather as we dared to be the first people in the neighborhood to be at the park on the first day of the new year.

Thus is how this wonderful, new year began for us. I can't help but think we've just begun another crazy tradition. I'm also thinking our neighbors might find us a bit 'odd'. But there you have it, the insanity and excitement that has come to dominate our little corner of the globe. I could probably accurately hypothesize that absolutely no one else in the entire world was walking to the park at midnight on New Year's Eve as part of their celebratory process.

Jan 2, 2008

Kind Words

1/02/2008 — cori

I'm under the notion that kids copy you more than they listen to what you tell them. Therefore, I am forever making my choices very cautiously. Many days I fail and they get an opportunity to practice forgiveness and grace with me. Then there are other days when I see the kindness, thoughtfulness, consideration and respect mirrored back at me (and sometimes toward each other). It warms my heart and helps remind me that all our (Chuck's and my) effort is not in vain (because many days it feels as though it is).

In our house, we're big on speaking kindly to one another since this is a simple, great way to show love. Chuck, ever the optimist, is the best at this. I've learned alot from him. I try to encourage the kids in things I catch them doing right instead of point out every little mistake. The hope here is, that maybe they'll show the same kindness to friends when I'm not around.

So, Chloe has finally caught on to our "psychology" and has begun asking me everyday, "Mommy, have I told you yet how boo-ti-ful you are today?" How can you have a bad day when it starts out like that?! Today she quantified it even more by including, "Mommy, do you know you are boo-ti-ful even when you are not a bride?" To her, the ultimate beauty is being a bride and yet here she was, bestowing upon me, the deepest compliment she could possibly find in her little world.

Kind words go a long way. Even though I've had to pick up two dog 'messes' in the house today, I'm not the slightest bit irritated because I feel 'boo-ti-ful'. My spirit is uplifted, there is peace in the house and the kids are encouraging each other (at least right now)...don't underestimate the power of kind words.

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