Monday, March 2, 2015

Dear Man Who Called My Son Ray Lewis

Dear Man who Called My Son Ray Lewis:
Sir, I was furious as I listened to your name calling and shouting at my son's basketball game Saturday. It was an intense basketball game, that had both teams fighting until the buzzer, after the last second of the SECOND overtime. I listened to you throughout the whole game from 5 seats over shout with your buddies that the Refs calls were wrong, that we were intentional fouling, and that our kids play dirty.
These kids are 8 - 9 year old boys.
They in no way are perfect.
But in no way are they intentionally trying to foul.
They are learning.
Both of the teams were fouling if you didn't notice.
When my kid got his second foul and you shouted "take Ray Lewis out" it infuriated me.  My hands
were shaking as I typed a text to my husband across the court telling him what you were saying.  And maybe you said it for no one to hear.  (Then you need to work on your whispering)
But my daughter then asked "who is Ray Lewis?"
She then asked if she could cheer really loud for her brother out there to drown you out.
(proud momma moment right there!)
I also don't know if you meant it to be malicious.  Maybe it was a compliment.
I am just informing you that the boys you are shouting to on the court are young ball players.
All of the boys, yours and ours.
Yes, my son fouls.
He likes to go for the ball and when he is sloppy he fouls.  We talk to him regularly about this and he is learning.  All the boys are.  But for you to shout mean things from 10 feet away at my son on the court is not okay.
We need to be encouraging to these boys.  They are not playing in the NCAA championship or the NBA AllStar Game.  They are playing a Saturday afternoon game in third grade.
I just want you to go to the next game and cheer.  Cheer for your team.  Encourage the boys to put their hands up or get back on defense.  But keep the negative comments and name calling out.
My husband went up to you after the game and talked to you about your comments.  I am very proud of him for doing that and sticking up for our son and trying to get you to change your behavior in the future.  I just hope you read this and know all the kids out there are someone's kid, just maybe the family sitting beside you and I wouldn't shout mean things to your son out there.  SO don't do it to mine.

Rant Over.
Spread love not hate.

Sincerely,
Mama Bear

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Skidamarink

I love you in the morning
& in the afternoon
I love you in the evening
and underneath the moon.  

Skidamarink a dink a dink
Skidamarink a doo.
I love you.
 Apologies for the preschool sing along, 
but we do have a singing 4 year old in the house. 
This tune so adequately describes my love for this little girl. 
My Gigi. 
I cannot believe she turns 8 tomorrow. 
 This girl made me a mom. 
I know moms usually reserve this for the oldest of their children. 
The child who they gave birth to first. 
Well, obviously my situation is a little different in that my oldest three children 
came into my life all on the same day. 
This girl though. 
This girl was placed in my lap 5 1/2 years ago. 
She was the first of her siblings that I met, and lets say that smile melted my heart. 
 As a mother I have experienced love in a few different ways. 
Some love is gradual, like how a book transforms into something you can't put down by chapter 3.
Gradual love is strong because it is something that blossoms and when you finally accept 
each other you know it is forever. 
Then there is the love that is instant.  
Love at first sight.  
Gigi had me at "hello."
Seriously, look at those cheeks. 
You think her mouth would hurt from as much smiling as this girl does. 
 Gigi has always had her own sense of style. 
She is all girl. 
She prefers skirts over pants, 
sparkle over anything "blah,
and she believes you can never have enough accessories. 
 Happy Birthday baby girl. 
Keep smiling and being who you are. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Farewell to Parenthood

Spoiler:  Don't read this if you haven't watched Parenthood.
I don't want to ruin it for you because it is the best show on television right now. 
(for one more night :-(  )

Yes, this post is about the TV show. 
I have blogged about it before. 
I LOVE Parenthood, and cannot believe that it is ending. 
The hubby and I have watched this show from the beginning, falling in love 
with Victor's adoption storyline, feeling heartbreak as Max struggled in a public school, 
and happily cheering as Sarah and Hank fell in love. 
Am I too emotional invested in this show? 
Yes. 
But it is good   scratch that, GREAT television and 
is something an American family can relate too. 
Real problems, real struggles, no zombies or unimaginable disasters to 
make it over the top.
Yes, Downtown Abbey is a favorite show of mine too, but is hard to 
relate to Lady Mary Crawley when she has maids to put on her shoes 
and a lady's maid at her every beck and call. 
Unlike my life, putting on boots with strewn lego pieces in them (Ouch) and 
4 children who refuse to pick up any of their toys.  
Last night I caught up on my Parenthood episodes.  
I had not watched the last three episodes.  
When my hubby asked me if I was caught up for the finale tonight, 
I had to tell him no.  I have not been emotionally ready for it. 
Silly.  But I know what is going to happen.  
It's like a train I can't stop and it brings 
back a lot of emotions for me. 
Maybe some that I have never dealt with. 
Their father in a hospital bed sick, running out of options. 
So last night I watched the last three episodes and balled my eyes out.  
I resisted the urge to go downstairs and eat my feelings. 
I cried for these fictional people on TV that were seeing their hero (their dad) 
get sicker and sicker before their eyes. 
I sobbed like a baby when Zeke said "I can hardly wait to walk you down the aisle, "
to his daughter. 
It's been almost four years since I have lost my dad. 
It still hurts.  I can still remember everything from that last week of his life. 
The utter pain I felt, and I wasn't the one who was dying. 
This is where I say thank you to my husband and in-laws, who took care of my four little ones 
so I could be by my dad's side.  They said nothing as I ran off to the hospital to be a 
daughter to the most amazing person I know just a little longer. 

So, last night I was a puddle.  
Some people have posted selfies of them crying from the last few episodes. 
There was no way.  I was full on ugly crying here. 
The wadded up tissues on the floor beside my bed looked like a dozen people had a really bad cold. 
Thank goodness hubby wasn't in the room.  He would have laughed. 
It's a sport for the kids and him to see how long it takes me to cry in sad movies/tv shows/commercials. 
But this morning when I told him I finally watched the episodes, 
all he did was open his arms for me to hug him. 
Of course I cried some more. 
I am a crier. 

So tonight is the night. 
I will have a new box of tissues beside me. 
I may even open up a bottle of wine to ease the pain, 
because it is sad to see this story end.  
But it is only fiction, I have to tell this to myself. 
Because they really show how it really feels... to go through life. 


P.S. I get emotionally depressed when I finish a good book too....

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Good Game

So if you are asking where I've been, the almost certain answer is "Basketball."
Whether it is practice, scrimmage or a game, I have my hands full 
with three elementary school kids in basketball. 
They all love the game. 
They can't wait to go to practice and talk all day about the upcoming game. 
  I'm a proud basketball parent.  
It doesn't matter if they make a basket or score a point. 
When they cheer for their team and high five their teammates, that makes me smile the most. 
We are so basketball obsessed that my son is DVR'ing NBA and College hoops games.  
He watches intently at how the big guys play and then calls mom in to see the plays 
I can't miss.  "Mom you have to come in here 
and come see this dunk, it's awesome!"
He is beyond determined to dunk someday. 
Every time I see my kids play I am shocked at how far they've come.  
From the little kids running around with no clue what to do with the ball once they got it in their hands. 
check out this video of Bubba's first game at 4 years old.  
You'll know which one is him on the court.  
Just look for the kids whose jersey is bigger than him. 
 Now they are running plays, grabbing rebounds, and boxing out when they remember. 
It is so fascinating to watch. 
Where did my babies go?
They have great friends/teammates that make going to practice more 
fun than hanging out at home with mom. 
We have invested in lots of money in deodorant, shoe stink powder, and 
 water bottles.... but I don't mind they are having a blast! 
  Their endurance to play a whole game and not complain one bit when the coach puts them in
is so awesome.  They run suicides at practice with smiles laughing at the end. 
Even my Gigi who doesn't like to sweat, is sporting a jersey and pulling down rebounds. 
The only difference between my two daughter's teams is the rainbow of colors 
of socks and shoes the younger girls wear.  
Seriously every color of the rainbow... sometimes all on one player.

So if you are looking for me from November to March.... I'm at basketball. 
Reliving my glory days, showing off my shot that was never as good in high school as it is now.  LOL
Let's play! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Using my Voice

Anyone who knows us, knows that we love adoption.  We wouldn't be a family without adoption, and that I cannot imagine.  I love hearing people's stories of adoption.  How families were created in such amazingly unique ways and EVERY story is different.  The problem is, that adoption isn't always an option for every wannabe family because of the cost.  Adoption is expensive.
That is why I am so in love with organizations that raise funds for couples hoping to adopt.  Every little bit helps.  In comes Subsidy Shades to help families lessen the financial burden.

{Me in my Crystal Aviators}
Through Instagram I came across Subsidy Shades.  (I can go on and on about my love for IG)
Melissa started Subsidy Shades to raise funds for her family's second adoption.  This mother
warrior did what she needed to do to expand her family.  She just did it in an utterly cute 
and adorable way.  
Shades. 
Cute Affordable Sunglasses. 
For mommy, daddy, and baby. 
Free shipping too! 
So I am using my voice and spreading the word
about a fantastic way to help others. 
A way to change people's lives.   

Now which pair to get my girls?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Being a Voice

In December 2013, I came across Ali Edwards and her blog for word of the year. 
She calls it her One Little Word. 
I was instantly intrigued.  
I embraced this new way of taking on New Year's Resolutions.  
Not setting goals, that sadly I end up falling short of year after year,
but using a word to navigate you through a year.  Push you in mysterious ways.
I was inspired by her words and way of finding meaning in this one little word throughout the year. 
In 2013, after contemplating and really over thinking it I chose my word.... SPARK. 
I had my word posted so I would see it every day and the word's meaning 
transformed over the course of the year.  I was ambitious and energetic seeing 
how my life, from new hobbies to my faith really did spark throughout the year. 
{read my 2013 thoughts here}

In 2014, my word was LIFE. 
I really wanted to have a cool word, but as January approached and I reflected 
on 2013 and looked to what I saw in 2014 this word kept being in the forefront. 
The first thing on my list for 2014 was to take care of me.  
I had been neglecting myself and putting all my energy in taking care of my family. 
I am ashamed to admit it, but until last year I hadn't been to a Doctor since we moved to the 
Quad Cities.  I hadn't seen a gynecologist since I had Lily.  Sad truth. 
So 2014 was to take care of me and take care of my LIFE. 
I finally got a physical, have a family doctor for the hubs and I, 
saw a gynecologist (ugh, pap smear), and here's the kicker took time for myself. 
I found myself taking more mommy breaks. 
(Hello, trip to the Mediterranean)
Saying "yes" to more Mom's night out.
Not feeling guilty for going on a run over the weekend when hubs was home.
I actually shocked myself when I ran 500 miles this year.  
I couldn't have done that in the past... I wouldn't have found it necessary. 
But taking care of me has become as much of a priority as taking care of my family. 
This year 2015, my chosen one little word is VOICE. 
I am looking forward to seeing how this word appears and directs me in 2015. 
Discovering my voice and being a voice for others. 
Keeping Shel Silverstein's poem in my head this year,
I am ready for a year of more personal growth. 
Being a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and human being.
That is what I am striving for.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Buckeye Proud

So the Buckeyes play a BIG game tonight. 
Our family is appropriately dressed in our scarlet and gray best and 
Hang on Sloopy is playing in the background. 
Whether bad parenting or great parenting (you be the judge) we 
have certainly raised some Ohio State proud kids.  
One of our first acts as parents was to take the kid's to Columbus 
(on one of daddy's business trips) and show them campus. 
The place where mommy and daddy went to school.  
 
 {proud OSU grads}
  
  As an OSU student I had gone to many Buckeye home games, but 
I was never more excited then walking on the Horseshoe turf with my kids. 
The kids 
I listened to a video today of a Buckeye player who has always dreamed of 
playing for the Buckeyes.  He talked about this being his dream come true, ever since he 
watched the 2002 National Championship. 
(He was in the second grade)
Yikes, I think of college being just a couple of years ago.... but that does not seem to be the case. 
(I was a Junior at Ohio State the year we won)
I will be thinking of that young man tonight as my son watches in awe as his Buckeyes 
play for the National title.  Win or lose, we will be proud of our Buckeyes. 
We will cheer for them as they take on the Ducks.  
They got this far, beating out over a hundred other teams to play in this game. 
So bring on the game.... O-H