TWO for TWOS-Day - Olympic Champions

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My thanks to Nastia Liukin for demonstrating that even tall girls can be Olympic champions. My Two for TWOS-Day this week is all about Katie and her gymnastics and she and Nastia above are the extent of the "TWO-some-ness" for this post. Make sure you visit Deanna at Eight is Great to check out some real two-somes.

Yes, I am one of those mother's that does and plans to live through their daughter. When I was in elementarty school all the cool girls were awesome at gymnastics. I was great in soccer, but gymnastics was not my thing. There's this little thing called upper body strength that apparently is a big plus when trying to excel in gymnastics. But from a very young age, Katie has exceled in all things physical, climbing up ladders and swinging on bars at the playground the same summer she started walking. She seemed to have a natural propensity towards gymnastics and if she lived in China I'm sure the country would have snatched her away from me to start training for their national team. Knowing early on that she was going to be quite tall and that both sides of her family are burdened with big boobs, I figured gymnastics was just the thing to normal her know - because most gymnasts are short and flat-chested ;).

We enrolled Katie in Little Gym when she was 1 1/2. Here's some blast from the past pics from her past gymnastic shows. Her first 2 sessions were a mommy and me type class.

Spring 2006

Winter 2007

At 2 1/2 we moved her up to the next level. It's supposed to start at 3, but she and a several of her little friends had done 2 or more sessions already and needed a little more challenge than the mommy and me class provided. Her first session by herself was a little challenging for her instructors. Although strength wise she was able to move up. She and her friends still liked to run around a lot.

Spring 2007

And finally, this past Saturday she has her most recent show.

I've been so proud of her lately because she is just really clicking with her class. She is finally old enough to follow directions a little better and stay on track with the practice rotations instead of running around like a crazy girl. Last night she started her first class of the Spring session. She is back with the instructor that she had over the summer and he hasn't seen Katie much since then except for a few make up classes. I could tell throughout the class that she was working extra hard and noticed her looking over at her teacher's a few times to make sure they were watching. I was amazed when she jumped off the high beam and landed perfectly on both feet without falling and I noticed one teacher turn to the other and say..did you just SEE that? So at the end of class Mr. Owen came out to speak with the parents and when he finished up talking about what they did that night he goes, "and KATIE..where is Katie's mom? She was AWESOME! Oh my gosh has she improved!" I was such a proud mommy.

Here are some videos of her show from Saturday...and I know, yeah all the buildup...but just remember she's only 3..she's not doing cartwheels or anything yet :) She cracks me up on the parallel bar thing. Last night she was supposed to be walking through and pushing up with both arms to work on "strong arms", instead she did the same thing she's doing here. Bar routine as choreographed by Katie..she cracks me up!

So, while watching Nastia Liukin this past summer and being so excited that a tall girl COULD make it to the Olympics (and it didn't hurt that she's blond too which made me even more inclined to picture Katie there) I realized that her target team would be in 2024, when she'll be 19 years old. Unfortunately, there is a requirement that they be at least 16 in the year of the competition. So, she likely doesn't have a chance since it seems that that the younger you are the more of an advantage there is. (Yes, I know I'm nuts to have actually done the math too see what year she could hypothetically be in the Olympics!)

But I guess it doesn't REALLY matter anyway (chuckle to myself). After her show Saturday, we had a birthday party to for our friend Ariana. She had her party at another gym in town. They have the whole inflatable bounce thing, but for the last rotation they brought them onto the floor to bounce down the trampoline track and jump into a huge foam pool.

They had the option to jump on the trampline or climb a ladder to jump off from a high perch. Well Katie got in line for the trampoline first, but then suprised me as she got in line for the ladder (which was mostly being used by Ariana's older brother Dylan and his friends). Well after doing each one once, jumping off is all she wanted to do. I think she had more turns than anyone because she kept butting in line (and they wouldn't let the parents down there and they party people weren't saying anything). She was jumping SO high and being outright hard-core. Not sure if you can make it out, but she's climbing up in the first one and mid-air in the second.

So, Chuck, our friend CJ's dad is watching her and starts cracking up. He told me he's going to be turning on the tv in about 15 years and see Katie winning the X Games. That I can forget about the Olympics that it won't be enough extreme for Katie. He's probably right, and it made me laugh because when I was having my final meeting with the early intervention team when she was aging out of her speech therapy we were discussing the therapist's notice of some sensory concerns with Katie. I had filled out a test of sorts and her most extreme abnormal result was her high level of "sensory-seeking". I had mentioned that I really didn't find it impacting in her everyday life. At the time, attention span when sitting in class was the possible concern but she was doing ok with that. Our caseworker laughed and said she had never really thought about it, but all those Extreme athletes would probably all be considered "sensory-seekers". So there you go...I guess she should start training for the X games.


Baby Picture Sunday - Bundled Up!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

YAY - Debi's Baby Picture Sunday is back this week. I couldn't agree with her more when she says that she loves doing these because she loves looking through her old photos. I think this is my favorite little meme because searching through my old pics to find ones for a certain theme is both challenging AND brings back so many memories.

This week, we're showing pics of our little ones bundled up....and bear with me because I found a few...:)

This first one is Katie hanging out in the front yard with Daddy December of 2005 while he put Christmas lights up.

Ok, so she's not seriously bundled up in this one, but she is seriously CUTE! This sweater set was a hand-me-down from cousin Paige and I had a very difficult time parting with it to pass on to our newest little cousin Ava. It was a really warm day in December 2005 (and there's that Intrepid!)

Here's Katie in November 2006 at Storybookland for the first time. (She's got a Hanna coat AND adorable sweater jumper.)

And finally, my favorite of Katie...back in February 2007 I got Katie's coat on her to get ready to go to daycare and a few minutes later she came back to me "ALL ready." She created the little hat/scarf/camera bag ensemble "all by myself" and had her lunch bag in hand and ready to go.

We have several snowy fun pics, but the 2006 ones are a little blurry and well, I think I've bombarded you with enough.

And Timmy...

First we have him bundled up for his trip home from the hospital at 4 days old. Second, he's just 5 days old on his first trip out to the doctor. He had to go to get checked out just one day after coming home since he had high biliruben counts in the hospital. The beautiful sweater set was handmade by Chris's mom who is SUPER talented in making baby clothes and hats. He was actually supposed to come home from the hospital in it, but MIL gave it to me on his birthday in the hospital. They brought it home to wash it and every single day I reminded Chris to bring it back and every single visit of every day I was there he told me he'd bring it "next time." Even the day he was coming home, he told me "Oh, I'll just go home and get it". Well, I had already packed his coming home coat, not knowing I was going to be getting the sweater set so we just went with that. (To be fair, Chris was doing a LOT of back and forth those days between home and the hospital, so I guess he's allowed to be a little forgetful..just a little).

And finally, here's Timmy out at the park for the first time a few weeks ago.

Hope you had as much fun seeing my old pics as I did gathering them. You can play along yourself or just grab some links to some other cute bundled up babies at Who Says 8 is Enough?


Friday Foto Fiesta - Guess Where WE'RE Going!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'll let you's a smilbox from the LAST time we were there...

Yes, it's official (well, official as in got the ok from hubby). We MAY even have my mom join us for a few days...YAY! If you have some PHUN-FOTOS that you would like to share, make sure to stop over at Candid Carrie's to join in this week's Friday Foto Fiesta!


Jack Bauer will save the day

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

After Katie got home from school, we went up to my bedroom to check on Timmy and wound up hanging out in there to watch the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama. I was very excited to share this piece of history with her.

Of course when he was done his speech, I had to call my husband at work to deliver my smart ass comments (that's what we do when we watch tv...we're our very own Mystery Science Theater 3000 show). Beings that our favorite show to add our own commentation to is 24, it was only fitting that my comment to him was along the lines of I couldn't get through watching it without expecting them to pull him away mid-speech to start briefing him on a national disaster and then have a screen flash to the president's call to ...

....Jack Bauer...CTU (retired) ... beep, beep, beep....commercial

Ok, then I got serious and let him know that I taped it on both ABC and CNN in case he wanted to watch it and had a preference of commentation, but that he may want to watch CNN. I had been watching it on ABC in my bedroom (we don't have a cable box in there and only get basic cable) and the commentation was just ridiculous. I mean really, what do they think - the viewing audience are morons? Then I told him, I don't know it's so weird like they're commenting for the radio or the blind or something. All the comments were just stating the obvious. Like "Arlington Cemetary" when they flashed to the cemetary and the names of the speakers when it would flash on the screen a split second later. Then "President Obama waves to the crowd" (or something like that). I then changed channels for Katie who had enough of "mommy's show" and put on Diego. Wouldn't you know, the ABC commentators FOLLOWED me over to Nickelodeon...

"Rescue Pack sings and dances"

"Camera snaps a picture". Well, as you may have guessed somehow the setting on my tv got set to add these comments...I assume for the blind. I didn't even know tv's did that. Amazingly, the short clipped stage direction sounded very similar to the way Jack Bauer talks when he's under pressure. They should consider having Kiefer Sutherland narrate :)


Husband's Response

Monday, January 19, 2009

Apparently, my husband tried to leave his first ever comment, but for some reason it didn't go through ... anyway, the jist of his comment was, that actually Katie DOES have tons of money because she is constantly scavanging the house for loose money and puts anything that isn't nailed down in her piggy bank. It is true...I do vaguely even remember a few times that I was kind of busy and she approached me with paper money and asked me to fold it so it would fit in her piggy bank and I just did it so I could get back to what I was doing. based on that I COULD use her money to pay for a Disney trip AND not feel bad about it because it really is my money anyway :)


Makes My Monday! - Mommy Moments

I have really been enjoying thinking about my “Makes My Monday” post, sponsored by Twinfatuation. This Monday, my week has begun with a good start thinking about some nice “Mommy Moments.”

Saturday, I was at Sam’s Club with the kids and was letting Katie get a drink after we checked out because she was “SO firsty!” She wanted to carry the humongo RED fountain drink herself and I told her she couldn’t because “It was more than likely that it would be spilled if she did” and I got an “Awwright.” There was a lady getting ready to fill up her drink. She looked about 10 years older than me, so an experienced mom. She caught my eye after my exchange with Katie and just had a big smile and started nodding as if to say Good call, mommy. I just love sharing that “knowing-mom-look”.

Katie was off from school today in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As a picture of him came on tv this morning she pointed excitedly and shouted “Dr. King, Dr. King!” So cute to see her learning new things at school. She is getting so good at learning new things. She knows her telephone number, now, and is working on her address. I’ve also been having her repeat some prayers after me at night before bed and to my utter disbelief 2 nights ago, I started with “Hail Mary…” (her favorite prayer) and she just took off and recited the entire thing. She doesn’t do the whole thing every time without help, but she is doing a great job.

In the late morning today, we headed out to the store and on the way went to visit her old daycare as they’ve been very eager to meet Timmy. There’s a big dip in the road, which I forgot about since I haven’t driven that way in awhile and I took it a little to fast. As a result, this is the conversation that ensued:

Katie: Whoa, that was a bump mommy.
Me: Yea, it felt a little like a roller coaster, didn’t it?
Katie: Yea, I like roller coasters mommy.
Me: I know you do.
Katie: I like rides, I want to go on rides.
Me: Well honey, it’s too cold right now. Rides aren’t open again until it’s warm out.
Katie: Warm and sunny and I don’t have to wear my jacket.
Me: Yup! You know Katie, maybe you should tell daddy that you really want to go on rides. Mommy really wants to go to visit Mickey Mouse again. Remember that fun place? There’s lots of rides there.
Katie: Yea, I want to go there.
Me: Me, too. We can't REALLY go, but make sure you tell daddy.
Katie: I know the magic words mommy!
Me: Oh yea? (thinking, please?)
Katie: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! (She means Meeska, Mouska, Mickeymouse! – which makes the clubhouse appear)
Me: Oh, they ARE magic words Katie, but it’s a lot of money to go there. I don’t think mommy and daddy really have enough money right now to go.
Katie: I have money. I have MY money.
Me: giggle
Katie: I have money in my piggy bank, mommy!

Oh, if ONLY that were enough. I love the innocence of children.

P.S. I know this is an example of poor parenting, but we all have our weaknesses and right now wanting to plan a vacation is mine! ;)


A visit with our cousins

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thursday I took a trip with the kids to play and have dinner with our Bouf cousins (or as Katie calls them her "9 cousins" as opposed to my sister's kids who she calles her "3 cousins." Debi wrote all about the fantastic time we had trying to get pictures of the Katie, Timmy, Emma and Will in their matching sweaters here. I think I was sweating by the time we gave up. She pretty much covered the entire fun experience, but here are just a few more pics of the fun day.

We were excited to see Katie and Emma actually really playing together for the first time. They had a great time playing in the ball pit together before dinner.

Emma cracked me up at dinner, sitting with her dollies. The girls also had fun jumping on the new trampoline that Emma and Will got for Christmas. In the pic below, they are hugging in response to me asking them to hug and let me take their picture...I kind of meant to face me, but I guess you can't have everything.

I love these pictures below, especially because of the interaction I see with Will and the girls. Up top Will is just laughing away and Katie is also laughing just because he's being so silly. On the bottom right, Will actually looks like he's laughing at the girls being silly and on the bottom left, it we have some Rockettes in training.

The boys and the girls...

And finally a few decent pics of them together.

As usual, we had a blast! We love our playdates with our cousins. We can't wait to see them tomorrow at our house!


Way Back & Wordful When-esday! - Time to Say Goodbye

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bear with me...the back story to this Way Back Wednesday is a bit Wordful.

Our car died Monday. I got the call from Chris shortly after he left for work and had to pick him up from the mechanic. We asked ourselves how much we would be willing to put into it to keep it going, but we never had to make the decision - the engine was done, kaput, gone forever. So now it will go to it's final Dodge Intrepid resting place.

In May 1999, I came home from a semester abroad at Wroxton College in England. Chris and I hadn't spoken the entire time I was away and frankly the fact that our relationship was on the rocks had helped me decide to go. But when I came home, Chris was eager to show me the new house he and his friends would be renting and his new car. Ok, so if he didn't have a new car we would have still seen each other, but he had screwed up our relationship in the past and was too immature to just man up and admit he missed me and wanted to see me.

The car was with us for almost 10 years and was driven over 160,000 miles. Way back when, I gave it some good dents with my car, pulling out Chris's driveway. The windows stopped going up and down on a few doors, the automatic locks would no longer unlock a few doors. In the summer of 2006 the air conditioning went and would cost several thousand dollars to fix. That was the last straw, so we got a new truck and planned to trade in the Intrepid. Problem was, they'd only give us $500. Now, although the car had about 120,000 miles already - Chris knew it had a bunch more left in it and we couldn't justify giving it up for just $500 - so we kept it and to save on gas, Chris continued to drive it to work whenever he didn't need air conditioning. Even the driver's seat completely broke and reclined permanently to an almost 180 degree angle....but Chris and his friend were wise enough to replace it with a Stratus seat they found in a junkyard. Having a 3rd vehicle was wonderful and saved us many a morning that the lights got left on in another car and killed the battery or that one of the other cars needed to be in the shop.

So for this Way-Back Wednesday sponsored by Twinfatuation, I have chosen to remember a fun day with our car by showing a video from September 2006. We had LOTS of water to drain from our pool before closing it, so Chris decided to use all the extra water to wash the cars. It was a very warm day and Katie, at 14 months old, was eager to help her daddy.

P.S. If you're like me and have a hard time posting a picture or video without adding in a wordful, you may also want to join in at 7 Clown Circus to showcase your Wordful.


TWO for TWOS-Day - Yearning for the beach

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And by "the beach" I really mean the Ocean City Boardwalk and rides since I'm not really a big fan of the actual beach. For this week's Two for Twos-day sponsored by Deanna at Eight is Great I've gone a bit into Katie and cousin Paige overload. There are a few pics in my folders I've been wanting to showcase for a TWOS-day for quite some time, but have gotten way behind. Last June we brought my niece Paige with us to Ocean City so Katie would have someone to go on rides with. As usual I got a ton of great pics of the girls together. The first one here isn't really one of the better ones, but I noticed something in it as I was gathering the good ones for this post...if there is any doubt that Katie is my daughter, this picture cements the fact that she's all in the closed eye. As I scanned through the pics tonight I started to laugh at Katie sporting my signature closed right eye. In EVERY single soccer picture taken of me over about 9 years I had to look into the sun and couldn't keep my eye open. Every year my mom would yell or try to get me to keep my eyes open and every year I just couldn't. Even as an adult if I have to look into the sun, I have to look at the ground and have someone countdown to the picture taking and then look up at the last second if there's any chance for me to keep my eyes open.

The next few are just some of my favorite pics of the girls together. This was Katie's first time going on the ride below and boy did she love it. The girl has no fear!!! Actually, at first her eyes were kind of big and she looked a little stunned since it was a bit more extreme than any other ride she's been on and then she saw Paige smiling and laughing and well this picture captured a split second after she realized how much fun she was having.

As the girls waited for me to relieve my preggo bladder, Chris gave them a little lehway letting them THINK they weren't being watched even though they were. When I emerged from the restroom, I was greeted by this adorable picture taking moment.

And finally, the ride home. I had to make this pic smaller so you didn't get quite as grossed out as you would have if it was larger and you could see Paige's asleep but open eyes more clearly.


ME Time!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I've noticed recently that I can't do ANYTHING without thinking about the potential to blog about it. Whether I'm driving or laying down to catch a nap, my mind races with what I want to write in my next blog entry. Unfortunately, I don't get to complete even 1/2 of what I want to write about. It's a weird sickness, an addiction maybe, and seriously pretty pathetic. To battle all this mind racing (and a bunch of other things) I got some me-time yesterday and relaxed with a much needed 1-hour massage. To say it was heaven is putting it lightly.

Now I have this problem when getting a massage. I always go into it planning to just lay there quietly and peacefully and think about what makes me happy and relaxed. However, I almost always find myself talking through almost the entire darn thing. This time, though, I vowed I'd put a stop to my bad habit and just RELAX and boy did I. It was amazing. So instead of chatting, I just had random visions of vacations flashing in my mind. The first one was...

With a few of my good friends having recently been to Disney World, I am just Jonesing to go back. It is my favorite place in the world to vacation and all I could think about was Main Street USA (minus the crane that is in this picture from our 11/2006 vacation).

But, I lay there thinking - ok REALLY, I love Disney, but it IS a lot of work....getting up early, lots of walking, lots of waiting in line, at times lots of sweating. So I tried to come up with an even more relaxing image and these I could not kick from my mind for the rest of the massage.

In August 2007, Chris, Katie, and I went on a cruise with my best friend and her husband. Our second stop was Tortola and the morning we woke up to our approach to Tortola is stamped into my mind as one of the most beautiful experiences I've had. The islands were on both sides of us, but these are the views from our balcony. Looking back at these pics though - I don't think they even truly capture how breathtaking it really was.

And then...ok, you have 5 minutes left Julie. WHY oh WHY can't 60 minutes of a swedish massage be equal in real time to 60 minutes of listening to your baby cry of colic?!?!?

Back to real life....

...but hopefully I'll be able to look forward to another vacation soon!


Baby Picture Sunday - B & W

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Debi at Who Says 8 is Enough? wants us to show off our favorite black and white baby photos today. You can join in too or see who else is playing by visiting her blog.

Not really a baby, but I love these pictures of Katie from last year.
Christmas 2007 - 2 1/2 years old

And for Timmy, they're all I have, but I still just love his 3 week shots.


Two Months Old...A letter to my son

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dear Timothy,
You are cuter and cuter every day. At the same time that I don't want you to get any bigger I can't wait to see what kind of little man you will grow up to be. A few short months ago I couldn't imagine being the mother of a little boy and now I am as proud and happy as a mom can be. I love you so much.

You are two months old today. Your neck is getting stronger and stronger and pretty soon you'll be able to hold your head up all the time. You like to push up on your elbows to look around when you're on your wedge; you look like a little turtle. But when I put you on your belly on the floor, you just lay your little cheek down. I love hearing you coo and I love seeing your smiles. You're getting more inquisitive and are reaching out for hanging toys. You like to sit on my lap when I'm at the computer and are already trying to copy me by banging away on the keyboard. You love your daddy. You love to snuggle up on him to sleep. Your big sister is your biggest fan. She especially loves to hug you right after you have fallen asleep. I think it's because you are so incredibly adorable, but it could also be that she just loves interacting with you so much that she can't bear it when you close your eyes.

You started wearing 3-6 months clothes last week. I have a few 0-3 months outfits that I didn't get pictures of you wearing and I may still try to stuff you into for pictures - but otherwise, I began changing out your drawers with a heavy heart yesterday. You are even wearing some 6-9 month pajamas and the 3-6 month outfit you are wearing today already seems to be short in the arms. You are growing like a weed! We'll find out exactly how tall and heavy you are at your wellness visit this Thursday.


Friday Foto Fiesta - A Warning

Friday, January 9, 2009

For this installment of Friday Foto Fiesta sponsored by Candid Carrie: Lock up your daughters because the charm has been unleashed.

Have I mentioned that he is a prodigy? He may not be able to roll over yet, but at 8 weeks old he already loves to sit on momma's lap and type away on the keyboard :)

Oh, and don't feel left out if you only have son(s)...but, I guess I'd probably need to be begging you to lock THEM up. What do you get when you ask a 3 year old who just got a haircut if you can take her picture?...SURE MOMMY!...

Is it just a natural girl thing to know how to pose like that and how has she already learned it at THREE YEARS OLD?!?! I noticed today that she actually has six-pack abs, no more baby fat there (not that she really had any...but she never had a six-pack either). Poor girl does have my thighs though. LOL, I say that and then look at these pics again...yeah, my thighs look JUST like that :)

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