Monday, March 22, 2010

Switching my blog to my website.


Thank you so very much for following me on blogger. I am finding that it is better for me to blog from my own website. I feel like I can create some conversations from there as well. My website is going thru a bit of an upgrade/change. It is working just fine but all should be a bit better and a bit more user friendly. Feel free to give me your thoughts.

Good-bye blogger and HELLO


Friday, March 19, 2010

A few days away goes a long way!

Three days and two nights. Doesn't sound like much but it goes a LONG way. My husband and I planned a last minute trip to Las Vegas. It seems impossible that a mom of 2 toddlers can get away last minute but with the help of an awesome mother-in-law, daycare, school and friends, we pulled it off. Believe it or not, I brought my computer to blog but didn't get around to it...too much fun, rest and pool time.

Here is how it went down. We bought our plane tickets the day before. We called The Palms Place to reserve our room (we own a unit with my family.) And we confirmed all our kids care. I have to say, as a mom, I was a little uneasy with the "last minute" part of our getaway but with a family member in charge, it made it a lot easier. We each had a small carry-on and we were ready.

People actually laughed at us for going to Vegas for some R and R but it was awesome. We arrived at noon on Tuesday and it was gorgeous. We immediately went down to the pool where we sat in the sun for a bit. Next up, a little workout, steam and shower. Then it was naptime...yes, naptime. I was in heaven. We were up and out the door before 7 for a little blackjack (my fav) and then dinner at Yellowtail in the Bellagio. If you haven't seen the Bellagio light show, you haven't lived (maybe a little dramatic). We scored a table was perfect weather and the light show took place right in front of us. I must have been a little tired still cause I was so emotional as to how perfect it was that I almost cried! And the food was amazing..poprocks in sushi, what's not to love?!

Two more days of the same thing we came home, rested, relaxed, well tanned, well fed and $500 richer. The best part of the trip was walking through our front door to 2 screaming little people. Our son was buck naked and our daughter was clothed. They both ran straight for us, our daughter into our arms and my son just started jumping up and down in place...they were both screaming "I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU!" It feels good to be loved! Viva Las Vegas!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day off from school and heading to the zoo!

We live near one of the greatest zoo's on the planet, Hogel Zoo. It is in Salt Lake City and it is the perfect size with some really amazing animals. We usually arrive right after it opens at around 10am and we stay until naptime which is around 1pm. My kids LOVE it. And that is even an understatement. I get them out of the car and they are on the go from the moment we walk through the gate. We first hit this amazing giant ball which is floating in water and you can spin. The kids dig it and my son loves it just cause there is water involved. I have had to pull him out of the water many times. We then head straight to the monkeys. And everyone in the zoo knows we are heading towards the monkeys cause my 2 kids are screaming...MONKEY'S the entire time. They sit there and stare at the monkeys for a long long time. Sometimes I think they are having a genuine stare-off. They have all types of monkeys and we spend a solid 10 minutes at each station. Soon after we have given enough love to the monkeys, we head over to the Elephants. The Elephants are SUPER special at the Hogel Zoo cause they had a baby not long ago. And if you have never seen a baby elephant then you have not seen the cutest biggest thing in the whole world. It is still enormous...I mean like lots of tons enormous but it is still tiny in elephant's standards. We know we have hit the mother lode when mom and baby are hanging outside for us to see. Beyond the other amazing animals like the giraffe's, gorillas, tigers, rhinos, birds, and many others, they also have a rockin carousel that is brand new, it seems as well as a train. These are both the perfect break points in our cruise around the zoo. We usually finish things off with a good 30 minutes in their killer playground with giant insects and snakes and several slides. And, of course, the only thing that will get them to leave is saved for the very end. I usually bring them in to get their choice of a "frozen treat". They usually go for one of my favorites, the Push-Up Pop. I didn't know they were still around until I started going to the zoo. So, imagine this, all this fun is completed in about 2 hours. We see everything and don't feel overwhelmed or over walked. It is one of our favorite outings and because there is no school, we are heading there tomorrow. Watch out Monkeys! Here we come!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The oasis in my bedroom

My husband has a REAL problem with mess and clutter. I think he is starting to seriously rub off on me. There is a big part of me that wishes I could give everything I own away and start over from scratch. EVERYTHING. But, I can't do that... So, I decided to add a little something to create a bit of balance in my bedroom. Not in my bed :) but in my bedroom. It took us almost 3 years to get it right but I think our room is just now coming together. It is an odd shaped room. A rectangle with big huge windows at one end. The windows are actually what sold us on the house. The give us an incredible view of one of the ski resorts in town. It is amazing. Not that we ever get to hang out in bed and check out our view with 2 lil rugrats runnin the show but nonetheless, I like knowing they and it are there. We thought long and hard as to how our bed and dresser should be set up. It took a few changes and switches (mostly while one spouse was out of town) until we found the right feel. But then we were stuck with a large space next to the windows that just seemed to collect clutter. It was always the first thing I saw/noticed when I entered our room and I hated it! Every time I walked in I would feel messy and unorganized. (although I am a bit unorganized...I dislike the reminder) I knew what I wanted in that space. I wanted it to feel like one of my favorite hotels..Shutters! I wanted two yummy chairs with a cozy fabric. I was hoping for linen but I couldn't find it anywhere. Instead I went with a fun fluffy cream colored fabric and we ordered a dark wood round side table to go in between the chairs. It looks incredible. And now, when I walk into my room, all I feel is comfort. I immediately smile at how relaxing our room looks and feels. It is amazing how 2 chairs can completely change the vibe of a room. That is, until I glance down at the random toys and dirty laundry to put away.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lovin my job and sunny days in NYC

I just got back from NYC where I was taping my guest appearance on Rachael Ray. I flew in on what could have been the nicest day of the year in NY. It was 61 degrees without a cloud in the sky. It felt like Spring weather. If you have ever lived in NY then you know what I am talking about when I describe the day as the day all NYers feel like it it spring. That day comes when you wake up and every restaurant and cafe have their outdoor seating up, out and ready to go. Literally it goes from NO outdoor seating to ALL outdoor seating. People are happier and the city comes to life even more. I love it. My spot on RR wasn't until the next afternoon so I was able to have a bite to eat with one of my dearest friends that night. We had both been so busy that we had not seen each other for awhile...and we had A LOT to catch up on. The next morning was beautiful AGAIN so I grabbed my running gear and ran thru the park to a breakfast meeting on the west side at my favorite place EVER, Good Enough To Eat. Yikes do I love NY food or what! Then came time for my spot. I love my job. It brings me to amazing places, NY being one of them and I truly love the people I get to meet and work with. The folks at Rachael Ray are my people. They are so damn wonderful it is almost illegal. I walk thru the halls there and I feel very much at home. Rachael was super fun and sweet and we goofed about Celebrity Apprentice a bit. She seemed genuinely excited about the show. I love talking to her. A real sweet heart with some serious work ethic! I have been working in the TV business for 17 years and feel extremely lucky. Yes, I know I have put in many years of incredibly hard work and tons of time away from home but I love what I do and am grateful that I still able to pull it off! Thanks Rach for the trip to NYC!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Back to life...Back in the swing of things!

Sometimes I worry that my daughter actually HATES school. Or shall I say that sometimes I worry that she dislikes school for good reason. I wonder if she is being teased or if she is too shy. There were a few times when she said she didn't want to go to school and gave us a reason. But mostly, she just doesn't want to go...until she gets there and she LOVES it. When we come back from trips, either long or short, she has a tough time getting back into the swing of our schedule. I try not to jump in immediately but I definitely force the issue on day 2 and 3. The first day back from Whistler, I let her stay home from school. I told her it was so she could get acclimated to the time change and to catch up on her sleep. She felt very special and was a little too excited that she wasn't going to school. When she was celebrating her "stay at home day" I became a little worried as to what Wednesday morning would bring so I began to talk about it. I reminded her of her schedule..."Monday, Wednesday and Friday's, you go to school and Tuesdays and Thursdays you get to go to swim lessons with Spider." She wasn't buying it but I kept saying positive things about school. Swim lessons were awesome. And then came Wednesday. She woke up and immediately asked if she had to go to school. I said yes and you would have thought I told her our dog died. I tried my best not to laugh and also to keep the positive spin. In the end, you know what worked. I promised her we could paint each others nails after school. That was it. She went from total and complete meltdown to super excited all because we were going to paint nails. Do I have a little girlie girl on my hands or what?! She went to school and came home with a huge smile. She forgot all about painting nails and has since been back in the swing of things...for the most part.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Life in one bedroom!

I LOVE traveling with my kids. I don't love all the luggage and carry-on's and car seats but I love that they get to experience life in different parts of the world. Our most recent adventure was to Whistler, BC for the Olympic Games. We were there from Feb 7th-Mar 1st. We all shared a room. Or to be more specific, my hubby and I slept on an air mattress out in the front room and our kids shared the one and only bedroom. My daughter slept in the bed and my son slept in his pac-n-play (with the the crib tent attached). We didn't have any other choice and therefore they had to sleep together. They would chit chat a bit in the beginning and then as the days turned into weeks, they began to simply love the fact they were not alone. They did the same thing when we went to NYC back in November. Although, this time, they came home wanting to share a room. They became accustomed to the others' company and felt lonely without it. It was so cute and touching and so I started to think about putting them both in the same room in our house. I spoke to my hubby about it and he felt the same way. If they want to share a room, they absolutely should. We LOVED the idea. Until....they decided to play a little too much. We haven't been home too long and we have tried it a few times but they both seem to chat a little too much for a scheduled life. While we were away, they could sleep in as late as they wanted. But at home, they need to go to bed at a decent hour so they can get up for school and other activities. I am so torn right now cause I love the idea of them being so close and such good pals. I love everything about them sharing a room and telling their little secrets at night but I don't love them giggling until 11pm...that isn't so fun for anyone the next day. Maybe I will pose the question again. If only I could video the discussion...imagine, a 2 year old, 3 year old and a mommy trying to determine if sharing a room is a good idea. Somehow I think the convo will turn to pirate's booty, apple juice and Shrek!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Discipling your kids when they are tired

I need a little help here. There are times when I just drop the discipline all together and focus on getting my kids to bed, and then there are times, like tonight when I just cannot give in. I had to work from 2pm-7pm so we had our babysitter watching the kids. She is very good. She takes them out and plays with them. They seemed so very happy. I walked in and they continued to be happy until about 10 minutes after our babysitter left. I know they do this because it is ME. I get that. They like to do this to mom. But, I also knew that my daughter was very tired. And, understandably so. We have been on the road now since Feb 7th. We have been living in a small one bedroom hotel suite. All four of us in one room. Taking that into consideration, I knew I needed to get the kids into bed early. So I focused on getting there PJ's on. That actually went very smoothly. It seemed to go downhill when they asked me for a treat and I pulled out my jellybeans. I gave them each 3 and my daughter lost it. She wasn't happy with jellybeans as her treat and nothing seemed to please her. She was inconsolable and, you know what, I was not happy with her. Instead of sending her straight to bed, I used a very relaxed tone and gave her 2 more chances to take her jellybeans before taking them away. We then went in and tried to brush teeth and she wouldn't do it. I calmly gave her 3 chances to brush her teeth or she was going to lose sweets for all of the following day. She opted not to brush her teeth and so we went in to the bedroom. All the while, she was crying hysterically. After attempting to read to my son, who was being so very good, I gave in and listened to her request. She had been begging to brush her teeth. I didn't want to do it because I felt like she needed to understand the consequences of her actions and decisions but then I thought of how tired she was and changed my mind. We brushed teeth and then she asked for her jellybeans. I said no way and she continued to cry. She is now sleeping and I am okay with giving her another chance but welcome anyone's thoughts on this subject. Do you think an overtired kid can really make a good decision? I bet your answer is going to be yes...but would you have done the same thing as me? How about the fact that all of this was because of some damn jellybeans!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My kids and Mascots

At the 2010 Olympic Games, there are 4 mascots. They are Quatchi, Sumi, Miga and MukMuk. It was almost immediate. My daughter took one look at Miga and fell in love. She new that Miga was her girl. And just the same, my son fell for Quatchi as if they had known each other for years. And, from what I have seen, they are not alone. I find that very interesting. Because, after talking to several kids this morning as I was hanging with the REAL Miga and Quatchi, I found that kids of all ages were quite taken by the mascots. It was actually very cute--the whole idea of a dressed up person in a mascot uniform. They are not allowed to talk and they are not allowed to show their real faces. But when they walk out as their characters, I immediately smile. And, kids in a mile radius seem to come running.

My kids are split on the whole mascot thing. My daughter is very shy and although every ounce of her being wanted to run up to Miga and give her a huge squeeze, she just couldn't do it. She was too shy and Miga was just a little to real. My son, on the other hand, couldn't be stopped. One look at Quatchi and he was out of his stroller and right by the furry dude's side. He knows their names and couldn't stop repeating them while smiling as wide as possible. I find it facsinating that not only a little kid finds joy in meeting a mascot but adults do as well. Maybe it is their cute little dances or their interesting ways of using gestures instead of words. Either way, according to my kiddos, they just might be more popular than Lindsey Vonn at these Olympic Games.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Keeping up with the Olympic crowd

Every Olympics that I have attended seems to have one or two items that are “the thing” to get. Here in Vancouver, it seems to be the Lucky Looney—which is a coin for those who don’t know and the “red mittens”. Finally, I scored the red mittens today. The funny thing is that I saw an entire wall full of them in the Official Olympic Store when I first arrived in Whistler. I remember thinking..."Hmm, these are cute. And, they are super reasonable...only $10." Boy, is hind-sight 20/20 or what. I could have bought up about 20 pairs if I wanted. But when the games began and they became all the rage, they were quickly gone and I had no clue if anymore would be coming in. I actually did a little feature on the "hot" souvenirs and they were the top items. I thought I might have an in as to if and when more red mittens might hit the stores. I went in and asked the sales clerk what she could tell me about another shipment. She smiled and said they would probably be in in a few days. Somehow, I remembered to stop in on Thursday and then again today. Today was just a coincidence. I had about an hour off and was walking to meet up with my hubby and kids when I saw a bunch of people holding red mittens. This was the first time I had been in with the masses when it came to a frenzy. Women were literally pushing and shoving to get to the mittens. REALLY!!??!! I stepped back for a second and began to I really this person? The one who has to have the IT item? And then I dug in and grabbed out 4 pairs gently. In all, I have 4 adult pairs and 2 kiddo pairs. I am just trying to keep up with the masses and bring home the cool items. Right now, I have some pretty sweet pins, a few mascot key chains and several red mittens. Life is good and my hands are cozy!

Oh, yeah, and if you are reading this on Monday morning, Feb. 22, tune into Rachael Ray today to catch my feature.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Separating your space when you are in REALLY small quarters.

I am not complaining at all, but we are staying in a one bedroom hotel room suite that is about 600 square feet. There are four of us living in this wonderful pad…my daughter, my son and my hubby. We are here for most of the month of Febuary. This is not our first experience with living in tight quarters and we learned a lot from the first time. Here are some tips if this ever happens to you.

Everyone must eat their meals at the table. No getting up and down and running around with gooey, sticky hands. When you are finished you get down. If you get down before you are finished you get one chance to get back up and eat, otherwise you are finished. Everyone’s hands and face must be cleaned before getting down and running around. We are, after all, in a hotel room which I would not want to completely demolish.

Being organized saves a lot of lost items and time looking for them. Try and put all the dirty clothes in one place and put the clean clothes away. This also saves some time and keeps you from washing the same things that you just washed the last time.

Giving each child their own private spot to keep their toys helps make life easier for you and for them. Its amazing how they will go to their own spots and entertain themselves for quite some time. It also helps keep things organized as they know where to put their things away.

Getting them outside to burn off that childhood energy when you can is one of the most beneficial things of all. Having access to a park or a pool where they can get out and move around—essentially wear themselves out is oh, so important.

I would also like to say that things are just going to be somewhat messy and that is just the way it is. So, don't get too stressed out about that.

We are managing in our 600 square feet, but I must say that I feel very fortunate to not have to be this confined all the time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Best Olympic Meal

The prefect Olympic snack.

Stir Fry—this is the perfect snack and meal. It is fast, contains all the right foods and really hits the spot. When I was swimming, I would come home from practice at night and be starving to say the least! I would hope and pray that dinner would be ready the minute I walked in the door. Stir Fry was—actually still is—one of my favorites. All you need to do is make some rice, and stir fry lots of veggies with some chicken, beef or shrimp in a big pan. It doesn’t take at all long to cook and is so yummy. You can make a big batch of it and have it the next day too. It fills you up without filling you out! I used to eat so much rice. I would have a huge plate of rice with almost everything I ate, so adding some veggies and some protein to it seemed like the easiest thing to do. I could also have the leftovers for a snack during the day—especially on the weekends. It was all about getting enough to eat in those days of 2 hour workouts everyday after school and 1 hour workouts before school. If you have never competed in a sport while growing up, you need to know how hungry your child can be when they come home from practice at 6-7 PM after a day a school and participating in their sport. I know first hand that I was ravenous. I tell you these things so that you know that Stir Fry is fast, easy, nutritious and really fills a body up.

While we are here at the Olympics in Whistler, I am working a lot so when I get home there is not much time to make dinner and the kids are usually hungry. If I wait too long, they start eating a lot of junk and then they don't want their dinner. So I turn to Stir Fry as a perfect choice--fast, easy and they love it. If there are any leftovers, they can have them for lunch the next day. This is a great meal for athletes and pre/post-athletes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Real Olympic Spirit

When I was a little kid, I did dream about winning a gold medal. My vision was pretty simple…I constantly replayed the medal ceremonies of both Mary Lou Retton and Tracy Caulkins. It would give me the chills, just thinking about it. I will never forget when Mary Lou "stuck" her landing for the vault to win the overall! Her smile was absolutely unforgettable. As an 11 year old, that seemed like a fairy tale. I didn't dream about myself in that position all that much. The idea of being an Olympian is what motivated me. The idea of wearing my USA swim cap and walk in the Opening ceremonies. I loved the thought of representing my country. That made me feel very proud! Being here at the games now makes me feel that way again. It is amazing how emotional I still get when I watch the Opening ceremonies or when I see these wonderful athletes compete. There are times when I am walking down the stroll here in the Whistler Village and I find myself with a huge smile on my face because I feel so lucky to be here to witness the action. That feeling is what I call "the Olympic spirit". And I think I caught it. For a solid 17 days, there will be so much action day and night. Every where we go, we will see the rings and hear the live feed. It is all over the village. Already medals have been handed out and athletes are beginning to fulfill their dreams. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be handed out…but it goes way beyond that. Just to compete here is, for many, the icing on the cake and I LOVE that. Sure, many will be bummed if they don't bring home a medal but there will be several athletes that consider making the games the ultimate achievement. I know one thing, my family will be cheering for everyone…and maybe even a little bit louder for those who are pulling up the rear! Go Olympians…be proud!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Finding the right childcare on the road.

The kids, hubby and I are in Whistler for the Olympic Games. I knew we were all coming out here about 6 months before so I had plenty of time to check out possible child care options. The organization of our schedule was the most difficult part of the equation as I was not sure what time my husband and I would need help. I started by asking around, particularly within my husband's circles to see if anyone knew of a great babysitter in Whistler. I didn't think it would be hard to find someone, who knew someone, who knew someone…you know, somebody who could vouch for the sitter. I must have asked about 30 people before I finally found a name of a sitter. In the end, we ended up going with a nanny service that was recommended by several people, BABYSITTING WHISTLER. When I phoned the service, a very nice and well informed woman answered all of my questions. I asked her about their policies for hiring, what kind of background checks were made and their payment policy. Although all of her answers were right on target, I was pretty concerned with the whole thing….you know, another country, the biggest event of the year and the fact that I had never met nor knew anyone who had met the person watching our kids. YIKES. I guess this is when I become a nervous parent. And yet, I knew that my hands were going to be tied. I will be working LIVE television at the games…I can't say, "Be back in an hour." Luckily, my husband could make the transition easy for everyone. He stuck around for the first hour and a half after the babysitter arrived. He helped acquaint her to all of the necessary items she might need…diapers, snacks, clothes, blankies, etc. In general, our kids are pretty cool around babysitters. There have only been a few times when they have completely freaked out when I have left. And most times, if they do cry, they are done about 5 minutes after I leave. The really great thing about our nanny is that she gets them outside and burns off some energy right away. The first day, she took them to park and the gondola and the second day she took them to the pool. It makes me feel good knowing that she is getting them outside of our little one bedroom suite. And, she has done about 10 different art projects…our hotel room looks like a mini museum! I don't want to jinx things but so far, no tears have been shed and everyone is having an Olympic good time.

Monday, February 8, 2010

We not only survived, we smiled the whole way!

We really lucked out. Or shall I say, I really lucked out. We arrived at the airport to discover we were sharing the plane with a ton of my hubby's friends who were either on the Olympic team or have a connection to the Games. Yay!!! I saw two of our friends and immediately smiled thinking, "they have kids...they know what I am going through." Sure enough, they did and they helped big time. They took turns carrying my car seat and a few bags. My arms were thankful. I do have to say, all throughout the airport, I had very sympathetic looks passed my way. I would simply try to smile back as if I was not concerned in the least. Meanwhile, everyone knew my state as I was completely drenched just after security. Once on the plane, the flight attendant suggested that I sit next to my son and have my daughter sit across the aisle. Hmmm. I wasn't sure how this was going to go over. It started off well since the flight attendant offered up a "surprise" if she sat there. Then, it got even better. The gentleman she was sitting next to was the head coach for the French short track speed skating team. He was so sweet to her! He held her drink, flipped the pages of her book and helped her play with her magnetic game. By the end of our trip, she was resting her feet on his leg and snuggling up next to his shoulder. My son was very sweet and even with his gigantic snow boots on, only kicked the seat in front of him 4 times. Luckily the gentleman in front of him, an Olympian from Norway, was super understanding and very nice. So nice that he gave both the kids Norwegian Olympic pins. The only problem with the entire day of travel came at customs when my son thought it would be funny to run away from me throughout the line. I got a lot of angry faces when this happened and a few stern comments when it happened the second time. But when we made it through the customs door and out into "daddyland", my crew was beyond thrilled! Getting to see daddy was a the icing on the cake for all of us....especially a worn out and sweaty mommy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Me, My kids and my 6 carry-ons!

I do this every time. I try to consolidate all the snacks and the toys into one little bag but it never works. Suddenly, at the 11th hour I discover 40 more things the kids will "need" during our month long stay in Whistler, BC. Yeah, like they really need it. But, I do want the experience to be great and that includes the flight.
I always pack as if we are going to be stuck in the airport for 2 days. Is that crazy? I bring way too many diapers and snacks. But, I do this for my own sanity. One time, I brought the minimum amount of diapers and, yes, I was caught in a "poopy" situation with no way to get out of it. This trip is going to be hilarious, if you can look at it that way. I am traveling to Vancouver by myself with a 2 and almost 4 year old. The flight isn't that long..only 2 hours and change. But the airplane is small therefore, the kids will be sitting on one side of the plane and I will be on the other. I am imagining that an aisle apart can, at times, feel like an ocean. So, to try and keep meltdowns to a minimum, I have little computers, coloring books and crayons, dvd's and the player and, of course...the ole stand-by, CANDY!! When all else fails, I give them candy. I put on a little extra deodorant this morning to be really prepared. So, if you see me with all my bags, looking like I am heading into war, you will know what they are for and why I look so focused. May the Games begin, literally!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Little boys and Little girls...lots of differences.

Let me start by saying that not all little girls and not all little boys are the same. This is my own experience and many other moms have agreed. I had a daughter first who was sweet and observant. When she learned to sit up, I could sit her in front of her toys and she would entertain herself long enough for me to gulp down a large cup of coffee and some toast. I would sit off in the distance and watch her. It was heaven.

When she learned to crawl and walk, if she found something, she would hand it to me instead of putting it in her mouth.(that is not a girl thing....just a very cautious thing) She was an early talker. Chatting up a storm and trying to tell her stories while spouting her ABC's. She loves her dolls and is very meticulous with her baby set-up. She will care for her babies all day long. And when we had our son, she suddenly had her real life baby to care for. She was so sweet to him from the very beginning. She would kiss him without request and hug him just because.

But soon, the baby began to grow and he began to get into everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! Every drawer, cupboard, case, box....anything and everything at his respective level was fair game. And, unlike my daughter, he stayed on one toy for about a milisecond then went to the next. He was/is a mile a minute. And everything went into his mouth. He had no fear. He would undo an entire roll of toilet paper and stuff into the toilet. Or, to change things up, he would lead the roll of toilet paper about the house. He was an early crawler and an early walker but he waited awhile to talk.

Now, we call him parrot cause he repeats everything we say and he is Mr Chatty Cathy. He jumped out of his crib at 16 months, so we put in the crib tent...problem solved. Then, a few months ago, I walked into his room and found him standing up on the crib rail. He looked at me and said, "Mom, watch, I jump!" Yeah, my daughter would never have done that.

I learned the biggest difference between the boys and the girls when my son was super little. I learned this watching my niece and a friend's son. They each took turns dancing with this huge feather. My niece grabbed it and did gentle swaying and twirling moves with it. Then she handed it over to the fella and he immediately used it as a sword...killing everything in sight with incredible force. Hilarious!

I do have to say that my daughter is very protective of her little bro, similar to the way I would hope an older brother would be. We were at a McDonald's Playland during our drive home from California at Christmas. There were several kids at the particular play area and as they both started to go up one tunnel, I noticed there were several bigger boys making lots of noise at the top. I quickly grabbed my daughter and said, "Take care of Spider at the top. Don't let anyone hurt him." Next thing I know, I see Skye at the top with her arms around Spider, hugging him, yelling to all the boys, "Don't you hurt my brother!!" over and over again. It was adorable. Maybe her brother is starting to rub off on her.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A 4 year old and her first joke.

My daughter is almost 4. You would know that in the first 5 minutes as she says that all the time. She turns 4 on April 21st and I feel like she IS turning into such a big girl.

I don't know how it came about as I was in my son's room at the time but somewhere between brushing teeth and bed, my hubby taught my daughter her first joke. She thought it was hilarious and couldn't stop laughing when my husband was telling it, so she learned it herself. She took it very seriously, learning every word. I don't think she gets what she is saying...or even gets that it doesn't really mean anything but she LOVES that she is telling a joke. She loves it so much, in fact, that she wants to tell it all the time. It makes me laugh only because she gets so excited about the opportunity.

Then, I really thought about it. Telling a joke is a great exercise for a kid. Especially for a shy little girl like my daughter. My mom was worried about how shy I was when I was her age, so she enrolled me in our community acting class. All I remember is playing "Little Red Riding Hood"....and not very well! But when a kid tells a joke, they are using their memory skills, their listening skills and their verbal skills...not to mention the fact they get a great deal of confidence from a laughing audience. My daughter's face lights up when we laugh at the end of her joke. She feels a huge sense of accomplishment from delivering us a dose of happy and it shows.

So, keep um clean but enjoy the art of joke telling with your is really fun. Oh yeah, and here is her joke....
"Why did the chicken cross the road?" (Why?) "To get to the other side." Which has now turned into... "Why did the princess cross the road?" (why?) "To get to the other castle."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sharing the Olympic experience with my kids.

Just yesterday, I began to teach my son to say the word, "Olympics." At first it sounded a bit like..."Omilnick". Gradually he got to where you could understand what he was trying to say. He has no idea what the Olympic Games are all about. All he cares about is that we get to fly on an airplane. Even when we are on the airplane, he gets super excited about seeing all of the other airplanes off in the distance.

But, my daughter is kind of intrigued by the whole thing. I think they might be talking about it a bit in preschool. I told her teachers she would be gone for the month because we were taking her to the Olympics. When I say it, I think it sounds pretty great.

I get very psyched about the 17 days of excitement and emotion. I hope she can feel it even a little bit. And I do think they both will, actually. I remember my first Olympics was in 1984 at the LA Games. I was beyond excited...granted I was 11. But I will never forget feeding off the energy of the crowd. I didn't have to be in an venue to feel the buzz, it was everywhere.

I don't know how many races and events we will take the kids to but we will definitely introduce them to as much of the Olympic culture as we can. There will be constant activity with bands and medal ceremonies or even impromptu parties in the streets...just because someone from Austria won. I love how people sing, dance and paint their faces all to show how proud they are of their country.

This will be my 7th Olympics either as a spectator or as a competitor. They never get old to me and they always pump my blood. For me, it is very simple. I appreciate how everything has come down to these few moments on the ice or the hill or the rink. If it doesn't happen now, these athletes will have to wait 4 more years to give it another try. I know they have lots of other meaningful competitions in between but an Olympic medal seems to be the pinnacle. I love cheering for them, all of them, and I hope my kids will love cheering for them as well.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just Because.

Last week I flew to LA on and out in a day. Then, on Wed, flew to NYC where I worked until Friday and came home. All the while my back was still hurting me...arghhh, those flights are so hard on a bad back! Anyway, I survived just fine and had a lot of fun with my work and mom(whom I took with me). But I have yet to really catch up on my sleep.

My girlfriend noticed this. We met her for bowling on Sunday night and I was exhausted...but she could tell. Well, you know what she did??? She dropped off flowers at my house for me...just because! I love the "just because". I think it is one of the most thoughtful things anybody can do. She cared about me enough to notice that I was draggin and did something to make me smile. I actually think she could have put a poopy diaper on my front stoop as long as she said it was to make me smile!

I love my friends. They mean so much to me. Some I get to see more than others. Some I get to talk more to than others. But all of them are near and dear to my heart. I was talking to one of my friends the other day and she said that she was going to make a very conscious effort to put more time and energy into her girlfriend relationships. I told her that that is my goal as well. And, it isn't easy.

As working moms, we are pulled in every single direction. I want to be EVERYWHERE, doing EVERYTHING and that is just not possible. Some things have to give just a bit so that I can have some girlfriend time. Then, once you organize your calendar, you have to make sure it jives with all your friends. But making the commitment is VERY worth it. I love friends. I love how rich they make my life and I hope to make them smile with "just because" gifts every now and then too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We are almost ready! Struggling to get out the door!

Brilliant mommies have invented some pretty amazing mom-helping items. I wish someone could invent the "jetson_esque" "one push and your kids all ready" button. You know...they walk into a chamber with their jammies on and walk out fully clothed and fed.

Most days my kids wake up with smiles on their faces. Today they were great. Both woke up on their own with a great attitude and lots of love. And then, we have to get ready to get out the door. First of all, they don't want to get their clothes on. Sometimes I don't make them but this morning was not an option. My daughter has gymnastics on Tuesday mornings that starts at 9am and my son, quite simply, loves to stomp snow which is very difficult to do in a sleeper. So, at about 8:30am I tried to get everyone excited to GET DRESSED!!! What fun!!!

I was chatting calming with my daughter about what leotard she was going to wear. And, let me say, she LOVES gymnastics...or at least that is what she tells me all the time. Anyway, our calm conversation turned into to a total meltdown. She just didn't want to get dressed. So I said, "Well, maybe you don't want to take gymnastics anymore." I felt like it was a valid question. It didn't lead us down a good road.

Then, what is it about siblings chiming in when they can tell the parent is really vulnerable. My son, who was SUPER cheerful all morning, started to fight me very hard on getting dressed and changing his diaper. I know, this happens to everyone...but why? Before I knew it, it was 9am and we were 100% officially really late for gymnastics. I don't know why I get so frustrated. I actually said that to myself a few times. It isn't my class that I am missing.

I don't think my daughter understands yet the concept of "being late" or "being on time". She just knows that I prefer the latter. The bottom line is that we arrived at our 9am, 45 minute gymnastics class at 9:25am...and she started crying cause she was only going to get half a class.

I spoke with the other moms, who always seem to be on time, and asked if they have trouble getting their kids dressed and ready....NOPE. Is it just me? How can I get out the door quicker? Maybe it is the "9am" that is the problem. Maybe gymnastics isn't as important as she says it is. It is all a mystery to me but if you have any advice, I will take it.

On a very positive note, I will say that she had a great time during the class...was all smiles afterward. And then we went to swim lessons where she was laughing and playing. Once out the door, life is generally great. It is just getting out the door. If only they would miraculously be dressed when you put them in their car seat..."the instant car seat dressing chamber" there is a GREAT invention.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Double dates ROCK!

First of all, I realized tonight that I have missed a generation of music videos. I used to watch MTV back when they actually showed videos or even played music but that network has changed...(hello, "16 and pregnant"..I will get to that at a later date.) My point is that tonight, I caught up on a bunch and took a nice little stroll down memory lane.

Tonight we had a bit of a double date. We got together with a couple and their friend to hang out without kids. Nothing super planned or organized. We decided last minute, somehow snagged a sitter and I got a text from my friend right as I was leaving to head to the bowling alley.

I LOVE bowling and we just got a killer new place in Park City called Jupiter Bowl. The couches are comfy, the vibe is perfect and their are video screens everywhere...huge screens. My hubby and I got there early so we got to settle in. We even had a time for a little snuggle. And the game was on...YES. We watched what I consider the best post-season game so far on a HUGE screen and began to sip on one of my favorite beverages..Guinness beer. Life was excellent.

We were then joined by our good friends. It turned into such a fun night full of gutter balls, an occasional strike(everyone got at least one), tons of cheering with consistent high fives and a bit of dancing or swaying to the music.

See, once the football game was over, they turned the music videos on. We saw such an array of videos, it was truly awesome. We saw Nelly and Young MC... Beyonce and Joan Jett..... Salt-n-Pepa and Michael Jackson. I felt like I was transported to Jr high, high school, college and then back again!

And, did you know you can do a fantastic moon walk in bowling shoes? They are the best to make you feel like you have moves. All this fun happened before 10pm. Seriously, I used to be able to stay out late...but I also used to be able to sleep, we are responsible parents! That is when you know you are old...or maybe just tired...when your date starts so early that you are done by 9:30pm. But, tonight was perfect. Beers, Bowling, Football, Music and Wonderful Friends that like to be silly! Life is good.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Being Green is Being Responsible...just ask your kids.

I hope my kids are even greener than their parents. I try my best to teach them about recycling, not being wasteful and about conserving energy. All of those concepts are actually a part of our daily lives...almost habit.

It is pretty amazing how things have changed over the past 10 years. I don't remember hearing much about "being green" when I was at Stanford or any time before college. I did learn about conserving water when I was super young because we lived in a constant drought in Northern California in the late 70's and early 80's. And, because my dad was a stickler, we were constantly reminded to turn off the lights.

But things have changed. Everyone knows what the word GREEN means. Even our school kids are learning more about on the subject than we will ever know. I cannot wait until my kids come home from school to tell me how they are using old paper clips to build a new school bus. Ok...maybe that is a stretch but the idea is not.

Kids will continue to learn about being green and I was lucky enough to announce a contest that celebrates a kids' greeness! Go on and learn all about how your kid can nominate their school to be "The Greenest School in America" and win a IC Hybrid Bus worth $150,000, a $20,000 green make-over for their school and an individual $3,000 scholarship. Yes...absolutely amazing, huh?!!

I was so excited to work on the campaign and I am even more excited to check out all the nominations. See, kids can nominate their school through essay, video or song. So fun! My mom and I flew into NYC for the event and were up at the crack of dawn both Thrusday and Friday last week to chat with TV stations all around the country. I was exhausted by the end and my mom was such a trooper. Both of us got done with our role on Friday and felt energized and enthused about going home and being even more green. Here are a few of the things that I try to do to be green at home...

1. Bring my own grocery bags.
2. Use a reusable coffee mug and water bottle.(and for my kids as well)
3. Drive a hybrid (prius) even in the winter.
4. Use "Snack Taxi's"...awesome reusable plastic bags...invented by a really cool mom!
5. Keep our heat set at 67.
6. Turn water off when brushing teeth.
7. Turn lights off when not in room. (this is a big one!!!)
8. Litterless lunch for my trash...everything is reusable.
9. Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies.
10. RECYCLE as much as I can.
11. Take the bus

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My favorite wine and the celebration of one special guy!

My hubby has been working really hard. I mean REALLY REALLY hard. And a lot of the hard work was for not. But yesterday, was one of those days that makes all the hard work worth it...and then some. He got a ton of great news and tonight was the perfect night to celebrate.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't ideal. We were still trying to corral the kids to the dinner table and get them to eat a bit before rushing to the pantry for something sweet. But in the middle of our everyday chaos, we managed to steal a few sentences to ourselves. I cracked open the bottle of Cakebread Chardonnay that I had been saving and I told him how excited I was for him and how proud I was of him.

He seemed to beam when I made this "bit of a fuss". What I learned at that moment was a bit of what I already knew or assumed but needed to see to REALLY get it to sink in. I learned that my hubby likes to be fussed over every now and then...and maybe even a bit more than that. I love the way he seemed to relax and take in all my compliments and absorb the love that I was sending his way. I also learned that I don't do it enough. Let's be honest, at the end of the day we are both tired and each parent is vying for a little love and attention. A foot rub here or a compliment there. When you are both looking for it, often times it is never given. I am tired of that. I want my husband to know that I think he is awesome, sexy and super talented.(alright, I don't want him to get a big head :)

But the reality is that when you are in a world with 2 little kiddos running around demanding so much of your time and attention, it can be very difficult to reserve some of the leftover attention for your significant other. Tonight, my hubby didn't get my "left over" attention, he got it front and center. I was and am truly very proud of him. I am proud of him everyday but tonight, I opened up my favorite wine and by way of a toast or 5, I let him know it!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Most Chiropractors are my friends!

Let me start by saying that I have one leg longer than the other...and most of us do. You know, one boob bigger/higher than the other, one eye bigger/higher than the other. Our imperfections are what make us unique and perfect in our own way. As a swimmer, having one leg longer than the other wasn't a big deal but as an avid runner over the past 17 years has taken its toll. I notice that my back gets a little "outta wack" after a long road trip. When we went to my dad's house over the holidays, I was sitting in weird positions for about 10 hours and that messed up my spine a bit. I tried to stretch it when we got to Sacramento but it wouldn't go back into place. But, it did, over a few days, begin to feel better. My back pain isn't debilitating but it is annoying. For me, most times, it is a dull ache or an sharp little pain in certain positions. When we made the trip back home...another 10 hours of weird back positions, it again felt yucko. So, I booked myself to see my chiropractor. Many people don't believe in chiropractors but I do. My dad used to see one all the time when I was little. When I had a shoulder injury before the Olympic Games, I went to a chiropractor. I feel better when my body is aligned. I also know that if something is "outta wack" something else is over compensating. And that overcompensation can lead to improper wear and tear. So think about it. If you knew that your tires were out of balance, would you continue to ride around with the whole car shaking. NO! You would take it in until your ride was smooth. Well, I am looking for a smooth ride outside of my car. And I am looking for a life pain free. Find a chiropractor that you trust and if you are in pain, don't be afraid to try it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A happy birthday ER visit for me and my little dude!

In the wee hours of Jan 15, 2010, my little guy was not happy. He was crying in his crib saying that his head hurt and over all just a little bummed. I didn't think much of it and enjoyed my snuggle time with him. He went back to sleep pretty easily but only if I was with him.

Then, when he woke up, he went downstairs and after a couple of bites of food, immediately got sick. Again, I didn't think much of it except that he must have caught a little bug. He bounced right back, as kids often do so we got Skye ready for school and he and I got ready to do a little skiing.

And, I really do mean, a LITTLE. He just didn't seem to be his usually bubbly self but I thought it was from not sleeping well the night before. It wasn't until we finished skiing (in all of 20 mins) that I thought back to his fall earlier in the week which left him with a black eye.

I had not seen the actual fall, but heard it and it was loud. He must have gone straight down on the hardwood floor...and landed straight on his eye. It took a day for the black eye to show up and there wasn't much complaining from him...just and ocassional reminder that his head hurt.

So, after thinking it through, I decided to call his pediatrician and she quickly told us to go to the ER. Worst case scenario was he had some sort of bleeding on the brain. YIKES! We felt like we weren't in a "worst case" situation but I knew we should go down just in case. We arrived at noon and he was such a cute patient.

He quickly began flirting with every nurse he met. And once we announced that it was his birthday, gifts began rolling wheels, crayons, coloring books, kids meal toys. He felt very special. And, he was quite the gentleman...using his pleases and thank you's even offering the nurses some of his precious gum!

We did the usual "wait" during the ER visit and then came our turn in the CAT SCAN. He was incredibly brave and even stopped crying half-way through the process. (even though my heart was breaking just a little) We were there for so long that he decided to give in and snuggle with me to catch a few zzz's on the hospital bed.

He ended up sleeping for about an hour and a half before we had to wake him up for his eye exam. Again, he was tough as nails as the doc shined his bright light into his pupils. My little buddy spent his 2nd birthday in the ER to learn he had, as we call it, "broken his eye". He fractured some bone really far back in his head and it was pretty darn close to his brain. Is is fine and dandy but it is a bit of an eye opener for what lies ahead. My husband was a daredevil...I think my little dude would like to follow in dad's footsteps. I just hope I can keep up and keep him in one piece!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Even $5 will make a difference and help the people of Haiti!

I remember after 9-11 hearing and feeling from people that they desperately wanted to help in some way but didn't know how. People had the desire to give back a bit more. Give of their time and of their money. Several people, my mom included, didn't know where to give or how to volunteer. That is when I pitched the story of "Volunteer Vacations", where people pay to help, on their vacation. I went to France to help rebuild a castle and to Croatia to help children who had been affected by war. I went to Italy to watch former school teachers teach conversational English.(all of this for the Today Show) The common feeling amongst everyone was that it made them feel good...and you can't put a price tag on that.

I am not going to tell people they should up and voluteer in Haiti right now. And I am certainly not going to pass judgement at all, I am just going to make a suggestion to all of your who read my blog. Donate to help the people of Haiti. Have you watched the news or read the newspaper. It is horrible. Beyond is unthinkable. In fact, I was listening to the "Today Show' this morning and Hillary Clinton was describing it as "biblical".

I cannot imagine living your "normal" life one second and then having everything literally turned upside down the next. Think about 4:52, everything was normal and then the earthquake hit at 4:53 and their world will most likely never be the same. My heart absolutely goes out to all the people of Haiti.

I feel helpless during times like this and yet I feel an overwhelming need to help. What I have found to be the most helpful in all of my research is MONEY. I give to the Red Cross.( There is no question whether or not they are trustworthy...they are quite simply the real deal.

What I try to do is give as much as I can over a few year period. Right now, Haiti is in the news and getting the world's attention. But in a few months, there won't be many stories about the earthquake and people's attention will be drawn elsewhere. That is when the Red Cross will need even more as it will take a long, long time for Haiti to be back to even their previous standards.

If you think that you don't have enough to give...think again. Give up your Starbucks coffee for a week and give $15. If you aren't a coffee drinker, there is always something you can live without. Haiti needs us. And think about how powerful we can be as a country...if every American gave $5...we could raise about 1.5 Billion Dollars!!! Do what is in your heart and be grateful for where you live.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mexico, Margaritas, My my dreams but not for long!

I am sitting here at 9:31pm writing this blog after a day full of crying and whining...literally, a day full of crying and whining. And it just stopped. Ok, so we went to a friends house for dinner and I told my hubby, "We have to be IN the car by 8pm. No later!" We were pulling out of their driveway at 8:53pm.

A little later than planned, so we kinda did this to ourselves. The kids were having a great time at the dinner. But then, we got them home and 2 full meltdowns. We call them exorcist moments. These are the moments that make me dream of our vacation to Mexico! Granted, I live in a snow town and although it has been unseasonably warm, I am almost always dreaming of warm weather right about now. But with kiddos it is different.

There are moments when you need a little getaway with only your significant other to recharge...refuel...literally. All I want to do on my little dream vacation is sleep in, read a great book, snuggle with my hubby, drink several margaritas, and sleep in(I know I already said that). All I need is about 4 days and I think I will be all set.

I am not sure that I have ever wanted a vacation more than I do right now. With a 3 year old and a 2 year old, my husband and I can barely finish a simple thought without a request of some kind. We LOVE our life but we seem to appreciate alone time even more right now. This is the stage of life we are in and we are embracing it and recognizing what we need. I try to set up at least one date night a week but with our crazy travel schedules, that doesn't always happen. I have a friend who has said that she would even head to the closest Motel 6, if it meant a few days of rest and relaxation.

I know I say this often but it is completely true...Time flies and if you want it to happen, you need to make it happen now. I don't know when we will go on our vacation but I know it will be before June. Make sure to keep me to my word....PLEASE!!! Until then, I will continue to look at magazines of the beach and settle into my wonderful, sunshine filled dreams!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Skiing with Toddlers requires insane organization.

Here is the deal. I grew up swimming. Our checklist includes a swimsuit, a cap, goggles and a towel, if we are lucky. I can carry all that is needed for a fun day in the pool with my 2 gripper fingers. Now, skiing is a whole other ball game.

Let me remind you...I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old. My 3 year old was on skis last winter, takes lessons with her school and can ski by herself and my 2 year old just started last weekend. I feel very lucky for many reasons. #1...both of my kids LOVE skiing. in-laws LOVE skiing and LOVE to see my kids skiing.

I want to do everything I can to make sure they get out and enjoy the sport as much as possible. But, to do that, it takes a village. Or, a very organized mom....which I am not! On Friday, I forgot my daughter's helmet and goggles. I had to drop her at school, rush back home to get them, and then race back to the resort just in time for her lesson to start. Today, I forgot her boots and my skis and boots. I know...what was I thinking...forgetting my own equipment. But, in my defense, I didn't think they would ski anywhere except the magic carpet. WRONG!!

Kids improve very fast so be ready for it. They went down the magic carpet 4 times and then skied down to the "big lift". I felt helpless and totally lame. Luckily I have my in-laws who are pros and love taking the kids. When I told my mother-in-law my tales of forgetfulness, she gave me a great tip.

She used to have a laminated checklist attached to the kids ski bag. She would check off everything before leaving the house to make sure all was in there proper place. And, you know what...I trust her cause she raised 2 incredible skiers, one being my hubby who went to 3 Olympics in alpine skiing. She told me that people would ask her all the time how she was so organized and she would always refer to the checklist.

This just might be the key to my mommy skiing career. And as far as remembering my own stuff. I feel there is nowhere but up...I have to get better...forgetting my skis is ridiculous! Here is to many more bluebird days with tons of laughter and no whining!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mommy play date conversation is like juggling watermelons!

When it comes to toddler play dates, although I try my hardest, I am rarely able to finish single thought due to constant requests and refereeing. However, every now and then, me and my mommy friend are somehow able to pull of the miraculous!

This morning, my good friend came over and we actually talked about several things. More importantly, we finished most all our thoughts...but it wasn't easy. I don't know how it happened. All I can say is that it seemed like we were in need of a good hearty conversation or 5.

I feel like we were getting ready for a hugely important race when describing our mind set. In order to finish our thoughts and sentences, we needed to be at the top of our game. The game of ignoring the whining and talking over the crying. It was pretty impressive, I must say, how we were so very in tune with each other. Several times I found myself reading her lips just so I could be for sure of what she was saying.

Our conversation had nothing to do with kids or poopy, it was much more stimulating and that is why I was soaking up every bit of it. This friend in particular, has such a fun and interesting brain and I love her take on life and issues and all her funny funny stories. We laugh at a lot of the same silly stories and even when we are talking about serious subjects, we don't take ourselves too seriously.

I have walked away from play dates before where neither mommy was able to finish a single sentence. Where we spend most of our time together saying, "Now what was I saying?" I feel so frustrated when that happens simply because I care about my mommy friends and genuinely want to know how they are doing!

Today was a good day...but, like I said in the heading, most times it is like juggling watermelons (mess included! :) ) Oh yeah, and the kids had fun too!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Celebrity Apprentice!

So, it is out the viral world and even in promos. I can now say to my friends that I was in NYC for a little thing called, "Celebrity Apprentice". Yes, I did meet The Donald. Yes, I did check out his hair. Yes, I was super hesitant and nervous when deciding to do it. Yes, I did it for my charity...Right To Play. And, yes, I had a super fantastic experience.

I must admit that I lost a bit of sleep over whether or not to do the show. I had seen a bit of last season's drama and it scared the shit out of me. I am not a very good fighter. I am a much better laugher. And I knew that wasn't going to get me anywhere in the boardroom. But, sometimes in life, you surprise yourself.

I brought my kiddos and my mom. The days were longer than long. Call times were as early as 5am and the days were consistently over around 10 or 11pm. I was crazy tired because, on my days off, I was soaking up as much time as I could with my kiddos and giving my mom a much deserved break. We had one day off a week in which to be normal...then it was off into a reality tv bubble.

I have to say, though, I was 100% the same person off camera as I was on camera. And, every chance I got, I spoke about my charity, Right To Play! In the end, I agreed to do the show for one reason, to introduce everyone to Right To Play and hope to spread the word about our work. We bring sport and play to developing countries and children who have been affected by war. I have been on 2 trips with them and they have changed my life forever. Once you see a child's face light up when they see our red soccer realize the power of sport and it's importance.

This blog is all over the place and obviously, I will write more about the show. All in all, I had a great experience. I am sure there will be things I wish I had said differently but in the end, I feel like I got to meet some amazing people, made lasting friendships and challenged myself in ways I never thought possible.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My lunch date with the "other man"!

What a gentleman. I opened the door for him at the post office and he said, "Thank you", without any prompting. It is moments like that that melt my heart. Sometimes he will just smile at me and say, "Hi mama, Hi." He runs errands with me without much complaint.

Today we went to the post office where Julie at the window gave him 5 stamps on his hand(not postage stamps but actual ink stamps with the date.) Then we went to the grocery store, the library to donate books and Walmart so I could pick up some crafts. All the while, the only request was to push the cart. We started the day out with a date for some coffee with another mommy and her son. It probably sounds like madness but it is actually very relaxing. I love it as it is just him and I.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday my daughter goes to school so my son and I get to "hang". He gets pretty sad when Skye gets out of the car and doesn't come back. He REALLY wants to go to school and lets me know pretty much every day. He has no idea what school is but he knows that the "Big Kids" go and therefore that is what he wants to do. Instead, he gets to hang out with mom. Hanging with mom sounds very boring but, I try to make it fun.

But today was special. I asked him if he would be "my lunch date". He said "YES" with a huge grin and kept repeating "LUNCH DATE", "LUNCH DATE", "LUNCH DATE". I am not sure if the word was cool to say or if he really felt special. Either way, we had a serious bonding moment and I loved it. Now, what should we do on Friday?!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Next year I am going to ask Santa for more patience!

As a mom of an almost 4 year old and an almost 2 year old, I feel like my patience are tested 200 times a day. Obviously, some days are better than others but really, how many times does a mommy have to ask her 3 year old to put on her shoes? It takes about 20 times before I lose my patience...then I take a breath.

I know that my kids react better to any situation when I don't yell. That is why I continue to speak in a very clear and calm voice most of the time. But seriously, there are times when it is needed. And let me be clear, it is not really yelling, it is raising my voice. You know what I am talking about...I remember my parents being pushed to this point many times. And it gets their attention.

I do wish, though, that I had the patience that could last forever. I wish I had this magic touch that could turn any tantrum into laughter and any sibling argument into playing nice. There are times when I do turn to laughter at that moment of losing my patience. It is when I add a little tickle and wait for their mood to totally change. It works every now and then and it brings pure joy to my face.

I guess my real reason for even bringing up the subject is to, once again, remind everyone that we are all in this together. That being parents is not an easy job and that we are never going to be perfect but we should always try our best. There are times when I wish I hadn't raised my voice. And there are also times when it has done the trick. But what I am certain of is that I am going to continue to try to have more patience with my kids. I will try my best to listen. Funny thing is, that is what we are asking of them.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Feels like a great number. Let's make it a Super year!

I purposefully waited until Jan 2nd to write this blog. I didn't want to be one of a million talking about the new year. It is like the joy you get when you hear "Happy Birthday" a week late. I love celebrating joyous events after their date. So...HAPPY NEW YEAR! I said to all my family this year, "Happy New Year! Let's make it a good one!" And later I added, "And a FUN one!"

Life was downright crappy for many people last year. We were hit but are still fine but hearing about everyone's financial situation and stress and depression took it's toll on everyone. My heart goes out to EVERYONE who was affected by the economic downturn. But with all of that said, we now are in a position to make things better. I fully believe that a positive outlook can make you a happier person.

What I do is look at myself and figure out what makes me happy...(within quick trips to Cabo every month) Once I have those simple things figured out, I try to make sure they fit into my life. For instance, I love taking my kids swimming. Living in a ski town, that isn't the easiest...but I am going to make sure I do it. And the kids LOVE it. I want to sneak away with my husband more. I booked a sitter for Sunday night so we can do "whatever"!

Then, there are things that make me happy beyond my family. Tuesday yoga with the girls, organizing my house and life, getting in shape for my 2nd ever triathlon in August, sitting down and reading a newspaper with a cup of coffee. I have dedicated part of 2010 to making sure I grow and become a better! And one big thing that I want to do is have more fun in every part of my day. I want to be there when my kids are laughing...I want to be the one making them crack up! What joy!

And if you don't want to decide what makes you happy right now. Think of several things in your life that make you smile. There, is your positive motivation. If we all start the year off thinking positive about our lives, ourselves, our world...imagine the impact that could have. Not to mention we all look prettier when we are happy! :) Here is my motto, "Life is short, enjoy every second of it!" Before you know it, it will be 2011!!! You know that is true!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Writing Thank You cards with your kids.

I was always taught to write thank you cards after Christmas. We would sit down and write to our grandparents and aunts and uncles, especially. We took our time and made sure that we wrote to everyone that gave us a gift. I didn't always love doing it but I knew that it was important and that my mom would be proud of us for taking the time.

And, isn't that what it is really all about, TIME. That is what someone says when they open your card..."Well, isn't that nice of them to take the time to write a thank you card." I know I have said it. But, it means a lot. And it teaches your kids the art of writing a letter and of saying "Thank you."

At this stage in my kids lives, we sit down and I write the letter. I will ask my daughter to give me some guidance...what did she like about the toy? what was her favorite part of Christmas? How much does she like that special outfit her aunt gave her? I try to write down a lot of her cute responses and then I sign her name. She is just about at the point where she can write her letters. That is when it will start to be really fun.

And it is some good quality time with my kids where we are able to talk, again, about how lucky they are to receive gifts and how important it is to be thankful. She actually used that word, thankful, the other day when I was talking about Christmas, so I know she is getting it. And, how bout this, I still write thank you cards. Up until about 2 years ago, I used to write business people thank you cards after they met with me. You know, just to say, "Thank you for taking the time." Again, it is about the time.

I remember I wrote a co-worker a thank you card when I first started working for the NBA. I just wanted to tell her thank you for doing so much for me. She said that the other people she was working for had never written her a letter in the 8 years she had worked with them. I had only been there 3 months. I think she was touched.

So, yes, the grandparents will be thrilled to get their 'thank you' card in the mail. And you, as a parent will be so proud of your kids for writing them. But what I hope to teach my kids is that those two little words go a long way and should be used more often than not. Happy writing!