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!