Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words....

Marielle is not into sports in any big way. She usually will try something once and then state that she is through with that sport and will never try it again. I've tried to explain that, like just about anything in life, practice makes you better. But Marielle doesn't believe that's true, especially with sports.

This weekend, we were at a gathering and a bunch of the kids were playing baseball, very loosely...grab a bat, hit the ball...no bases, just hit it and then someone else gets a turn. So Marielle decided to give it a try....

Can you guess how Marielle felt about it?

She did actually hit the ball by the way!

Thanks, Tiara, for this awesome shot!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sometimes it's the little things...

I came home from playing bingo on Friday night to find a 70 piece puzzle put together and a message. The message said, "Marielle and Rico put this puzzle together, love, mom".

I don't know what touched me more...that my kids can do a 70 piece puzzle now or that my daughter leaves me notes. I love the way she turns around the signature part, putting "love, mom" at the end, instead of "Love, Marielle". The meaning is clear and that's all that matters...she loves me and wanted to share her and Rico's triumph with me.

I can't wait until they are old enough to do huge, old jigsaw puzzles, like we did growing up. You know, the kind that sit on the dining room table for weeks and everyone does a bit here and there until it's all done.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

We had the pleasure today of meeting Mariah and her family. Mariah has Wilms, a type of kidney cancer. She and her family live in a neighboring city. We went to a fundraiser for her and her family. It's always sad to meet another family that has a child fighting cancer. It's a club that no family wants to be a member of. But, sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone, that you are not the only family in the world fighting for your child's life.

I hope that our meeting, our words, brought them a little bit of comfort. Mariah is 3 years old, the same age Marielle was at diagnosis. I hope that them seeing Marielle, healthy and normal, will be a beacon of hope for them, that one day, Mariah, too, will be a survivor. That one day, too, they will look at their little girl and think of cancer as a memory.

We are holding their family close in our hearts, sending them good wishes and prayers.

If you feel like it, drop by their site and leave some words of comfort for them, too. It's a hard road. http://caringbridge.org/visit/mariahjackson

Friday, April 24, 2009

Can it be?

Can the weather be manic/depressive? It sure seems that way. From 94 on Tuesday to 51 and cold wind blowing and showers today. What a change? Just as I was about to pull out the kids spring clothes, wham, it's winter weather again. It's very hard to reason with an almost 7 year old about clothes, especially when she wants to wear a favorite shirt that has been tucked away since last fall...but really not warm enough for today.

Let's hope the weather gets manic again soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Marine influence....Love those words!

Monday and Tuesday the weather was in the 90's both days. Too hot for me. We don't usually get this kind of weather at all, let alone in April. We set up the blow up pool and the kids loved it. I sent Ralph out to hang with them in the yard and hid in the air conditioned house. One nice thing about it though, I had kids who did their homework in record time with no whining because they wanted in that pool!

Luckily, yesterday the marine influence set in and that nice, cool breeze from the water came in...high in the mid 70's and really very pleasant. Today, it's foggy and cold...no wonder people are walking around with stuffed noses!

But, I'd rather have it be cool than too hot.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a day!

What a way to end spring break...temperature in the high 80's, kids running through the sprinklers, watching old videos of when they were babies, and then BBQ for dinner and eat outside. A great way to end spring break...back to the grind tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Anchors Away!

So we went out today on my Dad's boat, other wise known as Opa (which is grandpa in German). Here are the kids on the dock in front of the boat before we headed out onto the Bay.

Here's Rico and Opa:

We just went out on the Bay, up to the Golden Gate but not out to the Pacific and then headed over to the Oakland Estuary.

We stopped by McCovey Cove, but the game hadn't started yet:

We saw a Duck Boat:

Really, it's never a dull moment on the boat....well, except if you are 6 and there's all this water and a rocking boat...yawn...

But seriously, the last time we went out on the boat, my dad managed to ground it and did 100K worth of damage to the boat. This time, we got boarded by the Coast Guard. Yep, it's true....never a dull, routine boat ride for us! They just did a "routine safety check" but still it was rather ironic, considering Ralph is a retired Coastie with 34 years in the Coast Guard.

Oh, we did pass the safety inspection.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Break Continues!

We had a blast today at Gilroy Gardens, a local amusement park. We met with a friend and her kids, 2 of whom are close in age to our kids and had a great time.

I rode on a couple of the the rides with the kids.....

The kids rode on a bunch of rides together.....

We met up with "Garlic Guy"...hey, this is Gilroy, after all!

The weather was perfect and we had a great day! I am loving spring break!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Every night, when I tuck the kids in, I tell them what to dream about. It's a way we decided would keep the bad dreams away and keep happy dreams in their head as they fell asleep. When they were little, I'd tell them to dream of soft, sweet bunnies and puppies and kittens.

Tonight, we let both the kids fall asleep in our bed and Ralph will move them to their beds later. So, I'm cuddling with them in my bed and the dream goes like this:

Rico is racing his race car on a rainbow road and candy stars are falling from the sky, which Marielle, on her flying unicorn, picks up and puts in her saddle bag. Then, after Rico wins the biggest race in the whole world, Marielle throws the candy out to his fans. Then they celebrate with a rock concert starring Marielle, who has Bon Jovi as a guest at her concert. Of course, all of Rico's fans are invited to the concert as well and it's televised all over the world for all the fans to see, too. (Marielle added that last part about it being on TV.)

Ah, sweet dreams.....

Spring Break Begins!

And so not to go crazy hearing "I'm bored, what can I do?" we have plans this week! We started off with a trip to the zoo today. Of course, seeing the animals is just the beginning because playing in all the stuff the Children's Zoo has is the real fun.

You can pretend you are a turtle, climb a frog or a turtle, taunt the alligators. Yeah, from behind a big glass partition until your mom, uh that would be me, says, "That alligator looks hungry and alligator's favorite lunches are little kids' arms ". And instead of my kids getting scared, they laugh and say, "We know you are kidding" as another little one runs screaming for their mom.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hoppy Easter!!!

So the bunny came a visiting our house this morning. He came pretty early, before the kids had woken up. And believe me, Marielle hopped up like a bunny this morning, something that you would not normally see, especially on a school day.

It's pretty exciting to see what the bunny brought, especially when you are 5 and 6 years old. Marielle ran to Rico's room and woke him up, to remind him that it was Easter. Then they both peered out his window into the back yard and came running to tell me that the bunny had come and that they saw things outside.

I had to be the tough mom and insist that they put on clothes and shoes before they could go out and explore. Hair was another thing...no hair done in time to go hunt eggs, as you can see from Marielle's "bed head" look, but who cares, there are eggs and other goodies to be found!

It was a very exciting time, but funny, too. Rico found a few things and then said, "Marielle, can I help you, the bunny didn't leave me much". That's when Marielle abandoned her search and started helping Rico, who had missed every single egg the bunny had left.

I just love the kids at this age and the excitement they bring to everything they do!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bunny Time!

Marielle doing her best bunny impression!

The Kids are so excited it's almost Easter...which means a visit from the Easter Bunny and a whole week off of school for spring break! Weather is nice, life is good!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Simple Pleasures

I've always been a fan of word games....Many years ago, when my sister lived nearby, we'd spend hours playing games like scrabble and boggle. Well, guess what? Now my kids are old enough to start playing boggle. Yes, we amend the rules a bit for them, but it's still so fun to see them discover words! Of course, I can still win, but I'm actually looking forward to the day that one of them beats me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Afraid of the Dark

Marielle is scared at night, often. She really is afraid of the dark. I had hoped that time would ease the fear, but it hasn't. She often starts the night in our room, then Ralph moves her back while she is sleeping to her bed and then she creeps back into our room while we are asleep.

Last night I found her on the floor of our room, cuddled up with one of the dogs....no pillow, no blanket, at around 3 am. I covered her with a comforter and then talked to her about it today.

She is very scared. I know why, I know the root of the problem. She never, ever came to our bed even once until she was diagnosed with leukemia. Then, we got the call at 3 am, go straight to the hospital, don't wait until morning. We did. I would give anything to NOT follow those instructions. The few hours wait would have not mattered at all. But, awakening her, from a deep sleep, taking her to the E.R. in the dark, then being admitted for 19 days, well, it's made her fear what she never feared before.

Overall, she has very little long term effects from the cancer treatment, at least emotionally. But, this fear of the dark has stayed. We've talked about it often but nothing I say can chase her fear away.

Anyone have any suggestions? We've talked about it, she has a bed full of stuffed animals to keep her company, a night light....just about anything I can think of. So, I'm open to ideas. All, except one...I will not force her to stay in her room by telling her our room is off limits, locking the door, etc.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy Birthday

To ME!!! Today I'm 39 again. No, really. See when you have a 5 year old and a 6 year old, well, let's just say that I'm not going to have happen to me what happened to their Dad. And that would be, announcing to everyone and anyone who would listen, "My Daddy's 56 years old".

I'm not ashamed of my age (oh and by the way, I married a much older man) but really, I don't want everyone in the world knowing that fact as soon as they meet me. So, I'm 39 again today.

The only one who was skeptical was Marielle, who asked, "Can you do that?" to which I replied, "I just did".