The State of Things

Life is normal, and its not. Its hard to wrap my head around what's happening in our country right now. Day-to-day, our routine, its the same. That's my privilege, which I recognize. But my heart is heavy, and I just don't understand.

LagLiv said it better, but I just don't understand how the White House Press Sec can flat out lie to us. It makes no sense to me how the powers that be can continue to dismantle the ACA without offering anything in its place, leaving millions without insurance and therefore without access to necessary medical attention. We've confirmed a Secretary of Education with no relevant experience, and who has made it clear she doesn't care about the state of public schools, nor making sure that those with disabilities receive the help they need to learn well (even if their school receive the money for providing those services).

It makes me livid that we're going to end up paying for a damn wall that won't work:

Not to mention being unnecessary since illegal immigrant levels have leveled off! There is no humongous inflow. And I can hardly even talk about the new policies on refugees and people from Muslim countries (but not countries that have actually supplied us with terrorists, instead going with the ones without Trump hotels and interests).

This country was built on the idea of helping those in need, and now we are being run by people who love to talk about how pro-life they are, but don't want to help those lives they consider less then. (Read this, he says it best!)

What are we doing here? We're not making America safer or better, we're making it more racist, more reactionary, and less of everything that actually makes our country great. Our President is the butt of international jokes, and the only place he's polling well is Russia.

I'm frustrated. I'm scared. I'm damn sad.

But I won't back down, I won't stop speaking out, I won't stop standing up for my friends, and I won't stop working to bring our country forward again. I ask you to do the same. If you see intolerance, speak up; call your Reps, make sure they get your support to do the right thing or hear your thanks.

I want to hope for a miracle, but the truth is, this is going to take work. I won't stop, and I hope you're with me.


Nothing New Update

I walked through Target the other day and only got the dishwasher detergent, socks, and underwear for Gwen that I came in for. So basically, things are going well.  Ha!

Really, as things progress I get more and more used to not "defaulting to buy" and it feels good to be much more conscientious of what I'm spending my money on and WHY I'm spending it. I didn't see a big change in my credit card in January thanks to two big things: Daisy's surgery, and plane tickets for one of the weddings I'll be attending in May. But thanks to Nothing New, having those expenses wasn't as painful as it might have been!

My only other splurge type purchases were new snow boots for Gwen (really a necessity, her old ones had holes!), and a new pair of yoga pants for me (also pretty necessary - as of this month I teach or take yoga 5 of 7 days a week - going up to 6 next month, and two of my current pairs are about to go!). For Valentine's Day I did buy Trav a gift - but it was the gift of a night out (sushi and comedy!) vs another item that would take up space in our house. He gifted me with sushi for dinner and the freedom to book some travels! There were a few birthdays in there as well, but I mostly bought people experiences vs things, and the few things I did buy, I was able to use a gift card to buy. I'm also saving on yoga classes now since I'm teaching at my home studio (score!).

I still have work to do. I notice when I have a sad/frustrating/aggravating day I'm more likely to fall back into old habits. But I plan to keep going, keep trying, and hopefully it gets so routine that I don't fall back into old habits so easily.

Onward and upward!


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Birthday Fun}

One last post about Gwen's birthday...

Gwen got to bring in a snack to share with the class on her birthday, she chose donuts! The cupcakes were for our at home celebration. She and I couldn't get over how cute the little animal rings were on top!

Her friend Katie gave her the cutest homemade card! It was so sweet!

At home celebration that night...

This last picture just cracks me up because Gwen and I eat our cupcakes the same way! Ha!

Happy Birthday Baby!


Birthday Interview: Year 7

[Find previous years here.]

Me: “Hey Gwenie, how old are you now?”

Gwen:  7 

Me: “Who’s your best friend?”

Gwen: Kolten and Carter M.

Me: “What is your favorite thing to do?”

Gwen: Lots of things! Going to Chucky E Cheese, eating pizza, movies... so many!

Me: “What is your favorite color?”

Gwen: Blue and green 

Me: “Do you have a favorite food?”

Gwen: A few: junk, chicken nuggets and french fries, pizza, Chinese.

Me: “What is your favorite thing to do with mommy and daddy?”

Gwen: A million things!

Me: “What is your favorite toy?”

Gwen: Everything I have!

Me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Gwen:  Almost everything. 

Me: “What makes you happy?”

Gwen: Having my birthday!

Me: “What is something that makes you sad?”

Gwen: When you yell at me or get upset at me.

Me: “Do you have a favorite movie?”

Gwen:  Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Shrek, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Big Hero 6... and so many I can't think of right now. 

Me: How about a favorite TV show?”

Gwen:  Odd Squad, PJ Masks, Wild Kratts, and Jake [Jake and the Neverland Pirates], Lion Guard, and Princess Elena 

Me: “Do you have a favorite book?”

Gwen:  I don't know, SO many! 

Me: What do you like to learn about?”

Gwen:  Math, science, nature... all different kinds of stuff. 

Me: “What are you excited about for your birthday?”

Gwen:  Going to Chuck E Cheese with Kolten! And eating pizza.

Me: “Where’s your favorite place to go when we leave the house?”

Gwen:  Almost everywhere. 

Me: “What is your teacher's name?”

Gwen:  Miss Mramor 

Me: “Do you have a favorite treat?”

Gwen:  No, I don't really have a favorite... except maybe lollipops, ice cream, cupcakes, donuts, popsicles...

Me: “What’s your favorite animal?”

Gwen:  Almost all of them. 

Me: “Do you have a favorite song?”

Gwen: Frozen, Rock and Roll [All Night] and Kiss songs, Funky Nassau [from Blues Brothers 2000]

Me: “What’s your favorite thing to wear?”

Gwen:  Any summer clothes and winter clothes. 

Me: “What are you looking forward to this year?”

Gwen: Cape Cod and going on other adventures!

Me: "I'm super excited for that stuff too! Thanks baby!"


Seven Years

Dear Gwenie,
Yesterday you turned 7 years old. Its so hard to believe that I've been a mom for 7 years! I can hardly remember that little baby that first stole my heart, but I still amazed every day by how grown up you're getting.

This year was all about continuing to settle into our Colorado, and making our place here. You've made so many great friends, and you are more and more comfortable with this as our home.

Not to say there aren't hard days. You mentioned tearfully recently that you are starting to forget things about Pennsylvania. I'll bring up a person and it will be hard for you to remember them. It always makes you sad when that happens, but I just try to remind you that we are making new, wonderful memories daily.

(You also told me that you forget what I look like with brown hair, and only remember me with blue, which is a source of amusement for both of us!)

One way we made some amazing memories this past year was with travel. National parks, visits with friends, and a big trip back to the East Coast to make some new memories there. It's the best gift I could have received as a parent to be blessed with a daughter who is always willing to hop in the car with me and GO.

Gwen, you are fire and sass, dirt and noise. Vivacious, opinionated, and loud, you definitely don't keep it to yourself when we do something you don't like. You often need a bit of a reminder that just because as parents we sometimes have to say "No" to things, it doesn't mean we're being "rude!" or "mean!"

There is another side to you too though, one that is a little reserved and maybe a bit shy. One that is loving, attentive, and fiercely loyal. I'm so grateful that you're still happy to hold my hand as we walk to school, climb in bed for snuggles in the mornings, and I always get a kiss goodbye (even at school). 

You tell me I'm your best friend, and before bed each night you love to tell me I'm "the best Mommy [you] ever had", Daddy and Daisy are also the best Daddy/Daisy Dog (respectively) you ever had.

Its adorably sweet and heartwarming... and a good thing to hold on to during your cranky moments! :-)

You are so creative now: constantly singing songs which either you make up or your recent favorites from the radio, drawing pictures, and writing notes to us.

You are still so family centered, always wanting to be around one or all of us, but are so independent at the same time. You'll play happily in your room for hours, but want to take Daisy with you. You get yourself dress and ready in the morning without prompting or fuss, but only after exuberant morning hugs.

You are still into Legos and Superheros of all kind, love Harry Potter (we just finished reading all of the books!), Star Wars, and the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. You set up elaborate toy landscapes in the living room with huge, epic stories to go with.

You love playing dress-up as your favorite heroes... either already established ones or ones that you've made up on your own, a mish-mash of hero qualities and costumes.

You are still doing swim lessons, up to the intermediate swim group, and your breaststroke is better then anyone else in this family! You're learning to dive off of the side of the pool, and have a deep love of the water.

Your only problem in graduating to the next level of lessons is endurance! Your slight frame just doesn't have a lot of extra reserves and you need to keep working to build up. One more round at this level though, and we'll be moving you on!

Speaking of slight frame, (unofficially since your 7 year appt isn't until next week) you're about 3' 11" tall now and 39 lbs. You are all arms, legs, big blue eyes and loonnngg blonde hair (its about to your tush now!). You haven't lost any teeth yet (much to your chagrin!), but you do have two adult teeth coming in at the bottom... we call them your shark teeth! We just keep wiggling away, and hopefully those baby teeth will be out soon.

One of your absolute favorite things is reading, and that growth has really come from school. We've always read to you and with you, so reading has always been a part of your life, but you have grown in leaps and bounds this year! First grade has been an amazing year for you overall, and I'm absolutely in love with your school and amazing teacher (as are you!).

By the end of first grade you're supposed to have reached level 16... you are currently at level 20 with 3 months to go. You read to us ever chance you get, and we still read to you every night before bed.

You are loving math, too, and find social studies fascinating. While there are some nights when you just don't want to, most nights homework gets done easily, with no complaints, and with enthusiasm for getting it done well. Fingers crossed this keeps up!

You just started a little bit of speech therapy this week, to work on your R sounds, and you just think it is so much fun. It didn't bother you in the slightest, and I'm so glad that your teacher was on top of getting this done, and that your school has great services readily available.

This year you've discovered a real love for hockey. You could care less for most other sports, but you find hockey to be fun, especially when the Avalanche win. You are an Avs fan through and through!

Thankfully both your Dad and I are more then happy to hit up a hockey game with you anytime we can!

This year you've really started to figure out what it means to be yourself. You've realized that you don't always fit into "gender norms" and that sometimes it can be lonely when friends like different things. That can be hard sometimes, but I'm so proud of how true you always are to yourself.

Gwenie, there have been challenges this past year, and we've had our disagreements, but there's been so much love too. That's one thing we can both count on, no matter what happens I will always love you more then you could ever know. No matter what happens outside our four walls, you will always fit perfectly with me. And no matter what, you're the best Gwen I ever had...

Love you baby!