Wednesday, December 31, 2008


ERRK! I think something, some invisible creature, has taken up residence in my home. This creature seems to take pleasure in stealing and hiding my running stuff. Monday morning I got out my ear warmers set them down on the bed, went and brushed my teeth and put my hair up, came back and they were gone! I mean literally gone! I took all the covers and sheets off the bed, not there,. I looked under the bed and between the head and foot boards, in the pile of clean laundry, and the pile of dirty laundry. I looked where it is usually stored. I searched every room, even looking in those odd places such as the refrigerator, and under the bathroom sink, gone I tell you. Both the kids said they didn't touch it.

I gave up the search and headed out with one of Brian's beanies on, which ended up being a good idea as it was freezing, actually 20 degrees below freezing!

Now I am getting ready to run again, and I can not find my BRAND NEW GARMIN FORERUNNER 50! Again I have searched everywhere, even more thorough than with the ear warmer! So to calm down I thought I would sit here and vent! Maybe by getting all the anger, sadness, and guilt out on "paper" will help me think more clearly...

I am hoping that little hands (meaning Maddox) did not decide to play with it and place it somewhere impossible to find. I am visioning it being crushed in the trash truck, or chewed to pieces by the dog, sent to the good will in a bag of clothes.... To think I only got to use it once!

EDIT: I am certain it is some malicious creature, now I can't find my asthma inhaler....

EDIT 2: Well the watch has been found, as well as the inhaler. The watch was under a table, pretty obvious considering all obscure places I looked, and the inhaler was in the jogging stroller from the last time I pushed Maddox on a run. Still missing, black Turtlefur ear warmers.

Learned? Everything has a home and it needs to be put back there immediately, leaving no chance for little fingers or invisible creatures to run off with it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Double Digits Day

So today Madison turned 10! I can hardly believe that ten years ago today such a great blessing came into my life. She has truly transformed my life, and the lives of everyone around her. It is at this time every year I am reminded of the amazing plan God has for her, I don't know the specifics, but I know she was created to make a huge difference in the world, big and small.

Today she slept in till almost 8:00, which at our house is sleeping in really late. Then requested pancakes, I got really creative and made them in the shapes of ones and zeros, corny I know but she liked it... Then we let her open one of her presents early because she had been hoping to get if for Christmas. She got the movie "Get Smart" and we all watched it.

Then we got out of our pj's and took a girls trip to go shopping. This of course included every ten year olds favorite store, Clair's, where she got a new ipod cover and wallet.

Every year Madison helps me make her cake, I have pictures from when she was two, and every subsequent year of this tradition (unfortunately the majority of them occurred before the digital camera era-wow how much has changed in ten years). This year we made brownies instead of a cake. The family came over to enjoy the treats, and of course spoil her even more. She got some new clothes, scrap booking supplies,a ski trip, new sled for her upcoming cabin trip, and a BB gun. She has been really wanting a BB gun so we decided to let her have one.

Madison's dog, Ranger, shares her birthday too, so we of course couldn't leave him out, and got him a massive bone to enjoy. This picture shows just how much they love each other and how close they are.

It was a really great day spent with an amazing girl. She is growing up way too fast, and it is difficult for her momma!

Learned? So many things change in 10 years, and most of the time I don't feel any different than I did 10 years ago, but today it is impossible to ignore the fact that I am aging... I have a ten year old!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fatter the Flakes Fall

Silent, softly falling snow,
Covers the crisply frozen earth,
Plush pillows hide the children’s toys left outside one day too long,

Still fatter the flakes fall.

Boisterous laughter accompanies children’s play,
Man of snow, with coal for eyes, image of imagination,
Warm cups of cocoa remedy the winter’s chill,

Still fatter the flakes fall.

Frisky puppies frolic in the newly fallen snow,
Paw prints tell the story of the afternoon’s adventure,
All too soon to be erased, as their makers warm by the fire,

Still fatter the flakes fall.

Steeply sloped sledding hill beckons riders to the top,
One more climb, one more thrill,
Atop the red toboggan, speeding down the hill

Still fatter the flakes fall.

Silent, secure in the warmth of home,
Covers pulled tight from chin to toes,
Plush pillows transform the window seat, a cozy winter bed.

Still fatter the flakes fall.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Multi-Talented Girl

Madison is a girl of many talents. She is amazing academically, is great at soccer, loves to climb, and I have always known that she was also talented musically. She had a great opportunity Monday night and I have been wanting to share it but couldn't find the right words since I wasn't actually there. My mom emailed me to tell me about the evening, so I thought I would just share her words with you....

Last night was the Fruita Monument High School Holiday Extravaganza- back in the day we called it the Christmas program. So where else would we be? We picked up Madison for our annual evening of enjoyment and headed out. The Choir, Band and Orchestra all perform (separately) which means a lot of parents and family come-so they have the program at the Avalon Theater downtown, where we went to see Brian Regan. To help raise money for the school programs they do something fun. They have for $5 you can play the trivia game, which is trivia on the 3 directors, Ryan being one of them. So you would think it was a done deal now but wait last year we did not win, oh the pressure. The major award for being the winner is you get to direct the band for one song-Sleigh Ride! Ryan has to have the band trained to work together and be able to play without real direction! So Madison picks our seat in the Balcony and we begin to fill out our trivia game. Dan makes it so fun for Madison and I. Then after turning it in we realize we forgot our program for the event- so Dan and Madison head off to get one. They end up chatting with a student about how sales were going on the trivia game and the student shares how Mr. Crabtree had told them his niece had been saving up all summer to buy a chance to direct the band, probably to encourage the band to be able to play the song no matter who was directing -or is it conducting. How funny the guy did not know he was talking to his niece! Madison is now so nervous and excited about possibly winning and actually going up there on the stage in front all those people. Of course we get to enjoy all the choirs first. Next is the band and Ryan comes out and is adding another level to the podium to make it taller. Yikes now she is sure she won or do they usually do that. Then Ryan reviews the answers with the crowd and we had only missed one- and it was about Ryan! He waits to announce the winner until they have played their first song. Now Madison is squirming, but it had looked this good last year too. So
Dan and I are reviewing how to walk out there with her head high and no one would be able to tell how scared she was. The first song is over and Ryan comes back to the mic. to announce the winner- Madison is frozen- and he says will Madison Caster come to the stage. At this time not many people are expecting an almost 10 yr old. Dan helps her to the back of the stage and Madison walks out with her head high and the crowd all sighed "oh" as how precious is that. Ryan took a few minutes to give her directing/conducting lessons and left her at the podium. She lifted her directors stick thing (what is that called?) and the band started playing. She almost seem startled at how powerful she was! She said the whole band was staring at her with
smiles in their eyes. When the song was over she stood there with her back to the crowd until Ryan came back and told her to take a bow. It was so sweet, she turns and brings one arm across her waist and the other one back and bows to the crowd. The kids and the whole crowd went wild cheering for her. As she walked off the kids were yelling "you rock Madison" and other cool stuff. She came back to her seat and was so shell shocked scared and had too much fun both. As Ryan was getting ready to direct the next song there was some confusion and the band started yelling Madison come back. She looks at Dan and said should I go? She was ready to go again. We did talk to Ryan later and he said she really had won the game, the closest other score only got 4 out of the 7 or 8 questions, so it wasn't fixed. I sure hope someone was able to get a picture of Ryan giving her lessons. What a memory!!!!
Love, Polly

Here are some pics of the event...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Cause you'll burn it..."

I think that I have made a lasting impression on my son. About a month ago I toasted him some cinnamon raisin bread and burnt it black, so I put in two more pieces and once again burnt them even blacker (if that could be possible). Since this incident he has banned me from making him toast or bagels. He insists that I instead put it in the oven. If Brian is home he refuses to let me even touch it. When I offer, he puts his hand up (ya know like talk to the hand) and says "No mom, I want daddy do it." When asked why... "cause you'll burn it." Brian finds this absolutely hilarious, and offers Maddox toast or bagels for every meal just to reenact this conversation.

Figures, the one thing that my son will remember from his childhood is that mom burns toast.

Learned? Maybe I should mess up all the rest of my cooking, then I will be banned from all cooking...Hmmm not a bad idea.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Official

There it is... my masters degree diploma. I find it odd that though I have received my pay raise, transcripts, and confirmation from the university that I completed the program, it only now feels complete.

Now... what class(es) should I take next... I need to get certified to teach Gifted and Talented, there are more math classes I want to take, a calculator class, I still have another online book study to do as well as a few weekends to meet for the MS Cubed program I started last summer ... hmmm...

Learned? Who knew when I graduated high school, or even college (the first time), that I would actually never be done going to school.

Friday, November 28, 2008

All Boy

Maddox: "(insert sound of huge belch)"
Me: "Maddox! What do you say? Stop making yourself burp."
Maddox: "Mom, it is air coming out of my tummy, I can't help it!"

Learned? He is way too smart!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Trot!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

I just love this holiday because of the yummy food! I always stuff myself way past full, so this year I decided to be proactive. A group of us from school, and my mom, sis-in-law, and our kids all ran or walked in the Turkey Trot; a local 5K to support the fire department. The weather was quite gloomy this morning, it had rained overnight, and was threatening to rain on us during the race. So I bundled the kids up and hit the pavement. There was a pretty good turn out today considering the weather and it is only the 2nd annual. I ran an amazing pace considering I was pushing Maddox, I finished it in 28:20.9 (a 9.07 min/mile pace). I am super happy with my self. Madison walked with Kristen and the baby Tinley.

I saw a bunch of people I knew too! Anne and Katy were there(I run with Anne on Tuesdays, and Katy is in my class and watches Maddox while we run.), as well as Chet who I used to work with. I saw one of my students there too. I ran into an old friend/coworker from the Gene Taylor's era of my life and caught up briefly.

Just as we finished up the race the clouds let loose and began to dump on us. The kids and I were eager to get home and warm up with an hot shower; as well as relax before we headed to the in-laws for the feast!

Here are some pics from the event:

Learned: This was a great way to feel less guilty about all the food I'll eat today, and spend healthy time with friends and family. I hope to make it a Thanksgiving tradition!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight (Twice)

What a great weekend!

Vycci and I went to Twilight, and I must say that it was a great reunion with all of my favorite characters. We both really enjoyed the movie and thought that it followed the book very well. I only wish they would have shown more of her clumsiness, and more of Edwards strength. In the books Edward is a very strong, self assured person in all aspects except when it comes to Bella. I think that the movie was really trying to portray his inner torment about his feelings for her, so his strength and confidence didn't come through as clear. I think that the characters that fit what I had imagined best were Alice and Jacob. I anxiously await the second movie where these two characters take a more leading role...

Vycci and I both agreed that the actual movie may not be the best movie we have ever seen, or be to the caliber of such films as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, but the reason we enjoyed it so immensely is because we enjoyed the books so much. I am anxious to hear the perspective of someone who has not read the books. I think a group of us may go again next weekend when the family is in town for Thanksgiving, and my mom has not read the books.... We shall see!

OK... so I have a confession to make.... we enjoyed the movie so much that we went back and watched it a second time later that night... I know.... silly girls. To tell the truth I can not wait till next weekend to have the chance to see it again. I also just got the second book back from the last person I loaned it to and I feel it beckoning me... I guess I must heed its call...

Learned: Having a friend that will be as giddy and silly about a movie is comforting. It's nice to know that in all my quirkiness I am not alone.

Friday, November 21, 2008

AC/DC sings "Old McDonald"?

The other night when Brian was opening presents, Maddox was thrilled to help out. When Brian opened the new AC/DC album Maddox took it and exclaimed "Yes! That's cool!" and then asked very innocently if the song "Old McDonald Had Farm" was on it!

Learned? It might be painful to listen to AC/DC do their own remix of favorite children songs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy 31st Brian

Yesterday was Brian's 31st birthday. He is not someone who relishes being in the spotlight, and turning another year older doen't phase him a bit. This years birthday was pretty uneventful. We all went about our normal buisness. When I got home with the kids I made brownies (Brian's favorite, he doesn't like sweets but will eat these). However while measuring out sugar and cocoa, I realized that I melted 1 cup of butter in stead of 1/2 cup, so I ended up making a double batch. When ever I double a baking recipe I am not sure how it will turn out, but these turned out pretty good. And it was a good thing because we had a house full of family and we devoured 1 whole pan and half of the other. When Brian got home we went out to dinner, which was as enjoyable as it could be with a very active two year old boy. One trip to the bathroom to "talk" and he was much better! All of our parents and Brian's grandparents came over to celebrate, and it ended up being a very nice evening.

His birthday got me reflecting on my life this year and how durastically different it is from last year. One year ago I was miserable with life in general and it all stemmed from the major stress of work (I had a really terrible class). I had been sick at least 4 times by Brian's birthday last year, and on his birthday I was so sick I ended up going home from his surprise birthday party (that I heard was WAY TOO much fun) and sleeping the entire weekend only to be drug to the docs the following Monday, given two bags of fluid, and multiple injections of antibiotics and stuff to make me stop puking. This year I have only had a minor chest cold, and I am not stressed at all, loving my job, and my classes, and my coworkers. I think that my family likes me better this year....

Learned? Lots... I am so blessed to have a husband who works so hard and continualy puts others before himself. I have a great family(but I already knew that). And, I am amazed at the difference one year and one life changing choice can make.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I just bought my tickets to see Twilight this weekend. In August, while on our Vegas girls get-a-way, my friend Vycci got me hooked on the books and we have been planning on seeing the flick together since. My excitement in this series has been renewed and I can hardly wait to be reunited with my fictitious friends in Forks, WA!

Learned? I know that I am so lame for being this excited about a movie. But what could be better than a weekend away with the very best of my friends, and vampires!!

(Keep us in your prayers, as it will just be the kiddos and I heading over the hills to Denver, as Brian has to work.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blessed With Beautiful Babies

A few weeks ago my sister in law set up photos of our kids. I was not sure how they would turn out as Maddox can sometimes not be the most accommodating at sitting still (shocker I know...)

I was truly amazed at how well they turned out.

The lady, Kelli McCall, who took the pictures said that I could post these here. She did a great job working with three very different ages and personalities and captured some amazing portraits. I strongly recommend her to all of you out there. Let me know if you are interested and I will get you in contact with her. (Also please respect that these are copy righted- thanks.)

Learned? I know every parent thinks their children are beautiful, I just can't help sharing the beauty of mine with others.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Halloween (a while ago)

My computer has been running very slow lately so I have been avoiding downloading pictures. Now that I have, I can share the Halloween pictures of the kiddos. Madison was Velma, and Maddox was a pirate. He was super excited that he got a sword! We visited the grand parents and then trick-or-treated around the block with Madison's friend Caid and her family. It was a very fun night, and surprisingly warm.

Enjoy the pics....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Time Flys (Again)

Once again I have let more than a month pass since posting. So I am sure that there must be a really good excuse....

This is what I have been up to for the last month:

Getting myself and two kids up, dressed, fed, lunches packed, and out the door before 6:30, teaching all day, running to and from practices and games 3 days a week, and trying to find time for my own runs.

I also had my first parent teacher conferences at Middle School. They went amazingly well, I didn't have one parent upset with me!!! And an large portion voiced their praises of how their students are doing in Math!

I have been taking an online book study about geometric thinking. This is another portion of the two week summer classes I took. There is one more book study and two more weekends that we meet. When that is all over, I will have an additional 12 credits which = one more horizontal move on the pay scale! The best part is I didn't have to pay for any of the credits!!!

I have once again found myself entranced with some books. I just finished a really amazing Christian work of fiction, that revolutionized my relationship with my "Papa". The book is called The Shack, and is about how a man overcomes a major tragedy in his life through a weekend spent with the Trinity. I suggest that everyone read this book, it is written in a very non "religous" way, and I came away thinking this is how God would really talk to me. I am going to read it again and journal about it here, because there are some really deep things I want to ponder more.

The book I am currently reading is about an Atlantean god who was raised (and abused) as a human. So much tragedy has happened to him in his first 21 years of life, and at times I think "How much more can one person endure". I am to the part where he has come of age and his god powers have been restored to him, I am anxious to see what happens next. Though it is a very captivating book, there is some content that makes me hesitant about recommending it, so I am not posting the title.

Learned? I seem to forget the world (at least the cyber one) when I get into a book. But I really need to put more effort into recording important things when they happen, because as I am nearing 30, my memory seems to be fading....

Out of the Mouths of Babes

My mom was reading to Maddox the other day and ya know how you lick you finger to turn the page... well my mom was doing that and Maddox looked at her and said "I wanna taste it" and licked his finger and touched the page. This gave me the biggest laugh when I heard about it. I thought it was pretty original of him to think she was tasting the book, and when you think about it, what other reason would someone lick their finger and touch the pages.

Learned? It really just made me wonder what other "things" we do that can be seen totally different through the eyes of our children.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Air Show -- Through My Grandma's Eyes

A weekend ago or so... we enjoyed the air show and a BBQ with family. My brother his wife and my niece were all in town too. From my moms house we got a pretty good show of the Blue Angels, they flew right over her house! Watching these planes fly with such speed and accuracy was amazing.

Though this was entertaining, the best part was watching my grandma enjoy the show. My grandpa was an Airforce pilot. He flew in World War II and Vietnam, as well as was a test pilot. Needless to say my grandma has a special tie to aviation. As I was watching the show, I soon found my self more entranced with my grandmother's enjoyment of the scene. She was glowing. She was giddy, and giggling. She thrust her fists into the air exzuberantly. I felt as if I were in a time warp seeing my grandma watching her husband with awe and excitement as he piloted fighter jets.

Finding that the show was coming to a conclusion, I finally asked my grandma about her memories. She shared that she once asked my grandpa if he considered becomming a Blue Angel. His response was "No Way! They fly from city to city doing the same thing day after day. That would get boring. I want to fly different routs each mission and I want to blow things up!"

Learned? Love and memories are a time machine.

(I'll post a pic, but my camera battery is dead, and I've already waited a week to post this...)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Where's My Brain?

I can't believe that it has been a month since I last wrote. There has not been anything too exciting going on.

Though I have been experiencing my fair share of brain farts...

The other day I took my lunch to school, just as I do EVERY day, and thought I put it in my little fridge in my classroom. Well come lunch time I opened my fridge and it was gone. I looked in my purse, the drawers of my file cabinet, under my desk. I even walked out to my car... no lunch any where. At this point it was too late to go buy school lunch, and when I don't eat I get quite cranky. I was so frustrated because I knew I had brought my lunch. At the last minute before I turned into a monster, I happened to look in the microwave, and there it was. What was I thinking?

Then, just this week, I have been trying to schedule parent teacher conferences with Madison's teacher. I made all these changes because I thought the original time was going to overlap with the parent teacher conferences at my school. Then it dawns on me... Madison's PT Conferences are next week, two week prior to my conferences. So all that work to change it when it didn't need to be changed, and now I am not sure if I will be able to make it at all. Can you say "ding bat"!

I also run every Tuesday and Thursday nights while Madison is practicing soccer. I push Maddox in my 10 year old jogging stroller, and we have a great time. The tires on the stroller are quite old, so they have developed slow leaks, which requires me to pump them up each time I run (or I could just change them -- but I am too cheep). So I pull the stroller out and set it up, get Maddox all buckled in, and take off on my normal rout. I am barely 1/3 of the way around my 1.3 mile lap (I usually run at least 3 laps)and feel like I am running in quick sand, my muscles are hardly working. I can't figure out what is wrong, so to be sure I don't injure something, I walk. A few days later it dawns on me that I had forgotten to pump the tires up! No wonder I had such a hard time: pushing a 50 pound kid in a 20 pound stroller with flat tires in gravel... DUH it was probably the equivalent of running in quick sand with weighted boots!

I hope that I have actually learned something these last few weeks and my brain has not really fallen out of my head.

On a completely different note: Maddox has been potty trained for a while now, only wearing a diaper at night. Well the last two mornings he has woken up with a dry diaper!!! I can hardly wait to be rid of those things!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Doggy Nap

Just as I turned from the computer from my last post I was presented with another priceless photo opportunity...

We have been watching my sister-in-laws dogs while her and her husband are in Vegas. We are fortunate that all four dogs love each other. They play constantly, and thus they too get exhausted at earlier hours in the evening than normal.

Learned? Sleep must be the theme on this dreary evening.

And He's OUT!

After a long day with only a short nap (10 min) Maddox crashed as only he, and his father, could...

It is only 6:00 and he usually stays up until at least 8:30. He loves to play under the blanket rack with his cars, so it is not unusual for him to crawl in there. But this is a first. Notice his milk cup is still pretty full, he must have been really tired.

Learned? I wish that I could fall a sleep so easily!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I discovered a perk of working at a Palisade school....

Learned? I am loving my decision to teach at the middle school more every day!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

29 Came and went, Along with a lot of other stuff!

I have been completely enthralled in the Twilight series, and just finished it this evening. So this explains my absence for the last month, any free time I had was spent in Forks, WA.

Below are a few of the important things I want to remember about the last moth:

My 29 birthday happened at the beginning of the month. We celebrated at a great wedding:

Congrats Ashley and Gerardo! (Not sure if I spelled his name right)

I also painted the house...


I went to Vegas with my kindred spirit, Vycci. We stayed at the New York, New York. We shopped, we soaked in the pool and the sun, ordered room service (a $15.00 pint of Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream) while watching a chick flick, got pedicures, and we went to my first Vegas shoe, KA', and had an ENORMOUS steak for dinner, and thoroughly enjoyed the three days of uninterrupted girl talk! It was a good birthday celebration for the both of us, both having August birthdays!

Maddox is officially potty trained. We have had no accidents for quite a while now. He only wears a diaper to bed at night! Yeah Maddox!

I enjoyed a last HOORAH! the weekend before I went back to school. We went rafting through Glenwood Canyon with the Turners, for their daughter's birthday. It was such a blast! I also went on a wine tour for my sister-in-law's sister-in-law's 30th birthday! Happy birthday Kelly!

We also showed our ultra conservative side by taking Madison shooting. Brian and I both agree that it is important for our children to learn how to use guns, and through that learning develop a healthy respect for their power, though it will be years before we take Maddox. She was even brave enough to try the pistol (with Brian's help). She was surprised by the amount of kick it gave. I have decided that I want a little revolver of my own!

Madison started practice with the Academy team for soccer. We are all very excited to see what this season brings. The Academy team is an invitation only team that focuses on player development. In order to increase the level of competition for the games they will be playing against boys their ages. At first the girls were bummed, wanting to play older girls, but now the idea of playing boys is a bit exciting. I am so proud of how hard Madison works on this sport. She is so talented in so many ways!

Last but not of least importance, I had a very successful fist week of middle school. I have a great group of students, and am loving teaching math all day long. I was so nervous to start, but now that the first week is under my belt, I am super excited for the upcoming year!

Learned? Don't put off blogging so long, there is just too much that happened, and I wanted to write about, but now I can't remember it all. Though it was well worth the time spent lost in my books!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"I need a fan."

Maddox has been totally consumed with baseball. That is all he wants to do. While I was in Vegas (which I will post about soon, until then check out my friend Vycci's sight to hear a bit about it)Brian said it was all he would do all day long, catch and bat and throw. Even everything he said was "baseball" this and "baseball" that!

So today he gave me a good laugh. I have been consumed with a new reading series (which I want to post a bout soon), but as I was reading I was interrupted with Maddox's very matter of fact request "I need a fan." When I asked for clarification, he proceeded to tell me that he was playing baseball and wanted mommy to watch, again saying he needed a fan.

So of course I put the book down, and became my sons greatest fan!

Learned? I will always be my boys biggest fan, even if he chooses baseball over football -- I was hoping for the next Peyton Manning! ;) he he he...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Madison's Big Day

Today Madison got braces. She was a bit nervous, but in the end she said it wasn't nearly as bad as she thought it would be. The whole process took a bit over an hour, and she did really well. She is the first in her class to get the actual brackets on her teeth (some have retainers and expanders)so she was "quite the celebrity" she said. When she returned to school, everyone wanted to see her braces.

Most of our conversations today have been centered around what she can and can't eat, and proper care of her teeth with the new "apparatus" on them. She is fully aware of how important keeping her teeth clean is now, evident by her 20 teeth brushing and flossing tonight!

Here is a before picture:

And after:

Learned? If you want your child to have better dental hygiene and eat fewer sweets, just put them in braces.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What a Sense of Humor

Last night I was playing with Maddox and he wanted me to move from the chair to the couch, saying "MOVE, Move Please" over and over and over. So me being a smart arss, moved. I wiggled my whole body. Maddox looked at me for a second and then busted up laughing.

Learned? Brian and I were pretty amazed at his ability to understand the humor.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here I Go Again

Having just finished my masters program, I thought that it would be a while before I took another class. It has only been three weeks, and I have begun another class. This class happens to be completely paid for by a grant. At the completion of it I will have an additional 8 credit hours, a brand new TI-84 calculator, multiple texts, and multiple classroom manipulative. Oh yeah and a much greater understanding of Geometry, and how students learn Geometry. I Just started it yesterday and it runs for the next two weeks, and then we meet a few times through out the year. There are a couple big projects for the pedagogy (understanding how students learn the subject, and how to teach it), as well as actual class work and homework from the college geometry class to complete. But it doesn't feel overwhelming...yet.

I was a bit hesitant about taking on another class, but I am glad that I decided to do it. It will really help prepare me to teach the high school geometry to my new group of 8th graders.

Learned? It is hard to pass up over $1,000 in free education.

Monday, July 21, 2008

4th Grader

Last week Madison started the fourth grade. That makes me feel really old...I actually remember being in the fourth grade. She has the same 4th grade teacher that I had. I wonder how it makes her feel?

I had taken some REALLY cute "First Day of School" pictures of here, but somehow they are not on my camera now. I am a bit frusterated. So I will just have to re-enact them once the clothes get out of the laundry.

We decided to ride our bikes to school with Maddox and the supplies in the bike trailer. I got to walk her into class and find her desk, and get her settled in. I wasn't sure how much she would allow this because she is approaching the age where mom's aren't so cool anymore. One clue that told me she was still my little girl at heart was she wanted folders and notebooks that had puppies on them instead of the cool graphic designs that I liked. I didn't push the issue and thought I would enjoy the "innosence" for a bit longer.

As we were headed into the school I couldn't help but feel that there was a birthday party going on, and I wasn't invited. I normally would have started school too, but I transfered to the middle school. The school seemed to be buzzing with the excitement, energy, and anticipation that a new year brings. It sort of made me miss it... sort of.

Madison saw all her friends, and immediatly started right where they left off. She seems to have had a good first week. I can already see a change in her, she is more mature. She has been setting her clothes out and making her lunches the night before. She gets her homework finished with out a fight, and has me sign right away. I don't even have to remind her. I sure hope this continues for the rest of the year!!! (Knock on wood).

Learned? Even though 4th grade seems grown-up, Madison is still a little girl at heart, that is one thing that I don't want to rush. I also think that the conflicting desires of wanting to grow up and wanting to be little make this time especially difficult. Having taught this grade and the next for the last 6 years, hopefully will prepare me for what is in store.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One Moment Can Change Everything

So, today I woke up on the wrong side of the bed... and so did my kids. It was a battle all morning. Maddox was refusing to eat and only wants to drink milk, Madison was being a couch potato and very unhelpful. I decided to try and go to the park with the kids this morning. After fighting Madison out the door we made it to the park. Madison pouted and wouldn't play with her brother, and Maddox was not playing nice with a little girl that was already there. So... we left. Both kids were totally upset (for different reasons), and so was I. I was having a major melt down. Once we got home I loaded Maddox up in the bike trailer and Madison on her bike and we headed to the school to try and play there. It went much better, the kids' attitude had greatly improved, but not mine. I wanted to just sit in the shade. Finally I decided to swing with the kids.

This is the moment that changed my attitude for the day...

This immediately brought me out of my attitude problem. I remembered loving the swings as a kid, and have rarely swung as an adult. It was a priceless moment snuggling Maddox in the swing while he looked at me and said "I love you mommy," and enjoying a childhood memory with my kids.

On a completely different note:

As enjoyable as the swinging was, I realized why I don't do it anymore, I got pretty motion sick! From a swing! I love amusement park rides and don't get sick from them but there is just something about cars and swings!

Learned: It sounds cliche but it is so important to stop and smell the roses. The small beautiful moments in life are what make it worth while.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Full Fourth of July

When I say full, I mean it literally. We went to the cabin for the weekend and there were 17 people and 2 dogs. Brian and I took the pop-up camper so there would be enough beds for everyone to sleep in. Despite the many people, it didn't feel all that claustrophobic. We spent the weekend on the boat playing. Madison water skied again (she got up for the first time last year at Powell). All I can do is smile when I see her out there. She really can do ANYTHING she puts her mind to. Maddox loved the boat as well. The last time he was on the boat it immediately put him to sleep.... Not this year. He was doing his Titanic impression at the bow. Face being blown in the wind, drool streaming out the sides of his mouth, smiling the entire time. The only words out of his mouth were "More, Please" when the boat would stop. I even managed to squeeze in a run. It was great, though a bit tough as the lake is over 8,000 feet in elevation. It felt like I was running at the beach in the sand... but I did it! It rained every night, and in the camper the slightest rain fall sounds like the largest storm. Maddox and Hudson had a great time and played very well together.

On Friday morning we went into Collbran and watched the parade and enjoyed the pancake breakfast. The parade was pretty cute, the best float was a riding lawn mower with a sign that advertised their yard sale later that day!!! I tried to get a picture but it went by before I could get the camera out. Later that night we headed back to Collbran and found a perfect spot on the hill in Gandi Park to watch the fireworks. I always enjoy the fire works here. When you are on the hillside, the fireworks are almost eye level. They are pretty amazing for such a small town. This was the first year Maddox saw the show. His awe an amazement was so cute!

Now I am busy working on laundry. I need to wash all the bedding from the camper as well as our camping clothes. Thankfully the laundry was caught up before we left so I don't have all that to do to.

Learned? I was reminded how enjoyable it is to get out and play in nature with family!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Signed, Sealed, Delivered,....I'm Done!

There it is. My portfolio. The final peice of my Masters Program. I have been working on it like crazy to make sure it would be done before the 15th of July. I really wanted it to be finished before we left for the 4th...and I did it! I mailed it off today.

I am experiencing a huge amount of relief right now, words can't begin to describe the elation! When Maddox laid down for his nap today I didn't know what to do with my self. It is like I have been given the gift of time!

Now that I am officially finished and look back at the program and my experience, I am so proud of all I accomplished and learned. It was much more work than I expected. The actual assignments for the program were not too much, it was the combination of being mom, wife, teacher, house keeper, and student that made it seem like a lot. I began this when Maddox was just six months old he is now two! It really went by fast, it doesn't seem like it was a year and a half long. Maybe it does to my family though. I know they are relieved to have me back.

A huge thank you to my MIL and FIL, they fed and entertained the hubby and the kids almost every Sunday night while I worked on my assignemtns. It was such a big help.


Learned? I am so thankful that my husband and children were so helpful, supportive, and understanding through this process. They are the real reason for my success.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Enjoying the Summer

This summer has been flying by, we were in swim lessons for two weeks, Madison has been to church camp for one week, then to soccer the next while watching my niece Myla, now we are in the midst of our last two week stretch before she goes back to school and it is beginning to fill up. Last weekend we all went to WALL-E, Maddox did pretty good, and we thought it was enjoyable despite some strong messages regarding how humans are ruining the world and themselves.

Last weekend we went to the pool with my SIL Kristen and my niece Tenley. It was the baby's first time at the pool and she did great. Maddox also loved this particular pool because it has a shallow kiddy pool. Madison took a friend, and the two of them had such a good time on their own, I couldn't get any pics of them!

This week seems to be just as packed full of fun too. Madison went on a short day trip with a friend, and has sleep over plans with Grandma Polly on Wednesday. I have a hair appointment Thursday, I am way past due! Then we head for the cabin Thursday evening to enjoy the 4th of July weekend. It will be a lot of fun as the whole Caster clan will be there as well as Carrie's in-laws from Utah. Brian's dad bought a boat, so I am sure we will enjoy some water sports as well!

Learned? I am so thankful that I get a longer summer this year. I am not ready to head back yet because we are having so much fun!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Grown-Up Camper

Madison spent the last week at Camp Redcloud, just outside of Lake City Colorado. We had been planning for her and a soccer friend for the last few months, and both of them were so excited. The family drove up on Father's Day to drop her off. It was especially fun for Brian and I because we had gone there when we were in middle school, oh about 18 years ago!!! It had changed quite a bit, there were several newer bunk houses (when we went there were only 2, a boys and a girls) The bunk houses were even temperature regulated (when we went heat was provided by a wood burning stove). Once we got the girls settled, they were ready to be on their own, they walked us back to the trucks, then headed off for a week of fun with out even a look back. Maddox was pretty upset and ran after them, crying "Sister, Sister!" It was pretty heart wrenching. The trip was 6 hours round trip, and Maddox did amazingly well on the drive.

When we headed home Madison's friend's parents decided to try a different rout home and headed over Cinnamon Pass to Silverton in a MINI VAN. We decided to be a bit less adventurous and return the way we came. This ended up being the best choice because Cinnamon Pass is a 4 Wheel drive only road, and it ended up taking our friends almost 6 hours to get home. They didn't make it over the pass and had to turn around an hour up the mountain. It is a priceless picture thinking of a 4wheeling mini van with a soccer ball sticker on the rear!

The week with out Madison went pretty fast. Maddox and I just hung out, went to the park, and swam in the backyard pool. We all really missed her.

Friday Ann (Madison's friend's mom) and I drove up to get the Gris. When we pulled into the parking lot and got out we could see our girls jumping up and down at the camp, and heard them squeal with excitement. They were so happy to see us. They talked a hundred miles an hour, detailing their adventure. They got to go rappelling, on a high ropes course, an over night camp trip under the stars, summit the continental divide, boating, mountain biking, and both of their favorites, horse back riding. Madison is already eager to go again next year!

Within 15 minutes of the leaving, both of the girls were zonked out in the back. I mean zonked as in heads rolling on rubber necks and mouths open.

I am so glad that Madison got to go on such a fun adventure this summer. I think that she learned a lot about being responsible. No parents around reminding to take showers, brush teeth, pick up after yourself, or to make sure your day pack was packed appropriately. She also made new friends, and has already written letters to some of them.

Learned? This trip makes it even more apparent how grown up my daughter is becoming.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mr. Sand Man and his side kick Sandy Dog

Now that it is light later in the evenings, and a reasonable temperature, I can hardly keep Maddox in doors. His favorite place to be is his sand box. He pulls out all his dump trucks and loaders. Our dog Ranger is a good watch dog, and insists to be outside with him. He lays in the sand box, and allows Maddox to dump sand all over him. Such good boys....

Then, as Brian and I were watching TV, Ranger comes in, accompanied with the sound of sand falling off him onto our wood floor. THen preceeds to the carpet and as if in slow motion, he shakes his body, just as he would to shake water off. Brain (still in slow motion) says NOOOOOO! but it was too late.... I look up just in time to see a dust cloud, one that would rival that of Pig Pen's on Charlie Brown, encompassing the dog.

I have spent the last 20 minutes vacuuming sand out of the carpet, and sweeping up the sand off the wood floor (I got a whole dust pan full).

Learned? A sand box 3 feet from our back door seemed like a good idea for a 1st birthday present at the time, now... not so much. There needs to be substantial distance between a sand box and any entrance into a house.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Which of These Items Don't Belong?

I was putting dishes away this morning and opened our miscellaneous utensil drawer to find this...

It is a USED grilling spatula with pieces of burgers on it and our grill brush. YUCK!

Learned? It seems that my boy is also my little helper, he is pretty good at putting things away.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Movin' On Up

Today I officially accepted the Honors Math position at the middle school. I will be teaching pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry, to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. These students are all very bright and advanced in math.

When I interviewed I was unsure of my qualifications, and if I would be considered "highly qualified" to take this position. In order to be highly qualified I need 24 hours of MATH courses, and my masters only has 12 credit hours of MATH. As it turns out, I also have 15 MATH credits from my bachelors degree that are considered. So I guess I am highly qualified! I will probably take some classes that pertain to teaching Gifted and Talented students to boost my effectiveness at teaching these students.

I am looking forward to the change and the challenge of teaching new curriculum and students.

I am a bit nervous, I am leaving EVERYTHING that I know and EVERYONE that I know from teaching; but it is also a fresh start. I know this position will challenge me to grow in many ways, which is good.

I am excited for the change of scenery, and the opportunity to teach what I love, and what is my strength.

It also is a bit of a sad time as I consider all I have been through, learned, accomplished, and survived at TME. I still need to go through my stuff and decide what I am taking home and what is staying for the person that takes my place. That is going to be one BIG job, and it needs to be done before July!

I am anxious to get started looking at the curriculum, and at least having a game plan for next year. I will contact my new principal and get some resources this week. Because these students receive high school credit for these courses, I think it is important to at least visit with the feeder HS, and ensure that there is a similar level of rigor in the classes that I will be teaching.

I feel a bit of relief now that the decision has been made and is a "done deal"; I hate being in a state of limbo, and not knowing what is going to happen.

Learned? Taking a risk and forcing yourself to go through change brings a wide range of emotions, many of which were unexpected.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Potty Training

Earlier I talked about Maddox being ready to potty train for the last few months, but with me working I just couldn't be consistent enough. So now that I am on break I decided to tackle the big mile stone!

We began toilet training one week ago today. I must say that it has been going very well. I think that Maddox was ready because he will not wear a diaper now. Sometimes I can convince him to wear one at nap time, others not so much. But when he is not wearing a diaper during his nap, he doesn't have a huge accident, he starts to go then wakes up and stops and tells me he needs to go and his unders are barely wet. The only reason I want a diaper on him at nap time is because he will nap for 2 to 2 1/2 hours with one, and only 1 hour with out one on. We have had several outings in the last week including McDonald's play place, friends houses, and the mall, and he had no public accidents! He has only had 2 accidents at home.

Part of the success is he gets to wear big boy undies just like his dads! (He wants to be just like his dad, and do everything he does.) He is so proud of himself, and is even acting more grown up just by being able to potty like a big boy!

I know that he is not completely potty trained, and I am sure there are more bumps in the road ahead, but it has been a successful first week.


Learned? My boy is growing up way too fast, but this is one "growing up" step that I am anxious to complete.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pics of the BoulderBOULDER

Here are some of the pics that were taken at the race. The ones of my mom and I are at the very end when we ran into the stadium. You can see how nasty the weather got too. There is also a picture of my wave at the starting line, it is kind-of a "Where's Waldo"; see if you can find us! HA HA HA!

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Year Survived

Today marks my first full week on summer break, and it couldn't come any sooner! This year has, by far, been my most difficult year to teach. I had a very difficult class, most of whom have been together since 3rd grade, some even since 1st grade. That is WAY too long for a group of students to be together. It makes the teacher the outsider from the very beginning, rather than the person who unifies the class. I also had a student teacher at the beginning of the year, she started with me at the end of last year, and she is/was wonderful. I agreed to a student teacher last year when I had a really great class, if I had know what was coming my way I wouldn't have put us through that. It made for a poor experience for her, but she survived and will be a great teacher because of it!

I am not going to go into details describing this year, but I was planning on resigning at Christmas, and reluctantly came back. Probably the only reason I came back was because I was almost finished with my masters program and felt it would be a wast of money to quit and still have to pay for the degree. It was an up hill battle the entire year and it NEVER got better, not even on the last day of school. Individually there was not one student that I did not like and enjoy, but as a group they fed off of each other.

I was the sickest I have ever been this year, and I truly think it was because of how stressed I was. (Substitute teachers avoided my room.) It got so bad that my family didn't even want to be around me because I was so grouchy.

I have been very happy at my school all the years I have taught, and feel very supported and have good relationships with administration and staff. But I felt that there was no way I wanted to risk another year like this, so I have put in for a transfer for a middle school math position. One is a 6, 7, 8 honors math, where I would be teaching pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry; the other is a 6th grade math position. I figure that I can at least put in for the transfer, interview, and if I am offered the job I still have the opportunity to decline it. If I take the job, and hate it, I can always transfer back to the elementary school.

The pros of moving to the middle school are if I have another terrible group of students, I only have them for an hour a day rather than all day. Also I get an hour and a half of planning a day, where as now I get an hour and a half 2 times a week! The best pro is that I would teach my favorite and strongest subject...Math. I would also be on the traditional calendar, and in 2 yeas Madison will go to middle school and be on the traditional calendar. There is a greater chance that I will be happier, and therefor be happier at home, and my family will be happier. OH! and I would get a long summer-- much needed after this year!

The cons... well change. That makes me feel uneasy. Elementary is all I know and I have always taught a the same school. I would be leaving the staff that I know and work well with. Other than that I can't see any other cons.

What ever happens, I will be fine with it. At this point I an not entirely sure if I will accept the position or not, but I needed to at least go for it.

Learned? I am just so thankful that I made it through this year, sane, still married, my children still love me, and I actually want to teach again.

EDIT: How embarrassing! I have this issue when I type, and I some how type dyslexic, I thought I did spellcheck, but I guess I didn't, so to anyone who read this post earlier... sorry for all the errors!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

BoulderBOULDER 2008

YEAH! I accomplished my goal of running, and finishing, the BoulderBOULDER 10K on Memorial day. I also met my other goal of running it with less than a 10 minute mile average. I ran it with a 9.2 min. mile average. Here are my official race results. I am very pleased with my results. From what I figured I ended up in the top 22% of all racers, the top 20% of females my age, and the top 15%of all women. Two of my miles, mile four and five, were just a few seconds above 9 minutes, at 9:09, and 9:03. My overall time was 57:55:71.

My mom, Dan, and I all stayed at my mom's uncle Bill's house in Louisville, just outside of Boulder on Sunday night. We got up early and Bill drove us to Boulder. I was amazed at how organized the whole event was. There was a whole highway set up for runner drop off. Then you found your wave number along the roadside, and they marched you like a parade to the starting line. The first wave started at 7:00, the wave I was in started at 7:32:20. When you got to the starting line there was a person that played the song that is played at the beginning of the horse races; when I heard this I busted out laughing, because it summed up the feeling of the moment. When the gun shot off, off we went. It took my mom and I a while to wind through the people in the wave, but in no time we had some "knee" room to run. The course was great, it wound through some subdivisions, downtown, and then you rand into Folsom Field Stadium (where the CU Buffs play). All along the course there were musicians including The Blues Brothers, and Elvis, and lots of people cheering you on. Some houses had slip and slides out, and runners would stop for a minute and slide (too cold for me, plus it may have slowed me down). There were plenty of elevation changes making it more of a challenge for me than when I run 6 miles here. I now know what I need to work on to improve for next year!

The weather was pretty cool, as in cold, but excellent for running. It seemed to get colder and colder as the race progressed, and by the end I was sweaty, it was raining, and I soon became chilled to the bone. When you finish the race you get a goody bag, free soda, and get this, FREE BEER! It made me sick to even think of drinking a beer at 8:30 in the morning after a run, but lots of people were! There were also a ton of vendors giving out free stuff, like vitamins, popsicles, jerky, ect., but it was way too cold to go through all of them. When the racers are finished they have a big Memorial Day celebration in the stadium, with fly overs and everything, but again it was too cold to try and brave that. Instead we headed to a Starbucks to warm up inside and out! Bill picked us up there, and we headed back to his house.

We ended the trip with a family BBQ at his house. My family, my brother and his wife and daughter, my mom and Dan, and Bill and his wife Janette, had a great time!

I have some great pics of the event and will post them some time later.

Learned? It feels so great to work so hard towards a goal and to complete it with such great success. I can't wait to run another race....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WonderGirl 5K

For some time I have been meaning to write about the Girls on the Run season ending 5K, WONDERGIRL,race. The actual race was on May 3 at Longs Park. It was a very chilly morning, but all 60 of my girls showed up excited to accomplish the goal they have worked towards since February. I had never run in a race before so I didn't know what to expect. I was blown away with how exhilarating it was.

When the gun went off over 500 runners dashed across the starting line. Cheers, giggles, whoops, and hollers were heard through out. I had just gotten over being pretty sick and didn't think that I would run, but when the time came I just couldn't help it, after all I had worked towards this goal too! I was able to run with several of my girls including my daughter. My mom also helped out during the season and ran too. The three of us even ran together for a while. There were so many parents and friends lining the course making it so encouraging! All of my girls finished the race, I am so proud of each of them, they have come such a long way!

Learned? The Girls on the Run program is such a rewarding and enlightening event for all those involved. I can't wait to do it again next year!

here's some pics from the event:

Back in the Game-- (I mean race)

I have been working so hard to prepare myself for my first 10K (6.2 mile) race. Then I had a wave of several sicknesses that derailed my training plans. But I am happy to say that I am back on course. In the last week I have run a 4mile, 6mile, 4mile, and another 6mile run. To top it off I feel great. I will have one more 4 mile run Friday before the Memorial Day race. Then it is over the hills to Boulder! My one goal, besides finishing, is that I run it in less than 10 min. miles. I know that if I had not gotten so sick I could have aimed for 8-9 min. miles, but I am just happy that I can go that distance after all I have been through.

Learned? Don't stop, never give up, persistance pays.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Happy Mother's Day

My Mother's day actually began last night when I was givent this from my kiddos. I absolutly love it! It has so many cool features that I can hardly wait to start playing with! We have another Nikon camera, but it is much larger and heavier, so not something I can carry around with me.

Today was a wonderful, busy day. It started at 9:00 with breakfast at Brian's parents. Everyone was there, including the newest mommy celebrating her first Mother's Day, Brian's sister Carrie. My mom even came! Then we headed home for Maddox's nap, and we cleaned house. Yes, I actually did work on Mother's day. For my Mother's Day gift from Brian he washed and waxed my car! It looks amazing! I got to spend lots of time playing and loving on Madison and Maddox. Maddox rode his trike, mowed the lawn behind his dad with his bubble mower, Madison spent most of the afternoon relaxing as she is recouperating from some sort of stomach bug. (Maddox had it too, but there is no slowing him down.) I even managed to read several articles for my Colaboraive Action Research class, and write a 10 page literature review of them! WHEW! It has been a busy day.

Learned? Motherhood, I can't imagine my life with out my children. My children have a way of bringing meaning to my existance and joy to my heart!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Do you get it?

Knock knock?

Whose there?

Smell Mop....

Smell mop who... which sounds like: Smell my poo!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

When Nature Calls

Maddox "Momma, momma! Potty! Side! Potty!"

Me "Did you go potty outside?"

Maddox "Show, show, potty, side." he grabs me by the hand and drags me outside, then runs to a wet spot in the yard and jumps up and down, "Potty! Side! Yeah!"

Me "Yes Maddox, you peed in the yard."

Twenty minutes later....

Maddox is standing at the sliding glass door "Poopy, side! Poopy, poopy" The rest of us at the dinner table are asking if he really pooped, then he moves and we see the evidence. Two turds on our deck, and the skid marks on his cheeks (tooshie cheeks, not face cheeks- thankfully). YUCK!

Learned? I guess this means I need to kick the potty training into high gear!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Maddox's 2nd Birthday

Last Sunday we celebrated Maddox's second birthday at Brian's parents house. The whole family was invited! All the grand parents, great grand parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were there to share in this special day. Maddox had a great time playing with everyone. Enjoy the pictures.

Today is his actual birthday, and we did not do much to celebrate, as I am recuperating from a severe allergic reaction to something. He did get to have ice cream several times today, so that is pretty special!

I can not believe how quickly two years has gone by. Last night in the ER Brian and I were joking that we were here exactly two years ago, for something so wonderful and completely life changing, the birth of our son. It is one of the most wonderful memories I have. When the doctor came in and said it was time to push, it was as if time stood still, Brian and I looked at each other and both teared up! A few short minutes later (I'm sure that is an exaggeration as it is has been 2 years) our beautiful son was here. He was so long and skinny! It took no time for his weight to catch up to his height, and he continues to top the charts in both. As he has grown these past years, I am continually amazed at how much of a boy he is. He is always busy playing with cars, trucks, bats, balls, wrestling, or even ultimate fighting. He loves to be outside and we have to drag him in at night to bathe and get to bed. He is very persistent and determined, (a positive way of saying strong willed) which I think are good characteristics, he just has to learn that his mommy is even more persistent and determined. He loves his sister and his dogs and must give them each hugs before bed. He goes to bed so easily. He has been showing interest in potty training, and may have already been potty trained if I was home more to be consistent with it. We will tackle that one this summer. It has been an amazing two years watching my boy grow and learn. As hard as it is to see him grow up, I am looking forward to this next year!

Happy Birthday Maddox, I love you so much, more than I ever thought possible!

Learned? The past two years have brought me more joy than I could have hoped for.