Monday, November 26, 2012

Mom Moment Monday

I am a little late in the day posting this...but something happened yesterday that I think is worth sharing.

We are boarding our dogs for Christmas while we gone for 12 days, so I had to take Jackson to the shot clinic at Petco because he was behind on a couple of annual shots. As I was running out the door with Jackson and not Ginger Emery wondered where I was going. I told her I had to take Jackson to the doctor and proceed to walk out the door. Almost immediately she ran after me really upset and asking if he was going to come home or would he have to stay at the doctor. I dismissed it and said yes, he will come home with me in about an hour. She seems satisfied, but still concerned and went back inside.

This seems like a pretty simple transaction, but I've since realized that she had every reason to think that Jackson might not come home...

See, last fall we lost our beloved dog, Carley. She was only 5 and seemingly healthy, but got lymphoma, which spread quickly. From the time I noticed something was up to when we had to put her down was only 2 days. It was tough. E was only 2 1/2 at the time, so I did the best I could in telling her that Carley was really, really sick and was going to live at the doctors because we couldn't bring her home. It's been over a year, but E will still ask if Carley is still sick or if we can bring her home. It breaks my heart...

When we had E I vowed that I wouldn't lie to her. I wanted to provide age appropriate questions, have difficult conversations and make sure she was empowered with knowledge, rather than having an inappropriate curiosity that ends up with her pregnant at 16... I think we've done a good job of that so far tackling things like race, breasts, and man boobs.

So, fast forward to a few weeks ago and my childhood dog, Snickers, passes away. He lived with my mom, was about 15 (we are not entirely sure because we got him from the pound) and died peacefully at his own time in my old bedroom. He just went to sleep.

This is a tangent, but stay with me. It all comes together...

Every Christmas since I was a baby I have gotten an ornament, of my choosing, from my Grandma. About 10 years ago I picked a small dog, with a liking to Snickers, stuffed in a glove with a bow around his neck. Last Christmas, when decorating our tree, E found that ornament and cabbaged onto it. In fact, she slept with it for several nights. She called it Snickers and thought it was SO funny that it looked just like Nana's dog. This year, when putting up our lights she immediately found that little dog and said she was so excited to see Snickers at Nana's when we go home for Christmas. Again, I had to explain that Snickers was really sick and had to go to live with the Doctor. She asked if Snickers was at the Doctor with Carley and I said yes. She was sad, but my explanation seems to have helped her understand at the very least that she won't be seeing him again.

Explaining death in an age appropriate way it tough. I thought I'd done a good job, but now she is scared for our pets to go to the Doctor for a check up. Maybe I should have bought a book or something. It is such a tough subject and I don't want her to be scared. It is something I hope and pray we don't have to encounter or deal with again for a long time...

How do you explain the death of a pet or loved one to a 3 year old? She's smart, but incredibly sensitive... Help mamas!

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Our first few decorations are going up! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful for...

Sometime early in the month of November I jumped on the "thankful for" bandwagon. My bestie, Bri, has done it for a few years and I've always marveled at her ability to stick with it and find enough things to be thankful about.
But, now that I'm this far into the month, I've found that it is a lovely combination of the big things (my kid, the hubs) and the little things (my bed, extra cuddle time while watching Aladdin) that make up the big picture.
Today, I'm sharing that I'm thankful for Tri Delta. Yup, I'm 6 years out of college and still incredibly thankful for my sorority. And no, I'm not ashamed and don't feel weird about saying it. I am more proud than ever to be a DDD!
At this point, I'm far enough out of college to appreciate the people that I didn't necessarily want to hang out with. I'm far enough out to look past the catty BS to be friends with people I said it would never happen with. I'm far enough out to have one of my favorite friends be a Gamma Phi from my school. Let me tell you, 10 years ago, that would have NEVER happened. =) xoxo, Kiki.
It was 10 years ago this month that I was initiated into Tri Delta. Every year at this time, I think I've reflected on my delta love. Today, on thanksgiving eve, is when Tri Delta was founded at Boston University in 1888. Thank you Sarah Ida Shaw for wanting something different, something more.

If I could talk to Sarah Ida today, boy would I have some amazing things to share! Once upon a time there was the saying within DDD - "What would Sarah Ida Shaw do?" It was a way to keep ourselves and our chapter in check. Would she approve? Would she believe that we are building a stronger and more womanly character? More often than not, probably not.

If I could talk to Sarah Ida today, I would want her to know that Tri Delta is doing amazing things in the lives, minds and hearts of young women today. Tri Delta is getting back to the basics of what it means to be a collegiate sorority woman. It means friendship, it means service to you university and community and it means commitment to your education. It also means a lot of fun! Tri Delta is empowering women to love their bodies, develop leadership and lifelong friendships with women of their chapters and other chapters around the country.

If I could talk to Sarah Ida today, I would want to thank her for putting an emphasis on service within our organization. Because of Tri Delta I found my life and career in philanthropy and non-profit. Because of Tri Delta, I (and MANY other Tri Delta women) found a passion for St. Jude through raising awareness and funds to fight childhood cancer. This relationship has enriched thousands of lives of collegiate and alumnae women and encouraged them to do more.

If I could talk to Sarah Ida today, I'd thank her for founding an organization where I found my best friends, my bridesmaids, and "aunts" for my own future Tri Delta (pledge class of 2027). I have found these women both from my own chapter and from alumnae membership. These women and I have a common bond to expect more of ourselves, to loves things that come in "3s" and to always spot a dolphin statue.

Tri Delta changed my life. It took a pretty bitchy and angry teenager and turned her into a still occasionally bitchy philanthropic leader. Because of Tri Delta I have my husband, since we met on a trip I took with my Tri Delta sisters. Because of Tri Delta I have so many girlfriends and woman to look up to in my life. Because of Tri Delta I have a career that I love.

I have shared openly that on bid day, Tri Delta wasn't my first choice. Tri Delta chose me, and I am eternally thankful.

Happy Founders Day, sisters! Delta love.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mom moment Monday

It is no secret that giving E a sense of philanthropy and service is really important to me. I was a girl scout for 9 years, got my silver award, was philanthropy chair for my sorority and have been working in non-profit since I graduated college.
My mom and grandma were both PTA president and girl scout leaders. Currently, they both serve as officers in service based organizations.
It is literally in my blood. In fact, we are bringing home our first foster dog tomorrow. This is the same organization we adopted Ginger from, and I currently support them as a volunteer fundraising coordinator. I can't help myself.
So, now, it is my mission to give E this same sense of service. She is already so compassionate and caring towards others. We talk a lot about her responsibility at school to help the other kids, and younger kids, learn the rule of class. Her teachers say she is consistently a wonderful helpful (except for the other day when she supported a mutiny during nap time... that's another story).
The holidays are coming, which means there are a lot of kids that will wake up on Christmas morning without toys. This is the perfect opportunity to instill some service.
E always asks us why we go to work. We tell her it is so we can make money to have a home and food.... at which point she pipes in with "to buy me toys and pay for soccer." I've done my best to explain to not every mommy and daddy makes enough money for food or toys. You should have seen her concerned face.

So, we took a trip to Toys R Us to pick out toys for boys and girls who don't have any toys. She was so proud to pick out toys that she thought would be really fun! We planned to get one boy and one girl toy, but she couldn't decide, so we ended up with two of each: a Rapunzel barbie, a baby doll, a tool box/set, and a kit to build a wood dump truck. The only snafu happened when she realized she couldn't actually GIVE the toy to the boys and girls herself. She didn't trust the Toys 4 Tots bucket and wanted to see the kids that were getting the toys she picked out. I suppose that is better than wanting to keep it for herself. I wonder if there is an organization that provides more of an opportunity for face time with the kids that are getting the toys... Hmm... Maybe something for next year.

But here's my girl, reluctantly tossing in her toys...

This is something that I know we'll continue to do as a family. We're also going shopping this weekend to fill a brown grocery bag with food for families for the holidays. We have so much, we are so lucky, it is our responsibility to give a little to families in need. And while the holidays are an ideal time to do it, it is a good reminder that these organizations needs support year around....

Friday, November 16, 2012

One of THOSE weeks.

Hi friends! Linking up for another coffee date with one of my favorite blogs, Rags to Stitches today for a weekly Friday coffee date! Let's get to it...

So, if we were having coffee today I'd ask for an extra espresso shot and tell you it's on of "those" weeks...
You know "those weeks" where you drink your coffee in the car on the way to work, not in a to-go cup, but a regular mug and MAYBE spill some all over the cup holder?

You know "those weeks" when your sweet toddler kicks you, the cat, throws a marker at your and maybe create mutiny during nap time at school?

You know "those weeks" where you and your hubs finish a bottle of wine together with the last glass going down the hatch in bed?

You know "those weeks" where you have to rewrite the same document for work like 6 times and actually have to kick the social media kid out of your office because you refuse to rewrite again?

You know "those weeks" where you worked you a$$ off for weeks on an amazing end of year fundraising campaign only to have 4 people sign up and $25 raised towards a $5,000 goal?

You know "those weeks" when you miss your friends and family back home like crazy and begin counting the days until Christmas and your reunion?

You know "those weeks" when the house is a disaster and you walk by piles of toys and shoes and don't bother to pick them up?

Yeah, this is just a snap shot of the week I feel I've been having. I realize it isn't that bad. And I'm actually getting a lot of great stuff done at work. And I have a whole list of things I'm looking forward to accomplishing this weekend, including sleep. Yup, it is also the week that E decides at 5:59 is the appropriate time to crawl into bed with Mommy and Daddy. I need to savor my messy house and busy, accomplished work life, and my kiddo still wanting to cuddle with us because some day I'll beg for weeks like "these..."

How's your week friends? Better than mine, I hope!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

highs and lows

Alright friends, I am home on solo parent duty tonight... so I am doing what any responsible mom would do... I'm letting my kid watch a movie while I blog. duh.

I'd like to share with you some highs and lows of the last few days... enjoy

HIGH: Buying new paint for the half bath on the main level.. adorable pale yellow
low: Being a lazy bum all weekend and not painting the awful purple/grey/beige walls

HIGH: Snuggle time with the pooches in bed (don't tell the hubs that Jackson is totally sleeping on his pillow)
low: Having to deal with their epic gas. It seriously makes my stomach turn. Not joking, I think they have a sewage plant in their butts

HIGH: E giving me unsolicited "i love yous" and hugs all weekend
low: E kicking me and throwing a marker at me. awesome.

HIGH: Getting almost all of my presents wrapped for Christmas
low: Having to wait way too many more weeks until I'm reunited with CA

HIGH: Creating an amazing end of year fundraising peer fundraising campaign for work. Something I'm incredibly proud of!
low: Only having 3 people sign up so far... and feeling guilty because I blame Sandy and it taking my donors!

HIGH: Fun family nights with new friends
low: Feeling so lame to be so excited about new friends. yup. lame. ( I miss my CA besties )

HIGH: Signing up for two 5ks in the next 60 days
low: Not actually being active for like 2 weeks and feeling like a hippo

HIGH: Ordering Christmas cards with amazing new family photos
low: Getting 115 images from our photographer and HATING all but 15 of them because I look moose-tastic.

I'll end on some highs, with a few new family photos! Thanks Garrett Adrian photography, we love them!

I'll end on some highs, with a few new family photos! We do love these!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankful for... the end of the election

I have intentionally made a point to not talk about politics on Facebook and this blog. This, when my news feed has been flooded with polarizing political opinions from both sides. For me, there are a few reasons I hesitate against sharing my political beliefs...
1. I find my political beliefs to be incredibly personal. In my opinion, one's political belief should be just that, their own. Each person has the personal responsibility to educate themselves on the issues and dig deep down to decide what they want for our country, what the government's role should be in our lives, and how they want their vote to impact those goals... I hate political ads because they are polarizing and usually filled with lies, on both sides.
2. At this point in my life, as a really busy wife and mama, I am not as educated about many of the big and small issues facing our country as I would like. This is pretty embarrassing, seeing as how I was a political science major.
3. I tend to be conservative in my voting. In fact, I've only ever voted Republican. And, right now, I don't have any expectation to switch parties. And, in the current state of politics, it is taboo to admit you're Republican. It isn't acceptable to be a young conservative. And, I don't feel like turning my life into a constant debate about why I vote conservative...

Here's what I do know...
1. We're far enough into the night to know that Obama is going to win. But I also feel pretty strongly that Obama isn't going to be able to do too much damage to our country... we have 3 branches of power with the purpose of preventing anyone branch of from assuming too much control.
2. I am truly not sure where I stand politically - I support welfare reforms. I am Christian, but I do not support the Tea Party or the Evangelical Right. I believe in lowering taxes for the middle class. I am pro-choice, but personally would not choose an abortion. I am straight, but support gay marriage. If I have to put up with the non-sense (and wonderful) aspects of marriage, why shouldn't everyone. I believe that God would want us to love thy neighbor and stop worrying about who is in their bed (or heart). I believe in working together to get us out of debt. I feel that everyone should work hard to better their personal situation and not feel that the government or their fellow tax payers should support them. I am disappointed to admit that I have family members that have abused "the system," which maybe makes me more supportive of reforms of these programs.
3. I had the privilege of growing up with educated political family members on both sides of the fence providing me the opportunity to understand and respect both sides.
4. I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to vote and share my voice.

Here is what I hope:
1. We can get back to life without being overwhelmed with political FB posts, emails, calls and ads
2. Both parties can make a commitment to working together. By either side refusing to come to the table to compromise they are doing absolutely no body any service. The purpose of government is to work together for the best of all people, not just your party.

And, here is some humor...
Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Source: via Emily on Pinterest