Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
A day I thought would never arrive did on a snowy Monday morning in February. I was at that point when you are just OVER being pregnant. At an appointment earlier the week before, I had explained this "feeling" to my obstetrician, Dr. Yeum, and she suggested I meet with her partner Dr. Pittman, also fondly known as "Pitocin Fingers." Note: I would not think of her fondly during my exam. That Monday morning, as the snow continued to fall, my husband Wally and I took separate cars to the doctor's office to see if we could "get things going." The plan was to have Wally there for moral support and a hand to squeeze really hard if the exam got too intense, then for us to go our separate ways off to work. Well, that was the plan.
I won't get into the gory details of the exam. Needless to say, when the exam was over my belly was visibly contracting and Dr. Pittman had earned her nickname. I was then put on a monitor for about 10 minutes. When Dr. Pittman returned, she said, "okay this is it. I will see you at the hospital." She might as well said to my husband and I, "okay this is it. I will see you at the planet Mars." We couldn't process "this was it." My next response, after we picked our jaws up off the floor, was, "so, we'll go home and wait, right?" It was then her turn to look at us like we were speaking in foreign tongues, "no you need to go the hospital." It was now my husband, Wally's turn, "ok so we will get our bags and wait for the contractions to get intense and get to the hospital - probably later today, right?" The frustration started to build on Dr. Pittman's face, "no, guys you need to go to the hospital now." Me, "can we at least get our bags?" Dr. Pittman, "how far are you guys away?" Me, "only Morristown." Dr. Pittman knowing I can't fathom going to the hospital at this very moment says very kindly, "go home and then go directly to the hospital - no waiting around - get there as soon as possible."
Still not understanding the full magnitude of what was happening, we go out to the parking lot and realize, "oh shit, we have two cars." Wally turns to me and says, "do you think you can drive?" Keep in mind my contractions are 7 minutes apart and there is snow falling pretty heavily on the ground, my response, "sure." Wally assures me he will stay on the phone with me and will follow close behind. Yes, I am the woman who drives during labor, during a snowstorm! I think I need to get a medal or something for surviving that feat. No medal yet.
We make it home safely and I decide there is no need to rush. I take another shower. Wally takes another shower. I do my hair and makeup. I check to make sure I have everything. Of course, I have about four armfuls of things we are bringing with us to the hospital. We make a few phone calls. We kiss our pooch goodbye and head back to the hospital. We don't arrive until after 12 pm. If Dr. Pittman was at home with us she would have only allowed us to grab our bags and leave but I thought, "I've had worse cramps than this. This baby is not ready to make an entrance just yet."
We arrive and check into the PET unit where I get hooked up yet again. At around 2 pm, I get a message from Dr. Yeum saying they are ready to check me into the L&D and that they are going to start a small Potocin drip. To be honest, I thought I was going to be sent home as a "false alarm," but it seemed this was REALLY happening.
Then the crowds started to arrive, first my parents then my best friend and her husband, my mother-in-law then finally my brother (with a life-size giraffe for his new niece or nephew). All were gathered at the hospital before 5 pm that day. What I remember most from their visits in and out of the room was my Dad's sheer amazement of how good I was doing. He commented to my Mom several times that day, "I can't believe how great Jennifer is doing. She doesn't seem to be in any pain." To be honest Dad, you and me both. I too was amazed and not sure why, but I really wasn't in a lot of pain. Me, the girl who faints at the thought of pain was actually being tough as nails. By 6 pm still no epidural and only dilated about 2 cms my nurse convinced me to get the epidural. While she knew I wasn't in any horrible pain, she explained that it would relax me and hopefully get this show on the road.
Up until this point, things are going pretty smoothly. Enter the anesthesiologist's PA. I am handed a bunch of legal mumbo, jumbo to review and sign. Having to prepare to receive the biggest needle of my life (did I mention I have a needle phobia), I hand the papers to my husband who proceeds to look over. He asks the PA, very nicely I might add, why he cannot be present in the room during the epidural. Her answer, "germs." Wally, "germs? really? that doesn't seem to be a good enough reason considering people have been in and out of this room all day doing God only knows what to my wife." She then quips, "what are you a lawyer?" Not sure what happened after that I just know that my husband was trying to remain as calm as possible for me. Wally then decides to take up this argument with the doctor. The doctor tells him that we need to focus on the patient that this is a very delicate procedure, blah, blah, blah. Now, I appreciate the valiant efforts of my husband knowing how afraid I am of this GIANT needle, however, the doctor has now refused to do the procedure unless my husband and mother leave the room. I look at Wally and I say to him very calmly, "I appreciate what you are trying to do here but get out of the room now so I can get this thing over with." He then tells the PA, doctor and nurse that he is only going to stand right outside the door that if something happens he is coming back in. Everyone is fine with this and I get my epidural. To get the bitch PA back for her rude comment to my husband, I squeeze her with all my might during the procedure hoping she gets some nice black-and-blues on her arms.
Things start to really move now! They break my water (some random dude - still hoping he was a legit doctor) and I go from 2 to 8 in record time. Dr. Yeum is called and the nurse starts preparing the room for the arrival of Baby Kamienski. But instead of pushing out my child at 8 or 9 that night, I stall. At 11 pm, Dr. Yeum comes in and says I am going to give you another 15 minutes but that's it somethign about swelling and the position of the baby. With fingers crossed, I get one last exam and then the OR is booked. No pushing for me. I cry to Wally and my Mom who tell me how proud they are of me. My Mom tells me who cares how this baby comes into the world? I did, but in the end it doesn't really matter now does it? Before I head into the OR, I ask my Mom and best friend for a brush and mirror. They indulge me knowing full well that I am going to be putting a cap on to cover all my hair but they don't say a word. As I am wheeled into the OR, I get last words of love and praise from my parents, mother-in-law, brother and best friend and husband.
As I am being prepped, my friendly PA returns looking right over my head. Then it happens, "ummm, Wally I feel that?' Friendly PA, "you don't feel anything." Me, "ummm, I do feel something." Dr Yeum now peers over the curtain to look at me, "what's wrong? what is it?" Me, "Dr. Yeum I felt it when you started to cut me." The PA is about to talk back to me when Dr. Yeum shoots her a look and tells her boss to turn it up NOW. Dr. Yeum waits a little while and then proceeds. If we are being honest here, it sucked. I hated the feeling of being awake under the knife and to say "you are going to feel some minor tugging" is putting it mildly.
At 12:19 am on February 27, a shout rang out in the operating room announcing, "It's a boy!" Up until this point, I had no idea of the gender of this life growing inside of me nor did I know how awe-inspiring he would turn out to be nor did I even know his name just yet, all I knew at that very moment is that my miracle had finally arrived. After trying for almost 4 years and waiting another 9 months for Baby Kamienski, all our dreams had come true in in the middle of the night. The wonder of it all...
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
When I saw the following report on the news, at first, I was comforted thinking "not my kid" which quickly turned into fear as thoughts turned to, "will it get this bad?":
Is this what we have to look forward to?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Before anyone gets too excited, when I titled the blog post "Baby Crazy," I was not referring to me but Benjamin. My son LOVES babies! Seriously, can't get enough of them. If a baby is in a room, he needs to be near that baby. He loves to kiss babies, tickle babies, look at babies, rub babies' heads (very gently) - you name it Benjamin wants to be part of the baby action.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Benjamin has been having a problem controlling his aim while peeing (nothing new in the boy category or the male category for that matter). So to help address this problem, I have been encouraging him to "point your penis down." This has seemed to help keep the urine in the bowl rather than all over my floor.
The other day he came over to me and said, "can I teach Shorty (his stuffed monkey-get your minds out of the gutter) how to go to the bathroom?" I said, "sure!" Next thing you know Ben is propping Shorty on the toddler potty. As Shorty is sitting there Benjamin gives him this instruction, "now Shorty point your penis down." Just for the record, Shorty didn't make any mess. Good training Ben!
Later that same day, Ben bursts in while I am going to the potty (I have no more privacy in my life). He decides he too wants to join me. While he sits on his throne, he asks me, "Mommy is your penis pointed down?" I then need to explain to a 2 year old (I thought this conversation would take a few more years like 20) that "mommies" don't have penises. In quick response to this revelation, Benjamin asks, "but you do have shorts and shoes like me." Yes, yes, I do.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Benjamin isn't the world's most proper dinner companion but Wally and I are working very hard on changing this situation. In fact, recently, we sent him to his room and ordered him not to come out until he was ready to finish his supper. About five minutes later, he was calling for Wally at the edge of the steps. Wally went to the foot of the staircase and asked, "are you ready to come down?" He said that he was ready. Wally then asked if he was ready to finish his dinner. Benjamin then said, "no, I will stay in my room." With that statement, Ben turned around headed back to his room and slammed the door. So much for standing our ground.
Let me take you back to the dinner table but another night when Benjamin was being agreeable. We were having Chinese and he was enjoying his Lo Mein immensely. At the time, I was dipping an egg roll into duck sauce. He asked me, "what is that." I told him duck sauce. He made a face and I told him to try it. Wally then compared it to a dipping sauce like ketchup. Ben then agreed to try it. Cautiously, he took the Chinese noodle in his hand and stuck his tongue out ever so gently and dabbed it on the noodle. With a contorted face, and Mom expecting the often heard "I don't like", he said, "I like it. Maybe I can put it on a chicken nugget?" Note to self: get more duck sauce.
When watching Ben enjoying riding Lightening McQueen in our backyard, my Mom decided she wanted an electric ride-on toy for by her house. My brother, Uncle John, agreed to get this for Benjamin to play with while at Grandma's and Poppa's house. Last week, they all went to the toy store to pick out a new toy. As my brother and mother tried to sway him towards the Jeep, Benjamin caught site of a Cadillac. He asked Uncle John to bring it down so he could get a more thorough inspection of the Escalade. As Uncle John brought it to the floor, Ben began to hug the car and said, "Uncle John I don't want a Jeep. I want a Cadillac! You get this for me?" Oh my young son, I have taught you well. A Cadillac with a real working radio is much better than a Jeep any day of the week.
My Mom just told me this story. Benjamin and Grandma went to the zoo where a peacock proceeded to follow Ben out to the parking lot as they were leaving. Benjamin turned to my Mom and said, "Grandma the peacock wants to come home with me. Can we bring him home?" My Mom said, "Ben I would have to call your parents and ask." I didn't get a call but unfortunately the answer is no Ben --- Bruin wouldn't be okay with it and he has the veto power when bringing any new animals into the house.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
You see my Dad has a very rare gift. He has the rare gift of loving someone completely, forever. Even when you aren't in his presence, you can feel his love. My Dad worked a lot when I was growing up but I never, not even for a moment, didn't know I was surrounded by my Dad's love. While he wasn't present for every little bit in my life, he was there when it mattered the most and he wasn't half there he was whole there. He was the one person that cheered the loudest when I performed on stage for all those year's of my life. He was the one that hugged me the hardest and longest the day I graduated college.
It may sound cliche but one of the main reasons I fell in love with Wally is that he makes me laugh. If you are looking to have fun, there is no better person on earth (in my humble opinion) to have a good time with than my husband. And it is this reason (and yes many others), that I love the type of Dad Wally is to Benjamin.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I love my son more than life itself. I would do anything for him. And yes, I would stand in front of moving bus to save his life without hesitation. However, I don't like mud. You can throw in the dry stuff too - dirt - I don't like that much either. The problem is Benjamin LOVES dirt and mud. If I let him, he would spend all day with a few trucks and a pile of dirt. I try to discourage this practice as much as I can but I can't keep the child away from his passion.
While most thought I was better suited to raise a girl, my now amateur palaeontologist and construction connoisseur status have changed many a mind. Instead of playing with Barbies and having tea parties, my days are spent reading books about bugs and watching Disney's Cars. I love all things boy but I can't get over the dirt thing. Why the obsession with dirt boys?
Don't get me wrong I get right in there and play in the pile of yuck, but not as much as I get into playing with toys that are clean like plastic gorillas and plush dogs.
Why do I hate dirt? Here are my top reasons:
- Dirt under the nails (impossible to remove from a 2 year old's fingernails)
- Dirty toys (that Benjamin then insists on bringing in the house that I have to clean in the tub that also gets dirty)
- Dirty clothes/shoes (not only his but mine - so many clothes/shoes ruined - I hate dirty shoelaces)
- Dirty dog (eventually Bruin gets in on the act and inevitable the dirt ends up in our bed)
- Dirty floors (the absolute worst - it seems I am cleaning the floors every single day - reason #54 why Jennifer needs a maid)
Why do I tolerate this? Why do I live with the dirt? The dirty truth is that I can't resist that face (even when it is full of dirt)!
Do you remember the moment when you realized your parents wouldn't live forever?
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Having spent the day with Ben while working from home and having some extra work to catch up on, it was boys-night-only as Jenn was over by her parents wishing Uncle Bill farewell on his return to California. When I spied Ben casually walking into the dining room, I asked him where he was going. He said "Don't see me, Dad" so I countered with "Would you like to go on the potty?". To my stunned amazement, he said yes. But there were conditions. "Can I bring my trucks with me? he asked. I said of course you bring your bring your trucks and helped him gather 4 small-sized, yellow Tonka bulldozer, pay loader, dump truck and digger, I recall.
By the way, the reason I also say "Of course"to his any requests nowadays is to simply hear his parroting return "Of couusse" which sounds so sweet that I love just to hear it everytime. But that's another story.
Back to the matter at hand. Ben, holding his four trucks in his tiny lap and hands, was removed of his shorts and 'diapy' and seated on the mini-Diego throne which is situated in the near corner of the downstairs bath between the tub and inside wall. "Don't see me, Dad" was instructed and I obeyed by leaving the washroom, closing the door and letting our little man have some quality time.
I could him talking to his trucks and then minutes later, bowled out the door and exclaimed "I did it!" The evidence was clear and undeniable. He did it. I was proud as a Dad could be. Since then, he has done it again each night and we are on way to Pull ups and big boy underwear. Way to go, Ben! Number 2 is #1.
Friday I had to work from home. To occupy Ben's time while I went through my emails, I put on a Max & Ruby DVD. About 10 minutes into the cartoon and checking emails, Ben came into the office. I asked him, "don't you want to watch Max & Ruby?" He looked at me and said, "no, I want to watch you." Note to my boss: Not sure how much work I can get done after that statement.
To add a little ambiance to the evening, Wally played some music outside while we ate dinner. After dinner was over, Benjamin wanted to get his groove thing on and started to dance in circles. I asked him to, "shake his moneymaker!" I then showed him how to shake it and not break it. He thought this was the best thing in the world and couldn't stop asking others to join in his dance party including Bruin (who he felt didn't get the concept). In the car the other day while listening to Usher, I asked him to shake his moneymaker. He said, "I don't want to shake my moneymaker." He then looked out the window and wouldn't talk to me the rest of the car ride. I guess you can't force the moneymaker.
Benjamin and I were getting ready to head out on a walk. When we got the driveway, I noticed a pile of scraps (wood shavings, paper, twigs, etc.) the birds had created underneath the basketball hoop. Ben turned to me and said, "what a mess! get the vacuum Ba Ba."
As Benjamin is getting older, I like to introduce new words into his vocabulary and with his excellent pronunciation (I didn't say it two speech pathologists did) I tend to push the limits. This time it was the word "pharmacy". I told Ben how we were going to the pharmacy to pick up cream for the rash on his arms. After picking up the cream and going about our day, later that night when I put the medicine on he said to me, "Mommy, we got the cream at the pharmacy." Maybe I should have introduced him to the word hydrocortisone, as well?
Thursday, May 28, 2009
When I told Benjamin we were seeing Aunt Kristi, Uncle Mike and Michael. He looked at me and said, "I can't see Uncle Mike. He is on the boat." I had to think a minute and attempt to figure out what he meant by this statement. Not having much a memory these days, I then recalled that when Aunt Kristi did happen to come by a couple weeks back and asked where Uncle Mike and Michael were we told him on a submarine. Obviously having a better memory than I do these days, he recalled me telling him about the sub. Having been reminded by my 2 year old, I told him, "don't worry Uncle Mike and Michael are off the boat. You'll see them tonight."
I'm not sure he believed me but when he saw the two Mikes walk into the restaurant he was excited that they were finally off the boat!
However, I realized that my child now has quite a memory and not much is going to slip past him. Another example, when I showed him yesterday a car's "Cars," and said "oh you don't have this one," (keep in mind he has about 100 different ones) he told me "yes I do! it is at Grandma's." Guess what? He was right. The ole' "pretending it didn't happen" tool might not work that well these days. I believe a new parenting tool will have to applied here. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Let me start off by saying I am typing this post at 7:44 am and Benjamin is still sleeping in HIS bed! Thank you big boy bed I knew you were a godsend. People who don't know my son can't truly appreciate what an absolute miracle the statement above is to me. To shed a little light, my son refused to sleep in a bassinet, pack n' play or crib for most of his baby year. As soon as that little precious head would hit a foreign flat surface, he would immediately wake up. Wally and tried every sleep method but the place he was most comfortable was in our bed. Yes, I know how dangerous this potential is/was but the child outright refused to sleep. Imagine three straight nights of the Ferber Method where on the last night my son actually ripped his baby monitor down and started screaming directly into it with a look of fury in his eyes. He paced back and forth in his crib like a crazed, caged animal. I was scared of him at that moment and I as weak so back in the bed. We've had our little triumphs here and there but when Benjamin could actually begin to verbalize his feelings he told me, "I don't like my crib." Yeah kid, tell me something this Mom doesn't know.
So at the rip old age of two, Wally and I decided that it would be best if we started looking into a big boy bed for Benjamin. After much searching, we settled on a full size bed* for our pint size insomniac. Why a full size bed? Considering I am taller than the average woman, Wally is 6'5" and Ben is 88 percentile of height, a twin might not cut it by the time he is ten. Oh and there was one more reason, I guessed there would be a few nights I would spend in bed with Ben and I wanted some extra room. Selfish maybe. Smart yes.
It wasn't easy getting the bed. Pottery Barn cancelled the order with a random, nonchalant message. An hour long phone call later, Ben had the exact bed Wally and I wanted in the color we originally wanted for the price we wanted (and a gift certificate for $50 for Ben for all his pain and suffering).
Enter the age of the big boy bed! When Wally and I would be away the bed was set to arrive, so we had to get rid of the crib the night before we left for vacation (Wally was not happy with me that evening). While sitting on the plane getting ready for takeoff, Wally and I get a call from home. Benjamin was demanding to know where his crib was! WHAT?!?! Seriously, kid? I couldn't get on the phone. I was baffled and speechless all at once. Wally explained the situation to him again and he seemed to be okay with it. Ben never ceases to amaze me.
When we returned home, we walked upstairs at 2 in the morning to find Benjamin asleep like an angel in his big boy bed. Wally and I gave ourselves a congratulatory hug and knew we had made the right decision. Welcome back sleep I have missed you. And on cue, Ben has just woken up.
*Fun Fact: Did you know that more than half of the 20-something males in my office sleep in a twin bed?
Monday, May 18, 2009
Would you ever vacation without your child? Would you feel too guilty to do so...
Saturday, May 16, 2009
On Monday, Benjamin's Uncle John brought him three Lightening McQueen jerseys (football, basketball and hockey) from his recent trip to Disney World. Ben insisted on wearing at least one of them. Upon putting the football jersey on him, he ran to the mirror hanging on his closet door. He stood there for about a minute "checking himself out" in the mirror. I asked him if it was okay and Ben smiled at himself in the mirror and said, "good." My Mom also happened to be there to witness the mirror moment and commented, "he is definitely your son." Now, he can't get ready without looking at himself in the mirror to make sure he approves of his outfit.
Later that same week, I found a giant Mr. Potato Head containing about 3 additional heads and lots of noses, eyes, lips, ears and accessories that I had to buy for Benjamin. You see, when I was about Benjamin's age, I probably had about 20 Mr. Potato Heads that I played with but the thing I loved most about them was the yellow eyeglasses that transformed me into Mrs. Beasley, my alter ego. I would take those too small eyeglasses and stretch them out, don a pair of gloves, poncho and with a mirror in hand I would become a little old lady for the day (yes, my parents encouraged my creativity or craziness - I choose to think it was creativity). When Ben and I played with the Mr. Potato Head for the first time, he took a pair of those yellow glasses and put them on just like his mother. I was proud.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
*We almost missed our flight because our "gate closed" 57 minutes before the flight was to depart. P.S. The airport was empty
*I rode for the first time in an electric cart to the gate that should be standard practice in my life
*Starting drinking screwdrivers as soon as I hit first class to calm my nerves. I would pay for that decision later that night - I'm not as young as I used to be
*The airline showed Marley & Me. I had to refrain from sobbing. I looked over at Wally and tears were streaming down his face. We needed more drinks...
*Our room was upgraded to ocean-view. Nice!
*The weather couldn't have been more perfect
*Ted Kennedy and J. Lo were staying at the property or two individuals who looked very much like them. Well maybe it wasn't them but it gave Wally and I hours of conversation. In fact, we came up with a new product to market while talking about J. Lo one afternoon. Thanks J. Lo!
*We met the world's most chatty woman. Ironically, her name is Cathy. It took me a while to connect "chatty" and "Cathy" - hey, I was on vacation
*Chatty Cathy tells me her life story after five minutes of meeting her. Keeps Wally and I floating on a raft chatting for over two hours. We wonder later why our backs are burnt to a crisp
*I beat Wally in a game of H.O.R.S.E. The next two times he beat me but I think he got up in the middle of the night and was practicing
*Wally surprised with a spa appointment
*My first nap in over 6 months (or maybe longer) was interrupted by a call asking me if I was enjoying my stay
*Wally surprised me with dinner on the beach. The surprise was almost ruined twice when upon arrival the event coordinator handed me the itinerary which noted the "butlered dinner" Wally quickly snatched it from my hands. The day of the dinner, we also decided to take a walk after lounging out by the pool and found a cart with flowers and such that I noted, "someone must be having a romantic dinner on the beach" little did I know it would be us
*We danced in the moonlight to James Taylor
*Wally ordered my complete dinner which included risotto, lobster and gnocchi. He does know me
*The romance didn't end when we arrived at our room which was filled with rose petals and candles
*Our romantic evening was interrupted twice by the staff. First, to find out if Wally wanted to put the dinner on the room account. Second, asking if we were enjoying our evening. The next morning we also got a call asking about the evening at about 8:30 am. Despite all the interruptions we did have once-in-a-lifetime celebration
*The guitar player/singer at breakfast is INCREDIBLE. Sang an acoustic version of Kenny Rogers "Lucille" and the Flashdance standard "Maniac" which was surprisingly good
*Each night we are serenaded by frogs "peep, peep"
*I ate a bagel and lox each morning - screw the diet
*We ate lunch almost everyday at the Jerk Center (INSERT JOKE HERE)
*Jerk Center cook made a special early morning run to get us Chicken and Beef Patties for lunch
*The chicken at the Jerk Center was the best I have ever had. Wally almost died from eating a pepper that accompanied his Jerk Shrimp dish. Johnny Cakes are the Caribbean hush puppy but better
*Wally is considering a work exchange program with the towel boy
*Wally taught me how to skip rocks and play horseshoes
*Wally and I spent about a half hour looking for a missing horseshoe on the beach
*We received a thousand blessings from God from our room maid
*I talked to Ben everyday on the phone. He missed his Mommy
*Wally and I talked and talked and talked about nothing and everything
*Wally had me falling in love with him all over again
Wally romancing me on the beach with a butlered dinner
Sunday, May 10, 2009
There are some people you look at in life and think -- they were born to do that -- and often you can tell at a very young age. Whether it be born to be an artist or born to be a baseball player or whatever, there are some people who's calling couldn't fit them any better. My Mom was born to be a mother. She is a classic Mom in every sense of the phrase. If you have ever met my Mother, you wouldn't dare argue the point with me. In fact, you most likely would agree whole-heatedly -- my Mom is a natural - it is was what she was born to do.
There are so many reasons why my Mother is a Mom. I was just having a conversation with my best friend about our moms. We both said there is nothing our mothers wouldn't do for us and it is true. I can often hear myself saying "Mom I need to go to XYZ can you help me out?" The answer without hesitation is always yes. And sometimes the answer should be no but my Mom will rearrange her schedule to accommodate me. In a word, my Mom is selfless. There has never been a time in my life when my Mother has put the needs of herself before others. And sometimes, we don't deserve it but she is makes it her life mission to see her children and those she loves happy. When I look back on my 36 years, I am very fortunate to say there has never been a moment when someone hasn't been there for me and more often than not it has been my Mom.
I can say my Mom spoils me but my Mom likes to say she spoils us with love. I can rattle off a list of sacrifices my Mom has made to make me the person that I am today but I would be here for years. Suffice it to say, my Mom has the rare gift to love unconditionally. She has taught me the power of love and how to give it freely to others. While I have told her I hated her (lots in my tweens and teenage years) and ashamed looking back at it now, I never meant it and that didn't stop her from loving me with all her heart. Loving someone in this way is the greatest gift you can give anyone. The beauty of this gift is that it gives back and then some. There is no better way to live life and I thank my Mom for giving me this gift.
She is a kid at heart. My Mom is fun! I didn't and don't have a sideline mom. My Mom is has always been in the action. From frolicking in the ocean to creating arts and craft projects together to being the "class mother," my Mom has enjoyed taking an active role in my life and I couldn't appreciate it more. By taking on this role, she has supported me in all my life's pursuits. She made me believe I could do anything that I wanted in the world and never put me down. She has always been there with a word of encouragement, hope and love. Life is limitless with my Mom by my side.
My Mom is the one that my other friends look to as a friend and someone they can receive motherly advice from. When Kristi and I wanted to talk about the birds and the bees, we sat down with my Mom. When my friends now want to gossip about life in general, they can be found bending my Mom's ear. I love that my friends love my Mom. While I didn't realize it my younger years, but my Mom has always been my greatest friend.
She is the Mom that will do my laundry (and actually does Ben's for me to this day) and do it well. She is the Mom that can cook and bake like no other. She has made my life a joy. She made our house a home and an incredible place to grow up. I am not the daughter that will ever be seen sitting on the psychiatrist's couch complaining about how my mother ruined my life because I have been blessed with a "real" Mom - a Mom who knows how to do it the right way with all her heart. Thank you Mom today and always for being the best Mom a girl could ever dream of - you have made my life what is today.