Category Archives: Caitlyn

Today was Hands On

Our first year of homeschooling I found so many incredible ideas for hands-on projects and activities.  It was fun, if I do say so myself.  My second year that dwindled, and last year was dismal.  We made it through our daily lessons of bookwork, but there just wasn’t any fun.  Last year was survival mode as I battled the bipolar disorder…But this year, this year, offered hope.

Hope, that we could have fun again.  That Patrice could enjoy some fo the hands-on activities similar to what we had done in the first year, when she was oblivious.

And I think, we have had more fun.  We are getting through material, going on field trips, and enjoying projects.  Today, we did two fun projects in art and science.

During art, we made cards for a friend in the hospital.

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This afternoon we did a science project learning how plant seeds might travel to other places in the world.  We “made” seeds and sent them flying.

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The best part was seeing Patrice not only get involved in the activity, but watching the video beforehand, and being able to explain what it was saying, and argue her point, successfully I might add, with her sisters.

Every day has it’s adventures, but today included some intentional fun!

 

Kind of Sad

Last night was another great night of Halloween fun.  The girls made their costumes earlier in the week, the weather was perfect last night, and there were very few Trick or Treaters, so people were very generous to my girls.  Caitlyn and Sue weighed their loot–7 lbs and 6 lbs respectively.  Sue’s candy haul weighed more than she did at birth!!

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We had so few Trick or Treaters that I put our candy out on the porch and we all went together.

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Caitlyn was a jellyfish, Sue was the Ocean Blue, and Patrice was Rapunzel.  They put them together all by themselves.

No help from mama.

I remember not too long ago when they needed my help to walk up to the doors, knock, say Trick or Treat, and Thank You.  This year I was just a chaperone.

And it made me kind of sad.  It was the first year my babies didn’t need me.  Okay, not kind of sad.  I actually walked from house to house holding back the tears.  Hubby says it is because I have done a good job raising them to be creative, confident girls.

I say, “where did my babies go???”

There She Goes

“Go Caitlyn Go!!”  I have yelled that countless times since August 16 when Caitlyn and Sue started cross country practice.

Caitlyn loved the running, Sue loved the social time.

I ached watching Caitlyn put her heart and soul into the running and see little success.  She ran with such determination at every practice, from her very first step to her last.  But again and again she was beat by her sister and her teammates.  And yet, she never wavered, she never gave up.

She ran at practice, she started running in the mornings with me.  I was so, so proud of her every single time.  All heart and determination.  And right at the end of the season we saw some of her power come out as she plowed through her last meet with just over a 10 minute mile.

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While she was running cross country, she also trained with me for a 5k (3.1 miles).  Yesterday was the day.  We got up before dawn to get a decent breakfast and head on our way.

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Don’t mind the scratches on my nose.  I fell a couple days before the race while taking a short walk.  I landed on my face and managed to break my glasses, scratch up my nose (not broken, as first feared), and bruised up my knee.

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A couple days before, my sweet girl had asked me if it was okay if she ran ahead of me for the first mile “you’ll catch up to me in mile 2 I’m sure.”  Well, she sure did pull ahead of me–and I never saw her again.  My Caitlyn finished the race in 34 minutes and 6 seconds.  She ran a mile pace of 10 minutes 58 seconds!!!  She finished in 2 place of the girls ages 10-13 who ran.  I couldn’t be more proud.  Honestly, I couldn’t.

She finished WAYYYYY ahead of me yesterday and as I finally ran up to the finish line, I heard a voice yelling, “go MOMMY go!!!!”

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I can’t wait to run with her again–and watch out cross country, we’ll be unleashing a powerhouse on you next season!

 

All That Falls

I found a project on Pinterest and we actually did it!!!

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We painted q-tip fall trees 🙂

 

The Balance

Three girls.  I have three girls.  I have no idea how that happened–well, okay, I know HOW it happened, I just can’t believe it did even 10 years into this mom gig.  I had given up on marriage and kids, but God had other plans.

These plans.

I have three girls, I homeschool three girls, they are pretty much my constant side kicks.  They see how I handle, and don’t handle, life.  I am completely aware their eyes are always on me.

Sometimes, I can handle it with grace, but much of the time I am second guessing how I handle it all.  I want my reactions to be balanced and healthy.  I am used to finding that difficult with the Bipolar in my life, but recently it has gotten complicated for another reason…sports.

My girls (2 of them anyway) have joined the world of sports–cross country to be exact.

It is the one sport I sort of, not really, know anything about and is truly the only sport I have ever enjoyed.  Seeing them get to run at practice reminded me how much I love to run and has me back out there pounding out a few miles.  I love having them run.

One, is a little older than the other, a little more serious about life, and a little more interested in running.

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She even joined me on my Sunday morning run last week.

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I am so proud.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Sue is also going to practice, never complains about it, and seems to have fun, but she just hasn’t caught the running bug.  She’s there for the socializing; Caitlyn says, “I want to run, that’s what I am there for!!!”

I am so pleased with both of them, but I want to just gush all over Caitlyn.  I love her can do spirit, she never gives up, I love her desire to run, I love her determination.  I like to talk to her about running.  I am seeking out help from others who run to help Caitlyn become a stronger runner.  I’m not kidding, I could go on forever about how proud I am of Caitlyns’ running.

But I don’t want to discourage Sue.  I want her to grow to love it, if it turns out to be her thing.  I want her to work hard.  I want her to know I care about her skills too.

Balancing the two is hard!!!

How do I encourage them both when their experiences so far are very different?  How do I let Caitlyn know how pleased I am without seeming to diminish Sue’s progress?  How do I show my pride in Caitlyn, without making Sue feel like she has to prove herself to me by running?

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I sincerely don’t know how to balance it all.  I catch myself when I feel like I am going overboard.  I try to remember to speak highly of both of them within their hearing.

I try.  I really do.

A Broken Record

As I have mentioned a million times, I love running.  I had to give it up for a while due to foot issues, but that didn’t change my love.  I am done with physical therapy and was given the go ahead to start running again…slowly.  I told the therapist, “at 41 the only running I do is slow” but I knew what she meant and actually got scared about starting and hurting my feet again.

Then, a fellow homeschooler found a cross country team for homeschooled kids starting at Caitlyn and Sue’s ages.  I could not wait to get home and sign them up.  I know other parents say they don’t want to push their kids, but I will fully admit, I am being pushy when it comes to running.

I had no athletic abilities whatsoever growing up.  T-Ball was a bust, ping pong and volleyball were a disaster.  I had nothing.  And it it was hard.  I watched other kids get acceptance and acclaim from sports, but it never happened for me.  Ever.  As much as we say brains are more important, or at least as important, they aren’t, not when it comes to approval.

I never found anything I could do until my 30s when I started running with Wii Fit and then decided to try running for real outside, and I could do it!!  Now, I don’t set any records, but each running goal I have set for myself I have reached, except the half marathon, I am still reaching for that.  And the runners high–I fell in love with it early on.

Call me selfish, I want running for my girls.  Jr. High, er Middle School and High School would have been so much more bearable if I had running.  I want that for them, I do.  Yes, I understand, they may find another sport that suits them better, but for now, I want to give them a place to start, something they can enjoy, something they can excel at no matter what.

I want that for them.

All the Signs Are There

The candles tell me it was 10 years ago.

She tells me it was 10 years ago.

The calendar screams it was 10 years ago.

But I don’t believe a word of it.

It was yesterday, I know it.  It has to have been yesterday we welcomed our sweet Caitlyn into our arms.

This little face has to have come into our life just yesterday.

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sorry the picture above is fuzzy2016-08-03 16.48.35This is my beauty at 6 months old.

But alas, she has grown up so much.  She is kind and funny, oh so funny!  She loves to please others.  She worries if there is conflict or duress.  She is thankful for the things that others do for her and with her.  She looks for ways to make others smile.  And she loves to be with her family more than anywhere else.

In short, she is amazing.

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Happy, Happy 10th Birthday my girl!!

A Compliment

Except for this for my Sue when she learned how to read a challenging book,2014-06-02 09.22.41 2014-06-02 09.26.16 2014-06-01 14.13.35 2014-05-31 22.22.22I have never colored my hair.  I’ve always been proud of it’s color and was afraid if I dyed it, what I had when the color grew out would not be what I have now.

I was born with red hair, but after that was a blondie.  And have always considered myself a natural blonde.  There are times my hair looks pretty brown, but if I dry it with a hair dryer or let it dry naturally before I pull it back, it is primarily blonde.

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I was once at a hairdresser getting a cut and a lady walked by me, pointed at my head and said, “I want her color.”  My hairdresser told me a lot of people come looking for what I sport naturally.

That has stuck with me.  Obviously.

And it got me thinking about our words.  That whole conversation took place over 15 years ago.  And I still think of it.  That one compliment still impacts me.  15 years.

What will my girls think of my works in 15 years?  Caitlyn will be almost 25, Sue almost 24, and Patrice almost 21.  What will stick with them?  Which of my words will matter to them?

We Went We Saw

Four years ago, we headed a few states over for a family wedding.  We did some camping along the way.

Turns out, I remember very little of it.

Patrice was one years old.  I don’t remember her being there at all.  Hubby tells me she was very good about camping and the wedding, but if you ask me, she wasn’t even there.

And sorry to my niece who was getting married, I don’t remember the wedding at all.  I am sure it was just lovely.  Really lovely, but you see, I was very sick with the postpartum depression and bipolar at the time.  Life at that time was really hard and so very foggy.

But time has passed and my meds are better…and my mind is allowing me to think and remember.

So this trip to a wedding was very different.  It was very nice.  We went to our nephews’ wedding and then headed to Lake Michigan to relax and even visit Chicago for a day.

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A waterfall in Wisconsin we visited with family before heading to Lake Michigan2016-06-08 07.36.48 2016-06-08 07.38.41 2016-06-08 09.24.22 2016-06-08 11.54.49 2016-06-09 10.28.58 2016-06-09 11.20.57 2016-06-09 12.29.25 2016-06-09 12.32.43 2016-06-09 15.09.42 2016-06-09 15.19.48 2016-06-09 15.50.44 2016-06-09 19.28.26 2016-06-10 13.37.00 2016-06-10 20.41.52 2016-06-10 20.53.07

Meeting another warrior mom was a huge highlight of the trip!!!2016-06-10 21.42.05 2016-06-11 08.21.03 2016-06-11 09.31.27 2016-06-11 12.10.21 2016-06-11 19.01.13 2016-06-11 20.51.33 2016-06-12 08.35.53This trip was fantastic and I am hoping to remember it for a very long time!!!

All That Glitters

Back before Christmas, Caitlyn got her ears pierced.  It was a big day.  And began the countdown to this day–taking out the starter earrings and putting in her first pair of “real” earrings–music notes–quarter notes to be exact.

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She has always been beautiful, but now she sparkles 🙂