Thursday, March 29, 2012

What Did You Do Today?

The vast majority of the time, I live in a world of self-doubt. I'm not a good enough mother. I'm not a good enough wife. Oh, sure, there are many many days where I feel great about the state of the world, but it seems that there's always something I can point to and say "I could have done more."

I blame my husband.

He does everything, with a smile on his face the whole time. He cooks (we've had this conversation before, I believe). He cleans. He helps Lin with 98% of her homework. He gets the girls up and out the door every single morning, with lunches packed and breakfast in their bellies. He is Superdad.

But last night as I was finally going to bed, a little voice in my head told me to look back on all the things I did with my day:

I woke up at 3:00am and went to work at my full-time job.

I washed, dried, folded and put away a load of laundry.

I walked Ruby to preschool.

I ran 2.75 miles (yay, me!).

I was there to greet Lin when she got home from school.

I picked up Ruby from preschool.

I stopped at the grocery store to pick up stuff for dinner, plus some odds-and-ends.

I cooked dinner.

I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner.

I visited my elderly neighbor.

I gave Ruby a bath and trimmed her fingernails.

I put Ruby to bed (multiple times, because she kept getting up).

I helped Lin with her homework.

And I collapsed into bed at 9:45pm.

Now, to be absolutely fair, I do NOT have this kind of day everyday. But I'll bet I have more of these kinds of days than I'm giving myself credit for.

I think I'll take a nap this afternoon...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Great Story... No Pics

Very unfortunately, I have not a single picture to go along with the story I'm about to tell. I have to remember to take my camera along, even when I think we're having just a normal Saturday night...

If you recall, we went roller skating for Ruby's birthday back in January. It was the first time for both girls, and the first time in 25-or-so years for Dave and I, and we all had fun. So we've gone back 4 or 5 times since, often enough that we are familiar with some of the games they play at our preferred rink -- the 4-corners game, the Ghostbusters game... and the Limbo!

The limbo is held on the smaller practice rink, and is super fun to watch. The kids that participate are amazing! And this past Saturday night they had a new participant -- my Ruby!! It was a riot! We had been skating on the big rink and I happened to be right next to Ruby when they announced that it was time for the limbo. Ruby threw her hands up in the air, shouted "Yeah!!!" and zipped off toward the practice rink. I assumed she merely wanted to watch, and her reaction would have been funny enough. But oh no! By the time I got there, she was on the practice rink and lined up with the other kids! Dave and I were both laughing so hard and saying "What is she doing?!?"

In lieu of video, I'll try to describe how Ruby skates. In a word, she's loud. Dave has taken to calling her "Stompy" when she's wearing skates. Picture this 5-year-old child with arms flailing wildly, stomping her feet rather than gliding/rolling, going way too fast and always on the verge of being out of control. It is hilarious!

So there she was, ready to take her mad skating skills to the limbo line! She passed under the line 3 times, before bumping it on the fourth try. After the first couple rounds nearly everyone watching had their eyes on Ruby, and a huge "Awwwwwwww" went up when she knocked the limbo pole down. In fact, the reaction from the crowd was so loud that I was afraid Ruby would be spooked and start crying. But she didn't! She was still smiling as she skated off the rink.

I promise to take pictures and video next time!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Ruby got to visit the elementary school she'll be attending in the fall when she starts Kindergarten! It's Kindergarten Orientation time for our public school system, and we are very fortunate to live near the best elementary school in our district. So close, in fact, that we all rode our bikes to the school. Ruby is sorely disappointed that she lives too close to ride the school bus. Actually, she's in denial about it, thinking that if she just begs us hard enough she'll get to ride the bus. Sorry, kiddo, I can't force the bus to pick you up for a half-mile trip!

Ruby on her first school bus ride

This orientation event was all Ruby could talk about for the last day or two. Plus some of the kids from her preschool will also be attending the same elementary school, so Ruby's been pretty confident about herself and who her friends will be when she hits the door in the fall. When we got to the school, Ruby hopped off her bike and was marching into the building ahead of us, until we called her back!

At the Arts and Crafts table at Kindergarten Orientation

Yep, confident. Ruby can be pretty... sure of herself. Sometimes I'd call it bossy, but really it's more of a supreme confidence that she carries herself with. I remember the first Thanksgiving she was home, when she was not quite 2 years old. We were at my mother-in-law's house and it was after dinner when everyone was sitting around the living room. Ruby had just started going to gymnastics classes, and she decided that everyone needed to watch her do a sommersault. So she proceeded to take us all by the hand, one-by-one, and direct us where to stand. It took several minutes for her to arrange us all to her liking, having us switch places, making sure no one sat back down. And when we were all set, she began the show, doing sommersault after sommersault as we all applauded.

Making jewelry with Dad's help

Hmmm... as I write that story I hear a little voice in my head, chuckling at me. Is it really that Ruby is bossy, or is it that we've always allowed ourselves to be bossed by her? Realization is rapidly dawning on me...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Two Wheels!

Ruby's on two wheels!

I am amazed at how quickly she got the hang of it! We had tried taking Ruby's training wheels off her bike for just a bit at the end of last summer, but we didn't put a whole lot of effort into it. She was interested in riding on two wheels, but she wasn't really pushing us to teach her.
So then when the weather was nice this week she said she wanted to try riding on two wheels again. Seriously, it took maybe 30 minutes! And just a little more time for her to get the hang of starting on her own from a level stand-still. Un.Real.
Tonight she was pedaling standing up just a little bit, and even jumped a curb! (...although, that was more of an accident, but hey, she stayed upright!...)
Look out... There's no stopping her now!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bad Blogger... Bad, Bad Blogger...

Yes, we are still alive.

Yes, we are doing just fine.

No, I have not abandoned the blog.

Yes, I plan to keep blogging.

There, happy now?

I'm going to simply say, by way of explanation, that I think I've had a mild case of the Winter Blahs. Ask me to do pretty much anything the last 6 weeks or so and my answer was likely a rather monotone "Nah, I don't really feel like it."

But March is finally here, which means Spring is just a few short weeks away. And with the turn of the calendar page I feel a return of some of my old spunk.

Dave and I have even started up our old rock band again, "Lisa Can't Sing."

 I'm not kidding, folks. I am honestly and truly the lead singer in a rock band. Now stop that laughing, already!! You just wait till I start posting videos of us...

(oh gosh, did I really just obligate myself to post videos?!?)

But anyhoo, the Big News around here is Lin's very first Tae Kwon Do tournament, where she not only took first place in her division... She took the overall championship title!!!!

My daughter, the Champion!

I almost got choked up when they called her name, I'm just so ridiculously proud! So without further ado, here are the pictures...

Lin's back is to the camera here, as she bows to her first opponent...

You can just see the force behind that kick, can't you?

She easily won her first match-up, then had to go up against the winner from the other fight in her division.

Again, Lin's back is to the camera here, but just check out the size of her opponent! That boy is younger than Lin, but outweighs her by some 70 pounds!!! And he's nearly a foot taller than her, too!

I mean, honestly, look at the fierceness in that girl!! This second match-up was much more even, as far as number of hits. But in the end Lin was declared the winner, which made her First Place in her division!

Here's our girl after the fight.

Once all the matches were done, all the students were gathered back together and the 4 judges were then asked to call out the names of a few kids who had done a particularly great job. I don't remember which judge it was, but one of them called out Lin's name!

So then the judges were asked to confer with each other to determine the overall Champion...

And the winner... LIN!!!

Here are some pictures of the new Champ with her Giant Trophy!

It was truly awesome to see the other students all gathered around Lin to congratulate her...

That trophy's only two inches shorter than she is!!

Here's Lin with one of her instructors, Master Hernandez. He's tough, but he loves giving Lin a hard time! (And we certainly can't overlook Ruby here, along with two of her stuffed pals, Mimi and Victoria.)

Here she is with one of the judges, "Mr. Rob" -- an all-around nice guy!

And here's the Champ with Master Seigel, the owner and main instructor of the martial arts academy.

I have to say, I was confident Lin would win her division. She really is good at this whole Tae Kwon Do business. And when we walked in and saw that big ole honkin' trophy at the front of the room, I thought, "Oh, wouldn't it be cool if she actually won that?" But I didn't let my imagination run too far away from me, because she's only been taking classes for 6 months. She's still a beginner!

But that behemoth of a trophy now resides in her bedroom! How many ways can I say how proud I am of my daughter?!? We are just about bursting around here!

By the way, if you ever come across Lin in a dark alley, I'd leave her alone if I were you... She'll kick your you-know-what to you-know-where before you can say "Yip-a-dee Doo!"