Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Good Daddy...

When we are little girls we dream about our weddings and how we will look like princesses, as we get older we begin fantasizing about the dream husbands we will have and how they will sweep us off our feet, then as we become adults we begin thinking about having children and how excited we will be and how thrilled our husbands will be.

Well, I never in my wildest dreams figured it would all work
out...just like that in the end.  I got the beautiful wedding, the dream husband who swept me off my feet and honestly, still does, and we were excited about our babies together.

My husband is amazing!! He married me and loved my daughter from the moment we started dating.  He has become her daddy in ever sense of the word.  He loves his girls so much and worries about them daily along with trying to teach them how a man should treat them.  He does this through the example he shows them of the way he treats me and when he takes Kiley on "dates" to show her how it is done!

However, every daddy also needs a boy.  He needs someone to be "rough"
with and talk about gross things and build things with.  We are so blessed to have had two little boys....amazing little boys.  Each one is so different and add so much to our lives.  They are polar opposites and they are best friends and worst enemies within minutes of the other.  They love their mommy and idolize their daddy.

He is a good dad and my kids are so blessed to have a dad that
always wants his children to know they are loved.  He is the dad that goes outside and plays basketball and baseball even when he is exhausted just because they
wanted to play.  He is the kind of dad that wakes them up with silly songs or glasses of water.  He is the kind of dad that, while being funny, gets his family stuck in a snow bank in which he has to dig us out of for hours, and he is the kind of dad that sheds real tears when he tells them how much he loves them.

My husband makes sacrifices every day for our family, some of these sacrifices are life-threatening and extremely dangerous.  They have caused pain in his life at times and hurt.  He has had to experience things in his life most of us would never dream of.  Each day he functions on small amounts of sleep, yet he wakes up and is happy to see his kids and looks forward to the day ahead and the time he gets to spend with them.

I am grateful for this man in my life.  I am thankful to have had children with him and to be able to raise them with him.  I am so happy to know that he puts our family at the center of his universe and for all that he does for us...daily!!  

He is one of the hardest workers I have ever met and would give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it.  He is kind and helpful and thoughtful.  He cleans toilets and changes diapers and holds hair when a child is puking.  He takes over when I am sick and he does random acts of kindness.  He is the best of the best and I am so happy he is my husband and the father of my children!!

Another good week!

This week was busy and hectic and chaotic and well....just another normal week in the Gilmore Family household.  The end of the school year tends to be a little more so but not much more packed full of events than the rest of the year.

Braedon had two baseball games this week.  They won the first one against the Mets but lost to the Angels.  He played well and while striking out a few times, he hit a few really good ones and ended up walking a couple times (good eye son!)  He went on a field this week and
his dad, brother, and Maya went with him. They went on the Mogollon Rim hike among a few others.  We went to the store the day before and picked out all the lunch goodies so we could pack their lunches.  He was so
excited...those field trips are a pretty big deal when you are a little kid!

Kiley had her final track meet this week.  She ended up with a ribbon for 4th place in the 400 meter!!  It was a pretty big deal.  We are really proud of her and her hard work in her sports this season.  This
child has managed to constantly have sports in her life, mutual at church every Wednesday, a play every Tuesday and Thursday night and she still managed to maintain A's this year.

Chase was able to go to his friends house this week and could hardly sleep the night before.  He was so excited he got mad at Toby when they got to his school and he dropped him off.  Chase was pretty sure he got to skip school since he was going to his friends, NO!  He got over it and worked it out but he was sure confused for a bit.

Maya is Maya.  She is getting really fast now and wants to clean the floor with her mouth.  Every time I turn around she has some small rock or piece of paper or microscopic speck of something in her does she even see those things.  She has also started pulling herself up on everything and finally STARTED TO HOLD HER OWN BOTTLE!!! Hallelujah!!! That will be such a huge help.

Next week I anticipate a similar amount of madness.  Toby has oral boards on Tuesday and a graduation on Wednesday.  Friday we leave for New Mexico to go to our niece's college graduation and come home Saturday.  Sunday I leave for Laveen until Monday night for a school conference.  Then...just two short weeks of school left and summer here we come!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

So true...

“I know it is hard for you young mothers to believe that almost before you can turn around the children will be gone and you will be alone with your husband. You had better be sure you are developing the kind of love and friendship that will be delightful and enduring. Let the children learn from your attitude that he is important. Encourage him. Be kind. It is a rough world, and he, like everyone else, is fighting to survive. Be cheerful. Don't be a whiner.”  Marjorie Hinkley

Updates of my Reality....

It has been so long since I have written so I felt this was a good time for an update....

This picture describes my family, as well as my life 100%.  It was a funny picture taken during family pictures in October and who would have thought it would sum up our lives so well.

Toby is the love of my life.  He is my best friend, my companion, my partner, and my hero.  He makes me laugh so frequently and often, out loud.  He has the ability to make me smile even when he isn't around.

He makes me feel important, beautiful, and exceptional, even when I don't feel like any of those. He has the ability to see me at my best, even when I am at my worst.   He works so hard for our family and makes sure we know how much he loves us...daily.  He is a good man and I am thankful everyday he is mine.  

We, together, have overcome an unbelievably crazy, busy year.  We grew together and became stronger, better friends after dealing with the trial of Toby's shooting in October.  We survived and decided not to physically injure each other in the process of buying our new home, and finally, we brought our final child into the world this year (and yes, she is final, we saw to that already) :)

Toby has remained the K9 officer in the department which keeps him on permanent night shifts and therefore we have a good and bad thing going on.  We have no daycare, but we don't see each other as often as we would like.  This, I think, makes both of us feel like single parents sometimes but also makes us appreciate each other more.  So, when we do see each other, our time is precious.  Dual parenting is interesting this way, texting or calling here and there to get second opinions, help, and communication of events.  It is a mess at times but we make it work and this is our crazy life!!

Kiley, our oldest, has sure grown up this year.  She is in eighth grade and unbelievably almost a HIGH SCHOOL student.  She has had quite the year as well.  She has overcome some difficult challenges this year.  She has dealt with disappointments in sports, struggled with classes, and dealt with real bullying. She has come out in the end a champion.  She has grown into this kind, compassionate, strong willed, determined young lady.

After being benched most of the season in softball, not making the volleyball team, and not getting much play time (some by choice) in a basketball she tried out for track.  In doing this, she found her element and has shown everyone what she is really capable of.

She initially was put in the third heat in two events.  She ran the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 400 meter dash.  After placing first in her events the very first track meet, she was put on the relay team and eventually bumped up to the first heat.  This past week she competed in qualifications and ended up qualifying in all four events for the regionals next week.  She is extremely fast and even smiles a little when she runs. :) I am so proud of her.

She has also managed to overcome her struggles with some of her classes and is getting A's in all of her classes, AP included.

As for the bullying, it amazes me how children can overcome some things.  She did the opposite of what I wanted to do (which may or may not have been run them over with my car) ;)  She decided to kill them with kindness.  She continued to be the nice girl that she is and never stoop to their level.  I intervened on several occasions but never to the point that it could have made things worse.  I supported her and listened to her and gave her advice but taught her ways to deal with it on her own.  She has come out ahead in the end.  She has overcome these girls!  One has apologized and become a "friend" to her and without the ringleader, the others have backed off and even come around a little.  While I advise her to be cautious, she has given them the benefit of the doubt.  She truly has a heart of gold.

In the top picture, in which I stated that it explained our family perfectly....yes, Kiley too.  She looks embarassed that her parents would kiss, much less in front of her.  Yeah, she has reached that phase of her life...she is often too cool for us! :)  Not in public, she still claims us...but at home we are the worst!

She is into her friends more than ever, BOYS, clothes, music, what so and so said to so and so, clothes, BOYS, friends...etc.

However, at the end of the day, she still loves on her little siblings, cares about church, hugs her mom and dad, and makes us laugh.  She is spacey at times and a complete slob with her room but never afraid to come out and tell us about her day.

As hard as it is to watch your babies grow up, it is amazing all in the same token.  Watching her become the young lady she is growing into has been amazing.  I feel like if I have done anything right in my life it is my children and seeing the girl she is, tells me we are on the right track.

Braedon is also growing up faster than I care to admit.  He is going into fourth grade next year, he is in Scouts now, he has been baptized, and is in minor's baseball.  He is beginning to care about what shoes are cool and if his hat will be noticed by his friends.  He doesn't want to wear certain things because they aren't "cool."

How did this happen so fast?  He is one of the most enthusiastic, excited children I have ever met.  He is 200% in everything he does. In baseball, he can hardly wait for practice and the whole time he is on the field he smiles and jumps...literally.  He smiled the whole time he ran on the field during soccer and loved to be at his games.

His best friend in the whole world is his little brother, Chase and they do just about everything together.  While they are best friends, they also fight like brothers.  Sometimes I think they are going to be the death of me with the fighting but then they will do something that gets them both laughing and it seems to be better for a while.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into with my boys.  They are such handfuls (of chaos, exhaustion, happiness, laughter, and love).  How lucky I am to have this little man in my life.  He is the most loving person I know and hates when something bad happens to someone else.  He genuinely feels things...deeply.  He is amazing and smart and I am so proud to be his mommy.

He is getting tall (and remaining skinny) and reminds me so much of my little brother when he was younger.  He is fiesty and strong willed and stubborn for sure.  In the top picture, he looks disgusted which is about right.  He thinks if Toby hugs me it is revolting.  Toby keeps telling him someday he will understand.  At this point in his life he doesn't think there will ever be a day like that.

Chase is growing into an amazing little person as well.  This little boy is one of the funniest kids I have ever met.  He has a real sense of humor and knows the most appropriate times to share these "comments."  Kiley always says, "Chase uses his words." Yes, he does!  I could write a book with all the things this little boy says.

He is an outgoing child that doesn't know a stranger.  He will make friends easily because he wants to be your friend way before you want to be his. :)  He is quirky and could live on cereal and "jelly peanut butter" sandwiches alone.  He will do things just to make you laugh but is the first one to cuddle up next to you and crash out on you.  He is spunky and loud and rowdy.

Braedon is his best friend/worst enemy as well and he has really taken to the big brother role quite well.  He is very protective of our Maya and doesn't appreciate when anyone asks him if they can take her home, he is very opposed to that and has been since she was in the hospital.  He loves his daddy and spending time with him is his favorite thing to do.  He tells me all about the adventures they went on or did the moment I get home (of course, after he tells me "here I am")
Chase definitely has a mind of his own.  While our family is a group of huge baseball fans, Braedon has followed his dad into loving the Cardinals and Kiley has followed me into loving the Red Sox, Chase has decided to love the Giants all on his own.  I am thankful for his independence and that he is not afraid to stand on his own and like his own things.

He makes his siblings crazy with his sneakiness and at times has made his dad and I the same.  He has been known to make forts in the pantry just to eat a bag of marshmallows (or smushmellows).  In the top picture he looks curious, which explains Chase to a T!  He wants to know the ins and outs of everything.  I can't tell you how many questions Toby and I answer in a day just because Chase asked.

Then there is Maya.  Our baby girl and the end of the Gilmore children in our house.  She came to us with a sweet little spirit about her.  She is content and happy at all times.  I have had friends ask me how this happens.  She is so easy going.  She loves her siblings and terrorizing the cat.  I have never seen a baby smile so much in my entire life.  Its almost as though she is just really happy to be here.

She is growing so fast I can hardly keep up with her.  She started sitting a few months ago, then crawling faster than I would have liked and now she thinks she should pull herself up on everything.  She wants to eat "real" snacks now and is clapping and waving.  She has ZERO teeth and refuses to say "Mama" :) but we will keep her anyway.

She started out being my angel baby when it came to sleeping but now she is starting a new thing...stay up as much at night as possible.  She is exhausting her parents.  She wants to be held and played with or she wants to sleep in our bed.  Toby and I are quickly changing the rules.  She has got to figure this out. :)

She is my chubby, snuggly, little miss and I adore her.  I can't imagine my life without her now.  Amazing how before they arrive life is great but after they get here you can't imagine how it was great without them in it.

In the top picture Maya looks oblivious...well, she is.  To everything...danger, exhaustion, time, schedule, etc.  But, she is quickly starting to figure it out and with her being four and final...I wish she would slow that down, just a bit.

I don't know what I did to be so blessed in my life but I am.  These people that I am surrounded by in my home are the center of my universe.  They are the reason I live each day and they are the reason I love coming home.  They make me want to rip my hair out, cry, smile, and giggle at least once a day.  They also make my heart hurt I love them so much.  They are definitely the reason I was put on this earth and I am so grateful they call me Mom and Wife.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

50 rules for Daddy's with daughters

I read this and thought it was beautiful!! I was so blessed to have this kind of Dad and equally blessed that my baby girl has a daddy like this too!

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

Photo Credit :: Danielle Rocke Toews

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

Photo Credits can be found at the bottom of Michael’s original post.

**9/15/11**This post has resonated so well with daughters and fathers, mothers and grandfathers, and has received many beautiful and heartfelt comments. As much as it pains me, I have had to disable the comment feature. If you have a comment you would like for the author to see, please contact him via his blog, or email me directly at christineATfromdatestodiapersDOTcom and I’ll be sure to pass it along to Michael.

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