Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ode to my Dad

Happy Father's Day to the greatest Dad! I wrote my dad a letter this year to let him know how much he has truly influenced my life. I intended to post it here too, but it turns out he had a pretty huge influence because I typed 4 pages, 1.5 spacing and didn't even put in everything I had thought of! I do have just a tad of a problem with long windedness as well, but if you've ever read this blog before, you already know that. Instead of posting the whole letter, I'll just post a few paragraphs to give you a flavor of the kind of dad I have. I'll even let you see the pictures first!
Love this one of my dad and Lila. He had just gotten her to sleep after an acid reflux filled screaming fest.

First encounter

I will always associate the beach with my dad. I proudly tell people that he has surfed most of his life.

He's even willing to do this with my sister's boys.

The girls and dad (Dave was not in town)

He does fun stuff like this too.

Taken from my letter:

Some of my earliest memories are flashes of fun and love. Like, waiting for you to get home from work so you could take us swimming and flipping us in the air. Sneaking into your room at night or early morning and feeling a sleeping face to make sure a moustache pricked my fingers. Then I could be sure I would get lifted into bed to snuggle. Running around in loops and circles in the sand at the beach to follow the maze you made with sticks or your toe (over and over again). I remember skipping into your room early on Saturday mornings and hearing, “Hey Skippy, you ready for your soccer game today! Are you going to score a goal?!” I remember detesting being called Skippy, but somehow now it is endearing. Who could forget the promise of Barbie dolls for the coveted goals and the week it didn’t happen. :) Do you remember trying to teach me how to do Ariels-cartwheels with no hands? You even took me to parks that had a slope so I could get some leverage. Those actually used to kind of scare me after landing on my head a few times, but I knew I could do it and so did you.

As I got older many of my stand out memories with you revolve around some kind of sport. I loved how you would take me to the empty fields by our house to practice my goal kicks. Why were they so bad? Luckily, under your tutelage, they improved and actually made some air. I later became “famous” for my goal, corner and free kicks. (Especially for the one that broke the girl’s arm.) I have fond memories from a young age through high school of intense strategic talks about what either needed to or did take place on the field. We carefully scrutinized each player, their abilities and our teamwork. You have no idea how important it made me feel that you took so much interest in my talent, though now I realize I wasn’t all that amazing, but you sure never let me think it. I probably could have done without the yelling of, “Go Dano!” from the stands, but I’ll let it slide.

***From later in the letter:

After marrying and moving…and moving again I finally was able to get back into college. I had always known I would graduate, it was never a question, but I always thought it was basically only important to me. After the tough road of being denied transfer credits, many frustrating meetings with counselors, extra required classes, expensive books, a change of major and a million other things, I finally graduated. The fact that you and mom were so set on coming out for my graduation actually surprised me. It didn’t hit me until talking to you a couple years after I started teaching that you were more proud of me than I was of myself. I think you would have been proud if I had graduated in 4 years and taught right away, but I now realize you are more proud of me for reaching my dreams because I succeeded despite all the road blocks. I used to be embarrassed of how long it took me to actually start teaching, but you helped me see that in fact, I had accomplished something far more than just receiving a degree and a certificate. I endured. When you told me that watching me teach was one of the proudest days of your life, I became more proud of myself. If I HAD to pick one thing you have done for me that has influenced me most, that experience would be it.

I love you Dad!

Friday, June 3, 2011

9 Months

At over 9 months old, Lila Girl is keeping us on our toes quite literally these days. I seem to be taking more pictures of her back than of her face as she always is in a hurry to get somewhere or discover something new. She is already a little trouble maker and quite opinionated to say the least. Just when I think I have her figured out, she surprises me which then in turn doesn't surprise me. See, she already has me all crazy. After I voiced great concern for our sanity during her teenage years due to some... okay a lot of moodiness, this is a direct quote from Chris, "Maybe it's just a baby phase and when she gets older she'll be nicer." Yeah, that's what usually happens.
Luckily, to accompany her growls to let me know she doesn't want me to chat with her (actually happened today) or her screams in the car (she still hates the car), she has a hilarious and goofy side that is so fun. Sometimes I feel like she is older because she is so funny on purpose. Anyway, here is your fix of Lila for a while in the form of lots of pictures.

Close up

A true Lila expression

Climbing...always climbing

Melts my book worm heart

Who needs fingers when you have a tongue to get the cheerio in your mouth?

Lila loves to crawl in and out of the chairs under the dining room table

Though she has never tasted a cookie, she knows a good thing when she sees it!

Spying on the neighbors

Still LOVING the water. We are in some type of water at least twice a week.

What a goof.

On the move again, heading to her favorite place- the sliding door. I know, I don't get it either.

This is what she does there. Who knew digging in the track would be entertaining?

More climbing

This may be what Lila is most passionate about. Binkies. Yes, I used the plural form because she prefers to have more than one at any given time. She even falls asleep sucking on one and holding another. It is very funny to watch her try to climb, play and whatever else with one binky in her mouth and one in each hand. My favorite thing to watch, however, is when she plays musical binkies. Sometimes she will just sit there and pop one out with her tongue and stick a different one in and suck. About 10 seconds later she will rotate to a different binky then repeats the process over and over. It cracks me up. She is in mid transition in the picture below.
Disclaimer: I do try to confiscate the binkies while at home, but sometimes forget or give in. The fear of being called a bad mom made me throw that in. :) I am not looking forward to weening this kid. You should see her stick it in her mouth when she is really upset. She sucks on it like it is some kind of drug.