Saturday, June 30, 2012

Potty Training

When Charlie is fully potty trained, it will be largely due to the efforts of his determined big sister.

Madi recently discovered that some of his little peers have been working towards their potty training goals, and being the competitive sweet girl that she is, Madi clearly wants Charlie to be on par with his buddies.

So, what's a Mom to do?

Let my six-year old potty train my son. That's what.

Is that wrong??

Cause it feels totally right to me.

Madi takes Charlie to the bathroom several times a day and promises to give him "choc choc" for producing something.

Two M&M's for a pee pee
Two M&M's for a poo poo
Four M&M's for a double whammy.

She's got it all worked out, and her program is working.

And, she's got all Summer to get the job done:)

Lucky, lucky me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Madi's New Sport


Last year, Madi decided to take a hiatus from her long-time favorite sport of gymnastics, and she wanted no part of any other physical activities that we suggested. She was adamant that she wasn't "quitting," just taking a break (from everything but Girl Scouts) to spend time with Charlie and Bubba. Jimmy and I were okay with that. We knew that her first year in school full-time was a lot on her plate, and while we're both aware that she's gifted physically, we certainly weren't going to force her into anything.

This week, Madi found a new sport...baton twirling.

It all started a couple of weeks ago at a Girl Scout outing to Butterfly World. After our tour, she decided to purchase two little plastic batons in the gift shop with her spending money. She played with them constantly for the next few days.  And I made mention that perhaps we could look into baton in the fall if she's still interested down the road.

Last week, I noticed a posting by a friend on Facebook about a baton twirling mini-camp this week. At St. Vincent Ferrer...our parish!  Having spent the week before at SVF for bible camp where she totally feels at home, Madi was quite keen on the idea of going.

The mini-camp ran for three days. When I picked Madi up on Monday, she was absolutely beaming. It was clear that she loved all of the activities that they'd worked on--twirling, pom poms, ribbons. She practiced at home all afternoon, and she could hardly wait to show Daddy all her tricks. It felt really good to see her so happy about something recreational. It's been a while.

Today was the last day of camp, and I discovered at drop-off (thank God) that there was a little recital at 11:30.  I called Jimmy to clear his schedule, and we promptly showed up to watch our beautiful daughter perform.

And as it turns out, she's good. Strike that. Turns out, she's a-w-e-s-o-m-e!!  Madi's body movements and rhythm flow so naturally. We knew this already, but she never could seem to find the right "fit" between dancing and gymnastics. I think we might have found her "fit" now. Or at least, we've found a new hobby that makes our girl really happy. We were amazed at how much these kids learned in just three short mornings.

We purchased Madi her own real baton, and we have a feeling it might keep her pretty busy this Summer practicing for lessons in the fall. Those two little plastic batons from Butterfly World are now owned by one cute little boy named Charlie.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vacation Bible School 2012

I love this week.

Vacation Bible School at St. Vincent's has become a special tradition for both Madi and me, and it is truly one of my favorite weeks of the year.

The first two years, I volunteered in the babysitting room with Madi on my hip (not literally, of course, but she was with me).

For the next three years, I had the pleasure of being Madi's group leader when she was old enough to enter camp. It was so much fun to take the kids from station to station and watch them learn about Jesus and God's love for us. I loved sharing that experience with my daughter, and truthfully--each year I learned alot!

This year came with a twist though. Most of the leadership from years past had a timing issue and couldn't be involved. The church really needed volunteers to step up for new positions.

It was a tough decision, but I knew God was calling me to step out of my comfort zone and step up to a new post, so without (much) hesitation, I volunteered as the leader of the "snack station."  Food has always been something that I feel comfortable with (as long as I'm not cooking)!

Of course, the trickiest part was getting Madi to "sign on" to my new position. I knew this would take much mental preparation for her, so I first broke the news a couple of months ago. There were alot of tears, along with many requests to kindly email the organizer to let her know I'd changed my mind. Poor Madi tried everything to get me back as her group leader. But day by day, as I enlisted her to help me with my station planning, I could see her attitude shifting. With each day that passed, the idea grew on her a little more, and she knew that what I was doing was for the greater good. And by going along with the plan, she was aware that she was helping, too.

Another tricky part was Charlie. My last experience with leaving him in a room with caretakers did not go over so well, so I really wasn't sure how he would handle being in Tadpole Bay without our family for three hours each day.  But I was hopeful, since we'd been attending the SVF Mommy & Me playdates, that he was at least familiar with the room and knew that might be helpful for his transition.

The major hurdle was my inexperience with something like this. In an interesting way, though, I could compare it to the beginning of an adoption process. The first time I read through everything, I felt totally overwhelmed and submerged. The second and third time, I approached my task with a legal pad and began to formulate a solid plan.  The forth and fifth rounds of my review came with more clarity, and the feeling that perhaps I could actually handle this. The rest of the ride was downhill.

I am so thankful for my support system. I've been blessed with kind and competent assistants to help me out at camp. And my family has endured my stressed out, impatient mental state as I contemplated whether I prepared enough, worried if I ordered enough food, and became anxious about what to expect--all of the things that God did not want me to do.  So in the final days leading up to camp, as I prayed for guidance, God certainly answered my prayers and gave me just that.

And then I stopped feeling anxious...or worried...or scared. And the week has gone beautifully.  I've had a ball teaching these children and feeding them healthy snacks.  I've seen my daughter become independent without Mommy as her leader. I've watched my son blossom in Tadpole Bay, working on puzzles and playing with other kids. When he sees me at the end of the day, the expression on his face is priceless.  

It has been an incredible week, and I can't believe it's over tomorrow. I feel so blessed to have had this experience, I can't believe that I've almost completed this task. I actually asked the organizer if she can put me down again for next year!

Bible Camp Pictures!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When did this happen?

How is it possible that this little chubby baby graduated from Kindergarten today?

How did our baby grow up so quickly right before our very eyes?

And now she's blossomed into such a beautiful, sweet girl

who will enter FIRST GRADE next year.   

Give me a minute to mop up my tears please!

Mommy and Daddy with little graduate
Madi with Grandpa Murphy and Miss Suzanne
Madi with Bubba and Grandpa
Madi with Aunt Sheila
Madi with Murphy and Myles

We love you, Madi Murphy!  Mommy and Daddy could not be more proud:)

Friday, June 1, 2012


Mama's got a big 'ole shiner today.  Thanks to my sweet, innocent two-year old son.

Remind me to sign him up for Little League someday.

As we prepared for Charlie's nap ritual yesterday, I plopped myself on his bed while he went to his bookshelf in search of a book.  He selected his book of choice and began to crawl up on the bed.

In a split second, with the flick of his wrist, Charlie managed to send his book hurling directly to my face. Kinda like a frisbee, I think, but truthfully it happened so fast that I didn't even see it coming.

At the first point of impact, I thought he actually took out my right eye. Seriously.  I ran to the bathroom to survey the damage and realized that I might have lost an eye had that book landed 1/4" higher.

Thank you, Jesus, and my angel(s) who intervened!

Now I'm left with a big, purple puffy eye despite my greatest efforts with ice packs, cold cucumber slices, chilled tea bags and ibuprofen.  Make-up can't even cover this mess.

Thankfully, I am receiving lots of kisses for my "boo boo." I plan to milk this one.

Oh...and if you see me out and about, please spare me the jokes about being beaten by my man, because it was actually my very little man who I was beaten by!