Simply....About Me.

Simply about me.

is me.
a bit about me & why I blog.
To put it simply...I am here sharing bits of my life, hoping to touch yours.
From dealing with being abused as a child, being a young widow with four small children, getting remarried and becoming  mom to a blended crew of 7, dealing with a wayward child, to being a way too young grammie raising her grandchild…  I’ve experienced a lot in my life.  I believe that using our past as an excuse for anything is wrong.  I know that without the hope that I have in God, and the love that He has shown me, I would be lost.  I believe God has a plan for each of us, and although I wouldn't choose to relive everything that has happened in my life, I believe God can use me to help others because of my journey.

The main focus of this blog is described below, but I am sure to share bits and pieces on everything from the practical and insightful to the fun 
    and frolicky 

stuff of everyday life.

so why am I writing this blog? well…

Because I have always had the perspective that I didn’t need to know why I have had to go through the uncomfortable things in my life as long as thru them I could reach out and help another.

Okay.  That isn’t the only reason.  I need you, too.

Being a relatively hip, cool, and young (43 years young!) Grammie who is raising her granddaughter, I started seeking out information and support online only to find there was very little out there. I did find, however, that about 1 in 10 children are being raised by at least one grandparent!

Our beautiful little one is 28 months old. I was there at her birth, and she has been with us pretty much ever since that day…but more on that later! Wee little Willow brings so much joy to our lives that it is hard to imagine wanting life to be different, but we would. We would want her to be at home with a healthy Mom (And Dad), and then have plenty of play dates and fun time with Grammie and Papa. But that wasn’t the plan. Nope.

How come nothing ever goes according to plan?  Well, at least not according to my plan.

So while raising seven of our own kids, and just three years away from being empty nesters, we are starting the parenting journey from the Wee Willow beginning. 

I would call that a bitter-sweet blessing, but a blessing nonetheless!

So here  I am.…starting this journey called blogging to share my thoughts, stories, and my life with you all.

What would we be doing now?

I hate asking myself that question because I feel so guilty doing so.  but i do.  

There are nights when all of the older kids have gone out with their friends and Boyfriend and I are just sitting around watching Wee One play.  
Our youngest is 15 years old, 
                                 our oldest 23.  
Our children are out on the town, our friends are out on the town, 
                                                                                                                        and here we sit.

Don't get me wrong - we LOVE the time we  spend with Wee One, 
       it's just that, 
             well,     I wonder…
Would we be out having a fancy dinner, just the two of us, planning our next vacation?
Would we be out with some friends listening to some great jazz band we've wanted to see?
Would we be taking a romantic walk under the stars, reminiscing about where we've been and dreaming about where we want to be?

You see, we've done our time.  We were (and still are!) great parents.  Our lives revolved around our kids-(I know you are thinking, well, that was dumb! It's not healthy for a relationship to have your focus be your children!)
                  but when you raise 7 kids…some with special needs

then you can tell me   
           HOW TO NOT 
have your life revolve around your children.
Sometimes we had up to 10 soccer practices a week to transport to and from, 5 games a weekend, 
    and really, can you even imagine tournaments??  
I literally had to map out who went where when and make sure boyfriend and I each had a copy of the list so we could drop off, pick up, drop off again… and hopefully remember to pick up our little athletes!  
                      It was wonderful.  Seriously.  
We loved living the life we lived, with just a few exceptions. 

Add in other after school activities, church, youth group, and such to the mix and our lives were beyond full.  We would often joke about the time when our kids would be grown and you would still be able to find us at the sidelines of the local soccer field,            cheering on the the kids. 

Our dreams for when our kids got older weren't large, 
                                                        they were just peaceful.  
A few trips here and there, being able to cook a nice meal together while sipping a glass of wine (stopping to slow dance when our favorite songs came on), 
being able to give more of our time and energy volunteering 
in our community and church.  
          simple.  lovely.  nice.

Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we have embraced it.  We will still have our trips, we will just be bringing along a toddler (WHAT A LUCKY KID!!),
we will still cook our meals and 
       dance our dances, but we will have a wee one dancing with us.
Our time volunteering will include an extra little helper… learning to give even at this wee young age.  What a great way for a kid to grow up…. Don't you think?  

And as for me wondering what we would be doing right now?  

Well, I'll just keep reminding myself that we are doing exactly what we would be…just with three of us instead of two.

Oh So Cute Fabric Tutu!

diy scrap fabric tutu

Snooping around Pinterest I ran across these EVER SO cute fabric tutus that everyone was making (or buying on Etsy!)
They were so adorable that I HAD to have one for Willow, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend that kind of money on something that I thought I could easily make for less than half the price.
I did a quick Google and came across the AdelynStone Blog that has a DIY tutorial for making a toddler fabric tutu.
(LOVE the site!  Check out the Repurpose page for some really cool ideas with ladders and suitcases!)
Since I have made tutu's before, I kind of had the basic idea of how to do this, but being the Google addict I am, I had to do some research before beginning.
I didn't have enough scrap fabric on hand for the project so I went to JoAnn Fabrics with my iphone in hand (I have a JoAnn Fabrics app that gives me coupons because I always forget the ones I have saved at home) and began looking for the things I needed.  I was really excited to find a roll of coordinated fabric pieces already cut to 2- 1/2 x 42 inches!  The fabrics were so cute and cost me, with the use of my 40% off coupon, around $8.00!
I wanted the skirt to last awhile (and because I like to keep things SIMPLE) I used a brown 1 1/2" wide satin ribbon instead of sewing the elastic waistband like KristanLynn did in her tutorial.  I took my precut fabric strips  (Another benefit to having bought the precut fabric was that they were cut to the perfect length already. No cutting at all was required for this project EXCEPT for cutting the ribbon to the perfect length to go around Wee One's waist and with enough left over to tie a sweet little bow. ) and started tying them around the ribbon, putting it around Willows waist every once in a while until I got it nice and full and the perfect size.
E-A-S-Y!! Even the uncrafty can handle this project! Here is how mine turned out...
fabric tutu diy

Cute, huh?!  Willow loves it!  She
                                        twirls and dances 
and it really does look adorable on her.  
Well, she looks adorable no matter what she is wearing.
Let me know if you decide to take on this easy project!  I'd love to see your wee one twirling in your creation!

Sh sh should we?

People think she is older than she is-- 
partly because she is a little tall for her age, but mostly because of how smart she is.  
I know what you are thinking: 
"Every Grandparent thinks their grandchild is a genius!"  
You are right, they do.  BUT Wee one is one of the smartest little people I have ever met!  I know there are way more gifted babes out there in the world, but like I said…I have never met one.  Seriously.  

One of the things that makes her abnormal is the fact that she understands, and has understood, concepts that I should be trying to teach her. For example: hot vs. warm vs. cold.  She knows the difference.  
She will even say, "this is a little too hot, can we make it warm?"  
She knows up from down, in from out.
She can draw W's, make circles, and put her own shoes on.
She uses full sentences.  The longest I have counted was around 12 words!

Crazy stuff  for a wee one that isn't even 2 yet! 
Don't get me wrong, she isn't one of those kids that can recite all 50 states, or that knows every letter of the alphabet.  
And she doesn't always say exactly what she means, for example (These are a few of my favorites…)
'Should we take her boots off now?'  (Meaning, "Should we take my boots off now?"  Everything is "Should we."  I love it!  
'Should we take a bath now?'
'Should we go outside now?'  LOVE IT!  

                                            She is soooo cute!

It was so sad to listen to her (but so stinking adorable, too!) recently when she went from using just a few words in a sentence to the longer sentences.  
She would stutter as the first word or two came out as she was trying to put the rest of the sentence together in her head….
"Should, should, should, should we read a book now?"
"I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm not go to bed yet."

Her little eyes close and her head tilts to the side as she repeats the first word over and over AND THEN she opens her eyes and finishes her sentence.
                                                   OH MY GOSH!
At first I was concerned that this might be a speech problem, so I watched her closely and figured out that it was just the jump in the number of words she was trying to spit out.  Her little mouth wasn't ready to keep up with her brain! The stuttering lasted for a few weeks and then slowly disappeared, showing up just occasionally now.

I don't take any credit for how advanced Wee one is other than the fact that we do read to her A LOT, and we have never been big on baby talk.
We just talk to her like we would talk to each other.

It actually kind of scares me that she is so bright.  

Her Momma was almost as advanced as her at this age.  
BM (Birth Momma…Remember?) said her first word at 6 months old that wasn't momma or dada- it was bear.  That's not the amazing part- the amazing part was that she KNEW WHAT A BEAR WAS! We would show her different things and she wouldn't respond, show her the bear and she would get excited and say "Bear!  Bear!'  (Yes, we actually have it video taped and have had to show people that this story is true)

BM was talking in short sentences at 1, just like Wee one.  

The scary thing is that BM tested as MENSA level gifted when she was older- 
but how'd that work out for her?  
                                 Not good so far.  
She has always thought that she was soo much smarter than everyone else; her parents, her teachers, her doctors. 

Soooo… I will just share with you how smart I think Wee one is (and not let her read this blog.) I will just keep telling her how loving and kind she is, and keep the focus on her heart… 

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