Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Say NO to Drugs!

Do you remember back when Nancy Reagan started the whole Say No to Drugs campaign? Well, it is STILL going strong, however I think the message MAY need to be refined...or at least CLARIFIED.

Last week at Caiden's school had Red Ribbon Week (the same as Say No to Drugs). They had bracelets, wore red shirts on Friday and had ribbons around the entire school. I guess they talked about drugs too, but I think they may have missed their mark.

Today when I went to Caiden's school to pick him up, he was telling Dave and I about how his class won for their banner of how to say no to drugs. He showed us (so cute, I should have taken a picture), and then he proceeded to discuss with us what it MEANS to say no to drugs.

Caiden: Mama you have to say no to drugs
Me: Oh...what does that mean to say no to drugs
Caiden: Well you say no to the bad drugs and yes to the good drugs
Me: *huh confused look* Um...well...what is a good drug?
Caiden: Good drugs are drugs that people say good things about.
Me: *Look at Dave like...I don't think so* Well Caiden, actually we don't want to take ANY drugs unless Mama or daddy say it's ok (like medicine) and we give it to you. Got it??

Of course at this point, I start to go into a lecture, but Dave looked at me and laughed. I mean, I am the all natural girl right?? All I was thinking is some evil kid taunting my innocent son with some dangerous chemical saying "Caiden this is a GOOD drug...all the kids are doing it. It makes you happy and..." I had to clarify for him. :)

So as you can see Cade got HALF the message, but not the whole thing. And this from the award winning classroom for their ability to translate their "understanding" of saying no to drugs in the best way. Hmm...that makes me wonder what the other classrooms took away from that week. :P

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Woman of Steel!

When I was younger, I always wanted to be wonder woman. I mean who wouldn't right? She was beautiful, intelligent, had really cool bracelets and a tiara that protected her and she spun around in circles. Everything a little girl could ask for.

I ran around in underroos (do you remember those? For those of you who are too young to remember - underrroos were underwear that were themed liked wonder woman, superman, etc...) and would wear them everywhere...until my mom finally told me that they were underwear and at the age of 5 I was not allowed to wear them outside anymore. :(

I would pretend to be invincible, I would spin around and use my golden rope and bracelets. It was wonderful. Well, I may not have a golden tiara and bracelets, but I am getting closer to my wonder woman goal...I mean, I have to say that my invincibility factor has drastically increased now that I'm a woman of steel with this back surgery. I don't wish to be a braggart, but again, I know you're jealous :P You too wish you could have metal in your back that makes you stronger than before :) Hmm...I wonder if I will set off metal detectors at the airports??? "No officer, I'm not carrying a weapon...I AM the weapon!!" :P

The above picture is actually a picture of an xray that I took with my camera phone. I was being sneaky. The doctor had not come in yet, and they put up my xrays on the computer so I really quick snapped this shot. You can see the bone that they put in my back (where a space normally would be there is the bone); and the screws securing it and holding me together. They are actually MUCH bigger than I thought they were going to be. It almost looks like the top one was going to come out of the top of the disc. It's actually quite interesting. Let's just hope it works!!!

According to the doctor, by December I should be able to hike and bear weight, and by March I should be able to do more high impact activities like running, mountain biking and pole dancing!! I can't wait. :) It's a slow recovery process, but I'm hopeful :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

Well thank you to Katie, I now have some pictures of when I was a kid. I thought I would share a few of them with you :)

It showcases how long Katie and I have been friends...

I love this picture of Katie rollerskating on her carpet in her house :) Now THAT'S Commitment.

Here are some pictures of some Fun Times!!!!

Me in the pink bikini, Danie and Katie at the beach
More beach shots
Katie and I playing out front. Yes I am wearing Wonder Woman Underoos
Mom with Lisa, Stephanie, Katie and myself
Katie, Mel, Steph and Lisa in front of our house

Here are some shots of Katie and I on our birthday...

Here I am watching Katie open gifts. I think I look like Kiya here (except more hair)
Always with a paci, Katie and I play dolls
Funny Christmas is my favorite time of the year...although here I am clearly showing my dislike for Santa
Katie wasn't very fond of the man either :p

Halloween Pictures

Angelic Katie and Bunny Rabbit Mel

The neighborhood kids on our stairs. Yes the carpet is gold :P
"raggady ann" Lisa and "andy" Steph

See I was funny...here I am as a clown :P with mom and Katie
Here is Katie and I just lounging around playing. Notice the paci...apparently my favorite thing

Thank you so much Katie for sharing these pictures. It was wonderful taking a trip down memory lane.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Gigi's 1st trip to the Fire Station

On my birthday, I received the news that I needed to get my blood drawn in preparation for my surgery in 2 days, in case I needed a blood transfusion. Of course this is the LAST thing that I wanted to do on my birthday, so I called for reinforcements...my mother!! She was kind enough to come and watch my kids while I was poked like a pin cushion by a man who resembled Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons. None of my lame attempts at humor worked on him either, and when I asked if he though I was a wuss (cuz of my phobia of needles) he just stayed quiet. I guess he subscribes to that old adage, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". I asked him about that too :P I was determined to at LEAST crack a smile on this man's face and I think I did succeed.

Since we were so close to Dave's work, we decided to swing by and say hello. This was her FIRST trip to any fire station, so she was greeted with a full tour. Dave and crew proudly showed her the engine, the living quarters and let her try on their gear. While I was inside talking to Captain Sears, Dave dressed my mom up in full turnout gear, with a BA and even handed her the jaws of life. I think at that moment she gained a new appreciation for Dave's job while she yelled "ok, get me out of here". :)

Mom in full gear
With the jaws
When Dave told her to try to walk, that's when she asked to get out of there.
Kiya wasn't sure what to make of her. :)
My mom thought that the ensemble was surprisedly heavy
Caiden always loves playing with the exhaust hose...I have pictures of him when he was a little tyke playing with the same thing :)

She had a great time, and the kids were happy to see Dave :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Caiden's Banner

One of Caiden's first projects in Kindergarten was to introduce the class to who he is, by way of a banner. Each child was provided a banner and they needed to fill it up however they wanted. Since I've been out of the game so to speak, Dave and Caiden worked on this one together.

Caiden choose all of the categories himself (Dave did not veto anything), and then they chose the pictures and glued them on. I think it turned out quite well.

Clearly the orange behind Caiden's name is because it's his favorite color. The categories that Cade wanted everyone to know about him were: Firefighter (what he wants to be), camping/hiking, Soccer, Games, Snow, Swimming (things he likes to do) and of course Family (what is important to him). :)

It's hard to see the word for family because the letters are in blue, but I was touched that he added that. Here are a few pictures that Dave had to take since we didn't have them handy and Caiden insisted that they be included.

Caiden loves playing Crossbows and Catapults with Dave
And he found out in school that he has a natural ability for soccer. Mark Murphy gave Cade this soccer ball. :)
Caiden kicks :)

He is so focused :P

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Happy Birthday to Katie and I!!

Katie and I have shared a birthday as long as I can remember. She is like a twin to me (born 20 minutes before me) but of course with different parents, who lived one house down from me for most of my life. Our parents were close friends, and of course it was only natural for us to be friends as well.

Thirty three years later and we are still going strong as friends. She has been there for many important events for me. She was the person that went to Hawaii with me when we graduated high school, who is the Godmother to my daughter, and has ALWAYS been there for me through the happy times and the not so happy times. She is a true friend and I cannot think of anyone I'd rather share a birthday with than Katie. Happy Birthday Katie. :)

I SOOO wish I had a picture of Katie and I of birthday's past, but I don't have very many pictures of me as a child :(

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Caiden Starts Taekwondo

Caiden has shown an interest in martial arts, so Dave and I decided it was time to enlist him in some martial arts courses. We first started with Taekwondo (a Korean based martial arts and is loosely translated into "the way of the foot and fist") and then he can move on to other forms of martial arts like jiu jitsu. It's really convenient as the instructors come to his school two times a week, and they we take him to the studio on the weekend.

I started doing a little reading on taekwondo and it's actually quite interesting as there is some contention on the origin of taekwondo as well as what distinguishes this form of martial arts from others. Interestingly, the Koreans felt that the leg is the longest and most strongest weapon an artist has so there is a heavy emphasis on kicking as it is the part of human body that has the "greatest potential to execute powerful strikes without successful retaliation". According to wikipedia, the Koreans felt that the hands were too valuable to be used in combat.

Also according to wikipedia, Caiden should:
Physically, taekwondo develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina. An example of the union of mental and physical discipline is the breaking of boards, which requires both physical mastery of the technique and the concentration to focus one's strength.

We hope Caiden will learn to discipline his mind, body and spirit; find a way to challenge anger and frustration; as well as learn defensive skills and keep him in shape. Caiden really enjoyed the fighting stances (which his instructor stated he did very well and that made him proud), and he also found out that he has inherited my flexibility :) He couldn't wait to come home and show me what he learned.

This was in the beginning of class, where Caiden was more reserved and shy (remember he is like me)
As Caiden stayed longer he became more comfortable
and started getting into it more...
This is Caiden getting ready to use the focus pads for kicking

A taekwondo student typically wears a uniform (dobok 도복), often white but sometimes black or other colors, with a belt (tti 띠) tied around the waist. The belt indicates the student's rank. The school or place where instruction is given is called the dojang 도장.

While this was Caiden's first day, he did not get his uniform until the end of his day, so all of the pictures Dave took for me he is the one in his school uniform rather than in white. He is just starting out so he will have a white belt, but informed me today that there are many different colors as he gets better and he wants to get the different colors. :)

According to homeoftaekwondo.com, the there are a 6 different color belts, however there are various levels within each color belt. The color significance of the belts is described below:

Tae Kwon Do Belts

What do the belt colours represent?

White – Represents the innocence of students at the start of the foundation level who has no experience of Tae Kwon Do.

Yellow - Represents the earth from which a plant evolves and takes root. This symbolises the evolutionary path of Tae Kwon Do.

Green – Represents the continuous growth of knowledge and skill as the Tae Kwon-Do skills begin to develop.

Blue - Represents the Heavenly sky towards which the plant grows and matures into a tall. This signifies the continuous progression of Tae Kwon Do.

Red - Represents Danger, it signifies the use of control the student must develop, warning the opponent to keep their distance.

Black – This is the opposite of white, symbolising the maturity and proficiency in Tae Kwon-Do, it also represents the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear.

We are very proud of Caiden and look forward to his progression within Taekwondo!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Admit it...you're SOOOO jealous!

I know what you guys are thinking. You don't even need to say it, and I know I would be completely and utterly jealous if I were you too. I mean, here I am a 33 year old (as of the end of August) woman and I ALREADY own my very own walker, potty chair (which I actually don't use as a potty chair, but more to help me take a shower), AND a handcrafted personal hospital-like bed table (made by my handy dandy husband). Can you believe it???? What an overachiever am I!

I KNEW I was on the right track when at the ripe old age of 16 I started receiving brochures for the AARP. I figured if the AARP believed in my that much, who was I to let them down. So I toiled and labored until I too was successfully able to be admitted to the hospital for major surgery to win the fun prizes that you see below.

Well, actually the swiveling personalized bedside table was made especially for me by Dave, so I guess I didn't actually have to EARN that one. I just happen to have a handy husband who enjoys making my life easier. *yea right* :)

And because I know how to cater to my bloggers, I will even post some EXTRA pictures of the handcrafted bedside table. You're welcome. You don't even have to say it. :)

See it swivels inward just like the hospital ones

Or it swivels outward. It's perfect.

And since I'm such a generous and giving person, if you are REALLY nice to me, I might let you take my walker for a spin, or use my bedside table. Again, you're welcome. :) I won't even make you have to get spinal fusion surgery like me (which went well by the way, or so they tell me), to get your own aids. Well, I won't flaunt my success any longer, just try not to get too envious when you look at the pictures ok? :P