Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Gemma STory

As anyone who knows Gemma well (or even just a little big) knows, she has a knack for the dramatic. I guess that is what happens when you choose a Theater and Drama major for a sperm donor!!

While we were at Jani's folks for Thanksgiving, she got very angry with Grandma. She and her cousin were caught jumping on Grandma's bed. Grandma handled the situation wonderfully; a firm boundary was set with a reason given for why jumping on the bed was not allowable.

Gemma came to find me, very disgruntled with Grandma and declaring that she "wanted to leave this house this instant!" I told her that I supported Grandma's decision and in her shoes, I would have said the exact same thing. She next headed off to Jani to see if she could garner support there. None given. She looked for a moment at Aunt Cindy, but let it go.

Her next line of defense was to engage her cousin, who is six months her senior. Apparently she told Alyssa to tell Grandma that she was mad at her, because the next thing we all heard was Alyssa saying "Grandma, Gemma told me to tell you she's mad at you."

Grandma again did an outstanding job, addressing Gemma directly, who of course was standing right next to Alyssa. She validated Gemma's feelings and reinforced why jumping on the bed wasnt' ok and offered other ideas of things to do.

Gemma came back to me, looking sour at not being properly vindicated. When I suggested that she move and let it go, her reply was "you know mom, that I hold onto stuff for a long time. I'm not ready to let go of ;this yet."

HELP! Can you imagine this child at 14!!! Funny what the world dishes out..I get to use every single skill I every learned about child developent, dealing with conflict, communication differences, etc. with this child. She provides my daily practice in patience and centered thinking/responding.

Denise, who is "sure" she was "never" as head-strong as a small child.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Wisconsin Velleyball


Hey Badger Fans! Wisconsin has been awarded the hosting for rounds 1 & 2 of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament. So, guess where our family will be on Friday night?!

Pictures to come post game. Keep your fingers crossed for the Wisconsin Women to advance in the play-offs.

Thanksgiving 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving weekend was packed with lots of time with family and friends.

We headed to Freeport, IL to spend a couple of days with Jani's folks. This is their first year back in the cuontry, so they wanted to host this year's gathering. The girls had a ball playing with their younger cousins, Marissa age 11 and Alyssa age 4 (nearly 5).

We did some fun holiday baking too. I love this picture of Alyssa and Rowan. Alyssa is sneaking a little taste of the batter, only to find out that what she was tasting was a big bite of Crisco. The look on her face is incredibly cute.

We even got some snow!!! We failed to get pictures of the kids playing in it though. Jani was up to her eyebrows in cutting out pictures for our annual photo calendar and I was up to my elbows in flour making candy cane cookies. Even Grandma was busy at her sewing machine, hemmng pants for Gemma and Alyssa.

And, according to the Thanksgiving meal calorie counter at

I only need to walk 13.75 miles to work off the Thanksgiving Day meal. (-:

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Busy Day in November

I posted new pictures in a photo album at kodak.com. The link is below if you'd like to see more shots from our busy weekend.


So here it goes..All about our busy day...well, I should say weekend!

My folks came into Madison on Friday on their way to Naples, Florida for the winter, staying just Friday night and leaving early Saturday morning. My aunt and uncle (mom’s brother) came to dinner on Friday night to visit with everyone.

In the first picture, my Aunt Pat, a sixth grade math teacher, is enjoying time with Rowan and Gemma.

In the second picture, Rowan did the honor of cutting the pies for dessert under Grandma and Gemma’s supervision.

The third picture show the napkin rings the girls made to adore our table and in the fourth, you can see Gemma getting her nightly injection of growth hormone.

Early the next morning, after breakfast, the girls could hardly wait to play on the hide-a-bed sofa with the air mattress where Grandma and Grandpa had slept. It didn’t take long before 90% of their stuffed animal collection seemed to be sharing the bed with them.

Then we were off to a benefit concert for Gemma’s school, performed by Macaroni Soup, a duo from Chicago. Despite not knowing a thing about them pre-concert, we all had a great time.

You can see Gemma and her friend Z were happily dancing together.

Too cool to sit in the first couple of rows with her sister, but still enjoying the concert thoroughly, Rowan sat mid-way back from the stage, keeping her more refined second-grade cool and not dancing in the aisles.

When the main singer invited the 4 and 5 year old kids onto the stage to dance the Hokie Pokie, Gemma was on stage in a flash, not wanting to mis her stage debut!! Look carefully, she’s not in her customary foo-foo outfits, she’s wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. Later when the guitarist mistakenly took her for a boy, she was appalled and has vowed never to wear this shirt again!!!

No concert is complete without getting signed CDs from the artists!!!

Next we were off to an art show, held at Gemma’s preschool, another fund-raiser, with local fine artists showing their wears. No pictures here, though it was lots of fun.

Later our friend Marsha joined us for supper and then we met up with our volleyball crew for the final UW Women’s Volleyball home game of the season. We’ll find out next week if UW will be hosting an NCAA play-off game; let’s hope so!!!

The girls are pictured with two friends from piano lessons, sisters J & Q. Their season tickets just happen to be a couple of rows behind ours!!! The girls happily are looking through a program, pointing out their favorite players on the team and noting stats.

After the game, they ran down to the court to ask a couple of favorite players for photographs; first with Maria Carlini and second with Rowan’s most beloved player, senior Sheila Shaw. Such gracious and kind young women, I was very impressed!!!

Lastly, please meet one of Gemma’s many, many, many alter-egos, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!!