My adorable son, Alex, made my night last night. For a few weeks, he has been calling me “Daddy.” He also calls Chris “Daddy,” so it wasn’t that he was getting it backwards. He just preferred to say Daddy. He could say “Mommy.” We had heard him say it on two or three occassions. He just refused. Whenever I would pick him up from Sunday School, he would scream “Daddy!” Whenever he would see a picture of me and be asked who it was, he would respond, “Daddy.” If someone would point directly to me and ask who I was, he would say… yep, you got it… “Daddy.” When we would ask him to say “Mommy,” he either would say nothing, babble about something else, or say “No.” I’ve tried to not let it hurt my feelings too much and I’ve tried not to make too big a deal over it other than asking him to say Mommy. Anyway, last night we had just finished grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. As we were putting the carts up, Chris asked “Who’s that?” and pointed at me. I almost didn’t even notice that he said “Mommy!” It took about five seconds before it registered in my brain that he actually said “Mommy!” He said it with the exclamation point, too. It sounded as if he was rather proud of himself for answering correctly. Once I realized, I clapped and cheered, told him thank you, and hugged him. So, Ryan (liking my reaction), asked Alex again, “Who’s that?” and pointed to me. Alex answered correctly again! I went through the happy routine again, of course. Alex started giggling that time. Ryan really liked that, so he asked Alex again and Alex again, got it right! I cheered and clapped, said thank you, hugged him, then realized that rain was coming down pretty hard! So, we grabbed the kids out of the carts and raced to the van. He’s called me mommy a few more times since then, so I’m hoping that it will stick this time!!!

On a slightly different note, did you watch the women’s gymnastics team qualifier competition? I won’t go into all the things that I could talk about. At this point, I just want to mention the story of one mom. Oksana Chusovitina. I saw a picture of her with a German leotard on and thought that was odd. I remembered her being Russian. Turns out I was right. She has competed in 3 Olympics for Russia and 1 Olympics for the Unified Team (’92, I think). She is two years older than me and has an eight year old son with leukemia. In a desperate attempt to save her son’s life, she called a German gymnastics coach and friend for help. The coach told her to come to Germany and she would see what she could do. Oksana is now competing — at 33– for the German National Team. I’m not exactly sure all the benefits of that (perhaps healthcare for the son, maybe a salary for her gymnastics), but I do know that Germany is one of many countries (U.S. included) that pays athletes money for winning medals. For once, I hope that the U.S. gets beat in gymnastics! I don’t necessarily want her to with the all-around — I want Shawn Johnson to do that — but I do hope that she wins the gold on vault. According to the story, the son has had several treatments in Germany and the leukemia is currently in remission. Praise the Lord! The son was shown playing at gymnastics while Oksana worked out. He will probably be an amazing gymnast if he chooses to go competitive. If you missed that story, go to and search her name. There is a bio and a slideshow that give a little bit of the story. And be sure to see her compete tomorrow night!

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