Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spontaneity and Recalls

The girls insisted that we go to Grandpa's house for Easter this year. We still have snow on the ground at home, and they wanted to "go somewhere where it's warm and there's grass."

I love hanging out with my sister and bro-in-law and the girls do too. Dad...well, I do enjoy visiting him, but I have to take him in small doses because of his negativity. I wish we could make his life happier, but I think he would have to make that choice.

We had a great Easter. I convinced the girls to go to church that morning since our festivities wouldn't be until the afternoon. We've never gone to another ward other than our own, and the church we went to was HUGE. Two chapels, and several wards meeting at the same time.

You know, though, it's comforting that wherever you go, it's the same. No matter the size of the building, the teachings, the classes, the friendliness is the same. Made my day.

The next day I had to take my car in for a recall repair. The lady on the phone said to expect to wait for about an hour and a half. There was a waiting area for kids, so we borrowed one of their dvds, got junk food out of the vending machine, took advantage of the free hot cocoa and set up a little impromptu picnic.

Doritos, Red Vines, popcorn, and teriyaki jerky never tasted so good! (And the jerky tasted even better after Nat accidentally spilled it into my cranberry tea!)

Funny, out of all the days and experiences during our stay, this one sticks out. We had a great time. We were even a little disappointed when they told us our car was done early. It made me think of part of a lesson I had heard in church the day before. The teacher asked how we could be as little children as Jesus asked us to do. I think being spontaneous, making the most of a situation and enjoying each other are things that come easy to children and make life memorable and fun.

Being open to the world and living in the moment are things that children are experts at, and if we put our worries and responsibilities aside for a time and quit thinking of that to-do list we need to accomplish we can be more open too---to everything, and the gospel in particular. for thought. And it only took a Honda recall for me to learn that!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So Stinky!

I'm not sure what it is with my Nat. She is such an outgoing girl. Since the time she could talk she would strike up conversations with anyone and everyone. She's a total goof, and never holds back on acting silly. She makes friends easily. But...she hates to perform. She somehow doesn't like any extra attention on her.

When there's a school play or the children's classes sing at church, she gets very self-concious and the one thing in particular she says that she hates, HATES when people come up afterwards and tell her, "Good job!" She says it's SO embarassing!

This last Sunday the kids had to get up and sing at church and she really wanted to stay home and get out of it.

It was a beautiful song and the kids did great. When Nat returned and sat next to me, I wanted to tell her she did a good job, but instead, I whispered to her, "You stunk up the place!"

And she looked up at me with the biggest smile on her face!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just Stuff

Nat says this morning: Is it going to snow anymore?
Me: I don't know.
Nat: Why don't you know?! Your name is MOTHER and it is about NATURE!

That kid has the weirdest ideas.

I subbed in the kids class today at church, and the little 6 year old boy I was sitting next to was getting kind of antsy and fidgety. I figured I'd try a technique we use on the autistic kids at work to see if it calmed him.

I told him, "I'm going to massage your shoulders. It might help you sit still and listen better."

I proceeded to do the deep pressure squeezes that we do with the kids at school, which helps our special needs kids to feel grounded. Sure enough this little guy just melted and relaxed. A little while later he turns to me and says, "Will you do it again?" Too cute.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm Ready to Bust Some Grief!

This week I took a two day training called Griefbusters. It is a program through Hospice that pairs an adult (the Griefbuster) with a child who has lost someone. The Griefbuster meets with the child one a week for about an hour and helps the child work through their loss. (They did train us not to use "lost" or "passed away" or other euphemisms with children, but I know that you know what I'm talking about.)

About 7 years ago I took a grief workshop through Hospice to work through the death of my mom. It was so helpful for me to be able to have a place to go to talk about her, and to know that what I was going through was normal and that others were going through the same things. During that workshop, one of the participants was a woman I knew, but just as the wife of one of Mike's friends. Her 3 year-old son had died. During the workshop we formed a friendship, and since our youngest girls are the same age, we've kept the friendship going.

Well, when I arrived Wednesday morning, I was surprised to see that she was there too. We kind of laughed that here we were doing the grief-thing together again.

Anyway, when I told people I was going to this training, the responses were mostly negative. WHY would I want to do THAT? It would be so hard to see a sad child. It would be depressing. That was what I heard from others. But because the grief workshop I attended was so helpful to me, I want to pass that forward and who is more deserving than a child?

I'm excited to be a Griefbuster, but at the same time I realize that a child has to suffer a tragedy for me to do what I'm trained to do. That's kind of weird. But tragedies are going to happen regardless, so it's good that there is this program to help.

As a side note, the training was held at the county's senior center, so for lunch my friend and I lined up with the seniors in the cafeteria to eat. We'll both be 47 this year, and we joked how it was a milestone for us -- we had our first senior meal!

I liked what one of the guest speakers said during the training, "Grief is not something you fix, it is something that you accompany." And his other piece of advice was, "Stay close and do nothing." Which means we're not there to fix the child, or offer advice, we're there to support them, to listen, to witness their memories.

I can do that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Real Difference Between Boys and Girls

Both the girls had a friend over for a sleep-over last night. It worked out well that they each had their own friend. Girls just don't do well in 3's, I've found. Boys seem to work it out, girls seem to leave one out.

Which brings me to a well illustrated difference between boys and girls from last night.

The girls (all four of them) decided to play a game of indoor soccer (with this cool hovering soccer disk thing we have).

Now boys would just clear the living room and get down to business. The girls on the other hand, started by choosing a name for their teams. Then each team worked on cheers for their team.

The Moons (the 8-year-olds) wanted to actually moon the other team at the end of their cheer, but since I said no, they settled for taping paper moons to their pajama pants instead.

The Raccoons (the middle-school 11-year-olds) huddled in the bedroom and worked on costumes and make-up to go with their cheer. There was paper and pencils and practicing and choreographing going on for quite some time before they all came together, showed off their cheers and team spirit, and started the game.

Which lasted approximately 1/10 of the time the preparation did. That's girls for ya!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why Cowboys Walk Funny

The world according to Nat: "I think I know why cowboys walk funny. They probably get a wedgie when they ride their horse and when they get off they don't want to pick it out in public so they walk like this" (doing her best impression of a bow-legged cowboy). So now you know. You're welcome.