Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Another Teen Ager

The day after Easter was KC's birthday.  My once tiny preemie guy is now a teen that is nearly taller than I. With his own quirky sense of humor and artistic style, he is taking on the world.  So much has changed for him.  Part of that is his participation in our church Coming of Age program.  Through out the year he and the other participants have delved deeply into themselves, exploring their beliefs, what they see themselves doing in the world, how they share themselves with the larger world and what they keep within.  His mentor has been amazing and I know the friendship that was all ready there was strengthened during this time.

KC has come into his own in many areas this year. At the  dance studio he got bumped up to a more advanced class. Far from being intimidated by the fact that he is one of the youngest dancers in the group (most being in high school) he worked hard and has found his niche.  It certainly helps that this is a really nice group of kids who seem to really empower each other.  It also helps that he loves dance passionately and works hard at it.  Still, he rose to the challenge and did not even consider stepping away from it.

He has aged out of the boys book club at the library but has begun doing extra volunteering there. Part of that time is helping the librarian with the book club. She has tasked him with thinking up some new games to go with the books that they read and he has been thinking about this ever since they spoke.  Book bingo and pictionary, figuring out if he could make Wheel of Fortune. . . It appeals to his natural creativity and allows him to have a role in something that has been a fixture in his life for about 3 years.

Monday we drove to Maine to see my mom and her companion G.  We celebrated KC's birthday with them and it was so much fun.  My mom is starting to feel her age these days.  There is not anything hugely wrong but she moves more slowly and has more aches and pains.  It is enough discomfort that the idea of attending both Rob's graduation and the kids recital was too much for her to contemplate physically.  It is hard for me to grasp her aging, very much so for KC.  I write to my mom twice a day by email and he always asks how Nana is.

But aches and pains did NOT stop the celebrating. There was food and cake and laughter. Gifts and joking and lots of love.  I am grateful that we had this day as we all know nothing is promised and that time together is for treasuring.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Eve

I've become a rather infrequent blogger, haven't I?   Many times it is because I mull things around in my head so long that by the time I have a chance to sit and actually tap out my thoughts---they feel redundant and like other bloggers have spoken with more clarity.

But today, I am taking a bit of time to write.  It is Easter weekend and Fiona is home for the weekend.  We have colored eggs, had her favorite supper and she and Lissa are presently cuddled on the couch watching a movie. It has been good.

Tomorrow morning my goal is to get everyone out of the house for 7:30 and take them to breakfast. This gives my wife time to hide the Easter clues that she writes for the kids so that they can do their basket hunt when we return from our UU church and she returns from a different UU church that she works for.

This is a very busy weekend and I am glad that I went to yoga this morning.  That hour, just for me, helped me feel relaxed and ready for the demands of the weekend. Well, demands is probably the wrong word. But juggling the emotional needs and mental health issues of my two eldest at a holiday time can be challenging. It can be stressful.  It is also paradoxically, a great joy.  I love when our family is together, building memories and sharing love.  So the vigelance and over planning is worth it, but a quiet reflective time before it, also did not come amiss.

At the closing meditation our instructor always gives us a word of the day. Previous words have been things like "inspire" "wisdom" "kindness."  Todays was family. How apt.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wash Day Grins!

I am officially an adult!  How do I know this?  Because I about did the dance of joy when the washer repair guy came today!  We have only been washer-less since Friday at noon.  That meant two of the 4 regular Friday loads had been completed before the door hinge decided to break on our front loading machine.  Since we could not ensure it was tightly shut OR that it would open if we tried to jimmy it somehow, we left it until today when the repair man could come.

On Saturday I spent several fun filled hours at the laundramat doing the 6 loads that accumulated between Friday at noon and Saturday at about 2 p.m.  What can I say?  We are apparently a very sloppy family of 6 with a LOT of wash.  It did not help that Friday we also change the beds and one of those loads did not make the cut before the door catastrophe.

But today, today is blissfully wonderful and right.  There is no mountain of wash in my teeny bathroom.  This was seriously giving me anxiety which is somewhat stupid.  In my defense it is a VERY teeny bathroom and the pile, er mountain that developed was large enough to hide a Yeti.

So now, I will drink tea and fold wash, and smile!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Of Cobras, Planks and Downward Dog

Life is busy, and truthfully I would not have it any other way.   Days are filled with work, train schedules for Rob, commencement details for Rob, work for Rob.  There are dance classes for the youngers, Scouts and sewing classes for Lissa and book club nights for KC.  I love that everyone has a lot of interests. These experiences are their choices. None of it is me deciding to fill up the hours of our days and nights.

My work is fast paced and stressful.  I typically (shhhhh!) work through my lunch. I always have plans of walking the site at lunch.  It almost never happens.

At home at night, there is a little Facebook noodling, but it is mostly house chores and then doing piece work as we work toward our dream of traveling in July of 2018.  Bottom line, is that when I get to bed I have maybe 20 minutes to read and call that "my time."  Don't get me wrong. I love to read.  I love that our life is full and rich.  But greedy little soul that I am, I craved a bit more time for myself.  Maybe--gasp--60 whole minutes for myself!

I found myself longing for last summer when I could take Zumba classes.  I love working out in a group setting, but flat out can not get up at the crack of dawn to go to a gym.  When train runs are over, I can walk in the mornings. As much as I want time for myself, I know I need 6 hours of sleep a night to be a healthy happy woman!

Enter, Hot Yoga.  I have not ever really been a yoga person.   I have dabbled in it long ago in my teen years.  Then I tried it a little at our church camping weekend.  It was fun but I think mostly because I was on the beach.  I was really super focussed on the sand under my feet and the feel of the breeze.  It made it less annoying to me that we seemed to flow soooooooooooo slowly from one pose to another.

See, I am a bit of a hyper person.  Not distractedly hyper (usually.)  But someone who doesn't do meditation well.  Someone who likes to beat book times on hikes.  Someone who loves to move.  So the slow peaceful yoga?  My wife loves it but it just isn't my thing.

One of my friends from the kids dance school told me about this new yoga class.  Ironically the studio is so near the train station that it is crazy easy for me to get to. The hot yoga class is Saturday mornings at 9 a.m.  The time is perfect for me. I have all ready been up for 2 hours and gotten the grocery shopping done by then.  The kids are old enough now to stay home for an hour when I go.

And I have discovered that hot yoga (at least at this studio) is a lot different from my other yoga experiences.  There is a lot more movement, a lot less of the tedious holding of poses until you die of boredom  until you are one with the universe or something.  The hot part is a super bonus for me.  I am almost always cold.  For about 90 minutes on Saturdays now, I am warm.  Not hot and sweaty mind you, but warm.  The heat in itself is such a joy.  OK I know that sounds weird but 95 is my temperature of choice on a summers day.

It is challenging my body, keeping me fit and limber, which is good for me physically. I have always been pretty limber and it is coming back quickly. But more importantly is the benefit of that hour to myself, with friends.  Just time for me.  Namaste!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Happy Birthday Kirsty!


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A few weeks ago, I took one of those silly Facebook quizzes about "which season are you?"  Anyone who knows me well, knows that winter is my least favorite season of the year.  I find enjoyable things about winter--mostly because I have kids, and I think that me moaning about being constantly cold could get really old quickly.

But spring and summer are my favorites.  I love fall too but it presages the dreaded winter so I am always enjoying cider and foliage and hearing in my head "yeah, just WAIT!"    However, Facebook, the "accurate" news source of our time decreed that I love winter best.  When I was speaking of this with my wife, she said "but you celebrate everything.  All.the.time."  When viewed that way, I can see why FB got it wrong.  There are a lot of festive things in the cold months and I do celebrate with an excess of abandon.

Take yesterday for instance.  My wife's birthday is actually today.  But had the weather not gifted us with a blizzard, none of us would be home today. She had several client jobs scheduled, I would have work, Rob would have school and KC had 3 dance classes tonight.  So planning ahead we decided that we would celebrate the last day of her 57th year and hold the party on Wednesday.  Wednesday is our least busy night of the week and we could safely guarantee that all would be home.  I was even able to put in for a vacation day so that I could help the littler kids get the party ready.

And party we did.  We decided on an emoji theme.  A visit to the dollar store got the supplies we needed to make the emoji face party favors and the cardboard for the placemats.  We took emoji faces that were sort of tailored to each of our personalities and mounted them on small yellow plates. I taped those to the rulers.  There are 2 faces to each favor, so you can spin it according to your feeling at the moment.  The rulers came in 3 packs for a $1.00 so this was literally a very low cost, fun to make party favor. If I was doing this as a party for kids, I would have the components to create an emoji face but they'd have to choose the sections and glue them on.  But I was doing this, "adult style!" We made the placemats with graphics I got on the computer and printed off.  After trimming the cardboard for the placemats we had nice sections left and we used those to make signs for the dining room walls.  For instance giant LOL, I heart Mom, etc.

We had my wife's favorite meal--Chinese take out from her favorite restaurant.  Then we gifted and ate cake.  There was much laughter and fun.  It was a wonderful party and a wonderful night. (insert happy emoji face here!)

Super Bowl Monday

Our company unexpectedly gave us Monday off if the Patriots won!  This of course added to the all ready high level of SuperBowl frenzy in our home.  We are a big football family and New England Patriots fans all the way.  While much of last night looked like I would be reporting to work as usual, a series of mistakes by the Falcons, some good playing and some good fortune on the part of the Patriots, and we had our 5th Superbowl win and a day off!    It was a wonderful moment to remind my kids that you keep trying always.  The Patriots could have given up and just phoned in the balance of the game at almost any point.  But they kept their focus, they kept perservering and luckily, it resulted in a win.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Womans March Weekend

The changing of the guard has happened and our country has a new president.  It has been a strange week for me emotionally.  I have felt (and still feel) that the results of this election showed me that I needed to be in meaningful dialogue with those who don't see the world through the same lens that I do.  The majority of my friends IRL and on social media do, but there are some Trump folks that I am friends with.

What shocks me is that they aren't really interested in meaningful dialogue.  In a long thread with a friend on FB the gist of his responses was that "the election is over. Get over it."  Obviously this is not what I and a number of other respondents were saying.  We voiced our fears.  I reached out and said that I wanted to know why he felt good about the result.  What great changes did he expect and look forward to.  Crickets.  Seriously.  Just more rhetoric of getting over the election and no response to the concerns that I and others shared about health care, LGBT rights, the environment, the black community etc.

Obviously this left me disheartened.  I have pretty much always avoided talking politics and religion with my friends. I feel that people share many different interests and we don't need to agree all the time but we also don't need to make each other uncomfortable.  I have since come to feel that this is not a good stance to take.  I need to share why I am concerned for my family in a Trump presidency.  I need to respectfully share why I am opposed to a number  his ideology.  But I also believe firmly that if you do  believe that things will be better I want to know why.  And how.  Because clearly I have lived for too long in my blue state bubble and now I am faced with what seems like an incomprehensible reality.

So on the heels of that rather depressive situation came a weekend where our country protested.  So many marches in so many cities.  I had friends marching in Boston, NY, Washington, KY and OH and TX.  It was a strong and powerful message sent across our country and around the world as marches of solidarity took place in other countries as well.

It is only the beginning.  There is much work to be done.  I will find a way to be part of that work.  (My daughter had commitments on Saturday that I could not back out of and no way for her to attend them if I was not there.) But this is not, and can not be, a one off event.  Our church is all ready looking at ways to organize not just our church but with other churches in our county.  The work will not be easy.  But we will be heard and we will not stay silent.