Thursday, October 24, 2013

An Amazing Conversation

Today, "B" and I had an amazing conversation at Jiffy Lube, of all places.  

A little bit of background...he has recently experienced homelessness and unfortunately we see behaviors that indicate that he has gone hungry.  He has some definite insecurity about where his next meal will come from, and tends to stuff himself to bursting and sneak and hide food.  We are working through this in several ways- by letting him eat his fill, giving him free reign of the healthy snack drawer and reassuring him that the rule at our house is NOBODY GOES HUNGRY.  We show him the money in our wallets, put him in charge of the shopping list and take him with us to buy groceries.  He seems to be growing less fearful, but obviously it will take a while for him to trust that food will always be there.

So with that in mind, picture us with our noses pressed to the glass at Jiffy Lube, watching the men change the oil in our van.  

"Why they doing that?"
"Because we need new oil in our van to keep it running."
"But why THEY do it?"
"Because they are experts...they know a lot about cars and oil changes."
"But why they do it for your car?"
"Well, because it is their job."
"Their job...they get paid to do it."
"What's paid?"
"Money.  They get money for fixing our car."
"REAL MONEY?  What they do with the money?"
"Well, they can use it buy food, pay for their house, buy things..."

At this point his eyes were as big as saucers and I could see his brain working.  He just kept asking me over and over about jobs and money and getting paid.  I don't think this child has been around many people who are routinely employed, and it had certainly never occurred to him before that HE could someday have a job and earn his own money.  

Can you imagine what a concept it must be to a child who has gone hungry to learn that he has the power to get money and buy his own food?  Or at least that he will in the future?  How empowering that must feel!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Happenings

Been doing a little of this and a lot of that and hardly any blogging of late, so here is a little photo dump...

Had a lot of pumpkin patch/barnyard field trip fun this week with my two oldest kiddos.  It was sweet to spend some time alone with them, and also fun to watch them interact with their friends and teachers. Spent a LOT of time on a bumpy bus.  Did I really used to ride one of those every day?  Without taking Dramamine?!

I got to be a "motor mom" at Lego's school this morning...aka gym teacher...and it was great.  I could so relate to the wild look in his teacher's eyes on a Friday morning as she suggested we take them OUTSIDE because they had a bit of energy to burn.  Been there sister.  Glad I could give her a few moments peace to make photocopies while we played with the class.

We are trying to take advantage of the dwindling nice weather by getting outside.  We went for a hike at a nearby lake, and started to do a little tree-climbing in our front yard.  We have just started to explore the forest that backs up to our property, and it looks to be a fun play-place.  Flower built a little fairy house back there yesterday, but we are hoping to get in there this weekend to scout it out and clean it up a bit before we give the kids free reign.

Flower has been begging for a haircut for weeks.  It took so long for her to GET that much hair that I hate to cut it, but she sure enjoyed the experience.  I thought he had fallen asleep while she was getting her hair shampooed, but she told me, "no, I am awake, I am just soooo relaxed!"

Another thing worth mentioning is that our Little Bee has decided she wants to join the ranks of the potty trained.  To be honest, potty training is not my favorite activity, but I will say that so far she is really taking the lead on it and I am pretty much just there to assist.  And on the bright side, I have actually cracked open a book for ME while sitting on the floor with her for extended periods of time...and it doesn't even rhyme.

The last mentionable is that I was back in touch with the mother of one of our previous Safe Families kids today.  We really like this mother- she is so in love with her kids and trying her very best to be a great mom, even though she has every reason in the world not to.  She was having a rough day, and I am so glad that she called me and we were able to chat.  Though I can't imagine the stress she is under, we have all had those days with our kids where we just need some backup or a friend to chat with for a while to lighten the mood.  As we often say around here, parenting is a team sport.  It is such a privilege to get to talk to her and see life through her eyes- I am learning so much.

So that's the "happenings" (Hubby informs me that "happenings" along with "learnings" and "asks" are the favorite corporate-speak words of the moment...I try to keep it hip around here, you know!)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Exploring Our New Town

Can you spot the ski jump?

It is high- it must look even higher from up there!

A Norse man dressed in furs and a Viking horn helmet...gotta have a mascot!

Our new house backs up to something rather interesting- a ski jump!  They had their annual Autumn competition this weekend, so we wandered over to check it out.  We were quite impressed- lots of people, lots of people hurling themselves jumping and even a few hoping to qualify for the Olympics.  There were alpine horns and cowbells ringing- it was just a neat thing, and quite literally in our backyard!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Better late than never, right?  I keep this blog as a scrapbook for our family more than anything, so I have get a few birthday pictures up here for Little Bee.  Wouldn't want to be accused of treating her like a third child, after all!

Here she is, in all her two-year-old glory.  She ate up all the celebration, walked around holding up five fingers and telling us all that she was TWOOO!  She would follow that up with a rousing rendition of "Happy Happy Me" and then show us how she would blow out the candles on her CAKE.  And I have to say, she blew them out with great style, after letting us all know that we should clap for her.  This kid has been studying the art of the birthday party and was ready for her big moment.

New shoes!

Dinner with Grampa

Here comes the cake

"this is the part where you all clap for me..."


Ice cream sundae party

Is this ALL the toppings?  I am nearly out of chocolate syrup.

Curly girl

Happy birthday girl

Our sleepy Bee.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Parenting Merit Badges

At our house we have long thought that parenting is best seen as a series of amusing little challenges to be conquered, wisdom to be acquired.  Wouldn't it be fun if, like the scouts, parents got to earn merit badges to sew onto their mommy-jeans or spit-up-covered t-shirts?  What merit badges would you award?  Here are a few that we have earned so far...
  • Improvised Diaper Merit Badge
  • Roadtrip from Heck Merit Badge
  • Simultaneous Naptime Merit Badge
  • Pediatrician's Number by Heart Merit Badge
  • Bodily Fluids Merit Badge
  • Overseas Flight Merit Badge
  • Foreign Object Removal Merit Badge
  • Nursing in Public Merit Badge
  • Not in Front of the Electrician/Plumber/Orkin Man Merit Badge
  • Repeated Curse Word Merit Badge
  • Grocery Store Meltdown Merit Badge
  • Family Picture Day Merit Badge
  • Room Mom Merit Badge
  • Moving with Kids Merit Badge