Sunday, November 22, 2009

I learned something new

The title of this blog post makes it sound like learning something new is a rare occurance for's is just that I rarely find such a striking moment to discover a whole new facet of one of my children.

I took my three kids to the memorial service for my Great-grandma Bea on Saturday. I expected I might have a few questions to answer about the service, but I was surprised by Spunky Girl's reaction. She seemed fine on the way to the service. She asked a few questions about death. We talked a bit about what a coffin is...she wanted to look inside (of course). I gave my usual speech to the kids about what behavior is appropriate during the service. She gave me the "we know, mom" response.

When the service started, she burst into tears. She crawled up into my lap, buried her face into my shirt, and just bawled. Spunky Girl isn't a quiet crier. She gets a high pitch hiccup-y wail that goes on as she cries, and her body shakes. It seemed like 5 minutes went by (but was probably more like 1 minute), and she pulled herself together. We were good for a bit, and then she started bawling again. By the time the service was over, she had such red puffy eyes.

I was surprised. I guess I would have expected Sweetness to be the one crying. She was much closer to Grandma Bea, as Grandma would often cling to Sweetness when we visited the Care Center. Spunky Girl and the Big Guy would usually just run around and play.

After the service, Spunky Girl was really thoughtful about the memorial. My Grandpa Jim died last year and now she realized that he didn't have a funeral. Actually, he did, but the Big Guy threw up all over everything on the way to the service so we didn't get to attend. I knew when Spunky Girl was talking about Grandpa Jim that she was processing death on a larger scale than just Grandma Bea.

I think I've learned that Spunky Girl has more powerful emotional swings than Sweetness does. I don't think Grandma's death is harder or will be harder for Spunky Girl than Sweetness, but I think that she feels things stronger in the moment. Im glad to learn that now...and hopefully I can remember than when we are in the midst of histronics and be more understanding and loving.

I'll leave you with a picture of my dear Great-Grandma Bea Hatfield. She was loving and funny and friendly. I'll always remember her, dressed in her white keds and ready to go for a walk on the beach.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Remember the excitement?

My kids love changing sizes. Getting bigger means new shoes, new clothes, and a certified "I'm growing up" stamp of approval. Sweetness is thrilled to be wearing some size 10 shirts. She keeps asking me if this means she *IS* a size 10. The answer is not really...size 8's fit just fine too.

I remember when I was a teenager how excited I was to need a bigger bra. Of course, I missed the important fact that your cup size is what you want to get bigger, not your ribcage. Sigh.

Remember how exciting it was to have your 10th birthday? Being a double-digit age was a big deal. Or how great it was to finally be a teenager. They didn't have the term "tweens" back then, so you were either a kid or a teenager. I can't remember at what age I stopped being so excited to be another year older. I'm certain it was after age 21. I don't dread getting older now...but I'm sure not excited to see the years piling on. But I do dread going up sizes. Now my joy is when I can stay out of double digits clothing sizes.

How about you? Do you remember what age you stopped being excited about getting a little older?

P.S. I was struck by this thought as I wrote my post "how great it is that Sweetness is still excited to get bigger. I think it means that thus far, she hasn't bought entirely into the media image that you have to be tiny to be beautiful. I know she is impacted somewhat by wanting to be skinny, but not enough to be unhappy about changing sizes!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kidde Post

How did I end up here? Suddenly I am den mother to 9 dogs. At first, the Big Guy had one favorite dog, "Pink Poodle". Pink Poodle belonged to his sister Sweetness, but he absconded with it and decided it was his own. Daddy didn't like his Big Guy carrying around a pink-anything, so "Nopo" a dalmation arrived on the scene. "Blue doggie" used to stay in his crib (a shower present from Barb Bass), but later became part of the dog posse that the Big Guy carries around. As his sisters acquired new webkinz dogs, they became part of the Big Guy's collection. It wouldn't be so bad if the doggie collection just stayed in one place, but the Big Guy insists on carrying them around. When we get up from naptime, all the doggies have to come downstairs with us. When we go down for bedtime, woe is the mother that is missing a dog.

I've noticed a dog missing before and tried to fool him, saying the dog's name as if he was already in the crib...but the Big Guy always catches me. "But I don't see my puppy" he says. I've tried telling him that he has plenty of doggies and he doesn't need me to go find the missing pup, but he just cries like his heart is breaking. "I need my Nopo, mommy". It is hard to stand there and say "no" when you know you can just go downstairs and find the stupid dog.

Doggies: Sparky (in his arms), Nopo, Bulldog, Scruffy, Gray doggie, Cheetoe, Puppy, Blue Doggie. (Pink Poodle is missing).

Oh...and how did the Big Boy bed experiment go? We're still working on that. He slept in there for 2 naps, although slept probably isn't an accurate word. He did make it through one nighttime, but last night he wanted back into his crib. On the upside, all my kids think it is great fun to hang out in the Big Guy's big boy bed. All the kids playing nicely in one room is good for mommy!

Okay, one last piece of business. I think the new Facebook layout means my blog gets read less...or it least it seems that way based on the comments I get back. For just this one blog, will you put your initials into the comment field (or a comment would work fine too), just so I know you've read my blog. I promise I'll only make you go through this once. Thanks. I appreciate it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dream time

Nearly every week, I have a dream where I am in school and trying to get to my class and I can't find it. I search and search and start to freak out a little that class is starting and I'm not there yet. I had one of those dreams last night and have decided that it is worth a little analysis. After all, a one hour long dream every week adds up to a lot of hours as the years add up.

So, what possible meaning could there be behind the dream. I can think of three possibilities:

1. The dream represents my desire to go back to school. My analysis: I find this one unlikely. I do want to go back to school. I think it would be great to get my Master's degree and one day re-join the working world. But...I have NO desire to try to go to school right now with how busy I am raising the kids. Going to schools seems like an "oh-that-would-be-fun" luxury for when I have extra time on my hands. I don't think my subconscious would haunt me once a week because of a desire I have to go back to school someday, especially given that it isn't THAT important to me.

2. The dream represents some dissatisfaction with my life, that I chase after something that I cannot catch. My analysis: I find this one unlikely too. I'm not dissatisfied with my life, not at all. I feel like my life has purpose, that I have a opportunity and responsibility to live my life for Christ. I feel like I've been given a husband to love and three beautiful children to raise. I'm grateful for the life I get to live. Sure, there are moments of frustration, but I don't think that is lack of contentment.

3. The dream represents my frustration with being late. My analysis: I think this option has some merit. I had my dream last night after I spent the entire day rushing around getting ready to host a 4-course sit down dinner party. I don't want to just pick this one, though, because it is the only option that I have left. The reality is that I am usually on time. I do rush around like a crazy person, but that is so that I'm not late...not because I already am. I plan time into my day for a variety of happenstance and pitfalls that rarely befall me, but that keeps me from arriving late. Perhaps the dreams come on days where I've been pushing myself and stressing about being on time. Perhaps it isn't a reflection of my worrying about being late, but a reflection of a day spent under pressure and that pressure manifests itself in a crazy dream after I go to sleep.

I don't know...but I suppose that is possible.

What do you guys think? Any other obvious interpretations for my "I can't find my class" dreams? The setting for the dream is varied, BTW. Sometimes I can tell that the location is supposed to be the University of Washington, but other times I suspect it is a high school. The dreams are never set accurately at a campus that I recognize. I'm usually late for Math any theorys about that?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


At long last, I have picked up my camera from my Grandma's house. It is soooo sad that it took me nearly 3.5 months to pick it up. September brought school and sports activities and it became really difficult to find a time to bring the kids to Hoodsport. Welcome back dear friend (my camera)! Lovely to see you Grandma!

Hopefully having my camera back will help me blog more often. I blog about things that I photograph, so I have more to talk about when my camera is in my hand. Ironically, though, I am going to blog about Grandma's house...and I took no pictures of her house to show you.

My dad's mother (Grandma Bea) is passing away this week. She is in hospice care and they don't expect her to last much longer. Since she has had Alzheimers disease for years, she has lived in Memory Loss Care Centers. She hasn't had a home for years that is filled with "grandma-ness". Today I went to visit my mom's mom (Grandma Dot) and her house is filled with "grandma-ness". I think I was extra-sensitive today to all the things in Grandma Dot's house that I may not be able to experience in 10 years. Here is my highlight list:

The cushioned toilet seat
You know the one. It is the cushioned seat that slowly loses air as you sit on it, providing its own theatrics to whatever noises you've got happening as you use the toilet.

The large print Reader's Digest in the bathroom
I don't have to fear about this one. I'm sure I'll be able to order the large print Reader's Digest for my parents bathroom in another 10 years.

The endless silk flowers
Grandma has silk flowers everywhere. In the bathrooms. In the kitchen. In the sun room. On the deck. In the landscaping.

The wood fireplaces that keep the house at a toasty 80 degrees at all times
Woe to the person that forgets how hot Grandma keeps her house and wears a sweater to go see her. It is like your own personal hot flash for the entire visit. Of course, Grandma is always freezing and wanting to put on a third pair of socks. A side effect to being less than 100 lbs I guess. I wouldn't know.

The gilded gold mirrors and wall sconces
Clearly something from another time, but who knows...maybe they will return to interior design fashion someday.

Avon booklets
Both of my grandma always had Avon booklets for me to flip through at their houses. I guess I'll need to get my own.

There are also 2 experiences common to each visit to Grandma Dot's house. First, she tries to feed me constantly. Today she asked me if I wanted a snack as we were putting our jackets on to go out to I'm going to faint from hunger on the 12 minute car trip. Second, and this one is always my favorite, Grandma's need to give me something of hers. Today I got a pair of Halloween tights and some support hose. Who could live without those?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What I learned from Wii Fit

For all of my adult life, I've been scared of taking an aerobics class. I know that sounds crazy to most people, but it always seemed beyond me. I know normal women can do aerobics, but somehow I knew down deep in my heart that I could neither keep up with the foot steps nor make it till the end of the class without passing out.

Enter the WiiFit. Hubby bought one for the family last week and we've been having a fabulous, family-centered time playing with it. In a quiet, semi-private moment, I decided to try out the aerobics part. It turns out I was right. I absolutely stink at aerobics. It was so bad that hubby stopped by to watch the sideshow. I shooed him right out of the room. I don't think it would enhance his attraction to me to see me unable to follow simple foot steps.

I've gotten a tad better with practice. I'm fine as long as I'm familiar with the foot steps that are coming, but if I try to follow along with some new steps...I end up walking into a wall. I'm a long way from ever being willing to walk into an actual aerobics classroom. The good thing, I think, in all this is that I no longer feel like I have some weird self-esteem issue about aerobics, where I think I'm lousy for no apparent reason. Turns out my view of myself in this area was entirely accurate.

Another thing that I've found enlightening about the WiiFit program is the avatar you create for yourself in the system. I created my avatar to look like I'm a young, hip mom complete with pigtails. My oldest daughter, whom I affectionately call "Sweetness" but may have to change that as she starts rolling down into the tween years, also created her avatar...but she made herself look older and added a bunch of makeup. The end result? Sweetness looks like a 36 year old mom and I look like her 7 year old daughter. Hmmmmm. I'm sure a psychologist would have something to say about that!

As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied. ~Oscar Wilde