Monthly Archives: August 2012

Our New Cubbie

AWANA started tonight and Mia is now a Cubbie!

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Is that not the cutest thing? The vest is a pretty cool thing to a 3 year old.

I think she’s pretty excited. She gets to go with one of her best friends, Jane, so I know she’ll have a great time. But, when she found out she would have to memorize verses she wasn’t too thrilled, saying she didn’t want to do that. I finally figured out it was because she thought it would be too hard and she wouldn’t be able to do it without help. Fear of failure, I’m thinking. She was energized though and didn’t want to go to bed without doing her “homework”. She did pretty well. We’ll see how this goes.

If anything, this will be good for me. Time to brush up on the verse memorization.

What a week…

We just got back from traveling to Grandpa‘s funeral. In the last week, we coordinated travel plans with family, went to 2 different airports for 3 different pick-ups  – and 1 drop-off – (the kids were really starting to get used to that!), had family stay here, and then all packed up and lived out of a hotel for a few days, enjoying time with extended family and friends, while we all remembered Grandpa. Then, today we had to say goodbye to a lot of people.

It has been a long week. Seems like so long ago that we found out that he had passed away. Yet it seems that we were just visiting him in the hospital.

We’re tired. Emotionally and physically. There were a lot of hard moments and a lot of sweet ones. We cried a lot but then had just as much laughter. Pretty sure I cried from grief, frustration, joy, and then just plain old laughing fits. That will do a number on you, let me tell you. Emotional roller coasters should have strong advisory signs.

The kids did ok for the most part. Take an independent 3 year old, an active 1 year old, 2 parents trying to navigate family events, add a new place, multiple quiet venues, and changes in routine, shake/stir and you have a very messy situation. I didn’t have a lot of time to pack (or didn’t allow myself enough time to pack) so I was very unprepared for the amount of times that my two small kids would be required to sit still (and quietly): lots of time in the car, church, 2 hour visitation, a funeral, and lots of restaurant time. I didn’t have my usual arsenal of toys or new things that the kids have never seen which usually helps keep them entertained so we had to rely on a lot of technology. Not my favorite. Also, not as effective as you may think. Guess that’s a positive and a negative. Sleeping and eating disruptions, tons of new faces, and lots of emotions floating around people around them do affect small children, just in case you’re wondering. Mark and I looked at each other several times this weekend and gave each other the look of “what in the world?!” We also looked at each and smiled when we would see the kids say something sweet or spontaneously hug an aunt or giggle with an uncle or keep asking about playing with a cousin. So yes, kids who can make you want to pull your hair out one minute will also make your heart melt and swell with pride the next. Children should also come with strong advisory signs.

Definitely not a vacation and there were a lot of tiring, hard moments but it was so, so good to see family we don’t get to see much and spend time remembering Grandpa. I come away from this week having learned a lot about my history, about parenting (explaining death, burial, cemeteries, and open caskets to a curious 3 year old will make you break into a cold sweat), and with a deeper appreciation for my family (thanks for solo parenting so much, Mark!!).

We are now detoxing on technology and revisiting the wonderful world of sleep training. Also, I’m doing a good job of just sitting and staring at my unpacked suitcases. Seems surreal that it’s back to work tomorrow. I know nothing stood still while we were away, but sometimes it’s just hard to get back into things once you’ve experienced a week like the last.

Thank goodness for coffee in the morning.

Grandpa.

My grandfather passed away this afternoon. After a few years of confusion, a year of not being able to take care of himself, and a few days struggling to recover from hip surgery, he’s finally whole and well.

It’s hard. Of course, it’s hard. It’s hard to lose somebody dear. Hard to see and hear loved ones around me grieve. Hard to know that we won’t hear his voice again or watch him as he interacted with the kids with such joy and pleasure at having little ones around.

But, I’m thankful. Thankful that he’s no longer confused. Thankful that he isn’t suffering. Thankful that I do have those memories of seeing his face light up when he saw us, and then later my kids. Thankful for the way he supported and loved his family. Thankful that he and my grandma were there for me as a scared little freshman, driving me to college and dropping me off when my parents weren’t able. Thankful that he no longer misses my Grandma.

Really thankful that we took the time to go on Friday to see him. We thought about either going that day or Sunday and decided to just go ahead and go. He was awake briefly when we went in to say goodbye and he registered who we were and talked to the kids, calling Mia a “little lady” and telling her he would “take her out on the town later.” Those were the last words I heard. He had trouble staying awake after that and by Sunday started having other complications. Yes, thankful that we took the time and went Friday.

So, my heart is sad. But my heart is also full.


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