Friday, June 28, 2013

I am Currently Thinking About This, That and the Other

This past week I have been struggling with some things in the personal arena. Mostly with the nature of forgiveness, and what it really means to forgive and forget. Forgiveness, for me at least means not letting the hurt someone has caused fester in my soul. Forgetting? That is more difficult.  I remember the events that caused the hurt and with good reason, remembering prevents me from putting myself back in the same position. I can choose to let go of the bitterness and anger, much easier to do when it is a toddler throwing a tantrum, than an adult. I think I have managed to find a balance and the serenity feels good.

In that spirit of serenity I am currently thinking of all the little things that a bring me joy.

A bed that is made with a few rumples and lumps because the Bumper wanted to help me with the morning work.

A glass of tea and some quiet crochet time.

A bright blue summer sky.

A jar of homemade apple butter given to me by a friend.

Snuggling up with the Bumper to read a bedtime story.

Such little moments give me such great joy, even in the midst of trial.

Have a good weekend.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Feeling Grateful

The other night a friend drove me home and said, "Oh what a lovely big house you live in, it must be so nice for you and your little girl." This comment took me by surprise since I am not used to thinking of my mother's house as particularity big, it is a typical (for this part of the country) three bed room rancher. It has "only" one bathroom and sometimes doesn't seem large enough to accommodate an extremely active Bumper, it's just Nana's house. My friend's comment made me think. I have been taking a lot of things for granted lately. The house is just one among many. I have a lot to be grateful for, so here is a list of some of the every day things I am thankful for and often take for granted.

1. A good, strong, warm, safe, dry house to live in.
2. Plenty of food to eat.
3. Clean water to drink, cook, and bathe in.
4. A soft bed to sleep in.
5. Solid, well kept, clothes to wear.
6. A healthy child.
8. Friends.
9. A loving and supportive family.
10. Faith.

I am humbled as I write this, because there are many people in the world, and in this country who do not have access to these things. I am grateful and blessed.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer's Bounty

Lush green trees and blue sky

Summertime is here and with it comes an plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables. The Bumper's Nana is an avid gardener and sometimes there are more vegetables than we know what to do with.

Chickpea cutlets and ripe tomatoes
Last night we were in a cooking frenzy as we realized that many of the items, such as cumbers, kale, celery, mushrooms, and squash and tomatoes would go bad if we did not use them right away. The result was a grilled/roasted veggie extravaganza!  Yum! I would have taken a lot more pictures, but the Bumper kept eating things as fast as we put them on the table.

I feel very fortunate indeed to be living in a time of such plenty.




Day Lily

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Child Training and Attitude

The Bumper is a wonderfully active, curious and headstrong toddler. She loves to explore, climb, run, swing, jump, and dance. She entered the terrible twos with a vengeance. These days it seems like the only thing I say to her is "No!", which she says right back. The Bumper also likes the words: "mine, stop, and especially I do it myself".

It is this latter phrase that has me thinking. She is growing up, she is becoming her own little person, and as her mother I have to guide her and train her. When we were first married the Bumper's dad and I did talk a little about what we wanted our children to be like, what values we wanted them to have, but it was always in the abstract and theoretical . Now I am down in the trenches, and the Bumper's dad is unable to help, so I have to make the choices on my own.

The difficulty for me is that the Bumper is an only child and not only am I her parent, but I am her primary playmate. How to balance the two roles? Some days are better than others. Last week she successfully went to the potty, brushed her teeth, sat at the table and ate and went to bed with very little effort on my part. Yesterday... not so much. Yesterday was a complete struggle, it seemed like I was constantly cleaning up after her, and scolding her for every little thing. I kept putting her in time out until we were both exhausted. Then I had an epiphany the Bumper wasn't doing what she was to deliberately irritate me, she was behaving badly to get my attention. I was so busy trying to get the house work done that I was ignoring her. So I stopped, took a mommy time out (went to the bathroom and counted to ten), and came back refreshed. I decided the house work could wait. It was too hot to play outside; an indoor activity was called for. The Bumper and I spent the rest of the afternoon making play-dough animals.

What did I learn? When I pay proper attention to her, she is more likely to obey me.



Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Reflections

This weekend I took the Bumper to visit her dad at the hospital. It was a sobering visit. She barely recognized him and he recognized her, but could barely speak. Once she got her courage back, she started chatting merrily to him. The Bumper told her dad all about the kittens, planting the garden, and building a tower of rocks in the hospital courtyard. Then she turned to me and asked if Daddy was sick, to which I replied that he was and with all the seriousness that a two and half year old can muster, she told me to go home so we could get her medicine from her doctor and make her daddy better. Ah, the faith of a child!

For me the visit was quite a shock, I knew he was ill but I did not really understand how badly. I now know. I am still trying to processes this. All I can think, is that none of us know how much time we are given and every day is precious (all the more important to remember today when the Bumper has made more messes than I can clean and completely frazzled my nerves).

A friend sent me this verse: "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength  is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Very appropriate and very timely, as I try to repay hurt with kindness.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Low Key

Summer is officially two days away, and we are finally seeing some summertime weather. The Bumper is out chasing kittens again, we are taking long walks to the zoo, and spending the evenings chasing fireflies.
I love watching my little girl grow and discover new things. This past week she has been asking about a picnic on the beach. Her Nana and I had hoped to oblige her today, but she wore herself out  at the park!
I am enjoying these low-key days.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beach Day!

I am quite fortunate in that I live about thirty minutes from the beach and last week I was definitely in need of some beach board walk time. I normally prefer the quiet solitude of  Assateague Island but this was an emergency! I needed the vibrant energy of the Ocean City Boardwalk to take my mind off the heavy stuff I have been dealing with. So I packed up the Bumper and the babysitter and off we went


The day was a bit blustery and chilly, but we were undaunted. The Bumper wanted to speed straight for the sand and surf, but I wanted to check out, My Nature, a new raw/vegan restaurant on the boardwalk (that will be a later post).




After getting my mango cobbler fix we headed out. The Bumper made sand angels, chased seagulls and even rode a motorcycle. She had  a marvelous time and I had a marvelous time watching her! 

The hardest part was convincing her to leave when it was time to head for home, but head for home we eventually did. We were all tired, sandy and spirit refreshed.


Being out and about with all those other people having fun renewed my energy and filled me with positive thoughts, so much so that I tried a brand new exercise class, and wrote a few pages on my new novel.



P.S And made more Granny Bunting Triangles of course!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Meatless Monday and other Musings

Meatless Monday

Hmm! I didn't even know there was such a thing, but since I am trying to give my daughter a better example this is what our Meatless Monday looks like:

Breakfast - Oatmeal with rasberries, blueberries, and soymilk.
Lunch- Peanut Butter & Jelly, carrots and peaches.
Supper- either Spinach with diced tomatoes and curried chick peas or lentils, rice and broccoli

When in stress I bake, and over the weekend my stress meter went through the roof.
I was once again in contact with the hospital caring for the Bumper's Dad. They informed me they would be sending him to rehabilitation. Ok fine. A few blocks from my mom's house. Not fine.
I freaked. I barely even heard the nurse tell me how all the doctors agreed it would be better for his recovery if he were near family. When I finally calmed down, I realized he does have other family here, his Dad is here, his grandmother, aunts and uncles. The doctors were not intentionally trying to make my life difficult, they were trying to look after the best interest of their patient. I had to take a deep breath and realize that right now the Bumper's  Dad is not in a position to harm me, I could choose to be mean- spirited or I could put aside my grievences and help out. I have chosen the latter because it is not in the Bumper's best intrest for me to refuse. That being decided, I was stressed out so I broke out the recipies and started cooking. I made snikerdoodles, hot chocolate snickerdoodles, banana "ice-cream" and blue-berry jam. When I was done I felt a lot better. My waistline on the other hand? Well, that is a different story. Any body need two dozen vegan snicker doodles?


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fathers often get short shrift these days. In the media they are portrayed as either dictatorial or buffoonish. In the news we hear most about fathers who are not doing what they should. So today I want to say thank you.

 Thank you to all the fathers who go about their day to day and are there for there wives and children, even when they are not physically present.

Thank you to all of the single fathers who play mother and father for their children.

Thank you to all the foster father, godfathers, uncles, cousins, and father figures who take up the reins when the biological fathers can't or won't.

Thank you. God Bless you.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Granny Triangle Madness!!

Ok, I agreed to send the lovely Lucy at Attic 24 Granny Bunting Triangle for her Yarndale event thinking: Hey I love her blog, she has inspired and uplifted me in so many ways, it is time to give back. Little did I know that the little suckers would become so addictive. I love making these things, and while I haven't made very many because I am still new to crochet (these are only the 4th item I have ever made), I just can't stop, I crochet when the Bumper is down for a nap,--which quickly came to an end when she decided that naps were so last year-- if I am ridding in the car as a passenger,  and even at the doctor's office while waiting for appointments. The best part is that the Bumper loves it when I make them. She eagerly shouts: "Mom make triangles?!" and then proceeds to start naming the colors as they fly off my hook. How cool is that?

Have a lovely day!
I have a few spare moments so I am off to make more!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

One of Those Days

I wanted to write about the Granny Triangle Madness that has consumed me the last couple of days thanks to the marvelous Lucy at Attic24, but that will have to wait. Today was one of those days that probably belongs in a country music song, one filled with crazy ex's and utter chaos.

My plan for the day was to get up make a wholesome breakfast for the Bumper, pick up the baby sitter, run a couple of errands, write a down the pages that are burning a hole in my head on my new novel, fix  nutritious  lunch, and then blog a bit.
That is not what happened. Instead I got a phone call from the hospital treating the Bumper's dad, informing me that they were considering transferring him to another facility because he was unable to carry out the functions of daily living.

WHOAH!! WHAT?! That was the last thing I expected to hear. My mind started spinning and I  had to sit down. I knew could get really sick if he stopped taking his medications, but I hadn't that it would damage him so badly. It has.

I started making phone calls to friends and family trying to get a handle on things, because in spite of how badly I feel for him (and I do ) certain things have not changed. The condition he has did not make him verbally abusive, that was his choice, nor did it make him change the locks and forbid me to set foot in the home we once shared, it did not cause him to curse me out in a public parking lot. These were things he did all on his own, while taking his medicines. I did not hide his medicines, or call the pharmacy and tell them to stop supplying them. He made that decision. What has happened is not my fault.

So now I am trying to figure out all the legal ramifications for the Bumper and myself.

Yet in spite of the heavy, I am thankful. My little Bumper still laughs and smiles, and throws the most terrific tantrums (especially today when I am not doing so good). She is a healthly, willful two and half year old.

I would like to hide like a small child does in a thunderstorm, but I can not. My small child still needs me. The Bumper needs me to be the parent. To love, to correct, to be strong. So I will, but late at night when only my Saviour can see or hear me then I will surrender to tears and be willingly held in my Heavely Father's arms. God has the power to comfort me and to see me through... and he will.



P.S. there will be Granny Triangle Madness soon. I promise.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lead by Exampe Part 1


Whew! I did not realize it had been so long since I have had a chance to post something new. We have had a late Spring and a prolonged flu and allergy season her in the Mid -Atlantic, and my little family is just now getting over our bout of allergies, colds, and at least one case of the flue. In the last few months either I, or the Bumper or Nana have been sick. We are still battling runny noses and coughs. Nonetheless on nice days in between sicknesses we have ventured out and about in the garden or had enough muster to work o fun indoor crafts when the weather has not been co-operative. One of the best things about being a stay at home mom is having the time to nurture the Bumper's curiosity and myriad interests. One of the hardest things, at least for me, is to lead by example. As a Christian I want to foster a love of the Lord in my child, but what I am supposed to do when my 2 1/2 year old Bumper screams "No!" when I tell her it is time for grace? As a mom I want to foster a love of the outdoors, but how do I do that when I feel like I am always cleaning? As reasonably health conscious person how do I instill healthy eating habits in the Bumper when some days I am so tired all I can do is microwave a packaged meal?

Well I actually already know the answer-- Lead by example. If I want the Bumper to love the Lord I have to act like I do. If I want the bumper go outside I have to put down the vacuum and head outside with her. If I want her to eat good food, I have to cook good meals.

So all this week that is what I am trying to do. When she says no at grace I patiently have explained that we thank God for our food and say grace myself with a cheerful voice. I clean for a couple of hours in the morning and weather permitting we head to our local zoo -- which is within walking distance-- in the afternoon. I cooked meals from scratch last night (it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be) and plan to do so the rest of the week.

I also have to let go of my perfectionism and let the Lord lead me, which may be the hardest part of all.


The Bumper getting creative with some Pay-Doh

The Bumper watering the grass