Posts Tagged With: family

Life isn’t fair…

It has been so long since I have posted on this site. Where does the time go?

My personal and professional life has been a mess for the past (almost) 4 years.

On the positive end: We had another daughter who we call Tiny Destroyer! I made it through two summers of craziness to complete my Masters in Economics! My husband and I celebrated our 14th year anniversary!

There are more positives, but they just get swallowed by the negatives that have overshadowed my life.

In the spring of 2012, my father was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrigs Disease. It crushed my family. He was an amazing man, who did everything for everyone and was never sick. ALS robbed him of everything that made him who he was. He was one of the people who also had cognitive issues as well, so by the end, he could not communicate, even with electronic device help. Before he died, my husband agreed to move into my parents house so that I could help take care of my father and support my mother through this. Trying to go to their house everyday to put him to bed, get his feeding tube bag set up, give him all his medication, and run our own household while working, having an infant and older daughter starting kindergarten was too much for me. Soon after we moved in through, my father took a turn for the worse and he died on September 29th, 2013. He was able to meet and hold Tiny Destroyer, but she will never know him. She will never be able so hear his laugh, or hear his storied about all the amazing things that he did in his lifetime. My older daughter will have fuzzy memories of him, but not the man that he was.

My mother did not handle the loss well. They had been high school sweethearts, married for almost 40 years, and she lived her life for him. She sunk deeper into alcoholism, which had been happening for some time before his diagnosis, and a year later she died from complications from the alcohol abuse. She was so stubborn that she waited until October 29th to breathe her last breath so it could be a year and a month to the day since my father died.

2015-04-04-08-14-48

My girls walking on the beach.

By Spring 2015, my parents were cremated, and they had wanted their ashes spread together in Florida. They were born and raised there, so we took them to Longboat Key that they loved to visit so they could spend eternity together walking on the beach together. After that, my husband and I took our girls to Disney World and had an epic adventure there for a week. Buffering the grief with a wonderful vacation was just what we needed.

 

So now, here we are in Fall of 2016 and my daughters are looking at loss again. My husband’s father is sick. The doctors don’t know what is causing the main problem so they can’t help him. He is in the hospital and we are just playing the waiting game.

We have no religious beliefs ourselves so I do not have the comfort of thinking they are going to “God”. I have the confusion wanting to know why this is happening again. I have the anger that this isn’t fair! My daughters, especially my now 8 year old, should not have to live through this amount of grief at such a young age. They should not have to grow up not having 3 of their 4 grandparents. I should not have had to lose my parents when they were 59 and 61 years old. My husband, sister in law and mother in law should not have to lose their dad and husband at 60 years old.

People tell me that life gives you what you can handle. Well guess what, I’m tired of life thinking that I can handle all this! I can’t. And yet, I push through, usually to the detriment of myself and my needs. Now I need to support my husband as he supported me. I need to make sure my girls, especially M, feels safe and loved as she goes through possibly losing her third grandparent by age 8.

It’s not fair….but I guess life’s not supposed to be fair.

 

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Categories: Adventures in Parenting, Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Free Saturday Activity at Home Depot

If you’re looking for something to do this Saturday morning, Home Depot has a once a month Kids Workshop where the kids can use tools, glue, and paint to create different crafts.  This Saturday from 9AM-12PM, the craft at Home Depot is a wooden frame for the winter season.

I highly recommend getting there early so that you definitely get to make the craft that is scheduled for that month.  By the time we finished the craft at the last one that we attended, the kids that were showing up had to make an older craft because they ran out of the scheduled one.

It’s also super cute because the kids get their own Home Depot Apron (kids’ sized), a pin for the craft they made and a certificate of completion.  Home Depot does a really good job with this.

 

 

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Camping!

Tomorrow my husband and I will be taking LittleM camping for the weekend.  This will be her second trip but what makes it even more exciting is that friends of ours with their two little girls (who are also friends of LittleM’s) will be going with us!

Tonight will be the big pack where we get everything together, pack as much as we can in the car, and get everything else ready to grab and go when my husband gets off of work on Friday. 

LittleM is deep in her princess phase where she refuses to wear anything that is not a dress so I have been prepping her for 2 weeks that this weekend she will have to wear pants.  I want her to be warm enough and protected as we hike, camp, and explore the local caves near where we’re camping.

We’re going to be camping near the Crystal Caves in Pennsylvania so I can’t wait to check them out.  I have never been in a cave before and there is only one in Delaware that you can’t visit anymore because it’s on private property.

Is there anything that you think is imperative to bring on a camping trip?  Anything that you can’t live without?  I would love to hear what you think we should bring in the comments!

Have an adventurous weekend!

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Please Touch Museum Half Price Tickets

I just found a great deal on Living Social thanks to my neighbor.

For 4 more days you can purchase half price tickets ($9 instead of $18) to the Please Touch Museum in Philly and it includes a Carousel ride.

Here the link  http://www.livingsocial.com/cities/1747-philadelphia-citywide/deals/451662-one-admission-ticket-and-one-carousel-ticket

You do have to have an account with Living Social to purchase the deal, but it’s a free account.

You will have to use these vouchers by December of this year, so please keep that in mind if you are interested in buying the vouchers.

Have fun!

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Happy Birthday Hubby!

August 9 is my husband’s birthday.  He is choosing to ignore how old he is becoming and just focus on the celebration of it!

This July we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary! (How did that happen already?!?) Even though it has been 10 years, he still continues to surprise and remind me on how wonderful a person I married.

For his birthday this year, my husband hosted a fundraiser.  No, it wasn’t for him to buy all the presents that he wanted!  My father was just diagnosed with a pretty debilitating and progressive disease.  Not only has my husband been amazing in supporting my emotional needs, he has also been so willing to help at my parents house in whatever they need. For his birthday this year, he chose to surprise us all and host a Birthday Happy Hour Fundraiser to support the group that is in charge of my Dad’s care!

He was amazing using all of his connections to get everything donated so 100% of the profits could be donated to the group.  He was able to get a space and food, silent auction items, and a singer for entertainment. Through all of his efforts and the support of friends and family we were able to raise a little over $2000!  We are so appreciative of all the support that have gotten and continue to get from friends and family.

So Happy Birthday Hubby!  You are an amazing man, amazing dad, and amazing husband!  I love you.

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Scissors Are Not TOYS!

We had the dreaded finding yesterday.  The one where you find your child with scissors and hair.  Thankfully LittleM didn’t seem to get too much of her hair off but it still was a shock to find her doing that.

The blame is not all LittleM’s.  It was my fault that the scissors were accessible to her.  They were little folding scissors that I had in the library bag (which I use to cut coupons when we go because our library has a basket that they put the coupons in) and forgot because I normally have them in my wallet.  This is what they look like.

Here’s how it all went down.  I had sent LittleM upstairs to find a small tape measure she had taken from me and things seemed a little quiet up there.  My husband and I had both called her and asked what she was doing, both times she had a valid excuse for still being upstairs even though she “couldn’t” find the tape measure.  We both went upstairs to finish getting ready to leave and I could hear my husband in LittleM’s room and he did not sound happy.  I walked into LittleM’s room and saw my husband with the scissors and a chunk of hair.  Then we saw even more hair under her bed, which it looked like she tried to hide.  Not only had she cut her hair, but she had cut a tag and “hair” off her Perry the Platypus doll.  Once she realized she had been caught, the meltdown ensued.

I have never seen my daughter get so upset.  She was so upset that we were upset at her, I thought she was going to start hyperventilating. Not once had we yelled at her.  But, once we got her calmed down we explained how it is not ok to play with scissors and if she wants to cut something to tell Mommy and Daddy so we can get paper for her to cut.  She also had lied to us when we asked her about cutting her hair until we found it on the floor.  So we had the discussion about how it makes Mommy and Daddy more upset if she lies to us than if she just tells us the truth about what happened.

Here is what I have realized from this fun experience:

1. When my kid is quiet, she is definitely getting in trouble.

2. Don’t underestimate what your kid can do when they really want to.  I had no idea that LittleM was able to open those folding scissors, I can’t even easily open them up every time.

3. My daughter is really sensitive.  Anytime that we try to correct her, she has what I call her “defense mechanism”. She immediately starts sniffling, tells us that she loves us, and wants hugs.  Not that it’s a bad thing to want hugs, but getting to the point of almost hyperventilating yesterday is not the way I want her to go.  And I swear we didn’t yell at her at all!

As many people have told me since yesterday afternoon, cutting your own hair with scissors is almost a rite of passage.  But it has been a good reminder to me that LittleM still is little, and I need to be more aware of what I have lying around that she can get into.  No matter how mature I think she is, even though we are beyond the “baby-proofing stage”, she’ still only 4 years old.

The adventures continue to make our life interesting!

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Open the Disney Store

Our local Disney Store has an awesome opening ceremony every morning that they allow kids to get involved with. LittleM was able to be the helper the other day and I would highly recommend anyone with a Disney/Princess obsessed child to head over there.

So here’s the rundown. We got to the mall about 20 minutes before it opened on a Tuesday (knowing it wouldn’t be as crowded and therefore not as much competition as the weekend). Thankfully we were the first ones there and there was a Store employee outside that we could say we were there to help open. The worker started calling LittleM Princess which she totally ate up. She was so excited that she would get nervous everytime someone walked near the store crying, “But I want to open the store!”. I was able to keep her calm until 10 when the store was set to open and the fun began.

Music started to play with an announcer’s voice talking about Disney. An employee walked from the back to the front of the store with an enormous key above her head. One end of the key was Cinderella’s castle while the other end was the Disney D. LittleM got to help the employee put the key in a giant keyhole and turn the key, which then dropped the ropes blocking the front of the store. LittleM was allowed to be the first in the store and got a miniaturized version of the enormous key to bring home for helping.

They do this everyday. Every single day. At least at the Christiana Mall. I would call your local Disney Store to see if they do it. It was so worth going early to see her face and let her have that experience. If you have a little princess or prince, it’s a fun, free experience for them to take part in.

Disney is a marketing machine. I’m just saying. They don’t know how to do anything small.

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Kreativ Blogger Award

So apparently people are actually reading my Blog! Who knew?!  Well, I had hoped but it is nice to know.

Anyway, a fellow blogger has passed the Kreativ Blogger Award to me!  Thanks Drama Queen Seams!  I would highly recommend checking out her blog, I am especially excited to try out her rolled flower headbands. Check her out at http://dramaqueenseams.com

Part of this award is to pass the love along to other bloggers and share some information about myself so here we go.

To accept the award I need to do 4 things:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated me.
  2. Answer the 7 questions.
  3. Share 7 random facts/thoughts about myself.
  4. Nominate 7 worthy blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

I’ve already completed #1.

#2- 7 Questions

  1. What’s your favorite song? I really like Jill Scott’s Golden.  I always feel very empowered after hearing that song.
  2. What’s your favorite dessert? Chocolate.  Doesn’t matter what it is.  Enough said.
  3. What do you do when your upset? I do two different things.  First, I become a couch potato and wallow for a bit.  Second, I shake the couch potato off and get into super gear and immerse myself in dealing with the problem.
  4. Favorite pet? Definitely a dog
  5. Do you prefer black or white? Black.
  6. Biggest fear? Not being able to take care of my family.
  7. What is your attitude mostly like? I am usually an upbeat person who is a problem solver.
#3- 7 random things about me
  1. I stink at cleaning, therefore I hate to clean.
  2. I’ve decided to change my lifestyle and have lost 30 pounds in 6 months.
  3. I really enjoy being a teacher.
  4. This July I’ve been married 10 years.
  5. I LOVE Disney and Mickey Mouse (so much so I have a tattoo on my back of Mickey).
  6. I really like when friends and coworkers ask me for help or advice.  It makes me feel good that they value my opinion and ideas.
  7. I have a lot of random movie knowledge in my head.  No one will play Scene It with me anymore.

#4Nominate 7 Bloggers for the Kreativ Blogger Award

Here are 7 Blogs that I really enjoy reading and think are very Kreativ!

1. MissJennyBird  She makes me laugh every time I go to her site!

2. Simply Adapting Great Ideas and info as she transitions to a new home far from where she grew up

3. No Time For Flash Cards So MANY ideas on crafts and learning to do with kids

4. The Imagination Tree Another great website for crafts and learning ideas for kids

5. Bucket List Publications The adventures on this blog get my ideas moving!

6. Small Potatoes Great ideas for you and “smalls” to do

7. Brown Paper Packages Super Kreativ and lots of printables and easy tutorials to follow

Well, I hope this was somewhat interesting to you. Thanks for everyone’s support and positive feedback. I hope that this is as interesting for you to read as it is for me to write.

On to many more adventures!

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Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum and Gardens

Last week we had a fantastic time at Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum and Gardens off of Rt 52 in Delaware.

They have lots of hands on activities for the kids.  It runs from 10am to 3pm so there is plenty of time to make it there for the activities and have fun in the Enchanted Woods.

The focus of last week was Art and Color.  LittleM was able to make a pastel crayon, paint with food coloring to learn about the color spectrum, make her own ink and write with a feather pen, and look at minerals through a magnifying glass. It was great.

This week the focus is Teddy Bear Triage.  The description from their website:

-Bring in a toy in need of repair and learn how to document, clean, treat, and store that precious object to best preserve it for the future.

Activities include:

  • Taking pictures of (aka documenting) objects
  • Filling out a condition report. Use magnifying visors like real conservators!
  • Practicing basic cleaning techniques that can be done at home
  • Creating a storage container for objects using old shoe boxes
  • Experimenting with filling in losses on painting or ceramic tiles and mending tears in fabric

When you’re done with that (because it only took us about 20 minutes to complete the activities), don’t forget to check out the Enchanted Woods.  It’s where the fairies live and play at Winterthur.  While we haven’t been lucky enough to see them ourselves, we have had a great time playing in their houses!

A visit to Winterthur can be a little costly if you don’t have a membership. My husband and I agreed to try out a membership this year to see how we liked it because visiting 2 times would pay for itself with just the 3 of us.  Not only do you have to cover the cost of the entrance fee but these Terrific Tuesday’s also add an extra $5 to the cost if you aren’t a member.  General admission to the Museum is $18 for adults, $5 for children 2-11 years old.

Winterthur also has the largest collection of American antiques and a house tour will take at least an hour to learn about the branch of the duPont family that built it. I would recommend skipping that if you don’t think your little one can handle that much time being quite and not touching anything.

What is fantastic at Winterthur is that they allow you to bring in your own food and have a picnic anywhere on the property. That will save you some money and allow some pretty great views for picnicking!

I hope you get a chance to stop by and enjoy the activities. It satisfies the history nerd in me to visit. Happy Adventuring!

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Don’t Let The Knowledge Ooze Out!

I know as a teacher and as a mother to a now 4 year old that it is really hard for parents to keep the knowledge and skills that kids learned over the year in their brains once summer hits.  All I want to do with LittleM is enjoy our time together and catch up from all the time that we miss during the school year when I’m working.  Granted, I take her to endless museums and try to make crafts and activities that are educational, but now that she is starting to write I realize that I have been woefully remiss in keeping those skills going this summer so far.  I don’t think she’s going to be happy through the years that she has a teacher for a mom!

One of the mantras of teachers is to steal the best from the best, meaning activities and ideas to best teach students.  While we are constantly working to get our students engaged, we can’t make everything ourselves all the time, ie the old cliche of not reinventing the wheel.  Once I recognized that LittleM was not working on those writing skills (because we hadn’t done that yet, this is new for us!), I started searching the internet for great things to use.

HELLO School Sparks!  If you have not found their website yet and you have a 2 year old to 1st grader, PLEASE go there now!  They have HUNDREDS of free worksheets to use with your child for writing and math skills.  The major categories are: Alphabet Parade, Math/Number Awareness, Reading Skills, Auditory Processing, Visual Discrimination, Fine Motor, Holiday Themes, and Kindergarten Themes.  It is amazing.  The only issue that I have is that you have to print each page individually, but that also means you can just print a few at a time when you need them.  I went a little overboard and created 2 binders with everything that I wanted, A-Z tabbed for the Alphabet Parade, with reading skills behind and then a separate Math/Motor Skills Binder.  Yeah, I’m like that.

They also have 461 of their worksheets printed and bound in a book that you can purchase through Amazon (another of my loves!).  Click here to go directly to Amazon to purchase the book for $28.

So, I now have gotten everything together for myself to get LittleM back on track so she doesn’t lose all the knowledge and skills that she learned over the school year.  I hope you find some good things to work on with your kiddos!  School Sparks really rocks.

 

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