Friday, June 13, 2014

Five on Friday

I haven't done one of these posts in a while so here goes.

1. I just ordered a new Erin Condren life planner cover. They are now interchangeable so you can just switch covers whenever you want a new design!

I went with the island fleur design and changed the background from gray to white. I love how the bright colors pop on the white background.

Erin Condren has an awesome referral program. If you sign up with my referral link, then you get $10 off your first order within 30 days and I get a $10 credit. Pretty awesome!

2. I currently have 58 books checked out from the library and I'm on the waiting list for 16 books. Clearly, I am a book hoarder. Josh says this is not a normal number of books, but it just makes me happy.

I just finished Brain on Fire. Currently, I am reading Emily Giffin's latest novel The One and Only. Carson and I are reading Elmer and the Dragon at bedtime and naptime. Check out my good reads page for the others I've read so far this year.

I'm up to 49 books so far this year. At this point I'm really not sure what my goal is. It was 60, but now I'm thinking 100, which is pretty ambitious.

3. Today marks three weeks of being without my Nanny. I wish I could say that it was getting easier but it's not. I've been visiting her grave, which makes me cry but I need to cry. I miss her so much.
4. This week has been all over the place as far as naps go. I had two glorious days of two boys napping at the same time for a few hours and two days where no one napped. Today is unfortunately one of those days. So frazzled.
5. Carson has been taking swimming lessons at the Y all week. He really likes it so far and I'm glad to finally have found something he likes to do, unlike the gymnastics experiment last Fall.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Dare Day 2014


Spiderman face painting. Bouncy house and slide. Petting zoo. Snow cones. Funnel cakes.

Another great Dare Day! Check out last year's post here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

May Books

I still feel sort of numb since last week. I am still in shock that my grandma has been gone for over a week. It feels wrong to write about anything else, and although I'm sure that I am nowhere near done processing this enormous loss, I do want to write about my May books. I managed to read 12 this month, bring my total for the year up to 44. That is only 10 books away from the total number I read last year. I am a total book nerd and I love it. I did struggle with having the desire to read, or really do anything, after Nanny died. I think I read two in the last week, but I was just not into it.

I don't think I have enough motivation to write a review of each one, but I would totally recommend the ones I gave four stars: Devotion, From the Ground Up and The Middle Place. I would say they're all tied for my favorite of the month. The three star books were ok but nothing spectacular. And the two star books... just don't bother with those.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Helping the boys deal with death

It's almost been a week since my grandma died. A week. I am still in shock and so numbed by the whole thing. This is something I will never get over. More on that later, as I process it all. For now though, I'll tell you about how the boys are taking it.

We have spent a lot of time at my grandparents' house over the last four years, since Carson was born. Not as much as we could have, but certainly more than most would. I guess I should be comforted by that. The boys have developed close, loving relationships with both Nanny and Paw Paw. They have openly preferred Paw Paw to Nanny, which was a huge change since every grandchild born in our family always wanted Nanny over Paw Paw every time. They have still loved Nanny, though, and she delighted in them. They brought so many smiles to her face during otherwise boring and monotonous days. She laughed with them, sang with them, begged them for hugs and kisses that they were so reluctant to give out. She even crushed ice for Carson with a Ziploc bag and small hammer sometime in the last few months. She honestly lived for others, even as her disease progressed.

Carson obviously better understands what has happened, but there are still parts of it that are fuzzy for him. He asked me last night, "When will we see Nanny again?" And I started to explain by saying, "When we die and go to heaven..." But he got a sad, about to cry face and I realized I had scared him. He thought I meant we would die soon. Wow. I really blew it. I am trying to give him factual information without giving him too much information for him to process. He hasn't experienced this before,  just as I've never experienced  a loss so much a part of my heart. I asked what he could do to cheer up Paw Paw. He said he would draw him a picture of Nanny. Oh my, my heart. He gets it. He knows why we're sad.

Archer, on the other hand, not so much. He's two so I don't expect much, but he just says things out of nowhere that break my heart. All day Saturday he kept saying, "Your grandma died. My grandma didn't die." I just can't.

I am trying to model healthy grief for them, too. Wow. What a huge responsibility. I know that how I deal with this is something they may not remember well but they will internalize. What do we do and how we act when people die? I cry. A lot. This missing piece of me makes me so sad. I want them to know that it's ok to cry when they are sad. I also want to try to keep Nanny's memory alive for them. Last night Carson and I talked about how much Nanny loved him and what she liked to do with them and how happy they made her. I hope they never forget. I know that two years and four years is a pretty insignificant amount of time in the course of their lives, and it's really nothing compared to my almost thirty years of memories. I just don't want them to forget her.

Friday, May 23, 2014

This picture was taken five years ago to this day. I knew our time together was coming to an end, but I had no idea that I had just five short years left. I am so glad that I moved back home after college and that I had Carson and Archer pretty much right after Josh and I got married. I got more time with my grandma. She got to know my boys and they have brought her so much joy and happiness in the last four years. I don't have any regrets. I'm just shocked.

It's been a long time coming. Really. But that doesn't make it any easier for me. I am already so sick of crying. Crying over the future. Crying over the past. And I know there is so much more crying to come for me. For years I have been in denial that this day would come, that a world, my world, could possibly exist without her in it. And some days, even now, I still exist in that world. How can someone who has meant so much to me, been so much to be just be gone? Just like that. There's still time left, but not much, not nearly enough. My heart is breaking already. The only grandmother I've ever really known. The first loss in my adult life. I'm not ready. But I'll never be ready. It hurts so much.

Without all these memories I have, I'm sure it would be much less painful. The less you care about something, the less it hurts to lose it. But this hurts. This really hurts. This hurts so much I can't stand it. I don't know what I'm going to do when the day comes when I can't call her, can't see her. Things have changed so much in the last ten years, but at least she's still there. For now. The process of losing someone is so difficult. It's inevitable. She will definitely die. But that doesn't make it any easier. It still sucks. A part of me will always be missing. I am not ready. I will never be ready.
Let's just for fun pretend like my kids are in school and I'm still at home. What would I even do all day, you might ask? Well..... I would....

take a shower, do the dishes, wash the laundry, actually relax for the first time in four years plus, vacuum, cook, fold the laundry, read in peace, take naps because I deserve to catch up on my sleep, garden, craft, make the beds, write, organize the junk drawer, do yoga every day, clean out my car, organize my closet, run errands without my little helpers, sleep some more, put on make up, get my hair done alone, clean behind the appliances, drink my coffee in peace, go to the library without fear of being kicked out....

The list could go on. But the point is, I have been 24/7 at this "job" for the last four years and counting. If the time comes and I do decide to send the kids to school, I'll have plenty of ways to fill my time and I will not one bit regret any of them. Life isn't a contest about who has it the hardest. (If it was, though, the answer right now would be me. This stage in life is super hard!) I will enjoy every moment of "free time" that I have earned. And I will not feel guilty.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My thoughts on preschool: Part Two

I wrote here at the beginning of the school year about preschool, and now as school winds down, I pretty much feel the same way. I've been wavering back and forth about sending Carson to preschool again next year. Let me start by saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with his preschool. He has friends there. He has fun playing. He is generally happy to go. It just wasn't some cure all, like I was expecting. So instead of trudging through another year mindlessly, I really wanted to think about what would work best for my boys, our family and, yes, even me. And that's when I realized that I was not going to find anyone else to watch my child 36 hours every month for $90. A basically $3 an hour babysitter? Pretty much unheard of. And that is one of the biggest perks of preschool for me. Mama needs a break!

I don't expect Carson to become the next Preschool Einstein. I just want him to have fun. Any learning he does while at Preschool is just icing on the cake, because my philosophy is that play is the work of childhood. He, and all children, should play, play, play until their hearts are content every day. I am so not into super serious formal education at this early age. They need play.

That's why I'm going to send Carson to preschool again next year. Cheap babysitting and play. I don't expect him to learn x number of tasks there in y number of days. That's not what is important. Childhood is not a race to the finish. It's meant to be savored. Even now as Carson has a hard time sometimes concentrating on worksheets, etc. at preschool, I don't worry about it. He is much more interested in playing with his friends there. So we do some of the "work" together and if he's not up for writing a line full of the number one, I just don't worry about it. He is four. And play is his work.

*On a side note that is semi-related.  This article really inspired me and totally sums up how I feel. "No, our children don’t need more school. They need more play." If you're interested, the author of the article also wrote a book about the subject. I read it last year and loved it. I actually got it from the library, but it's a book I'd like to reread so I may buy it eventually.