Sunday, August 21, 2011

a play group that wasn't and an opportunity that was....

We decided to go to our local park after swim classes the other day. I had posted on a local FB homeschool page we would be going and we were hoping to run into some friends who regularly meet on that day for a play group.

When we got to the park there was no one there from either group but there was an opportunity. The park has an amazing natural playground that was recently made. I have written about it before here.

Soul is behind me but refused to be in this picture

On that day there were two people from our town's recreation department and from the town maintenance doing work spreading fresh wood chips the town was able to purchase recently from a grant they received.

picture taken by Bliss, the park is called Jubilee Park
We immediately went to work helping them shovel and wheel the chips around to spread them out. The area seems small but it deceptively large.

picture taken by Bliss

Bliss jumped right in helping me shovel and even wheeling the wheelbarrows around to dump the chips. Soul even got her shovel from our sandcastle bucket we keep in the back of our car so she could help too. 

picture taken by Bliss
 I told Bliss what a great opportunity this was for us to volunteer and we had a great discussion about that. He said how much more fun it was and how great it felt to be doing this instead of sliding or running around.

self portrait taken by Bliss

Bliss worked tirelessly for an hour and a half alongside myself and the other men, one of whom was using  a tractor which both thrilled and terrified Soul. She kept asking over and over "is it gonna get me?" and we kept saying "it won't get you" nonstop for about an hour.

taken by Soul

 I finished up clearing the chip pile, they still need to order more, but it took me about a half hour more and while I was shoveling and dumping and spreading and sweating I was also thinking. It IS so much more fun than those other things, and so much more important. We do not do volunteer nearly enough and it is something I want to raise my children to care about and do often. So many people we have met here in Canada do so much volunteer work. It is always so impressive and heart warming.

taken by Soul, I LOVE the toes
So I want to find more opportunities for us as a family to volunteer. What do you do to volunteer? What are your experiences with it? How do you feel about it? I really want to know your thoughts and suggestions.

Sunday, August 14, 2011



I want to talk about my personality a little bit. I am what most would call a "type A" personality. Along with that comes a lot of great things and some not so great things. When I became a mother I began noticing more and more of my personality as it played out in relation to my child(ren).

I had a childhood. WOW, can you believe it, pretty amazing huh? But it is hard to qualify that statement because it is so charged for me. There were some great parts of my childhood, and I treasure many times. But since becoming a mother I have found that I am way less forgiving of the other parts of my childhood than all my years of therapy had led me to believe.

I went through a lot of abuse as a child. A lot. My father damaged my being in so many ways. My mother did as well but the damage done by my father leaves the most bitter taste in my mouth. I went through that abuse until my mid 20's with my father and then just kept finding others to continue that abuse. When I couldn't find others to do it I made sure I abused myself.

At some point after coming out and finding myself and getting to know me more I left behind the need for all that abuse. That led me to know I was ready to become a mother which had always been my plan and dream.

After having Bliss I got the opportunity to re-parent myself in so many ways. So much healing has happened and so much more keeps happening when I stay open to it all.

Oprah says that "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed." I think about that quote a lot. I don't think I am stuck thinking things could be changed but I do think they could have done so so so much better and that sometimes makes me wonder if I really have forgiven, or even if I want to. I am continually finding my weaknesses of learned behaviors from my parents maddening.

Let me first say clearly and with great pride I HAVE NEVER EVER LAYED A HAND ON EITHER OF MY CHILDREN. They have never been hit, spanked, belted, thrown, kicked, slapped, or whipped. They never will be by me or anyone else as long as I am their mama. Those were my daily childhood norms and they ALL stopped with me.

But when I lose my shit I yell. And I loathe that aspect of my personality. I want to be better. I want better for them. I do not want them to someday yell at their own children.

In our house we do not use bad words. "Stupid" is never allowed. Neither is "dumb" or "moron" or "jerk". The only name calling that goes on is "dorko morko" and "doofus schmoofus" and calling one another "Perry the platypus". Actually we DO have a habit of cursing one another. You will often hear "Curse you Perry the platypus!" yelled at one another.

But seriously, one cannot stay angry when saying that.

Try it, I dare you.

It works.

But back to the topic at hand. I am trying to get a handle on my yelling. And I know it all comes down to me finding my center. To me working on being. In the moment, finding my breath, finding my calm and knowing no matter what is going on the children are the lights and loves of my life and any trivial thing not going my way is meaningless and if I can just find that truth amid my internal chaos I can come at any situation with peace and calm.

SOOOOOOO much easier said than done.

My Buddhist practice helps me a lot with all this but I still have such a long way to go. With both things. My practice and my finding my inner peace in those situations.

I do not need to know how to center in the lotus position before my altar with incense flowing and calm music playing. I need to know how to breathe when my head feels like it is about to explode.

So I ask you, all 9 or so readers I have at the moment. How do you find calm amid chaos? When your buttons are being slammed (and isn't that always it anyways, it truly is never what my kids are doing or not doing, it is my own buttons getting hit and my reacting to that) and steam is coming out of your nose and ears.

How do you find the calm?

*I changed the font after a few requests, let me know if this is better.*

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a new beginning...

I start my new blog and then never post on it. Go figure.

Actually things have been ruminating while life has been chugging along. We FINALLY have the car again as roomie is no longer training hours away every day. I can say without any hesitation that the beginning of summer completely sucked rotten eggs. Being stuck inside every day due to bugs that take chunks out of my darling daughters body is no fun. Trying to go outside with sprays, bug suits and the like and watching her get terrorized by dive-bombing deer and moose flies is less fun. Seeing trails of blood stream down her head, back, ears, neck, legs from all the horrid bites is unbearable and kept us inside.

We have also had a very very wet middle and latter part of summer as you can see by the pictures. That day it was not freezing rain and they had a blast. Many days this summer have been chilly with cold rain which is not so fun, but the library or other indoor adventures can still be had.

So now we have the car, Bliss is in swimming every day to his utter joy. Soul is happy so long as we are often at the zoo and the beach so we have been busy to say the least.

All this coupled with roomie working from home and I not being able to be online while she works (due to slowing her speeds for her work, company policy) and often falling asleep with the kids has led to the absence of blog posts.

But I have been thinking on it a lot of late. Forming in my mind where I want to go with this blog. Searching for the path I want to take.

This will always be pictures and comments about my children. I am a MAMA. I am beyond happy/lucky/honored/privileged to get to be a mama and I will always be defined by it by joyous choice. I will also always be striving to be a better mama, and in turn a better human being. You could easily turn that around to say I am always striving to be a better human being so that I can be a better mama but truly both are correct. And because of that desire I have come to the path in the road I want to explore in this new space.

So I will be writing more often, or trying to. And I will be exploring what being better means to me and asking all or any of you to join me, to share your own experience strength and hope with me and to hear me.

Someone recently told me all any of us ever want is for our feelings and needs to be heard and validated. That is something I get from blogging and something I hope to share and explore. I hope you will come along on the ride with me.