Tuesday, April 9, 2013
1. H and I need a break from each other. If we don't get that 6 hour break that school provides us, we fight. It isn't pleasant for any of us.
2. If she didn't have to get up and go to school, she would sleep in half the day and never get out of her pajamas. I know this because while my body forces me to get out of bed, I am often in my pajamas unless it is a day I am volunteering at the classroom.
3. Social skills. As an only child, H needs all the help with social skills she can get. And she likes people.
4. It is fun to volunteer in the classroom. You get to see what your kid is like at school, you get to know the other kids, and the kids are excited to see you. Plus this curries favor with the teacher.
5. I still suck at math and science. I can't teach those things to H.
6. I suck at teaching H anything that isn't related to Star Wars. And much like I don't like learning things from my husband, H doesn't like learning things from me.
7. Seeing how your kid compares to the rest of the class helps eliminate "special snowflake syndrome" when you find out while your kid is advanced in one subject, she is average in another.
8. It is still fun to buy school supplies, and even more fun to be the class hero when you supply whiteboard markers for the whole class.
9. If you suffer from a lack of follow thru, like most of us, homeschooling is not for you. I know someone who said her mom had an issue with the school system, so she pulled her kid out of high school yet never actually bought a curriculum or anything. I think eventually she got her GED. We attempt to do summer homeschooling in the summer, it lasts about a week and then we just give up.
10. The best way to learn how to deal with peer pressure is to experience it.
11. Class parties are really fun, and it doesn't matter what you do, the kids love it.
12. I think it would break H's heart to see all the kids going to school while she has to stay home with me.
13. If you put your kid in public school and then volunteer, you are helping to make the school, the community, and the world a better place.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
First of all, do not buy them a plant. About a month or two after the funeral, that stupid plant is going to die, and it's not helpful for the healing process to have a stupid death plant laying around. I didn't keep any of the live plants we got when my mom died, I gave them all to family who can actually keep a plant alive.
Do not say it was their loved ones time to go. Even if it was, that's not a comforting thing to hear. Let them come to that realization on their own. It's been over 3 years since my mom died, going on 4, and I'm only now accepting that it may have been my mothers time. There were a lot of signs that we just didn't see, because we didn't want to accept it. I still don't.
Say something like "I am so sorry for your loss." The best thing anyone said to me when my mom died was my neighbor, who was quite a bit older than me. She said "I remember how hard that was." Yes, she got it. She had been there. If you haven't lost a parent, a child, or a sibling, you do not know exactly how that person is feeling. Even if you have lost someone, you still don't know how that person is feeling. I was mad as hell when my mom died, and my friend (whose mother was actually the midwife who delivered H) lost her mom a few months later. Her outlook was completely the opposite of mine. So don't say "I know exactly how you feel." You don't.
Think about your relationship with the mourner before you go visit them. They don't need everyone in the neighborhood or church group over at their house. If you are not super close, just go to the viewing. Even better, wait a month and then go and visit them. Everyone comes over in the first week, when things are hectic with funeral planning, notification, and sometimes out and out shock because this came out of nowhere. But a month down the road, everyone else seems to have moved on, and those who have experienced a loss are still floundering, and alone.
Donate money to the family to help pay for the funeral. My mother's funeral cost us around $12,000, and I downgraded the casket because I knew she wouldn't like any of the ones in the price package we were being shown. If a family is struggling financially, anything can help. Did you know you have to pay the funeral home before your loved one gets transported to the cemetery?
Take food over, but take good food. If it's something the family can make themselves--even the grief stricken can open up a can of beef stew or order pizza delivery--maybe you'd better rethink it. Horrible food can make a bad situation even worse. And don't bring over spaghetti, or anything containing spaghetti. And a watermelon isn't dinner, so please bring something else.
If the family has lost a child, be extra sensitive. When my sister Heather was stillborn, people said some of the most insensitive things. My mother never fully recovered from that loss, and honestly, neither did I. I still can't think about my little sister, that I never knew, for long without breaking down in tears.
Don't tell someone it was God's will. It's hard enough not to rail at God for allowing someone to die, much less consider the idea that He did it on purpose. Someone told me God needed my mother more than we did. That person is lucky I didn't punch them in the face. How could He need my mom more than my dad, my siblings, her grandkids did? My youngest brother was on a mission when she died. Did God need my mother more than my little brother needed stability at home so he could stay focused on the work in the mission field?
Watch out for the health of those who are grieving. My dad is a diabetic, and he required some close monitoring to make sure he was eating right and taking his insulin. And if you know someone in the house is diabetic, don't bring desserts over.
The most helpful thing someone did for us when my mom died was dropping off a deli meat and cheese platter and a bag of rolls. It made it easy to grab something fast, and it was helpful to have protein around.
It occurs to me that I'm still fairly bitter about my mothers death. My earliest memories are of my grandmother who died when I was 3 years old. I know what it's like to grow up without both grandmas. I have seen my brothers grow up have no memories of their paternal grandmother. My daughter doesn't really remember my mother, she only knows her through stories. My nephews will never know their grammy.
Grief is blinding.
My aunt, whose husband drowned during a family river trip, on the 4th of July , told me that some years are easier, and some holidays are easier than others. Sometimes Easter is easy to get through, and Halloween makes you want to crawl under the covers and never come out. She was right.
Friday, November 18, 2011
On a different topic, if you are a parent potty training a little boy, you really should wipe the seat off after your little spawn of satan...er little guy piddles all over it. I mean, it's really irritating and disgusting to be the next person to use the can if there is pee on it. And maybe the little guy should sit down for his business if he's using the ladies room. Or lift the seat if he must stand.
Also, if you are a waitress, unless you are working at Hooters wearing jeans low enough to show off your thong isn't going to get you a bigger tip. Seriously, they sell belts for ladies.
Monday, October 31, 2011
This year H was sick, so she only went and trick-or-treated a few houses. And to be fair, she doesn’t really like candy, so the high point of our Halloween was playing Infamous Festival of Blood, which is awesome, albeit really short. Brent took her to about five houses, then she came in and had some Papa Murphy’s jack-o-lantern pizza (our Halloween tradition since the year dinner got burned up while I was trying to cook and hand out candy at the same time), and then I took her out and we hit another five houses. We walked past around 15 houses, as most of them had their lights off.
Brent had an old man moment when we realized that a lot of trick-or-treaters were skipping our house because the porch light was off, even though the pumpkins were lit. Back in the day if the pumpkins were lit it meant they were open for business. I did suggest to Brent that he go out and yell at the kids to get off his lawn.
I got annoyed with the fact that I had one more pumpkin to carve, so I carved a stupid face on it and stabbed it with my sheetrock saw, which has been an awesome tool for cutting into pumpkins. Usually I go all out on my jack-o-lanterns, but honestly this year I feel like I just called it in. I was going to do some really awesome pumpkins, but my wrist hurt so I didn’t really try. I did make an Edward Cullen pumpkin, and a snot shooting pumpkin, and H designed her very first pumpkin, and carved most of it herself.
Brent got into a car accident at the beginning of the month, so he didn’t feel good enough to decorate the front yard. I had foot surgery in September, and then had a bad reaction to a prescription, so I didn’t feel like decorating the house. I didn’t even dig out H’s trick or treat pumpkin, so she had to use a gift bag. We did manage to take her to the ward Halloween party, and she got to play some carnival games and trunk or treat. The party gave me a migraine, so I spent half of it in the foyer, and the other half in the Durango.
Back to my original rant, we had hardly any trick-or-treaters this year! I spent almost $30 on candy this year, candy bars even, and we have about 4 bags of it left. At least I only bought stuff that we like this year, so we shouldn’t run out of Hershey bars or Kit Kats any time soon.
I read the other day how many towns are legislating that Halloween be celebrated on last Saturday of October. As a parent, I can see the value in this. Of course, as a parent I can also see value in trunk-or-treats and trick-or-treating down main street. But as a parent, and neighbor, I like having the neighborhood kids dress up in costumes and stop by my house. I like giving H’s friends extra candy, and seeing how the kids grow. I also like keeping an informal tally of popular costumes—this year it seemed like there were a lot of Bumblebee’s from Transformers. Surprisingly, I didn’t see a lot of Rapunzels, and H was the only Darth Vader that we saw, although her friend Joey was dressed as Yoda.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Brent and I got married on September 9, 1994. I remember what we have done for most of our anniversaries, but I have no idea what we did for our 7th anniversary.
Like every American I remember where I was when the Twin Towers fell. I had hit the snooze alarm more times than I should have, and was going to be late for work. Brent's dad called the house to see if Brent was home, and was extremely relieved to find out that he wasn't traveling that day. Then he told us to go turn on the tv. All I remember of that week is watching CNN and being in a state of shock.
We've been married for 17 years, and it's the ten year anniversary of 9/11. It's hard to be excited about celebrating our anniversary when the entire nation is focused on a life changing event. Brent was home that day, but he travels most of the time. For years I have lived with the possibility of Brent not making it home from a trip, and I am relieved each time I get a text from him letting me know he arrived safely.
This has been one of the hardest blog posts to write, because I keep tearing up. Since going on my antidepressants after my mom died, I hardly cry. But I don't know anyone, even Cylons like myself, who doesn't get emotional when seeing footage, photographs, or reading articles about 9/11. On September 14th I ended up spending most of the day at my chiropractors office, as I had a terrible headache and was in a lot of pain. He told me he'd seen people who had been hit by trucks who were in better shape than I was. If I, who was out in Utah and not in any imminent danger, could internalize that much stress, how hard was it (and is it) for those who survived the attacks or who lost loved ones?
The world changed on 9/11, and it's never been the same since. There is so much more I'd like to say, but emotionally I can't handle it right now. So I'll just say God Bless America.