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Archive for the tag “family”

Updates & getting back to writing

Clearly time and life have moved at a faster pace then I could ever have imagined. I suppose that’s what happens when you have kids. I was looking back and my last post was from 2016! Well, I can tell you the last 5 years has moved at the speed of light. Here are the highlights:

  • We travelled to Belgium and Amsterdam
  • Both kids in elementary school
  • Disneyland for Christmas, thanks to Santa
  • Adopted a rabbit
  • Bunny speed dating (this is a thing)
  • Adopted a second rabbit
  • Changed hospitals, units and reduced my hours (still night shift)
  • COVID happened- furloughed for a month and worked on the covid floor after that
  • left position in november 2020 and am at my dream position as a kidney transplant coordinator.

Through it all there have been photos, hiking, rabbits, cooking, a new espresso obsession, crafts and Yarn. LOTS of Yarn!

I’m going to give this space another shot. Now that the kids are older and are able to occupy their own time better, I’ll try to carve out more time for writing.

Stay tuned

Remembering Roots

For some people Memorial Day isn’t the happiest day, but for me it’s a chance of remembering my history. Last year I put flowers on our family graves with my grandmother and this year I’ll be putting flowers on her grave. I miss her, my grandpa and my great-grandmother, but I always have little reminders of them. They all worked so hard to give their children (my mom) and thus myself a better life and yet they still found time to enjoy life and pursue their crafty side.

My great-grandmother was very crafty. She was excellent at gardening, crocheting, knitting and even embroidery. Some of my fondest memories are of her sitting on the sofa and crocheting afghan squares. I have her old knitting needles and crochet hooks and every time I use them I like to think I am channeling her abilities.

My grandpa was an orchardist which is a very difficult job. It requires patience, an ability to creatively come up with solutions to problems and an innate sense of the land. I wanted to be an orchardist for a long time and might have been except that things in my life changed with a baby and a move an hour away from my grandmother (my grandfather had already passed). He didn’t want me to be farm because it the life was too hard. Under it all, I knew that I probably didn’t have that innate ability that he had, but I really wanted to preserve the legacy of my family. I love the orchard and now that my grandmother is gone, will miss going up there regularly like I used to. It is a place that brings an ultimate sense of calm and happiness. It is a place that is surrounded by nature and yet I can still hear the laughter of all the people who would crowd the tiny (now dilapidated) house built by my family. There are so many memories, especially of my grandpa. He taught me how to fish and hunt for mushrooms and how to pick an apple. My son reminds me a lot of my grandpa, both in looks and personality. Every time my son smiles at me in that mischievous “I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m going to anyway” smile it reminds me of my grandfather who had that same mischievous streak. It makes me smile and wish that my grandpa could see him.

My grandmother, now she was an interesting character. She was very quick-witted, even at the end. We shared a love of jigsaw puzzles and could sit for hours together trying to figure out how the pieces fit together. She was a wiz at remembering names and I wish I had her talent. Even at the end she knew who everyone was and probably most everything about them too. I always felt closer to my grandpa than my grandma until he passed away and then I became very close to her. I wish that I had been closer to her. She was really good at sewing and I would have loved for her to teach me. She did, however, teach me the basics of crochet which helped my addiction to yarn.

I was always closer to my mom’s side of the family than my dad’s side and have much more fond memories of them. As a child my sister and I would spend a week at my grandparent’s orchard making mud pies, playing hide and seek and enjoying the wide open spaces. I miss being able to talk to my grandparents, but I know that they are always with me. They all carried a creative streak that they passed down to me just by being in my life. For that I am eternally grateful.

Imagination Required?

This is a two part post because each topic is separate, but yet they feed off the other.

Part I:

The activity center:

ImageI highly dislike these types of toys.  In a world of smart phones, high speed Internet, cable TV, this is just one more flashy thing, that keeps your child “occupied”.  I feel these are more for the parents than the child.  So what don’t I like about them?  For starters, It doesn’t teach your child as much as you do when you talk and interact with them.  Secondly, it doesn’t require imagination or creativity.  When did blocks and stuffed animals get replaced with a hunk of plastic adorned with flashing lights and music?  I’m not against all of these new age toys, I just believe in moderation with a good dose of parental involvement.  We have two ‘electronic type’ toys, one specifically designed to help with balance and walking.  But, his favorite toys are the most simple: blocks, balls, and pots and pans.

Here’s what we do many times a day.  I build a castle while narrating a story

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and he tears it down

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We’re working on him helping to build the castle, but either way, this is much more fun than sitting or standing around a bunch of flashing lights.

So what was the fuse that lit this match?  On to part II.

Babies R US: 

After being told that we had to visit Babies R Us and register when I was pregnant, I went and hated it.  Not only was it overwhelming, but I had done my research and earmarked a few brands that I wanted to look at in person only to find out that they didn’t carry them in the store.  Not only do they not have them in the store, but they are allowed to only carry certain brands (their online selection is much more varied).  I haven’t been back since, until yesterday, and was reminded why.  I feel that they push brands and products by making it seem that your child will not survive without this list of stuff.  I always seem to end up questioning my parental choices and thinking, “maybe he needs this?”  So far, my child has thrived with out half the stuff on their list.

Furthermore, I feel that they are not giving the consumer enough of the big picture to make choices about what they want for their child.  It’s seems like brainwashing.  Have we become so busy that we fail to research all our options?  Take diapers for example.  I wanted to use cloth diapers because I believe it’s more kind to the environment.  There is one tiny rack, hidden and almost impossible to find, dedicated to cloth diapers and covers when really there are so many options.  I understand that this practice is not mainstream, but what if these options were prominently displayed and the sales people were more educated on all the choices?  With all the information, would you choose differently?  Fortunately for me, where I live there are plenty of baby stores that cater towards this way of thinking.  They carry a variety of environmentally conscious brands as well as mainstream. Not only that, but I find that they tend to carry many more toys that require imagination.

Between the few choices of creatively inspiring toys and the lack of options, Babies R Us, I don’t for foresee us having much of an amicable relationship in the future.

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