Sunday, February 26, 2012

Moments that Give me Perspective

The other day I observed a moment...someone else's moment.  Actually it was a separate moment for two other people.  In that moment I realized how our own perspective clouds the reality that exists, a reality that is sometimes not desirable.  So here is my observation of that moment:

I headed to the chiropractor after work.  I feel like I am sometimes crazy because I go to a chiropractor that is farther away from home than most would like, but I really like my doctor, so I go there, despite the distance.  Also, I sometimes don't mind the drive.  I was in the car with my darling kiddo, and stopped at a stoplight, waiting, and waiting.  I looked to my left and I saw a homeless man on the side of the street holding a cardboard sign that said, "God is love".  I did what I have done many times before, looked away quickly with a slight smile.  Why do I look away?  Am I afraid the person will think I am giving them money?  Am I afraid to lock eyes?  Am I afraid of the reality that some people must live in?  I am not sure. What I am sure of is that somehow, the reason is related to fear.  Sadly.  So as I look away I see the man, who is kind of adorable, with a beard, and kind of sweet eyes.  He was older, and looked a bit hardened by the outdoors.  He had these rosy cheeks that got round when he smiled.  I saw him look to the car next to me, and I looked to my right briefly to see her window open.  I thought she was giving him some money.  No.  She was holding a cigarette and he was asking her for one.  He started to walk toward her car and I saw her quickly mouth, "Sorry, it's my last one."  The light turned green and she drove off very quickly.

In that moment I thought about my own fear.  I wondered what I was really afraid of.  I remember being a child and being afraid of becoming homeless.  I remember thinking that I had to work hard and go to college so that I did not end up that way.  I know that might be a strange thing for a kid to fear, but I was always thinking about things like that.  In this moment on this February day I was thinking about that man. He must have a family somewhere.  How did he end up on the streets of Minneapolis holding a cardboard sign?

I know for sure that woman was afraid too.  I would bet she had more cigarettes but did not want to give him one, for fear of engaging with a  homeless man.  I bet she sped off to hopefully quickly forget about that uncomfortable moment.

I have seen people look away often from the people on the streets, and I have done it myself.  I have a feeling that "we" feel better if "we" live in denial and think that these things do not exist.  I am well aware that they do.  In my job as a teacher I have worked with many children and families who struggle and who have been in the category of "low income".  Not many people get those opportunities and for the ones I have had I am thankful.  I learn something new from each person I work with regardless of their income.

I do however, think most people prefer denial.  No one wants to think about kids who do not eat meals regularly, do not have a bed to sleep in, do not have shoes, or maybe don't have a roof over their heads.

We don't want to think about it for many reasons, but I think the main reason is that it will make us feel bad for how we live.  Maybe it will make us feel bad that we are on our way back from a shopping spree, or a haircut, or from a doctor appointment.  Maybe somewhere in our minds we know that person does not have the same luxuries in his or her life.  Is that something to feel bad about?  I am not sure.  I just know that it is something we should be aware of.  Maybe next time I am on my way back to my lovely home, and my fridge full of food, I can give that person on the street a smile.  Because, despite all the differences between him and me, he is a person.

That is what I took from that experience.  I need to remember that all people are people.  People who's experiences have led them to where they are, are no less than anyone else.  Life is about growing, and I hope these experience continue to help me grow and be thankful for all the wonderful gifts and opportunities I have been given.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Day in the Life

I have been inspired to do this again from Navigating the Mothership , it was fun last I thought I would do it again!

6:45 am--I woke up, checked e-mail and the news and waited for my hubby and the kiddo to wake.
7:00 am--Kiddo wakes up quietly this morning, usually he calls out for me, but his daddy caught him before he started to get upset.  His daddy sits with him and reads him his "teacher book" (better known as 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?').  I love how he names his books, and that he has definite favorites.  I wonder which he will remember as his favorite when he is older.  While they are reading I start breakfast.  The kiddo comes out and watches a few minutes of PBS while I finish.

 I LOVE breakfast, and love to make it when I am not working.  This mornings menu:  waffles and fruit smoothies.

7:15 am:  We sit down to eat.  YUM!

7:40 am:  Kiddo is done eating, would not try the smoothie, in fact told me "no" while looking horrified that I would try to get him to taste something so awful.

7:45 am:  I clean up breakfast, as daddy and kiddo head downstairs to play a bit.

8:00 am:  I am done cleaning up and head down to play for a bit and hang out with the kiddo so daddy can get ready for work.

8:15 am:  I head upstairs to shave (legs for swim classes).  While I am doing this daddy gets kiddo dressed and ready.

8:30 am:  I am done, kiddo is dressed, bag is packed, and we can head out.

8:40 am:  We actually leave the house, why does this always take so long?

8:57 am:  We arrive at swim class, run in (since it starts in 3 minutes).  Daddy takes kiddo's shoes and socks off before we get to the locker area, and I strip down quickly and run in with the kiddo.  We made it just in the nick of time!

9:30 am:  Class is done, and kiddo did great!  He has been doing better and better each week and I could not be happier!

9:40 am:  I am dressed, kiddo is dressed, and daddy and I cannot find his socks.  Seriously?  Oh well, we head home without them.  On the way home the kiddo keeps mentioning his missing socks along with a lot of other talking...he sure loves to talk!

10:00 am:  We are home!  Daddy hangs out with the kiddo so I can shower, and I try to multi task by also washing the tub and shower while I am showering.  When I am done I start the bath for the kiddo so we can wash off the chlorine.

10:15 am:  Bath time!  Oh how he loves this!  Daddy leaves to go to work.

10:30 am:  Bath is done, and I get him dressed again (these mornings are a bit crazy).

10:40 am:  I give the kiddo some milk, his blankie, and let him watch a few minutes of Curious George while I get lunch ready.

11:00 am:  Lunch is ready.  The menu:  my leftover pad thai, V8, and cottage cheese for me, and a PBJ for the kiddo with apples and milk.

11:20 am:  After the dog has had a few apple pieces, I assume lunch must be done.  We clean up and head downstairs to play again.  The kiddo asks for his "table" and we take that out and play with toys on it.  He has a minor obsession with Sesame Street, so his "guys" are always part of our play these days.  It is so fun to see how creative he can be and how his play is expanding so much more these days.

throwing his blankie down the stairs...much easier than carrying it

just cause she is cute

12:30 pm:  Time for a nap.  I lay him down after a story and then try to decide what I will do during nap.  Since he napped for 45 minutes yesterday I am not sure how long he will nap today.  I begin to contemplate what to do, and decide laundry.  I put on some T.V. while I start the laundry.  I have a bunch of shows recorded so I start with Private Practice, move into Jersey Shore, and end with Criminal Intent.  Now I realize that he has napped for over two hours and I should have started clearing out the closets.  Oh well.  I am on a week long break from work so I decide I can work on that another day...such a good procrastinator!

12:43 pm:  Talked to my Mom on the phone and wished her a Happy Birthday.

2:45 pm:  I start to type out this day because it always takes longer than I think it will...and realize that so far it has been kind of boring.  Oh well.  Also, I have noticed that I have a twitch in my left triceps muscle...and that is uber annoying.

3:12 pm:  Seriously?!  Still sleeping.  I am sure if I had started one of my 1000 ambitious projects that really need to get done he would have slept for 30 minutes.  But, no, I decide to sit on my but, blog, do laundry, snack on cookies, and he sleeps for 3 hours.  3 HOURS I could have done so much in!  Argh.  So they say, hindsight is 20/20.  I guess I will just enjoy the relaxing I have been able to do, because that does not happen often.

3:22 pm:  He wakes up!  We have snack right away (some crackers, milk, and an apricot fruit leather).

always waiting for scraps

3:40 pm:  We head to the store to get some things I forgot yesterday during the regular grocery shopping trip (oatmeal, honey, peas, lunchmeat, and pickles).  I picked up a special treat for the hubby and myself (red velvet cake) for later tonight.

4:20 pm:  We are home and Skype with my mom for her Birthday before I start dinner.  It is so fun to Skype now since the kiddo is able to recognize people and greets her now.  It is great to hear him say "hi Maama".  Plus he loves to see their puppy on the screen.

4:30 pm:  I put on Sesame Street so that I can start dinner...terrible I know but without it I have a toddler pushing me around and asking to be picked up in our shoe box sized kitchen...not a safe choice, so Sesame Street seems like the safer alternative.

5:00 pm:  Dinner is ready (chicken casserole with broccoli, rice, cheese).  The kiddo and I eat, er I eat and he complains and tries to talk me into giving him bread, banana, basically anything but what is for dinner.  I however, am not one to make a different meal...what's for dinner is what's for dinner.  Luckily, he does not complain long and starts to eat.  He is generally a great eater, and it takes little encouragement for him to try new things, and if he doesn't...well, we will eat another meal tomorrow.

5:30 pm:  Dinner is done.  I let him start to play in his room and I start the cleanup.  After a few minutes he pokes his head out of his room and tells me he found "towels" aka his washcloths that are in his dresser.  I think for a moment that I should go check on him and moments later I know why...crying...uh oh.  He got his fingers caught in the drawer.  Stupid dresser.  Poor baby.  After some cuddling and reading the "teacher book" again he is all better.  I decide to stop doing the dishes and just sit and cuddle and read books.  After he gets down because he is done reading I go back to finish the dishes.

6:00 pm:  We head downstairs to hang out.  I get a glass of water for myself, to which my adorable son says, "Mommy's water".  Then, "water please".  He sits down and says and signs more and please.  Who can resist such a polite and kind little guy.  So after a few sips of my water we actually make it down the stairs.  I am hoping my hubby will make it home before bedtime (1 hour left).

6:30 pm:  Skype with my dad.  I love technology for the fact that I am able to keep in touch with my family in Alaska so much easier.  My dad works on the oil fields, so when he is working he is away from home for two weeks.  Because of this I cannot always Skype with Grandma and Grandpa at the same time.  During the phone call the kiddo decides he wants to use stickers.  He brings them to me and I take some off.  First we put them on his shirt, then we put them on my pants, and then he put them in his hair.  Too funny.  His new favorite thing to do is label things be who they belong to.  It goes like this, "mommy's pants", "Caleb's pants", "mommy's hair", "Caleb's hair".  I love it.

7:00 pm:  I check my phone and realize that his daddy is almost home.  I decide to prolong things a bit and wait to lay him down til he is home.

7:05 pm:  Bedtime.  We read stories, and the kiddo lays down.  I grab my half of my dessert (red velvet cake) and hubby makes me tea, and we head downstairs to watch a movie (50/50) and eat dessert.  Hubby feeds the pets (2 cats/1 dog) and everyone is mostly happy...minus the dog that is now whining because he wants to go outside.  He has great timing.

I am going to end here, because if this is like any other night in my life, I will fall asleep on the couch.  So really all the fun ends here anyway.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February Scnebuary

Wow.  Here it is, February.  There is no snow on the ground.  The weather is warmer than usual, and we have not used our new sled once this winter.  Today I am sitting here (when I should be cleaning) during nap time trying to mentally prioritize all the home projects I want to get done.  So maybe I should get this thing in writing.

1)  Organize and clean out the closets and rooms.
2)  Get a quote on a closet system for master bedroom and hall closet.
3)  New roof
4)  Slip covers for couches upstairs
5) Television for upstairs (never thought this day would come)
6)  New bedroom furniture and bedding (and decorations).  Basically a "let's make this mish mosh room into a real retreat" kind of plan.  New fan/light, lampshades, art, and bedside shelves.  I also would love a comfy chair to sit in to read and to have some "me" time, but I am secretly afraid it will just become a clothing collector.
7)  Finish the kitchen (painting cabinets, backsplash, and new counter)
8)  Hang up kiddo's 1 year photos before he turns 2 (since he his now on his way to being 21 months)
9)  Do something with the fireplace
10)  New rugs upstairs under table and in living room
11)  Bookshelf for downstairs
12)  New window treatments downstairs
13)  Remodel bathrooms
14)  Remodel laundry room (adding some cabinetry for more STORAGE)
15)  Stain deck

Okay...I think I am done making this list now, since there are a lot more things that NEED to get done that are not listed (aka new windows, driveway, and insulated garage).  Oh boy, this is a lot.  Where to start?  I know, with a nap.  I am tired.