Sunday, August 30, 2009

Unplugged - Geometric!

We pulled out an activity for this week's project that's been in the closet for a while. The last time I tried Playful Patterns with E, she just lined all of the pieces up in rows on the couch while I wasn't looking. I came back in the room and actually gasped when I saw this...
The game comes with picture cards to build on, and this time she was really into it...she's getting me a little worried with her perfectionism, though. She was not satisfied until the shape was RIGHT in the middle. If she bumped one with her finger, she carefully replaced it. We also talked about how to make a rectangle out of two squares, and an oval out of two semi-circles and a rectangle. I really thought these concepts were beyond her. I knew there was a reason that we came back to the Unplugged Project!
We read a book about patterns, and we went on a walk and looked for different shapes. I'm not sure what we'll do with the photos, maybe a matching game. E lost interest pretty quickly...our usual game during our walks is for me to get "stuck" in the nearest shrub and yell "Ayudame!" Then she runs up and rescues me. That was much more fun than finding squares and circles. All the same, M and I got some nice shapes pics to work with.

Baby m is showing some interest in participating in games and crafts, but he mostly just wants to throw the pieces on the floor and hit things with his hockey stick. Um, could that be considered an Unplugged theme???

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Don't Understand This World.

So I have finally started volunteering for our local hospice, writing personal histories. Last week I delivered my first "Tuesdays" story (named for the book, Tuesdays With Morrie), and I felt really good about it. Good enough that I thought it would be okay for me to go to the Volunteers Appreciation Event, even though as yet I have spent more hours in volunteer training than I have as a volunteer.

They had people share thoughts about of different patients that they worked with...I didn't feel like saying anything because the memories of my sister are still to intertwined with this experience. It didn't feel right to say anything but the whole story, so I just kept quiet and listened. I left there feeling very many of the stories were positive. The other volunteers talked about patients who had been able to laugh and love, give advice and ultimately say goodbye.

When I got in to work an hour later, I walked in to a nightmare. I stopped by a colleague's office and said, "How's everything?" She said, "Not good. Did you know B?" I didn't understand what she was asking? B was, is, this incredible man that we work with, and yes, I just talked to him on Friday. "He was in an accident last night and he didn't make it." I was just overwhelmed with sorrow. We found out later that he was killed by a pick-up truck while riding his bicycle, a hobby and passion of his that took him all over the state and country.

I'm just so angry right now. How do some people just disappear from the earth while you're not looking? I'm reminded of my father's death, just hours before we were to visit him. Senseless and just wrong. Why didn't they get to say goodbye? Where is the fairness here? I have a hard time believing that we are mortal, even given the proof that surrounds me daily. But I do not know how to live as though every conversation is my last. B didn't know that when we talked about my daughter on Friday that we would never talk on this earth again. But he laughed, he was engaged, he was listening, he was wonderful. He made me feel important, as he always did. I guess that's the lesson I'll take from him...but I wish I could remember if I gave him the same feeling.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cry Me an Estuary (They're Salty)

Today, I took part in a garage sale with a neighbor. I managed to bring home about $90, which isn't bad considering how FUN it was! I LOVE sales, shopping and selling. But the crazy thing was, no less than 4 (count 'em, 4) women cried at our sale today. I'm not kidding. Real tears. I think that there was some cosmic intersection of lives going on there...and I was glad to have shared the raw emotions.

First, a friend cried because she sold something to which she had no idea that she was emotionally attached.

Second, a stranger cried because she was shopping for a child after going through a recent and devastating loss.

Third, an acquaintance cried because when she asked me "What's new?", I told her that my sister had passed away last fall.

Fourth, I cried because I felt the exact emotion that each of them felt.

It was good, really. I always like to be reassured that other women have the same lack of control over their tear ducts as I do. I cry at Discovery Channel commercials, weddings, watching reality shows, and during committee meetings. Oh, well. I'll never be president, or governor, or even on the school board. My heart (and salty water) is just too close to the surface.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Dinosaur Sensation

I have a confession to make. I don't hate Barney.

There are many reasons to dislike him...his annoying voice, the robotic children, the bad lip syncing. It was very fashionable, when I was in college, to make jokes about the giant purple dinosaur. But now, Mommy that I am, I'm actually a fan. Wait, I can defend myself.

  1. The songs are easy to learn. E loves to sing, and Barney is a melody thief. In almost every video, you can find a song that has the tune favorite is the Christmas episode that spells out, "S-A-N-T-A!" E catches on very quickly, and sings right along. It's a joy to listen to her.
  2. Nobody is mean. It's hard to find a show nowadays (am I 80?) that doesn't have any menacing characters or storylines. The worst thing I've seen on Barney is a lonely child, who ends up with tons of friends by the end. The crises are mild, and always resolved quickly.
  3. M asks for "Ba-neee!" It's charming. It's sweet. He's mesmerized...and he dances.

I have already checked out every Barney video that the library offers, and I'm working on inter-library loan and Netflix. Don't judge me, I'm a mother.

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr