Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Today you turn 9. Nine! Nine does not even seem possible. That means you have been a part of my life for one quarter of it. And yet, it is hard for me to remember my adult life without you in it.

You are an amazing human being. You are so smart, I see your brain working all the time, and when you are really concentrating you stick your tongue out, maybe it gives you more surface area to do all that thinking.

You are very athletic, you pick sports up quickly and you are good at them. You get discouraged, but you are learning that if you practice at something you will get even better at it.

You are shy. Very shy when you are in new situations and you do much better when you are the first person in a room and others come to you. Again I see this changing and you are becoming more comfortable and confident in new situations.

You are becoming more adventurous, taking more calculated risks and trusting yourself more and I am thoroughly enjoying watching you take those risks and try new things- even food!

You have the most amazing heart. Your entire life, you have always been the person to go up to the new person in the classroom and introduce yourself and start playing with them. You have friends with disabilities and friends who are different in some way from your other friends. I’ve never asked you if you notice the differences, if I were to guess, I would say you don’t.

You have a great imagination, you act out whole scenes with your Polly Pockets or in your doll house, you tell stories and continue them for weeks and weeks, always picking back up exactly where you left off in the ‘game’.

You are stubborn just like me, and I hope I am helping you to learn how to channel that stubbornness into stick-to-itiveness so that you don’t struggle with it as much as I did.

There are times that I hold my breath and watch you make mistakes and learn lessons and each time I see you get hurt my heart aches because I want nothing more than to take that hurt away. And I know I can’t do that, that we all become who we are because of the trials, tribulations, successes and failures we encounter. My heart and mind still aren’t really on the same page with that one- but we’re working on it.

There are days when I feel like the world is caving in around me and I just want to sit down and cry, and then I come to pick you up, and still, you still at 9 come running to me and jump up into my arms and in that moment my world is righted and I find the strength and the courage to continue to fight the good fight. I promise to continue to catch you in my arms as long as you continue to run and jump into them- no matter how old either one of us is.

So today on your ninth birthday I wish you a wonderful day, a year filled with amazing new adventures and achievements and tell you that I look forward to sharing each and every one of them with you. I love you, Sunshine.

Friday, May 21, 2010

To Farm?

This week I had the opportunity to join Sunshine's class for a day while they spent the week at a local farm learning about all aspects of farming.

It was a great day for several reason. The least of which it was an amazing weather day.

For a long time I've thought it would be amazing to earn my livlihood through outdoor physical labor like working a on a farm. I have a friend who has a small farm and I sometimes help do a few chores around there, there is something cleansing about it for me.

Our first chore on the farm was to muck out the sheep stalls, there are some ewes who are very ready to have their lambs and needed a nice clean place to be with them once they are born. On a side note watching the ewes waddle to get their food I remember when I had that waddle when I was over due and just wanted to not be so uncomfortable anymore.

We then spent some time studying soils, working with compost and putting soil on the newly planted flower beds.

We got to plant potatoes, which I've never done but seeing how much I love potatoes, I think I'd like to plant some at my house, even if it was in a raise bed.

Sunshine's group was responsible all week for a set of laying chicks who were getting transported from their 'incubator' to a coop, so we got to move them and watch them get acclimated to all their new space.

It was one of those days I will remember forever... being outside, with Sunshine and working, coming home tired from the physical labor and the clean air and full of life and happiness and empty of all the cares in the world for at least a few minutes.

Who knows maybe someday, the right opportunity will come along and I'll be working on a farm, or maybe what makes it such a great fantasy is that that is what it is, a fantasy that doesn't ever need to be a full time reality, just one I can get my fix on every now and again.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


A blog I read regularly: Playgroups are No Place for Children inspired me to do this. I think I'll do it again and be more prepared. My grandfather was a wonderful photographer, and I enjoy taking pictures and often get complements on them. On my list of things to save for is a higher end camera. In the mean time.. a day in my life (I am sorry I didn't have my camera at the ready when I was driving and saw a man on a motorcycle with a suitcase strapped to his back driving down the road)...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Too Young to be a Curmudgeon?

In the grand scheme of things I am really not that old yet. However, I increasingly find myself having the thoughts of a curmudgeon, I'm not sure this bodes well for me as I age.

I think that parents who drop their kids off at a venue and leave them unsupervised should be given shock bracelets. When the children do not use common courtesy by cutting in line, forgetting to say excuse me, or I'm sorry when they run into you, or thank you when you help them- the parents should receive a shock.

A child who is older than 4, I'd like to say 3, but I'm trying to be generous here, who doesn't know to cover their mouth when they cough, should not be allowed out in public. I'm all for giving one or two "whoops I forgot" a day, we all make mistakes- I still struggle to remember to do the vampire cough rather than just my hand, but when there is no attempt what so ever to not projectile germs out into all of society, please do not participate in society.

The third lane on a two lane road that has two arrows pointing toward each other- that is not a travel line for you to pass cars, this is a lane where you go to turn across traffic. Let's get traffic cams on these and give tickets for this too!

When crossing the street, please use crosswalks, you do not jump out into traffic, when I leave my house I am not ready to play Frogger, I was never good at that game, and frankly, do not care to learn.

The signs that say lane ending, merge right or merge left- that means you, the sign doesn't say gun it and see who you can beat, or everyone else is supposed to merge, but you.

See, I'm just too young to be so grumpy about such things.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Holding Your Breath

Sunshine had a belt test this week. I'll get to the outcome in a minute, I want to start with the weeks leading up to the test.

The Tae Kwon Do school that Sunshine attends does a great job of rewarding kids at each belt test (basically at the end of each session). If they are not ready to earn their next belt, they earn a stripe and the instructors tell them what they need to do to earn the next belt. Being that these kids are fairly young it is rare that a kid moves from one belt to the next without a stripe or two or three.

Sunshine had a green belt and 3 blue stripes before the belt test. I go to almost every class, so I knew she was having trouble with the forms she had to do to get her blue belt. So I asked her if she wanted to get some extra help with the forms. We arranged to make that happen, and then one of her classmates who was going to help her got sick. So the extra practice sort of fell by the wayside.

Another one of those things I wish there was a handbook for is how to teach your kids to handle disappointment. I, like most, have had my fair share of disappointment in my life and frankly I know it sucks. All that lesson learned, better person BS aside. In the moment and for several moments after wards it sucks. In my head I know that Sunshine will have many disappointments in her life, heart breaks and goals that she reaches for and misses. In my heart, I want to protect her from every single one of those moments. I want to feel that sadness and disappointment and heart break for her.

So the last two weeks of our lives have been rather difficult. Now that we are on the other side of the belt test I can see how my trying to prep her for disappointment and telling her if she didn't get it this time, she would definitely get it next time. Her accusing me of "rubbing her face in" the fact that she might not get a blue belt (not quite sure she understands how to use 'rubbing in your face' properly yet.) And the two of us being so similar in our incredible ability to curl up inside ourselves when we are really stressed and trying to deal with or process something. You can see how things lined up for a perfect storm of difficult times in the house.

I can see how we are reaching a point in her life and our relationship where I need to let go a bit more, where I need to realize that my baby who is years older than being a baby is capable of doing so much without me. And that we are reaching the point where she is starting to decide when she needs me, or when she wants to need me, and I'm trying to learn the dance of not being too pushy and still having to parent her, and teach all the life lessons I want to.

We made it through these two weeks, and we'll make it through the next tense time too...

Drum roll please.. .. I held my breath for the 5 minutes they were handing out belts and stripes... and she did it.. she earned her blue belt. She is amazing.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I had great plans on New Years Eve to go through each month and come up with my favorite memory or event from the month. I tried to do that, but it was really really hard. I can't say that 2009 was a great year, in many respects it had some very difficult times and yet there were some really great moments sprinkled in there to even things out. So all and all I'd say it was a flat year. But here are some of the good things I remember, these are in no particular order.

1. Sunshine made her first communion, confirmation and first reconciliation, nothing quite like a year with three sacraments.

2. I ran 500 miles.

3. I completed a half marathon under the goal I had set for myself.

4. I bought a new to me car- I loved my old car, I had her for almost 10 years. I am hoping that the next 10 with this car will be as great.

5. I put the cat I'd had for 13 years down. And a week later we got 2 kittens.

6. Sunshine went rock climbing for the first time- she was amazing at it.

7. Sunshine ran her first kids fun run at a race I was running.

8. I took a training class for Democratic Women in politics. I learned a lot.

9. I ran races in 4 states-46 to go.

10. I didn't blog enough, I thought about it a lot, I just never made the time.

11. We raised and released Ladybugs, a little creepy at first but cool none the less.

12. I reconnected with friends from High School and College on Facebook- surprisingly this has been a very enjoyable experience for me.

I stopped making resolutions years ago, I rarely met them, and it seemed like such a downer when I broke one, I'm working on a new list of general things I'd like to do this year, things I'd like to accomplish and experience with Sunshine (and by myself), I'm not quite there with the list, but in due time, I'll have my list and be on my way.

Here is hoping that 2010 has many more warm fuzzies than cold pricklies.