Thursday, August 23, 2012

healing in the diaper aisle

a weekend wedding with my 3 brothers' significant others...we had babysitters at the hotel! a night that was nothing to do with babies/children...it was DIVINE!
Most often in my life, healing has occurred when I haven't been focused on it, saying things like, "Why don't you just hurry up and heal, dork!" to myself.

Phoebe had just spilled my soda in the diaper aisle at Target and I realized something:

I have heard no less than 4 baby announcements IRL lately, and I didn't automatically think, "Why did they have a normal birth experience and I never did?" I thought, "Wow, that's a cute name!" or, "Oh my gosh, she totally looks like her sister," or "I'd better get to Carter's to buy a baby gift."

?!

In hearing about the Todd Akin stuff and his comments about rape and pregnancy I didn't think, "I can never be pregnant again" as I would have thought 6 months ago. It would have bowled me over. I instead thought, "The whole abortion topic is so interesting to me - I wonder what many people would say if there were a gene discovered that could detect if an unborn baby had a propensity to be gay, and then the parents aborted the baby based on that. Wouldn't that be weird? Hey, I should write a blog post about that."

?!

I saw a newborn the other day at Bible study and didn't ONCE have the thought, "I won't have a newborn, from my body, ever again". I looked at Phoebe and was just thankful for her. It's like the other background noise, or static, was turned down.

IT WAS INCREDIBLE.

That's not to say I don't have rough patches...but for me, it's clear that I am just where I am supposed to be. Raising our three kiddos, helping others along the way.

I remember when Asher was about a year old and before I was pregnant and miscarrying every other month I just FELT good. I felt good physically, mentally, emotionally.

I realized today that I FEEL good again. I haven't felt this good for five whole years.

Healing just blindsides you in the middle of Target.

It doesn't come when you're trying to force it to.

I have a friend who was talking about how grief is like a yo-yo. There are "down" yo's, and there are "up" yo's, and the yo's are exhausting. Soon, though, the "down" yo's are less frequent and the "up" yo's take their place.

Just because I have a whole week of "down" yo's when I thought I was healing doesn't mean I am not making progress. It just means that the path this week was more triggers, less rest...

more bramble, less daisy patch.

Anyway, it's all very interesting.

Grief is loud - deafening.

Healing is quiet - graceful.

They're both married in this world, and to try to divorce the two from each other is like trying to...hmmm...

hold the blue-green ocean in a cup.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Worlds of Fun


Giving our kids a family day to remember!
We had been waiting until our kids were 8 and 10 before even attempting Worlds of Fun, the theme park here. When we heard that Worlds of Fun had a new kids' fun park called Planet Snoopy, we were intrigued.
Still, we thought there would be three rides, some crumpled up funnel cake receipts and tumbleweeds blowing around. Maybe there'd be a bored-looking overweight teenage employee popping his zits with a mechanical pencil. That's what theme parks are, right?

Wrong.

The first ride the kids saw, the one that costs $2 a kid at the zoo, was the Carousel. They ran straight toward it and jumped right on:
Lucy (7) and Asher (5) both made the cut (height requirement) for the Octopus. Lucy was not so sure she'd enjoy being flung around on the tentacles of a gigantic green machine, but we managed to convince her it'd be greeeeeeeeat.

Scott loaded up with her while Asher buckled in with me. I was actually struck by how talkative and engaging the ride attendant was. He spoke directly to the children and asked if they were looking forward to having fun?

The ride began and as my seatmate yelled with great gusto, "THIS IS THE BEEEEEEEEST DAY OF MY LIFE!", I looked back at Lucy, who was a little less impressed. (She's afraid of the burnt french fries at the local fast food joint, so I don't suppose she's a very reliable litmus test. BUT!)

She might be holding on for dear life, but we're still outside together, having fun as a family, right?



Scott suggested we head to Planet Snoopy and ride some more Lucy-friendly rides.

The multitide of signs were helpful in getting us where we needed to go. There were also two employees who made a point to stop us and ask if we needed directions.

Planet Snoopy was amazing! The whole gang was standing at the gate and the kids were very happy to hand out hugs.
Asher and I headed to the roller coaster he was gloriously tall enough to ride. He squealed with delight as we raced (kind of) around the track and chatted about how much fun we were having.

We looked down and saw Lucy and Scott racing around a different track. Lucy had a big grin on her face, as did Scott. Asher begged to go and get in line for the same ride, and he was delighted to even be able to drive!

Speaking of driving, afterwards we headed to Le Taxi Tour in Europa. You get into an "old time car", as Lucy described them, and drive around a track that directs the car but allows for a small bit of left/right control for the driver. The kids got a huge kick out of my closing my eyes and letting go of the wheel as we drove down the hills, pretending we were going to crash.

After that ride we stopped in Americana for lunch. We brought some of our own food which we were able to eat in the copse of trees right outside the park. The kids begged for us to be able to go back in. Refeuled and ready, we headed to Main Street, an area in the Americana section of the park which housed Cinnabon, Caribou Coffee, Dippin' Dots, Subway and a bunch of other unexpected restaurants. The prices didn't seem to be any higher than those same restaurants outside a theme park.

The kids each ordered a Snoopy cup full of pink lemonade,

and I ordered the Red, White and Blueberry funnel cake.

We hated it:
going...
going...
gone!




Then, it was time for the Snoopy Show. The 2 and 3 year olds danced around on stage with the cast while our much older children clung to the benches in the audience.

The unanimous highlight of the day was the Fury of the Nile, a water ride taken on a circular raft. We were accompanied by a fine, young upstanding citizen of about 10 years of age who claimed he was "tired of waiting for my parents"!

I'm not sure that that meant, but we had fun:


I'd say that one of the best things about Worlds of Fun, for our family at least, was Camp Snoopy. The kids could go from ride to ride to ride that was specifically designed for THEM. They didn't have to check to see if they were tall enough, and they were quite proud of the fact that they always were!

All in all, this was a day we'll always remember. I'd recommend Worlds of Fun to anyone who needs a fun place to go for kids and adults, a variety of ages! If you're worried about children who are a little frighted, Worlds of Fun ranks their rides so you know how adventurous you should be to ride each one.
One thing I did want to add is that Worlds of Fun has an ingenious program called "Rider Swap". What it is, essentially, is a system that allows one adult to wait at the front of the line for the height-restricted rides while the other adult rides them. Once the first adult is done riding, they can switch and the other adult can ride. This way, each adult gets a turn on the big roller coasters but does not have to wait again in line for the other adult to be done.

What is your favorite amusement park memory from childhood? Did you go to one this summer, or are you still planning to?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Swiffer me


I've not posted for a bit!

That's because we were in North Dakota for my grandmother's 100th birthday celebration and I didn't want our house to get robbed.

We often joke about what the robbers would say to each other if they happened to be unlucky enough to choose our house to rob.

"Joe, you got anything over there?"

"Well, hmmm...I thought this might be a diamond ring but it was actually a broken piece of glass. Here are some dirty socks and some moldy cheese. You got anything?"

"Well, the computer looks to be older than God (true story, it's 8 years old, this computer I'm writing on) and I think the drawers are falling out of the computer desk."

in unison: THIS PLACE SUCKS!

That would be ugly.


Speaking of ugly, here are the pants I always wear which Scott has affectionately termed "dump pants", because it looks like I am carrying a constant load in my trousers.

no, that's not a fake nail, that's a Cars Band-Aid to staunch the bleeding from my attempt at looking for the fingernail clippers, which were RIGHT NEXT TO THE VENUS RAZOR, WHICH CUTS VERY WELL! (like my stealthy product placement, P&G?) picture taken by Asher, dump pants immediately cut up to be used as rags, which I probably don't need, since I use a SWIFFER!
I am being compensated to tell you how much I love my Swiffer. I do. I love my Swiffer. So much that I used it for 9 years and it broke and I need to buy another one. I LOOOOOOOOOVE not having to get down on my hands and knees to wipe the nasties up off of the floor. All I have to do is stick a little cleaner pad on the bottom of it, run the thing around the floor a few swipes, and it looks presentably clean for my Chardonnay and Capers dinner parties.


I have not yet tried the Swiffer Wet Jet, as I didn't have a reason to buy a new one because my Swiffer was still working. 9 years!

I am compensated for anything you buy. Free shipping with orders over $25 through August 31, plus 10% off!!!!!!! You are helping me buy the $16 coffee maker I just ordered online from Target! I have been without a coffee maker for approximately 19 days and it's getting ugly around here.

Here's what you need to know:


1)      10% off all items now through August 31st, 2012
2)      Free shipping over $25
3)      Lots of great Olympic-themed bundles and deals right now! P&G is a big Olympic sponsor.
4)      You've gotta shop through the below link for me to receive commission on your purchases. P&G sells all kinds of household goods you use in your home every day.
5)       If you'd like to share this post with family and friends, redirect them back here to shop through my link.
6) If you'd like to share this post with friends, redirect them back here to see what a colossal freak I am.

Shop at the following link, which will take you to all of their other products as well: 
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Any questions? Also, do you use a Swiffer? Why or why not? I find the world can be divided into two categories: those who use Swiffer, and those who do not.