Thursday, March 28, 2013

Life Lesson Month of March: Blog 5- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie (my now official 3 year old!),

It is in our quiet time right before your nap that made me realize this:

Life Lessons Learned #4:  You are never too old to hold hands.

As I lay with you before you fall asleep for your afternoon rest, you always ask to hold my hand.  Although it’s usually a fleeting moment (as you quickly toss and turn), I want you to know how much comfort that gesture gives me (much more than it gives you, as I assume you mostly like the security that you have someone next to you).  Please know that no matter how old you get or how old I get, you placing your hand in mine will give me peace, love and joy.  Remember this as I age or if I get sick.  Small, quiet gestures sometimes mean the most and touch the heart the fastest.

I love you Bean!

PS- As much as I say you are stubborn, you have such a sweet and compassionate side too.  You show affection throughout the day by saying, “You know what Mama?  I love you.”  And at bedtime when we read books, you lean over and kiss my cheek during the stories.  Being three and speaking and acting freely from the heart is something I wish a lot of people didn’t outgrow.  Happy birthday my angel, my sunshine!
You celebrated your actual birthday with your cousin Colin in New Jersey this year!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Life Lesson Month of March: Blog 4- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Good Morning Ellie and Happy Birthday!

And what a beautiful day it is!  I don’t know why but for me, seeing a picture perfect blue sky raises my spirits by many levels and also encourages my daydreaming.  But I guess I need to stay on task and start focusing on a lesson I have learned this week.  OK.  Here goes…

Life Lesson Learned #4:  Not everything can be fixed

Believe it or not Ellie I have tried starting this blog a half dozen times, but I’m having trouble finding the right words to portray what my heart wants to share with you.  I guess that is because of a recent tragedy that took place within our extended family.  But before I explain that, an incident concerning you came to mind, which triggered another thought with a similar subject matter involving me, followed suit.  And to categorize these three very different stories yet similar with a “Please fix it” solution hasn’t been easy.  I guess I should start with my story of you.

A couple of weeks ago, when you came to play we went downstairs to make some crafts.  I got out some colorful construction paper, colored pencils, letter stickers, googlie eyes and cut up paper designs along with a glue stick to create your masterpiece.  All seemed to go quite well until you held up your beautiful creation, and the googlie eyes fell off.  You looked at me with those beautiful blue eyes of yours and sniffled, “Mimi can you fix it?”  Not wanting to see you cry, I quickly went and got the Elmer’s Glue Bottle and gave you free reign to use it how you saw fit.  Your spirit lifted immediately.  And let’s just say while watching you squeeze the death out of that bottle… well, my own eyes in my very own head went all googlie!  Ellie, all you really needed was a ‘dot’ as the eyes were only a half-inch round.  But I guess to a three year old a ‘lake’ of white goo is a far better way of guaranteeing a permanently fixed picture (I did have to do some fast talking though to convince you that it would take a little bit of time to dry and then distract you into playing something else so you wouldn’t get upset)!  Good thing too because that precious picture of yours took more than a day to harden and thankfully was ‘fixed.’

Another memory has come to mind that I would like to share with you.  It is another glue story, but this time it’s about me and my life lesson learned.  It happened a few years ago (and yes I was an adult).  I was holding a beautiful china teacup that I loved, and no longer remembering why, I accidentally dropped it.  Luckily it did not shatter in a million pieces but rather in one clean crack down its middle.  Heartbroken and not wanting to throw it away I went for the ‘quick fix’.  Super Glue.  Now keep in mind that stuff is translucent while I continue this story.   On my first, second and third try I poured the glue on one side of the cups broken edge and attached it to the other side of the broken cup but it kept slipping off.   Becoming impatient and not seeing just how much Super Glue I actually poured on that darn thing, I tried once more.  That time I wrapped my left hand around the cup to hold it securely in place while it dried.  Within a few minutes, the cup became whole again, both sides permanently cemented together with an added part… my thumb!  When your Poppy came home from work that day my first instinct was to hide my hand and the cup behind my back (like a child), but not being born a right-handed person and only being able to use my right-hand during this awkward moment … well, I had to come clean.  And besides, I needed Poppy’s help to ‘fix’ my mistake.  Luckily for me he did Ellie, and my newly freed thumb was only sore for a day or two!

And now I shall share with you my third story.  This is the one that got me to thinking about my life lesson learned this past week.  Not everything that is broken can be fixed.   You see Ellie a very dear relative of ours, Aunt Nancy, passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago while vacationing in Florida.   Even though she sustained some serious injuries from a fall, everyone at the hospital was very optimistic that she would have a full recovery.  But after the surgery, her health went into a slow decline.   Your Uncle Doug, who is a brilliant doctor, would not give up on her.  He fought for the family and made sure that those in charge of her care explored every option to give her the best possible chance at healing.  And while all this was going on Ellie, his own father who was in failing health was admitted to the same hospital.  So your Uncle Doug, the dedicated doctor and son that he is, stayed strong around the clock and did everything humanly possible to help improve the quality of his dad’s health too.  He along with Aunt Nancy’s family and friends and also his own family and friends, the attending physicians, all the love, the prayers, the get-well wishes and cards, in the end nothing could ‘fix’ either of them.   Their bodies were just too tired or too broken to fight their way back to us.  And then something wonderful happened.  God intervened, took away their pain and brought them home with him.  HE ‘fixed’ them.

So I guess the Life Lesson Learned here Ellie is that not everything nor everyone can be fixed, but we should always give it our very best.  Scraped knees and boo-boos can be kissed away and fixed with a band-aide.  A favorite stuffed animal, torn and tattered can be fixed with a needle and a thread.  A failed relationship can be fixed by a night out with your best girlfriends.  A forgotten houseplant can be fixed with a drink of water.  And for all those ‘things’ and also for all those who we love that can no longer be fixed for reasons that we don’t always understand, we need to listen with our hearts and Trust in our God.   HE will let us know when to let go.   After all, “fixing” is HIS specialty and only HE knows what is best for each of us.

I love you Ellie-bean!
And again, Happy, Happy Birthday!
May all your wishes come true today and everyday my little princess!
Love, Mimi

Friday, March 15, 2013

Life Lessons Month of March: Blog 3- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Happy birthday Mimi (as you, Ellie, are patiently waiting for cake)!
Dear Ellie,

The other day we went to a play date and you weren’t very social or pleasant to the children or their mother.  So on the way home, we had a discussion in the car that when we are at someone else’s house, we need to be polite and we can’t be mean.  Your response was, “Well, accidents happen.”  Either you are too smart for your own good by transcending definition boundaries or else I need to be more obvious in my attempts at explaining how the world works!  By the time you are old enough to read these letters, I hope that your shyness wears are off some and that people see the happy, carefree child I know and I love!

So this week’s topic:

Life Lessons Learned #2:  Understanding how authority works through a child’s eyes!

I don’t believe in hitting or spanking Ellie.  When you misbehave, I try to say, “I love you but I don’t like what you’re doing when…” but frankly sometimes when you have a typical 2-year-old meltdown, a time out is needed for both you and me.  I carry you to your room and tell you that as soon as you are calmed down and you can say you are sorry, then you may come out.  Because of your incredibly stubborn personality, you could be in your room for upwards of twenty minutes before you apologize.  And then later, usually before bed when you aren’t emotional, we will talk about what happened.  I also try to role-play with you to show how you could have handled a situation.

For instance, while visiting an aunt recently in Philly, I asked you to play with your toys in her living room while I had some adult conversation time with her in the dining room.  You flipped out and when I gave you a warning you shouted “NO! NOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!” as if you were possessed!  So off you went to time out until you could apologize to my aunt and I and play in the living room (it took many minutes El!).  Later that night, we talked about what happened and I said, “Ellie sometimes adults need their time and you have to wait so when I ask you to do something, I need you to do it.  I don’t like it when you scream at me and don’t listen.”  Your response was this, “Well, I don’t like it when you are mean to me.”  Looking at it from your perspective, you are our only living child so we spoil you, we talk to you like you are a grown-up so the few times that I don’t include you, you get your feelings hurt. 

Ellie I really love that you have the opportunity to have your voice heard and have an opinion of your own.  You are so smart and you are rationalizing so well at such a young age, but I have to learn to teach you the fine line for you to understand authority too!  You my dear child are very difficult and strong willed and I love that so much about you, but I fear it’s also going to be the death of me!  I can only imagine our arguments when you are fifteen!

I love you Bean! Mom 

PS- A moment to remember...  You are learning to write you name!!!  I am so proud of you!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Life Lessons Month of March: Blog 2- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Good Morning Ellie!

After successfully completing two years of blogging to you, today we are starting our third year and yes… with a new theme!  Last year’s creative story writing was so much fun that your mommy and I plan to revisit that theme again, just down the road a-bit.  So this March through next we will be blogging about Life Lessons Learned.  Your mommy and I talked in great length about this Ellie and have decided that we, as the writers, must be honest and not make ourselves look like angels without fault.  So with that being said… let’s get started since I get to go first!

Lessons learned, lessons learned… hmmmmmmmmm… which to choose.
Ok.  If I am to be honest Ellie, I could probably write ‘one’ a day for…. forever.  But many of them I am not sure I could truly share for fear of embarrassment so I will start with something I do frequently and to whom others it may relate.

Life Lessons Learned #1.  Stop procrastinating and stay on task.

OK Ellie, I am not exactly sure at what age I started applying this ‘unavoidable’ phrase to my life… (And I am not saying it is a bad character trait to have because there are many people, who are able to work within its very narrow parameters.)  It’s just not a trait that I should possess because it sends me into another character trait, which is ‘over stressing.’  Hmmmmmmmmm… I guess I could write about that in Life Lesson’s Learned #3 since your mommy gets to write about Lesson #2!  But for now back to #1… your mommy suggested that I stop my blog writing at this point and go do whatever it is that I am procrastinating about, which is cleaning.  But before I do that, I would have to sign off.  And I don’t want to because my week’s blog will look pretty pathetic.  So I’m not.  Signing off that is.

OK, so between the last paragraph and this sentence I have taken one phone call and made three (two of which were to answering machines… drats).  So I went back into the kitchen and did wipe down the counter tops but only because I tried pulling the price stickers off the backs of the washable placemats I just purchased from Target.  And wouldn’t you know they didn’t peel off very nicely.  I had gummied-up balls of paper stuck to everything!  Including my fingernails!  Ugh.   I guess I should just “bite the bullet” as they say and get out my cleaning supplies.  But before I do, I must tell you that up until this moment I had absolutely no idea and nor did I care who and where that saying originated from even though I myself have properly used it in its correct context when I really don’t want to do something.  So now that we have Google on the computer… I just googled what does bite the bullet mean and I got the answer.  It means dear Ellie “days before effective anesthetics; soldiers were given bullets to bite on to help them endure pain.”  Just so you know, I was never one to question much.  If you told me that the world was flat I would probably say ok.  If you told me that cleaning was detrimental to my health I would probably be thrilled!  But since it is not, I have no choice but to go into the cabinet and pull out the Windex and Pledge bottles.  However, I could vacuum first.  (I have to go down the hallway to get it and there are a lot of distractions that may peek my interest on the way!)  I’ll let you know!

Hi again El.  Fast-forward a few hours.  Yep, I started this blog at 3 pm and it is now 9:30 pm.  And no, I did not vacuum.  I did walk down the hall but as I passed the bedroom where we keep lots of files and greeting cards, I remembered that I had a dozen birthdays coming up this month and needed to browse through my card stash.  Once that was taken care of, I did clean the bathroom sinks and then started rummaging through drawers of clothes.  That got boring fast and I figured it really was an all day job so I quit.  I took another phone call and then went to your house for dinner and also to play with you.  After taking off my coat and giving you my undivided attention, per your directions I sat down with you to play with your dollhouse.  That lasted about five minutes.  You suddenly had to go to the bathroom and while upstairs decided that we were going to play house in your bedroom instead.  So of course I followed you and sat down next to your play kitchen.  Being the wonderful homemaker that you were El, you served me a delicious looking vanilla cake (actually a white tissue on a plate), and yourself one too.  Not ten minutes passed when all of a sudden you eyed your doctor kit.  That quickly I went from playing house to patient.  I was to go out into the hallway and pretend to fall down and break my leg.  You were the doctor and you fixed me up with great speed so that we could switch roles and you could be the one to fall down and I fix you.  Once that scenario played through your mom called us down to the kitchen for dinner.  At that point you became Kalena and I became your mother and we were off to Miss Kimberly’s Restaurant.  You were a terrific patron Ellie and even gave your mom, I mean Miss Kimberly, a (pretend) $5.00 tip!  Once we helped her clean up the three of us went to the mall where you got the cutest haircut!  
Now looking back on my evening, I am thinking that you my dear child remind me of me.  Staying on task is not your strong point either, but I guess that could possibly be because you are only three years old!  As for me, I can always get up early tomorrow and start cleaning then.

As I look back to the beginning of this blog and the Lesson I chose to write about, I think I need to change it slightly Ellie.  It should read Lesson Learned #1. Don’t fret; just finish your task when you can.  In time it will get done.

I love you Bean.
And just so you know… you are my favorite distraction of all!
Love, Mimi