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Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Beauty of Blogging

I am writing a blog today that I hadn't planned on writing. In fact, after the crazed day of little league games and picnic and even a trip to urgent care for a limp Nathan woke up with this morning, this is probably one of the last things I feel like doing. But something is "stuck in my craw". So here goes, my venting into the wonderful world of the the blogosphere.

Because you know what? That is the beauty of the blog. It is a place where my opinions count, my thoughts have a voice. And it is the world according to my view. If you don't like it, don't read it. It's not delivered to your doorstep, or even to your inbox unless you want it to be. It is one of millions of blogs. Literally millions.

If you enjoy reading what I'm writing, I'm glad...welcome to my everyday life. Because that's what I blog about. The happenings in my family. And that's what I will continue to write about.

Although apparently my bloggings of certain incidents, like the entire 1,000 book club debacle and the proposed resolution thereof has caused a bit of a ruckus. Well, if you call printing out my blog and passing it around trying to figure out who made what comments a ruckus. It was cause for speculation in the elementary school office. Which amuses me. Mostly because what I wrote was the straightforward unvarnished truth. But also because I wrote without malice, without ill-intent and only with a touch of sarcasm.

In fact, of the principal to whom this was handed I wrote only of her quick and diligent plan to rectify what she too thought was an oversight. In the four years our eldest has had her as a principal I only have rave reviews for how she has handled any and all incidents that we have addressed with her. She has always been receptive to our concerns and handled them quickly and with great professionalism. As it is again with this incident with the book club.

Here's the thing. If you were at all offended or up in arms over my bloggings do something about it. Take it as a call to action on your part. Because I am one of millions of bloggers. I write what I see and how I see it. And if that includes foul behaviour on your part, then you deserve to read about it. Because unlike days of old where I, the stay at home mother of four who ventures out mostly to do the soccer mom thing, would have no voice and could be swept under the rug--I can speak loud and clear right here in the blog world. To the readers of my blog. At my site which gets literally thousands of hits a month. So when you are trying to figure out who commented where, remember that I have many blog friends and readers from places like Oakland, CA and Ocean Springs, MS. In fact, more hits on this blog come from Austin, TX than good old Swan Lake and Loch Sheldrake combined.

In the end it is kindness, civility and graciousness we should treat all of humanity with. And when you don't, you should remind yourself that any and everyone can and does write a blog.

I'm the Guest Blogger!

Jeanine at the blog "I Could Use A Deal" liked my post on homemade laundry deteregent last week, she asked me to be a guest blogger on her site. So if you check out her site today, you'll see an updated laundry detergent post with a little more information on the comparison between commercial detergent prices and how much you would save using the homemade stuff!

Six Word Saturday

So my six words to describe this Saturday are...

How many more little league games?

I love my boyz. I love that they are involved in community activities and sporting events. I love that they get so excited to play. But seven weeks into the season, I am so ready for it to be done.

That being said, today Daddy D will have to be the letter carrier that provides for our family. And I will have to be super baseball mom. We will arrive at field #1 for boy #2's teeball game at 9:30 in the morning. We will then head to field #2 and the surrounding park for both older boys end of year picnic for little league around 11:30. At noon boy #1 will play in the championship game of the minor league (Go Red Wings!). And then sometime after that they will receive their trophies and maybe by three or so we can head home.

But the kicker is that although this is the big "end of year" little league celebration day, we will still have THREE more games this week. Two minor league games and one teeball game. I am left to wonder will the season ever end?

For more six word Saturday's...

Friday, June 12, 2009

What I Learned at Hersheypark

We went to Hersheypark last weekend, and we had a fabulous time! Last summer my older two boys began asking, okay it was more like constant begging, to go to an amusement park. Of course this idea hits them when I am eight months pregnant in the heat of summer. So the answer was definitely a "not right now".

Then in the late fall my father started asking what to get the boyz for Christmas. For those of you who have not seen my playroomit is overstocked with every toy imaginable for a little boy. Those who have are bobbing their heads up and down in agreement with me as they read. It is not that we are trying to spoil our children with every whim and want. But we have FOUR boys. If it is a boy toy and doesn't get gifted to the first, the second usually gets it. And if something new comes out, the third gets that. We have actually had to buy Nathan or Eli repeat toys of things we already have, just maybe a newer more bells and whistles model, in order to find something to give them for a gift. So my Dad's request for Christmas got me to thinking. We asked him to buy tickets for Hersheypark, so that it was an experience for the boyz and not just another toy to add to the never ending pile!

Last Friday after the kids got out of school we headed off on our great adventure. Surprisingly there was not a single "are we there yet", despite the three and a half hour drive. We checked in and headed to the park preview night. They were so excited to get measured and ride their first rides. We were there when the park opened the next morning and left when it closed at night. The next day we did the Chocolate World factory tour and other attractions. We left having had a great time.

Some of the things that I learned about my children while at Hersheypark...

Nathan likes to have control. We knew that already, but it carried over into the rides in a way we didn't expect. He would flip out when he couldn't get out of a ride when he wanted to. As soon as he was uncomfortable with how it made him feel he would try to get himself out of the situation, but was not at all pleased with a ride operator telling him to wait. He quickly figured out what it is he would and would not want to ride.
Seth is fearless. He loves the roller coasters, the faster and bumpier the better. He wanted as high up on the intensity scale as he could get. He wanted to ride the rides that made me queasy just looking at them. He has gumption. He has a fire inside and ain't nothin gonna damper it! But on top of that, Seth was the greatest big brother. He was riding rides he wasn't interested in to make the little boys happy. It was wonderful to see.
Eli has what seems to be patience without ceasing. He enjoyed the few little kid rides he went one. He would smile and attentively look around. But mostly he hung out in the double stroller. Just chillin with his feet on the bar in front. And I am reminded yet again of God's perfect plan, and what a balance he brings to our Fantastic Four.
Gabriel showed us yet again that he is an independent thinker. He makes up his own mind and then goes for it with gusto. There were rides he did not want to go on. Things like the whip around way too fast, feels like whiplash kind of thing. And there are things he decides to do, and no matter the butterflies, will not back down and walk away. He didn't want to go on the ferris wheel the first night, but the second day after listening to his brother recount the experience decided that he would. He did it, and was rightfully very proud of himself.But the thing that epitomized Gabriel's experience was that after watching Seth do "big boy rides" he decided that he was ready to do one as well. He chose a wooden roller coaster called the comet. In line with his brother and father he got a bit nervous and whiny, so John handed him over the barrier to me. To which he totally flipped out, telling me "Daddy says I might have nightmares, but I can do it". So he rejoined his father in line. I nervously waited by the exit to grab him if he decided at the minute to not go. I watched as their car climbed the first hill and I got wickedly sick to my stomach knowing that no matter what, there was no going back now. I stood nervously waiting for my crying five year old to stumble into my arms, and yet out came a skipping, smiling ear to ear, gushing Gabriel who could not stop talking about how much fun he had. His grasp of self and what he knows he can and cannot do amazes me.
In the end I found that my husband was selfless, going on whatever anyone else wanted, never once mentioning something he just wanted to do for him. I realize now that I still have no idea what he would have liked.
I found that in the years since I have gone to an amusement park, becoming a mother has changed me. No need for rickety roller coasters or death-defying drops to make me feel alive. I do every day. And just my customary ride on the swings, arms out with the feeling of soaring over those below, was enough for me...although I did go on the Tilt-a-Whirl with the two older boys and had a great time!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Thousand Word Thursday

This ATWT post is for Tanya, who from the moment she saw it, thought it should be a Thursday post.

Last weekend we took my best friend of twenty-two years and all of our kids to Hersheypark. My kids started asking everyday last summer to go to an amusement park, and being eight and nine months pregnant I had to tell them no. So for Christmas from Pop Pop and Nana they got tickets instead of toys. It was a highly anticipated trip, and it lived up to expectations for everybody who went!

Of the hundreds of pictures, this is by far my favorite from the whole weekend! I was standing at the exit with the baby waiting, and this came up on the preview screen. People everywhere were laughing! And although pretty much everyone looks terrified, they walked to the exit laughing and talking excitedly about how it was "the best ride EVER!".

For More A Thousand Word Thursdays...
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wordful Wednesday

It's been less than two weeks that our rather newly mobile Eli discovered there were other rooms to the first floor of our house than just the living room. He crawls at a frantic pace now when I put him down on the living room floor. He is on a mission.

He makes quick work of the dining room floor and takes a sharp right into the kitchen every time. And right by the doorway is the dog's bowls. This day he was gone less than thirty seconds and I was up and off the couch on my way to find him when I heard him. He was yelping, no other word for it. As I turned the corner I found that he was crying out in surprise. He had poured the bowl of water all over his lap, and had not expected the wetness he was experiencing as a result of the action. He looked up at me, and in his infant non-talking way starts rapidly opening and closing his mouth while making indecipherable sounds. So cute trying to communicate his cause and effect dampness that he wanted fixed!

The funniest part is that if he would just keep crawling straight through the dining room, on the other side is the holy grail of children. A fully stocked playroom with any and every toy a boy could want. But he is so interested in the freaking dog dishes he has yet to discover the brightly colored world of fun!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gabriel's Going to Grotonwood

I can't believe how quickly time has passed. Today I signed Gabriel up for his first summer camp experience. And the way the weeks of summer activities, vacation plans, and work schedules lined up it is only nineteen days until I send my second son away for the first time. I had expected more of a cushion. A little bit longer for the momma bear to adjust. But that is not to be.

There are some very special things to consider when thinking about this milestone. The first being the beautiful place where he is going. A wonderful Christian camp nestled in the woods about 45 minutes outside of Boston. It is where his father went to camp as a child. It is the place where John had his first work experiences. It is where I was hired from an online resume posting on the Christian Camping International website, and I ventured sight unseen for a summer away from New York. And during the fateful summer it is where Daddy D and Mommy D's life journey's crossed. On the shores of the lake where Gabriel will swim and play is where his father a decade ago proposed to me, and where we had our wedding a year later.

So in a place so very intricately intertwined with the history of our family, our son will venture out on his own for the first time. Granted, he will be spending nights with his aunt and uncle, and doing day camp with his cousins and older brother when the sun is up. But still, he has never been away from his parents longer than a day. And in his independent heart, he truly believes he will be fine. I on the other hand am not so certain he will not be homesick.

The other wonderful, full-circle part of this experience is that Gabriel is going to Grotonwood. Which to me completes something wonderful. See, there was never an intentional four year gap between Desrochers boys #1 and #2. In fact there are two Desrochers babies in between who never made it to this world. And when I look back at the years we spent living and working there, I do not readily remember the wonderful times of Seth playing in the sand on the beach. It takes a minute to dig out the amazing memories of Seth driving his power wheel vw bug down the pathway to our tiny house nestled in the centuries old woods. Or how he used to hug the trees goodnight as we returned home from supper at the Dining Hall. In place of what should immediately spring to the front of my thoughts when I think of our time as a family at Grotonwood, I instead remember the intense longing for another child. The painful and intrusive visits to the doctor to figure out why we couldn't get and stay pregnant. The heart wrenching ways that Seth would beg to go to Walmart to pick up a baby brother or sister. And the months and months I was so disappointed.

But the month after we left our life at Grotonwood behind,just weeks after moving to New York, we found out we were pregnant. Our second son, named Gabriel because he was Our Angel. The one we had longed for, the one we had tried so very long to have. The one whose name also commemorates the two small angel siblings we have yet to meet.

And now six years later he will venture to a place that is filled with so much emotion for me. The beauty of our beginnings. The pain of what we thought were unanswered prayers. But in the end it was a not now, it was a later. And later he came. Our darling baby boy #2. And he will go to where it all began to begin an independence all his own.