Friday, December 7, 2012

Marbleworks fun this afternoon

Keli'i and Makana figured out a way to make the marbles jump off the ramp and land back into the structure to finish.  Li worked on tweaking it to make it better.  Then Makana figured out that the bigger and smaller marbles each go a different way.  Love watching them notice things and be so excited about new discoveries.  Kanoa got into the fun too!  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jim's fall and Thanksgiving 2013

Well, our Thanksgiving was full of excitement - not in a good way I'm afraid.

Wednesday night (the night before Thanksgiving) the phone rang. It was Jim. He told me that he was home and in the garage and not to panic, but that he had a bloody head because of an incident with the shopping cart in the parking lot at Hannaford. He also said he needed someone to bring in the groceries and open the door because he couldn't. I was glad he called so we could help him and so we weren't shocked.

Here's what happened:

I realized I needed sour cream for the cheesecake and I wanted the full fat version, but didn't have one. I was in the middle of making pumpkin pies and cheesecake as well as zucchini quiche and something else and so called him to see if he'd mind stopping by Hannaford to pick up some sour cream. I added a couple more things to the list and said thanks and see you soon.

The list was not long and therefore cart was light. So, when he ran full speed and hopped onto the shopping cart for a fun ride in the parking lot on the way out to the jeep (feelin' like a kid!), the cart went down and so did Jim! He caught himself with his hands thank goodness, but he still got a bad cut over his right eye. 

People saw him go down and tried to get him to come into the store to get fixed up, but he declined, partly because he felt embarrassed and partly because he just wanted to go home. He realized that he might stiffen up and not be able to get home if he didn't go right away. That was his thinking at the time. 

So he drove home (don't know how he did that as not soon after he got home he couldn't even lift his arms) and called me from the door to let us know what happened.

The first thing he did was to sit in the chair and rest as he was feeling shaky and was trembling. He rested a bit because he was shaky and then I helped him clean up his head wound. He couldn't even lift his arms. He slept on the couch a couple of nights and we helped him with even daily living tasks. He is feeling better each day, but still has a lot of trouble with his right arm and now right shoulder. We'll see how things go. I am not convinced he didn't break something on the right arm, but he still doesn't want to get xrays or see a dr, so I'm helping as requested. Anyway, that's the scoop.

Since I've been taking that writing class, I had poems and things on my I wrote a limerick and poem about his accident:

A haiku:

Feeling young and free

With wild abandon I leap

Riding badass cart

A limerick:

There once was a father from Camden

Who shopped for his family of 7

With joy in his heart, he leaped on the cart

And rode it with reckless abandon.
(we're really a family of 6, but I counldn't rhyme that. If you include our pet frog, there is 7 of us!)

Taking care of Jim was priority, but he was okay enough to look forward to a turkey dinner.  Jim usually makes Thanksgiving dinner, but this year Katie and I made it together - the whole shebang, minus the gravy. Pretty cool that we did it and it came out great! Mashed potatoes with rosemary, sweet potatoes, turnips, homemade from scratch stuffing, the turkey and canned cranberry sauce. Since I had made cheesecake and pumpkin pie the night before, all set with dessert. I joked with Jim and said, "You just didn't want to make Thanksgiving dinner!" He said, "I just said the same thing to Katie!" So funny that we joked about the same thing! Jim is feeling a little better each day, though he can't do much with his right arm. He needs lots of help with daily tasks. We're all helping as best we can. Most of all, we don't touch his right arm especially. I hope he keeps improving, or else maybe he'll decide it's time to get xrays.

Update: A week after the fall, he did go see our nurse practitioner who informed him that he likely tore some ligaments and tendons and it would take months to heal.

For three weeks I drove him to work and took over the things he usually did in the house.  One day I woke up and found he had driven to work himself.  He felt ready, though he used one hand for the wheel for a while (which I said was not safe and to please let me drive him, though he declined).

As of April 2013, his right knee is still hurting (he had not realized how bad that got hurt when he fell, but realized it hurt as the other parts were slowly healing).  He still can't reliably hold Kanoa for a long time.  He can use his arms more and more, though he still has pain.  So things are better, but not as good as he hoped and expected.  I still do the dump runs most of the time, though last time we went together and he lifted a huge heavy bag and threw it over the railing into the trash area.  His right hip and lower back are hurting too, but that may or may not be related to the fall.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Mom, that was just weird"

Katie and Keely had rehearsal for West Side Story late again this week.  Kanoa and I were heading out to deliver them a pineapple pizza at the high school.  Kanoa was being very loving and gave me kisses after I put him into his car seat (he often says I love you and gives kisses).  I gave him a bunch of kisses on his head and after I shut the door I blew a kiss through the window of the minivan.  I peered in through the tinted windows and caught his blown kiss back to me.  "Awwww!" I thought.  He's my "kissee" and I was loving the sweet exchange.  We waved goodbye in a sweet way.  I get in the van and he says, "Mom, that was just weird."  Omg.....I could only laugh.  Where did he pick those words up?  Probably from Makana (I have heard her say that) or maybe from a show.  So funny.  I did ask if he meant the kisses we blew through the window (to be sure) and he said yes.  Weird.

Kanoa is now 3 years and 9 months old.  Where is the time going!!?  It's hard to remember back to what life was like when he was a baby now!  And dare I say....he is communicating a bit more and life is getting easier overall for him (and me too!) - there is just a teeny bit less upsetness (thank goodness!!!).  I see some positive changes here and there.  And I am glad.  :)  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The other day I was helping Katie to study for a history quiz.  I brought up something about what she was studying and said, "Think about it!"  She was tired and had a lot of homework that night (and for the past few nights) and just wanted to be Done. She said, "I don't want to think.  I want to memorize."  She then added that she could think when she wanted to, but that right then she wanted to memorize.  So back to the studying we went focusing on memorizing.

I've sometimes decided to do only what I deemed necessary and nothing more when I've felt very busy or exhausted.  She was choosing to do only what she felt was necessary to get the grade she wanted.  Even though she was doing what she wanted to do, it reminded me of what I didn't like about the school culture; it creates students that put such focus on grades instead of  on understanding and not on what is meaningful to the learner, but what is to be taught to everyone across the board whether they are interested in it or find it useful or not.

When Katie was not in school, she had the time to understand what she was interested in and she was a voracious reader.  She would memorize things sometimes for fun, but never to please anyone outside of her own self.  And never before was she judged or evaluated for it.


I've been teary this morning as I got up early because I woke up as Katie was leaving for school just before 7am and then had so many thoughts in my head brain just kind of woke up and once I started thinking and feeling awake, I couldn't sleep. I went to Katie's room to grind coffee so I wouldn't wake anyone and I was thinking about how fast time goes and how much I miss when she was three....and how I miss how close and connected we were and how I had such time to devote and dote on just her and it was all SO good!!! She was my Everything. And I was hers. And I guess I am grieving for her getting older and not needing me as much, well, still needing me, but in different ways and ever expanding her world which I know is right and good, but still hard to bear as I miss Her and I being younger and where we were at then.

I know logically to embrace and cherish Now and that this is a good reminder to embrace how much Kanoa Wants to be with me and play with me and love me, though I then feel guilty because sometimes I yearn to have space....though that is perhaps okay as when I had Katie, I didn't have four kids and I didn't really go on the computer much at all, which then makes me think that maybe I should limit my time on the computer more and Do and Be with him more as I know how quickly it will pass....yet I also like connecting with others online and reading on the is a fine dance to balance it all....I suppose balance is the key along with keeping kids as priority, and not forgetting myself too but in little chunks as I can do it.

Also, I have been missing my grandparents and other loved ones in my life so much lately. Pa and Grandma were like another set of parents for me and my brother and I am taking a writing class and just wrote about my Grandma last night and it would have been Pa's 102nd birthday on the 8th.

And my stepfather has been gone for two years now as of September, so I think about how my mom must feel without him to talk to and share her life with and love and be loved. Yes, it does help me to remember to appreciate the now, but I also sometimes feel sad at what others might be feeling or think about how I might one day feel.

Heavy stuff ....written as Kanoa and the other kids are still sleeping.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Li being so helpful

Li has been SO helpful lately.  He brought out a chair without even being asked for friends who were visiting.  I had stepped out and they needed an extra chair, and apparently he brought one in on his back from another room.  That was so nice of him!

A couple of days later he helped me so much in the grocery store...actually he and Makana both we could make our shopping trip faster.  When we got home, I left the groceries in the car because playing outside with Kanoa seemed more important right away and I thought I'd get to the groceries in just a short while.  Li remembered that the whipping cream (which I bought to make crepes for him when his friend visits) was still in the back of the car and brought All the groceries in.  Not only did he do that, but he put them all away!!!  I was so surprised that the groceries were put away and thought that Katie must have done it somehow, but when I asked her, she said she hadn't done it.  So I asked Li and then thanked him!  Wow!  How nice that was!

Apple Picking At Hope Orchards Saturday October 6, 2012

Had a great family time at Hope Orchards picking apples and then playing at True Park across the street.  When we got to the orchard, Makana and Kanoa ran!!  They were So excited to get to where we could pick and then so excited to find apples that they thought were good ones.  Makana's bag broke and she put them in my bag and then decided to use her shirt to collect some more.  Jim and I sampled one each right off the tree and they were tart, yet delicious.  We bought one gallon of cider and some dehydrated apples as well.  (To make them at home - 175 degrees for 8 hours in a dehydrator with some sugar to crisp them and some cinnamon for taste - hoping to try that sometime!)  We played lots at the playground and then even found a ball in the woods to use on the basketball courts and kicked it around or tried to make some baskets.  It was such a nice time together!  The kind of day when we might think back and remember and get that good feeling inside about the moments shared on that cloudy day we went apple picking and played at the park.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nice lego moment with Kanoa

Playing Legos with Kanoa....Li is sitting nearby building on his own.

We found the yellow pineapple which was Sponge Bob's house. I attempted to put it in the usual tiny spot that we designated as the hiding area so Plant Man wouldn't get it.  I tried to put it there, but it went elsewhere.  Kanoa said that wasn't where it was supposed to go.  I told him that I knew, but my big fingers prevented me from getting it in there.  He said, "I can do it with my little plingers" and took it and plopped in it the right spot.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Makana reads Go Dog Go

This morning Makana (age 7) picked up Go Dog GO to read to Kanoa (age 3).  He lost interest, but she read it to me and herself aloud!  She was so surprised that suddenly she could do it!  I was excited for her!  Before she could only read some words.  This time, she got all the words except for two of them!  This is an example of her being able to read when she was ready.

Whenever she got in the mood for a book, Go Dog Go was the one she picked up to look through and "read" more than any other book and I know she really wanted to be able to read it word for word by herself.  She would say aloud (to herself, me or someone else) what she remembered on each page, coming up with similar sentences descriptive of the pictures, but not necessarily exactly what was written.  Most of the time she read it the way she could and got much enjoyment out of it.  When she was frustrated in the past at not being able to read the way Jim or I or Katie or Li did, I told her that she'd be able to read when She was ready and that people are ready at different times and it would happen.  We made a list of the words that she did knew and that seemed to please her.

I suspected that her ability to read it was coming as she's been writing alot over the past few months while gaming and skpying, asking me to spell or write for her when needed.  I noticed that she could write and spell more and more words and I noticed that she was able to read more words as well.  It was so exciting this morning to hear her read aloud and feel so happy about finally being able to do something she has been wanting to do for so long!  She said that I had always said it would happen when she was ready, and it did!   Awesome!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mystic, CT, Mom and More

Went to CT for Jim to visit lighthouses and to take a cruise with Katie and Li and Makana to a special lighthouse that we've talked about visiting for years, New London Ledge Light.  Kanoa was too young for the trip.  Wolf and Katie were to go on a cruise by themselves in the morning, and then all the kids except Kanoa were to go on the afternoon cruise to New London Ledge and see where "Ernie the Ghost" haunts and once lived.  The weather canceled the first trip, but it was rescheduled to Sunday.  The New London Ledge trip was canceled for the weekend and we weren't able to be there when it was available again.  

view from hotel window

We went to Mystic Village and then the Aquarium - the beluga whale was awesome to see!  It came right up to people - Makana included!  How exciting!  (scroll down to get to the beluga whale pictures)

Katie was excited to see the Titanic Exhibit - I thought it was very good.

I loved the quote by Robert Ballard about us being born curious explorers.

It goes along with Valerie Fitzenreiter's quote: “A child does not have to be motivated to learn, in fact, learning cannot be stopped. A child will focus on the world around him and long to understand it. He will want to know why things are the way they are. He won’t have to be told to be curious, he will just be curious. He has no desire to be ignorant. Rather he wants to know everything.”

Love these words....

We all loved the 4D Sponge Bob movie that was worth paying extra for!  What a nice end to our visit at the aquarium!  

Li LOVED being doted on by big sister Katie.  He felt so special. <3 td="">


Mom came up from NJ on Sunday and we all explored Mystic Seaport together.  Later that night, Jim stayed with Kanoa so I could spend time with mom and the other kids at dinner (that was SO kind as it is precious to get to see her in person and have time to talk with her at length!).  

We saw a praying mantis just before we went out in the car!  I haven't seen one in years!!  Used to see them a lot when I was a young child.  So this was so cool to me!

Mom really wanted to go on this boat ride.  It would have brought us closer to the exit area.  We waited a while for it.

Kanoa felt uneasy about it, so he and I got off.  Though he wanted to try going back on, the man running the boat told us he wasn't letting Kanoa "play games" and refused to let us back on.  I was Mad and told the man that Kanoa was NOT playing games.  This man must have been brought up to think kids are manipulative or something,  I was very unhappy about the way we were treated.  Would he have treated an adult that way?

But Kanoa and I made the best of it by visiting one last museum that had a game room upstairs.


That evening (or was it Sunday?), Jim took Li and Katie to a mall while I took Kana and Kanoa to the pool. Makana lost a tooth there!  Seems every time we've traveled, at least one child loses a tooth!  Exciting for them!  

Monday we visited a couple of lighthouses - it was SO beautiful at Stonington!!!  We went to this beach near the parking area by the lighthouse and Makana let Kanoa wear one of her new necklaces and they joyfully played together.  It was SO lovely to be a witness to their play and I watched them with a smile in my heart.  Li joined in too.  Katie chilled out by the rocks by the water.  We spent a bit of time with Jim by the lighthouse, but only he climbed to the top because it would have cost so much money for all of us to go up.  A beautiful spot and what a nice morning we had!

We picked up Wolfgang on the way home who visited for 3 weeks.  I love how excited and happy Katie and Wolfgang are when they see each other again.

The following Wednesday we went to Bugmania at the Maine State Museum - though it was interesting seeing the specimens and collecting bugs outside, the best fun was had rolling down the steep hill alongside the museum with friends!

  Makana Really wanted to sleepover Rubys and felt that this one time...right then...she Could do it!  I at first had said no because I wasn't so sure she could and felt like it would be a long almost two hours to get her if she couldn't, but I changed my mind because I saw the look in her eye and felt that it meant SO much to her to do it or at least try.  She did do it too!  I remember when she was buckled in, there was one moment where I thought..hmmm..does she still feel okay about this?  I didn't say anything though as I wanted her to trust herself and make choices that felt right to her.  She had a great time!