Friday, July 24, 2015

Let's All Just Be Offended About Stuff

I wonder if this will be a period of time that will be looked back on and labeled, "the period of time in which everyone was offended by everything."

I'm offended by that. (wink)

I love Facebook and instagram!  I haven't jumped on the twitter band wagon yet and I'm not sure that I ever will since I already have to exercise tremendous self-control to stay off of all of the electronic devices around me.  I don't need another reason to pick up my phone to "check on something," and an hour later forget why I even picked up the phone.  I don't want another excuse to open my laptop, hop on the ipad (or an ipad mini), or turn on the t.v. and stream something through Playstation or the Wii.  
I love keeping up with friends both old and new.  I love feeling like I haven't totally lost touch with everyone that I am unable to see as often as I'd like; such as my family that live out of state.  

I enjoy watching all of the ridiculous and funny videos posted on Facebook.  There was a video circulating of Australians trying out American beer for example.  Have you seen that one yet?  Pretty funny but, seriously, I probably could have done something much more productive with those 4 minutes of my life....naaaahhh.  I take that back.  That was time well spent.   

Social media is great.  Really!  It has opened so many doors for communication that we didn't have before and it networks people all over the world.  It can be such a blessing. 

The one aspect of social media that I am not quite as fond of is the hyper sensitivity and offense that everyone takes over everything now.  Or maybe it is the fact that everyone has such a strong opinion about everything and in the process of having these strong opinions on social media we forget to treat each other with respect.  We forget to be loving.  We forget to be empathetic.  We forget to be forgiving.  We forget to be patient.  We forget that those tiny little squares of a face next to a name on Facebook or instagram are a real person, with a real soul and with real feelings.

Or more honestly, perhaps we really don't care?  

I don't like when Facebook and other social media outlets become a war zone of words and hatred. 

I also don't like when people blast the world with their strong opinions and then belittle everyone who doesn't share in their opinion.  Can we agree to disagree sometimes?  Can we not just respect that we are not always going to see eye to eye on everything?  

Let me give one large example which requires me to bring up the very touchy subject of gay marriage...can't believe I am going here...but, just for a tiny second, simply to prove a point I shall boldly go where...well, anyways.

Honestly, I was overwhelmed, heartbroken and even angered by all that I read on Facebook the week that gay marriage was approved for all of the states.  I never posted anything opposing or supporting the news one way or another but, I did read a great deal.  A quarter of the folks that I'm friends with were viciously attacking gays and gay rights community and the victory that they were celebrating and another quarter of the folks I am friends with were viciously attacking Christians and the community who are not in support of the gay marriage victory.  It was hostile.  It was ugly.  It was hurtful and down right brutal.  Am I right?  

Another quarter were actually quite civil about the whole thing...and to those of you on either side who were civil. I APPLAUD YOU.  It takes self-control, patience, kindness, understanding and love to be respectful in the midst of a hot issue but, you all prove that it is in fact possible!  

Yes, we can love each other and not always agree.  We really me! 

 I love my daughter to pieces and yet we disagree with each other a dozen times a day.  It's absolutely exhausting but, it CAN BE DONE. :)   

I think opinions are great!  God made us to think creatively and independently but, he didn't create us to control or manipulate others to think exactly like we do.  He didn't create us to attack and condemn each other.  He didn't create us to hate.  

When we feel hatred or disgust towards another human being (and I'm not even talking about a murderer or rapist or someone like that...maybe just someone who doesn't cover their mouth when they cough, GASP and you de-friend them on facebook.)...we need to realize that we are in fact part of the big problem that our world has today.   
God created us to love one another.   He created us to think less about ourselves and our feelings and our emotions and more about the needs and hearts of others.  

And if you do not believe in God I can understand that you might have your own moral code but, I'm guessing that you still want to be loved, do you not?  I'm betting that you still want others to treat you with respect am I right?  

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is a pretty widely accepted philosophy. 

All of this is not to say that engaging in healthy debate is wrong or inappropriate.  Not at all!  Debate can be very productive and educational for listeners.  I love listening to and participating in a good debate on Facebook!  I love hearing what y'all have to say and what y'all think about things and you all know that I too share my heart and thoughts on subjects as well.  I'm right there with yah!

 I would say that it is a fine line and more often than not, even a healthy debate turns into something completely corrupt and hostile before it has concluded.  Not always of course...but, often.  

We don't need to call each other names do we?  

Kids would get put in a really long time out for the kind of stuff that most grown ups participate in online.  Maybe we grown ups need to remember to take a time out when we are feeling frustrated or too hot-tempered to control our words.  Just walk away from the keys.  Just step away from the hot topic post that is making your eye twitch.  Step away from it all and cool off and get some fresh perspective before responding in anger.  Think before you speak.  

Maybe consider asking God to give you a loving heart for even the most difficult people in your life. Trust me, I can attest that this is not easy territory to walk in.  #dailystruggle

I saw a handful of people who shared that they were taking a break from Facebook because it was too painful to read all that was being posted.  

Good for you.  I took a little break too.  I prayed.  I cooled off and then when I wasn't overwhelmed by it all I returned...though it only took like 5 seconds to feel that heat rise when I got back into social media. lol  I'm guilty too of course. 

Anyways, I couldn't help but, blog about this today.  It was one of those posts that has been itching on my finger tips for SO LONG.  I know that this post isn't going to change anything...okay well, that was a bit pessimistic but, what I mean is that very few people read my blog.  

Sometimes I write simply because I publish my blog and I save these posts for my kids. 

 I hope that my kids will know the kind of grown up that I try to be.  I hope that my kids will not only read my words someday but, be able to say that I tried my best to be a loving example in action and truth. I hope that they can someday say that I taught them how to treat others both those that we agree with and those that we disagree with.  I will surely fail at times and some of you will witness my failings but, I will seek forgiveness and try again.  I want to be a kinder and more loving person today than I was yesterday and tomorrow I hope that I can be a kinder and more loving person than I was today. 

I love you all.  I really do....each and every opinionated one of you:) hehe

And now that I have poured these jumbled thoughts onto a page, I am going to close this laptop and take a little break and visit a friend.   


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Her First Week Of Kindergarten - Recap

Daisy was in preschool for two years so we were familiar with a school routine but, there is just something so much larger about the kindergarten least for me there is.  (sidenote: Daisy picked out her outfit for the first day of school.  I had new outfits she could have chosen from but, instead she chose a consignment dress we had gotten that had Daisies on it.  She said, "Mom, if I wear this dress then everyone will know that my name is Daisy!"  I melted.  I just adore the things that kids say and think.  So, she picked her dress and her hair bow.  It actually goes against my nature to let my kiddo pick everything out on her first day of school...usually, I like to have some say at least but, it felt good to let my little girl who was venturing out into a big world, make some bigger decisions for herself.  I was SO proud of her and thought she looked darling.  I don't know how long my kiddo will tolerate dresses on school days so I am eating this up!)

Daisy wasn't excited about starting Kindergarten but, she wasn't scared of it either.  She told me that she missed her preschool buddies and the familiarity of her past school routine.  She also told me quite a often told me she wanted to go back to her old school.  Completely understandable. She isn't the type of kiddo that charges into new things, rather, she quietly takes things in, observes, processes and slowly warms up...usually warms up.  She is also an introvert in the sense that she recharges with quiet time so I knew that long school day from 8:30-4:15 was going to be a big transition for her.  

She is a lot like her momma what can I say.  

She actually did get pretty excited on the first day of school which was a pleasant surprise.  I created a little checklist for her on a small white board that she got to carry around with her all morning.  It gave her a list of tasks that she had to complete before she could watch TV or play video games.  On day four of school she never picked the white board up once.  The novelty had already worn off.  She knew the routine already so she didn't want to use it anymore...that was fast!) lol.

And yes, my daughter LOVES playing video games!  I can barely keep her away from them.  When we originally got her Super Mario Cart she was barely interested but, when Daddy got Super Mario world her interest grew and she has gotten SO good...way better than me.  It's a trip. lol  It's also a really special thing that she and Daddy do together and that motivates her to get better.

 But, back to the checklist...that first morning Daisy proudly checked off each thing on her checklist after she finished the task.  She had a smile on her face all morning.  She really was quite giddy! I never had to battle with her once that entire morning which was a rare treat.  The second day of school was a different   

Then as we drove to school she got quiet which is what she does when she is feeling anxious.  I tried to chat with her a little bit, but mostly she wanted to look out the window and think.  She stayed quiet for the remainder of the morning and through drop off as well.  

In the hall as we walked to her classroom I felt the strongest nudge from the holy spirit (if you are not familiar with the holy spirit...shoot me an e-mail and we can talk:) to pray with my daughter...right there in the middle of that super busy hallway.  Daisy was so nervous, I was feeling nervous for her and we both needed some strength from Jesus that morning.  I'm not wildly extroverted or terribly bold so kneeling publicly to pray like that doesn't exactly come easily to me but, it really did that morning and that was another confirmation that God was all over it.  She held my hand so tight and bowed her sweet head with me and I prayed for bravery and courage for her.  I know Jesus was close to her and that lots of prayers were covering her that first day.  That gave me so much strength and peace. 

I can't tell you how thankful I am that I can kneel and pray in my daughter's public school!  I do not take that freedom for granted.  I love that no one gave me an evil eye or told me to go pray in private etc.  I don't have to be afraid of going to jail for the rest of my life or being shot for my faith.  Guys, we are SO SO blessed in this country to have that kind of religious freedom when so many around the world do not.  I pray that we get to have that kind of freedom for a long, long time in Jesus name.

By praying with my daughter, I got to invite Jesus into my daughter's school.  I got to encourage my daughter through faith and I got to teach her to seek Jesus publicly when she needs his help.  I was able to show her that no matter where we go, Jesus wants to be there with us and we don't have to hide our faith!  What an awesome thing this was.  I didn't know that my hubby snapped this picture and when he texted it to me after we got home, I finally started crying.  It kind of opened the flood gates that I had been trying so hard to hold back. 

Back to our first day of school recap...

We were the second family to walk her to the classroom door.  Only 6 kids were attending class the first day which was so nice.  In my opinion, her school day is far, far too long and I am at least thankful that they give the kids one less crowded and crazy day to transition a little at least.  

Daisy sat next to a cute little boy who was also quite nervous.  They both began coloring the activity page in front of them silently.  I asked them a few questions and tried to get a little conversation started between the two of them to break a little ice but, of course the jitters were too strong.

Honestly, I remember feeling the same way on my first day of school in every grade I attended...all the way through college!  First day jitters...excited and nervous all at once. 

Then another little gal walked in with her parents.  A lively, bold, carefree, extremely extroverted child who clearly had no jitters whatsoever.  (Can someone please tell me what that is like?) "Hi Ms. S!!" She yelled into the room.  She threw her backpack by the wall and then yelled, "bye mom, bye dad." Everyone was laughing because her ease on the first day was surprising and so cute.  Then she came up to Daisy and said with a burst of energy, "Do you want to be my bestest friend today?"  

I mean how adorable is that.  

She put Daisy at ease a bit and that helped my aching heart so much.  Daisy told me after school that they hung out a little bit at recess also so that made me feel better too.  I don't think they have hung out since but, I am thankful for the friends that God places in our lives to help us along each and every day.  God is good. 

It was hard to leave her that morning.  If I didn't have a baby who was squirming in his carrier, I probably would have dragged my departure out a bit more.  I wanted to sit in a corner and observe and be there for moral support.  I wished I had an invisibility cloak so I could linger without judgement. lol

Yup, I'm that Momma...the one who longs to help my kiddo every step of the way but, who recognizes that I can't and that it isn't always best.  But, dang it sucks sometimes to have to let them face those big mountains all alone.  Thankfully, I know she isn't alone...she has Jesus with her always and that gives me so much comfort. 

Her teacher is a really sweet lady and I know with a little more time that Daisy will grow to really like her.  Daisy did get scolded for the first time yesterday which was day 3 (I was like, wow that didn't take long) and boy did it ruin her entire day.  She said she was coloring a picture and she didn't hear the teacher say that they were only supposed to color the tree.  She said she was trying so hard to make the teacher proud by staying in the lines as best she could and she thought she had to color the entire picture.  The teacher sternly and loudly reprimanded Daisy for disobeying and she was absolutely crushed and embarrassed which is typical of her personality.

She was crying pretty hard last night when she finally opened up and shared the story with me.  I'm not sure if she was worried that I would be mad at her and that is why she waited all day to tell me or if she actually forgot about the whole thing for a little while. lol.  Either way, she was very upset when it finally came out.  She said her teacher doesn't like her and that she didn't want to go back to school.

I tried my best to use the opportunity to teach her that mommy and daddy have to discipline her but, we still love her like crazy and it is no different with her teacher. I told her that even Jesus disciplines me and it isn't fun but, it is to teach me something good and He loves me more than anyone in the whole.  Love and discipline can work together, I explained to the best of my ability...She's five....she didn't really get it but, she was listening so that's a plus.  The lovely learning train has really started taking off for my kiddo:). lol   

I picked Daisy up in carpool that first day because she asked me to and because I wanted to make her first day a little easier for both of us.  I had a good 30 cars in front of me or so.  Daisy isn't used to a carpool that long so by the time I got to her I could tell that she was crumbling.  She was clearly tired, emotional and worn out.  She pretty much looked exactly how I felt and how I used to feel after putting in an 8 hour day of never really gets easier even for grown ups does it? lol  

She got in the car and had the blankest expression on her face.  I asked her how her day was...really not expecting much chatter but, I got complete silence.  I asked her a couple more light questions and she just stared off.  Poor worn out thing.  I know my kiddo needs to decompress from overwhelming things so I pulled down the DVD screen and put on her cartoon...and let her watch her books on tape for about 20 minutes.  When we got to Target and I could tell that she was not in good shape at all.  I opened her door and asked if she needed a hug.  She did.  I picked her up and she burst into tears and just kept sobbing and sobbing.  A good cry always feels good and sometimes it's just the release a little person needs after such a huge first day away from the safety of home and Mom and little bro.  

It broke my heart but, I held it together as we Moms always try to do.  

When she was done crying I asked if she felt better and she said that she did and she genuinely perked up a bit after that.  I told her she could pick out our ice cream flavor for that night's dessert in the store and she was happy about that.  She also got a palace pet to add to her collection.  I don't always spoil my daughter but, on a hard day I sometimes can't help it...:). 

As the evening went on I gleaned a little more about her day here and there.  She liked reading books in her center.  She played with her extroverted pal and was thankful that she had a friend.  She loved the house keeping center.  She had a hearing test and that was interesting.  The cafeteria was neat but, she didn't know anyone that she was sitting with so it wasn't as much fun as she was hoping.  She never mentioned the play ground which I thought for sure I would hear about.  She also mentioned the bathroom and that the seats are her size. lol.  

That night in bed after her first day of school she asked if she had to go to school the next day.  I said nope, not for another week kiddo.  She was thrilled and never asked about school after that.  Oye.

At this point in her life, she LOVES being home with us.  She loves being with her brother and doing whatever we do.  She has a vivid imagination and she could tell stories and come up with creative things to do all day long at home.  She loves relaxing in her chair.  She likes space.  She likes quiet sometimes.  She loves cuddling and hugs and kisses.  She is so helpful at home and almost always has such a great attitude at home.  She is a home body...again like her Momma...and her Momma's momma....and her Momma's, Momma's Momma. lol....Perhaps learned...perhaps genetics or perhaps a bit of both.  Regardless, it's just who she is.  And I love who she is.

A few days ago was her first day riding the bus and her second day of school.  Technically, it was her first day of official class as all of the kids attended together for the first time.  I was far more anxious about my kiddo taking the bus than I was about walking her to her classroom door the previous week. 

I think a big reason for my nervousness is that I never rode a bus as a kid, nor did any of my friends growing up.  Most of us walked as school was super close and that's just how we did it in California.  Because I am not familiar with the bus experience it is hard for me to be comfortable with it.  I'm sure you can understand that.  Also, my kid is five.  Dang, it blows me away how young our babies are when we send them out.  Growing up, my kindergarten days were either 9-12 or 12-3.  We never, ever had a full day at that age.  It is CRAY CRAY to me that a baby-five-year-old has to be in class that long. Lame.  Most grown ups are wiped out after an 8 hour work day so why would we expect any different from our kids?  Sorry, rant over. 

Anyways, Daisy was nervous and a bit quiet again this morning but, she was also more chipper today than she was last week.  On her first bus day she had a good friend that will not only ride the bus with her but, also be in her class.  I am so thankful that she has a friend to make this adjustment with.  I know how much braver I feel when I have a friend with me in new places.  

The two girls faces lit up when they saw each other this morning and then they held hands all the way to the bus stop.  I gave Daisy a few hugs and kisses and told her that I couldn't wait to see her after school and hear about her day.  Her little hands were made my strong heart crumble and I felt my tear ducts giving out on me...but, I stuffed it down again.  

She marched on the bus so bravely with her pals.  I held my phone up in the air to snap a picture but, it refused to unlock and thus not a picture to show for it...first time ever that my iphone has ticked me off. lol  

I guess it wasn't a moment meant to be captured.  I did snap a picture of her getting off the bus in the afternoon:). 

Once she boarded the bus, I saw her squeezed on the front bench with two of her pals and she had a big smile on her face.  I waved over and over and blew her kisses and she did the same.  Then I saw her looking for Daddy and she couldn't find him in the crowd.  I hollered for him (he was in the back with Bruin in his stroller.  I was so thankful that he was taking care of the baby so I could focus more on Daisy..that was a big blessing) and they saw each other and her smile got even bigger. 

Boy, my kiddo has become a major Daddy's girl since the birth of our son.  It is pretty sweet if I do say so and I know a certain Daddy who is just fine with this little change.  He eats it up.  

Then as the bus drove away and my heart dropped...really, boom, crash.

I almost never cry in front of people and I seldom cry at all so I stuffed the emotions down and walked home with a friend and chatted a little bit.

Then I came inside, put some worship music on and began looking through the pictures that I had snapped at the bus stop before the bus came.  Looking at the pictures of my baby girl walking away from us with her friend and being so brave as she walked towards that bus when I knew how scared she really was got the water works going.  Ugggg....It was a rough few hours I'm not gonna lie.  I worried about her. I wondered how she was doing.  I wondered why on Earth the clock hadn't moved in three hours...I swear it said 9 AM an hour ago??  The day dragged on and on but, I got through it and I tried to keep myself busy.

I Couldn't wait to pick her up.  The bus rolled up and I saw her cute face in the dark tinted windows up front.  She was grinning wide.  She marched off the bus and came straight into my arms and gave me the longest hug that my sweet friend captured that moment for me.  I'm so thankful for all my awesome friends and hubby who capture these special moments for me unprompted.  I'm a blessed gal. 

I could tell that she was tired but, she was in a totally different mood than her first day of school.  She was chipper, silly and quite hyper.  She wanted to walk home with her friends and she was chatting with a Mom on our way down the street.  It felt great to see her in a better mood.  I was so encouraged.  

When we got home we had planned to take Daisy out to her favorite ice cream place for "first day of riding the bus," treat day.  She seemed excited.  Then she got very into washing Daddy's truck with him.  She got in her bathing suit and sprayed water everywhere.  She had a blast hosing her hair and all the plants.  When I asked if she wanted to go get ice cream she said, "I just want to eat ice cream at home and keep washing Daddy's truck."  

Yup, that's my home body girl.  
Love you to bits Daisy. 

So, we stayed home and had ice cream from our freezer instead.  She also ate a ton of dinner so I think her big day worked up an appetite.  

I heard a little more about her day at bedtime.  That is often when she is the most talkative and as exhausted as I am at bedtime, I try really hard to be available for chatter at this time of day.  It seems to be when kids are more relaxed and able to process their thoughts.  It seems to be when they feel safe to share things.  Is it that way for any of you with your kiddos?

  She liked riding the bus a lot.  She liked the play ground and the cafeteria but, everything else was SO BORING MOM.  She did however mention that they were told a story about letter land where the magic letters live and she loved that.  Then she said, "but mom, I already know all the letters.  This is going to be so boring."  She knows the letters but, not how to write them all so she actually has a lot to learn...tough life kiddo.  Let the many years of boring, learning begin.  lol.

She also forgot where her snack was in her back pack so she didn't have one when she needed it and that made me feel bad.  I suppose that might have been why she was so hungry after school today.  hehe

Overall, I would say that her very first bus day to school was a decent one! Yay! And I am so, so thankful for all the prayers, encouragement and loving support for me (my hubby too) and our sweet girl as she begins this new chapter in her life.

Day 3 was a bit harder for a few reasons, one: she was scolded by the teacher as I mentioned above, two: she once again forgot about her snack so she was quite hungry and three: she experienced a tiny bit of friend rejection when she asked a girl if she could play with her at recess and the girl said no because she already had friends.  So, Daisy was playing alone for a while and she doesn't like that. Later however; that same girl came up to Daisy and asked to play because her friends left and Daisy was happy to play with her.  I hope that she continues to make regular buddies as the school year goes on.  She also lost her art project that she was so excited to show me, somewhere on the bus.  She was really sad about that and I think that was the icing on the cake of her rough day.  Our sweet neighbor photo copied the piece (her youngest is in Daisy's class) and had her older daughter walk it up to our house.  Thanks so much Lori!

Today is day 4.  I'm just as eager to get her from the bus today as I was on day 1 and and can't wait to hear about her day today.  I'm thankful that Daisy is such a chatter box because it really pays off in times like these. lol.  That kid loves to tell me every little detail of her life.  Again, much like her Momma as you can tell by the length of this blog post:). 

  It's hard letting go.  I had no idea just how hard!  I also know that the letting go is a gradual process and I will have so many more moments of feeling this same bittersweet tug as I watch my daughter's wings unfurl more and more with each passing year.  Sixth grade graduation, middle school graduation, high school graduation, college graduation (if that is her thing:), a wedding someday perhaps....sigh.  

"Little by little one travels far." 

Love that quote.  Thankfully, we don't have to take huge steps all in one day (because that would kill this Momma's heart!) but, with God's help, little by little we let our kids go and grow.  

And lastly here are a few pics of Daisy that I took around Valentine's Day but, never got around to sharing.  Love them all!

The truth is this probably isn't even half of the facial expressions that this kid has in her data base.  Daisy has made so many faces since she was a baby.  All I did was set her in front of the camera and asked her to smile.  This is what I usually get instead of a traditional "smile." The top smile picture was the very last expression she gave me, right before I snapped my camera off:). 

  Thanks for being such a ham, you sweet and silly daughter of mine.  Love you so much.