Friday, November 22, 2013

Older children need chill time too

In this fast paced, technological world we live in, how do we make time for our children to just chill? How do we all just tune out and really tune in to each other? Now that my children are older, I have to think of more innovative ways to keep that connection going with them; encouraging them to feel relaxed and at ease after the business of the day. While they are past the dinner, bath, story and bedtime routine to an extent; I still attempt to maintain a level of consistency with our evening time together.

Gone are the days when I would play soothing lullabies for my girls to settle them down for the evening; I now play artists we all enjoy and can vibe to. I sometime allow the girls to play music from their favorite artists as well; it gets them talking and I love to have dialogue with my kids; it's a great way to spend quality time; to find out what they are thinking. It usually is a win win situation. We also read together, especially after dinner but not necessarily at bedtime. We read poetry, geography books and chapter books to name a few. In fact we just finished a book titled "Cousins" by Virginia Hamilton. We really enjoyed the suspense of what was happening in the story, sharing our thoughts together and talking about the conclusion of the book. Books usually prompt questions and this is yet another way to utilize the opportunity for dialogue together. Some children may not be into books as much and that is okay; children can be met where they are and their likes and dislikes taken into consideration. 

Most children love to get outside but are not getting out enough or at all. We all need fresh air and exercise; especially after work and school has kept many of us inside buildings most of the day. Sometime after picking up the kids from school, instead of rushing home to do homework and watch the clock to ensure we are on task, we take an impromptu trip the beach or the park, or even a nature trail to have a few moments for unwinding. Often, we'll take walks in our neighborhood together; giving us time to talk about our day together. If I have noticed that one or both of the girls are exhausted after school, I usually suggest a "rest" before homework so they can relax their minds before jumping into completing their assignments. Afterward they feel refreshed and are able to complete their work with less anxiety if they have taken some time to rest first. I don't mind the extra time we use in our day to do things that will help my family to have a more peaceful evening. I light candles, play jazz in the background, and we talk while having dinner together.

Towards the weekend, we have "movie nights" or "game nights" together and it's a great way to bring in the end of the week with something fun for us to do. Of course, kids will be kids and even the best intentions for "chill" time can fall by the wayside. What is most important is to realize that even older children need down time. Adults need down time, we all need down time.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The little things

My girls really help me to be more aware at times as well as thankful. Yesterday I was very tired from work and wanted to order food so I wouldn't have to cook. Well, it turns out that I didn't order food after my oldest daughter suggested we make pizza! We did in fact have plenty of ingredients to make homemade pizza and so that is what we did. I was happy it worked out that way and even happier when we all ate our culinary creation together. It was delicious and cost us zero dollars, which made me smile. Just another day with my girls who make me realize I indeed have so much to be thankful for.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My baby boy's 4th birthday

In the year 2009 on March 31st, I lost my son at 7months into my pregnancy with him. In 2006 I had a miscarriage in the first trimester of my pregnancy; I had not known what sex my baby was as it was too early to find out. It was an emotional experience for me with both losses. I remember both experiences as if they were etched in my mind, however, I feel stronger with each passing year…I feel  like; if I can navigate my way through something as painful as losing a baby twice, then I am truly a warrior in this life. This year my son would have been four years old, I also would have had a seven year old son or daughter. Those pregnancies were only meant to be spiritual for me; both my babies only existed in the spirit world. They came to me to teach me something, their presence changed my life in a way that I would never have imagined.

This year, I decided to take all of the mementos I received at the hospital where I gave birth to Samuel out of the little blue box I had kept them in since I left for home on that somber day. It is so beautiful today, the sunshine is pouring over me, lighting up my room with its brightness and I feel overjoyed at being alive. I feel overjoyed at the fact that I am ready to celebrate this huge step in my grieving process. I plan to purchase a brand new photo album and place all of my black and white photos of my son inside. I will choose something with vibrant colors to celebrate his life. The first photos I ever received of Samuel were ultrasound photos, when he was still alive and kicking away inside me.  I have pictures of his mouth yawning, his little legs, so perfectly shaped, and his profile which resembled his father so much. I also have cards from family and friends, the most beautiful picture created by my youngest daughter; Leilani. She drew Samuel, me, herself and her sister Kaiyah all together with heart shaped smiles. I treasure this picture drawn in crayon; it is so full of love.
 I will no longer feel that his life, his short journey of existence has to be kept inside of a blue box I received from the hospital where I had him. Thinking about this plan has made me feel so happy and more at peace. I know now so much that I didn’t know at the time this was happening in my life. I didn’t feel any peace, or happiness and I didn’t understand why this had to happen. I still don’t have all of the answers but I’m closer to healing than ever before and I just want to keep going in that direction.  It will be soothing to my spirit to devote something special to the memories of my baby boy.