Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Baby Sister is All Grown Up

This past week we made the long, and I do mean long, trip to Missouri to watch my baby sister graduate high school. We got to have time with family and enjoy some cool sights along the way. The highlight was when we went with Aunt Anna, Aunt Karen, and Uncle Josh to Montauk state park. We waled around, fed the fish in the hatchery, and had dinner in the lodge. Jamie and Linda had a lot of fun at the pond my parents have made on their land. They caught a bunch of tadpoles and frogs that sadly did not seem to survive the ride home. I cannot believe how much my sisters have grown up. Noah and Mina had a great time chasing my sister's poor little dog. Mina had such a good time that she has asked every day to go to "doggy's house". Here are some pictures, some of them I cannot take credit for because I am a terrible person who did not get much pictures.

Aunt Anna All Grown Up

The Arch in St. Louis

Montauk Hatchery

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

This can be a hard day for mother's who have lost a child, no matter how long ago, how old the child was, or if they have any other children. Another website printed the Top 10 Things Grieving Mothers Want Most on Mother's Day. I thought it was very appropriate.

1. Recognize that they are a Mother: Offer a hug and a "Happy Mother's Day". Send a simple Mother's Day card to let them know you remember that they are a mother even though their child is not with them physically.

2. Acknowledge that they have had a loss: Express the message, "I know this might be a difficult day for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you today." Removing the wall of silence gives a grieving mother permission to talk about her child.

3. Use their child's name in conversation: Saying the name of a child who has died is like music to a grieving mothers ears. One mother suggested, "Say his name and ask me my fondest memory of him from past Mother's Days".

4. Plant a living memorial: This is a wonderful day to plant a tree or flower bulbs in memory of the child. This is something that will live on as a beautiful reminder in the years to come.

5. Visit the Gravesite: Many mothers felt that it was "extremely thoughtful" when others visited their child's gravesite and left flowers or a small pebble near the headstone.

6. Light a Candle: Let the mother know you will light a candle in memory of their child on Mother's Day.

7. Share a Memory or Pictures of the Child: Give the precious gift of a memory. One mother wrote that the "greatest gift you can give is a heart felt letter about my child and your most lovely moments with them".

8. Send a Gift of Remembrance: Many mothers suggested appropriate gifts of remembrance that would bring them comfort. These items included: an angel statue, a piece of jewelry, a memory box, a memorial candle, a picture frame, a library book donation, an ornament, memorial poetry, anything personalized with the child's name or a date, books on grief, a garden stone or a toy donation in the child's name.

9. Don't try to minimize their loss: Avoid using any cliches that attempt to explain the death of a child. ( "God needed another angel.") Secondly, don't try to find anything positive about the loss ( "You still have two healthy children" or "She's in a better place").

10. Encourage Self-Care: Self-care is an important aspect of the "healing the mind and spirit effort" according to several mothers. Encourage a grieving mother to take care of herself. Give her a gift certificate to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered and take her mind off of her grief for an hour or two.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spring Break

It was kind of a lousy weather week here during spring break. There was cold, rain, snow, and sleet. I felt very sorry for the kiddos who spent the whole week cooped indoors bored. I had a three day weekend at work for the holiday so we decided to take the kiddos into Milwaukee for an overnight visit. We stayed at a hotel that had a little waterpark in it and then the next day we went to a hands on science center. The kids had a great time and it was nice to get out as a family. The Discovery Zone was positively huge and located right on Lake Michigan which is the biggest body of water my family has ever seen. It made for a very fun day and some really neat pictures.

Look who finally has hair!