Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ready for a Comeback?

It's been over two years since I have posted to this blog. The other day I decided to revisit it and read through some of my old posts. They reminded me of some of the things I have learned along the way as a parent. Some of the posts were good reminders for me of the kind of parent I want to be.

The last time I posted was about a week before my sweet mother-in-law, Juli, passed away. The past couple of years since then have been tough, partly because of Juli's death and partly because of the other stuff life has thrown at us. I have learned that I am a resilient and loyal person. I have also renewed and deepened my relationship with God.

I recently read Leap Over a Wall, by Eugene Peterson, about the life of King David. In the book Peterson talks about the time David spent in exile before becoming king, and how he learned to see the beauty in the wilderness. That is something I am striving to do in my life--see the bright spots and soak them up. That is part of why I think I would like to try returning to writing on this blog again,

so I can look back and see the beauty in the wilderness that is parenting.

Since August of 2010, I have written a community news blog for my neighborhood ( It was gratifying to watch it grow in popularity and receive thousands of page views every month, something I have never come close to here on Mommies Think Too. I realized in going back through my old posts that the value in this blog is not how many people read it, but how it helps me to articulate my feelings about parenting and the things in life that matter to me.

I'm not promising anything, but I hope to be posting here more regularly.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fatty Thighs Exposed!

The YMCA is a great outlet for our family, especially during Spokane's frigid winters.   They have a gym,   workout equipment, fitness classes, a family game room, free childcare and three pools.  The kids love it there and Jeff and I enjoy having a place for all of us to burn off some steam.

The only thing I really dislike about the Y is running into neighbors and accquaintances in my swimsuit.  I find myself being forced to stop and chat with people that I would normally see while walking the kids to school or bump into at the post office while my big, white thighs are on display for all the world to see. 

The flip side to that is that I also have to see people I know bare it all too, which may seem like it would ease my discomfort, but I don't know that I want to know about my neighor's tattoos.  Seeing strangers butt-naked in the communal showers in the locker room is one thing, but seeing your pediatrician bare it all is something quite different.  Plus I have a four-year-old that says whatever she thinks, such as "Mommy, that lady has a fat tummy!"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What the Game of Life Has Taught My Son

Last week we went shopping for some good old-fashioned family board games.  Winter is lasting forever and the kids, particularly Sammy, needed a deterrant from the Wii.  We came home with the Game of Life and Sorry Sliders

I never played the Game of Life as a kid and was shocked to find out that sprinkled throughout the game are squares that allow you to sue a player of your choice for $100,000.  There are also squares called "Spin to Win" that allow you to place a bet on the number of your choice and spin the wheel.  If it lands on the  number you bet on, you double your money. 

So there you have it, suing and gambling.  The only upside is that Sammy also learned that investing money in a house means that you have that asset later to sell when you want to retire.  Just what every 7-year-old needs to know about life, right?

P.S. Sorry Sliders is a fun game that preschoolers can play but is still entertaining for older kids and adults.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Memorial Day 2010---A Poem!

By Jeff Gish (my husband)

The doppler radar
forecasted rain
but we chose not to listen
...bring on the pain!

The rain came around
but we got a little sun
and finally our bikes' cranks
got pedaled, pushed & spun

We saw some wildlife...
an inquisitive chipmunk fellow
most interesting however,
was a spider clad in yellow

We enjoyed nature's beauty
we saw the towns & farms
we went coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs
we robbed mallows from "Junky Charms"

Bought some wet wood
from the ranger station
the billows of smoke at our camp
could have covered a small nation

Abby loved her bike trailer rides
and super book adventures
luckily her top bunk fall
didn't leave her with dentures

Sammy got to pee in the woods
as all boys like to do
as much as playing in the fire
or camping without shoes

Mom and Dad smiled more than not
slowing life down and grasping all we've got

It's one of our favorite getaways
to visit Heyburn Cabin
we hope you all relax and have
as much fun as we are havin'

Jeff wrote this poem in the cabin journal before we packed up and went home after our stay over the long weekend. I am a little late in getting it posted, but still wanted to share it. If you want to read more of Jeff's writing, you can visit his blog about the moving industry.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mom Friends

Often I think that my friendships with other women depend not on whether we have things in common or enjoy eachother's company but on whether or not we have children that play compatibly. Most of my get-togethers with other women are playdates for our children. This isn't to say that I don't love my mom friends, I do, but I wonder about the other women I have missed the chance to get to know because our kids weren't the right ages to play together or didn't seem to hit it off.

I also worry about what will happen to my friendships with other moms as our kids grow and go in different directions. It has already happened with a few friends that had children in Sammy's preschool. Once our kids went to kindergarten at different schools and we didn't see each other every week, it became difficult to maintain those friendships. I suppose that is the natural way of things--life changes and people move on and new people come in to fill the gaps.

Jeff and I have two couples that we have been friends with for a long time, one set since college and the other since we were new parents together. We don't live near either couple anymore, but we still make an effort to stay in touch (and I mean more than just on facebook) and see each other when we can. Sometimes our kids get along with their kids and sometimes they don't, but that doesn't change the adults' friendships. Somehow I think we'll always be friends with those people--we'll be going on senior cruises with them and talking about our hip problems with each other. I hope some of my mom friends will make it into that category of forever friends--that our connections remain even when our circumstances change.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Overscheduled Mom

I heard on the news quite awhile back about a study that said parents are among the angriest people in America and I believe it. I bet it is especially true for moms like me that stupidly sign their kids up for every activity under the sun and spend their week ferrying their kids between school, soccer practice, Spanish class, swim lessons, etc. At least I don't have a mini-van or a pair of "Mom Jeans" because then I would truly have to admit that my life is all about my kids and not much else.

I know my anger comes not from the fact that I spend so much time in the car, but the effort it takes to get in the car. Abby hates transitions and if I don't plan it out just right, she will have a fit about getting her hair combed or her jacket on or about which snack I packed--anything you can think of. Sammy, who is getting close to 7-years-old, has to be told twenty-five times to get his shoes on, find a jacket, etc. He is always off setting up a lego scene or chasing the cat when it's time to be going out the door. And I am willing to bet that's where most parents' anger comes from--trying to get little people to do things that they don't necessarily want to do at that moment. It's the coersion that is so stressful and makes me yell and wish that I could use the f-word. I have discussed this with my husband and he says my job is not that different from his--the people are just bigger where he works (he oversees about 30 employees).

I could say screw all this running around and just throw them outside to play. I think that is what mothers in previous generations did most of the time, right? (Which reminds me to recommend Free Range Kids to anyone who is afraid to send their kids outside by themselves or allow them to do any number of things that we were allowed to do as kids.) The only problem is that my kids really do seem to enjoy the activities they are in and benefit from them a great deal, it's just the getting ready that's too dull for words in their minds. In fact there was a study done by Sandra Hoefferth of the University of Maryland Population Research Center that said that kids are not stressed by being involved in lots of activities, it's just the parents that are stressed. The study goes on to say that kids that are not in any extra-curricular activities are actually at the most risk for being withdrawn and not performing as well in school as their peers (the study was highlighted in the Washington Post awhile back but is unfortunately not available online for free).

Summer is just around the corner, so there is relief in sight. I can sit back and just enjoy lazy days at the pool or the park with the kids....except I will have to wrestle them both to the ground to apply sunscreen to their fair little bodies before we ever venture out of the least crocs just slip on!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Carnival, Science Night, 2 Fieldtrips, a Kitten...

...and a few other things we have been up to this spring:

The PTG at Sammy's school put on an awesome carnival. There were tons of games, face painting, snow cones, cotton name it, they had it.

Abby's school had another great Science Night with hands-on projects galore!

Sammy has an amazing kindergarten teacher that does tons of science with the kids. The class has been studying pond life, so they walked down to a pond near the school and met with a former high school and college biology teacher to do some real world research.

Abby's co-op preschool visited a farm after a unit about farm animals. Besides being home to lots of cute critters, this farm also has a dairy where they pasteurize and bottle their own milk to sell to local stores.

Meet Socks, the newest member of our family. Abby's teacher was a foster parent to a pregnant cat from the Humane Society. We adopted one of the kittens so the kids could have a pet of their own. Our other cat, Nilla, is quite old and has never been too enthused about playing with Sammy & Abby.

In April we made two trips--one to Seattle and one to Yakima. Unfortunately we did not have the memory card in the camera when we went to Seattle so we have no pictures of our trip to the top of the Space Needle. In Yakima Sammy got to ride the go-cart that my brother built for my nephew.