Well, I’ve been out of commission for a while now. We’re adding a new recruit and I was laid up with pretty bad morning sickness for about 5 months but I’m feeling a lot better now. We started up at the nursing home again this week and everyone was very happy to see us. HJ was pretty shy at first. I don’t think he really remembered the last time we went. He got over it pretty quickly though and he’s gotten very fast, he’s now one and a half. I spent most of the time chasing him up and down the hallway, which is getting harder the bigger i get. It’s good to be active again though and he definitely is keeping me on my toes.
September 25, 2009
May 19, 2009
Well, someone mentioned I may do a bit much bragging on my blog. Since that was not my initial reason to start one, I thought I’d share how my St. Vincent DePaul meeting went this morning. HJ, now 16 months old and fully coming into the demanding, tantrum phase( when does it end by the way?) started out fine but was very whiny and wanted me to pick him up the whole time and then squirmed and fussed some more. By the end of the meeting we had reached meltdown status. The church ladies really got a taste of what he could dish out. He was throwing himself on the floor, tears streaming, and very loud. The reason, I don’t think he even knew at that point. Let’s just say he really needed a nap! Oh well, this too shall pass. After lunch, and an almost 2 hour nap he was feeling better. Sometimes volunteering with out your kids ( or anything solo for that matter) can be appealing too.
April 30, 2009
I just want to take a minute and talk about the wonderful gift of giving. I was thinking about it on my way home from the nursing home this morning. We always seem to leave with a couple things the residents give to HJ. Today it was a bean bag frog and hand-made snowman. Other things have been a big chocolate rabbit and a stuffed dog. It’s always stuff we don’t need or maybe even want but those who give it are happy to have something to give and so we accept them with grateful hearts. It quite often is the case that the giver gets as much or more joy out of a gift than the receiver and I am thankful that God created us with the capacity to take joy in sharing and giving to each other. It’s also a wonderful thing to be able to teach to your children. I was touched at Easter when my oldest son had won dozens of candy filled eggs at a Church carnival and then proceded to gain just as much delight in divying them up to fill baskets for the members of his family as he did in winning them. We can always find something to give and take joy in and I am very greatful for that.
April 27, 2009
Well, HJ and I have been busy with our usual volunteering, He’s been breaking hearts at the rectory and nursing home but Saturday it was his big brother’s turn. My oldest son, 6, had decided after Christmas that since he didn’t need anything else he wanted to spend his Christmas money on food for the poor. So a while ago we went shopping and he picked out soup, mac n’cheese, applesauce, and Goldfish crackers. We hadn’t had an opportunity to take it to the food pantry till yesterday. He was very shy while we were there and after fending off hugs and kisses from the ladies who work the pantry he was ready to go. I told them it had been his own money and his idea and they were all tickled. It sure is nice to see your child growing into a kind and generous person. I’m really proud of him. He’s been bugging me to go for a trash pick-up walk and as soon as I get some rubber gloves I guess we’ll do it. His school just got their green school cert. so he’s now the little environmentalist. Cool!
March 27, 2009
I know it’s been awhile since I posted but one of my favorite residents at the nursing home passed away and I just wasn’t up to it. We’ve still been visiting though as well as doing St. Vincent DePaul work and I’ve been making soup for our church’s Soup and Stations on Fridays. I wasn’t sure how the kids would do in the little chapel but they’ve been surpirsingly good. Another of my favorite residents was pretty poorly today when we went to see her. She’s 100 years old and HJ always cheers her up. i hope she’s there next week, that’s probably the biggest downside to spending time with the elderly. Sometimes it’s sad. It’s always good to see the little ones make them smile though. A friend of mine and her 4 year old joined us today and he was great! He had a speech all prepared for each inquiry he received. He was ready with his name, it’s origin, and his birthday. He wasn’t shy at all, like some other children can be. I hope they come again. He was a big hit!
February 27, 2009
Yesterday HJ and I went visiting at the nursing home again. This week he was very shy. Possibly he was sleepy from waking up at 4:15 and not going back to sleep till 5:45 and then only for an hour. Hmmmm. The residents still loved him. The coy act is always a big hit. One of the ladies, who is 100 years old was in line to get her hair done and exclaimed “There’s my baby!” When she saw him. They really do enjoy the visits tremendously and so do we. I really recommend finding a place to take your children visiting because as one of the staff said ” Babies and the elderly are such a wonderful combination” We’re starting to develop truly nice relationships with some people and I don’t feel uncomfortable at all anymore. It brings out the best in all of us.
February 19, 2009
Well now that my youngest is walking/running all over the place it definitely makes our volunteering more energetic. Monday we had a St. Vincent De Paul meeting that was blessedly short because he was all over the place, flirting with the parish staff and tearing up and down the hallway. Every time I put him down, now he does this maniacal laugh with his hands out that is just too funny. We managed to get our cases and meeting, including my financial report, over in record time and I got him home in time for a good nap before I had to pick up the little boy I babysit.
Then this morning we went to the nursing home. He was a big hit, as usual. This week it was just us. We visited the ladies in the salon and those doing their PT as well as folks in their rooms and at breakfast. HJ is becoming quite the celebrity there now. Unfortunately he was a bit shy today and didn’t do all his tricks, but he played peek-a-boo and waved and did “so big” . My new favorite is the raspberry he does when asked what an elephant says. Oh well, maybe he’ll do that one next time. Either way, the residents love him.
February 12, 2009
Today my youngest, HJ, and I did our weekly visit to the nursing home. We hadn’t been in a while because of various illnesses and snow days. This time a friend and her son, with the same first name as mine, joined us. The residents really got a kick out of the two blonde haired, blue eyed boys toddling all around. This time we delivered Valentines that HJ and I made. Yes, I’m probably insane making valentines with a one year old, but he had fun and the residents really enjoyed them. They were just hand prints cut out in heart shape. HJ and I both love visiting the nursing home. He eats up all the attention and what mother doesn’t love hearing what an adorable child she has. We started going after visiting my grandmother in a nursing home. Henry was quite a star and really made the whole visit. It was too far to visit her on a regular basis so we found one down here. At first I was nervous because I get uncomfortable in places like that, but having a little one with you makes it easy and the place we go is very nice. Now I look forward to it every week and have invited friends to come with their children.
February 11, 2009
One of the places I volunteer is at my church with the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. It involves 2 meetings a month on Monday mornings and also case work. It’s the kind of thing many people with small children might not be able to find time for and there are definitely days when I wish we could just stay home. Particularly now that my youngest is walking and I spend most of the meeting (usually held at his normal nap time) chasing him or feeding him Cheerios. This week I ended up working cases over the phone because he had the stomach bug. It’s not convenient but I think it’s worth it because my kids can see me putting my faith into practice and my oldest, an honorary member because he’s been dragged to so many meetings, is really developing a generous heart. So don’t let your kids be your excuse. It helps to find a place that is tolerant of children. We do our work out of the rectory, which is staffed mostly by women and I am by far the youngest there except for my kids. So you can imagine the kids are pretty spoiled. I think my 5 year old likes to go just so he can have cookies in the kitchen:o) Hopefully everyone will be healthy by the weekend.
February 9, 2009
We all want to be the best parents we can and help our children to grow up into happy, well adjusted men and women. But what can we do now to make sure that happens? I think one of the most important things we can teach our children is generousity and kindness. Easier said than done, right? Not neccassarily. Children learn best by example, so we must exhibit these qualities. How does that make you happy and well adjusted though? My book club just finished reading The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner and the stats he reported said that some of the happiest people worldwide were those that volunteer. Not that the point of volunteering is to make the volunteer happy, but it does tend to have that rather nice side effect. But I digress. I think one of the best things we can do for our children is to volunteer with them. And I don’t just mean take them to the park to pick up trash or something like that. Not that I’m knocking cleaning up our communities. There are many surprising opportunities to volunteer with your kids you may not even have thought of.
I am not writing this blog to pat myself on the back, but to share my experiences volunteering with my children in the hope that it will encourage others to follow suit. We try to cram so many things into our lives but I think finding the time to teach your children how to love and care for the community and those around them is one of the most important things you can do. If we all did it think of the difference it would make in 10-15 years. We’d have a whole generation that was kind, thoughtful, and compassionate. Hopefully our adventures will make you smile, make you laugh, and make you think “hey we could do that.”