Articles by "Shannon, Author at Quirks & Recreation - Page 28 of 28"
20 Nov
2013
Posted in: parenting
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Keeping Perspective

flower perspectiveI realize, more often than I’d like, the lessons I’m teaching our children are not absorbed they way I intend. It seems lately my teaching is a little off the mark. I find myself backtracking and getting a little defensive. Case in point: breakfast this morning.

Our third grader has hypoplasia on one of his permanent bottom teeth. That tooth is noticeably discolored. Our reserved boy has been picked on several times regarding it, and he’s become increasingly self-conscious when smiling. Short story: our dentist plans on getting rid of some of the discoloration in a few weeks. This morning J was asking when exactly his dentist appointment was. Our ever-helpful oldest replied with, “Just be happy you even have teeth, right mom?”

In that moment, I realized that’s what I must sound like when I attempt to help them put their situations in perspective. The words came off as slightly snotty and condescending. Worse yet, if the way I felt when I heard B’s remark is how my kids feel when I teach “perspective”, I am assuredly not doing a good job. Just because there is something worse, doesn’t mean you can’t talk about what you have happening. Dealing with our little bumps in the road is how we gain perspective on humanity as a whole. My shoving every small glitch in our daily system to the wayside won’t teach my children about gratitude for what we have or prepare them for any massive speed bumps in the years ahead.

B’s comment led to loads of examples of things I’ve said being pelted at me: Be happy you live in a country where you can get flu shots. Be glad you have new shoes, even if they’re not the right brand. Aren’t you glad we can provide this healthy, abundant food? There are children who would love to have a brother to share a room with. In my attempts to help my children keep their ailments, gripes and worries in perspective, I am diminishing their right to feel the way they do.

Are there worse things than a discolored tooth? Most definitely. Is it the biggest problem in J’s life currently? Most definitely. I can do a better job of letting them own their problems and not sweep them a way with a comment like big brother offered up. There’s always something worse, some bigger problem you could have but thankfully, don’t. That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have difficulties and struggles. More times than not, simply vetting our problems helps us to realize our blessings in the trouble.

We’re allowed to own our personal hurdles. My job, as mom, is to help my children work through their emotions in their own obstacles, own his/her feelings and not be consumed by the situation. I don’t what these kids to think they can’t feel sad, upset, discouraged solely because it’s not the very worst scenario. I need to provide them tools to work within their own ups and downs. I really, really, really don’t like when people tell me how not to feel. There’s power in being able to vet your emotions to help validate the situation or see how ridiculous it is. My 8-year-old son has had very few crummy obstacles thrown at him. This tooth, at this moment, is a big deal. We owned those feeling together this morning.

No more broad sweeping away of gripes for this mama. We’re allowed to have problems. We’re allowed to talk about our frustrations and still realize others have greater obstacles than us.


 
Speech Therapy — Child Development Center
By     |    Nov 19, 2013
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Speech Therapy — Child Development Center

Recently I’ve been reflecting on our 6-year-old son’s path to overcoming speech obstacles with speech therapy. His therapy ended 18 months ago when he tested out three months before starting kindergarten. Therapy was an amazing process for both C and I. Happy. Joyful. Exuberant. That’s our third son. Very little dampens his spirit. We knew he was having problems with his speech. The “k” wasn’t there. We had him tested at our local Child Development Center several times and waited... [Read More]

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Not Looking Over Thanksgiving
By     |    Nov 18, 2013
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Not Looking Over Thanksgiving

We’re not looking over Thanksgiving at our house. It’s overshadowed by Halloween and Christmas…the mother of all holidays. We’ll openly inquire about what costumes our children are wearing or what presents we’re buying, but no one stands in line at pickup time asking each other what they’re thankful for. Being thankful is such an important concept to instill in our children, one that seems to be lost in the talk of who has what or what we want or how unfair our... [Read More]

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DIY LEGO Advent Calendar
By     |    Nov 16, 2013
Posted in: projects     |    2 Comments

DIY LEGO Advent Calendar

We’ve bought LEGO advent calendars in the past, which our children enjoyed. The problem is the expense of the calendars. Spending $30-$40 on an advent calendar isn’t normally in the budget. Last year, I decided to make our own LEGO advent calendar. The kids loved the idea, so I made another one this year. I began searching store advertisements the last couple of weeks looking for a LEGO set with 200-250 pieces and cost around $15-$18. Last week, I found the perfect set.... [Read More]

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More Than You Ever Want to Know
By     |    Nov 15, 2013
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More Than You Ever Want to Know

Possibly you’re about to read more than you ever want to know about me or even need to know.  I bet you’ve seen the lists of items you might not know about friends on Facebook. I find them incredibly interesting. I’m a details person, so I’m going to join the crowd and share 20 things about me. I’ve only lived in Wyoming and have deep family roots here, but we have no family in our town. I don’t eat red... [Read More]

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Take a Trip — Everything IS Bigger in Texas
By     |    Nov 14, 2013
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Take a Trip — Everything IS Bigger in Texas

All it took was my husband watching a Man vs. Food episode to prove that everything really is bigger in Texas, starting with donuts and pizza. We were in the San Antonio area visiting friends in June of 2012. Instead of just doing the stereotypical tourist stops, SeaWorld, Schlitterbahn and the Alamo, we hit Round Rock Donuts (north of Austin), and Big Lou’s Pizza (eastside San Antonio). Best. Choices. Ever. I assumed the Round Rock Donuts were going to be a... [Read More]

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Photos from the Passenger Side
By     |    Nov 13, 2013
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Photos from the Passenger Side

You’ll find me taking photos from the passenger side of the vehicle when we travel. We take quite a few trips, and all are road trips. We have yet to take the family on a flight. My husband is the driver which is fine by me. I prefer to sit on the passenger side and take in the view or sometimes, lack of a view. These photos are all from my passenger side vantage point. We’ve driven to Chicago, San... [Read More]

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Birthday Flashback: Circus Celebration
By     |    Nov 12, 2013
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Birthday Flashback: Circus Celebration

The birthday flashback today is the circus celebration we had for our son who was turning 6 a few years ago. He chose an elephant cake which I made from two 8-inch round cakes and an ice cream cone. The first cake was the face of the elephant, and the second cake, cut in half, became the ears. I turned the ice cream cone upside down and frosted it the same gray color to be the trunk. My son chose... [Read More]

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Controlling Chaos: LEGO Organization
By     |    Nov 11, 2013
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Controlling Chaos: LEGO Organization

My four children have a great love of any and everything LEGO. Figuring out a LEGO organization system became the Achilles’ heel of my organizational skills. The gift that shows up on everyone’s list for each birthday and Christmas is LEGO in nature. Six years ago when we bought our eldest son’s first LEGO set, we let the boys decide how to organize them. The storage choice at the time was to keep each set in its own container. This... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Yellowstone National Park
By     |    Nov 7, 2013
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Take a Trip: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park sits near the top of my list of favorite United States national parks. I’m blessed to live near enough to it that I’ve visited our nation’s first national park several times. I had someone ask me once if all the hype surrounding the park as a must-see destination was deserved? Unequivocally yes. The majority of the WORLD’s geysers are located in the 2.2 million acres which make up Yellowstone National Park. Most of the park is located in... [Read More]

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Dealing with Disappointment
By     |    Nov 5, 2013
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Dealing with Disappointment

I’m a planner, researcher and organizer. I need to know what time we leave, where to park and where to meet. Each night before bed, I scrutinize the next day’s schedule. My game plan for the day is set before I fall asleep. Rarely does the day go as planned. I’ve learned to roll with the detours through the years. Today my 11-year-old had a school field trip we were both looking forward to. Instead we worked on dealing with... [Read More]

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Why I write…
By     |    Nov 4, 2013
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Why I write…

I haven’t worked in my chosen field for longer than I ever worked in it. I was a sports reporter who enjoyed writing for a newspaper and thrived off the deadlines that came with it. I knew when we started a family I would stay at home. I wanted to be that ever-present figure. The one who could pick up other people’s children, was available for play dates, could volunteer in classes and bake cupcakes. Hindsight, right? As is it... [Read More]

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