Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fieldtrip Funnies

Last week I chaperoned for Haley's first fieldtrip. It was to a great little place in the country called Puck's Farm.

All the kids got a pony rideHaley petting one of the horses that pulled us on a hayride around the property
Here is the group of kids I was in charge of. As we were standing waiting with some of the other kids in the class for the next activity to start I was talking with some of my kids. I said to the little girl second from the right wearing a sweatshirt that is a size 2T:

me: Jhanki(yes that is her name) Did you get you hair cut?(it used to be long and now she looks like a boy)
Jhanki: yea I did
**enters another student named Dev**
Dev: Well I am getting my penis cut.
Me:(suprised) oh you are?
Dev: yea I am getting my penis cut(he repeats--so now I know I heard him correctly)
Me: why are you doing that?
Dev: because it is too small.
Call me crazy, but I don't think cutting it is going to help if the problem is that it is too small.
Conversation redirection.......

Haley milking a cow with "Farmer Vivian"

This is a picture of "Farmer Mark" preparing the kids for a barnyard tour. As you can see he is a dwarf. When you go to a farm you expect to have lots of teaching moments with your kids, but not one like this. So after we had seen, heard from and talked to Farmer Mark many times throughout the day, Haley was sitting on my lap watching him make butter and she says "Mom, he sure is little isn't he?" I said "yes he is". Then she says "is he a puppet?" So not only did Haley learn about milking cows and making butter at the farm she also learned a valuable lesson on dwarfism. Who knew?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Beware of Barney!

Today the kids and I went on an spontaneous trip to a little town north of our house to see Barney live at a small mall performance. A friend of mine, Michelle, from the gym who has 4 young girls invited us to go with her and another friend. Carson was anxious the whole time-he's not that into real life characters of any kind or groups of a lot of people-but Haley had a blast.

Haley and her friend Jasmine

Carson, Layla, Haley, Jasmine, and Alexa eating ice cream cones

The kids playing in a play area at the mall

On the way out of the mall the kids wanted a slushee, so I got each of them one. After Haley took a few sips she decided she didn't want hers anymore and asked me to carry it. I explained that I had stuff in my hands and we were almost to the car. She got mad and said she didn't want to carry it. I once again explained that she asked for the slushee and she had to carry it because I couldn't and we were almost to the car. She then got louder and said well my hands are too cold. I suggested that she wrap her shirt around the cup to carry it and she once again refused and said I don't want to. And then decided she was going to show me who was boss by puposely dropping the slushee on the ground and the lid flew off and it splattered everywhere. UUUMMM..Where is the child abuse hotline when you need it?
Well we were in the mall, so I kept my composure and luckily it happened right in front of a hair salon, so after counting backward from 10, breathing in and out, and putting myself at a 20 foot distance from her, I just asked them for some hair towels and proceeded to make Haley clean up her mess. Which she surprisingly did without a fight. I think she already knew she was in enough trouble. She has really been testing me lately in a lot of ways.

So later we were talking about what happened and why she made the choice to drop her slushee on the ground and this is how it went:

Me: Haley why do think you have been having such a hard time making good choices lately?
Haley: Mom, I just can't handle being good anymore.
Me: you can't handle being good?
Haley: yeah. I just can't handle being good. I used to be able to handle being good. I would wake up in the morning and I could handle it and then later I just lost the handle.
Me: You just lost the handle?
Haley: Yeah, it's just Barney makes me make bad choices.
Me: How does Barney make you make bad choices?
Haley: I was just up there dancing and singing, that's why I went up to the front, and Barney just makes me feel so free. That's why I make bad choices.

I started to laugh at this point which ruined any further explanation from her on why Barney is a bad influence on her. Needless to say we made up and all is well until tomorrow when Barney's evil spell overcomes Haley once again and she makes more bad choices. And to think this whole time I thought the choices she made were voluntary.

Don't let that face fool you!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Accident Forgiveness

Today, June 6, 2008 marks ten years since I was in a horrible car accident. I was hit in the driver's side(where I was sitting) by a large pick up truck whose driver ran a red light. Both of my wrists were fractured, all of my ribs were cracked on the left side of my body which in turn punctured my left lung and it collapsed. I had numerous cuts and bruises all over me. I also sustained a head injury known as an acute subdural hematoma. I was in the hospital for 11 days and 3 of those days I spent in the ICU(intensive care unit). So, long after my bones and lung healed and my cuts turned to faint scars, I was still left with the damage that had been done to my brain as a result of the subdural hematoma. When I say a long time, I mean even to this very day I still struggle with the effects of that head injury. As most of you know, I am referring to the depression and anxiety that I have had ever since the accident.
In the days leading up to the ten year anniversary of the accident and in the days since, I have thought so much about the accident. Well, not necessarily the accident itself, as much as how the effects of that accident have changed, affected and influenced my life since. For a great deal of this time I have hated who and what the depression has made me. I have lost contact with friends sooner than I would have liked because I isolated myself. I lost(or felt like I lost) so much of my outgoing personality, my ability to think positive, and simply to be happy. I have made life very difficult for Brad and sometimes my children. I have many times been almost paralyzed with sadness. And though I know that there will still inevitably be many days, even weeks at a time, that I will feel those things, I have recently had a few personal "AHA moments" that have changed my somewhat persistent negative attitude. A few weekends ago I attended a women's conference called "Time Out For Women" which was organized by an affiliate of my church and one of the speakers said "it is only in the darkness that we truly see the light". And it hit me..there is actually some good that came from that accident that day...some of it was immediate and some of it has come over time.

I realized how much my friends and family loved me and would do anything for me. My sister,Amy, came immediately to the hospital (camera in tow-to capture every moment of my ordeal on film cause she knew I would want pictures of everything). She stayed with me for hours in and out of the hospital caring for me in every way. She even took over my job as a nanny while I couldn't work. My dad flew in that night to sit by my bed and my mom followed week later. She bathed me, changed my bandages, fed me, and did everything she could to make me comfortable. Brad was with me as much as he could. He would even brush my teeth for me when I couldn't because my wrists were broken. My brother, Bryan, who was serving a mission in Salt Lake at the time(where the accident occured) was able to come to hospital and see me and give me a blessing. Brad's parents drove down 9 hours from Montana to care for me. My other brother Robert drove 2 hours to visit me more than once. My roomate Jodi massaged my feet. Numerous friends vistited, sent flowers and made phonecalls. And the list goes on......
Just a few short weeks after the accident, Brad and I got engaged. He wasn't quite ready to "pop the question" before the accident, but I guess it was the boost he needed to realize that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. As Martha Stewart would say that was definately "a good thing".
So what good has come of this over the long term is that I have become a more compassionate person. All of the struggles have softened me and made me more in tune with other people's pain. I am more empathetic and less judgemental. Do I still have so far to go? Yes. But I want to do better...and so each day I am becoming better, or at least trying. For a long time I did not see things this way. This was, and is, my trial, but I am grateful for the first time for some of the ways this has changed me. I still miss the old me, but I do not mourne for that person the way I used to. I am sad it has taken me so long to see that some good actually came from such a horrible experience.
Thank you to every one who has listened to me cry and complain and stood by me over the last ten years. Especially Brad who has really been so amazing through it all. Very few men could have loved me, supported me, and put up with me the way he has. I love you all.

My totaled Honda Civic . My brother, Bryan, illegally jumped the junkyard fence to take these pics of the car for me.

Amy visiting me in the hospital

I am holding a container to throw up in. I would usually vomit every time I would sit up. And Brad stayed by me the whole time.
I was in and out of consciousness for the first few days. I don't think I was just sleeping in this picture.

I saved the best for last. Here I am in the ever so sexy hospital issued gown and mesh underwear. This photo is showing the tube that was inserted into the side of my chest to drain the fluid(which looked like kool-aid) from my lung.