Friday, May 14, 2010
A beautiful walk in the woods after another visit to the labyrinth proved to be a great exercise for us all! Aunt Brandy and Uncle Glenn came over with the kids and my Mom and I took little Brandon and everyone up to the park to see the Labyrinth and take a walk. We found a lot of neat little things to show the kids and I discovered a plant that has flowers that I've never seen before! It was pretty cool. But by the end, Brandon decided that it was my job to help him JUMP the whole way back and I finally gave up. Luckily Uncle Glenn and Aunt Brandy helped me keep from getting frustrated and I was finally able to just pick him up and carry him in my arms back to the Labyrinth. I realized when we got in the car that he was exhausted, which explained the little temper he had. He passed out 2 minutes after we left! So instead of going home, we took a trip to the store and I let him sleep in the car while I listened to the radio and Grandma and big brother went shopping. It broke my heart to see his little head leaning so far down and I felt responsible for making sure he was comfortable while he was sleeping... so VOILA! Instant head rest! LOL I used the strap of the carrier I had left in the car to wrap around his forehead while he was sleeping to hold his head up. :-) I just let it hang over the back of the seat as a counter-weight to his big noggin. Such a tired little boy...
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
April 2010 - John Brown Tannery Park
It definately needs to be said that sometimes an adventure is best had when everyone does the adventuring together. I'll be the first to admit that I love taking my kids places where we can all explore someplace quiet and off the beaten path and get a little bit of that feeling that we are discovering something new or hidden. I'd love to say that every adventure I take will involve me using my carrier, but I'd be lying if I said that. It IS nice to know I have it in the car in case of emergency, but now that my littlest is 2.5 years old, his favorite thing to do is run away from me! LOL
Luckily, I found a place that kept him in one spot for at least a LITTLE while. You might not be familiar with these, but not too long ago my oldest and I discovered that there is a labyrinth just a few blocks from our old house. We stumbled upon it (almost literally) while wasting a half hour in between doctor's visits one day. We had some time to waste, so we decided to go to a park that we like and toss pebbles into the river... one of our favorite past-times. In the process of cutting across a grassy area during a particularly muddy day, we noticed that there were bricks under the grass where we were walking. Strange... at first we thought maybe it was some old historical foundation of a shed or house that used to be there and was unmarked. There was even a post where it looked like a sign had been, but the sign itself was missing.
On that particular day, I happened to be using my carrier because of the mud on the trails that day, so me and my oldest didn't have a problem tromping around in the mud trying to trace all the lines of bricks under the grass. (Brandon was very helpful pointing out the spots I missed!) After thoroughly trashing my nice work dress shoes by scraping all the bricks, we realized that we were standing on top of a labyrinth! I had read about them for a while and had actually searched the online labyrinth locator (http://labyrinthlocator.com/ ) to see if there was one in the area and came up with nothing. For the longest time I had been trying to think up a way to make one myself, and imagine how happy I was when I found out I didn't have to do it myself! :-)
Well, the picture posted above is actually the second trip to the labyrinth that we took. It's hard to see the lines, but you can kind of make out the ridges in the grass. This time I brought my Mom along because I knew she would appreciate it. She will be the first to admit that retirement isn't necessarily the most stimulating to the brain, and I knew she was looking for something to do that felt more meaningful than just taking 'a walk'. She loved the fact that this hidden treasure was there and that it was available for anyone to use. As a matter of fact, I called the parks and rec office to find out more about it and they agreed to let us do some maintenance on it ourselves! Ironically, I also found out it had been there for TWENTY YEARS!!! And all that time I didn't have a clue.
If you aren't familiar with what a labyrinth is for, or how to use it, there are a lot of places online that can give you more information on them. My favorite spot is http://labyrinthsociety.org/, The Labyrinth Society. They have information and links there, as well as a directory of terms to help you understand more. For me, my first question was "What's it for?" and boy did I find out more than I planned! Labyrinths can be used for meditation, prayer, mental focus, relaxation, fun, or whatever you want! There are so many ways they have been used over the years, there is no wrong way to use them. HOWEVER, you might notice there is a kind of... etiquette... to them. So if you see someone else using one and you want to use it, just remember to try to respect that they might be using it for prayer or meditation, and take cues from them on if they want to have company while they are walking it or not.
If you want to find a way to experience a labyrinth with your little one and you're not sure how to go about it yet... try my Monkey Bar activity called "The Labyrinth Walk" on this page: http://www.addictionbabycompany.com/monkey-bars/activities
Enjoy and have a wonderful time! Don't forget to share your stories with me!
May 3rd, 2010
We had a great walk across campus in memory of May 4th, 1970. It has been 40 years, and it seems as though it is just now being embraced as an important part of history... and a great lesson that shouldn't be forgotten. We took our time, walking from sign to sign, trying to picture the whole scene in our heads and trying to understand what happened. Not WHY it happened, but just understanding the facts. I let both boys walk through it themselves, and had to do occasional re-routing of Brandon (I was SOOO embarassed when he stepped on a daffodil!!!). They were so good about it, and we actually enjoyed the wonderfully warm night and the gathering of people around campus and listening in to their conversations. Brandon did really good putting stones on the sites where the shootings happened. I learned a little bit about the traditions of different cultures, and that was cool. (Look up/google using rocks instead of flowers for memorials - I believe it's a Hebrew tradition.) The walk was long, but we didn't mind. While the sun was setting, we went off track to examine some of the other art-work on campus. I showed the boys "Tilt", a structure made of newspapers from 2005, and explained what it USED to look like and how neat it was that it looked so different now. Unfortunately, Brandon decided that was the perfect time to stop for a break and 'relieve' himself. Nice. Well, that smelled. lol Well, we weren't close enough to the car yet, and we had quite a ways to walk back to it. Unfortunately, Brandon was now walking MUCH slower, and I had forgotten to throw a diaper in my handy-dandy carrier (which I was wearing like a messenger bag). So, to get back to the car quicker, I threw him in the carrier and we walked straight back to the car. I put the back seat down and laid out the blanket from the carrier (the trunk is really hard and scratchy) and proceeded to stink up the entire car. UGH! What's worse, is that it wasn't solid and it leaked all over his pants. So those came off! But by then it was chilly, so going home pantsless wasn't really an option. Luckily, it hadn't leaked onto the blanket carrier, so he just cuddled under that the rest of the way home, while we left the sunroof open and jammed to a little classic rock on the car stereo. ;-) It was a great evening with my kids... something I will treasure forever, and I hope they do, too.
Now... if you'll pardon me for a minute... I'd like to share some thoughts about something other than "Adventures in Babywearing". It was something I needed to say, but didn't know where to say it. So here it is.
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" ~George Santayana
____It was strange, considering I grew up so close to this memorial, yet I almost never think about it. It's a part of the scenery, a part of the town, blended into the hill... and yet, if you make a point to walk through it for the SAKE of thinking about it, it can really make an impact on you. I have walked past the sites where the Kent Four have died many times before, and until I stopped and thought about what happened on that spot and just how tragic and unnecessary it was, I never really understood what kind of lesson we were supposed to learn from mistakes like this in history. What was it that we were supposed to tell our children about this? Would they ever understand it? Could they ever relate to it? I suddenly felt the weight of being a mother on my shoulders. I had no idea what lesson I was supposed to teach my children.
____I read the editorial about the May 4th incident in the University Paper, and that's when it hit me... it is nearly impossible for college students and teenagers to understand the impact this incident has had on their lives. For me, it wasn't even about the war or protesting it, or whether wars should exist or not. That's not why we remember this. It's because what happened was unnecessary... and it resulted in the deaths of people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time... and they couldn't have even known that they were in the wrong place until it was too late. For the first time during that war, the war came HOME.
____This was a different war than we might be familiar with now, although the lessons are still important. There were no cell phone alerts to pass along a message from the University about dangers on the campus. No terrorism alert signs telling us what level of anxiety we should have. There were no laptops to be able to research the moods and attitudes of students across the campus, and no blogs or facebook pages where the University could communicate openly with the students and address the issues that weighed heavily on their hearts. Back then, students were looked down upon because everyone assumed they were there simply to avoid the draft. (If you don't know what a draft was, or why going to college might protect you from it, you have some research to do!) If you were in college, then you were a hippy, and an activist, and you had radical, even crazy, ideas. You weren't cutting edge, you were just nuts and a plague to our Leave-it-to-Beaver world. Let's not forget... law enforcement didn't use rubber bullets back then, either. There were no riot shields or Kevlar vests to make them feel more protected and calm under the pressure of a crowd. And there was no internet where students felt they could have an impact and make their voices heard. Instead they had to shout it out loud just to get anyone to pay attention.
____I wonder now, if 'kids these days' will ever understand what people have done to pave the way for them. A college graduate today goes through such a different experience, and is looked at in such a different way than 40 years ago. Universities are so much more involved in what their students do, and they are held MUCH more responsible for the citizens that are a part of their campus. It's a necessity. A campus is a community within a community. But it's important to remember that both the city and the campus are intertwined, and they are dependent upon each other, not at odds with each other. One supports the other in ways too complicated to begin to describe. It's a support system with a very delicate balance. So much more delicate than we realized 40 years ago. The world is different today, and with that difference comes new concerns, but also new experiences and new opportunities... and new lessons. But we still have to teach the old lessons, lest our children learn from experience.
"History repeats itself because no one was listening the first time." ~Anonymous
Monday, May 3, 2010
How cool is that????? Woo hoo! They really make me sound good, don't they? LOL
Please go check out their blog!!! The website is really useful and the blog has so many interesting products that us parents don't know about! AND, they have tons of giveaways for those who take the time to comment, and you can comment on the blog about us and be entered to win a Micro Blanket Carrier!
Speaking of giveaways, I am pairing up with "Aunt Brandy" to start a line of first aid type products and we are trying to come up with a name for that line of stuff. It's not babywearing oriented, so I wanted to give her products a different name. If you help us come up with a name, you'll be entered into another giveaway for a free pair of cold packs! Look for the info on our Products and Pics page!
Happy surfing everyone!!!